Some people were born to become accountants. Some plumbers, some electricians, some office drones, and some – like your humble narrator – marketers. Then there is David Silva. He was born to create dinosaurs and sell them on the internet.
This is not an exaggeration. In 2016, David launched his product line, Beasts of the Mesozoic: Raptor Series Action Figures on Kickstarter. Over the course of the campaign, 2,661 backers pitched in over $350,000 to help him make his dream become reality. Thus, Beasts of the Mesozoic – a line of “1/6th scale scientifically accurate dinosaur action figures, with great detail and articulation” was born. He plans to launch another Kickstarter on September 17, 2019.
(Don’t feel like waiting? You can buy his dinosaurs right now!)
At Fulfillrite, we have the pleasure of fulfilling all kinds of projects – many of which are incredibly creative. As David is a client of ours, we thought “why not do an interview? He has a fantastic story!” Simple as that, I had him on the phone for about half an hour, talking about how he got into this paleontological business, what his days look like, and more.
With this in mind, please enjoy this bio of David Silva of Creative Beast, LLC.
Who is David Silva and What Does He Do?
David has a storied background in the toy industry. He has previously worked for Hasbro and McFarlane Toys, and currently works for NECA. He makes dinos by day and toys by night.
The dinosaur you see pictured above, and indeed, every other one you see in this post was made by David. He designs and sculpts the original castelline* models for each dinosaur. The sculpted parts are then molded and cast into resin in the US. The resin parts are shipped to the factory and metal tooling molds are created. From these metal molds, parts are injected in plastic and then painted and assembled into action figures.
The entire process can take between 6 and 12 months, sometimes longer depending on the amount of figures that need to be made. The final products are then sent to our warehouse where they are stored. When orders come in, we fill them.
Every single dinosaur is carefully crafted. David got his start by learning about dinosaur anatomy, then branching out from there. David hopes to eventually branch out into wildlife and fantasy creatures. Having spoken with him and heard the outline of his resume, I can see it happening. Not only does he create the products himself, but he also designs the packaging and handles quality assurance. He’s not merely creator, but a savvy entrepreneur as well.
* A type of wax-based clay
A Typical Day in the Life of a Dinosaur Designer
David’s days are long but satisfying ones. He wakes up around 7 am, answers some customer service emails, and takes care of small errands. He dedicates the next few hours to sculpting. After that, he exercises and goes to his job at NECA and works a full shift. He returns to home at about 10 and goes to sleep a few hours later.
David works long hours and has a lot of products to ship. You’ll notice that he doesn’t have to ship his own items too often – we handle the highest volume products for him. Specifically, we fulfill the Beasts of the Mesozoic Raptor product line. Otherwise, the strain of filling orders would cut into something else – dedicated sculpting time, the day job, or personal time.
As if that weren’t enough, he told me he doesn’t have room to warehouse all the dinosaurs. I can’t blame him – a man’s home shouldn’t have to function as a museum!
Digging for Fossils on Kickstarter
David tried to get established companies to carry the action figures, but their business models skew heavily toward licensed products. As high-quality and in-demand as the dinosaurs may be, they never quite fit in the portfolio. So he took it to Kickstarter and the rest is history.
His Kickstarter says it best:
Beasts of the Mesozoic is a line of scientifically accurate, highly detailed, and articulated dinosaur action figures. Being a serious toy collector myself, I’ve seen great advancements in the toy market the past several years with innovative companies raising the bar of what’s possible with detail, articulation, and value. However, despite my love for dinosaurs and for toys, my dinosaur toy shelf is surprisingly small compared to the other collections I have.
Why? Well, they simply haven’t changed much at all in the past several decades and honestly aren’t that good compared to other action figures. It just doesn’t seem like you get much for your money. I for one am ready for some good dinosaur toys worthy of my shelf space and my money, aren’t you?
Keep Up with David Silva
If you like David’s story or the dinosaurs that he has created, there are a few ways you can keep in touch. As I mentioned above, he plans to launch another Kickstarter on September 17, 2019. Keep an eye out for that! He’s also coming to Comic-Con in San Diego. You can find him in B-03!