Skallops are simple devices that turn playing cards into an artistic adventure.
Skallops are laser-cut clips that attach to regular playing cards in dozens of ways, letting you build anything that you can imagine. The Skallops themselves are cut out of the highest-quality, sanded and finished birch plywood.
Skallops turn playing cards into an art form.
Skallops are one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. This is your chance to check out the all the cool Skallop creations and a wild variety of other amazing innovations!
What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?
Skallops are clever clips that hold playing cards together in any shape. Marshall Grinstead realized the age of eight that he needed some sort of clip to protect his houses of cards from his younger brother.
After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
Marshall joined Mike and I in November 2011 and we started prototyping the Skallops in laser-cut wood. We showed Skallops to dozens of kids and adults alike, and we found that everyone loved the flexibility and creativity that building with playing cards gives you.
We looked at the market for building toys and desk toys, and we saw a huge niche for Skallops. Building toys have been around for generations, and have only been growing in diversity and popularity over time.
How did you go about naming your product?
The name “Skallops” came about because the clip itself looks like a scallop shell. And, of course, it was available for trademark and as a domain.
How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?
We already had significant experience prototyping in laser-cut wood, so we were able to go from conception to production in just a few weeks. We spent most of our time carefully engineering the slots that grip the cards tightly enough to build enormous structures, but gently enough that anyone can use them without trouble.
Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?
We raised $65,000 in pre-orders on Kickstarter in January. Since then, we’ve continued to make sales both directly to consumers and to retail stores.
Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? And if so, who?
We’re currently producing Skallops ourselves, using a supply chain of materials that’s entirely made in the USA.
What all channels are you using to market your product?
We’re reaching out to many channels, including direct sales and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. We’ve found many great toy and gift stores that are excited about carrying Skallops, and some of them have found us, too! We’re always on the look-out for more opportunities to get Skallops out there.
How many people do you currently have involved in your business?
We have 5 people involved in various positions.
How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?
We’d love to see Skallops available in major retail locations around the world!
Where do people go to find out more about your product?
Check out our website, where we’ll be launching a Design Community for people to share their creations and see step-by-step instructions for their own: http://www.skallops.com/