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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 The formula changed due to the idiots who drank the lamps thinking they would get high, same reason the screw caps were changed to a bottle cap. I seriously doubt LL would try to hide this fact but current management probably knows very little about what this company was facing in the 90s with product liability. The formula changed.. yes, but not to cheapen it or save money. They had to make the lamps "drinkable" so when the idiots would take a swig it would not kill them. Sad but true, a products biggest liability are the morons who will misuse it.

  Did anyone here ever feel like eating that bag of silica gel that comes with electronics ?? ( Dont answer LOL ) Every one of them says "do not eat".... because enough morons ate them.

The older caps were slower to manufacture. The caps had to be screwed on by hand, while the newer bottles can be capped by machines.

LampHead said:

 The formula changed due to the idiots who drank the lamps thinking they would get high, same reason the screw caps were changed to a bottle cap. I seriously doubt LL would try to hide this fact but current management probably knows very little about what this company was facing in the 90s with product liability. The formula changed.. yes, but not to cheapen it or save money. They had to make the lamps "drinkable" so when the idiots would take a swig it would not kill them. Sad but true, a products biggest liability are the morons who will misuse it.

  Did anyone here ever feel like eating that bag of silica gel that comes with electronics ?? ( Dont answer LOL ) Every one of them says "do not eat".... because enough morons ate them.

It is also cheaper to buy a machine that has already been designed to put on bottle caps that has been proven to be reliable, than to create a new machine to put screw caps on a globe. Do you know how much they would have to pay to have a new machine built to put on screw caps vs using existing machines to put bottle caps on? Whether or not someone drank a lamp is a little irrelevant because it is simply less expensive to use bottle caps.

mr_a500 said:

It's just as easy to have a machine that screws caps on as it is to have one that puts (non-screw) caps on. Think of all the products out there with screw caps.

I think it's more likely what LampHead said about liability - and also the possibility of the caps loosening causing leakage. Screw caps might also be slightly more expensive to make.



Autumn said:

The older caps were slower to manufacture. The caps had to be screwed on by hand, while the newer bottles can be capped by machines.

LampHead said:

 The formula changed due to the idiots who drank the lamps thinking they would get high, same reason the screw caps were changed to a bottle cap. I seriously doubt LL would try to hide this fact but current management probably knows very little about what this company was facing in the 90s with product liability. The formula changed.. yes, but not to cheapen it or save money. They had to make the lamps "drinkable" so when the idiots would take a swig it would not kill them. Sad but true, a products biggest liability are the morons who will misuse it.

  Did anyone here ever feel like eating that bag of silica gel that comes with electronics ?? ( Dont answer LOL ) Every one of them says "do not eat".... because enough morons ate them.

Screw caps were nice for like centuries but they also proved to very breakable too. I think the bottle caps are much better way to go IMO. And I think the caps are the least of LL worries right now.

Most of my 32oz screw cap globes have broken caps.

Dr. WHAT?! said:

Screw caps were nice for like centuries but they also proved to very breakable too. I think the bottle caps are much better way to go IMO. I think the caps are the least of LL worries right now.

I've had a couple of my midnight centuries caps break as well. And if it wasn't for Jimbo's big cap find, those lamps would still be completely useless. So yaa for bottle caps lol

And Lamphead, if idiots want to drink lava lamps let them, that's just less stupidity in our human gene pool lol :)

And Lamphead, if idiots want to drink lava lamps let them, that's just less stupidity in our human gene pool lol :)

True - then if someone gets injured they can sue and LL loses a lode of money this is the reason why it says don't open, don't drink etc etc. It needs to be relativity safe as its a consumer product and regulations are inplace to prevent issue with people getting injured when lamps get broken. - Wonder why the older formula has changed and no glitters flow like they did - the nasty solvents have been removed / not allowed.

formula does change overtime - mathmos has changed there's, LL / Hagerty has properly changed there's since they brought the patents from Cretsworth. The trick is to keep the outcome the same so whatever it is that has cause this mess either change in formula, change in process just get it right - it can be done.

