Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to stop by and consider backing my first Kickstarter project - Meepillows! I want to personally thank you in writing since the producers of the video didn't think I had "it" to speak on camera (self-reflection is very hard). I want to sincerely express my appreciation to you and the hobby that has changed my life - board games! Is it weird to say that? Perhaps. But through all the friends I have met, all the colleagues I have connected with, all the strain my brain has endured at game night, and all the good times it all has brought, I feel that it has changed my life in a very positive way.
Now, here I am! Instead of backing another board game on Kickstar...
...yeah, I just backed another game on Kickstarter...
Anyway, I finally decided to create my own board game related project. I not only started my company Top Shelf Fun through my innate desire to be a part of this great hobby, but to bring something different to the tabletop/sofa. By backing this project you are not just helping me bring a Meepillow to your gameroom, but you are helping me set my company up for sucess to create other future projects!
There are some pretty hefty minimums from the manufacturer to bring a plush to life, and I am doing it with 6 different colors! It's crazy, but I am confident we can make this happen. I really believe we can do this together!
So, once again, a big "thank you" for stopping by while your boss isn't looking to help my dream become a reality!
Now, I know what you are thinking! What are 'Thank You' goals? Well, when I started this project I didn't know what to expect. At all. I knew that I didn't have the ability to upgrade the Meepillow in any way as a product (no component upgrades were possible), so I didn't include "Stretch Goals" in my campaign. Since this was my first Kickstarter I also wanted to keep it simple and clean.
Fast forward a couple weeks and I was so overwhelmed by the community, the support, and how fast I surpassed my initial funding goal I just had to figure out a way to thank each of you. I wanted to express my appreciation in a fun way. A gamer's way!
So, here are the special 'Thank You' Goals we have unlocked thus far:
1. Future Discounts: Each backer will receive special codes after the campaign ends that will entitle them to future exclusive discounts on my website.
2. End of Campaign Game: After the campaign has ended I will be taking a survey. I will ask each backer two questions:
A. What was the most popular Meepillow color of the campaign?
B. What was the total quantity sold of that Meepillow?
The backer who was closest to the correct answer of the correct color (you can go over) will win a free set of all 6 Meepillows! In case of a tie there will (of course) be a D20 roll off which will be recorded on video.
3. Official Meepillow Certificate: At the end of the campaign every backer will receive a link to a set of "Official Meepillow Guarantee" .pdf files. There will be 6 .pdfs (one for each Meepillow color) and these particular certificates (blue shown below) will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers only!
Again, thank you so much for all of your support. I certainly couldn't have done it without you!
A "meeple" is a little wooden pawn used in many modern day board games to represent a player. "Meeple" is believed to be a combination of the words "my" and "people." The meeple originated in the board game Carcassonne which was released about 15 years ago and continues to make gamers out of unsuspecting people today!
Since then, meeples have been used in countless other board games and have become the unofficial symbol of modern day tabletop gaming. Nowadays, meeples are not only used to represent people, but animals, creatures, monsters, and much, much more. You see them in logos, t-shirts, playing cards, and many other suprising places!
Meepillows are my interpretation of what the offspring of meeples and pillows would look like. They are soft, huggable and will definitely liven up any room in your home. They are 15 inches tall, almost 16 inches wide and 6 inches thick. They were born out of my love of board games and the tabletop game industry as a whole. The original 6 colors were chosen based on popular player colors used in modern day board games, but from this Kickstarter I hope to grow this business with new sizes and colors!
I knew from the beginning that shipping would be a challenge. Unlike other projects, this one would pose a logistical problem of shipping many multiple large items together. The Meepillow is already quite large and an odd shape, and adding multiple units makes the shipping box huge! So, I decided to absorb shipping costs best I could, offer discount tiers on different reward levels, and ship from multiple fulfillment warehouses that will help offset the insane costs. "Dimension Weight" is my least favorite combination of words right now!
1 Meepillow: US $8 / The World $10
2 Meepillows: US $15 / The World $18
3 Meepillows: US $20 / The World $25
4 Meepillows: US $25 / The World $32
5 Meepillows: US $29 / The World $40
6 Meepillows: US $32 / The World $47
Many months later of pulling my hair out it turns out in the end the cost to ship was simply unavoidable. I stopped worrying and decided to just love the project.
