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FASA founder and MechWarrior creator secures $29 million for new company

Tue 25 Aug 2009 9:41am GMT / 5:41am EDT / 2:41am PDT
Business

Jordan Weisman raises venture capital for toy and online entertainment business

Jordan Weisman, founder of FASA Interactive and creator of MechWarrior, has secured investment of USD 29 million for his new company Smith & Tinker.

The company, set up in 2007, will merge kids' digital content and videogames with toys, with its first release - Nanovor - offering kids a Pokemon style online card-battler and well as physical toys available to buy at retail. Its investors come from a range of venture capital firms with backgrounds in companies such as LucasArts, Worlds of Wonder and Tiger Electronics.

"Just like our executive team, Smith & Tinker's investment partners include some of the most well-known and experienced names in software, toys, gaming and entertainment, providing deep insight and vision into the markets we are pursuing," said Weisman, co-founder and CEO.

"With the release of Nanovor, we have put a stake in the ground as the first company to merge the best of a game studio, entertainment shop and toy company all under one roof, and with the sole mission of reinventing play for today's connected kids.

"The evolution of human-computer interaction is a key investment theme at Foundry Group, and Smith & Tinker's approach to bringing compelling digital play offline with the Nanoscope fits perfectly into our portfolio strategy," added Foundry Group's Ryan McIntyre, one of Smith & Tinker's backers.

Smith & Tinker's executive team is represented by former employees from a range of related toy and technology companies, including Disney, Hasbro, Cranium and RealNetworks. The company's president, Joe Lawandus, has formerly served as senior VP and GM of Cranium and exec for Disney toys and sporting goods.

Weisman's previous ventures include FASA Interactive, sold to Microsoft in 1999; WizKids, sold to Topps in 2003, and alternative reality company 42 Entertainment, which Weisman left in 2007 to found Smith & Tinker. The game designer was also responsible for the creation of the MechWarrior and Crimson Skies franchises, and was the lead creative director of Halo.

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