Dragon Bagons; CR10 dragon dicebags

Created by Bridget Hughes

These CR10 dragon dicebags would love to guard your dice hoard. Also available are Dragon dice, Bagthulhus, and Bagthulhu dice.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The long awaited update
17 days ago – Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 10:13:28 PM

Hi folks,

First of all, I owe you all an apology for the silence. I've been waiting on a few important pieces of info to be confirmed, but I should still have added updates to touch base and let you know I haven't disappeared.

I am in the process of paying the deposit on the manufactured run of Dragon Bagons, production will start ASAP.

Quality Control

I've had to accept that the manufacturers are not able to control some elements of the design as much as I do, but I'd like to believe that they will do their best all the same. The main issues are that the inner wings may be less evenly placed and the jaw lines may not be completely rounded and smooth.

The inner wings issue is because that piece is being die cut rather than laser cut. Die cutting is the fabric version of cookie cutting. The fabric is layered up and a shaped blade effectively stamps out the piece. This means that small movements in the fabric, especially at the bottom of the stack, can cause small variances in shape and size. We went with die cutting because laser cutting was creating rough scratchy edges on the fabric, which usually isn't an issue unless you have cut edges showing (which we do). In previous updates backers had given feedback that they preferred cuddly over precision, which I agree is more important.

The jaw line is something that I've found always varies a bit with the handmade Dragon Bagons, it's influenced by the fabrics we use (there's a lot of different weights of microfleece, and some colours only come in different weights). You might have noticed that Dragon Bagons in hot pink have a slightly more square look, versus the more curvy heads of those in black and white. That's down to the thickness/weight of the fabric and how well it flexes. The manufacturers are using lighter fabrics so the definition on the nose and brow ridges is very nice, but they're struggling to make the jawline perfectly round, and I think it's something I have to accept (within reason).

I realise the QC and sampling process has been long and frustrating and I apologise for that. It's mostly involved a lot of emails back and forth about measurements. I feel it's very important to do my due diligence, to try and pre-empt as many potential issues as possible, because after such a long wait having them turn out poorly would be devastating. I still can't control the future and there's no doubt things I haven't predicted, but I'd like to hope I've at least done my best.


The Rainbows and money

We are struggling money wise. All the additional costs over the past two years have hit us hard.

Having to change manufacturers for the Dragon Bagons made the minimum order quantity 4 times higher than originally budgeted for, though it did almost halve the unit cost.

Having to change manufacturers for the Dragon dice meant buying multisets rather than singles, with a minimum order quantity more than 5 times the original quote.

For some time I have been funding the additional costs through my personal income and through regular sales of items I have in stock (Bagthulhus, Dice, Handmade items, etc), additional preorders have also helped immensely and I had the option of finance to bridge some of the gap.

But then there's the issue with the rainbows: We originally weren't going to have the rainbows manufactured. We had the handmade option available, with the possibility of shifting them to manufacturing if enough were ordered in time.

Then we made a deal with another business. This deal entailed that I would make Dragon Bagons to match their products, and we would both sell and promote each others products both in a bundle and separately, wholesaling to each other at a discount. They gave me estimated order numbers for the Rainbow Dragon Bagons that made them viable for manufacturing. This is when I made manufactured Rainbow Dragon Bagons available to order publicly.

Unfortunately after a little while, communication became an issue, and despite my efforts to make contact, I did not hear back for a long time. Eventually I was able to secure enough of their product to fulfill the preorders I had taken. Unfortunately as far as I know, they did not advertise or take orders for any of my product, and with communication as it is, I have to assume it will not be happening. With the sampling process was taking so long I could afford to wait and hope things would change, but I'm now in the process of paying the deposit, so I can't wait any longer.

Unfortunately this leaves me with a large hole in the budget. We would be in a better position to absorb it if we hadn't already had so many other escalated costs from having to change manufacturers for both the Dragon Bagons and the dice.

Before I go any further I need to be very clear. This is NOT a call to arms, this is NOT me taking a shot at another company, I do NOT want to start a war or hurt another business, I just need to be honest about where we're at.

You'll notice I haven't mentioned a name in this situation. I'm not trying to be mysterious, I just don't want to incite anyone being brigaded and I don't want anyone feeling like they have to choose between that business and me. I'm aware that anyone who wants to can work out more details, but I'm leaving them out in the hopes of avoiding a flamewar. I realise this situation may cause frustration and disappointment for many folks, but if you're so inclined, please don't go looking for a fight on my behalf, it won't make the money appear. I genuinely believe there was no malicious intent, things just didn't work out.

Moving forward

I had a couple of options in terms of how to deal with this.

  • I could cancel the manufactured rainbows and refund those orders. After the refunds we would still have lower manufacturing costs, but it would be a hit in the short term as well as alienating a valued group of backers, as well as significantly upsetting the manufacturers, which would be reasonable on their part because they were operating on the assumption for some time that we would be manufacturing the rainbows, just like I was.
  • The other option is to get a larger business or personal loan to cover the shortfall. We won't need the funds until the run is actually finished, so we have time to organise it. I've been in contact with several banks, we have a reasonable (but not perfect: crowdfunding is not well understood) case and an excellent proposal (my business mentor is frickin amazing, by the way). I would be personally guaranteeing the loan (that means if the business fails, I'm liable), and I can demonstrate the surplus income to service the debt if it comes down to it.

I've decided to go with the second option. The rainbows are important to me personally, and so are the people who asked for them. I want to do everything in my power to honour my word.

So what now

I am in the process of paying the deposit. This locks the order in and production will begin ASAP.

In terms of the delivery timeframe, this is what I know:

  • We are aiming to have the run on it's way to me and the fulfillment partners before Chinese New Year (near the end of January). I realise it will miss Christmas, and I realise that's frustrating and disappointing, and I apologise.
  • After that, delivery timeframes will vary depending on how long customs in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the US, and the EU take. Depending on Brexit we may need to split the EU shipment further to honour the VAT committment.
  • After customs has cleared the shipments and we've paid any taxes and duties, I will quality check my shipment, and send info for spot checking to the fulfillment partners. Assuming all goes well, fulfillment will begin. 

If anyone wants out

I 100% understand if anyone wants out. As I have offered to folks who were unhappy with the situation in the past, if you've ordered a manufactured Dragon Bagon and other items, we can refund the Dragon Bagon and get the other items on their way to you, and if you ordered just a manufactured Dragon Bagon we can refund your entire order, or we can swap your manufactured Dragon Bagon for another item we have in stock, and the option to upgrade to a handmade Dragon Bagon at the old backer price is available too. I realise these options aren't perfect, but I hope that they will at least allow a resolution for most folks who aren't happy to continue waiting.

For those who are still on board, I need your help again if you're willing to give it.

The more we sell in the next 8 weeks, the less we need to borrow. I'm not asking backers for more money, but if you are willing to spread the word about preorders when we're officially in production, and especially about the products we have in stock now, it would help us a great deal. If even half of you amazing backers shared something from us on social media, or asked your FLGS about stocking some of our items, shared info with any reviewers, media sources, and celebrities you know of, it will make a big difference.

This is our etsy store

This is our preorder store

All up, we're further along the road to completing this project. It's rocky as hell, but I am grateful to walk it with you.

Insurance, QC, and Customs
3 months ago – Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 12:49:13 AM

Hello folks,

I have a few updates

  • The feedback from the last update is clear so we've moved ahead with the scales as they are, and using the manufacturers reinforcing method for the wings.
  • A dice maker I know was recently hit hard by a case of hacking and online fraud. This has made me realise that we need an insurance policy against cyber crime and fraud. I've been investigating that this week and will hopefully be talking to a broker soon.
  • A handmade shipment I sent to the US some time ago was held up for reasons that are not clear, and then returned. It only arrived back late last week. I am resending it this week. Several phone calls and emails have not actually produced a reason for why it was returned, so I'll keep following that up. The handmade shipment I sent to the EU was delayed by customs (despite us paying the VAT), but as of the last email I had from the fulfillment partner it had been released and was on it's way to them.
  • I've spent the past few weeks working on a quality control guide for the manufacturers. I might be showing my pedantic side... it's currently 22 pages long and contains dozens of photos. It's likely that the manufacturers will negotiate based on what their production limitations are, which is fair enough. My goal is the highest quality possible and the closest match to the spirit of the design, but there will always be wiggle room in terms of minor details, and prioritising some key elements.
  • We had a major shortage of eyes for the handmade dragons we've been working on, nowhere nearby seemed to have them in stock, and when I ordered online the order was accepted and then cancelled and then apparently re-accepted and then cancelled again. I managed to scrounge up enough sets to keep us going until the big order arrived yesterday from overseas.
  • The batch of missing pieces arrived from the cutters, so we're now catching up the handmade pride batches that we couldn't complete previously.

