Miniatures Kickstarter Ninja Division


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Yeah, every time I think of working on some homebrew stuff for Starfinder, consider working on adventure path conversions, or even see a new post in a thread was following on the Starfinder forums, I remember this kickstarter, the sour taste is brought to the forefront of my memory, and I have to walk away for another few days.


technarken wrote:
kadance wrote:
Got a link?

Archon choke-slams Ninja Division under a bus

I got an auto-reply from that email within half an hour.

Woo. I'm gonna e-mail them.

You know in all seriousness, even though it's kind of a rip off (directed at the original campaign, not Archon), I honestly wouldn't mind paying Archon directly on a per-mini basis (skipping the free ones I got anyways, but didn't care for and picking and choosing among the ones I selected as part of my package). If the problem is they made the minis, but didn't get paid for them and still have them, I would like to cut out the middleman and get my product.

I can always (and possibly futiley) go after Ninja Division/ badger GameOn Tableop (the service I paid as a late backer) for a refund, even if I could only nail them on shipping and handling charges for objects that weren't shipped and get some of it back.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Game on tabletop isn't liable. They're only a finance subservice. I contacted them a while ago.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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I've been catching up on all the activity in the thread. I want to leave it open for folks to discuss, give feedback, commiserate, etc. I don't want this to turn into a place for gossip, accusations, or judgements and theories based off of back-of-the-napkin calculations. I just don't see that as being helpful to backers who are already upset, and I feel that making a lot of conjecture is going to needlessly raise or crush folks' spirits. Please avoid arguing with one another. Plenty of folks are already stressed and frustrated, getting snippy with each other doesn't help anyone and just encourages a cycle of extra grumpiness.

It's okay for people to come in the thread and explain their frustrations, and its okay for folks to come explain why they might still be feeling optimistic. It's okay to let people to express their feelings without others trying to pick them apart or try to somehow logic or prove their feelings are not justified.

We sincerely appreciate the folks that have taken time to express their feedback; yes, even the feedback that is hard to hear from people who feel let down or disappointed in us.

I know that there are lots of questions you want answers to and things you want to hear be said. We are all very aware of the the issues, feedback provided, and questions raised in this thread and elsewhere. The Paizo executive and licensing teams, with the various information and knowledge that they have access to, are trying to navigate this in a way that first and foremost, does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. Anything they (or I) want say is carefully viewed through that lens. There are over 2K backers and we take the responsibility to ensure we do not unintentionally and negatively interfere very seriously.

I sincerely hope(d) that by trying to update the thread, even when there is no new information or statements, that it would demonstrate Paizo is not ignoring the issues arising from the kickstarter. I knew going into this that it would help some folks and not be enough for others and I am truly sorry to those of you for whom it is not enough.

Erik has been wanting to post in this thread and he's been trying to formulate some thoughts. I have been hesitant to say this as I know that as soon as I say that, there will likely be expectations raised that may or may not be met and I try to be exceedingly conservative when it comes to things that might affect people's expectations. Particularly because I have not been sure if or when a post might come to fruition or what it will end up saying.

With the above in mind, I want to let you know that Erik has been working on putting some of his thoughts into words, and will post them soon. I'm not sure when he might be able to post anything. I know other execs are working with him to ensure what he says conveys the message he intends and I do not know how long that will take.

-Sara Marie


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sara Marie,

Even through frustrations, I appreciate you and the work you guys do. It's not easy when projects don't go according to plan.

Thank you for your post, it is appreciated by me, and likely many others. Paizo Fans are still hoping for a positive outcome, but even if that isn't in the cards it is appreciated that you have maintained communications throughout.

Personally I have written off any physical product that I didn't receive as a loss. Anything more than that will be a welcomed surprise.

All I expect at this point is communication. If I feel like at a bare minimum we aren't kept in the loop then I personally will feel a loss of confidence in a company that I have promoted to anyone interested in playing RPG's since I found you.

Can not over communicate, but I can understand the careful wording to not jeopardize any positive outcomes as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Here's my thoughts, for what it's worth (I'm not trying to persuade anyone - this thread seems full of "what's the right thing to do" by people who really aren't in possession of all the fact. I don't know the right thing to do, but I do know what would make me feel better).

I backed for $600 and have so far received five minis (I'm in Australia, as an aside - I've seen a few comments that they didn't deliver any overseas minis and I can vouch for the fact that at least some made it here). They were fine in quality. Some were a bit shiny but that's apparently going to fade with time - I haven't looked at them since they arrived, so I don't know if it's true or not.

