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Mixmates are colorful wooden blocks with thoughtfully designed characters that enable children to create thousands of combinations.
Mixmates are colorful wooden blocks with thoughtfully designed characters that enable children to create thousands of combinations.
822 backers pledged $33,420 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$33,420

822

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UPDATE:

Thank you so much for your support and helping us to meet (and exceed!) our goal! We are working hard to get the Mixmates out to all our backers and will keep you updated. If you missed our campaign but are interested in ordering Mixmates, we now are accepting preorders at attatoy.com.

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We're Alma Loveland and Melanie Burk, two designers (and friends and moms) and the founders of Caravan Shoppe, where we sell downloadable, printable artwork. 

Mixmates (which you may also know as Olliblocks) were the first product we offered as a digital download. We've seen so much enthusiasm for the design that we decided to make it more widely available with two sets in finished form. To do this, we need your help! To get off the ground, we need to order 4,000 sets from the factory. If you love this design and if you know children who will enjoy it, choose a reward that's right for you and help us bring this toy to life.

CREATIVE PLAY

Mixmates encourage creative thinking—they let children consider possibilities. With just one set of 6 blocks, a child can build more than 1,500 unique combinations. Two sets of 12 blocks present over 10,000 possible combinations. And they all line up correctly and look great no matter how you combine them, which enables children to consider possibilities and feel a sense of accomplishment.

When children play with Mixmates, they also are developing fine motor skills as they rotate and stack the blocks, as well as language skills as they talk about the characters and their creations. Mixmates characters also reflect a variety of ethnicities—just a fun, small way kids can learn about diversity. 

DESIGN

Alma has put a lot of thought, creativity, and work into the design of the Mixmates. Often, design is an afterthought or a middle-stage in the development of a toy. Mixmates started with design. They started with character. And because Alma is involved in every step of the production process, none of that high quality design will be sacrificed. Ever. You will notice that the sophisticated details and artistry of these blocks really set them apart from other toys.

DETAILS

block size: 2" x 2" x 2"
high-quality, durable beech wood
environmentally safe inks
meets rigorous safety requirements above USA standards
6 blocks, 12 characters per set
great for ages 18 months – 6 years

OUR STATUS SO FAR

Product tested with children and adults: DONE

Production service chosen: DONE

Artwork prepped and approved: DONE

Production samples received and approved: PENDING; estimated arrival end of July

Production ready to start: As soon as we are funded!

Order fulfillment and shipping: All systems ready! We've partnered with a great company that will be able to seamlessly handle all of this.

REWARDS

We have a range of rewards that we are very excited to offer! 

DIY Monsters & Superheroes Mixmates: These follow the exact same format as our current product, Olliblocks. You simply download the artwork, print it off yourself, and make as many sets of monsters and superheroes as you like! Detailed printing and assembly instructions are included. This special-edition PDF download is included with every level of sponsorship.

[Note about Monsters & Superheroes: We have seen a lot of excitement about this set! If we exceed our funding goal, we will be able to have the factory produce this set as well.]

MIXMATES: Boys & Girls and Animals: For $30, you will receive both sets that we will be producing. The first 150 backers at this level will receive the Boys & Girls and Animals sets for only $25. This is less than what the blocks will retail for, and we'll ship them for free if you live in the United States! (Non-US donors will need to pay extra shipping, including orders to Canada.)

MAGNETS + CARRY CASE: For pledges of $50 and up, we will be offering Mixmates as magnets that can be cut up and rearranged, plus a carry case to store your Mixmates in! The carry case shown above is a mockup of the most basic possibility. Depending on the quantity ordered, we may be able to add colors or other features, which we will tell you about in our updates. (Includes all rewards listed at the $30 level.)

NEW REWARD LEVEL: ALL FOUR SETS OF MIXMATES: Because we have reached our funding goal, we are able to use any excess funds collected to put two more sets of Mixmates into production! At this $55 level, you will receive Boys & Girls, Animals, Careers, and Monsters & Superheroes! This will be less than what they will retail for, and in the US, shipping is free! If you are interested in one of the levels that does not already include the Careers and Monsters & Superheroes, simply add $25 to your order. (*International please add $30. Does not apply to the $10 pledge level.)

