We've reached our target and we have some awesome Stretch Goals!!
Meet the Densters, a set of playful and functional toy monsters, which connect together and allow kids to build the most amazing dens and forts at home! There are six unique characters in the Densters family. Each of them is a unique den connector, but they also have a functional purpose in the home: bag hook, cable holder, bookmark, door-stopper, bracelet and phone stand! This means that they can be useful to both kids and adults in one of their three roles:
Densters set includes: Cheekaboo, Wizetta, Grumpo, Hoopsta, Snella & three Zigzies + PDF colouring pages + visual instructions with ideas on how to use the Densters and build incredible dens and forts!
We really need your support to gather funds and produce the Densters! We created a set of rewards that allow you to pre-order the toys as single, double sets or even mega packs. The sooner you order, the better the deal! By ordering them now, you will become part of an amazing project and will be the first in the world to play with the Densters! Thank you!
Creating the Densters was a lot of fun and even more hard work! From concept to realisation, it took us one whole year! We're finally ready to bring them to life, start production and offer them to kids around the world!
You can choose to tell your kids the "designer-maker" side of the story, with all our sketching, prototyping and testing, or the "bedtime-style" story, about how the Densters ended up in our homes and became friends with kids! So let us tell you their story:
Scroll below to see some of the most interesting extracts from our design process, how we developed the Densters design, functionality and characters. We had to ensure that they work well, look cool and are easy to manufacture. We tried and tested hundreds of product shapes, grip techniques and character looks in order to create a balance between functional and fun!
As soon as we had our first prototype models, we went to kids, to get their feedback and ideas. For every iteration of the design, we consulted with our young experts, to make sure they like them and find them easy and fun to use!
Together we built dens, designed the products, sketched characters, picked colours, brainstormed names and just had a lot of fun!
But doing a project for kids is no easy task. To understand their mindsets, interests and tastes, we had to spend the last year being kids ourselves...well...the truth is...we never actually grew up anyway... so it wasn't that hard after all :) #kidsatheart #nevergrowup #innerchild
Densters were created to solve the problem of kids spending too much time in the digital world with the idea to reconnect them with their surroundings and imagination. Research shows that building a den and playing in it has an important role in a child's development, especially in encouraging their sense of self. We believe that incorporating visual and imaginative skills of children together with tangible products, prompts the expansion of their sense of space as well as their maker abilities. By reconnecting children with the world around them, we aim to inspire the next generation of creatives and push the boundaries of their imagination by building, learning and growing through organic play.
Densters is a project by Kidesign, a London-based design company that specialises in creative educational games and toys for kids. The Kidesign team consists of members who have a background in education, design, architecture, engineering, illustration, child psychology, marketing and business development. Kidesign has a wide five-year portfolio of creative projects for education, and has worked with a range of schools, museums (Victoria & Albert, Design Museum, British Museum, Serpentine Galleries) and many different educational platforms. In 2015 we released our first product - Kideville - an educational board game for schools, based around designing and 3D printing sustainable cities. We're now ready to launch our first toy product for kids and families around the world!
The Densters team: Dejan Mitrovic (designer/educator), Margarita Mitrovic (designer/illustrator), Reto Togni (product designer), Daria Kwiatkowska (service designer), Emily Temperton (architect), Sandra Djukic (product designer), Malav Sanghvi (design engineer), Marta Cvetkovic (educator/psychologist), Simona Stojanovic (marketing), Moira Topalian (business).
Big thanks to Kosta Glusica and the Tuna Fish Studio film crew: Rasko Miljkovic (director), Milica Jokic (producer), Lazar Radic & Marko Milovanovic (DoPs) Pavle Dinulovic & Mihajlo Radovic (sound) Vuk Kolarevic (organiser) Davor Bosankic (editor) Marija Jankovic, Pablo & Klara (cast).
Thanks to everyone else who helped us make this project possible, especially: Wayne, Paddy & Zora, Milos & Simona, Clare Brass, Josh & Jack (EngiMake), Miroljub Belic, Miljkovic family and of course our families and friends for their patience and support throughout our creative journeys!
Some of the publications that like the Densters and wrote about them:
Risks and challenges
We have worked really hard for over a year, to develop the best design, business model and minimise risks. We have a solid plan, but of course, things can go wrong, but we can ensure you that we will be honest and transparent with the whole process and keep you updated.
Here are some inevitable risks:
- Manufacturing delay. This is the most common problem with product design. We have talked to our producers and were given estimate delivery times. We have planned accordingly to have enough time to comfortably meet our targets.
- Manufacturing quality. After many months of searching for the right production partner, we have picked a factory with a good reputation and plenty of experience in producing silicone products for children. Nevertheless, every product is a new project and we will only see the end result once we mass manufacture the Densters sets.
- Team. Our team is very dedicated to the project and to turning it into a sustainable business. We have a great mix of backgrounds (design, engineering, education, business) which all contribute to the project. We will try to keep the team as it is and grow it even more.
- Other minor risks are present, but once again, we will be very transparent about the process and keep you updated as our group of champion supporters! Thank you! :)
- (31 days)