The Phenomenon that is Kickstarter.com

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kickstarter-logo-lightAnyone who has read some of my social media posts will already know of my obsession with Kickstarter. I love it. I’ve described it as ‘an online Dragon’s Den’ but I was wrong – it’s waaay better than that. Why? Simply because the people looking for funding don’t have to sacrifice ANY of their idea to the backers – the backers merely ‘fund’ the project. Yes, they get something out of it, but there is no further obligation from the creator to provide profits, bonuses or a share in the business.

Olympia Underworld Playing Cards

Olympia Underworld Playing Cards – currently being funded on Kickstarter. Click on image.

The idea behind Kickstarter (and other ‘crowdfunding’ platforms like it) is ridiculously simple. Say I had designed a deck of playing cards (we’ll use this example here since that is what my website is all about. It could be an album, a film, artwork, an invention of sorts… anything that you may need to raise funds to put into production). So, I put together my project – do a cool write up of what it’s all about, add some amazing photographs, maybe even a video or two, and decide on how much money I’d need to make my project a reality. It could be £500, it could be £15,000 – depending on how many decks I’m wanting to get printed and out there. Then others on Kickstarter (called ‘backers’ or ‘funders’ – that’s people like you) can pledge X amount of money in exchange for one or some of my decks once they are produced. Following so far? For arguments sake, let’s say you pledge £10 for just one deck. You are a backer. You’ve put me on kickstarter-badge-fundedmy way to getting my project made into a reality. Some may pledge for 12 decks, some for 12 decks, 2 uncut sheets and a t-shirt, all at different amounts. When, after a run of usually in or around 30 days, if my backers have helped me raise the target figure, (and ONLY if)  then I get the money sent to me to enable me to have a playing card manufacturer produce all the decks and send them to me for me to then dispatch to my backers. Your money is only taken out of your bank account IF the project is a success.

Now comes the really interesting part…

Fuego Playing Cards

Fuego Playing Cards

In the last paragraph I mentioned one of my decks costing £10. You may think that a tad steep for a deck of playing cards, and ordinarilly you’d be quite right. But what if this deck is one of only 2000 ever made. Ever. And what if you didn’t open them and you put them away safely. And what if in 2 or 3 years time you had a look on eBay to see that people are paying upwards of £80 for this very deck. A bit more worth it now eh? This is the beauty of Kickstarter. Almost ALL of the decks funded there are one run only decks, so they are all limited editions. Which means through time they become RARE and therefore VALUABLE.

Admittedly, not all decks turn out to be good investments.

Poorly designed deck

Poorly ‘designed’ deck.. yes, they really can be this bad…

Some decks where the designer just hasn’t really even made much of an attempt to come up with something original (I call these ‘lazy’ decks) might not even get funded in the first place, let alone increase in value. So it’s up to you to judge what you think will succeed in the long run. A good way to do this is to look into the project page and see what other projects the designer has created, and see how well those projects did. Maybe Google the designer and read what others are saying about not only their deck designs but their other artwork. Many of the designers have previously done album covers, novel covers, rock band posters etc, and you will be able to find out relatively easy enough whether their work is ‘desirable’.

Novel writing software without the learning curve.

Here’s a quick example….

In November 2013 a project from The Cardicans called ‘Bicycle Dark Templar Playing Cards’ was successfully funded on Kickstarter. They managed to exceed their funding goal of $15,000 by raising $37,464. One deck of these cards was costing $11 at the time. There is now an eBay listing for these decks at a Buy It Now price of $99.99. A year and a half later, this stunning deck is selling for ten times the original price. But be warned…… If you’re going to get into collecting playing cards purely for investment purposes, you must NOT open the deck!!

Bicycle Dark Templar Playing Cards by The Cardicans

Bicycle Dark Templar Playing Cards by The Cardicans

Buyer Beware….! – a friendly warning…

On a downside (there’s always a downside…) Kickstarter will not accept responsibility for any ‘scam’ projects that appear on their site. You are trusting the creator, when you pay them your money, that they are going to ‘deliver the goods’. This has not always been the case, and will most probably continue to be a problem. I have recently written a post on a deck called ‘Back to the Asylum’ where the designer himself wasn’t even paid for the work that he had put in, and none of the backers received their decks because they were never produced. The creator Ed Nash (remember that name) simply took the money and ran. In a case like this, since Kickstarter have no liability, you would simply lose your money. Bye bye.

Back to the Asylum

Back to the Asylum successfully funded on Kickstarter

Luckily, the designer later teamed up with Roman Kotiv of NoirArts, and the project was successfully funded on Kickstarter, with not only the original deck up for grabs but also a new and improved revamped version of the deck with even more imagery. The debacle of the past does and always will sting, but at least now the amazing ‘Asylum’ deck and the follow-up ‘Back to the Asylum’ saw the light of day, with huge credit to the creators. There is another deck ‘Asylum Inmate’. Want one? Tough. Only the backers of the original project were eligible to buy these – in an effort to make amends for the disappointment of the failed project, the creators offered this as an apology to what are now referred to as the ‘Asylum Survivors’. And fair play to them.

Scams are rare, but they do exist.

Same as on eBay or any other internet platform. You just need to be a bit savvy and know what you’re looking for. With Kickstarter you can always click into the ‘Comments’ section of the project you’re interested in to see what others are saying. If there are any doubts, you’ll see them there. The creators aren’t able to ‘delete’ comments they don’t like, so if there’s any negative feedback you’ll know.

Kickstarter is a fun way to start or maintain your playing card collection. And it’s only going to get bigger. You get an enormous sense of pride when you know you have helped to fund a project, even if it’s only to the tune of one or two decks. Without Kickstarter and other platforms like it I have no doubt that many of the decks that have been produced through it would ever have seen the light of day.

kickstarter-badge-fundedIf you fancy getting in on the action click on the Kickstarter logo here or at the top of the page – and have fun!!


