Having born a toy company out of his living room with the desire to revive the “glamorous ’60s American modernist vibe and carve it into awesome contemporary wood toy designs” for his two young daughters, Brooklyn-based architect and designer Vlad Dragusin has since expanded Candylab Toys into a team of four after successfully launching his first Kickstarter campaign and raising over $100K in 2013.

Now, Dragusin and team are back on Kickstarter with an all-new lineup of cars and modernist building blocks for users to build out a midcentury universe on their desktops with the goal of raising enough cash to launch their very own toy manufacturing facility just outside of their Brooklyn studio.

Unfortunately, the company has been unable to find a single US supplier that was capable of manufacturing the modernist toys at a rate that made sense for suppliers, the customers and ultimately, the company itself.

“We now tightly control the process, orchestrating each separate supplier ourselves and we managed to create and manufacture a product that by toy standards was very difficult to make,” explains Dragusin. “And it sure is, as a look around commercial wooden toy offerings quickly shows. We had to quickly learn and juggle multiple issues, from international logistics, to woodworking and developing sales channels. But we always wanted to make these toys right here, close to home.”

If one thing is for certain, CandyLab has been around the block a few times as one of the earliest Kickstarter success stories and has learned to accept that the only constant is change – especially on the rocky road of crowdfunding.

Adds Dragusin:

“While it’s never 100% smooth as we have learned the hard way – and a new lesson is always around the corner- we are a mean lean toy machine, with a proven track record. It speaks for itself, and we’re ready to knock this one out of the park again.”

With over a month left to go in their campaign, the company has already raised close to their $50,000 campaign goal. Check out the new lineup in its entirety and start building out your midcentury-inspired desktop universe over at Kickstarter.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.