We can finally make our own sno cones, and even gather our own ice to make them. I thought I was going to be analyzing a lot of things.
Scraping ice is not a highly productive activity. It is pretty similar to scraping barnacles except that there are no upgrades to make it faster or give better bonuses. You spend four energy to get between one and three ice and four imagination. This takes four seconds. Since ice has been upgraded to a 6 currant value, this would put scraping ice continuously from a never ending ice nubbin at 3.5 currants per second. Pretty much the worst productivity of any activity ever.
But you can't stand at an infinite ice nubbin. Instead you have to run from place to place hunting the 145 ice nubbins in the world that refill every six minutes. That means that in order to get that 317 rainbo sno cone badge - if you are making the cones yourself - you need 1 hour and 45 minutes of the entire world's ice production. Assuming there are others competing with you, that's going to be a very expensive product.
Elements are the hardest thing to put a price on in the game. The in game price doesn't reflect their value at all. You can't solve for the real value based on their inputs because it's a system of three equations with four unknowns. It would seem like one of the elements should effectively be worth nothing but all of them are the limited factor in making one useful product or another. Of course there is also the fact that you have to mine to get them, and that mining is poor productivity. So even if I could resolve the equations, I'd still end up with a large number of different values to work with based on whether you mined yourself, or you bought rocks and then did the grinding yourself, or whether you bought bags of elements. Of course because elements can't be listed at auction or put in SDBs determining the cost of buying them directly is nearly impossible.
Yes, it was going to be a lot of work to figure out the real value of sno cones but I've been saved from doing all that work by doing one very simply calculation. Add up the value of all five colours of sno cones: 75 + 150 + 300 + 600 + 1100 = 2225. But a rainbo sno cone is only worth 2200!
When you make a sno cone you lose value. Since there is no way that any of these calculations are ever going to work in such a way that losing value from the base products is worth spending time and energy on, I don't really have to do any more work than that.
The final verdict: If you want the badge, it will cost you 634,951 currants at the sno cone vendor, plus about just south of 5k worth of paper (though I imagine most people interested in this badge will be able to pull the paper from their overstocked SDBs of more paper than they will ever use). Just pay the bear.