Dec 1, 2016 | By Julila

Christian McKechnie and Ben Lees, the two advertising executives behind Monster Crayons, have announced their charitable crayons will hit stores in early 2017.

Back in February, McKechnie and Lees launched a crowdfunding initiative to start manufacturing and distributing Monster Crayons, their product aiming to support Australian charity Act For Kids. Set from 3D printed molds, the colourful monster-shaped crayons were designed with abused children in mind.

The duo was particularly drawn to the idea of monsters, after learning from a therapist that vulnerable children attending art therapy classes often draw monsters to express themselves. “It struck a chord with us and we wanted to turn it around… every drawing takes away the child’s monster,” McKechnie told press.

The symbolism of using a monster-shaped crayon and watching it disappear as you draw was powerful for the pair, who felt the crayons best represented how art therapy can help abused or neglected children work through their emotions.

McKechnie and Lees made the prototypes by melting existing crayons in saucepans and pouring the liquid into molds. The molds were then refined through 3D printing, resulting in a colourful array of friendly monster shapes.

Monster Crayons began crowdfunding in February with an initial goal of $20,000. Word spread quickly, and now the duo are pleased to announce they have received almost $30,000 from crowdfunders eager to help.

Over 200 packs of crayons are ready for sale, and 10,000 packs will be delivered at the start of next year. Four adorable monsters come in each pack.

One hundred per cent of the profits will go to Act For Kids, an Australia-wide charity which provides free, art-based therapy and support services for children and families. As of 2017, McKechnie and Lees will sell the crayons through the Monster Crayons Facebook page and in major Australian department stores.

“We really hope Monster Crayons will become fully self-sustaining and a successful product for Act for Kids,” McKechnie said.

The product’s growing success is also promising for other charities, especially those looking for alternative business models. “We are developing a product that will give [charities] a source of income that doesn’t rely on donations. We will use this product to establish a self-sustaining business, with all profits going to help abused children,” McKechnie and Lees explain on their crowdfunding page. 3D printing may prove particularly relevant here, as an alternative manufacturing model favoured for expedited production times and reduced costs.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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