CREO + HermitCraft TCG S1 | Manufacturing Update 4 - Alt-Art Collector's Edition Cards

CREO + HermitCraft TCG S1 | Manufacturing Update 4 - Alt-Art Collector's Edition Cards

Published: Nov 30, 2023

Hey everyone!

I’m back again for another update! And probably the last one for a little while 💔

First - I’ve gotta say, seeing all of the posts on Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Tumblr, etc of people opening the cards and playing together has been one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.

Absolutely surreal, and made my heart so incredibly happy to see all of you happy.

Now for the good stuff!

As always, a TLDR:

- Alt-Art Shipping Update: Shipments will be headed out in the next week or less! Keep an eye out for shipping confirmation emails coming through within 5-7 business days (tops).

- Each Shipment is estimated to take a maximum of 10 business days to arrive (most should be much less than this)

- All shipments are still anticipated to arrive before the Holidays.

- There’s a surprise with this shipment! I’ve teased it before, and I can’t wait for y’all to see it.

- That said - seeing all the posts about original orders, there’s a good chance this surprise will definitely be posted on socials. Therefore, if you really want to keep the surprise, I’d recommend being careful for spoilers when looking around on socials as these start to ship!

- All Collector’s Edition will be shipped in the same CREO box, but wrapped in an additional protective layer which anonymizes the shipment and further protects the contents

- If you have a question about your order, please reach out to:

The longer version:

Shipping Improvements

I absolutely loved the feedback on the boxes, and I’ve watched wayy too many satisfying videos of people pulling the tab to Open their Collection.

That said, we had some challenges with these boxes as well. While >99% of shipments made it safely without any issues, there were some customers who were impacted by crushed boxes, damaged items, stolen shipments, and customs inspections. Turns out when people see a box that looks like it contains computer parts, sometimes they get taken 😠 Also turns out seeing a box with a countdown timer (ode to our original product, the Speedrunner Pack) and what looks like wiring also makes for an irresistible sight for a customs inspection officer.. Lesson learned here.

Because of this, we immediately implemented a fix for the Collector’s Edition card shipments. I had already printed all the box designs, so we decided to use these anyways, but we added an additional layer of protection in the form of a plain, standard exterior package. This should greatly reduce the likelihood of package theft, and also add an additional layer of protection for the box and shipment itself.

Here’s a picture of what your package will look like:

r/HermitCraft - CREO Incognito

Finally - we originally had a smaller sized box, but it had some issues with the adhesive holding the box together. Therefore, your order may ship in a box that seems ‘too big’, especially for single card orders. We still wanted everyone to have the opportunity to have the same unboxing experience, so decided just to use the larger size anyways. 

Signature Logistics

Turns out that tracking individual, autographed cards all over the world through a complex supply chain is a bit of a challenge - who woulda thought??

Here’s the journey that each card went through:

Step 1 - Printing

Cards were printed, trimmed to size, then packaged into bulk shipments.

Step 2 - Shipping to CREO Office from Manufacturing Team

These bulk shipments were sent to our Office team in a series of large packages. We triple boxed these shipments to protect the cards on their way.

r/HermitCraft - Bulk Shipment of Cards

Step 3 - Shipping from CREO Office to Hermits

After receiving the bulk shipment of cards, we repackaged the cards into separate packages for each Hermit, and sent them on their way. We used traditional bulk card storage boxes from our local card shop (support your local card shops!).

r/HermitCraft - Extra Boxes for Future Card Shipments

They kinda look like pizza boxes, but inside they have these handy dividers and are the perfect size for bulk card shipments:

r/HermitCraft - Pizza, or Trading Cards??

Had some interesting conversations with the owners who were flabbergasted by how many boxes we needed, for a project they had never heard of. Was super fun telling them all about HermitCraft TCG!

Step 4 - Hermits Sign Cards

Now for the hardest part - the actual signatures themselves. To make sure these shipped before the Holidays, I had requested from the Hermits a timeline of 2 weeks to get all signatures complete and returned. I have to give a huge shout out to the Hermits here - their dedication to this project was incredible, and every single one finished the signatures on time. 

This was something I was worried about - with many customers ordering more than one card, even if one of their cards was complete, if one Hermit had been behind, it could have significantly delayed the entire project. 

Thankfully, this wasn’t a concern at all and each Hermit smashed it!

r/HermitCraft - Scar + Cards = <3

Step 5 - Hermits Ship Cards back to Manufacturing Team 

Next, we had the Hermits ship directly back to our Manufacturing Team. We pre-purchased the labels, printed customs information, and included return shipping boxes so that all the Hermits had to do was slap a label on the box and ship the cards back!

Step 6 - Manufacturing Team finishes Final Assembly and Sealing

From there, our Manufacturing Team received the signed cards, sealed them into Slabs, then completed the final assembly of the cards into their Boxes, followed by sealing the boxes shut.

r/HermitCraft - Signed Cub!

Picking, Packing, and Shipping

In some ways, the picking and packing of these orders was much simpler than the base Game Box and Booster Box, and in some ways it was much more challenging.

With the Game Box and Booster Box, there were some significant challenges around ensuring everyone who ordered multiple Game Boxes, received unique Starter Decks. This is because the Game Boxes were unlabelled externally, and required precise inventory management and attention to detail to execute on this.

With the Alt-Art Collector’s Edition cards, we didn’t have this level of complexity.

However, the complexity existed in other areas - with the original pre-order, we had a large percentage of the orders who purchased the exact same items (1 Game Box + 1 Booster Box).

This means that we could batch these orders, pick them all at once, then just slap on all the labels in bulk afterwards.

In contrast, there were many, many more unique combinations of Alt-Art Collector’s Edition cards orders, as most people ordered multiple cards, but not necessarily the same multiple cards.

Therefore almost every order had to be picked and packed individually.

Sprinkle in the fact that there were significantly more individual orders compared to the initial pre-order, and we had a recipe for a logistics buffet of challenges!

Timeline of Shipping

Another area of complexity that arose was trying to keep the surprise, a secret. I wanted to ship out all the orders as close together as possible, so there’s the smallest window possible where people receive their units.

With the base set Game Box and Booster Box, we picked and packed all these orders in about 2 weeks, and shipped them out steadily over the same period.

With the Alt-Art Collector’s Edition Cards, we’re trying to shrink that to 5 days, so that all orders are shipped within a 5 day period. However, to do this means that we would need to pick and pack orders ahead of time, and store them prior to shipping. Not impossible, but just another added ingredient of complexity.

With that being said, I’m happy to report that the first bulk batch of shipments will be going out this weekend, and the remaining being sent out early-mid next week. From there, our shipping carrier partners have quoted us a MAX of 10 business days for the shipments to arrive, with most shipments arriving in half that time.

Once again there may be a small delay in getting your tracking number into your inbox, but we’ve also improved the system we had in place for this process to handle the volume.

That’s a wrap!

Thank you for making 2023 the best year of my life.

I can’t wait to make more awesome stuff together with you all in 2024.


- Luke Chesney

Founder, CREO

P.S. As always, if you have a question about your order, please reach out

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