Game Toppers: Quality, Affordable, Portable Gaming Table Top
Created by Game Toppers LLC
Upgrading your gaming experience! Turn your kitchen or dining room table into a premium, quality, thematic, portable gaming solution with amazing gaming accessories that enhance the gaming experience.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Update and production schedule 2-19-18
over 2 years ago
– Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 09:25:06 PM
Greetings Topper Nation!!!!
I am so excited and energized to get these toppers onto each of your tables. I am seriously, to coin a phrase, “jumping out of my pants” excited! I can’t wait to see the joy and experiences you will have on these great gaming upgrades, that is why I am working almost non-stop to get this done for you.
I have a lot to cover. As I mentioned in the last update the process of communication between so many moving parts makes it difficult to communicate without giving incomplete information. Going forward I will try to do some mini updates, the only problem with that is some feel that they get too much mail. I have great people that I’m partnering with, and I work tirelessly sometimes 16 hours a day, but I am only one person. Right now marketing is suffering because I am focused on fulfillment. Taking time to respond and write updates is very time consuming. The only reason I say this is if you don’t see an update from me, it is not a cause for alarm.
If you have a question or need my help, I think I have proven, I’m here for you and I will do my best to respond. Personal message is best. You can always reach me at Burky@gametoppersllc.com too. I know everyone is excited to get their Game Toppers, me too!!! Rest assured I’m on it.
Ok, since we last talked I explained the problem with the “Lux” die that broke. It took about 4 weeks to get the new die. It was received. They started a run and found some inconsistencies. It took about two weeks for them to get it accurate. What I have learned about this process is that each time they run a batch of aluminum they have specific processes to “dial in” so to speak, so the die is consistent, and this takes some time.
Long and short of it, they have the first batch of 38 inch rails run and they ready for powder coat, and the 36 inch and 30 inch will run next. They need to do small runs of fewer than 5000 lbs so that the die does not over heat and cause product to go out of tolerance. They are doing a good job of making sure we get the components we need within our pass/fail criteria. I’ve asked them for some pictures of the process.
Standard Rails were received last week at the manufacturer and have been tapped. Production has been started. (See pics) I am so happy with how they turned out. I really do love the Lux wood Toppers, but I must say these are anything but standard. They look great!!! The HDPE corners compliment the black powder coat brilliantly. We are expecting to have the majority of all Standard Toppers at the fulfillment center to begin packaging by the time our mats and cups arrive.
Gaming Mats & Cups:
The Order was shipped from the port and is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver and hit our Fulfillment center March 7th. The Aluminum cups will arrive the 9th.I had a couple of Mycroft sized mats air freighted for a superstore opening up in St. Louis. (See pics)
Cork Inlays, Dice Towers, Player Shields and Dogmight Trays:
Ben From Daedalus has been working nonstop and our first batch will arrive any day for packaging, with everything on track to reach us for packing orders at our fulfillment center.
Our friends at Dogmight Games are working overtime as well! The trays are in full production and will arrive on time for delivery. These guys do fantastic work!!!! They have a very exciting Kickstarter running featuring their Game Master System right now as well. This would look great on your Game Topper!!! Check it out.
This has been a major obstacle for me. When I first heard that my Chinese manufacture had pushed my order out of skew because they could not produce the whole order before Chinese New Year, I upset. I had a fallback position from another company I had quotes from that I thought would be okay as I stated in my last update. We’ll that didn’t go so well. They came back with a quote that was twice the cost and not the same higher quality components. Now I am very upset!
Long and short of it I had to go back to make arrangements with the other company to make sure our order would be placed first after Chinese New Year. This order has been placed and material already secured before their holiday. I am told our order will be completed by the end of March and should arrive by the end of April.
This had a cascading problem to solve because of our packaging solution and fulfillment deadlines that has literally taken me three weeks to come to a decision.
I had two basic options;
One, tell everyone I’m sorry, and tell everyone delivery will be two months later than expected. This was unacceptable to me.
Two, ship out all orders without the bags and then later in a separate package ship the storage bag.
