Miniatures Kickstarter Ninja Division


Third-Party Starfinder Products

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Starfinder Superscriber

It is a sad situation. I have not gotten anything but I do not hold paizo solely responsible. I hold ninja division responsible for failing to provide what they said. And with no real way to get ahold of their company it doesn't help to find a true answer.


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I'm unfortunately in the [ALL-IN] backer department through the late backer system. I've had a single message from ND saying I should get my stuff soon - before August.

Since then, nothing. I'm $400 + postage in the red and have nothing to show for it. Doesn't help that the group's Starfinder campaign is already halfway too. Suffice to say, I'm slightly grumpy at this, but I'm holding on to what little hope there is.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah I'm in the $400 deep and nothing camp and am suffering serious diaper rash from this. I keep checking in on this and appreciate the communication but between this KS scam and a switch of edition, I might just be out of the Paizo business which is a shame as I've had a blast playing Pathfinder in the past. Right now I just got a nasty bitter taste in my mouth.


Have any of you gone back to your CC companies and tried to get them to file a charge back as this very much looks like fraud on Ninja Divisions part?

I'm curious as to what the success rate is.

I know I've tried 3 times with my bank for fraudulent transactions and the bank as sided with the fraudsters every time.


I don't work for banks and can't give formal advice, but it might help if you mention that this was a project with a long period before it was even possible to know if the results were going to be legitimate or not, so regular time limits on charge backs probably shouldn't apply.


Summersnow wrote:

Have any of you gone back to your CC companies and tried to get them to file a charge back as this very much looks like fraud on Ninja Divisions part?

I'm curious as to what the success rate is.

I know I've tried 3 times with my bank for fraudulent transactions and the bank as sided with the fraudsters every time.

Ninja Division has it down to a science, as they know Kickstarter will fight tooth and nail on any project's behalf, and so long as they drag the process out it makes it even less certain. Unless you want to pretend the purchase was made without your knowledge and stop to NDs fraud level, you're basically hosed


technarken wrote:
Summersnow wrote:

Have any of you gone back to your CC companies and tried to get them to file a charge back as this very much looks like fraud on Ninja Divisions part?

I'm curious as to what the success rate is.

I know I've tried 3 times with my bank for fraudulent transactions and the bank as sided with the fraudsters every time.

Ninja Division has it down to a science, as they know Kickstarter will fight tooth and nail on any project's behalf, and so long as they drag the process out it makes it even less certain. Unless you want to pretend the purchase was made without your knowledge and stop to NDs fraud level, you're basically hosed

Actually, kickstarter doesn't care and will not participate on either side of this fight. The current ToS makes it clear the only legal obligation and "contract" is between the creator & the backer. Kickstarter is a 3rd party hosting service only with no legal obligation to either party if a dispute arises.

The problem I've always had (Robotech Tactics and Star Trek Axenar) is both creators simply claimed "we're still working on it" when they knew they had no intention of providing the final product.

The 3rd was a walmart order I canceled after they revised to "pick up today" to two week lead time and instead of canceling they marked "picked up" and told the bank I never requested a cancellation. The bank sided with Walmart even though the paperwork they sent backing up there story clearly showed the item listed as "cancellation requested"

So moral of the story, I have a sucky bank :-p


Have you tried calling them and asking them whats going on?

I did a business search under sodapop llc and this number came up.

(425) 260-4638

I don't think I'm breaking any rules by posting a business number???


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It might be an issue if you were advocating that people harass them or something, but providing a number and encouraging people to call a business for a legitimate purpose/inquiry is probably fine.

Though, companies CAN change phone numbers, so I recommend hyperlinking to the place on their website or social media where the phone number is displayed of writing it out here. Smaller chance of accidentally contacting someone else. XD


Rednal wrote:

It might be an issue if you were advocating that people harass them or something, but providing a number and encouraging people to call a business for a legitimate purpose/inquiry is probably fine.

Though, companies CAN change phone numbers, so I recommend hyperlinking to the place on their website or social media where the phone number is displayed of writing it out here. Smaller chance of accidentally contacting someone else. XD

I would be shocked if call to that # resulted anything other then a "mailbox full" message at this point.


