I have been looking at various options. I suppose that the level of interest could dictate which way to go.
At this point, I have the original bread bin keycaps
scanned in and 3D models made for the different shapes. My plan was to use this shape and do the double pass printing process (top and front). I have quotes for those, and they are very reasonable compared to U.S. (and apparently EU sources). I could scan and make 3D models of the 64C caps and do the same double pass printing process. I have never considered the C64C a real C64, but that is me being old-school.
The other option would be to do the double-shot process. Most people don't realize that the original bread bin C64 keycaps
are two pieces of plastic injected together to be one. There is a white inner layer that is shot inside of a colored outer layer. This is what makes the white "letter" part in the keycap. The front face is then printed. The cost of a double-shot is about 4x the cost of the completely printed option because you need some rather precision molds created to make the pieces.
So... I suppose that depending on the level of interest, I could make a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for keycaps
with the standard double pass process, and if the number of sets of keycaps
exceeded a certain (break even) threshold, the production could be done with the double shot process instead. I will have to figure out the exact cost breakdown for the double shot sets.
I am getting ready to release a Kickstarter project for a thermal tracking system that I developed. I spent 8 months getting approval from the U.S. Dept. of State to make it available to the public. I want to use Kickstarter for my thermal tracking system strictly because of the level of advertising you get. Where else can you have over 7 million people looking at your widget? The product will definitely be produced even without a campaign - I just can't buy that kind of advertising!
I am asking Kickstarter to find out if I can actually run two projects at the same time or back to back (different companies, both owned by me). I don't think another Indiegogo project for keycaps
is going to fly with people!
The reality is that people (including myself) were burned on the Phase 5 keycap deal. I truly don't know the level of interest in keycaps
*today* due to the Phase5 fiasco, so I would hate to go spend a big chunk of money to find out I sold 200 sets of keycaps
. I would like to see full sets of keycaps
sold for $29.95. I think that is a fair price, but that would require at least 1000 sets of keycaps
(66,000 pieces of plastic) sold to reach that price. I also think that those that got screwed should get some type of a discount on backing the same damn thing. So, perhaps some percentage off if you can prove you backed the original project. I have reached out to Phase5 asking to buy their list of backers and also take the whole thing off of their hands and resolve the issue, making them look at bit better. Of course I got no response.
I am sure that some people would be turned off about another campaign, and I don't blame you. I would be reluctant myself unless I knew the company/individual personally. I am hoping that my 40 years of history in the Commodore community might give some amount of confidence. I technically don't need money to do this, but without some hard numbers it's difficult for me to justify spending a lot of money on some unknown. As soon as campaign met the funding goal, I would feel very comfortable starting the production before the campaign ended.
I have been looking at this for a couple of years now. Just about every time I decided to really pursue something, Phase 5 sends out a "report". The last time they did was the day after
I contacted them asking to buy them out. Coincidence? I think not.
That's where the issue stands (at least with me) at the moment. I will wait to see what Kickstarter says about multiple projects and kind of go from there.