About this project
Now with clippings!
In the final closing days of this campaign, we are adding a Kickstarter exclusive! EVERY cat will come with a clipping so you can put and create your own ickle cactus kitteh in a pot!
Each person who adopts a Cactus Cat will get their Prickles customized with spines, hand-inserted into the cat to give them their prickly exterior (these are made from translucent elastic, so they give the illusion of the spines, but don't spoil your Cat's cuddliness!) Thanks to Laura Young, prop-maker and artist, extraordinaire for working out the way to make your Cactus Cat even more authentic!
AND you'll get a clipping kit: a cactus kitty clipping, a 4" pot, some stuffing, and some magical fertilized dirt to create your own herbology lab.
This amazing idea is that of Jennifer Klettke, who played Herbology Professor Cynthia Springer in 2016 and 2017. We are so grateful for her and her creativity!
Customize your kitteh!
And before you ask, we are quite certain that each order will end up with a snipe inside. Those things get everywhere :)
You may have a live cat or two, or one or more feline plushies of various sizes. But do you have a Cactus Cat? Doubtful, because until now, Cactus Cats were a snippet in American folklore and perhaps some stickers on the Internet. Now you can have your very own Cactus Cat to hug, hold, and befriend.
The Cactus Cat originated as a mythical creature in Southwest American folklore. As legend has it, cowboys and pioneers would report seeing prickly creatures with “thorn-like fur and a branched tail” roaming the desert.
These feline-like plants would slash open cacti with their claws and drink deeply from the exposed sap. Apparently, drinking the sugary sap caused the cats to become disoriented. After they drank their fill, they would stumble back into the desert and out of sight! Not a bad life, huh?
But the story doesn’t end there. These strange felines also became famous for their distinctive “yowl” that carried across the quiet desert nights. In reality, this was probably a puma, but the idea of a cat/cactus hybrid caterwauling to the moon is much more entertaining! And cuter!
Prickles is the prototype of our Cactus Cat plushie, a lovable and friendly companion for every cryptid enthusiast. They're also the very first in our "Magimundi Mates" collection of plushies that will feature cryptids and magical creatures from North America and the Magimundi universe.
Prickles is a custom-made plushie measuring 12" from nose to the base of the tail, with an ~10" long, three-branched tail that can be manipulated into various positions and shapes. Prickles can also wear the outfits made for Build-A-Bear(TM) creatures, including shoes.
This Cactus Cat is soft and pettable (their signature spines are smoothed into an adorable scruffiness). They make excellent pets and familiars for those who don't mind the fickle loyalty and penchant for hiding that all felines possess. They can stand on their own and are perfect for perching on your shoulder and nuzzling your neck. This custom-created large and densely packed stuffie is made of super soft and scruffy gray-green faux fur, and resembles a saguaro cactus. You won't find anything like this in any toy store or online shop!
Originally a character at New World Magischola, a 4-day immersive wizard school experience, Prickles is now exploring the world thanks to your help!
Discover Prickles on their journey by following the #wheresprickles hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Join the fun (and win prizes) by posting your own pictures with Prickles using one of our templates below--at least until you can get your hands on your own adopted Cactus Cat!
When we read the legend of Cactus Cat last year, we thought it was too good to remain a regional myth. A cat made from a plant? This needs to be on the Internet!
So, we contacted our amazingly talented friend, Ffion Evans, and asked her to help bring the Cactus Cat to life. Her drawing inspired us to add a little more context to the story and include it in the book we were working on at the time: the wonderfully illustrated Compendium of North American Cryptids and Magical Creatures. When the book was released, our backers went wild for the Cactus Cat. Apparently, our love for the story was shared! Before we knew it we had an incredibly cute Cactus Cat plushie named "Prickles" sitting on our desk. You can thank prop-maker Carrie Matteoli for that -- she boiled and dyed a store-bought stuffed cat, and added her own special touches to make them even more lovable.
Credit for naming Prickles goes to Alexis Moisand, who roleplayed that his pet Cactus Cat, Prickles, was missing during one of our live wizard school events. Prickles never turned up during Alexis' event, but in the following one, Jayden continued the quest to find Prickles, and find them, he did. Prickles became an unofficial mascot and went on to be elected the Wizard Ball Monarch, besting out human wizards in the school vote. Many people wanted to bring Prickles home with them, but as we only had one, Prickles had to stay at Magischola.
Prickles' love continued after the game with their own Facebook page and Twitter account. I mean, who doesn't love a prickly feline who helps you to make the swirly, sparkling, magical, infamous elixir: catsap. Clearly, we had to assuage the public's craving for Cactus Cats, and that is why we are working to create a large scale production of Prickles--so everyone can enjoy their very own Cactus Cat companion!
The Cactus Cat is a custom plushie, designed by a plushie creator based on the drawings and pictures we sent. You will not find another plushie like this anywhere!
