Modern Hero... to Kickstart or not?

So I recently posted up the design for a Modern Hero figure that's been under "reveiw" for a while.  I'm basically tired of waiting and wanting to make a big push for the Modern Hero character/ brand this year.

I had lots of feedback from the image, and a lot of suggestions to take it to Kickstarter.  I'll be honest I'm on the fence about the whole KS concept, but am open to learning more about it.  I guess I'm just looking to discuss the pro's & cons from collectors...


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12 Replies

(Thanks everyone for the fedback so far.  It really helps to evaluate all the different options.


As I said, this figue has been on "review" for far too long, so one way or another I'm going to make it happen.  I think KS is a great option (and def something that changes this whole game) but there is a lot more that goes into making the toys than just the funding.  I've been doing this long enough to know the ins & outs, and the various issues that come up.

I def like the idea of different teirs, and I think Keegan's come closest to nailing it on the head.  Do I think it could be funded... hopefully... am I looking to make a million bucks... no.  (**That's never been my intention with my artwork/toys) I do tknow that with the current prices going on in China plus the minimums that the factories I use work within, this isn't going to be cheap.  I'm estimating ballpark between 20-30k depending on the tooling costs, moq qty's, etc... that won't be really known until I get the design to a place where it can be accurately costed.


Once I get a little more research into the details of KS, and a solid plan laid out for how to tackle the project, I'll probably give it a shot.  Like someone said above... what's it hurt to try?


Thanks again for the feedback... and for all the blogs buzzing info around.  Hopefully if/when i launch the KS it will get the same amount of attention.


almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


trustpigs m Considering I was two of the blog posts (Clutter & SpankyStokes), I think we can make sure you get the same attention if you go ahead… ;) almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m And with the amount you need to raise (which is roughly around what I was assuming), I can't stress enough how much I believe giving *really* simple low tier rewards could help as well as a really high tier reward (like an exclusive colorway limited run for a retailer). To raise that kinda money on Kickstarter really does become an every dollar helps sorta scenario… almost 10 years ago


benpierce25 v UVD is in the mix too and ready to promote the shit out of the campaign. almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m Excellent! I love our supportive everybody is in the community! Go us! almost 10 years ago

thanks for the comments and feedback.  Kegan- that's pretty much the plan I would do, the the qty's listed are a bit on the low end when it comes to rpoduction.  Gotta basically do some more leg work, and get the project to a point where I can get costing.  Then it'll be a matter of figuring out the details from KS (fee's and such)...

It's funny cause now this is actually more appealing than the 3 companies that hit me up yesterday.  Something about maintaining control that I just love.


Thanks again!

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


keegan a Yeah, I think once you have the logistics & cost nailed down that will help frame your kickstarter pricing structure. Would be interesting to see how people would buy knowing all colorways & stuff up front. :) almost 10 years ago


benpierce25 v I feel like it will have an impact, but I don't know which way it will impact. Like with the 1/6 chases, I don't suspect anyone is going to buy 6 just to try to get a chase and have 5 regular. But at the same token, I wouldn't put it past people to buy a couple to try to score the chase. I think it would promote people buying "what you see is what you get" versus if it was on the shelf and someone buying a couple. almost 10 years ago

I commented already on your facebook post but what I would prefer to see for kickstarting a new figure would based around colorways.

You create say five colorways & maybe a couple handpainted or something of the figure and that's it. No stickers, or special drawings or whatever. (maybe a print run or something to go with one of hte sets) Different colorways have different quantity and prices. You can also build some leftover into the larger runs so you can reach your kickstarter goal and have some figures to sell to stores and such.

  • 5 handpainted = $500 each
  • 20 'secret' = $150
  • 50 Black = $100
  • 250 Red = $75
  • 250 Mono = $75
  • 500 ??? = $50

... or whatever the approriate prices would be. threeA already does this with most of their figures. I've bought 2 figures 3 months ago and still have no idea when they're arriving. :)

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


statusquo I like this idea. I also like the idea of artists taking their work directly to the collectors. Cut out the middle people and take home some more profit for yourself, you certainly deserve it. Go for it! Kickstarter is a great place to start. If you don't raise enough money, no one pays, you are only out your time to make a sample and find pricing. almost 10 years ago

Hey guys, thought I'd pitch my .02 in here, since I recently launched a successful self produced KS project.

