I’m horribly late posting about this Kickstarter campaign for the INVICTA CHALLENGE project by my friend Jim Murphy because there has been so much pre-SDCC news, but the good news is that the campaign is already over 90% funded so with your help it can become a reality! Jim is a US Marine that also works in the toy industry for companies like Mattel and Spin Master. He’s been involved in a lot of fan favorite toy lines and is now striking out on his own with an interesting new project with a bit of a twist. Not only do you get a Four Horsemen sculpted 6″ action figure of a historical figure, you get a game, a book and you just might learn something!
There are still 12 days left in the campaign and it’s currently sitting at 93% funded. I think we action figure fans and fans of the Four Horsemen can tip that over the edge and make sure this project happens.
This week we caught up with Jim this week to chat to get more information on the birth and future of this worthwhile endeavor.
Action Figure Insider: Tell us how the idea for the Invicta project came to you?
Jim Murphy: I saw that there was a need for content – games, books and toys – that tells true historical stories in a fun way. There is a lot of fun but ultimately “escapist” stuff out there. We need to balance, especially for kids.
AFi: It seems like a long path from the Marine Corps to Mattel. Can you talk about your journey from one to the other?
Jim: I actually started very close to the toy industry, as my aunt was a designer at Mattel. I grew up around GI Joe, and I loved comics and toys when I was a kid. I used to make a lot of stuff in my basement at home – spaceships and giant robots. So when I got out the Marine Corps, I knew that I wanted to work in a creative field. I got my MBA at the University of Southern California, which has an MBA internship program with Mattel. I was lucky enough to get a role there, and the rest of it followed naturally.
AFi:For those that might not be familiar with your past work can you list some of the action figure lines that you have worked on in your past?
Jim: I am proudest of my work on DC Universe Classics and on the re-launch of Masters of the Universe.
I took over DC Superheroes at the same time that Mattel won the bigger DC Comics license, and we had the opportunity to revamp JLU and the six inch collector line. We had great creative partners in Ruben Martinez, Bill Benecke, as well as the Four Horsemen. I also hired Scott Nietlich, who was a copywriter, to handle social media and be the “face” to the collector community, MC’ing panels at Comicon and handling the message boards. He has great knowledge and passion about the collector world.
I also ran Bakugan for several years at Spin Master, which was a lot of fun. That was a phenomena, and the highlight was probably when The Simpsons made fun of Bakugan , calling it “Digimon meets Pokemon”.
AFi: How are you tying your Marine Corps training into this project?
Jim: INVICTA is not a brand about the military, but a brand about leadership and leaders that might happen to tell military stories. The Marine Corps has a very clear philosophy of leadership and how to carry yourself in life that inspired me in creating INVICTA.
AFi:Have you always loved history?
Jim: Yes – an understanding an appreciation of history is critical to being a full person and citizen. And history is a great inspiration for anyone who wants to create a new story. In my opinion, there is really nothing new under the sun, just different ways of telling timeless stories about human nature.
AFi:Why start with an action figure for the first offering?
Jim: The idea is to create a complete package that will pull reluctant reader into a story and game. That’s why it comes with the graphic novel, the video game and the figure.
AFi:What scale will the figure be? How many points of articulation will it have? What weapons/accessories will ship with him?
Jim: Six Inch scale, with fourteen points of articulation. The figure comes with an M-1 carbine rifle, and a removable pack and helmet. This is incredibly detailed and beautiful sculpt.
AFi:How did you get the Four Horsemen involved?
Jim: I have worked with them for years. They are great guys.
AFi:Will all of the future instalments/kits have some toy/figure component?
Jim: Most likely, yes. We may do stand alone games at $15 in the future, followed twelve months later with the figures to which fans and kids respond.
AFi:If you do more than one figure will they all be in scale with each other?
Jim: There will be a core six inch figure scale. We may do some short runs of 12” scale, old- GI Joe type figures. We will be doing model kits in the future too, that will come with a 1” figure. But our primary, launch segment is about six inch collectible historical figures.
AFi:Talk about your decision to pick the Turner Turnbull story for the launch of the campaign?
Jim: This is an incredible story that should be better known. Turnbull and his platoon defeated over forty times their number of Germans on D-Day. This is the real story behind “Saving Private Ryan’!
