Crowdfunding, especially on Kickstarter, has become a reliable way for creators to gain money and followers for projects. As we stated in a previous post on the board game renaissance, Polygon reported that the tabletop games category alone raised an all-time high of $165 million on Kickstarter in 2018.
Typically, the public pays a certain amount of money (from pocket change to a down payment on a house) to “back” a Kickstarter project, and in return for their “pledge” these backers may receive any number of rewards, including but not limited to the project’s final product itself.
As a dedicated online hobby store, Original Hobby always loves hearing more about the success of board games and tabletop games on Kickstarter, particularly our favorite, crokinole. If you haven’t already seen us post about this 19th-century Canadian dexterity board game and table sport, check out our blog! There is a loyal following for crokinole, and many are willing to participate in campaigns focused on bringing the game back into the spotlight, where it belongs.
These four crokinole Kickstarter campaigns were launched a few years ago, and they are ordered chronologically.
1. Campaign #1 by Seth Hiatt at Mayday Games
Mayday Games is an online provider of tabletop games and accessories that has created over 50 Kickstarter campaigns, three of which have been for crokinole boards. Mayday seems to create new campaigns when they add or change board features or when they find a new manufacturer. In each campaign, Mayday mentions that they strive to provide affordable crokinole boards, keeping the retail price at $150 or less. Mayday’s earliest crokinole Kickstarter campaign finished on February 11, 2013, and featured a tournament-sized hardwood crokinole board. The board came with 14 discs in two colors, a scoring box with pegs, an instructional booklet, and two unique accessories: a custom carrying case specifically for crokinole and a clock accessory kit used to turn the board into a decorative wall clock. The campaign was hugely successful: there were 275 total backers who pledged $35,078 out of Mayday’s $4,000 goal in two days. In less than four days, more than $9,000 was pledged. Stretch rewards included custom artwork and prints on the boards.
2. Campaign #2 by Mayday Games
Mayday’s 2016 crokinole campaign ended in January 2017 and featured Mayday’s fourth version of crokinole. On the Kickstarter page, Mayday mentions that this campaign came about after they received customer feedback to bring crokinole back. They searched for years and, after trying a total of six factories, finally found the right one to manufacture the boards. This version of the board has an MDF/plywood base with a hardwood veneer playing surface, and it came with 12 discs of each color, a scoring box, and an instructional booklet. This board was also updated with four pads and recessed screws on the underside of the board to prevent damage to tables, as well as eyelets in the bottom to make wall mounting or hanging easier. This campaign was much more successful than the first—1,295 backers pledged $150,602 out of Mayday’s $5,000 goal in less than 90 minutes!
3. Campaign #3 by Mayday Games
Mayday’s 2017 crokinole campaign lasted from August 2017 until September 2017 and was their “Gen Con launch.” In the Kickstarter description, Mayday mentions that they tried a total of seven factories at this point, so it sounds like they found a new one for the 2017 campaign. This board is Mayday’s fifth version of crokinole, the 2018 “Beech Hardwood” edition. Like the previous board from Mayday, the 2018 version features pads, recessed screws, and eyelets to make wall mounting easier on the reverse side. The disc storage box also functions as a scoring track, and this campaign introduced the scoring box without hinges. This campaign was funded, with 271 backers pledging $34,960 of Mayday’s $30,000 goal.
4. Campaign by Adam Eddy at Eddycrest Co.
Eddycrest is a Canadian woodworking and furniture company, and their crokinole Kickstarter campaign came from a desire to update a family tradition. Eddycrest’s crokinole Kickstarter campaign had a funding period of October 2017 to November 2017 and featured their custom board design. The design includes laser engravings (using a CNC laser), built-in score keepers, and integrated disc storage so that everything is included in the board and there are no extra materials. The score keepers are in the ditch, and players can use metal pegs to keep track of their points; the disc storage involves two spring-loaded slots that hold all twelve discs of each color; and there is a small indent in the back of the board for wall mounting. Like Mayday’s boards, Eddycrest’s boards can be customized, but with engraving instead of printing. This campaign was successfully funded, with 54 backers pledging CAN$9,775 out of the CAN$6,000 goal.
All of these were successfully funded. This fact illustrates the power and reach of crokinole, even if many have not heard of the game. It’s a traditional yet unique hobby that has limitless potential for artistry and craftsmanship, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!