There is a welcome new trend in toys for girls: fantastic new toys and books that encourage young girls to reach for the stars. But where are the similar toys for boys? Missing are male characters for boys who show their strength through traits like empathy, kindness, resourcefulness, curiosity, and grit—instead of only muscles. The progress in toys for girls is something to cheer about. Boys need better options, too.
We are launching Generation Grit to bring to life a collection of characters, inspiring boys to live their best adventure. Each character has an adventure figure, books, and accessories—all created to spark hours of reading and imaginative play.
Mac Mason is an adventurous fourteen-year-old boy from 1943 who loves ciphers, camping, and baseball.
Mac’s story takes place in 1943 on the home front during World War II. An avid baseball player, Mac feels overshadowed when his athletic British cousin William comes to California to escape the London bombings. When the two uncover clues to a fraudulent rations ring, however, they must work together to save a friend from being falsely accused. This adventure involves friendship, courage, mystery—and, of course, grit. For middle grade readers ages 8-12.
Mac is a premier, posable, jointed action figure made in 1/6 scale. He measures 10 5/8” tall. His head was designed by a world-class sculptor.
Mac stands on his own and comes with a realistically detailed cloth outfit: an off-white shirt and khaki trousers. His boots are a weathered brown and resemble the ankle boots popular in the 1940s. With 30 points of articulation, Mac can be positioned to fit nearly any scenario a child can dream up.
Trunk. Generation Grit
packaging is part of the
play. Mac Mason arrives in
a heavy, shoebox-sized,
cardboard box printed to
resemble an old trunk. The
box folds open to become
his bedroom desk area,
with cubbies and cabinets
to store his things.
Stool. Stowed neatly in a cubby under Mac’s desk, this folding
stool is made of wood with a canvas seat. It provides seating for
Mac—at his desk or wherever his adventure leads.
Letter box and Radio. These sturdy cardboard desk accessories
are part of Mac’s story. The replica of an ammunition box
holds Mac’s cherished letters from his brother Frank, a fighter
pilot in the Pacific Theater. The box contains five paper nano-printed letters, which can be read with a magnifying glass.
Your child can re-enact what it was like to be on the receiving
end of those letters—the only communication Mac had from
his brother. The ham radio belongs to Mr. Mason who leaves it
with his son while he is undercover in Europe.
Satchel. Designed with one large interior pocket and two smaller pockets on the front, this canvas satchel accompanies Mac to every baseball game, scrap metal drive, and camping trip. The satchel is a Kickstarter-only accessory and only available to our backers during the campaign!
Bedroll. In Book 1, Mac and his cousin William embark on an epic camping adventure
in Wildcat Canyon. Mac brings along a bedroll, as was typical in the early 1940s. The
classic olive drab bedroll features leather carrying straps, brass-colored buckles, a navy blanket, and a ticking pillow.
Leather-like Jacket. Mac’s jacket is inspired by the iconic A-1 flying jackets of the late 1920s. It features dual pockets and a faux zipper.
Laura Hale is the Founder of Generation Grit. She is an experienced entrepreneur and was the first employee at Ebates.com. Prior to Ebates, she was a private equity
investor at The Carlyle Group and Robert M. Bass. She is a graduate of
Harvard Business School
and Wellesley College. As a mother of four children, she has logged countless hours of reading children's books and fostering imaginative play.
Generation Grit has the privilege of working with an
experienced collection of writers, editors, historians,
sculptors, artists, and toy designers, ensuring our toys and
stories are fabulous.
The creative heroes behind Generation Grit make this work not only meaningful, but also exceptionally fun. With all the gratitude in the world to ... Adam Beane for pouring his heart, soul and outrageous talent into Mac Mason's head sculpt ... Kat Soto for sharing her extraordinary knowledge (not to mention passion and attention to detail) with a kind and generous spirit ... Matt Garcia-Dunn, storyteller extraordinaire, for his remarkable teamwork and relentless commitment to the Mac Mason adventure ... Amy Vos McLeod for her courage and contagious enthusiasm in bringing to life the wonderful, vintage-inspired sketches in Mac's first book ... Emily Moberg Robinson for diving into the adventure with her phenomenal editing instincts and knowledge of history ... Gil O'Brien for contributing his imagination and tremendous design know-how to the fun that's in store for you and your boys.
