Three Doll Kickstarters

First time trying to type since the thing with my shoulder started.  And it lasted barely more than a sentence before I had to stop, clutching my arm as it surged with pins and needles. 😦

So now I’m composing the draft text on my phone (dammit, the thing’s becoming a part of me, despite how I didn’t want to get it!) because I can do that without pain. (Okay, technically the pins and needles thing doesn’t hurt as such, but…) Then once I’ve written all the text, I’ll add the pics.

So, there are three doll Kickstarter campaigns going on right now. I’m only actually backing two of them, but I’ll get to that later.

So, we’re starting with this one, with the campaign title “IT’S TIME TO MAKE LOTS OF DOLLS”

Image copyright Fam Bam Toys. Click for link,

Their company name is Fam Bam Toys, but I’m not clear on the name of the doll line itself. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but here’s what I do know:

The line features African-American dolls who come with wigs, allowing them a wide range of hairstyles and looks. Based on the price point, I think they’re probably 1/6 scale.

Image copyright Fam Bam Toys. Click for link.

This is their prototype doll, Symone. I think she’s quite pretty, and certainly a promising start for the line, if they can meet their funding goal.

Speaking of which, to get the money, they’ll need backers to pledge $5,000 in the next 17 days (so, by July 1st), and they are currently at $621. Certainly possible, but I think the creator may not be pushing it on social media and such as strongly as she needs to. That, and the lack of details is probably scaring off potential backers. But it does sound like they’ve researched the production side of things enough to know what they’re doing; it’s just the Kickstarter side of things they didn’t research enough.

There have been other lines of play dolls to come with wigs (Moxie Teenz, some Brats, Imani), but for the most part they were one-time experiments (Fashion Queen Barbie, for example) or the wigs got abandoned later on for cheaper, simpler rooted dolls (Moxie Teenz) so it’s been a while since wigged dolls were out there for kids. (Us grown-ups get to have all the wigging fun we want with our BJDs and custom Pullips and Blythes, after all!)

Okay, moving on.

Image copyright…um…there’s no company name…well, click for link, anyway.

As the logo shows you, this one is called My CityDoll. The campaign page says she’s 14″ tall, which is a slightly odd scale; it’s smaller than American Girl dolls, but maybe that’s about the size of the AG offshoot line Wellie Wishers? It’s not really my preferred type of doll, so I don’t have much info to draw on here.

Again, this is a copyrighted image that came from the Kickstarter page. Click for link.

What I do know is that that is one adorable face! That little half-smile really gets me. 🙂 the eyes are really nice, too.

She’s all vinyl (no cloth torso here) but only has the basic shoulder and hip joints, no knees and elbows, sadly. (I have no idea if kids get as annoyed by dolls who sit with their legs just stretched out from the chair as I do…)

I’d be happier if the launch doll wasn’t a blue-eyed blonde, but the line was inspired by the campaign runner’s granddaughter, so I’m presuming said granddaughter is herself a blonde. Besides, those gorgeous eye chips make up for a lot. 😉 (And there are always wigs and reroots…)

The price point on this one is a bit steeper: $125 (plus shipping) for the non-limited edition of the doll. But as they need to get $10,000 in the next 22 days (July 5), the doll’s high price tag is necessary. (And, really, American Girl and other dolls of that type cost a ridiculous amount, so…) At the moment, they’ve been pledged $2,851, so while they’re in a stronger place than the other, their Kickstarter success is by no means certain. (As with the other, I think the dolls should be successfully manufactured, if they can just get the funds.)

All right, last one, the one I’m not backing.

No company name again, but it’s still a copyrighted image. Click for link.

This one is called “El-Lynn, a Doll With A Message of Love” and the doll is very much an American Girl-type, being 18″ tall and having a cloth torso.

And is that why I’m not backing her?

Well, no. Not really.

Is it the relatively lifeless face? (Which, of course, still makes it very AG-like.)

While that’s part of it, it’s not the main reason.

And no, it’s not that I think the campaign creator will be unable to get the doll successfully made; she seems to be pretty much on top of that situation.

So why is it?

