It has taken hundreds of emails, dozens of phone calls, and sending more sets than I care to count all over the world but we finally in negotiations to bring back the Ultimate Chess Set. I have to give a LOT of credit to my customers because without all of you I would have stopped trying a long time ago.
A little over 4 years ago our supplier stopped taking phone calls or returning emails. I figured that maybe they were on vacation or had some family trouble. No one knows. They packed up their offices and the factory. The offices are now a strip mall and the factory was retrofitted into a hotel. They took our $15,000 mold and disappeared into the mist. I sent them emails begging to buy back the mold that we had already paid for to no avail.
The set was extremely popular. If you look on Ebay they are going for $60-100 for a USED set. When they come up. Some company in Mexico took one of our sets and copied it....badly. Horrible seams, lightweight, and paper felts are ruining the brand. Their set weighs slightly over 2 pounds. What an abomination.
Right now we have locked in our manufacturer for the set. The previous set used lead weights which are now subject to a bunch of regulations. Our manufacturer wants us to switch to the steel weights. The problem is steel is 25-35% lighter than lead. What do we do?
One solution would be to increase the size of the base to allow for bigger weights. This is the easy solution. We have the manufacturer price out insert weighting. If we do it this way we should still be able to use the lead weights because we can totally encapsulate the weights. Insert weighting is where the weight is inserted into the mold and the plastic is injected around it. The benefit of this is the weight does not need glue and we can guarantee that it will NEVER loosen up. The big drawback is that the insert weighting makes the manufacturing process that much more expensive.
I will keep everyone informed as more info comes available.
till the next time,