Bryant T. Person’s research has taught him that children learn more the first 5 years of their life (and they learn quicker) than any other stage of their developmental years. Bryant is the creator of The World of Blinky and Friends.
The World of Blinky and Friends is an early childhood education company that focuses on language development, counting, body parts, nutritional skills, all through a form of music, movement, and activities. The World of Blinky and Friends is a curriculum support tool that enhances language development of early childhood education.
Inspiration Bryant started the Blinky characters about 10 years ago. After growing up in Gary, Indiana, he found the best way for him to learn was through any form of music. He had a music teacher who educated him in grades 1 through 3 with many learning concepts through song. As he got older, he realized how his own children and grandchildren responded through music in learning things quicker than he could by telling them himself. So he started to develop the character and concept. He was the first person (that he knows of) to bring a DVD with the live character of its own to story time in libraries. After the demand started to build up, they went from libraries, to churches, daycares, and child care centers. From all of that, he developed The World of Blinky and Friends Live Show. The content of the program was designed for ages 1-6 year old, but when he did the live shows, the age demographics increased. As a result of their interest, he continues to build and build to create more content.
Characters The main character is Blinky who is a fun loving adorable caterpillar. His 2 DJ’s are monkeys called DJ Toby and DJ Jody. For nutritional aspects, he has a group called the Kitchens which consist of Pop Kitchen (knife), Momma Kitchen (spoon) Baby Kitchen (spork) and C-Box Kitchen (Blinky cereal). Mr. Basic Body Parts is the skeleton character that teaches movements, needs, and usage of body parts. Camp Colors has an animated paintbrush named Sgt. Colors, and Clackston is the name of the clock character that teaches children how to tell time.
From the Cradle to Preschool From the learning standpoint, the age demographics covers children ages 1-6. You have to catch children early and entertain them without them knowing they are learning at the same time. The program includes language development, nutrition, body parts, alphabets, numbers, colors, any basic things children at that age need to know. By the time a child leaves Pre-K and go to first grade, they should be functioning at or above grade level.
Blinky’s World Blinky has a digital reading series along with DVD. Blinky comic adventure explains how Blinky came to be and how he met all of his friends. There is also a Blinky coloring series and an assortment of Blinky merchandise on the web site. Parents can go to the web site: www.theworldofblinkyandfriends.com and sign up for the Blinky Kids Club.
Live Show The World of Blinky and Friends is available for doing live shows with a real live Blinky character along with DJ Toby and DJ Jody. The other live characters are still in development. Bryant admitted that he was kind of nervous about how the children would receive Blinky. The minute the live show started, the children were wild as if they had a real pop star idol in their midst. The characters have a choreography routine plus the educational component at the live show is overwhelming. Children are usually pretty honest and if they don’t feel you in their spirit, they won’t gravitate to you.
Bryant recently did a World of Blinky and Friends Make Learning Fun Tour where they were booked in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia in theatres, churches, and libraries. The children become totally engaged when everything on line comes to life on a musical stage.
Collaboration Bryant created Blinky himself. He creates the stories, the language, the music, the production, the other characters, and designs. Mark Smith is his illustrator and animator. As a former Art Institute instructor, he took his work, and helped to enhance the appearance of the characters. Lorraine Edwards is his business partner, who brought the corporate structure to enhance the marketing of the brand and merchandise. Together, they all created a chemistry to make the magic of The World of Blinky and Friends come alive.
Musical Experience Bryant grew up singing in church, and learned how to teach through a form of music. He was a recording artist from Gary, Indiana but he got a deal that took him to New York in 1993. From New York the company flew him to Los Angeles to complete the album. While in LA, he learned how to deliver lyrics, how to build a song up in places, how to build a tone all the way to the top, and how to produce it. He took all of the skills he learned from that and applied it to early childhood music. He applied that same method to The World of Blinky and Friends. It is spreading and growing and has become a phenomenal!
Recognitions/Accomplishments The World of Blinky and Friends has had some good returns on their subscriptions through the Blinky Kids Club. Parents are signing up their children knowing they are going to get an education plus have fun doing it. With a small subscription, they not only get the priviledge of the Blinky Kids Club, but they also have access to the online component called the Blinky Learning Center. The company also has a deal to air in Northwest Indiana through Comcast, ATT Universe, Apple TV/Firestick on January 15, 2020 on Channel 22 in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. They are also working on a Blinky and Friends YouTube Channel.
Copycats In the early stages, people tried to copy his concept, but as he got more advanced, they couldn’t keep up. Animation takes creativity, vision, and time. It could take 1 full year for a 20 minute piece of content. It’s also extremely expensive. Some companies are $1,000 per finished second of your content while some are $1,000 per finished minute. The average copy cat can’t keep up.
Words of Encouragement Bryant’s advice to anyone who has a similar vision “stay true to your dream. Stick to your vision and goals, however it was given to you spiritually, follow that. Don’t deviate from that path based on everyone else’s opinion. You’re going to get frustrated sometimes, but don’t quit, stay the course, because everything happens in its own time.”