Honestly, it’s the doll’s “message of love.” Because it’s not (just) “love of mankind” or “love in general”, but specifically “love of God.” Which is great for a lot of people, but it makes me uncomfortable. I do believe that a sentient higher power set the Big Bang in motion and engineered the laws of physics, but my personal belief is that there’s no way we puny humans could actually comprehend a being on that level, so organized religion always feels to me like it’s more about the human than the divine. Plus lately a lot of people have used religion (especially Christianity) as an excuse to do really horrible things to other people, which just leaves me squirming in discomfort whenever I see or hear someone loudly proclaiming their faith. And yes, I know that’s completely unreasonable, because the people doing the awful things are all doing things that Christianity specifically teaches that a person shouldn’t do, but…knowing that doesn’t change my discomfort.

Anyway, since my reason for not backing the campaign had nothing to do with the doll herself, I thought it would be deeply unfair if I didn’t share the campaign along with the other two. This one has the highest goal of the three, $20,000, has until the 3rd of July, and so far gas only been pledged $871. (Maybe I’m not the only one on Kickstarter who’s put off by the religious angle. Or maybe it’s the face.)

Ooookay, stopping abruptly here, because it turns out that trying to type on my phone is mind-bogglingly more time consuming, due to all the freakin’ typos caused by the teeny-tiny on-screen keyboard keys.

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Two (non-doll) Toy Kickstarters (and info about Kickstarter in general)

Since the responses to my earlier post were to go ahead with Kickstarter-related posts within reason, I wanted to share two Kickstarters I’m currently backing, one which still hasn’t hit its funding goal.  But I thought maybe I should also go into a little more detail about how Kickstarter works (on the consumer end) first.

Basically, it’s a lot like pre-ordering a product, except that the product might not even exist if enough people don’t pre-order it, as the money is only collected at the end of the funding period (usually 30 days, but sometimes only a week or two, and some go for 60 days) and only if a set goal is reached.  (For example, someone wanting to make a run of resin BJDs would have to contact a manufacturer, find out the cost of making the molds and how much it would cost to do a minimum run of the dolls, and then find out all the associated shipping costs and other fees, and would make that their starting goal.)  There is also always the risk that even if the money is collected, there still won’t be a product.  Sometimes things go awry, and the intended end result never emerges.  (The highest risk of this seems to be in the making of video games, as sometimes the game is being made by a single individual, who basically wants the money to live on until they can finish the game.  Only then life can interfere.  A lot.)  The product could also be delayed, or not as good as expected/promised.  (Delays happen pretty much across the board, though the physical publication of web comics seem to be the safest against delay, likely because usually about 90% of the work was already finished before the campaign started.  Not as good as expected/promised can happen just about anywhere, but it also especially rears its head in video games.  Google “Mighty Number 9” if you need to see what can go wrong with video game production.)   Simpler products (like enamel pins) tend to be much safer bets, because it’s just that much harder for anything insurmountable to go wrong.  Generally speaking, products are slightly cheaper via Kickstarter than if you wait for them to be released to the public.  How much cheaper depending on the product, its eventual mark-up, and how marketing-savvy the person designing the campaign is.

I don’t know a lot about other crowdfunding sites, but I think that ones like gofundme and indiegogo collect money right away, unlike Kickstarter.  (I’m basing that solely on inferences from things people have said in Kickstarter comments, so I could be totally wrong.)  Patreon works totally differently, in that you pledge a certain amount of money and then pay it every single month until you tell it to stop charging you, and the person/group/whatever you’re giving money to does something for you to be worth that money, whether it’s giving you access to additional online content, or thanking you in their YouTube videos, or drawing sketches at your request, or what-have-you.  So far, I don’t have a Patreon account, thank goodness, as I’m bleeding money quite fast enough already. ;(

*ahem*

So, these two Kickstarters I’m writing about today are what I consider to be extremely low risk.  One of them is from a company (though via a different partner in the business) that has already run four successful campaigns, two of which I backed, one of which I’ve already received the rewards from.  (They also run a website, and I’ve ordered from them once, and got that order at the same time as the first Kickstarter reward.)  And the other one is a collaboration involving one of the founders (the founder?) of Kidrobot, so there’s someone with professional experience in exactly this type of manufacturing.  (As opposed to if it was some random dude who’s only ever worked operating the deep frying machine at a fast food joint.  Which by no means indicates that they’re incapable of running a toy company, just provides no reassurance of their capability to potential investors.)

We’ll start the the former, called DIY Miss Cupcake XL – Vinyl Art Toy Platform.  Which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful. 😛

Copyright Discordia Merchandising and Olive47. Image acquired via Kickstarter. Click for link.

So, the smaller one there is the original Miss Cupcake, which was released in a blind box, with four color variations, and the larger one is a prototype of the blank they’re going to produce for this Kickstarter.  They still have a few of the blind box originals, and I’ve backed to get one from the Kickstarter. 😉  Also an enamel pin version, and a glow-in-the-dark blank, because if your cupcakes aren’t glowing, what’s the point?  (Yeah, that made more sense in my head.)  The previous Kickstarter from Discordia Merchandising that I backed was called Boxcat, another customizing blank, which I got in white, glow-in-the-dark, blue and black.  No idea when I’ll actually customize any of them proper (need to clean my house first!), but I plan on doing a temporary custom on one of them with stickers. 😛  (I have to find the stickers I want first, but once I’ve done that, I’ll share photos with you.)

The second Kickstarter is both similar and different at the same time.  It’s also a vinyl toy, but it’s not a blank (though I guess you could paint over it anyhow 😛 ) and unlike Miss Cupcake, it’s already met and far exceeded its original funding goal.  (Like by 1500%!)  It’s called Janky, and it’s for a set of blind box figures.  They’ve posted a large number of them on the campaign page, but I’ve pared that down to some of my favorites:

My four favorite Janky models. Copyright Superplastic and the credited designers. Image from Kickstarter. Click for link.

There’s also an eight inch cyclopean version that’s really cute, but he’s $65, which feels a teeny tiny bit like a heck of a lot of money for an 8 inch figure with minimal articulation.  (I barely blink at that price on, say, a Figma, which is more like 5-6 inches, but they’ve got articulation out the wazoo, and lots of spare parts.)  There’s also a non-Janky figure that’s pretty cool (if a bit weird), and a 4 foot tall Janky for those with a lot of space and even more money.

I’m not 100% sure how well Janky aligns with everyone’s tastes (there’s a few of the designs I really don’t like, to be honest) and unlike Miss Cupcake, Janky doesn’t need the help in getting funded, but I wanted to pass it along anyway, in part just because, and in part because they’ve got this referral thing where they give you a special link and if someone clicks it and then pledges to the campaign, they give you an extra Janky when they’re shipping out the Kickstarter rewards.  (Yup, I am here motivated in part by my own selfish hope of getting more than I’m paying for.  Because I suck.  But at least I’m honest about it!)  So, in summation, the link on the picture and name above, this link, is actually that referral link.  I have no idea if you’ll have to click through anything different on the way to the campaign page, or if it just acts like a normal link and simply ticks off a data box at Kickstarter HQ or what.  (I’ve never used one of these referral things before.  One previous campaign I pledged to had one, but I didn’t use it, partially because I was ticked at the people running the campaign at the time.  Which is a pity, because as plushies those would probably have jived with my blog as a whole better.)

Okay, so I think that’s about everything I had to say, so I’ll probably stop here.  Also it’s gotten late and I still had other stuff I wanted to do tonight.

I promise I’ll post about an actual, honest-to-goodness doll next week.

Calling any “Revolutionary Girl Utena” Fans!

Desperate help is needed from fellow Utena fans!

There’s a Kickstarter going on right now for some really awesome enamel pins.  I’m not asking anyone to back them, though.  (Although if you like enamel pins and anime, you probably don’t want to miss these!)

From Kickstarter campaign. Click for link.

The pins are already fully funded, and they’ve unlocked the four designs shown above (in silhouette and skintone versions), which is all the campaign originally had planned.  So now there’s a vote for what the fifth and final design will be.

