About this project
Aw Heck. Why Not? An Extra Courage Red Figure For Everyone! (Who Pledges $10 and Up)
Yup. We are going to produce the bonus figure in Courage Red. When the Kickstarter campaign comes to an end, every Backer who has pledged $10 or more will receive an extra figure in Courage Red. Think of it not just as a thank you, but also a celebration.
STRETCH GOAL ANNOUNCED!
HELP US REACH 3,596 BACKERS!
Today we are excited to offer a Stretch Goal Reward to all $10 and Up Backers if we hit a goal that is important to us . . . . if we can reach 3,596 Backers (which is double the number of Backers at the time of writing this update), we will produce a limited run Kickstarter Edition figure in Courage Red.
SEE UPDATE #4 FOR DETAILS
****** UPDATE: We are FULLY FUNDED and Profoundly Grateful! But we are just getting started! Please support our campaign and help us spark a movement for more choice in toys. The more support we have for this campaign, the easier it will be for us to get our figures into a store near you and thus directly to you, our amazing Kickstarter community. ******
IAmElemental Action Figures for Girls were designed to accomplish three goals.
MORE HEROINE, LESS HOOTERS
First, they are intended to be a positive and fierce re-interpretation of the traditional female action figure.
After scouring toy stores in search of action figures that are appropriate toys for young girls, we discovered that the typical female action figure on the market today is not actually designed for girls at all (or even boys). Instead, most are created for the adult male collector, decidedly more Hooters than Heroine.
We set out to design a series of figures with healthier breast, waist and hip ratios; fierce, strong females worthy of an active, save-the-world storyline that fosters creativity in kids.
IT'S CHARACTER, NOT CHARACTERS
Second, IAmElemental action figures encourage girls to reinvent the superhero myth by creating their own empowering stories. In the traditional, male-dominated superhero universe, action figures are endowed with powers from without (via a spider bite, mutant DNA, or some sort of "accident"). In the IAmElemental universe, the girl herself is the superhero - and she has all the superpowers she will ever need already inside of her.
We have converted the Periodic Table of Elements into "The Elements of Power," and we will unveil these powers, series by series, one after the other.
The first series, available first on Kickstarter, is the Courage Series.
The Elemental parts of COURAGE:
Using Joan of Arc as our Muse (because real heroes walk among us), each figure in the series is the personification of one of the Elemental Powers - and we are talking Superpowers.
Bravery, for example, is defined as not shrinking from challenge or difficulty, and her Superpower is the ability to create a protective force field around herself and others.
Magic and fantasy are critical elements of both imaginative play, and daily life. If you want the extraordinary to happen, you have to believe in the impossible.
We live in a world where product tie-ins are a de facto part of the average media marketing plan, and children are spoon-fed a perfectly-packaged storyline with the purchase of every action figure. Yet, we fervently believe that girls (and boys) are not only capable of creating their own stories, but that story creation is a vital part of their emotional development.
Why live vicariously through someone else? Why not be a real, live Superhero?
PLAY WITH POWER
Third, we set out to create a toy that is super fun to play with and collect. We knew from the outset that if the figures weren't well-designed, nothing else would matter.
So, we spent months carefully considering every aspect of the process, working collaboratively with the amazing team at EleventyPlex, in order to ensure that we ended up with the best 4-inch articulated action figure possible.
Each figure has 9 points of articulation: Neck (1), Shoulders (2), Elbows (2), Knees (2), Hips (2).
They are pose-able. They stand. They bend. They sit (without splaying their legs in a hyper-sexualized straddle - try that with some existing figures sometime. Fascinating.)
They each wear armor, have a removable, interchangeable accessory that speaks to their superpower, and an identifying shield they can hold in their hand. They come in a Mystery Pack, which includes a figure, a shield, an accessory, and a carry bag in each pack.
These figures can save others and themselves, go on epic adventures, and combine together to take the form of Courage.
What we've created are modern, fierce, fun action figures that fit in a girl's pocket and go anywhere she goes.
But, even if you aren't a young girl, you will want to play with this toy.
We are not anti-doll, or anti-princess. Rather, we believe that these stories are not the only stories girls carry inside themselves. As the wonderful animation by Olivia Huynh in our video so cleverly reveals, if you give a girl a different toy, she will tell a different story.
What's your story?
ELEMENTAL REWARDS: What's Included?
Every Mystery Pack (and yes, it is a Mystery) contains:
One 4-inch articulated figure, 1 shield, 1 removable accessory, 2 trading cards, an Elemental Map, and a Nylon Drawstring Carry Bag.
