Don’t be put off by new toy company Part Time Renegade’s new Renegade Made line of craft and activity kits.
The Winnetka, Ill.-based manufacturer admittedly sought an edgy name to go with a product that is about as do-gooder as it gets.
“It’s a new and totally unique line of products that helps teach altruism in a fun and cheeky way by putting the focus on doing kind things for people anonymously,” said Nicole Jakob, founder of Part Time Renegade with husband Michael Jakob. Both were on hand to debut their line at last week’s Toy Fair at the Javits Center.
Renegade Made’s initial offerings are:
- Fairly Painless Tattoo Lounge for Charity, which involves setting up shop with the enclosed card table cover, stickers, tattoo application sponge, megaphone sleeve and advertising poster–and raising money for the child’s favorite charity by covering people in over 125 temporary tattoos in exchange for donations in the supplied collection box.
- Sidewalk Chalk Tagging Kit, including washable Renegade Made Chalk Paint, re-usable stencils, brushes, and a bandit mask allowing anonymously painting the town with inspiring messages including “Make Art, Not Your Bed” and “The Best Things In Life Aren’t Things” or original graffiti sidewalk art and slogans.
- Random Acts of Flowers Kit, which contains the materials needed to make 12 brightly colored flowers and a hanging vase. With the included Renegade Made bandit mask, the child is instructed to go out and anonymously place the bouquet vase in a place where people will see it, then hang back to watch them smile as each stranger takes a flower, then finds the surprise leaf tag attached that explains that the flowers have made as a gift, but in return, they need to do something nice for someone else.
- Made You Look Kit of inspiring and fun public art for decorating and leaving for people to make them smile, i.e., “fake flyers” and lists instructing strangers who find them to perform goofy activities, and postcards to decorate with inspirational messages.
“Renegade Made kits put the focus on anonymous acts of silliness and kindness by supplying everything you need to start infecting the world around you with pure unabashed joy,” said Nicole. “These four kits are equally fun for boys and girls and are full of activities, crafts, and more ideas on how to wreak happiness, alone or with friends, in unsuspecting strangers with anonymous acts of kindness and fantastic frivolity. Unlike anything on the market, this mash up between guerilla street art and random acts of kindness will guide children to create something fantastic that will bring joy to those around them, and inspire others to do the same.”
Practicing what they preach, Renegade Made contributes a portion of every sale to Camp Kesem, a nationwide community founded by college students to aid children whose parents have cancer.
“Our generation of parents brag on Facebook and show off their kids’ soccer trophies,” noted Michael. “We want to teach kids that doing something nice for someone is the right thing to do and can be enormously fun—and is a reward in itself: that they should be kind not for recognition or physical rewards, but because they enjoy making people happy.”
As it says on the company website, “You don’t have to have a reason to make someone smile.” “May cause excessive exposure to kindness.” “Ridiculous is the new norm.”
“We have three kids, and it’s really hard to teach altruism,” continued Michael. Hence, Sidewalk Chalk Tagging and its “renegade” appeal for kids.
“There’s a certain naughtiness to tagging and graffiti,” he noted, “but our sidewalk chalk just washes away, and instead of meanness, our messages are funny and positive. And a lot of craft and activities kids are focused on girls, where ours are for boys, too, especially Sidewalk Chalk Tagging and Tattoo Lounge.”
The Renegade Made line required three years of development and design.
“It resonates with parents who want to teach the concept of altruism to their kids, but don’t know how,” said Michael. Added Nicole: “While they took a while to perfect, we feel that these kits are arriving at exactly the right time.”