Tricorder update #10 – Launch news update

(This news update letter was first emailed on July 5th, 2021 to fans who had registered an interest in finding out more about our Tricorder.)

Thank you for patiently waiting for news of the tricorder’s launch. I am sorry not to have been able to say something sooner, but we didn’t want to release any news about the launch date until we had a better idea of when we would be ready.

In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes of mice and men
Go oft awry,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

    Robert Burns

Launch timing
Initially our aim was to have the tricorder ready to ship at some point this summer. Difficulties with factories and suppliers operating under Covid-19 restrictions, and unparalleled staff shortages due to enforced isolation at different times over the last 18 months, quickly pushed our internal target launch date back to the end of 2021. 

Right now, as we move through first shots and into the main component purchase phase, we would normally be gearing up for full production. Unfortunately, as we began to place bulk orders for all the main components required for the first production run, due to pandemic-related semiconductor shortages, we discovered that all the distributors of the tricorder’s main CPU were quoting upwards of a 52-week lead time. A worldwide search for the part and some negotiation has resulted in a best offer of somewhere between 30 to 40 weeks. As a result, unless this can be further improved upon, it is looking increasingly likely that the tricorder launch will now have to be pushed into the first half of 2022. The availability of the mass production parts won’t hold up our development process to provide the strictly limited engineering pre-production quantity, for which we already have the parts we need. As this is the most challenging project we have ever tackled, one benefit of this new delay is that we will have working pre-production products for much longer than normal, which will enable us to devote more time to thoroughly testing this complex piece of equipment before full production starts.

Preorder window
At some point, probably later this year (and definitely before we start full production), we will open preorders. Fans who have registered shouldn’t worry that they will miss out, as there will be ample warning. Those registered will be the first to hear about the preorders and there will be enough time for all interested fans to place their orders before we commit to manufacturing quantities to meet that demand for our first run, ensuring that everyone who has registered will have a chance to order a tricorder if they want one.

Purchase price
Unfortunately, due to the global semiconductor shortage, the component costs have risen significantly. However, we are still aiming to keep the purchase price around $300. 

Newsletter updates
During the interminable wait for the start of pre-orders, or news from us of an actual launch date, we hope that you will continue to be fascinated by the email newsletters and find them a small compensation for the delay. 

By the time preorders start, you will know, perhaps more than you have known for any previous product, exactly what you will be getting. Perhaps even better than that, you will have been deeply involved in the story of what it has taken to bring it to you.

LLAP

Chris

Coming next time

The hood – Mechanics and construction

Fans who register with us will be the first to read our news and the progress of this exciting Tricorder development and, later, where and when to purchase it. You can catch up with the story so far here on this blog, but if you haven’t already done so, why not register your interest in the Tricorder – you’ll then receive a personalised registration certificate and early access to these updates (before we publish them on our website).

17 thoughts on “Tricorder update #10 – Launch news update

  1. JiminSTLouis

    It takes what it takes Chris. When the Tricorder is ready to be released… we’ll be here:

    Thanks for all the hard work from TWC team!

    jim

    Reply
    1. Chris Barnardo Post author

      No, that is not planned at the moment. The tricorder is larger than the phaser and communicator and much more complex. However, it will come with a magnetic stand that matches the phaser and communicator so it can be displayed with them as a set.

      Reply
      1. Mr. Duane L

        Dear Chris, Et Al.

        The quality, fit, and finish of your Communicator eliminated any deliberation I may have had about purchasing your Phaser (as well as handy screwdriver for my Whovian child), and following this blog already convinces me that this Tricorder will be another brilliant product.

        However, there is a proverb often attributed to Surak of Vulcan. It states that, and I may be paraphrasing, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”

        I wish add to the chorus expressing support for the inclusion of a transit case for the Tricorder. Understanding that you have a minimum order quantity for these production runs, I feel it is imperative that you understand how integral the transit case is to the overall experience that comes with purchasing your products and that unless you hear from a plurality of prospective customers, the transit case will continue to be regarded as superfluous. A cardboard box, no matter how well thought out and finished, will be wildly out of place along side your previous releases and I hope that the Company will reconsider. While I understand that producing 10,000 units of a seemingly inexpensive item is no small expense, I can not imagine that any prospective customer will not happily bear the additional price increase.

        Thanks to everyone at The Wand Company for your unrelenting attention to detail, your enthusiasm, and letting us see behind the scenes. My smile will be able to be seen from orbit the first time I open the hood.

        Cheers.

        Reply
        1. Chris Barnardo Post author

          We will keep the issue of the option of including a transit case under review. But as yet we have no plans to make a transit case. We are focusing all our efforts and the project budget on making the best tricorder we can. There is no doubt that the transit case is a nice piece and having one for the tricorder would certainly be something special. It was pretty much required for the Phaser, which as a weapon, really benefitted from being presented in what amounted to a small gun case, especially as it came in three main parts. For the communicator, the argument was not as strong. Personally, I wanted the case to be a small leather case in the style of those used for compact cameras. In fact, some fans did go on to buy cases like this from third-party vendors. However, on balance it was felt that an injection-moulded transit case worked well in the light of the one already supplied by the phaser. Supplying a transit case with the tricorder really does ramp up the costs. For the target production numbers, we are hoping we can achieve when taking the cost of additional tooling into account and the cost of the part itself, a transit case for the tricorder could add as much as another $50 to the tricorder purchase price. While we appreciate that there are some fans for whom this would not be an issue and would be actually happy to spend this extra to get a transit case, for the majority, this would not represent good value. The tricorder is being designed with a stand that matches the phaser and communicator stand so that it can be displayed with the other two pieces of landing-party kit as part of that set, but for now, at least, it is not planned that it will come in a large transit case.

