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$9,042 pledged of $30,000 goal
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$9,042 pledged of $30,000 goal
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

Hello Kickstarter enthusiast,

We are Little Colorado, a leading manufacturer of wooden toddler furniture based in Denver, Colorado. Unlike most of our competitors, we build all our furniture in America. We think it is time to bring the ultimate in originality to toy boxes by printing almost anything you can think of on them. We need your help to buy a digital flatbed printer so we can offer unique toy boxes that fit your distinct home decor and your child's one-of-a-kind personality.  We call them MyBox toy boxes because the uniqueness of these designs gives your toddler a real sense of attachment and ownership.

Here is your chance, not only to be one of the first to own a MyBox, but to do so at a sweet price! The donation levels represent a 20-25% savings from the anticipated retail price when we launch the product line in November.

 

Wooden toy boxes are iconic, but in the past 25 years they look about the same as they did when we were kids. Unfortunately, complacency has allowed nearly interchangeable plastic toy boxes (ugh) to become popular. It's time to bring authenticity and matchless creativity back to wooden toy boxes with MyBox. Our secret ingredient is a large format digital flatbed printer that operates with water based inks that are instantly UV cured. 

Using this new technology, we can print almost anything on the front or the lid of your toddler's toy box. We envision offering MyBox in both stock images (15-20 to start and scores later on) and custom designs based on art work you send us (a photo, your child's recent drawing, an inspirational quotation). We like to say, "If you can dream it, we can build it." Your own imagination is the only limit for making your child's MyBox like no one else's.

For our Kickstarter campaign, printing will be available on four different toy boxes models in two different finishes.

"But you already make toy boxes," you might say. "Why bother with a Kickstarter campaign?" Well, we are a small business with about 20 employees, and we just invested in a new CNC machine that enables us to improve the quality of our wooden toddler furniture and the efficiency of its production—all good, but capital dollars are tight. We can cover part of the cost of a new digital flatbed printer, but not the whole thing.  We need your help. The printer we have in mind costs approximately $70,000. We can cover about $40,000, rough numbers, so we have set our goal at $30,000. This division of funds feels like a good balance to us—where we are getting help but pulling as much of our own weight as we can.

Of course, the second reason for our Kickstarter is to get market confirmation that we are not crazy—that toddlers and their parents want absolutely original, high quality toy boxes. If you like our idea, and you like the examples here on our Kickstarter page, please back us. You will have more design options to choose from when we complete our campaign. What you see here are just our initial prototypes.

So hit two balls with one swing: get a fantastic deal on one of these unique toy boxes and help us launch the MyBox line of toy boxes—so toddlers everywhere can fall in love with their very own toy box. 

MyBox toy boxes will be available with two types of printed designs on our website: stock and custom. Stock designs will provide an easy and affordable way for you to select an illustration that catches your fancy. They will include graphic images, motivational quotations, and designs paired with quotations. We anticipate starting with 15-20 stock illustrations from which to choose for your Kickstarter reward, and then over time dramatically expanding our stock graphics options. 

In fact, we want your help to determine our next ten stock designs. Every week during September and October we will publish several new images on our Instagram page. The ten images with the most likes will be selected as additional options when you pick out your reward.

Stock illustrations will be affordable, engaging, and fun—and will promise a short lead time of about a week, from order to shipment. Alternatively, choosing a custom design will enable you to place anything you want on your toy box (assuming you provide the appropriate art files). Custom design shipment will take a week or two longer, depending on the complexity and the condition of your artwork, and will cost about $40 more than our stock illustrations.

Here are just a few examples of the stock designs you will see when you pick out your reward. No need to choose now. After the successful completion of our Kickstarter campaign, we will reach out so you can identify the design you've selected from our 15-20 options.   

Stock Design: "TOYS" in blocks on our Toy Storage Box (shown in white).
Stock Design: "TOYS" in blocks on our Toy Storage Box (shown in white).

