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The Thinket is an engaging stress-reliever and boredom-eliminator that's really fun to play with, and it's made in the USA!
You can still order the fun-to-click Thinket stress-reliever!  Click on the button below to get one of your own!
You can still order the fun-to-click Thinket stress-reliever!  Click on the button below to get one of your own!
711 backers pledged $38,552 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$38,552

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My name is David Weinstock, and I've always had a fascination for intriguing objects.

A few years ago this interest led me to create a captivating handheld toy that I've named "The Thinket." Since then I've spent countless hours improving this amusing little device, and now I'd like to share it with all of you. I hope you'll enjoy The Thinket as much as I do.

It's my sincere belief that the Thinket can offer virtually unlimited fun to anyone using it. You can play with this device in many ways: by clicking it, twirling it, spinning it, and by doing sleight-of-hand tricks with it, to give just a few examples.

From my own experience I can tell you that I always carry a Thinket with
me. Since its creation in 2009, well, these days I don’t feel quite complete without a Thinket in my pocket.

A significant aspect of the Thinket's appeal is rather hard to explain to someone who has never held one before. This is partly due to what can only be described as an extremely satisfying "bounce" that users feel when clicking the Thinket; an effect that’s part of the Thinket patent.

Although one must try the Thinket in order to fully appreciate it, I do my very best to impart a sense of the experience to each and every visitor of this Kickstarter page; through my project video above, my text descriptions below, and regular updates – so check back for more news as things progress!

Over the past few years I've collected anecdotes and testimonials which suggest that the Thinket offers real benefits to people through stress-relief, anxiety management, focus and concentration, and the development of hand-strength and finger-dexterity.

In addition -- and please note that I can't yet cite research or study data to support this -- many of my customers, friends, and acquaintances have insisted that I mention the following: That anecdotal experiences from people affected by ADD, ADHD, OCD and other conditions are so far quite positive. There are even indications that people in-general experience “a sense of well-being” while using the Thinket.

I myself have had discussions with counselors and psychologists who are interested in trying out the Thinket in their practices, partly as a supplemental stress-relief tool for use by clients and patients, and yes, even themselves.

Other Thinket users have given several great reasons to own a Thinket:

  •    The Thinket strengthens the mind-body connection, thereby helping you to relax and focus more effectively in many situations.

  •    It’s perfect for when you don't know what to do with your hands: the resulting bounce is satisfying and rewarding, and eases nervous tension under stressful conditions.

  •    The Thinket is a great conversation starter: playing with the Thinket around others inspires “Thinket Envy,” and everyone will want to join in!

  •    It's a cool study aid: Like a pen, you can click it for information retention. Unlike a pen, it will never leak ink on you!

  •    In theory, the Thinket works even in outer space! Also, upon returning from outer space the Thinket can help to restore your hand-strength and finger-dexterity.

  •    The Thinket is made in the USA, from start to finish!

Even the Shadow wants a Thinket!
Even the Shadow wants a Thinket!

The creation and development of the Thinket began in 2009, when I briefly toyed with the idea of making a two-headed mechanical game piece for my new board game, "ZoxSo: The New Ancient Game."

I made a few rough prototypes before deciding it was impractical for the first production-run of a mass-market board game.

But I realized something about one of the prototypes: Though too large to carry conveniently, it was satisfying to hold, to flip, and to click back and forth. It was a little addictive, too!

While I wasn't exactly sure what I'd created, I felt it had the potential to become something truly awesome.

Over the next months and years, I continued to develop my new gadget. I discussed it with engineers. I redesigned it over and over. I made it smaller. I created prototypes that had different core mechanisms. Some clicked, some were quiet and could come apart, and some were just weird!

Then in May of 2009 I finally dubbed my new toy "The Thinket," applied for a provisional US patent, and filed a regular US patent application in May of 2010. My invention was submitted as a "Handheld Finger Manipulating Device" and began the arduous journey through the U.S. Patent Office labyrinth.

Thinket Prototypes Group 1
Thinket Prototypes Group 1

Fast-forward more than three years later, to the morning of January 7th 2013: For some reason, I awoke deeply concerned about the pending rejection of my Thinket patent application.

But lo and behold, my first email that day was from my attorney, congratulating me on the publication of the "Notice of Allowance" for my "Handheld Finger Manipulating Device," and without a single office action from the patent examiner.

Just like that, I was the proud owner of my first patent ever!

TO CLICK THE THINKET: 1) Click; 2) Rotate; 3) Repeat
TO CLICK THE THINKET: 1) Click; 2) Rotate; 3) Repeat

At the same time, this surprise development brought to the forefront a real necessity to fund my plans for the future of this device.