This was an approx. cost of $25,000 to me. Sounds easy, not so much. Everything about our kitting of our packages included the bag in the equation. Plus that cost is a hard kick in the head.
Team Burky went to work and didn’t sleep much!
I contacted all parties involved (manufacture, partner suppliers, fulfillment center, and box manufacture) and explained my problem. While exploring the option of redesigning the packaging to ship the orders without the bag while not compromising the quality of the package we had designed previously. We found out a couple for things.
The components were planned to fit in the bag, this requires us to package the components separately. This actually will be a good thing going forward in our process even though this was an additional cost. So that was figured out.
By making our box smaller it actually saved us a small amount about $6-7 in shipping and about $5 a box in manufacturing. So now the number is getting more manageable.
Many may not realize that these packages are costing me about a $150.00 each to ship. The Kickstarter shipping prices were very attractive and everyone got a great deal on that.
Then the thing that happened that was really so exciting is that my manufacture was willing to assemble the boxes in the factory and package each topper in the actual shipping box. This was done at a similar price and insures a much better shipping situation to our fulfillment center than before. It will also make the kitting of our orders much more stream line and efficient resulting in packaging 40 to 50 orders per day.
When it’s all said and done it now is about a $12,000 cost. That’s a lot of money to me, but that is not the most important thing to me.
I realize it’s not my fault the bags are delayed, but I didn’t allow enough time for these kinds of situations in my estimates. That’s on me and my responsibility.
So I made the decision to redesign the packaging and set this plan in motion.
The packaging will arrive at my manufacture Feb 27th just in time to pack up the Standard Toppers.
I will be at the fulfillment Center in St. Cloud MN at the end of Feb on my initial trip going through processes of inventory staging and pulling of our orders. I will be making a secondary trip to oversee the actual pulling and packaging of orders.
Okay this is not guaranteed as sometimes I just cannot control life in the manufacturing process. There are many moving parts. I’m on it, but sometimes it just doesn’t go as stated. This is what I expect currently.
Product arrives at fulfillment Center and is staged by March 12th. This allowing a few extra days transit for container freight. We don’t anticipate problems, but again I can’t always control delays in customs or transit.
Kitting of packages that include standard Toppers will start shipping right after I get back from the Gama Trade Show March 15th.
Standard Packages and game mat rewards will start arriving 3rd to 4th week of March for those backers.
Lux Toppers should be arriving around 3rd-4th week of March if all goes well with current production timelines, kitting and packaging of Lux Packages will start at end of March and packages should start arriving 1st to 2nd week of April.
Storage Bags shipments will follow in Late April. I expect arrival hopefully by May.
I realize this is not what I had hoped and it’s not fair that Standard Toppers go our first, but that is the way it has to be.
My sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this has caused. All I can say is, rest assured your Game Topper is coming and there is no problem other than delays. I’m committed at every stage to insure quality. If there are any special situations, (I know of a couple that the bag needs to be included) please email me or personal message me if you have any concerns and I will work hard to accommodate if I can.
Lastly, Canadian shipments:
There has been some good news on the Canadian shipment front. We are working on a way to ship our entire order to a fulfillment center in Toronto, it has taken me more work than you’ll ever know, but we have found out that through NAFTA we have a harmonized tariff code that classifies our product as a casino gaming table that should prove to be duty free. This means we will have a lower cost than expected on taxes, duty, and brokerage. I have not charged Canadian backer these fees yet as I was working on solutions for these fees that would be in their favor. I expect to have this done in the next couple of weeks. We will ship this order our when all the Lux Toppers are completed.
All in all, we are a few weeks behind what I was hoping, I’m deeply pained by not doing better, but I assure you the wait will be worth it!!! Gamer goodness will be in your hand before you know it.
Thank you for your kindness and understanding! You have been the best backers and people I have ever encountered.
Backer Update 1-17-18 - Status and delivery schedule
over 2 years ago
– Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 06:14:11 PM
Greetings Topper Nation!!!!
I have been working tirelessly on more items than I can possibly communicate.
Please forgive the length. There is quite a bit of detail.
