Shia LaBeouf once told us – well, howled at us – to ‘Not let your dreams, be dreams. JUST DO IT.’ Imagine Kickstarter.com as the canyon where we are all welcome to scream a resounding: ‘Look, I’m doing it!’
It’s the site where creative visions become reality, where the inventions of tomorrow are given much-needed financial backing. It’s also a place where dreams can die, and will.
Scrolling through Kickstarter, there are plenty of campaigns to fund innovative, useful ideas like cooking stones and a café for rescue cats. There are also non-essentials that still bear relevance and imaginably will have quite a market, for example, vegan pork scratching, a Brexit card game, and this nifty bottle-cutting tool.
Then there are the others. These are the ideas and the inventions that beg the question: does Kickstarter have any kind of vetting process?
A coin sack with a deeply medieval energy
Enter a dystopian future where wallets, pockets and your couch’s sunken place are things of the past. One inexplicably successful campaign, ‘Sacco’, managed to raise £8,785 in 2013 to create what can only be described as coin sacks for medieval bad boys.
It appears well-made, durable and perfect for anyone who resembles Friar Tuck, but surely there are enough items out there for the coin-purse carrying minority who jingle among us.
Introduced by a Hull-based inventor as the ‘first coin sack on Kickstarter’, it is also noted that Sacco can hold not just money but dice, tobacco and ‘realm coins’ – so the contents of any good woman’s purse.
Chicken dinosaurs of the future
An A5-sized book that visually imagines dinosaurs of the future, ‘novosaurs’, somehow raised more than £10,000 in 30 hours. The book reveals that dinosaurs might one day be genetically modified, domesticated, chicken-sized and easily purchasable. (Because there aren’t currently enough genetically modified animals for us to toss a penny at.)
The page reads: ‘The dinosaurs of our future won’t live in theme parks: they’ll live in your backyard, your garden, your house, your apartment.’ Is that a threat?
The pool glass
Inspired by a ‘micro-trend’ in the art world, a Bristol-based designer created the ‘pool glass’, an 8cm glass with blue on it (water) and a ladder. The funding goal was set at a lofty £25,000, and reached £6,066 by the deadline, which is both impressive and perplexing.
The cup is said to give ‘the positive feeling that comes with summertime, all year round’, as if rain and a winter of misery are no reasonable match for a piece of glass.
The campaign page also advises that the pool glass is not intended to be used near the pool, because of the risk of breakage. Now that’s summer fun!
The ‘Whoopi’ cushion
A whoopee cushion with Whoopi Goldberg on it? Ground-breaking. Luckily, this campaign was all a bit of fun and stakes were low (£50). So are whoopee cushions still a thing? Aren’t we all mature enough to put our authentic farts out there?
A Leeds–based creator dreamed up an anti-zombie soap because they ‘felt out of place in Lush’. The Kickstarter page for the soap is a highly frenetic sequence of words – drifting from the 5,000 year history of soap to the surprising cost of soap moulds – and interestingly avoids discussing the zombie element too much.
Bonus: Ostrich pillow
Here’s one more Kickstarter that nobody asked for, but actually sounds pretty revolutionary.
Ever wondered if you could take a nap, uninterrupted, while looking like a live-action Squidward or the little octopus boy in Love Actually? You’d better believe you can!
The ‘ostrich pillow’ lets you power nap on the go thanks to the ‘micro environment’ which encases your head and hands. Their company slogan? ‘Dreams happen anywhere’. Sounds like something Mr LaBeouf himself might say.
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