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"What to do - what to do? Looking for advice...." Topic

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Dadster Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 1:35 p.m. PST


I am near completion of a new line of 25/28 mm gangsters. Line is comprised of 35 figures for now – including two vignettes. I have, as anyone knows having done this laid out a substantial sum for sculpts, molding and casting.

And now that the time to do or die arrives I am still unsure whether I should try a kickstarter, sell via subscription or just plain retail with my website?

I realize that it is a niche within a niche – my goal is to recoup costs if possible and plow most of the sales into expanding the line into other known gangsters and gangs and public figures.

Anyone have any suggestions? What would you do?



Stryderg09 Jan 2019 3:21 p.m. PST

First thing I would do is not post it five times (relax, I'm just giving you a hard time).

Caveat: I have never done any of this, so my advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

I would probably go the kick starter route. (I'm totally spit-balling figures here)
sculpting: 35 figs at 500 each = 17,500
casting costs (I have no idea): another 12,500
shipping, packaging, various and sundries: another 4,000

35k as your minimum costs (plug in your actual numbers here)
That puts you in the ballpark of asking for 50k to 75k to fund. Add your potential range expansions as stretch goals (you are making more cash and wanted to expand anyway).

If nothing else, it will give you an idea of the amount of interest out there.

Or you could kick starter smaller batches: ask for 20K to ship 5 or 10 minis.

Good luck!

Cyrus the Great09 Jan 2019 4:24 p.m. PST

Still looking for advice this late into the game? At this point, I don't think a kickstarter is going to help much. You would have to wait for the kickstarter to disperse funds and they take a fee. I'd go retail.

altfritz09 Jan 2019 4:46 p.m. PST

$12,500 USD for casting is getting close to 18,000 figures, give or take.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 5:42 p.m. PST

My costs will not be that high. They will
probably wind up in the high x,xxx range in the end.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 5:47 p.m. PST

I would no doubt wind up with excess on inventory for a decade or more Altfritz…. My intent is to cast a little less than 20% of what you have stated. The kickstarter would be to determine if the line will succedd or not.
If I come close to covering 60% of my overall costs on the kick starter it will do.

Syrinx009 Jan 2019 7:00 p.m. PST

Kickstarter can reach a larger audience and will give you a measure of the interest. Just don't make the mistake of including shipping or adding too many free items in the
KS price.

ced110609 Jan 2019 8:54 p.m. PST

You could contact other KS miniature creators and ask if you can call them for advice. As S said, KS can be used as a marketing tool to help advertise your product.

whitejamest10 Jan 2019 4:41 a.m. PST

Kickstarter sounds like a good low risk avenue you can try. Just make sure you promote it well, make sure you have a lot of good eye candy (let's face it, we're all suckers for eye candy) and don't set your goal too high. If you wind up with a lot of enthusiasm and people pledge in excess of your goal, all the better.

Winston Smith10 Jan 2019 2:35 p.m. PST

If the masters and molds are already done, why do a Kickstarter? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of a KS to finance the production?
You seem to have completed the project. Sell them "normally".

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2019 3:13 p.m. PST

Please reread original posts. Kickstarter if successful will fund future releases. I have seen this done on KS as well. Potentially much more publicity thru KS, and that is why I ask. Thanks for your input.

Russ Lockwood10 Jan 2019 6:21 p.m. PST

I was skeptical about KickStarter, but my buddy was gung ho, so we tried it as our 4d10 LLC projects and have run four successes in a row with print-yer-own cards (Bridge, Poker, half, and Tarot-sized cards you run through a color laser printer) and one with Secrets of Wargame Design booklet Volume 8 (Naval wargaming).

Overall, KS takes about 10% in fees, so if you need $X, make sure you set a goal of at least $X + 10%, otherwise, you'll be eating the 10%.

That said, if you've already made your investment, you might think about setting a lower goal to get back at least some of it.

Oh, and be clear about shipping and shipping costs. If you're going to ship to Europe (and it's a big market), be clear about who pays for what shipping type.

Good photos are a must, plus pretty much responding immediately to queries over the course of your KS campaign. We did prototypes with the manufacturer to knock out the bug-a-boos before launching a KS, so we were able to start manufacturing at the KS end date. US folks had product in hand within one month of end of KS. If I recall, non-US folks took a week or so longer.

And also note that it takes about 2 weeks for the funds to go from KS to your bank account -- which was enough time for us to get the manufacturing done, but that's because we set it up beforehand.

We have a number of KS projects for 2019. Visited a different manufacturer for a more ambitious project for first quarter and we're in contact with specs, prices, etc. I like setting things up beforehand so surprises are kept to a minimum.

Hope this helps.

ced110611 Jan 2019 3:59 a.m. PST

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of a KS to finance the production?

Nope. The purpose of a KS is to make money for KS.

Sgt Slag15 Jan 2019 9:09 a.m. PST

Like Russ Lockwood, I helped run a KS. We manufactured almost all of our product before the KS ended. We had hundreds of units made by the launch date. The rules on KS are fluid, with the main reason for KS being to make the owners of KS money. Their rules have relaxed over the years since they started running their business.

One thing to note: advertising outside of KS is a must! If KS is your only advertising, you will enjoy very limited success, IMO. We did not do much in promotional advertising, and our results were limited because of this. Plan ahead: if you pay for YouTube reviews of your products, you will be waiting 4-6 months, at least, before they will publish their "reviews" of your products… They need lead time.

KS will take around 5%; the bank processing company handling backer's CC's will take another 5%. Shipping is something critical to consider, plan for, and make certain you have listed properly. Don't skip shipping insurance, either, unless your costs are so low you don't need it. Use tracking on every package mailed… Your backers expect it, and you will rest easier knowing you can track each package -- there will be issues with at least some of them. Be sure to transmit tracking numbers to backers quickly.

As stated, good communications is critical. Your backers expect timely updates. They expect prompt responses to inquiries. Do NOT ignore these points… Keep your backers happy. The KS programs are full of sunlight, exposing everything that goes on in your KS. Make certain all is right in the world of your KS program, or your business will suffer a permanent stain on its reputation.

In the end, a successful KS program is a permanent marker in your business' history. It will play a role in your future endeavors. Make certain it runs successfully, with all of your backers happy with their outcome. It will serve your business as an advertising reference, for years afterwards. Cheers!

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2019 10:12 a.m. PST

Thanks for the excellent advice! I truly appreciate it.

Here is a little something as a thank you:


Shown are 2/3 of the 'Cement Shoes' vignette, a paunchy Bugsy Siegel the good life in Hollywood!, and Owney 'The Killer' Madden.

One more of some of the boys outside the Cotton Club:

For anyone interested please send me your email address or pm me and I will send you a sneak peak at what exists to date we are very close to having everything in place.

Thanks so much,


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