Here’s What Happens When You Release Real Products on April Fools Day

2 April 2020 | 15 Comments

Yesterday when we announced two new silly–but very real–products on April Fools Day, something that should have been obvious quickly became clear: People don’t believe much of anything you tell them on April 1.

Despite a wealth of evidence that our chocolate-colored candy egg trays and custom magnifying glass were real–videos and photos showing the products, functional links to our webstore, and me repeatedly saying that they are 100% real–half of the comments I’ve heard about them were along the lines of, “Haha, April Fools, you almost got me!”

Of course, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by this reaction. I know how suspicious people are on April Fools, and it’s for that reason that I’ve avoided talking about anything Stonemaier-related on that day over the last few years. But as I wrote about here, I wanted to try something different this year.

The overall results? They’re fine, though nothing spectacular like Sandy Petersen’s Hastur-yellow energy drink. Last I checked, we’ve sold 370 magnifying glasses and 170 sets of plastic trays. I actually thought the trays would have sold better than the magnifying glasses, as they’re more than just a novelty item.

I’d do it again, though, especially with a minimal investment in time and money. It’s certainly not a profitable endeavor (especially since we’re sending the proceeds to Stonemaier supporters who are struggling to cover the costs of basic necessities right now), but it’s fun, and it doesn’t hurt.

And hopefully next year more people will trust that these are real products. :)

What do you think about companies that release real (but silly) products on April Fools Day? In addition to our videos below, I’d also recommend checking out this great video from Mindclash Games.

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15 Comments on “Here’s What Happens When You Release Real Products on April Fools Day

  1. I’m reminded of the ThinkGeek tauntaun sleeping bag. It started as a fake April Fools product, but they got such a big reaction they decided to made it for real.

  2. I purchased both of these as a gift for my girlfriend. I thought they would be ‘gag gifts’ — but she loves, and uses, that lens… she is looking to see how she can turn it into a necklace so she has it with her at all times.

  3. Would love to see you design a game around using the lens, finding clues on cards and figures with tons of little markings and words. Gah, now I’m off to design…

  4. It seemed pretty clear that it was real. And I thought it was funny. However, they didn’t happen to be things that I necessarily wanted. Maybe would have been in if it was more clear that proceeds were going to charity? Not sure.

  5. I appreciated the humour and the fact the items are real and relatively inexpensive. The fact that profits go to people in need was a bonus. I ordered both.

  6. I thought it was great, whimsical idea. People that missed it probably didn’t take the time to investigate much beyond headline. I ended up buying the magnifying glass. I’m not a fan of that style of tray. I always feel like I’m going to spill the contents. I usually end up making some alternative holder and take them out of the game box.

  7. I bought the magnifying glass only because it may actually see table use. Both my parents complained about the text on the Between Two Castles tiles so I’ll have this for next time, assuming it turns out usable. I also didn’t like the color of the chocolate trays, and I don’t really need any more of them. They would just get added to my already sizeable collection of game storage pieces that don’t get used.

  8. I liked the fact you had something funny and real. To many times I read a email and have a chuckle but nothing more. With this I get to have a laugh and help someone out.

  9. I love that you made real products so went to the store to support! I opted to purchase the lens over the trays because of the price point comparison with the extra clear trays you also have available in your store; my responsibility side said it didn’t make sense to spend more for a color I wasn’t personally crazy about. If they were the same price as the clear I might have gone for them to have variety but there was nothing like the magnifying lens on your store so I contributed to that higher sales statistic.

    1. That’s a good point about price, Mary. They’re more expensive to make, but perhaps eventually we’ll lower the price a little bit (or raise the price of the other trays).

      1. I got both. :) I do not generally use those containers, but those looked cool. And my girlfriend has a magnifying glass at the game table for small text — so this will make the perfect gift for her.

    2. I hope that you weren’t serious about using font size 1 and 2 on future cards. Magnifying glasses are useful but I’d hate to see them be a requirement to play a card game.

  10. My Dad struggles with the text on many games which slows down proceedings. That magnifying glass would of been a [God Send]. Are people fools though when an item has practical use.

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