I have short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for evolving the Thinket to previously unseen levels of pocket companionship. Transforming those goals into reality will be costly, and that is where you Kickstarter supporters come in.

Since creating this device I've sold many early versions of it at chess and gaming events, and through my web store. I've also given a fair number of Thinkets to friends, family, and strangers. It’s been successful with those who have tried it, but as only one individual, getting the word out has been somewhat problematic.

Making the Thinket involves a creative process that takes constant attention to detail and a clear assessment of the materials, processes, and costs of production that are involved. I am constantly exploring new ways to forge a beautiful and unique product.

For example, take a look at this montage of the elusive Thinket Spectrum which is not yet commercially available, largely because of the added costs for minimum production-runs.

The Thinket Spectrum {prototype}
The Thinket Spectrum {prototype}

The Thinket Spectrum is just one of many cool additions I'd like to make to the family of Thinkets and Thinket accessories.

Here are two nifty new Thinket barrel (handle) designs that are now under consideration for production during this KS project (below).

It took me a while to decide on which of these would be used for which Thinkets, but now you can see that the barrel design on the left will be part of all of the "Punk" style Thinkets, while the barrel design on the right is now being offered only with The PreciousPink Thinket. These particular barrel conceptions are the current state of an ongoing collaboration between James Hoffman, Gary Fozard, and myself, while the drawings for these two barrels displayed here were rendered by James Hoffman. Thanks you guys!

I absolutely need the help of Kickstarter supporters to be able to take the Thinket to the next level by continuing to improve it in these and other ways, by manufacturing it in larger quantities, and by successfully bringing it to the U.S. marketplace.

Of course, this means that the Thinket needs a bit of new tooling, more streamlined production, some efficient assembly help, really great packaging, and effective marketing and distribution.

You can help me turn these Thinket goals into realities. Please check out the rewards below. Once you do, I hope that many of you will join in the fun by pledging, and by telling your friends, family, and acquaintances about this project. That will help me to improve and popularize the Thinket; and it will also help me to keep making this cool little device right here in the USA.

Pledge $1 or more

The Curio - Thank you for your interest! You will, of course, gain access to all backer-only updates and be able to follow along from start to finish. This reward is included in all levels.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013

Pledge $10 or more

The Doodad - Receive a thank-you postcard displaying a color picture of several very cool, early Thinket prototypes designs, signed by Thinket creator David Weinstock. You will also get your name added to a special "Thank You Kickstarter Backers!" page on ChessMate.com. This reward is included with all pledges of $10 or more.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $5 to ship outside the US

Pledge $10 or more

The Thinket Belt-Case - Receive the new Thinket Belt-Case, which is available in both a black, heavy-weave Ballistic Nylon and a brown-toned "Sunbrella" material. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or you may add the Thinket Belt-Case into your existing Reward level purchase as an accessory add-on.

See Update #22 for current images of this Thinket Belt-Case.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $30 or more -- Limited Reward

Silver-Bullet Plunger - Receive one extra Plunger accessory to use with any Thinket barrel (Thinket barrel not included). Both of the heads of this plunger are plated with Silvery Satin-Nickel. Please note that this new plunger style is unique because of the Silvery Satin-Nickel plated surface of the two heads, making it a different item as compared with the various plungers that come with the Thinket. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may add the Silver-Bullet Plunger into your existing Reward level purchase as an accessory add-on.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $34 or more -- Limited Reward

The Thinket - Receive the original, black ABS-polymer-handled Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit, and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Thinket

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $39 or more -- Limited Reward

The Bauble - Receive the original, full-metal version of the Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Bauble --

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $40 or more -- Limited Reward (Feb. 2014 fulfillment)

The Bauble - Receive the original, full-metal version of the Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

PLEASE NOTE: This Reward will be fulfilled in February 2014.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Bauble --

Estimated delivery: Feb 2014    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Here above & below, are some renderings of the Thinket Twirly-Cap. The design process has me leaning towards the version below, which it seems should anchor more stably while in use with the Thinket than might the version above.

