Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A LITTLE CATCHING UP MAY BE IN ORDER



I decided that it might be helpful to go over some of what goes on in the background as it may help shed a light on the next post of ‘THE STATE OF DFG AS A BUSINESS AND WHERE TO GO’, as well as provide some insight on where the hell has Mark been and why I have made some of the decisions I will talk about in the next post, or two or three…..

Some have asked if DFG is still in business, yes we are, and what you see available on the store is in stock and ready to ship. We did pull out of the supply chain late last year, which I will go over in this post and the next couple of posts. 

Some have said, that I should have kept my customers in the loop and posted about the good and the bad.
Yes, he's right... Hopefully the next few posts will help shed some light on that aspect.


What has happened since WGF closed its retail side. The last 2 years have been packed with educational opportunities.
 

Old news with some insight:

WGF shutters it sales end, I take over distribution, while this is in progress there were some talks with a company about taking over the line, this did not come to fruition. We simply ran out of time as the product needed to be in a new home before WGF closed out its US warehouse. There is some time spent setting up the infrastructure, warehouse, etc. Setting up Website interfaces for wholesale ordering, which was pretty much a waste of time as most wholesalers/Retailers would much prefer to send an order in, in whatever format their system kicks out.


Once the dust settled a bit. I started tracking sales closely, place a restock order for some products that are running very low and wait for the restock…and wait…. Eventually they arrive with a couple of new releases that I know will not have much of an effect on the bottom line or excitement. The molds had already been cut and it was a good test for a rather lackluster release to see what that looked like. This was an important test for me, I knew it was going to be a soft release and I knew that I had to plan for such releases to happen now and then. Its not that I wanted them to fail, I just knew they would not be big hits, as did the supply chain. This would give me a base line and let me know what was at risk form an investment standpoint if a release just did not take, I will just say, its not pretty and leave it at that….


Exploring possibilities:
Sufficed to say, there have been a LOT of false starts, exploring possibilities that eventually come to a decision not to peruse the opportunity This is often not anyone’s fault, just two parties feeling out the opportunities and seeing if there is a way to make something happen. In the end it comes down to a dollars and cents business decision. Most of the time one party or both is simply not in the position at that moment to monopolize on the opportunity. Some explorations are covered by NDA and even those that are not, I will not be going into details about who and what, etc.

Between the time I took over distribution and now, I have explored with various entities many possible business opportunities, some of these took days, some, months. It just depended on where the conversation took us and what possibilities were on the table.
I am quick to ‘pick up the phone’ and chat with anyone about possibilities I am also quick to get down to remuneration, although this aspect often takes some time to work out details. End of the day, everyone involved needs to be compensated in one way or another.

Then we come to 2017:
I finalize a few files for production (StuG tank, Shadokesh and Ferals) and start exploring other manufacturing avenues… (more on why later) Finding a proper manufacture takes a great deal of time a load of back and forth and some minor testing to at least make sure each possibility is viable from a cost and quality standpoint.

That damn bottom line:
I had one last the opportunity to explore a partnership possibility with a very nice, energetic and competent individual, that honestly would have been a breath of fresh air. 
Still being in distribution, I had reservations about the profit margins and the ability to provide a fair return to the partner. Entering into that kind of arrangement needs to be good for everyone involved and I could not see a way to guarantee that individual a fair return on investment, so I thought it best not to proceed with that avenue.

I already knew that things had stalled a long time ago but looking at this from strictly a bottom line perspective after exploring the partnership possibility, the margin concerns, now brought into full view, cemented the path forward. I decided late in the year to remove my products form distribution, as I could not see a way to release new products at reasonable price to my customers and still satisfy the supply chain discounts. This was a rather painful decision as it meant leaving behind long standing relationships to try and forge a path forward.

When it comes to many of my retail customers, I have known many of these individuals for quite a while, corresponding with them and sending out marketing packets for releases, teasing products and sending out samples for review, etc. Some of the direct retailer contacts were the best experiences I have had…. They have all been very good to me and if I had the ability to do so and not drop into the red, I would still be selling to them. Having said that, I would not be talking so openly right now either, I understand promises, expectations and statements need to be tethered as you are in a business relationship that is mutually beneficial and that setting them up for failure you are setting yourself up as well.

Add the normal life things, a home remodel performed on the cheap by yours truly and other such things and the year slipped on by before I had a chance to say hello to it.

Well, hello there.....





Those of you that have been around from the pre-Kickstarter days remember a time where I was very open in my communications, where my interactions were FAR more timely and personal.

