Hard Candy Hold'em - Mafia-Themed All-Inclusive Custom Poker Chip Set Designed by Me! (1 Viewer)

appar1t10n

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So, I posted this on the twoplustwo forums...and they absolutely tore it apart. Lol They hated it. But that's ok. I only need a small percentage of people who see it to like it enough to back it.

So, the idea came to me when I was taking a class on gang awareness, for my job, and the instructor showed us a slide of an old hit list that had been confiscated from a known mafia boss, local to California, if i recall correctly. The list read "Hard Candy" at the top and he went on to tell us that "hard candy" is the term the gangsters use in substitution for "hit list." Obviously they preferred to use something a little more cryptic. The list is passed around to all members of the gang or mob and if your name's on it, the gang has been given a green light to take you out at the earliest opportunity. So, when I heard this, being the complete degen that I am, I immediately thought, "What a great way to describe a cutthroat poker game!" and my mind went on to start picturing candy-inspired poker chips. The class was boring anyway.

I figured, with all the threads I've seen--lurking around on this forum and others--with so many references to chips looking like candy and jokes about people licking them, all out putting them in their mouths, etc., why not design a set of poker chips that takes a style queue from actual candy? After all, that's kind of what people crave in their chips, right? Chips provide us guys the opportunity to collect pretty pink stuff without seeming feminine, right? Lol

I'm also kind of of the opinion that the poker chip world needs a fresh spin on things. A design that's completely unique, unlike anything on the market today. Why not? Dye-sub ceramic chips have given us a tremendous opportunity to design something from the ground up that shakes up traditional poker chip design and adds some variety to our chip collections. Anyway, that's basically how the Hard Candy Hold'em poker set was conceived. A set of poker chips that utilizes the beautiful colors often found in candy while maintaining a certain degree of masculinity with the artwork, hot cartoon girls, and the Mafia theme. But, once the chips were done, I had to finish it. I thought, "Why not make it a complete set?" After all, how many complete poker sets come up for sale with cards, chips, dealer button, and a case? So I finished it and this is what you're about to see. It is a NOVELTY poker set, perhaps a collector's item, and it's definitely not for everyone. But, I figure if anyone's going to get this thing at all, it's here.

So I'll do my best to present this idea in the order that I will in the
KickStarter, which was originally slated for a submission tonight or early tomorrow. Still working toward that goal, as we speak. To prevent this post from being overlong, I'll just skip the intro--which is basically what I wrote above--and go right to the character bios.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND...some of these characters still need some retouching. Particularly the hands, clothing, and a couple of the weapons. Many of them were just quick drafts. For the sake of getting the word out as early as possible, I'm presenting you what I have.

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The blue family, the Azzurros, are the King, Queen, and Jack of Clubs, in that order. The Giallos (yellow) are the Diamonds, the Rossos (magenta) are the Hearts, and the Neros (black) are the Spades. After the intro to the families will be the chips, then cards, dealer button, and cases.

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TOMMY TWO TIMES AZZURRO

Tommy's the boss of the Azzurro Family. He got his nickname, not because he says everything twice, but because, when someone asked him why he knocked off Gary "Get Some" Grigio, a made man in his crew, his response was, "Well, ya know...I had to tell him two times!" His weapon of choice? The "Tommy" gun, of course.

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PIGSTICK PENNY AZZURRO

Everyone calls her Pigstick Penny, but no one really knows why. People think she walks with her cane because she's a decrepit old lady and, the truth is, she likes it that way. She's perfectly able-bodied and her cane has a spring-loaded blade in the end that deploys at the press of a button. The only people aware of the true origin of her nickname, however, are her husband, Tommy, her son, Rocky...and the dearly departed.

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ROCKY REMBRANDT AZZURRO

No one's ever accused Rocky of being apathetic about his work. After his initiatory hit, his father, Tommy, told everyone, "...And when Rocky was done takin' that sledgehammer to 'im, it looked like someone had painted a mural on the wall." If he's not happy with the way his "mural" turned out, he'll even go so far as to use his paintbrush for any finishing touches he deems necessary.

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PUS-GUT PAULY GIALLO

The Giallos own an Italian restaurant, but that's not how Pauly got his pus-gut or his alias. He owes that to the US Army and his drill instructor. Despite his genetic predisposition toward weight gain though, he always managed to outperform his comrades during PT. If he hears you call him Pus-Gut, you'd better hope he considers you a close friend. His weapon preference stems from his Army days as well...the tried-and-true 1911.

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CLARA THE CLEANER GIALLO AND HAMELIA

Clara doesn't participate in the execution of the Giallo Family's enemies. Her specialty is disposal. She keeps a pig farm for two reasons: The first is to improve the restaurant's bottom line by stocking her own pork and the second is because pigs have an amazing ability to chew their way through anything. Hamelia, though, will never find herself on the menu. She's Clara's favorite and for good reason. She, like all the members of the Giallo Family, loves her job.

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KENNY KARAOKE GIALLO

Kenny is known to serenade his victims with an operatic solo while he's strangling them with his rope. He says it's to drown out any sounds of struggle and to allay suspicion, but the truth is the sadism makes him giddy.

