Menh Voong was born in Hong Kong and raised in San Francisco, California, where he earned an AA in Graphic Design and a BA in Media Arts & Animation. In 2011, Menh followed his dream of being a designer toy creator and founded BeeFy & Co. Unlike traditional toys, all the items in Menh’s company are essentially artistic items inspired by animation, comics and other forms of pop-culture. Recently, Menh discussed his experiences working with this company and his hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: What inspired you to start BeeFy Co. and why was that specific name chosen?
Menh Voong (MV): I have always wanted to be a toy designer as I was growing up. I have a passion and love for toys. Instead of collecting art pieces, I collected toys. They were my inspirations. Before the Kidrobot and designer vinyl toy scene began, the only way to become a toy designer was to work for the large toy companies such as Hasbro, Lego and Mattel who manufactures mass market toys. Then the designer toy scene began and I was hooked. The industry blew up within the 10 years, where the toys were very limited and the mash up of Art + Toy together was a hit. Besides it being artist driven, they were actually affordable to produce. Therefore, designer toy aficionados and artists like me were able to start our own company to produce our own line of toys. The chance of being able to produce my own line of toys was awesome and I wasn’t going to let that slip. So, that was how BeeFy & Co. was created. As for the name, it is pretty easy to explain. One of my nicknames was BeeFy and it stuck, so I decided to use that as my artist name. BeeFy (Is me) and Company (Are all my friends and anyone who is associated with the company).
MM: What kind of items do you offer?
MV: We offer designer art apparel, accessories, art and toys. From T-shirt, tote bags, scarves, mugs, phone cases, prints, vinyl toys and plush toys.
MM: How do you come up with the ideas for your products? Do you ever work with inventors and/or designers?
MV: Most of my ideas and inspirations come from all the toys I’ve collected throughout the years. I love action figures and toys that have tons of features. So, I try to incorporate my love for action figures and as many features as possible into each and every product. Unfortunately cost of production always determines the amount of features on each product. Actually, I don’t or have ever worked with any inventors or designers. But I do credit the assistance of my manufacturer, who are always so helpful and are willing to work with me to take my ideas and innovations and make it a reality. Even though there is always something new and challenging that they have not done before.
MM: Where do you distribute and advertise?
MV: We currently do most our distribution in house/self distribution. We are working on distributing to more retailers and maybe a larger toy distribution company such as Disburst in the near future. We wanted our products to be mostly available exclusively through our website or at our BeeFy & Co. booth at all our convention shows such as SDCC, NYCC, ECCC, WonderCon, DCON etc. Most our advertisements are done directly to the consumers at our shows and a few toy blogs such as Spankystokes.com, Toysrevil.net, vinylpulse.com and a few other blogs.
MM: Of all your offered items, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
MV: Definitely our plushes. They are some of the most innovative plushes in the market. They’re not just cute plushes. Unlike most traditional plushes that really don’t do much besides being cute and there’s not much play-ability to them. Our plushes have head and arm articulations, ball jointed tail, neck or flippers for extreme possibility, light up features, magnetic body parts and accessories and many other hidden features! The best part of it all, is that we make them affordable without sacrificing quality. Our model is Huggable, Playable, Collectible and Affordable.
MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with BeeFy Co.?
MV: That’s easy, it is all the joy and smiles I see from every single child and adult that my silly creations creates! It’s priceless. Our saying for BeeFy & Co. is “Creating Joy, One Toy at a time”
MM: Where do you hope the company will be in ten years?
MM: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toys and/or arts industries?
MV: Be humble, be yourself, be innovative, be different, be the hardest worker in the room (industry), be resilient, be relentless, be honest, he nice and always give back to the customer, fans, industry, community and others. You will be judged by your work, character and work ethics.
To learn more, visit the BeeFy Co. website.