Gopher ball out of stock and discontinued!?

I know FIRST is a nice cushy place of gracious professionalism but we do deal with serious issues here and right now I am not happy. Time and time again FIRST fails to provide a game piece that teams can actually obtain more of. I just got off the phone from a lengthy conversation with Gopher, manufacturer of the Deluscious foam basketball. The item was discontinued last FALL. I have BAD memories from traveling to 13 WalMart stores in Southern California in 2009 to obtain enough discontinued Orbit balls. Furthermore, I placed my order for 24 Gopher balls at approximately 9:30 AM on kickoff day and I’m still denied the opportunity to buy more. The company claims they had no idea about the volume of orders they would receive and FIRST gave them no information about it whatsoever. WHY do we continue to operate like this? As the teams who fund this organization, we should not stand for this type of unprofessional planning. You can have NDAs with severe legal consequences if you have to, but you need to tell the supplier about the need for their product. If Gopher cannot get these back into production, they are missing a huge business opportunity here.

Finally, AndyMark is also now out of stock…

EDIT: AndyMark is back in stock. I wonder how many they really have.

</rant>

And the fact they cost $7 on AM…

Honestly the price is totally fine… It’s the lack of availability that worries me. I just got off the phone with AndyMark. I won’t release exactly what they told me out of respect (we’ll wait for them) but basically they’re looking into the matter.

Well, hope these things prove durable :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey guys, sorry about that. These are back in stock now and ready to ship.

Good news. I’m still not pleased about the apparent lack of relations or communication between FIRST and Gopher though.

So are the balls discontinued by Gopher?, but still available through Andymark?

Sorry if I missed it, but the thread didn’t really seem to address the discontinued part.

If so I hope that Andymark has a huge inventory.

Again, I suggest searching for bootlegs. :wink:

dear GDC:

please confirm product availability BEFORE you select a game piece!!!

They kind of confirmed availability through AndyMark being a vendor through FIRST Choice and selling the game piece as a product. As far as I know it looks like it was the same price as the original vendor. I think the GDC could have done a lot worse with their setup. Although, I do not know the total stock that AndyMark has.

They were $6.98 at the Gopher website before Gopher stopped selling them. Why would you buy from them instead of AM?

because AM (previously) had a notice that they have a limited stock and to only buy what you absolutely need to prototype.

therefore, by ordering from gopher, not knowing they were out of production, you are inclined to think they have a line making them and I can order however many I want (like say a full field plus some spares).

I wonder if there is a poof ball of similar size and material… or something one could substitute for the orbit ball V2.

Yeah, if you just search “8 in foam basketball” in google there’s lots of options, and from reading the descriptions they seem like the same thing.