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NICKY THE NOGGIN ROSSO

Nicky's aware that his head is enormous. He's made peace with it, because along with his enormous head came an enormous brain. See, Nicky's an evil genius. It's how he's amassed a criminal network that permeates the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the even US Department of the Treasury. It's also how he landed his hottie wife, Brandy.

J9zoBkt.png


BRANDY THE BARBER ROSSO

Before turning to a life of crime, Brandy used to be an actual barber. Good as her tips were though, she couldn't resist Nicky's charm and the allure of the empire he'd built. She now uses her razor to shave off more than just your lip sweater. And she's well aware of how to use her endowments to manipulate men into a position of fatal disadvantage.

b1ws4K8.png



JUICY JOHNNY ROSSO

Despite his nickname, Juicy Johnny didn't achieve his massive upper body by using the sauce. He's a natural bodybuilder. He regularly dines on cottage cheese, egg whites, and flaxseed oil, and he swears by garlic for maintaining his skin's youthful glow. That's what he tells people, at least. He's so strong that he doesn't really need a weapon, but he likes using his brass knuckles.

mjvvK37.png


BIG-GUN BENNY NERO

Whereas most mobsters are of the school of thought that you should keep your hits as clean as possible...Benny likes it messy. He likes to make a statement when he does someone in and nothing does that quite like his 40mm grenade launcher. Be thankful if he opts for his .50 cal when he comes looking for you.

kZGt3Sr.png



MAGIC MINNIE NERO

Magic Minnie might not look like it, but she has a master's degree in chemistry. It's said that her skills with beaker and stirring rod enable her to make potions that can make a man disappear. Hence the name. Beware if she offers to make you a smoothie.

d4AYUUK.png


SPAZZY CHAZ NERO

The name and the wild-eyed, bloodshot gaze say it all. What Chaz lacks in size and strength, he more than makes up for with insanity. Even his dad, Benny, a man known for his brutality, has said--and I quote--"That boy ain't right." He'll use anything he can get his hands on as a weapon, but he prefers the satisfying tactile feedback of his aluminum baseball bat.

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Chips up next!!!

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Chips and edge "spots." I designed the edge spots to look like big sticks of striped candy when they're aligned properly.
C6pyUeI.png


See? :)

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And now the dealer button...
 

manamongkids

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why do you need characters to go with your chip set? what advantage does that serve? are you giving out posters or playing cards with each set of chips? I'm a little confused

edit: it looks like they might be for the playing cards

if that is the case, are they plastic playing cards? most serious players who would spend money on chips, would want quality plastic playing cards to go with their set
 

appar1t10n

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The dealer button and rolling edge...

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500-chip set comes with 2 decks of cards, a large mahogany, custom-printed case, a dealer button, and of course, 500 chips. It's called the High Roller Set.
EdEASEE.png


The 300-chip set comes with 2 decks, 1 button, 1 case, and 300 chips...

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There will be a 200-chip set as well, but I'm still trying to figure out the graphic for that... Here's the 100-chip set.

pL97crb.png


manamongkids, it's just a theme I chose. Again, I wanted to do something different, as opposed to just the regular geometric or Bicycle thing. I almost forgot the cards!!! Gimme a few minutes.

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Good point. Almost forgot to mention that. The cards will come in two incarnations: plastic and paper. Haven't quite figured out paper yet, but I have the plastic ones nailed down.

So, here they are! First, the card backs...

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And the card fronts...

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Aaaaaand, I think that's about it for now. Let me know if I missed anything or if anything is unclear...or incoherent. :)
 

Payback

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Honestly, I've looked at this twice (2+2 and now) and both times I hate it...It seems torn between two conflicting ideas (mafia and candy) that don't really go together except for a list that requires a lengthy explanation to get. If your going to do this I would go with the candy idea and drop the mob theme altogether or vice versa. One thing though is for the love of god, please drop the yellow for the diamond suits. I can't imagine sitting at the long end of a table trying to read that (Is there anything on there?!). I can appreciate the hard work you've put into this set, but I don't think that this will sell like you want/need it to in order for it to become reality.

Sorry it's kind of harsh, but again this is just my opinion and we all have different tastes. In the end its your set so get what you want!
 

manamongkids

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I also think if anyone is shelling out money for a custom set, they will want to use their own idea unless the price is so out of this world (ie. Dunes replicas, China Clays, CPS Chips at 10-30c each)

I think its cool all the effort you put in, but who is going to produce the chips (is it a reputable company?) who is going to produce the cards (is it a reputable company?)


I think if you love this set so much, you should get your own custom set made and keep it for yourself.
 

appar1t10n

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What's your handle on 2p2, Payback?

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I also think if anyone is shelling out money for a custom set, they will want to use their own idea unless the price is so out of this world (ie. Dunes replicas, China Clays, CPS Chips at 10-30c each)

I think its cool all the effort you put in, but who is going to produce the chips (is it a reputable company?) who is going to produce the cards (is it a reputable company?)


I think if you love this set so much, you should get your own custom set made and keep it for yourself.

Reputable companies both, as well as the dealer buttons and cases. Some of the best in the business, afaict. Scalable, the whole bit.

