Rise of the Beasts Cancelled (UPDATED)

UPDATE: It seems the line was cancelled due to factory issues.

I found out this morning that the factory came back late last night and said they can only do the figures at the 80mm scale which is 1/3 larger than the 60mm they promised. According to them, 60mm is just too small for them to handle. There was simply not enough time to notify everyone and give them the option of cancelling their pledge. Had this news come a week ago, an update would have gone out letting people know and the Kickstarter would have lived or died based on the 80mm size change. So really, the only option was to cancel.

[…]

The upside of this whole situation is that there are a couple other avenues that will allow the figures to be made at 60mm and sooner. Just not at this manufacturer.

I just found out about this deal breaker early this morning, P! found out late last night. So rather than take your money and hope for the best, we cancelled. There really was no other option. I hope this provides some clarification for those of you who are rightfully upset and confused. For those of you who are still pissed after reading this, all I can say is I am sorry that we hit this bump, but cancelling the Kickstarter was absolutely the right thing to do, based on the last minute info from the factory.

I will gladly take egg on my face over this hiccup, when the alternative was letting the project fund and taking a gamble with your money.

This seems fair, and I retract any criticism of Karis (aside from suggesting he should have posted this in the first place). But it certainly illustrates the difficulties of producing your own line of toys.

Original article:

The Battle Beasts-inspired Kickstarter project Rise of the Beasts has been cancelled just as it was set to be funded (at $5K above the requested amount).

In an update, the creator, Jon Karis, writes:

A fantastic opportunity has presented itself that Plastic !magination simply could not refuse regarding the Rise of The Beasts line. This opportunity allows them to bring the line to market without asking the fans to make a pledge in advance and allows them far greater flexibility regarding the frequency of new characters being released. They are ecstatic about this opportunity and believe the fans will be as well. […]

The first figures will be here in June (the first of which will be the Golden Lion) and the rest soon after.

For those of you who have pledged at the $1100 or $1500 levels, you will still have the same opportunity down the road, after the initial product order is in and you have a chance to see the product in person.

Phil Reed at Battlegrip thinks the cancellation will hurt the perception of the project:

Kickstarter is as much about the marketing power of the site as it is generating funding from fans, and to pull the project from fans in this manner is sure to damage both fan opinion of the project and, more disturbingly, overall fan impressions of the entire Kickstarter process. And it’s that second point that troubles me most; Kickstarter is still growing, and leaving users with a bad taste in their mouth does not make it easy for people to get behind other projects.

And Phil’s right – if you read the comments, some backers feel let down, even angry. Some examples:

Just needed to give some feedback here as I feel it is important for you to hear it. While I understand the goal of any business is to be successful I must say that I have a bad taste in my mouth over this one! To cancel this on the final day just seems wrong.

This was the first time I backed something on Kickstarter. I understand that perhaps an opportunity was presented to make your toy line so that you didn’t have to go this route but you had 170 backers (myself included).

If you think that your toy line would have had this offer without Kickerstarter that’s your right to think it but I’d say you’re wrong. Your goal was $11,000 it was achieved then you said lets go for $14,000 got that too THEN you said let’s get to $17,000 and we hit $16,970 and wham you hit the cancel button. That was a cold thing to do. All the sites that backed and referred people to your project are going to have to report on what you’ve done.

The creator of ROTB, Jon Karis, responds in the comments:

Guys, I can tell you that the decision to cancel the Kickstarter funding has nothing do do with investors or anyone buying out the line. This was absolutely not a marketing ploy to gauge interest, no one was used. I completely understand the frustration out there right now. There really isn’t anything else I can say. I apologize to all of you who are sitting there saying, WTF? and can only hope that come June when the first run arrives, that you will have a change of heart.

While I know many collectors seemed quite excited for Rise of the Beasts, I’ve stated more than once how I am wary of this project due to its obvious similarity to Battle Beasts (it’s the same qualm I have with Backyard Legends’ the Crystal Warrior vis-à-vis Crystar). I really regret that I haven’t been able to get on board with these projects and I wish them well, but the copyright issue (and, to a lesser extent, a wish for more creativity in such projects) bothers me too much.

But I’ve digressed from the real question. I think cancelling the project this abruptly does look sketchy at best and suspicious at worst. I’m willing to take Karis at face value when he says he didn’t deliberately start the project to impress professional investors. But whatever this “fantastic opportunity” is, I think Karis owed it to his enthusiastic supporters to bring it before them and at least poll their opinion and find out what they would prefer him to do – and he certainly should have tried to avoid this last-minute cancellation, which just looks bad.

Comments now closed (17)

  • …. you want to gain back some of that goodwill, TIME FOR SOME REFUNDING…

    Because honestly, if you're not gonna do anything with donations, why are you keeping their money?

    • He's not keeping their money. As I understand it you only pledge the money, and if the project goes through you're charged (unless you pledge via PayPal, in which case I believe Kickstarter automatically refunds you).

      • … and if people are getting their money back, they really shouldn't complain so loud.

  • There's a new update, too. Jon just sent out an e-mail to everyone stating that the factory reported to him this morning that they were unable to produce the figures at the required scale, and that's the actual reason he had to cancel the project. He also noted that a larger scaled Gold Lion will still be produced and sent to everyone who pledged at least $45 as an apology.

    It still seems strange to me though. If it was a factory issue, I understand. But why not say that to us at first? And how does this relate to the "opportunity" that he announced in his first update about the cancellation?

  • Next time I'm emailing the person in question before writing up the article. In this 24-hr news cycle you tend to want to try to get the story out first and the truth a little later, but I don't like having to write up one article and then write up another one five minutes later.

    Bad journalism, Poe. Bad journalism.

    • NO. It's not. I check this site daily. The reason I return day after day is because you do not sensationalize, slander, whine or spout off opinionated half truths. You ran the story and, when there was more to add to it, you did so. You did not publish rumors and you did not take a cheap shot at the company.

      I say,
      Good journalism, Mr. Ghostal. Continue on as you were.

    • I think you did just fine. It was the news when you posted it; it's not at all your fault if the details were not revealed upfront for everyone to read and then form their own opinions.

  • Wait, the way it was first announced was NOT the reason for the cancellation. Why wouldn't they say that in the first place?

  • Seams like a classic "good/bad news" situation. The only problem is they forgot to ask the recipients the question of which they preferred first LoL. I'd hazard a guess that the "Mystery Mr. Money Bags" made an offer right before they got the bad news from the factory. That's the only thing that makes any sense why they gave Kickstarter the boot so quickly.

    Heck, they are even giving away a FREE Gold Lion to fans who supported them so generously. Wow. as an outsider looking in, I really can't see much to complain about. Sure, the news was revealed abruptly, without great detail, and not in the order some might have preferred, but in the end it seams like everything is going to work out for the BETTER! I think we all wished Mattel would treat us as good as these guys.

  • I pledged $40 on the last day – I understand why he cancelled but the thing that really irked me was that they waited until there was one minute left to go until the plug was pulled. Surely they knew before this? It just left a sour taste – still I understand if they had issues and may check these out later down the line. Poe, I think you have a point about the copyright concern thought…… wait and see on this one.

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