The artisan keycap crafters at Jelly Key have outdone themselves with their latest project, a series of retro arcade machine caps with 3D gaming scenes rendered beneath translucent resin.
Artisan keycaps are basically mechanical keyboard jewellery. They are sculpted bits of plastic, resin, and clay meant to accent to colourful letters, numbers, and symbols, allowing the user to further express themselves through their keyboard. Jelly Key makes some of the mechanical keyboard community’s most desirable artisan keycaps. Their projects launch as short-term group buys during which customers basically pre-order the caps they want. Once the group buys are over, the caps go into production and are sent out to buyers. Jelly Key never runs a group buy twice, so once a batch is done, that’s it.
Inspired by classic video games, Jelly Key’s latest project captures eight different arcade screens in clay. Designs evocative of Tetris, Duck Hunt, Doom, and Dr. Mario, are sculpted by hand and covered in a “screen” of transparent resin. The display is then housed within one of seven different chassis designs, each with a movable joystick (the games are not playable, of course). The finished product looks amazing.
The group buy for Jelly Key’s Retro TV Series – Arcade Cabinet kicked off yesterday and runs through May 2, though the company has been known to end campaigns early due to overwhelming demand. Each completed Arcade Cabinet keycap costs $US50 ($78) and comes packaged in a wooden box with a metal dog tag engraved with its series number. The caps are fitted with MX stems, so if you pull a cap off your keyboard and there’s a plus sign underneath, they’ll fit. Since every keycap is produced by hand, they are truly unique collectible pieces of art for mechanical keyboard fans.
I own one Jelly Key creation, just a basic purple resin enter key with sparkly bits inside it, and it’s one of my most prized possessions. With seven different chassis and eight screens to choose from, I’ll likely be frozen with indecision long after this group buy has ended. At least I get to look at the pretty keyboard things. Mmmm.