17 Apr 2012
Bitbots Founder, Jats Gill, interview.
Bitbots founder, Jats Gill, kindly took some time to answer my questions so I could gain a little insight in to the Bitbots company and the Bitbots Jinny toy.
1. What is your background and how did you get into the Toy collectible world?
I am a designer, I work in web design mainly, I have also worked in animation. I have a undergrad in Multimedia Technology and 2 post grads one in 3d character animation and the 2nd in image and communication
I have worked in the web industry for 6 years but I when I was younger and worked at the Apple Store in Regent St London I was introduced to vinyl toys. I started collecting and within a few years I had around 300 of them! I then just one day decided I'm going to stop buying them and start making them instead so that's what I did!
2. How did you evolve the Jinny, what was the inspiration?
I wanted to design a playful platform toy, my family nickname is Jinny so it was an ideal name for the toy. I wanted something that could be designed into a male or female character and I wanted to get away from the symmetrical designs in vinyl.
3. What were the main challenges to overcome in setting up Bitbots?
The early challenges are finding a factory in China, finding artists and finding the money! Once that is all done then the real battle begins finding stores to buy your products and getting the customers to like your toys. Every stage was extremely hard. In this market stores don't like taking risks with new toys.
4. What do you see in the future for Bitbots?
We are hoping to bring out more Jinny 6" designs, we have some amazing designs ready and waiting. We also want to develop our super limited edition range with Box-Bods.
We now have an amazing app that lets you design your own Jinny and take pictures we would like to take this further. I love Apple and tech products so its a great area to develop.
5. What advice would you give other designers who would like to create a Vinyl Toy?
Do your research, be realistic about the project and try to approach toy manufactures such as Bitbots to go into partnership with you. But even if you find a partnership, you will still have to pay for the production. In this financial climate having your own funding and an industry insider is the way to stand a chance in making a success of your idea.