Top 10 Undeserving (Yet Successful) Kickstarter Projects

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Kickstarter is a website where people beg for money to help them complete a project. Many of these people are crazy and, while most of their mad dreams die well-deserved deaths, every once and awhile a baffling project somehow manages to succeed. Projects like…

10. World’s Largest Jockstrap

largest-jockstrap

Artist Michael Barrett had a dream: to set the Guinness record for the world’s largest jockstrap. Knowing that the help of friends, family and sane people wouldn’t be enough to achieve this heroic goal, Barrett called upon the aid of jockstrap enthusiasts around the world.

You’d assume the money went towards the materials, but it actually paid a surveying company to digitally scan the strap, a requirement of Guinness. Because why set a dumb record when you could set a dumb record and waste money?

And what was this project supposed to accomplish, aside from generating the obvious fame and sex appeal that comes from being the world champion of jockstrap making? According to Barrett’s website, which we won’t link you to because much of his art involves his testicles, his ambition “is to incorporate the body as the site, subject, and relic of the happening.” Well, that clears everything up.

Money Raised

$852

Worst Pledge Reward

$100 earned a “commemorative miniature jockstrap handsewn by Artist Michael Barrett.” We’re glad he didn’t cheap out and buy some pre-made ones from Wal-Mart.

9. World’s Largest Rainbow Parade

Jessi Arrington, fashion designer and real-life Manic Pixie Dream Girl, used Kickstarter to throw herself a birthday party. Her birthday wish was to have a rainbow parade, which makes that PS3 you shamelessly begged for look modest in comparison.

A rainbow parade is pretty much just a parade where people color-coordinate. Arrington also used a marching band, bubbles, balloons and anything else you could describe as “adorkable,” if you wanted to be slapped.

rainbow-parade

There’s whimsical, and then there’s nauseatingly whimsical

We’re not against having fun, but it doesn’t work when it’s so forced. If you want to have a parade on your birthday, pay for your own damn marching band. Don’t hold the Internet hostage with your weaponised cuteness.

Though, to be fair, the parade wasn’t all fun and twee—it set a world record. Not a Guinness world record, because even the jockstrap measurers wouldn’t dignify themselves with this one. But it’s a record over at Recordsetter.com! Arrington’s sharing space with luminaries like Dustin Oliver, who held 12 potatoes in his right hand at once. Where’s his parade?

Money Raised

$3,840

Worst Pledge Reward

$85 got supporters a “surprise item from Jessi’s secondhand adventures,” which she guaranteed you’d “lurve.” Possibilities included broaches, belts and bags. So basically, some crap she needed to clean out of her closet.

8. Ron Paul: Road to REVOLution

ron-paul-video-game

There are hundreds of video game Kickstarters, ranging from brilliant ideas to outright scams. But only Daniel Williams’ Ron Paul game hits that sweet combo of an insane premise, terrible design. and a horde of obsessive fans.

Ron Paul’s heroic quest/half-assed Super Mario Bros. knockoff takes him through all 50 states, where he’ll collect delegates and gold coins (referred to as “sound money”). He’ll also take on 13 bosses, representing the branches of the Federal Reserve. Defeat them all, and Paul abolishes the Fed! Which is actually more likely than Paul getting rid of it by being elected.

Williams’ passion for politics is admirable, but raising thousands of dollars to fund a Ron Paul video game is exactly why people think Paul’s supporters are crazy. Maybe just buy some bumper stickers and go play Rayman, guys.

Money Raised

$11,073

Worst Pledge Reward

$30 entitles you to this poster:

ron-paul-poster

Which you can then hang in your bedroom to give your date last-minute second thoughts.

7. Hey Fartface

This is a Kickstarter to fund the latest album by 2d6, who describe themselves as a “two-piece nerdcore hip-hop group.” Nerdcore, which covers topics like video games and Internet memes, is clever when done well (rarely) and excruciating when not (constantly). Guess which one describes a duo that would name their album Hey Fartface?

hey-fartface

Here’s a hint

2d6 stands out among the myriad of forgettable bands on Kickstarter by being well and truly terrible. Tracks from their magnum opus include “shark’d,” “Scalloped Potato Vs. My Nuts” and “Dr. Juice Computer Cow.” OMG, they’re soooooo random! But don’t take our word for it—you can sample that last song on their website, if you think you’d enjoy prostate exam jokes set to the Super Mario Bros. theme.

