Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Lava Lite called me today!!! They plan on bringing back production to the USA :D

Caught me totally off guard but I spoke to a very nice guy, Asher.  He was calling in response to one my e-mails I had sent them a few moths ago about how much I dislike their current product line.  We spoke for about 20 minutes before he had to go.  I thoroughly voiced my opinions on why I haven't bought a lava product since 2005.  First thing I said was, you guys sold so many lamps in the 90s for a reason.  He agreed and said they have plans to re-launch the Midnight, Silver Streak, Elek-trick, and Safari Series in 2013.  He said he has been trying very hard to get production back to the USA since last year.  He said things are looking good and hopefully they will begin production here in the first half of 2013.

I told him that myself and MANY OTHERS would gladly pay the $50 price for a premium product again. I also mentioned that they need to bring back more color combinations and give their customers more choices.  He said he they are working on that again.  They have plans to bring back MOST of the 90s product line  I told him that its a shame I can't go into a store and buy a lava lamp that flows properly.  He said the current (2012) China lamps can ALMOST match the USA ones.  I said by no means will I ever buy one of those again and I buy from eBay.  He begged me not to buy from eBay, and I said then you know what you guys need to do.

Finally, he asked me to send him pictures of what I'd like to see.  I sent him pictures of all the 90s boxes I have (Midnight, Elek-trik, Lava Classics, Silver Streak, Midnight Centurues)  

He offered to make me a 90s Enchantress with yellow liquid and red lava to prove they can still replicate the 90s formula.  I said sure, but we'll see.  

He also said that he was fired back in 2002 when production began overseas and was just recently hired back.  Said he worked in the Chicago factory in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  

I'm taking all of this with a huge grain of salt but it means progress.  Perhaps all of us unhappy lava collectors finally got through to them throughout the years.  I sure hope so.  I'll update this thread if I hear back from him.

PLEASE EVERYONE - E-MAIL THEM AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!!!  Perhaps next year we'll have a quality product again.  

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While it would be nice to have production back in the US, it's entirely possible to make a high quality product in China. You just need to start with a high quality design (in this case, the formula) and make sure no one cheapens it for your / their convenience along the way.

Just look at Apple. Money and quality of product certainly aren't mutually exclusive.


James Reiche said:

Don't let these companies fool you, their main concern is money not quality of product.

In the late 90's they had their bases made in China, but they made the globes in the USA. I have a swirl base that has a made in China sticker on it.

I think you essentially hit the nail right on the head Erin.  Hardcore fans screaming versus Matt most likely breaking this down for them to a more scientific level. The dude knows his lava; seeks globes from specific years as he knows and understands the color saturation and flow properties from each yearly run of globes.  Don't get more hardcore than that.  I know that as I've met Matt, had some of the globes within his desired year and traded them off for a pink Elek-Trick.

In combing through the all the feedback they get they probably viewed Matt as someone to talk to as he fully understands the mechanics of their formula.

And this should be Matt's position as he tries to persuade representatives to return to the site.  There are numerous members who can have that more scientific conversation with them on their formula (cough cough Lamphead cough cough). 

Regarding keeping production in China... pfffft.  Maybe if they outsourced jobs to American workers to the extent that we outsource to theirs.  I too am skeptical considering the current ownership of Lava Lite and their other endeavors.  It is essentially an equation of lower sales with higher profit margins (made in America) versus higher revenues with a low profit margin (Chinese 52 ouncers for 20 bucks). 

Erin said:

Huh. Weird. I have to admit, I'm skeptical. Very skeptical. Matt, by no means am I dismissing the importance of this, but I wonder why after years and years and years of complaints, do they choose to call YOU? Us hardcore fans have been SCREAMING about this change for years... why now? 

I will watch and wait patiently. Could this move be inspired by Mathmos being available in the US soon, er last year, er, sometime in late 2013?

Thanks for the message Matt! 

Yes, this is correct, however, not all the bases were made in China in the late 90s.  I have gotten some 1997 Midnights with the China stickers on the bottom.  Back in 2000 when I bought my blue white Midnight the base was made in the USA.  You can tell by the finish and the switch on the cord.  ;)

Autumn said:

In the late 90's they had their bases made in China, but they made the globes in the USA. I have a swirl base that has a made in China sticker on it.

Wow, a glimmer of hope.  I gave away my three Chinese lamps because they were so awful.  And it would be nice if they brought back some more interesting designs.  Those silver ones are just lame.

probly coming back to the states because mathmos is setting up there and know if they dont do something there loose out to the best company "mathmos"

Mattmos said:

Lava Lite coming back in 2013?  Mathmos US has been here for 6 months, and still no lava. Are we taking any bets on who will actually produce lava in the USA first?

If they are bringing back production because Mathmos will produce here then that's fine by me.  I just want them to produce what they did in the years 1994-1995.  I even went as far to tell this guy who needs to bring back the box packaging and get rid of the horrible photoshop promo images. He agreed.  

What they need to do is re-open the Chicago factory and slowly take their time on getting the formula right and releasing the 90s classics.  I love the Chrome Century option (with pinholes in the base).  :D

Haha its ok.  I did ask about screw cap globes and that's out of the picture.  Even the Centuries they made in 2001 and 2002 were fine.

mr_a500 said:

Oh yes, Chrome Century with pinholes would be great. (with metal one-piece screw cap)

Ooh, now I'm thinking of (radically unrealistic) luxury versions like thick stainless steel or polished hammered copper and hand-cut lead-glass crystal... and.... and shining iridium set with emeralds... gold-plated platinum! ... somebody stop me!

We also need a return of the Pimp Lamp as well!!

Ohhh I hope this is TRUE!  But, on the other hand will my bank account suffer!!  :)

While I agree the demise of the product quality is a huge factor.
i.e. You can only sell junk for so long before someone sells a better product.

I also think the potential tax breaks for keeping jobs in the US could have something to do with this too.

As for apple, I read part of the problem is the work ethics of Americans vs overseas. (This was in some apple report) Where they had to change a product line midstream and called all the workers back in the middle of the night to catch up production. They said, it never could have happened in the US.

In any case, I'm all for the return of production here in the states. 
I have not bought a lamp in so long... I might just go and pick up a few special colors to support the company.
It all depends on quality.


Alfred said:

While it would be nice to have production back in the US, it's entirely possible to make a high quality product in China. You just need to start with a high quality design (in this case, the formula) and make sure no one cheapens it for your / their convenience along the way.

Just look at Apple. Money and quality of product certainly aren't mutually exclusive.


James Reiche said:

Don't let these companies fool you, their main concern is money not quality of product.

I hate to burst the bubble of hope here but I honestly wouldn't count on the move back to the USA. I've been told this as well as many other things from a LL rep and none have come true.  So like you said take it with a grain of salt.

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