Project image
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$11,389
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
131
backers
59hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 17 2019 1:40 PM UTC +00:00.

Cardkits: A World of Paper Toys

Beautiful build-it-yourself paper toys that go together to form an engaging miniature world.

Cardkits: A World of Paper Toys

Beautiful build-it-yourself paper toys that go together to form an engaging miniature world.

$11,389
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
131
backers
59hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 17 2019 1:40 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Cardkits are a line of beautiful build-it-yourself paper toys that go together to form interactive miniature cityscapes. They’re easy and fun to assemble, engaging to play with, and made from sustainably sourced, recyclable materials.

Cardkits are inspired by the elaborate paper cities that designer Anther Kiley built as a child. Like Anther’s childhood constructions, Cardkits combine the rewards of hands-on making with the imaginative play of creative world building. 

Cardkits are designed for kids and adults 8 years old and up. 


The Kits

Each Cardkit comes as a set of printed and pre-cut card stock parts, accompanied by visual assembly instructions. Pop out the parts, fold them along pre-scored lines, and join them together with household white glue to bring a kit to life. It’s surprisingly quick and easy and totally satisfying!

Cardkits have been designed — through exhaustive prototyping and testing — to be much simpler to assemble than traditional paper kits. There’s no cutting, no scoring, and no fussing with tiny tabs. A Cardkit is about as quick and easy to put together as an equivalent Lego.

And assembly is just half the fun!

The assembled kits are full of interactive moments that invite play. Each kit comes with a colorful fish figure that fits inside vehicles and buildings and interacts with accessories. You can arrange furniture inside buildings, move trains along track, and even change the foliage of trees!

And because everything is made from paper, Cardkits invite customization and expansion. It’s easy to modify or decorate a kit, or to build your own from scratch.


The Story

Cardkits are inspired by designer Anther Kiley’s childhood paper constructions. Raised in a family of artists and without many commercial toys, Anther started creating his own toys when he was around 9. Eventually he had constructed an entire miniature world inspired by places he visited on family trips. Now a graphic designer and educator at the Rhode Island School of Design, Anther has remained fascinated by toys and the ways that they can empower creative engagement with the world around us.

Anther Kiley's childhood worlds.

Like Anther’s childhood worlds, Cardkits create engaging, tactile environments that invite children (or anyone!) to explore systems and relationships through play. The kits engage spatial skills, focus, and concentration, and inspire creativity and imagination.

Cardkits have been developed over a three year period, with help and input from friends and collaborators of all ages. The project has been supported by a residency at Mighty Tieton in WA and a fellowship at the Design Office in Providence, exhibited in a show at Sierra Nevada College, and presented in talks, workshops, retail spaces, and book fairs in LA and Providence. Cardkits are currently on view at World’s Fair Gallery in Providence for the occasion of this launch.

Cardkits have been prototyped, and will be produced, locally in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, using high quality digital printing and precision die cutting. 

The kits are printed on FSC certified, sustainably sourced paper, and all parts of the kits and packaging are 100% recyclable. 


The Launch Line-Up

Cardkits will launch with six kit designs, each available in several variations, for a total of 27. Each kit will come packaged with easy-to-follow illustrated assembly instructions.


1. Fish Figure Kits

Fish figures are the protagonists of the Cardkits world! Each of the 12 fish has a unique color scheme and name. The kits consist of a single part that bends together to create an elegant, sturdy 3d form. The figures are available as individual kits, and also come packaged with each of the other Cardkits.  (1 part, 3 minute assembly, 4.5x6.25" package)


2.  Car Kits

Get your fish from A to B with the car kit. This kit comes in 4 versions: a city car, taxi cab, police car, and race car. The car kit consists of just 3 pieces and takes around 10 minutes to assemble. (3 parts, 10 minute assembly, 6.25x8.5" package)


3. Furniture Kits

The furniture kit is a home interior in miniature! Included are a bed, dresser, bath, toilet, bookshelf, stove and sink, refrigerator, couch, chair, rug, house plants, TV, and interior walls complete with wallpaper and artwork. The furniture is available in a traditional or modern version. (14 parts, 20 minute assembly, 6.25x8.5" package)


4. House Kits

The house is the perfect centerpiece for your setup. It’s large, sturdy, and has an open side so you can arrange walls, furniture, and figures inside. The house comes in 3 styles that reference architectural archetypes: a rustic Italianate house, a clapboard farm house, and a brick terraced house. The houses’ roofs are interchangeable, so you can mix and match styles and, in the future, add additional levels and features. (8 parts, 20 minute assembly, 8.5x12" package)


5. Locomotive Kits

The locomotive is Cardkits’ take on a classic children’s toy. It features accessible driver’s cabs, working couplings that can connect to other trains, swiveling wheel sets, and a retractable pantograph. It’s designed to run along a modular track system, which will be available in the future. The locomotive comes in 4 beautiful color schemes. (9 parts, 30 minute assembly, 8.5x12" package)


6. Forest Kits

Complete the scene with this set of ingenious trees and bushes! The kit includes an oak, birch, and spruce tree, and two bushes. The foliage of the deciduous trees clips onto the trunk and can be removed or swapped to change the season. The trees come in summer and autumn versions. (20 parts, 20 minute assembly, 8.5x12" package)


Together, these kits give you everything you need to create engaging environments filled with detail and opportunities for play. And we have many more exciting kits planned for the future! Additional buildings, architectural add-ons, a modular track system, ships and airplanes, and much more. 