 

Stock Design: "T Rex" on our Keepsake Toy Box, shown in our natural finish
Stock Design: "T Rex" on our Keepsake Toy Box, shown in our natural finish

 

Stock Design: "Moo Cow" was originally conceived as a custom illustration for our grandson's toy box, but everyone loves it so much that we will offer it as a stock design. Shown on our Big Toy Box in white.
Stock Design: "Moo Cow" was originally conceived as a custom illustration for our grandson's toy box, but everyone loves it so much that we will offer it as a stock design. Shown on our Big Toy Box in white.

 

Stock Design: "So Many Toys" on our Keepsake Toy Box, shown in natural.
Stock Design: "So Many Toys" on our Keepsake Toy Box, shown in natural.

 

Custom Design: Here is one example of what a custom design might look like. You can send us a photo and your toddler's name—or create an illustration only you can imagine, but be sure to send us an appropriate file type and format.
Custom Design: Here is one example of what a custom design might look like. You can send us a photo and your toddler's name—or create an illustration only you can imagine, but be sure to send us an appropriate file type and format.

 

Stock Design: "Field of Flowers," shown on our Big Toy Box in white.
Stock Design: "Field of Flowers," shown on our Big Toy Box in white.

 

Stock Design: "Alphabet Animals" on our Treasure Chest, shown in white.
Stock Design: "Alphabet Animals" on our Treasure Chest, shown in white.

 

We have been incredibly impressed with the digital flatbed printer's graphic quality, displayed beautifully here in this close-up of the "Alphabet Animals" design. Look at the meticulous detail on these tiny creatures: they are only about 2" tall.
We have been incredibly impressed with the digital flatbed printer's graphic quality, displayed beautifully here in this close-up of the "Alphabet Animals" design. Look at the meticulous detail on these tiny creatures: they are only about 2" tall.

 

We build the finest quality toy boxes available. Sure: you can find less expensive toy boxes than ours, but the design, construction, materials, and hardware of imported toy boxes are noticeably different—and deficient, compared to our products.

  • You pick from MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine construction, and we only use the best available examples of each. MDF is most appropriate for painted toy boxes. Baltic Birch is a less expensive option than Knotty Pine when you want a natural finish. Knotty Pine is the most expensive of our materials—but also the most classic look when finished in natural.
  • We use Plumbcreek Brand MDF, which is always CARB 2 compliant (safe for your child), so you can be assured your toddler furniture contains no added formaldehyde.
  • Our Baltic Birch plywood is harvested from sustainable forests.
  • We use northern Knotty Pine because the forests are harvested sustainably, and the short growing season produces a tight grain pattern for stronger and more stable boards.
  • All our toy boxes use dadoes to strengthen the connection of perpendicular joints. Most imported toy boxes make little to no use of dadoes.
  • All the exposed edges of our toy boxes are cut with a bull nose router to form a beautifully rounded edge for safety and aesthetics.
  • Because lid supports are the most crucial safety feature for your child, we never take a "one size fits all" approach to building our toy boxes. We use three different lid supports, depending on the weight of the lid, so you can be sure it will hold firm at any point when little hands are opening or closing their toy box.
  • Our Keepsake Toy Box is the smallest size we make. It's perfect for tight spaces, as a newborn's first toy box, or as a special place for a your toddler's most treasured belongings.
  • Our Toy Storage Box is our most popular model: roomy, affordable, and classic in design. 
  • Our Big Toy box is huge and will hold every precious toy your child adores. 
  • Our Treasure Chest offers a beautiful, barrel shaped lid that will suit the most discriminating little pirate.
  • We do make fully assembled toy boxes, but all four of these products ship out ready-to-assemble. We use the best available hardware, and the dadoes make assembly simple, because everything fits snugly where it is meant to go. Hinges and lid supports conveniently match pre-drilled holes.
Scale: In the foreground is our Keepsake Toy Box, about the same height and depth as the Toy Storage Box behind it, but about 6" shorter. The Big Toy Box against the wall is about the same length as the Toy Storage Box, but deeper and taller.
Scale: In the foreground is our Keepsake Toy Box, about the same height and depth as the Toy Storage Box behind it, but about 6" shorter. The Big Toy Box against the wall is about the same length as the Toy Storage Box, but deeper and taller.

