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We’re ecstatic about the fact that we now have Maker Shed kiosks, with magazines, books, and electronics kits, in several California Fry’s stores. We think this is big news, not only for Maker Media, but for all indie makers — a major retail chain is now giving small kit-makers this level of exposure. And, we think it’s particularly cool that we designed and built these kiosks in-house, and even personally delivered them to the stores! What other publisher could claim that?

Here, Assoc. Publisher and General Manager of Maker retail, Dan Woods explains more:

Maker Shed kiosks are now installed in four of Fry’s largest superstores. Each kiosk merchandises current and back issues of MAKE, Make: Project books, and kits, with an emphasis on maker-made kits produced by indie makers like Limor Fried’s MintyBoost, Mitch Altman’s Brain Machine, Ken Murphy’s Blinky Bugs, Dale Wheat’s Tiny Cylon and Wee Blinky kits, and Amy Parness and Ariel Churi’s DIY Design Electronics kits. This indie maker angle was a really important selling point to Fry’s. The kiosk’s themselves are all-MAKE in their design and construction. The challenge was to create a merchandising/branding kiosk that could show off maker-made kits, as well as our books and magazines, all in a 2′ X 2′ footprint. The design we came up with incorporates the Maker Faire workbench framing as the internal structure, refurbished fence boards from West Sonoma, and some nicely weathered corrugated shed aluminum that was locally salvaged. The result is a nice combination of weathered shed and repurposed industrial tubing. They’re uniquely MAKE, and Fry’s is ecstatic. In fact, they were even trucked down and setup by Heather (Harmon-Cochran) and Rob (Bullington) in one day.

These are the stores that currently have kiosks. (San Diego will be set up by Fry’s staff next week)

San Diego, CA
9825 Stonecrest Boulevard
(858) 514-4500

San Jose, CA
550 E. Brokaw Road
(408) 487-1000

Fremont, CA
43800 Osgood Road
(510) 252-5300

Sunnyvale, CA
1077 East Arques Avenue
(408) 617-1300

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Chris Hickey says:

    No Sacramento Store?!?! Lame!

    1. Dan Woods says:

      Trust me when I say we’d have a Maker Shed in every Fry’s store if they’d let us, Chris. Most particularly Sacramento. But alas, Fry’s gets to make the choice about store locations.

      But this is pretty cool progress. We finally have DIY kits from independent makers being sold in a major electronics store.

      If this pans out and makers support it, we’ll get more cool stuff in more stores – including yours.

      Yes, it’s a small fire now, but we’re fanning the flames.

      Dan

  2. Phillip Torrone says:

    @Chris Hickey – thanks for taking the time to read our post and comment… the MAKE team is working around the clock and very hard to get the maker shed to as many places as possible so everyone enjoy making things in their local areas, as you can see this isn’t then end of the story, it’s just the beginning – so instead of shouting “lame!” you could:

    1. help us out by picking up a kit in the maker shed, or…

    2. sending a polite and supportive email to the fry’s sacramento store and to the maker shed team saying that you’d love to see a maker shed kiosk in your area and you promise to tell all your friends (and bring them to the store) once there’s one in sacramento.

    so, fire up that email client, turn on, tune in, help us get maker shed in more places!

  3. Doc says:

    Unfortunately we don’t have Fry’s on this coast.

  4. haydn @ otakuzoku says:

    I wont one in my shop, but i am not a major chain, or even in usa. Any plans for world domination?

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      In our more Pinky & the Brain moments? Yes.

  5. Collin Cunningham says:

    That thing looks like it’s ready to transform into a full aisle overflowing with kits!

    @Doc – seconded, east coast == Fry’s-less :/

  6. mightyohm says:

    I didn’t see the kiosk when I was at the Sunnyvale store this week, so either I am blind or it just went up.

    The tall red thing next to it is a huge Klystron built by Varian in the 50s. It’s incredible!

    1. dan Woods says:

      Yep, all three Bay Area locations were setup yesterday. And you’re right, it does look pretty hot sitting next to the Klystron.

    2. Jack of most Trades says:

      I used to be caretaker for a trio of its 55 KW cousins in a TTU 110C
      High voltage and water cooling, insanity!

  7. JT says:

    People! Please buy as much as you can from these kiosks!! If they’re successful enough, I can get one in Renton outside Seattle.

    This is cool evolution in action~~

  8. StefanJ says:

    There’s a Fry’s in Wilsonville, OR, south of Portland. Any plans on a kiosk there?

  9. Dave Bullock says:

    Awesome, can we get one in Burbank? That would rock, if not I may just have to travel down to SD to check it out. =]

  10. danielbwoods.myopenid.com says:

    We’d definitely like to see a Maker Shed kiosk in every Fry’s store as well. And for those of you on the East Coast, we’d love nothing better than to develop a similar arrangement with a retail partner out there as well. Fry’s was the first major retailer to “get” what Maker Shed is doing and to invite us in for a test. So hats off to them.

    And if you *are* a retailer, whether a chain or a corner store, and you’re interested in Maker Shed, drop me a note.

    Dan

  11. Chris says:

    I am a make subscriber in the Seattle, Washington area, and I’m wondering if any makershed kiosks or anything like that is heading my way… I love getting all sorts of kits and things from the makershed…
    Anyway if you know about what time I might expect the Maker Shed kiosks that would help.

    Thanks!

  12. Tod E. Kurt says:

    If Radio Shack really wanted to target a very valuable demographic, show themselves to be in this century, and do it all pretty cheaply, they would do a similar deal with Make.

    Imagine a (smaller) kiosk in Radio Shacks across the country. Radio Shack was once known as a place for DIY and electronics enthusiasts; this could help them regain that and garner enormous cred from a pretty influential customer segment.

    1. Doc says:

      Tod,

      It’s too bad Radio Shack has lost touch with this segment. They seem to be more into volume cookie cutter consumer electronics these days. I’d love to see them pick this up and run with it!

      Doc

      1. Doc says:

        Perhaps I could put one up in my clinic? =) Sounds like a tax deduction to me!!

    2. John Park says:

      I know what you mean, Tod. I feel like it’s so far gone for Radio Shack right now that we should instead look forward to a having a little Maker Shed storefront in every town! I imagine it as a little hackerspace/store, kinda like how Games Workshop stores work…

  13. mpechner says:

    There wasn’t much there. Bought a cylon kit to build with a friend’s daughter. A 7yo that likes to help me build stuff.

    Start’m early.

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