Where we're at:

Manufactured Dragon Bagons: Getting insurance, testing, QC guidelines, and paying deposit. Next step is manufacturer buying materials, assessing the testing results (hopefully no changes will need to be made, but just in case), then the manufacturer starts the cutting and production proper *squee*

Handmade Pride Dragons: Blue Rainbow, Bi, Pan, Bright Trans, Pastel Trans, and Femme Lesbian batches are complete. The Ace batch is also complete but it sold out before the update so we need to make more. In progress is the Black Rainbow, Agender, and Non Binary. Next is the Genderfluid and second Ace batch.

*

I had two glorious weeks of being relatively not sick, and then went downhill again. Unfortunately it's the nature of these rebouts, they last for ages and all you can really do is wait them out. I seem to be improving again, which is positive. I can still make progress work wise, which is good: I can take measurements and send emails while wrapped in blankets.

Testing
4 months ago – Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 01:37:33 AM

Hello Folks,

I've been sickly for weeks. The Dr suggested it might be a rebout of glandular fever, which isn't fun, though I have a history of them. Blergh. Worst part is all I can do is wait it out and try to stay warm. For all that, work is progressing.

Here's where we're at:

We've started testing the Dragon Bagons. Since the recommended age bracket from the safety labs is 12+, we're primarily testing the fabric colours for possible toxins, but there's some other tests that get done by the manufacturer as a matter of course

One of the common ones is the pull test. Effectively it's a test to see how strong the seams are. It's more relevant for soft toys targeted at children (to prevent stuffing being inhaled) but it's also a useful test for general durability.

The manufacturer found that two areas failed the pull test. One is a seam on the wings. There's no stuffing in the area where the weakness was so it's not a safety issue, just one of durability. I've never come across an actual tear like this in Dragon Bagons in the wild (to be fair, the pull test is conducted using pliers and a set of weight scales, which isn't a common occurrence in the wild). That doesn't mean that I can guarantee it won't ever happen of course (and in my experience enough determination or bad luck can break almost anything), but it does give me reasonable confidence in the durability of Dragon Bagons.

In any case, the manufacturers tried a couple of different methods to reinforce the area and I came up with a possible solution. I tested it myself and found the seam is strong (I've never taped dumbells to a Dragon before... but there's a first time for everything). The new method actually seems faster for us to produce here so if it goes well we might switch to it for future handmade dragons. On the other hand, the manufacturers found that my method messed with their processes and affected accuracy (it's amazing how different handmade and manufacturing processes are even on the same design), so they want to stick with their solution, which they've told me is holding up to forces of around 7kg. It's possible that it isn't quite as strong as my method (I can't verify that without having both tested in identical conditions), but it's strong enough that it's likely irrelevant unless you're intentionally trying to break a Dragon Bagon, in which case I hope you have fire proof clothing, because I can't guarentee they won't fight back.

The second problem area was the scales themselves. It's not an actual seam that's ripping, but the fabric itself. If you take a pair of pliers and pull a middle scale back in the opposite direction with 2-3kg of force, it will likely tear. We're dealing with a piece of fabric where the apex between the scale shapes is a weak point under pressure from an unusual direction. I've never actually known any Dragon Bagon in the wild to have this problem and I admit that's not a likely scenario, but I feel I need to be upfront about it. I don't think we can fix this weak point without substantially changing the design.

