Build-a-Raptors, Accessory Packs, and Nestlings are shipping soon!
5 days ago
– Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 10:45:07 PM
Fulfillment for Build-a-Raptors, Accessory Packs, and Nestlings begins on Monday, January 15th!
As of yesterday all of the Accessory Packs, Nestlings, and Build-a-Raptor products have arrived at the Fulfillrite warehouse in New Jersey and we are ready to begin shipping! As they will be integrated with the BackerKit order information, I wanted to give you all the opportunity to please double check your shipping addresses, as shipping will begin on Monday morning, January 15th! If you have moved since placing your order and have not updated your shipping info- now is the time. If you need help finding your order, you can always contact the helpful folks at BackerKit (direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), or message me here on Kickstarter and we'll get it sorted out for you!
In case you missed the last update, below is a chart showing which items will be going out and to whom. Keep in mind that Kickstarter rewards will have priority.
(Note: deluxe raptors are currently estimated to begin shipping near the end of February, but mostly in March.)
Here are few images of the product at the Fulfillrite warehouse:
I know I've said it before, but I really appreciate all of the support and patience of everyone thus far. It's so satisfying to know that we are finally beginning fulfillment! I can't help but to wish that all of the raptor product was shipping now, but this is a great start. Thank you all for helping to make this happen!
New Video Reviews!
I also wanted to mention here some new videos uploaded recently for Build-A-Raptor sets!
First we have a great new video review of the Velcoiraptor-type Build-a-Raptor set from 'Pixel Dan' Danny Eardly!
And here's an unboxing video from David Brooks over at Jurassic Collectibles for the Atrociraptor Build-a-Raptor set! He also gives a nice look at the BotM catalog I made last year as well.
Expect a full review of this set on his channel soon! (note: he mentions Everything Dinosaur exclusivity, though this is only meant for the UK.)
In February I plan to move the Build-a-Raptors, Accessory Packs, and Nestlings to the new and improved creative-beast.com (teased in a previous update) set to launch early next month. The deluxe raptor figures, however, will remain available on the BackerKit store at the pre-order prices until they are ready to ship and then they too will transfer over to my website.
That's all for now. I will have another update in a few weeks focusing on the progress of the deluxe raptor product with all of the most up-to-date news and photos.
Shipping status, Production Photos, Preview Videos and more!
28 days ago
– Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 09:13:24 PM
Happy holidays everyone! How is it nearly Christmas already?
As many of you may remember in last month's Kickstarter update, I showed the first part of the package design process with the intention of a 'Part 2' follow up. However, a lot has been happening since then, so I'll be postponing that segment for now to focus on more current news. First up...
Current Production and Shipping status
Let's get right to it.
When will the raptors ship to backers?
Short answer- the deluxe raptor figures, including Fans Choice raptors, are now estimated to begin shipping to backers in mid to late February and fulfillment will continue through March.
Long answer- When I wrote the previous KS production update, I'd been told that production would be completed by the end of this year meaning that the raptors would begin to ship to backers sometime in the latter part of January. Unfortunately based on the time required for the first several batches of raptors, the schedule had to be adjusted to allow for a few more weeks. They are now expecting production on the raptors to be completed in mid-January which means fulfillment will begin about 4-6 weeks after that in February.
The factory is right in the thick of raptor production now producing thousands of figures each week. My contacts in China have been keeping me informed with regular photo updates and any other relevant news. Here are some recent production highlights for the raptor figures over the past several weeks.
For more production photos, check out the full galleries here, here, and here.
The first batch of production samples are in as well, with more on the way- click the names below for additional images:
All Accessory Packs, Nestlings, and Build-a-Raptors have been completed and are currently en route to the US from China as of this writing. That's right, the Build-a-Raptor sets will be shipping earlier than expected! Production and safety testing were finished in time to include them with the recent boat shipment and they will be fulfilled along with Accessory Pack and Nestling orders. The cargo is set to land in California by the end of this month and will then be trucked to New Jersey to the Fulfillrite warehouse in Lakewood. Estimated New Jersey arrival is Jan. 2nd, which puts us about a week or so behind recent projections. I've been in touch with Fulfillrite and have the account set up to begin the fulfillment process as soon as possible once the product is received. I expect to begin fulfillment of these items within the first half of January.