I backed immediately on launch, then read all the warnings and cancelled my pledge. Then I read the comments from Erik and Jeff (in this thread I believe?) and rebacked on that basis.

I don't think Paizo "owe us" the minis. Nor do I think they are liable - I understand that I made a deal with Ninja Division and they are the ones who are failing to fulfill their side of the bargain.

I do feel like Paizo are responsible for their part in hyping it and it seems like that was unwise. I'd like to know how that happened. These guys really don't seem very good, so why were you so confident they were going to deliver? (That could have been your fault in not doing adequate research, or you could have been scammed by decent sales people and terrible business people). I'd like to hear about this specifically as this is the only thing that really impacts on my relationship with paizo - I ended up backing the Dynamite kickstarter, for example but it was the first "paizo-partnered" project I was at all hesitant about. I suspect that uncertainty stemmed entirely from the Ninja Division situation).

I fully understand that any discussions you're entering into with Archon, Ninja Division or anyone else can likely not be made public. I also suspect that's going to be a long process. For me, I'm no longer really interested in "how's this project going"?

I'd like to make peace with the fact it failed and I think paizo's part in that is to outline what you can that led you to vouch for them in such an unqualified way, given that they really don't seem to warrant endorsement.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Separately, I'd really like to thank Sara Marie for her efforts in managing this issue. It's not pleasant and I'm sure it's one of the least good bits of your job. As a backer, it's hard not to take potshots when one person pokes their head above the parapet without actually addressing what one wants to be addressed.

Speaking for myself Sara, even if I get grumpy or iritable - it's about the ongoing situation and not about your posts/actions. I greatly appreciate your willingness to engage, even though you're clearly unable to really speak directly to the issues I actually want addressed.

I have utmost confidence that you are passing these musings on to the people who matter. I've seen you advocate for the community tirelessly over the years and even if I forget to say it in times like this, it's truly appreciated.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was excited for a second when I heard wiz kids announced new miniature range.
link MLP, GiJoe, and transformers...meh.


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Sara Marie,

I appreciate your well written and vetted post, even though it does not provide any additional information, answer any questions, or provide any commitment on behalf of Paizo to the Backers of this kickstarter. It shows a level of continued engagement and a recognition that this kickstarter remains a continuing issue/problem that you are taking seriously.

One thing that I, personally, would like to emphasize is that I believe each person posting on this thread has a sincere desire to see Paizo and Starfinder succeed. Some are feeling justifiably hurt, but my comment remains. I think anyone that is bothering to post to this board wants this game and Paizo to succeed.

I would expect a large percentage of the backers of the Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter would be first adopters and, for lack of a better term, superfans. Those fans are important because they are the ones that buy product rather than just using the SRD, they push sales. This is not an issue that is going to go away, or one that should be allowed to continue to fester up to Paizo Con. Selfishly, I want to see this game flourish so I can get more content to steal ideas from for the game I run.

That being said, I believe that Paizo needs to do the following: (Note, I am assuming that there is no expectation or scenario in which Ninja Division is going to provide the promised items to backers.)

1. In any future license, Paizo must insist and require as part of its license that the advertisement is clear that the entity is being licensed and this is not an offer being made by Paizo. For example, the Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter listing(the one Sara Marie refers to as the Ninja Division Kickstarter) should have related that Ninja Division, though a License with Paizo, is pleased to offer Official Starfinder Miniatures ect. The actual campaign, to me, looked like a joint venture.

2. If your not already, insist on approval of the marketing material, especially for anything involving your logo or brand. (Look at my prior posts on how, in my opinion, the way the Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter was marketed on the Kickstarter Page was poor for Paizo and made Paizo look like a partner in the Kickstarter rather than a licensor.)

3. If you are not already doing this, you may wish to consider viewing a potential licensee's books or require that they show proof of certain cash reserves as a condition of doing business with them to ensure they are financially healthy to follow through. Even with a license, it is your IP that is being put out there and they are selling to the same customers you are. A licensee that upsets your audience hurts you too.

4. I am betting Sara Marie's 2-27-19 posting was vetted before she posted it. I bet that her choice to use the phrase 'Ninja Division Kickstarter' was very intentionally used than the actual title of 'Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter'. You should consider whether your COO and CCO/Publisher should be posting related to third party products or campaigns. Much of the anger that you are seeing directed at Paizo was as a result of the perceived endorsements of the Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter by your COO and CCO/Publisher. I'm not saying stay off the boards all together, but there are threads to be involved with and there are ones that they should not be. Rules or lore threads, great, third party products, not so much.

