I don’t know when, mechanical keyboard has become an important option for girls to give boyfriend gifts. In fact, mechanical keyboards with product lines at various price points are indeed a good choice for gifts.
But what many people don't know is that keyboards, such as "people-friendly" gifts, can also cost the sky. It is not impossible that a keyboard is more expensive than the LV classic.
▲ Dwarft factory personalized keycap
The keyboard is not expensive and the keycaps are expensive
If the mechanical axis determines the basic feel of the mechanical keyboard, the keycap is an important element that can add to the feel. Keycaps of different materials and colors not only determine the appearance of the keyboard, but also affect the long-term experience of the mechanical keyboard.
Seeing this sentence, do you feel that the keyboard feels a bit burnt? If you substitute a girl's lipstick to experience it, it is estimated that you can experience it more deeply.
If the base makeup determines the foundation of a makeup look, lipstick is an important factor in whether the makeup looks amazing. Different brands. Different textures, different shades, and different thicknesses of lip makeup not only determine the success or failure of the makeup, but also affect your temperament.
▲ "Plain and unremarkable" lipstick storage. Picture from: beauty
When a product has the same core, but is packaged by different elements, this usually means more money. Fortunately, the price of keyboard keycaps is also considered friendly. Most of the single keycaps are less than 100. If it is a set keycap, on average, a keycap only costs a few dollars, which can be said to be very cost-effective and cheaper than girls’ lipstick.
These are all common keycap combinations, which are factory-scaled, do not have to wait too long, and the price is relatively stable.
But if the keycaps are customized, then the order for the keycaps can be transformed into an "annual financial product." Wait one year after paying the money, and then deliver the goods one year later. The price of this personalized customized keycap is much higher than the ordinary keycap combination.
▲ JellyKey resin keycaps that need to wait a year
If you say that a set of ordinary keycaps are sold for several hundred, and the price of each keycap is affordable, a keycap can be sold for hundreds of yuan, which is very expensive. After all, a keyboard usually needs dozens of keys. cap. And a few hundred yuan for a keycap, has always been very common on personalized keycaps.
A keyboard player who owns more than ten keyboards and has bought several sets of keycaps refused when he mentioned personalized keycaps: "I won’t get into the pit of custom keycaps. It’s too expensive. pit."
The second-hand platform also proved this point. A user posted his customized keyboard on the second-hand platform. Many of the keycaps were replaced with personalized keycaps. The user priced the keyboard as 2W. Comment area There is no lack of heartbeat, envy, and worship.
▲ The Jialan Dashengmiao keycap is priced at 1.5K on the second-hand platform. Picture from: Xianyu
Burning money, expensive, big pit, this is the customized personalized keycap.
Custom keycaps, also known as handmade personalized keycaps, are called Artisan keycaps (artisan keycaps) abroad, and some people call it art keycaps. Although the name is different, it is all about the same thing.
In this WYSIWYG era, personalized keycaps are a commodity that requires sufficient financial resources and patience to pursue. Many people will regard it as a work of art because it is too exquisite. There are also many individual materials, including resin and metal CNC. The general appearance is very distinctive, but it is also really expensive.
▲ holyoops Thor's Hammer metal keycap
In addition to expensive, there is often no market.
Many manufacturers of personalized keycaps do not stock up on stocks. Their business model is similar to that of craftsmen in ancient times. They publish pictures to preview their next new products, and then consumers everywhere pay for orders and make them on demand.
If this is the case, it's fine, but the payment is paid in advance, which will not affect the value of the personalized keycap. But the problem is that these personalized keycaps not only receive the full payment, they usually have a long construction period.
▲ Such a full payment is really expensive
Take the personalized keycap maker JellyKey as an example. Although they can receive the goods within 90-100 days after writing on the official website, you will lose if you believe it. People who have been in the pit for many years know that the keycaps of this producer are like James Cameron’s "Avatar 2", which has been bounced and has never been fixed. It is common for JellyKey's keycaps to wait for nine months, so these long-waiting keycaps are also called annual financial products.
Not only do they receive the full payment, but the construction period is long. Most of these manufacturers only do it once without stockpiling. They usually indicate in a group purchase that "no more group purchases will be made." This makes the existing keycaps more precious. The limited quantity and increasing demand make the personalized keycaps have extremely high value in the second-hand trading market.
▲ JellyKey keycap
Take, for example, the S-craft Pokémon keycap that has been closed for a period of time. It opened the group at the beginning of this year and is expected to ship in November. If you buy a car when you start a group, you may only need 1300+ yuan to collect these 5 keycaps, but if you fail to get on the car, you can only accept a very high market premium.
