Kid Rocket Studios Announces Official Launch
KUNG FU ROBOT collaborators form Kansas City-based kid’s entertainment studio. 

Building on the momentum generated by the ongoing success of the interactive children’s comic book app Kung Fu Robot, a new venture between artist/author/illustrator Jason Bays and Marcelo Vergara, the founder/CEO of the digital production company Propaganda3, officially launches today with the formation of Kid Rocket Studios.

Formed as a standalone venture, Kid Rocket Studios will be equally co-owned. Besides being a founder, Bays will also serve as the company’s executive creative director. Vergara will provide advisory support as a co-founder. John Kreicbergs, Propaganda3’s general manager for app development, has been named as the new company’s president.

According to Kreicbergs, the same digital forces that are disrupting many traditional business models are seriously impacting children’s entertainment, especially given the dramatic increase of mobile tablet use among children.

“We believe the world of kids entertainment is evolving at a pace that warrants an entirely new approach,” says Kreicbergs. “Kids are veering away from traditional mediums and are embracing new ways of discovering characters and stories. Peer-to-peer recommendations now carry more weight than ever before. Rarely will a child experience a story within a single channel anymore. We’ve been witnessing this entire phenomenon firsthand.”

Though spurred by the success of Kung Fu Robot, Kid Rocket Studios will be more than just about any single property or app.

“When the traditional publishing route to launch Kung Fu Robot didn’t materialize, the extraordinary opportunity to disrupt that model via an app release proved to be eye-opening,” says Bays. “Digital distribution has become remarkably democratized and accessible for independent players, removing many of the barriers between content creators and audiences. We believe we can apply this approach to develop and debut more kids-focused properties.”

“If we can build an initial audience within an app-based product, a compelling case for investment into other channels like publishing or animation becomes less of a gamble for those potential partners,” says Vergara. “Kid Rocket Studios won’t just be an app or game studio. We’re a kids entertainment property development group with a digital age twist. Our primary focus is storytelling. How that story gets told can happen in a number of ways – from apps and games to animation, merchandising and licensing – and will continue to evolve over time.”

Kid Rocket Studios will be physically located in the River Market and in this early phase of development will co-locate with Propaganda3. The venture joins the ever-growing entrepreneurial startup scene in Kansas City but Bays believes it will occupy a unique position within that community given its focus.

“It’s hard to forget that a young Walt Disney felt compelled to leave Kansas City in order to realize his dream,” says Bays. “We’re ready to prove that Kansas City is not only the perfect launching pad for Kid Rocket Studios but also has everything we need to make it a success. As we experiment with the changing landscape of kids entertainment, our goal is to create stories that launch imaginations.”

Meet Us at the Middle of the Map

We're thrilled to be speaking at Ink's 2014 Middle of the Map Fest Forum this Friday, April 11th at 3pm at the Kansas City Star Press Pavilion located at 1601 McGee.

The topic – Digital Storytelling – is very near and dear to our hearts. We're also excited that our good friends Cameron Calder (Propaganda3) and Shane Evans (Dream Studios) will be joining us as well.

Robots, carnies and chocolate. How can you go wrong with that? The Forum includes a kickoff party on Thursday night and is an all-day event on Friday with a schedule STACKED with fantastic speakers and panels about many of the amazing things happening in Kansas City. Grab your tickets and meet us there!

Planet Comicon 2014

From left to right:    Kung Fu Robot   creator Jason Bays, John Kreicbergs,   Burn The Lot   co-creator Cameron Calder.

From left to right: Kung Fu Robot creator Jason Bays, John Kreicbergs, Burn The Lot co-creator Cameron Calder.

We had a great time presenting at Kansas City's Planet Comicon 2014 with our panel on "Karate Chopping Robots & Killer Carnies: The Art and Science of Digital Comics and Games." Conventions like this are always a fantastic way to geek out when your childhood heroes are on hand. They're also an amazing way to meet and mingle with some incredibly talented artists and storytellers.