If that is your thing, we won’t judge you (much). We’re just saying that, when you ask for hundreds of dollars to fund an album named Hey Fartface, you do not deserve hundreds of dollars.

Money Raised

$1,230

Worst Pledge Reward

One donor pledged $200 to pick the name of 2d6’s next album. Normally we’d joke about how you could abuse that power to embarrass the duo, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than telling people you released an album called Hey Fartface. Well played, gentlemen.

6. Griz Coat

A Griz Coat is a $200 coat that looks like a grizzly bear. It’s a $200 bear coat. You can pay $200 to dress up as a bear. Nope, no matter how we word it, it still sounds retarded.

griz-coat

“I’m going to murder you and devour your innards” facial expression sold separately.

They’re perfect for Halloween, furry conventions and…uh…did we say Halloween? We’re sorry, but we have literally no idea what these are for.

Money Raised

$29,015

Worst Pledge Reward

500 big ones get you a Griz Coat, and an oil painting of you wearing it. You might as well just burn your money in front of poor people.

5. Desktop Jellyfish Tank

jellyfish-tank

In theory, this is a great idea. A sleek aquarium for jellyfish would look nice in any home. There’s just one little problem: it’s a death trap.

After the aquarium was released, its creator received complaints about jellyfish dying in a matter of days. Due to either a design flaw, or oversimplified care instructions, the jellies were going down faster than the bad guys in an ‘80s action movie.

It’s a sad example of Kickstarter’s biggest flaw: no matter how good someone’s idea is, they still have to execute it. Not everyone on Kickstarter is a competent businessman, which is often why they’re on Kickstarter in the first place. Which means that one day you’ll contribute to a brilliant innovation, and the next you’ll throw money at a jellyfish murderer.

Money Raised

$162,917

Worst Pledge Reward

$350 earned donors the tank, starter supplies, and a voucher for three jellyfish and some food. In retrospect, that’s a torture kit.

4. Atheist Shoes

atheist-shoes

Atheists, are you tired of the world’s theocratic shoe manufacturers oppressing your right to be a non-believer? Or are you just looking for a way to bring the condescending arrogance of r/atheism into the real world? Either way, a pair of atheist shoes would be perfect for you!

One sole is oriented to imprint “Ich Bin Atheist” (they’re made in Germany) on the ground, while the other’s readable when you put your feet up, presumably at an independent coffee shop while reading Nietzsche.

We don’t mean to mock atheists. We’re just wondering how insecure you have to be about your beliefs to express them through your footwear. We’d suggest the alternate text of, “I’d be happy to tell you about my religious beliefs if you politely inquire, otherwise I’ll keep them to myself because you’ll have made it clear you don’t care,” but we guess that’s hard to fit on a shoe.

Money Raised

$59,132

Worst Pledge Reward

$180 is the minimum pledge required to actually get a pair of shoes. Why spend nearly 200 bucks to look like a douchebag in public, when there are plenty of ways to do it for free?

3. A Tour of Sorts

In the interest of neutrality, we’ll now make fun of four Christian musicians. Although their religion is irrelevant—what’s ridiculous is that they’re asking people to fund a road trip. It’s part of the “pay for our vacation and we’ll do something vaguely artistic” series of Kickstarters, where you give a few hipsters a hundred bucks and they post Instagrams of crappy small town cafés on their Tumblr.

hipster-road-trip

North Dakota donors get screwed

What’s the goal of their tour? According to their video pitch, “It’s hard to say, really.” Hang on, let us find our wallets.

The text is more specific, but it boils down to “play some music and hang out with other musicians.” Oh, and they’re “using what we have” to “support and enable others to succeed.” Enabling is the perfect word, considering what they have is other people’s money.

Donors are rewarded with blog posts and videos of their thrilling trip. Wow! That’s way better than keeping our money and putting it towards our own road trips! Guys, there’s already a way to trick people into paying for your adventures. It’s called abusing your college fund.