5. With that being said, in my opinion, you are taking too long to apologize. Your position seems to be this is Ninja Divisions job to produce and deliver these minis, not our fault or obligation. If that is the case, then you should say you are sorry, that Paizo thought ND could do it because ND showed us some nice miniatures and ND made nice minis in the past and ND gave us repeated assurances that ND could do it, we thought miniatures would be a great addition for fans of the game, we really thought fans would like them, we expected and were assured by ND that the miniatures would be highest quality, we don't understand why ND has failed to complete and deliver as they promised, we are doing what we can on our end and are trying to be as creative as we can to bring out a better resolution for the backers, our fans are our priority, you are our friends and customers, we are sorry that you have been let down in this process by ND, and we are trying to do what we can on our end to have Ninja Division fulfill their obligations. Everything I typed there points back at Ninja Division but also puts you on the Backers side.

6. Paizo still should do something independently for backers whether you think you have an obligation or not. Personally, and I have no idea the cost, but consider making something, a unique product, only for the Backers. For example, a specific hard copy module for Starfinder similar to the ones you produce for free RPG day. Number them, only send them to backers, and have each one contain an apology signed by the COO and CCO/Publisher - actual signatures. Don't sell a PDF or, if you do, have the proceeds go to charity. Consider adding a certificate for a playable race or item for Starfinder Society that is unique to the backers as an encouragement to play. Years ago in my RPGA days, WoTC would occasionally send out free swag to active members, I still have/use my RPGA/Chessez battlemat and my Fist of Emirikol. These are your super fans, surprise them and make them smile.
7. For each subscriber you have lost during the campaign. Reach out to them, and offer to finish the current adventure path for them. That will be either a 3 or six module adventure path in pdf. Maybe that may help rekindle interest, may save a customer, costs you very little as it is an electronic item, and you probably would not have received that sale anyways. Track if they download it and then follow up later to try to win them back. Consider sending the hard copy too.
8. Keep trying with Archon . . .

Feel free to delete this post if you want. I fully acknowledge I've never run an RPG company and this is far afield in this topic. These thoughts, which I acknowledge may be out of bounds which is why I offer, are as a result of this Kickstarter and things that I see Paizo could have and should have done better.

As I said, I want you to succeed.


Sabirwolf wrote:


I understand that a lot of that extra % will go to supplying the demand, but production costs per unit go down the more you produce (bulk order cost savings)

FYI this is only true to a point, but then there is the kicker, shipping. Nobody is giving away shipping, especially from China, and if you're delivery went from a portion of a cargo crate to an entire one, costs can skyrocket.

I order thousands and thousands of little metal and plastic parts a year from companies like this for work. The parts are almost trivial in cost, but shipping will eat you alive.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Silas Stadatilas wrote:
4. I am betting Sara Marie's 2-27-19 posting was vetted before she posted it. I bet that her choice to use the phrase 'Ninja Division Kickstarter' was very intentionally used than the actual title of 'Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter'.

Not intentional. "Ninja Division's Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures Kickstarter" gets to be a mouthful (brainful?) and I've gotten in a habit of using various shortcuts to refer to it. Internally, I often just use "the ND KS", but I attempt to type out abbreviations on the forums so I don't unintentionally create a situation where a newcomer is lost with what abbreviations mean what.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed a post. Do not repost content to our website that comes from places which are not publicly available (ie emails or private messages). This is a site-wide policy and not something specific to this thread.


Sara Marie wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
4. I am betting Sara Marie's 2-27-19 posting was vetted before she posted it. I bet that her choice to use the phrase 'Ninja Division Kickstarter' was very intentionally used than the actual title of 'Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter'.
Not intentional. "Ninja Division's Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures Kickstarter" gets to be a mouthful (brainful?) and I've gotten in a habit of using various shortcuts to refer to it. Internally, I often just use "the ND KS", but I attempt to type out abbreviations on the forums so I don't unintentionally create a situation where a newcomer is lost with what abbreviations mean what.

Of that entire post this is the only part you respond to?

You guys make it hard to love you some times.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Silas Stadatilas wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
4. I am betting Sara Marie's 2-27-19 posting was vetted before she posted it. I bet that her choice to use the phrase 'Ninja Division Kickstarter' was very intentionally used than the actual title of 'Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter'.
Not intentional. "Ninja Division's Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures Kickstarter" gets to be a mouthful (brainful?) and I've gotten in a habit of using various shortcuts to refer to it. Internally, I often just use "the ND KS", but I attempt to type out abbreviations on the forums so I don't unintentionally create a situation where a newcomer is lost with what abbreviations mean what.