Before the product was shipped from the factory, the items were randomly inspected and photographed. From what I can tell, these final versions look consistent with the samples I was sent previously.
Now that we know more about what to expect in terms of production and shipping, here is a breakdown of the current fulfillment shipping plan according to location and items. As noted in the previous KS update, the international orders will not be separated in order to minimize customs fees to backers.
(note: these dates are only meant to represent the beginning of fulfillment which will likely last into the following month due to the large number of orders. Kickstarter rewards will have priority. )
So that'll about do it for production and shipping news.
On to other business then...
Accessory Pack Preview Videos
In an effort to give you all an early look at some of the product, here are a couple of video previews I made recently showing the contents and features of the Accessory Pack sets.
Be sure to keep an eye on my social media for more preview videos coming soon!
Beasts of the Mesozoic in Newsweek article
Hey, Beasts of the Mesozoic made the News(week)! Click on the image below to see a recent Newsweek article highlighting scientifically accurate dinosaur gifts, and be sure to read through for brief interview I did at the end.
Everything Dinosaur (UK) will be stocking Beasts of the Mesozoic line in 2018
Some great news for our friends in the UK and Europe! Click the image below for the full story.
In case anyone missed this on my social media, the Test Shot Giveaway has begun and if you have backed or pre-ordered at least one of the seventeen main raptor figures or a Build-a-Raptor set, your name is automatically entered into the giveaway. Not on social? No problem as I will be contacting each winner directly via email to confirm their mailing address before shipping.
Congrats so far go to: Jeffrey Curtis Cecil, Tommy Neace, Yuhe Zou, Benjamin Yu, Wayne Barlowe, Sarah Stotler, Daniel Bilodeau, and Joel Goggin!
Stay tuned to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more winner announcements and best of luck to all the participants!
In closing, I would like to thank you all so much for you encouragement and patience this year as this was the most exciting and challenging twelve months I've ever experienced. The only way 2017 could have been better is if I were able to ship all of your raptor figures to you in time for Christmas, but alas, these raptors ended up needing a little more time to make them what they were meant to be- amazing.
It's been a crazy ride so far, but we're almost there now. And once we get 'there', we'll do it all again. Bigger and better than before.
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a fantastic year in 2018.
Until next time everyone!
Cyber Weekend Deal- get $10 off any BackerKit pre-order 11/25 thru 11/27
about 2 months ago
– Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:33:39 AM
Just a quick update to let you all know that Cyber Weekend is on! Get $10 off any Beasts of the Mesozoic: Raptor Series orders between today and the end of the Monday when you use coupon code CYBERRAPTOR2018
Cyber Weekend orders may be combined with an existing order after they are submitted (please limit one combined order per backer). Discounted orders can not be combined together, however there is no limit. Feel free to ask any questions below.
Accessory Packs and Nestlings shipping update plus Package Design Process Part 1
2 months ago
– Sun, Nov 05, 2017 at 09:15:37 PM
Get ready for yet another information-packed update! (actually it's mostly photos)
We'll begin with the info that everyone wants to know- 'When are the products going to ship?' And then, we'll look at more of the behind-the-scenes process. First, here's the latest news.
Current Production Status
Accessory Packs and Nestlings
In the previous update, I'd mentioned a plan to begin shipping out the Accessory Pack and Nestling orders to backers by the end of October and as of this writing (November 5th) these items are all completed, but still in China. The reason for this can be summed up in two words- revisions and testing.
