Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ken Whitman: Another Kickstarter Project Poisoned, Now Featuring Fred Fields' Cthulhu Dice Tower

Ken Whitman often advertises the fact that he makes money as a Kickstarter consultant, offering his "expert services in organizing, marketing, and managing kickstarter projects," often in exchange for a fee in the thousands of dollars. I'll give you a moment here to stop laughing.

Better now? Good. When you run the above statement backwards through the Ken Whitman Universal Lie Translator, what Ken is really saying is, "After I broke the kickstarter rules by running 6 sequential kickstarters before fulfilling any of them, and Kickstarter finally shut me down, and both Larry Elmore and Jolly Blackburn swore to never work with me again, I just changed gears and starting scamming new and different game industry vets by getting them to let me run their projects behind the scenes."

Case in point, Fred Fields' Cthulhu Dice Tower project. Check out the comments section while your there. Here's what backers were supposed to get (albeit unpainted and unassembled at the lower pledge levels):

Pretty swanky, am I right? Backers thought so too. They pledged over $6,000 to help make it happen, unknowingly giving Ken Whitman a chunk of that change as a kickstarter consultant.

Watch this unpacking video to see what backer Venger Santanis actually received in a cheap USPS Priority Mail box filled with wadded up newspaper for packing material:

In fact, you can read Venger's whole blog post about it right here:

If it's not apparent from the poorly cast resin pieces and cheaply-boxed shipping packaging that Ken Whitman's new living room resin casting business is responsible for this mess, then you obviously didn't pledge Ken's Spinward Traveller (TV Pilot) kickstarter or pay any attention to Ken's personal Facebook page.

(click to enlarge)

One of the problems in spreading the word around about Ken Whitman is that you occasionally run into old TSR folks that knew Ken from his brief stint at TSR in the early 90s. Those folks invariably scoff at any suggestion that Ken intentionally rips people off and produces (on those rare occasion when he actually deigns to produce something) generally half-ass and broken products. I've always suspected that these "friends of Ken" were just folks he hadn't gotten around to ripping off yet. I'm also guessing that after this escapade, you'll no longer find ex-TSR artist Fred Fields on the Ken defender list.