Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Ask me about Lava Lite. Top 5 unanswered questions go to Lava Lite for answers

As do most of my good ideas, this one came to me after waking up in the morning. As most of you know I have been talking with Dale, the CEO of Lava Lite in an attempt to bring the collecting community and Lava Lite on to the same page. I am going to be answering questions about Lava Lite today. Anything I don't know the answer to I will put on a list and the top 5 questions will be presented to Lava Lite.

Ready? Go!

~edit~

Here are the top 5 questions and answers.


The top 5 unanswered questions.

#1. Formula, formula, formula. Will the exact formula from the 90's be used? What exactly is going on, and what happened to make things so bad?

#2. Will new lamp designs be more bold? The past 10 years worth of lamp designs have been bland, can we spice it up a bit?

#3. New base finishes in 32/52oz lamps? Copper? Chrome? (Personal note: I'd love chrome)

#4. New grande colors? We want more color options

#5. This will be my question. You mentioned that small batches will be possible when production starts in the USA factory. Will it be possible to request custom lamps, as well as send in globes for refills on lamps such as the consorts and giants?


"
#1. 

This is the big question. This was our big question and our problem to solve.
The formula was not the problem. Not following the procedure is where the problems have existed. The formula is the exact formula used in the 1990's. The process of making the formula has to be followed precisely every time.The proper heating of the wax/formula to an exact temperature is a long slow process. This is followed by a slow cool down. Every time, every batch.The problems occur when heating too quickly/and or cooled too quickly. Our two key people spent weeks at a time supervising the process. We also have an independent engineer/quality person in China. This was incredibly frustrating on our end initially. It was very simple to us.  "Just follow the formula." The real issue proved to be the process was being rushed. Less Time= Less Labor. Factories can do many things to their cut costs. Not many products exist where the end user can detect any change in quality. Our product quality is totally visible. Our team communicates with our factories every night by Skype. When they aren't present they are watching the manufacturing on Skype. We watch them like a hawk. 

#2. 

You will see many new designs and products that I would consider bold. The Clearview is the first of many being released this year. The process of creating products is painstaking and costly. From concept to release takes roughly a year. Next years design work has already begun. Having a constant flow of new interesting and exciting products are critical to our success. 

Questions #3-#5 are all good questions that primarily relate to marketing and product development, now and in the future. 

New attractive products are the lifeblood of any good consumer product company. New sizes, finishes and colors are currently in the works or in development. My personal favorite size is the Grande. The Grande could be the ideal product to initially manufacture in the USA for the following reasons: Ability to be nimble to changes, smaller batch sizes, ease of adding new colors, inventory management, upscaled finishes with smaller limited quantities and reduced lead times for products to enter the market. Initially US made product will be more costly. The larger sizes are not as price sensitive as our current line. Custom lamps would be very costly and probably not feasible.

Refilling globes would be possible and would need to be further explored. I can't provide specific timing to many of LL's current projects. These are works in progress. I assure you that our very experienced team are pros at handling any challenge. There is never a dull moment at LL. 

"

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Well said Jim!!!  I'd still love the opportunity to speak with Dale myself.  I feel I should, as I've been doing this much longer than some of the newer people on this site, and could provide more insight on the matter. 

Jim said:

I suppose you and I look at this a little differently.  To me, what is going on with Autumn and Dale is not about gimme, gimme, gimme, I want it now, now, now.  Its also about a company trying to repair a once proud heritage.  I applaud Dale for his candor and hope he continues being straight with us.  Yes, their lamps have been bad for a long, long time, but at least they are trying to determine root cause.  I would rather hear some scientific rationale why things went bad instead of gee, we don't know what is happening but hopefully it will improve.  If they can quantify what happened, that tells me they can fix it if they care to do so.  Its all a matter of statistics and isolating variables. 

I prefer a transaction to be a little beyond here's my money, give me your product.  We all wax poetically about customer service this and customer service that.  That is what Dale is doing here.  It shows me that he gives a damn.  I am sure he would rather be cruising the city with his super hot wife in his ultra expensive car, but he is taking some time to reach out to his customers via Autumn.  That shows me at least that he gives a crap and restores faith that they may turn it around.  Yes, the proof is in the pudding, but at least I am more receptive to what they have to say now.  If its all lip service remains to be seen, but I see this as a step in the right direction.

Erin said:

Autumn, you mentioned in chat that no one seems excited about the formula news/post. I guess for me, Lava Lite or Dale or whomever can offer any explanation possible, but it doesn't change the fact that the formula has been bad since 2003(ish). AND furthermore, until new lamps come out with proper flow and clarity, I really don't care what/why/how it happened. Just fix it. It's not that hard! If production comes back to the US, there should be NO REASON why they can't replicate what was done in the 90s. 

I doubt Dale would want exact specifics released. You guys will have to take it for what it is.

Jim said:

I would rather hear some scientific rationale why things went bad instead of gee, we don't know what is happening but hopefully it will improve.  If they can quantify what happened, that tells me they can fix it if they care to do so.  Its all a matter of statistics and isolating variables. 

