Independent Toy Designers Reboot Squaredy Cats –
Toy designers, Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata, co-founders of Monkey Doodle Dandy studio are rebooting their brand of characters called Squaredy Cats. The name, Squaredy Cats is a play on “scaredy cat.” The artists merge adorable, cube shaped, plush kitties with popular, and sometimes notoriously scary characters.
They turn characters that should make you run away into characters you want to hug. The first of the rebooted characters is Patches, the zombie kitty. She’s embroidered with the phrase, “I LOVE U 4 ur BRAINS” on her belly. The second is the Lovecraftian, Cathulhu, a tentacle-facedcat that is unexpectedly cute. It’s based on the cult favorite Cthulhu from H.P. Lovecraft. The third in the new series is Skellie. This one is a fuzzy cat made of bones, smiling at you with all its teeth and soulful oversized eye sockets.
The artists had previously licensed Squaredy Cats to Gund and Kids Preferred, but the creators and licensors are rebooting the brand by changing the image, and producing the toys themselves. The characters have enjoyed an impressive online presence and social media following since they first went on the market in 2011. The artists have shared their images with followers of the brand, and saw a trend, in that kids and adults preferred their edgier designs to the market driven characters licensees produced, treating it more as a collectible than a toy.
“What keeps me designing these characters is the fact that on a fairly regular basis some kid who grew up with my characters messages me to say they had a real impact on them, and they love that Squaredy Cats still exist,” said Kurt. “These new characters resonate with people who want something different– something to call their own,” Elaine said.
The rebooted cats will be available to fund via a Kickstarter campaign you can find through squaredycats.com. The campaign will run from February 13, 2018 to March 22, 2018. Bloggers, podcasters, and retailers can contact Monkey Doodle Dandy before, during, or after the campaign.
About Monkey Doodle Dandy
A Design and Illustration studio, originally based in Brooklyn, NY, Monkey Doodle Dandy has been working out of a Minneapolis home studio for three years. Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata provide graphics, illustration, concepts, and character design to most of the major toy companies. Both artists are available for interviews with industry media.