Better price and before the rest of the public. This is the essence of crowdfunding and the deserved reward for someone who supports a project without seeing the final product. What remains of this essence?
The playing cards crowdfunding has considerably evolved in recent years. Those who participated in the first Kickstarter campaigns remember (with some nostalgia at times) how projects were funded just following simple parameters. The backers raised their pledges (much cheaper than now) to get an interesting deck with a price theoretically more competitive than after the campaign and before making it available to the rest of the people (that is, in theory, the spirit of crowdfunding).
The number of artists who have been jumping on the bandwagon of playing cads has tremendously increased and we can attend an unstoppable amount of campaigns in KS usually kept to a minimum of 50 active projects. Each creator has added new sales strategies for funding their projects and these strategies have been imitated by others creating new trends in the market which we should analyze a little.
The prices of the items have increased much more than the cost of production and distribution. Buying a deck in KS (because that’s what the backer finally does) can be seen as no longer profitable because the distribution channels make the cards bought by large wholesalers that are finally sold for cheaper in online shops. Furthermore, due to the obvious distribution systems, wholesalers often get the decks first so, in many cases, the same deck, is widely available for the rest of the people before and cheaper than for the legitimate sponsors of the project (and in addition to it can be purchased with other decks in the store saving a lot of money in shipping).
Some of these changes have resulted in a vicious cycle that feeds the “beast”. To keep the exclusivity, some creators add limited editions that, in some cases, are artificially fattened in price to justify that exclusivity (just a different tuck case for the same deck, for example). It is “funny” to see how a “limited and numbered” deck that is absolutely identical to the standard edition can attract the interest of the people even being much more expensive.
This new dynamic has been placed in a difficult position many talented artists who offer simple campaigns with an interesting artistic proposal. We have seen repeatedly failed attempts of playing cards funding because they offer just that, a quality deck with a quality design. One of the most interesting case study is the Buskers campaign. On its first attempt, two lovely decks, Sun and Moon, were offered at a reasonable price ($10 plus shiping). The campaign was unsuccessful so the creator decided to cancel it and launch another one. The new campaign was just the same, but this time, one of the two decks was limited print run of 1000 units with a numbered seal. The limited deck could not be an add-on and its new price was $13. The campaign nearly doubled its funding goal.
It is clear there is something in the backer’s psychology not easy to understand and it is no longer enough for creators to have a good design. It is necessary to catch fans through ultra-limited objects of desire. Fortunately, there are artists who understand that they can offer new things that are really originals and worth paying a little more (the recent Black Mass by Lotrek is a good example). As a collector and active backer of crowdfunding projects I am a little bit worried about the future of all this that is undoubtedly related to the unpleasant speculation in the secondary market (which is sometimes fueled by the artists themselves).
The new GRINDERS deck
Randy Butterfield (Midnight Card Company), doesn’t need to prove his talent and creative abilities. He recently had to cancel his GRINDERS campaign to make a new one nearer to what the audience claims for. So, he decided to make a new release including a limited deck that, according to what I said before, should give an important boost to the campaign.
The Copper deck will have a tuck case with silver and copper foil on black stock.
The Blue deck will have a tuck case with silver and blue foil on black stock.
The main change in this new campaign is a limited edition of 500 units of the exclusive White Gold deck. This deck will use black foil with an impressive holographic gold foil. In addition, there will be a special numbered seal printed on holographic paper. The back of the cards will have an UV spot varnish overlay. The deck will be included in different tier levels and won’t be offered as an add-on.
In addition, Randy has created cool 6-deck boxes. Both decks and boxes will be printed by Legends Playing Card Company and distributed by Gambler’s.
If everything that I mentioned at the beginning of this article have some sense, this deck will fund much faster and become another deserved success by Midnight Playing Cards.
I hope you enjoy the high-resolution images. If you like it, visit the project website hand raise your pledge.