Miniatures Kickstarter Ninja Division


Third-Party Starfinder Products

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It would be nice if Paizo had access to the kickstarter account to post updates like they do here.

I think a lot more people would see it then and feel like something is being done.
I can be easy to miss what Sara has posted on here.


Hayato Ken wrote:

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.

I thought this had already been cleared up.

My understanding is they took a loss on an old kickstarter and have been taking money for successive kickstarters to try to cover that loss, which caused the follow up kickstarters to end up as losses resulting in a snowball of loss that finally culminated when they stopped paying suppliers and got cut off.

As to why they didn't communicate this before, optimism. The eternal optimism that despite doing things the same way for each kickstarter somehow the next one would be the golden goose that would fix everything.

And yes, that sounds stupid to any reasonable individual but I used to work for one of the largest electrical contractors in the States, and watched it go belly up in part because many local managers kept underbidding work, losing money, borrowing from the next project to cover the 1st, always hoping the next one would be that big score to make everything right again.


dande wrote:

It would be nice if Paizo had access to the kickstarter account to post updates like they do here.

I think a lot more people would see it then and feel like something is being done.
I can be easy to miss what Sara has posted on here.

They'd have to track down Ninja Scott, he seems to have walked out the door with the social media passwords when he got canned. 0 public communication since.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Over the last several months while discussing the Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures with the executive team and Glenn & Jim I’ve personally learned a lot about the processes and legal details involved with IP licenses. In particular, I’ve noted how every time I think “maybe we could simply…” or “can’t we just…” it never turns out to be simple, straightforward, or even possible. Making things even more complex, due to the business and contractual obligations involved, we’re limited in what we can communicate publicly with you about details of this ongoing issue.

I had a chance to sit in on one of the regular Paizo licensing meeting yesterday to discuss where things are at and how we can proceed. This license has clearly not progressed as we expected and we know that it has impacted and frustrated folks who backed Ninja Division’s Kickstarter. Since its launch we have been monitoring this license and at this time, after careful review, we feel that the best way we can support our community in receiving a resolution to their kickstarter pledges is to keep communication between Paizo and Ninja Division open, to support them in exploring their options for completion of the Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures Kickstarter, and to encourage them to communicate with their backers.

With PaizoCon coming up fast, much of my time at work will be tied up in all of the the event planning and execution that goes into that convention. I want to go ahead and set expectations now, that I might not be consistent with checking in every Monday with this thread. But I will aim for every other week. If it ends up longer than that, you are more than welcome to request a check in. I routinely check for new posts in this thread whenever I am looking through the forums and I should see it with a business day or so of posting.

-Sara

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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

I checked in with Glenn for how much detail I can go into. We are in active and ongoing communication with Ninja Division.


I mean, if Paizo did break contract, what are ND going to do, hire a lawyer with all the money they don't have, knowing that they'd be subject to scrutiny as part of any litigation?

I'd be very interested in finding out if "complete radio silence for pushing 3 months" is considered a breach of contract...

Shadow Lodge

Keep the spec for the molds to themselves and not let anyone else use them? Any other company is going to have to develop that themselves anyway, but by continuing to communicate, there is the chance that all that time and effort can still produce more minis.


So the result of talking to Ninja Division is ... that you plan to talk again? And that you'd like them to talk to their backers again? That's ... something I guess.

If Ninja Division destroys the reputation of Paizo, please consider such harsh measures like ... an email or a telephone call?

Shadow Lodge

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Kroothawk wrote:
So the result of talking to Ninja Division is ...

...not something they will share with us at this time.


TOZ wrote:
Keep the spec for the molds to themselves and not let anyone else use them? Any other company is going to have to develop that themselves anyway, but by continuing to communicate, there is the chance that all that time and effort can still produce more minis.

I've got 50 acres of prime oceanfront property for sale in Oklahoma, any takers?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

They said the same of Razor Coast.

I don't hold out much hope of a similar miracle, but continuing communications is not a bad thing.


Do we know for 100% certainty that Ninja Division used funds from the Starfinder kickstarter for other projects.
On Gameontabletop the service they used for pledge manager and late pledges. Their terms and conditions forbids this action.

You will use all Subscribers' contributions as promised in your Project

If kickstarter is unluckily to make any actions. It's possible that this one may.


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dande wrote:

Do we know for 100% certainty that Ninja Division used funds from the Starfinder kickstarter for other projects.

On Gameontabletop the service they used for pledge manager and late pledges. Their terms and conditions forbids this action.

You will use all Subscribers' contributions as promised in your Project

If kickstarter is unluckily to make any actions. It's possible that this one may.

