Over the Christmas holiday I had a chance to get together with some old gaming friends and the subject of the disastrous "Masks of Nyarlathotep" prop set came up. Just out of curiosity, has anyone actually run the numbers for the project? As in taken a crack at figuring out just how much it would have cost to do everything that was promised? I've Googled around a bit, but couldn't find anything along those lines.
I know that of the $74,000 total 8%, $5920, went to Kickstarter and Amazon for their fees. An additional .20 is charged for each pledge. With 507 backers that's $101. The total loss to processing is $6021. That leaves $67,979.
Casually comparing the packages that were promised with what it would cost to print those items, as well as ship them from the printers, seems to show there was going to be trouble from the start. From personal experience I can say that print shipping charges can be a huge hidden expense. All those nifty little items have to be packed in reinforced cardboard printer's boxes to prevent damage, and that extra weight adds up fast.
Another thing working against the project was the number of backers. 500 is one of the break points for most discount printers, with 1000 the next tier. With 500 backers you have to make allowances for losses and damage, forcing you to go with 1000.
Two of the extras caught my eye as being unrealistic to produce. The "Fog Spawn Larvae" would have been a huge undertaking, requiring a major effort for a garage caster. The custom slides would also have been a huge expense.
The more I look at it the more it appears Mr. Patey was caught in a trap of promising too much without taking into account actual production costs and the ever escalating shipping cost of all those goodies.