‘Mystical’ Wizarding Products Take Live Action Cosplay to Next Level
What started as a fun Halloween prop to entertain trick-or-treaters turned into a $30,000-grossing Kickstarter campaign for Chief Wizard Officer, Brian Krohn, and the rest of the Magic Wizard Staff crew. The inspiration for the live action role play (LARP) products that now sell for $400 was a simple device just meant to entertain neighbors by shooting cheese puffs, spewing fog, and throwing flames.
From there, Krohn and friend Steve Clark had the idea of using “engineering and science to make something magical just for the sake of making something ridiculously awesome.” The project centered around three rules: Whatever they created had to be awesome, they would kill the project as soon as it stopped being fun, and if there wasn’t interest in the product early on they would move on.
Wizard staffs aren’t new to the cosplay and LARP scene, but what Minneapolis-based Magic Wizard Staff added to the market was magical staffs that actually do something magical, like shooting flames or fog, blasting light, and throwing air. Surprisingly, the company is not made up of LARPers, but medical device engineers and designers who decided to take their product development experience into a field that was completely unknown to them.
After five months of R&D in early 2017, they were ready to introduce their products to the rest of the wizarding community with the launch of their website. With a lot of interest in the staffs, the team started prototyping in the fall of 2017 and launched a Kickstarter campaign in December, exceeding their $30,000 goal in one month.
The flame-wielding Chaos Staff went into production earlier this summer, with the team filling Kickstarter orders and making the product available for purchase through the Magic Wizard Staff website. Currently, the majority of the components are 3D printed, which allows the company to adopt a micro manufacturing model, only needing to sell 100 staffs to be profitable. As they scale up into the thousands, moving from 3D printing to injection molding for some of the components could be a consideration. The PVC rod for the staff is CNC milled with a groove for the ignition wire, and water jet cut aluminum fins.
The Fog Staff is still under development as the engineers redesigned the fog mechanism from the ground up earlier this spring to ensure it is able to produce the billows of fog that they envision. The company aims to fulfill all Kickstarter orders by the fall, as it continues to develop new models, such as the Dragon Staff (similar to the Chaos Staff, but with a more ornate head) and the Chaos Scepter (shorter version of the Chaos Staff that is easier to wield).
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