As for keeping a set for myself, I intend to with whatever proceeds I make from the KickStarter. I couldn't justify paying as much as a full set would cost without making some extra money first.

I should mention too that it won't just be complete sets for sale. I plan to offer packages as small as a single poker chip, a set of 3, 5, 10, and 20. Full sets of 100, 200, 300, and 500--perhaps 1000. Cards: 1 deck, 2, 3, a half brick of 6, a full brick of 12, and maybe more. Dealer buttons...maybe just singles of those. They may just be add-ons on their own and come in the full sets and that's it. the cases will not be sold individually though. They'll be reserved for those who buy a full set.

The KickStarter climate being the way it is and with a relatively low funding goal--I don't need much from it--I think success is, at a minimum, possible. If I were expecting people just to buy full sets and trying to raise $50k, you're right. I'm sure it would fail.
 

manamongkids

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I would go take a look at some group buys that were initiated on Chiptalk.net, specifically the one for the CPS (championship poker series) set. It took over a year from development, creation, planning, ordering, finalizing, payment, shipping, testing, product testing; theres alot more into developing a high quality product than the average joe might think. Unless you have developed your own poker set from scratch before, the undertaking is enormous.

Maybe BGinGA will chime in, he has successfully led many group buys
 

Racer96

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A couple of quick comments:

- The cards , as stated, the yellow will be very difficult to read, best to go with a different color.
- In 4 color decks, the colors used are red (hearts) , black (spades) , blue (diamonds) , green (clubs). That has become pretty standard. For you to change the clubs to blue, could confuse some people.
- The chips , I can see you're trying to have one color lend to the next denom chip. It sounds nice and poetic. The problem though is that you'll get dirty stacks. When chips of close denomination have similar colors, things can get messy quick. Especially the $1 and $5 for me.
- There are also standard colors used (nevada/atlantic city or California colors) on most chip sets. Personally I like changing things up and seeing different colored denoms, but again, for mass appeal, changing from that, well, you will lose a lot of people (imo)

Mike
 

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As for keeping a set for myself, I intend to with whatever proceeds I make from the KickStarter. I couldn't justify paying as much as a full set would cost without making some extra money first.

What makes you think people would want to buy a set of your chips if you can't justify spending your own money on them?
 

appar1t10n

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I actually saw that group buy a couple of times. As far as organizing a complete set, I've got some experience. I've ordered quantities of chips, dealer buttons, cases, and cards for another project that I'm doing--which will be the successor to this project on KickStarter--all from the same manufacturers that I'll be using for this one. I've been in constant communication with them all. I've got over 6 months of INTENSIVE experience in working with a fabrication company in order to get a working prototype for the aforementioned project and I'm PARTICULARLY proud of that one. As I mentioned on 2p2, this Hard Candy KickStarter will be a stepping stone to something even cooler, should it succeed even mildly. I'm happy with this project. I'm ecstatic about the next one. And there's a third one that I'm even more excited about than the other two. That one I can tell you is a poker game for iPhone, but with a twist that's never been done before. Don't think it's some gimmicky perversion of poker though. I hate that stuff. I'm a poker purist. It's pure, true NLHE, just--as cliche as it sounds--on steroids. And that's all I can say for now.

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A couple of quick comments:

- The cards , as stated, the yellow will be very difficult to read, best to go with a different color.
- In 4 color decks, the colors used are red (hearts) , black (spades) , blue (diamonds) , green (clubs). That has become pretty standard. For you to change the clubs to blue, could confuse some people.
- The chips , I can see you're trying to have one color lend to the next denom chip. It sounds nice and poetic. The problem though is that you'll get dirty stacks. When chips of close denomination have similar colors, things can get messy quick. Especially the $1 and $5 for me.
- There are also standard colors used (nevada/atlantic city or California colors) on most chip sets. Personally I like changing things up and seeing different colored denoms, but again, for mass appeal, changing from that, well, you will lose a lot of people (imo)

Mike

Mike, I did think long and hard about the color scheme and I'm aware of the standard colors. Well, aware, actually, as I played on Stars and FTP a ton before they were shut down in the US. Which, incidentally, set me on a different poker path, as I've alluded to above. (I think it'll wind up above. Getting used to the mechanics of this site.) I may indeed take your advice in the end and change them. The blue, yellow, magenta, and black color scheme was the most eye-catching and I did have issues with using yellow on white, but ultimately thought it would be best for the set and stuck with it. That's a very difficult thing to do when designing something like this. To stop hem-hawing and debating and just STICK WITH SOMETHING. Ha. "Finished is better than perfect" is proving a difficult concept for me to grasp. Anyhow, your advice is well-taken and I may change as you've suggested.

But, wouldn't the green and blues become confused then from long distances or by those with poor vision?

What makes you think people would want to buy a set of your chips if you can't justify spending your own money on them?

Saying nothing about my own financial situation or the dynamics between me and my family--ahem--there's more to it for some people than just, "Oh, I like 'em. I think I'll get 'em." I like a lot of chips. I've never been able to justify spending $500 on a set of 500 when I already have several cheaper large sets that work just fine. Also, in the past, with iOS development, pool, and music being among my many hobbies, I've always spent any extra money I've had on things that can't be substituted with something cheaper. Poker chips are a luxury. Things like Macs, guitars and amps, and cue sticks...perform. They do things that other similar things just can't. Not so for poker chips, cards, and dealer buttons.
 

