Although Layman and Hugo's most recent Kickstarter campaign was a success, netting more than twice the contributions they originally sought, the process of raising money to manufacture the toys has been one of trial and error.
Layman and Hugo's first Kickstarter campaign failed to generate enough funding to get the project off the ground.
“We really didn't have much of a following — we had about 140 friends on Facebook, and that was about it,” Hugo said. “The second time around, we really had a lot of involvement from the community.”
The toys have sparked interest from other vinyl toy collectors and Steampunk fans. Layman and Hugo have even gotten fan art depicting the Rivals characters.
The Rivals characters have about 2,900 likes on Facebook and an additional 3,600 followers on the image-sharing website Instagram.
Working with a manufacturer, Layman and Hugo have created prototypes of the Rivals characters. It cost them about $2,000 to make two toys about as tall as a soda can.
The partners are in the process of working out the kinks in the preliminary product and hope to have the first batch of toys manufactured in China in the next few months.
“There's little things we're still working out, like how the ray gun fits in the Cog's hand,” Hugo said. “We want it to be a quality product.”