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Skallops are laser-cut clips that attach to regular playing cards in dozens of ways, letting you build anything that you can imagine.
Skallops are laser-cut clips that attach to regular playing cards in dozens of ways, letting you build anything that you can imagine.
1,028 backers pledged $65,904 to help bring this project to life.

Status: Skallops Still Shipping Steadily, Some Selections Slower (& Maker Faire!)

I don't know why, but something about writing Skallops updates makes me want to write in alliterations.

Anyways, hello everyone! We've been shipping out Skallops as quickly as we can, and we've shipped right about half of all pledges — 502 to be exact. If you've already received your pack, please let us know what you think!

I'll let you know more about what we've been doing below, but first: We're going to be at Maker Faire! It's this upcoming weekend in San Mateo, and it's full of giant robots, cars that shoot fire, Tesla coils, and knitted colossal squids. So basically it's the coolest thing ever.

We're going to be in the main expo hall, on the south side, near the Exploratorium super-booth. We'll have Skallops out for everyone to play with, and we'll be holding contests and build-offs throughout the Faire.

So come stop by and say hi! It's going to be a fun time, I promise.

Okay, so where are your Skallops kits?

It turns out that we misunderestimated how long it would take for our assembly shops to switch between different types of package assembly. If you're keeping score at home, there are sixteen different types of packs to assemble: any pack can have one of four card colors (red, blue, black, or white) and one of four Skallop colors (birch, black, brown, or red).

The assembly shops prefer to not have to switch between these combinations too often, and we prefer to do them in batches, too: it cuts down on confusion and mis-packed or mis-shipped Skallops kits. We've come up with a couple strategies to help keep things moving, but it's still taking a lot longer than we expected to work through all the different combinations.

At this point we've completed Birch, Black, and Brown Skallops with regular red and blue cards, and Birch and Red Skallops with Architect cards. We've got Red Skallops with red & blue cards on their way back to us in the next day or two, and the rest of the Architect packs following that. As you can see in the photo, keeping track of all the different orders is a little more complicated than we realized it would be when we set up the rewards.

We'll have another update for you soon as we keep shipping kits. Also, as the kits go out, our shipping system will automatically send you an email with tracking info. So keep an eye out for an email from E&M Labs, too!

Logistically yours,

Evan, Mike, Robin & Marshall.

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    1. Missing avatar

      David Elliott on

      Sarah, I suspect that what they are doing is more like Kanban/JIT than you might suspect. I don't think it's so much of a "production difficulty" as it is an aspect of producing something on a large scale. The issue is simply that the assembly shop wants to do a whole bunch of the same package at once, rather than making a package of birch with red cards, a package of brown with Ghost cards, a package of birch with blue cards, etc. as the orders dictate. In the same way, Toyota doesn't have their assembly lines making a green Camry followed by a beige Sequioa followed by a black RAV4. They want to make a lot of Camrys at once, and they are going to make the green ones as a batch if possible.
      So, the Skallops team had to first choose a combination that would get the most packages shipped first, and follow that the with the next combination that would get the most packages shipped. As a result, someone who picked less popular color and card combinations has to wait a little longer, but in the long run, everyone gets their packages more quickly.

    2. Sarah E Canzoneri on

      Hi guys,

      Sounds like the Maker Faire should be fun and a good opportunity to show off Skallops.

      My stuffed up head (from a cold) is not up to absorbing your explaination of your production difficulties. Nonetheless, it occurred to me that you might find it helpful to look into the Kanban system developed by Toyota. Wikipedia thinks its article on Kanban needs revising, but I found it a pretty good explaination. A training game linked in the aticle looks useful too. See:

      Hope this is some help. I'm looking forward to getting my Skallops.

      Best regards, Sally Canzoneri

    3. Michael Tueller on

      Just reeks with there a statitician in the house.

    4. Derek Eclavea on

      Darn, looks like mine will be one of the last ones to ship