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Exploding Kittens LA CAH and the Press

By Shari Spiro

My clients Cards Against Humanity referred a nice guy – Elan Lee – to me a few months ago and asked me to help him out on a little project.  The little project we quoted was for 1000-5000 card games – and it had a cute title – Exploding Kittens.  I was familiar with The Oatmeal – and saw a little of the art and worked on quotes and samples way before the kickstarter went live.

On the day before it went live – Elan – unlike some of my other clients – let me know it was going live.  That way I was able to back it.  On the day it went live he called me and said – the kickstarter was close to a million dollars.  I started screaming – in a fun way I thought – but in retrospect – I hope I didn’t scare  him.  I was incredulous.  It was such an incredible thing to watch – a positive and exciting and exhilarating thing to watch. It was something akin to the extreme excitement and the fast build and viral world wide spread of Cards Against Humanity, which is an ongoing  huge and incredible experience – except – – surreally – with this kick starter, so much was happening so quickly all in one day!

Since that day people have been congratulating me on the project –  which I find funny 🙂  but I love to laugh – so I laugh and say – thanks.  I stopped saying –   I am only an advisor – a printer – and started just saying thank you.  What can I say when – after all – I am going to be printing one of the biggest kick starters ever?   Its OK – we are all happy about this.  This is good news for a change.

At the end of January – I went to San Antonio for the very first Pax South (which was an absolute blast I loved it there and I loved the new PAX) .  We had previously setup interviews with some media- now there was really new stuff to talk about.  I went to Los Angeles to meet with Elan and the guys from Cards Against Humanity – as CAH is going to handle the fulfillment of all these orders . Who better than the guys who routinely handle the fulfillment of hundreds of thousands of orders with such online flair that they put the words user friendly to shame. Cards Against Humanity has a user EXPERIENCE that is second to none.  Why did I love it so much when they called me Weird after I completed my checkout on my order for my 10 days or whatever of Kwanza Holiday stuff?    Because they left me no choice –  I had to answer that awkward question about an animal!  I loved it because it made me laugh – CAH ALWAYS make me laugh.  They are wonderful and funny and great at this stuff.

So who better than to guide Exploding Kittens than CAH? And how much fun is this.  The game plays really great – the guys are clever and funny and the art is really hysterical.  I love this stuff.

I also LOVED working on the manufacturing all of the stuff the guys in CAH came up with for the Cards Against Humanity Kwanza stuff and that Cards Against Humanity Maine Hawaii 2 “Island Adventure” as I now like to call it.   It was a weekend extravaganza that was actually close to two months of planning in order to get an 1100 pound safe – 250 thousand cards and a weather proof shed on to a Maine island.  I went on my birthday and installed a safe on an island!! In November!! IN MAINE!!!  No one had their boats in the water in Maine in November.  But we made it happen anyway.  (You should read Jenn Banes post about how the guys in Cards Against Humanity came up with the idea of getting the island – and then all that went into buying and making the dividing of the island possible  – its simply awesome to read!)

My video here shows how we managed moving the safe and the cards and building the shed right after a snowstorm in Maine.

In Los Angeles, last week, I actually appeared on the Eyewitness News with Elan Lee  -(15 seconds of fame right there)  an interview with the LA business journal with Elan (another 15 seconds) and a phone interview with entrepreneur magazine. (that one should count as a whole minute of fame because really Entrepreneur got me super excited).   But the press  – if I am being honest – is more than a little scary.  They never QUITE get it all correct.  Something is always wrong – but it’s a human thing at least – after all – who wants a machine writing about things.  So I will take it – errors – and all.

So the kickstarter is still on – and I just got back from LA – and I realize – I need to blog more.  People are telling me this – but also – I need to do it for myself and for my clients.  I need to talk about the really exciting successes and I need to talk about the beginner designers – and the ones who had a successful kick starter and now are in limbo.  And about how we are going to be at UNPUB this weekend to meet some of them and hang out and play games and learn more about what they need.  And to make new partnerships and how we are taking designers with us to Toy Fair and to PAX EAST in Boston.

So we are going to Baltimore and UNPUB this weekend. I am really excited to meet some of my clients there and to play their new games.  We are sponsoring it this year – and I am really happy we were able to help out.

Next up – we are taking some designers and their games to PAX EAST and we will even be selling some CAH at the booth this show.   There are so many things to talk about – but I will save it for another day.  For now – Kittens rule and dogs are cool.  Congratulations to Elan and Matt and Shane.  And its good to be home – until tomorrow.


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