What do you think? Personally I'm in favour of proceeding for the following reasons:

  • We aren't aiming this product at children anyway and are recommending against giving it to kids already because of the drawstrings and eyes.
  • It's not a structural/functional weakness so much as a cosmetic one.
  • It's unlikely that regular use will cause a tear of this nature.
  • Changing the design so much at this stage feels like pulling the rug out from under backers.

All that being said, if backers are strongly against the idea of proceeding as is, I will look for other solutions.

If all goes well and we do proceed as is, the manufacturers will send samples to the safety labs who'll test the fabrics for any possible toxins. I've never had an issue with this before, but it's still theoretically possible, so fingers crossed.

The next step is paying the deposit, which locks everything in and is super nerve wracking, but it's also progress, so yay! ^_^

*

In other news, we've finished the second batch of handmade rainbows, the first batch of handmade ace dragons, the first batches of bi and pastel trans dragons are almost done, with the first batch of bright trans dragons underway. There was a mixup at the cutters so we didn't get all the pieces we need, but we're working through it with a mixture of handcutting, cursing, appeals to the elder gods, and hopefully another batch from the cutters soon.

I've also finished another custom dragon, and I'm doing work on hand embroidering for another one.

*

Next up: The super cool folks at Nerdarchy (who helped us out with our campaigns and are still doing so) are running a kickstarter campaign of their own.

Out of the Box is a series of ready to play encounters and situations for every campaign. 

Out of the Box Encounters by Nerdarchy
Out of the Box Encounters by Nerdarchy
  • Players decided to go shopping rather than track down the BBG? This book is for you. 
  • Need a few encounters to spice up a long boring journey? They've got you covered.
  • Filler dungeon crawl needing some filler? Check.
  • Need a new monster, a new magic item, or a bit of lore? Check, Check, and Check.

Out of the Box contains

  • A foreword written by Matt Mercer
  • 30 unique encounters — even more with stretch goals by RPG industry professionals and influencers (they're up to 55 now)
  • New monsters — including new legendary creatures, lairs and regional effects
  • New magic items adventurers will really have to earn — especially when the monsters are using them!
  • Map packs for every encounter to put down on your table
  • Flat plastic miniatures for each encounter                          
A sample page
A sample page

While the encounters are written for 5e, they are easily portable to other systems. 

At the time of writing, Out of the Box is around 500% funded, so there's all kinds of awesome loot on offer. Nerdarchy has been good to us, so if it's up your alley, this KS is definitely worth a look.

Check it out here

Super quick manufactured sample update
5 months ago – Mon, Jul 08, 2019 at 08:37:08 PM

Another sample has arrived and it looks very promising. This time they just sent one (in black/red) I've got to check it over properly, but if I find nothing else wrong and if they can tidy up one or two (hopefully) small things before they send the rainbow and purple/teal samples, then I think we're good to move on to safety testing and then (fingers crossed) production. *squee*.

I'll post another update soon after I've checked the sample properly.

Custom colour handmade orders complete, final manufactured samples still in the works, handmade rainbows need confirmation
6 months ago – Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 10:46:52 PM

Hi folks,

It's been a slow month. I was hoping to have the next sample in hand before this update but I didn't want to go too long being quiet. So here's where we're at:

All the handmade custom colour adult dragon bagons are now done. We'll be shipping out any remaining handmade custom colour orders that do not include manufactured dragon bagons over the next few weeks. Some of you should already have received final notices to confirm your shipping addresses.

On the manufactured Dragon Bagon front, we're making slow progress, but it is progress. The manufacturers have confirmed that they can make the changes I've asked for, they've found an alternative purple fabric and sent a sample to me (which I have approved). I'm now waiting for finals of what I'm hoping will be the final sample. After that they should send it to me, I'll go over them with a fine toothcomb, then it's safety testing, and *fingers crossed* production.

The delays are super frustrating, but you folks have been amazing.

Handmade rainbows - There's still a dozen or so folks who backed for a 'just in case' handmade rainbow and haven't gotten back to me about whether they want to switch to a manufactured rainbow. As we are now looking to start on the last half of the handmade rainbows, I need to know ASAP if anyone wants to change over. I've messaged and emailed these backers a couple of times now, so if I don't hear back by the end of this week I'll have to assume folks want to stay with the handmade option and process any outstanding costs on those orders.