"Mad Moves" is a new game that encourages exercise and movement through fun, namely via Dancing...silly dancing. It prompts players to assume the role of a grandpa doing ballet, a monkey tackling the twist, a sumo wrestler attempting to limbo, and other very unlikely scenarios. By blending popular dances with specific animals, actions and people, the game is laugh-inducing and perfect for parties. Currently Mad Moves has been launched via Kickstarter, Ashley Mady is hopeful that it will catch on quickly.

Aside from being the creator of Mad Moves, Ashley is the President of Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment, an entrepreneur, agent, branding and licensing expert and the president of Brandberry Inc., a think tank and licensing agency.

Ashley enjoyed dancing throughout her childhood and she intended this game to be suitable for both adults and children who can enjoy the experience of dancing equally.

In a recent and exclusive interview, Ashley discussed her career, experiences, and plans for her future as a game designer and inventor.

Toys, games, and the industry

Meagan Meehan (MM): You have a lot of experience with brand licensing via your company, Brandberry Inc. So, what about this field most interests you and how, if at all, did it help you with “Mad Moves”?

Ashley Mady (AM): I’m a big kid with big ideas, which is why I love toys and licensing, as it allows me to create and partner with the best companies in the business.

However, sometimes you have to take even bigger risks like manufacturing on your own. I’ve been fortunate to work on many brands across several industries which has given me invaluable knowledge and insight that just can’t be taught overnight. That overall experience has helped me in many ways and I continue to grow and learn every day.

MM: In addition to Brandberry Inc. you are part of Women In Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), so who can join and what do you look for in members?

AM: Just about anyone can join. WIT has a diverse membership and a lot of people are surprised to learn that we also have many male members who support our mission. You can be an industry veteran or new to the business.

Our members consist of people from major entertainment conglomerates, large and small toy companies, startups, consultants, inventors and even students who want to get into the industry.

MM: You are actually the President of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment; hence, what does this organization regard as its main mission and what do you wish more people knew about it?

AM: WIT gives women in the industry the ability to connect, collaborate and accomplish great things together. I’ve experienced the magic the organization first hand. I wish more people knew about our Empowerment Day, which takes place during Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. That’s where we mentor women and give them the opportunity to pitch to Walmart and several successful toy and/or game companies.

It’s a day packed with information sessions, panels, and connections.

MM: You’re also an agent, so do you think that has influenced your own creativity in any way?

AM: Absolutely! Being an agent and brokering deals for both our proprietary and third-party brands definitely has impacted how, why and what I create. I believe it’s important to be able to bridge the gap between business and creative.

Television, crowdfunding, and dancing

MM: You’re going to be featured on “The Toy Box,” so how did that experience come about and what was it like?

AM: I’m always looking for new ways to bring my ideas to life and when I heard about “The Toy Box”, it presented a unique and fun way to do just that. The experience was fantastic and I would do it again but, that being said, it was a bit nerve racking pitching to kid judges on national television.

MM: What prompted you to enter the field of toys and Games and when did you decide to make your own game?

AM: Before I graduated college, I knew I wanted to be in the toys and games industry. I created my first game and landed a job with a toy company during my senior year.

MM: What is it about dancing that most appeals to you and how long did it take to cement exactly what you wanted to include in “Mad Moves”?

AM: I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated all aspects of dance--especially the creativity. The core gameplay took three months to develop. However, we’ve been at it for seven months thus far and counting.

MM: What has the production process been like and what drew you to crowdfunding?

AM: Actually the production process has been pretty smooth and fortunately I’m working with seasoned veterans.

Crowdfunding is amazing in so many ways! You have a direct line of communication with your backers and have options to even improve your product before you ship.

MM: The game is well designed with adorable doodle-like characters on the cards, so who drew/designed them?

AM: The doodle-like characters, inspired by neon signs, were drawn by Jaime Rodriguez, a very talented friend of mine. He spent a period of his career at Disney and we’ve worked on a bunch of fun projects together. You can catch him dancing in our Kickstarter video.

MM: Was it tough to think of all those animals and characters and do you have any particular favorites?

AM: Yes and no. It was easy to make the list; the hardest part was figuring out what was too easy or too hard to dance out--and figure out.

My favorite is the T-Rex. No matter if you are doing ballet, the twist, breakdancing or belly dancing like a T-Rex, I find it hilarious!

MM: What kind of feedback have you gotten from players so far?

AM: The response to the game has been tremendous. Many like that it can be a family game or a party game for adults and the experience changes with whomever you are playing with.

MM: Be honest, what is your favorite dance?

AM: In the game, I love the moves that pair really naturally together. For example, belly dance like a snake, limbo like a zombie, etc.

MM: What is coming up next for you creatively and what are your big plans for "Mad Moves"?

AM: My life is all about creating and that will continue on. Right now, my focus is on Mad Moves. However, I can’t share plans just yet, as the television show is still running and I don’t want to be a spoiler!