Our funding goal of $10,750 is based on the following:
- A minimum factory production order of 1,000 plushies
- Recuperating the costs of the custom prototype
- Kickstarter, Backerkit, and Credit Card Fees
- Printing, supplies, consumables, add-ons, administrative costs
- Incidentals & surprises
We can't hire the factory to make the Cactus Cat plushie unless we do a minimum run of 1,000, which affects the Kickstarter bottom line. We do have the capacity to store some stock, and we do have events and conventions where we can continue to sell the plushies should we have any remaining of the 1,000 minimum order. We will also be looking into retail options, as these will be produced with tags and barcodes! This is new territory for us, but we are excited about it! And we will have Prickles by our side cheering us on!
February 2016: Cactus Cat lore and artwork created.
June 2016: Handmade Prickles prototype made by Carrie Matteoli, premiers at New World Magischola.
July - August 2016: Prickles goes on an adventure with Carlotta Springer and returns to NWM founders.
August 2016: Prototype designing for a custom mass-produced plushie begins. Initial design changed to add glass eyes and a rounder face.
December 2016: Prototype designing continues with requests for a more authentic gray-green fabric, so Prickles looks more like a cactus cat than a topiary cat.
March 2017: Final prototype design is approved, and final quotes for mass production of plushie are obtained. Minimum quantity order of 1,000 plushies.
June 2017: Kickstarter launches
August-September 2017: Cactus Cat plushie production begins at factory.
September-October 2017: Items shipped from the manufacturer.
November 2017: Backerkit fulfillment of Prickles orders!
December 2017, by 12/15/17: Prickles on your lap!
PLEASE NOTE that no reward or add-on includes any liquid. You will have to supply the "catsap" yourself! If you select a reward that includes one of our recipe booklets, we will show you how. Our 'Bartending Tutorial' Stretch Goal will also unlock a lot more great recipes for you to enjoy with your cactus cat...including lots of non-alcoholic varieties for the kids.
Taking the Cactus Cat's legendary thirst to heart, we've included some add-ons that transform this cuddly creature into a certified drinking buddy. Your Cactus Cat will always enjoy a healthy pour of a delightful glass of lemonade or even mezcal elixir with you. In fact, most of our Cactus Cats come prepared with a telescopic shot glass, mason jar sipper, and "catsap" recipe book. What a friend your Cat is.
A Prickly Thank You -- If we get 500 #wheresPrickles tweets (perhaps sharing the Kickstarter too) we will give our very own Prickles a makeover and send each backer an e-thank you card showcasing Prickles' gratitude.
Meet the Designers -- If we get 500 shares of the Kickstarter on Facebook, the designers will do a live stream on Facebook to meet the team, and Prickles of course!
Cocktail Shaker Lid Add-On -- If we get 1000 backers to the campaign, we will add a Cocktail Shaker Lid to our add-ons. This interchangeable lid will fit your mason jar mug, and allow you to shake up some great cocktails and mocktails for you and your cactus cat friend.
Printable Cactus Cat Catsap Labels -- If we hit $13,000 we will design official catsap labels that can be printed and attached to your mason jar, flask, and more. All backers will receive the PDF for free.
Cactus Cat Label Stickers -- If we hit $16,000 we will print the labels onto stickers and include them for all backers at the $40 pledge level and above. You choose where to affix them!
Bartending Tutorial -- If we hit $18,000, the creators will offer a webinar showing how to make catsap and some cocktails and mocktails that'll make you yowl with delight!
Engraved Flask Add-on -- If we reach $20,000, we will have custom engraved 8 oz flasks produced with a the exclusive catsap design.
Prickles Goes to Hollywood -- If we reach $30,000 we will produce a stop-motion video featuring our beloved Prickles.
You don't have to know about New World Magischola to love the Cactus Cat, but if you have the curiosity of one, here's some info for you!
New World Magischola is a four-day live-action role-playing event set in a wizard school in a brand new North American magical universe.
Along with around 150 fellow participants, you will live out your fantasy of being a wizard in a magical school. It’s kind of like being in your own movie, and you are the main character in your own story. You will get the chance to:
- Join or be sorted into one of the five houses of NWM and play a part in its traditions and rites
- Attend magical courses in alchemy, magical combat, magical law & jurisprudence, healing & poisons, runic magic, ritual magic, artificery & technomancy, magical creatures, and more!
- Teach magic school courses by playing a professor. Attend a formal Wizard Ball in your finest regalia.
- Follow one of the six majors at NWM: Astromancy, Artificery, Cryptozoology, Cursebreaking, Healing, and the Path of the Marshal.
- Make new friends and form long lasting bonds with fellow wizards.
- Join extracurricular clubs that match your interests.
- Explore the buildings and grounds, encountering magical creatures and artifacts that may be helpful or harmful.
- Engage in discussions, study and socialize, stir up shenanigans, or stay out of trouble.
- Live onsite with your housemates, eat meals together (lodging and all food is included)
- Make a difference in the outcome with the decisions you make: how the story ends is up to you! Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Risks and challenges
We've taken all possible steps to minimize the risk to our wonderful Kickstarter backers. We have self-funded the Cactus Cat Prototype and we have significant experience in working with vendors to produce, ship, and distribute our products. The next step is to bring the prototype to full production. Like anything, there is risk; the factory could run off with our payment, and the cargo ship transporting our Cats could be sunk by a white whale. But both of these possibilities are highly unlikely. We are confident that our experience and commitment to this project will produce a Cactus Cat that you'll want to cuddle and share a drink with for years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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