Of that entire post this is the only part you respond to?

You guys make it hard to love you some times.

I've got a deadline tomorrow for PaizoCon and that was the only part I could make a quick response to.


Silas

The big issue with ND's kickstarter is that Paizo let it be ND's kickstarter, which meant ND was paid up front and got to spend the $$$ on whatever they wanted.

I don't think any of your precautions would have helped with that.

I suspect using all of the licensee disclaimers as you suggest would have just backfired as people would have backed anyways when Paizo came out in support of ND the way they did and Paizo using that language to tell everyone its all on ND would have likely just made backers even angrier and feeling like Paizo always planned to let ND scam them and then use the language as a cop out.

The money should have gone to Paizo who would then pay Archon up front and ND getting performance based pay, they design X # of mini's and they get paid X $$$.

The fact that ND most likely wouldn't have worked under those arrangements as they wouldn't have been able to use the money to finance other projects at Paizo & the Starfinder backers expense would have been the final clue Paizo needed to realize this was really nothing more then a scam pulled on them and the backers by ND.


Sara Marie wrote:

Erik has been wanting to post in this thread and he's been trying to formulate some thoughts. I have been hesitant to say this as I know that as soon as I say that, there will likely be expectations raised that may or may not be met and I try to be exceedingly conservative when it comes to things that might affect people's expectations. Particularly because I have not been sure if or when a post might come to fruition or what it will end up saying.

With the above in mind, I want to let you know that Erik has been working on putting some of his thoughts into words, and will post them soon. I'm not sure when he might be able to post anything. I know other execs are working with him to ensure what he says conveys the message he intends and I do not know how long that will take.
[ooc]I know that there are lots of questions you want answers to and things you want to hear be said. We are all very aware of the the issues, feedback provided, and questions raised in this thread and elsewhere. The Paizo executive and licensing teams, with the various information and knowledge that they have access to, are trying to navigate this in a way that first and foremost, does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. Anything they (or I) want say is carefully viewed through that lens. There are over 2K backers and we take the responsibility to ensure we do not unintentionally and negatively interfere very seriously.

Sara Marie, many thanks for posting this. This addresses the question I was most interested in hearing an answer for (of those questions that I thought *could* be answered given whatever is going on behind the scenes).


Summersnow wrote:

Silas

The big issue with ND's kickstarter is that Paizo let it be ND's kickstarter, which meant ND was paid up front and got to spend the $$$ on whatever they wanted.

I don't think any of your precautions would have helped with that.

I suspect using all of the licensee disclaimers as you suggest would have just backfired as people would have backed anyways when Paizo came out in support of ND the way they did and Paizo using that language to tell everyone its all on ND would have likely just made backers even angrier and feeling like Paizo always planned to let ND scam them and then use the language as a cop out.

The money should have gone to Paizo who would then pay Archon up front and ND getting performance based pay, they design X # of mini's and they get paid X $$$.

The fact that ND most likely wouldn't have worked under those arrangements as they wouldn't have been able to use the money to finance other projects at Paizo & the Starfinder backers expense would have been the final clue Paizo needed to realize this was really nothing more then a scam pulled on them and the backers by ND.

I agree with your comment, the difficulty is that I doubt Paizo would want to be a project manager, especially at the royalty rate they were receiving. At that level of involvement, Paizo would be better off just starting a miniatures division maybe paying Ninja Division for some sculpting and a consulting fee (hire Archon instead would have been a good suggestion).

Taking the prior COO and CCO/Publisher posts in the best possible light, I think Paizo was mislead by Ninja Division about Ninja Divisions current health and ability to produce. Too much good faith was created by the production of a small batch of Minis that were sold/exhibited at Gen Con that significant red flags were dismissed or outright ignored. I think Ninja Division told Paizo what they wanted to hear, that there could be miniatures for Starfinder, something that would make fans happy, and Paizo would make some money without much effort. I think Paizo was too trusting, especially in light of events that were occurring with Ninja Division, and only heard and saw what they wanted to hear. I do not think Paizo had the capacity to manage the project, wanted to manage the project, nor would it be economically feasible for Paizo at the royalty rate.

Everything I suggested is backwards looking at problems I perceive from this Kickstarter and how to keep them from happening again.