For walmart to carry the lamps they have to be fairly safe, which means they are not toxic to drink. Glitter lamps are no longer sold because they did not sell very well. It has nothing to do with the formula.
Tim Gill said:

And Lamphead, if idiots want to drink lava lamps let them, that's just less stupidity in our human gene pool lol :)

True - then if someone gets injured they can sue and LL loses a lode of money this is the reason why it says don't open, don't drink etc etc. It needs to be relativity safe as its a consumer product and regulations are inplace to prevent issue with people getting injured when lamps get broken. - Wonder why the older formula has changed and no glitters flow like they did - the nasty solvents have been removed / not allowed.

formula does change overtime - mathmos has changed there's, LL / Hagerty has properly changed there's since they brought the patents from Cretsworth. The trick is to keep the outcome the same so whatever it is that has cause this mess either change in formula, change in process just get it right - it can be done.

I have read this from start to finish. The main thing I want to say is that I'm excited!!! Great questions and awesome answers. If they weren't looking to improve things they sure wouldn't be bringing it back to the USA.

As far as the screw on/bottle cap debate. Twist off would be easier for us( goo kits and such). Unless we could get replacement screw on caps they would in time fail. Bottle caps seems like a more long term quality ( which is what we're after ) solution. Plastic, even without being messed with over time breaks down.

Personally I think that the screw on caps are the better choice.  Sure they can break, but how many times do we whack our lamps? lol  If there is an accident, who knows what will break or come loose.  I have a few globe that have rusted bottle caps, so really I think it's a push for long term durability.  For those who open their bottles screw caps are simpler.  Then there are the aesthetic differences; screw on caps are sleeker (my opinion) but tops for bottlecaps are interchangeable.

So what part of this matters to Lava Lite as to manufacturing?  Probably nothing, bottle caps are better for liability issues, manufacturing cost, they are tamper resistant, etc. and they have been the standard for 2 decades so why change now. ;) 

David Valle said:

. . . . . As far as the screw on/bottle cap debate. Twist off would be easier for us( goo kits and such). Unless we could get replacement screw on caps they would in time fail. Bottle caps seems like a more long term quality ( which is what we're after ) solution. Plastic, even without being messed with over time breaks down.

I just fear them breaking down over time. Maybe it's not an issue and doesn't happen,



Keith said:

Personally I think that the screw on caps are the better choice.  Sure they can break, but how many times do we whack our lamps? lol  If there is an accident, who knows what will break or come loose.  I have a few globe that have rusted bottle caps, so really I think it's a push for long term durability.  For those who open their bottles screw caps are simpler.  Then there are the aesthetic differences; screw on caps are sleeker (my opinion) but tops for bottlecaps are interchangeable.

So what part of this matters to Lava Lite as to manufacturing?  Probably nothing, bottle caps are better for liability issues, manufacturing cost, they are tamper resistant, etc. and they have been the standard for 2 decades so why change now. ;) 

David Valle said:

. . . . . As far as the screw on/bottle cap debate. Twist off would be easier for us( goo kits and such). Unless we could get replacement screw on caps they would in time fail. Bottle caps seems like a more long term quality ( which is what we're after ) solution. Plastic, even without being messed with over time breaks down.

Hi everyone. I'm happy to having become a member of this fellowship. The variously complex conditions that need to come about in order to produce these great work of art that produce different results in the way they mesmerizingly undulate, just by tweeking this or that with different compositions of materials and or chemicals in miniscule proportions is just,well to put it mildly absolutely awsome, intriging with no limits in sight. Autumn, you mentioned your love for chrome base finishes, well they have paint in spray cans that look amazingly similar to chrome in different grade of finishes, which anyone could use.They also have chamelion paint in different color gradients. Some other paint finishes have a pearlize look of different color combos, not to mention the temperature reactive paint that change from black to white if the ambient surroundings reach a certain point. There's different additives for paint which will give you various types of glitter effects. I've bought some fluorescent paints year back to help locate model rockets in the night and you should have seen the paint jobs given to some of these rockets, something to knock your sox off. The discussions in this group has made my mind explode with

different ideas I want use in my projects.

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