Andymation's Flipbook Kit

Created by Andy Bailey

Make your own amazing flipbook animations with Andymation's Flipbook Kit!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

We've started shipping US orders!
19 days ago – Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:55:37 PM

Hi Backers!

We're really excited that our first phase of shipping has begun. Please review all estimated shipping dates below before emailing us to ask when your order will ship. Each of you will receive an email with tracking info when your specific order ships. Thank you! 

USA:

Shipping has officially started in the USA! Our shipping container made its long journey across the ocean until reaching port in California. It was then loaded onto a train and continued its way to our fulfillment center in Utah. It finally arrived and was unloaded last Thursday! Shipping started on Friday. 

Please note, we have thousands of orders to fulfill, and it will take 2 weeks to get through all US orders. 

You will receive an automatic email confirmation with tracking information as soon as your order ships.

Shipping priority is determined by a few factors: the combination and quantity of items in your order, whether or not you had any add-ons, and what region you are in. Our fulfillment center is keeping the process streamlined by organizing everything into batches of similar orders.

Thank you for waiting! I know some of you have literally been checking your mail everyday in anticipation, and your kits will be arriving soon. :)

Australia and New Zealand:

The Flipbook Kits cleared customs and have arrived at our fulfillment center in Australia. They are just finishing packing preparations now and should begin shipping later this week. You will receive an automatic email confirmation with tracking information as soon as your order ships.

Canada:

The kits destined for Canada will be sent in bulk this week from our US fulfillment center to our Canadian fulfillment center. Shipping is then estimated to begin approximately May 10.

UK, EU and the Rest of the World:

The shipping container is still on schedule, traveling across the ocean. We will send an update once it reaches port and clears customs. In the meantime our UK fulfillment center is getting prepped to receive the goods and begin shipping as soon as they arrive. Shipping is estimated to begin approximately May 10.

Here are a couple photos of our 40-foot USA shipping container being unloaded a couple days ago. 44 pallets!! 

Stay tuned

Andy

Shipping Schedule -- Update Your Addresses Now if Needed
about 2 months ago – Wed, Apr 03, 2019 at 09:09:10 PM

Hi Backers,

Good news! Our re-inspection of all the kits went great, and I'm excited to announce that the first wave of Flipbook Kits and 8X Paper Packs already left the factory and are on the ocean traveling to our fulfillment center. For the portion going to the US we completely filled an entire 40-foot shipping container! Each region of the world has its own shipping schedule. See below.

But first, for anyone who needs to update your address:

If you need to update your address, make sure you do it BEFORE APRIL 10th. You can log into BackerKit and update your address there.

For anyone with a failed payment method:

There are still a few of you with failed credit cards. If you have been receiving email notifications of failed credit cards, you must update your credit card info BEFORE APRIL 10th, otherwise your order will automatically be cancelled.

Ok, now for the shipping schedule. 

Since we are using multiple fulfillment centers to cover worldwide shipping--and each batch of cargo has a different arrival date--here are the approximate schedules below:

1: USA and Canada orders:  Cargo is on the ocean and will arrive in the USA approximately April 11 or April 12, then 5-7 days to clear Customs and be delivered to our USA fulfillment center. Individual USA orders then begin shipping immediately.  *Please note: Canadian orders will require some additional shipping time, as all Canadian orders must first be transported from our US fulfillment center to our Canadian fulfillment center--then individual orders will begin shipping. We will provide an exact schedule for Canada ASAP. Stay tuned.

2: Australia and New Zealand orders:  Shipping container is scheduled to arrive in Australia on April 15 or 16, then approximately one week to clear Customs and be delivered to our fulfillment center in Australia. Individual orders then begin shipping immediately.

3: UK, EU, Rest of the world:  Shipping container is scheduled to in the UK on May 3, then approximately 5-7 days to clear Customs and arrive at our UK fulfillment center. Individual orders then begin shipping immediately.

The ocean travel time for the UK shipping container is the longest of all--it will be on the ocean during most of April; then individual orders will ship in May. We didn't intentionally plan for the UK container to arrive last, but with the logistics of the various shipping container depart dates, it just worked out that way. So a special thanks to our international backers for your extra patience, as the cargo makes its voyage across the ocean to you!

Thanks everyone! You guys are the best. I can't wait to see what you all make with your kits. :)

-Andy & Laurie

Factory Visit!
2 months ago – Fri, Mar 08, 2019 at 12:19:17 AM

Hi everyone!

I spent last week visiting our factory in Guangzhou. Awesome city! Be sure to check out the factory photos below. It was a fantastic trip, and I could not have been happier with the progress we made while I was there. It was super productive and very helpful to be on site.  

