Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ZUZZY comes clean . . . an open letter to the community

Greetings ZUZZY customers, gamers, crafters, general hobbyists. Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your hobby experience. It isn't often that we get a chance to communicate so directly, but today, we have been given a moment in time to address the community with truth and directness.

Please allow us a moment of your time to apologize for a few things.

1. For our failure to meet your expectations . . . expectations we generated by a promise to deliver our product in a timely manner.
2. For our failure to communicate adequately.
3. For waiting so long to do so.

The reasons are many and convoluted, fraught with twists and turns, and unexpected pitfalls. The results have been unbearable for you the consumers, and also for Jim and myself as the producers. We promised the product within a four to twelve week period depending on location and items ordered. We have failed for many of you, and we are sorry for your inconvenience. That failure at this time has translated to a ten month wait for some of you. Many of you have decided that is too long.

Over the past seven months you expressed your concerns. Early on we regularly corresponded in emails. We made promises and predictions which we truly believed were accurate. Throughout 2014 unexpected events took place, causing us to stumble. They were personal events that had injurious effects on ZUZZY's production. The word went out that we were ignoring you. And our silence generated distrust. Many demanded their money back, and rightly so. Payments came in, payments were withdrawn. Jim and I tried to pay back as many as we could, promising delivery to those willing to wait.

Unfortunately our word was undermined by unforeseen events in our lives. It appeared to the community that we were scoundrels. This has brought us to this juncture. Now, we willfully place ourselves in a light that most are not willing to stand beneath. The judgment of the community.

You are the reason that we can exist at all. This we are quite aware of. We do this work because we are one of you. We are gamers—not unscrupulous individuals planning our next heist. We are just two guys, artists, that had a vision. We implemented that vision and then faced some very awful personal tragedies that we will not discuss here. These hazards are the reason we put forth our apology.

Today we will discuss the crazy uncle, chained in the attic, that no one really likes to talk about. Everyone metaphorically has someone or something in their lives that brings this shame. It can come in many guises and try as we might, hiding it away only creates larger and larger problems for the individual. So, today, since we have time, this will be the second point of our entry.

ZUZZY Miniatures is struggling. Yes, there it is. The truth and our shame—Kevin and Jim are exhausted.

Your responses may be as follows: Who cares! I ordered my stuff 10 months ago and I still don't have it. You took my money 10 months ago and I still have nothing! My son's birthday is tomorrow—I ordered this two weeks ago and I expect this on my son”s birthday table! My store ordered seventy mats from you two weeks ago and my customers want their mats! I am spamming your email every two minutes until you answer why my mat is not sitting on my front door! I ordered a month ago it's not here and I expect your answer immediately! All of these complaints are valid.

Your demand for this product has outstripped our ability to produce it on a timely basis.

The logical response to this is: Well, you should be so lucky! Who bemoans or complains about such a boon?

So, before I continue, let me say this: In our seven year history, we have never taken someone's money and willfully not supplied them with the product they purchased. Our crime is that the customer had to wait until we could produce it for them.

Yes, let me be clear. The customer had to wait until we could produce the product for them.

In the early days, we had a surplus of every item. But as time went on, our surplus was depleted. And today, there is no vast warehouse where our mats and resin pieces reside, waiting to be hand-picked off the shelves for our faithful customers. Like many small businesses, we have become a product on demand operation. This is due to four factors: demand, space, time, and human labor. And this has been our crime—our inability to immediately meet demand. (And today, being unable to answer all of your inquiries.) In our wildest dreams we never knew how much of an impact our product would have on the gaming community. Up until now it's been a powerful, wonderful experience, and we love you all for it.

But today everything must change. Our gaming family needs to understand what we require from you as a customer, so no more injury can be incurred by either party. You or us. Success can be a tenuous thing, but success laced with practicality makes for a stable foundation. We need your help in order for us both to thrive. What we require is simple. We truly know what you require from us—a wonderful product delivered to your door when you need it. In the latter we have failed and this is where we need your help. We require your patience and understanding, and most of all your forgiveness. We truly do want you to have the best experience from ordering our product, after all, it's what benefits us both.

And here is where we come clean: At this juncture, if you order our product, you must understand that we can not provide it within a few days. This has become an impossibility.

Our policy is 4 to 12 weeks. This already translates to as long as three months wait time. We've always been straight forward about this. And in the past we've been able to meet that proviso with a few bumps along the way. But today, right now, things have become more difficult for us, and as many of you know, to our chagrin, you are having to wait longer. We are sorry for this, and as always trying to work on this problem and solve it forever. But like anything worth waiting for this too will take time.

Our promise to you: We will fill your order. At this time, you will have to wait longer—perhaps a few days over the proviso, perhaps a few weeks, perhaps a few months. If you can not wait please do not order. When a time arrives when we can fill your orders faster, we will let you know this, by expressing this on our media outlets. Until that time, understand that you will have to wait. We have no choice in this matter.

