It sounds like a summertime-induced fever dream. You're in the backyard with a hose. A war has begun. You load up 100 water balloons full of wet ammunition in less than a minute. You've just won the water-balloon arms race. Your foes will be soaked and you will emerge triumphant. This is about to become reality.
Bunch O Balloons is the invention of Josh Malone of Tinnus Enterprises. It's a gadget that attaches to a hose and fills 37 preloaded water balloons at a time. Shake the balloons off and they tie themselves up so they're ready to fling immediately. It takes about a minute to fill 100 balloons. The basic pledge level is $17, which includes the one-time-use filling devices and 100 balloons.
The inspiration for the project came from spending way too much time prepping balloons every summer. Malone and his kids starting brainstorming better ways to do it. "We made fillers with foot valves and multiple outlets from PVC pipe, we made our own tying tools, and even invented a new tying technique. It was still too slow. We would get together with a few other families and consume a couple of thousand water balloons in an afternoon. But that meant 3 hours of prep and 10 minutes of fun," Malone tells Crave.
Malone describes Bunch O Balloons as a revolution and Kickstarter backers have agreed with him to the tune of nearly $845,000 with 13 days left to go on the project. The original goal was just $10,000. Malone says he was shocked by the success of the project, describing it as a "true viral event" and saying, "You can't plan or control it, but we are grateful for all the support."
The project's popularity quickly outpaced Malone's original production plans. Originally, he had to push delivery dates way back to late 2015, but he soon figured out a better way by working with the factory to ramp up production to meet the demand. All of the orders that were pushed back should now be delivered several months earlier than planned.
"There is still a challenge for Kickstarter and Bunch O Balloons to provide customer service to 20,000+ backers, many of whom are first-time Kickstarter participants. But overall the backers are very supportive and patient, and a bit anxious to get their hands on Bunch O Balloons," says Malone.