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You seem like you're pretty set in your idea, which I respect. I think you should just start the kickstarter, post the links on poker chip forum, 2p2 and Chiptalk at a minimum as well as some other sites.

I think funding will speak for itself, if people start to back you..you know you have succeeded. If not, then it's back to the drawing board
 

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Poker chips are a luxury. Things like Macs, guitars and amps, and cue sticks...perform. They do things that other similar things just can't. Not so for poker chips, cards, and dealer buttons.

You realize you are in a forum that is dedicated quality poker chips? If you can't justify buying your own design because cheaper products will do how can you expect anyone to buy your design?

Price? You hinted at $500 for 500 chips, which is expensive for a massed produce ceramic set when I can get a custom designed set cheaper from a manufacturer I know and trust to make a quality product.

Also the manufacturer of the chips would be nice to know, if you want anyone here to consider buying them it's something that would be needed to be known. Different manufactures use different blanks, some like a certain type over others.
 

appar1t10n

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That's what it boils down to. Hard core poker players won't like it, obviously. It wasn't designed for testosterone-laden, aggro, 20-something poker players. That's pretty clear. I can only say my target audience is...people who'll like it. Lol Not the best marketing scheme, I know. But, worst case...it fails and I learn a lot in the process. That's part of the goal with this KickStarter. Learn the ins-and-outs. Thanks for the feedback, manamongkids. I sincerely appreciate your and everyone else's input. Gotta get some more work done on it, but I'll try to check in as often as I can.
 

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I can tell you put in a lot of work for the back story. Honestly, this feels better suited to a different type of card game or board game.

I have the following requirements in a poker set: clear denoms, being able to distinguish cards, and differentiate chips from a distance so I can focus on playing poker. I like to use the squint test where you should be able to clearly see denoms and chips still be distinguishable. The $25 for instance gets lost in the chip. Yellow on the cards already stated.

I like the candy theme but the made up gangsters don't connect for me.

Of course in the end it's all about what you like and want to play with, but if you are looking to crowd source feedback, you have come to the right place. There have been lot of great custom sets coming out from the community here.
 

appar1t10n

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You realize you are in a forum that is dedicated quality poker chips? If you can't justify buying your own design because cheaper products will do how can you expect anyone to buy your design?

Price? You hinted at $500 for 500 chips, which is expensive for a massed produce ceramic set when I can get a custom designed set cheaper from a manufacturer I know and trust to make a quality product.

Also the manufacturer of the chips would be nice to know, if you want anyone here to consider buying them it's something that would be needed to be known. Different manufactures use different blanks, some like a certain type over others.

Yes, I realize where I posted. The fact that I don't have enough money lying around to spend on a custom poker chip set, when I've just finished paying for a prototype of another poker project, a large sample of chips for another project, and I'm saving to get a design patent on the prototype--the list goes on--does not mean that someone else won't like the design enough to buy it. I'm not really seeing your point on this particular issue.

A dollar a chip or more is not unheard of for quality clay chips. Ceramics aren't drastically cheaper, even if you get them for about 60¢ or 70¢ a chip. I'm aware that I can design a custom set of 500 for less than $500.

The manufacturer for the chips will be Gene at abcgiftsandawards. For one of the other future projects I mentioned, I'll be using David at ASM for clays and Gene for ceramics. That project will, most likely, offer both.
 

manamongkids

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That's what it boils down to. Hard core poker players won't like it, obviously. It wasn't designed for testosterone-laden, aggro, 20-something poker players. That's pretty clear. I can only say my target audience is...people who'll like it. Lol Not the best marketing scheme, I know. But, worst case...it fails and I learn a lot in the process. That's part of the goal with this KickStarter. Learn the ins-and-outs. Thanks for the feedback, manamongkids. I sincerely appreciate your and everyone else's input. Gotta get some more work done on it, but I'll try to check in as often as I can.


Just an fyi and to be clear, I don't think there are many 20 something's here. If anything, late 20s. Most of us fall into the 25-50 male range who enjoy competition and playing in home games as well as the occasional trip to the casino.

I would think this would be the exact demographic you would want to hit, men who have disposable income who love collecting chips and playing with them and showing off to their friends

If you see lots of critique from this crowd, I'm not sure it's gonna be successful. But as I stated you seem to have your mind set, so I think you should finalize it and post the links to the kickstarter. The results and funding will speak for themselves
 

appar1t10n

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Just an fyi and to be clear, I don't think there are many 20 something's here. If anything, late 20s. Most of us fall into the 25-50 male range who enjoy competition and playing in home games as well as the occasional trip to the casino.

I would think this would be the exact demographic you would want to hit, men who have disposable income who love collecting chips and playing with them and showing off to their friends

If you see lots of critique from this crowd, I'm not sure it's gonna be successful. But as I stated you seem to have your mind set, so I think you should finalize it and post the links to the kickstarter. The results and funding will speak for themselves

Good point. If it isn't successful, I'm sure I'll take another direction entirely rather than try to force this project. I just can't shake the feeling--again, given the projects that have been successful on KickStarter lately, having spent hundreds of hours on that site over the last few months--that there's a market for something like this. I keep seeing similar designs, fancy, ornate, swirly designs...new-age, minimalistic designs...I even saw a set of nearly blank cards, a design I could've made in an hour, meet a $15,000 funding goal. http://kck.st/1eNx7uC

It isn't set it in stone just yet, but I'm shooting for a $3000-4000 goal. I think it can work. It's at least worth a shot.