 

Of the four toy box styles we are offering as rewards, only one, the Treasure Chest, includes a barrel-style lid. Here you can see the difference in shape, compared to the standard, flat lid.
Of the four toy box styles we are offering as rewards, only one, the Treasure Chest, includes a barrel-style lid. Here you can see the difference in shape, compared to the standard, flat lid.

 

Large format digital printers have played a significant role in the sign and display industry for decades. In the past five or so years, the water based, UV cured inks that can adhere to many surfaces have allowed flatbed printers to become a reality for dimensional products like wood. 

There are at least 10-12 different brands of true flatbed printers available—from the giants of the industry like HP and Cannon, to more specialized companies like CET or EFI. We have been running tests on many of the different makes and will be finalizing our selection during the 35 days that our Kickstarter campaign is running. We should take delivery of the printer within 20-30 days of the end of the campaign.

We are committed to buying a printer that is assembled in the USA. 

Our timeline is relatively locked down, since the printers are readily available, and we already know how to make toy boxes. The major wrinkle is the holidays—more specifically, making rewards available for the holidays. Unfortunately, we don't think we can produce an unlimited number of toy boxes by the holiday season (always the busiest time of the year for us under normal circumstances), so you will see that we have created two special reward categories with guaranteed availability for the seasonal window.

At best, we may be able to build and ship out all the rewards by the holidays—we just don't know for sure. You can see from the schedule below that we have a shot to get them all done. Really, it depends on how many toy boxes we need to make (hopefully lots).

  • August 30th - October 3rd: 35-day Kickstarter campaign is in full swing
  • October 27th or earlier:  take delivery of the printer
  • Week of October 30th: complete installation and training
  • Week of November 6th: 1st week of production 
  • Week of November 13th:  the first rewards ship to backers

We have set our fundraising goal at $30,000, because we think that sum is the minimum amount we need to make this project work financially. 

The digital flatbed printer we have in mind costs approximately $70,000. We can afford about $40,000, so we are establishing our Kickstarter goal at $30,000. This division of money feels like a good balance to us, where we are getting help but pulling as much of our own weight as we can. It seems fair that we only ask for what we need.

That said, we would love to raise much more than our goal - it would certainly help our cash flow and allow us to invest in new stock designs more rapidly.

  

 

 

The great reviews are already coming in—see how much Bloggers Jana and Haley love their MyBox, and what Denver's Business newsfeed BusinessDen says about MyBox:

Here's Jana on Instagram: http://www.goodlifexplorers.com/little-colorado-toy-box-review/

Here's Hayley in her blog: http://www.heyitshayley.com/

Here is the article in BusinessDen: http://www.businessden.com/2017/09/11/sunnyside-furniture-maker-launches-custom-printed-toy-box

Here's Jana on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSlYsgxDOzM

For technical expertise, support, and advice, we gratefully acknowledge Kay Baker, Alexander Hare, James Lacey, Isaac Hare Steig, and Joseph Steig. 

Risks and challenges

Of course there are always risks, and inevitably, challenges will crop up with a new printer like this one, but we consider both manageable—especially given our years of experience in this industry.

We make toy boxes every day and have for over 25 years.

We have been and will continue testing with the leading printer manufacturers to make sure our products are safe for your child and that we receive the training we need to implement the printing process successfully.

The printers are generally proven technology from reputable manufacturers and are made domestically.

With your help and support, we can accomplish our goal—for us and for toddlers and parents who love unique, handcrafted toy boxes in their homes. Thank you for considering our Kickstarter campaign!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    Thank you for your support!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Little Colorado Tee

    All cotton with our new logo across your chest

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    4 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    14" x 28" Printed Wooden Sign/Poster

    Love one of our stock graphics but just don't need a toy box? We get it. We will print the stock graphic of your choice on 1/4 Baltic Birch, suitable for framing or just hanging it as is.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Stock Graphic Keepsake Toy Box

    STOCK GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine
    White paint on MDF or natural lacquer on Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine

    This is the smallest toy box available—perfect for small rooms, as a second storage location, or for your toddler's most precious belongings.

