RocketSnail is a video game development company. RocketSnail came to us, to design a unique business card. Well, actually their idea was quite different from a business card – more of a miniature toy giveaway, to spread the word about their company and help drive traffic to their website. The owner’s concept was that a small toy would be valued more than a simple business card.
RocketSnail already had a mascot for their company: the cute, green snail, with a rocket on his back. Of course, for brand recognition they wanted to use this character for the small toy. The next step was to build the character in 3D and get approval from the client. This process involves a bit of back and forth and refining until the client is happy with the look and feel. This is especially important when building products from existing Intellectual Property.
After approval of the 3D development, then we discussed what would be the best size for the toy figurine. We initially suggested a 2-3 inch size. We 3D printed a couple samples, hand painted them, and sent one to RocketSnail for review. Things always feel a little different once you have the item to examine and feel physically in hand. RocketSnail decided that this size would be too cumbersome for a giveaway. They wanted to be sure that the size would be easy for anyone to take with them. We then reprinted the 3D files at a 1 inch tall size. Those new 3D prints were again hand painted and a sample sent for approval. This second size was instantly approved and we were ready to start the production.
We chose to work with an existing Chinese toy factory, that Brand Imports has used extensively for the production of other small plastic toys. One of the 3D prints was sent to the factory and they started the mold production based on the sample. We worked very closely to give China a detailed description of material type, colors, painting, pad printing, quality, character details, etc. We were particularly vigilant in getting the snail’s expression just right. We wanted to be sure to capture the essence of this character, with the most important cues coming from the face. Once the factory completed a mold sample that we were satisfied with, we sent a few to RocketSnail for final inspection.
The final production sample was very well received and we were able to move quickly into production. Another key point we emphasized to the client as well as the factory, is how important it is that each and every piece be painted with the highest quality. When networking, first impressions are extremely important. We wanted to make sure that each RocketSnail figurine would give the right impression to everyone who would eventually receive one. When the final package arrived, it did not disappoint; all the pieces were great, which comes from working very closely with the factory in China.