Prime Swords by Formidable Toys are just as appealing to kids as adults with a nerd streak or an itch for mortal combat. "When people see our swords, it captures their imagination," said Mark Jarman, an Entertainment Arts and Engineering student who helped launch the company.
Jarman drew the first prototypes in 2012, when his cousin asked him to help bring his son's idea to life. They wanted to create a sword that was more durable and interesting than anything available. Their swords feature dragon heads for cross guards and flames and ice shards for blades, and they come apart so you can mix and match the parts.
Since then, the company has grown past anything Jarman imagined. They raised $48,000 from a crowdfunding campaign in summer 2014. Then they presented their product at the booming Salt Lake Comic Con and were surprised by the interest — "our booth was solid people for all three days," Jarman said. Now, they are using a $7,000 grant from the U's Get Seeded program to get into Wal-Mart stores.
If all goes as planned, Jarman will be using his swords to beat off swarms of customers. "One day, I'd love to be a full-time, video-game professor and making toys on the side," he said.
More at formidabletoys.com.