Cool Colorado Companies: Kidrobot

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-01 19:58:12-04

Denver7 has been showcasing innovative Colorado companies, and Denver7's Jaclyn Allen takes a look at a Boulder art toy company starting a new chapter... and a movie deal.

"What we do, it's not normal -- to create a toy for adults," said Bob Africa, President of Kidrobot, an art toy company specializing in 3D vinyl designs by artists from all over the world.

"Everything in here is pretty much sold out, you can no longer buy in retail," said Africa, giving a tour of the Boulder headquarters, where designers and creative collaborate on "dunnies" and "labbits."

Great brands are about great experiences, Africa likes to says, and they create experiences through things like blank "munnies" that customers can design themselves and blind boxes (you don't know what's inside until you open them.

"That's really the drive that makes people really want to open the next one," said Allen Richardson, Kidrobot's VP of Marketing and Product. "What's the next one going to hold? What's the next surprise on the horizon?"

And there are plenty of surprises to come, said Richardson, including a feature-length movie deal with MGM.

"Kidrobot is doing extremely well these days. We've really turned it around from where we were in the past," said Richardson.

A couple of years ago, the company had to close all but two of its retail stores and refocus the brand on website and wholesale.

The company makes a limited number of... everything, so some creations are hard to find -- even if you are famous.

"We had Pharrell's camp reach out to us recently and say can we get on of those? And the answer was no," said Africa with a smile. "You snooze you lose."

Kidrobot now has new partnerships with Swatch, The Simpsons and Sriracha ("There's not many, so get them while they're hot," said Africa. "No pun intended."

And there are many more coming soon.  The "war room" wall lists all the "top secret" products coming out in 2016.

"You can't really contain art and design and creativity," said Africa.


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