BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills passion isn’t hard to find in Western New York. But if you want to leave absolutely no doubt where your fandom lies, you can now dress your house in Buffalo Bills red, white and blue.
Store 716 launched a new item this week it calls the Mafia Stripes Projector. Think of a yard projector that would display colorful snowflakes on a house during Christmas season — except with a zebra pattern reminiscent of Zubaz clothing.
Co-owner David Gram said the product has been a hit: Store 716 received 300 orders Wednesday when the pre-sale period opened.
“We’re always looking for different ideas, anything for people to show their spirit,” Gram said.
The Mafia Stripes Projector took months to get right. Apparently, projecting Bills fandom onto your house is more involved than a standard holiday design. Gram found the projection needed to be brighter and sharper.
“We went through a lot of iterations trying to figure out how to do this correctly,” Gram said. “The lens is pretty hefty. You need to magnify it in kind of a special way.
“The first sample was got was a 100-watt bulb. The one we use here is 25-watt. There was a little miscommunication — the supplier thought we wanted to use it inside, in daylight. When I first put in on my house, it was like, you could see it from space.”
The price of the Mafia Stripes Projector is a bit higher than your run-of-the-mill Christmas decor because of the improved quality. It is available for $200 on pre-sale through May 31, or $350 at regular price. Orders are expected in by August 1, in time for the preseason.
“Once they’re sold out, they’re sold out,” Gram said. “I wouldn’t advocate waiting to get it in store.”
Store 716 began as an online store more than a decade ago. They say their specialty is original Buffalo fan gear. “You won’t find anything we do at any other store,” Gram said.
Gram and his co-owner opened a brick-and-mortar store in Depew two years ago, in the middle of the pandemic.
“Every week we’d get an email, ‘can I stop in your store?’ … I thought we’d have a couple walk-ins here and there, but it was completely different,” Gram said. “It was a crush.”
Mafia Stripe Projectors can be used indoors or outdoors with an extension cord. From 20 feet away, it projects an image 20 feet high by 20 feet wide, and you can stretch it a bit without losing quality if you move the projector back.
The projector should be kept clear of water and does get warm from use, so Gram recommends putting it on a platform or mounting it if you plan to leave it out in the snow. It should not be placed on anything flammable.
“Keep it away from your fellow tailgaters,” Gram joked.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.