Yes, we plan using a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter. Kickstarter is considered the most well known platform. There are a lot of positives to using crowd funding platforms, but there are also a lot of drawbacks. We did not come to this decision on a whim. We hope that the fee the platforms charges is dissipated by the reach of the campaign.
OK, So how is this different from anyother toy company starting out?
For starters, we have already in the queue to start tooling in the next 60 days. We are paying for tooling out of pocket before the Kickstarter has even ended. That is a serious commitment on our part to ensure we start out on the right foot. Go big or go home! We wanted to show the breath of characters we want to bring to life. In order to do that, we decided to put our money on the line first. We are going to have at least 2 figures with completely different tooling in each of the first three wave. Each figure with its own unique parts. We have spent the last 2 years sculpting concepts and figures that will take could take several waves to even scratch the surface. We had had Two Full time sculptors for the last 2 years, several part time sculptors, part time animator, two graphic novel written, one graphic novel already published, and sculpted DOZENS of characters.
you have already Spent $xxx,xxx on Tooling?
Yes, and please do not mention that to the significant others... We already do not talk about the $100,000+ I spent on Form 2s, Form 3s and Form3 Ls for MAFC (www.myactionfigurecustoms.com). MAFC is our other company that has been making 3D printed parts for over 3+ years. Our shop/office space has over 24 SLS printers that cost over $2,500 a piece. Also, you do not have to just take our word for it. Dave the owner of Spartan Toys has been working with our team for the last 2+ years. Dave is the only English (as a first language) toy factory liaison that actually lives in Hong Kong. He helps a lot of small toy companies bring their products to life such as Boss Fight studios, Marauders Task Force, Valverse, Chicken Fried Toys, Spero Toys, etc. Dave is also a founding member of Boss Fight studios. Dave is the most educated person I know about action figure design and production. He has been incredibly helpful and tolerates my endless questions. This would not be possible without him, his business partner Shen, and their factory in China. Some people say he designed/sculpted the best Snake Eyes ever made when he was at Hasbro. You may have even heard about how Dave has rescued several toy companies from ruin.
Wait, You mean I do not have to wait 18-24+ months to get my figures?
That is correct. It is simply a different approach. If you consider a first time toy line going through a crowd funding platform such as Kickstarter, they usually just have a 3D printed version of their characters, painted with some packaging mock up. What most people do not realize is that the 3D printed version of an action figure is not what is used in production. Some of you have even heard that you scale up the model to allow for shrinkage. That is just a small change. You have to account for the different materials. Each material has a different strength tolerance, creates friction at a different rate depending on what material it is touching, and has a different shrinkage rate. One of the little secrets of toy design is that the factory makes a lot of changes to the figure. They do this for a multitude of manufacturing reasons. A lot of sculptors are completely unaware of these needed changes and it slows down the tooling creation. And to be even more transparent, in the majority of cases the tooling is made at a tooling factory that ships the tooling to the production factory. Your tooling order gets put in a line with everybody else's. Just getting the tooling created can take 4-6 months. With all this being said, we haven't considered the back and forth on the paint masters, fine cuts, etc. An 18 month, or longer, wait for your action figures is reduced to an estimated 12 month period to produce your figures and ship your figures to the United States.
Will online retailers carry the line?
Yes. We were not actively seeking online retailers in the United States before the announcement of the line. Some retailers have already reached out. We assume more retailers will be reaching out during the Kickstarter. Some figures may only be available directly from us.