Now I knew that Ken Whitman was making bank off of his Kickstarter projects by using those projects as advertising for questionable sales outside of the minimal financial oversight that isn't much more than totals being listed for all to see.....but DAAAYUM, the boy has been busy.
Now I wasn't aware of his personal crowd-financed "Sol Bound Travellar" series, even though I probably had heard of it and got it confused with the Spinward Traveller project. I think when he didn't get enough
Now I assumed he was selling some resin miniatures because of some of his Facebook posts (which I don't have copies of), but I had no fricken clue just how much resin he was pushing.
Only one (1) of these models is listed as a backer reward (and only one individual model) and the prices are...consistent enough (one is actually listed as higher priced for backers!), so I'm not going to count the "$100" model tossed in to that one backer.
By my math, Ken Whitman has sold 378 models for an income of $37,800 and assuming he doesn't just make extra, because he's never done that......and just sells through the remaining 222 ships he's looking at a grand total of $60,000!
Let's take a look here....we currently have $38, 627 in KoDT books, $186, 729 from Kickstarter, and now $60,000 from the models for a possible total of $285,356. Now we have to remember the books have some expenses a;ready taken out and the models aren't all sold AND more than likely he's sold more and produced less than the figures would indicate.
I'm assuming he's produced less because there are a lot of unhappy purchasers of pretty much everything.....
The Travellar forums aren't too keen on Ken Whitman's resin
"Again, I ordered the Gazellemonths ago. Was told they would ship ship in March. Haven't heard anything back from them" -Tikon (2015.04.10)
"I ordered a painted and an unpainted Beowulf which I haven't received yet. I emailed Ken at D20 last week. A short time later he put out a Kickstarter update with a link to a missing items page. I filled out the form which said I would receive a response within 24 hours, but no word so far. " -Hovtej (2015.05.25)
I ordered the unpainted Empress Marava and Scout Ship. I've not managed to get a word back as to when they will ship beyond, "We'll send you an update next Monday."
Further messages have been ignored.
When will they be shipping?" -Senjak (2015.07.16)
"I e-mailed Ken about a week, or so ago, to inquire about my items, which were ordered and paid for about a month ago (unpainted vessels), since the website listed them as "shipping".
Haven't received any reply back via e-mail, or minis.
I've posted a separate inquiry here as well, for pics of the other resin vessels (SDB and Far Trader), and/or the metal minis, but no joy on that front either. I suspect most haven't received them.
I do see a lot of people have been waiting far longer than me, especially for the limited edition releases.
The Facebook page link to make an inquiry about existing orders doesn't work for me. I get an error message saying no page exists." -Mako (2015.07.16)
"It has gone well beyond any form of joke now.
TV pilot kickstarter participant and I purchased Gazelle and Scout resin ships.
If he has gone to pouring resin at home in the kitchen rather than getting it all done commercially, I am seriously concerned about quality of the final product.
IF they are ever sent out to those who have paid coin for them in good faith." -madmike (2015.08.16)
Now this last comment is interesting because I have it from good sources that when Ken Whitman visited the KenzerCo D-Team he got to see some of Jolly Blackburn's resin castings and inquired heavily about them......I think he saw a way to try and make a few extra dollars by cutting out the middlemen in production. Why leave manufacturing to the experts when there is a few more dollars to be made? I think this will come up again......
For the record, and to be fair to Ken Whitman, this is just a rumor. I've reached out to Jolly Blackburn to inquire about this particular tidbit of information/rumor and I haven't gotten so much as a "no comment". I think it probably doesn't help that KenzerCo hasn't gotten their KoDT:LAS footage yet, so I don't expect any corroboration on this anytime soon.
BUT WAIT!!!! THERE"S MORE!!!
Thanks to the power of the internet we can easily see that Ken Whitman's Travellar rabbit-hole goes down much deeper than what you can see on his website today. You see there are two lessons I really don't think Ken Whitman has learned yet, the first being that just because you don't link directly to a page from your other pages (like he does with his current resin sales). The second is that old websites can often be accessed well after you've done away with them.
This archive of this old page shows he sold a bunch of these ships as a complete bundle....again with a maximum number of 100. According to the pictures below, he has only 25 sets left, which would mean he has sold 75.....
....now wait a second.....if he has sold 75, that would mean he has another $75,000?! But wouldn't
Well this should be straight-forward to check. If Ken Whitman has sold 75 sets of ships then he would have to have no more than 25 of each model left to sell individually, right?
Damn, I guess I got that one wrong.....
So at this point I'm not even sure what are lies and what is the truth, so I have to take the simplest explanation which is whatever gets Ken Whitman more money. In this case it would be that Ken Whitman double-sold (at least) some exclusive models for an extra $75K. This brings our new rough-math to $360,356.