Jailbreak Collective iPhone Magnets


Jailbreak Collective makes a really neat product that at first glance looks like a legit iPhone. If you look more closely, you'll see it's actually a package of iPhone-app-like magnets called App Magnets. What I think is so great about this product is that it takes an intangible "button" and turns it into a real, solid "thing" - glossy gel-like refrigerator magnets. In today's tech oriented world, our computer screens and phones are full of dimensional gel-like buttons, sliders and surfaces. There's a certain sense of humor in making something real (a.k.a. meat-space) out of something fake (pixels), that's  masquerading as something real.

The packaging is smart - it's incredibly low-cost - just a simple vacuum formed plastic insert and cover heat sealed to a simple iPhone-shaped card. (The package size is bigger than a real iPhone.) The minimal, copy-less design makes it all the more convincing. I also appreciate how they didn't over-package it. This is key because it keeps the product affordable - you can get App Magnets for a cool $13.


We got a sample from Jailbreak to shoots photos of and examine up close. I think they're fab and love using them.

Jason from Jailbreak was kind enough to share their philosophy for this feature:

"This product has some extra significance for us because it is the first product that we've released under the Jailbreak Collective banner.  Up until this year, we were Jailbreak Toys and action figures (most notably the Obama Action figure) were all we made.  Last summer we decided we were going to take the company in a completely new direction.  We came up with the term "Product Art" to encompass what we wanted to do and give us the freedom to apply our creativity to new product genres.  So the App Magnets were kind of a statement piece for us; a clear declaration that we're not making toys and what we design isn't just for kids.

Because of our background in the toy industry, we've learned that understated packaging is the best way to make a product stand out.  In toys, the packaging is typically very loud, with colors everywhere and big bold letters with heavy strokes around them.  That's great in isolation, but when you put them in a store next to a hundred other similarly loud packages, all you get is noise.  So we figured that by going simple and monochrome with our packaging, we'd provide visual relief to the customer.  In turn, they'd notice our product.  That's the hope anyway.

So the package for the app magnets is very understated but it's also a key part of the product.  If you look at all the magnets closely, they're not actually copies of Apple's designs. They're original artwork, done in-house.  They feel like the iPhone apps but for legal reasons, we can't actually use Apple's artwork. So we had to rely heavily on the packaging to tell the story here, because there were lines we couldn't cross.  If you put those same magnets in a clear box, they'd lose their meaning.  Most people wouldn't even notice that they were iPhone-inspired and the magic would be lost.  We knew up front that people weren't going to be buy these because they were in the market for some good magnets.  They would buy them because they wanted a giant iPhone. What we did was put the whole thing together just right so they can get that experience for a cool thirteen dollars."