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Friday, May 20, 2016

Buckaroo Banzai Series Coming to TV - So Gareth, What About Those Preorders for the RPG from 2011?

Yep, Buckaroo Banzai is going to be a TV series. Strange, aint that? A pretty shitty movie generating a TV series. Wouldn't it be even stranger is it spawned an RPG? Wait, it did - kinda.

Buckaroo Banzai the RPG took preorders back in July of 2011. It was announced by Adamant Entertainment. Who's that, you may ask? None other than Gareth - the man who is 4 1/2 years late on the Far West RPG Kickstarter - but hey, you're paying for the process, not the product with a Kickstarter - at least, that's what certain folks like to say.

It was due out in Spring of 2012, but that never happened. But we do have a kickass cover. Gareth is really good at doing covers. Delivering products paid for in advance by his customers? Not so good.

Now, with increased attention on the Buckaroo Banzai Franchise, I expect many of those preorders are going to be saying to themselves:

"Shit - I preordered the Buckaroo Banzai RPG like a fucking half decade ago. Where is it? Is there at least a PDF?"

Alas, no PDF, but don't worry, I'm sure Gareth will get right on it when he finishes Far West at the end of the month. Which month? Why ask?

How about refunds?

Gareth is now happily unemployed. He is no longer fulfilling Kickstarter refunds, as that money is long gone. And while backers MAY see a PDF at some point, I don't expect any white knights to pony up cash to let him print the books the backers are owed. So, if he has no money for Far West refunds, he has no money for Buckaroo Banzai refunds.

The thing is, Kickstarter is not a preorder system, as we are told by the fuck ups so many times. Conversely, preorders are not crowdfunding, they have certain protections under the law. You can demand your money back for a preorder. Federal law requires that you be refunded and refunded promptly.

So, if you're waiting on your Buckaroo Banzai preorder to arrive, know full well it's at LEAST 4 years out, as that seems to be the minimal amount of time it takes Gareth to produce an RPG these days. That's after he's already sat on your money, interest free, for 5 years.

Think it's time to ask for a refund?


  1. SO my question is, does he even still hold the license? With attention being placed on the franchise, this could be profitable for (or at least a great way to garner interest) both sides. I would love to acquire the license for TSR Games. We are lean, hungry, and looking for a good opportunity. Hmmmmmmmm. Anyway, I was one of the pre-order folks. I am one of the few who actually like Skarka. He's talented and creative. I just think he is over his head and should ask for help to get his projects out the door. It's a bit of an ego bubble burster, but no one should be ashamed to ask for assistance.

    1. Talented and creative? There are two GM Skarkas out there now?

  2. Always fun to hear about the rolling clusterfuck that is Gareth, but how dare you impugn the quality of Bucakroo Banzai the movie! No proper fanatic of the 80's are you if you disliked that movie, sir.

    (Okay, I admit I hated it when it came out, but years later, much like a fungus, it grew on me and now I love BB).

  3. The thing is if you offer gods in exchange for money it is a sales contract, even if the goods don't exist as yet (making it a preorder). Which means the project entity does have a responsibility to either refund the money or deliver the goods. Of course it's usually not worth taking legal action to recover lost funds because the seller can void the product simply by refunding your money - and that you cannot sue for damages or costs (it being an informal contract), so pursueing legal action as an individual will lose you money (unless you area lawyer yourself). And if the project entity goes bankrupt you are an unsecured creditor which means you get nothing.

    Of course there is no need to actually receive anything in exchange for your pledge, and simply use it to support a project. This is common for crowdfunding arts projects. But if they offer anything in exchange for your pledge, they are obligated to provide it.

    Although that said you are still buying a pig in a poke.

  4. Personally I wonder if he ever had the license. I preordered back in 2011 or whenever the heck it was. He kept claiming the game was just awaiting approval by the licensor. That was around 2012 or maybe very early 2013. Fortunately I demanded my money back and got it after having to request multiple times. He even pretended to send me a check at one point, or so it seems.

  5. I have always loved BB the movie. I have no interest in seeing Kevin Smith's version of it. Somethings are perfect as they are.

    This seems like one of those properties that wouldn't work at an RPG. It doesn't have a coherent setting, other than the world of the 1980s, and Bonzai and his gang are not really ripe for making into archetypes.

    1. Heck, I have no interest in Kevin Smith's version of ANYTHING. I have yet to see any evidence of talent or ability.

    2. He directed an episode of The Flash that was quite good. However that might be because he loves the show, didn't want to muck things up, and worked to put out an episode of "their show" as opposed to "a Kevin Smith show". (quotes aprox, don't have article up atm)

  6. The movie is good...'80's Sci-Fi at its finest. The guy drove through a mountain via another dimension in a Ford pickup. Let's be honest- Peter Weller is one of the finest actors of that generation. Have you seen 'Of Unknown Origin'? C'mon...c'mon.

  7. I have to agree with Erik. Being generous, Buckaroo Banzai is... "just ok." Never understood what was so great about it. From an RPG perspective, I'd love to know what sort of gaming experience a Buckaroo Banzai RPG would ideally provide. Please enlighten me!