Eagle Force Returns Action Figures

Created by Bill Murphy

The 1980s military toy line Eagle Force returns as a modern articulated line of 4" action figures.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

More progress on the factory front.
26 days ago – Sat, Nov 16, 2019 at 10:55:51 PM

Hey everyone

Here is the latest news on the factory front.

Over the last couple weeks our Project Mgr Chris (who is in China as I type this) and his team have begun to pull back the layers around why this project has been stalled. It seems that Tiandeng Liu sub-contracted most of this project to other factories, this is not new information but the details became very clear as Tiandeng Liu started to discuss the challenges with Chris and he mentioned what Tiandeng Liu referred to as "The Fat Man" (I cannot make this stuff up, even if I wanted too) . Anyway it seems the "The Fat Man" is the one that controls all the subcontracting work, and this is why this project is stalled. Tiandeng Liu and Fat Man had a falling out and The Fat Man has not prioritized this project over other jobs he has on his plate. Tiandeng Liu was never honest about this which is why all kept telling us unrealistic timelines. 

With all that said, we have some exciting news to report. Chris and his team have been able to acquire all the manufactured pieces and packaging from both Tiandeng Liu and The Fat Man. See images.

So what are next steps?

Chris and his team have to make sense of everything they have recovered. It's like doing a 1000 piece puzzle without having the box to reference what it's suppose to look like when its done.  They have the pieces, paint tools and the samples, now they need to make sense of it. I'm sure parts will be missing or need to be redone or reworked, we don't even know all the parts were manufactured, it's a mess.  All that said, at least it's moving ahead and I'm 100% confident that they will be able to make sense of it all over the next few weeks.

After years of working with Tiandeng Liu he is finally in our rear window. This was yet another huge step forward to getting this project back on track.  I can't say enough how grateful I am to Chris and his team. This would not have happened without them.  More to come.

Designer Con

For those of you attending Designer Con in Los Angeles,  we will have a booth again this year. We'll have some new product from our Amazing Heroes line including a Madman exclusive, plus paint masters for Eagle Force Wave 2. If you are at the show please come by and say "hello". I'd be happy to enlighten you with more details of the factory challenges and answer any questions you might have.

Tooling testing update
about 1 month ago – Sat, Nov 02, 2019 at 06:43:28 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

October Update
about 2 months ago – Sat, Oct 19, 2019 at 07:36:05 PM

Hey everyone,

Finally the Eagle has landed, we have recovered our tooling and I can be a bit more open with what’s been going on behind the scenes.

To start meet Tiandeng Liu. 

This is the factory manager for both our Eagle Force and Larry Hama figures and is the reason we do not have our toys. This post will echo the post of Spero Toy’s AWOK line who is also using Tiandeng Liu to produce their line of action figures.

Tiandeng Liu has not been able to deliver on his commitments for completing either of our Eagle Force or Larry Hama projects. He has been paid to finalize production but currently takes anywhere from 7 to 15 days just to reply to our messages, oftentimes leaving us in the dark as to what is going on. It's important to understand this was not always the case. Throughout most of the process he was very responsive, completed the initial run of the AWOK line on time, and revised our tooling (which he recognized as his mistake) so we could scale up our figures to be proper 1/18th size.

However, once we paid him for production this all changed.  Over the last year he started to drop the ball again and again. After we got our new Project Manager (Chris Gawrych, who currently also handles development and production for Four Horsemen Studios) and his local team on the ground involved, it seemed to get worse.  He became even more closed off, refused to communicate, and wouldn’t move the project forward to meet our agreed upon timelines. It even got to the point where Tiandeng Liu would be hardpressed to commit to any specific deadlines. Spero Toys (as well as few other companies we know about) began to have similar challenges.

Currently we are taking the stand that Tiandeng Liu is holding our project, funds and property hostage.  He has admitted that he has not completed the manufacturing for all the parts needed to complete final assembly. This has been confirmed by Chris's team as they have visited the assembly factory several times and found many figures 1/2 completed while the factory waits for the remaining parts to be delivered by Tiandeng Liu so the project can be finalized.

Although Tiandeng Liu has recently apologized for the delays, he has not been able to provide any updated images or timelines, only a new proposed delivery date of late January 2020. This of course if unacceptable but we have had little recourse as he has refused to return any funds we have paid him or turn over our tooling to Chris and his new factory.  Over the last 8 weeks we have been trying to negotiate with him, including Chris's team visiting him in person on a few occasions. Three weeks ago he finally agreed to hand over the tooling, however he missed the initial date that was agreed upon, so we had a new target date of last Friday to pick up the tooling. I’m happy to report, we now finally have our tooling in hand. See image.

This is a huge win for us, as we’ve basically been in hostage negotiations for over 2 months. Until last night he held our biggest asset, the steel tooling.  I’ve had to be very careful how we navigated this situation, including not being vocal online or to our backers, because at any point Tiandeng Liu could easily damage our tooling and we’d not be able to recover anything. Just so everyone understands, the steel tooling is our most expensive asset and also the most volatile. We have 9 steel tools and any one of them can easily be damaged, by even something as minor as a key scratch. Now that we have the tooling I can be more open about where we stand.

