TL;DR: I figured out who’s that “MKC” behind those aftermarket Varmilo cases which were on Massdrop about 10 months ago: It’s the person behind Geekkeys.com.
Here’s how I came to that conclusion:
Right, I remember having had an eye on that. IIRC I also took part in that pricing issue discussion. But in the end, there was also no dark case available and the case looked different than the plastic one’s from Varmilo.
Ok, will have a look, thanks!
Oops. I remember, the VA68M initially had a metal case.
The cheaper keyboard with the same layout was their cooperation with Ducky, the MIYA Pro. Have one of these in panda-themed, but replaced it with the VA87M as I was neither happy with that layout (dedicated Home and End keys were missing) and the firmware (you couldn’t replace Ins/Del with Home/End, and it IIRC wasn’t the most reliable firmware). Didn’t manage to sell it yet due to the pandemic despite I had an offer. But I wasn’t keen on visiting the post office.
Ouch. Thanks for that detail.
BTW, the Varmilo MA68T (electro capacitive switches) also had an aluminium case:
This is the aftermarket case on Massdrop I had in mind:
Interesting fact here: To showcase the color options, Clueboard/Leopold FC660-style cases are shown. So we probably can assume that the manufacturer made either OEM or aftermarket cases for Leopold FC660, the Clueboard or similar keyboards.
It was said the be manufactured by “MKC Geekkeys”, but I’ve never heard ever about that company nor did I find it on the internet. There’s though http://geekkeys.com/, but they only sell key caps. But they indeed do have some metal key caps which are named something with “MKC”. Sounds as if I’m on the right track.
I also found this interesting product description on Blinq, Two facts are interesting there:
- Blinq is a reseller “of returned and overstock products” and the product description is exactly the one from Massdrop. So we can assume that this is how Massdrop get rid of probably remaining or returned cases—instead of putting them into Yanbo’s closet, their own leftovers shop. (Where I would have happily bought one.)
- Blinq claims the brand is “NPKC”, a way more well-known name with regards to keyboard cases (mostly for cheaper keycaps though). I though mostly remember wooden cases from them.
If I search for NPKC case, I mostly find hits on AliExpress, so I searched there, but I only found 60% cases, wooden and plastic ones, but also metal ones.
I think that’s also about how far I got about half a year ago when I initially tried to figure out who made these Varmilo aftermarket cases after being angry on myself not having joined that GB.
But this time I found or at least recognized some more things:
I found this posting on Reddit where someone claims that…
MKC won’t do TKL cases anymore, at least for Filco. (I read it somewhere on geekhack, probably posted by feng)
Searching for MKC and Filco on Geekhack, I mostly found this wiki user page, but it mostly links to pictures of MKC cases the user would like to have. Fiddling with the URL, I managed to get to this thread from 2012 about a GB of MKC TKL cases for Filco run by feng who was also mentioned in that Reddit posting.
At some point I wondered if “MKC” is short for “Mechanical Keyboards dot Com” as they offered a lot of Filco aftermarket cases, but in that posting, feng wrote of “MKC” as “him”, so it seems a person, not a company (or a one-man company). And that person seems to do CNC in China.
In that Geekhack posting there’s also an e-mail address to where you should send the money to (probably via PayPal). And by chance the user part (before the
@) in this e-mail address is the same name as can be found in historical whois lookups for the domain Geekkeys.com.
So yes, “MKC Geekkeys” is correct (and this is indeed Geekkeys.com) when it comes to the manufacturer of these aftermarket cases. And Blinq’s “NPKC” is incorrect.