Pledge $40 or more -- Limited Reward

The Twirly-Cap - Receive the Thinket accessory "Twirly-Cap," at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This accessory enables you to twirl the plunger of your Thinket on top of your Thinket barrel (Thinket not included). This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may add the Twirly-Cap into your existing Reward level purchase as an accessory add-on.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013   Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $49 or more -- Limited Reward

The Shadow - Receive the mysterious, all new Dark Nickel-Chrome full-metal version of the original profile Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Shadow --

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $50 or more -- Limited Reward

The Shadow - Receive the mysterious, all new Dark Nickel-Chrome full-metal version of the original profile Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

** Please Note that this Reward will be fulfilled in February 2014.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Shadow --

Estimated delivery: Feb 2014    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $50 or more -- Limited Reward

Rhodium-Halo Plunger - Receive one spare Plunger accessory to use with any Thinket barrel (Thinket barrel not included). Both of the heads of this plunger are plated with genuine Rhodium, the most expensive of all the precious metals! Please note that this new plunger style is unique because of the Rhodium plated surface of both heads, making it a different item as compared with the various plungers that come with the Thinket. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may confirm the Rhodium-Halo Plunger in your appropriate Backer amount as an accessory add-on.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $60 or more -- Limited Reward

The ErgoPunk - Receive the newly conceived ErgoPunk barrel design version of the full-metal Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * See the possible ErgoPunk barrel designs shown in the "A Brief History" section to see what this handle-profile may look like when it is completed. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $100 or more -- Limited Reward

The Precious - Receive a rare, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated version of the original profile Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Precious --

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $100 or more -- Limited Reward (Feb. 2014 fulfillment)

The Precious - Receive a rare, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated version of the original profile Thinket with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit, and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

PLEASE NOTE: This Reward will be fulfilled in February 2014.

-- Please check out this larger image of The Precious --

Estimated delivery: Feb 2014    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $120 or more -- Limited Reward

The PreciousPunk - Receive the newly conceived, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated Thinket with our new ErgoPunk barrel design, with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * Check out the possible ErgoPunk barrel designs shown in the "A Brief History" section to see what this handle-profile may look like when it is completed. The profiles of The ErgoPunk and The PreciousPunk will be exactly the same. The only differences will be in the plating finishes used for each one. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $150 or more -- Limited Reward (Jan. 2014 fulfillment)

The PreciousPink Thinket - Receive this recently designed Thinket, created for lovers -- and even for someone that you simply like a lot! This new PreciousPink Thinket has our new Oval-Ergo barrel (handle) design -- as well as its two heads -- plated in Genuine 18Kt Rose-Gold, and it comes with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * Check out the Oval-Ergo barrel design shown in the "A Brief History" section, as well as in Update #24. This barrel design is currently being offered only with The PreciousPink Thinket. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. Yes, right now it is many months in advance of Valentine's Day, and The PreciousPink Thinket will be ready to be shipped sometime in January 2014.

PLEASE NOTE: This Reward will be fulfilled in January 2014.

** See Update #24 for images of the Oval-Ergo barrel design, as well as color examples of the Genuine 18Kt Rose-Gold plating variously lit.


Estimated delivery: Jan 2014    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $250 or more -- Limited Reward

The GoldenPunk - Receive this rare, 18KT Gold-Plated version of the PreciousPunk Thinket in an elegant, fabric-wrapped presentation box, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Thinket creator David Weinstock. Please note that in this design, both the Barrel (handle) and the two heads -- are plated in Genuine 18 KT Gold. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. *

Estimated delivery: Dec 2013    Add $23 to ship outside the US

Pledge $500 or more -- Limited Reward

ThinkArt Thinket - Receive an original handmade "Limited-Edition" version of the Thinket, with unique, hand-worked glyph art that is heat-etched and foiled, hand-painted, and clear-coat-sealed into the surface of a polymer handle (by designer/inventor, David Weinstock). This exquisite "Think-Art" reward also comes with a small handmade display stand, is stored in an elegant fabric-wrapped gift box, and is exclusive to Kickstarter contributors. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

Please note: This reward has an extended fulfillment date of February 2014, since detailed attention is required for crafting these handmade pieces of original Thinket Art.

Estimated delivery: Feb 2014     Add $33 to ship outside the US

    Initial cost breakdown:

  • $6800 - Fulfilling rewards: 1-Manufacturing, including: material cost, new tooling, parts machining, parts plating & engraving, quality control, assembly. (Please note that some of the Thinket's production requires minimum quantities in both materials and production, and therein resides much of the cost for this project). 2- Art for new Thinket packaging: including layout and printing. 3- Reward fulfillment: including packing & shipping. 4- Last but not least, I'd be remiss if I did not allow for the tax man!

  • $1200 - Kickstarter/Amazon takeaway + fudge factor

  • Money beyond $8000 - For improving the Thinket with enhanced variety and functionality; and possibly some cool accessories too!

    Production Plans

  • The machining of metal parts will take place at local and out-of-state machine shops that I contract with.

  • Various plated coatings, and engravings, will be applied at one or more of the plating companies, local and out-of-state, that I contract with.

  • All assembly, packaging, and fulfillment will take place at my workshop in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle, WA, USA.

