$74,000. That's how much money was pledged during last year's incredibly successful Kickstarter for the "Masks of Nyarlathotep" prop set. Ben Patey was the artist behind the project, which featured upgraded props for Chaosium's classic pen and paper RPG adventure.
After months of silence from Mr. Patey it's become obvious that the project has imploded in truly epic fashion. If you read some of the extensive comments on the Kickstarter page you'll see hundreds of very upset supporters, some of them out hundreds of dollars.
I have no idea what happened, but I'd like to apologize for my small part in this fiasco. Mr. Patey advertised the Kickstarter here and I was an enthusiastic supporter of what appeared to be a dream project. A collection of dozens of high end props in support of a Call of Cthulhu classic? Page after page of documents, maps, and photographs? Incredibly well done physical props? This is exactly the kind of thing Propnomicon has always been about. Sadly, it turned into a massive cluster****.
I'm at a loss for how this happened. In all my communication with Mr. Patey he was extremely professional and enthusiastic. Every prop had already been designed and prototyped, all the documents were ready for printing, and independent artists were already lined up to produce the physical items.
The only possible explanation I can think of is that the Kickstarter was too successful and Mr. Patey was overwhelmed. I can imagine it was pretty daunting when the fund drive ended and he found himself responsible for over 500 premium packets for sponsors around the world. That said, his failure to follow through is unforgivable.
I think there's a lesson here. Time and time again we've seen overly ambitious Mythos-related projects melt down. Whenever you see one with dozens of custom items, seemingly endless pledge options, and too good to be true shipping charges, be wary.