Note: The Meeples shown are not at the final polish level we are aiming for; we shot these photos and videos a couple weeks before the Kickstarter, and have perfected our process further since. Stay tuned for updated pictures, and an update from Eric (the Meeple Maker) describing how the process has evolved.
What makes our Meeples special?
The Meeples of The Meeple Machine are hand-crafted from various solid hardwoods in Vermont. They measure about 16x16x10mm in size, with a custom smooth, rounded, (and, dare we say, jolly) shape, and are oiled and sealed with petroleum-free Botanical Polymerized Tung Oil for durability and shine. Our poplar Painted Meeples are sealed after painting to improve their texture. They make the perfect addition to any game that uses Meeples, or you can use them as a personal cheerleading squad on your desk at work, or you can wage massive battles across your tabletop between different factions, or... you get the idea.
Our starting woods and paint options are listed below. Stay tuned for new colors and woods unlocked throughout the campaign as stretch goals! Each reward tier includes one exclusive painted Kickstarter Green Meeple-- Meep! These green Meeples will be very limited in their supply to this Kickstarter, so act now to secure your sets of Meeples!
Unlocked Hardwood Meeples (oiled and sealed)
- Red Oak - warm and bright
- Cherry - smooth and earthy
- Tigerwood - striated and striking
- Purpleheart - regal and tough
- More to come as stretch goals, including...
SAPELE - $30 - Meeple Sampler Exclusive
Unlocked Painted Poplar Meeples (painted and sealed)
- KS Green (avocado!)
- Red (flirty!)
- Blue (cerulean!)
- Black (shady!)
- More to come as stretch goals!
How do I get these Meeples?
We are offering several reward tiers to get some of these first-batch Meeples during the Kickstarter, and to get exclusive items and color sets too! Check out our reward tiers below, and choose the one that best reflects the Meeples you want!
Copper Frog Games is offering shipping for our International Backers interested in backing the Meep x6, Meeple Sampler, Bulk Meep! x100 and Meeple Sponsorship tiers. Just select whether you are in the US or not from the list in your reward! US Shipping is included! The Meeple Machine will not be traveling overseas for the foreseeable future, but we will still offer our Meeples at conventions and through our website. As a note, due to difficulty shipping to Brazil, costs are higher for shipping there.
Pledging will help us unlock additional colors and styles of Meeples only during the campaign, so be sure to pledge for the main tier that best describes what you want, and follow the instructions in lower tiers for how to pledge additionally for add-ons! Just alter the amount in your pledge to include any lower (or duplicate) tiers you want.
The rewards for Meeple Machine Sponsor are limited to only 10 sponsors, so pledge early if you want to secure your banner space!
For add-ons to your pledge, choose the highest-tier item first, then adjust your pledged amount to include lower-tier items as listed in each reward.
What is MeepFrog?
MeepFrog is a 2-player "microgame" of leaping Meeples on a pond. Players strategically place randomly-drawn Meeples from a bag on and around the cloth board, aiming to jump the shore Meeples over their color of Meeples, which float in the center. It is very fast, and while pushing your luck plays into it strongly, there is a healthy dose of strategy that makes the game fun to play over and over in casual settings. With its elegant cloth and hardwood components, it's just as at home in a fancy pub as it is on your gaming table.
Backing at the $20 MeepFrog level will get you not only the 18 assorted painted Meeples you need to play the game, but also a cloth bag to play with featuring the Copper Frog Games logo, and a classy screen-printed, handkerchief-style board with the instructions.
For more on how to play MeepFrog, check out this preview from Pirate's Parley Gaming-- note that the Meeples used in this video are not the final component quality of our painted poplar Meeples.
Who is making this happen?
Copper Frog Games LLC is led by Michael Epstein of Lexington, MA. After Kickstarting Pigment successfully in Fall 2017, he had the idea to produce custom wooden Meeples as a convention-exclusive item, after the popularity of the custom Apprentice Meeples unlocked for that game on Kickstarter. Pigment successfully shipped on time to backers in Spring 2018, and Michael is now proud to present an abstract strategy game in the form of MeepFrog this summer at our $1500 stretch goal.
Eric Badger possesses the tools and skills necessary to make this project a reality. As our expert "Meeple Maker" based out of Montpelier, VT, Eric brings his woodworking knowledge and craftsman's spirit to this Kickstarter campaign, and wants to see this project grow over the coming years with new Meeples and other wooden gaming components for all. Look for him at more conventions with Copper Frog Games soon!
Our video was shot on-location in Warren, Vermont and produced by Jason Martin, and The Meeple Machine jingle was created by Tom Sargent, featuring vocals by Emily Bawn.
The funds from this Kickstarter will primarily be going towards shipping rewards, hardwoods and other materials such as paint, The Meeple Machine itself, reimbursements for tools and other necessary equipment, and Pledge Manager costs. As well, if we reach the MeepFrog stretch goal, we will be ordering custom-printed cloth bags and boards to ship with those games.
How will these be available after the Kickstarter?
The Meeple Machine is going to be a capsule machine filled with our handmade Meeples, presented by Copper Frog Games LLC. We hope to bring this to many conventions around the country, starting with PAX Unplugged in November 2018, but need your help to make it happen with style! We are offering a chance to get first-batch and exclusive Meeples through this Kickstarter, and hope you are excited to eventually visit The Meeple Machine at conventions throughout the US.
What about retail backers?
If you are interested in purchasing Meeples for bulk retail opportunities in brick-and-mortar stores or game cafes, or for deluxe components for use in board games, please back at our Bulk Meep! x100 level and send us a message via Kickstarter with information about your business. From there, we will work out pledge details for those orders. We may even be able to offer custom woods or paint options for large bulk orders (500-1000+ Meeples) if there is interest--perhaps we'll see our Meeples in a deluxe version of your game in the future!
Risks and challenges
We've already been producing Meeples for about a month now to prepare for this Kickstarter launch, ensuring that we are delivering excellent quality products for you on-time and on-budget. Thanks to the small size and low weight of Meeples, we can ship rewards very quickly and easily once production is completed. All domestic shipping is factored into the reward tiers already, with international shipping being affordably priced as well.
Our low funding goal reflects our confidence in being able to get Meeples to you for a good price, and our interest in spreading the good word of hardwood gaming components. We have perfected our process over numerous batches of Meeples, and hope to make this an integral part of our convention appearances in the near future with your help.
Having delivered Pigment largely on time in Spring 2018, Copper Frog Games is excited to be returning to Kickstarter with The Meeple Machine. Manufacturing is going to proceed at our own pace, and we're ready to take on any challenges that may crop up as we get you your rewards. Our hope is to ship early, but as with our last Kickstarter, we will keep you informed of any problems or delays in getting you your rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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