Wednesday, December 21, 2011


If you follow me on Twitter (if not, please follow me on Twitter! @gregaronowitz! Thnx!) you may have noticed a barrage of tweets about Floppets. Your first thought was probably "Why is he cluttering my timeline with toy endorsements!?!?!" I apologize, I usually refrain from multiple plugs, but I'm going to explain why I did it this time within this blog. Hopefully I will also answer the question that was most likely your second thought, "What IS a Floppet!?!"

Photo 1: A FLOPPET is a collectible, wearable "pet". Each character is a small PVC shape with a patented post on the back, which hooks into a velcro tether. The tether can wrap around anything you can think to attach it to!

Photo 2: Originally conceived by Ilyse Brainin, a teacher well known for her work with reading impaired children, Floppets were intended for kids to use as decoration on their flip-flops at the beach. Once they ended up in children's hands, it didn't take long to find tons of other uses for them: rings, hair-ties, pencil toppers, locker markers, book bag tags, and as you see here, I am using them as holiday ornaments! Obviously, any adult with the collecting bug will love them, too.

Photo 3: Why am I promoting them so much? Ilyse has been a friend of mine for a long time, and we have worked together on multiple amazing projects. She took her inspiration for Floptopia and the Petlets and formed the Zydeco company with another great friend, Rich Goodman. He handles all of the operations, and keeps the company functioning! They asked me to partner with them on this new adventure, and help create characters and concepts that would take the company in new directions. The second I saw what they were doing, I knew I had to be involved.

Photo 4: I think all the designs are amazing, but I particularly love using the skunk to tie my power cable, and ward would-be borrowers away...

Photo 5: No matter how many project companies I start, I always forget how much work goes into them. It's not a bad thing, it's actually my favorite part. It is really just A LOT of work. Once the physical Floppets were done, they needed tags. An outside needed to be designed...

Photo 6: And then an inside! There are so many details to keep the product functional. If Rich never has to see another barcode again, he would be thrilled. Unfortunately, that will not be the case, as there are going to be hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, more Floppets to come!

Photo 7: The response to the original Floppet designs was overwhelming, and I felt there was a huge potential for the brand to grow even larger. I wanted to move the company into licensed properties, but my partners agreed that we also wanted to keep the company "grass-roots" for a while longer, so we could have a stronger grasp on operating the business before branching out too far.

I thought a good test would be to make some characters from some of my other projects, so we could show other franchise owners what the product could do, while still keeping it close to home. We started with one of my favorites, Labou.

Photo 8: We were all very happy with the end results. This mythical creature seems to make everyone smile, including other mythical creatures such as Team Unicorn's Milynn Sarley!

Photo 9: The trick with designing marketing support for licensing is finding the balance between promoting the Floppets brand, and featuring the franchise. Labou allowed me to test options without upsetting the licensed property owner. You know, cause, that's me!

Above is the layout for the Labou Floppets double sided tag. The blue lines are guides for the die-cutting, and aren't printed on the final tag. Lesson learned here: Any art between the tether scores will be covered by the product. Poor Marissa Cuevas!

Photo 10: Taking another step forward, Floppets is thrilled to announce series one of The Guild collection!

Photo 11: I introduced Felicia Day to Rich while we where at Wizard World in Chicago, and he gave her a kitten Floppet. Of course, she loved it! A collaboration seemed obvious, and I started laying out the plan straight away. It is so exciting to have Codex, Vork, Zaboo, Tink, Clara, and Bladezz join our line-up.

Photo 12: All of our Guild Floppets are personally approved by the actors...

Photo 13: Their pets...

Photo 14: And their director! Guild helmer Sean Becker models the choker version...

Photo 15: The main challenge The Guild offered was the level of detail that needed to be achieved. This series has really helped set the bar as far as the quality you will get with the Floppets brand. Series one is based on the animated avatars from the show's opening titles, and I really didn't want to do it unless we could recreate the look exactly. It took a little bit of work, but I am very happy with the end result. I hope you are, too!

Photo 16: The art of PVC inlay is not new, but it is the level of detail we are pushing to achieve that makes our product special. Especially since most Floppets are no bigger than 1 1/2 inches! Above is an example of an average mass produced PVC inlay product.

Photo 17: When you buy a PVC key chain or charm, they are made by hand layering liquid plastic into metal gang molds. The shapes are usually broad and simple, to help speed up production. This is an example of a typical character mold.

Photo 18: Here is one of our molds for the Zaboo Floppet. You can see the elevated amount of detail. All of those lines will be hand painted in the various colors...

Photo 19: Then the rest of the cavity is filled solid with the main color. The material dries, the individual pieces are pulled and trimmed, and then the post is adhered to the back with a special glue that makes it almost impossible to remove!

Photo 20: The Codex Floppets in process. This is why I love doing projects like this. I love making stuff, and I love seeing stuff I've made being duplicated so everyone can have some! The production process is as fascinating to me as the actual act of designing the original.

Photo 21: The finished Codex. There were several versions of Codex in the design stage. I originally thought she might have more of a presence with a black outline, but filling her with solid black dulled down the other colors. Ultimately, we went with a white border, which helps give her a unique identity when lined up with the rest of the gang.

Photo 22: And... more tags! We got all the Guild Floppets shipped in time for the holidays, but the tags were delayed. In order to make sure that fans could get them in time, I hand cut a bunch of tags to keep the orders flowing. I don't know, would that be considered a collectible variant!?!

Hopefully that answered some questions about Floppets. I am really excited about this new project. I love my partners and I adore what we are creating. Check back here often, as I will blog about all of the new exciting products we are going to be adding to the line. We have so many amazing things to announce in 2012, it's hard not to blurt it all out right now! Leave a comment below if there is anything you would like to see as a Floppet, and go to to buy some! Thanks!


  1. I have to say, when I saw these in person I was amazed at the level of detail in them. Did you sculpt the originals? If so, and you did them at If it was some other way and you can tell us, I'd be interested to know!

  2. It looks like a hell lot of work, but especially the Guild Floppets are awesome! Really, really cool :)

  3. Wow! These Guild Floppets put my shrinky-dinks to shame!

  4. Did I miss out already? Site seems to be down. Or did I read too fast and miss the joke or something?

  5. No joke, and you didn't miss out! The site is up and running at floppets dot com and there are lots of new product on the way for the new year!

  6. Hey Greg!
    I'm in Canada.... I'd love to order The Guild set but I can't get past the "enter your zip code for shipping details" stage. Is there an easy way for us Cannucks to purchase these little ambassadors of cheerfulness?

  7. Hi, Kellie!

    Thank you for your interest. And the red alert! We got everything ironed out with the online store now, so the Guild Floppets are available to everyone everywhere through! Spread the word throughout the north!


    This is the page that, like Gandalf, will not let me pass!

    I'll keep trying.