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$6,228 pledged of $35,000 goal
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By Jennifer Pierre
$6,228 pledged of $35,000 goal
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About this project

Waves in the Media
Waves in the Media
   

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a graduate student at Babson College. Late last summer, I was a mentor and volunteer at my local community center. After months of working with the kids in the program, I started to notice that many of the boys were not expressing their full potential and dreamed within a bubble. The messaging they received on a daily basis from various factors like TV and media did not provide positive affirmation about their future. 

I founded Melanites to celebrate Brown Boyhood and encourage positive self-expression with creative and educational role play. Our goal is for young children of color to feel EMPOWERD and VALUED in our society.

 Melanites is also addressing the issue of HYPER-MASCULINITY and the gender policing of children. We are all very familiar with the problematic "pink aisle": a sea of gender stereotyping for young girls who are simply looking for adventure and fun. However, peeking around the corner is a similar pigeon hole. The "BLUE AISLE" is where shelves are littered with toy guns, fighting stances, and aggressive role play. Its time for our boys to have a new option!

 Melanites is introducing the first line of BOY DOLLS OF COLOR. Our "Action Pals" combine the emotional appeal of a doll and the articulation of an action figure. Meet Jaylen, our first 3D printed prototype.

  • 18 inches tall (American Girl size comparable)
  • 11 points of articulation
  • Full vinyl body
  • Hair (instead of plastic molded alternative)  

For boys & girls ages 4+

Representation is the cornerstone of our foundation so I designed our toys with diverse skin tones, facial features, and hairs types reflective of our society.

The first four Melanites boys are JAYLEN, AIDEN, SID, and MARQUIS! 

Our philosophy of AND is reflected in their multi-faceted interests. Instead of crafting the characters to be within specific professions, I created four building blocks. They are meant to highlight the Thinker, Doer, Maker and Performer in every child. Who knows who the next entrepreneur, engineer, or artist will be!

Toys are more than just toys and Melanites hopes to bring social awareness to boys of color. Through the introduction of our line of dolls and future accessory kits, young boys will be able to build their own personas and gain a wider understanding of their true capabilities that will compel them to dream big!

 Now we need your help! 

In order to make Melanites a reality, we have to meet our manufacturers MOQ of 1,000 units. 

This is where YOU come in. Every pledge will go towards the production cost of making one of the first boy dolls of color!

Melanites E-Postcards!
Melanites E-Postcards!
Melanites E-Coloring Book!
Melanites E-Coloring Book!
Melanites Posters!
Melanites Posters!
Melanites T-shirt (available in youth & adult sizes)
Melanites T-shirt (available in youth & adult sizes)
Melanites T-shirt (available in youth & adult sizes)
Melanites T-shirt (available in youth & adult sizes)

Our prototype was 3D printed in the Design Zone at Babson College. The final Action Pal being shipped through the Kickstarter campaign will not be 3D printed, but produced by a vetted manufacturer.

3D Face Model (Jaylen)
3D Face Model (Jaylen)
3D Model Turnarounds (Jaylen)
3D Model Turnarounds (Jaylen)
Phase 1 Prototype
Phase 1 Prototype

Whats Next?

As we grow, we plan to include different accessory kits and storybooks that represent the possibilities for every child’s future.

It takes a village! Melanites has flourished because of our dedicated team members, mentors, and partners. 

My team and I are graduate students at Babson College and over the past 8 months, we have worked really hard to understand how boys play. We have interviewed over 100 parents, educators, kids, and toy industry experts.

Melanites Team
Melanites Team

Through participation with the Babson Accelerator Program, Summer Venture Program, WIN Lab, and She Starts, Melanites has had access to resources to guide the business forward.

Melanites Partners
Melanites Partners

We are more than just a toy company. By backing this project, you’re helping create a world in which young boys can not only see their identity around them, but watch it being CELERBRATED. 

Melanites means Melanin filled, it’s a reminder that the diversity of our society is a name and a face.

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think by emailing us at BrownBoyhood@Gmail.com

Risks and challenges

We are aware that there may be unforeseen production challenges with any manufacturing project. With this in mind, we have built relationships with more than one factory and any updates will be shared with our Kickstarter community.

Ship date: We have built in extra time for the manufacturing process and are confident we will ship by the projected dates, but there is always a chance that things will take longer than planned.

Product changes: As we refine the doll based on additional community feedback and more product testing, slight changes may be made. We'll only make changes that enhance the product experience.

Supplier coordination: We work with a variety of suppliers to source the best materials and ensure the doll is developed correctly.

Our ultimate goal is to get Melanites in the hands of children!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    *THANK YOU E-POSTCARD!*

    You've got mail! Receive a digital postcard showcasing your support of brown boys and their representation in the toy aisles!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    *THANK YOU E-COLORING BOOK!*

    Print out the fun! Receive a digital booklet of printable coloring sheets and bring the characters to life!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    *MELANITES POSTER!*

    See it to believe it! Hang encouraging words of affirmation with our Melanites characters!

    *You will receive 1 poster (11x17) with this reward

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    *THINKER T-SHIRT*

    Walk the walk! Get an awesome Melanites T-Shirt

    *You will receive a "Thinker" T-Shirt

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    *BROWN BOY MAGIC T-SHIRT*

    Walk the walk! Get an awesome Melanites T-Shirt

    *You will receive a "Brown Boy Magic" T-Shirt

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    14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    *MELANITES BRAND PACK*

    Get the E-Coloring Book, Poster, and one T-Shirt of your choice!

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    *EARLY BIRD SPECIAL*

    The first of its kind! Get the Melanites Action Pal delivered to your front door!

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    Limited 29 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    *MELANITES ACTION PAL*

    The first of its kind! Get the Melanites Action Pal delivered to your front door!

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    *MELANITES ACTION PAL (DONATION)*

    Love the idea, but don't have a child in your life to gift it to? No worries! Melanites has teamed up with a partner nonprofit organization and every donated Action Pal will find it's way to a child's home!

    You will receive updates and information on the specific organization and children who were gifted an Action Pal.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    *MELANITES ACTION PAL + POSTER*

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    3 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    *MELANITES ACTION PAL, POSTER, T-SHIRT*

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    4 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    *DOUBLE TROUBLE*

    *2 ACTION PALS, 2 POSTERS, 2 T-SHIRTS*

    Have more than one child in your life? Treat them both!

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    *TRIPLE TREAT*

    *3 ACTION PALS, 3 POSTERS, 3 T-SHIRTS*

    Triple the fun! Sharing is caring!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    *COLLECTOR'S EDITION*

    *4 ACTION PALS, 4 POSTERS, 4 T-SHIRTS*

    The ultimate package! Bring home 4 unique posters and 4 unique T-shirts. This is a collector's item, only offered in this Kickstarter campaign!

    PLUS, you'll get a vote and input in the Book Series debut AND be recognized as a rock star supporter on our website.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    *COLLECTOR'S DELUXE*

    4 ACTION PALS, 4 POSTERS, 4 T-SHIRTS*

    PLUS, you'll get a vote and input in the Fall Book Series debut AND be recognized as a rock star supporter on our website.

    PLUS, first limited edition accessory kit (Thinker edition) to accompany your Action Pal for the ultimate adventure.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    *BE YOUR OWN ACTION PAL*

    We will create a doll to look just like you! This is a great opportunity to create a mini version of anyone you want!

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Funding period

- (30 days)