Notcot has a story about what looks to be a sneaky trick pulled on some folks who launched a cool pen and ruler sleeve campaign on Kickstarter (which raised $280,000). Another company is selling a pen in a sleeve that looks an awful lot like Pen Type-A, and it seems like the person who set them up with a manufacturer in China is behind the copycat pen.
Yesterday, Fab.com led me to their sale of Torr Pens, which initially simply looked like a strange rip off of the insanely successful Pen Type-A Kickstarter project. Simple enough, things get ripped off - but usually the design rip offs don’t end up circulating in areas that claim to focus on authenticity and great design.
But where this got even crazier is that Torr Pens’ website and the Fab page had pictures and a James Bond parody video of the same guy who organized the manufacturing of and spent late nights washing, smelling, drying, and reassembling the Pen Type-A’s with the kickstarter designers CW&T. They even say in their update that he hugged them when he saw them last. It’s a painful story, but we can only hope hearing all that CW&T has gone through from the manufacturing issues to this new level of complication they’ve run into while still trying to fulfill their immense pen orders a year later can help educate other designers going into similar processes!
UPDATE 2/26/2013: Torr has posted a response titled "Response to cyber-slander and overhyped Kickstarter uproar."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects