I will admit that last year, I thought that Kickstarter was going to be changing how toy collectors looked at collecting. I thought for sure that we would start to see a new direction for those looking to bring new product to the market, and a new means for collectors to get their hands on it. But now, now I’m not so sure anymore.
The latest Kickstarter from October Toys, the Skeleton Warriors Grimskull Action Figure, is a fantastic looking product. They have put a lot of time and research into this figure, but in its final hours of the campaign, things are not looking good with them $20,000 short of their funding goal. This isn’t the first action figure toy line I have seen fall shot in the past year or so either. The first Kickstarter for October Toys’ Skeleton Warriors Baron Dark and Titan Skeleton barely got in under the wire as well.
The first Kickstarter from Play With This Too is another example of a line that failed to get off the ground. They are currently underway with a second one and are a third of the way to their funding goal. Now I do hope they hit that goal, but traditionally unless things pick up in the final days, things aren’t looking too good.
Another Kickstarter that is on the verge of going in either direction is The Fwoosh’s Articulated Icons: The Feudal Series – Ninja Action Figures. This kickstarter is in its final week and is at 77% of its goal. Now there could be a big push at the end and they will find the funding needed to get this line off the ground. But then the question is, what comes next? If they want the line to expand beyond a couple of basic Ninja action figures, how do they do it?
Now you could say well what about Boss Fight Studio’s Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S., or Marauder Gun-Runners’ Marauder Task Force, and later their MTF Valkyries? Both of these we very successful. What is the key to the success?
I would say that 4 inch figures seem to be the answer, but the Skeleton Warriors are 4 inch figures, and are not having as much luck. Is it the theme of each of the lines? Is the absence of G.I. Joe in the market a big reason that Marauder’s two military themed Kickstarters were successful? Is the fact that there really isn’t any mythology action figures the reason for Boss Fight’s success as well?
Both of those Kickstarter campaigns have been the topic of heated discussion with problems that can come up from independent toy companies. Turning many fans off in the process. Did this cause many other fans to be come apprehensive about backing others? The TruForce Collectibles Mega Man X Kickstarter has been a hot topic as well, with many fans not happy about the delay in the figure being shipped out. Is this another mark in the column against backing new action figure projects?
I know in the past there have been many Kickstarters (and sadly there are still more to come) that have failed to materialize with what they promised. Meaning a product has never happened. Luckily I have yet to have this happen to me, though waiting almost a year longer than expected to get the Marauder Task Force figures was a bit of a let down.
It seems that video games and other non-toy items are still doing very well, so what is the problem with action figures? Is it a result of a shrinking market with adult collectors? Are collectors being more selective these days? I know I am, but I still look towards other options than retail to find new and interesting things to collect. Is a reason possibly poor promotion? Not enough people finding out about the campaigns until they pass? What about not understanding how Kickstarter works?
Do you back Kickstarter campaigns, or did you and are no longer? Either way, why do you? Not that I’m expecting to find the answer, but maybe we will. So share your thoughts and comments on Kickstarter and toy collecting.