PROJECT GOAL

Create a desktop figurine to inspire creative professionals

Role: Branding and Storytelling.
Project Type: Product Design, Branding, and Prototyping.
Team: Jason Lam, David Nguyen, Gentry Buckner, and Michael Octavius Ryan.
Contribution: Sketching, Storytelling, Prototyping, and Branding.
Deliverable: USB Toy, website, t-shirt, poster, and video.


BACKGROUND

PapaBehr is a desktop figurine skilled in the art of keeping your most precious files safe and protecting your workstation from harmful intruders. Sure, his miniature size conveys innocence. But his turbulent past combined with his interchangeable magnetic armor and weapons makes for a dangerous warrior. When he's not accompanying your long hours in front the computer, he can be found sharing data between trustworthy personnel through the 8GB or 16GB flash drive (depending on model) stored in his detachable head.

Papabehr began as the brainchild of David Nguyen, a toy enthusiast who’s childhood dream was to build something as badass as TMNT. After receiving success from his initial prototype, he wanted to expand the product and launched a Kickstarter.

process

In order to create a more meaningful product, we decided to expand the brand through storytelling. Since the initial designs included a bear figurine shaped as a USB, we wanted to create a tone that was both serious, yet silly. Drawing inspiration from some of our favorite cartoons, mainly Avatar: the last Airbender and TMNT, we created the history and origin story for Papabehr. As the story grew, we began sketching and prototyping additional designs. We felt the world we had created would appeal to young creative professionals as the serious-silly nature would mirror the need for both hard work and love in creative endeavours.

The USB was incorporated to reference PapaBehr’s data storing capabilities from the story. In the plot, PapaBehr cannibalizes enemy robot weapons and data to become a more formidable killing machine.

The Kickstarter campaign resulted in earning over $60,000. We also got notice from one of the producers of Power Rangers who we worked with to storyboard the concept and pitch it to Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network.  More importantly, it launched one of the coolest toys of 2015, earning praise from fans and toy enthusiasts.

Learning Lessons

Launching ain't easy

A big challenge was working with the manufacturer to ensure the highest of quality in every toy. We're a very detail-orientated bunch, so quality in the mold, painting, and assembling is a big thing. PapaBehr is a pretty intricate toy for it's size and it has a lot of detachable parts. The USB aspect of this toy is a risk as well. We tested every USB to make sure that they work and are of the correct capacity. Another challenge will be to meet the deadlines. Production was new to us and we want to make sure that we're releasing an awesome figurine that meets our high standards.