In the first of his blogs, MD Chris Lightfoot recalls how Christmas Day 2015 was about more than turkey, socks and aftershave.
On Christmas Eve, I quietly posted a new, fun product online to test the market. So, when 20 orders popped up on Christmas Day I was pleased – and just a bit excited.
I’d put the product on Etsy and only a few days later 1,000 people had already viewed it – orders were starting to climb. I was blown away to find I wasn’t the only person to think my quirky idea for adding personalised 3D faces to mini-figures was cool. It was a good start but less than two weeks later, Etsy had registered 100,000 views, Funky3DFaces was trending on Facebook, Twitter went crazy for us and 35 million Discovery Channel viewers were about to see our personalised mini figures.
Ryan had built a Funky3DFaces website and we were working more or less round the clock to fulfil several thousand orders. Had I been prepared for that amazing response to Funky3DFaces? Absolutely not.
Here’s the story. Six months ago, in an attempt to de-clutter the house, I put my son’s huge LEGO collection up for sale on eBay. (Hey, I’m not a bad Dad, he’s 15 and he definitely has other interests these days.)
But posting the LEGO ad reminded me how much my friends and I used to love playing with mini figures, and I got to thinking about how their appeal had never really left me. I knew I wasn’t alone: mini figures are still a big thing. Wouldn’t it be great to have a super hero figure with my face on it, I thought? Hmm …
The guys in the team agreed. This could be the fun, affordable, personalised 3D product with widespread appeal that we’d always wanted. So, in my spare time, I started to play around with the amazing 3D printer that I used every day to build models for the medical industry and architects, to see if the idea would work. Three months later, after hours and hours of trial and error, I’d perfected the production technique.
Cut to today, and we’re bracing ourselves as our truly funky 3D heads continue to make headlines around the world. Next stop …NBC’s Today programme.