The response and feedback has been nothing short of amazing! I field anywhere from 10-15 new inquiries each day, 6-7 days a week, which I handle personally. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you also are managing logistics of a project with as many moving parts and complexity as our does, and are still marketing for the future, it really is a three person job. I’m not complaining, just giving you a glimpse of my life. I’m super energized!!! I literally cannot wait to get these Toppers into your hands! I am so thankful for each one of you! Thank you for being the best community ever!
I am very excited!
With that said, the long awaited update is here! My apologies for the lateness. In a perfect world, where we have perfect and timely information, I could have done a better job of responding to many concerns about timelines; however this process is not perfect. I didn’t want to update you without reasonable information.
Firstly, most things are going well and there is no need for any alarm. Orders have been placed and schedules are in place. There have been a couple obstacles that I’m dealing with. (I’ll explain more about those later)
I will do my best to lay out where we are at now, and what I expect to have happen; so here goes.
Game Mat Order:
Wow, 62 Sku’s each with individual art sizes and files to Dropbox to my producer in China. All I can say is, “Thank God that is done!!!” My Graphics guy and two artist’s did a bang up job to get this done so we could get these in time. They should be on a boat in 6 days I’m told. Here are a few pictures in process.
DogMight, Daedalus, cups, wood, and misc orders are in and scheduled to be on time.
Surveys, Preorders, and BackerKit and Shipping.
During our campaign I worked hard to listen to feedback and improve our campaign. I think we did that. That being said, it added a level of complexity that I did not expect. Our BackerKit success team has been amazing! George commented that we pushed their software to the limits with all our options. Thankfully it is powerful enough to handle the needs we have.
I did not anticipate the complexity of the back end process when we added so many options including the Mycroft midway through the campaign. Not only did it take me three weeks to set up the software, and then it took me another several weeks to process the counts to place orders. Going through MN tax and local pick up was really a deal too. I won’t bore you with the details, but believe me it was a lot of work to offer pickup and calculating the taxes. Then the Christmas break hit. (Psst…My Daughter Hannah had a baby girl!)
Long and short of it, it has taken much longer for me to do all the administration. Thankfully, I made several of these order situations a head of time, but the buffer time I had given myself is all but used up.
Pledges and add on’s:
Most of the pledges have been locked down and charged, with the exception of Canada as I am still working out shipping. (No worries Canadian backers you are still in skew, just working on some ways to get these Toppers efficiently to you.) SEE Packaging Below.
We had an unusual amount of failed charges due mostly to fraud protection alerts. Kickstarter and Backerkit both use Stripe as the credit card processor. The Kickstarter pledges get charged and it says from Kickstarter; however, the Backerkit add on’s and late pledges say from Game Toppers LLC. A few cards for some reason didn’t recognize that. If you received a decline notification or a fraud alert, please contact your card company to let them know this is a legitimate charge authorized by you.
Because of the changes we made midway through the campaign and the overwhelming response of rail bundles we processed, it was necessary to change our packaging.
The change was twofold:
1. Reinforce and beef up the packaging so I was confident the product arrives in pristine condition.
2. Find a way to reduce shipping cost for my backers.
I think we have done that. Not only do we have an amazingly durable box, it accommodates many of the extras at a fraction of the cost if we had to mail them separately. Attached is a picture of this Cadillac of boxes. Trust me they are not cheap and cost me an extra $10,000 more than I was planning. For me, it is worth it to insure a quality experience for my backers!
Because we increased the size and weight of the boxes mid campaign, my shipping estimates changed. My cost of sending the packages to Canada with my fulfillment partner in the US, will exceed what I charged by over $3500.00. We estimated $225.00 for most packages.
I am working to send one large shipment to a Canadian partner that can ship inside of Canada more affordably. One way or another it will get there with everyone else’s pledges.
Topper Manufacturing: (One of my obstacles I am overcoming.)
I ordered the Lux rail aluminum right after the campaign as we had already purchased that die (They cost $2500.00) and I ordered a fair amount of extra rails to hit my break points to offer the prices I did. At the same time I commissioned the other standard die to be made.
