A few years ago, we had a silly idea to personify some chickens (we thought it would be hilarious). We came up with really cool characters, named them ChikkinChamps™ and decided to make some t-shirts to see if we could make a few bucks. Sorta cuckoo, right? Well, the development was just starting...
Once we had a sizable flock of characters, Leroy shared them with his mini think-tank (you guessed it, his kids). They absolutely loved the characters and thought it would be a cool idea to put them on trading cards: better yet, MAKE THEM A TRADING CARD GAME! So, we figured out a game concept and got busy making our own trading cards with the kids: Leroy measured and cut out cardboard pieces, LeRoi Armani, VI wrapped one side of them in construction paper and LeRoi "Draco", V (Leroy's 11 yr. old son - at the time) drew his own renditions of Chikkasso's™ artwork on them. The house was a regular assembly line. London finished them off by coloring them to make them complete and we were all set to play: SKKRAMBLED™ WAS HATCHED! The rest of the Barrett clan (LeRoiIV and LaThania), and everyone we could get over the house, were the test subjects. We've played the game over and over to work out kinks.
There are more than 50 different playing directives on the spaces that make the game totally unpredictable. Adding the signature character spaces to that number makes the game even more exciting: you take eggs from other players, knock them back, even crow out loud like a rooster! Now, the game play is AWESOME and different every time. So much so that after more than a year of developing and playing Skkrambled™, WE'RE STILL PLAYING IT TODAY!
We'll show you how to play right here:
The Skkrambled™ trading cards feature cool details about our characters. The ChikkinChamps™ characters have personal statistics (height, professions, hobbies, etc.) that are listed on the cards and very unique personality traits which makes each card even more special: every character has a signature space that you can't find anywhere else! We have more than 200 original characters in the ChikkinChamps™ world which will make this an awesome game feature. The more we've played it the more we were convinced that we should share it with the world. With your help, we'll do exactly that!
Of course, we love Draco's artwork (its really awesome Armone, you're the greatest) and London's and Armani's craft skills (also awesome, thanks Barretts) but the final cards will all have professional artwork, writing, card stock, gloss, etc. The game pieces will be ChikkinChamps™ characters and not the spare pieces we've used in the demonstration video (obviously).
We plan to use a trading card manufacturer in Chicago, IL and an action figure company in Toronto, ON. We would like to exclusively use American businesses so if you have suggestions please share them with us. Our ultimate aim is to create U.S. jobs with our product and contribute to the U.S. economy. Sometimes that'll be a little more expensive but the payoff is worth it: we could save money, but we'd rather support American households. So, if you have a quality lead on an American action figure manufacturer please contact us.
Wanna peek into our creative minds? (You don't, trust us, you really don't). Well, we've added a video below from an earlier stage of the ChikkinChamps™ development process. Our idea was to share a silly look into the character of our Chikkins™ through song. (Everybody loves songs, right)? So, with a few loose eggs rolling around in our barn, we put together a song parody to showcase our birds.THIS VIDEO IS NOT INTENDED FOR SALE OR REPRODUCTION of any sort and only a few of the characters featured continue to exist in the ChikkinChamps™ world (namely Pikkata Pox Mezzo™, Muscles Marsala Mezzo™, their "muscle" the Mezzo Goons™, and Chikk-A-Boom-Boom™ & Chikk-A-Dee-Dee™ [the twin sisters]) . Actually, since creating this video, the direction of our project has changed altogether making this video a misrepresentation of our world.
But because we had PHENOMENAL ARTISTS (James "Chikkasso"™ Averett did ALL the drawing) who worked REALLY HARD (John "Burt" Freeman studio owner/engineer) and put in HOURS of effort (Ray Rudy assembled the video), including SINGING THEIR HEARTS OUT (LaThania [lead singer], Armani, London and Monique are the vocals), we thought it would just be wrong to keep it hidden. So here's a comical look at a serious issue: some bird-brain puttin' his hands on your Chikkin™! (Dude, use a fork - wait, we're not talking about chicken here, we're talking Chikkin™! Keep those forks to yourselves, thank you very much). That's just indecent and we're pull-our-feathers-out mad about it! (We hope you enjoy it).
And for our "coop" de grace, we wanna take a minute to thank everyone that helped us bring this project to life. As we strive to deliver Skkrambled™ to the masses we want to acknowledge them on the biggest scale that we can and right now the Kickstarter platform is the biggest scale we have - WE WANNA SHOW YOU AS MUCH LOVE AS WE CAN!
First, we want to thank our families for helping us build a barn full of funny stuff and for putting up with us even when everything in the field has been, well, corny. Thanks to Clint Sims and Jay Melton for planting seeds that led to the creation of our early characters. Thanks Jeff Jarrett for helping put faces to all the squawking. Thank you Arnold Joe "AJ" Hogue, Thomas "Lil' Dog" Beaurem I, Tim Robinson and Earnest "Wolf" Quick - you brothers are the best brothers a pair of brothers can have, brothers! Your helping support is more than appreciated. Oop-oop! Chaka Ali Chapuis, you're an artistic visionary. We would never have gotten the development under wing without you, thanks a bunch! JAMES "CHIKKASSO"™ AVERETT you are the greatest! The ChikkinChamps™ world has wings because of your incredible degree of skill and the depth of your commitment, and that's not just idle squawkin'! We really appreciate you, buddy. LACY J. LODES, Intellectual Property Attorney prodigy: guidance, council, infinite wisdom, Sooners... you're just the bomb. Thanks for spending valuable time keeping our path straight (and protected). (On knees) "we're not worthy, we're not worthy... Thank you John P. Roberts for being supportive and for connecting us with Chikkasso™, you personify the word "brother". Thanks Barry Drummond for being level-headed, resourceful and task-driven, but mostly for being loyal. Thank you Donald Petsche for adding a skillful technical element to the creative ones, Semper Fidelis! Thanks Aaron Lewis and Kelvin Lewis for believing AND supporting; man - it really matters! Ray Rudy, thanks for all your help. You've shared a toolshed full of skills just for the asking - you're awesome! Thank you to my (Leroy's) son, LeRoi Armone "Draco" Barrett V, for being such a talented visionary at 12 years old. Everything you've added to the ChikkinChamps™ world is valuable (SO PROUD OF YOU). Thanks Barrett kids (London, Armani and Draco) for 'hatching' the first Skkrambled™ game ever and for helping us figure out how to make it fun - you're the greatest! LaThania Asianique "First Lady" Barrett, your angelical vocals made the "Plukk™ You" video worth hearing. You're a marvelous talent and that was just the first studio trip of many for you. Thank you, you're amazing! Armani, London and Monique - your background vocals sounded like true songbirds; like talented Chikkins, in fact (we're kidding, we're kidding). Thank you for lending your talents and staying awake until it was done! It was fun and we sincerely thank you. Amanda Young, we're so glad Don plukked™ you out of thin air. Your hues of talent made our birds colorful - literally! Thank you. Thanks Burt, for helping essential strangers become family - we'll be back in that studio, bro! Lyle Detwiler, you are the "techie" extraordinaire! Thank you for shooting this for us and making it work. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We have nothing but love for Darby Lee and Joshua Pickering: it's a blessing to have awesome family members all over the place who help however they can. Thank you two, too. Speaking of family everywhere, thank you Tanya Barrett-Ford for always being supportive, suffering through hours of ideas, rolling with direction changes and taking bird's eye views of dozens of Pikks™. You're the bestest Iyii! We have to thank Mark Abrams for keeping the 70's cool and for introducing us to Kickstarter, otherwise we wouldn't be here. Our Facebook flock of family and friends at www.facebook.com/MillionFlea are special to us, your support is priceless. Thanks for liking us (we like you, too) and continue to chill in the 'coop' with us - we've got a lot more coming! Thanks for existing Kickstarter, if you weren't here we couldn't be. (On this site, in front of people, you know what we're saying). This is a marvelous forum and we thank you for creating it. Lastly (but not leastly) thank you, yes YOU, for reading this dissertation and for supporting us! We love you from your beak to your feet!
Bonus Pikks™! These Chikkins™ were named by our Facebook family and friends (thanks for the love, y'all). Check 'em out then check us out at www.facebook.com/MillionFlea:
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge would be time: we have a lot of artwork to complete with just our master artist, James "Chikkasso"™ Averett, and a few great artists from all over the country. We've had development help from Chaka Chapuis in Dallas, TX, Jeff Jarrett in Tampa, FL, Amanda Young in Chicago, IL and John "Burt" Freeman in San Diego, CA and their continued assistance should be enough. However, two of them are colorists so the workload can still be tough. Finding the right artists or art firm to alleviate Chikkasso's™ workload will be important for the future of ChikkinChamps™ and Skkrambled™. Our preference is to build a team as opposed to outsourcing so we continue to scour opportunities. However, we have planned our Kickstarter campaign reward deliveries in ample time for us to be punctual with what we have presently. Once we're funded, we can certainly cover the workload for the prototypes.
Our risk is we simply may not secure a distribution or licensing agreement. We have numerous shades to and future vision for the ChikkinChamps™ world that should make Skkrambled™ widely attractive to card manufacturers (as well as video game producers, big plans for the Phantom Bantam™ are already drawn). Unfortunately, these things are not certain until the papers are signed, production begins and the Chikkins™ are flying off the shelves. This is why it is MANDATORY that we put together a professional appeal. The more support we get to lift our Chikkins™ off the ground, the more convincing our distribution appeal can be. In fact, YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP US BUILD THE CASE OF HOW AWESOME SKKRAMBLED™ IS! Sharing our project with your friends is an egg-cellent way to vastly improve our eggs, um, odds. There are no guarantees that we'll get distribution or be able to successfully license Skkrambled™, but this funding drive will definitely deliver your gifts and put our project in a great position. Because of you and our friends at Kickstarter, when this campaign is successful Skkrambled™ will be a professionally functional game. Thanks for your support (we NEED it)!
LOVE OFFERING - You shared your hard earned skkratch™ with us because you either love who we are, what we're doing or you're just a love bug and need to love something. Why, thank you - we love you , too. You have our deepest gratitude.
OFFICIAL CHIKKIN™ LOVER - Thank you! You're instrumental to our success and we will officially appreciate you. You will receive an official AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION acknowledging your support. And, we love you, too.
PLAYING YOUR CARDS RIGHT - Be one of the first to receive a limited edition Skkrambled™ the Official ChikkinChamps™ Trading Card Game TRADING CARD and an AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION for bringing Skkrambled™ to life.
TIME FOR SOME ACTION - donor receives an official SKKRAMBLED CHIKKINCHAMPS ACTION FIGURE along with its limited edition SKKRAMBLED TRADING CARD and an AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION. We'll also squawk from the top of the coop about how awesome you are for helping us. (That counts, right?)
2-MINUTE EGGS – You, my friend, will receive (2) official SKKRAMBLED CHIKKINCHAMPS ACTION FIGURES along with their (2) LIMITED EDITION SKKRAMBLED TRADING CARDS and an AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION. You can admire the set on a shelf or have them practicing MMA moves on your coffee table. (Its cool, we won't tell anyone).
CHIKKINS™ IN CLOTHES? – Be the coolest kid on the block sporting the first farm-fresh ChikkinChamps™ gear! You get an OFFICIAL SKKRAMBLED™ T-SHIRT along with the 2-MINUTE EGGS GIFT SET (2 action figures, 2 trading cards and an autographed certificate). And, you'll be added to our favorite people list for life! (Technically, there isn't a real list but you'd be on it if one actually existed).
THE SQUAWK OF THE TOWN! – That is what you'll be with this barn full of goodies! With this pledge you'll receive a complete SKKRAMBLED THE OFFICIAL CHIKKINCHAMPS TRADING CARD GAME GIFT SET. (It includes a set of 20 trading cards, two action figures, and a Dubble Duzzen card set complete with Egg Pakks™ and Flapp Trakks). You will also receive a SKKRAMBLED™ T-SHIRT and an AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION. Will all of this fit in your barn?
DUBBLE™ DIPPIN' - For helping us this much you'll get the SQUAWK OF THE TOWN award! You'll receive a CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY stating that you're an original Skkrambled™ Kickstarter supporter and that you've received one of the first Skkrambled™ gift sets ever. You'll get an ADDITIONAL GIFT SET, as well. (That means two sets, Peeps). You will also receive TWO SKKRAMBLED™ T-SHIRTS.
CHIKKINIZED™! – Don't be a chicken, BE A CHIKKIN™!! YOUR LIKENESS WILL BE TURNED INTO A CHIKKINCHAMPS™ CHIKKIN™, complete with CHIKKINISM™ RENAMING, a T-SHIRT and AUTOGRAPHED PORTRAIT of your Chikkin™ image. You’ll receive a CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY that you have been officially Chikkinized™. Also, you’ll receive (2) complete SKKRAMBLED GIFT SETS, (2) SKKRAMBLED™ T-SHIRTS and an AUTOGRAPHED CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION. This is one egg-citing gift!
RUN CHIKKIN™ RUN! – Lots and lots of goodies for you to 'run' with. You will receive a NUMBERED FIRST RUN SKKRAMBLED TRADING CARD along with CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY. There will be 100 total numbered First Run cards, one of them will be yours. You’ll receive a “CHIKKINIZING"™ package, complete with a T-SHIRT and AUTOGRAPHED PORTRAIT signed by James “CHIKKASSO”™ Averett, our master artist. You’ll also receive a group of (2) additional SKKRAMBLED GIFT SETS (4 total), and (2) additional T-SHIRTS (4 total). Oh, and become one of our favorite people... or Chikkins™, y'know, either way.
JOIN THE COOP! – Come on in and stay a while! Become an IMMORTALIZED CHARACTER in the ChikkinChamps™ world: ONE OF OUR CHARACTERS WILL HAVE YOUR LIKENESS FOREVER!! Your ChikkinChamps™ character will become a FIRST RUN ACTION FIGURE and you'll receive one of them with a certificate of authenticity that it's YOU; you’ll receive the NUMBERED FIRST RUN TRADING CARD OF YOURSELF with a certificate of authenticity; You’ll receive a “Chikkinizing™” package, complete with an official portrait signed by James “Chikkasso” Averett, our master artist. You’ll also receive (4) additional SKKRAMBLED GIFT SETS (8 total), and (4) additional T-SHIRTS (8 total, feel the theme?). If you support us on this level you'll be a part of the game in more ways than one: YOU'LL BE AN ACTION FIGURE, MAN! (Or woman, which would be much cooler, right guys?)
CHIKKINCHAMPION!™ - YOU WILL BE A PERMANENT PAKK™ LEADER!!! You’ll lead one of the adolescent animal Pakks™, fighting the Phantom Bantam™ at your own peril - within the ChikkinChamps™ world, of course (in other words, you will not be at risk, silly). You will receive the 'JOIN THE COOP' package and the RUN CHIKKIN™ RUN package with the additional group of (4) complete SKKRAMBLED GIFT SETS (10 total), and (4) additional T-SHIRTS (also 10 total) along with our eternal gratitude! And, lastly, you'll have the ultimate BRAGGING RIGHT of being a ChikkinChamps™ ChikkinChampion™ who helped launch the ChikkinChamps™ world! (Whew, lot of "Chikkins"™ in that title). Feel free to share some of your ChikkinChampionship™ skkratch™ with your peeps. If you're thinking, "should I put all this scratch into Skkrambles™?" Of course you should! Its totally worth it, the ChikkinChamps™ characters are awesome, the game is awesome and you'll be awesome, too. BECAUSE BEING AN ACTION FIGURE IS AWESOME! SO, BEING A KEY ACTION FIGURE IS EVEN AWESOMER!!! Don't be a chicken, be an immortalized CHIKKINCHAMPION™ AND BE AWESOME FOREVER!!!