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Apr 15, 2016

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Branding, Positioning and Establishing a Mission Statement for Tenacious.Ninja

Over the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve been blogging about the designer toy community for 3 reasons:

1. I enjoy expressing myself through writing.
2. I love designer toys and I want to share that love with the community.
3. The blog supports the shop, offering a unique perspective on entire Tenacious Toys operation, and allows me to cover items and artists which are not currently represented in the shop.

As the whole operation has grown, and my needs to make actual money have grown, I have had less and less time to dedicate to blogging. I have therefore enlisted the help of a variety of members of our community to contribute content to this blog.

That offer is, and remains, open to all toy people who love to write.

I have pretty much left each blogger to his or her own devices, as we rarely see posts that incite any emotion other than joy. This is probably because, for the most part, that’s the type of community that I chose to encourage.

Yesterday, we ran a post that promised to uncover salacious details of this industry and invited community members to submit their grievances to be considered for publication.

I take full responsibility for that post
- the blogger who wrote it asked me for permission before posting, and I did read it and approve it on the fly. My misstep yesterday was in making a hasty ruling on this post while moving around, working for several other clients during the day. I read it quickly, didn’t think much of it, approved it. My fault, not the writer. We did communicate several times about it and discussed the concept after I got home and the post was live.

However, after sleeping on it, literally, I have had a change of heart. I have deleted the post and attempted to erase it from my social media.

I do not want Tenacious.ninja to be a platform for the airing of grievances. I do not want it to be a place where people fight, accuse, or call others out. I ESPECIALLY do not want my blog to make anyone feel bad. I cannot live with that. That’s not in my nature, and I will not allow it.

In my efforts to develop a true community-driven blog over the past couple years, I have in some ways slowly let go of the reins so that the community can talk about itself.

However, I have seen on the various message boards our little community literally devouring itself - a total mindfuck of negativity which was such a complete turnoff that I would only go on there to defend myself in the rare instances that my name or my brand was unfairly dragged through the mud.

It is for that reason alone that I do not look at toy boards. (Not their fault, of course, they just provide the platform. It’s US who turn it negative!)

And one thing I know for sure: I don’t want MY baby, this blog, to pull that negativity off the boards out onto the open internet where even more people can read negative posts.

So I’m taking the reins again. I will maintain my stable of bloggers who do a fine job of representing our brand and our community - I just do not have time to make all these posts!

HOWEVER, I will now set forth a Mission Statement for this blog so that there is no doubt about its purpose:

TENACIOUS NINJA is a blog which exists to promote and celebrate the creativity within the designer toy and custom toy world.

That’s it.

Negativity has no place here.

I recognize that many people have had negative dealings with other artists, customers and companies. It happens! Not just in designer toys, but everywhere, all the time. That’s life.

I’m not much for quotes but I do abide by this one:

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”
- Charles Bukowski

To me, that means that you are defined by your actions. As you walk through the fire of life, you get burned. But you come out the other side stronger, and if you do it with a smile, you just fucking won life. We all go through shitty circumstances. How do you handle those situations? If you manage to get through it without going nuclear and getting all destructive, you are magically stronger afterwards. It’s the motherfucking miracle of life.

I see, hear and understand all of the situations which aggravate all of you about this community. I’ve experienced them too. We can all discuss in private how to handle such situations, and then proceed to handle them like adults. In private. Like adults. It's absolutely amazing what one can accomplish when dealing with bad situations in a calm and professional manner. I'm still amazed at how a negative situation can be turned around, simply by remaining calm. Often, the outcome can be positive for both sides.

I fully support blogs whose purpose it is to stir up dissent and anger. First Amendment! However, my blog won’t be one of them, so if that’s what you’re looking for, please keep moving.

See all of you at the cons and on the internet.

With love and respect and most of all, POSITIVITY,
Benny Kline

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