    Measures 23.5" long x 14.5" wide x 15.5" high

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    Custom Graphic Keepsake Toy Box

    CUSTOM GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine
    White paint on MDF or natural lacquer on Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine

    This is the smallest toy box available—perfect for small rooms, as a second storage location, or for your toddler's most precious belongings.

    Measures 23.5" long x 14.5" wide x 15.5" high

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    Stock Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box

    STOCK GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Your Choice of Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box
    Big Toy Box comes only in Baltic Birch
    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine for the Toy Storage Chest
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine).

    The Toy Storage Box is is by far our most popular toy box: roomy, affordable, and classic in style. The Big Toy Box is our largest: it is huge and will hold your toddler's every heart's desire.

    Toy Storage Box measures 31" long x 16" wide x 16" high
    Big Toy Box measures 29.5" long x 19.5" wide x 20" high

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Custom Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box

    CUSTOM GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Your Choice of Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box
    Big Toy Box comes only in Baltic Birch
    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine for the Toy Storage Chest
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine).

    The Toy Storage Bpx is is by far our most popular toy box: roomy, affordable, and classic in style. The Big Toy Box is our largest: it is huge and will hold your toddler's every heart's desire.

    Toy Storage Box measures 31" long x 16" wide x 16" high
    Big Toy Box measures 29.5" long x 19.5" wide x 20" high

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    Stock Graphic Treasure Chest

    STOCK GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Choose MDF or Knotty Pine construction
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Knotty Pine).

    The Treasure Chest offers a beautiful barrel lid, using pine slats. The lid comes pre-assembled.

    Measures 28.5" long x 19" wide x 18" high

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    0 backers
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    Pledge $205 or more About $205

    Stock Toy Boxes: Holiday Delivery

    STOCK GRAPHIC
    GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Your choice of our Keepsake Toy Box, Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box (in other words, all of our toy boxes but the Treasure Chest).
    Big Toy Box only comes in Baltic Birch
    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine construction for the Keepsake Toy Box and Toy Storage Box.
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine).

    The Keepsake Toy Box is the smallest toy box available—perfect for small rooms, as a second storage location, or for your toddler's most precious belongings. The Toy Storage Chest is is by far our most popular toy box: roomy, affordable, and classic in style. As the name implies, the Big Toy Box is our largest: it is huge and will hold your toddler's every heart's desire.

    Keepsake Toy Box measures 23.5" long x 14.5" wide x 15.5" high.
    Toy Storage Box measures 31" long x 16" wide x 16" high
    Big Toy Box measures 29.5" long x 19.5" wide x 20" high

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Custom Graphic Treasure Chest

    CUSTOM GRAPHIC
    NOT GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Choose MDF or Knotty Pine construction
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Knotty Pine).

    The Treasure Chest offers a beautiful barrel lid, using pine slats. The lid comes pre-assembled.

    Measures 28.5" long x 19" wide x 18" high

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    Custom Toy Boxes: Holiday Delivery

    CUSTOM GRAPHIC
    GUARANTEED FOR THE HOLIDAYS

    Your choice of our Keepsake Toy Box, Toy Storage Box or Big Toy Box (in other words, all or our toy boxes but the Treasure Chest).
    Big Toy Box only comes in Baltic Birch
    Choose MDF, Baltic Birch, or Knotty Pine construction for the Keepsake Toy Box and Toy Storage Box.
    Choose white paint (MDF) or natural lacquer (Baltic Birch or Knotty Pine).

    The Keepsake Toy Box is the smallest toy box available—perfect for small rooms, as a second storage location, or for your toddler's most precious belongings. The Toy Storage Box is is by far our most popular toy box: roomy, affordable, and classic in style. As the name implies, the Big Toy Box is our largest: it is huge and will hold your toddler's every heart's desire.

    Keepsake Toy Box measures 23.5" long x 14.5" wide x 15.5" high.
    Toy Storage Box measures 31" long x 16" wide x 16" high
    Big Toy Box measures 29.5" long x 19.5" wide x 20" high

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (35 days)