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POLAR is the world’s first modular pen made from MAGNETS. This beautifully simple product will transform into endless possibilities.
POLAR is the world’s first modular pen made from MAGNETS. This beautifully simple product will transform into endless possibilities.
POLAR is the world’s first modular pen made from MAGNETS. This beautifully simple product will transform into endless possibilities.
14,253 backers pledged CA$ 817,164 to help bring this project to life.

Information for Backers


Dear Backers ,

Thank you everyone for your amazing support of the POLAR pen project.

We have received notification from Health Canada that our product may potentially fall into the category of “magnet set” such as Buckyballs and Nanodots, which have recently been removed from the Canadian market. According to Health Canada, the concern is that multiple magnets, if ingested into the body can cause potential adverse health effects. This is especially a concern for children as they are more prone to swallow multiple magnets. Our company is presently in talks with Health Canada regarding POLAR pens significant functional differences to the “manipulative toy magnet sets” they refer to. 

If we are unable to ship our product to certain countries, POLAR Pen will fully refund the effected Backer our portion of the pledge amount, which is 92% of your total pledge. Unfortunately, the 5% fees taken by Kickstarter and the 3% payment processing fees are unable to be refunded.

We appreciate the support of our Backers on this project and are hoping for a positive outcome from our talks with Health Canada. We would encourage you to continue to support our campaign and our stand for this very unique product. 

However, we are providing this update so that you can make an informed decision regarding your pledge. It truly is our goal to be open and transparent with our supporters. We are working very hard to see this come to a positive resolution and for all backers to receive their products.



Please feel free to press “Like” if we have your support.

Press “View update” to comment on this update. 

Jan Bansuan, Justin Herrick, and 1,574 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Alex Brenton on October 17, 2013

      Is it possible to collective approach Kickstarter and negotiate a refund of the Kickstarter 5% fee? One can argue both ways whether Kickstarter is liable and I don't want to get into that discussion here. But as a matter of good will, they might want to consider it?

    2. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 15, 2013

      @Jeremy: Whether it is considered a reward for the pledge or sale would make no difference... if HC really decides it's a toy (a stupid decision, since you can legally buy these magnets in Canada for absolutely any purpose that you might personally want, including to manufacture a toy), it will be illegal to manufacture them in Canada, and it will also be illegal to export them into Canada from elsewhere. The only ones who will be "rewarded" for pledges that can't be fulfilled are kickstarter and the payment processor with their collective 8% of the donation.

      And to be honest, not getting what I pledged for would annoy me far more than losing 8%... which is why I'm keeping my pledge intact and really just hoping that a solution will be worked out.

    3. Jeremy Scherer on October 15, 2013

      The Preorder/donation thing is important, actually.
      Here's the thing: It is not illegal anywhere (as far as I know) to sell magnets. It IS illegal to brand/market/sell them as toys for children in some countries. Health Canada has taken an interest in this product as potentially targeting or catering to that market. Whether it is or is not is irrelevant at this point; it's up to them to determine if it falls into the category of "Toy" for sale.
      No other government or organization (according to what has been announced) is classifying this product as a toy, so no other government or organization is banning it. If you ask "is it banned in XXXXX," your answer is "only in Canada is it under scrutiny," but bear in mind customs have final say; if your shiny metallic object from a Canada based country raises flags, that's their discretion.
      However, back to the original point; YOU ARE NOT ORDERING ANYTHING. And that is important because the majority of laws surrounding the "Banning" of products is around their SALE. You are being sent a reward for a donation, not buying a product. This is good for us (Kickstarter backers), however it does not help post-Kickstarter sales to Canada should HC determine the product falls into the "Toy" category.

    4. Michael Araujo on October 15, 2013

      To touch on the donations/orders. I'd love to have the disposable income to fund any idea that I deemed worthy but the sad truth is I don't. I pledged my money with intentions of receiving 2 pens for myself and one as a gift for Christmas. I would wager that a majority of backers on KS'er or any other crowd funded site has a similar motive.