We are 99.44% sure that they used the kickstarter funds to keep their doors open by paying overhead (there's a letter to the state attorney general floating around) , which I'm sure they can argue is a required necessary secondary power for delivering the kickstarter.


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I'm not sure what people expect Paizo to do other then keep communications open and keep encouraging ND to communicate and continue with the project?

Lawsuit? - rule #1, never sue someone who has no money, even if you win, you lose.

Cancel the license? - that would give ND the excuse to cease any and all production, if there even trying, and give them an out. "We were trying to complete the project, but Paizo pulled it license and we had to stop..." While Paizo might be able to claim the molds & and design work done to date, that could be insignificant compared to the cost of the unfinished work and remaining production. Even assuming Paizo could find someone willing to take on the project and backers willing to pay for there stuff a 2nd time.

Throw a ton of money at ND to finish the project? - Well, backers did that already and what did it get everyone? So what makes anyone think they'd use new money the way they were supposed to use the original KS funds?

If ND is in the financial situation they are telling people what can Paizo do?


Guess the only hope is that ND makes more fraudulent ponzi-scheme-kickstarters to finance previous ones. Works for Mantic for years.


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I think best case scenario is that everyone receives some of their stuff to be quite frank and honest. I was the one who originally started this post to see what everyone thought of backing the project and after hearing your feedback and that of the previous backers I chose not to back the project. The only reason I even check back in is that 2 of my players who love painting minis both chose to back this project even after me voicing my doubts. Neither one of them are part of the boards here at Paizo so I check in for them to let them know if anything new has came up. One of them has received close to a dozen minis for over 600$ and the other has received absolutely nothing after going in for the same amount. I know both of them are choked at Ninja Division moreso for the lack of communication then not fulfilling the kickstarter. Companies go broke, stocks go bust and things fail all the time so they get that things like this can be a risk.The kick in the balls is that there was no communication really throughout the whole time other than occasional placate the plebs postings from Ninja Scott. Neither player is mad at Paizo in the least because truly the blame lays elsewhere. Did Paizo make a bad decision business wise? I would have to say Yes. The warning flags were there and it was fairly obvious from the get-go that the chances of ND breaking the mold and fulfilling was probably a longshot. Businesses make mistakes, people make mistakes but don't let one bad mistake sour you on an otherwise phenomenal game and company. Just my opinion and thoughts.


Kroothawk wrote:
Guess the only hope is that ND makes more fraudulent ponzi-scheme-kickstarters to finance previous ones. Works for Mantic for years.

For a ponzi scheme to work you actually need to produce something for the original investors and ideally you spread out your base.

Dewey Investments Gets bob to invest. Bob puts money in. Candra puts money in. Half of Candras money goes to bob half to dewey. Abberoth hears about this and buys in , some of his money goes to Bob some to Candra some to dewey. Ebert buys in, some of his money goes up the chain...

This is of course great if you're Dewey. But it also works out for Bob and Candra and anyone except for the last guy or two in the chain. Ninja division on the other hand, covers their "overhead" money goes in and no kickstarters are comig out. ("partial" completions of 1%? Not that much different than zero)

TLDR Ninja Division isn't even effective enough to be called a ponzi scheme.


Summersnow wrote:
I'm not sure what people expect Paizo to do

I think people are expecting (maybe hoping is a better word) paizo to have something in their back pocket in case this very foreseeable event happened. The money is on retainer, it's in escrow business talk here (my degree is in trees I'm kind of lost after compound interest) ), they get the rights to the sculpts... SOMETHING in the business arrangement that they can't talk about justified their trust in ninja division beyond a good feeling.

Quote:
other then keep communications open and keep encouraging ND to communicate and continue with the project?

Open dialog is nice but you have to have SOMETHING to say eventually.


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So Ninja Division is a company with a widely known bad reputation and a history of almost no kickstarter fullfillment.

Then I don't understand why Paizo chose them and even vouched for them? Was first choice Ponzi Ltd. not answering emails? Was Google blocked for work?

As said, I wouldn't have backed this with 200 $ if not for the reputation of Paizo vouching for this kickstarter.


Apparently both other mini studios were busy or had competing product lines.

ooo found it


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So Paizo's solution is to get Ninja Division to communicate? Without a single word from Ninja Division for months, I see this strategy is going really great.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Apparently both other mini studios were busy or had competing product lines.

ooo found it

I am quite certain there are more than just 3 miniature companies in the industry, but thanks for the link: It explains Paizo's view on this 3-4 months ago.

It doesn't explain though, why Paizo knows the kickstarter they vouched for is screwed up for 4 months and then left it at that, not even speaking to ND about progress. Only this thread has given them the idea that talking to ND might be in order.


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For what it's worth, Paizo's been extremely responsive when asked directly about all of this. There isn't always much to say, but they have (repeatedly) responded to direct queries.


