You’ve probably seen Ann Sidenblad’s work floating around the forums — her eye-catching prints often appear in our roundups! Aside from her job with Dreamworks, Ann and fellow artist Victoria Rose run RawrzToys, an indie operation that releases whimsical pocket-sized creatures into the wild.
Recent coverage from MAKE Magazine and Mold3D, plus appearances at trade shows, conventions, and fairs galore, is generating quite the buzz about the two-person company. We caught up with Ann and Victoria about their design process, future directions, and how the Form 1 fits into their workflow.
Notably, Ann and Victoria use the Form 1 as only the first of many positives and negatives of their digitally-modeled toys:
After both were trained in traditional sculpting, Ann went on to digital animation, and Victoria’s work as a feature film puppet maker gave her experience with…well, nearly everything else. “Those skills,” Victoria stresses, “were imperative in producing multiples of our toys.”
From the Form 1-printed “master” model of their gator, they move on to some pretty interesting materials: silicone molding and injected liquid polyurethane.
Then, when the polyurethane is fully dried, they sand, primer, and paint the final piece! Often, toys get separate accessories — hats and wings are favorites — which are direct Form 1 prints decorated with metallic paints and shiny coatings.
Victoria points out that, while sculpting in polymer clay is great for one-offs, it wasn’t until she combined her skill set with Ann’s and added 3D modeling and printing to the mix that she was able to create five or more identical base toys at a time.
This let her and Ann streamline their line’s look, and also focus on the individual touches that makes Rawrztoys truly special. It’s hard to find, for example, an alligator with a viking hat anywhere but in the Rawrztoys store!
In the future, they’re planning to expand the Rawrztoys zoo to include lions, sea turtles, pandas, and more. They’re also intrigued by the idea of working in other materials — for instance, larger vinyl models that could be customized by their purchasers, like the popular Kidrobot Munny figures.
Their website is packed with wonders. We’re honored to have played a part in Rawrztoys’ process, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!