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Hi

After some internet research (that I should have done before...), the five owners of Ninja Division are
Deke Stella, John Cardice and Chris Birkenhagen (from SodaPop Miniature)
Kai Nesbit and David Freeman (from Cypher studio)
Had I known that before, I would never have pledged: Kai Nesbit has been launching several kickstarters among which a rebirth of Helldorado miniature game: of my 250$ of miniatures, I have only received the rulebook!! and Kai Nesbit never answered to any of my email after that!!!
That this guy associates himself with Robotech Failure guys without anybody noticing (myself included) is beyond my grasp...
However after reading the beginning of this thread and seeing all the warning that have been ignored by Paizo, I see that some at least have been more insightful...
It is strange therefore: I feel both guilty and victim!
Anyway, playing Starfinder will be very difficult from now on...
Sincerely


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Sinvel Menter wrote:
kadance wrote:

Rail Raiders...

Wasn't that the kickstarter that ND was selling at cons and even in retail before fulfilling all the pledges?

Wait, people from ND actually show up at cons trying to sell stuff after these debacles? I might have to go to one just to give them a piece of my mind...

They are most likely merchant intermediaries that have 0% input/knowledge on how things are being handled (cause I highly doubt the head(s) of ND are out in public like that). Giving them “a piece of your mind” would be just as an effective as giving the cashier at McDonalds “a piece of your mind” over the food they’re selling.

They were actually at Gencon this past year. I spoke to several people there about the Kickstarter and even met Scott, the guy handling it all. He seemed like he had a bad attitude and couldn't be bothered. I should have known something was up then, but I had backed several other KS projects, CMON, boardgametables, Munchkin, and all were successful.


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SITZKRIEG! wrote:
MadMattUK wrote:

And now I'm in the situation that, even if by some miracle I got my all-in pledge, I no longer want it.

The window in which I could have started a Starfinder campaign with my group has passed.

Frankly, I'm now so soured on a whole system for which I was originally really enthusiastic that I wouldn't run a campaign even if the opportunity arose.

Yeah, I don't think that Paizo acknowledge that type of experience enough publicly or recognize the long term significance for the game that it has. Let's go over the early adopter (the most loyal type of customer) experience for the game if you went all in. You got a book that fell apart almost instantly (admittedly they fixed that after the fact but it could take months and reports now show some replacement books suffer a similar if delayed problem) and at best got a dozen of the miniatures out of over a hundred funded with people reporting that even that tiny fraction were frequently of dubious quality. Have there been bright spots? Sure, the adventure paths and the boxed sets are popular quality products but it doesn't negate that the core experience has been deeply flawed.

I don't believe that Paizo are in any position to force Ninja Division's hand so I don't expect that but I do expect a public acknowledgement of just how much of a bad situation it really is as opposed to just taking a just hope and wait and see approach publicly. I'd also hope to see in the case of a failed crowdfunding venture like this to see what they did to ensure its success in the first place knowing that ND had a long history of at best delayed projects and what their plan is going forward. It's one thing if a company's joint venture with another takes a nose dive as I don't think customers deserve any "insider" knowledge if their own money wasn't wasted but it's another when that initial capital is put up by the end customers and they're the ones left with little to no product to show for such a sizable monetary input. YMMV.

I...

and that's the other victim because of ND, Starfinder itself. This turned a lot of people off of it because of what they did. I also heard that ND would take the money from one KS pledge to finish up the previous pledge like some gamer Ponzi scheme.


Sara Marie wrote:
Just wanted to check in and let you know that with the holidays, I do not foresee being able to check in with our Licensing Manager or Execs for news until after the new year. I will follow up with them & this thread on Monday, January 8th, 2019.

Tuesday we should get answers. At least if Paizo doesn't pull a Ninja Scott on us


I hope they have some kind of answer for us...i am finding it harder and harder to support anything Star finder...i have yet to buy anymore adventure paths...hell i see they are already showing an alien archive 3 book...

From where I stand, why should spend anymore of my money on a company that isn't helping making something right with a product they pushed.


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Stormforge

ND isn't the first repeat Kickstarter Creator to use funds for a new project to finish an old one.

It does not look like Kickstarter places any sort of financial reporting requirements or minimal standards of practice and some companies just dump all of the money into one big account, cross there fingers and hope it all works out.

In ND's case it looks like they did not recognize this and adjust the pricing on successive KS's to account for it and ended up where they are now.

They are also not the first to make this mistake as well.


Summersnow wrote:

Stormforge

ND isn't the first repeat Kickstarter Creator to use funds for a new project to finish an old one.