          Reply
          1. Mr. Duane L

            Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive reply, as well as keeping the option open of an add-on purchase for the transit case. Perhaps I am underestimating the size of the Tricorder as I’ve imagined that such a case would slot in nicely under the Phaser case, and would be roughly similar to the dimensional differences between the Phaser and Communicator cases. Perhaps I am underestimating the volume of storage space that the shoulder strap would require.

            I had expected the add-on cost to be as much as $50 and, yes, I understand that perhaps the majority of potential customers couldn’t care less if there was a transit case included. I’m probably among the minority who likely wouldn’t use the Tricorder display stand you are including, simply because it seems that the Tricorder can stand on it’s own, along side the excellent Phaser and Communicator stands that have come before.

            What would cause me to spend a steep sum of money is a “Survival Kit” case to hold all three iconic props in one. I can not think of a case in TOS lore that fits this description but I imagine that some clever sot will have a better idea and a deeper imagination than myself.

            Thank you again. You are doing remarkable work.

            Cheers.

  2. John B

    No problem Chris take all time you need I am sure it will be well worth the wait

    A trekker forever
    Commander Brock

    Reply
  3. Sebastian

    Any details on the bottom compartment? Will it hold a hand scanner? Cheese Itz? A small snack drawer?

    Reply
    1. Chris Barnardo Post author

      We decided not to make a hand scanner, due to the cost and time taken to make on. We felt that in keeping with the rest of the tricorder, the hand scanner should actually do something, such as to measure temperature for example, and then wirelessly transmit it to the tricorder. This looked like being another project in its own right and if we had taken it on it would have undoubtedly distracted us from developing the tricorder. Further, we were not able to get a hold of any proper reference. However, we have done some research into the typical size and shape of the hand scanner, and our lower compartment will have removable and thus reconfigurable particions that will accommodate a hand scanner and hold it neatly in place if the owner has one or decides to make one.

      Reply
  4. Bruce moortell

    Dear Chris i am glad I went to the wands website I have not gotten any updates on the tricorder.I hope i will be one to get in on the preproduction lauch.

    Reply
  5. Matt M

    Is there any chance the phaser might get a re-issue? Unfortunately I missed out back in the day. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Chris Barnardo Post author

      No, I’m afraid that we don’t have any plans to start manufacturing the phaser again right now, at 10,000 units, the minimum order quantities are too large for the predicted market demand. I know that this is a disappointment for fans that missed out when we were making them, but we will keep the decision under review. If the situation changes, we would love to be able to justify making more.

      Reply
  6. Tim Street

    Guys,

    Firstly a huge thank you! – I have been a massive fan for 12 years.

    Phaser ….. Amazing!

    Communicator ….. Incredible!

    Tricorder ….. Inevitably will also be a ground breaking piece of collectable perfection, that I cannot wait to get my hands on! 🙂

    Any more news when that may be?

    Best Regards Tim

    Reply
    1. Chris Barnardo Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. Sorry, but we have no accurate news right now as we are still finalising our plans, but rest assured we are working hard on getting the tricorder into production, and if you are registered for updates and news, then you will be among the first to know when we are ready to take pre-orders.

      Reply
      1. Mark McClure

        Hi Chris,

        I registered my interest in the tricorder last summer and received a registration certificate. However, I have never yet received an update email. How can I get on the email list so I don’t miss out on any further updates or announcements?

        Reply
        1. Chris Barnardo Post author

          Hi Mark, We have sent out emails to all those who registered with us. For some reason that we don’t really understand some Yahoo account automatically bounce our mailouts. The number that bounces has been reducing. Each mailout we tally up the bounced emails and make a new list of those and resend the newsletter. We usually have to do this once, but occasionally we have done it twice. Many of the emails make it through on the second attempt, but still, some do not. There is not much more we can do from our end. You could try contacting your email provider and get them to white list our email address, or you could register for an additional (free) email address with Gmail which doesn’t have the same issues. If you do the letter, let me know via support@thewandcompany.com and I will adjust your membership details to cover your new email address. Having checked your records I can see that the last email newsletter we sent out made it to your email address. It was delivered on the 24th of August and 08.38 (UK time). You might want to manually check your spam folder to see if it is there. Dragging it into the inbox or marking it as NOT spam might help your email client recognise future newsletters from us as wanted and so let them through. I hope this helps and I am sorry for the inconvenience.

          Reply
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Hi Chris,

    Any news on preorders? Looking forward to completing my collection!

    PS if you did do a molded case in the future, I would pay extra to buy it as an add-on 😀

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Mr. Duane L Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.