StackaWraps takes 3D know-how into mass market

PopHeads 3D tiger: sustainable craft for kids
PopHeads 3D tiger: sustainable craft for kids

StackaWraps has scored a major coup for its new PopHeads pop-out posters after National Geographic included a 3D tiger in its Kids magazine.

Manchester-based StackaWraps is known for its clever 3D displays and point-of-sale materials.
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused a slowdown in its core retail business, the firm looked at other opportunities to expand the applications for its know-how, and came up with the PopHeads idea.

It has trademarked the separate PopHeads brand, which is now part of its StackaWraps Global business. 

StackaWraps CEO Richard Peter said the move into Eco-3D toys was a sustainability win for organisations looking to reduce their use of plastics, with National Geographic being a case in point. 

The publisher has been working to eradicate plastic from its magazines since 2018, and has been producing paper-based covermounts and gifts since November 2020 – at the same time reshoring production of items that would previously have been sourced from China. 

National Geographic had already been working with Beccles-based Anglia Print, the UK’s first printing firm to gain B-Corp certification. 

Anglia Print produced the tiger design A4 mini-PopHeads included with the April issue of National Geographic Kids.

“Working on sustainable craft prints like the National Geographic PopHeads was an exciting opportunity to collaborate on a valuable and creative application,” said managing director John Popely. 

Scott O’Brien, newstrade and promotions manager at Creature & Co, the licence holder for  National Geographic Kids magazine in the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, said: “We were among the first children's magazines in the UK to commit to removing plastic entirely from our product and since March 2021, all of our covermount gifts have been plastic-free and either self-produced or in conjunction with UK suppliers, the latest of these being the awesome PopHeads 3D Tiger.”

National Geographic Kids has a subscriber base of 50,000 and an overall circulation of 110,000. Peter said that after the April issue hit doormats and newsstands the impact had been immediate. 

“It’s been really successful. We’ve had tens of thousands of people looking at the QR code that gives the instructions on how to set the PopHeads up,” he said. 

“It’s a world first – it’s a massive thing and it’s really cool,” he added.

"The amount of imported plastic gifting inside magazines is at an all-time high and we want to encourage a fully eco alternative that not only looks stunning but is also fun to put together. Furthermore, National Geographic Kids and Anglia Print are hugely into sustainability and should be commended!”

Peter said that a number of major brands were also talking to the firm about how they could use the PopHeads technique for future promotions. 

The existing PopHeads own-brand range of art and craft kits includes A4 and A3 designs such as lions, sharks, elephants, pugs and kittens as well as a colour-in yourself range.