Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Modernist design flair and roadside car culture, fused and distilled in wood toy form.
Modernist design flair and roadside car culture, fused and distilled in wood toy form.
Modernist design flair and roadside car culture, fused and distilled in wood toy form.
1,113 backers pledged $122,264 to help bring this project to life.

About

Midcentury Americana - Awesome Wood Toys project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Midcentury Americana - Awesome Wood Toys

$122,264

1,113

We are Candylab – a proudly crowdsourced company, born three years ago right here on Kickstarter. 

And now we're back with some even better stuff: we’ve got three new cars, modernist building blocks to create an entire universe, and to top it all off, this campaign will help launch Candylab’s very own manufacturing facility, right here in the US. 

We are clearly in love with cars. The land boat, the muscle car, the boxy leaf spring truck, 60’s kind.  

Here are the the latest three straight from our lab, and may your imagination take you to wonderful places!

 

 

They are inextricable from a certain way of life, and we want to capture all that in our toy car designs. We distill the visual cues we love into handcrafted wood cars, made from solid beech, painted with water-based paints and sporting silicone tires.

7/26 Update: As a later addition via Update #@, we made our Green Camper available too. 

 

 

 

Aside from our love of cars, we are also perennially enthralled by the entire spirit and pioneering design movement happening in the 60’s in the US: the modernist movement, the desert midcentury architecture and the industrial design renaissance of the post-war years. So let’s hit the gas!

This is our wood block set entry kit with an innovative rubber connector to keep what you build in one piece. The clever geometry allows for endless expansion and configurations. This kit will be made in USA with Uncle Goose’s help. (if you have not heard of them yet – you’ve been missing out)

 

 So we finally did what we’ve been burning to do for a while: we started creating a universe. We designed, engineered and are ready to launch into production a new set of simple wood blocks that assemble into the boxy, streamlined architecture of that era, down to the pastel colors. Slap our new roof signs on and voila, you can morph that box into whatever your imagination creates.

And because no road trip vibe is complete without an iconic giant arty motel sign, we are launching that too: a road sign that’s 30ft tall! Kidding. It’s only 8”, but at scale compared to a real 1965 2-door hauler, that is about the height it would reach.

 The Lone Cactus sign is the first in this lineup. Made from elm wood, base weighted, with safe water based paints and silicone rubber lettering. No corners have been harmed – or cut - in the making of this sign. 

That was the quick lowdown – now let’s cruise for a bit. Keep scrolling – there is more to the story after this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been keeping up with the tribulations from our beginnings three years ago (totally fine if you didn’t - our internet fame was less than that of a moderately cute cat pic) you will remember that thanks to you, our backers here on Kickstarter, we entirely skipped the garage phase. Thanks to the strength in numbers you offered, we jumped right into contract manufacturing overseas. 

We now tightly control the process, orchestrating each separate supplier ourselves and we managed to create and manufacture a product that by toy standards was very difficult to make. And it sure is, as a look around commercial wooden toy offerings quickly shows. We had to quickly learn and juggle multiple issues, from international logistics, to woodworking and developing sales channels. 

But we always wanted to make these toys right here, close to home. So far we have failed to find a single US supplier that will make these for us while allowing a profit for themselves, us, and result in a sustainable cost to you, our early adopters and customers. Needless to say – commercial success and a sensible retail price are essential to growing and sticking around as a company. 

Which brings us to the entire point of this campaign, aside from launching the awesome new products we just revealed.  

We intend to take the remaining proceeds from this campaign, after covering expenses for the rewards, manufacturing, and shipping, and invest in setting up a manufacturing outpost. We have three reasons for being optimistic about the success of this new venture: 

  • We found a perfect space a three-hour drive away from our Brooklyn base. This will solve the real estate part of the equation, one that was most vexing in fact. 
  • Our tests so far with retrofitted off the shelf miter saws, raspberry pi’s, actuators and a bit custom software show that automation will allow us to make our toys profitably, while still being able to hit a reasonable retail price. We are now experts at making these – having developed our unique tooling and jigs to make our special pieces. 
  •  The most important aspect though is our Uncle*: Mr. Pete from Uncle Goose. He is living proof that this can work.

