About this project
Make your ModiBot!- Select a plastic figure kit & personalize it with your favorite set of 3d printed accessories
We want to change the way you purchase and play with your toys!
Our idea is simple-
- Strip an action figure down to a minimal skeleton, leaving a basic frame and joints for great poseability and physical expressiveness.
- Add a bunch of different connectors that let users attach a wide variety of parts in fun, unexpected ways.
- Create an ever-expanding library of interesting, unconventional parts, many of which you'd never find in a mass retail store.
- Use 3d printing to design and deliver those products, providing users more choice and promoting a more sustainable business model.
Mix vigorously, and...
What you've got is an inspiring tool set that encourages people to create their own fun, hyper-personalized characters and playthings.
What you've got is the future of toys.
Nearly everyone in the world has drawn stick figures. They're simple, charming and completely relatable, even though all their human details are completely stripped away. They're nothing but the mere suggestion of a person.
When you draw bits of clothing on them or add muscles, they begin to take on specific identity traits. Adding a skirt, it becomes a girl (or Scotsman), adding a sword transforms it into a warrior.
Mo is a 3 dimensional stick figure, a blank canvas that you can 'paint' with your own imagination. By adding just a few descriptive parts, he becomes anything that you want him to be. By adding lots of parts, he takes on more personality and, like a painting, he looks and feels more specific and 'real'.
Mo is at your service and ready to take part in your adventures, celebrations, hobbies, creative projects, and dreams.
We've worked in the product world for a long time and, more-and-more, the toys we buy are designed for our hyper-efficient retail system. They're designed toward what is easiest to produce and sell, not necessarily what is the most fun or interesting for the user. It reduces risk for the maker and retailer, but it favors sameness and predictability.
Inspired by the digital disruption of the media industries and the promise of 3d printing as a source of manufacturing, we began building a new way to make and deliver maximum variety in toy products.
We designed the ModiBot play system to-
- be intuitively easy to build using a 'linear' connection method
- promote 'free-building', discovery and creativity
- be upgradable, which extends the life of the toy and tailors it to the needs of the user
- make it notoriously simple to replace broken or damaged parts
- be fun to personalize for any opportunity or occasion
- create tool for users to tell their own stories and travel to worlds that only they can see in their heads
Tough, durable body parts
Molding a 'stick figure' with lots of connectors is not easy. During the manufacturing process, we found that maintaining our design required that we move to a extremely durable, high-impact plastic called polycarbonate. The choice really enabled us to make some very high tolerance joints which enabled much better accessory fit and more poseability.
We knew we wanted him to be a great chassis for our parts, the unexpected benefit was that he became a great tool for story telling through stop-motion animation.
Personalizing products on-demand via 3d printing
Personalization is nothing new in the toy industry. We've all been personalizing and accessorizing our playthings for more than 70 years using press-fit, add-on parts. Its a perennial favorite with kids and the back bone of most of their favorite video games and apps
What has been limited in the past is your overall amount of options. Our ultimate goal is to provide unlimited options for personalizing your products. If you are the only person in the world that wants a witches hat, we want to offer you the ability to have the accessory that completes your creation.
We've already built, prototyped and uploaded more than 450 different parts that can currently be purchased and printed on-demand from our BotShop at Shapeways.com. Unlike traditional products on a shelf, those parts are sitting as digital files like an eBook, waiting to be purchased and turned into real 3 dimensional products via an amazing process called 3d printing (or additive manufacturing).
If you haven't seen how 3d printing works, check out the video below. Its nothing short of amazing that a pile of dust and a laser can 'grow' into usable products.
Designed for the future
Since last year, we've added approximately 20-40 parts (and many full kits) each month. As we can make this more of our day-to-day business, the more parts we'll be able to release. We're in the process of rebuilding all of our current part library for compatibility with the new molded figure. Our goal is to publish an additional 400 new parts by the end of the year.
That's just the start. As 3d printers become more commonplace, we're investigating ways for people to design, order and print their favorite parts at home, shop or at a print bureau down the street. We're in the initial stages of testing the process for materials, methodology, and pricing. The 3d print community have been huge advocates of this approach, so we're excited to see how it evolves.
Welcome to the future of toys. Welcome to the Modiverse.
3d Viewer for $15K Bonus Accessories
ModiBot in the news
To date, we've been lucky to land some really great coverage for ModiBot. Hit the links below to see some of the highlights:
Shipping for Non-U.S. Backers:
Some other campaigns and backers are recommending www.comgateway.com as a way to avoid large international shipping fees. We have not used them personally, but they are highly rated on the web. Please follow the link to learn details, but basically they give you a US address to mail to and therefore receive free shipping for our campaign, but then offer highly reduced rates to ship the item(s) to international destinations.
Meet The Team
Growing up outside of Pittsburgh to a family of artists, Tucker planted the seeds for his cultural curiosity with weekends spent at the Carnegie museum. He cultivated those interests through college by spending every academic credit on eastern religion and culture courses. After working in advanced concepts for General Motors, design at Hasbro, and as a consultant to major media and toy companies, he sees Go Go Dynamo as the fruition of all his past experience.
Wayne grew up loving stories of heroes, monsters and worlds undreamed-off. He started illustrating comics at the age of 18, where he enjoyed appearing at comic conventions across the country, promoting his work and talking to people about their passions. After a successful career at Hasbro Toys and founding Dynamo Development Labs with Tucker, he's looking forward to putting out some fun products of his own and continuing that creative discussion.
Risks and challenges
We've been designing and directing the manufacture of toys for more than 20 years. To help us with the parts of the process we don't know, we've hired a professional sourcing agent. Consequently, as far as Kickstarter product campaigns go, our risks are fairly low.
Manufacturing- We've already started the manufacturing process on the Mo figure and Venture accessory set. The figure images shown are production pilot parts produced from the steel molds in China, not prototypes. The figure colors shown are the approved molded colors, not painted.
3D printing- All 3d printed accessory sets listed in our initial reward levels have been built, print-tested and are ready to manufacture as of campaign launch. The 3d printed accessory colors shown are options currently available from our printing partners at Shapeways.com.
Packaging- There is almost no risk of delay due to packaging. Items will be delivered using a minimalist approach to reduce waste, but still protect your parts during shipment.
Reach goals- For any accessory-based reach goals, we currently have hand-drawn renderings of any additional 3d printed kit concepts. As we acheive certain reach goals, we will begin 3d modeling those items,b be finished by campaign end. These will be debugged in the 3d printing process and delivered on the same delivery date as the existing core items. This prototyping process usually takes about 40 days in total.
Fulfillment/shipping- This is likely our largest blind spot and area of risk for hitting our schedule, we've done the research on mailing and packaging to protect our items during shipment. Depending on how big things get, this could be an issue getting much larger quantities of product from China via boat vs. our current plan to airship parts.
Our goal is to ship earlier than our listed date of October, if possible. But, we've decided to pad the schedule a bit to account for The Unexpected.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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