The third one I suggested may have helped, the review of books or required capital, some companies may not be willing to do this, but it is not unusual to have a showing of financial health before some companies will do business with others. In this case, I am curious if Ninja Division had any working capital at the time of the Kickstarter, let alone sufficient working capital to see it through for a few months. It is my guess that Ninja Division was already dead in the water at the start of this kickstarter and did not have sufficient resources to realistically perform despite the infusion of funds from this. If I am correct and Paizo would have known of Ninja Divisions lack of financial health, they probably would not have gone through with the license. (I am assuming Paizo was mislead by Ninja Division on their financial health and ability to preform as a going concern.)

This also becomes a bigger question with the issuance of a license because there is going to be a term for that license. Paizo has shown a repeated desire for miniatures to be produced for Starfinder. I would expect that they wanted production for Alien Archive II, the upcoming Alien Archive III, and more sculpts of existing races, monsters and ships. Now that Ninja Division has the license and no apparent ability to produce, there is likely to be no additional 'official' Starfinder miniatures in the near future.

I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

EDIT: Moved the last sentence so it stands alone. It is really the only question in this post and I didn't want it to get lost.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Silas Stadatilas wrote:
I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

Questions regarding the status of Ninja Division's Starfinder Miniatures license are not ones that we can address in this thread at this time.


Silas Stadatilas wrote:

I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

It would be great to see another company get a crack at these. If they weren't resin it would be even better. I tend to break small resin gaming figures. Would be great if someone who makes plastic and/or metal got the license. I know the Pathfinder mini license is shared by two companies.

I'd like to know if the Ninja Division deal was exclusive, or if Paizo still has the rights necessary to let another company make Starfinder miniatures, as is the case with Pathfinder. I would guess that when 2 companies both license the same IP to make competing miniature lines, things could get contentious. Especially since this is such a new and niche IP. It's a very small market for 2 companies to share.

Still, if Ninja Division never delivers the KS figures to backers and then retail, it would end up being one company with the license and almost nothing but a few overpriced prepaint packs on store shelves. I really hope the license was not exclusive. Putting all the Starfinder's eggs into one basket seems insane considering ND is holding the basket.

........

Ah, already ninja'd by Sara Marie. Guessing we won't know for a while. 100% understandable. NDAs, legal considerations and businesses courtesies are par for the course. Fair enough.


Ninja has been commenting again. Cut and pasted from Ninja Division Publishing comments page on their Kickstarter profile. You can find them in context if you search through the comments to the Kickstarter itself. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-minia tures/comments

Ninja Division Publishing wrote:



Quite simply - you start your KS with a budget in mind. The scope of what you create or convince yourself you can deliver grows during the campaign, and if there is any variance, additional carry costs, additional time beyond planning, it all draws money from that reserve, and all the while ,if there is no actual product coming to market, you begin to bleed away at the companies other incomes. Should any of your expected sales get hit, a product get delivered late, or any other reason not well received by an audience, your expected funds do not come in and now your expected revenues are not meeting your funding needs for basic operations over and above your KS funding. Long story short - if SDE (our largest KS) delivered within 6 months of our promised delivery, we would have MILLIONS in revenue on the open market starting to keep the process liquid and meeting all our needs - we have stated our delay reasons, and the host of economy, bad decisions, and product reception has put us in a snowball effect that is needfully concerning and delaying everyones work.

Feb 28 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


I am well aware that the void has created speculation, but when as an operation you lose your bearings and need to circle wagons to get your direction again, there is nothing to tell that doesnt continue to poke and inflame. We are here, and we are still working to get this done right. What is the point of a string along? Like... really? I won't speak to Archon, but I can speak to bringing our team together and realizing that we can't just sit idly by and let this void continue. Our comms are open and honest, and allowing visibility in the areas that have been asked of us, the information and progress we make in the next months will start to define our timelines for getting this stuff moving again.

Feb 28 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


Greetings, We will continue to update as things progress, it will be slow, but nothing has stopped here. Our primary focus is on securing the removal of blocks on our production and securing the additional funding needed to move things along - Calling for us to go to jail seems... really out of sorts with a desire to see this product delivered. We are thankful for all the support and PMs from backers patiently waiting, we are very sorry for this horrid delay, and are working with all expediency to see a solution

Feb 28 2019 on #47: from the project Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures

Submitted without further comment.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

It’s not exactly what you asked, Silas, but related to the question about the license “returning to Paizo”:

I believe (though can’t find a link) that Paizo have a long running, general policy that the licenses they grant aren’t exclusive. I believe that has been affirmed in this case publicly (but can’t for the life of me remember by who or where).