It does not look like Kickstarter places any sort of financial reporting requirements or minimal standards of practice and some companies just dump all of the money into one big account, cross there fingers and hope it all works out.

In ND's case it looks like they did not recognize this and adjust the pricing on successive KS's to account for it and ended up where they are now.

They are also not the first to make this mistake as well.

I'm not saying that they are Summersnow, however, it was a perceived perception that they did this too many times and it caught up to them, leaving us as well as Paizo victims of this practice. It will definitely give me pause now if I ever do another Kickstarter to do more research first. Spending the money is not too horrible if what I get in return has value, but this hurt and what makes it worse is not having answers, or at least answers that are acceptable. Of course, I may not want to know the answers which might make me more mad.


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Summersnow wrote:

Stormforge

ND isn't the first repeat Kickstarter Creator to use funds for a new project to finish an old one.
l.

No, but they might be setting a record for how many kickstarter projects they've used to fund one without producing it.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Summersnow wrote:

Stormforge

ND isn't the first repeat Kickstarter Creator to use funds for a new project to finish an old one.
l.

No, but they might be setting a record for how many kickstarter projects they've used to fund one without producing it.

It would be FAR easier to forgive them if this was their first screwup. As it is, it’s pretty hard not to see it as a calculated move on their part.


Sara Marie wrote:
Just wanted to check in and let you know that with the holidays, I do not foresee being able to check in with our Licensing Manager or Execs for news until after the new year. I will follow up with them & this thread on Monday, January 8th, 2019.

So what's happening Sara Marie? There has been no contact from Ninja Division for over 2 months. Like many (all?) of the UK backers I've received nothing and am somewhat peeved that Paizo has the minis for sale on their website. I only backed this project because of Paizo's endorsement and statements (Erik Mona) that you had confidence they would deliver.


John Baker 28 wrote:
Sara Marie wrote:
I will follow up with them & this thread on Monday, January 8th, 2019.
So what's happening Sara Marie?

It just turned January the 8th less than 3 hours ago for them, you're looking at least 8 more hours before they even get in and open.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service & Community Manager

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Thanks for your patience, my day yesterday got quite hectic very suddenly.

I spoke with Lisa and I'm going to sit in with her on the next Licensing meeting to discuss where things are at.

thanks,
sara marie


Thanks, Sara! I'm not one of the backers burned by ND, but I appreciate that you've been steady and reliable about communicating with people here. ^^


Thanks for starting to show interest in the kickstarter, you vouched for with your good name. I wouldn't have backed it with about 200$, if not for your guarantee, knowing the history of Ninja Division. So there will be a meeting sometime in the future, where you talk. That's ... well ... something I guess.


Personally, I'm glad to hear Lisa is involved. I don't doubt that the employees of the company would be able to handle the issues, but if the owners are taking an active role it shows this is more than a PR exercise and gives me a little more hope they may be able to salvage something.

(Though I must admit that I still can't see any satisfactory resolution, even in principle - the amounts of money we're talking about are just too big).


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Whatever Paizo does, if anything, at this point is probably too little too late. Too many people have been soured by the whole situation. But I understand Paizo is also a victim and I'm sure they want to see the miniatures produced to support their Starfinder products. All signs indicate that we won't be seeing them from Ninja Division, but who knows. And if Paizo finds another company to produce their Starfinder miniatures, all those who lost money to Ninja Division likely won't spend the money again, or at least would be hesitant to. I do appreciate at least some communication from Paizo as opposed to the zero communication from Ninja Division. And I am curious as to what Paizo will finally say.


And Wyvern games just dropped Ninja Division as well after ND failed to produce...


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People might be willing to buy Starfinder Miniatures from another company like they buy Pathfinder & D&D minis, already produced and on the store shelves.

The chances of another kickstarter or prepay system would probably be a non-starter for people.

Honestly the fact that Ninja had advertised prepainted sets, then bailed on that, substituted an unpainted kickstarter, ignored any of the hard questions during the campaign with an extremely unrealistic delivery date while already so far behind on other projects was enough for me to pull my pledge.

While I am grateful and count myself lucky to have dodged a Kickstarter bullet it pains me to see so many people going through what I've been through on Robotech, Axanar and a few other projects.

Watching the damage done to the Starfinder Brand and Paizo's rep while they are trying to gain market with Starfinder, reboot Pathfinder as 2.0, giving people justification to try another system instead of 2.0, bail on Starfinder, is kind of scary.

I don't have access to any sales #'s, etc, but I can't imagine in my wildest dreams this is the kind of holiday season & new year anyone at Paizo was hoping for.

Scarab Sages

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Personally, I would be happy to just get the STL files for all the sculpts (as ND have claimed they are all finished) and permission to print for personal use. I would be happy to call it done at that point.

In saying that, I am aware that everyone is going to have different versions of what is a satisfactory outcome.

And, yes, I am an all-in backer....


sanwah68 wrote:

Personally, I would be happy to just get the STL files for all the sculpts (as ND have claimed they are all finished) and permission to print for personal use. I would be happy to call it done at that point.

In saying that, I am aware that everyone is going to have different versions of what is a satisfactory outcome.

And, yes, I am an all-in backer....

Do they actually have anything in stl format (were they printing test samples?) as its not a format usually used for 3d editing.

Also, if the models were not specifically designed for 3d printing the results might not be even as good as the bad quality miniatures people have mentioned getting, even on something as detailed as a $3000 resin printer.

The best result would be for ND be forced to liquidate everything (including houses and property for committing fraud) to come up with $$$ to have a competent company take over the project and finish it with the high quality miniatures advertised.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You're very optimistic to think they are worth enough to cover it all.


Did Sara pull a Ninja Scott?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I doubt it. If anything, Ninja pulled it on her by moving/canceling the meeting.


technarken wrote:
Did Sara pull a Ninja Scott?

She posted on Tuesday saying that she was going to sit in on a Licensing meeting with Lisa, but didn't say when the meeting was going to be. I know we all want sudden satisfaction here, but businesses need to make sure they cover their posteriors when talking about other businesses that they're in business with.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You're very optimistic to think they are worth enough to cover it all.

I don't for a moment think ND could cover the cost, especially since liquidation would most likely go to suppliers before backers anyways.

ND claims they have no money, they obviously can not and will not ever finish this if that's true.

Another company would be foolish to absorb the responsibility to complete this on there own dime, the $ involved is to much for a company to absorb out of the goodness of there heart.

I suspect unless there is a legal hammer Paizo can use and the project is in some way insured, neither of which seems very likely the only realistic possibility is if ND can be liquidated to raise enough capital for someone else (Paizo, other manufacturer) to pick up the difference to complete the project and continue hoping the retail market will bring them some profit.

I don't think this is a likely scenario, but if what we are hearing from ND about there financial situation is true I wouldn't be surprised if its the only scenario that exists for people to get physical product without them having to pay a 2nd time to a new company for the mini's.


No one is going to cast and deliver the minis for free to thousands of backers unless they get all of ND's IP for free. Judging by ND's apparent habit of spending funds from new projects to pay themselves and their prior debts instead the costs of the project they were raised for, they're not likely going to give up what is left of their golden goose (their own IPs) for free just to do right by backers of their multiple deliquent projects.

Unless Paizo kept the money raised by the kickstarter raised instead of ND (obviously very unlikely), the best that I think we can hope for is that Paizo gets access to all the STL files and uploads them to Shapeways or some other print farm and allow backers to print them at their actual cost with hopefully a bulk discount. Thinking that they'll just release any STLs they get for free for backers (and therefore everyone in the world since they WILL leak out) to use at their leisure doesn't make sense for them as they'd be killing a potential replacement revenue source for Paizo that might help make up for their lost royalties with ND. If Paizo doesn't step up, what we'll likely see is a tiny trickle of minis (some poorly cast according to the kickstarter contents) go out to a few select backers each month so that ND can claim that they are technically continuing fulfillment. Profits from the prepaints on shelves will probably mostly be used to pay operating costs like rent, salaries, etc for the company instead of being squirreled away exclusively for fulfillment.

The TL;DR is that backers are likely screwed no matter what. The only remaining question is to determine just *how* screwed they are. YMMV. Mitigating that level is how Paizo can help in the long run and retain at least some loyalty in those backers that justifiably feel burnt by the whole process.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's still the question where all the money went to.
"Overhead" is usualy the cost of management expenses, which includes wages, business trips, whatever.
In such a case of large sums of money "disappearing", it needs to be cleared where the money went to. There has to be some form of repeated misdemeanor and mismanagement.
Should they really have underestimated the production costs, they could have just communicated it a long time ago.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service & Community Manager

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Just to clarify, this is an Paizo internal meeting and it's today.

