Recently in the ShortList.com office, our interest has been piqued by some excellently odd Kickstarter projects.
Just this week we’ve seen the NoPhone, a superbly dry iPhone parody that’s worth its weight in sarcasm, and the AirVR which, for all its fancy infographics, is essentially just a belt that straps an iPad to your face.
It seems that Zach Danger Brown (lest we remind you of his epoch-defining potato salad), has cast a long shadow over the fundraising platform, to the point that we can no longer tell the good ideas from the stinkers.
Here are ten things on Kickstarter right now that are too close to call...
The virtually unbreakable pencil
What is it? The Stalwart Pencil is a pencil with a really thick lead.
Why? So, as demonstrated in the above photo, you can use your pencil in conjunction with a hairband to lift bricks. Y'know, if you want to. (The basic message is that this pencil’s lead will never snap.)
How much has it raised? $351 (of $49).
Runs out: 11th October 2014.
A hip-hop album re-recorded with cats
What is it? A re-recording of Killer Mike and El-P’s upcoming hip-hop album Run The Jewels 2, with the music replaced by cat sounds.
Why? God only knows. Oh, hang on: “Proceeds will be donated to the families of those who have lost their lives to Police brutality this year and a smaller portion will go to help neglected animals”. So there.
How much has it raised? $4,722 (of $45,100).
Runs out: 28th October 2014.
An am-dram Star Trek spin-off
What is it? Starship Farragut: The Crossing is an amateur webseries that spins off the original Star Trek. Instead of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise, it features Captain Wilcox and the Farragut. In the cast’s own words: “Different ship, different crew and different adventures”.
Why? A mixture of reasons. Mostly: fannish enthusiasm, ego and a fetish for paunch-hugging velour.
How much has it raised? $9,516 (of $15,000).
Runs out: 9th October 2014.
A rubber wedding ring
What is it? A wedding ring made of rubber, obviously. The Rhino Ring is designed to be worn temporarily by people doing “active pursuits” like rock climbing, to save your precious jewellery from getting scratched. Because the first thing you ask when you meet a fellow free climber 600ft up a cliff face is, “So… are you seeing anyone at the moment?”
Why? “These rings are meant for an active lifestyle and allows for a choice apart from ruining your wedding band or taking it off during physical activities.” They’re lucky Kickstarter doesn’t fine people for bad grammar.
How much has it raised? $1,925 (of $1,800).
Runs out: 3rd October 2014.
A phone charger shaped like a toaster
What is it? The Foaster: a phone charger that looks like a toaster. (N.B. Neither ‘phone’ nor ‘toaster’ begin with the letter ‘F’, guys.)
Why? To eliminate the bothersome clutter associated with charging multiple devices (i.e. wires).
How much has it raised? $10,197 (of $44,400).
Runs out: 9th November 2014.
An absolutely massive Lego Star Wars ship
What is it? A 13-foot long, 90,000-piece Lego model of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer from The Empire Strikes Back. When finished, it will have a surface area of 53 square feet and weigh 220 pounds.
Why? Lego modeller Thomas Benedikt of Toronto has got previous with this sort of thing. In 2009, he built a model of Admiral Akhbar’s Mon Calamari Star Cruiser, from Return Of The Jedi. That one only weighed 52 pounds, though.
How much has it raised? $1,513 (of $15,500, which is 60% of the total cost - Benedikt will fund the rest himself).
Runs out: 4th October 2014.
A brand new video game for the NES
What is it? Fantasy title Mystic Searches will be an entirely new game for the classic 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. The cash raised will also fund a ‘making of’ documentary.
Why? Because nostalgia is a powerful thing.
How much has it raised? $12,073 (of $36,000).
Runs out: 18th October 2014.
What is it? A collectible figurine in the shape of a mutant shark/centipede monster. Sharktipede is inspired by movies including Sharknado, Mega Shark VS. Giant Octopus, Deep Blue Sea and Croczilla.
Why? A very good question.
How much has it raised? $3,261 (of $2,000).
Runs out: 10th October 2014.
A floating sauna
What is it? A floating sauna.
Why? Makers goCstudio use this pretentious quote to explain why they want to make a sauna that floats on water: “‘The sauna is an apotheosis of all experience: Purgatory and paradise; earth and fire; fire and water; sin and forgiveness. It is eternal new birth. You are healed, you are made new.’ - Constance Malleson 1936.” Doesn’t really say why you’d want to sail in one though, does it?
How much has it raised? $17,968 (of $43,000).
Runs out: 2nd October 2014.
A thing that jet-washes your teeth
What is it? The CLEARsmile Oral Hygiene Device is a new way to brush your teeth, without using a brush. It’s basically Toothbrush 2.0.
Why? According to the inventor, Dr. Igor Reizenson, the CLEARsmile will help nurses to maintain elderly patients’ oral hygiene. It’s also a bit cooler than a boring brush, so will inspire teenagers to look after their gnashers more carefully too.
How much has it raised? $43,609 (of $16,500).
Runs out: 11th October 2014.