Edit: I mean, tell me that the people who ponied up the dough for that set are worried about differentiation between denoms. Lol I mean, I play live poker too. I get the issues that you guys have mentioned with regard to legibility and, as I said, I'm definitely considering their merits. I'm just thinking that, to those who would be interested in this set for its novelty, legibility isn't going to be a huge deal. I guess I'm thinking about this from a much different perspective.
 
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manamongkids

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A deck of cards that you can play with for $12-15 is a drop in a bucket for those with disposable income. Having a full set of poker chips that are playable that could cost between 100-500$ is another story. Plus playing cards in regards to kickstarters are highly popular and appeal to a massive audience. Ornate poker chips on the other hand is a very niche market.
 

Payback

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What's your handle on 2p2, Payback?

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Reputable companies both, as well as the dealer buttons and cases. Some of the best in the business, afaict. Scalable, the whole bit.

As for keeping a set for myself, I intend to with whatever proceeds I make from the KickStarter. I couldn't justify paying as much as a full set would cost without making some extra money first.

I should mention too that it won't just be complete sets for sale. I plan to offer packages as small as a single poker chip, a set of 3, 5, 10, and 20. Full sets of 100, 200, 300, and 500--perhaps 1000. Cards: 1 deck, 2, 3, a half brick of 6, a full brick of 12, and maybe more. Dealer buttons...maybe just singles of those. They may just be add-ons on their own and come in the full sets and that's it. the cases will not be sold individually though. They'll be reserved for those who buy a full set.

The KickStarter climate being the way it is and with a relatively low funding goal--I don't need much from it--I think success is, at a minimum, possible. If I were expecting people just to buy full sets and trying to raise $50k, you're right. I'm sure it would fail.
Jzpiano
 

stocky

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Yes, I realize where I posted. The fact that I don't have enough money lying around to spend on a custom poker chip set, when I've just finished paying for a prototype of another poker project, a large sample of chips for another project, and I'm saving to get a design patent on the prototype--the list goes on--does not mean that someone else won't like the design enough to buy it. I'm not really seeing your point on this particular issue.

A dollar a chip or more is not unheard of for quality clay chips. Ceramics aren't drastically cheaper, even if you get them for about 60¢ or 70¢ a chip. I'm aware that I can design a custom set of 500 for less than $500.

The manufacturer for the chips will be Gene at abcgiftsandawards. For one of the other future projects I mentioned, I'll be using David at ASM for clays and Gene for ceramics. That project will, most likely, offer both.

My question and point wasn't about your finicial situation. More about the fact you stated cheaper products are just as good. So the question remains. Why should we buy your design if cheap ones are just as good? Your statement seemed quite strange to me considering the type of forum this is and the product your trying to sell. A better answer would've been to expand on the type of chip and quality of it compared to cheaper chips that "serve the same purpose".

My second question wasn't a dig. I wasn't just asking for a price point. I'm well aware of the cost of chips. I was just wondering if you knew what your chips would cost. Which you still didn't answer.

Thirdly thank ink you for atleast answering my last question. Both are great manufacturers.

Based on design alone I wouldn't purchase a set. But that is personal preference. Others might disagree.

Based on your statements and comments in this thread I wouldn't buy anything you offered. Good luck.
 
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Psypher1000

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A few points of feedback coming from someone who's pretty darn familiar with the toy & gaming industry, as well as Kickstarter. None of this is meant to be insulting, but more matter of fact/opinion...

1) You have mafia characters mixed with colors/styles more closely associated with the 3-10 age range blended together in a product whose major demographic skews 5-10x higher than those ages. One of these traits probably ought to be changed, and if you're going with characters, it should be them. I see this design fitting much more closely with something like the Powder Puff Girls than warring mafia clans. Note that I'm not suggesting that changing to a more youthful character base will actually increase sales/pledges, but simply that doing so would make the product more cohesive thematically.

2) Your cards have a much, much higher chance of funding on Kickstarter individually than if paired with these chips.

3) The chips have a somewhat higher chance of funding on Kickstarter individually than if paired with the cards, particularly at a low funding goal.

4) If keeping everything the same, I *strongly* suggest offering the cards first and getting a successful project under your belt, then offering the chips as a second, separate campaign with the cards available as an add-on purchase. That way you get some experience w/Kickstarter campaigns and the logistics thereof, and, assuming a successful card campaign, you then release your arguably-riskier chip campaign having some semblance of success and a positive track record associated with your name. This also gives you a way to help sell through any backstock you have of the cards.

5) If you do the chips, set the goal low - no higher than $5k. You could theoretically even set it at $100 or so and essentially just use the KS campaign as a mechanism for preorders. If you do that, though, just make sure that the pledge levels cover, at a minimum, the KS fee + shipping + manufacturing costs. Obviously that doesn't account for your time, but at least that way you're not out hard cash.