      The day I can afford to spend $1000 on a pledge and receive a few pens as a gift I will probably due so. Not in my current post grad state.

      I'm from Canada and I will keep my pledge in and hope for the best. If it can't be shipped to me I will submit another mailing address and worst case scenario I will say goodbye to my $4.80 and say good luck Polar Pen team.
      My 2¢

    5. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 14, 2013

      @Erkl: I expect that support for the project or its creator is merely a secondary beneficial side effect for many backers and not the primary intent. For those people, I'd expect that the intent behind the pledge is likely to be so that one actually does receives a reward. After all, if this were not the point, why would they bother asking for a refund if the project were to fail even after achieving its goal? And if a person is unable to receive it just because of the country that they live in, then they won't have really been supporting anything except Kickstarter and the payment processor... not the project or its idea anyways, since Mr Gardner will be refunding all of his share of a person's pledge to people he cannot ship to. How helpful is that, exactly?

      I'm personally holding off withdrawing my pledge on account of this update for two reasons: First, and most importantly, it's because I'm hopeful that this difficulty will be overcome. My second reason, albeit one that may be considered somewhat selfish, is that I pledged in a limited category which contained a reward that I actually really wanted, and that is now sold out. If I were to withdraw my pledge now, and things with Health Canada were somehow resolved, as I am hopeful that they will be, then I would not be able to receive what I had originally pledged for... and that would annoy me far more than losing the 8%, which again... the creator of the project wouldn't have anyways if he were unable to ship to me, since he would be refunding it.

      So why is it that Health Canada somehow has the jurisdiction to label what is very clearly a writing tool as a magnetic toy? Sure it's possible to play with, but people can play with virtually anything, regardless of what it's sold as. It is wholly possible to freely buy neodymium magnets in Canada, and children could potentially play with those too. The notion that HC could block this item, which when all is said and done, is still really justy a writing implement that happens to have a "gadget" aspect to it, just makes no sense to me.

    6. Erki on October 14, 2013

      @Remy You didn't pre-ordered nothing. You donated money to this project and for that donation you will receive a reward.
      @To others Don't be lazy and search yourself if these kind of magnets are allowed in your country or not. I really doubt Andrew has this kind of information.

    7. Missing avatar

      Rémy Savary (deleted) on October 14, 2013

      Well I really hope we will get news before time run out. I registered to kickstarter especially to get this product and It's rater frustrating to get such an update with so little time left.

      for those who say that backers gave their money to fund an idea, a concept, I'd like to remind you something: "100% of the money raised will go towards the first production run of the pen. These funds will allow us to meet the minimum order quantities set by our different manufacturers. "

      So no, we did not fund a designer's dream, we bought pens. We pre-ordered them so that indiedesign may meet minimum production requirement. I do believe that indiedesign should provide a clear answer about weither or not canadian (and others) backers will get their pen and they should do so before time run out. If they can't provide such answer... well any business who respect their client or simply care about the image they send would give full refund.

      On a more cheefull note, I do hope this project go through without problems and everyone receive their wonderfull magic pen.

    8. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 14, 2013

      People who live in countries where they would not be able to receive the product and would want atl least the 92% refund the project creator can offer would not be harming the creator by withdrawing early, since Mr. Gardner would be refunding it anyways, there's no difference with respect to how much he receives.

      The only way it could make any difference is if so many people pull out that the project fails to meet its goal, but considering by how much it's surpassed that point, I would find that highly unlikely.

    9. Sholly Silver on October 14, 2013

      Thank you for the update. I really hope that it all works out. As others have been asking on these posts, can you please provide AS SOON AS POSSIBLE a list of countries that you can ship to? and on a personal note, can you ship to London? These shipping questions need to be answered quickly for i fear that people will just pull out due to your lack of communication.

