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A desktop bamboo walking machine.
603 backers pledged $57,669 to help bring this project to life.

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the future

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Hello Kickstarter! We returned last week from a long and much-needed holiday and have spent the time since tying up loose ends and figuring out what is next for the Humble Velocipede.

A quick review of what we’ve done over the past several months: We made, in total, 521 Velocipedes, milling hundreds of pounds of bamboo, and hand-assembling nearly 90,000 individual components. We finished, tested, packaged and shipped each Velocipede ourselves.

We are delighted with the enthusiasm that people have shown for this project. But now, with a slightly smaller team and a full appreciation of how much effort and time goes into making such a complex object by hand, we have decided to pursue other projects and dreams. For those of you dying to get your hands on a Velocipede, we will produce a limited final run of a few dozen more, which we will sell through Etsy for $200 apiece. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmallWonderToys

In addition to the last of the Velocipedes, we’ve got t-shirts and crankshafts up for sale. (For now we are only shipping within the US, apologies to international fans.) Keep your eye on our Etsy shop as new products may pop up soon.

Thanks again for your support throughout this incredible experience,

Hannah and Dano 

WE DID IT

The last of our packages left the shop today! If you haven't received yours already, expect it in the next few days (domestic) or weeks (international). You too, spoil board backers.

You may notice a faint citrus scent on your Velocipede. It is the wood finish, which is all natural and non-toxic. You can see full product information here: http://www.heritagenaturalfinishes.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=48

The packing peanuts are made of cornstarch, which means that they are also non-toxic and biodegradable. 

As you can see, we are exhausted but so happy that we got all our rewards out on time. 

Happy Holidays! See you in 2013.

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First shipment shipped!

To everyone who requested first shipment: expect a package! If you haven't received your Humble Velocipede already, it should arrive by the end of this week or early next! International backers, yours will take a bit longer. We would love to hear your reactions and see pictures of Velocipedes in the wild, which you can post on our Facebook page.

To everyone else: hold tight! We plan to ship the rest out on December 20th.

It's been a crazy week at Small Wonder HQ. Thank you all for your continued support. We love you.

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a picture's worth 1000 toys

We're almost done! Shipping is just around the corner...

crossing the rubicon

Greetings Kickstarters,

When last we spoke, our shop had just gotten off the ground and we were making more Velocipedes than at any time before. In reality, though, we still weren't making them at the pace we needed for an on-time delivery. We're extremely proud to announce that in the interim we've closed that gap, and we're now making them at a pace of 10 a day, putting us on track for a December ship date! We also managed to ship out your postcards, crankshafts, t-shirts, and Early Birds ahead of schedule!

Folks, getting there was no mean feat. Kickstarter rewards to date have had the discouraging tendency of showing up late, and the three of us are now intimately familiar with the extent to which Murphy's law haunts entrepreneurial idealism. We've got a laundry list of bracing stories to this effect; let us regale you with the best one.

When we designed the Velocipede, we aimed at using entirely standard stock sizes to minimize the processing time for each part - the majority of the toy is made up of triangles and rectangles cut from 1/4" or 1/2" bamboo plywood. Bamboo ply seems to be a relatively young industry, and we were surprised to discover that 1/4" and 3/4" were the only standard thicknesses available.

Fortunately, we figured this out well in advance of our Kickstarter and developed a labor-intensive workaround suitable for the short term. Our hardwood distributor assured us that large custom batches from their fabrication facility in China is standard practice, so following our Kickstarter success we made a multi-thousand dollar order, wisely placing all our eggs one transcontinental basket. Exactly as not planned, the panels were improperly sanded and proceeded to warp beyond repair.

Our distributor phoned us with the failure near the end of September, at which point we immediately went scrambling to find some source, ANY source, of 1/2" bamboo ply. There was talk of laminating two sheets of 1/4". There was talk of other shipments with surplus. We called every supplier we knew, and they started hunting for alternatives. In the meantime, we cut up a truck load of 3/4" ply and drove it over the Cascade mountains to Bend, Oregon where a friend with a small but effective planer helped us tediously process what we had down to 1/2".

In the week that followed, we continued to call our suppliers, and eventually one of them managed to locate an extremely unlikely but very sizable stack of 12"x72" panels just a bit thicker than 1/2" hiding in a distribution center in Auburn, Washington. That same day we happily located a woodworking plant down the road with an industrial-grade panel planer capable of shrinking all the boards in this stack in one fell swoop. We finished this round of planing a little more than three weeks ago and now have enough stock to carry us through to December.

Hiccups happen every week. Most of them aren't quite this big. But like we said, we're on track for December, and we're confident that things will continue that way until your Velocipede arrives at your door. Thanks for reading.

photos by Miranda Wakeman