Dale reads these posts. Like I have said over and over, he is a very busy guy. If he wants to ask you something he has ways of doing so.

MattMJB0188 said:


Well said Jim!!!  I'd still love the opportunity to speak with Dale myself.  I feel I should, as I've been doing this much longer than some of the newer people on this site, and could provide more insight on the matter. 

The proof will be in the product, but I am considerably less optimistic. Why would the former owner say the formula had changed if it wasn't the case? If he were to lie, I would expect it to be NOT admitting the formula had changed.

I guess we'll see, won't we? Love to know an ETA (even a rough one) on when this will happen.......

I suppose what I see for me is closure to this whole saga.  We have statements coming from the CEO of the company at this point regarding what caused the issues with the globe.  If he doesn't have a handle on the situation then no one else over there would.  He has, in a way, put his and his company's necks on the line here with assertions as to what caused the issue. Its put up or shut up time.  I'm no chemist, far from it actually, but what he mentions as the cause of the issue is plausible on the surface.  

Haggerty said what he said, but what did he really do to further the Lava Lite brand?  How trustworthy is he?

Dale seems forthright and sincere so far, should have access the historical archives on product development and is at least reaching out to customers saying I want to make things better.  Maybe Haggerty did change the formula, but maybe Dale can see to it that that change is undone.

So yea, the new touchy feely vibe is nice and all, but this is truly it for me.  The fix seems simple, they should have all they need to return to greatness and thus far with his actions, Dale has at least earned my benefit of the doubt.  Pretty damn cool that he is at least giving us the time of day.

At the end though, fool me once, twice, three times, four times, etc. - shame on you.  Fool me this last time shame on me.  I will be have wary opening that first lamp with the old formula, poured with the old process.  I have expectations as to what I better see.  That lamp will not be coming home with me if that lamp doesn't meet expectations.

Charles said:

The proof will be in the product, but I am considerably less optimistic. Why would the former owner say the formula had changed if it wasn't the case? If he were to lie, I would expect it to be NOT admitting the formula had changed.

I guess we'll see, won't we? Love to know an ETA (even a rough one) on when this will happen.......

im sure all this REALLY boils down to is MONEY.

Just like anything else these days. its about money.

the cheaper, the faster its made. makes them more money.

quality is no longer important.

its obvious the formula has changed, changed to be cheaper. of course the manufacturing has sped up. faster production=more money.

MONEY!!!!! GOTTA HAVE IT...RIGHT?

WHAT A JOKE!

i dont understand all the questions here when it comes to getting something different out of LL, like when are they going to make new bases, etc etc. what happened to wanting the TRUE LL QUALITY back?

lets move in the right direction here...

justin- did you care to read the first question asked in this discussion, I believe it was by Erin.

Response to question number 2. Once again a direct quote.

"

#2. Will new lamp designs be more bold? The past 10 years worth of lamp designs have been bland, can we spice it up a bit?
You will see many new designs and products that I would consider bold. The Clearview is the first of many being released this year. The process of creating products is painstaking and costly. From concept to release takes roughly a year. Next years design work has already begun. Having a constant flow of new interesting and exciting products are critical to our success. 
"

I am not asking when new things will be coming out. Im somewhat puzzled as to why that is an issue to people.

all i personally want is the quality back. different colors, bases, etc mean nothing to me if the quality of the lamp and its functionality isnt there.

of course it would be nice to eventually see new models, colors, and designs. but i think the main issue is the quality.

quality should always come first. fix that, and move onto new things.

Justin- Autumn has mentiond that LL has already taken some steps to improve quality by sending employees overseas to the factory where the lamps are being produced as well as taking steps to bring back the globe and final assembly to the US.  Will these improvements show up right away, possibly not, as no matter where was get our lamps from we have no control over when they were made and how long they have sat in a warehouse, since no company will order more of a design till the have sold the quantity they already have in storage.  From the sounds of it due to the two new designs we should see the "improved" formula in July from the Spencers exclusive lamps as well as the Clearviews that will be at Target stores.

dont get me wrong... but i have read all of the discussion, i am more so just venting my frustrations out.

i did read theyre trying to improve it and all.(which is very exciting) im a huge collector and it just really frustrates me that i spend my hard earned money on something i love, and it just ends of being a waste of money to junk. i guess thats my own damn fault for even giving it the benefit of the doubt (every time). in this case i just bought a grande off ebay from a distributor (thats the only place i can find them) they arent sold anywhere around here.

i usually will just take the lamps i do buy at spencers back over and over until i get a good one. in this case i cant.

so i just had to vent, thats all.

If you just want to vent, please do it elsewhere.

Justin said:

dont get me wrong... but i have read all of the discussion, i am more so just venting my frustrations out.

i did read theyre trying to improve it and all.(which is very exciting) im a huge collector and it just really frustrates me that i spend my hard earned money on something i love, and it just ends of being a waste of money to junk. i guess thats my own damn fault for even giving it the benefit of the doubt (every time). in this case i just bought a grande off ebay from a distributor (thats the only place i can find them) they arent sold anywhere around here.

i usually will just take it back over and over until i get a good one. in this case i cant.

so i just had to vent, thats all.

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