Controversy is brewing in a very unlikely place: the world of animal-shaped egg molds. Strap in your yolks, people.
Last month, we wrote about a Kickstarter campaign for a “Cat Fried Egg Mold”—a mold that, upon its planned release in February, will allow people to make sunny-side-up eggs that look like a cat face. As fun as an egg mold shaped like a cat face is, and it is totally fun in a nearly incomprehensible way, the most newsworthy part of the campaign was how successful it was: Even three weeks ago, the mold had raised $44,000 from 1,600 backers. As of right now, it’s up to nearly 2,700 backers, totaling $72,634—over 14 times its goal.
But now some people are claiming that the creator, Cindy Ho, is a fraud and questions are swirling. Did Ho actually invent the idea of a cat-shaped egg mold? (Almost certainly not.) Is her cat-shaped egg mold even her own design? (Unclear.) Her Kickstarter campaign has recently been bombarded with all sorts of accusations. As Consumerist points out, other cat-shaped egg molds are available online. You can go right now and buy a cat-shaped egg mold from places like Amazon or Sur La Table. Even more damning, a mold that looks identical to Ho’s is available for purchase in bulk through Alibaba—the Chinese online shopping hub.
According to Ho, the Alibaba listing is actually stealing its images from her. And as far as the other molds go, as she’s been saying since back in September, she was inspired to make her molds elsewhere. “While traveling throughout Asia, I was inspired by the food culture in Taiwan and Japan,” she repeated recently to Consumerist. “I noticed that fun shaped animal goods get people really excited and happy.” Though everyone loves an original idea, apparently patent law doesn’t do much when it comes to egg molds, and egg molds of all sorts of designs—from owls to bunnies to skulls—have been on the market for quite some time. If you hoped you were breaking new ground by supporting this egg mold campaign, you were not.
For their part, Kickstarter says their rules don’t allow the reselling of goods sold elsewhere, which Ho claims she’s not doing, so even if you question Ho’s morality in taking an egg mold and remixing it like some sort of evil egg mold mash-up artist, the campaign seems likely to stand at this point.
As one commenter points out on her campaign page, “[Ho] doesn't need to tell you her life story. If you don't actually want a cat mold just cancel your pledge.” Yeah, what kind of pretense did people think they were buying a cat mold under? It’s not like you’re out shopping for an original Picasso—and if you were, Kickstarter would probably not be the best place to do it.
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