I’ve been teasing this Patreon upgrade for long enough, it’s time to tell you what it’s all about, how it will work & how this will affect you as supporters of my work. This is a big step we’re taking, launching a premium version of Fold Up Toys, the Patreon is maturing and I wanted to share this amazing news with all of you first before I share it anywhere else, because it’s your generous donations that keep Fold Up Toys running and keep all of the free downloadable models available to the public.
What is FUT PLUS?
Fold Up Toys PLUS is an exciting new way to support the designer behind Fold Up Toys and help keep new and innovative paper toys being released in the future.
Powered by Patreon, PLUS members gain access to a growing library of exclusive paper toy downloads and videos each month as well as having a direct line to the designer for product support and design feedback. PLUS members also receive early access to free downloadable toys up to two weeks before they’re available to the general public.
Now PLUS members (patrons) will be able to find everything they have access to in one convenient place on the Fold Up Toys website. Instead of having to keep a keen eye on the Patreon posts, members can head to folduptoys.com/plus and find the library of exclusive downloads (which can be sorted by Patreon tier) as well as members only blog posts that were previously only available through Patreon directly.
(Please note : PLUS page is still under construction until the 1st.)
Above is an example timeline of release, payment and promotion dates. At the moment a toy is promoted throughout the month as “this month’s exclusive”, payment is sent by those who want that month’s rewards and then the model is sent out to those individuals on the 3rd or so of the month afterwards. After this, the toy is no longer available to download for supporters, if the file is lost, corrupted or perhaps just not downloaded in time the model is no longer available.
Although on the surface this release and payment schedule may seem straight forward, it’s extremely limiting in a number of ways.
- The Patreon rewards overlap one another, whilst I’m releasing the toy from month A, I already have to have mostly finished the exclusive for month B in order to start promoting it as the next exclusive. I have to start working on the toy for month C whilst still finishing toy B etc. This overlap gets confusing and effectively means I’m working on a toy over two month’s before it can be released, meaning I can’t tackle any recent events or current topics.
- I receive payment at the end of the month and then I send out the rewards delaying the process. Meaning you’re waiting a whole month for a toy you want right now!
- I’m limited to just one release date at the end of the month, so if I want to include anything extra in the reward package I only have a single opening. I can’t release content mid-way through the month.
- With the current payment method (payment at the end of the month for the previous months work) I can’t offer models in an easy to access environment. I have to individually message or e-mail the templates because I can’t offer them in a communal space. If I did someone could become a Patreon supporter for the month, download everything and then drop their patronage before payment is due, effectively getting everything without paying.
- Due to the last point, I can’t offer the downloads all i one spot, they have to stay on the Patreon page or in private messages making them harder to find and organize what you have access to.
Now that we’ve looked at the problems with the current system, let’s look at how the new improved Fold Up Toys PLUS membership will work.
In the new system payment is sent at the start of the month and gives you access to the members only toy library for the entirety of the month. The exclusives library will include past exclusive releases and at least one new toy every month. Effectively this is a switch from a product, to a service. A service that just so happens to include a new product every month plus a whole lot more.
This means each month is self contained and more importantly it means I can offer exclusive PLUS content all in one place as a growing library of content, instead of just a single toy.
You can check out the folduptoys.com/plus page now and have a preview of how this library of content will work. The page is still under construction so please bare in mind that not all the pages and links will work just yet. The official launch date is the first of October.
You will be able to find all the PLUS content on a single page, that means any toys in early access, exclusive downloads, Patreon only blog posts and PLUS only videos all in one spot!
Here’s another cool feature, because Fold Up Toys PLUS charges you when you sign up, when a new exclusive is added to the library that you just have to build, you can sign up right there and then to get immediate download access. Now members wont have to wait an entire month.
So, what exactly makes it “PLUS”.
PLUS will make it easier to find the content you’re entitled to, make it so you can instantly download exclusives instead of waiting the whole month and give you access to more exclusive content more regularly.
PLUS will make it easier for me to upload and send out exclusive content because I just upload it to the website instead of sending out 10+ e-mails. It means I can release new exclusive content whenever I want instead of having just one release day a month.
PLUS is better value for money, you receive more for less and can access previous exclusives that were otherwise lost to time.
It’s Fold Up Toys, PLUS a whole lot more.
What about September? What am I paying for this month?
That’s the best part, this month’s Patreon support is effectively free. I’m not releasing anything new this month other than some video content and a bunch of website upgrades. The charge you’ll receive on the 1st will cover October’s PLUS membership. September’s patronage is on the house.
This will give you all of October to try out the PLUS service and see how you like it, spot any bugs, download any exclusives you’d like and test out next month’s exclusive model being released through the PLUS page.
I’ll be making a video explaining FUT PLUS and all of the changes and why it’s better for both the supporters (more content in one place) and for myself (payment upfront, easier to release content, service not product). So if you have any questions about this change what-so-ever please either leave a comment or contact me privately. I’d love to hear your feedback, even if it may be negative.
Thank you once again for your support these last month’s, I hope you’re as excited as I am about this next big step we’re taking together.
-Kind regards Alex.