For me, Kickstarter was the only option, I totally went DIY and crafted everything in house. I'll leave my production delays aside, as that's another beast all together, but on the whole, I'll say KS is a great way to go. It's incredibly efficient, and I think the whole "vote with your money" thing is a concept that the community embraces wholly. Also, compared to dealing with distributors CC processing, the 10% shaved off by KS and Amazon seemed like a no brainer to me. 

I see designs produced every now and then that I don't think would succeed at all in a kickstarter scenario (the resin basketball thing no one seems to like), and taking that risk out seems invaluable to me. 

From my experience, I agree with Keegan to an extent, simpler is better. I offered a bunch of different extras to get some varieties of price points available to folks, and most of them where an unneccessary expense or added time drain. People want the toy, and if it's good (as your designs are) I believe people will support it in and of itself.  It wasn't a total waste, but was an unneccessary strain on the whole deal for me. 

Also, I will say looking at the Tenacious toys scott tolleson piece, people, especially people that regularly back KS projects, do want to see some added value in pledges. They're  "investors" in a way, a savings or little extra (versus a straight retail situation) is a big incentive for them. Benny took some bad heat for his project not establishing any unique value for his pledges. 

Anyways man, I say go for it, and hope this perspective helps a bit. Good luck to you! 


almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


trustpigs m Congrats, Josh! Looking over your Kickstarter, I would've made your $5 tier a $10 one and made a $5 reward something like "Your name on a special 'thank you' page of my website." Simple rewards at low levels do actually work, strangely enough. almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m But there certainly has to be an amount garnered versus time to execute prize ratio. I think the major difference is is that MAD would probably need $20,000+ to make the kind of production run he's talking about… in which case, lots of small donations do add up. almost 10 years ago


fplus v Yeah, looking back, I think my goal was pretty much the minimum budget I would need for something like this and my tiers probably could commanded a bit more, but I was really pushing for "value" at the time I guess. Totally agree with you though, and I think MAD's brand is much larger than my own, so he would probably move a lot of those lower tiers as well. almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m It's all a learning curve, right? Next time you do a KS campaign you'll have learned from this first one and – hopefully – adjust accordingly. I really only know what friends that have done successful KSs have told me, but they seem to do well so I assume they know what they speak of… almost 10 years ago

By the way, if you want to investigate what Kickstarter campaigns did really well and what they offered, the most funded ones are listed here

And yes, there are few that even broke a million dollar level (my personal favorite being this one that was only looking for a bit under 60 Grand and received over 1.25 Million). There's a pretty consistant trend of high backer numbers with tiers at the $25 and under levels… though the rewards don't even tend to need to be that impressive for them.


Trust Pigs

  • Artist

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


trustpigs m Also, we learned from the OMFG! KS, offering exclusive colorways to shops works too. They sold what? Four at a grand a piece or something, right? I'd imagine there are stores that would pay a grand for a 40 piece exclusive colorway (or something like that). almost 10 years ago

I agree with everyone that's encouraging you to do it & — for the most part — concur with Keegans assessment. I think it's good to offer one or two things at the low levels (1 at the $5 or $10 point and 1 around the $25 point)… it lets the average person that doesn't have too much disposable income feel like they've supported you and gotten something in return… even if it just a sticker pack or something.


Trust Pigs

  • Artist

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·


trustpigs m And, in general, between Kickstarter and Amazon (who handle all the payment processing) I understand you can assume roughly 10% of the gross will be taken between the two total. almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m BTW, I had an friend that raised $10,000 on KS to back the making of a hot air balloon piece of art… and they got a lot of $1 donations because they offered sending out a "thank you" e-mail to the person at that level. Seriously, KS is strange but does work. almost 10 years ago


keegan a I kinda disagree. The kickstart is to fund the projects. I always find it weird when someone offers $5 sticker packs or whatever just seems to take more time for the artists to fulfill and does less of the actual funding. almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m Depends… if 500 people donate $5 each for a sticker pack then, well, that's bank. But if you look at KS campaigns that got BIG bucks, they usually had low level incentives that broke the 100 backer level. almost 10 years ago


keegan a Guess I need to do some more kickstarter research :) almost 10 years ago


trustpigs m Here's a good example: Just look at how many people did the $5, $10 & $15 incentives… that's over 600 backers just between those three tiers. almost 10 years ago


