A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Who is Bishop?
Bishop is a buttery-soft, stuffed bear, who wears a helmet that looks like old basketball leather, an army green backpack/parachute with a pair of WASP wings embroidered on the center strap, and leather goggles. At twelve inches this bear is not only huggable, it's also super empowering and inspirational! When you meet Bishop, you'll learn about the WASP of WWII.
Why this Bear?
As many of you know, I've been sharing the WASP WWII history for almost 20 years, through songs, videos, an afghan, trading cards, interactive displays, kiosks, the first WASP app, an illustrated WASP history book, and interactive web pages. Anything outside the box that will captivate, engage and educate kids is what excites and propels me. Enter Bishop, my next ‘big idea’ to challenge young kids to follow their dreams, work hard, persist, and keep on learning. Through Bishop, who was named after a real WWII WASP, we can reach the next generation--raising awareness and sharing the inspirational WASP history in a completely new way.
Who are the WASP?
The Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII were the first women in history to fly America’s military aircraft. Never heard of them? Then meet Bishop or follow our links. Already know who the WASP are? Then you are gonna LOVE this bear!
What are we asking?
Help us manufacture an inspirational little bear named Bishop.
When you donate a minimum of $26, you will receive one Bishop the Bear of your very own, or to give as a gift. With each bear comes the responsibility to be “Bishop’s Person.” You will receive a certificate of rights and responsibilities, including your promise to take Bishop on at least one adventure or teach him your own idea of a life lesson and share it with us. Teach the bear something you learned that might help a child fly a little higher in whatever they might choose to do. SHARE your tips, pointers, pitfalls, stumbles, small steps forward and giant leaps. Then, take a picture and send it to us, so we can post it on Bishop's webpage.
Input will come from people: flyers or not, famous or not, pilots or not—with inspirational stories, lessons and tips for kids. And, if Bishop is a gift for a child,encourage them to share their own stories!
Bishop will inspire you or your child to share something amazing and that lesson and photo will become part of “Bishop’s Wall of Inspiration.” In a plane, in a car on a train near or far...you get the idea. Almost like Flat Stanley only even more fun;) Take Bishop wherever you are and let's all share in a remarkable journey!
Right now, Bishop is one-of-a-kind. This is our prototype bear. I partnered with the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, for manufacturing and they are waiting to take their next step: creating 1,000 Bishops. All we need is your support.
Estimated costs for the production of 1,000 Bears includes Plush Bear, Hang Tag, Testing - ASTM Standards, Sewn in Label, Project Manager, and Shipping to one location. Bishop's 'history tag' from the factory will have a short WASP history attached and a QR code for more on the WASP.
THE WEBSITE Bishop’s website will include “Bishop’s Wall of Inspiration.” This is where your wisdom and pictures of Bishop can be posted and shared. What better way to engage kids than show them where Bishop is traveling, who the bear is traveling with, and what Bishop is learning! Here is my own posting and a photo with Bishop:
"Bishop and I are creating a little video for a project we believe in very much. We have 'mustard seed' faith because if you have faith, even that little bit of faith, with God's help, anything is possible! Keep learning, keep working, keep trying and someday, you just may be flying!"
“BISHOP FLIES WITH THE WASP OF WWII” is ready for a publisher! It is a delightful story of how Bishop learns about flying, using the magic of an old WWII Army Footlocker where artifacts from the WASP help Bishop travel back in time. Our little bear learns lessons about life and flying from the WASP and, eventually, takes a first ride in a restored WWII PT 17. I am shopping the book right now--but, finding a publisher takes time! Meantime, here are three sample pages:
We'll keep you posted on these projects.
Meantime, first and foremost, I want to share this adorable little bear with YOU!
My mission has always been, above all else, to educate and inspire the next generation with the stories and values of the trailblazing WASP. Expanding that mission to include a special way to reach kids is exciting!
I can't wait for you to meet BISHOP! Yes, indeed,
"It's ALL ABOUT THE BEAR, 'bout the Bear named Bishop!"
For information about me and some of my other outside-the-box projects, click my photo at the top of the page. For more on the origins of Bishop, check out our FAQ!!!
The prototype has been completed. Once the funding is raised, manufacture will be done by The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company/Custom Plush in Santa Clarita, California at their factory in China. Their work has been on time, and the prototype is very well made.
As far as challenges, if we don't raise the goal, we don't produce the bears. But, you are also not charged. To me, that is the only fair way to do this.
Shipping is our biggest challenge. I took my Bishop in a box to UPS, Fed Ex, and USPS. Cheapest, most reasonable rate is the USPS $7.67 to most locations in the US. Our budget estimate is for shipping 650 bears because I wanted to keep our first run costs under $20,000. I will use stamps.com to get the cost down a little further, but can't budget that without knowing where the bears are going.
