The hardware is tough. You can browse the site’s archives and come up with dozens of daring attempts to make new consumer electronics work – some of them very close to home. But, like all start -up companies, most hardware companies face the hard core of turning atoms into something worth buying.
To commemorate the hardness of hardware, the MSCHF idea factory / art house launched a set of 5 Dead Starter Toys as vinyl figurines which you can buy for $ 39.99 each or $ 159.99 for the set. This calls it an ‘iconic failed start’ and the sales site offers a brief history of the ups and downs of each effort. They range from never -before -seen products like the Theranos minilab to less -timely early movers like the Jibo to training in over -engineering like the Juicero.
Since I’ve spent a lot of my career absorbing and trying to understand the difficult and complicated process of bringing consumer hardware to market, I love these things. There may be a malicious lens here, but I choose not to see it that way. Fraud is fraud and the people behind Theranos and corruption like Cooler Cooler have or will see the business end the legal system.
But big visions and hardware dreams aren’t always so clearly put into the ‘failure’ pit. Sometimes the hardware works but the supply chain doesn’t work. Sometimes the vision is good but the product is too early. There are a huge number of reasons why a product fails – but (because it’s really real) you often have to hand it over to a team of people and visionaries who want something to exist in the universe and drag it kicking and screaming to that point. And from the cliffs.
The figures themselves are excellent, with sharp stamps and precise detail with legible text and a well-printed logo. Some of them are articulated as well, and accessible. The Coolest Cooler gets a well -known blender and the Juicero has a removable ‘fresh veg’ pouch (its own). The quality is pretty high overall, I’ll put it with some of the better new toys I’ve bought over the years – it’s not called over the phone, like the Cooler feature set.
The packaging is also pretty impressive, each getting a special box and the large sets are all available in a larger shelf box. Each also comes with a ‘cause of death’ on the back that tells you why each effort is underway. MSCHF is working hard to make it a pretty good premium toy ‘toy’, which is only appropriate because it is a monument to a physical product.
Like many MSCHF jobs, there is an element of ‘wait, is this legal’ as well, as it is likely that there are many holes connected by IP to these products but some of those holes may still have legal entities. But that’s the element of danger that has made a lot of his projects resonate so far so I don’t think they’re worried.
However, none of these products have mark of the beast on them. However, physically.