For those that can not wait and have moved on, you require your money back. We also promise that we will return it to you. We want you to be happy. But because of our current situation, this will also take some time. If you feel you must bring legal action against us, that is your choice. You have every right to that action. We want you to be happy. You are the community that made us.

Now again what we ask of you: Patience, and understanding, for this condition we find ourselves in. Please do not order and then pull your money back out. You can not imagine how much damage this causes. Only order if you love the product and can wait for it. Please.

Again, what we can promise at this time:

  1. To continue producing ZUZZY mats and accessories.
  2. To solve our production problems as quickly as possible.
  3. To notify you weekly on our media outlets where we are in our production schedule. (This will include regular updates on Facebook and our other websites.)
  4. To do our utmost to get those who have already made purchases their product. And resolve any outstanding charge backs by disgruntled customers.
  5. To usher in a new era for ZUZZY and its valued customers.

We fully understand the commitment you have made by entering into a purchase contract with us. Your money has been hard earned and you've chosen us as part of the joy you receive from your free-time and entertainments. You have earned this and you have earned the best possible experience for your labors. And this is why we want you to enter this fully knowing our commitment, what we can do and what we can not do. So you can make your purchases from us in an informed manner.

It has been a joy being a part of the gaming community and being allowed to participate in its ever growing expansion. We hope to be able to participate for years to come, and appreciate greatly all you have done as a community by welcoming ZUZZY within it.

Best Regards Always!
Kevin and Jim

Saturday, June 14, 2014

DM Kaydon's Castle

DM Kaydon over on YouTube, as well as being a close friend of ours, is an avid roleplaying game terrain builder. And he now has his own YouTube channel. be sure to check out his videos. Link and one of his videos below.

DM Kaydon's Castle

Monday, December 16, 2013

Broken Blacktop Painting Tutorial at Studio Hobby Thumbs

Ross Oancea (AKA CubanNecktie) over at Studio Hobby Thumbs has just let me know about a tutorial he's put up on his blog on painting up a ZUZZY Broken Blacktop gaming mat.
Great tutorial, with lots of photos. Well done.

It's a new blog, but it already has quite a few posts.  Lots of conversions. Currently all Warhammer 40k stuff. Definitely worth checking out.

We've also added a link to it on our tutorials page, where you can find links to more tutorials as well.

Monday, September 16, 2013

ZUZZY Store is Back Up

The ZUZZY Store at is now back up and running. We had experienced about a day of down time after the site was hacked. Fortunately we had been planning a server transfer and had already begun building the new site. So we just did the move a little early. Everything is now running fine and we are very happy with the new site.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 is Under Reconstruction

If you've been to within the past day you'll have noticed that it is undergoing a reconstruction. We had started constructing a new site on a new server. But, yesterday we were forced to move to the new site early due to a web hack of the old site. So there are currently only a few items available for sale on the new site. If you're wanting to make a purchase, please check back again in a day or so and we should have all of our items listed. Thank you. **UPDATE** The store is now back up and running.

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Shipping Rates

We have held off on making any price changes for years. And though the Post Office has raised their rates several times, they were moderate changes and we chose to absorb the expense rather than change our pricing. But now, with the Postal Service's newest price increases, we have no choice but to increase our shipping rates to match it.

Shipping rates inside the USA are not changing very much, if at all. The exception is the west coast and outlying states and territories. For example, the shipping for a 4x6 mat to California is now $16.83. A $5.26 increase. Whereas, the same mat's shipping to New York would only be $9.47.

 Europe is seeing a much larger rate increase. A 4x6 mat shipped to France, for example, now will have a shipping charge of $42.09. That is a lot. But still lower than what the actual shipping is. The Post Office charges us $51.20 to ship that mat (LINK). We're eating the difference of $9.11.

For our European customers it really only makes sense to get together with friends and make a group order. The postage rates drop sharply for orders over $200.

Australia. Sorry Australia, the Post Office has really socked it to us for shipping out to you. A 4x6 mat going to Australia will now have a shipping charge of $52.61. That's huge, I know, but since the Post Office's price increase we were actually losing money on every mat we were shipping there. We had to do something. The actual shipping we pay is $64.03 (LINK). So we're still subsidizing the shipping cost, but at least we're not losing money on the deal anymore.

Unfortunately, because Australia is one of the countries with size restrictions preventing us from shipping multiple 4x6 mats together, we can not offer any discount for larger orders going there.

Our full list of shipping rates can be found HERE.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Terra-Flex Mats Now Available in 2x3 ft. and 3x4 ft. sizes

Our Terra-Flex battlemats are now available in two new sizes, 2x3 ft. (61 x 92 cm) and 3x4ft. (92 x 122 cm).

These new sizes are aimed at being more convenient sizes for use in tabletop roleplaying games. All of our product lines will incorporate the new sizes - The Ruined Land, The Despoiled Reaches, The Wounded City, The Moorlands and The Stoneworks.

ZUZZY Terra-Flex gaming mats are flexible latex rubber gaming mats with an ultra-realistic sculpted surface. They are available now exclusively through the ZUZZY Miniatures website at

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