Understandably, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the status of Ramathorr: the Elephant Swordsman” and all of his variant exclusive figures, which we are in the process of producing for FANtastic Exclusive 2007 (http://www.FANtasticExclusive.com) and “The Seventh Kingdom”.
First, we want to apologize about the delayed delivery of the remaining figures, and the delay in information about the status of the figures. We've been running into problem after problem with the factory producing these figures for us, and we were awaiting official word from them before we sent out more information that might end up not being true.
As previously stated, we ran into production problems with Ramathorr and the variants early on, and the Hong Kong factory that we were using for production promised that they would make good on their mistake by going back and remaking a portion of the initial production run free of charge.
We were happy that they were willing to work with us on this and even though we expected a small delay because of this, we had no idea what was truly in store for us…
Roughly a month after promising to make good on their errors, the factory finally responded to one of our e-mails regarding the production status of our figures by telling us that our production schedule was going to have to be pushed back once again because larger companies were pressuring them to get their work done before they finished ours. Obviously we were pretty upset by this, but being a small group of toy designers and not a large corporation with all of the needed money and muscle, there was really not much we could do about it.
We later found out this excuse for a delay was nothing more than a lie just to buy the factory more time, and the worst news was yet to come…
Another month had gone by and after multiple e-mails to the factory with no responses, we found out from some of our friends over at NECA that because of ‘misuse of funds’ caused by the one person at the factory that we were directly dealing with, the factory that was doing the work for us – SmartLife Productions - decided to shut all production down...permanently.
Although they’d sent us a few pre-production samples of the newly revised figures (which were fantastic), no real production run had ever been started up on our figures again.
We thought the news couldn’t get any worse. We were wrong…
That’s when we found out that there was a pretty good chance that we would lose all of the steel molds that we’d already paid for in advance. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of our steel molds could possibly disappear from the factory floor and get shoved into the back of some warehouse somewhere in Hong Kong with no record whatsoever. Good times.
We were waiting to release any new information about the production status of the figures until we found out if we were going to be able to get our molds back from the factory - which was looking unlikely for a short period. Luckily, a friend of ours that we use to work with at McFarlane Toys, and the guys over at NECA stepped in for us.
Apparently, some of their molds were also still being held by this factory and, in a move we’ll never be able to fully thank them for, NECA stepped in and forced the factory to include any of our steel molds with their own and have them delivered to a new factory. We have no idea how they were able to accomplish this feat, but we are extremely grateful to them for it and we encourage everyone reading this to not only give NECA all of the business you possibly can, but to also give them a tip of the hat for being such great guys in an industry filled with greed and competition.
We're not sure what we would have done if the guys over at NECA hadn't stepped in on our behalf. We definitely would have been completely screwed. Thanks Joel, Randy and Tony!
We just got final confirmation on Tuesday morning that all of our molds are now safe and sound at the new factory, and they're going schedule us to begin new production ASAP.
Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of the money that we put into the production so far, and we'll have to cough up more money out of our own pockets to finish out the new production, but we guess we should be thankful that we were able to get our molds back at all.
In any case, obviously we're not going to meet the deadline that we'd originally hoped for now, and we sincerely apologize to all of you for that, and any other inconveniences this delay may have caused. But if everything goes as well as we're being told now, it looks like we're going to be able to get all of our production finished through this new factory before the beginning of the new year, and we hope to have all of the stuff in our warehouses so we can ship all of it out to our vendors well before the factories overseas shut down for Chinese New Year.
Rest assured that the figures are still in production, and they will be delivered. It’s just taking MUCH longer than we’d originally anticipated, and we want to make sure that we deliver the best possible product to everyone who’s paid out their hard-earned money for these figures.
We will continue to update you as soon as we have new information on the progress from the factory. Also, be sure to continually check the message boards at FANtasticExclusive.com (http://www.FANtasticExclusive.com
) for any other developments.
Once again, we apologize for the extreme lateness of these figures. We’re doing everything we can to expedite the production and delivery of these figures, and we’d like to thank you in advance for your continued patience and support.
Thanks for sticking with us through all of the crap we're going through. We’ve learned from the experience, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that things go much more smoothly with future installments of 7th Kingdom and FANtastic Exclusive.