My hope with trying to stay in the loop of what's going on and communicate with you that I am doing so, is to let you know that we are not ignoring our community. I understand the frustration from folks who feel ignored and my intention is to be able to let you know we are here listening and I am doing my best to ensure that if there is any information to pass along we can do so as soon as possible. One thing I have learned, both from the perspective of a consumer and as part of a business, is how glacial the pace of business can be for those left waiting to hear more. I know how easy it is to translate a lack of communication with feelings of being ignored or forgotten. Since I know that is not the case at Paizo, I hope I am at the very least passing that sentiment along.

I apologize for getting hopes up that I might come back with more details. Very likely, there still isn't going to be any new information to share. However, I know that earlier in the thread someone was asking for details on what we're doing and I hoped by letting you know I would be attending this meeting, I was providing a more concrete example of that this issue is not being ignored.


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@Sara: I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I think you're succeeding in noting that Paizo is paying attention to this issue - and you're right, the slow pace of some business activities can be less than optimal for customers who feel like they've been left in the lurch... and I really appreciate your regular communications here. Too many companies just stay quiet because they feel like they have nothing to say, but in my experience, that just makes things worse. I know how important maintaining relationships with customers is for Paizo, and I've decided to believe you're doing what you can about this situation (even if it's not as much as you or the backers here would prefer - alas, what we want to do and what we can actually do aren't always the same thing).


Rednal wrote:
@Sara: I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I think you're succeeding in noting that Paizo is paying attention to this issue - and you're right, the slow pace of some business activities can be less than optimal for customers who feel like they've been left in the lurch... and I really appreciate your regular communications here. Too many companies just stay quiet because they feel like they have nothing to say, but in my experience, that just makes things worse. I know how important maintaining relationships with customers is for Paizo, and I've decided to believe you're doing what you can about this situation (even if it's not as much as you or the backers here would prefer - alas, what we want to do and what we can actually do aren't always the same thing).

The fact that she's responding at all raised my expectations too high, methinks.

Too used to Ninja Scott promising things then ghosting...even though he left with ND's social media passwords months ago


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Since Ninja Division has been dodging so many customer communications, I was curious when was the last time they contacted Paizo?


I dont know if Pazio is aware of this other crowfounding webs where ND launch the Starfinder Miniatures and did the lates pledgeds:

https://www.gameontabletop.com/crowdfunding-91.html

They raised a lot of money there too.

Thx for your commitment.


ChiramMFM wrote:

I dont know if Pazio is aware of this other crowfounding webs where ND launch the Starfinder Miniatures and did the lates pledgeds:

https://www.gameontabletop.com/crowdfunding-91.html

They raised a lot of money there too.

Thx for your commitment.

In previous kick starters I've done the pledge manager has been how the customer customizes the kickstarter, not an entirely different funding mechanism.

IE, i kickstarted a force field blanket .Then i use the pledge manager to pick pink hexagons


My issue is I backed this project based on Paizo's reputation and oversight, knowing ND's reputation. I have cancelled my subscriptions awaiting a response from Paizo. I will be voting with my wallet going forward. It's unfortunate many backers have heard nothing.

I would suggest you cancel or put your subscriptions on hold as well, and encourage others to do so.


I'll keep mine, since I actually get those.

As for the "nothing" I refer you to Sara Marie's post just above.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I'll keep mine, since I actually get those.

As for the "nothing" I refer you to Sara Marie's post just above.

There's not a lot of daylight in between we haven't heard anything and being told there's nothing to hear yet.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I'll keep mine, since I actually get those.

As for the "nothing" I refer you to Sara Marie's post just above.

There's not a lot of daylight in between we haven't heard anything and being told there's nothing to hear yet.

A response from a Paizo employee is not "nothing", especially when it reveals she will be in on the next meeting and will hopefully be able to give us some information on the situation.


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I'll keep mine, since I actually get those.

As for the "nothing" I refer you to Sara Marie's post just above.

There's not a lot of daylight in between we haven't heard anything and being told there's nothing to hear yet.

A response from a Paizo employee is not "nothing", especially when it reveals she will be in on the next meeting and will hopefully be able to give us some information on the situation.

And the great majority of the backers have not read this thread and deserve a response as well. They have in fact heard nothing. I appreciate the "we are checking on it" from Sara, but it is not information quite yet.


This thread's linked on the KS, so anybody checking in on KS can look at this

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