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$26,616 pledged of $125,000 goal
backers
$26,616 pledged of $125,000 goal
backers

Kickstarter wrap-up & One-huge-thank-you!

This month has been truly amazing and exhausting. Words really can't explain what its meant to us to get the idea out into the world at large. We've had such a good time, sharing our approach tot he project and toys in general, hearing your thoughts and concerns, sharing in some of the angst and grief that went along with the process, and creating some common ground of our own to talk around. The experience has been spectacular in every way.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support in the aftermath. The greatests things I can say about the Kickstarter process is it makes you commit whole-heartedly to your idea and its an excellent platform for connecting with people around an idea. You either jump into the deep end and swim or you sink. There's no way to prepare for how much work it was going to be once you've started. Its a lot for two guys and we wouldn't have made it as far as we did without the help of a lot of pivotal people who dug deep and committed to it as well. We certainly weren't prepared for the amount of social networking that goes into a campaign and how difficult it would be to get the right kind of press. Niche press and bloggers just aren't enough for the kind of money we were asking and its very difficult to create an audience for anything in 30+ days.

The Hero Project survey is going well and we're getting a lot of reinforcement of what you liked and what you didn't. Generally, people like the project as it is, which makes it a bigger challenge moving forward, but we're going to invest the time into exploring it and understand all the possibilities. We've had a lot of people sign up for the newsletter via the survey, so we're glad that you'd like to hear where things are headed. In the interim, some people are asking for Hero Project stuff, so we'll be setting up a Zazzle store to let you get the few things that are a bit more  'reproducable' than the figure. We'll be putting that revenue aside to help fund the project moving forward. You can also get some free stuff at our Flickr gallery to download and use as screen savers or print as you please. (I dropped the Rama paper doll in there this morning, if anyone wants to try it out).

Many of you have been asking if we can produce a small run of figures to meet the current requests for approximately 350 figures. As we mentioned in the set-up, there is literally no way to get a small run of functional action figures. The two primary barriers are (1) the steel molds used to mold durable parts, and (2) the minimum order quantity (MOQ) for this item (which is currently 5000 figures). This means that for us to even get one functional figure, we need buy and make those steel molds AND buy 5000 finished figures. Those two things were a huge chunk of the asking amount and much of the rest was some fairly nice reward items and the cost of mailing them to you. We could try to make prototype figures as you see in our photos, but they would break very quickly (I'd wager that it would be broken during mailing for most of you) and each is hand painted, so they would chip. But most importantly, they'd need to be hand assembled by a model maker and would likely cost in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars each. We'll be reaching out to some of the folks we know that have taken alternative paths for manufacturing for feedback. We'll also be requoting it with different vendors to see if we can get that MOQ number down to something manageable. The whole thing is limited by the laws of supply and demand.

It looks as if we have access to this project page, for now, but we'll be migrating all our discussion and updates to www.gogodynamo.com  and our Facebook page so keep an eye out for us there. We'll be contacting you directly via the newsletter as things begin to come into focus.

Thanks again for the support and good vibes. Onward and upward.

With our eternal gratitude,

Wayne and Tucker

'Hero Project survey' issues resolved

Several folks have pointed out an issue with question 6 requiring you to prioritize all 9 items on the list. I think that glitch has been fixed.  Here's a link to the revised survey- 

http://gogodynamo.polldaddy.com/s/the-hero-project-interest-survey

Thanks for your time, patience, and feedback!

Wayne and Tuck

Building bridges and 'what's next' for the Hero Project

So, we have less than 40 hours left in the campaign. Over the last couple days, our enthusiasm has been bolstered by the need for pragmatism. It would take a windfall or miracle of some sort for us to hit our number at this point (to which all of our fingers and toes are still crossed), so we thought we'd start evolving the dialog a bit to find out more about what The Hero Project means to you (you'll find a link to a survey below). We've had so many eye-opening conversations an everyone's enthusiasm has made this such a spectacular experience.

The numbers

Although we didn't hit our number, we're really pleased with what we've accomplished in the past 30+ days. Design as a category has only a 36% success rate, so everyone who starts a Kickstarter has to understand that it's likely that it won't succeed. Fortunately, we have some of our own measures that we think are pretty important. Some of the highlights-

  • Moments ago, we just hit 350 backers, which is pretty large for a project with such a high goal and a $30-35 product level. I think our initial tally was that we needed maybe 1800 people to back us. So we were right on track at about 20%.
  •  We also hit the $25,000 mark last night. We're really happy about that. The average funded project is less than $10,000, so this says that we're onto something, but one month maybe wasn't enough time to rally support around it.
  • We have 839 'Likes' for the project page and increased our ability to talk directly to you- We've got 89 'likes' for our own Go, Go, Dynamo page. We've increased our Twitter followers by 63, posted an extensive Flickr gallery, Pinterest boards and started posting about the product and culture heroes at our Tumblr blog.
  • We've had a lots of fun making and designing things. We've designed product packages, the laser-cut display stand, new t-shirts, a new female body, and lots of new characters because you wanted to see what we had up our sleeves. All of which helped us crystalize our vision of what might be possible in the future.
  • Skillz-wise this was a big win! We've learned to shoot and edit video, write and post press releases, contact bloggers and organizations, and use Hootsuite, 'Twitter-bait' celebrities for attention.

