First off let us apologize for the lack of updates these few months. There has been a lot going on, not just Renegade going on but many other things as well and time has for sure not being on our side. That said, let us say goodbye to 2018 and a big hello to 2019! We are looking towards many interesting things happening for this year.
Second let’s address the renegade project and where we are at with that. There are two things to discuss regarding this project, financial and timeline.
Let’s get right to the timeline. Time is a very important thing when it comes to manufacturing. Chinese new year comes in February which is right at the tail end of the North American holiday season which is always very bad timing for everyone. Factories are very busy October, November and December trying to put out holiday items and then January is pretty much a write off and then February nothing at all happens for almost an entire month. Not everyone knows this cycle or understands it but alas it is how the manufacturing world works. This means there is priority product and non priority product and how items are worked on by the factory comes down to this priority at times.
What does this mean for us? Well we are for sure a low priority project, due to low numbers of production and other factors involved with this project. We have also had to change factories in the fall due to issues with our previous cooperation and so that means all our projects had to start from the beginning again. When it comes to working with the factory there are several steps that need to be considered. Prototyping, 3D manipulation, mold making, mold testing, production testing, production, packing, then finally the fun part, shipping.
Since we had to change factories we had to go right back to the beginning and start with the prototyping and 3d manipulation. We were able to send our prototypes to them which is a good thing but the 3d needed to be gone over and any changes made for the components of the model to actually work as a manufactured piece. This part does take time and sometimes the back and forth can go on for many months. We had already done a lot of this part with the old factory before we even started the crowdfund so we were a little further ahead at that time but now we have had to go back to our original 3d model and start all over again with the new factory to get the model into production shape.
Of course CNY comes into play here as well and as we are a low priority project, much of our work was either halted or delayed until after the North American holidays and for sure until after CNY. Once everyone is back from CNY we are able to reconvene and see exactly where we are at with the model and then look at when we can schedule some testing and then begin on the mold making.
We are of course still in communication with the factory and am working hard to get things done but it is not a quick process, until you begin producing in the tens of thousands, then the factory will always put you in priority. Just the nature of doing business in China.
The second part of this Renegade update has to do with financials. As anyone who participated knows, we did this through our own site and did not use a site like Kickstarter or Indegogo and in hindsight this may have been a bit of an error on our part. It does seems like many who participated don’t quite understand what it means to be part of a crowdfund and maybe that is partly on us where we did not explain it all very very clear and assumed that people who got involved understood how it worked. Also with us being a little more patient with people and their payment methods may have hurt us a little in the end as well.
At the end of it all there was about 160 people who pledged and got us over that goal, not including retailers. Out of that 160 there was 38 who did not fulfill their obligation with their pledge, for a total of just over $8000 USD. While that is indeed a pretty big hit, there was also 5 retailers who pledged, helping us get our goal over what was needed who did not fulfill their pledge which did total well over $10000, which did hurt a lot more. On top of that there are 3 more people who decided this was not for them or the project was not fast enough or whatever their reasons were and decided to go through paypal and have their money refunded to them.
While all of this is not devastating, it does indeed hurt how we need to budget the project. At this time we have forwarded everything we had remaining to the new factory as a good faith payment and so we have kept very little to next to nothing for our operating budget.
Just a small reminder to people out there, we are not a big company, as a matter of fact the number of people working on this project is less than 5 and none of them are currently being paid for their work. Everyone is doing this in their spare time and everyone does still need to work to make a living and support their families. Please take this into consideration as well when you are getting annoyed or angry when you are not getting exactly what you want or if we are not meeting your current expectations. You can always email us at info@maastoys or reach out to us on Facebook and someone will get back to you but we are not a big team and sometimes real life does get in the way of everything. We do care about each and every one of our supporters but we are human as well and only have so much time in the day to do things and still work on our passion projects as well.
That said, let’s look at something new and possibly fun. We wanted to do something quick and simple and a little fun in an effort to thank our retailers who did support us and did fulfill their pledges and also in full honesty, it will help us get a little bit of operating capital back into our budget and will help us continue to work on our other projects and create new and interesting things.
After CNY we have decided to release a limited edition 500 piece stature which we call Flat Stack. Unfortunately the Cybertech Stack has also been needed to move production and it was a little further along than the Renegade was and so it has also been delayed currently. So we have decided to release Flat Stack at this time in an effort to not only help out our retailers who supported us but also to fill that small gap in your collections that need Stack in it.
Flat stack in a resin statue of Stack in the worst possible scenario he could find himself in, fattened under the foot of another solder. This piece depicts that horrible moment when demise meets stack and can be used to recreate the scene perfectly with another figure leaving a giant footprint in the back of stack.
This 500 piece figure will only be available to those retailers who supported the Renegade project and fulfilled their obligations and will also be available through us directly. Preorders for this piece should open in late January and retail should be at the $25 mark depending on the retailers involved. We will have a list of all available retailers who are carrying this item and of course will have a link to our own product page as well once everything is set up. Watch for a future update with all the required information.
As for other projects we are working on, we are still working hard in the background and will be releasing info as it comes up and as we are able to release it. If anyone EVER has any questions please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaining on boards or on Facebook groups or anywhere else does not always get to us and for sure will not get to us in a timely fashion so it is always recommended to send us a message first and give us the time to get back to you.
Thanks for your understanding.
Spence and team.