Eons ago, when we were addicted to watching underwhelming TV programmes rather than underwhelming Netflix series, entire families would cuddle up around the warmth of Peter Jones’ face and cackle ceaselessly as foolhardy businesspeople pitched crap ideas in the Dragon’s Den.
It was Joe and Joanne Public’s first gaze into the investment coalface: so this is what bankers get up to every day.
Fast-forward 10 years, past the Hamfatters and The DriveSafe Gloves of this world, and Kickstarter allowed Mr and Mrs Public (since divorced) to wear the Hilary Devey shoulder pads and start shovelling their hard-earned bingo winnings into idiotic ideas from across the internet.
Here, we unveil the lamest travel-related Kickstarter campaigns currently running, so chequebooks at the ready.
Product name: Travel Fears: Taking your family overseas
Elevator pitch: Pay for my family holiday to Japan.
Current investment: £0.00
Number of backers: 0
What the hell is it? Meet Ian: he loves Japan. Like really loves it. He went there on a belated honeymoon a couple of years ago, came back and installed a shoji divider in the living room. Thing is, among his anime films and manga comics, the sushi nights and the sake, Ian is unfulfilled. He wants to return to the Land of the Rising Sun – this time with the kids.
However, Ian’s scared. He’s seen Tokyo Gore Police and he’s played Manhunt 2, and Japan is no longer a safe sanctuary of geishas and cherry blossoms. But, like every fearless samurai, Ian is willing to head East with his wife and three sprogs to tell simple folk how to travel overseas with the family. Add a little from your giro and he’ll document the whole thing on Facebook, YouTube and a blog. Who’s in?
Product name: KP Duffle – The Ultimate Travel Bag
Elevator pitch: Forget a suitcase – buy a camcorder bag.
Current investment: £73,626.51
Number of backers: 635
What the hell is it? “We all love well-designed shoes, clothes and gadgets,” bubbles the KP Duffle narrator over a synthy hip hop instrumental, “but why do the bags we use to carry this stuff look so dull and uninspired?”
Finally, someone who gets it: we’re sick of forking out for a Paul Smith suit and transporting it to Spain in a pre-5p Sainsbury’s carrier bag. Our MacBook Pros and shiny smartphones deserve better than complimentary laptop bags and hilarious protective cases that read: I’m having the worst Monday since last Monday. We want more. We demand better. Bring on The Ultimate Travel Bag.
Inspired by some of the world’s most gorgeous sports cars, the KP Duffle is about as practical as one too. The video’s slick, soft-top Corvette-driving stud only manages to fit a tie, a pair of trainers, a laptop charger and a water bottle into what is essentially a shoulder-mount camcorder bag from the 1990s.
It’s been backed though, so expect to see an under-packed high-roller sliding one into an easyJet overhead locker near you soon.
Product name: Children Motor-Scooter in Funny Plush Execution
Elevator pitch: Please buy this; the wife says it’s scaring the kids.
Current investment: £0
Number of backers: 0
What the hell is it? On first look it’s a Trunki. You know, those ride-on children’s suitcases that count as part of their carry-on allowance. You do – the ones that allow our oh-so-aware little ones to zoom around airport arrivals aiming for the ankles of their elders.
Then you translate the pitch from German, spot the word ‘motor’ and think – even better! The kids can cart around all the Ben 10 pyjamas they want while you navigate them safely to the check-in desks, and with German engineering it’s bound to drive like a dream. Let’s press play to see it in action.
Oh dear. No, this won’t do. Where did that footage come from? Are those children still alive?
The Children Motor-Scooter in Funny Plush Execution is not what you imagined at all. It resembles a failed Robot Wars entry dressed up in a pink toilet mat, presumably so our entrepreneur can fool himself into thinking all that time in the shed wasn’t wasted. Georg, you were a suitcase short of being right.
Product name: MobiDo
Elevator pitch: Scaremongering people into buying a hook.
Current investment: £470.51
Number of backers: 41
What the hell is it? Germs, they’re everywhere. Those smears on your smartphone: finger germs. The bread in your sandwich: bacteria sponges. That shimmer on the toilet door handle: parasitical poo particles. It’s easy to see why Jacko wore a glove.
But wait, what’s that attached to your keys? A MobiDo? No way! Now you can open any [disclaimer: not circular or mortice] door handle without having to touch it. High five, man! Oh wait – air high five!
This isn’t a portable germ collector to shove in your pocket alongside your chewing gum either. MobiDo’s antibacterial coating immediately kills any microbes on contact. Burglars rejoice: your prints need never touch a door handle again.
Product name: Urine Paper
Elevator pitch: A paper penis for women.
Current investment: £657.10
Number of backers: 48
What the hell is it? We’ve all been there: much to the delight of the tortured air hostess, your delayed flight finally touches tarmac at Gatwick Airport. That just leaves security and the 1.16am train between you and your bed.
Except, the 1.16am is returning from Three Bridges where it spat out four carriages of boozed-up city bankers. Carcass-filled chicken boxes and crushed M&S G&Ts lay scattered across the seats, and someone’s digestive tract has detonated in the toilet, so sitting on the ceramic just isn’t an option.
Thing is, you’re bursting. Luckily, Urine Paper slips right into your handbag, fanning out like expensive wallpaper samples. No one would know they’re portable cardboard penises that allow women to stand up and spray all over the floor too.
Sure, there might be questions when that electric door slides open and to reveal you, skirt hitched high and eyes aimed low, adding a stream of steaming relief to an already brimming privy. But from the moment we saw the logo we were sold.