That’s going to be a lot of mugs. The Atomic Robo Kickstarter campaign from Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener has just closed doors, and has raised $135000 of the original $7500 target. Whew!


The Kickstarter was for a book called The Tesladyna Action Scientists’ Field Guide, a survival handbook offering advice on how to survive all the usual natural disasters – fires, snakes, you know the sort of thing. It also allowed the pair to establish a really comprehensive range of Atomic Robo merchandise. Amongst the tiered rewards were mugs, pens, ‘damaged’ lab coats, coasters, rulers, stickers, prints, ID cards….

Which all proved to be pretty popular. I wonder to what extent the mass success of the Kickstarter might actually be a slight issue for the pair, though — as Wegener noted himself:


That might be something to keep an eye on for the future – is there an upper limit for a Kickstarter, which (if exceeded) means the project will lose the makers money? Can something be too successful?

That’s all just speculatory misery, though, and there’s no need for us to dwell on any of that right now. Atomic Robot just raised 1811% of it’s Kickstarter goal – that’s spectacular!


  1. No. There isn’t. The cost per unit can only go down with more volume. The only thing that could cost them money is a miscalculation on what everything they plan to produce and ship will cost. If they didn’t run those numbers properly, then that could be an issue.

  2. I’m pretty sure he was just joking. The only negative aspect of such a humongous success is the massive time sink that producing, packaging and shipping all these good would take. They’d do well to quickly hire some production assistants to oversee the process.

  3. There are potentially a lot of negatives from a campaign this big, especially for people who are running their first kickstarter. It is definitely possible to make over a hundred thousand gross and profit zero. After Kickstarter and amazon take their cut, there is shipping. Shipping is always more than people estimate. A quick look of their pledge levels show items like mugs. These need to be shipped very carefully so they don’t bust. And their international shipping value seems pretty low on those high levels. You never underestimate foreign shipping again once you’ve mailed a hundred packages to europe all at once!
    And then there’s taxes. If you have a good accountant you can get away with paying nothing, but so far all the people I know who have reached the six figure mark have paid taxes. It also looks like their project has at least two people attached, they’ll have to split any profits. So once you deduct all of those costs your profit margin goes down a lot. After a quick look at their pledge levels they seem to have enough room for all that stuff. So I’m guessing they will do alright, assuming they’ve got some good quotes on all that merch!

  4. DAMMIT! I knew there was another Kickstarter I forgot to bookmark! Darn it… Now I realize there is a way to form a wish list / starred projects. Wish I had done it for this one.

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