So here is an update on the paper. It's good news--good for you, expensive for me! ;) Ha!  I'll explain below:

As you know from our previous update, there was an issue with the holes in many of the paper packs not being drilled straight enough. We figured approximately half of the paper would have to be rejected, and half could be approved. So, before my trip the factory started inspecting every single paper pack and separating them good from bad. After my arrival I was able to get my hands on the paper directly and check it out. Within the first day I realized that even the "acceptable" paper packs were still not good enough. Technically they still worked--the problem was that the placement of holes still drifted slightly (about 1mm) when comparing the top page of the paper stack to the bottom page. As long as you kept the paper in order it would work fine. But then I realized that many of the kits will be used by kids--and if your kids are like mine--they might drop the blank paper, get it mixed up, use it upside down, etc etc., which could cause some misalignment, both when tracing and then screwing the paper together.  I did not want to worry about kids having to keep the blank paper in exact order. It needs to be fool proof. So.... we decided that ALL 40,000 paper packs (not just half of them, but every single one) had to be redone.

This was not a light decision. But it was a no-brainer. So, in order to cover the cost of redoing ALL of the paper, we used a SIGNIFICANT amount of money out of our own pocket. It's totally worth it in order to get you guys the quality you deserve! I'm not mentioning this to brag or flex--I mention this because I want you guys to know that I'm dedicated to making you a quality product.

In addition to the cost we paid for the new paper, we also paid for two additional brand new drilling machines (again out of our own pocket.) See, we timed it out--the drilling machine operator can only work so fast. Max speed is about 1200 paper packs per day. At that rate it would take over 30 WORK DAYS to finish the new paper. We didn't want our backers to have to wait that much longer... So, we decided it was worth the expense to get two additional drilling machines--which effectively triples the paper production speed. 

Our factory was great to work with on this, and they ate much of the paper and labor cost themselves. We both had to eat some cost. But no regrets! I'm 100% happy with the way we worked it out, and I'm happy with the solid relationship we have with our factory. 

What caused the drilling to not be straight in the first place? (Here's where it's good I was on site.) The drilling machine issue would literally not have been solved, had I not been there to figure it out. The first thing we did when I arrived was check out the drilling machine. Together we got the machine's drill bits aligned well, but the tolerance was still off by about 1mm. They could not figure out why. It was puzzling. Why did the drill bits drift slightly through the paper? Granted 1mm sounds small, but I knew it could be (and needed to be) better. 

As I looked more closely at the machine I suddenly noticed that the angle of the back guide plate and the angle of the drill bits looked slightly different to my eyes. At that moment I knew EXACTLY why the holes drifted. I could see that the back guide plate was ever so slightly angled back, and therefore the paper stacks became slightly angled when butted up against it. 

I pointed this out to the crew, but they couldn't see it. They looked closely but couldn't see the variance I was talking about. But I kept pushing. Finally by holding a square angled paper up to the back guide, and resting it next to the drill bits as a visual reference, the machine operator agreed that he could see a slight variance in angle. We then figured out how to shim the back plate to tilt it forward. So they removed the guide, shimmed it, refastened it, and we ran a new test. And the paper was PERFECT! 

Oh man, I can't tell you how awesome it was to compare the paper holes this time and see them line up so perfectly. It was so satisfying and a massive relief! At this point one of the workers told me I had "special eyes" in order to be able to see that angle difference just by looking at it! LOL  Yup, maybe I have special eyes from all my years of animating such microscopic stop-motion movement. :)

To keep the quality control high from here on out, the production team is now checking the paper holes every hour. They are also changing the drill bits about 3 times per day, in order to ensure the bits are always razor sharp.

So, main mission accomplished! During my visit I also took time to visit our other factory, who is making the light pads. It was great to see production first hand and be able to give feedback on a few things. The light pad factory is just finishing the last batch of light pads now, and they are also rechecking each and every light pad before they are repacked into the kits.

Schedule-wise the factory says it's pretty tight, but we should still be on track to ship the cargo from the factory later in March, which means we should receive it and begin shipping sometime in April. 

And now I hope you enjoy some photos from my visit! 

Newly Calibrated Drilling Machine
Newly Calibrated Drilling Machine

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Video of the new paper being cut and drilled

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Empty Paper Pack Boxes Ready to be Repacked
Empty Paper Pack Boxes Ready to be Repacked

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The Factory
The Factory

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Some of the rejected paper
Some of the rejected paper

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Newly Cut Paper Ready to be Drilled
Newly Cut Paper Ready to be Drilled

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Some of the LED circuits for the Light Pads
Some of the LED circuits for the Light Pads

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Light Pads on the Assembly Line
Light Pads on the Assembly Line

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My team and me after having fixed the drilling machine!
My team and me after having fixed the drilling machine!

