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Comics, animation, and gaming have the power to humanize brands, educate customers, promote products, and much more. We create visual storytelling that deliver key facts and an emotional connection in a fun, highly memorable way.

We are Lion Forge Labs.

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Kabu Build-A-Bear Video Still

The Grreat Race



The Challenge

Blank characters without a story

Build-A-Bear challenged Lion Forge Labs to create a world for their uniquely-kawaii, lifestyle brand, KABU. The objective was to create characters and story extensions in a manga-style graphic novel that’s relatable and authentic to the audience it speaks to and reinforces Build-A-Bear core values of collaboration, celebration, and positivity.


The Culture of Cute

By building the world of Pawston, Labs was able to develop five individual character vignettes with distinct personality traits in a 120-page graphic novel that was distributed through all North American and UK Build-A-Bear retail stores. By pivoting the style of Japanese fashion and kawaii culture, Labs was able to fill a gap previously not being reached; tween girls and boys ages 8-12.

In our Story, we highlight The Grreat Race with friends, Bearnice, Bearnard, Bearemy, Pawlette and Catrina as they go all-paws-in to solve the mind-bending riddles and piece together clues in the chance to win this year’s prize that’s unbelievable- free ice cream for life!

Kabu The Grreat Race Paws In

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Cute Motifs for Target Demographic

Extended the demographic and target audience to tweens girls and boys 8-12 years of age. Characters can be used on marketing materials, multi-media, animations, and multiple platforms for long-term and on-trend use of the Kawaii, KABU characters. Kawaii – a Japanese term, meaning the quality of being cute, or items that are cute.

International Distribution

With The Grreat Race circulating 15,000 graphic novels throughout the UK and the United States in BABW retail stores, the story enhanced each kawaii character and their personalities for a full BABW retail experience.

Kabu The Grreat Race Book

Neener Neener Neener!

The Magic House
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