From An Idea To The Finished Product What Does It Take To Design A Successful RTA?
For me the FP RTA was one of the hits of 2018 and I was intrigued to know how a UK vape reviewer goes from an idea in his/her head to a finished product.
The designer in this case is of course Mark Roberts aka TVP who you voted as the second best YouTube reviewer in our 2018 vape awards…so he definitely has a fan base…some might say an enthusiastic one at that lol. Plus at the time of writing his channel is pushing 20,000 subscribers…not bad at all!
As I said in my review of the Blitz FP RTA it was definitely a mirror image of his YouTube persona – “tough – big in personality and in your face” – but it vapes dare I say ‘silky smooth‘ lol. And that daft as it seems is Mark in real life – he really is a genuinely nice guy…honest ha!
So first up thanks to Mark for taking time out to answer my questions and let’s dive in to find out IF the finished product is what he originally had in mind – where the idea came from…how he got on with Blitz…why that name Fuck Pig and of course is he a millionaire yet?
Incidentally he’s let slip that maybe just maybe the reviewers behind the popular UK Vape show: Vic – Chris – Deano and of course Mark are working on a ‘never before seen collaboration’ which sounds interesting to say the least.
Right on with the questions and for the record Mark speaks his mind which includes swear words – just saying 😉
Where did the idea and inspiration come from?
Pretty much seeing reviewers designing RDA’s all the time, no one really did an RTA and blitz approached me to work with them so an RTA was first on my list. Everyone knows I vape RTA’s all day everyday and the aromamizer plus was my favourite, a lot of design inspiration came from that and also me knowing what makes a great RTA vape wise.
Why choose an RTA and not an RDA was it the challenge?
No one really stood up and made a solid RTA when I first designed it, RDA’s were ten a penny and anyone (in my opinion) can knock up a half decent RDA. The market was getting saturated with reviewer RDA’s so went the harder route.
How does the designing of an RTA begin?
All starts in the head, then trying to put it onto paper…which isn’t easy as my drawing skills are piss poor to say the least. I managed to sketch out all my ideas, looks, deck, filling, drip tips etc and Blitz did the rest by coming back with the 3d renders…then we go from there and tweak everything.
Had a number of vape companies contacted you to design an RDA/RTA before you went with Blitz ?
I had two offers at the time.
Why did you go with Blitz?
Blitz always made very good quality stuff, the intrepid was one of my favourite RTA’s ever so it made sense for me. The other company were pretty much unknowns as well which made the decision easier, also blitz gave me free reign on the design of FP.
How hard was it to get the idea out of your head onto paper?
Terrible lol…as I said my artistic skills are lacking shall we say so it was a challenge. It took me around a week of drawing to finally get the balls to send it to blitz.
OK so you’ve chosen Blitz and I assume you send them the early drawings – and ideas – how was your first idea received by the company?
Yeah, once I was happy I sent them over, they were excited and couldn’t wait to get cracking, they told me my idea was very good and could be a hit.
Were you kept informed every step of the way?
No, I had to constantly email and message them for updates, they were a nightmare. Turns out they were working on suck my mods new RDA at the same time which I had no idea.
Any issues during the prototypes such as problems with the language barrier or the designers over there ignoring your requests?
No issues with prototypes no, obviously the quality of them was poor but I expected that it was simply to check the looks, fitment of everything and how it vaped…Even then they ignored simple requests such as making the deck screws phillips
How long from the first contact to the finished product and how many prototypes did they send you?
So from first contact to final retail product took around 8 months. I went through 4 prototypes before I was happy enough to go ahead.
Describe your feelings when the first completed samples arrived – was it exactly as you expected wanted or were there things you’d asked for but had been ignored?
I was excited…until I saw and opened the box. The packaging was absolute shite, super basic and no info about me at all, there wasn’t even a fucking manual which made me angry. The screws were still flatheads after I asked around 10 times to change them and was promised they would. All in all it was quite a letdown but I was committed.
With hindsight do you think the name was the wisest choice or hasn’t it affected sales at all?
Mate listen, I couldn’t give two fucks what anyone thinks of the name…it’s me all over…it’s my tank with my personality in it…wouldn’t this world be a boring place if we were all dull and did the same shit over and over…to me it was all about the vape from it and that’s what I nailed I think.
Mark Introduces the FP RTA
The first reviews from the UK were excellent – however some reviewers in America refused to review the FP and one of those that did was simply ridiculous…why was this how did you feel about it?
Couldn’t give a monkeys mate to be honest…the ones that refused are just petty, the one that did well…let’s just say that review was the most biased thing I have ever seen…it pissed me off but I soon got over it as that is just the measure of the man who reviewed it.
The FP has been out for quite some time now – how have the sales gone and are you a millionaire yet?
Sales have gone awesome, above and beyond what I expected. I never made a single penny from the RTA, we never talked money which in hindsight was very naive of me. I was surprised blitz never offered me a few quid though but you live and learn my friend. I never did it for money I did it to get my RTA out there.
What’s next for TVP? The FP 2 an RDA or new RTA – sub ohm tank and coil or even a mod?
I want to make another RTA, something a bit more mainstream this time…me and the boys from the UK vape show are thinking of doing a collab on something really unique and never been done before so watch this space 🙂
Anything you’d like to add that we haven’t covered about your thoughts and experiences of releasing your first designed bit of vape gear – such as would you work with Blitz again and if not why?
Listen, what I’d say to anyone is get a contract first…before you do anything else. Working with the Chinese is a risk, it always will be, look at Fagan and Twisted420 how Tigertek fucked them over…I really enjoyed the whole process but some of Blitz decision making left a real shitty taste in my mouth so next time I would choose more wisely who i work with.