Involving other companies in that flow complicated things on my end quite a bit. I had a few very heated conversations over various issues concerning what could or should be said. For right or wrong, this changed my way of interfacing with all of you, and IMO, not for the better. But such is the reality of having partners… You need to keep that relationship working and healthy, and there are times you will not agree, and times where you cannot discuss what you would like to with your customers. No this is not turning into a ‘tell all story’ I am simply saying that I miss the days where I felt as if I were part of the community and that I could just let information flow and get feedback from all of you on a kit or a direction or a specific item.

I think it fair to say that WGF and I are not doing much business together, the agreement we had ended when I took distribution over, this changed the responsibility’s and payment scheme. We worked out a verbal understanding of how much I would send them for each sale after expenses and we have had very little contact since the transfer, it did not end badly, just faded into me sending commission payments and not much ell’s. I will simply leave it at this; I am and will forever be grateful for the opportunity Wai Kee and WGF provided me, having the opportunity to have 30 plastic kits produced was an amazing, frightening and monumental experience. 

Having changed the nature of that relationship allowed me a little more latitude, but still being in the supply chain, I know that, and public statements may have repercussions for my retail and distribution partners… I cannot tease a kit or ask for feedback if I am not planning of following closely with a release. It would not be irresponsible of me to set them up for questions or expectations when they did not have the answers.

I removed myself from distribution at the end of last year and spend the last couple of months mulling over the next steps. (I will go into that more in the next posts)
All the concerns listed above have pushed me further away than I would have liked and help establish a very poor habit of being tight lipped. Hopefully with this message I can start to break the habit I have developed and get closer to the more open flow of ideas and feedback that I and I am sure, you miss.

I will simply say, all excuses or reasoning aside, I am sorry for not being as transparent as I would like or as communicative as you deserve.

I will be posting much more to my blog as I used to and frequenting old haunts like DAKKA for a more open exchange.


To close this message, I will simply say again, that I apologize for not being here, talking with all of you and hope that if you are still interested, that you comment or follow along as I attempt to return to some facsimile of what I was when I started this creative journey.

Friday, May 27, 2016

TWO NEW RELEASES & A CRAZY GOOD MEMORIAL DAY SALE!

I am pleased to announce two new releases.

The limited edition 54mm (1:28 scale) Valkir Assault Trooper display model.
 
If you are a painter or a collector, this limited edition display model is for you.
Standing nearly 3” tall on the base, it will provide a wonderful canvas for you to showcase your skills.
 
This model is 1:28 (56mm) Scale
This kit includes a single Valkir Assault Trooper; a round 60mm base and two weapon choices. You can equip the trooper with an assault pistol or grenade launcher.
 
 
 MSRP $25.00

 
 
 


and the
 
 
15mm (1:100) scale Leviathan Capacitor Cooler.
 
 
This kit is NOT hot swap, you must choose to use this accessory at the time that you build the main kit.

15mm (1/100) scale Leviathan accessory, the Capacitor Cooler replaces the oil stacks on the back of the Leviathan Mortis and Crusader, allowing the machines a steadier flow of power but sacrificing the ability to overcharge the reactor.
 
MSRP $9.00
 
 
 
 
 
We also had a major restock on the 15mm scale Leviathan weapon arms....
 
 
 
 
Now on to the sale- Now until May 31st, select kits are up to 50% off!
 
I know... cray-cray right!?
 
When we took over distribution in October we took over the existing inventory for WGF, we were low on stock on some items and overstock on others. I have decided to equalize my stock levels and turn some of that into liquidity. Best way to do that is to move the overstock and pass a great deal to my customers.
 
I hope you enjoy the new releases and have a wonderful holiday!
 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Panzerjager and APC back in stock!

Helllooooo Ladies...
 
 
We received a restock on our OOS Panzerjäger and Kielerkopf APC kits!
 
 
 

Now through April 30th we are also offering a 35% off sale on select kits...

 
 
We are waiting on some packaging to arrive to fill in other OOS products such as 15mm Leviathan arms.
 

We will be releasing two new kits shortly, 15mm scale capacitor coolers and a large scale Valkir Assault Trooper for all you painters and collectors out there. Stay toned for more info....

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brueckenkopf Review: Dream Forge Valkir Heavy Troopers

Seems I have not been on top of my social media for a bit. Christian over at BK has been at it again with another wonderful review of one of our kits.

Posted below, the review that has been run through Google translate. It may not be a perfect translation but you should be able to get the main points.

Thank you again Christian for all your hard work and observations!