    10. Nguyễn H LOng on October 14, 2013

      Will it ship to Vietnam

    11. Missing avatar

      David Richmond on October 14, 2013

      Does not mention Canada, but US, AU and NZ have effectively banned them

    12. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 14, 2013

      One is compelled to wonder, if these magnets are illegal in Canada, to ask how the creator of this project, who is also located in Canada, managed to acquire them? I'm not suggesting that he did so illegally, but rather, suggesting that surely if the creator can legally get them imported for the creation of such a device, then what possible reason could there be to prohibit the tool's actual sale?

    13. Missing avatar

      Andrew on October 14, 2013

      I'll repeat this for the 200 time... Could somebody provide a list of countries they are able to ship to?

      If this cant ship to the US I would like to cancel my order before being penalized for somebody's lack of research.

    14. Missing avatar

      John Good
      on October 14, 2013

      Sorry could have answered question 3 myself reading the FAQ beforehand.

    15. Missing avatar

      John Good
      on October 14, 2013

      Hi, 3 Questions regarding this:
      1. Does anybody know how Germany's or Europe's laws are regarding such magnetic toys.
      2. Are there any regularities regarding shipping and sending strong magnets? I mean it could come close to a credit card in a letter and potentially destroy it.
      3. Is it dangerous to have the pen close to a computer with a hard disk drive regarding data loss?

    16. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 14, 2013

      It's worth noting, for people in Canada, that if they are not actually able to ship to Canada, then they are obligated, under Kickstarters terms of service, to refund 100% of their take to people that they cannot delivery to, and so a pledge being left in place by a Canadian will not actually benefit them if they have to refund the money anyways... it will only benefit Kickstarter and the payment processor.

      It may also be worth pointing out, for Canadians who have made a pledge in a limited size category that are now full, that retaining their pledge when they would otherwise just be getting most of their donation refunded will also keep others who may be able to actually receive the product from being able to make pledges in that category.

      None of this should be construed as suggesting that any people would be withdrawing any of their pledges right now, but I do think it's important that we be in a position to make an informed decision. This critically depends on precisely what Health Canada has actually said... if they are using words like "believe" or "probably", then I believe that there's not an unreasonable chance that Mr. Gardner will be able to convince them that their assessment is incorrect. If, however, they are really insisting that the project is just a magnetic toy, then realistically, it's probably the case that Canadian backers of this project are hooped unless it's possible for them to arrange shipment to a foreign address and import it themselves. In the interests of making such an informed decision, it would be ideal if we knew which way things actually are before the project backing actually ends.

    17. Missing avatar

      colin holt on October 14, 2013

      could Canadian orders be shipped in two rounds? One with the pen components and one with the magnets so we were just receiving parts instead of a 'toy'? at worst would you be able to send out all non magnetic parts and we could just order magnets somewhere?

    18. Marco Romantini on October 14, 2013

      Wait, I'm NOT supposed to eat the magnets? Oh, I don't know if I even want it now. Best of luck, guys. p.s. I also miss BuckyBalls.

    19. Marc Chabot on October 14, 2013

      I have a US address if I can't get it from my (Canadian) home address.

    20. Missing avatar

      Wei Keong Ho on October 14, 2013

      Would be sad if regulations have to stand in the way of innovations.

    21. Kevin Segel on October 14, 2013

      I just wanted to say thanks for putting this project together. I'm still really excited about this. I live in the US and I don't think will have any effect here but I really hope the world gets to see this. It looks like an awesome product and it would be sad to see some regulations ruin it for some.

    22. Zach Shibuya on October 14, 2013

      @Jesty, he replied that Canada in the only one affected so far.

    23. Missing avatar

      Jesty Karl Salvatierra on October 14, 2013

      Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for the update - I think just for the rest of the backer we would really appreciate if the team can advise which countries are not affected with this health issues delivery? otherwise, let us know regardless of which country this project is forfeited or totally stop in producing.
      thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

    24. Missing avatar

      Sophie Andrews on October 14, 2013

      I appreciate the transparency and your forthrightness in coming forward straight away. I'm actually thinking of buying a second pen- I like supporting business that do the right thing.

    25. Ben Rogers on October 14, 2013

      Of all the projects I am currently funding, this was the one I was most looking forward to receiving. Too bad to hear the potential issue shipping here to Canada.

    26. Missing avatar

      James R Varga on October 13, 2013

      If you cannot ship to Canadian addresses, can you still sell out of your facility, I have to wonder?

    27. Missing avatar

      Bertrand Etheve on October 13, 2013

      Thanks for this notice and please let me know if you can't deliver the order in Canada as said by John Paolo... i will give you my address in US, maybe it will be more easy for you for the shipping. That being said, i hope that you will have the « GO » from Health Canada.

    28. John Paolo Germino Mapoy on October 13, 2013

      Hi Andrew... I'm still leaving my pledge as is just let us know if you can deliver the order in canada. If not i can give you my Philippines location as long as it will arrive on february. Thank you very much and hoping for the positive feedback from the Health Canada

    29. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 13, 2013

      Will that work? I live pretty close to the border and could easily arrange a US shipping address.

    30. Northwings on October 13, 2013

      Canada is a great country, but I absolutely hate this kind of legislation. The population of this country is taken hostage because of dumb people. I have an easily accessible US address. I'll have it shipped there instead. Hope this works out!

    31. Jeremy Scherer on October 13, 2013

      @Ali: if he knows, he'll tell us
      @"Oh no 8%": This isn't a pre-order, folks; this is investing in an idea. If you don't have 8% to lose, withdraw your PLEDGE and consider if Kickstarter is something you should be using.
      @"I don't check Kickstarter Emails": You're choosing to give money to an unknown company making an unknown product; you might consider reading the updates on the company you're pledging money to.
      @Andrew: I REALLY hope you lawyer'd up QUICK when they contacted you; you've got a great position to convince them that your office-supply product is NOT a toy, simply an Executive-Level unique application of a writing device, but one wrong word in an email is all they need to slap you with a ban.

    32. Missing avatar

      Ali on October 13, 2013

      Hi Andrew please clarify with yes or no answer whether or not you can send to canada (in my case i live in Toronto) before last day of your project

    33. Missing avatar

      Mark Tarrabain on October 13, 2013

      Is Health Canada really "suggesting" that it falls into that category? Or are they actually insisting that it does? Is there any possibility of finding out for sure before the end of the drive, so that Canadians can make an informed decision about whether to withdraw their pledge so that Kickstarter doesn't profit from something that it's not legal for you to sell to them in the first place?

    34. Adrian Carter on October 13, 2013

      I am also a Canadian with a readily available US address. When can I supply this shipping address?

    35. Lilian QR on October 13, 2013

      Dear Andrew, we hope that health canada will take the best decision for the POLAR PEN, maybe this product could be reserve only to people up to 14 years old ???? anyway, i hope it will be ok for you Andrew, launching a project on kickstarter is a lot of work , we want the best success for you.

    36. Missing avatar

      Herbert on October 13, 2013

      @Sofiane Medjkoune: I agree that this is certainly bad news for Andrew, and it was certainly not intended by him. I assume no intended malice by anybody involved, and I agree that KS should not take a percentage of refunded backers - but this would be hard to implement.

      The problem is though, that as somebody producing a new product you should definetely look for potential showstoppers before going public. Your product being regarded as potential heath problem is such an elephant in the room (or other export problems, FCC/EC/...certification, ...). I implicitly assumend that this was already taken care of before going public on KS.

      Of course the creators on KS often are not experienced businessmen, but indiedesign has produced outdoor and sports goods already - so potential health issues and certification of a product should not be surprising to Andrew. Learning about such a showstopper 3 days before your campaign ends and you are about to collect ~750.000 $ - that is, hm, unpleasantly surprising in regard to the management abilities of indidesign. He did right by coming out with this right away, I applaud him for that kind of crisis management, but still, this should not have happened this way. Also stating that all the risk of this problem lies with the backers was probably not a good idea - backers do take risks as do creators, but shifting the risk completely to the backer might be regarded by some backers as not the right move at this point.

      Anyway, if the list comes out before the campaign ends, all should be ok, everybody will know if he or she can actually receive the pen. So, getting this issue clearded and the list out is (or should be) of the highest importance for Andrew.

    37. Wolle Zimmermann on October 13, 2013

      Thanks for this update and i hope you can delivery to Germany.
      @ And Herbert think about this"No risk, no fun!" , so take it easy and keep cool I'm sure Andrew do his best to find a way out.

    38. Andrew Gardner Creator on October 13, 2013

      Thank you all for your encouragement and great ideas in your comments. You have brought up some really interesting points and we are presently looking into your suggestions.

      We are viewing the potential refund as a last resort. We will seek all other avenues prior to issuing a refund.

      At this time, only Health Canada is suggesting that the POLAR Pen falls into the category of “manipulative toy magnet set”. This means that only Canadian backers may potentially be affected.

      We intend to keep you notified with information as we receive it, we apologize that this issue arose so close to the end of our campaign.

    39. Missing avatar

      Sofiane Medjkoune on October 13, 2013

      Thanks for this update Andrew. I really appreciate your transparency and I stand my pledge. Hope you will be able to ship France, and other countries around the world.

      @Herbert I partially agree with you, Indiedesign (and Andrew furthermore) should have look into it before, but hey, dont you think it's already a fuc**** bad news for them ? I think KickStarter should really change their policy for this kind of situation.

    40. Missing avatar

      Herbert on October 13, 2013

      Andrew, this is a central problem to your product, you should have been aware of this sooner (before you went public with the product).

      It should be *priority one* for you to compile a list of countries that will not be able to receive the pen ASAP. It is not enough to just anounce the problem and make it the problem of your backers.

      If your backers get the information later (after the funding period) the ones which are banned will probably be angry about this - and it doesn't benefit you anyway, since you gain no support from their 8% loss, but only gain angry ex-customers voicing their anger here and elsewhere which would be bad PR right from the start.

    41. Missing avatar

      Scott Kobryn on October 13, 2013

      Andrew, don't let some government schmuck in a cheap suit tell you how to run your business. Forget about Canada - it's a drop in the bucket globally. I'm in New York so it's go time baby, find a way and get it done.

    42. Manuka Makers on October 13, 2013

      Respect for the truthful and straightforward update! You have our pledge. Not fussed about the 8% but think Kickstarter might consider changing its policy and waiving fees for pledges that are refunded by project creators.

    43. Missing avatar

      Sergey Shokolov on October 13, 2013

      Hope you can delivery in Russia

    44. Missing avatar

      John Doe on October 13, 2013

      I'm not sure I understand. If toy magnets are banned in Canadian market, then how come "If we are unable to ship our product to certain countries"?

    45. Benjamin Reichstein on October 13, 2013

      Thank you, your transparency is very much appreciated! I stand by my pledge :)

    46. Missing avatar

      Michael Schindler on October 13, 2013

      As i see there are several options for you to ship this gadget over different countries with the support of this community. I also want to offer my business address in germany to manage the shipment without such regulations.

    47. whisky
      on October 13, 2013

      Wait.. You Canadians are complaining about the government? At least you non Torontonians don't have to deal with Rob Ford. #ExpectedRobFordHatePost

    48. Missing avatar

      Linh Anh Le on October 13, 2013

      I live in Australia but if you cant send your PEN to Australia, just let me know. You can send them to me with my Vietnamese address, where almost is no ban for these.

    49. Harsh Dhul on October 13, 2013

      which are the countries where you are not planning to ship this product??

    50. Arcsaber on October 13, 2013

      What is the production description of the magnet pen you are going to indicate on the commercial invoice? So we can at least check with local customs if the product is banned or not