The GMK Euler Project & Unnecessary Challenges (AKA 'Captus' Cash Crash')

The GMK Euler Project & Unnecessary Challenges (AKA 'Captus' Cash Crash')

A Journey of Responsibility and Community Support

Quite frankly, I’m pissed off. This is a bit of a way for me to practice something cathartic and get a few things off my chest. It’s me being nice to some bad actors in a way I shouldn’t be…


The journey of the GMK Euler project has been one of unexpected twists and turns, starting as a promising endeavour (like most Group Buys) and evolving into a complex challenge that tested our resolve, our resources, and our commitment to the community we proudly serve. At Prototypist, we've always believed in transparency and accountability (just see our Insta...), which is why we want to share with you the the hurdles we faced, and the steps we're taking to navigate this situation (and our frustrations).


 A Promising Launch

In January 2023, the GMK Euler project was launched by iamtienng and all the vendors with as the lead vendor. The project quickly gained traction, like the majority of Group Buys, uniting enthusiasts and customers around the world. Orders were placed, and the community's demand for math themed keysets was clear. However; what began as a promising venture soon encountered its first set of challenges.


A Call to Step In

By September 2023, due to a lack of communication from, GMK reached out to (Jae) Prototypist. The request was clear: could we take over as the lead vendor of the GMK Euler project to ensure its successful completion, with accountability for render approvals, financials and colour matching (amongst other things).

Acknowledging the trust placed in us and the importance of the project to the community, we accepted this responsibility with a commitment to uphold the quality and service standards expected of us. None of us want a failed GB on the books or another Mechs and Co situation (this is foreshadowing if you aren't already aware ;) ).

First job was making sure this was ok with the other vendors and the designer; Easy. No-one minded and were keen for the project to continue. After that within a couple of months iamtienng and I (Jae) managed to get the official production renders approved and all colours matched successfully (despite it taking a couple of rounds - GMK were champs here), as well as submitting artwork for banderoles and Swagkeys being bosses and sorting out the deskmats.

The big challenge and elephant in the room - Captus were not a registered GMK vendor, and could not be invoiced by GMK. This was generally fixed on previous Group Buys by the non-registered vendor ordering though a registered vendor - a Vendor by proxy if you will. Initially had agreed to do this, but with Prototypist taking over it became our responsibility. At the time Captus confirmed they had the cash on hand and paying any invoice would be no issue. So to maintain the project's integrity and ensure product delivery, Prototypist paid up front for both our own sets and those for Captus. Over 90% of this order in full was for Captus share....(you can see where this is going already can't you? I told you it was foreshadowing).

Thats right, in February 2024, the products from GMK, including the Captus order, were shipped to us, and unfortunately, Captus confirmed their inability to pay the invoice, leaving us to cover all their costs for production and shipping and consider the fulfilment of their orders to the customers directly.


The Choice

At this point there was a choice to make. Quite frankly, as Captus had taken customers money, and then been unable to pay for the goods, the sets legally belonged to Prototypist as we had paid in full for them. And then a choice was born...

1 - Theoretically all Captus customers could / should seek recompense from Captus directly and Prototypist could sell off the additional sets as their own.


2 - Prototypist could gift the sets to Captus customers and try collect recompense through legal means which is unlikely, and trust that customers wouldn't charge back. 

A Gesture of Goodwill

Faced with this challenge, we made a decision aligned with our values: to fulfil orders for Captus customers wherever possible and pursue legal action against Captus for the financial loss incurred. This decision was not made lightly, understanding the significant financial strain it places on Prototypist, but with a sense of duty to the community and the customers affected. We wouldn't want this to happen to our customers, so we did what we felt was right.

This series of events has placed Prototypist in a significantly negative financial position for this project. The unforeseen burden of covering additional production and shipping costs (which are many times our own commitment to the project), compounded by the loss expected from the unpaid invoice by Captus, required us to reassess our financial strategies and seek avenues to mitigate these impacts (luckily I had just sold a car, and the proceeds will cover the majority of the shipping demands).

Lessons Learned 

The GMK Euler project has been a learning experience for all involved, highlighting the importance of clear communication, robust contingency planning, and the strength of community support. As we move toward fulfilling the Captus orders that we can, our focus remains on delivering quality products, supporting our customers, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of Prototypist.

We are committed to overcoming these challenges. Your support and understanding during this time mean the world to us, and we are grateful for every message of encouragement, and every order placed.

Right now we are on the cusp of fulfilment for Captus customers. There are three groups of customers:
1 - Those we dont have any of the products paid for and can't fulfil
2 - Those we have some of the products and can partially fulfil
3 - Those we can complete fulfilment for

Every one of these customers will get an email soon (19th March) with next steps and info on what we will be doing.

Hopefully we wont see another issue like this in the community...

All our love - Jae & the PT Team

N/B - Once the full financials are sorted out they will be shared here as well.

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