The Uncle Goose approach demonstrates that not only can you deliver exceptional unwavering product quality and profitably run an American toy factory for a few decades but also achieve full independence and sustainability, from locally harvested lumber to hiring folks that live a short drive away. 

 We’re still far off from the Uncle Goose model, but we have to start somewhere. Today is just as good as any, help us start this factory! 

 

 

This is where we answer your burning – but specific - questions about the products themselves. For campaign logistics, keep scrolling. 

What makes Our Sweet Rides As with previous and current designs, all are fully tested to comply with US, European, Australian and NZ safety requirements. We exceed those.

All models use prime quality solid beech wood lumber – imported from Germany, sometimes New Zealand. Our beech has no knots, is kiln dried, and is almost as workable and stable as a solid block of aluminum. 

Each car has precision engineered wheel pins for its independent axles– 4 of them. High grade ABS plastic rims, and Silicone tires. Only the best stuff – and it shows: our cars roll really fast and far. 

Rosewood Microveneer and Real Magnets The Pioneer is a special treat: It includes 3 powerful micromagnets, buried deep in the wood body – they can never come out unless one purposefully cuts up the car. This allows a neat little trick: Tow a Camper and carry that canoe up top without losing it at highway speeds. We use Michigan-sourced microveneer from our awesome supplier; and it’s Rosewood, less than 1mm thick. Quite a hi-tech feat.  

 

Rewards: If you’re a Kickstarter veteran, just consult the rewards diagram below.  If you’re new to Kickstarter, also consult the rewards below - except that once you hit the green “Pledge” button you’ll have to create an account. It’s easy peasy.  The rewards summary below does not include shipping - it will vary depending on your geographical location. 

FAQ’s – Please read them, especially if you live outside the US. In this particular case, we feel this is important enough to mention here: Customs, Import duties or any other local levies are to be covered by the recipient. 

Combining Rewards: If you'd like to pledge more than one item, please identify shipping costs for each, and 1) add it all up then 2) Type in  the corresponding amount in the pledge field. Your entire total pledge will be reconfirmed once the campaign ends. 

Shipping: We know, it's really expensive for you international folks. We strictly charge what postage actually costs and pay for warehousing, shipping cartons, labeling and on from the general overhead remaining.  That is what carriers charge these days.  

Combining Rewards Shipping costs: There are many possible combinations of the rewards, countries and shipping weights.  We tried our best to offer a fair deal, but please read the FAQ detailing this aspect. 

International Shipments: All international shipments are subject to duties, taxes and clearing fees which you are responsible for paying - your pledges are without sales-tax or VAT.  All Kickstarter rewards will be considered gifts, however, most countries will assess duties/taxes and in certain countries the carrier will pre-pay the duties and taxes and bill you later. If you refuse delivery, your package will be abandoned. Once abandoned, we can’t ship another package to you or issue a refund. Filling out your shipping address correctly is very important.  A wring address and package sent back will incur shipping charges back to USA on our account. 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

This is our 3rd campaign; we have successfully completed 2 campaigns so far over a span of 3 years. We have developed a retail network, attended trade shows and assembled a nimble and competent team. Our Christmas deliveries last year brought many smiles - as you happily cheered us on.

While it's never 100% smooth as we have learned the hard way - and a new lesson is always around the corner- we are a mean lean toy machine, with a proven track record. It speaks for itself, and we're ready to knock this one out of the park again.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Canoe - Magnetic

    A solid beech block, skillfully shaped like a minimalist Canoe, with an embedded magnet. Perfect for a fridge, Woodie car top or our new Pioneer truck.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    26 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    Lone Cactus Totem Sign

    A desktop-sized Motel Sign in all of its 8 inch-tall glory. A sign that will remind you of those long road trips across America. Even if you never took one.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    67 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Blackjack - Early Bird

    A racecar like never before. A departure from our clean minimalist liveries and a special treat for early backers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    The Ace - Early Bird

