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Kickstarter (or, as Chris sometimes spells, KickStarter) is an internet site which allows ordinary people to crowdfund artistic and creative projects to be shared with the public. Chris used Kickstarter to raise money so that he could play with Legos.
The Campaign Opens
On 23 September 2014, Chris opened a Kickstarter campaign entitled, "Lego Cwcville Shopping Center with Mayor Office," and announced it on his Facebook page. The tagline was, "Please help me make another dream of mine come true: a Lego stud-to-stud replica of my very own Cwcville Shopping Center." It was listed under the "Sculpture" category. He asked for $5000 in order to buy multiple sets of Legos so that he could build a version of the shopping mall he had designed as a CADD student at PVCC nearly ten years earlier. The funding period was thirty days, from 23 September to 23 October.
About this project
From the success of my construction of the stud-to-stud replica of Heartlake High School, dedicated to Manchester High School of Midlothian, VA, USA, and my Class of 2000 from there, and with my previously designed from a College Class CADD plans for my very own Cwcville Shopping Center, from my Sonichu and Rosechu comic book series, I have decided to act on my inspiration and try for the dream of actually building my dream shopping mall in Lego Scale.
My ability on compressing my estimated measures of inches and feet into relatable Lego stud spaces, as I have demonstrated in my creation of the Heartlake High School building seen in the video here, I feel I can very well achieve this expansive building size, even to have a Pokemon Center in there, like the one that used to be in New York, as well as my own Mayor Office.
With your help, I might or will be able to make it happen! And everyone gets some Friends in the related Sets I am offering for each donation amount.
Thank You All, and have a very good and safe day! :)
Risks and challenges
Among which, the risks include my full dedication to every detail in each individual store, office, vehicle and people entry points, exits, elevator, stairs, the stability of keeping the plates together in lifting the roof and second story off of the building to get inside it. But the Biggest risk is being able to afford ALL of the Sets and Pieces required to build it! Multiple Hearlake Malls and Schools, Olivia's Houses, Summer Riding Camps, Grey Baseplates, and even more that I can not estimate right now, because I would be just getting started on this project!
For his video sales pitch, Chris did not create a new video relevant to the specific campaign, but merely recycled the video he had produced the previous year in which he showed off his Lego high school project. He did, however, include an image of the old blueprint of the shopping mall (complete with Sonichu image), produced as part of a college assignment, which he intended to recreate in hard plastic blocks.
About the Creator
I am an all-around, good natured, high-functioning autistic, Female Lesbian Soul, and Transgender, artist, gamer and creative type.
I am the Original Creator of Sonichu, Rosechu, and the city of Cwcville, VA.
I like making those close to me emotionally happy. :)
Initially, his "rewards" for backers raised some eyebrows:
Pledge $50.00, I will send you a copy of the LEGO(R) Friends Character Encyclopedia book.
Pledge $100, I will send you a LEGO(R) Friends Advent Calendar Set.
Pledge $200, I will send you a Lego #41005 Heartlake High School Set; My Personal Favorite and Highly Recommended Lego Set EVER!
Pledge $500, and I will send you a Lego #41058 Heartlake Shopping Mall Set.
Pledge $600, I'll send you one of each of the above items: a copy of the LEGO(R) Friends Character Encyclopedia book, a LEGO(R) Friends Advent Calendar Set, a Lego #41005 Heartlake High School Set, and a Lego #41058 Heartlake Shopping Mall Set.
Observers quickly noted that these rewards were in violation of Kickstarter rules, in that they were not original creations, but merely toys produced by a family-owned Danish company. Characteristically, Chris had not bothered to read the rules of the Internet site he was engaging with. No one was surprised when Chris issued an update, "I have received a notice:"
"Kickstarter Support (Kickstarter) Sep 29 11:40
This is a follow-up message from the Kickstarter Integrity team. After an extended review of your project, we're sorry to inform you that your project does not fall within our rules.
Because of this, your project will be suspended within 48 hours of this notice. You can also elect to cancel it yourself. It is recommended that you alert any backers of this situation via direct message or by posting an update.
We know that this isn't ideal for anyone, but we're here to help if you have any questions about this or if you have any other project ideas that you'd like to share. Thank you for your understanding.
You all may appeal to Kickstarter, if you wish. Thank you, and have a good and safe day.
Subsequently, Chris edited the new Rewards section to say simply, "Pledge $50.00, I will personally engrave a 1X8 Brick with your name onto it, made for ypu and send it to you as well."
The Campaign Fails
Kickstarter rules allow backers to withdraw pledges 24 hours before the end of a campaign. Weens took advantage of this and quickly drove up the amount pledged to over $20,000. Chris received pledges from notables like Clyde Cash and Hideo Kojima. Unfortunately, Kickstarter removes pledges which it deems suspicious, and the pledged amount dropped back to realistic levels.
Ultimately, the campaign failed. By 23 October, 27 backers had pledged $150. According to Kicktraq, Chris raised 3% of his goal, and each backer pledged an average of six dollars. Two people had backed the campaign at the $50 level.
In the aftermath, Chris returned his focus to his money-making ventures on eBay. He has not logged back onto Kickstarter since 4 October 2014.