Other Rewards

Fish Figure Collection

Get the full set of 12 fish figures! This limited edition collection packages all 12 fish figures, unassembled, together in a beautiful reusable package. Assemble them all, frame the flat plates as artwork, or give them as gifts. Limited to an edition of 25.


Prototype Locomotive

Take home a piece of Cardkits history! These four locomotive prototypes were the first completed Cardkits designs. Meticulously hand assembled and signed by Anther, they have starred in product photography and videography and are currently on view in the Cardkits launch show in Providence. 


Fish Figure Art Piece

Commissioned for the Cardkits launch exhibition, these unique pieces represent a variety of artists’ and designers’ interpretation of the Cardkits fish figure. Materials and techniques range from cast metal to foil stamped paper. Each piece is mounted in a shadow box frame. Select from a limited number of works by AD-WO, Allison Bianco, Sofia Clausse, Keetra Dean Dixon, Cem Eskinazi, Colin Frazer, Lois Harada, Cyrus Highsmith, Lucinda Hitchcock, Ted Lee, Adrian Nivola, Claire A. Nivola, RA HA Jewelry, Skolos-Wedell, Dan Wood, June Yoon. 

These particular pieces are currently on view and may or may not be available as rewards.

Tour of “Fishworld”

For committed Cardkits supporters: enjoy a home-cooked thank-you dinner at Anther’s parents’ house in Boston, and a tour of some preserved elements of the childhood worlds that inspired Cardkits.



This Campaign

Cardkits have been met with excitement during their development, but in order to go into production, we need your support!

Manufacturing the kits at scale involves expensive custom dies, so Cardkits need to be produced in substantial quantities in order to be commercially viable. Your support will help raise the capital to make this possible, while also guaranteeing a home for the first kits off the production line.  

More importantly, you’ll join and strengthen a community of friends, advisors, and kit builders who have helped shape this project, and who continue to grow it. We’re looking forward to engaging this community through social media, events, and online platforms like a future user gallery and forum on the Cardkits website.

We hope you’ll join us!


Budget & Timeline

Our $10,000 funding goal will cover die tooling, materials, and production for a first batch of kits. Any funds exceeding the goal will go to building an e-commerce site, and to developing more kits!

All of the launch kits detailed above have been finalized, prototyped, tested, and are ready for full scale production. We’ve sourced all our materials, and are working with a printer, die maker, die cutter, and fulfillment service. 

From point of funding, we will need around 3 months to have dies manufactured, kits printed, cut and packaged, and fulfillment underway. 

.

Risks and challenges

As a graphic designer, Anther has substantial experience with print production, and has been working closely with manufacturers during development of the kits. Each kit has been extensively prototyped and tested, and is ready for production.

There’s always a chance that unexpected technical or logistical challenges will delay fulfillment. We’ll keep our backers in the loop with frequent updates during the process and do everything we can to stick closely to our timeline.

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    Fish Figure Kit

    Choose one of 12 colorful fish characters, each with a distinctive pattern and name! Illustrated instructions included.

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    Car Kit

    Your choice of car kit: city car, taxi cab, police car, or race car. Illustrated instructions and fish figure included.

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    Furniture Kit

    Your choice of furniture sets: modern or traditional. Each kit includes a bed, dresser, bath, toilet, bookshelf, stove and sink, refrigerator, couch, chair, rug, house plants, TV, and interior walls. Illustrated instructions and fish figure also included.

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    House Kit

    Your choice of house kit: rustic house, farm house, or terraced house. Illustrated instructions and fish figure included.

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    Forest Kit

    Your choice of forest kit: summer or autumn. Each kit includes an oak, birch, and spruce tree, and two bushes. Illustrated instructions and fish figure also included.

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    Locomotive Kit

    Your choice of locomotive kit: spectrum, lime, red, or circles. Illustrated instructions and fish figure also included. Note: track is not included.

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    Furnished House

    A house, and everything that you need to furnish it: your choice of house kit plus your choice of furniture kit. Each kit comes individually packaged, each with illustrated instructions and a fish figure.

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    Homestead

    Your choice of house kit, furniture kit, and car kit. Each kit comes individually packaged, each with illustrated instructions and a fish figure.

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    • Furniture kit
    • Car kit
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    Fish Figure Collection

    Limited edition collectors set of all 12 fish figures! The figures come unassembled in elegant and reusable wrapped box packaging.

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    One of Each Kit

    Everything you need to start building your Cardkits world! Your choice of house, furniture, car, forrest, and locomotive kits. Each kit comes individually packaged, each with illustrated instructions and a fish figure.

    Includes:
    • House kit
    • Furniture kit
    • Car kit
    • Forest kit
    • Locomotive kit
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    Prototype Locomotive

    Choose one of 4 original prototype Cardkits locomotives, as featured in the launch show. Each locomotive is hand assembled and signed by Anther.

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    Fish Figure Art Piece

    Choose one of 15 available fish figure art pieces created by a variety of artists and designers for the Cardkits launch show. Each unique piece comes mounted for display in a box frame.

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    Tour of “Fishworld”

    For a limited number of committed Cardkits supporters: come see where the Cardkits story began! Enjoy a home cooked meal at Anther’s parent’s house and a tour of some preserved elements of his childhood worlds.

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