    A gentleman's racer - or flashy getaway car. Featuring our first ever rounded cabin and unexpected sandy color scheme, it's a looker. Blends well in any desert landscape. With a nice pricetag for quick backers.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 72 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    Pioneer - Early Bird

    The iconic shape, wood sides, magnetic canoe on top, beefy new tires, everything screams adventure, camping, and good old times. Early treat for early supporters.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Blackjack

    A racecar like we never did before. A departure from our clean minimalist liveries, this bad boy hasn't run out of luck at the racetrack since at least July 2016.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    The Ace

    A gentleman's racer - or flashy getaway car. Featuring our first ever rounded cabin and unexpected sandy color scheme, it's a looker. Blends well in any desert landscape.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    STAC 6 kit

    A swell new type of connecting system for wood blocks. This set will assemble into simple modernist architectural pure boxes, with the accompanying giant building sign to give it some real 60's flavor. Made in the USA.

    Includes:
    • Lone Cactus Totem sign
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    STAC 6 Kit

    A swell new type of connecting system for wood blocks. This set will assemble into simple modernist architectural pure boxes, with the accompanying giant building sign to give it some real 60's flavor. Made in the USA.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $38 or more About $38

    Pioneer

    The iconic shape, wood sides, magnetic canoe on top, beefy new tires, everything screams adventure, camping, and good old times. Miniature learning tool on how to adventure properly.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    103 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    STAC 10 kit

    Same blocky revolution as STAC 6, now in a bigger set of 10. Make it into a motel, gas station or whatever your imagination fancies to recreate that dusty roadside story. Made in the USA.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $63 or more About $63

    The Caravan

    Get the Pioneer and the Green Camper, magnetically latched together. Each in its separate retail box. It includes the Canoe that Pioneer already comes with.

    Includes:
    • Pioneer truck
    • the Green Camper
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    104 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Drive-in Movie Set

    Get STAC 6 + the Ace. A race car goes to the movies. Romantic, right?

    *Pledging for this combo will allow saving on shipping rates

    Includes:
    • The Ace
    • STAC 6 kit
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    The Getaway Tale

    On the lam; car overheats in the desert; luckily there is a dusty motel to cool off overnight.

    *Pledging for this combo will allow saving on shipping rates

    Includes:
    • STAC 10 kit
    • The Ace
    • Lone Cactus Totem sign
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Roadtrip Stop

    Imagine going to Yosemite. It's late, you see the Lone Cactus Motel. You pull your wood-paneled truck in for a good night rest. Sounds good? Now try a dry run with the kiddos before doing the real thing.

    *Pledging for this combo will allow saving on shipping rates

    Includes:
    • STAC 10 kit
    • Pioneer truck
    • Lone Cactus Totem sign
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    59 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    The Car Collector

    Clear and simple, our three new cars. Same rewards as above, but with shipping savings.

    Includes:
    • The Ace
    • Blackjack racer
    • Pioneer truck
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    48 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    The Wheel Deal

    These are all our wheeled objects, in a nice, good value bundle.

    Includes:
    • Blackjack racer
    • The Ace
    • Pioneer truck
    • the Green Camper
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    48 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The Full Americana

    Vintage race car, 2 buildings, giant road sign, rugged truck and extra canoe. Endless play and the full universe.

    *Pledging for this combo will allow saving on shipping rates

    Includes:
    • Lone Cactus Totem sign
    • STAC 6 kit
    • STAC 10 kit
    • The Ace
    • Blackjack racer
    • Pioneer truck
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    83 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Royale with Camper

    The supremo: get all the new things we've developed this year. It includes the 3 new cars, the Camper trailer, the STAC 6 and 10 kits, a Lone Cactus Motel sign, and an extra canoe.

    Includes:
    • Canoe
    • Lone Cactus Totem sign
    • STAC 6 kit
    • STAC 10 kit
    • Pioneer truck
    • Blackjack racer
    • The Ace
    • the Green Camper
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    207 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (41 days)