What kind of a mind came up with The WTF Button?! We’ve heard that question more than a few times since debuting The WTF Button in 2009, and the answer is a creative one. When the idea was first mentioned in 2007 to the trusted few that were involved in one way or another, they were shocked to learn there wasn’t a wtf button already in the market. Those same people asked “when can I buy one?!”
Since the idea was an original, design work started immediately as it was a no brainer that the idea had to be produced. After all, not everyone likes those stretchy rubber stress relief things that look like a turd sitting on one’s desk. Why not create something cool for adults that’ll make people laugh instead.
That’s why we’re going Behind the Button, giving you the juicy background details involved with its creation. Whether you’re a toy collector, hobbyist, or just a curious consumer, this is the definitive history of The Original WTF Button!
The Dude Gets an Idea
To keep his secrecy intact (and minimize the groupies swarming his house), we’ll refer to our toy designer by his nickname, “The Dude,” inspired by the lead character of the same name in the Cohen Brothers classic, The Big Lebowski.
The concept for an actual “WTF Button” was first thought of in 2007. But, before we go any further let’s be upfront about the sounds, the voices that come flying out of this feisty firecracker are – ahem – bold. The Dude knew the entertainment value needed to be straight forward, it had to hold true to what the acronym stood for, and not play any goofy sound effects to cover up the F word. Cheap sound effects would detract from the detailed emotions that professional voice actors would provide. Yes, a lot of planning went into the wtf, it had to be great since it was to be a first. As with many original ideas, unfortunately, soon after it was released a flood of other companies started making similar, copy cats came out of the wood work. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” as the saying goes.
Disclaimer: The image below has no relation to The WTF Button, it’s, of course, Jeff Bridges. We think he’d abide.
In the beginning a trademark and patent had to be applied for, which slowed the creation process considerably, as the US patent office operates at a snail’s pace. Once a green light was finally given, the Dude was compelled to create a modern-day masterpiece!
The Missing Voice
As months went by, the search for perfect voice actors continued. Many talented artists were cast, some made the grade, others didn’t. Towards the end of the sound production period, with many recording sessions completed, the Dude knew he needed one more exclusive voice that popped! He also knew he couldn’t wait too long on the concept to be produced, as doing so would jeopardize the chances at being the first to bring such a toy design to market.
Then one day, while interviewing an actress to play a character in a video project, her voice full of personality stood out, it was like an epiphany. This was the missing piece to the puzzle! After she landed the role, the Dude presented the charismatic actress with the concept of The WTF Button, she smiled wide and said “Sure! that sounds Awesome! that would be Fun!” it was a match made in heaven. The ball was quickly rolling, and a few gut-busting studio sessions later, the final vocals were in place.
While the sound content of The WTF Button was being completed, the art production portion of the project did not go so smoothly. The graphic designs and the Dude’s insistence on 100% quality gave production companies headaches. The level of detail had to be perfect. Finally, after months of twerking tweaking, fine tuning, and perfecting, the looks matched the sounds. The WTF Button was born!
So, now you know how The WTF Button came to be. But what about the premium price tag? That’s an easy one. Because this button is only aimed at adults, it has a limited audience. That required us to produce it in very limited quantities, which, in turn, causes costs to double. Plus, as you just learned, we – and The Dude – poured our hearts and souls into this button. With top-tier professional voice talent, an over-sized profile, and top-notch build quality, we could only offer The WTF Button at this price point.
The Dude’s goal was to give us an effective cool looking desk toy we could all press and laugh hysterically over. One that plays the kind of humor that many still appreciate today. You deserve it! Our only wish is that The WTF Button bring you laughs and smiles in the days ahead. 🙂