A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
CREATIVE THOUGHT THROUGH PLAY
INTRODUCING NEEMEZ: FOR THE CREATIVE KID
For the past four years, I have been studying both graphic design and art education. Much of my education has been searching for a way to combine these two fields. How can design inform child development and education in the arts?
Neemez are designed to advance the practice of creative thought by being a tangible, changeable object. Pieces can be used to build, design, and create things from monsters, to animals, to abstract sculptures. Children and adults can have fun and develop a wider imagination with these toys.
While NEEMEZ are advertised as these six original characters, the beauty of them is that they are interchangeable. You can take the same pieces that form a monkey and turn it into a spider or an elephant. You can take basic small pieces and see what kind of weird sculpture you can make. How big can it become? You can play with colors and design patterns. Or you can keep them as their original characters and treat them as collectables.
HOW THEY WERE MADE
Throughout the year the process has moved from sketches, to 3D models, to first round prototyping. All prototypes are generated through 3D printing and include rare earth neodymium magnets as the prime method of attachment [take a look at my prototype gallery above].
Why 3D Printing and magnets?
3D printing has very recently become a more affordable and easy method of making. In my art education studies I have put a lot of time in the study of STEAM [the combining of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics]. This method of 3D print has become a huge player in education, the maker movement, and art itself.
As a designer and future teacher, I knew it was something I needed to explore hands on.
The magnets allow for simplicity. In researching popular building toys [i.e. legos, lincoln logs, magnetiles], I noticed that the pieces themselves were incredibly basic in their design. My toy had to have that same simplicity.
Funding the Future of NEEMEZ
I have launched this Kickstarter campaign, which intends to fund the next step of this toy’s development including prototype and packaging manufacturing, toy fair exhibitions, TIA membership fees and Kickstarter fees.
With these funds, I would be able to push for greater manufacturing [better quality and faster] and give me the chance to put these onto the market first through small business online shopping, fairs, etc. Once being able to create a stable profit, I can hope to propose NEEMEZ to a larger audience.
While it may take some time for NEEMEZ to make it to market, backers will be able to receive limited edition first round prototype figurines and prototype mystery packs, both including limited edition designed packaging.
Every pledge over $4 earns a reward! From sticker packs to original prototypes in custom packaging, the NEEMEZ campaign allows for backers to possess some of the original pieces from this project. All backers are the first to receive monthly updates on the progress of NEEMEZ toys and chances to win prizes and more rewards.
Due to the high cost of shipping packages outside the United States, some rewards may not be applicable outside of the country. Rewards for pledges between $4 and $29 are applicable to all addresses around the world. All rewards for pledges $30 and higher apply to the United States only.
Add-ons can only be applied to backers who have pledged minimum $10 tier reward.
If interested in an add-on simply click on “manage your pledge” and add the respective amount (i.e. if you want to add-on a NEEMEZ character tote bag priced at $8, simply add $8 to your current pledge but do not change your tier reward).
If the campaign goal is reached, backers will then receive surveys to confirm rewards and to confirm which add-ons you purchased. There is no extra shipping applied to add-ons because shipping has already been applied to your tier rewards.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION
Risks and challenges
The toy industry is very difficult to get into and is also a long, time-consuming process. Manufacturers are not always kind to small businesses and designers too. Taking these things into account, I have already begun extensive research on toy fairs, companies that encourage small business collaboration, and have partnered with a number of colleagues in the business field to assist with finding willing manufacturers.
By applying for TIA membership, working to develop round two prototypes, and attend 2018 toy fairs throughout the country as well as personally market this product to toy companies, I hope to put NEEMEZ onto the shelves for all consumers by 2019.
WARNING: These toys contain small pieces and are not suitable for children under the age of 2