  • Depending upon the success of this project, production and fulfillment work may require the addition of temporary (or permanent) outside space and assistance. In either case, I don't foresee significant difficulties in fulfilling the objectives or the rewards.

  • In addition to the above, I'll be providing regular updates as to the progress of the project, and I'll be revealing possible Thinket enhancements that I have in mind. Please stay tuned for updates.

Shiny-Nickel -versus- Satin-Nickel: Which one would you choose?
Shiny-Nickel -versus- Satin-Nickel: Which one would you choose?

David Weinstock  is a game designer and inventor living in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, Washington.

ChessMate.com (originally founded as the ChessWorks Studio) is David's studio-based business and website from where, since 1993, he has created and sold his ChessMate brand of handmade magnetic pocket and travel chess sets.

David began designing original board games and card games in 2000, and has since published the games, ChessHeads (2004), Sizzletoad!(2005), and ZoxSo: The New Ancient Game (2009).

Recently, David Weinstock and Wes Greene released David's board game Sizzletoad! as a 1-player and 2-player App for both Apple and Android.

Since 2009 David has designed and fabricated many Thinkets, both as prototypes and in small production-runs. While the former are all in storage, most of the latter have either been sold or given away as gifts.

A very special "Thank You" goes to these folks:

James Hoffman, Gary Fozard, Lydia Lu, Barry Hill, Wes Greene, Mike Buley, Dr. Dan, Paul Baker, and StudentRnD: Adam Ryman, Megan Ingalls, Leah Chung, Zaq Wiedmann, Kawan Baxter, Mitchell Dow, Blaise Ritchie, George Matters, and Andrew Nguyen.

And, a big "Thank You" goes to these people as well:

James Ernest, Christian Kelly, Ben (Wombat) Sanders, The Moallem Family, Frances Weinstock, Jeff Wilcox, Joe Ulman, Anand Mehta, Stephanie & Prince, Harlan Lee, Jenny Sayward, Jonathan Liu , Joe Rubin, Mitchell London, Dean Craine Atty, and Bruce Gardiner Atty.

And thank you too, Kickstarter.com, for creating this cool venue!

Copyright 2009 - 2013; by David Weinstock  -  www.ChessMate.com
The Thinket ®   is a registered trademark of David Weinstock.           

The Thinket's Kickstarter Project Page Artwork is by Gary Fozard

Several of the photos in our updates were taken by James Ernest!

Also, please check out this cool website called Kicking it Forward

Risks and challenges

I'm extremely dedicated to ensuring that "The Thinket" project is a complete success in every way.

By way of assurance, I can tell you that since 2009 I've successfully fabricated and sold a significant number of handmade, prototype-style versions of the Thinket via my web site ChessMate.com, as well as at local and regional chess and game events.

Also, aside from producing the Thinket, I've been creating and selling my other "Made in the USA" products since 1993. I make all of them here in my workshop in the Pacific NW, near Seattle: everything from my original games such as ZoxSo, Sizzletoad! and ChessHeads, to my trademarked line of ChessMate magnetic pocket and travel chess sets.

I've received high marks from ChessMate.com customers both here in the USA and around the world, primarily because of my emphasis on high-quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction.

With that said, there are many steps that go into manufacturing the Thinket. The acquisition, tooling, plating, engraving, and in-house assembly of component parts are material and labor-intensive, not to mention expensive.

I've been working with several excellent companies in the machining and plating industries for the past few years, and they've all assured me that they will be ready and able to go forward to meet any of my Thinket production demands in the coming months.

And as far as the final assembly, packaging, and fulfillment go, those are the things that I'm good at, the things that I'm very focused on. And, those are the details that I've built ChessMate.com and Mindspan Labs upon; I'm just not happy unless my customers are happy.

Also, please note that the Thinket comes with clear usage warnings!

That’s because the Thinket has two moving parts that make up the mechanism, including a very powerful magnet located inside the central plunger. So, we place very clear warnings on the Thinket product packaging for all of our customers to see.

Following are several warnings that come with each and every Thinket.

WARNING: Choking Hazard
The Thinket is NOT for use by small children!

The Thinket should be kept away from children or pets that may try to swallow its components. Keep the Thinket away from magnetically sensitive items and devices such as pacemakers, magnetic storage devices and other magnetically sensitive technology, credit cards, gift cards, and any other items or property that could be affected or harmed by strong magnets.

The Thinket should be kept away from anyone who uses or intends to use it to harm others or themselves, or to create mischief, or to use it irresponsibly in any way. Please use the Thinket with as much common sense as possible.

Do not take the Thinket apart. Do not try to stick fingers or other appendages into the Thinket, nor to stick the Thinket where it might cause damage to a person or property. Do not try to throw the Thinket, nor to use it as a weapon, nor to use it in any other inconsiderate or reckless manner.

