Kickstarter-Funded Inklings Infant Novel and Toy Series Releases First Production of Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbird
New Jersey Entrepreneurs Bring to Market Forward-Thinking, Gender-Neutral Characters that Embrace Imagination and Relay the Importance of Individuality, Acceptance and Open-Mindedness
(September 10, 2018, Wayne, NJ) – Inklings, the infant novel and toy series that shows children as long as you have imagination you’re never really alone, today announces the release of its first production: Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbird. The project was funded after successfully reaching and exceeding its Kickstarter goal of $20,000. Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbird and the Ollie plush toy are available now at www.inklingsbaby.com.
Inspired by the imaginary friends they had growing up during the 80s, the Inklings team drew upon their professional expertise and united to create a modern infant brand with a strong message for new generations. Chris Danchise, Chief Creative Officer, has a background in toy design and production. His wife and Chief Operations Officer, Aimee, worked in fashion product development. Her best friend and Chief Content Officer,Alexis Mason—who has held writing and marketing roles—brings the story to life.
“We are so grateful to all of our Kickstarter supporters who helped bring Inklings from our imagination to children’s hands,” states Aimee Danchise. “The response is proof that the infant toy market has been lacking a forward-thinking brand. Inklings represents a strong message but still provides the comforting role of a teddy bear.”
The concept of Inklings came about after the Danchise’s had their daughter, Evie, and realized that today’s toys are very segmented towards gender and rather boring. Inklings come from the idea that a tiny spark in a child’s imagination can create something wonderful and unique. The stories that accompany each Inkling show how a single spark can create a caring, imaginary best friend.
The Kickstarter project launched in February 2018 to fund the first production of Inklings. The campaign was promoted through social media, local news and cross collaboration with other Kickstarter campaigns.
Chris Danchise notes, “We believe that girl toys and boy toys are old news and that’s why we designed Inklings with every child in mind. We were made to be individuals and our stuffed toys should be too. Inklings is the toy your baby would design if they had small motor skills and attention span.”
Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbird tells the story of how baby Evie imagined her new best friend, Ollie, into existence. Being stuck without any outside stimulation, Evie’s imagination kicks in to create the unexpected- her new best friend. Defying the stereotypes that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, Inklings are genderless. Ollie is a mix of vibrant colors—neon orange, pink and yellow. At 12” long, Ollie features a super soft body, large googly eyes, a fluffy yellow tail, ribbed legs, natural color burlap and a rattle.
Through the fun design and silly strangeness of the characters, the Inklings book shows importance of acceptance, being open minded and being an individual. The book can also be used as a tool for parents and caregivers to address the topic of imaginary friends.
Mason adds, “We wanted to take what is already instinctually in babies, like not caring about opinions and just having fun and being themselves, and bring that to our products. Children aren’t held back by what things are supposed to be, they are free to imagine and create without limitations and free to love without prejudice.”
Inklings aims to create more unique characters and write additional stories for each to instill those key values. Billy & Wobby the Wild Eared Walais slated to launch in 2019 along with two additional characters.
Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbirdinfant novel retails for $9.99. Ollie the Oddball Oddbird soft toy is available for $24.99. Purchase both for the bundled price of $30 at www.inklingsbaby.com. A percentage of proceeds from the first production will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Inklings is the infant novel and toy series that shows children as long as you have imagination, you’re never really alone. Forward-thinking, gender-neutral characters relay the importance of individuality, acceptance and open-mindedness. The project was developed by three New Jersey-based entrepreneurs and funded by Kickstarter donations. The first book in the series, Evie & Ollie the Oddball Oddbird, and the Ollie plush toy are available now at www.inklingsbaby.com.Follow @inklingsbaby on Instagram and Facebook.