As such, the ND deal doesn’t preclude SF minis being made elsewhere, though the individual sculpts are probably off the table (meaning any future licensee would need to work off different art).

Paizo Employee Chief Operations Officer

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

It’s not exactly what you asked, Silas, but related to the question about the license “returning to Paizo”:

I believe (though can’t find a link) that Paizo have a long running, general policy that the licenses they grant aren’t exclusive. I believe that has been affirmed in this case publicly (but can’t for the life of me remember by who or where).

As such, the ND deal doesn’t preclude SF minis being made elsewhere, though the individual sculpts are probably off the table (meaning any future licensee would need to work off different art).

Hey Steve,

you are mostly correct. As a general rule, we try not to issue exclusive contracts for anything but from time to time we do grant them. The ND license is non-exclusive and would not prohibit another company from producing miniatures for the line.


Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

It’s not exactly what you asked, Silas, but related to the question about the license “returning to Paizo”:

I believe (though can’t find a link) that Paizo have a long running, general policy that the licenses they grant aren’t exclusive. I believe that has been affirmed in this case publicly (but can’t for the life of me remember by who or where).

As such, the ND deal doesn’t preclude SF minis being made elsewhere, though the individual sculpts are probably off the table (meaning any future licensee would need to work off different art).

Hey Steve,

you are mostly correct. As a general rule, we try not to issue exclusive contracts for anything but from time to time we do grant them. The ND license is non-exclusive and would not prohibit another company from producing miniatures for the line.

Jeff, so nice of you to drop by.

Just curious as to how you feel about your comments "We have complete faith in Ninja Division - Soda Pop to follow through with their promises in the Kickstarter or we would not have partnered with them." I believe this was in September 2017

Regrets? Maybe you still have that complete faith.

I know I am coming off snarky but its due to yours and Eric's ongoing silence, though hats off to Sara for holding us off as long as possible.

Paizo Employee Chief Operations Officer

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Jinteki42 wrote:
Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
I asked before but I never got an answer about the license returning to Paizo or if Ninja Division still retains it.

It’s not exactly what you asked, Silas, but related to the question about the license “returning to Paizo”:

I believe (though can’t find a link) that Paizo have a long running, general policy that the licenses they grant aren’t exclusive. I believe that has been affirmed in this case publicly (but can’t for the life of me remember by who or where).

As such, the ND deal doesn’t preclude SF minis being made elsewhere, though the individual sculpts are probably off the table (meaning any future licensee would need to work off different art).

Hey Steve,

you are mostly correct. As a general rule, we try not to issue exclusive contracts for anything but from time to time we do grant them. The ND license is non-exclusive and would not prohibit another company from producing miniatures for the line.

Jeff, so nice of you to drop by.

Just curious as to how you feel about your comments "We have complete faith in Ninja Division - Soda Pop to follow through with their promises in the Kickstarter or we would not have partnered with them." I believe this was in September 2017

Regrets? Maybe you still have that complete faith.

I know I am coming off snarky but its due to yours and Eric's ongoing silence, though hats off to Sara for holding us off as long as possible.

Obviously Cory, we are deeply disappointed in how things have turned out so far in both the campaign and the relationship between those that backed the campaign and Paizo. At the time, which was 18 months ago btw, we had good reasons to believe that things were going to work out. If we didn’t, I would never have spoken out in support of the partnership.


Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It’s not exactly what you asked, Silas, but related to the question about the license “returning to Paizo”:

I believe (though can’t find a link) that Paizo have a long running, general policy that the licenses they grant aren’t exclusive. I believe that has been affirmed in this case publicly (but can’t for the life of me remember by who or where).

As such, the ND deal doesn’t preclude SF minis being made elsewhere, though the individual sculpts are probably off the table (meaning any future licensee would need to work off different art).

Hey Steve,

you are mostly correct. As a general rule, we try not to issue exclusive contracts for anything but from time to time we do grant them. The ND license is non-exclusive and would not prohibit another company from producing miniatures for the line.

Gotta say, that is the best news I've heard during this whole situation. Even if Ninja Division somehow comes out with these at retail, I wouldn't buy them unless they were in the clearance bin. Hopefully, another company will someday get it done. One without all the baggage this company carries.

The art and stylistic design of the characters and races in Starfinder are inspired. I'd love to paint some eventually.


So is this sudden activity going to stop after paizocon?


