Several years ago on my daughter’s birthday, she begged me to get the newest Andorandy doll set for her. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find even one of the popular dolls, even though I ran market database searches repeatedly in this region for several weeks. Well, I’m happy to say I turned all that effort into a lucrative business; today, I sell Andorandy dolls and many other sorts here from my offices. Maybe you’ve heard of us? My Little Girl, we’re called.
Anyway, right now I have a problem: I have a shipment of dolls awaiting delivery, but some inventory problems in one of my warehouses are interfering. Can you pick up the dolls for me and deliver them…?
Cargo: 6 x Crates of Raggy Dolls (240.0 m³)
—My Little Girl, Level 2 Distribution Mission
This mission has interested and amused me since my earliest days of playing EVE. Here we have a universe where capsuleers, the immortal demi-gods of the cluster who are feared and awed for their ability to command legions of starships in great battles, who are renown for tossing aside the lives of baseliner crews without so much as a blink of an eye (only to have scores more sign up to replace them), who build corporations, alliances, and coalitions that can rival the major empires…are nevertheless still being tasked to deliver children’s toys.
On the surface, it’s silly, right? Maybe even humiliating. Can you imagine the look on a Brutor’s face when his agent asks him to do this? The agent is more likely to get his skull punched in for even suggesting a capsuleer do something so trivial. And yet… We know from the lore that capsuleers enjoy a kind of celebrity status in the baseliner population. Their wild space adventures attract fans who follow their every move, celebrate their victories, and mourn their losses.
What else do fans like to do? They like to collect merchandise.
When I started crocheting I got to thinking about this, and I wondered, what if those crates of raggy dolls might actually be cuddly stuffies modeled after famous capsuleers that are bought, sold, or traded to the delight of young (or not so young) New Eden denizens everywhere? Collect them all!
This is how my Pod Pal idea was born.
What Is A Pod Pal?
A Pod Pal is a crocheted doll about 3″ in size. Each doll is 100% handmade and customized to look like an EVE Online character.
Here are some pictures of Pod Pals I have made:
I really enjoy seeing pictures of the Pod Pals after they have been received, so please feel free to share your pics!
Cool! How Do I Get One and What is the Cost?
I started out by making Pod Pals as gifts. If you’re really lucky, and the stars are aligned just right, you might get one that way. Otherwise, Pod Pals are only available when I hold an auction for in-game ISK. Auction winners must also cover the cost of shipping in Canadian funds.
Auctions will be posted on Solitary Pilot (unfortunately, auctions for out-of-game stuff can’t be posted on the EVE-O forums) and advertised on my Twitter account. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss your chance to bid!
The cost of your Pod Pal depends on how much you are willing to bid in an auction. The starting bid for each auction is 2B ISK. The highest bid wins.
Current Status: On hiatus. I have a lot on the go right now!
What Happens Next?
If you win the auction, you’ll be notified. Half of your winning bid is due up front in order to secure your spot (see the Fine Print section, below).
You must also ensure your capsuleer has the correct appearance so I can use the in-game viewer to take screenshots. This includes hairstyle, hair color, and eye color in addition to the clothing. Keep in mind that the Pod Pal is intended to be a recognizable version of your character, so if you’re considering making some wild changes to his or her appearance, best do that first. :)
Once I have your ISK and the screenshots, I’ll create a new Pod Pal project on my Ravelry EVE Online Pod Pals page so you can keep track of my progress. I’ll also work with you to color match the yarn and eyes. Along the way I might also create a video or two if I get stuck and need more comprehensive feedback. You’ll need to keep an eye on your in-game mail or provide me with an out-of-game email address that I can reliably contact you at.
How Long Does It Take?
This depends primarily on how complicated your capsuleer’s clothing and hair are, but also on how busy I am with offline commitments. A very simple doll can be done as quickly as fourteen days, but on average it takes six to eight weeks to make one. I know that seems like a really long time to crochet, stuff, and assemble a 3″ doll. There are twenty hours (or more!) of work that go into each one, and even though I’m working from a basic pattern, I have to come up with each character’s unique details on the fly. Hair is usually the most challenging part. (This is why I only do one Pod Pal at a time.) Your patience is appreciated!
Getting the Pod Pal
When all the pieces of the doll are ready to be assembled, I will let you know the other 50% of your winning bid is due. Upon receipt of payment, I’ll put the Pod Pal together and then complete the hair. Once the hair is done, the doll is ready to be shipped. A quote for shipping options to your location will be provided. You choose the shipping option you want and then must send me the funds in Canadian currency via PayPal. Once payment is made I’ll ship the doll (and provide you with the tracking number, if you choose trackable shipping). Fair warning: Shipping from Canada is not cheap. Depending on where you live and how fast you want your doll, shipping can cost anywhere from $10.00 (6-8 weeks travel time, no tracking) to $50.00 or more (3-5 business days travel time, tracked). For example, I’ve spent $45.00 to ship to Australia; $34.00 to ship to the UK; $15.00 to ship to the United States.
The Fine Print
- First and foremost: Please be certain you can commit to the full commission and the shipping costs before I get started, because it really is a lot of work. :) If you change your mind after I’ve already started I will not refund the ISK you already paid.
- If for any reason I become unable to complete your Pod Pal, you’ll get all of your ISK back.
- Auctions are only open during specific dates and times. Only bids made in accordance with the rules posted for each auction will be eligible. Bids sent as in-game mails, DMs, in tweets, or by any other means will not be accepted.
- The starting bid for each auction is 2B (billion) ISK. The minimum bid increment is 100M (million) ISK. Additionally, if you win you must cover the cost of shipping from Canada via PayPal, in Canadian funds.
- I will declare the winner when the auction closes. At that point, the winner must confirm their character name and transfer 50% of the ISK value of the winning bid to Sakaane Eionell in-game within seven calendar days of the auction close date. Be sure to spell my in-game character name correctly. I am not responsible if you accidentally transfer your ISK to the wrong place. If your ISK fails to arrive by the due date, you forfeit the commission slot. It will be passed to the next highest bidder from the auction.
- When your Pod Pal is ready to be assembled, the other 50% of your winning bid must be transferred to me in-game within seven calendar days of me notifying you. Again, be sure to spell my in-game character name correctly so your ISK goes to the right place. If your ISK fails to arrive by the due date, you will not receive your doll and I will not refund the ISK you already paid.
- You will be given the opportunity to approve yarn colors but an exact color match is not guaranteed. Software can generate millions of colors, while the yarn I can use comes from what I have on hand or whatever dye lot happens to be available if I have to go to the store. I will try my best but you must be willing to accept a match that is “close enough”.
- You will be given the opportunity to choose the eyes but an exact color match is not guaranteed. Safety eyes come in a limited number of colors and selection is restricted to what I have on hand. You must be willing to accept a match that is “close enough” if you want colored irises, or go with solid black otherwise. Once the eyes are attached to the doll they cannot be removed.
- I may not be able to include certain details such as scars, tattoos, logos, buckles, and intricate clothing patterns (it depends on the detail). I may not be able to do hair that is more than one color either depending on the hairstyle. Sorry!
- Your winning bid entitles you to one Pod Pal regardless of the value of your bid (so long as it meets or exceeds the 2B ISK starting bid) or the value of winning bids from previous auctions.
- I reserve the right to refuse bids and/or cancel commissions from any player who is disrespectful or abusive toward me and my time.
Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask!