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Make your own amazing flipbook animations with Andymation's Flipbook Kit!
Make your own amazing flipbook animations with Andymation's Flipbook Kit!
1,067 backers pledged $75,287 to help bring this project to life.

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Final Production Samples Unboxing

Posted by Andy Bailey (Creator)
13 likes

Hi Everyone!

* This is a duplicate of our last update. Sorry for the double email, but we realized that the last update was not visible to some backers--so here it is again. Everyone should be able to see it now. :) *

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We received a box of completed production sample kits and 8X paper packs from our factory, and I can’t tell you how great it is to finally hold the completed kits in my hands, in all their shrink-wrapped glory! Ha! My kids were freaking out excited as we opened the boxes and checked out the sample kits. I’ve posted an unboxing video at the end, but first… a story:

As you know our goal was to be able to start fulfilling orders in February--which meant the deadline for all the kits to leave the factory was no later than the end of January. You see, in February nearly all factories in China, including ours, shuts down for several weeks during Chinese New Year. So, in order to get our shipment loaded into the ocean freight containers in time, the last possible deadline for loading was the end of January. 

So our main factory and two other suppliers worked insanely hard to finish production as quickly as possible. I had lots of very late nights getting things coordinated and making sure component deliveries would happen on time. Each supplier worked amazingly hard! They worked tons of overtime, hired extra workers, etc. Our screw supplier finished all 400,000 screws in the nick of time. All of the light pads were delivered just in time. Everything was insanely down to the wire. For several nights in a row I was up at 2 or 3am having skype sessions with the suppliers making sure everything was coming together correctly… It was down to the last possible minute. Finally everything was delivered, packed and ready for final inspection.

You see, when you are manufacturing any product--no matter how long you have been working with a factory--no matter how good they are--you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS hire a trusted inspector to go to the factory and perform a final random inspection of all the goods before you allow the products to leave the factory and accept the shipment. This is the final step in quality control before the products are loaded onto the ship.

So, on the last possible day our inspectors went to the factory and performed a thorough random inspection and sent us their report. So there we were… it was the last possible minute, and everyone was waiting for us to give our approval. The factory workers were standing by to load our goods into the 20-foot shipping container... the guy who would transport the shipping container was there at the factory waiting for our go-ahead… then, as we reviewed the inspection eport we saw that out of all the inspected kits, 40% of the paper packs had incorrectly drilled holes and did not fit the light pads correctly. 40%! So we had no choice but cancelling the shipment. We were disappointed to say the least. Our factory rep was disappointed. The freight forwarder was disappointed. We paid a cancelation fee for the freight container, etc. But there was NO WAY we could accept the shipment, knowing that 40% of the inspected paper packs had incorrectly drilled holes. Something must have happened to the drilling machine which caused some of the paper to be out of alignment, and it simply has to be redone.

Okay, so! Here is what will happen. Our factory is currently closed for the Chinese New Year holiday for a couple more weeks. As soon as they re-open, our factory will remake the flipbook paper. It may be a matter of re-calibrating their drilling machine, or it may be that we have to use a different method like die cutting instead of drilling. One way or another the factory agreed to our specs and tolerances, so it’s on them to fix it. 

We will send our inspector to be on site at the factory while the new paper is being made. And as soon as the new paper is inspected and approved, we will be able to give the green light to ship the cargo. 

After the new paper is approved, the kits will be repacked and loaded into big shipping containers and loaded onto the ship for ocean freighting. The cargo will be on the ocean for 3-4 weeks and then--after clearing customs--will be delivered to our fulfillment centers. We are using fulfillment centers in 4 locations to handle all the shipping for each major region of the world.

Let me just say that while this was a frustrating situation, it’s a good thing we did our final inspection! And while finding this issue was extremely disappointing… I am glad we caught it just in time. Everyone involved was disappointed, especially as the factory and suppliers had worked so much overtime and worked so hard to deliver in time. But we had to make the right call, even knowing it would disappoint some people.

What does this mean for shipping? We would have been on track to start shipping orders by the end of this month, but with the factory being on holiday for Chinese New Year right now, and with the paper being remade, it may be April before we can begin fulfilling orders.

I have always been a people pleaser and hate disappointing anyone, so it’s never easy writing updates like this. I told myself going into this that I should expect the unexpected, that there may be obstacles which I couldn’t predict. And this was definitely one of them.

I’m glad you’re along with me for the ride. We are so close to the finish line!

After our factory staff is back from holiday, I will coordinate with them and post another update with more accurate timeline info.

And now… I am super excited about how the production samples have turned out, so check out the unboxing video below! This might be spoilery... so if you’d rather be surprised when you open your kits, don’t watch this video. But I just had to show you this. Enjoy.

Thanks,

Andy

Final Production Samples Unboxing

Posted by Andy Bailey (Creator)
10 Comments
30 likes

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Manufacturing Update

Posted by Andy Bailey (Creator)
46 likes

Hi Backers,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season.

I don't like spoilers, but I just can't help sharing a few of the photos and videos from our factory!

Our premium Flipbook Paper being cut and drilled:

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I'm sure this all looks so simple, but let me tell you... back when I was testing paper stocks--getting the right paper stock was not easy. lol  I thoroughly tested many brands and thicknesses of paper. Most importantly I compared what each paper stock looked like when tracing it on the light pad. It is shocking how different the various brands of paper appear when held up to light. The pulp quality becomes instantly apparent. Finally I found one that was just right. It's really great. Premium quality. I'm very happy with it and think you'll love it. It has nice whiteness and the pulp quality is very fine, which makes for good tracing. I never expected to know as much as I now do about paper. ha! Maybe I should apply for a job at Dunder Mifflin.

