The main reason for the closeness of pre-order/release date is that we're producing these sets at the same time. When signing up artists for both, we realized many were overlapping since if you want to draw insects, it's a safe bet you'd be interested in sea creatures as well. This allows us to ship both sets of blanks to artists at the same time.
I'm putting together the sell sheets now, and an artist list will come soon also. We're just waiting on artist agreements.
Here's a little bit of info:
Insectae and The Deep will be 100 cases (1000 packs) each. This is the goal number, but might come down as sketch sets tend to do.
Letterpress sketch cards have gotten an upgrade! We've added a second layer to the letterpress printing on the back, with metallic and holographic foil accenting the standard design. It's going to be pretty cool... and shiny.
We *might* not use magnetic holders this time around, and instead spend the budget that would have been spent on those, on additional cards and fun inserts per pack. Many collectors said they'd prefer added content over magnetic holders, so we might try it on these sets to see what happens. We're sure our packaging will protect the sketches, and we'll either do penny sleeve in the foil packs, or top loaders, if we skip magnetics this time.
With 1000 packs, we've added more artists, but kept the total sketches down at 40 max. We're also looking to include artists fresh to the sketch card scene. As of right now we have solid artist lists with the Glebes, Charles Hall, Rhiannon Owens, Salvucci, Ted, Proctor, Janet Lee, Sohn and many others. Full lists coming soon.
Blowout will also have the sets for pre-sale, but they are waiting until we get the sell sheet ready.
I'll have more info soon, when we make the set threads for each one. I know it's soon, but we looked at similar products and sports releases, and most pre-sales for those happen months and months before release date. It also seems like the number one complaint has been a lack of available product, so we're trying to remedy that. This will allow 2000 available packs, instead of the 500-700 like the first 3, while keeping the individual sets limited since there are 2 of them. It also gives everyone an option if they like one theme over another, even though they are somewhat similar. The release dates will be staggered by weeks also, so don't worry about having to deal both dropping at once and that being a mess.
Finally, don't worry... we'll make the sets cool.
Edit: Also, those dates are just the first wave. SolarFly will have more waves for pre-sales, so there will be many opportunities for orders whenever you're ready.