YouTube's 'Lucas the Spider' available as a limited edition talking plushie
An animated spider that became a smash hit in a series of short YouTube videos is set to enter the real world in plushie form.
" Lucas the Spider " debuted on YouTube in November. The first 21-second video now has more than 21 million views, and the channel has 2.1 million subscribers.
He was created by California animator Joshua Slice, who has worked on Pixar and Disney's Zootopia and Big Hero 6. The spider's voice is provided by Slice's nephew, Lucas.
Pre-orders are now being taken for a limited edition talking plushie version of Lucas the Spider, sold and supported by Teespring. It sold 40,000 units in 10 days and is projected to sell more than 60,000 units in its 30-day pre-sale window, generating revenue of $1.2 million.
"Lucas the Spider started as a curiosity for whether spiders could in fact be cute," Slice said. "To bring Lucas to life by way of a soft lovable plushie that contains the voice of Lucas has been an exciting part of a very unexpected journey."
Slice plans to use the returns to pay for a college fund for his nephew. Donations will also be made to charities that provide legal representation to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as going towards further Lucas the Spider episodes.
"We're very thankful that so many people could come together over the unexpected love for a spider," Slice said. "The fact that Lucas can also provide a future for my nephew, the original Lucas, as well as charities we support is really rewarding."
Pre-orders for the Lucas the Spider plushie close on June 23, and they're expected to ship in early October. The cost is $20 plus shipping.
Lucas' latest adventure was posted to YouTube in May, and has had about 7.3 million views.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.