6) If you're going with a cash set, change the $25 to $20. Doing so still keeps you at a 4x multiplier from the previous denom and 5x multiplier to the next, and keeps everything in actual coin/currency denoms
 

Mental Nomad

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First: kudos on the initiative and work to put this together and to plan a Kickstarter.

Second: make sure to plan for your Kickstarter before launch, and to promote after launch - makes a huge difference. You can't expect to post it and "they will come." Kickstarter provides a lot of great training/prep info - read it and believe it and do it.

Third: I don't personally care for the art - neither the cards nor the chips. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder - as you said, those who like it, will like it. But I do think the set can be improved.

The chips do not speak of "candy" to me. They speak of 60's psychadelia, which is unrelated to mobsters. And the chip colors, contrasts, make them hard to read. If you want to get some chip buyers, you MUST make them more readable. I think if you based each chip on a different candy you'd probably have something a lot more interesting (at least, to me.) It seems you put a lot of thought on the backstory and the characters, but that the chips got short shrift. But the chips are the big-dollar item; you want to sell sample sets and playable sets of chips? Put more work into them. Maybe use your characters on one face of the chips? You developed twelve characters, get some mileage out of them...

On the mobster/candy theme - I get it from your back story. But barely. It doesn't really 'click' for me. The problem is that it's NOT well-known, and it's not a natural association - so nobody will get it without being forced to read the back story. And even with the back story, I'm not totally wowed and thinking, "that's cool!" I think that's a serious problem - how many people will be really into this? Enough to pay money?

On the cards - I don't like the art style. I think less "playing cards" and more "Mobster Munchkin." But that's just my personal preference. However, I hate the yellow color, and think it needs revisiting. You absolutely must make it readable. Maybe at least a black outline around the yellows?

The Helvetica cards are not a comparable for your sale! The Helvetica cards are targeting a specific group: font geeks. There are legions of them - art designers, engineering graphics folks, web designers, font editors... it's playing to a crowd who is totally into the pre-existing and well-known subject. Your theme is not playing to an existing crowd - you're trying to build one with a theme nobody knows about.

595 of the 605 Helvetica buyers bought three decks or less. The biggest seller - sold out - was the 1-deck purchase at $12, followed by a 1-deck purchase at $15 - 350 sales. These are being bought as a kitschy thing - as a gift to a bunch of graphics designer employees, or what not. They're not being bought to be played.

In fact, look at the breakdown:

Capture.JPG

There's a big bump in sales at the $50 level, which is just one deck - why? Because that level includes an uncut full sheet of the deck. It's a cool thing to put on a wall, if you're a font geek. These are being bought as an art piece and a curiosity.

You're trying to do chips and cards... that's a combo for players. So you need something appealing to players. I've played a lot of cards - I've dealt to poker pros, I've played with a bridge champion, I've wasted too many hours playing spades and hearts and pinochle and cutthroat. Lots of them enjoy seeing a funky deck, but they get a few rounds of play and then normal cards come out. They don't buy them to play.

If you're going to sell sets with chips, you're looking for big dollar purchasers - there are not many on the Helvetica list. Bear in mind that a couple of the big buyers are often the people running the Kickstarter and/or close family/relatives. They're lucky to have hit a couple of big font/card geeks with money to spare who decided to go big, but you can't count on that with an unknown theme unless it's really cohesive, and presented super-well... and you're looking at a high price point on your chip set.

Try to make your low-end stuff super-appealing, and expect to process a ton of those - and make sure to include ALL your fulfillment costs in your estimate! Lots of people have eaten up all their Kickstarter profit when buying mailers and shipping all the promised product! If the profit is thin, and the shipping costs more than you thought (both to receive the goods and to ship them out), and you spend many hours packing and shipping hundreds of items - what is your income? Maybe you'd have been better off working for $10 an hour and buying your custom cards and chip set.

Then again, maybe your goal is to know that a hundred or two other people have your art. It all depends.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

I very much agree with Psypher's comments.

Also, pay attention to the fees... between Kickstarter's fees and your payment processor's fees, you'll lose 7-10% of the revenue. It's common for people to forget to include that... you can get $10,000 in purchases, but the cash that hits your account may be more like $9100 or $9200... if you didn't plan for it, that can eat all your profits, right there.
 

mike32

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I can tell you did a lot of work on your design, and you are a very creative person. This is just my opinion but these chips and cards have no appeal to this 47 year old dude who is quite into chips and cards. Good luck with the project but FWIW it is not for me.
 

appar1t10n

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My question and point wasn't about your finicial situation. More about the fact you stated cheaper products are just as good. So the question remains. Why should we buy your design if cheap ones are just as good? Your statement seemed quite strange to me considering the type of forum this is and the product your trying to sell. A better answer would've been to expand on the type of chip and quality of it compared to cheaper chips that "serve the same purpose".

My second question wasn't a dig. I wasn't just asking for a price point. I'm well aware of the cost of chips. I was just wondering if you knew what your chips would cost. Which you still didn't answer.

Thirdly thank ink you for atleast answering my last question. Both are great manufacturers.