Do not immerse the Thinket in any type of liquid or in any corrosive chemicals or substances, since that type of mistreatment of the Thinket could damage it and possibly cause it to malfunction, and could also cause it to come apart thereby making it less safe to handle.

People who suffer from physical illnesses or conditions such as carpel tunnel, arthritis, tendonitis, or any other sort of condition of the fingers, hands, wrists, or arms should not use the Thinket without first consulting a licensed physician.

One other thing to be aware of is, that the Thinket has metal components in it, some of which are plated with other metals. Please take care of your Thinket, since damage can be caused to the plated finishes for example, by impacting asphalt, or any other hard and rough service.

If the plated coatings of the Thinket become nicked or otherwise damaged, the long term integrity of those plated surfaces can be compromised, causing excessive wear and tear or deterioration over the years. Take care of your Thinket, and it will offer you years and years of fidgety pleasure.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Firstly, I should like to say that I hope everyone reading this will choose to back my Thinket Kickstarter project, rather than order one of the Thinkets from my web site. Kickstarter has created a fantastic venue for indie creators such as myself, and during the time of my Thinket Kickstarter project, I would like for those folks interested in the Thinket to please help me to support Kickstarter as well. They are doing a fantastic thing.

    With that said, note I have only a small number of specific Thinket components remaining in my inventory, and those are earmarked for fulfilling my customer orders from http://ChessMate.com. Once those components are gone everyone, even my http://ChessMate.com customers, will have to wait for every version of the Thinket.

    What I do not have any of in-stock, are the components that can be used to make the new versions of the Thinket offered to Kickstarter Backers, because those Thinkets do not yet exist in physical form, only in design form.

    Here I should let you know that, at the moment, I have only enough components to build about 5 or 6 of the MagnetPunk Thinkets, which are not offered on Kickstarter because of the sheer amount of new tooling that will be required to produce them should I decide to continue making them, albeit in a new form-factor.

    The rewards to be fulfilled for my Kickstarter project pledges will consist of newly tooled and newly plated components.

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  • The main issue is that the USPS has recently changed all of it's prices and policies for both domestic and international shipments. In February their prices went through the roof (small flat-rate Priority is now $23.99, and without any tracking). And Express Mail is a lot more expensive than that, but at least it has tracking and a reasonable time estimate.

    Regarding First Class mail: Good luck getting the package in less than 1 to 3 months since they downgraded First Class Mail International (You can pay an additional 13.50 or so on top of shipping for Registered Mail). And the USPS will no longer quote a estimated delivery time for First Class International shipments.

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  • My overall answer is really made up of several parts, which I will number below just to keep things organized.

    1) I have essentially been Beta-testing, Beta-marketing, Beta-sampling, and Beta Selling a small number of my many and varied Thinket versions in essentially prototype form-factors for the past 3 years or so. Now that I have proven the Thinket viable, I cannot afford to manufacture the parts by myself. Right now I have only a small number of the necessary component parts remaining from the original prototype-sized production-runs, so if someone were to order a bunch of Thinkets from my web site, I would not be able to fulfill that large order, nor would I be able to have more parts produced to fill an order, due to the minimum requirements and the associated costs.

    2) While the tooling, plating, and assembly for the Thinket versions that I currently offer on my website have all been thoroughly Beta-tested, with a relatively small number of them having been made, sold, given away, etc., I now need money to manufacture them for the marketplace. Without advanced orders, I cannot afford to pay for minimum production runs of the essential parts, existing supplies of which are just about depleted. The original prototyping runs were in small quantities, paid for by me. However, now that those are mostly gone, I need the funding to meet minimum manufacturing requirements. NOTE: Please remember that these companies are often amenable to helping a new product to develop by allowing smaller, sample-sized runs for machining, plating, and engraving. After that stage however, they want to see some production numbers. So: I need more parts; I cannot afford more parts; enter Kickstarter!

    3) The above applies to the Thinket versions on my web site, but I am also introducing new Thinket items, like an additional Barrel (handle) design that will require minimums. Those minimums also apply to new tooling for that profile, the machining of the new profile, the plating of the new profile, and a lot of new plating and engraving for the plunger that goes in all the Thinkets.

    4) I am currently unable to get the Thinket into the US Marketplace, partly because I do not have professional packaging for my device. That is a real big one right there. So: I cannot afford professional packaging for the Thinket; again Kickstarter is there to help.

    5) Without any exposure for the Thinket in the marketplace -- which can cost lots of money -- I cannot get the Thinket into distribution or into any stores. The Kickstarter venue lends visibility and helps to prove the viability of a new product. After that stores and distributors will open their doors much more easily than they would when looking at a completely untested product.

