A Brief Introduction to this Page's Purpose

Not Another Dime! is dedicated to documenting the assorted, and sometimes wild, details of Mr. Ken Whitman's business dealings within the Role Playing Game (RPG) industry. This place is NOT intended to be a medium of discussion about Mr. Whitman, pro or con, but instead be a "jumping off" point to enable the reader to make their own informed decision about Mr. Whitman's history and business character.

Whenever possible, links to the original source material will be provided, but in many cases that information may have been deleted or secured behind restricted-access (like a private Facebook page) accounts.

Anything posted here is the opinion of the retrospective author and any content shown is to be considered "fair use" and posted for educational purposes only.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

2015.07.28 Pencil Dice Emails & Comments

2015.07.28 Pencil Dice Emails & Comments
Over on the Pencil Dice Kickstarter comments page it looks like Chris Sanderson did some investigating work on his own and reached out to the Chinese producers Ken Whitman had originally lined up to manufacture the many pencils that 1,351 backers paid a grand sum of $38,161 for. As far as I know this is just the Pencil Dice Kickstarter, but there is no way to know if this order was to be lumped in with the RPG Pencil Dice Kickstarter as well . After looking at this exchange and seeing that the campaigns for the two are only 10 days apart, I think it is a safe bet that from a Ken Whitman and Manufacturer perspective they have to essentially be one and the same, just pushed out to backers at two separate Kickstarters.

This would bring the number fleeced to 1,688 for a total of $46,784.

2015.07.28 Pencil Dice Emails & Comments
I got these screen shot from an anonymous poster, but Chris's words on the comment section are a bit more illuminating:

"In the spirit of sharing and transparency here are the messages I have from the China Supplier (earlier today before this update) when I mailed them to ask where the pencils were. In light of previous updates stating "We are expecting the pencil to arrive any day" (June 20th) I think we may all draw our conclusions along the same lines... or not as we won't have any pencils to draw with....

*** First Reply :: The pencils will be sent directly from our factory. While now we are waiting for Mr. Ken Whitman to confirm. Also we are waiting for the order money. Thus we can produce the whole order. Because we will need to produce at one time. Not seperately. Thus we will not waste machine costing and labour cost.

*** Second Reply :: We are still waiting for his reply too. He made an appointment long long ago, but always let us wait. We are hoping to produce the pencils too. Because we want our schedule to go through, not always wait for this order. :("

Shepard Grey helps sum up some great things regarding some behind-the-scenes backer updates that the rest of us don't get to see (just a few comments after Chris's comments):

"Let's cover the timeline, condensed, of what we were told:

- April 6, Update 39: "Pencil Dice... are in full production. We are running about 30 days behind due to manufacturing complications."
We were told almost 4 months ago that the dice were already being made, but running behind.

- May 5, Update 40: "Pencil Dice are in full swing production. [...] However, I now have the quality pencil that you will be happy with and they are in full production. Here are the first ones to roll off."

You show pictures of a couple pencils, saying you ALREADY HAD an acceptable quality control sample.

- May 13th, Update 41: "Pencil Dice are on the move! PENCIL DICE are expected to arrive in the USA in the next 30 days!"

You must have had some form of NOTIFICATION from them, as well as a tracking number, if you were to claim this. If not, you are downright LYING.

- June 19, Update 43: "We are expecting the pencil to arrive any day. As soon as they do, we will be posting pictures!"

So you DEFINITELY have tracking/customs/email/some info from them to again tell us that you KNOW they are shipping. Right?

- July 28, Update 44: "There were delays due to getting the product to look right. Product is still shipping from China, Retail Orders are on hold until we see first hand what the products look like."

WAIT. Didn't you SHOW US PICS of the sample in the May 5 update? You should already KNOW how they look. WE ALL DO. So why are you waiting for the quality samples AGAIN? Especially when you told us that they had shipped, and were due ANY DAY NOW, and even that was OVER A MONTH AGO.

This is unacceptable. You either need to admit what happened, fully, or you need to start finding ways to make up for committing FRAUD. You know, that whole illegal thing."

While we cannot get in to look at the updates and would normally have to just take Shepard Grey's word for it, we can at least take a look at the update titles on the Pencil Dice Kickstarter Update Page. I took this screen-shot today and only edited out my shortcut bar....

Pencil Dice Updates


Hmmm....looks like Ken Whitman at least said that "Pencil Dice are in Full Swing production" and "Pencil Dice are on the move!" now that cannot be a lie, can it?