Plox founder Sean Andrews has scored a deal with Disney. Aaron Bunch
Local gadget start-up Plox has scored a deal with Disney, which will allow it to take its levitating Star Wars-themed speakers global.
The company launched the Death Star speakers in Australia and New Zealand about four weeks ago and since then it has already sold 5000 through retailers like JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman.
The company is now taking the product to the Middle East, throughout the Asia Pacific, Switzerland, the UK, Germany, Indonesia, France, Netherlands, the US and the Philippines.
Plox founder Sean Andrews said it took the start-up almost a year for the company to lock in the deal with Disney, making many iterations on the product. But he would not disclose the terms of the deal, beyond the fact that the company pays a licensing fee.
Plox’s Death Star speaker. Aaron Bunch
“[In September 2015] levitating speakers had popped up but not with the same form factor … They looked totally different, like a disk.
“I saw them in China, and we approached the factory and called up our designer … and we redesigned it to look like a Death Star. Then we called a guy we knew in the licensing space to get us in touch with Disney … We just decided to bring it to life and we knew Star Wars had a big fan base.”
Plox also sells a range of other products such as portable power packs for smartphones and tablets, headphones and other bluetooth speakers.
The company started out as one of Mr Andrews’ university project proposals for a portable power start-up while studying an entrepreneurship degree.
The company had success with its battery packs, winning a CES Innovation Award in Las Vegas in 2015, but in the same year Mr Andrews decided to expand the start-up’s product line and also introduce a bigger focus on design.
“Now Plox is split into four categories power, sound, connect [anything from kids’ GPS watches to Bluetooth trackers] and connected home items,” Mr Andrews said.
“Not all the products will have licence deals, but there will be some opportunities for that. We have a pretty cool range of kids Star Wars headphones coming out … Then in the speaker space we’re looking to expand on our licence with Disney and move into other categories with Marvel, as well as entering the connected home space.”
The levitating speakers float thanks to two strong magnets. An electromagnet is placed in the base of the speaker and another in the speaker itself.
Mr Andrews, who is a lifelong Star Wars fan himself, said the company was planning to accelerate production of the speakers in the lead-up to the 40th Star Wars anniversary in April and then the release of the next movie in late 2017.