I hope you do too!
I went through a few companies and prototypes until I fined tuned the meeple shape that works best as a giant huggable plush. Even though the shape is simple, it is iconic and it needed to be perfect. Otherwise it would have just been a blob or a weird starfish shape. Making the shape work was surprisingly more difficult than expected.
Receiving these prototypes was so amazing. All the hard work was starting to pay off. Having them in hand and being able to show people validated what I already knew. These Meepillows were not only cool to look at, but incredibly soft and quite epic!
Since the prototypes are just, well, prototypes I needed to test multiple colors as well. In the end the Purple Meepillow (which is clearly more of a lavender above) and the Yellow Meepillow will see the biggest changes.
Please note that your screen will not accurately portray the colors exactly how they will be in final product. Between the camera used to photograph the fabric, the lighting, and your computer/phone screen it can be difficult to show the colors exactly as they are represented.
Have faith though! They are vibrant and accurate to my specifications!
Help spread the word by downloading these cool Meepillow avatars and using them on different social media sites!
Top Shelf Fun was born out of a love for fun, geeky and just plain awesome stuff. Board games, action figures, comic books, pop culture memorabilia, and video games are just a few of my favorite things.
When there is no room left on my shelves, the toys will walk the earth.
As Top Shelf Fun was indeed born out of a love of board games, Meepillows are the first board game products to be born out of Top Shelf Fun. With your help I will not only kickstart Meepillows, but it will be the foundation of all future products (in which I have many)!
I can't thank you enough for your support!
A very special 'Thank You' to the following people who helped me get this project off the ground:
Kristan Delle - Wife and big-time supporter of my shenanigans.
Rob McClure - Actor, editor, and all around great guy.
Maggie Lakis - Actress, director, and best friend.
Keith Bailey - Art assets and long time chum of immense talent.
Brae Howard - Photographer extraordinaire.
Kiril Tchangov - Top Shelf Fun logo & Meepillow Certificate designer.
Risks and challenges
After many months of searching and speaking to numerous plush manufacturers I found one that I truly felt like I could trust. They not only offered a fair cost, but also guaranteed the following:
1. Premium Quality Fabric
2. Full Color Custom Hang Tags
3. B&W Tush Tags
4. In House Toy Safety Inspection
5. Will Meet All International Toy Safety Standards
6. Poly Bags w/ Suffocation Warning
Here is the proposed timeline:
1. The Prototype Sample Stage = DONE!
I have already passed this stage and paid for the prototypes that you see in the pictures. The quality is just awesome!
2. The Mass Production Stage = approximately 4 to 6 weeks
Once this Kickstarter (hopefully) funds I will send payment to start the manufacturing process. These funds will pay for the fabric and supplies required by the manufacturer, along with shipping costs and storage fees. Even though this Kickstarter will fund at $15,000, Kickstarter is only covering a portion of the final cost of this endeavor. I believe in this product so much I am willing to cover the remaining funds, take this risk and build a business!
3. The Delivery State = approximately 4 to 6 weeks
Once production is finished the product will be delivered to most bakers directly from China, and the rest of the the product will be delivered via Ocean Shipping to America where the remainder of the fulfillment will occur. Oh, the stories they will have!
This is my first Kickstarter and I (and you) will have to assume there could be delays due to any of the following:
I have spent much of my time finding reliable companies that will handle shipping and logistics. I quickly discovered that International Shipping is a beast, especially when shipping large boxes of Meepillows! I know the shipping costs aren't ideal, but I have tried my best to discount multiple Meepillows and have absorbed large amounts of the shipping costs to make this Kickstarter successful. Meepillows quite simply are expensive to ship do to their large and odd size. With your support I truly believe I can handle any obstacles that may arise. The board gaming community is the most supportive and knowledgeable group of people I've ever come to know. With their help I can accomplish anything.
Stop by your friendly local game store today to see for yourself what this wonderful hobby has to offer!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)