Denver, CO (June 25, 2012) – It's Christmas in July for one new toy company as they enter their sixth month in business with sales ringing and museums calling thanks to their quirky creative team who linked 21st century design with 19th century ink-paper mechanisms. The results are brainy card games that are truly beautiful with colors, hues and play patterns that could be shown in a museum. In fact, the Denver Art Museum is creating an exhibit dedicated to Funnybone Toys' design team leader.
Rick Griffith, principal of MATTER, heads the design team behind all Funnybone Toys projects and serves serves as a highly prestigious TEDx Conference Presenter.
Being exalted by a prominent museum is no surprise to Funnybone Toys founder Julien Sharp. Like the phrase "location, location, location" in the world of real estate, it's "design, design, design" in Sharp's home, lifestyle and with her first offerings in the gift industry. This summer's New York International Gift Fair even has the title "Driven By Design" so Funnybone Toys artistic product line is in sync with what consumers and retailers want today.
Sharp has uncovered a niche that is quickly spreading -- offering hip, museum-quality products that encourage casual entertainment that complements conversation -- no matter what your age. And since everyone appreciates a little glamour in his or her day, Funnybone's three sets of card games brighten up any room. The card sets' color and design may be appreciated consciously or subconsciously but they always attract the players' senses for beauty, design and pleasure.
As Sharp showcases her wares across the country this summer from the California Gift Show to New York, she anticipates the market will be on the look out for beautifully crafted, delightfully designed items. To date, everything she has touched in her career has turned to gold!
On her road to game company founder, Sharp spent over 12 years as a cruise director. To succeed in that role she needed to be able to make strong relationships not only with the thousands of guests she met, but also with the officers and crew of every single ship. In her experience, one of the quickest ways to build relationships and break down barriers was through playing games. After retiring from the cruise industry, she got a Masters in psychology -- focusing on systems/game therapy. She became a recognized expert on how to build business relationships via online networks and wrote a book
How to Design and Launch an Online Networking Business. Through Sharp's career transition, one constant remained -- a passion about games and the way people could connect through play. Naturally her knack for relationships led her to a person who was just as passionate about games and was, serendipitously, a member of a family that had owned a graphic design business. Funnybone Toys was born!
Equally impressive is the career path of designer Rick Griffith. For over 20 years, this British national has sought clarity about art and communication through the broad discipline of design. Griffith got his first job in the business with FCB/LKP on New York’s Madison Avenue working for ATT&T, Citibank, and The Berlin Board of Tourism, and since 1995 he has been working on design and branding focused projects for clients such as Columbia University and Denver International Airport. His projects & commercial works have been cited in several national and international resources. Griffith’s award-winning work for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 was published in the book Art for Obama, Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change. Griffith’s devotion to the art of letters during the last 20 years has led him to teach graphic design and typography.
Once these two experts merged their combined talents, the results were thrilling. Since February 2012, when the company officially launched their line at New York's American International Toy Fair, Funnybone Toys has taken the design world by storm. They started shipping to retailers in June and within days over 600 stores carried all three games in the Funnybone Toys Color Series: ArrayTM, CUBUTM, and SpectrixTM. The specialty toy and game industry watched in awe as the company even managed to win a sizeable order from Barnes & Noble stores, a coveted sale most mature companies never get!
One of the biggest retail buyers was, not surprisingly, a museum shop. But even Sharp was astounded when she won the privilege to line the shelves of the ultra-prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
What's the secret behind Funnybone's meteoric rise in the tough-as-nails toy and game business? Sharp, an expert on people at their leisure, believes there is a passion for smart play for adults as well as children. All age groups are drawn to entertainment that is beautifully designed (think of every new Apple product!). Their first three card games combine a seamless blend of engaging play patterns, vibrant colors and stunning graphics. Everyone can play the games, from age 8 and up.
"I think people today have a passion for aesthetic and non-mechanical, non-electronic entertainment products that complement natural conversation between friends and/or family," theorizes Sharp.
Need more proof that these family-friendly games are ideal for today's lifestyle? All three card games won the Creative Child magazine nod in their annual Family Card Games - Stimulation Creativity Category. Kudos to the 2012 Game of the Year Award winner, Array™; 2012 Preferred Choice Award winner, CUBU™ and a second 2012 Preferred Choice Award for Spectrix™.
Indeed, by the response of industry watchers and Barnes & Noble plus brainy museum shop buyers, the results are breathtaking. At six months young, this toy company is back at its design desk plotting the next beautiful toy and game for an awaiting audience.
ABOUT FUNNYBONE TOYS™
Funnybone Toys™ makes games and toys that use good design to stimulate creativity. They give your
brain a workout - while you're having so much fun you don't even notice you're learning! Established
and based in Denver, CO, Funnybone Toys utilizes a design team headed by a renowned TEDx
Conference presenter on type and design.