Blacklist Miniatures Fantasy Set 1 - Failed $1M Kickstarter


Man, I am glad I did not see this Kickstarter when it came out - I probably would be right there with you. Bad deal all around.

I avoid Kickstarters for the most part because (1) I have a tough time resisting the ones that feature miniatures, and (2) I only trust a very few established companies to deliver these days. That's a shame because taking a chance on a new company is supposed to be what it is all about.

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Man, I am glad I did not see this Kickstarter when it came out - I probably would be right there with you. Bad deal all around.

I avoid Kickstarters for the most part because (1) I have a tough time resisting the ones that feature miniatures, and (2) I only trust a very few established companies to deliver these days. That's a shame because taking a chance on a new company is supposed to be what it is all about.
I would have avoided it, but not because I'm any smarter than anyone else here. Only because as an Indie publisher, I have a little knowledge about production costs* behind the scenes, so seeing how they had so many stretch goals at small $ increments as free add-ons was a big red flag for me. I feel bad for those who spent the money :(

*For example, one of the things I looked into as stretch goals/add-ons for Twilight Fables were STL files and actual physical minis of some of the more unique creatures. I got quotes on the initial cost per mini (design and molding), and when I spoke with John Popson at Gary con, he was extremely kind enough to tell me straight up that it wouldn't be worth it unless I had X number of backers before I even ran the numbers on my own, saving us both a lot of time.

It was quickly determined that while cool, they just weren't feasible. Even as STL only (meaning no production costs) it wasn't worth it unless I had nearly 500 backers just for that add-on, and it was highly unlikely that 500 backers of the book also had 3D printers and would be interested. So looking at their KS, it just seemed off. Too good to be true, as it was mentioned earlier.


They still aren't doing their arithmetic, are they? They're trying to raise money to let them deliver product they've already spent all their takings on, and they're doing it by borrowing from the income of future projects. They'll either have to charge enough for those future projects to make it up, which will make those projects expensive and unattractive, or they'll get stuck the same way again.
Yeah, they're basically trying to take out an unsecured loan, except that they're promising to repay it in product instead of cash. And the reason they're doing it that way is that no financial institution in its right mind would make them that loan in their current position.


Today's update, addressing the GoFundMe fiasco...

Hello Backers,

Following the last update, the GoFundMe platform we were using to help raise funds towards the outstanding balance for fulfillment for this campaign, was unfortunately taken down due to GoFundMe’s policy (for campaigns outside of the UK):

“As stated in our Terms of Service, GoFundMe does not allow organizers to offer any type of good or service to donors on or through our platform. This includes offering or promoting any contest, competition, reward, raffle, sweepstake, giveaway, or similar activity.”

For those who had contributed to offer help for the campaign both here and overseas, your contributions have been refunded in full by GoFundMe, but most importantly, thank you very much for your kindness and efforts.

So now what? After the last couple of days reading comments and extrapolating valid and reasonable ideas and questions, here are some followup questions/answers.

The reason for GoFundMe was because we didn’t have a product that regular pledge manger apps required to launch and it was extremely important for everyone to publicly see the amount raised. Unlike normal pledge managers, GoFundMe did not require us to put a deadline for contributions raised, meaning that if we had used other platforms, there’s a chance we would fail if we didn’t raise enough funds by a certain time set and all the efforts would be returned, having us start over again. Or if we did raise enough funds by having to put a long deadline, once we reached the goal, we would all have to wait until that time period ended before using any of the funds for shipping/fulfillment.

As mentioned in the previous update, once funds were reached, we would post payment to QML and show the wire transfer receipt in an update immediately. Following, once QML received it and sent a paid confirmation receipt, we would post it. We should have also been clear that if there were any overage from the GoFundMe, it would be returned as we would close the campaign as soon as funds were reached. Additionally, we are also looking for other ways to create cashflow that we will immediately put towards the balance to contribute on our end, that will not add any more costs.

Clearly, if there was an option that would let backers pay directly to QML, that would be the best since we want you to be reassured funds would be going to the right place and it would get rid of any misunderstanding or confusion. But since that was not an option, we had to find another way, which was why GoFundMe.

We have reached out to QML and have since seen their public statement saying that they are internally discussing a forward strategy:

We will await their response before deciding or announcing anything. But if after their announcement there’s still a reason to, we have gone through recent comments/feedback and will incorporate some backer ideas as an alternative solution.

At this moment, they have not discussed with us yet as they need time internally to figure out the best solution for everyone, especially for you. But we do have confidence that they have everyone’s best interest in mind as they are a stellar company with experience and professionalism behind them.

Contra, Buddy Cop, and Mega Man pre-orders: They will be shipped by EasyShip though Hong Kong via air shipping (US, CA, UK, EU, AUS/NZ, and Asia does not have to pay VAT/Duties). We are finalizing this with them already so things can get started.

Dire Alliance: This will be through EasyShip as well though shipment will have to be shipped via boat to their global hubs (about 30 days-45 days). This will not be affected either.

Street Masters/Tide of the Dragon: We are seeing if we can get them on the same containers/boats as Dire Alliance so that we don’t waste any more time and can maximize container space. Doing so will minimize costs and time. We hope by doing this, backers who ordered both products can get them in the same shipping box. But that really depends on the overall weight and costs associated with it. We’ll be discussing this part with them this coming week.

Lasting Tales/FS2: We are still in production with the factory and should not run into the same issues as FS1 because the costs are much different with containers, booking, and fulfillment now that the shipping crisis is more stable and not the mess it had been. We have remaining funds after manufacturing costs that are allotted only towards FS2 shipping, but honestly it’s cutting it very close.

One question was that if we have funds to ship these items, why can’t we just forget them temporarily, pool that money together and first put it into FS1? With the exception of FS2 (which funds can only be used for FS2 because we are already too tight as is), the combination of funds needed for shipping the other projects doesn’t come close to the $360k balance we currently owe. So efficiently, we have to prioritize what we can do in completion.

Right now, the only focus is shipping/fulfillment. Though we’ve had several projects in the works, we have put a pause on everything to prioritize finding necessary capital for FS1 while also pushing the other projects through shipping. Until we are certain things have moved along and backers will receive their products, we can’t think of anything else.

Though it doesn’t hold any weight, once again I and Blacklist Games genuinely apologize for mismanaging all the poor decisions, misinformation, miscalculations, and just the irresponsible way we’ve handled this campaign regardless of the pandemic, shipping issues, or the usual obstacles. There is no excuse. We reacted to things rather than used our brains to plan for disaster and threw out the first answers we received without checking to see if they were completely accurate or would happen, only to keep changing the info and contradicting ourselves. We should have just told you once we knew there was a problem, that there was indeed a problem, and how we intended to deal with it if there were no solution. But though we deeply regret the decisions we made, “would have/should have/could have” does not forgive this mess or solve anything.

Then how can we be trusted? At this point we can’t expect that from you. We first need to fulfill these products before hoping you one day will. So as mentioned in the last update, we are focusing on getting things out. Information will no longer be filler and if we can all get through this, we will do our best to find a way to thank all of you you for your patience, understanding, and for our previous incompetence

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