Although it has been misused and abused by well-financed companies, crowdfunding is, in essence, more like investing than pre-ordering a product. There is always a risk of failure, no matter how successful the previous campaigns in the same group have been. There is no shortage of anecdotes about dashed hopes and even enraged supporters, and the case of the HAL 9000 replica has just been added to this file now that its creators have gone bankrupt and were silent.
Given that Master Replicas Group or MRG is not a newcomer to this niche market, it would be expected that he had a better chance of success. Not to mention that it had the legal blessing of Warner Bros. even to use the name HAL 9000. Unfortunately, these are difficult times and even more difficult for MRG, but even more so for those who invested a good part of their money in that dream.
Then again, the replica of the HAL 9000 was ambitious and was already full of problems in the beginning. The company, known for its faithful recreation of cinema props, naturally strived to the maximum in the high-tech project that would make the mysterious homicidal AI an accessory in its home. The finished product should have been shipped last year, but now it will never see the light of day.
Engadget says that sponsors have received notification that MRG has moved from reorganization to liquidation. All of its communication channels have also gone dark. Suffice it to say that sponsors do not expect a refund of their $ 500- $ 1,000 investment.
It is always a sad story when crowdfunding projects fail, especially when there may have been no intention to mislead sponsors. It is, of course, also a cautionary tale about what crowdfunding really involves and, perhaps, how that system has also become somewhat bankrupt and in need of consumer protection today.