where the character driven industries meet

It's about personality, it's about mood, it's about expression...

Squaredy Cats were invented by husband and wife toy design team Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata, aka Monkey Doodle Dandy. Each fun and whimsical Squaredy Cats character makes a personal statement of self-expression through assertive declarations of pride.

Gund, known worldwide for its top quality, soft and huggable plush and gift products have licensed these adorable kitties that debuted as plush at New York Toy Fair 2011.

The fan base, established in 2009, and now over 10,000 strong on Facebook, is beginning to clamor for more. With over 300 different Squaredy Cats designed by Monkey Doodle Dandy and more than 200 fan-made pictures posted online, they are ready to hug a real plush Squaredy Cat.

Gund has released the first series of eight cats, and are already hard at work developing more with Kurt and Elaine.

Squaredy Cats plush are now available at major national retailers and several several specialty toy stores. Industry buzz has Squaredy Cats pegged as the next hot collectible.

The first series is Gigi (not squared to dance), Shimmer (not squared to sparkle), Cheeri (not squared to show spirit), Midnight (not squared to be dark), Honey (not squared to be smart), Candie (not squared to be sweet), Giggles (not squared to act silly) and Tiger Lily (not squared to go wild).

http://squaredycats.com/  http://www.facebook.com/squaredycats

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Elaine de la Mata and Kurt Marquart, the creators of the Squaredy Cats, have lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn since 1994. They set up shop in their first 5th Avenue apartment as freelancers working from their living room and kitchen tables. In 1998 Elaine completed the FIT Toy Design Program. After incorporating as Monkey Doodle Dandy in 2004 they developed products for internationally recognised brands including Barbie, Disney, Dora the Explorer and many others; and have played an integral role in bringing major toy lines to market.
They've now brought their expertise and creativity together with several of their own brands, and are proud to introduce Squaredy Cats to the world as their first plush license.

ABOUT MONKEY DOODLE DANDY
Monkey Doodle Dandy, Inc. has developed properties for major companies including Scholastic, Nickelodeon, Fisher Price and Mattel. Specialising in girl brands, the Brooklyn-based art and design company brought its skill for being on trend to its own licensed brands, establishing GirlMonsters in 2001. By 2008 Monkey Doodle Dandy expanded its own brands introducing Squaredy Monsters, Squaredy Cats, Jitterbutter and Wudjadoo.

http://monkeydoodledandy.com/

As a character modeler with graduation not far behind him, I've had to work diligently to catch up to the industry with regard to their extremely detailed character designs. While studying at the Art Institute of Vancouver, I can remember being in awe of the gorgeously detailed character models of
some games companies.

At the time character conception seemed simple; eliminate any spot on your model that feels bland or barren and your character will be great. So I happily pushed myself to create the busiest designs I could until an instructor of mine, Chris Holbrow, (a senior character modeler who has worked at various studios all over Vancouver), made a comment that persuaded me to rethink my ideals. During a sculpting exercise in our Zbrush class, Chris warned us to avoid covering our models with intricate detail and encouraged us to leave a few simpler areas for the eyes to rest.

"Tell that to the games companies" I quickly replied. We chatted briefly on the excessive detailing trend in games. Afterward, I found myself unsure about how much was too much, so I opened the discussion up to the artists that frequent LinkedIn's Characters group. It was pleasing to see the number of insightful replies left by a variety of professionals. Whether you're an experienced veteran or a junior artist like myself, I highly recommend giving the discussion a look... here

Characters Engage Showcase

"FOT & Angus" is a series of animated shorts created by New Zealander, Alex Dron, co-written by fellow Kiwi, Karl Wills and features the voice of the brilliant Rhys Darby (who's most famous for his TV role as Murray the band manager on "Flight of the Conchords').

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Darby voices all the characters, including the star of the show, FOT, a 16 year old loveable asshole who desperately wants to fit in. Blessed with a chronic case of small man syndrome, FOT makes up for his numerous shortcomings with an ego to match his giant red square head. Angus is his long suffering mute oaf sidekick who is loyal beyond reason.

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The dynamic duo appeared on New Zealand television just under a year ago as part of the live action/animated sketch show called "RadiRadiRah" much the same way "The Simpsons" started on the Tracy Ulman Show. The series is now being distributed online by Mondo Media (creators of Happy Tree Friends). So if you are in need of some quick wit and hilariously awkward encounters to spice up your lunch break at work, then FOT & AnguS is most definitely the answer.

http://www.fotangus.com/   http:youtu.be/tN6zkBdOzjY 

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