I hope I have helped to explain what crowdfunding is all about, but if you have any questions at all please leave them in the comments box below and I’ll get right back to you.


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28 thoughts on “The Phenomenon that is Kickstarter.com

  1. Denise

    The whole idea about kickstarter sounded good until you got to the scamming part. I really hate these scammers, they make life difficult for many.
    I fancy getting on the action especially for those cards that look so otherworldl and hopefully someday in the future, they will sell for a lot high than the initial price. The kickstarter site looks very professional and appealing.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      I hear you Denise. But it’s a good thing that Kickstarter have such a great community behind it. You can find out if someone is legitimate by just checking their profiles and looking at how they’ve handled their past projects. Thankfully, I’ve not been scammed yet although I’ve had a couple of scares – but my decks always show up eventually :D

      Reply
  2. Bob

    Very cool,I must say! What a neat concept in the business sense . I’ve never seen or heard anything like it, but I’ve got to tell you, I love it!.Your site in general was pretty awesome as well. I’m sure you turned some heads with this site and the information it contains. Nice Job!

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Bob :) Hopefully my site is as interesting to others as you’ve found it – I do try :):):) Kickstarter is quite amazing too. And it’s not just playing cards – there’s anything and everything on there needing funded. It’s like an Alladin’s Cave!!! :D

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Bicycle ‘Olympus’ Playing Cards Review – On Kickstarter NOW! - I Collect Playing Cards

  4. Pingback: Mighty Super Heroes Playing Cards – Review - I Collect Playing Cards

    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Steve, thanks :) It’s my pleasure. The Olympia is a truly stunning deck and I especially love the Underworld Edition – I’ve no doubt that the stretch goal will be achieved. It’s one of the reviews I’m writing at the minute so hope you like that too :) Really appreciate you commenting, thanks :)

      Reply
  5. Adam

    Great job explaining Kickstarter! I have never heard of this before. I used to be a finance broker for large commodities in the States. I know this is not what they do but I wished that we had a model like this set up when I did that because we would have funded so many more projects.

    Will Kickstarter do business in the States?

    Thank you,

    Adam

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Adam. Kickstarter is an American company, based in NYC. You should definitely have a look at their projects – it’s not all playing cards :D
      It’s a fantastic idea and has been helpful to so many people. It can only get better.
      Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply
  6. Lindon

    It was really interesting. In fact I was fascinated, I did not know the world of Playing cards existed. I also had never heard of kickstarter. All in all i have learn’t a lot in the last ten minutes. Really very easy to read and very understandable. If you need another kickstart then let me know.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Lindon – I hoped it would be an informative post, so you’ve put my mind at ease. And I’m glad you like my site, keep checking back because I’ve more to add! :)

      Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Joe. I reckon Kickstarter and other crownfunding platforms will only get bigger in the near future which is fantastic news to anyone wanting or needing to fund a project. So it’s important that people aren’t confused by how it works. I’m glad I achieved that. Thank you :)

      Reply
  7. Sabir

    I love how you break down the cons and the pros of this approach, I personally am considering launching a campaign now! You really broke down the concept of backers very well and I no longer see it as glorified begging, there really are ways you can make it really worth it for your supporters, great post!

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Sabir, it was important to me that the post at least give a basis of what Kickstarter is all about.
      If I’ve acheived that then I’m happy :)
      I hope you do decide to launch your own campaign, and I’d love to hear how you get on with it. Good luck and enjoy it! :)

      Reply
  8. Roslyn

    Well written article explaining both kickstarter and crowdfunding. I had little knowledge of either. After this read, I understand both.
    The decks of cards on your site are very pretty…some are beauties!
    I like the funding idea as, , at some point, I would love to have an original, unique deck of cards.
    Enjoyed the site,
    Roslyn

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Roslyn. As you’ve seen from my post and if you look into Kickstarter, anyone can put forward a project, and why not you? I’d love to have the confidence (and the talent!!) to come up with a deck of cards. There are so many people on Kickstarter who aren’t magicians, cardists or even card players, but they just love to design playing cards. There are no rules to this – you should go for it! Let me know if you start your own project and I’ll do you a review on my site to help promote it :)

      Reply
  9. Caroline Schlup

    The more I read about your Deck of Cards the more I want to get involved. You put together some very interesting information that helps in understanding more about card collecting, buying/selling and what to watch for. Very great stuff. thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Caroline, I’ve only just started!! :) I’ve so much more to put onto my site so keep checking back. Thanks for your interest and your comments, they’re very much appreciated :)

      Reply
  10. Johan Myers

    I had an idea of what kickstarted was before reading this post, but know I realize how great the concept actually is! Least to say, interesting post!! I also like the way you are dividing your paragraphs! It’s making the text easily read!

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Johan. It was important to me that my explaination of Kickstarter was understandable, and hopefully I’ve achieved that :)

      Reply
  11. Debra

    Very nice article, well written and explained to those like me who know very little and don’t have time themselves to so the research on Kickstarter.

    I am much more likely to look at Kickstater in a different light, and will have to think about perhaps a project of my own to kickstart.

    Thanks for a great article!

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      It’s definitely worth looking into if you have a project that needs funding Debra, so do consider it. I’d be interested to hear what you decide to do :) Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply
  12. daniella

    Hi,

    I love games especially cards and tarots to see the future, but to be honest, I have never seen these kind of games.
    I am glad I discovered this website. I’ll come back with my family to choose the type of game .
    Thank you very much for this great blog

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Daniella. I’ll be putting many more posts and reviews on so keep checking back to see if there’s anything in particular that you’d like more info on :)

      Reply

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