First off, my name is Matt Cornell, inventor of the Ink Whiskey Entertainment Flask and founder of Ink Whiskey LLC. I'm always inventing new products that I want for myself, and this one in particular was special to me. Its so fun, so nostalgic, and it surprises you twice; once with the parody label and again with being a hidden flask. As someone who was raised on these video games, I absolutely love the whole concept. Everyone who's come on board the Ink Whiskey team shares that same passion and we've had a blast making this project come to life (you can find my intro's on them under the project bio section).
It's been a long road and we've gone through many different designs, originally starting with a typical flask-style cap like this:
Design #1, #2, and #3
Then in the late stages of prototyping we made a zombie-version of what you see in the video. It was all hot-glued together and hack-sawed to bits.
I literally glued and melted two sides of a game cartridge together. It still didn't hold water, and was certainly not my finest work, but it got the Ink Whiskey team moving in the right direction. We wanted to make this flask a concealable flask instead of a flask that was just shaped differently. That's what was really important to us; we wanted our product to look and feel exactly like the game cartridges we grew up with, and then BAM SUPRISE! it holds your favorite real-life health potion. Amiright? Amiright?
Low and behold we finished with the beautiful prototype you see before you.
The hardest thing about creating a concealable flask was where to put the cap. I think everyone on the Ink Whiskey team could attest to that. Eventually my plastics engineer and I spent an evening at a bar designing flask caps on napkins until we came up with the minimalist design that we currently have. Boom:
This cap replaces the grip portion of the cartridge. It was the only place on the whole design that had natural shadows and indents that wouldn't be noticeable by change in design. It was the perfect location. Here's a second view for a different perspective:
You'll notice that the actual plug portion is just slightly larger than the grip section of the cartridge. This was so we could have a larger spout for the flask, which then provides an easier pour for its contents. If you look hard, you can see the slight rounding at the base of the cap, but that's the Ink Whiskey Entertainment Flask's only give away.
In the video we just have a normal ABS plastic cap, but the final product will have a softer derometer plastic material that will give enough PSI to make the top hole water tight so nobody has to worry about drips or spills. The counter-side to that is that we will have to enlarge the design of the cap so that the fit is tight and flush.
All of that took the greater part of a year to finish and finalize. It was hard having everyone juggling normal jobs and school and STILL make time to apply their craft to this project. We're all so excited and ready to present it to the public.
Product and Labels
Outside of being a handy little way to be sneaky, we've created some awesome alcohol-themed parody art labels of some 'popk-u-lar' (I'm still kicking myself about that. I'm such a bad public speaker...@1:01 if you didn't hear it) POPULAR, classic video games that we all know and love. Here's a quick sneak peak at the five labels we have available to choose from:
To put more specifics on it for those of you who want to know more, Ink Whiskey will be raising funds for the production costs of the Ink Whiskey Entertainment Flask. What is encompassed in production costs is the A + B side mold of the flask, the mold for the cap, the horn for sonic welding the two sides together, and the sticker printing for each flask. In addition to that, we need to pay for the assembly costs and shipping, as well as import and export fees.
Our estimated delivery date on the flasks is spring 2014. Once we are funded, it takes two weeks to clear the funds into our bank account. After that it will take a month from when we put in the order for the molds to our factory for the molds to be carbon cut and completed. Once that's completed we can put in an order for the number of units that we need for our Backers. If the order size is between 1,000 and 10,000 we can have the product in roughly four weeks if not sooner. After that, we'll reship them from our U.S. location to our Backer's home address, which according to my Logistics Officer, shouldn't take more than a week.
Bing bang boom you have your flask. Just think of it like magic--you want to buy something from us, you wait a couple months, and then voilà, you've got what you came for.
Risks and challenges
This project's main challenge is timing. Placing tooling orders with any plastics manufacturer takes time to be processed, cut, tested, and finally ready for mass production. Time needed for these processes can vary. The general rule of thumb is a month for any request. The requests for this project would be:
1) "Create the molds please, we have funding." and
2) "Produce x-number of units please and ship them to xxxx."
Assuming under the general rule of thumb, those will both take a month. The first month for tooling, the second month for production and shipping. At the end of the second month is when we'd have them in hand to ship to our backers, which if in the USA, wouldn't take more than a week.
Two months in itself is not a large issue, but we have to add one more ingredient to the mix; the running time of our KickStarter project. Now we're looking at 3 months start to finish. That puts us just in time for Spring 2014, depending on shipping and first-production run time consumption. The challenge here is that any budget, whether it is a time budget or a money budget, needs 'wiggle room' for putting out any fires that crop up in the process.
We are dealing with a top-tier factory that produces for large names like Target and Costco so we're confident that they will deliver with the same speed and readiness that they deliver to their other clients. In addition, our Chief Logistics Officer, Robert Groskopf, has over five years experience with shipping and receiving product, and our resident Plastics Engineer and acting CFO, David Martschinske, has also been importing and exporting electronics and plastics at his other startup company for over three years. And then there is me, the CEO. I have a vision and a passion for this product and will see it through to the end no matter the obstacles that arise.
Thank you very much for time and hopefully deciding to support Ink Whiskey! We can't wait to deliver to you the best (and only!) concealable gaming flask in the world!
The Ink Whiskey TeamLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)