PAGL: Paper instead of plastic LEGO toys

“Why do we call these cubes PAGL? It’s simple: it’s short for “Paperova Clay” — “PAP”, because with their help children can “sculpt” practically any structure — from a small house to a huge tower — all that enough imagination,” explains Denis Okhrimenko, founder of PAGL. From scratch

How old is Denis toys-the designers, it is easy to count: as much as his son (he is now six, and when Dennis started, the only child should have been born). Had to do something to increase the family income. “The thought of such a thing as wooden puzzles Ugears. The idea was really liked by the users Kickstarter, and the business began to grow rapidly,” — says the entrepreneur. But, he said, because of disagreements with partners he had to leave the project by selling its stake.”It was very painful for me, imagine the project is progressing, and you are going to start from scratch, — says Denis. But then we raskochegarit the market, so there were a whole industry for plywood modeling. And now we seek something new”. And Denis and his team are just focused on constant invention. A dream about a Golden loaf

Once in a dream saw Denis rifled a metal baton. The dream materialized in the idea to make toy technique, is constructed of sheet metal.

Then came the idea to automate a wooden model, so that they too could move. To do this, the team is developing their software. But that was then. “And then, three years ago, I made for the Kickstarter prototype and some startup ways came to the UMC Capital Fund, which at that time was only one year old, — says Denis stage the real start of your new business. — When I signed with him the investment agreement, in the pocket, I had 100 UAH.” And there was a family with a child, and therefore, the need to decide to either stay in business or be employed. Fortunately, it went. Kickstarter raised $52 thousand, and in parallel launched PAGL.

A unique idea for children of construction ecochimica Denis brought the team that worked on Zhitomir cardboard factory and did cast articles of pulp and paper pulp. The project has invested some of their money. With the first prototype went to the exhibition, a year — to another: seeing the reaction of that businessman called a “little sensation”. Then Dennis found additional investment.

Video: Diana Kolodyazhnaya The joining is done!

From the first prototype PAGL before the market took a year and a half. It would seem that complicated to make a cube? Why so much time? But the fact that, despite the sleek design of the units, they contain more than 10 options, allowing you to experiment during construction.

“The happiest is the moment when the dice — again — and carried out exactly as you planned,” — says Denis. One can eat

The material from which the blocks are made, are absolutely harmless: is pulp and food coloring. “On one of the shows I was approached by a young man and rather sarcastically asked: “what would happen if the cube to eat?”. I took it and ate it. As you can see, still alive,” laughs Dennis.

Blocks can be taken for recycling, it uses biodegradable material. “Our cubes are a great alternative to plastic designs, is our contribution to the reduction in the production of plastic, and hence the pathogenic impact of waste, — said the businessman. — Playing with such cubes, children from their earliest years are accustomed to use eco-friendly materials.” And you can make a tractor

The cubes are large, but very light. Even if the structure falls, no one gets hurt. And it is convenient to store: the building blocks easy to arrange (just a couple of movements), and the same going back. Big house Packed in a box small size. Such transformations help to develop spatial and creative thinking in children.

The company intends to make the white blocks-bricks: then the house is built can still paint. Also plan to release a series of toys from pulp and paper pulp, for example, the constructor, which consists of parts of unusual shape, of which it will be possible to collect a large tractor or fantastic beast.

“If we went to the market with PAGL in the 1990s, we would have no one understood. Then everybody wanted to buy a bright, shiny and plastic. And now in the trend of simplicity and environmental friendliness, our toys just answer these queries,” — said Denis. Besides the price (one cube is about 10 UAH) will allow those who want to get more opportunities to design, buy several sets at once. The output to mass-market

From PAGL has no analogues in the world. Cellulose, used only for the production of packaging. Make it large light cubes for children instead of bulky plastic never crossed my mind.

Unusual designer interesting European kindergardens, schools of early development, and institutions for children with disabilities, because this toy allows them to explore the world and grow in complete safety. About the inexpensive, environmentally friendly and safe cardboard cubes from Ukraine wrote to The Guardian and Forbes.

The purpose of the entrepreneur — conclusion the developed products in a wide sale. “All that can not be mass-market, personally I’m not interested,” he says. Talking about the mass market allows the combination of inexpensive raw materials and high creativity.

“My expertise is to see the idea and understand, is this product is mass market or not. Not because I am greedy and want money, because Ukraine will save mass-market: cheap and able to scale up projects, — said the entrepreneur. — And all these “Oh, we made such a pretty expensive souvenir, see” over 50 pieces on Andreevsky descent”.

What is sustainability in business decisions?

The technology allows to produce a quite strong building blocks of this is not usual for these purposes, of material, like paper. Turns out the light and affordable product with great potential for the development of spatial and logical thinking of children.

In the autumn of the start of test sales. To make cubes will be in Zhytomyr, but in the future want to open my own factory. “PAGL” I want to develop the whole area, making it a full-fledged designer as LEGO.

The launch of the market of paper cubes coincided with the start of another series of models, made of metal and wood, and mechanical books.

Produce metal models are going in China, because, as noted by Denis, the desired level of equipment in Ukraine. According to his calculations, there will be replicate to 100 thousand models, or to buy the equipment and install it in Ukraine, that will cost $300 thousand “the Exhibition shows that iron is 70-80% interest,” he concluded.

In the project metal and plywood toys involved 25 people. Now in the Kyiv office employs ten people in the Dnieper — seven, and some remotely. On the project “PAP” has a dedicated team of five (if necessary, connect another). And have partners in China — four people who are looking for materials, suppliers, and establish there the issue. “So equilibrium,” concludes Denis. Getting ready to start and e-series. “But there may not be mass, as toys for $150-200 will not everyone”, — says Denis.

Getting ready to start and e-series. “But there may not be mass, as these toys are quite expensive — $150-200,” said the entrepreneur. Read about the winners of the contest BECAME and vote for the best on page ranking

Mechanical owner will also be expensive — $50-60. “This market is not, — said Denis. — Pieces just pop out, and slowly grow up, when twist twist the knob”.

Online will continue to sell wood designers-puzzles, replacing packing on a more “catchy”.

There is an idea to offer the market a peculiar puzzle. and how And the puzzles already filled in the market, plan to make special polymer-modified wood. This will significantly reduce the price of production, as will allow to refuse from the laser and to do stamping much faster keeping the same quality. “We will be independent from plywood, this way the manufacture of the puzzle still has not been discussed”, — said Denis.

Also soon I plan to show the development of a special type of material that will make the puzzles more cheaply and in large quantities.

The main promotion tool I think social media, which actively worked on the audience of the USA and Canada. Now will focus on the Ukrainian consumer. People who are interested in LEGO or toys, the messages will be displayed in messagero, in the tape Facebook. “I charge $500 increased the number of subscribers on your page for 5 thousand, put there model. Now I have 7.5 million subscribers, expect that when you write “Buy here”, immediately get 100-200 purchases” — calculates the entrepreneur. Popular relax

If PAGL main audience is kids, the transport model is made of metal and plywood with electronic parts designed for older children and adults.

According to Denis Okhrimenko, if negotiations with investors are successful, will launch several new lines of business related to the development of new ideas. In fact, according to the observations of the entrepreneur, for adults make little toys. His dream was to create a Ukrainian toy factory, which will create the designers from different countries. He believes entertainment is very promising area: “People are tired of gadgets, and we give them the opportunity of relaxation, the opportunity to do something with their hands.”

Don’t miss the most important news and interesting analysis. I in Telegram