Tenacious Toys has taken to Kickstarter to raise money for a new exclusive toy. The 5" tall Uncle Argh Noir Mini Qee from artist Scott Tolleson would be the second colorway based on this figure. The funding limit has been set for $7,770 with an end date to procure funding being May 1st 2012 at 9:00PM EDT. Like most Kickstarter projects, there are various levels of funding that reward supporters with different items.
With all that being said, here is why I'm not always a fan of Kickstarter...
For being a $30.00 Backer, you're paying retail. (The original Tolleson Argh Qee sold in the $25.00 to $30.00 range) But you're paying retail price in March 2012 for a toy that won't be shipped to you until October 2012, so you're bankrolling production. For that level, there aren't any incentives to make you want to purchase the Argh Noir now rather than just waiting for it to be released in October (unless you think the run of 500 will sell out or it just won't be produced). Some of the other backer levels will get you exclusive items, making them much more appealing to collectors.
There is that $50.00 level that includes the Argh Noir Qee, a signed Tolleson mini print, and a sticker pack. The thing is...the $30 level would net you the Argh and the $15 level would get you the mini print and sticker pack. So why not pay for them separately and save yourself $5.00?
Finally, I'm on the fence about using Kickstarter to gauge the marketplace. I guess it's the easy way to determine what the demand for a product is. If you don't get the funding, the project doesn't go forward. And it brings the community together to get some deserving projects produced. At the same time, Backers should get a little something special if they're funding a project. They're the ones who will make the Argh Noir come to fruition...so there should be some differentiation between what a Kickstarter backer receives and what someone purchasing the production piece buys.