The True Story of the Pre-Release Monarchs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by j.bayme, Nov 4, 2011.

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  1. Hey guys,

    A situation arose this afternoon with the upcoming Monarch Playing Cards, and I wanted to take the time to explain EXACTLY what happened, what decisions we made, and what steps we took to fix the problem. I saw a few posts on Facebook tonight that accused theory11 of impropriety. A conspiracy! Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, today represented our finest hour. Please allow me the opportunity to explain.

    Earlier this past week, we allowed a limited pre-release of Monarchs. The pre-release decks were intended to be exactly the same as the primary edition. The only difference was they were to be received 2 weeks before the release. A sneak peek! They sold out in 90 seconds on Monday morning - limited to 111 decks. On Monday afternoon, the team at USPCC worked quickly to package 144 decks into a box. They even had to glue some of the tuck cases by hand with a hot glue gun. But they made it happen, and we are very thankful for their help.

    Our team worked quickly to ship out those pre-release decks - the lucky 111. Late Wednesday evening, I was made aware that the metallic ink on the back of the Monarchs didn't print exactly the way we wanted it to. Metallic inks are VERY difficult to print consistently on a press as robust as USPCC. The inks contain little bits of REAL metal in them, so they are difficult to print and have strange properties. We've had issues with it many times before (Smoke and Mirrors v5, Bicycle Titanium Edition, Bee Titaniums, etc).

    I woke up at 6:00am this morning and spoke with USPCC after demolishing a Starbucks Doubleshot. Thousands of decks were already printed, so it was a difficult situation to resolve. What do we do? Option A is to release decks that we KNOW aren't exactly what we wanted. Option B involved re-printing a lot of decks. A LOT of decks. We opted to re-print the decks. The entire run. And ALL of the original decks, minus those 144 handmade samples, will be destroyed. Yes, that's incredibly expensive. And yes, I might be crazy. But it was the only logical decision to make once we knew that those decks were not perfect, and it was a decision I made without much hesitation. We take quality very seriously - nothing matters more to us.

    As a side effect, those lucky 111 got a deck that will never be seen or produced again. That was NOT our intention, and at no time was theory11 any less than 100% honest, transparent, forthright, and sincere. Yes, we originally told you that the pre-release decks would be the same - but that was our intention and never did we anticipate any last minute production issues. Luckily, with swift action and bold moves, we were able to resolve those concerns before 11/11.

    Simply put, when dealing with a large production run, things can happen outside of our control. What matters most is what we do in response. What we do to fix it. In this case, the easiest fix would have been to just let it slide - but we refused to settle for anything less than perfect. So we made the decision to tweak the design and reprint the ENTIRE run.

    What you will see on 11/11 will be perfect. And well worth the wait. In seven days, you'll see for yourself. They're incredible.
  2. Thanks for clearing that up JB!

    It was a tough choice to have made. Thousands of decks destroyed to make one slight adjustment that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Not to mention the fact that it was a subjective aesthetic choice, not necessarily an improvement. Just goes to show how crazy and passionate JB is in releasing something with theory11's name on it. I don't even want to know how much it cost, makes me want to cry. Not to mention all those trees.... cardistrees....
  3. Wow, I didn't know anything of this but thanks for clearing it up.

    It does however seem wasteful to destroy those decks. Even if you're not going to release/sell them, if you're reprinting them anyway, might as well keep all those already printed decks and put them to some use, or give them away or something. Seems a mighty waste to destroy them.
  4. Wait, 144 decks were intended for 111 people? Where are the other 33?
  5. Hey guys,

    Just want to throw in my two cents into this mix. JB doesn't call me often. We talk back and fourth via e-mail and messengers a lot, but rarely does he actually pick up his phone and call me because of his busy schedule. When my phone rang today, I knew it was important.

    What I then got was the above story, in slightly more detailed form. This was not an easy decision to make. If you guys don't know JB and his team, this is a perfect example of what they strive for. I saw the pictures of the playing cards we just ordered destroyed. These cards are far more amazing than any deck we have ever produced. The flawed playing cards were hands down better than any deck I have ever seen. They were turned down because JB is a relentless perfectionist. This is why theory11 is what it is today. We don't settle for mediocre in anything. I don't think most of you will grasp the weight of the idea that we just threw away thousands of decks of the best playing cards we have ever produced. The money, time, and effort that went into these is something I cannot even begin to express.

    As JB spoke to me today about this, he was already certain about the course of action we needed to take regarding the first run of these cards. The issue was this - 144 decks, the entire rush shipment, were already in the mail to people across the globe. These decks were not supposed to be any different, but a color issue prevented them from being perfect. Almost perfect was not enough. We also could not get back the decks we had sent out. These decks literally went in one door of the warehouse and out the other. We talked about this, and when it came down to it, the only thing we would be able to do was congratulate those who purchased the 111 decks (and those we sent the remaining 33 to for review) for a crazy streak of luck. The decks they receive were the originals. They were the standard, unlimited deck. There was no special edition for anyone. Today, JB made a judgement call to keep theory11's reputation for superior quality alive. Many people are unhappy that they were cheated and lied to. As you can see, this is not the case.

