Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

[Icehouse] Re: Regarding Official Zero-Pointers

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 08 Mar 2007 10:57:51 -0700
In some post somewhere, I wrote...

> So, yeah, you could by two sets each of Rainbow and Xeno, use every
> size to chop down as 0-pointers (ending with an extra one for each
> color, to give away!), and buy one set of Volcano Caps (for your
> gray set) and be done with it.
> Hmmm... so the cost to do it ourselves is (4 * $9 + $4) $40... plus
> tax (FLGS). In my state, that makes it $42.50. Almost exactly
> halfway between the buck-a-piece for $55 and my hypothetical
> 5-for-$3 for $33. I guess that makes sense, though--do it
> ourselves is actually "wasting" a HUGE percentage fo the plastic,
> not to mention getting rule sheets, dice, and tubes we don't need.

And then, a bit later, Chris wrote...

> A standard Treehouse set costs $9.00 retail, $4.50 wholesale.  It
> contains only three pieces of each color, so to effectively create
> and sell ZPIPs (Zero Point Icehouse Pieces), you would need to
> convert sets in multiples of five.

Wait a second, I'm confused. Why would one want 15 ZPIPs in a SINGLE
color, which is what your math yields? Folks only need five per color,
to "fill out" the five stacks in a monochrome stash.

Rather, only *two* Treehouse stashes yield a total of six ZPIPs of the
five included colors, if one cuts down all larges, mediums, and smalls.
So one needs only two Rainbow and two Xeno to get six ZPIPs in ten
colors. Then a set of Volcano Caps provides five gray ZPIPs (eleventh
color). Right?

Bonus: Because a monochrome stash only has five stacks, the sixth ZPIP
of each of the base ten colors is "extra". This makes the effective
output from four Treehouse stashes 120% of what is needed for one full
compliment of ZPIPs.

Err... Is that what you meant? That you'd have to make five full
compliments (i.e. 15 per color), to "use up" all purchased pieces?
Well, sure, yeah--that's the least common denominator of 5 and 3. ;^)

ANYHOW... if wholesale is $4.50 a stash--I didn't know that--and if one
can make a full set of 5 pieces x 11 colors of ZPIPs with only four
Treehouse stashes and a set of Volcano Caps; then it become a much
cheaper proposition, for someone who wants to market these things. Now
we're talking about less than $18 + $4 in materials--still wasting a
bunch of it, sadly.

Say there's *maybe* ten seconds of labor on band saw and belt sander
(or, better, belt sanding table) per piece, for a total of around 550
seconds: less than ten minutes. Let's call it 15 minutes, to round up
and allow for fumbling and work breaks.

== $22 in materials--with a "surplus" of about 20% on the colors, so
effectively only $19 (83.34% of $18 + $4)
== One quarter hour of labor at $40 an hour = $10
... and we are well under the $55 total at the replacement piece price
($1 each). Heck, we're under the $33 I proposed for actual molded
pieces... and that's including wasting some 90% of the plastic and 100%
of the packaging! 8^O

This might just be a viable little eBay thing. As long as you sell them
before making them (letting people know that!) then there's no
financial risk. You've got to add in the eBay fee and some shipping,
and if you want a bit of profit, call the base price an even $30: that
should still be under $40 total. Cut eBay out--say, if Looney Labs
hosted your sales as one of their game items, much like they do for the
Volcano boards made by Kadon--and you only add shipping. Under
$35--these little guys couldn't possibly weigh much, and could be
mailed in a padded envelope in standard mail.

THEN, you get a good production system in place: I'd consider ways to
make a jig on the band saw, rather than holding or using a small, so
that it could be a one- or two-second swipe. Every second of production
time saved equals extra dollars per hour--though I'd probably be quite
content to spend a slow hour making four full compliments, some
evening, for $40! :^)

Hell... this might even be something that could be outsourced, say, to a
small local shop; and the person receiving the orders would just be
taking money and ordering pieces for delivery to the shop (the shop
being, of course, trained as to what's wanted of them) and insuring
that the shop mails the completed compliment to the right person.

*wheels starting to turn*

Of course... that's all contingent on always getting them for wholesale
price. Is there a stocking/ordering level one must maintain, to enjoy
that price? Some stuff to ponder... but I'd be chasing this down
seriously, if I had a shop in my two-room apartment! :^)

Or if I were brand manager for Icehouse.... ;^)


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