At present, the price of these five Pokémon keycaps in the second-hand market has basically reached about 2,200 yuan. Players who buy more keycaps told me: "When the spot arrives, the price will increase."
▲ The current market price of Pokémon is around 500
How high can it rise? The single S-craft Pokémon keycaps are crazy and have rushed to 800, and the full set of keycaps is also packaged with 3200.
However, personalized keycaps also do large-scale business. There are many keycaps of ZOMO+, a well-known customized keycap brand in China, without such a long construction period. This is related to the fact that ZOMO+ keycaps are mostly made of metal. Unlike resin, metal keycaps need to be made in Vietnam and painted by hand, so mass production is not a problem.
But even so, this product is mostly a metal keycap brand, and the price is still between 200-300 yuan under the condition of a relatively stable production line.
▲ ZOMO+’s chicken keycaps, cat's claw keycaps, one piece keycaps, and reactor keycaps have all received good reviews. Picture from: Peripheral World
We are keycap players
Who is playing these personalized keycaps and who is buying these keycaps? I found two players with personalized keycaps on the second-hand platform and chatted with them about these not cheap personalized keycaps.
Zi Jian is not a very senior personality keycap player.
Over the years, he bought three or four sets of keycaps. He doesn't have many personal keycaps, and he mainly plays with customized keyboards. After entering the keyboard pit, Zi Jian has spent about 20,000 to 30,000 yuan on the keyboard over the years.
Zijian, who occasionally does keycap business on second-hand platforms, is a sensible consumer on personalized keycaps. Only the keycaps he likes will buy them, group purchases with everyone, and wait for the platform to ship.
▲ The ZOMO keycap currently shot by Zi Jian
Zijian believes that most consumers of personalized keycaps buy them because they like the shape of the keycaps. In this regard, there will be differences in the styles that men and women like.
The basic ones who like succulents (keycaps) are more girls! Shenlong is relatively more male.
▲ DF fleshy keycap
▲ Shenlong keycap
Unlike Zi Jian, there are only a small number of personalized keycaps. Another keycap player Xiaoqi spends much more money on personalized keycaps.
▲ Xiaoqi's keyboard
In 2016, Xiaoqi, who entered the pit in 2016, spent nearly 300,000 yuan on individual keycaps and caps. Many personalized keycaps even come in one set, most of them buy different colors and different designs of the same theme keycap together. "If you like a set, you can buy a complete set, and some are because of a discount for a set." When talking about spending 300,000 yuan on personalized keycaps, Xiao Qi said:
Ordinary well-off families can still save this little money, but each person has a different proportion of spending.
▲ Xiaoqi’s keycap collection, like this keycap box, he still has many boxes
When I first came into contact with personalized keycaps, Xiaoqi would take out these keycaps that had been waiting for a long time. Later, I bought too many and put them in the box. Some of them don’t like them or are tired of seeing them. Resell directly on second-hand platforms. Now most of his keyboards will be decorated with two or three personalized keyboards, but most of them are stored away.
Unlike sneakers, personalized keycaps are expensive, niche, and poorly promoted, so they don't have a large platform like sneakers apps to accommodate all fans. Fans like Xiaoqi mainly rely on QQ groups, ins, reddit, friend reminders, zf drop and other platforms to get news and get on the bus together.
▲ Keycap purchased by Xiaoqi
Xiaoqi, who has been in the pit for many years, said: "If the keyboard is not touched deeply, you will basically not touch the personalized keycaps." He will feel that this circle is very deep, and websites such as Taobao can only see a small number of personalized keycaps. section.
The truly powerful and rare ones are not seen on Taobao.
▲ One of Xiaoqi's favorite keycaps, DW Food series, because of its high quality and low price.
Personalized keycaps and sneakers are actually quite similar. Many people appreciate its value, but few people have the heart to wear it on their feet. The same is true for personalized keycaps. It does not have a better feel than ordinary keycaps, but the microscopic world and wonderful characters contained in the small keyboard can fascinate people.
It's just that individual keycaps are not like sneakers and depend on the brand. Individual keycaps are more creative. Many creators at home and abroad are studying how to make better-looking keycaps. Naturally, there are some creative studios that have a reputation and brand value, but there are also DIY players who rely on power generation.
▲ A keycap that takes you into the world of Mario
If there are such exquisite personalized keycaps on a mechanical keyboard, it is more than enough to replace a LV on that keyboard.
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