And this is where everyone else comes in.  The update with the poll is actually for backers only, so I can’t send you to it, which is a bit awkward.  I’ll just pass on the links contained within it, then.  The artist’s also polling on Instagram and Facebook, where I can’t vote, as I don’t have accounts with either site.

So, if anyone out there is on Instagram and Facebook and feels generous with their time, I’d like to beg them to go and vote for the Utena/Anthy pin to be the last design.

Because I totally need it.

I mean, like, to the point that as soon as I saw the first image, I thought “yeah, but if you’re doing stained glass, you should be doing Utena!”

(Yes, this has been utterly selfish and possibly a violation of the rules of the vote.  What’s your point?)

(LOL, you could also take up the grass roots plea for a Toya/Yukito design.  One person mentioned that as their true choice, and now at least two more of us have said “yup, I’d buy that.”)

‘Tis the Season….for Skeletons!

Okay, randomly, here’s another Kickstarter project.  (This one I doubt will have trouble reaching its goal.  It was just so seasonally appropriate that I had to share!)

So, just from that, it doesn’t look as seasonal.  But pay no mind to the beefy guys; they’re just stretch goals.  The main goal is this:

Fully articulated skeleton figures!  With a stretch goal of angry eyes! 😀

There’s a bit of history to the fact that I immediately backed this project.

A while back, browsing the used stuff on AmiAmi, I came across a Revoltech skeleton warrior from Jason and the Argonauts.  It was only about $20, but like an idiot, I was like “well, it’ll probably be there for ages” and decided to wait until I had something else I wanted to order.  So naturally by the time I had something else I wanted to order, it was long gone. 😦

As a big Greek mythology fan, I love the two mythologically, er, influenced movies of Ray Harryhausen.  (I’ve seen a couple of the Sinbad ones, too, one of which was good, and the other was sort of “meh.”  I can’t remember if it was the good one or the “meh” one that had Tom Baker (of all people!) as the villain.  Though naturally the effects were good in both.)  So the chance to remedy my earlier error and get a nice skeleton figure is one that made me very excited.  Of course, these guys don’t come with sword and shield, but I can probably scrounge those up easily enough.  😛

The real questions are how these compare in scale to Figma and SHFigurarts (the comparison photos on Kickstarter are decidedly Western-biased), and who to have fighting the skeleton(s).  😛  Obviously, some folks are right out:  Cardcaptor Sakura, Lucky Star and Sunshine Sketch are not manga/anime compatible with skeleton battles.  (Although I can picture Konata being suitably blasé about meeting a real, moving skeleton…)  And it wouldn’t be fair to the poor skeletons to have them meet the Attack on Titan crew.  Ranma and the Sailor Senshi are perhaps more the right speed.  (Hey, maybe Haruka will finally use her sword!)  Elizabeth from Persona 3 would probably try to make the skeleton do her bidding…and it would probably work, too. 😉

Trying to think who else I even have in 1/12 scale.  I mean, aside from my vintage She-Ra dolls, who’d be a bit outmatched in the whole maneuverability thing. 😛  I think my vintage Clash of the Titans action figures would be dwarfed, sadly. 😦  Oh, duh!  Link!  I have two Figma Links!  Fighting skeletons is totally all in a day’s work for Link.  😉  And I could borrow my brother’s Figma Twilight Princess Zelda; that would be different-yet-cool.  (I want them to make one of Hyrule Warriors‘ Zelda.  Or of Shiek.  Shiek rocks.  And I want a Nendoroid of Tetra.  She rocks even more than Shiek.)

The first stretch goal is a red skeleton.  Which would be awesome if I had an articulated Alucard (or Soma) figure to fight it.  (Or, in a pinch, one of the Belmonts.)  Only as far as I know (admittedly, not very far), the only Castlevania merchandise was a Western line that wasn’t terribly accurate.  Okay, actually, the Dracula one was pretty accurate to his Symphony of the Night look (I have it around here somewhere) but you can’t have Dracula fighting a blood skeleton; that’d just be silly.  The line did include Alucard, which I only saw in the photos on the back Dracula’s package, and as far as the photos showed, the sculpt fell hideously short of what Alucard should look like. 😦

Aaaaanyway, I have rambled on too long already, especially considering I ought to be doing research right now.