After receiving final production samples for the Accessory Packs and Nestlings at the end of September, I noticed a couple of paint issues that had to be corrected in order for us to proceed. I was not happy with the paint on the head and neck of the juvenile Troodon nor the water section of the Wetlands base.
Having them go back and revise each and every one of these pieces unfortunately set things back a couple weeks, but I felt it was necessary. I'm willing to accept some subtle variations in effort to keep things moving along, but these were simply too far off from the approved deco samples they'd sent me previously. I'm just glad there was still time to make the corrections.
Ever notice those labels on toys that say 'Choking hazard' or the 'CE' on your toy packaging? Those are the result of safety testing.
Within the collector community, safety testing is an aspect of toy manufacturing that is rarely talked about and admittedly not something I had much knowledge of myself until recently. However, for anyone selling manufactured product to the general public, it is important to be sure that standard safety requirements are met for toxicity, flammability, and construction, before the items leave their country of origin. I had neglected to factor this into my previous shipping estimates and I sincerely apologize. Establishing a toy testing account and negotiating a quote took about a week and now testing is currently in-progress which normally takes 1-2 weeks. I expect testing to be finished within this coming week. So with this information now available to us, here's the current projected timeline:
Accessory Packs and Nestlings are now estimated to ship out from the factory the week of November 13th. Allow about 2-3 weeks to transport the goods from China to US customs in California. From there they will be sent on to the Fulfillrite fulfillment center in Lakewood, New Jersey to be processed which could be an additional 1-2 weeks before the fulfillment process begins. This location is ideal because it's close enough for me to visit whenever I need to, plus they have a good reputation with crowdfunded projects and have a well-integrated system for using BackerKit information. While I can't guarantee it, I will do all I can to get as many of these products out to backers in time for Christmas as possible.
The deluxe Raptor figures and Build-a-Raptors are currently in-production andhave not had any additional delays. They are still expected to be completed by late November or early December but will however require safety testing as well, so expect them to land in the states toward the end of the year barring any major revisions. Realistically, I predict that these items will ship out to backers in January.
International orders will not be split
Since my last update, I've heard from many of my international backers who have concerns about splitting up their orders, potentially incurring additional customs fees. At their request, I have marked those orders to be shipped all at once, but I'm also aware that only a fraction of the backers actually see these updates, so it's likely that there are still many international backers not expecting this change of plan. Because I see this to be a reoccurring issue that could adversely effect many people, I have decided to keep all international orders complete- not to be split. Only orders with a US address will be split between Accessory Packs and Nestlings/ and deluxe Raptors and Build-a-Raptors (unless requested otherwise). For those with international orders only containing Accessory Packs and/ or Nestlings, yours will still ship ahead of the deluxe Raptor wave as planned. I want to get product out to backers as soon as possible, but not at the expense of them having to pay more.
Production galleries- Accessory Packs and Nestlings
Over the past several weeks, I've posted new photo galleries on Facebook of the final production samples for the Accessory Packs, Nestlings, and Build-a-Raptors. Click on the images below to view the full photo set for each.
Now that the recent developments has been addressed, let's take a step back in time and see what all went into the art for the packaging.
Package Design process Part 1- The Package Art
In the beginning...
Asyou are all well aware of by now, the deluxe Raptor figures, Accessory Packs, and Nestlings for Beasts of the Mesozoic have unique art work representing each species as it may have looked living and breathing in it's natural environment. Here's a step-by-step look at how that process evolved.
Concept and reference
Before the package art is even a consideration, the look of the raptor toys needed to be established. Let's face it, these creatures may not be fictional, but we know so little about their outward appearance that there is still much left to the imagination. To keep things in the realm of plausibility, I researched the habitats of each raptor species and tried to match their look to a modern bird counterpart inhabiting a similar ecological niche. Yeah I'm probably completely off and there's no science in this method, but it gave way to some interesting designs and grounded the look of the figures in reality. And while there's no evidence of them looking this way, there's also no evidence against it either. Here's a run down of all of the raptors and their contemporary color influences.
