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Kidrobot and The Simpsoms hypocracy follow-up

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 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.


  1. krakit

    August 1, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Do you have a link to Paul saying
    the Jurassic Park toys and/or
    Stormtrooper figures are examples
    of toys bought as memory connections
    instead of being inherently good?

    I’m just asking for verification that’s all.

  2. Stephen Gates

    August 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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