   I would definitely support you on this. I liked Keegan's idea of no real frills to put you out of your way, since most, if not all of your 8" production pieces have sold out or are in low supply. This way you get to play "distributor" and know what your demand is. If only 20 people want this, and the project dies, no one is really out anything since KS doesn't take money unless the project is funded and the time goal has passed. But if 200 people want something, then the demand is there for the 200 figures (plus overhead to sell later). And even the $500 level Keegan suggested isn't too far fetched, since you are catching the people who have some bigger pockets and want the figure, and also hitting the regular guy who can only contribute enough to get the standard figure.

But I guess it really comes down to how much effort you want to put in to the tier levels and footing this process as compared to handing it off to a company. But I can tell that the demand is there, any possibly threatens KR a little with artists having the ability to go straight to their customers and sell a product that was funded and had the appropriate amount of public support behind it to make it a success.


Do it to it and start a trend of artists going straight to the consumer.

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

I say yes, whats to loose, just remember to factor in the cut KS would take when you are setting up the amount you require to get the project done.

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

I like this piece! Let me know if you do the kick starter. As a collector I definitely find I support things through kickstarter that I might not pick up in a regular retail situation (information overload and things get forgot).

What I find really fascinating is your description of costs and steps in production. Would you mind expanding on this as a conversation/article to give greater insight to us collectors who have never even tried to produce something?

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

Since Keegan was the only one nice enough so far to write out a suggested tier rewards system, I thought I'd make a revised version (based off of his) of what I felt would receive optimum results:

$1 — A "Thank You" e-mail that contains images of the design sketches and templates for the Modern Hero figure. (Note: All subsequent reward tiers receive this as well.)

$5 — In addition to the "Thank You" e-mail described above, you also receive your name listed in a "Special Thanks" section of MAD's website for this release. Your name can be linked to a personal website, Twitter or Facebook account (though MAD does reserve the right not to do this if the linked page is deemed inappropriate). (Note: All subsequent reward tiers receive this as well.)

$10 — In addition to getting the "Thank You" e-mail and "Special Thanks" website lisitng, you get a MAD sticker (or sticker pack) exclusively made for this Kickstarter campaign.

$25 — Two stickers (or sticker packs) and a pack of the MAD 2011 Buttons!

*** after this are the figures, so pricing would obviously depend on production costs. ***

$50 — The Regular Editon of the Modern Hero figure, limited to ???.

$75 — The Variant Edition of the Modern Hero figure, limited to ???.

$75 — The Chase Edition of the Modern Hero figure, limited to ???.

$100 — The Regular Edition plus either the Variant or Chase Edition of the Modern Hero figure. (limited reward, maybe only 40 available).

$150 — The Regular Edition, the Variant Edition and the Chase Edition of the Modern Hero figure. (limited reward, maybe only 10 available).

$250 — The Mystery Edition of the Modern Hero figure, limited to 20 (or so). These figures come signed and numbered by MAD.

$500 — A hand-painted custom edition of the Modern Hero figure, made personally by MAD and signed. Limited to 5 (or so).

$1000 — Retailer special! You receive 20 copies of the Regular figure, 5 copies of the Variant figure and 5 copies of the Chase figure. (limited reward, maybe only 5 or 10 available).

$1500 — Retailer exclusive special! You receive 40 copies of the Modern Hero figure done in an exclusive colorway of your choosing! (limited reward, maybe only 5 or 10 available).

By and large, this has some reward value at the low levels without making MAD do too much work and has some snazzy high-end buy-ins for shops that want to support this as well. The "Thank You" e-mail, by the way, could just be a mass mailing thing… it might take an hour or so to cut-and-paste addresses, but it gives something to people shortly after the campaign ends… which people do tend to like.



Trust Pigs

  • Artist

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

I'd be down to kickstart this project. This Modern Hero figure looks legit.


Joseph Ayala

  • Artist

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

I would so support this if materializes into a Kickstarter project.

almost 10 years ago · Comment ·

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