Kurt Marquart and Elaine de la Mata began their toy-making careers as freelancers working on properties owned by companies like Nickelodeon and Disney.
In 2001, the pair launched its first original licensed property, GirlMonsters. By 2008, Monkey Doodle Dandy had expanded its roster of original properties to include Squarey Monsters, Squaredy Cats, Jitterbutter and Wudjadoo.
The Squaredy Cats property combines the expression "Scaredy Cat" with brightly colored, square cats. Each cat is branded with a catchy phrase designed to foster creativity and individuality. The brand has rapidly established a strong interactive fan base of more than 10,000 friends on Facebook, Twitter and a variety of blog sites.
Toy maker Gund has introduced eight plush Squaredy Cats into the retail marketplace. In addition, fashion accessories and cosmetics will launch at retail in October.
Monkey Doodle Dandy specializes in creating girls' toys, dolls and arts and crafts, but they work on all kinds of toys and publications.
"We wanted to be involved in a field that influenced the way children developed, that was really fun and made a difference," says de la Mata.