So anyone who read my posting about Kidrobot and the Simpsons from about a week and a half ago could tell I was really bothered by that turn of events. After I wrote that posting I wanted answers. I wanted to hear from someone about how they came to this decision and how it didn’t make them hypocrites. I started with trying to find a way to email their founder Paul Budnitz through his blog but there wasn’t any way to communicate with him. So them I moved in Kidrobot.com and the section in the discussion boards where you can ask questions about the company and their guru or a staff member will answer them. I posted the following –
Topic: “How do the Simpsons not make Paul a hypocrite?”
I have been been a fan and collector since pretty much the beginning of Kidrobot. I heard Paul Budnutz talk about his philosophy of making toys that bring back fun and design toys. I have seen him talk numerous times about the company and define it by defining what Kidrobot isn’t. His usual example are either a dinosaur from Jurassic Park or Stormstoopers gathered around Star Wars toys in Toys R’ Us with the explanation that these toys aren’t bought because they are good but rather just a memory connection back to the movie. So I have to ask as I see Kidrobot making Simpsons and Adult Swim toys – how are these any different than those dinosaurs and stormtroopers? How is Paul not a hypocrite to say one thing and then seemingly caving in to the all mighty dollar with these brands?
I will admit that clearly this wasn’t a warm fuzzy email how great they are but I also didn’t think I went off the deep end on this one. What was the response from the company that is a bastion of creativity and expression? They deleted the posting and shut down my account.
I have talked with consumers in focus groups who used to be a brands biggest supporter but then through a series of events found themselves disillusioned and advocating against them. Between my original problem and their reaction to it they have taken one of the brands that I had such a strong connection with and made it feel hollow. I am not sure if I am at that point where will be selling my collection any time soon (sorry Arturo) but there won’t be any more Kidrobot added to my shelves anytime soon.