What does this mean for the future of these projects? Recovering the tooling is a major 1st step to finally completing this project. Now that we have secured the tooling the plan is for Chris's team to test the tooling, finalize any remaining pieces that need to be manufactured and supply those to the assembly factory for final assembly and delivery.  This all needs to be analyzed and negotiated with the assembly factory and logistically will take some time to figure out. Chris will be flying to China in early November to oversee this process. We'll keep in lock step with updates when we have them.

I know this is not the news anyone wants to hear. It’s a cluster and I have tried night and day, every day for the last 3 years to avoid this nightmare, but sadly these are the types of situations that can happen when working in China.  I have lost a significant amount of personal funds, outside of the funds we raised on Kickstarter, and my business and reputation have been ruined by Tiandeng Liu.  It’s not lost on me that this situation has impacted others who want to use Kickstarter as a platform, and for all of that I am truly sorry.

Tiandeng Liu has our funds and all we can do is try to take ownership over this situation as best we can to finalize the manufacturing and get our figures completed by the end of the year.  We are also considering contacting the local authorities to report Tiandeng Liu, but we have been advised that at this stage this might not have an impact and could cause further delays.

For those of you who are contemplating a kickstarter and working with China, let this be a strong lesson that it can be a nightmare. No matter how much blood, sweat and tears you put into dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s, the factory holds all the cards.

I know many of you are passionate about Eagle Force and would like to see the line continue. As my business and reputation has now been ruined thanks to Tiandeng Liu, I more than likely will close Fresh Monkey Ficiton, so I have been negotiating to pass this property to other creators who are interested in expanding/revising the line once we have delivered on the commitment to this kickstarter.  More to follow on that in 2020.

Manufacturing update and Eagle Force Playsets update
4 months ago – Sat, Aug 24, 2019 at 10:15:32 PM

Here is our monthly update.

Manufacturing

Not much new to report. The manufacturing factory is still trying to produce the remaining pieces to get to the finishing factory. They are 90% done but still moving very slowly. We got this image this week of the retooled vests and a Riot Trooper test shot. 

We’re trying to get them to move faster but they are moving at their own pace. We’ve spoke to our new factory about moving the project with the existing pieces but they feel it’s too much of a logistical challenge to take it on.  So they recommend we continue to work with the current factory to get the project complete.  I’m told I’ll have an update next week, so you’ll have more info as soon as I do.

Eagle Force Playsets

D&J Toys has finalized the Eagle Force Playsets, so they are prepping those for shipping. See images below. If you ordered a Playset, Glider or Com Station , you’ll be getting an email from Backerkit this week to finalize your address so we get start shipping these items to you. If you don’t get the email and your address has changed please email us at freshmonkeyfiction@gmail.com

August Update...
4 months ago – Fri, Aug 02, 2019 at 11:42:16 PM

Hey Everyone

I wanted to provide a quick update.  We got some images of the factory of the printed the card backs....I hope to have samples of these in person soon.

If you backed our Larry Hama Kickstarter you’ve already seen the following email I got from the Factory last week the day before they were suppose to have product samples ready to show our Factory rep.  I have not shared any direct factory correspondence with backers, but at this point you need to know what we are dealing with. I'm happy to share more of these as we get them in...so let me know in the comments if you want to see them.  

Morning Bill, sorry that as recently inspection is frequent, the mass production painting work is affected, and now the full mass painting is on the way just. And the production samples can’t be done for the coming days.  I am embarrassed for you, and the mass production will have to be fully done next month end. Now the full cards are 100% finished today. The clamshell is in halfway yet. Recently another reason is I am lack of fund for my factory regular turnover arrange, as I gave out too much private money to those a$$hole officers for factory relationships 

I am suffering heavy stress from this year, I am worried dates after dates not comes as planned would make my factory in tense, but I can’t understand your stress more however.

The local officials frequently come to inspect, I loss much fund, and facing customers asking like you, I feel high responsible and feel exhausted, for these things to you all, I have no right to have complaint, and it’s not that, I just want you can know I am here and doing my factory efforts. And because also of these bad inspections this year. 

Based on the current processing considering some factors, I would say middle(10th-20th) of August, the production painting of both EF and Hama can be finished.

So it looks they are pushing our production yet again until next month this time because of government factory inspections. We don't know if that is even true. 

Our Project Mgr went to the factory to try to speak to them about accelerating production as they had told us we'd be in production in early July.  They discovered that the factory is subcontracting the paint and assembly work to another factory. This subcontractor has started to paint the figures..see images below but does not have all the parts from the manufacturing factory.  So we are putting pressure on the manufacturing factory to deliver the rest of the production pieces to the paint and assembly factory. The upside is our Project Mgr feels the assembly factory will do a good job once they have the parts to finish.

The factory continues to be unable to deliver on their scheduled delivery timeline. We do know they have produced(but not delivered) Spero's Animal Warriors of the Kingdom Wave 2 figures and our figures should be up next. 

More info as we have it.

FMF