Costs are high, for sure. Retail cost for Bishop with be around $20 but if purchased online, shipping will be added. Added into the budget is the %5 fee for Kickstarter. Their services are well worth it.
I believe we can get this done. Soon, Bishops will be flying high into the hands of the next generation of kids who may not want to be a pilot, but they will be inspired to 'Fly High' in everything they do by Bishop and by YOU!
So, if you would, please consider supporting us! THANKS!
Our goal is to ship by March.
FYI March is Women's History Month!
The Boeing PT-17 Stearman was one of the first planes used to train pilots during WWII, including WASP. To fly this bi-wing, open cockpit plane, helmets and goggles were required.
At this level, you will recieve one Bishop the Bear and a blank gift card for you to use in case you want to give Bishop as a gift. We will encourage you to post your own inspirational story and a photo with Bishop. You will also be updated on our progress with Bishop's upcoming book.
The North American "Texan" AT-6 had over twice the power and speed of the PT-17, along with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear. WASP trainees just loved to fly the AT-6.
In their honor, you will receive our thank you of "Twice the Bishops!" TWO bears will be shipped to your mailbox with blank gift cards enclosed. We will happily post your name online along with our thanks for helping Bishop FLY. We will encourage you to post your own inspirational stories and photos with Bishop.You will also be updated on our progress with Bishop's upcoming book.
The Curtiss "Warhawk" P 40, is a single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft flown on the front lines during WWII. Made famous by the Flying Tigers, these speedy planes were also flown by WASP in the US.
The the P-40 Level, three Bishops will be shipped to your mailbox with blank gift cards enclosed. We will encourage you to post your own inspirational story and a photo with Bishop and will happily post your name online along with our thanks for helping Bishop FLY. You will also be updated on our progress with Bishop's upcoming book.
The North American P-51 Mustang was the fastest long range fighter in the Army Air Forces arsenal. Made famous by the Tuskeegee Airman, these aircraft were used to escort and protect long range bombers during WWII. WASP also flew P-51's, as they ferried the aircraft to points of embarkation. The planes were then wrapped up and put on ships bound for the front lines.
At the P-51 level, you will receive a box of 4 boxes of Bishops shipped to your home with blank gift cards in each box. We will encourage you to post your own inspirational stories and photos with Bishop. You will also be updated on our progress with Bishop's upcoming book.
The B-26 Martin Maurauder, a.k.a. 'Widowmaker,' was a twin engine 'attack bomber' flown by US forces during WWII. Accident rates in early training flights were so high, that WASP were given the opportunity to fly the planes to prove to some male pilots that the aircraft was safe to fly. The experiment worked! The B-26 had the best record in combat of any US bomber.
At the B-26 Level, we are incredibly grateful for your support! You will receive a box with 5 boxes of Bishops with appropriate gift cards.
With your permission, we will happily post your name online along with our thanks for helping Bishop FLY.
You will be updated on our progress with Bishop's upcoming book.
In honor of Henry 'Hap' Arnold, the visionary general who green lighted the WASP training program and named the women pilots 'WASP.' General Arnold was the first 5 star general of the Air Force and is considered 'the father' of the WASP.
Your generosity at this level would be most appreciated and celebrated by awarding you Five Stars! With this level gift, you will truly help Bishop become a reality and you will become a sponsor of Bishop's website! With your permission, we will include your name or company as a generous supporter of this unique project.
The Bishop reward at this level is the same as the B-26 level: you will receive a box of 5 Bishops to give as gifts--with appropriately included gift cards. Each box will also include the "Marching Songs of the WASP" CD, featuring WASP Deanie Bishop Parrish's WASP Rap song: "We Got the Stuff, The Right Stuff."
We'd also like to send you a special gift: either our WASP Legacy Afghan or our Faces of the WASP Mosaic.
As with every supporter, we will keep you posted on Bishop's book and will encourage you to share your own inspirational lessons and stories with Bishop and all of us!
Pledge in honor of Jacqueline Cochran, the woman with the vision of a corps of American women pilots who could relieve male pilots for combat during WWII. This pledge is one dollar for every WASP who flew as part of the Army Air Forces during World War II. Bear reward is the same as the Five Star General, but names of donors will be highlighted with links to their own sites.
This honor is for SPONSORS of Bishop's coming website: Bishop's Hangar--which includes a Pilot's Readyroom where visitors can hear stories from the WASP. Once the site is launched, it will grow based on lessons and stories from those who share with Bishop and online.
Individual or company names will be 'above the fold.' This would be a wonderful way to help honor the WASP by remembering one you have met or one whose story you want to hear.
**Stories will include video of WASP interviewed by Wings Across America.