Help create a monster or two

Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Art Scene, Featured, Great Big World | 0 comments

Toy designer Todd Broadwater of New Freedom needs help launching his new toyline for his Nevermore Toys company. The action figure set is called Legendary Monsters. (Todd Broadwater photo)

Toy designer Todd Broadwater of New Freedom needs help launching his new toyline for his Nevermore Toys company. The action figure set is called Legendary Monsters. (Todd Broadwater photo)

A York County man is laboring to give birth to monsters.

Not Hollywood monsters, but honest-to-goodness folk monsters. The sort of monsters with tales travelers shrug off and laugh at while the locals warn and nod and stay in after dark.

The Jersey Devil. Mothman. The Missouri Monster, aka Eastern Bigfoot. Chupacabra.

Meet Todd Broadwater, a 40-year-old toy designer with a serious business plan and a fledgling company.

 Todd Broadwater, 40, of New Freedom,  is a toy designer who has worked on action figures and video games. (Todd Broadwater photo)

Todd Broadwater, 40, of New Freedom, is a toy designer who has worked on action figures and video games. (Todd Broadwater photo)

Legendary Monsters “is the first toy line for Nevermore Toys,” he says in a recent phone interview. The idea for the monster-themed action figure line came to him several years ago. He put it on hold when he changed careers from toy to video game design, but he couldn’t stop hoping he’d find a way to make the dream a reality.

“It wasn’t until I found Kickstarter that I realized the potential to get it out to the public,” he says. Kickstarter, one of several online crowdfunding sites, helps artists, designers and inventors of all kinds bring their ideas straight to people who directly fund the projects in exchange for special perks.

Started early: Broadwater’s love for action figures began in childhood, in the years before video games and technology became the all-consuming obsessions of childhood they are today.

“I spent a lot of time playing with action figures,” he says, describing how he and his friends grew up on toys from Star Trek, Star Wars and G.I. Joe. “We would travel in packs and take our toys with us. … They let me push my imagination and escape into a place that made me happy.”

As he got older, collecting action figures became a hobby that kept him out of trouble,Broadwater says. His love for toys led him to pick a career path in industrial design and work for the industry on toy lines big and small, including some he’d played with as a child. But there’s only so much room for a designer’s imagination when the characters are as well-known as Batman or Captain Kirk.

Authenticity: When he went to work on his own toy line, Broadwater knew he wanted to keep that sense of free, creative play while staying true to the folktales.

The monsters are designed with both adult collectors and rough-and-tumble child’s play in mind. Each will come with a human action figure and a small playset to showcase the spooky encounters described in the eyewitness accounts.

The Jersey Devil, for example, stands amid the fallen trees of the Pine Barrens while an old man swings his lantern and clutches his hunting rifle. Will he make it out alive? In the world of imagination, only the person holding the action figures knows for sure.

Get the toys
Buy-in levels for Legendary Monsters start at $1 and range all the way up to $5,000 for a complete set of toys, original drawings, original toy prototypes and more. A set of all four monsters, with their humans and accessories, will run investors $90 plus shipping.

The toys are expected to arrive in buyers’ hands around Halloween. To pre-order a set or see all of the available buy-in levels, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/1336904045/legendary-monsters.

Creator Todd Broadwater is working with manufacturers to drop the project’s overall Kickstarter goal of reaching $350,000 to cover factory costs, shipping and warehousing, and other production elements.

Learn more about Nevermore Toys at www.nevermoretoys.com.

Reported by MEL BARBER of The York Dispatch. Reach her at 854-1575 X458 or at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.

Original story here: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/weekend/ci_22464531/monstrous-work-afoot-new-freedom

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