AFi:What can we look forward to in future installments? Where might we find them? Will there be another crowdfunding campaign?
Jim: We are hoping to get retailers to take the brand, and we may do another crowd funding campaign. We would like to hear from the fans what historical figures we should do, but, in the near term, we are looking at Harriet Tubman and Lawrence of Arabia. They would make great Four Horsemen figures!
AFi: You already get a cool figure and game when you order a set, but you also have some cool incentive levels, including having your face in one of the upcoming graphic novels. Can you talk a bit about the incentive levels you are offering?
Jim: Well, that reward is almost gone! We have had a great response to that one. But we also have a some other levels, including beautiful prints of the Normandy battle plan and of Utah Beach. The highest level – $5,000 – is for Four Horsemen custom sculpt – your head on a paratrooper figure!
AFi:You are getting close to funding the initial project with about 2 weeks left. Will you be announcing any stretch goals soon?
Jim: Yes, we plan to announce some things this weekend!
Have a look at the details below and then jump over and support this great project and get yourself a cool action figure at the same time!
INVICTA Challenge tells true leadership stories by combining video games, graphic novels and toys. Please help us raise $25,000 to produce our first product—an interactive game that tells the incredible true story of a Native American paratrooper on D-Day.
INVICTA Challenge’s first game, Leadership Decision Challenge 1: Flash & Thunder, follows the story of Turner Brashears Turnbull, a young lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division. On June 6, 1944, Turnbull and his men defended a key French town against almost forty times their number of Germans.
WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE THE TURNER TURNBULL STORY
In this game you play the role of Turner Turnbull, and you make the decisions that determine mission success. You must defend a key French village on D-Day!
The game includes an authentic Operations Packet, detailed maps, and a Mission Module graphic novel. The game also ties to a free, downloadable video game and includes a collectible paratrooper action figure.
Historically accurate, action-packed, and highly visual, INVICTA games are challenging, fun and inspiring.
- Authentic Operations Packet
- Two mission maps
- INVICTA leadership card
- Mission Module graphic novel
- Downloadable video game
- Collectible action figure
READ THE OPERATIONS PACKET:
First, master the Operations Packet, with 20 full-color cards, containing key information about your mission, Allied and Axis forces, your equipment and other details that you need to achieve your goal.
REVIEW YOUR MAPS:
Study the two operational maps—a map of the overall D-Day invasion plan on beaches in Normandy and a close-up map of the key tactical areas in the game.
TACKLE THE MISSION MODULE:
The Mission Module graphic novel is written in a choose-your-own adventure format in which the reader makes key decisions leading to mission failure or success.
- Highly visual, combining photorealistic art, text and comic style pages
- Fast-paced, action-packed narrative
- Readers have control of the story—and determine the story’s outcome by making decisions throughout the novel.
- Good decisions are based on details in the Operations Packet, as well as on the INVICTA leadership traits.
PLAY THE VIDEO GAME:
Download and play a linked, tactical, turn based game. Free to download. If you read the maps, operations packet and Mission Module closely, then playing the downloadable interactive game is much easier. Our games promote reading comprehension!
Collectible Turner Turnbull Paratrooper Figure sculpted by award-winning Four Horsemen Studio
- Historically accurate and highly detailed
- 14 points of articulation
- Removable helmet and pack
- M-1 Carbine with Folding Stock
- 6 inches tall
Target Age Range – Kids 8-14 years of age and their parents.
INVICTA Challenge is a multigenerational brand, and we believe that parents will enjoy this Leadership Decision Game as much as kids.
WHAT MAKES INVICTA UNIQUE?
INVICTA Challenge’s mission is to tell true leadership stories that inspire kids to reach their greatest potential. We are dedicated to promoting leadership, literacy, and history.
INVICTA is an acronym for seven leadership traits used to guide decision-making in each story: Integrity, Nobility, Valor, Initiative, Curiosity, Tenacity, and Accountability.
Good decisions are based on these traits, and good decisions lead to good outcomes.
Additionally, we want to tell stories that get kids reading, so we developed INVICTA with educational experts. Our products are based on key insights about getting kids—even reluctant readers–to read.
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