Every Carry Case includes: All 7 figures with shields, accessories, trading cards & map, an interactive IAmElemental Workbook, Nylon Drawstring Carry Bag and Courage Bracelet*.
*Girls can collect the shields and wear them on a Courage Bracelet.
Post Kickstarter, we will take the names of ALL of our backers and re-create our Mask logo using everyone's name as an Element of the design. This will be a one-of-a-kind acknowledgement and image.
Play with Power 1
Single Elemental Figure & acknowledgement on our site. Do you know a girl who wants to Play with Power? Put one of the Elements of Courage in her hands.
Each Pack contains: One 4 inch articulated action figure, representing one of the 7 Elements of Courage, a Shield and Removable Accessory, 2 Trading Cards* (one to keep, one to share), an Elemental MAP, and a Drawstring Carry Bag.
*If you collect all 7 Trading Cards, they will reveal a message and you will receive an Elemental bracelet so that you can transform your shields into charms.
Exclusive to Kickstarter! After Kickstarter, individual figures will only be available in retail stores and by subscription.
"Play with Power" Baseball Cap & Thanks
Join our tribe with this exclusive IAmElemental baseball cap (one size fits all). It comes with our eternal gratitude & a shout out on our site. Our hats are Black with a White "I Am Elemental" Mask logo stitched on the front, and the words “Play with Power” on the back. We tested them on lots of heads. They work.
Power Play 2
Two Figures, 1 Cap. Endless Thanks.
Receive 2 Unique Elemental Action Figure Mystery Packs, 1 Baseball Cap, and your name listed on our site.
Carry Case: Kickstarter Exclusive!
The Complete Courage Series in a Collectible Carry Case.
Get the entire series in a special carrying case. Case includes: 7 action figures, plus shields & inter-changable accessories. 1 Interactive IAmElemental Workbook (capture your own thoughts on Courage, share those thoughts with others, complete the challenges, and more). 1 Drawstring Carry Bag. 1 Bracelet. Wear your Elemental Shields on the adjustable bracelet. Wear one. Wear them all. You choose. Some of the figures in the Courage series will be under-produced. This is the best way to get ALL 7 original figures! It makes a great gift, and will be delivered in time for the holidays.
Elemental Power Party Having a party? Let us help you. IAmElemental Action Figures make a GREAT
We will give you everything you need to throw a party and truly Play With Power. We will include: a PDF of creative party games and theme ideas; Printable Invitation Design; Elemental decorations: banner, table topper and signage; Favor bags - we will provide up to 24 favor bags ready to hand out to all the party guests. (We can do either adult or child themed! Think about it. Age level to be specified in the Rewards survey post-launch.)
What's your super power? This is a highly personal and totally unique reward. We will personalize all of the items for you or a loved one.
Includes: 1 complete Courage Series set of 7 unique figures included in a Personalized Carry Case. 2 personalized "Play with Power" baseball caps. PLUS 1 Framed, Limited Edition and Personalized Elemental Print. Pick your power and we will send you an exclusive print that is a work of art and a bold statement about the super power inside. Special designation in the THANK YOU graphic.
Exclusive Power Party for 10! A fully customized and amazing one-of-a-kind event in New York City.
We have a few superpowers of our own here at I Am Elemental world headquarters, and we are putting them to good use on this reward.
Hosted at either the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art (your choice), we will plan an interactive scavenger hunt throughout the museum for you and a group of your choosing. This is not your average, "find the color red" kind of hunt. We will customize an in-depth, challenging and amazing race through a world-renowned institution adapted for the age of the group (any age from 5-95, and if you're 96 and want to do it, we've got your back.) We will also plan a fun and festive celebration to accompany the experience.
This is one-of-a-kind. Only Kickstarter. Only now. Come Play With Power. Includes all the goodies of the above reward level.
Dinner & Brainstorming session Join us and hear all about Series 2 / Wisdom. Be our guests at our favorite Brooklyn restaurant. But, come prepared to work a little. We will share early-stage concepts, designs and ideas and give you the chance to weigh in on the design of our next series.
Includes 1 box of 24 figures, as many hats as you want, 1 Carry Case, a signed Elemental print of your choice, and a very special listing on our graphic website THANK YOU.
Why We Need Your Help
We’ll be using all the money raised on Kickstarter to purchase our molds, complete our first large production run and to fulfill all Kickstarter orders.