MIXMATES ARTWORK: Love the details and personality of Mixates? For backers who pledge $75, we are offering four 11" x 17" art prints with a border for framing, signed by Alma. These look great displayed in a child's bedroom or playroom! (Includes all rewards listed at the $50 level.)

GIANT MIXMATES: If you think the 2-inch blocks are fun, you'll love this stack of 5-inch blocks. It stands 15 inches high and works as both an interactive toy and children's room decor. These blocks are hollow so while they are large, they are still light-weight! We will assemble these by hand with your choice of characters (girls, boys, animals 1 or animals 2). Each stack will be signed by Alma. (Includes all rewards listed at the $75 level. The Giant Mixmates stack is EXCLUSIVE to the $125 level and is not offered with any other rewards.)

ARTISAN-ENGRAVED MIXMATES: For the serious collector and appreciator of fine goods, we offer these limited-edition artisan-engraved Mixmates. Laser engraved in 2-inch birch blocks, these heirloom-quality blocks will be a beautiful addition to your home and toy collection. (Includes all rewards listed at the $75 level.)

CARAVAN YEAR PASS: At Caravan, we create downloadable, printable artwork for home and family. For $275, you will get a year pass for free downloads all year long! You can expect a variety of downloads throughout the year, including children's toys like our DIY Mixmates, wall art (check out our very popular collection of chalk art), and home and party decor for holidays. In addition to the Caravan year pass, you will receive all rewards at the $150 level. (This is a great reward for our die-hard Caravan fans!)

CARAVAN FOR A CAUSE: For those who love to make a difference, this reward is for you! At Caravan, all proceeds of the "Hold On" print pictured above are donated to charity. This print has been able to raise thousands of dollars for charity so far this year. For $500, you can commission a new print to be created by one of the Caravan team (Alma, Mike, or Melanie). All proceeds of this print will be donated to the school, hospital, or charity of your choice for one year. (The subject and style of the print will need to fit in with our family-friendly vibe, and the charity is subject to our approval.) (Also includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

MIXMATE ME FINE ART PRINT: Whether yourself, your pet or favorite child (did someone empty the dishwasher this morning without being asked?) Alma will create a Mixmate character based off of a photo that you submit. You will receive one fine art print of this character, any size up to 16" x 20". (Includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

HAND-PAINTED, ENGRAVED MIXMATES: Alma works very closely with her husband, Mike Loveland, who has years of training and experience in illustration. His expertise has been invaluable to the development of the Mixmates as he has coached and directed Alma in bringing life and personality to each character. For our $1000 backers, Mike will paint a set of engraved Mixmates. The fine details and personalities of the Mixmates blocks are elevated to a whole new level of artistry that you will be thrilled to display in your home. (Includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

CUSTOM MIXMATES, SIX CHARACTERS, DIGITAL VERSION + FINE ART PRINTS: Love Mixmates and want something truly unique? Alma will design a set of six characters based on photos that you submit. These can be family members, friends, pets, favorite animals, etc. You will receive six fine art prints (any size up to 16" x 20") of these characters, signed by Alma. You will also receive a PDF of this artwork all set up and ready to print and make as many DIY Mixmates sets as you like! (Includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

CUSTOM MIXMATES, 12 CHARACTERS **FACTORY PRODUCED** + DIGITAL VERSION + FINE ART PRINTS: Our highest reward allows you to have a wholly custom, perfectly produced set of Mixmates based on 12 characters of your choosing. Based on photos that you provide, Alma will create characters of you, your family members, friends, or pets. You will also receive up to 25 factory-produced and packaged sets of your special blocks that you can share or give as gifts. Also included are 12 fine art prints (any size up to 16" x 20") of these characters (signed by Alma), plus a PDF of the artwork to print and make as many DIY sets of these as you like! (Includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

THANK YOU!

