3D printing company Toybox Labs created Malcolm Bird as the very first COO. The former Turner executive is already working to expand the company’s kid-focused lines of business, including a new direct-to-consumer subscription service called Play Pack, and international expansion is a target for 2022.
Bird, who has been an advisor to Toybox since October 2019, started in this new role on November 1 and plans to split his time between his home in Asheville, NC, and the company’s headquarters in Oakland, California. He will also work closely with CEO Ben Baltes to secure new corporate funding next year.
Bird previously served as a media advisor for a number of companies, including TPG Capital and Share Rocket, and he was the founder of the now defunct social media platform Viddiverse. Prior to that, he headed the Tweens / Teens division of AOL and worked at Turner Broadcasting as the Director of International Programming for Hanna-Barbera.
Toybox manufactures and sells 3D printers for US $ 300 and hosts an online platform where kids can download and print over 3,000 character designs from a mix of free and premium licensed products, as well as create and print their own original toy creations. The company currently has an average of around 25,000 active monthly users.–more than double its user base in the past year.
Its latest offering, Play Pack, is a subscription service set to launch in the United States on November 12. For US $ 20 per month, Toybox will ship toy accessory packs that kids can combine with original 3D printed designs for a more intricate look. and an engaging build and play experience. The first door design is a customizable battle truck (pictured below). Its game pack includes metal bearings and wheels, springs for its missile launchers, and a variety of decals. And kids will be able to print multiple versions of the truck in different colors thanks to a special file that only subscribers can unlock. Plans are also underway to offer Play Packs with designs from licensed partners, Bird says.
As for expanding Toybox’s international presence, Bird’s strategy will be to focus on the UK first and then expand across Europe from next year, he says. .
Last year, Toybox signed its first license agreement to add characters from the animated series from London-based Beano Studios. Dennis & Gnasher: unleashed to its catalog. This deal was followed by a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which Bird negotiated, to allow kids to print their own toys based on brands like Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, DC’s Batman, and a collection of Cartoon Network characters.