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Catch insects with ease, study them under powerful magnification, and then set them free.  Entomology Education Kids Toys Children Bugs
Catch insects with ease, study them under powerful magnification, and then set them free.  Entomology Education Kids Toys Children Bugs
Catch insects with ease, study them under powerful magnification, and then set them free. Entomology Education Kids Toys Children Bugs
139 backers pledged $7,184 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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BugAlien - The Galactic Creature Eater - Made in USA Science

$7,184

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BugAlien's Kickstarter campaign has successfully ended... 

However, you can still PRE-ORDER BugAliens!!! 

Our official website  www.BugAlien.com  will be up and running by 7/23/2012 to accept your pre-orders.  We regret that the site is not ready immediately; we've been so focused on getting manufacturing underway.

If you would like a reminder, once the site is available to take pre-orders, please send us a message via the blue "send message" link at the top of this page.  We'll let you know the day the site can take your order.   Pricing will likely be similar or the same as the pledge/reward amounts found on our Kickstarter project.

I would like to thank all of you, our wonderful backers who supported and invested in our project. We are well on our way because of you.

Nick

Crystal Clarity!!! Your BugAlien will be molded in a "diamond polished" steel mold and emerge sparkling clear for perfect optics!!!  Not like our cloudy prototype you see catching insects in the video. It was made from a 3D printing process and serves only to test geometry and function.

www.whatsthatbug.com featured BugAlien in their Gift Shop.

Scroll to very bottom for more pictures!

What is it?

BugAlien is a brilliant toy with sparkling looks and mucho personality! He snatches up insects with ease, provides powerful built in magnification for viewing, and stands ready to release the bugs back to their natural habitat unharmed.  He is simple, timeless, durable and versatile.

BugAlien's appeal is so vast, and his applications so numerous, that his purpose to capture bugs is only the beginning. Give one to a child and you'll see them biting up everything in sight, or placing their collectibles in his magnified viewing chamber. Seriously, what kid wouldn't immediately find a purpose for a big 'Pac-Man' like chomping mouth? But make no mistake he is an adept galactic creature eater at heart. 

How it all started.

Over two decades ago my Dad invented BugAlien's predecessor, a toy that was simple in concept but profound in use. It appealed to children of all ages as well as adults.  


My siblings and I played for endless hours with Dad's prototypes which he coined "Little Buggers."  Dad would build them in the garage from different parts he could gather.  Giant bumble bees and gnarly spiders were suddenly larger than life, and available for close inspection. My mom still uses one today to extract unwanted insects from the house unharmed.

In the late '80s Dad had a few thousand manufactured. He sold every one, save a dozen or so which we held on to for posterity.  Looking dated, but still functioning perfectly, after 25 years these antiques still provide enjoyment; only now to my children.

A new generation.

Watching my kids play with BugAlien's predecessors inspired me to design an updated version of my Dad's toy; one that could meet the demands and expectations of today's consumer.  


After several months of design work, we hired an Industrial designer to convert my drawings into a true CAD production packet that could be submitted to manufacturers for tooling and production quotes.

We recently decided upon a local manufacturer here in Phoenix Arizona to build the plastic injection mold and produce BugAlien.  We just had our "kick-off" meeting with them on 6/1/2012; we put a deposit down for 50% of the tooling cost. The mold will be complete mid July 2012. Our first production run will follow immediately. 

We need you!

We've made substantial investments to date, cashing out a small IRA and using our modest savings, but we need your help to get BugAlien past escape velocity and on his way to the stars. We are trying to raise $7000 in pledges by rewarding you with pre-orders. This will pay for our first production run. If we are fortunate enough to exceed our goal, and we really hope we are, we will use the extra funds to help pay the balance of the tooling costs.  Beyond that, anything we receive will immediately be reinvested into a larger production run, retail packaging, and more market research. 

Our business plan includes getting BugAlien into smaller retail chains, privately owned mom and pops, and eventually the big box stores.  We are working on many ideas for design variations, future editions and establishing a brand.

Please back us with a pre-order today to receive one of the first BugAliens to spawn, and become part of an epic entomological family dream that for decades was talked about at the dinner table, but now stands ready to come alive!

Thank you so very much!

Nick & Erin Sulkowski. 

Important Design Features:

Powerful Magnification:  The top of BugAlien is designed with a high quality bi-convex magnifying lens. Engineered for optimum power using lens equation mathematics, this lens can perform!

Upper and Lower beveled inner lips:  This critical design element safeguards the insect from injury when picked up from a flat surface.

Quality rust-proof pre-tension spring: Exhaustive testing along with advanced spring calculators were used to engineer the perfect feel and torsion involved with BugAlien's snapping motion.

Stack-ability: The upper rim around the magnifying lens fits perfectly into the groove found on the bottom of another unit.  This stacking feature allows multiple BugAliens to be stacked one upon another much like soda cans. Perfect for displaying on shelves when space is in short supply.

Air holes:  We've updated the size of air holes to provide adequate ventilation without allowing the insect to escape prematurely.

Scratch protection: A small space has been designed between the apex of the magnifying lens and the outer rim. This prevents direct contact between the lens and table top, sidewalk, or other flat surface should BugAlien be placed upside down.  The same feature is used to protect the bottom of the unit as well.

Technical Specifications:

Material: High grade crystal clear poly-carbonate plastic. (the stuff safety glasses are made from) Quality diamond polish finish for clarity. Zinc plated spring.

Mold:  P20 steel with diamond grade polish for crystal clarity.

General Dimensions: Length 12.2 cm; Width 9.0 cm; Height 6.2cm; Weight: 56 grams.  Roughly the size of a small grapefruit.

More Images:

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Local Phoenix Friends/Co-worker Special. Do we work with you or see you on a regular basis? Well then there's no shipping involved so we can bring BugAlien to you for $7 each. You may not receive as quickly though, so if you want it shipped please use a pledge amount & reward below.

    Need multiple units? Multiply that number by $7 for your pledge amount and click this reward. We'll do the math.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    One BugAlien - USA shipping included. Made from the highest grade materials available. Boasting crystal clarity and exceptional quality, BugAlien will be cherished by children and adults alike! [For international shipping please add $10.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Two Pack of BugAliens - USA shipping included. Satisfaction gauranteed! Hold one of these bad boys in your hand and feel the quality! See the crystal clarity! [For international shipping please add $12.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    Three Pack of gorgeous, sparkling clear BugAliens - USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $14.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Four Pack of Bugaliens - Superb optical clarity! Made in the USA but will remind you of the German made quality toys of old. USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $16.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    21 backers
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    Pledge $37 or more About $37

    Five Pack of BugAliens - USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $17.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    Pledge $43 or more About $43

    Six Pack of BugAliens - USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $18.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Ten Pack of Bugaliens - Solid Quality Feel and Crystal Clarity Gauranteed! - USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $22.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    School Teacher Special: 35 High Quality Crystal Clear Bugaliens; one for every child in your class, plus a few to take home with you. USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $60.00 to your pledge amount.]

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Mom and Pop Shop Special: 100 Beautiful, smooth working, crystal clear Bugaliens at a price you can mark up and retail in your shop. Did I mention Bugaliens take up very little shelf space? They have an awesome stacking feature molded into their design. USA shipping included. [For international shipping please add $150.00 to your pledge amount.]

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Funding period

- (35 days)