Stormforge wrote:

You are indeed an under the table backer. Ninja Division is already recorded as omitting people like you (from their previous crowdfunding campaigns) when speaking to an Attorney General.

I'd say you have even less chance of getting anything than we do.

Oi. Well, here's to becoming a statistic fallen through the cracks *raises a glass*

Liberty's Edge

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When I read "but both turned us down. Reaper has their own lines for Sci Fantasy minis and WizKids did not have the sculpting bandwidth for the project. So we turned to Ninja DIvision and they were thrilled with the opportunity." from that link posting, Jeff Alvarez's comments, it seems to imply they went to ND, not the other way around. Good grief, solid fail on the due diligence of researching a company from Paizo.


It was either ND and hope or a 100% chance of absolutely 0 minis because no one would else would work with them.


I'd be interested in knowing how Starfinder Miniatures went from releases of prepainted mini's as originally advertised to a Kickstarter for unpainted resin.

I would question weather this was Paizo's idea or a way for Ninja Division to change the agreement in an attempt to use Paizo as a crutch to loot money from backers on Kickstarter.

If so did Ninja Division ever have any intention of completing the kickstarter?


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How to access this thread when you don't know it does exist...
It is invisible to the outside... I had marked it on one of my web navigator... So I was able to recover it...
What is happening? A bug? A mishap?
Or have we been obliterated?
...
Are we in Limbo?


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I'm one of the guys that went all in ND's Super Dungeon Explore Legends (their oldest undelivered campaign).

Unlike us Kickstarter backers who have no realistic legal standing, Paizo presumably does through whatever licensing agreements they have. ND can just shrug and walk away from the other projects, citing the stated risks of crowdfunding and all the caveats in the terms of service, but they can't get off the hook that easily with whatever contractual obligations they have to Paizo.

Getting ND to finish the Starfinder Masterclass campaign seems unlikely. Same with getting refunds, even partial ones. There's no money to produce minis, no money to give refunds, and no money to pay lawsuit judgements. But there is their IP...

It's a long shot, but I wanted to toss it out there. If by some scenario Paizo gained control of ND's IP, like in lieu of a monetary settlement, I want to assure them that it still holds decent value. If Paizo (or someone else) acquired control of the brands and put them under new management, many of the fans would gladly come back. We still love the products, we just hate the idea of giving another cent to ND.


Sure
Anima tactics,
Helldorado,
Relic knight,
...and maybe StarFinder...
are great games (for the last one I was waiting for the mini before reading the books I already own...)


Apparently John Cadice is actively communicating with certain people still sympathetic to ND via a "secret Discord account" and Facebook. Check the Super Dungeon Explore Legends KS page

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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SombreroDeLaNuit wrote:

How to access this thread when you don't know it does exist...

It is invisible to the outside... I had marked it on one of my web navigator... So I was able to recover it...
What is happening? A bug? A mishap?
Or have we been obliterated?
...
Are we in Limbo?

You should be able to find it using this path: Community / Forums / Starfinder / Third-Party Starfinder Products. It looks like you can also find it by googling "paizo.com ninja division" and once on paizo.com, sorting results for the messageboards.


Does Paizo have any comment on the recent revelation that ND leadership is (apparently) only willing to communicate with people in private only if they're offering to give ND free work and/or publicity?

Shadow Lodge

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I don't think Paizo is going to comment on hearsay.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I was recently at my local game shop, and they have prepainted SF minis I don't even have unpainted yet. Clearly there's some incentive to stock stores before backers. I honestly want my refund just to go spend it on the prepaints that clearly exist and no one's talking about.


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Even worse:
At this very moment, the Paizo shop is selling ND Starfinder miniatures (in stock), that were financed by us the kickstarter backers while we don't get anything. Not even a discount on the miniatures we already paid for. So Paizo is basically making money with other people's property. And for several months, they are aware that the people who paid for these miniatures didn't get them. Maybe they should reconsider selling the miniatures ND already sold to us.

https://paizo.com/store/starfinder/accessories/miniatures


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I think I'll have to disagree with that interpretation. I'm almost positive that the initial agreement allocated miniatures for a variety of purposes - some to go to backers, some to stock in stores, and so forth. If stores received some minis to sell, that means they got what they were entitled to under the original agreement. Those mini's aren't anyone else's property.

It sounds to me like ND is trying to get sales from the existing store stock to help finance their other projects... which, if successful, is probably the best move they can make. They clearly need money, and they aren't likely to get that without more investors (iffy, but not completely impossible?), sales of existing products, or more new crowdfunded projects (much less likely, I think, given the current general opinion of their company).

That doesn't mean I like where ND is or how they've done things, but based on the information available, I think I understand at least some of why things are the way they are with mini's in Paizo's store.