 
 
At a glance:
Manufacturer: Dream Forge Games Product: iron core Valkir Heavy Troopers Price:Material: hard plastic
After opening a stack waiting with 7 iron frame on us, one of which contains the Bases:


Overall terminals (sinngerweise) 20 Bases in cast frame:

The other cast frame are each represented twice, or bulging me Biits all kinds We start with Allerlei arms and torso.:

It continues with legs and bits for the lower body:

And finally come primarily arms, shoulder pads and minds:
 
 

In detail:
Who knows our previous Dreamforge reviews that the suspects probably already know that the detail, again faultlessly fails again, we have yet shot a few close
 
 
 
 

Assembly:
The models of Dreamforge Games are known for two things: their quality and complexity. to the latter has once again confirmed also at the Valkirs because that the review does not appear until today, has a simple reason: I am yesterday simply not finished.
The assembly of the Valkirs is enormously complex, which is not only due to the sheer number of components per model, but also because each and every Beinpose arm position (depending on weapon) requires a specific combination of components. All components are (still and the subfields with a letter) provided with an exact number they assign unambiguously a particular pose. The search for the right parts takes time, and the fact that alone each subfield of at least 7 members (2 legs, 1 hip, 2 side plates, and cloth or plate for front and back) which, provides extensive search and puzzles ,
To avoid chaos and mixed parts, we recommend any Beinpose build sequentially. The following figure shows the taped legs and trim for front and back. The small side plates are still missing:

For our review, we first built only 10 models whose torso respectively from the front and back as well as an optional "backpack" exist:

The pairs of arms are made of weapon and two arms which are each permanently assigned and after weapons stance (shoulder supported / from the hip firing / weapon lowered), and align the selected weapon. Some weapons consist of several parts, including the heavy rifle, which we show on our following image:

A total of four weapon types are available:
  • Assault rifle (17 pieces)
  • Heavy gun (10)
  • Flamethrower (4 pieces)
  • Mortars (4 pieces)
Grenade launchers and heavy rifle are lengthwise each halved, which must be called at least suboptimal. While this technique allows a drilled from the outset run, but the long splice makes almost inevitable for unaesthetic transitions that need to be corrected with Liquid Green Stuff. Whether the small benefits justify these expenses, is at least doubtful. When smaller mortars this problem falls way less important, because the splice is weaker here.
After assembly of sub-bodies, torsos and pairs of arms, the models looked like this:

Done:
Now, only the heads and shoulder pads had to be mounted. The set incidentally comes with 3 different options for the heads, which are each 20 times yet, so rich for the complete set. In addition to these 60 heads come back 5 heads for Commander in classic iron core look to.
We have built two teams and armed differently. First, a classic squad with flamethrowers and grenade launchers:
 

And then a team with heavy guns:

Size comparison:
For size comparison, we now have two images for you. Firstly, an image with various other iron core models (Stormtrooper, Assault and Support Valkir Valkir), and an image with a Space Marine, a Mantic Enforcer and an Antares-Algoryn:
 

Conclusion:
The Valkirs are a great kit with great worked out details, which is packed to the gills with options, and the effect really leaves nothing to be desired. The fit of the components is outstanding and the mold lines absolutely minimal. Dreamforge Games deliver with Valkirs So even hard plastic of the highest quality, and each player, which suits the style of the iron core models, making this definitely nothing wrong.
Even here, stay a few suggestions and criticisms:
  • We start the previously mentioned complexity of the kit. For beginners the Valkirs are definitely not suitable and Hobby veterans should plan for the assembly neat time.
  • Also, the longitudinally-divided guns are not ideal. You like design technically have their reasons, but for the hobbyist bring mainly significantly higher expenditure during assembly.
  • Particularly in view of the numerous other options, the lack of real command bits is a bit of a shame. The ever-popular "Show Hand", a melee weapon or a radio module would have been nice here that 5 command heads are nice, but only fit one of the three head options, from which it is moreover not differ.
Last but not least you could still complain about the sometimes somewhat static poses, they are given the heavy armor but realistic and are also relieved by advancing and rennende leg pairs more than adequate. Especially in contrast to the much more dynamic Stormtroopers is doubly clear that the Valkirs rather slow and steady advance, while the Stormtroopers take over the race.
As for the price, the Valkirs the top of the scale sort a. With just under 60 euros for 20 men they are 10 euros cheaper than 20 tactical Space Marines (their function and equipment they correspond best) for 70 euros. They also offer more options and enrich the Bitsbox the buyer enormously (although of course not for any really a useful bonus). The Enforcer of Mantic Games fall expected slightly cheaper from (their final retail price will be known in May), while 20 Concord-Strike Trooper for Beyond the Gates of Antares with 56 Euro are almost on par with the Valkirs (they have few options when assembling in 20 men but preserves the boldness 8 light and medium drones 4 as a bonus). *
As final conclusion one can hold, therefore, that a premium kit for premium price obtained with the Valkirs who only in some details shows weakness.