    Some people got lucky. If there had been any more than 144 decks sent to us early, I would have had an early brick in the mail for review purposes. I decided not to order it because of the limited early quantity. Can you imagine? 12 decks of the 144? 1 of the 12 original bricks? You know what? It doesn't matter. I am lucky in that I have a single deck on the way. Those who bought some of the 111 or received one of the 33 for review are also lucky. More importantly, you are all lucky that JB is the perfectionist he is. You would have loved the first run of Monarchs, but they were not perfect. The new batch will be because of JB's pursuit of excellence. You will soon be able to have your hands on something truly special. Not special as in "1 of 144." Special as in perfect. Just wait. You may be a little frazzled now, and I understand. 12 super rare decks to 1 might have frazzled me too. Instead, look forward to the release of something very special in just a few days.

    Thank you all for your support tonight. I hope this give you all a candid look into how things run here. We aren't here to cheat or deceive. We are hear to provide you all with the best productions possible.

  6. The other 33 were sent to our team members and others for review. We had to get our hands on these to even begin making the decisions that were made here today. The other 33 aren't sitting in a warehouse as extras.

    Hope that clears things up.

  7. I'm proud to be one of them get the Monarchs on the pre-release.
  8. monarch pict

    @herman, do you have any picture of tht monarch deck ? i really want to see it.. thank's :)
  9. I wasn't sure where to ask, so I'll ask here: what makes this deck so special, so perfect? The design, the finish, the durability, the perfect balance between cards for XCM and cards for magic? Although I'm genuinely interested in it, all the information I got so far is that "it's perfect", which everyone with any say in T11's production team and wider just keeps repeating. Don't get me wrong, I gave you my money before and I'll definitely do it again and I'm sure the deck is awesome, it's just that I don't believe repeating the sentence "it's perfect" is the right marketing strategy, it's just annoying.
  10. When they say something is great and so great that they reprinted so many more cards, it must be great. Already several artists have said how amazing they are. Just wait until the 11th to find out then you can have your say.
  11. Just wait to the 11th. Anyway those who got them were told specifically not to show them to others.
  12. Glad to know at least one person is following the rules. :) I'm receiving mine later this week. So excited to get mine in hand like the rest of you for the first time. I've seen pics, and I must say I'm so excited. Makes the Sentinels look like a toy.
  13. When Bayme told me about the situation, I thought for sure we would sell the first run anyway to cover any losses. After all, there was nothing wrong with them - in fact, they were ridiculously incredible! I was astounded when he told me they had decided to scrap the entire run and reprint. Yet this is a testament to Jonathan's relentless passion for quality and perfection. Theory11 has always strived to produce the best products possible, even if it means taking a loss.
  14. How effing cool! There's only a gross of these in existence!!!
  15. I probably won't get to see mine till early next week. Such a shame... In a grand scheme of things, I suppose that's only one week I need to keep it secret.
  16. why didny you just keep those extra ones for the holiday scratch cards and make them extra super extremley rare why trash all of them!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!
  17. So, you're telling us that you sold decks that you didn't even physically have yet???

    AND you knew metallic ink was problematic to work with? Yet, still, without cards in hand, you sold these while promising perfection? And now you promise this new design - this new design is actually the perfect one.
    I'm sure you'll understand my skepticism.
  18. Wow. I'm excited to have 3 of 111 deck that were printed. I feel like I own a piece of Theory11 history.
    Anyways, I just wanted to say that I could understand why JB chose to do what he did. He didn't want to just settle for the way the monarchs were printed. He had a vision of the monarch deck and wants to keep that exact vision.

    Imagine you had a logo in your mind for your business. Only problem is that you can't draw and you have to get that image down on paper. You find an artist and you tell them everything about the logo. When it's finished, it doesn't look exactly how it did in your mind, but it still looks ok. You still don't like it though because it's not exactly how you pictured it. Do you keep it or start over?
    See how important it is?

    If it's your creation, you don't want to just settle. You want everything to be exact.
    I wouldn't think this would be a big deal anyway seeing is how Theory11 isn't pushing back the release date and he said the issue was rather minor. Honestly he didn't need to say a word and everything would go unnoticed.
    Thanks for keeping us honest JB.
  19. Thanks to my work computer that is SUPER fast I manage to grab a few decks. And when I saw the email JB sent I was like wow!!!! i have a VERY limited deck SWEET I had to call my wife and while she was working hahaha she didn't give a crap but eh I was excited!!! I should be receiving my decks later today or tomorrow for sure :) can't wait to look at them :p
  20. Thought mine might have made it today, saw a package go in and jumped out of my seat and ran to get it. Not monarchs :<
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