Sunday, 3 December 2017

Kickstarters, SLA Industries and Daruma

I know that Kickstarter is a bit of a gamble and they are generally late and running behind schedule but there are times when a company who has kickstarted a project fails to honest and truthful and hope there actions has led me to lose all faith in them. I understand that they are a small company of four people and this year has been very hard on the learning curve and this from there latest update, which again has not been put of the Kickstarter page. 
"25 November
Good Evening all! 
Firstly, we want to start off with an apology to our customers out there - we are at that stage of Company growth where we need more resource than we have access to. This has meant that this year we have tried to solve our logistics issues with 3rd parties, with the intent of giving better service - and those relationships have been fraught with issues, meaning that despite our best efforts our Service and Order fulfillment has been less than it should have been, and for that we can only apologise and reassure you all that since we started working more closely with Asylum Games, we are finally getting everything fulfilled! 
We seem to have had 1 of those years where everything that could go wrong.. did. However we have learnt a great deal from these experiences and everything looks much tighter as we move forward. 
Just about every mail order other than the Remus' recasts has now been dispatched or will be in the next few days and those new cast Remus' will be with us early next week, after which we will dispatch immediately. 
That will bring us up to date with everything, except for the Cannibal Pre orders - and we have superb news on those.. Dave has signed off on the final renders and we will be previewing those in the next week or so. They are absolutely fantastic, and will be mix and matchable so that you can change around the legs, bodies, arms and heads - giving you a lot of potential for modelling and ensuring that no 2 look alike. As soon as we finish those, we roll right into the Carniverous Pigs! Those will soon be followed by the Butchers and finally Mommas Favourite little boy, Jordie. We only need another 15 or 16 pre orders and the Clan will be on the table! 
With Xmas coming up - we have gone through the entire online shop and adjusted the quantities for everything that we have in stock and ready to ship. That means, that anything you order between now and Wednesday 20th December will be shipped pre-Xmas. Please bare in mind that if you are order for overseas its unlikely that anything will arrive in time if ordered after the 16th December. In the UK, first class mail should still reach you as long as its dispatched by Thursday 21st December at the very latest.
As Mr Slayer doesn't do Black Friday - we are doing a Black BPN special instead, and as Black BPN's are notoriously deadly.. everybody whom places an order between now and Xmas will get a FREE Colin 30mm Objective Marker added to their order as a good luck token. If you spend over £50 you'll also get a Shotgun sprue (on a Black BPN, you'll need them.. they are also available on the Online Store now). If thats not enough.. if you use the code;
COLIN
You'll get 10% off of your order! All that, and our commitment to ship your order out before Xmas! 
We have a lot of exciting things happening to both SLA and CS1 in 2018, and look forward to sharing them with all of you! Until then,
++ WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF PROGRESS ++"
Now I got into this Kickstarter because I loved the Role Playing Game for the 90s, the atmosphere, the background and the artwork, so I had high expectations for this as the chaps that has doe this figure game looked as infused about SLA Industries as I was, and I jumped into the Kickstarter. It all started well, figures coming out to support the rules, beta rules to play with, I even got involved in demoing the game and all seemed to be going well. But then problems started, they started not doing updates either on there Facebook page or on they kickstarter page, no new figures or product created and released, and no communications about what was happening. As it turns out they were having differences, they spent a lot of money of getting some books printed and the printer was a scam leaving them financial with a big hole.

Now seeing the writing on the wall and having no confidence in there ability in being this game to the table I requested a refund of my Kickstarter pledge. For three weeks I kept messaging them and no reply and them I got a simple reply politely saying No but no reason and a request for the reason was ignored. This was okay as it is a Kickstarter and there is an element of risk included but I thought an explanation as to why would of been nice.

I had the Cannibals on Pre Order on 7 March this year under the impression that they would be done relatively quickly in accordance to their aims.
"RRP on this lot would be approx £70 or so, so the £50 deal is a bargain!
- we estimate that its likely to take perhaps 2-3 months to fund, render and produce these miniatures. This is an estimate only and we can't confirm this until we know how quickly these 50 sets sell out. This means, if all goes well - delivery in June. 
We are producing the Cannibals this way as they are, logistically and cost wise, the biggest single undertaking yet. There are 5 separate and distinct model types in the Cannibals lineup and every 1 of them needs a master render and 1-3 alts... thats a big project and has a correspondingly bigger cost and time implication. Once we get to 20 orders pre sold we will instruct the 3d Sculptor to begin rendering, and then when we hit 50 they can 3d print and commence manufacturing / casting. 
Please note - all going well, we may commission more sculpts of the Pigs post release to give your Angry bacon a bit of variety, and Dave also has 1 or 2 other miniatures in mind for the Cannibals.. but those are for "later". 
All of these Cannibals Clans will be in resin, we will look at making metal versions once we have the pre releases out but the alt. Jordie will never be made in metal, he'll only have 50 casts (maybe 1 or 2 extra for Dave and the Daruma staff) and those will be in resin, after which he is archived for eternity. 
Thank you very much to those of you whom back us, Mr Slayer would be proud of you (if you weren't helping expand the Cannibal Clans that is.. ) - now lets see how fast we can make these guys happen?"
Now thinking it was June and their was excitement around SLA I Pre-Ordered them as to help get this off the ground, to date still nothing. Some of the Cannibals have been done and are even on sell but I am still waiting for them with no real idea as to when they will be done. In fact one of the figures is being given away now, which annoys me somewhat. So I requested a refund of this order on 18 November to their Store email and no reply. Since then I have followed this request which is covered under their terms and conditions and still nothing. I though I would politely nudge them on their Facebook page about replying to my email and refunding my pre-order and kickstarter to me and though I got a reply asking what they can do to help, still nothing.

So what is the point to this rant, especially as I haven't posted for ages, well its two fold. Firstly to get this affair out of my system, its very annoying when companies cannot live up to them own standards and terms and conditions and the second reason it to frankly warn other gamers that Daruma Productions though they produce some very nice products for SLA Industries they are not very good at naive at best to the ways of the industries, being ripped off at least twice this year, to incompetent. Also they customer service is slow and will could be waiting a long time for a reply to simple questions. As for me I am still waiting for my request of the pre-order and guess will be for a few weeks longer.


2 comments:

  1. This is very annoying - I know you were quite excited at the prospect of SLA.

    As to the refund: is there any scope in contacting Kickstarter rather than the company?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks there Edwin I was very excited and now it has gone. Kickstarter itself doesnt really care as it is just a platform

      Delete

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