The week of New Year’s when we were supposed to get our lux aluminum, I get a notification from my US Aluminum supplier that the rails where out of tolerance. Our provider is a highly qualified ISO compliant provider. They sent us a rail overnight and asked if we could accept them at a discount. After looking at the tolerance differences we could have made them work by changing our accessories, but the problem would be that one generation of toppers to the next would not match. As much as I would have liked the savings, this was unacceptable and did not meet our pass/fail criteria. I’m committed to making this an heirloom product with years of longevity and upgrades.
Long and short of it… in researching why they had the failure they found that the lux die had actually cracked in three places. SEE Picture-(the yellow marks indicate the cracks in the die.) So we ordered another, but they take 4 weeks to produce.
We are still waiting on arrival date of the Lux die so production can start. They are telling me they think they can do it by the end of the month. We’ll see. As much as I have pushed this process there is not much to do, but wait.
On the good side, The Standard Die arrived, the aluminum rails have been extruded to spec, and they are running the powder coat on them. We should have a status of delivery of the standard rails by this Friday.
This delay has cause problem for my manufacture as they have several large orders for other projects as well. They are now rescheduling their floor to accommodate us to produce the Standard rails first and hopefully before they are done the Lux rails will arrive. They are done in a process to pre drill the screw bosses on each rail so that the accessory rail works. We expect that the first week of Feb production will begin if all goes well.
By the first part of March, we will be able to send our first of 6 semi loads of Toppers to my fulfillment center for packaging to begin, if everything arrives from China as we expect.
I intend to be onsite at our fulfillment center for a week making sure these order are packed with care and accuracy.
I just found out, my Chinese manufacturer could not produce the quantity we had agreed upon before Chinese New Years. This was very disappointing. Thankfully, I have had a fall back plan, all along for another solution that the holiday should not effect us with shipping. This actually should prove better in quality and timing, albeit at a higher price to me. I’m still working through this and do not have specific information right now, just that we should have them by the time we need to package our fulfillment.
There is one other more minor issue: John is having similar problems getting the Halfsies Dice on delivered to him on time. Long and short of it they will end up getting shipped to you separately when he gets them. I do not have an answer about the timeline on that.
I wish I could control every part of this process, but that is not how it works. I find the most frustrating part for me is the communication back and forth between multiple parties takes much longer than normal. This was part of the delay in getting this update out. I just didn’t have sufficient information to relay.
It pains and stresses me more than I can tell you. I so very much wanted to deliver ahead of schedule and thought I had given myself enough extra time to account for these kind of delays. I am very sorry, I know how excited everyone is to get these.
Bottom line is, we will be a few weeks later than I hoped. It's not the end of the world, but it is not what I wanted.
My manufacturing partners are used to these kinds of issues and have assured me they will work with me to get this done ASAP.
Maybe I’ve gone way into too much detail here, but I want to be transparent and do my best to explain what is happening. I also want you to know that I am doing my best, working nonstop. I am confident on the processes that are in place and continue to monitor all aspects of the project.
I will continue to let you know how things are going.
I am leaving to my fulfillment partner today, so will be difficult to reach today, but as always I will do my best to answer any questions you have. I am incredibly busy, so I will do my best to respond to personal messages, that is the best way to reach me.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's from Game Toppers
over 2 years ago
– Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 10:58:54 PM
Greetings Topper Nation!
I wanted to send my heartfelt best wishes to and your family over this holiday season.
I have been incredibly busy compiling information from the Backerkit Pledge manager. It has taken me literally 3 weeks of non stop work to manage all of our Sku's. I'm pleased to let you know that orders have been placed for Aluminum, (Trust me you would not want to see this bill :0) Daedalus Productions - Dice Towers and pieces etc, all of our 63 Sku's of game mats (OMG), storage bags, and our massive Game Topper order to our manufacturer. All is in place. Toppers look to start manufacturing the week of Jan 15th.
Right now I am focused on getting back to several Bakerkit adjustments for local pick up and some shipping situations for a some backers. It is a very big job for one person.
