‘Toy startup’ Superplastic raised $10m to turn its toys into Instagram influencers

The toy startup Superplastic raised $10m to expand the influence of its Instagram-native toy celebrities.

August 1, 2019

Superplastic, a Vermont-based toy startup — yes, we said “toy startup”raised $10m in Series A funding.

So, why in the name of Furby is a toy company raising a Series A?

Well, these aren’t the kind of toys your mom played with…

In fact, they’d probably give Barbie and G.I. Joe nightmares.

Superplastic’s 2 star characters — the nightmare-inducing duo of Guggimon the punk-rabbit and Janky the cat-creature — are designed not for kids’ toy chests, but instead for their Instagram feeds.

Superplastic does sell physical toys (at a luxury price point of $80 for a 12-inch doll), but the entire brand is designed to create Instagram stars that are billed as “synthetic superstars.”

Superplastic wants to sell celebrities, not just toys

The company offers a whole new way of thinking about toys: Superplastic’s website refers to Guggimon and Janky as “celebrities” and includes a link to booking inquiries for its 2 leading toys.

Where normal toy companies would have hired salespeople and merchandisers, Superplastic instead hired 3D movie animators and illustrators to turn their toys into virtual influencers.

The startup is led by Paul Budnitz, the entrepreneur who founded both the toy company Kidrobot and the social network Ello.

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