About Us

The smALL-STARS product line began as an idea as far back as 2012 at a small toy and gaming company in northern California. The founders developed a way to share with the world their love of toys, gaming and technology wrapped up in the total package of limited edition NBA collectibles: smALL-STARS.

After a few forays in products for the kids' market, the pair began to think about developing something for sports fans. Tinkering around in the “toys-to-life” category for a few years gave them some ideas that they felt could be applied to the sports category, specifically the sports collectibles' market. It seemed nothing innovative had been created in that market in years.

The idea of combining high-end sports collectibles with technology intrigued them. They began playing around with creating products that could take advantage of the NFC feature in mobile phones to connect real-world goods to the virtual world on screen of their devices. Their efforts led to the establishment of Interactive Play Technologies Inc. (IPT Inc.) n 2016.

Product History

IPT Inc. launched their first version of the smALL-STARS product line a year later for the 2016-17 NBA season under the ICONai brand name.

The first wave of 12-inch ICONai smALL-STARS figures, all officially licensed NBA products, included LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. Each came with a unique laser engraved ID number of the bottom of their shoe.

All the player figures released also used technology to bring the stylized versions of the NBA players to life on the mobile phone screen of those who purchased the product. Fans and collectors could download a free app, which connected to the figure using the NFC feature on their device. With a simple touch of the phone to the figure’s shoe, a miniature, interactive, animated version of the featured player would spring to life on the user’s phone gesturing for them to give the player a high five.

This was a first in the sports collectible market. A limited-edition NBA collectible with an interactive character component that fans and collectors could engage with. In addition to player trivia challenges and other features, the app also allowed users to register their figure and see the unique ID number code assigned to each. This code insured authenticity and allowed them to transfer ownership to another collector in the event of resale. Both the 2016-17 Edition smALL-Stars and the 2017-18 Edition smALL-STARS have this “smart collectible” feature.

Starting with a small release for 2018-19 season, IPT discontinued the “smart collectible” feature. Garnering all of the required approvals in a timely manner presented too many production issues around the app. However, a small run of 350 special LeBron James (Lakers' gold uniform) were released and a small run of 400 Stephen Curry (black Oaktown uniform) were issued.

The response to the smALL-STARS line was gaining popularity as NBA fans and collectors were responding strongly to the stylized player likenesses and the quality and size of the product line. The company noted the response and the decision was made to make a few adjustments and rebrand and relaunch the product in 2020.

The initial relaunch of the product began in the spring of 2020 with LeBron James (Lakers purple and gold uniform), Kawhi Leonard (Clippers blue uniform), Giannis Antetokoumpo (Bucks white uniform), and other stars. Featuring the same quality sculpting and attention to detail, the new product line is available in new, specially designed window boxes for fans and collectors alike. The product branding has been modified and the figures are now sold simply under the brand name smALL-STARS.

A year later, smALL-STARS MINIs were launched. A 6-inch figure, the MINIs were crafted with the same detail as full-sized smALL-STARS but at half the size.

We hope to bring you our unique stylized version of your favorite NBA players for years to come. Don’t hesitate to let us know who you want to next as part of the smALL-STARS NBA edition product line.

Complete Product History List:

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21