From this point, it's a matter of translating those colors and patterns to the dromaeosaur body template. Here are my original designs that were born from this idea.
Once I had the logo and basic packaging layout established (which I'll discuss in Part 2), it was then time to think about the image on the packaging.
I grew up at a time when the package art for action figures was a masterpiece unto itself. Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Dino Riders, M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joe all had incredible artwork on the packaging. I knew if I ever had the opportunity to create a toy line of my own, I wanted the package art to be just as impressive. The package art not only brings life to the figure, but creates an entire world and scenario for the viewer to associate that figure with. My first idea was to do the art myself, but then I felt it was better to pursue more seasoned professionals. Enter Jonathan Kuo.
At the time, I had only known Jonathan through association, but I was well aware of his talents as a wildlife illustrator. While perusing his portfolio one day, I came upon this image:
Immediately I knew this was my guy. His work has just the right combination of motion and flare while maintaining a very believable level of realism. With a few tweaks to Jon's art to better match it to my design, I plugged the image into the package layout and the rest is history.
After putting this together, I immediately emailed it over to Jonathan with a proposal to have him work with me. Luckily he liked the idea and gladly accepted.
For each raptor piece, I provided my concept art with the corresponding modern bird reference, a brief description of the habitat, package art templates, and the best fossil reference for the animal I could find. The pose and composition however, I left up to Jon. He would give me several thumbnail options and then we would move forward from there.
The look for Balaur here is most noticeably different from it's conceptual counterpart. Jon based his image more on the Anhinga reference than my design and I liked it so much that it ended up being the final design for the figure.
There were several cases where the look he created for the art directly influenced the sculpt. Adasaurus and Linhereaptor are perfect examples of this.
Dromaeosaurus ended up in a much more snowy environment than I initially envisioned, but it looked so good that I kept it. It was the inspiration for the look of the Dromaeosaurus base.
I loved Jon's idea of putting Pyroraptor on a carcass. Brilliant!
I also asked for a raptor head sketch to use on the side of the box.
In addition to the main raptors, we of course would also end up with Accessory Packs, Fans Choice raptors and Nestlings all of which were in need of new art.
Luckily, Jonathan was up for continuing with the project and produced art for all four of the Accessory Packs.
With the main line rounded out, I felt it was a good opportunity to give the Fans Choice raptors their own unique look separate from the others so I reached out to my friend, Sara Richard. I had been a fan of her dinosaur illustrations for years and always felt they stood out due to her unique style- like no other dinosaur art I'd ever seen.
One thing I really wanted to avoid was commissioning someone who's work seemed to mimic Jon's- I wanted something completely different and Sara delivered. After seeing her Fans Choice work, I knew she'd be perfect for the more playful tone I was looking for on the Nestlings as well.
Notice how the 'Pyroraptor on carcass' theme carried over to the Fans Choice figure.
This Zhenyuanlong is one of my favorite poses.
And of course new side art was needed for the Fans Choice box as well.
The profile of this grey nestling would also became the side art.
Since we're on the topic of packaging, I felt it appropriate to show all of the final packaging in one place. Notice how distinct each figure is because of the package art.
For the Nestlings, the art is used twice- once on the insert with the Beasts of the Mesozoic logo and then again on the back without it.
Creative Beast Studio tour
Before I go, I just wanted to share a video I made recently showing my studio and work area. I think you artists and toy collectors out there will especially get a kick out of this.
My plan is to do more videos moving forward beginning with (p)reviews of the production sample Accessory Packs and Nestling. Keep eye out for those in the weeks to come.
-BackerKit closing dates- in the previous update I had mentioned the closing dates for the BackerKit pre-order store. Due to the recent delays mentioned above, I feel it's too soon to set specific closing dates until we get closer to completion of the remaining raptor production. I will give you all a couple weeks advance notice not only for when the store will close, but also for when the first items will begin shipping. That way if anyone needs to change your shipping address or if you'd like to lock in any additional items for the pre-order price, you'll have plenty of time.
