NEWS : KEEPING THE BALL ALIVE KICK STARTER PROGRAM : 30 YEARS OF STERN PINBALL : NOVEMBER 2020 : I JUST WANT MY BOOK ALREADY
OK Kickstarter Backers, THIS IS THE UPDATE YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!
We. Are. Ready. To. Start. Shipping.
This update is a bit of a roller coaster, so hang in there.
First, what have we been doing since September 29th, when you last heard from us?
We collected your survey answers, thank you to all of you who answered! We got 297 responses! And those responses helped us very much in our decisions on how to move forward on Backerkit, more on this later.
In this last month we have: completed the Digital Wallpaper Pack which has a robust 56 pages for computer screens with a resolution of 1080 up to 5K!
These are huge beautiful images! Those of you with more square monitors, we didn’t forget about you either, we have made 48 dynamic images shaped for the 4:3 monitor size with resolutions up to 1600 x 1200. And just for fun we created 18 vertical 1920×1080 images you can use on your phone! These images are compositions from the book and custom ones created just for this digital asset with high resolution images for you to enjoy! We think this came out really nicely and will be great fun for everyone to use as their desktops and wallpapers.
This means, we have all of the assets we need to send out our Backerkit surveys!
During this last month we also built our Backerkit campaign. You may ask, why didn’t you do this before? And of course we did do it, almost 4 years ago now, so we had to go back in and basically do everything over and recreate the Backerkit campaign from scratch, which is more complicated than you might think. But, that is done now too and we will be sending our “smoke test” surveys to 5% of the backers tomorrow! The smoke test is required by Backerkit to make sure we have setup our campaign properly. After the surveys are received from the smoke test with no issues, Backerkit will allow us to send the other 95% of surveys. So if you get one of these smoke test surveys tomorrow, please respond as quickly as possible so we can get the rest of the surveys out and start shipping!
How does Backerkit work?
When we launched this kickstarter campaign back in 2016, we didn’t know the exact dimensions the book would end up, and several other details, so we decided to not charge any shipping during the Kickstarter campaign, and instead charge the shipping at the time we were going to ship, based on reward levels and shipping addresses. This also gives us the opportunity to offer you some of the items you may have missed out on during the kickstarter campaign, and some new exciting items! This is why we sent out the pre-shipping survey September 29th.
What did we learn from the pre-shipping survey?
First we learned that only 20% of people were interested in getting extra copies of the book, so we decided to not offer copies of the book at this time. We also learned that 85% of you are interested in more books on the subject of pinball! So more on that in the future! And finally we learned that 65% of you are interested in other fun offerings we could put together, so here are the offerings you will see in your Backerkit survey!
BACKERKIT ADD-ONS:KTBA T-shirt – $25
This is a super comfortable dark heather grey shirt with the Keeping the Ball Alive logo that comes in sizes ranging from small to 3XL! And we are offering it at the same price it was offered for on the original kickstarter campaign.
KTBA Jacket – $75
This is a working man/woman’s Dickies brand jacket with a Keeping the Ball Alive logo on the front and a beautiful Zombie Yeti “Pinball Wizard” graphic on the back! And we are offering it at the same price it was offered for on the original kickstarter campaign.
KTBA Folded Poster – $10
This elegant poster shows the different decades of Stern Pinball, featuring their first 90 games! All of the books come with one of these, but if you want extras to hang or keep or gift here is your chance!
KTBA Enamel Pin Set – $55
This is the one we are SO excited to share with you. One of our stretch goals was creating an enamel pin for this campaign, we did not make it to that stretch goal, but this idea has been on our mind for 4 years now. There was the obvious option to just make the KBTA logo into a small 1 inch pin, but we wanted to see how we could push it further and really make some great art with these pins that represent this project and some of these great machines!
So we present the KBTA Enamel Pin Set!
These are 3″ tall silver pins with raised areas for the flippers and the ball showing the backglasses from 5 selected machines! We chose these based on the historical significance of the machine, and the relation to the content of our book. We think these are beautiful additions to any pinball collection and at only $11 each, they are a super great value. If you’re not familiar with the enamel pin world, 3″ and larger pin prices usually start around $25 a pin. This is the ONLY place these are available! And to really make this set appealing we are making the shipping cost for a single set only one penny!
Since we estimated the shipping costs in 2016 many things have changed. First the book got MUCH better. The book is now larger than the original book was estimated to be, it has more pages than the original spec, and those pages are printed on heavier paper making a dramatically better final product than we originally set out to make. In fact the book has gone from an estimated 2 pounds to over 4 pounds! More than doubling in weight. And of course shipping prices have gone up in the last 4 years too. So the shipping costs will be higher than the original estimations, but they are in-line with what shipping costs are today.
The books are finished and signed, the posters, pins, and prints are in production! So the only things that remain are the apparel items, which we need sizes for. After all of the Backerkit surveys are filled out we can start production on the apparel items, which we expect to take about 2 weeks. Then we will be shipping! This means we expect everyone should be getting their books and add-ons before Christmas!
We know this has been a long journey, but the book is incredible, everyone that has seen a copy has been blown away by it. When we started this process we were told that there were huge photographic archives held by people that would mean we could pull from these resources to create the book and have it done in a matter of months. As it turned out none of these photographic collections actually existed in ways that were usable, so we set out to photograph each and every machine in Stern’s long line up, which we eventually did! It took a long time, but we think it was worth it. And the upgrades to the book, since the Kickstarter campaign are significant! We added complete sections and expanded others. When we sold the book for $55 on Kickstarter we estimated the retail price around $70 for the final product. With the added scale and pages, we are now estimating the retail price will be closer to $90. You are getting significantly more book!
This is more than a book about pinball, as Gary said on a recent phone call, this is the documentation of his legacy. A long time from now, after most of these machines have gone away, hopefully copies of this book will stick around and serve as documentation of these amazing machines we all love.
We can’t wait for you to see them.
As always, thank you all so much for making this possible, having the patience to stick it out, and being as supportive as you have been, Dameon, Joe, and the Paperflock team