Any additional funds raised will allow us to build an online store front and launch a campaign to bring IAmElemental action figures to stores all over the country.
We have creative and unexpected ideas for many more toys and play experiences that we feel are missing from the toy market, or are presented in a way that makes them fundamentally unappealing. We want to change that. Join us in launching the COURAGE series and begin a movement to Play with Power.
Risks and challenges
Conceiving an idea is hard enough. Turning it into something others can hold and play with takes it to an entirely different level. We have been at this for close to two years. We have learned more than we thought possible about production, design, and manufacturing. We are working with an incredible and experienced team of designers and manufacturers.
We know there can be production challenges associated with any manufacturing project (delays, equipment failure, shipping, etc.), so we have built relationships with more than one factory. We have a visit planned to Asia to personally meet with the factory owners and ensure we meet our production goals. We have an experienced shipping company and expeditor lined up to work with to get the figures to you, our intrepid Kickstarter backers. We have been grateful for the generous and personal advice of other Kickstarter creators, including many great conversations with the talented Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen of Roominate.
We have already put our figures through a design evaluation with a 3rd party agency to ensure the figures meet all safety requirements. We attended the International ToyFair in February 2014 and met with many toy company owners to hear first hand about challenges and gather tips. As manufacturing members of ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association, we have access to a full network of excellent resources and support for companies like ours. Finally, though we are new to the toy industry, we are experienced business people who have tackled complicated and challenging projects in our past lives. We have never been as passionate or excited about that work as we are about IAmElemental. We will draw on years of experience and contacts to bring the IAmElemental figures to reality, and get them into the hands of the superhero Kickstarter community. Join us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
"But, what's the *story*?" We get asked this a lot.The short answer: Yes. There will eventually be comic books and graphic novels - just maybe not in the way that people expect. Redefining the action figure ethos means that we have to change the way we approach visual story-telling as well. If we are more than fully-funded, we will be able to roll out some of these plans more quickly. Ultimately, we want to be a conduit for the stories inside every girl, boy, man, and woman so that they can be shared and celebrated. Stay tuned. And, please, continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us.
We have gotten some great comments on the color palette we chose for our first series.
We intentionally selected a series of seven colors that have no relation to skin tone; we did not want ethnicity to play a role in how any individual power is defined or perceived. For example, Fear's skin is purple. Others are shades of pink, red, orange, etc.
And this is only the beginning. Each series will have a different color palette. Ultimately, IAmElemental will explore a whole range of colors.
A note about Fear: the figures are not people. They are the personification of powers and elements which reside in each one of us. Furthermore, they are bound together as the components of Courage, and cannot be separated. Courage cannot exist without Fear. Purple was selected because Fear can be fiercer and more mysterious than the other Elements. And that is fitting, because Fear is harder to understand.
However, we would strongly argue against viewing Fear as a negative. We want girls to own and know their Fear, and to transform the role that it plays in their lives. Those who see it as only negative miss its inherent strength.
As a self-defense expert, Dawn believes that Fear's impulse to hide, or to stop something in its tracks, is an incredible tool. Learning to trust your instincts, to stop (freeze), to take a breath, and listen to Fear is important. Fear always has something powerful to say. In fact, Fear is Dawn's favorite Element.
In the IAmElemental universe, Fear is something to be embraced, not rejected. It has to be understood and accepted. It's a good discussion - and one that we hope people will have with friends and children.
IAmElemental action figures straddle two worlds. While our primary goal is to create a powerful new play experience for young girls (and boys, too), we teamed up with the amazing group at Eleventyplex from the outset to ensure that the figures were not only fun to play with, but forward-thinking from a design standpoint as well. In our weekly meetings, the hope that we could potentially appeal to the collector community was never far from our minds. These 4” figures were inspired by the Mystery Pack figure series that our own children love to collect. We wanted to provide an exceptionally well-made, intelligently articulated toy within the confines of the Mystery Pack concept. We paid close attention to our design, execution and engineering - trying to push the envelope within the limits of the smaller figure. However, this is only the beginning. We also hope to launch a 6” figure series with even more articulation (think toes!), amazing paint applications (think metallic!), and accessories that will be equally fun to play with and collect. Stay tuned.
PLEASE NOTE: These are for anyone 4+ - not for small children!
We are striving to do something different with these figures. We want to offer a very high level of design and decoration, combined with a fun and durable play experience. We understand that the method for "counting" articulation points can sometimes be open to debate. We have revised our articulation image above and provided additional detail on the articulation for interested backers.