Money Raised

$5,020

Worst Pledge Reward

For $250, the gang will come make you dinner…assuming you’re within 50 miles of their route. Really? These people are paying for your vacation, you should get your asses to Anchorage if you have to.

2. My 1st Webcomic

A good Kickstarter pitch is all about the details. Every element of the project, from the basic concept to the nitty-gritty of the final product, should be laid bare. People will be confident in giving you money if they know exactly what you’re going to do with it.

Or you can be like Shane Ayers and say, “I’ve never done a webcomic before, but I totally have an idea for one. Gimme money.” Apparently, this also works.

first-webcomic

To be fair, it’s hard to argue with unique work like this

His story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where…oh, wait, that’s pretty much all he tells us. Well, that and “it’s a story of survival, love, courage, fear, and triumph.” A story where the characters fall in love and triumph? I hope we’ve got some new ground handy, because he’s about to break it.

Ayers both cites his inspirations, and raises red flags, by saying, “In the tradition of XKCD, Cyanide & Happiness, and Questionable Content, I’m venturing to tell a funny, cool, thought-provoking story.” Those are comics about math, penis jokes and hipsters, respectively. The first two don’t even have stories! Are Ayers’ characters going to survive the apocalypse by alluding to their knowledge of computer science?

Money Raised

$1,072

Worst Pledge Reward

Donate $100, and you’ll be added as “a character into the series that doesn’t end up dying.” Because the best fictional characters are the invincible ones created out of financial obligation.

1. Addicting New Game – Straight From the Stone Age

The creator of RoXzai, Buck Howdy, describes it as a game of balance, art, strategy and physics. We describe it as a game of putting rocks on top of other rocks. Judge for yourself:

game-of-stones

But wait! Those aren’t just any rocks—they’re hand-picked from a riverbed in the oldest mountain range in North America. Presumably rocks found elsewhere in the world, especially in your own backyard, cannot be stacked. They will repel each other, like magnets.

To be fair, you’re also paying for a little burlap bag and a set of rules. But there’s an off-chance you may own a bag, and the rules are already on the Kickstarter page. Or you could just make up your own, because you’re playing with rocks.

Buck tries to make RoXzai sound like the Super Bowl, saying he’s observed players “collectively holding their breath and marveling at gravity defied, all the while waiting for their chance to top it and be a rock star.” Buck, we’re sure this game is fun for kids, and maybe stoned adults (no pun intended), but you’re asking people to give you money for bags of rocks. You’ll have to split your profits with the thousands of children who created this game before you.

Money Raised

$5,145

Worst Pledge Reward

For $10 you get a RoXzai bag…without rocks. Buck will happily send you a tiny burlap sack for a tenner but, if you want him to add some freaking rocks to it, you’ve got to bust out the big boy money.


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11 Comments

    • You should travel to Ireland to get cured. In the Burren, they have school children tear down all the stacked rocks tourists build once a year, because they disfigure the landscape.

  1. What a beautiful collection of human stupidity. Really nice.
    4# is especially good – because even as an atheist, I get sick of the self-righteousness many atheists show. Rubbing everyone’s nose in one’s lack of faith is wrong because it’s exactly the same as rubbing everyone’s nose in one’s faith, a thing every atheist hates.

  2. Amply proves the old saying, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

    Now that I think about it, practically anyone out there can make some good hard cash if you present even the most dumbest of concepts with a degree of earnestness.

  3. are theists any better? on

    #4 is a tad silly while millions of christians meander around with golden crucifixes shining bright for the world to see. Its not so much insecurity in our own faith, or lack there of in this case. It is insecurity with living in a world dominated by adults believing in fairy tales, and invisible, indetectable bearded white men. A unicorn doesnt exist just because I have faith that it does. Silly humans.

  4. Griz Coat is a realy awesome! I want have one. Girls in my village will be excited 😉
    I planing to go in russia – whis ccoat will be very urgent there (I will look like all).
    Realy respectable image. Thanks a lot for a good mood from the reading of this post!

  5. What about Twinsters scam and the Amanda Palmer scam? The criteria here shouldn’t be how stupid the ideas are, but how stupid people are for funding these projects. The list should be the most money raised for the most ridiculous ideas, with special points for self-promtion.

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