Stuffed sharks and toy soldiers: the strangest things British eccentrics have tried to insure

Wine, whisky and stamp collections, fine artwork, Beatles memorabilia and antique golf clubs are other curios successfully insured by Direct Line.

Full-sized replicas of Chinese Terracotta Army soldiers, stuffed sharks and a toy soldier collection worth more than £10,000 are some of the trickiest treasures insurers have been asked to cover.

Other odd items that their owners want covered include dead tigers, artwork from anonymous artist Banksy and a collection of teddy bears from the German designer Richard Steiff, who invented the cuddly toys.

Wine, whisky and stamp collections, fine artwork, Beatles memorabilia and antique golf clubs are other curios successfully insured by Direct Line.

The firm estimates that we own almost £222bn of collectibles worth more than £500 each. Two-thirds of the population own such items, around a quarter…

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Kochi students to be trained in artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality

A total of 231 select school students from across the state will be given training in advanced areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, …

A total of 231 select school students from across the state will be given training in advanced areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, 3D character designing and animation at a two day state camp to be organised by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) in Kochi from Thursday.

The two-day residential state camp for the Little KITEs members of state schools would be held at Startup Mission at Kalamassery in Kochi on August 8 and 9. The district wise camps for the 1,143 Little KITEs members held in the last academic year featured the champions who excelled in the sub-district wise camps with 13,440 participants.

The state camp is being organised by KITE in association with Kerala Startup Mission. General Education Minister C Raveendranath will inaugurate the camp on August 8 at 10 AM. Muralee Thummarukudy, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction in the UN Environment Programme would deliver the key note address. Other dignitaries would include General Education Secretary A Shajahan, Director of General Education K Jeevan Babu, Vice Chairman & Executive Director of KITE K Anvar Sadath, Startup Mission CEO Saji Gopinath and Head of the Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Kerala Achuth Sankar S Nair.

The state camp would include specific training for students in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, 3D Character Designing, Animation Pre-production, post production and drawing. An exhibition of electronic and robotic projects and 3D Animations created by students would also be organised as part of the camp.

In addition to Startup Mission, companies like Asimov Robotics and Robo Inventions would take sessions on AI, VI, AR and Robotics, which would be the first of its kind experience for the students. There would be classes on 3D Character designing, production and drawing skills by K Madhu CEO of Hibiscus Digital Media and cartoonist E Suresh.

Largest ICT network

A total of 2,060 Little KITEs units have been established in the state schools as part of the hi-tech school project implemented by virtue of Public Education Rejuvenation Mission of the state government. Little KITEs with over 1.15 Lakh members is the largest ICT network of students in the Country. The concept of Little KITEs in Hi-Tech school project is envisaged as a step to ensure the participation of students in the ICT activities in schools.

Under Little KITEs programme, advanced training is being provided to students in diverse areas such as hardware, animation, electronics, Malayalam computing, cyber safety, mobile app development, programming, robotics, e-commerce, e-governance and video documentation. State awards are also provided to Little KITEs units to promote excellent contributions.

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Designer Toy Company Superplastic Secures $10 Million

Founders Fund’s Cyan Banister, Global Village, Betaworks, Index Ventures, Canaan, Scooter Braun, Kevin Weil, Scott Belsky, Shrug Capital, and …
  • Cult designer toy brand Superplastic recently announced it raised $10 million in funding and launched an innovative animated entertainment division

Superplastic — a cult designer toy brand — recently announced it raised $10 million in funding and launched an innovative animated entertainment division focused on bringing its popular characters to life. And the company’s first two synthetic celebrities (Janky and Guggimon) also dropped on Instagram recently.

The $10 million funding round was led by Craft Ventures — which is a venture capital firm founded by David O. Sacks (Yammer founder and former CEO) and Bill Lee (a serial entrepreneur who was the co-founder of two companies that sold for more than a combined $1 billion). Founders Fund’s Cyan Banister, Global Village, Betaworks, Index Ventures, Canaan, Scooter Braun, Kevin Weil, Scott Belsky, Shrug Capital, and many others had also joined the round.

Superplastic already has an obsessed fanbase and the designer toys based on Janky and Guggimon routinely sell out in minutes on the Superplastic online store.

