Massive Monkey Island Lego Mosaic For Charity Seeks Kickstarter Help

Massive Monkey Island Lego Mosaic For Charity Seeks Kickstarter Help

One of the guys behind the ill-fated Mass Effect 3 "Space Edition" lottery is Kickstarting an eight-foot Lego reproduction of The Secret of Monkey Island title screen.

Does the name Michael Davis ring a bell? He's half of the duo who, in February 2012, came up with one of the copies of Mass Effect 3 that EA launched into space and then attempted to raffle it off, with a third of the proceeds going to Child's Play. That effort ended in tears - turns out the whole lottery thing was kind of illegal - but now he's back with a new idea, and this time he knows exactly what he's doing.

The plan is to build a brick-for-pixel recreation of The Secret of Monkey Island title screen out of Lego bricks. There's only one problem: The game's 320x200 resolution means that Davis will need 64,000 bricks to get the job done. That's a lot of Lego. The good news is that Lego is offering free shipping until Christmas (and the company has thus far indicated that it will honor the offer even with such a huge order), but it's still going to run $6400 just for the bricks. Davis has about $1000 of his own money to dedicated to the project, and he's going to Kickstarter for the rest.

There's not a lot in the way of rewards for backers, which is understandable given the one-off nature of the project, but people who pony up $25 or more will come away with something for their trouble. The truth is that it's really just a donation to charity, albeit one that makes a guy do something really crazy and time-consuming in the process. The Secret of Monkey Island creators Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer apparently find the idea amusing enough to take part: they've both agreed to sign the thing once it's done.

And what's the charity, you ask? Davis can't say, not because it's a scam but because the charity in question has an official policy of not being directly involved in crowd-funding efforts. It is a charity that helps children, however, and the Monkey Island Lego Mosaic will be one item among many sold off during its annual auction. I'll leave you to put it together.

With just under two weeks left on the clock, The Secret of Monkey Island Lego Mosaic Kickstarter has already raised more than half of its $5400 goal. If this sounds like something you'd like to throw some money at, you may do so at Kickstarter.

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Well it's not a bad video! But i'd much rather do something like this myself (albeit on a smaller scale) than pay someone else to do it.

I don't understand this policy: Isn't a charity just a more selfless form of crowd-funding?

Michael Davis: I want money so that I can buy a shit ton of legos, and then assemble them.

wait a minute....

does this guy have sense.

technically $1,000, so no.

If someone is willing to donate money for this, wouldn't he/she be willing to donate directly to charity? I mean, it's kind of weird to ask money for this, if his objective is raising money for charity, because I don't think anyone would donate more money just to see the lego mosaic, so it would just make some people part with their money, for no gain for the charity... Am I missing something?

Let's say he gets $5400 in charity and makes this thing. Then it goes to the auction and sells for, I don't know, $20,000. Your donation to this project becomes far more valuable than a straight-up donation to the charity in question as a result.

See, Andy's little scenario is but one of MANY reasons I see kickstarter as a den of grifters and marks. I've seen projects never meet their goal and people just lose their money, then inexplicably defend their donations. This guy's looking to turn a profit, and for playing with a toy.Sure, it's "art", but then so is writing one's name in the snow with piss, and there isn't a kickstarter for that...yet.

i was skeptical until i saw the 69 dollar tier.

Andy Chalk:
Let's say he gets $5400 in charity and makes this thing. Then it goes to the auction and sells for, I don't know, $20,000. Your donation to this project becomes far more valuable than a straight-up donation to the charity in question as a result.

But is that a sure thing? I mean, I don't know how much someone can raise from building "The secret of Monkey Island" title screen out of Lego... What if nobody is interested? It puts a decent amount of money into a single project, which might or might not attract back enough money to make a nice donation to the charity... Maybe I am just not used to these things? Never heard about such a project to raise funds for charity in my country, so I wonder about the logistics behind such an idea and the reward/effort ratio.

Icehearted:
This guy's looking to turn a profit, and for playing with a toy.Sure, it's "art", but then so is writing one's name in the snow with piss, and there isn't a kickstarter for that...yet.

How is he looking to make a profit?

mdqp:
But is that a sure thing? I mean, I don't know how much someone can raise from building "The secret of Monkey Island" title screen out of Lego.

Nothing is a "sure thing." 1Up posted a recap of the 2011 Child's Play Charity Auction (which I am using as an entirely hypothetical example) including the prices of a few objects, which went for anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to several thousand. Will this mosaic bring in at least $5400? Maybe, maybe not. If you want an iron-clad guarantee, go watch the sun come up in the morning.

I'm not saying you guys should donate to this - in fact it's my policy to avoid telling anyone to ever donate to any particular crowdfunding effort. (Unless I really, really like it.) But it's a pretty cool thing for a pretty cool cause, and I like to think that sometimes that trumps hard numbers and practicality.

I was being a bit presumptuous here, Andy (and I saw your ebay remark as a fair example of how this whole thing could be just about turning a profit, whether you were kidding or not). People that fund these things are owed nothing, and people that receive funding are, as I understand it, under no obligations whatsoever to produce anything as a result of their windfall. Fund a project and it doesn't meet goal? Tough! Fun d a project and it drastically exceeds it's goal, gravy. I stand firmly by my statement that kickstarter is a den of grifters, and as far as I'm concerned he's just another man looking to benefit from the gullibility of others.

Andy Chalk:
Nothing is a "sure thing." 1Up posted a recap of the 2011 Child's Play Charity Auction (which I am using as an entirely hypothetical example) including the prices of a few objects, which went for anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to several thousand. Will this mosaic bring in at least $5400? Maybe, maybe not. If you want an iron-clad guarantee, go watch the sun come up in the morning.

I'm not saying you guys should donate to this - in fact it's my policy to avoid telling anyone to ever donate to any particular crowdfunding effort. (Unless I really, really like it.) But it's a pretty cool thing for a pretty cool cause, and I like to think that sometimes that trumps hard numbers and practicality.

Well, if I donate my money directly to charity it's a "sure thing" that the charity will receive that money. I don't think you understood me, though. I am merely asking if such a thing is viable, if people did similar things before and succeeded (5000$ is a lot of money. As I said, no such things in my country, I am from Italy, and I just don't have knowledge about similar projects, so I wanted to get more informations about those). If it doesn't return that much money, the charity received less money than what it could have made, thanks to this (I would like to believe that the people funding this would also donate money to the charity, and are considering this as another way to show their support. Of course, I could be wrong, people are willing to spend their money for the weirdest reasons). I am not saying this will impact the charity itself too much (we don't know for sure which one it is, but I am willing to bet it raises way more money than just 5000$ per year), but I can't help but wonder if such a thing should be funded like this, a bit in the dark, too (he can't even disclose which charity it is, which might leave people in doubt if they find the charity in question worth it or not, although I guess an educated guess could be made about which charity it actually is).

.....why don't people just cut out the middleman and donate the money they would to the kickstarter to the appropriate charity?

Let's hope he doesn't build LEGOs like a dairy farmer.

Well, you definitely can't fault the man for having a sense of humor. I like his moxie, but I've been pretty wary of Kickstarter so far.

Twilight_guy:
Let's hope he doesn't build LEGOs like a dairy farmer.

You deserve a cookie for that. image

Icehearted:
I've seen projects never meet their goal and people just lose their money, then inexplicably defend their donations.

I don't know what you're talking about, but it's not Kickstarter.

If you pledge to KS, and the project doesn't meet it's financial goal, then you are not charged. The money is only charged IF the project makes it's goals.

Once that happens, if the person doesn't deliver the product they promised, THEN you've lost your money. However, no one loses anything for simply not making the goal.

Bara_no_Hime:

Icehearted:
I've seen projects never meet their goal and people just lose their money, then inexplicably defend their donations.

I don't know what you're talking about, but it's not Kickstarter.

If you pledge to KS, and the project doesn't meet it's financial goal, then you are not charged. The money is only charged IF the project makes it's goals.

Once that happens, if the person doesn't deliver the product they promised, THEN you've lost your money. However, no one loses anything for simply not making the goal.

I was remembering this as having never met their goal for some reason, my bad:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120469-Open-Source-Haunts-The-Manse-Macabre-Now-Available

So I guess it's better when a goal is met and a thing evaporates because then refunds really are not required. Looks like you're right, and I doubt there's extraneous use of funding when a vlogger gets over 25x her goal or a "company" asks for thousands and acquires millions. I'm sure none of that extra cash is misappropriated at all. Just look at that link. They met their goal and was able to use all funding and managed to become immediately dissolved while offering their backers almost nothing for their money. Then there are those shrewd enough to set low goals to begin with, but that wasn't specifically our discussion.

You are correct, I was mistaken.

Edit: though people still defend their ill-fated donations.

Icehearted:
I was remembering this as having never met their goal for some reason, my bad:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120469-Open-Source-Haunts-The-Manse-Macabre-Now-Available

So I guess it's better when a goal is met and a thing evaporates because then refunds really are not required. Looks like you're right, and I doubt there's extraneous use of funding when a vlogger gets over 25x her goal or a "company" asks for thousands and acquires millions. I'm sure none of that extra cash is misappropriated at all. Just look at that link. They met their goal and was able to use all funding and managed to become immediately dissolved while offering their backers almost nothing for their money. Then there are those shrewd enough to set low goals to begin with, but that wasn't specifically our discussion.

You are correct, I was mistaken.
Edit: though people still defend their ill-fated donations.

Well, I will generally defend my donations to a KS even if it doesn't get funded. I tried to support them, but they didn't make enough, so no loss for me.

On the other hand, if a KS has already been funded, then I do some research and make sure that the company is ligit. I typically only fund projects by companies that have previously turned out a successful product. Reaper, Dungeon Crawler, Obsidian - these are companies I trust to provide a product.

If I don't trust the company... I donate a dollar. If it turns out the creators of the KS were assholes and steal my money (or incompetent and can't do anything with it) then I'm only out a dollar. Shrug.

Donating a hundred bucks and having people run off with it - that would suck.

On the other hand, at least twice I've heard of KS people failing to produce a product and then working on refunding the money that was given to them. Other than people who are blatantly trying to rip you off, most KS using groups honestly believe they can make a product. If they try and fail, sure, they're incompetent, but at least they tried.

I'd rather use my money to buy legos for myself...

Andy Chalk:
That effort ended in tears - turns out the whole lottery thing was kind of illegal - but now he's back with a new idea, and this time he knows exactly what he's doing.

Apparently not:

Kickstarter does not allow charity, cause, or "fund my life" projects.

But he's not raising funds for a charity or a cause. He's doing it to fund the creation of the mosaic. What he does with the mosaic after the fact doesn't enter into it.

 

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