As former newspaper designer, cartoonist and pet toy creator Dale Taylor pondered how to convince his daughter Widget there weren’t monsters living under her bed, he knew he had quite the task ahead of him.
“It started off with she didn’t like the shadows, and then she didn’t the light and it was cute,” Taylor said. “But one night it was just one thing after another, and trying to get her to go to sleep became pretty frustrating because we were all tired.”
The 44-year-old Centennial father pondered the night’s activities and how to eradicate the child’s fears and still encourage her imagination.
It had to be something that was powerful enough symbolically to quell the child’s fears, but yet soft enough to sleep with, Taylor explained.
And so, the Targimals were born.
Targimals, according to Taylor, are legendary pint-sized warriors, part of a creative plush-toy line he founded along with his Centennial-based toy company, Forge of Honor.
Targimals live to protect children against bedtime monsters and other scary creatures. Combined with the Bordor Blades and Bordor Shields, the soft and cuddly toys fuel the imagination, encourage play and “instill more courage than any nightlight could.”
The stuffed toys have no hard edges and are designed for children ages 3 and up.
Facing forward, the Targimal’s shield is and ready for battle, or when reversed, it becomes a pillow, allowing the character to watch over the resting child
Targimals get their name from the word “targe,” having roots in both Middle English and Middle French.
“It’s eventually where we got our word ‘target’ from, but its original meaning is something more like ‘round shield,’” said Taylor.
Unfortunately, Targimals don’t do homework or convince kids to eat their vegetables. They do guard against trespassing monsters and other unworldly fears, but are not permitted to interfere in day-to-day life.
But right now, Taylor said the monsters still have a bit of the upper hand.
The sixth-generation Texan said the toy line is ready to go, but needs $18,000 for tooling, materials, labor and other costs associated with the first production run.
So he turned to Kickstarter, a popular Internet-based crowdsourcing tool that funds creative projects.
However, Kickstarter forces a time limit on the fundraising campaign.
Those projects that reach their financial goal by the set time limit receive the funding in full, as well as any excess. Those projects that come close, but don’t reach their goal, receive nothing.
“I think that’s the hardest part to get across,” admitted Taylor. “The toys have gotten fantastic reviews and parents are excited, but I’m not sure they understand we are on a time crunch.”
So far, Forge of Honor has raised more than $8,500.
The project has until Aug. 6 to come up the remainder of the $18,000 goal.
While Taylor remains optimistic he can achieve the goal, he said there are other options, including interested retailers that could help get the product line to market.
If funded on schedule, Taylor said he anticipates the first batch of Targimals to hit the market by early 2014.
For more information or to pre-order toys:
To see a product video and learn more about the project: