August 2020 Monkeybox Production Notes

Posted by Amber Hoxha on

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Zootility Co.

Made in Portland, Maine, USA

Production Notes

Monkey Box: 03

Contents: Grrilla & Fast Fasten Keyrings

Release: 08/2020

Greetings again, on behalf of the Zootility team! We are excited to share with you our latest creations. Thank you for your patience on Box 03, Summer days seem to slip by more quickly than anyone intends.

Grrilla is a grilling tool born out of necessity. Wire bristle brushes, the most popular method for scraping grill grates clean, eventually corrode, depositing metal bristles that risk being eaten by accident. News of these incidents have caused consumers to look for alternatives, and that was when ACE Hardware reached out to us to design a solution. 

As Makers, we didn’t miss an opportunity to infuse a personality into this item, dubbing it the Grill’n Gorilla: Grrilla! We positioned the various grill grate cutouts to become a messy hairstyle and added a toothy bottle opener, with laser engraved artwork to bring the character to life.

A member of our Development Team, Aaron, visited our local Ace Hardware store with calipers and a notebook to meticulously measure all of their grill grates down to 0.0005” precision. We spent countless hours on numerous trips testing our prototypes, iterating on new prototypes, and testing again. Ultimately, what emerged is a design with shapes that should work with almost every grill grate out there. 

A few notes on usage: 

  • Turn the grill gas off while scraping, or wait until a charcoal grill has cooled off to scrape clean.

  • V-shaped slats can be cleaned by leaning the tool to make the apparent angle match the angle of the slats.

  • Square slats have varying widths, so twist the scraper to make the apparent width match the width of the slats.

  • It’s stainless steel with a brass chain, so throw it in the dishwasher. Yay! Finally a scraper that can be cleaned.

Fast Fasten Keyrings are a design that we came up with while expanding our initial product line for the Outdoor Retail market. We are well known for merging fun characters into highly-functional tools, but the technical merits of these products are sometimes overlooked due to their whimsical nature. This product is the functional design that worked well for Keyround, which sported a miniature buffalo when launched on Kickstarter. Five years later, Keyround boasts consistent popularity and never ceases to amaze those who pick it up and see how simple and easy a keyring can be.

The geometric design of the Fast Fasten Keyring emphasizes the technical nature of this product. The name tries to instantly convey the value proposition of the product: you can quickly take keys on and off, without struggling and breaking fingernails. Simply use your fingertips to separate the two ends of the ring. The interlocking hooks on those ends gives the design strength if keys are pulled in opposite directions.

Lastly, Fast Fasten Keyrings are presented in an experimental neon-yellow acrylic packaging to show off the fact that these are no ordinary keyrings. Development Team member Lee came up with this design when accidentally printing the chartreuse sticker design on clear vinyl instead of white vinyl. The result begged for metallic and clear acrylic substrates. As they say in science, the best advances are often not “Eureka!”, but rather “oh, that’s interesting…”. 

Stay safe and be well!

Nate Barr


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  • Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

    dnthrprlso on

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