We have 9 primary points of articulation: Neck (ball joint), Shoulders (2 ball joint), Elbows (2 hinge), Knees (2 hinge), Hip (2 ball joints). We are hoping to provide a ball joint, insert molded elbow, which is very difficult in this scale. We are currently furiously at work on design and with the factory to finalize the design (now that we are funded we can really push on the molding!). We can promise hinge elbows and if we can adjust the design without losing aesthetic we will adjust the Elbow articulation design.
Please know: This is an interior & technical adjustment and the figures will have the same aesthetic as seen here and provide the same movement at all articulation points as described.
This FAQ is for those interested in the details of the figures! And thanks for asking.
We are so excited and happy and appreciative that folks from all over the world are interested in the IAmElemental figures! We honestly did not think that would be the case and are happy to be wrong!
We immediately added an International Option to our $65 full set Reward level. We have gotten requests about shipping the smaller Reward levels and are trying to get some pricing so we add appropriate shipping to those levels and hope to offer soon! Please check back and stay tuned. We will post as soon as we can.
Kickstarter restricts offering multiples as part of a Reward. Please message us directly.
The Collectible Tin is designed primarily for display. It includes all 7 Figures, and their accessories - including shields. It will include a printed description guide to each figure. It will not include the notebook, drawstring carry bag or trading cards. It will include a custom foam insert that will securely hold and display each figure. The Tin itself is a Limited Edition full four color printed tin. We will only produce a limited run of this particular Collectors Tin. So once the tins have been sold, they will not be reproduced with this design motif.
Yes, for our wonderful Kickstarter Backers, we will, of course, guarantee that you receive three different figures. Once they go into retail stores, the mystery reigns supreme. However, just this one time, we will make sure that $30 gets you three different figures.
We have had a lot of questions about these two Reward options. Both options include all 7 figures, with shields and accessories.
The Lunchbox Carry Case was designed as a "play" option. The figures come each in their own mystery pack bag (which is how they will be sold individually in retail). Each bag includes 1 of the 7 figures, a shield, the accessory (flames, wings, backpack, etc.), 2 trading cards, a drawstring carry bag and a fold-out Elemental map which shows the Elements of Power. Also included in the case is a bracelet, to wear the shields if desired, and a notebook. The notebook will contain some quotes, exercises and questions to spark and encourage play. It all comes in a lunchbox style tin case.
The Collectors Tin was created in direct response to requests from Backers during Kickstarter. It includes all 7 figures, with shields and accessories placed in a custom foam insert, and then shrink-wrapped for display. The idea is you can remove the lid of the tin and display the figures while still keeping them protected. There will be a printed guide to the figures included as well. This option does not include the notebook, bracelet or drawstring carry bag. Our thinking is that if you are displaying the figures, you will likely not wear the shields or carry them in the bag. The tin design is (we think) pretty special and is Limited Edition. We have a limited quantity of these tins (please understand that when you order from a factory there is often a minimum order quantity). We will offer these tins via Kickstarter now, and then only on the IAmElemental website until they are gone. We will not reproduce this tin particular design again.
We hope that helps clarify the options. We like to think of them as: one to Play; one to DisPlay!
Why yes we can. With pleasure. Like many start-ups, IAmElemental drew on the support and creativity of an incredible group of individuals who shared very generously of their time and talent to bring our vision to life. Our video was an important piece of communicating our vision to you, the Kickstarter community.
We would like to extend our deep gratitude and appreciation to:
Maureen Cavanagh, an award-winning photo editor and photojournalist from Sports Illustrated, who is a true friend and supporter. She took time away from shooting the spring training season for the Yankees to come lend her eye and talent to action figures - and we are forever grateful.
Michael Nigro of Partially Submerged Productions who took time off from directing Brain Games on National Geographic TV to help us edit and pull together the video.
Ali Theodore of DeeTown Entertainment, who took time out from producing demos for Pitch Perfect 2 to create the amazing music in our video and helping us rock.
Olivia Huynh, whose amazing animation truly steals the show. Watch out for more from Olivia and IAmElemental. Thank you Olivia, for taking a chance on us - we love you.
Jahaziel Minor. Our amazing Haz. We say Haz has a button that makes magic. Haz helps us in the middle of the night and the results always astound. Haz did much of the design and graphics for IAmElemental, and along with Tim Conroy of EleventyPlex, form our soul partners in design. Thank you.
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