NZ gets Antsy Lab Fidget Cubes before Kickstarter backers
A fidgeting toy plagued by delays has finally popped up on New Zealand shelves, while the founders still struggle to fill orders placed overseas.
Antsy Labs' Fidget Cube was a crowdfunding campaign which went viral and quickly flew out of control; with an original target of US$15,000, it raised US$6.47 million from backers.
They couldn't keep up with demand and hundreds of copycats quickly flooded the market before Antsy Labs had a chance.
It's been a PR nightmare for the company and they're still working to get the cubes out to everyone who backed the project or pre-ordered them.
And they're notoriously hard to contact - six months on from Antsy Labs' original planned delivery date, backers still complain they haven't gotten their items or any word from the company.
But while some are left waiting, we in New Zealand have managed to get our hands on a steady supply.
New Zealanders now have the genuine cubes available through online web store Mighty Ape, for around half the price of the ones on the Antsy Labs website.
They're provided through a wholesaler under the Zuru brand, a Mighty Ape spokesperson told Newshub, but they are the "official Antsy Labs Fidget Cubes".
"There's been an absolutely massive interest. I've never seen anything like it," product manager Kirsty Walters told Newshub.
"It's great that we can back the Kickstarter with the original brand. So far, the response has been phenomenal."
Mighty Ape has also had to battle through communication issues.
"We contacted Antsy Labs late year... They were overrun with orders and we couldn't get a response out of them," Ms Walters said.
"Unfortunately I never heard back from them after trying to contact them a couple of times."
"Probably about a month ago we were approached by one of our suppliers who had obtained the Antsy Labs Fidget Cube under the Zuru brand."
Some of those who preordered on Kickstarter or the Antsy Labs website are still having to wait, according to comments on their social media pages.
The latest update on the Kickstarter page was on April 18, saying all the rewards had shipped aside from "a small pool of orders that have unverified shopping address".
It's cold comfort to a number of their backers, who say they still haven't received any information.
Some have been waiting for months.
Antsy Labs did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Newshub.
But supply issues aside, the cubes have received praise for helping people with focusing issues such as ADHD.
Now that they're available in New Zealand, some schools are eyeing them up as an option to keep kids paying attention in school.
However Mighty Ape says these gadgets are more likely to appeal to adults than its popular cousin the fidget spinner.
"They are noisy, they do make a sound whereas the spinners don't," Ms Walters said.
"They do click like a pen, so I don't know if that's something a teacher would want to encourage!"