    6) I am assembling all of the component parts myself, by hand. Since I cannot as yet afford to pay people to help me with that assembly, Kickstarter comes to the rescue again.

    7) In addition to offering a new, upgraded Barrel design (which I need financial help to produce), I will also be announcing (today) a stretch-goal for the elusive Titanium plated "Thinket Spectrum" finish designs, something that I have wanted to make for over a year, but cannot afford the production costs.

    8) During this Kickstarter project, I would rather that people pledge for the Thinket on Kickstarter than ordering it from me at http://ChessMate.com. Even though my site orders represent more money funds coming directly to me, your pledges on Kickstarter will help the future of the Thinket immensely, and for that I am extremely grateful!

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  • Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your interest, and for your great question!

    You just made it into my Thinket FAQ!

    -- Long story short: Manufacturing the Thinket in its various forms means producing a variety of precision metal parts.

    That requires tooling, machining, plating, engraving, quality control, all while flying around the USA from one facility to another, and then all back to me and my workshop for final assembly, packaging, and fulfillment.

    All of that takes time, especially if quality is to be maintained.
    That is the main thing. I hope that when you receive your Thinket you'll agree with me.

    I want to be sure that I get it done right for all of my Backers, as well as for the reputation of my business and for the good of all of my future endeavors.

    Thanks again for your question, and thank you for your support on Kickstarter!

    -- Best, David .... {:-)]

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  • The new Thinket "Twirly-Cap" will need to be an additional Reward level purchase, because it will be even more expensive to produce than the Thinket "plunger."

    The 24K Stretch-Goal will allow me to be able to afford to finish the designs & tooling, and to meet minimum machining & plating quantities.

    Once the parts are all completed, they still need to be assembled (which is a very time-consuming procedure), then packaged, and then packed-up to ship out.

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  • Currently the heads of the plungers are machined in aluminum, and then plated with various metals, depending upon the type of Thinket that is involved.

    Since the list of available coatings is limited, with widely differing costs, a production-run that's out of the norm for the plating combinations that I'm already using would, more than likely, be a separate run.

    That applies to both the platings and the parts themselves. For example, if I wanted to have a part made of solid brass instead of ​the solid aluminum. And if you are wanting to get away from plated finishes entirely, that means an exposed piece of brass, steel, or aluminum, or even copper. But those all oxidize, and there is lead in them.

    I wouldn't want to handle those bare metals for long periods of time, especially because they will all leave a visible residue on the hands, and some of that can make its way into the body.

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  • Great question!

    For the past several years I have been developing the various designs, prototypes, and components for the Thinket. All that development has been costly, and I have absorbed those costs myself.

    The Thinket Twirly-Cap is a relatively new concept; one that has arisen during the planning stages and early launch portion of this Thinket Kickstarter project.

    All of the development -- planning, design-discussions, drawings, prototyping, new tooling, materials for production, machining of new parts, as well as all of the labor for assembly -- are and will be almost as involved a project as the development and production of the Thinket itself.

    Please remember:
    The Twirly-Cap is a completely new accessory device for the Thinket, and it requires completely new tooling and machining of parts that have never existed before.

    The Twirly-Cap will be almost as expensive and time-consuming to assemble as a Thinket plunger, which has always been the most labor intensive part of the Thinket.

    While the associated costs for developing the Thinket have been absorbed by me over a long period of time, the same sorts of costs for the Twirly-Cap are being compressed into a very short period of time, and that at a time when I don't have similar access to the development funds necessary.

    The funds provided by the Kickstarter 24K stretch-goal is helping considerably towards those costs, but I will still need to pay for the expensive custom components, and I will still need to pay for the help to assemble and fulfill these new custom devices.

    The more pledges for Twirly-Caps I receive, the more these expenses will be offset, but since it is a completely new product, there is no way of knowing how many units will be purchased by Backers.

    Of course, the way to bring down costs when manufacturing a physical item is to manufacture a lot of them. But the overall cost still needs to be spread over the entire number of units purchased, and one-hundred units plus, or thereabouts, is an extremely small quantity in the world of manufacturing.

    I hope this helps to answer your question about the cost of the Twirly-Cap.

    Last updated:
  • I would LOVE to be able to offer this Thinket Belt-Case -- as well as other Thinket rewards -- to all of my Kickstarter Backers for very little charge, or even at no charge whatsoever!

    I really would love to be able to do that.

    But alas, I cannot.

