You Kick Ass is a line of personalized action figures started by Keri Andrews and Alesia Glidewell. The action figures have a base, prefabricated super hero body, while the head is the customizable bit. You can send over a picture of what you want your action hero to look like, and the head is printed out using a 3D color printer. These are attached onto the body you select, and there’s your own personalized superhero!
The action figures cost about $60, and take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to deliver. The super hero designs are generic, which means they are not based on any of the more well-known superheroes, like those found in Marvel or DC comics.
Alesia and Keri ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, and raised over $45,000 for their business. They ran into some problems with fulfilling orders at first, but were quick to resolve the problem and get back on track.
Is You Kick Ass Still Active?
You Kick Ass went out of business after their patent expired, and is no longer active. In 2016, the website seemed to be in beta mode, and the shop was unavailable. The company’s social media accounts also seemed to be inactive.
In April 2016, Keri Andrews confirmed that You Kick Ass had gone out of business earlier that year. Another company at HeroBuilders.com makes a similar product now.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Keri and Alesia entered the show and sought $100,000 in return for 10% of their business. The two women showed some of their samples of each shark as a superhero that they had had made in advance. The samples were well received.
They went on to explain their costing, pricing, etc. They had a profit margin of about 300% for each model, and discussed how many superheroes they could get made within one day.
They made a deal with Mark Cuban, receiving $100,000 for 10% in equity.
Our Review of You Kick Ass
Having action figures of yourself is something anybody would jump at the chance to get, and You Kick Ass was quite original in this regard.
However, the company was not the first to have such offerings, though competitors were not making as many sales, and that is why You Kick Ass stood out so much.
The fact that the dolls are customizable around colors and body-type makes them a good option when selecting presents for young children, who could get a self-esteem and creativity boost from the dolls.
At the same time, the action figures have limited customization, since buyers are not able to select specific types of superhero uniforms etc. that they may want. If they are getting a superhero version of themselves made anyway, it may as well be fully customizable.
Another concern around it is that the brand name doesn’t have what is usually considered to be a child-friendly name, so some adults may have some reservations around whether they’re suitable for their child or not. Since action figures are usually geared towards a younger audience, the likelihood is that the dolls would have been more popular among children, or the adults buying them for those children. The non-child-friendly name becomes something of a hindrance on this front.
The dolls also do not have a very strong likeness to the photos that were used to 3D print the faces, and this is attributed to the 3D printing technology, despite using a patented version. There are other, far better options when it comes to likeness, so if this factor is important, the dolls may not work for you.
Pros of You Kick Ass
- Creative product
Cons of You Kick Ass
- Not a child-friendly name
- Likeness is not that great
- Limitations to customization
Who is You Kick Ass For?
You Kick Ass was a great option for children who may want a superhero version of themselves. However, according to the creators, the product was most popular among women between 35 and 45, suggesting that it was popular mostly for the buyers (rather than the end-users) of the product itself. These will likely be mothers or gifters for children.
However, we cannot discount the fact that there are plenty of adults who enjoy superhero movies and comics as well, and You Kick Ass could easily have been just as appealing to them.
Though the target market is likely superhero fans, there is also the factor of copyright to consider – plenty of people who are superhero fans are mostly interested in the mainstream Marvel and DC comics, and because the designs for those heroes are not possible, not every superhero fan may be interested in the action figures produced by You Kick Ass.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are a number of alternatives to You Kick Ass, namely HeroBuilders which has been in the business since 2001, which is much earlier than You Kick Ass. HappyWorker is also operating in the same business. MyFaceOnAFigure is also a prominent competitor.
Arguably, these competitors have a number of advantages over You Kick Ass – for one, the names are child-friendly, and they are a lot better at capturing likeness than You Kick Ass was. On top of that, HeroBuilders also allows customization for the whole figure, rather than just the face.
Our Final Thoughts
You Kick Ass was a potentially great product offering, though unfortunately it had a few fatal shortcomings that resulted in the company going out of business. However, if the owners, Keri and Alesia, had put a little more effort into the figures they could easily have seen success.
The 3D printing technology was still improving at the time, and there is no reason to believe that they wouldn’t have been able to improve on likeness and adding customization options in the future. Unfortunately, the business went under, and is no longer operational.