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I don't know how fast things are actually going to move, but I think Paizo's going to keep on this until there's a final resolution. "It took a lot longer than we wanted, but people got their mini's in the end" is significantly better than "everyone got burned and lost all they invested".


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Sara Marie wrote:
"does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. "

A fine sentiment but I'm not sure how our chances of receiving any figures can drop below 0%.


As my post has been erased...
Just a small post to say that I have been contacted by Kai Nesbit and that he offered to either reimburse or send me the missing HellDorado miniatures... I do not know how it will end but he seemed to be a nice guy... (I hope that I will get the minis...)


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MadMattUK wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
"does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. "
A fine sentiment but I'm not sure how our chances of receiving any figures can drop below 0%.

I think they're haggling with Archon Studios to try and get the Starfinder Minis already manufactured out of Ninja Division's custody.


technarken wrote:
MadMattUK wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
"does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. "
A fine sentiment but I'm not sure how our chances of receiving any figures can drop below 0%.
I think they're haggling with Archon Studios to try and get the Starfinder Minis already manufactured out of Ninja Division's custody.

I would assume getting them would be easy, just pay archon for the mini's.

I imagine the haggling is over how much that would cost and who's going to pay it.

Then once they get them there's shipping to contend with.


Summersnow wrote:
technarken wrote:
MadMattUK wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
"does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. "
A fine sentiment but I'm not sure how our chances of receiving any figures can drop below 0%.
I think they're haggling with Archon Studios to try and get the Starfinder Minis already manufactured out of Ninja Division's custody.

I would assume getting them would be easy, just pay archon for the mini's.

I imagine the haggling is over how much that would cost and who's going to pay it.

Then once they get them there's shipping to contend with.

And figuring who get's what and already got what, which would involve prying that info out of ND.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Summersnow wrote:
technarken wrote:
MadMattUK wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
"does not put backers' prospects of receiving miniatures from Ninja Division's kickstarter campaign at further risk. "
A fine sentiment but I'm not sure how our chances of receiving any figures can drop below 0%.
I think they're haggling with Archon Studios to try and get the Starfinder Minis already manufactured out of Ninja Division's custody.

I would assume getting them would be easy, just pay archon for the mini's.

I imagine the haggling is over how much that would cost and who's going to pay it.

Then once they get them there's shipping to contend with.

I doubt it's that easy - Paizo proably sold Ninja Division the right to manufacture and distribute these. They could sue for breach of contract and so forth, but they wouldn't be able to just unilaterally take the distribution rights back. Even if Archon retain ownership of the goods until Ninja Division pay for them, they are not necessarily entitled to sell them.

To me this is likely the biggest barrier to a resolution - no matter the justice considerations of the situation from our perspective, ND have legal rights and my guess would be that (given their proclivities for denial in the past) they are going to claim that everything is fine and that the project is merely delayed. As such, I'd expect they wouldn't relinquish those distribution rights without being compensated for them.

That's all speculation, of course - I'm not party to anything. But legal disputes over property rights are rarely settled by something as simple as "this would be a fair thing to do" unless all parties agree.

EDIT: Note that I have minimal experience/knowledge of licensing and IP laws. I've been in enough meetings with lawyers to hear of several bizarre outcomes in similar situations though.


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Ninja Division is quoting on the Kickstarter page again. Here are their comments. You can search to find them to view in context here: [URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-miniatures/comments]

Ninja Division wrote:


Meigeall - yes indeed, we have run out of capital to advance production. But tooling of molds and revisiting design was a contributing element to delays and cost overruns in ferreting our and working with a new manufacturing process.

Mar 4 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


No scams Michael, just horridly unfortunate circumstances of our own making. We are working continuously to fix them.

Mar 4 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


This snowball was a mix of costs, timing, and failure of some key business falling through to sap our resources. We went off the rails, lined up help, and then got that horse shot out from under us before the end of last year - so we pick up and are at it again. There are tools to get this on rails, and we have secured support to help us get there. We will show you advancement as soon as I have news.

Mar 4 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


Greetings folks, We continue to work on solutions to carry the project forward. Many of you have been expressing the core of the argument and justified anger towards our massively delayed project. It is HUGELY and HORRIDLY regrettable to be in our position, not one we place any blame externally for, and take firmly on our shoulders to fix. As stated in the doc, we are ACTIVELY working on solutions with manufacturers in question, and new tools to move the ball along. Things have grown warmer and more positive, and as it is said, I am firmly in the camp of "show you" not "tell you" We will provide updates at things get more concrete, until then, though extremely spread thin, I will be dropping in to check on things here and answer what questions I can.