Building bridges

Its easy to stand back and say that we had every confidence that this project was going to reach its goal. We knew the number was huge and audacious as we were building it. I think its obvious that our intention was to introduce kid (and adults) to cultural myth by creating really cool and fun items that were, at once, both intriguing and thought-provoking. 

But at its core, this project was purely about building bridges, new connections between people of unlike backgrounds. Its part of the reason that Rama seemed like a great place to start (since he's such a great leader and has some experience in building lasting bridges). Its why we focused heavily on faraway places with people that are very unlike us as Americans. As a child, I never travelled outside of North America, but as an adult, I've been fortunate to travel all over the world and see things that changed me forever. These heroes are a way for children to travel to far of lands via their imaginations

As a studio, we had other goals that we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to (1) get our own ideas into the zeitgeist and connect directly with people about those ideas, (2) explore how the crowd-funding model might work for toys (what are the barriers and benefits of a preorder model?), and (3) remind people that action figures have value from a cultural and societal point of view and that they aren't just 'throwaway' consumer culture.

This Kickstarter campaign has been a life-changing experience in its own way. We've met this really diverse group of amazing articulate people and got to talk to you about what we love to do most, make great, fun toys. You've seen the opportunity and supported it with your own time, attention, and dollars. Its humbling to be reminded what groups of 'strangers' can do if they believe in something enough. Thank you for giving.

What's next?

We feel that this campaign has proven that people have a vested interest in seeing The Hero Project continue in some manner. We're invested in moving the project forward, but we're also interested in why you love it and how it should evolve. If you have the interest, please take a few minutes to click and fill out our Hero Project survey (or do it on our Facebook Page). We're collecting names for a Hero Project newsletter, so if you are interested shoot us an email (there is also a way to sign up inside the Hero Project survey). 

It looks like we have about 37 hours of campaign left. Lets make the most of that time. Contact us, voice your support or frustrations, your ideas, dreams and wishes for the project going forward. 

Rama illustrator showcase: part 2

Here's the rest of the illustrations contributed by some really fantastic designers and illustrators to commemorate the project. These will be featured in the full-color 'Rama: Art of the Hero Project' book available in both soft and hard-cover formats in our reward tiers.

The 'Art of' book will contain preliminary character designs, including unpublished work and shots of the sculpt in process, the illustrations featured below, as well as, new images from the Dynamo guys, and a listing of all of YOU who helped get this project off the ground. The book is available in the Enthusiast Package and above.

Thanks again to all the folks who contributed time to help make the project happen. Please check out their work and click on their links below to see more.

Illustrators in order of appearance- Jim Groman, Galen McKamy, Dee Boyd/Floating Pear Productions, and BJ Johnson

  • Image 143143 original
  • Image 143144 original
  • Image 143145 original
  • Image 143147 original

300 Backers!, International shipping, International press release, and more...

300 modern culture heroes!

We've come a long way from the first night of the campaign. We've had a lot of great conversation about what people like about the project and why they think its important to society and global culture.

In addition to welcoming all the new folks who are coming in, I wanted to take a few moments to celebrate reaching our 300th backer! Give yourselves a hand, its taken a lot to get the word out and you've stepped up to tell a lot of people about the project. We've also got 715 'Likes' for the page/project. But, YOU are the real cultural heroes. Voting with your money (and in many cases, your time) to get these toys into peoples' (especially, kid's) hands and enrich our understanding of and connection to the greater world around us.

Newsletter/Facebook

We're interested in what you think about the project, so we're starting to collect names for a Hero Project newsletter and get membership to our Facebook page up. If you are interested in more targeted update drop us a line via email- wayne@gogodynamo.com - or 'Like' us at our Go, Go, Dynamo! Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Go-Go-Dynamo/215035128609956

International backers- don't forget to add for shipping!

If you are a backer from outside the United States, please take a moment to double check your reward pledges to ensure you have added the 'International shipping' charge listed at the bottom of each reward tier. For example, the basic figure reward $35 should have a total pledge of $45 to cover the additional cost of shipping outside of the US. This applies to Canada and Mexico, as well. (Hindsight being what it is, maybe I should have use the word shipping in my explanation :)

So, please take a moment while you are here to sign in and modify your pledge, so we can be sure to ship it when the figures are manufactured.

Press release

On Friday, we posted an official press release that went out through several services and is currently weaving a path through the inter webs. If you think that your local paper, community newsletter, favorite blogger, etc. would be interested in covering the story, Please send them a link to the press release- http://www.pr.com/press-release/430453 along with a personal message about why you are backing it. Backer Katie Wagle Hitmar, send along some advice about finding local media guides with contact info for media outlets in your area.

FROM KATIE: "If friends want to share the press release and are having trouble finding how to submit to their local news outlets, they can try googling "city name + media guide" or searching within www.abyznewslinks.com." 

For those of you who are building Kickstarters as we speak, make sure you 'go wide' to major media as much as possible. Its harder to land, but the big numbers and exposure make a big difference. We heavily targeted niche media (toy, parenting, family, culture) in hopes of quickly finding the people we thought would care the most- you need to do both- work broad for wide exposure and focus for people who will connect more strongly.

Coverage highlights and thanks

We've has some real standouts in the past week from a coverage standpoint.

There are many more to mention, but we'll keep hitting them in future updates.

Its hard to convey what your support of this project means to us. Thank you so much. The clock is ticking, but we're going to keep at it til the last second.