Big Progress Update
Hey everybody, sorry for not getting you more substantive details sooner, but we’ve been working to hammer out all the details and variables around the Robotech® RPG Tactics™ project, for you, our distributors, and ourselves.
First, not only is this Palladium Books’ very first Kickstarter, this is also our first venture into making a game like Robotech® RPG Tactics™. Our learning curve has been steep and this undertaking is massive, even with Ninja Division’s experience and handling of much of this.
Second, the scope of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ was expansive and demanding to begin with, and grew as the Kickstarter went on. The sheer number of different product SKUs, special figures, poses, components for the box game, the many expansion kits, and so on, has meant a tremendous amount of work and logistics. That’s okay, because we want this game line to be truly epic, but it has proven challenging for everyone involved.
Third, the consensus of everyone, Palladium Books to Ninja Division and Harmony Gold, has been that it is better to get this product right than to rush it.
Fourth, detail matters. As Palladium Books has stated before, we want the end product to be everything Robotech fans could want. And we have a pretty good idea of what that is, because a) we listen to you, and b) we are super-fans ourselves. This has actually added to Ninja Division’s work load, because we want these representations of the Robotech® mecha we all know and love to be as detailed and awesome as possible. When there were shortcuts Ninja Division could have taken or Palladium could have authorized, we agreed not to do so in order to give you a superior product.
For example, that has meant numerous additions and tweaks to sculpts, and additional cost and engineering considerations for mold-making and manufacturing. This has caused delays and doubled the cost of the molds, but Palladium is willing to make that sacrifice to give you the best product we can possibly make. No cutting corners if we can avoid it.
The ship date. At this point, we still do not have an exact release date, but it’s no longer possible for it to be in December, as we have not even gone into manufacturing yet. If I had to guess, I’d say February, 2014, though we’re working to try to make it sooner. Palladium Books and Ninja Division are looking to firm up details and dates, and we’ll provide them to you as we get them ourselves.
Is this delay disappointing? Of course, but this is worth doing right. Palladium has spent thousands of dollars on advertising stating the game is coming out in the Fall of 2013 and December 2013, so obviously, that was the plan. But as I said, when faced with sacrificing quality, we all agreed to take a step back and go with quality even if it meant delaying the release. Even our distributors, who are champing at the bit for this game just like you, agreed it is better to do Robotech® right than to rush it out for fast sales, or quick, personal gratification.
Here’s how things are unfolding:
1. Almost there. The design and layout work for the rule book, stat cards, packaging and accessories are all pretty much complete. They are the fast and easy part of manufacturing. It’s the final mold engineering and mold-making that has been taking some time to keep the details and features we know you’ll want. As we get close to finalizing that process, we approach the actual manufacturing. However, our earlier delays mean we face a glut of product in the pipeline for Christmas, and potentially further delays.
2. Manufacturing. How soon our job can get into manufacture (hopefully later this month) will determine how quickly we’ll get the finished product. Other factors include the Chinese New Year that closes down much of the manufacturing for a few weeks, and shipping to the USA port (another 4-6 weeks), then clearing Customs and then shipping to Palladium. The latter should go quickly (a week?).
3. USA: Once product is in Palladium’s hands, even with an efficient assembly line set up and additional help brought in, it will take some time to process, pick, pack and ship the 5,000+ Kickstarter orders and the many Kickstarter accessories and special items. Note: Kickstarter orders will ship before Palladium sends any product to distributors for retail distribution. We appreciate your support, and you will get the product before it goes to retail. And remember, MANY of the Kickstarter items will be in your hands months before the retail expansion packs are released in waves to retail. Enjoy.
4. EU & Overseas: We have made special arrangements to pull, pack and address your packages at the Palladium warehouse, and then ship them in bulk to an agent who will post them from within the EU. That should mean everyone in the EU will get shipped around the same time, but after packages are shipped in the USA.
We will update details and firmer dates as we learn them. Meanwhile, Palladium will continue to provide you with images of actual game pieces and the full production packages as we go along.
Our apologies for the longer than anticipated wait. The game pieces/models are gorgeous, the game is a fast, fun simulation of the Robotech® TV show, and this product will be worth it!
Kevin Siembieda, Publisher
November 1, 2013
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