Mar 4 2019 on Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


Greetings folks, We continue to work on solutions to carry the project forward. Thank you Mr Clark for expressing the core of the argument and justified anger towards our massively delayed project. It is HUGELY and HORRIDLY regrettable to be in our position, not one we place any blame externally for, and take firmly on our shoulders to fix. As stated in the doc, we are ACTIVELY working on solutions with manufacturers in question, and new tools to move the ball along. Things have grown warmer and more positive, and as it is said, I am firmly in the camp of "show you" not "tell you" We will provide updates at things get more concrete, until then, though extremely spread thin, I will be dropping in to check on things here and answer what questions I can.

Mar 4 2019 on #47: from the project Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures


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Well it seems Ninja Division is trying. Their silence is what hurt them the most, more than the delays. Their recent posts are a huge improvement in communication. But I remain in the skeptical "I'll believe it when I see it camp." Obviously, I backed the project because I wanted the product so I want them to succeed. There is nothing to do but wait.


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Palladium Books said the same thing after ND put them in a bind for 5 years before admitting it was all a lie.

A project with the Mini's made (as per Archon) but not delivered because ND spent the money on something else and can't pay Archon is not "delayed".

Its "failed" until someone comes in and hands ND more money (Paizo?).


I wonder if this will be addressed at paizo con? Or will this be stone walled. I for one would be livid if I saw their starfinder minis for sale in bulk while we still have nothing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ghost725 wrote:
I wonder if this will be addressed at paizo con? Or will this be stone walled. I for one would be livid if I saw their starfinder minis for sale in bulk while we still have nothing.

You will likely see their plastic pre painted lines there. Still seeing them available readily at places like miniature market...


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
technarken wrote:
I think they're haggling with Archon Studios to try and get the Starfinder Minis already manufactured out of Ninja Division's custody.

Hey, technarken

Just curious, have you received a reply from Archon following the auto response? I have not. Trying to decide if I should email again. Of course if they would ship Chronicle, I could at least use those minis for Starfinder.

Liberty's Edge

I got the auto-response from Archon but nothing more going on about a week.


Never got a reply, but then again I wasn't a backer of Archon, so I guess it makes sense


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Just to be clear:
Until today, the official kickstarter page
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-minia tures?lang=de
lists Paizo as the main responsible agent of this project, as evidenced in the "About Us" section. So as long as Paizo is content with that presentation (and having profited by it through licence payments), I am content with calling them responsible.

And if the only miniature companies in the world are Reaper, WizKids and Ninja Division, who of those 3 makes all the Games Workshop miniatures? Or Privateer's? Or Infinity's? Or Malifaux's? Or Kromlech's? Or Greebo's? Or...
Heck, for 1.3 Mio dollars even I could produce ... nothing at all because it all went into my salary.

Shadow Lodge

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Kroothawk wrote:
And if the only miniature companies in the world are Reaper, WizKids and Ninja Division, who of those 3 makes all the Games Workshop miniatures? Or Privateer's? Or Infinity's? Or Malifaux's? Or Kromlech's? Or Greebo's? Or...

Are they able to do sci-fantasy miniatures? What is their turnaround time? What was their product schedule like and did they have openings?


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TOZ wrote:
Are they able to do sci-fantasy miniatures? What is their turnaround time? What was their product schedule like and did they have openings?

How about Ninja Division ;)

As said, even I could collect 1 Mio dollar and then deliver nothing.

Paizo vouched with their reputation for this kickstarter, the only reason I took part. Now they have to face the consequences for that.

And I wouldn't count Paizo's "Hi still can't say anything but stay calm" as "communication".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Kroothawk wrote:
How about Ninja Division ;)

Stop deflecting. ND was a yes to those questions at the time. Paizo was wrong about it. Hopefully they can recover something out of it all.

Liberty's Edge

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It'd be nice to know more on how this happened. Were those other companies approached? If so why did ND become the winning bid? As a grieved party, I kinda want to know what my loyalty to the company was worth.


J-Bone wrote:

It'd be nice to know more on how this happened. Were those other companies approached? If so why did ND become the winning bid? As a grieved party, I kinda want to know what my loyalty to the company was worth.

$28 000/2500 backers

So about $10

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
J-Bone wrote:
It'd be nice to know more on how this happened.

Agreed. I doubt we’ll get much information about that, however.

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