    The fact of the matter is, that in this day and age of cheap goods coming from China and many other offshore locations around the world -- of intricate products of all kinds which cost pennies to produce and to import into the United States -- it is extremely easy for us here in the USA to imagine that these goods are easy and cheap to design and to fabricate.

    But they are not. At least here in the USA they are not; not anymore anyway.

    Here in the United States we have been losing our manufacturing base for a very long time. It is no longer easy to find Americans and American companies that will even do such tedious work here in the USA, and certainly not cheaply.

    But I have made a commitment to producing the Thinket and its related accessories here in the United States, to support American workers and enterprises locally and nationally. That is why I contract with American companies locally and around the USA for the various components and processes from start to finish in the making of the Thinket.

    The Thinket is a true "Made in the USA" product.

    Believe it or not, the prototype for this simple belt-case that you see in the pictures I posted late last night in Update #19, is not a trivial item to design or to fabricate.

    Partly because it is so small, it presents specific issues in design and fabrication that very few shops here in the USA are even willing to deal with at all, let alone deal with cheaply.

    What does all of this mean? It means that to produce this simple little belt-case here in the USA is unbelievably expensive per unit, even in Kickstarter supported quantities of several hundred or more.

    Now, the pouch that you see in the pictures is not the final prototype; it was just the first successful demonstration of the form-factor. The fabric used in that one is a "Poly-Cotton" that costs about $7 per yard in bulk.

    However, I am changing the material to a laminated, synthetic-core marine-grade fabric with a slightly stiffer and more durable composition, plus a more attractive weave, and having a nicer "hand" to it. But, that material costs about $20 per yard in bulk.

    And that is before the actual design and creation of a pattern (a difficult skill for a contractor to develop, I assure you, especially when creating such a small case as they have here), and fabrication from start to finish.

    There are many features that we as Americans are used to seeing in these types of goods when we walk into our local huge chain store, in goods that we have become jaded about even paying $5, $10, $15, or $20 for. Things like internal pockets, and padding, and logos, and the like. It is very cheap to add such features overseas.

    But the conditions that those items are produced in overseas are not acceptable to us here in the USA. The wages that those people work for, and their quality of life and the long hours and conditions that they toil under for next-to-nothing per month are unacceptable to us as American citizens. But because they are desperate to make a living of a few cents a day working under those conditions and are willing to all sorts of work that we are not, for an amount of money that we would never dream of accepting for those services, has made us as Americans complacent about accepting those realities for strangers in other lands, so that we can buy this kind of stuff at unrealistically cheap costs.

    I doubt that you could find more than a handful of skilled craftsman here in the US who would even be willing to make such an item as this "simple" belt-case here in the USA, let alone make it cheaply for their fellow American citizens.

    Like I said, there are a lot of features I would love to add to this new Thinket belt-case, and I would love to be able to offer it cheaply, or even to be able to afford to give it away completely free to all of you wonderful Backers.

    But that little belt-case is really time-consuming, tedious, and expensive to produce. And that new marine grade, water-resistant fabric -- the better performing, more durable, and more aesthetically appealing fabric -- will make this case even more expensive to manufacture.

    But this seemingly insignificant item, one that we as Americans can easily have a tendency to glance at and dismiss, represents a real milestone in the development of the Thinket!

    If even reasonably well-received by you Backers here on Kickstarter, it will be the first ever accessory carrying-case for the Thinket, and it will be because of all of you that it even exists.

    And I would very much like to share it with all of you fantastic Kickstarter Backers.

    But I cannot do it for free; it just is not possible.

    And when I am finally able to announce the Reward price-point for the finished prototype, after all of my associated expenses are clear, it may very well seem to most of the people here that the cost is too high.

    And the fact of the matter is that the cost IS high. It is high because we here in the USA are no longer set up to make these sorts of things cost-effectively. But that is beginning to change; slowly of course, but it is changing.

    I hope that this small offering, this tiny, insignificant Thinket accessory, once the final belt-case prototype is completed, will be well-received by the majority of Kickstarter Backers.

    Thank you for all of your insightful comments, your critiques, and your kind thoughts and well wishes!

    -- Best, David .... {:-)]

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    CURIO - Thank you for your interest! You will, of course, gain access to all backer-only updates and be able to follow along from start to finish. This reward is included in all levels.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Doodad - Receive a thank-you postcard displaying a color picture of several really cool, early Thinket prototypes, and signed by Thinket creator David Weinstock. You will also get your name added to a special "Thank You to Kickstarter Backers" page on ChessMate.com. This reward is included with all pledges of $10 or more.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Thinket Belt-Case - Receive the new Thinket Belt-Case, which is available in both a black, heavy-weave Ballistic Nylon and a brown-toned "Sunbrella" material. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or you may add the Thinket Belt-Case into your existing Reward level purchase as an accessory add-on. See Update #22 for current images of this Thinket Belt-Case.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Silver-Bullet Plunger - Receive one extra Plunger accessory to use with any Thinket barrel (Thinket barrel not included). Both of the heads of this plunger are plated with Silvery Satin-Nickel. Please note that this new plunger style is unique because of the Silvery Satin-Nickel plated surface of the two heads, making it a different item as compared with the various plungers that come with the Thinket. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may confirm the Silver-Bullet Plunger in your appropriate Backer amount as an accessory add-on.