With your support, this Kickstarter campaign will fund the tooling and
manufacturing of our first character, Mac Mason, along with his packaging and
This Kickstarter adventure will only be successful because of you. If you believe, as we do, that our boys deserve Generation Grit, please share it with your friends. As a small, emerging company, we count on people just like you to spread the word. Thank you for sharing the love!
You, our Kickstarter backers, are among the first people to believe in Generation Grit. Our Kickstarter philosophy is you should be first (before anyone else), get better-than-retail pricing, and receive special Kickstarter-only items (like the satchel accessory). Thank you for being an early believer. We are fiercely loyal to you!
This journey would not be possible without the amazing love and support of family and friends. Thank you!
If you are launching a dream of your own, here are some resources you won't want to miss. With sincere thanks to these folks, whose generous work has been indispensable to Generation Grit.
Brené Brown for believing courage is contagious and for building a beautiful tribe of wholehearted people through her life-changing (this is not hyperbole) eCourse
Jon Acuff for a treasure trove of blog posts, books, and 30 Days of Hustle emails ... and for inspiring the fabulous Dreamers & Builders: the one-of-a-kind, got-your-back, face-your-fears Facebook community
Hawks & Rock for their infectious passion around brand and story
Marmoset for introducing us to the music for our video "Love and Oceans" by the Dimes
Double H Production and the immensely talented Harry Hyuan for their tireless efforts in helping us tell the Generation Grit story through video
Risks and challenges
We have done our best to mitigate the risks and challenges for this project.
We have completed prototypes and have put into place a detailed production plan. The Mac Mason figure and accessories are the first toys Generation Grit will manufacture, and we are manufacturing overseas. To mitigate manufacturing risks, we are working with an experienced production partner. They have a twenty year history and a leading reputation in the toy industry (and they want to see Generation Grit come to life, too!).
That said, there are inherent risks to the timeline, and our backers should be in a position to be flexible about delivery dates. We are working hard to avoid any delays, but we do not want to sacrifice the quality of the toys.
Our toys will go through rigorous testing to ensure they adhere to all required safety standards. We'll make sure they pass with flying colors before reaching your doorstep.
Toy manufacturing is a capital-intensive process. That’s why so many of the toys you see are connected to a giant entertainment brand. We hope to offer something different with Generation Grit—a high quality option that is connected to a book, not a movie, computer game, or weekly television show. It's not easy being a small fish in a big pond, but together we can make this happen.
Our stories and toys are intended for children between 8 and 12 years old. Boys this age are generally developmentally ready to read on their own and to care for the kinds of toys Generation Grit has designed. Small pieces could present a choking hazard to younger children.
Girls rock! Thankfully, there are already many wonderful books, toys and dolls dedicated to inspiring girls. We have been disappointed in the lack of boy characters to encourage boys to leave their unique fingerprints on the world.
Our vision for Generation Grit is to create a full line of characters, in addition to Mac Mason, each with a series of adventure stories and growing collections of accessories. We want all boys to see themselves in the message behind Generation Grit, and we are committed to developing diverse characters from different backgrounds with a wide range of interests.
ADVENTURER (with International shipping). For those of you outside the US, this is it—the complete set for Mac! Includes Mac's leather-like jacket, his bedroll with blanket and pillow, plus everything in the EXPLORER tier. All with International shipping.
ENTHUSIAST. The tier for our most exuberant fans! When you want Mac's complete set, the Generation Grit t-shirt, *and* the custom Nike Elite socks, go for this tier. Includes everything in the ADVENTURER + FAN + CHAMP tiers.
PATRON. A backyard fiesta for you and your 25 grown up guests. Become Generation Grit advisors for the evening. Bring your vision as we brainstorm strategy, future characters, storylines, and more. Most of all, let's have fun and celebrate together! ENTHUSIAST tier for all. Held in the San Francisco Bay Area. You provide the travel and the guests; we'll provide the rest of the ingredients for a memorable evening.