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Also bad:

Check the "About Us" part of the kickstarter page:
Paizo is (still) listed as responsible for the kickstarter, as the first company listed, filling 75% of the "About Us" section, with ND coming stealthily behind. So whoever created the page, wanted everyone to believe that this is mainly a Paizo project with the help of ND. That's the reason why I backed it inspite of ND's reputation.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-minia tures?lang=de

@GM Rednal: Can we agree that ND produced less miniatures than already paid for by backers (457.539 $ no less, plus late pledges plus gameontabletop pledges). And most of them to companies that paid after backers paid?


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I agree with Kroothawk... that made me less perceptive to the fact I was not buying from Paizo and less inquisitive about ND's background (I also erroneously believed that they successfully led the first Relic Knight Kickstarter ... whereas it was really CMON the producer/company in charge...)
Had I know they were involved in Battletech and Helldorado...


noms blank space from Krooths link


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@Kroothawk: Oh, absolutely. ND clearly produced far fewer miniatures than they should have - though what I heard about the production company halting production until they got paid suggests they were at least attempting to make the minis. And I fully agree that it's something of a problem if completely unrelated companies get products to sell when backers still haven't gotten their minis.

That said, I'm pretty sure the initial funding should have been to produce mini's for two purposes - giving to backers and stocking in stores, and some of the production run should have been allocated to each. I do think it's a problem that ND has yet to fulfill their obligations, but I don't think the mini's sent to stores inherently belong to other people. (Some reports also suggest that ND did not allocate the funding they were given to the stuff it should have gone towards, which is a separate problem. o_O)


TOZ wrote:
I don't think Paizo is going to comment on hearsay.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2120982/legends-homebrew/page/1

It's people on Boardgamegeek claiming Cadice is in private communications with the homebrew community for his IP.

Shadow Lodge

As I said, hearsay.


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When there is substantive silence hearsay is deafening

Shadow Lodge

When there is substantive silence, Paizo need say nothing.


Sara Marie wrote:
SombreroDeLaNuit wrote:

How to access this thread when you don't know it does exist...

It is invisible to the outside... I had marked it on one of my web navigator... So I was able to recover it...
What is happening? A bug? A mishap?
Or have we been obliterated?
...
Are we in Limbo?

You should be able to find it using this path: Community / Forums / Starfinder / Third-Party Starfinder Products. It looks like you can also find it by googling "paizo.com ninja division" and once on paizo.com, sorting results for the messageboards.

Thanks Sara Marie...

It is strange however, on some browsers, it does not work...


So I looked at the Paizo online store and saw all of the Starfinder minis, available for sale like people are saying. My question is, and I don't know the intricacies of how all of the business end of it works, if ND was contracted by Paizo to make minis for them, and ND created this Kickstarter, where is the disconnect? Wouldn't Paizo have provided funding for ND to make their online minis, and wouldn't the money ND took for the Kickstarter have gone to what we ordered in our pledges?

Or, is it that ND is honoring the Paizo minis first and do not have the capability to produce for both groups...or is it that ND repurposed our Kickstarter money for other projects and blew us off? I am now confused and even more upset by the fact that it seems like most of the line is on sale online and we sit almost empty handed except for the few of us who received token minis?

I wish I knew the full outline of what was supposed to happen in the production and releases of both sets of minis. Not the gory details, but we are all owed an explanation however unpleasant it may be.

Dark Archive

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I bought the four prepainted packs yesterday here in Germany.
I even bought a second "Corpse Fleet" pack.
They look really good, but are overpriced at the suggested retail price of $40 for 4-5 iconics & $36 for 3 starships.
There are a lot of online shops who offer them $10 cheaper.

The same shop also had the 10 unpainted minis models.

What i am trying to say is: Ninja Division was somehow able to make good looking minis (for a steep price).
They are just not able/willing to ship them to their Kickstarter backers.

Personally, i would let them continue to sell their existing minis (painted & unpainted) throughout 2019, in the hope that they still fullfill parts of their obligations to the backers.

If that happens this year, fine.
If not, i'd pull the IP from them and offer it to ALL other minature producing companies out there - there are lots mor than Wizkids & Reaper.
I would also consider Lego & action figures.


I don't think Pathfinder / Starfinder has enough of a following for LEGO, who deals in millions of units sold, not thousands, to even give them anything more then a form letter rejection.

They might have better luck with one of the clone companies, mega bloks, cobi or any one of a hundred cheap Chinese clone companies.

Though it would be pretty awesome if they did work something out.


I wonder what ND's responses are when Paizo encourages them to communicate to their backers.
Does ND say they will or do they flat out tell Paizo that they have nothing to say.

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