Your favorite musical superheroes are back, and this time they’re calling on their fans to help them fight crime, sort of.
The Aquabats have launched their own Kickstarter campaign to fund more online episodes of their television show, The Aquabats! Super Show!, along with a new album. They’re calling on their fans, fondly referred to as Aquabat Cadets, to donate and help them get back to fighting crime on a new online platform.
The Kickstarter would fund six more episodes of Super Show! and production of a new album. Titled “Bring Back THE AQUABATS!,” the campaign matches the band’s own excitement about the project.
Fans can donate at different pledge levels to receive a variety of rewards. As the pledge amounts grow, the rewards get wackier, giving fans the option to get up close and personal with the Aquabats.
“I think it’ll be fun; we have really great fans and so many creative fans,” frontman Christian Jacobs, aka MC Bat Commander, says. “Maybe they’ll be the next greatest actor on Earth, or maybe it’ll be terrible and it’ll be even better; that’ll be hilarious.”
Pledge rewards include getting a personalized answering machine message, and producing, writing and even starring in an episode. For $30,000, you can even be named prime minister of Aquabania—the mythical island the Aquabats are from.
Literally, you can be named prime minister. Should the Aquabats raise $10 million through their Kickstarter, they will buy an actual island, name it Aquabania and make whoever donated at that pledge amount the prime minister.
“We actually did do research on buying islands,” Jacobs says. “We found a number of lesser, expensive islands. It’s about as much as you’d think it’d be to buy an island.”
Even if they don’t raise $10 million for their own island, the prime minister will still have a recurring role in the show.
The money raised from the Kickstarter will fund new episodes throughout the course of the year. According to Jacobs, the campaign has been a long time coming.
“The crowdfunding, Kickstarter thing is a modern idea,” Jacobs says. “If there’s enough people out there that want it, maybe they can help us make it together.”
While television was a different medium than the musical superheroes were used to, having a show is something that the Aquabats are passionate about. Jacobs describes the band having the idea for a show way back when they first formed in 1994.
“Ever since we started the band we thought, this would actually be a pretty funny kid’s show,” Jacobs says. “For 20 years, it’s been a dream to make the Super Show!”
The original show ran from 2012 to 2014 on The Hub, which has since been named Discovery Family. Upon its cancellation, Discovery Family took ownership of all aired episodes and songs as well as unaired episode scripts, treatments and songs.
Despite wanting to keep making new episodes, the band had to get the rights back first.
“Obviously we would have loved to have kept making the show,” Jacobs says. “But the network going under gave us kind of no choice.”
Once they had the rights and all of the material relating to the show, the Aquabats had to figure out how to proceed with creating new material.
The Kickstarter originally had a goal of $1 million by Sept. 1. The goal was based on the cost of creating one 30-minute episode on a television network, which Jacobs cites as being around $400,000.
The band raised $600,000 by the last week of August. With the deadline quickly approaching, the Aquabats had to join together and figure out the next step. If they didn’t have the full goal amount by the time the campaign ended, they wouldn’t receive any money, and the fans wouldn’t get any of the rewards.
“We shot all these mini-episodes for the Kickstarter. They’re all about four to five minutes long, and they’re kind of the same thing as the TV show,” Jacobs says. “We figured kind of midway through the campaign, people are reacting really well to these, and they’re just as fun.”
The mini-episodes were quick, easy and cheaper to make, and the Aquabats had a lot of fun making them. So they decided on a lesser amount of $100,000 by the end of September. That amount that would still allow them to put out even more shows and new music.
Currently, the Kickstarter is upward of $400,000, and the option to be prime minister of Aquabania is still open for a special Aqua Cadet.
Jacobs doesn’t think anyone will donate $10 million to buy an island, but he does think it’d be a neat idea.
“If someone wants to buy it, we’ll have a big party and it’ll be fun,” Jacobs says. “I would if I had the money, I’d pledge it.”
The Aquabats will be hosting a telethon event online on the last day of the campaign, Sept. 29. If you want to help the Aquabats buy an island or want to take on the role of prime minister, you can donate on the band’s Kickstarter page.