Based on design alone I wouldn't purchase a set. But that is personal preference. Others might disagree.

Based on your statements and comments in this thread I wouldn't buy anything you offered. Good luck.

Saying that I "stated" that "cheaper products are just as good," is putting words in my mouth and, frankly, is a cheap tactic in trying to prove whatever point you're trying to make. (Or maybe you're just trying to derail this thread and KickStarter project completely. I don't know.) That, most certainly, is not what I stated. I'm simply saying that, when it comes to poker chips, an inexpensive set--assuming they aren't falling apart or nearly the same color or unstackable--work as well as an expensive set. Do you really dispute this? Have you ever been in the middle of a poker tournament, where the host is using his set of dice chips, and thought, "You know, these dice chips just do NOT work as well as a set of Paulsons/BCCs/ASMs." Has anyone ever canceled a tournament halfway through because their super diamonds just weren't doing the job? That's all I'm saying.

We don't buy a nice set of poker chips because they do the job better. You know, for this crowd, I don't need to go into why we buy them. We each have our reasons.

You're very welcome not to buy anything I have to offer or will have to offer in the future.

As for the pricing point ... you'll know when I know. The KickStarter isn't ready to go up yet. I'm still in the design and promotional stages.

A few points of feedback coming from someone who's pretty darn familiar with the toy & gaming industry, as well as Kickstarter. None of this is meant to be insulting, but more matter of fact/opinion...

1) You have mafia characters mixed with colors/styles more closely associated with the 3-10 age range blended together in a product whose major demographic skews 5-10x higher than those ages. One of these traits probably ought to be changed, and if you're going with characters, it should be them. I see this design fitting much more closely with something like the Powder Puff Girls than warring mafia clans. Note that I'm not suggesting that changing to a more youthful character base will actually increase sales/pledges, but simply that doing so would make the product more cohesive thematically.

2) Your cards have a much, much higher chance of funding on Kickstarter individually than if paired with these chips.

3) The chips have a somewhat higher chance of funding on Kickstarter individually than if paired with the cards, particularly at a low funding goal.

4) If keeping everything the same, I *strongly* suggest offering the cards first and getting a successful project under your belt, then offering the chips as a second, separate campaign with the cards available as an add-on purchase. That way you get some experience w/Kickstarter campaigns and the logistics thereof, and, assuming a successful card campaign, you then release your arguably-riskier chip campaign having some semblance of success and a positive track record associated with your name. This also gives you a way to help sell through any backstock you have of the cards.

5) If you do the chips, set the goal low - no higher than $5k. You could theoretically even set it at $100 or so and essentially just use the KS campaign as a mechanism for preorders. If you do that, though, just make sure that the pledge levels cover, at a minimum, the KS fee + shipping + manufacturing costs. Obviously that doesn't account for your time, but at least that way you're not out hard cash.

6) If you're going with a cash set, change the $25 to $20. Doing so still keeps you at a 4x multiplier from the previous denom and 5x multiplier to the next, and keeps everything in actual coin/currency denoms

First: kudos on the initiative and work to put this together and to plan a Kickstarter.

Second: make sure to plan for your Kickstarter before launch, and to promote after launch - makes a huge difference. You can't expect to post it and "they will come." Kickstarter provides a lot of great training/prep info - read it and believe it and do it.

Third: I don't personally care for the art - neither the cards nor the chips. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder - as you said, those who like it, will like it. But I do think the set can be improved.

The chips do not speak of "candy" to me. They speak of 60's psychadelia, which is unrelated to mobsters. And the chip colors, contrasts, make them hard to read. If you want to get some chip buyers, you MUST make them more readable. I think if you based each chip on a different candy you'd probably have something a lot more interesting (at least, to me.) It seems you put a lot of thought on the backstory and the characters, but that the chips got short shrift. But the chips are the big-dollar item; you want to sell sample sets and playable sets of chips? Put more work into them. Maybe use your characters on one face of the chips? You developed twelve characters, get some mileage out of them...

On the mobster/candy theme - I get it from your back story. But barely. It doesn't really 'click' for me. The problem is that it's NOT well-known, and it's not a natural association - so nobody will get it without being forced to read the back story. And even with the back story, I'm not totally wowed and thinking, "that's cool!" I think that's a serious problem - how many people will be really into this? Enough to pay money?

On the cards - I don't like the art style. I think less "playing cards" and more "Mobster Munchkin." But that's just my personal preference. However, I hate the yellow color, and think it needs revisiting. You absolutely must make it readable. Maybe at least a black outline around the yellows?

The Helvetica cards are not a comparable for your sale! The Helvetica cards are targeting a specific group: font geeks. There are legions of them - art designers, engineering graphics folks, web designers, font editors... it's playing to a crowd who is totally into the pre-existing and well-known subject. Your theme is not playing to an existing crowd - you're trying to build one with a theme nobody knows about.

595 of the 605 Helvetica buyers bought three decks or less. The biggest seller - sold out - was the 1-deck purchase at $12, followed by a 1-deck purchase at $15 - 350 sales. These are being bought as a kitschy thing - as a gift to a bunch of graphics designer employees, or what not. They're not being bought to be played.