We are keeping our late pledge manager open till 12-31-17 if you know of someone that will still like to take advantage of these great deals.
I will be posting another update the first week of Jan as I should have more logistical confirmations by then. As always if you have any questions or concerns please personal message me or email me at Burky@gametoppersllc.com and I'll be happy to help.
I plans on spending some time with family. My daughter Hannah who helped me with our graphics work is ready to give birth to our second grandchild. We are excited to meet her. It could be a very special Christmas! Exciting times!
All my best!
Final Call for survey's and update 12-1-17
over 2 years ago
– Fri, Dec 01, 2017 at 09:03:24 PM
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving time with friends and family!
First order of Business:
Thank you everyone for being so responsive to the survey and for all your extra add on's!!!!! If you have not filled out your survey yet, Please do So ASAP.I will be locking down those of you that pledged in the Kickstarter next week. I want to make sure I get your choices correct. I am compiling all my information for ordering of product.
If you have any questions or concerns please PM me.
I love getting to know each of you and treasure the interactions I have with you. I'll share a bit of my life with you too. (I'll try to be concise, not really my gift)
It has been an incredibly busy time for me going to Colorado for the Extra Life Charity event right after the KS ended and working on the Backerkit pledge manager. Then my wife and I traveled home 14 hours with only two days to pack for BGG Con.
I must say BGG con was a huuuge hit!
We had made an arrangement with Scott Alden of Board Game Geek to purchase 30 Game Toppers for the hot games room. It was such a thrill to meet several backers. Thank you for each one that reached out to me. I helped Arcane Wonders as the Viking chief for Spoils of War and then it was Game Topper man.
I also launched the Backerkit software (Which I am super pleased with) while at the convention. (A mistake I will not do again) The reason I mention this that way is, when you are at a convention, it is one conversation to another all day long. At the end of the evening, I would answer a dozen or so questions that I hadn't got to during the day. One big blur honestly. I hope I did well for each of you.
It is very important to me to personally respond to each of you and if for some reason I failed to respond due to hectic schedule, my sincere apologies. Please reach out to me and I will do my best to handle any questions you may have. Again, the Kickstarter personal message (not the general comments segment) is the best way for me to track and manage interactions.
Then, I traveled two days back home to Minnesota for Thanksgiving with family.
My time now has been filled with coordination with my manufacture, meeting with our fulfillment center in St. Cloud, compiling initial order numbers, reaching out to my vendors for timeline coordination, and continuing to market the late pledges opportunities for those that missed our campaign. (No Worries, KS backers get fulfilled first.) There is no grass growing under this guys feet, I can tell you that. I'm committed to working as hard as I can to deliver you the best experience.
Couple of last items...
Local will call pickup:
We will have will call local pickup in St. Cloud MN. There will be a $25.00 Charge.The reason is they have to assemble the packaging box, pull the order, and then have staff available to process it. I am charged for this service. (The box alone costs $22.00)
If this is something you want to take advantage of please PM me so I can manually make the arrangement in our software and make an adjustment to your pledge.
If you know of anyone that missed our campaign, or would feel inclined to help me promote the extra orders, it would be greatly appreciated as it helps me from a pre-order status to order enough extra inventory. Most of our funds will be going to excess inventory to facilitate future growth of Game Toppers. Here is the link.
The art work for the War Terrain Green War Torn Buildings that was unlocked has been delayed as the artist wasn't able to get it done in time for the survey. I still will be producing it in limited sizes. Let me by PM if you are interested in a later delivery on it.
Thank you all again for such a great campaign!!!! You made this a truly great experience!
P.S. Don't I look like a walking logo?
Game Toppers Backerkit Surveys have been released.11-16-17
over 2 years ago
– Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:06:20 PM
Greetings all from BGG Con!
Yesterday I released an update please refer to its instructions.
The Surveys have been released!
Our small (smoke test) initial surveys went our with half filling out and with the exception of a couple minor formatting items, all went pretty seamless. I think we have any hiccups worked out, however if you have any problems the backerkit support team has been amazing and will help you through any question.