Final Production Samples Unboxing
3 months ago – Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 09:24:01 PM

Hi Everyone!

* This is a duplicate of our last update. Sorry for the double email, but we realized that the last update was not visible to some backers--so here it is again. Everyone should be able to see it now. :) *

------

We received a box of completed production sample kits and 8X paper packs from our factory, and I can’t tell you how great it is to finally hold the completed kits in my hands, in all their shrink-wrapped glory! Ha! My kids were freaking out excited as we opened the boxes and checked out the sample kits. I’ve posted an unboxing video at the end, but first… a story:

As you know our goal was to be able to start fulfilling orders in February--which meant the deadline for all the kits to leave the factory was no later than the end of January. You see, in February nearly all factories in China, including ours, shuts down for several weeks during Chinese New Year. So, in order to get our shipment loaded into the ocean freight containers in time, the last possible deadline for loading was the end of January. 

So our main factory and two other suppliers worked insanely hard to finish production as quickly as possible. I had lots of very late nights getting things coordinated and making sure component deliveries would happen on time. Each supplier worked amazingly hard! They worked tons of overtime, hired extra workers, etc. Our screw supplier finished all 400,000 screws in the nick of time. All of the light pads were delivered just in time. Everything was insanely down to the wire. For several nights in a row I was up at 2 or 3am having skype sessions with the suppliers making sure everything was coming together correctly… It was down to the last possible minute. Finally everything was delivered, packed and ready for final inspection.

You see, when you are manufacturing any product--no matter how long you have been working with a factory--no matter how good they are--you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS hire a trusted inspector to go to the factory and perform a final random inspection of all the goods before you allow the products to leave the factory and accept the shipment. This is the final step in quality control before the products are loaded onto the ship.

So, on the last possible day our inspectors went to the factory and performed a thorough random inspection and sent us their report. So there we were… it was the last possible minute, and everyone was waiting for us to give our approval. The factory workers were standing by to load our goods into the 20-foot shipping container... the guy who would transport the shipping container was there at the factory waiting for our go-ahead… then, as we reviewed the inspection eport we saw that out of all the inspected kits, 40% of the paper packs had incorrectly drilled holes and did not fit the light pads correctly. 40%! So we had no choice but cancelling the shipment. We were disappointed to say the least. Our factory rep was disappointed. The freight forwarder was disappointed. We paid a cancelation fee for the freight container, etc. But there was NO WAY we could accept the shipment, knowing that 40% of the inspected paper packs had incorrectly drilled holes. Something must have happened to the drilling machine which caused some of the paper to be out of alignment, and it simply has to be redone.

Okay, so! Here is what will happen. Our factory is currently closed for the Chinese New Year holiday for a couple more weeks. As soon as they re-open, our factory will remake the flipbook paper. It may be a matter of re-calibrating their drilling machine, or it may be that we have to use a different method like die cutting instead of drilling. One way or another the factory agreed to our specs and tolerances, so it’s on them to fix it. 

We will send our inspector to be on site at the factory while the new paper is being made. And as soon as the new paper is inspected and approved, we will be able to give the green light to ship the cargo. 

After the new paper is approved, the kits will be repacked and loaded into big shipping containers and loaded onto the ship for ocean freighting. The cargo will be on the ocean for 3-4 weeks and then--after clearing customs--will be delivered to our fulfillment centers. We are using fulfillment centers in 4 locations to handle all the shipping for each major region of the world.

Let me just say that while this was a frustrating situation, it’s a good thing we did our final inspection! And while finding this issue was extremely disappointing… I am glad we caught it just in time. Everyone involved was disappointed, especially as the factory and suppliers had worked so much overtime and worked so hard to deliver in time. But we had to make the right call, even knowing it would disappoint some people.

What does this mean for shipping? We would have been on track to start shipping orders by the end of this month, but with the factory being on holiday for Chinese New Year right now, and with the paper being remade, it may be April before we can begin fulfilling orders.

I have always been a people pleaser and hate disappointing anyone, so it’s never easy writing updates like this. I told myself going into this that I should expect the unexpected, that there may be obstacles which I couldn’t predict. And this was definitely one of them.

I’m glad you’re along with me for the ride. We are so close to the finish line!

After our factory staff is back from holiday, I will coordinate with them and post another update with more accurate timeline info.

And now… I am super excited about how the production samples have turned out, so check out the unboxing video below! This might be spoilery... so if you’d rather be surprised when you open your kits, don’t watch this video. But I just had to show you this. Enjoy.

Thanks,

Andy

Final Production Samples Unboxing
3 months ago – Sat, Feb 09, 2019 at 02:04:33 AM

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