Updated: Oct 21, 2021
The light at the end of the tunnel is approaching rapidly! After the bottlenecks and challenges for international shipping and the pandemic, we’re nearly to our forever homes. We expect that delivery to our backers will be in time for all of us to learn the game and be ready to teach our friends and family as we get together for all of our holiday get-togethers! TL;DR: 1. Dogs BOND has cleared US customs, is on a truck schedule, heading to the warehouse now 2. We expect to start fulfillment to the backers beginning as early as next week. Keep an eye on your email for shipping confirmations / notifications 3. We've partnered with Red Rover and KIND NEWS 4. Get your Friendly Local Game Store our contact information about Dogs BOND 5. Make sure that your local rescue is a participating member of the Dogs BOND pack 6. Alex, Kiki, and Sarah finally met in person & played Dogs BOND! Guess who won?!?! Dogs BOND cleared US customs All the hard work we did at the beginning of the project, getting child safety testing and other product safety testing, really paid off in expediting our US customs experience. The product was inspected at the port and given a clean bill of health. Dogs BOND on a truck schedule Thank a trucker! We don’t have the truck license plate or GPS codes unfortunately, but the good news is that we’re on the ground and on the way to the warehouse. The truck schedule may take a few days as the routing isn’t exclusively for us, but we’re expecting only a few more days before the games arrive at the warehouse. Where's Our Game?! EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW! My friend Barry and I got to have dinner while I'm in Washington DC waiting for my flight out to Africa. He could hardly contain his excitement! "Where's the board game?" he asked before he sat down. I think we said hello afterwards.
Dusty also asked the same question, and set me on a quest to find out more answers. I was in the middle of writing a report back to Dusty (and all of you) when we got more information about the upcoming routing and timelines. Here's what I found:
Reuters interviewed Carly McGinnis, COO of the popular game company Exploding Kittens about the international shipping challenges being faced by both the board game industry as well as many others. Here is the full interview and video. "Our newest game... has been there for about a week delayed and it took about 50 days to get it there, so it's already delayed. We also had a container of our most popular game, Exploding Kittens, stuck at the port of Long Beach for two weeks, and the head of my logistics team... had a great, resourceful idea... of chartering a helicopter to come and try to pull the container out of the shipyard." "But this is certainly going to impact the mom and pop shops. They don't have the ability to get goods in. A lot of these smaller publishers and stores are holding inventory in China, trying to wait out the freight to see if it gets cheaper. And I don't think this is going away for at least two years." In some ways, this really validates our team's decision to get Dogs BOND on a container ship as fast as we could; even though we are experiencing a similar ~50 day delay in our own timelines. As another example of how understanding, empathetic, and supportive our industry of board gaming truly is – the COO of a major game company actually took the time to state that smaller operations simply do not have the option to throw money at the problem the way a longer established companies could. For next time, if anyone has a spare cargo helicopter we could borrow please let me know! We, along with all other Kickstarter projects, do not have the resources to bypass the global shipping crisis. What we do have is kindness and patience that our backers and supporters have all shown us over the past few months as the project has come to life. Thank you, and a big thank you to those who have been able to chip-in for the additional freight overage fees. Dogs BOND Fulfillment / Shipping Tracking I'm in almost daily communication with our team members at Funagain Logistics who are managing our distribution. My most recent conversation has the board games arriving at the warehouse within the next few days; and shipping confirmations should be getting sent by next week! They've been great partners in this challenging time, giving us as much information as they possibly could and being extremely responsive. Exciting Partnership News! Our commitment to rescue, education, and responsible dog ownership never stops. In keeping with that, we’re thrilled to let you know about our partnership with KIND News by RedRover. This is a publication that focuses on kids learning through interaction, building empathy and understanding for our fur-family members. The best part? We’re going to include a copy of KIND News with all of our orders to Kickstarter and late-pledge backers. If you are a backer who did not request a reward you will not receive a copy of the magazine. We are excited to work with big-hearted organizations and individuals such as RedRover and share in our mission to improve the lives of animals. Will Dogs BOND be at my local game shop? We’ve been getting a few inquiries about where folks can buy the game directly which is very exciting. This is especially important for our backers and supporters not in the USA. Our commitment is that we sell the game through our partner rescues on their virtual stores and through your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). FLGS - Call your local game shop to see if they are planning to carry Dogs BOND. If they haven’t yet placed an order, they can contact us via email – firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to get their order as quickly as we can. Dogs BOND is taking on the onus to make sure that donations are made to your local rescues; and that will be conducted when Dogs BOND receives a purchase. FLGS are not required or expected to provide donations to local rescues in this exchange - we will take care of it. How do I confirm my local rescue gets donations from my purchases of Dogs BOND games?
Local Rescue – Have your favorite rescue organization contact us and we can set them up with a custom URL to ensure that a % of the purchases made of Dogs BOND will be sent to that organization at the end of every year that they’re a member of the Dogs BOND Pack. It’s totally free to participate for rescue organizations.
I'll be working in the next few weeks to ensure ALL rescues that have signed up with us have a custom URL link to ensure the IT backbone of our plan is working properly. The Dogs BOND Team Actually Met in Person! After 22 months all three of us finally got to meet in person. It's always been a small and mighty team; but we finally got to sit down for a meal and play Dogs BOND like a family. We had a blast getting to actually play with all of the components pulled from the different prototypes and quality control checks and creators at once. It felt so good to be together. And YES; there was some rivalry and excited barking happening during the game!
Alex, Kiki, and Sarah with Dogs BOND (playable prototype)
In a surprise turn of events - Alex actually took the title of Top Dog and won the game! Everyone at the table got adopted and placed with a forever home. We are beyond excited for everyone to get their copies of Dogs BOND in the next few weeks. Thank you!