- Unanswered Kickstarter backer surveys and declined cards- as of this writing there are still 63 unanswered surveys (Kickstarter backers only), and 9 declined credit cards. Remember, your order can not ship until your survey is answered and your order is paid in full. Please contact me if you have any questions.
- Please share this update- it has occurred to me that despite my efforts to reach as many backers as possible with these updates and through social media, there remains a large percentage that does not see them. In effort to keep backers informed on the project, I ask that those of you on social media and on the relevant forums please share these updates with the appropriate audiences. I still get backers contacting me about how they've been waiting for their order since May and I understand how frustrating that can be for those people. At the very least, if you see anyone asking questions about the project, please feel free answer on my behalf based on these updates. Spreading this information would be a huge help- I don't want to leave anyone out of the loop.
- For those in the New Jersey area- I'll be attending a local toy show in Wayne, NJ on Sunday, December 3rd. While my main purpose for doing the show is to sell off a few toys from my collection, I will also have production samples of the Beasts of the Mesozoic action figures on display. Project backers will even receive a discount off any of the toys I have for sale. Please come by if you're in the area.
Man, every time I write one of these I expect Kickstarter to tell me my update has exceeded the maximum length. With that in mind, I'll wrap this up.
For those that made it this far, thank you so much for your support and patience. I will continue to keep you all up-to-date on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as usual.
Take care everyone- I'll talk to you all soon!
Current Production Status, Updated Shipping Schedule, and Test Shot Giveaway
4 months ago
– Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 12:26:09 AM
As we enter into the Fall season, fulfillment of the Beasts of the Mesozoic figures is on the horizon and what started as a small idea last year is finally on the verge of becoming a reality for all of us in a big way.
In my previous update, I'd said I would follow up with an update about the package design process. However due to recent information I've received about the production schedule and the fact that product shipping is obviously on everyone's mind at this point, I wanted to dedicate this update to those particular matters. But you can still expect a packaging- focused update in the near future, as I have been looking forward to putting that together for you all. But for now, on to the latest news...
Fulfillment will now be in Two Waves- ship date changes
As we approach the estimated ship dates for the figures, production is moving along a little slower than anticipated and as some of you may have already suspected, the timeline has to be pushed back again unfortunately. I've been in frequent correspondence with the factory lately in regards to final approvals, production progress, and what to expect moving forward. Here's a breakdown of where we're at currently:
-All Accessory Packs and Nestlings are nearly complete and are expected to be ready to ship from the factory to the US by the end of September. Fulfillment shipping to backers for these items is estimated to begin in mid to late October, about a month later than the previous estimate. From what I understand, this is simply due to the complexity of the paint operations.
-All deluxe raptor deco samples have been adjusted and approved to move forward.
-Due to several last-minute tooling adjustments, at my request to improve the raptor joints and display stand rods, the molds were only finalized a couple of weeks ago, thus contributing to the delay of the deluxe raptors. Deco sample revisions have also played a factor.
- The deluxe raptors are now expected to ship from the factory to the US in late November. Fulfillment shipping to backers is estimated to begin in the latter part of December. While shipping out in time for Christmas may be possible, there is no guarantee.
In light of the new information regarding the status of the figures, I've decided to have them shipped in two waves in order to get product out to backers as soon as possible. Accessory Packs and Nestlings will be in the first wave and then Deluxe Raptors and Build-a-Raptors in the second wave. The delays are regrettable, but necessary in order to achieve the level of quality that we are all expecting.
So now that the 'bad' news' is out of the way, lets get to all of the 'good news'. I encourage you to read on through to the end as there is still plenty to be excited about.
Accessory Packs and Nestlings Status
The Accessory Packs and Nestlings have been in production for about the past month or so and are finishing up as of this post. These items are expected to leave the factory and head to the US around the end of this month. Allow about three weeks for transport and customs holdings and then on to fulfillment which will ship from New Jersey. For those that ordered Accessory Packs and Nestlings along with Deluxe Raptors, your order will be shipped in two separate segments at no additional cost.
