Earlier this year I ran a Kickstarter for some acrylic pin badges that was essentially a way to judge demand and guarantee enough sales. Lots of people ask for pins, but in my experience people often say "if you make x I'd buy it in a heartbeat!" and then don't when you make x available.
The Kickstarter went ok - I made the goal and funded the pins and had enough leftover to put them in the store and see how they would sell organically. I'm sold out now!
So that's great and gave me the confidence to run another Kickstarter that improved on some things from last time. The campaign is at the time of posting this still live, so check it out!
One of the inherent problems with the Theme Park Collection in general is that because the designs are based on specific coasters, each one has a limited audience. And so, with pins, everyone wants a different one. And it's just not possible to offer them all, knowing that some just ain't gonna sell. I asked followers on Twitter and Dragons and Nemesis won out by miles. I know that's going against my own advice, but in this case I had already kinda decided would of the new pins would be Dragons... Nemesis felt like a risk. It's not a popular shirt design at all, but I could kinda see how it might be a popular pin. My store gets a lot of hits for "Alton Towers" but I just don't think people like my take on Nemesis. Me drawing attention to how it looks like a giant vagina is apparently not appealing as a big design on a shirt - can't imagine why.
My optimistic stretch goals almost certainly won't be met - but I have the incentive this time of offering backers the chance to vote for the next design to unlock. I'm doubtful, but hopeful, that when I announce the first poll winner tomorrow I may get a few more people on board with the campaign.