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A cardboard chimpanzee mask kit that literally speaks for itself.
A cardboard chimpanzee mask kit that literally speaks for itself.
206 backers pledged £8,013 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£8,013

206

www.facebook.com/partlyanimal

For festivals, for fancy dress, or just for fun.

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MY STORY:



Hi, I'm Seb Mayer, and cardboard is a very close friend of mine, he’s been showing up throughout my life since i was a child. We've only been working together in a professional sense for the past sixteen months, but in that time we've produced some very promising work, and now we're ready to share the fruits of our labour with a wider audience.


I founded Partly Animal to distribute my animal masks to the humans of the world. I mostly do animal masks because I can just steal ideas from the work of a much more skilled and ancient designer – Mother Nature.


For years, I’ve been wearing my creations to parties, festivals, and several times through customs at the airport, and everywhere I go I get people coming to ask “Where did you get that? Can I get one?” Until now I’ve always have to respond: “I made it, and I’m afraid it’s the only one there is.” 

Well hopefully soon I can change that response to “I made it, and yes, there are enough for everyone!”

East Side Gallery, Berlin
East Side Gallery, Berlin

THE DESIGN:



Most Recent


The chimpanzee is my most recent design, borrowing features from all the best masks I’ve made in the past. The system of tabs that hold it together has been perfected over the course of about 50 different prototypes, making it easier and quicker than ever to assemble. With the six-step instructions, most people can put one together in under 10 minutes. The record sits somewhere around 40 seconds. 

Most Robust


Corrugated cardboard gets its strength from flutes of paper that run along within it. This mask has been designed from the start with the flutes in mind, so that when assembled they are perfectly aligned over the mask to make it as strong as possible.

You can knock it, drop it, pick it back up and put it on your head, which means you can get right into the crowd without worrying. Obviously it’s not indestructible; if you stamp on it or set it on fire you will ruin it, but last summer one particular mask endured travelling with me from London to Arles to Avignon to Basel to Freiburg to Berlin, back to the UK, and it had been to two festivals before the summer was over… It still looks good, sitting in my living room right now.

Most Recyclable

When the mask comes to the end of its life, it can be recycled. Unlike plastic or silicone masks which will spend the next few hundred years in a landfill, it will be reincarnated as a cereal box, or maybe a nice paper hat for next christmas. The only part of the mask that isn’t recyclable is two little rubber bands. Paper just isn’t stretchy enough, and believe me i’ve tried.


Most Comfortable


Unlike most masks, which sit against your face and feel claustrophobic, this mask sits on the top of your head and forehead but doesn’t touch your face. It’s spacious enough to breathe comfortably and you have complete freedom to move your mouth inside. The chimp eyes are set further apart than your human ones so you can see straight out between them. And if you don’t want to wear it all the time, you can push it back on top of your head and wear it like a cap: now you can see and your friends can recognise you!


Most Popular


The mask is designed to fit on a medium sized adult, but will fit on any head from juvenile to geriatric. Grownups love them. Kids love them. Last year, when I ran a stall at festivals with the big cat mask, we had interest from all age groups, and the only problem was we couldn’t sell them fast enough. It sounds boastful but it’s true; we were selling plain masks that you had to paint yourself, which can take an hour. So five-year-olds to thirty-year-olds were queuing up for their turn. This year, with ready-printed masks, it becomes a two-minute fancy dress solution: no queues, no hassle, just instant masked merriment.


THE PROCESS:



All the prototypes you see in the video are made by hand, following a long, arduous process that can take three hours at a time. If I move to industrial production I can shorten that time to less than a minute.


The mask will be made using a combination of screen printing and litho cutting. I'll be outsourcing the production of the masks to an experienced manufacturer in the UK with the perfect tools for the job.

In the factory:

  • High quality paper is silkscreen printed with a four-colour process and finished with a varnish layer.
  • The paper is fixed to E-flute corrugated cardboard.
  • A specially made die cutter is used to punch out the eight, perfectly cut and scored pieces.
  • The mask sets are delivered to me, where I’ll package them along with the string, rubber bands, split pins, and instructions.

The end result is a stackable, postable, convenient flatpack with everything you need inside to become a chimpanzee.


WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES:

  • Tooling costs for the printing plates and the die cutter.
  • Raw materials and labour involved in production.
  • Renting space for packaging and distributing the masks.
  • Paying for a European Community Notified Body to certify the mask so I can legally sell it.
  • Marketing the mask to retailers in the local area and further afield.
  • Organising and preparing for touring a mask stall at festivals this summer, including festival deposits.

If i make more than my £7,500 target, i will put the money towards the finalisation and production of my next mask design. Ideally I'd like to have at least two different designs produced in time for mid July to sell at festivals.

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE:



7 March – 31st March – Kickstarter Campaign


1st April – 15th April – Payment Collection


16th April – 30th April – Production of Masks


1st May – 31st May – Packaging and Distribution

A Topeng dragon I bought in Bali in 2011, a dragon I made in 2012, and a dragon I made in 2013
A Topeng dragon I bought in Bali in 2011, a dragon I made in 2012, and a dragon I made in 2013

HOW YOU CAN HELP:



Back the project:


Make a pledge to help me get off my feet, and get yourself a wicked mask at the same time! Win-win!


Spread the word:


If you like the idea, share it with your friends using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even using your old-fashioned mouth and vocal chords! (if any of you are still into that.)


Keep in touch:


Follow Partly Animal on Facebook and PartlyAnimalUK on Twitter for updates about my progress and the first word on future masks!


Future Masks?
Future Masks?
Love charts? You'll love this!
Love charts? You'll love this!
  

Risks and challenges

The design of the mask has been tested over countless prototypes and I have had masks produced lithographically before. I am confident that my chosen manufacturer will produce the masks to the highest standard.

The largest challenge I foresee is setting up the production line for packaging the masks once they’re delivered to me. I’ve never had to package masks at such high quantities before, so to minimise the chance of orders coming late, I’ve budgeted a month of time for this task, which should be ample.

I also have to finish designing the packaging, which is very close to completion. But hey, if I can design a cardboard box in the likeness of a chimpanzee then I should be able to design one that looks like a rectangle, right?

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    A warm feeling inside.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $17

    Early bird special offer: 1 chimpanzee mask kit.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $20

    1 chimpanzee mask kit. AHA HA HA!

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    90 backers
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    Pledge £20 or more About $33

    1 chimpanzee mask kit, a handwritten poem and an A4 poster print.

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    18 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £55 or more About $92

    PARTY PACK: 5 chimpanzee mask kits, a handwritten poem, and an A4 poster print.

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    18 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $167

    HALF ZOO: 5 chimpanzee mask kits, 1 hand painted big cat mask of your choice (e.g. tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar), a hand drawn comic, and an A3 poster print.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $418

    FULL ZOO: 5 chimpanzee mask kits, 2 hand painted big cat masks of your choice (e.g. jaguar, leopard, lion, tiger), a completely hand made elephant mask, a hand drawn comic, and an A3 poster print.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $836

    CHINESE DRAGON: a hand-made, hand-painted 3 foot by 2 foot giant mask with a snapping jaw as seen in video. Your choice of colour. Also a chimp mask and an A3 poster print.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,671

    I'll pay (or rather you'll pay) for you to travel to my workshop from anywhere in the UK to spend a day building and painting a custom mask of any animal you like. Either in 'Chinese dragon' style (Huge frontal mask with snapping jaw) or normal 'wear on your head' style. Also 5 chimp masks and an A3 poster print.

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Funding period

- (24 days)