Hello friends, backers, and other rad people:
This a big update with lots of information including a new shipping date, two (2) new accessories included for free, and multiple product improvements.
Jason, RODG founder, just returned from a 2 week trip to our factories in China. We always enjoy visiting and working with the talented people we are developing our products with. We are constantly amazed by the skill and artfulness of our manufacturing partners. They are not just partners, but owners in the company as well. Your backing this project supports a global exchange of goods, ideas, and innovations.
While there, he saw that the factories are filled with products - stacks and stacks, at various stages of completion being hurried to get on the boat because of the impending tariff issue. A 25% tariff is being imposed on camping gear at the beginning of the year, which will raise prices and affect our the entire outdoor industry. It was a stark reminder of the challenges of global economics and politics.
Collectively, The Republic of Durable Goods, is very proud of the product we are bringing to life, and outdoor adventures it will inspire. We are also very proud of the global relationships and community we are building. The Mock ONE is the first of many products that will be a bridge between people, geographies, and communities.
The first part of Jason’s trip overseas was to check on progress and to collaborate with our manufacturing partners on confirming an updated manufacturing schedule.
In our last update, we let you know that had made a late-stage change to one of the molded parts. Currently the molded parts are not quite finished and are scheduled to be done in mid-November.
After many conversations with our expert manufacturing partners, we have rescheduled production to December, which means shipping to Backers and Pre-Orders in February 2019. This will come as bad news for many hoping to give as a holiday gift, and we feel terrible about it. So sorry for the delay and we hope we can make it up to you with an even better product in February.
We are sharing a couple of photos of the unfinished tools. If you have never seen an unfinished tool before, this is a glimpse of how injection molded plastic parts are made. Below is a photo of the corner bracket tool.
This is the most complicated of our tools, with the need for multiple “slides” to block the flow of plastic and form open cavities. The octagonal hole in the middle (with red around it) will be the plastic part itself, everything else is pistons and moving parts. Pretty neat, huh?
Below is a picture of the unfinished tools for the feet - the large space in the top and the two smaller blocks on either side of the tool are for the pistons.
The delay in tooling allowed us to make continual improvements in design and functionality to the Mock ONE and accessories. Here are the major improvements based on feedback from the community and prototyping:
Carry Bag: Developed a duffel-style carry bag, rather than the vertical half-bag, allowing all of the accessories to fit easier into the carry bag, with additional room for your own things like a towel, drinks, snacks etc. The Mock ONE can still be stored vertically on its feet, even inside the bag. The duffel style handles are easy to grip and can be used as backpack straps. A single shoulder strap is also included, for cross body or single shoulder carry. It’s much more versatile and a much better bag than the previously designed vertical half-bag.
- NEW FREE ACCESSORY - Quick Carry Strap: We have added a carry strap, included with each Mock ONE to hold everything together so you can just grab the frame and go. No need to use the carry bag if all you are bringing is the Mock ONE. It also makes it easy to store vertically on its own. It’s super awesome!
NEW FREE ACCESSORY - Foot Mat: We were going to keep this a surprise, but just couldn’t hold it in. We added a simple mat made using the excess fabric from the carry bag. Place it on the ground for a nice place to take off your shoes. It is a sweet addition to the MAKE HAPPY mission!
Branding: You are all part of the Republic helping to guide and shape our company and brand, and we want our products to reflect that. So, we added reflective Republic logos to the Mock ONE and accessories for visibility. Everything is done for a reason on the Mock ONE, even the logos have a purpose.
Here’s a preview of what the designs have changed to:
Clearly, this is going to be an awesome product and be assured we are working tirelessly to get it to you. Again, we are sorry to have to miss the December timing and promise to have the product to you in February 2019, in time for some nice early Spring outings.
We have an upcoming trip scheduled for December to oversee the start of production and will send another update then.
Thanks again for backing the Mock ONE and the Republic of Durable Goods! Make happy!