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    Pledge $34 or more About $34

    The Thinket - Receive the original, black ABS-polymer-handled Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.
    * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The Thinket - Receive the original, black ABS-polymer-handled Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    The Bauble - Receive the original, full-metal version of the Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.
    * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Bauble - Receive the original, full-metal version of the Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.
    ** Please note that this Reward will be fulfilled in February of 2014.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Twirly-Cap - Receive the Thinket accessory "Twirly-Cap," at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This accessory enables you to twirl the plunger of your Thinket on top of your Thinket barrel (Thinket not included). This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may add the Twirly-Cap into your existing Reward level as an accessory add-on purchase.
    * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    The Shadow - Receive the mysterious, all new Dark Nickel-Chrome full-metal version of the original profile Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Rhodium-Halo Plunger - Receive one spare Plunger accessory to use with any Thinket barrel (Thinket barrel not included). Both of the heads of this plunger are plated with genuine Rhodium, the most expensive of all the precious metals! Please note that this new plunger style is unique because of the Rhodium plated surface of both heads, making it a different item as compared with the various plungers that come with the Thinket. This reward includes the Curio and Doodad levels if purchased separately, or at survey time, you may confirm the Rhodium-Halo Plunger in your appropriate Backer amount as an accessory add-on.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Shadow - Receive the mysterious, all new Dark Nickel-Chrome full-metal version of the original profile Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.
    ** Please Note that this Reward will be fulfilled in February of 2014.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The ErgoPunk - Receive the newly conceived ErgoPunk barrel design version of the full-metal Thinket, with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * See the possible ErgoPunk barrel designs shown in the "Brief History" section to see what this handle-profile may look like when it is completed. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    The Precious - Receive a rare, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated, Limited-Edition version of the original profile Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Precious - Receive a rare, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated, Limited-Edition version of the original profile Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Precious - Receive a rare, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated, Limited-Edition version of the original profile Thinket in a nifty display-tube designed to securely store your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit; and at a price available only to Kickstarter contributors! This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. * SEE THE PICTURE in the Reward Description Section. ** Please Note that this Reward will be fulfilled in February of 2014.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    The PreciousPunk - Receive the newly conceived, Rhodium & 18 KT-GOLD plated Thinket with our new ErgoPunk barrel design, with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * Check out the possible ErgoPunk barrel designs shown in the "A Brief History" section to see what this handle-profile may look like when it is completed. The profiles of The ErgoPunk and The PreciousPunk will be exactly the same. The only differences will be in the plating finishes used for each one. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The PreciousPink Thinket - Receive this recently designed Thinket, created for lovers -- and even for someone that you simply like a lot! This new PreciousPink Thinket has our new Oval-Ergo barrel (handle) design -- as well as its two heads -- plated in Genuine 18Kt Rose-Gold, and it comes with nifty packaging designed to display your favorite anti-stress device as a compact unit. * Check out the Oval-Ergo barrel design shown in the "A Brief History" section. This barrel design is currently being offered only with The PreciousPink Thinket. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels.
    Yes, right now it is many months in advance of Valentine's Day, and The PreciousPink Thinket will be ready to be shipped sometime in January 2014.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The GoldenPunk - Receive this rare, 18KT Gold-Plated version of the PreciousPunk Thinket in an elegant, fabric-wrapped presentation box, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Thinket creator David Weinstock. Please note that in this design, both the Barrel (handle) and the two heads -- are plated in Genuine 18 KT Gold. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. *

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ThinkArt Thinket - Receive an original, handmade "Limited-Edition" version of the Thinket, with unique, hand-worked glyph art that is heat-etched and foiled, hand-painted, and clear-coat-sealed into the surface of a polymer handle (by designer/inventor, David Weinstock). This exquisite "Think-Art" reward also comes with a small handmade display stand, is stored in an elegant fabric-wrapped gift box, and is exclusive to Kickstarter contributors. This reward includes the CURIO and DOODAD levels. Please note: This reward has an extended fulfillment date of February 2014, since detailed attention is required for crafting these handmade pieces of original Thinket Art.

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Funding period

- (30 days)