I return you to the regularly scheduled weekly post, which has been scheduled for first thing tomorrow morning. 😉

Quetzalcolor Doll Trio

These three are the backer rewards I got from a Kickstarter from last year.  I’ve had them for a while now, but it took me a while to get them stands that work for them.  (In fact, I had to make the stands!)

But what are they?  Well, the people behind the Kickstarter describe their work thusly:

QUETZALCOLOR creates HANDMADE TOYS inspired by popular legends, emblematic characters and cultural wealth of Mexico. Each toy, made and hand painted, tell a story. This project seeks to celebrate our folklore and cultural richness, to promote a sense of identity and mainly to rescue our ancestral stories from falling into oblivion. We want to continue telling this stories and legends from generation to generation.

Beyond that, they’re cloth dolls with yarn hair and unusual proportions.  (Which was a large part of why I had to make stands for them myself!)  Being entirely hand-made, they were a bit too expensive to get all the ones I’d have wanted all at once!  Check out their Kickstarter page to see how many cool dolls there were.  (I’m sorry; I really should have plugged them at the time, but for some reason I only seem to do that on projects that are still struggling to meet their goal, and this one had no trouble doing that.  I need to start plugging all the doll and doll-like projects while they’re still going, whether they need the help or not.  Anyone interested in enamel pins?  I seem to have gotten into a sudden spurt of backing a lot of enamel pin projects in the last three or four days…and one with a cute limited amigurumi…)  Passing up the Jaguar Warrior was painful, though. 😦  I was hoping they’d be available after the Kickstarter (and I’m sure they are) but they haven’t made any updates about an online shop or anything.

Anyway, enough introduction.  Allow me to introduce my three Quetzalcolor dolls:

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Sharing Another Kickstarter – Royelles

Just came across this on Kickstarter, and I wanted to share this with you right away, because they still need a lot more pledges.  (Admittedly, they’ve got 24 days, but the sooner the better, yeah?)

(Not actually a video; screen capture from Kickstarter. Click for source.)

The Kickstarter is to get a new line of dolls called Royelles, to help combat the negative body image that current fashion dolls can contribute to.  (Let’s be honest, though:  Hollywood plays an enormous role in the negative body issues plaguing young girls.  I didn’t need a Barbie to teach me my body wasn’t acceptable to the people around me, because I watched television and went to see movies.  By the time my mother relented and let me have a Barbie, all my issues were already set in stone.)

These are some really great-looking dolls, very different from anything available on the affordable side of the market (some OOAK artist dolls do have a similar aesthetic, though), and I’d love to see these succeed and reach children.  The photos are all of their 3D printed prototypes, and it looks like the prototypes should make a smooth transition to their finished material.  (Some sort of plastic, I’m assuming, but if they said which type, I missed it.)  From the photos of people holding the prototypes, I’d say they’re probably about 18″ tall, rather than the more typical 12″ for playline fashion dolls, but the extra height gives them a lot of room for added personality.

So, please check them out, and support them if you like what you see. 🙂

Pet Rainbow “Unity” (Kickstarter)

Something a little different now, but it’s such a timely project (in several ways) that I had to promote it here.  I was just made aware of this Kickstarter last night:

(c) Pet Rainbow Project.
Image source Kickstarter
Click for link

It’s not a Gay Pride rainbow, but I think the core values it’s promoting — particularly “Love” and “Respect” — fit in with the Pride Month theme.  Early on the Kickstarter page, the project’s mission is described as follows:

The goal of The Pet Rainbow Project is to teach core values that inspire positive behaviors so that together we can put an end to racism, bullying, violence and hate crimes.

By associating the rainbow’s colors with core values, Pet Rainbow brings to light a fun and engaging way that not only promotes our positive behaviors today, it helps create the positive leaders of tomorrow.

Promote this uplifting message and share it with the world, and help Pet Rainbow achieve its goal to end division, promote inclusion and create one incredible global unity for all.

One of the goals of the project is also to donate a number of these plushes to children’s hospitals.  (The number presumably being dictated by how much funding they get.)

Please check out the Kickstarter page if you have a moment, and consider backing them.