Thank you so much for taking the time to check us out. We will keep you updated throughout the project. You can also keep up with this project and anything else we're up to by following us:

instagram

facebook

blog

website

Risks and challenges

Our current model is made with images that are printed on paper and then adhered to wooden blocks. The production method that we have chosen for the finished product will look slightly different from our model. The good news is, it should look even better with richer, more vibrant colors and a nice gloss finish. We have samples of similar products that the factory has done, and we were both thrilled and surprised that the high quality meets our standards!

Because our artwork is so detailed and must be perfectly placed on the wooden blocks, we anticipate a little back and forth with the factory to get everything just perfect. During this process, we may need to alter the artwork a little, but again, because we are perfectionists, any alterations will still live up to our very high standard for design.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIY MIXMATES: A PDF of Monsters & Superheroes that you can print and assemble yourself. (Detailed instructions included!)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY BIRD MIXMATES: Receive both Mixmates sets: Boys & Girls and Animals at a discount for being one of the first to order! (Includes Monsters & Superheroes PDF.)

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    Reward no longer available 150 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    MIXMATES: Receive both Mixmates sets: Boys & Girls and Animals. (Includes Monsters & Superheroes PDF.)

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    265 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MIXMATES + CARRY CASE + MAGNETS: Store your collection of Mixmates in a stylish screen-printed storage sack! And play with Mixmates on the fridge with limited-edition Mixmates Magnets. (Also includes all rewards at $30 level.)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    ++NEW LEVEL++ MIXMATES PLUS!! Receive ALL FOUR Mixmates sets: Boys & Girls, Animals, Monsters & Superheroes, and Careers. (Includes Monsters & Superheroes PDF.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MIXMATES ARTWORK: Four ready-to-frame 11" x 17" prints of Mixmates characters, signed by Alma. Great for child's bedroom or playroom. (Also includes all rewards at $50 level.)

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    GIANT MIXMATES: Receive one GIANT stack of Mixmates (three 5-inch blocks) with your choice of characters (girls, boys, animals 1 or animals 2). These light-weight, giant blocks will be assembled by hand and signed by Alma. (Also includes all rewards at $75 level.)

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SPECIAL ENGRAVED MIXMATES: An artisan-engraved set of Boys & Girls and Animals Mixmates. (Also includes all rewards at $75 level.)

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    CARAVAN YEAR PASS: At Caravan Shoppe, we create downloadable, printable products. Love it all? For a whole year, you can have a free pass to download everything we create, in addition to all rewards listed at the $150 level.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CARAVAN FOR A CAUSE: At Caravan we are passionate about making a difference. During the past eight months, we have been able to donate thousands of dollars to different charities. At the $500 level, you can commission a print of your choice to be designed by Alma or Melanie. (The print will need to be uplifting and keep with our family-friendly personality.) For the next year all proceeds of this print will go to the school, or hospital or charity of your choice. (Also includes all rewards at the $150 level.)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    MIXMATE ME: Receive one fine art print of a Mixmates version of yourself (or family member, friend, pet, etc.) based off of a photo you provide. The print will be up to 16" x 20" and signed by Alma. (Also includes all rewards at $150 level.)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    HAND-PAINTED ENGRAVED MIXMATES: A one-of-a-kind set of Boys & Girls and Animals Mixmates painted by artist Mike Loveland. (Also includes all rewards listed at the $150 level.)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    CUSTOM MIXMATES ARTWORK: Fine art prints of six custom illustrations, Mixmates-style, of you, your family, friends, and/or pets, up to 16" x 20". You will also receive a PDF of the custom artwork, which you can use to create as many sets of custom Mixmates as you like! (Also includes all rewards at $150 level.)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    MIXMATE YOURSELF! We will create a custom, fully-produced and packaged 12-character set of Mixmates based off of you, your friends, family, and/or pets. You will receive up to 25 sets that you can keep or give as gifts. This will be the ultimate in awesome/unique gifts this holiday season. (Includes printable PDF of artwork that you can keep to make as many more sets as you like, 12 fine art prints of custom characters, and all rewards at the $150 level.)

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Funding period

- (22 days)