Recently, I was able to obtain photos of these sets straight from the factory courtesy of my fellow NECA co-worker Stefan Folkins. Here's a look at what was on the production line this past week.
Final production samples should arrive to me within the next week or so. Be sure to follow my social media for latest developments on that.
Deluxe Raptors and Build-a-Raptors status
As stated previously, the deluxe Raptors are now expected to be shipped out to backers beginning around the end of this year. While I am a bit disappointed by this new time frame, the upside is that the deco samples look very nice and the factory has had enough time now to decipher an effective paint method for each raptor. Also, the slight adjustments to the tooling over the past few months will also go a long way to making the product the best it can be.
For your reference, here are the approved paint samples- you can click the image to see a gallery showcasing the corresponding deco sample figure (note: some deco changes have been made after the gallery photos were taken and the knee joint color is not final)
And let's not forget the Build-a-Raptors! Here is a look at the package configuration for both sets. (note: the final versions will be painted in light grey matte)
With all tooling revisions now completed, production for the deluxe raptors is well underway with many parts already made to be painted and assembled.
If that doesn't get you excited, read on...
well, read on anyway.
Random Test-Shot Give-Away!
In light of the recent production delays, I wanted to find a way to show my appreciation for your support and patience throughout this entire process. It's been a crazy ride so far and I'm glad you all are on board to share this experience with me. As an incentive to hang in there just a little bit longer, I will be giving away all of my original deluxe raptor test shot action figures to 11 random backers. These one-of-kind items will never to be sold or replicated again. They are the very first action figures ever made by Creative Beast Studio, so in essence, a very rare piece of dinosaur toy history.
How do I qualify?
Most likely, you already have. The only requirement to be eligible is to have pre-ordered or pledged for at least one of the deluxe raptors (Fans choice and Build-a-Raptors are included). The test shots will be blindly added to 11 random shipments during fulfillment- only the fulfillment workers will know which packages have the test shots. Also:
-Your chances are the same whether you ordered one raptor or all of them.
- KIckstarter and BackerKit backers all have the same odds.
-Having multiple shipments does increase your chances, but no individual or household will receive more than one test shot.
-These will only go out with the deluxe raptors wave at the end of this year- the Accessory Pack and Nestlings shipments are not eligible.
-In the sake of fairness, my co-workers at NECA are automatically disqualified by association (sorry guys)
I know how much many of you have been looking forward to getting your raptors and I wish I could get them to you sooner. Hopefully this will make the wait a little more bearable. It's actually more satisfying for me to know that these will end up with the backers than it would be for me to keep them. Good luck!
Pre-Order Store schedule- closing dates
Now that the fulfillment will be split into two segments, it's worth noting how this will effect the pre-order situation.
Accessory Packs and Nestlings
The final day to pre-order Accessory Packs and Nestlings from the BackerKit preorder store will be Friday, October 13th. After this date, those items will become temporarily unavailable during the fulfillment period. Once the pre-orders are all shipped, the remaining product will be available on my new website store, which is currently under development.
Deluxe Raptors and Build-a-Raptors
The final day to pre-order Deluxe Raptors and Build-a-Raptors from the BackerKit preorder store will be Friday, December 22nd. After this date, those items will then become temporarily unavailable until the pre-orders are fulfilled. The remaining product will be available afterward on my new website store in addition to the Accessory Packs and Nestlings. It is worth noting that the prices on my website may be slightly higher than they are for pre-order, but I do intend to keep the increase to a minimum.
Well I think that's enough information to take in for now. If you don't already, please be sure to to follow the progress of this project and more on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all of the latest information and photos. And if you're new to Beasts of the Mesozoic, the BackerKit pre-order store can be found HERE.
As always, thanks so much everyone- until next time!