I’m sure, in your internet wanderings, that you’ve checked out Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, or at least heard about them by now. You’ve probably backed at least one campaign. Every week thousands of new projects are launched through these websites, and many creators have found that this is a great way to bypass the regular publication/distribution model, to get their projects directly into the hands of their fans.
It really is a bold new era, where creators come to you directly with their wares, and properties sink or swim based on the whims of the fans instead of editorial edicts and profit margins.
But seriously, crowd funding has been a game changer in its few years as a viable publication model, allowing many projects that wouldn’t necessarily have seen the light of day come to life because of fans like you. In a lot of ways it has become THE new distribution system, getting unique product directly into the hands of the consumer. Now, there are so many different campaigns being launched on a weekly basis, with a little something for everybody. But where do you start?
Let us be your guide to the thrilling world of crowd funded comics, art books, film, and associated geek and sundry. Each week we’ll scour the aforementioned websites, and profile those projects that we feel are worthy of your Paypal fees. Those projects that are offering something different than what you get at your local comic shop. Projects that defy classification, ones with interesting backer rewards, books that you might love, but would otherwise probably not happen without your support. Plus, you get cool stuff!
We begin this weeks journey in the mouth of madness with Legends of Cthulhu action figures.
“Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we were immersed in role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu. We always felt that Lovecraft’s worlds were deserving of their own action figure line and what better time period than the late 70’s / early 80’s when his work first began its modern-day resurgence and the golden age for action figure collectibles was in its prime.”
“The result is our interpretation of what a major toy company in that era would have done with these characters and how a creative team of the period would have translated H.P. Lovecraft’s stories into a mass-market children’s toy property.”
“Legends of Cthulhu is a 3.75” action figure line based on similar figures of the late 70’s and early 80’s. This is the first retro action figure line based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. We’ve taken great care to design these figures in a way that’s true to the time period, with appropriate articulation, awesome accessories and deco consistent of the era.”
If you’re relatively old, like me, you grew up with action figures of Star Wars, Crystar, Star Trek, Clash of the Titans, and so many other properties. The works of Kenner, Galoob, LJN, Mattel, and other similar companies, these were the earliest forebears of the action figures we have today, nowhere near as articulated, but at the time we didn’t care. We loved them in all their simplicity, they had a certain charm that many toys today lack.
There have been a few companies popping up in recent years who obviously feel the same way. Super7 and Funko teamed up to produce a line of Kenner Alien action figures that went unproduced in the late 70s, and have kept the ReAction Figure line going with The Rocketeer, the Universal Monsters, Firefly, Predator, and others, with fantastic results.
Now we have a new name entering the ring. Warpo Toys wanted to create a line of figures that would fit right into the time period, the days of awesome action figures and roleplaying games, and they took the time to research everything about those classic toy lines, making sure their figures were of the era. Everything is perfect down to the sculpts, packaging, and even an 80s style commercial for the line. And they look fantastic!
“See, Warpo is not interested in remaking or reissuing old toys or licenses. Our goal is to create brand new product and tell brand new stories that haven’t been told before… but can still sit side by side with all the old toys you collect and love.”
Much like method acting, method manufacturing is a process in which we apply a group of techniques to help us think, design and create in ways of different time periods. By doing all the proper historical research, creating new toy lines and stories fitting of the era, having a keen eye for detail, enlisting veteran artists from the toy industry and working closely with our manufacturers on material and deco choices, the method manufacturing process will change the way collectible toys are made.”
These guys know toys, with a collective 20 years working in the industry, and they have a love for toys that is immediately evident when watching the campaign video. They even hired veteran toy sculptor Eddy Mosqueda (TMNT, Masters of the Universe) and veteran package designer Ken Kelly (Micronauts, Dungeons and Dragons) to give these toys an authentic retro look!
They have the initial sculpts, packaging designs, and a factory in place, so now they just need the funds. For your hard earned dollar you can get some great pledge rewards such as the first four figures pictured above, a high quality art print,a Legends of Cthulhu coloring book, some pretty awesome retro t-shirts, prototype figures/accessories, a VHS copy of the retro commercial seen at the beginning of their campaign video, and a whole lot more. Me, I kind of want it all.
We finish up our trip down memory lane with Army of the Lost Horizon.
“A love letter to Indiana Jones. PART ONE of an adventure featuring Indy’s daughter trying to track down her missing father…
This Indiana Jones fan-film is created by professional writers, directors and producers, stars SIMONE BAILLY (Stargate SG-1, The L Word), TIMOTHY OMUNDSON (Psych, Deadwood), and features a massive fight scene choreographed by professional stunt team 87ELEVEN ACTION DESIGN.
Chinatown, San Francisco — 1962. Indiana Jones has gone missing and is presumed dead. His daughter, Anna Ying (Simone Bailly) has tracked her father’s presumed killer, Jack Corbin (Timothy Omundson) to an underground gambling club, ready to make him pay. The confrontation takes an unexpected turn…and she must fight her way past Corbin’s henchmen to escape the speakeasy, find the map, and continue on to rescue Indiana Jones!”
Everybody loves Indiana Jones, right? While Mr. Ford won’t be in this, the creators are promising that they are distilling his essence into the heart of it. This fantastic looking fanmade film is being produced by veteran Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and directors, people with a profound love for the source material. They’ve already gotten their initial funding, but with 30 days left on the campaign they’ve created some stretch goals to make this film even better.
There are some fantastic rewards and stretch goals available, including a digital copy of the film, signed screenplays, posters, the chance to go to the red carpet premiere, thanks in the film’s credits, and even an outgoing voicemail message from lead villain Timothy Omundson!
I don’t have much to say about this one, because the project speaks for itself, but man do I want to see this film!
Well, this ends another journey through the magic of crowd funding, and I hope I’ve interested you in at least one of these campaigns. Next week we’ll come back and continue our trek through the internet wilderness that is Kickstarter and Indiegogo.