Check out the custom drilling below. I love seeing this thing in action.

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Here is some footage of the Light Pad faceplates as they were previously machine cut:

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This is the tuck box within the kit box which holds the Light Pad. I really dig this box.

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The Meteor Flipbook being mass printed:

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I hope you enjoyed these few sneak peaks! It's awesome seeing everything come together. I have been talking to our multiple suppliers nearly every day, and they have been fantastic to work with. 

We, and our suppliers, are working hard to complete manufacturing quickly. We are working with several separate suppliers to handle the various components of the Flipbook Kit. Our suppliers are working overtime to get all the manufacturing completed in time. That said, please be aware that Chinese New Year is coming very soon, which is a time in China when most factories shut down for several weeks. The workers go home, and manufacturing comes to a halt. In 2019 many factories will start shutting down near the end of January, and they will stay closed through a good portion of February. If for some reason any of our three suppliers fails to deliver their portions of the kit before CNY, there may be a three-week pause before all the kits can be inspected and loaded into the sea shipping containers. I only bring this up because our schedule is tight, and I want you all to be aware of CNY and its potential impacts on shipping. Our suppliers are doing their best to get everything finished and packed for sea shipping before CNY. If anything changes I will let you know.

Thanks guys! And thanks for sticking with me.

Andy

Holiday Gift Certificates and Production Update

Posted by Andy Bailey (Creator)
26 likes

Hi Backers, we hope you are all having a great holiday season!

Printable Christmas / Gift Certificates:

For those of you who are planning to give Flipbook Kits as gifts--because our shipping dates were delayed beyond Christmas, we have made a certificate available, which you can print and give to your loved one in advance of the ship date. The printable certificate is available in both PDF and JPG formats at the links below:

PDF: https://www.dropbox.com/s/h14x6utfxu0tp5h/Andymation_Flipbook_Kit_Certificate.pdf

JPG: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8atji25the94c9d/Andymation_Flipbook_Kit_Certificate.jpg

FYI, for printing reference the color profile is these files is CMYK.

Manufacturing Update: 

The metal injection molds for the light pad were finished recently, and light pad production is moving along.

Packaging production has begun in earnest, which includes the boxes for the Kit, boxes for the 8X Paper Pack, printed flipbooks, all paper components, and accessories. 

The molds for our custom screws are still being made, and we expect to see samples soon. After samples are approved, screw production will begin in full. We are making a total of 400,000 individual screw pieces for our first run! It’s insane.

A reminder about delivery dates: We had been getting lots of emails about Christmas delivery--please note our current estimate is to begin shipping in February. For more info please see the previous Kickstarter update.

And last but not least... a sneak peek photo of the 8X Paper Pack Packaging!

We will have more photos to share in the next update. 

That’s it for now. Happy Holidays! 

Andy and Laurie

New Shipping Estimate and Packaging Samples

Posted by Andy Bailey (Creator)
33 likes

Hi Backers!

Lots of info in this update. Please read to the end.

First, thanks for your patience. I know many of you have been eagerly waiting an update. It has been exciting and insanely busy here. I will be posting updates much more regularly from here on out.

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Enamel Pins:

Great news for those of you who added the Grumpy Cloud enamel pin set! We have received our shipment of pins from our factory, and they look fantastic! The pin sets will ship along with the rest of your items as soon as all items are ready. Please note that we cannot split orders to ship pin sets separately. I love the way the pins turned out and couldn’t be happier with the quality!

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Paper and packaging:

We ran into a challenge with our original paper/packaging factory and ended up having to part ways with them and find a new supplier. Our original factory fell short and was not able to meet our expectations or supply the quality brand of paper we wanted. So we started from scratch with several new factories, and the blank samples we received from our new supplier are exactly the quality we were looking for! Lots of photos below.

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We also received a printed sample of the Meteor flipbook, and it looks great!

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Light pad:

We are finally about to start tooling (mold making) for the injection molded plastic parts! It has been a long road with many prototype iterations, and it’s a relief to be starting the tooling process. That said, getting to this point took much longer than planned. To be more detailed, as our supplier began refining the pre-production prototypes and circuit boards, it became clear that some elements of the assembly needed to be simplified and finessed before tooling could begin. And that took time.

These light pad delays have unfortunately caused a delay for our shipping schedule. I sincerely apologize for the wait, but good quality takes time and our light pad supplier had previously overestimated their speed. Mold making will take at least 1 month to finish. At that point, the factory will make “first shots” of the parts and test the assembly and fit of all components. After approval of the first shots, light pad assembly will begin in full.

While we wait for production of the light pads, our packaging factory will move forward with packaging production and assembly of paper packs and everything else in the kit. The kits will be ready and waiting--then as soon as the light pads are delivered to the packaging factory, they will add them to the kits and pack the kits for cargo shipping.

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Fulfilment: 

After the kits are packed for cargo shipping, they will be sent to 4 different worldwide fulfillment locations--3 international and 1 U.S. location. The 3 international fulfillment centers will handle all of the international shipping fulfillment for different regions, and all U.S. based orders will be shipped personally from our location here in Oregon.

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New Shipping Estimate:

I understand that some of you expected the kits to ship before Christmas. That was our expectation, as well. We tried extremely hard to make this happen and apologize that it didn't. This means that unfortunately due to our light pad production delays the kits will not ship before Christmas. Our current new estimate for shipping is February. I sincerely apologize for the delay. Stand by, and again thanks for patiently waiting! I think it will be worth the wait :)

Andy