About this project
KIDS ARE CREATIVE
When I lived in Charlotte, NC I got to work with a great kid (we’ll call him “T”) through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Back then, math was not T’s best subject. As T battled with his multiplication tables, he created a superhero with his own imagination and without any help from an adult. He named his hero MathMan.
MathMan was nothing more than pencil drawings on sheets of notebook paper, but the adventures T created for his hero were extraordinary. MathMan defeated the evil Mathon who would throw multiplication and division signs like ninja stars at MathMan. T’s ingenuity and creativity blew my mind. Working with T led me to an obvious conclusion: kids are creative. Kids’ imaginations are second to none, and no one can create a story like a child.
When kids play with any of the well-known superheroes on toy store shelves today, their imaginations are confined by what they already know about the character. Batman will always have a Batcave, and Luke will always be Darth Vader’s son. I started HeroMe because I want all kids to have the chance to use their creativity to develop their own superhero and to tell that superhero’s story.
Meet a HeroMe:
HeroMes are customized superhero action figures that kids create in our online HeroMe Creation Lab. Kids can choose one of five heads, one of five different superpower right arms, and one of five superpower left legs to create a customized HeroMe. Kids name their HeroMe, give their HeroMe a personality, and tell the story of their new superhero friend. After the creation process is complete, each HeroMe is completely unique. All HeroMes are assembled in the USA by our team at HeroMe HQ.
The purchase of a HeroMe includes:
HeroMe: A HeroMe is the customized action figure, created by kids in our online HeroMe Creation Lab.
ID Card: Each HeroMe comes with a special ID card, customized with the HeroMe's name and powers the child has chosen.
HeroMe Handbook: This is a three-part book that guides kids through the process of telling a story with their HeroMe. Part One encourages kids to elaborate on their HeroMe’s personality. Part Two is a series of word games and puzzles to get kids comfortable with creative thinking. Part Three provides activities and tips designed to help kids write a story about their HeroMe.
Rocket Ship Box: Every HeroMe is packaged in a re-usable “Rocket Ship” box that can be used to store the HeroMe, to launch the HeroMe into outer space, or for anything else the child can imagine.
Thank you so much for supporting our campaign. To show you our gratitude we've put together some fun rewards for you or the kids in your life. Everyone who supports us now will have the opportunity join HeroMe's creative team by submitting ideas, suggestions, and designs for our next HeroMe powers.
***NOTE: If you support us now you will have the option to redeem your reward as soon as your support level is ready for delivery. You may also give your reward as a gift (or gifts). If you give your reward as a gift, the gift recipient will have the opportunity to customize his or her reward, as applicable, when the gift is redeemed.***
What originally began as paper figures taped together has evolved into full size painted plastic prototypes. We’ve also built a website for our official launch. Now we need your help. We’re ready to start our first run of HeroMe parts, print our HeroMe Handbook, and get HeroMe into the hands of kids. With your help, we can begin production immediately and start fulfilling orders in time for for the 2014 holiday season.
THE TEAM BEHIND HeroMe
Josh Bryan, Founder and CEO: English Major and MBA. Loves all things to do with creativity and innovation and is really just a big kid in a grown-up's body. Superpower: Still searching...but wishes he could fly like a pelican in the meantime
Annie Bryan, VP: Handles PR, Marketing and External Affairs, serves as General Counsel, and is the author of the HeroMe Handbook. Superpower: Organization. She is also working on her cheetah speed.
Bamko, Inc: The team of Ed, Nick, Syd, and Mike bring years of experience and expertise in all things manufacturing. Superpowers: Staying up all hours of the night to talk to our partners in China.
Cloud Castle: Shawn, Sunny, and Travis and Cloud Castle team are rockstars who have built an incredible website where the vision of HeroMe Lab has come to life. Superpowers: Patience in explaining website design and construction to Josh.
Bryan Hunt: Graphic designer and illustrator extraordinaire behind our customized HeroMe posters and our HeroMe Handbook. Superpower: Making extra hours in the day to provide his artistic talents to HeroMe.
HeroMe Advisors, especially Howard Serkin, Chairman of Heritage Capital Group and Arv Malhotra, T.W. Lewis Scholar and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler: HeroMe is fortunate to have an incredible network of advisors who have provided outstanding guidance throughout the entire process. Superpowers: Super intelligence and willingness to help.
Tom, Ryan, Rae, and Carlos at Enventys and Frederik at Product Farm: Thanks for all of your design help early on in this process. We’ve come a long way, but we wouldn’t be here without your great design work in the beginning.
To my Business School Classmates at UNC Kenan-Flagler: I was fortunate enough to learn from you and with you, and I can’t thank you enough for helping me flesh out the idea of HeroMe in its earliest stages.
Family and Friends: Thank you to the incredible network of family and friends who have supported us in this endeavor. Your excitement about HeroMe has been invaluable, and your willingness to spread the word about HeroMe is truly what will make this company a success.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR HeroMe?
We have big plans for HeroMe. Whether it’s creating girl HeroMes, designing new superpower arms and legs, or creating a more interactive online experience, we are committed to continuing to inspire creativity in kids. After you’ve contributed to HeroMe on Kickstarter, we will keep you up to date on the progress of HeroMe. You can also follow along by visiting www.HeroMeLab.com.
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter Campaign, but we’ve spent a considerable amount of time seeking advice from industry leaders, academics, and people who have run successful campaigns.
Manufacturing: As with any manufacturing process, there are potential pitfalls, but we’ve taken as many precautions as possible to protect against them. We’ve partnered with a factory in China to produce the plastic pieces for our HeroMes. Our HeroMes will be tested and will meet all industry safety standards before they ever leave our assembly facility, which is located in the USA. Our relationship with our sourcing company, Bamko, provides another layer of protection against manufacturing issues in China. Bamko works with hundreds of companies including Samsung, Adidas, and Mattel. HeroMe is proud to be one of their newest clients.
Fulfillment: Shipping and order fulfillment often cause problems for first time Kickstarter campaigns. We’ve partnered with a fulfillment center in Jacksonville, Florida to learn as much as possible about the process of order fulfillment. We intend to fulfill orders initially, but our agreement with the fulfillment center allows us to bring them on within 72 hours should the need arise. Fulfillment of orders from Kickstarter will arrive in time for the holidays, so go ahead and get your shopping done now!
Safety: We’re committed to bringing you a high quality toy that’s safe for kids. We are using the utmost care with the plastics and paints utilized in the production of our plastic pieces. As added security, all of our pieces and products will go through rigorous industry safety testing in the USA and the EU before they ever leave our assembly facility located in the USA.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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