Adult sports fans have myriad ways to show support for their favorite teams, such as with banners, hats, shirts, signs, posters and so on. But outside of peewee sized clothing or videogames, there hasn’t been much out there for kids to show their support as well, until now. That’s because Jim Cantrall, founder of www.partyanimalinc.com, has come up with, “Lil’ Teammates,” three inch tall licensed sports figures decked out in the colors of everyone’s favorite teams. “We got the idea at an NFL show a few years back,” Cantrall says. “We saw all this branded merchandise but there were no actual toys. So we made them.” Cantrall did his research and came up with the idea of a tiny collectible that was not player specific, but had the correct colors and markings of a team’s uniform. “This way, if a player got traded or got some bad press, the value of the collectible was not affected,” he says.
Lil’ Teammates has made its website (www.lilteammates.com) kid friendly as well, updating it regularly so visitors can play games online, register their own figures, and see what’s been retired and what new ones are coming out. Lil’ Teammates was introduced this past year, and the reaction has been nothing short of phenomenal, Cantrall says. “We’ve discovered that ‘big kids’ love them, too,” he says. “Many of the inquiries we have received are from fans and collectors that are well beyond our target age range. The result is that we have had to scramble to keep up with demand.”
Lil’ Teammates figures, with players from Major League Baseball and the NFL, NBA and NHL, wholesale for $4.99 each, and retail for about $10. “It’s an impulse item that kids seem to gravitate to,” Cantrall says. Orders of 60 or more come complete with a packed corrugated shipping display, and discounts are offered for larger quantities. Cantrall expects Lil’ Teammates to continue expanding in 2011, as he’s adding more enhancements like games and activities to the website. “There’ll be some new figures too,” Cantrall says. “This is just going to keep growing.”
For more information:
The Party Animal Inc.
1350 Chester Industrial Parkway
Avon, OH 44011
Toll Free: 800-456-0145
Websites: www.lilteammates.com / www.partyanimalinc.com