In fact, look at the breakdown:

View attachment 8202

There's a big bump in sales at the $50 level, which is just one deck - why? Because that level includes an uncut full sheet of the deck. It's a cool thing to put on a wall, if you're a font geek. These are being bought as an art piece and a curiosity.

You're trying to do chips and cards... that's a combo for players. So you need something appealing to players. I've played a lot of cards - I've dealt to poker pros, I've played with a bridge champion, I've wasted too many hours playing spades and hearts and pinochle and cutthroat. Lots of them enjoy seeing a funky deck, but they get a few rounds of play and then normal cards come out. They don't buy them to play.

If you're going to sell sets with chips, you're looking for big dollar purchasers - there are not many on the Helvetica list. Bear in mind that a couple of the big buyers are often the people running the Kickstarter and/or close family/relatives. They're lucky to have hit a couple of big font/card geeks with money to spare who decided to go big, but you can't count on that with an unknown theme unless it's really cohesive, and presented super-well... and you're looking at a high price point on your chip set.

Try to make your low-end stuff super-appealing, and expect to process a ton of those - and make sure to include ALL your fulfillment costs in your estimate! Lots of people have eaten up all their Kickstarter profit when buying mailers and shipping all the promised product! If the profit is thin, and the shipping costs more than you thought (both to receive the goods and to ship them out), and you spend many hours packing and shipping hundreds of items - what is your income? Maybe you'd have been better off working for $10 an hour and buying your custom cards and chip set.

Then again, maybe your goal is to know that a hundred or two other people have your art. It all depends.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

I very much agree with Psypher's comments.

Also, pay attention to the fees... between Kickstarter's fees and your payment processor's fees, you'll lose 7-10% of the revenue. It's common for people to forget to include that... you can get $10,000 in purchases, but the cash that hits your account may be more like $9100 or $9200... if you didn't plan for it, that can eat all your profits, right there.

I can tell you did a lot of work on your design, and you are a very creative person. This is just my opinion but these chips and cards have no appeal to this 47 year old dude who is quite into chips and cards. Good luck with the project but FWIW it is not for me.

Now THIS helps! Thank you, Psypher and Nomad, for your in-depth replies! I sincerely appreciate them. This is what I need. Practical advice from the perspective of those who've been there before. You've both given me a lot to think about and I'm gonna be reflecting upon what you've said, figuring out how I can take advantage of the advice you've given. There's so much there, it's tough to reply to all of it. The KickStarter and Amazon fees, shipment I was aware of, but it's helpful to hear it from someone who has actual experience. As for the rest, I'm going to be looking over the project today and considering everything you've said.

@mike32 - Thanks for the post. Your opinion is definitely worth something to me. I appreciate you weighing in. :)
 
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SixSpeedFury

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I have to agree with the others as well. Although you did a commendable job on these, the candy/gangster/mafia theme doesn't fit. It has to be either one or the other. When I first saw them without reading the back story, I thought "oh look, a Candy Land inspired set." Then I read into it and was all sorts of confused. Are they gangsters with a sweet tooth? Do they own an illegal candy factory? :confused: Like someone said here, poker related stuff is a niche market, and for the very few that will like these, it'll be a very small market.
 

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You've got a lot of skill. The design is not something I'm interested in but to each his own.

Now this isn't meant to be a diss but with the color and candy theme I think my little pony would be a better match for the cards instead of "gangsters". I don't understand guys that like my little pony but I know there seems to be a following for some reason. They'd probably snatch a design like this up.
 

appar1t10n

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Do you guys feel that there would be any value in just--with a few minor changes/corrections to certain elements--starting the project, as is, and offering both all-inclusive sets and individual chips, cards, and buttons while setting a low funding goal? As far as I can tell, Psypher1000, this doesn't totally go against what you were recommending. Make it absolutely clear in the KickStarter that you can get any one of the items on its own or buy a complete set. I'm trying to figure how this would be detrimental to the project or the individualized projects, if I do the cards and the chips separately. Also, make the "plot" clear as day, impossible to miss by putting it in the foreground of the video, so to speak.
 

trever

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+1 for those recommending that you go with just the cards first. There's a much wider market for a unique deck of cards than there is for chips and if you succeed at the first, you can use everything you learned and earned from the first pass on your second project. The 4-color deck might even work well for the cardists out there.
 

Psypher1000

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Do you guys feel that there would be any value in just--with a few minor changes/corrections to certain elements--starting the project, as is, and offering both all-inclusive sets and individual chips, cards, and buttons while setting a low funding goal?

That could be dreadful. There's not a lot of upside with too much potential downside to such a move. What if the general consumer reviews of one of your products is negative, thereby impacting success of the other? What if you get enough money for a decent order of cards but only one order of chips and are stuck at low volume chip pricing (the same in reverse could also happen, but there are cheaper per-deck printing options available than per-set chip vendors)?

Also, by doing them separately, you automatically get a built-in marketing mechanism for the 2nd campaign (because you can send an "update" under the umbrella of the first project about the launch of the 2nd, thereby building pre-launch excitement and possibly some word of mouth advertising. You lose that benefit (which is not to be undervalued) if you launch them as part of a single project.
 

Toby

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Lots of great advice in this thread.

Good luck with your project :)
 
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