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“The old studio model for animated entertainment is dead,” said Superplastic CEO Paul Budnitz — who is also known for creating the cult toy brand Kidrobot and the social network Ello. “Big studios kill innovation, and nothing gets made. We decided to skip the studios and go directly to our fans, by giving our characters lives on social media.”

Budnitz worked with art director Huck Gee on Janky and Guggimon for over a year using celebrities like Kanye West and David Bowie as models.

“Guggimon is an artist that’s obsessed with fashion, handbags, and horror movies,” added Gee. “Janky’s just a screw up that wants to be famous.”

Both of the animated characters interact with fans, human celebrities, and each other on social media. By giving Janky and Guggimon lives on social media, it also opened up new avenues for revenue far beyond traditional character licensing. And they earn fees like real life influencers and Superplastic is in talks with global fashion brands about partnerships. Plus the company is collaborating with well-known artists a Janky art show in NYC in late 2019. And Guggimon is the first synthetic artist invited to participate in the Montreal Mural Festival in 2020.

Since appropriating social media as an entertainment platform required completely rethinking the traditionally slow animation process, the team hired top animators from Hollywood, then retooled the technology, and created innovative workflows that allow characters to respond quickly to fans and whatever’s trending online.

“Superplastic is disrupting the way we think about celebrity and media,” explained Lee. “It’s a totally unique integrated vision, from toys to entertainment to what’s happening right now on Instagram.”

Banister agreed with Lee:

“Superplastic is the next Marvel, reinvented for the new millennium.”

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Superplastic Announces $10MM in Funding and Launches Two New Synthetic Celebrities

… Fund’s Cyan Banister, Global Village, Betaworks, Index Ventures, Canaan, Scooter Braun, Kevin Weil, Scott Belsky, Shrug Capital, and many others.

Superplastic has already earned an obsessed fanbase. Designer toys based on Janky and Guggimon routinely sell out in minutes on the Superplastic online store. For well-known artist and CEO Paul Budnitz, bringing the characters to life was the next logical step.

“The old studio model for animated entertainment is dead,” says Budnitz, who also created cult toy brand Kidrobot and the social network Ello. “Big studios kill innovation, and nothing gets made. We decided to skip the studios and go directly to our fans, by giving our characters lives on social media.”

Budnitz and art director Huck Gee worked on Janky and Guggimon for over a year, using celebrities like Kanye West and David Bowie as models.

“Guggimon is an artist that’s obsessed with fashion, handbags, and horror movies,” says Gee. “Janky’s just a screw up that wants to be famous.” Both animated characters interact with fans, human celebrities, and each other on social media.

Appropriating social media as an entertainment platform required completely rethinking the traditionally slow animation process. The team hired top animators from Hollywood, then retooled technology, creating innovative workflows that allow characters to respond quickly to fans and whatever’s trending online.

Giving Janky and Guggimon lives on social media also opened up new avenues for revenue far beyond traditional character licensing. They earn fees like real life influencers, and Superplastic is in talks with global fashion brands about partnerships. In addition, the company is collaborating with well-known artists a Janky art show in NYC in late 2019, and Guggimon is the first synthetic artist invited to participate in the prestigious Montreal Mural Festival in 2020.

“Superplastic is disrupting the way we think about celebrity and media,” says lead investor Bill Lee, co-founder and general partner at Craft Ventures. “It’s a totally unique integrated vision, from toys to entertainment to what’s happening right now on Instagram.”

Founders Fund investor Cyan banister agrees: “Superplastic is the next Marvel, reinvented for the new millennium.”

Janky and Guggimon officially debut on today on Instagram, with more characters coming later this year. In the meantime, almost everything is sold out at Superplastic.co.

For more information on Janky, Guggimon, and Superplastic, follow them on Instagram:

@janky

@guggimon

@superplastic

About Superplastic

Superplastic is a character-based product and animated entertainment company founded in 2018 by well-known artist & entrepreneur Paul Budnitz (Kidrobot, Ello). Legendary toy artist Huck Gee is art director. Famed for its always-sold-out designer toy line, the company unleashed synthetic celebrities Janky and Guggimon on social media in 2019.

Superplastic is based in Burlington, Vermont because it’s awesome there.

https://www.superplastic.co

@superplastic

SOURCE Superplastic

Related Links

http://www.superplastic.co

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