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Why no bases for the Pre-Painted Plastic Minis?


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#1 orclord2

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:09 PM

I would be curious to know why the PPM were not produced on a geometric base? The "hunk of plastic" that serves as their current base makes the mini look "less professional" to me. I suspect they would fall over easily... especially if someone bangs the gaming table.

Please... please... please... pick a shape (preferably a circle) and make this their standard base. (Something compatable with the D&D Plastic Miniatures line would be great.) It may sound silly, but this is the reason I have not bought any of these minis. People who are buying PPM's are not modelers... they don't want to buy bases and glue them to the minis. (Not to mention that they would look even sillier if you glued them on their existing base to the new geometric base, therefore requiring the person to cut the hunk of plastic that resembles their base off, and then mount it to a proper geometric base. But oh wait, that wouldn't be very strong so you better pin it to the base too.) Most buyers are not going to waste their time doing this when they could just buy an already based D&D Plastic Miniature.

*prays that you will hear my plea*

On a side note, to increase the chance of success for this line (a challenge for Pre-Painted Minis) I suggest packaging these only in sets of 3 to 5. Have an adventurer set (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard) or themed sets (rogues), and etc. (Make sure these are all different, and not just 4 of the same character -- although monsters can be an exception, like your skeleton pack). Why?

Individual minis take up a lot of space in a retailer's shop. They have to be individually priced. Any attempt to organize them is quickly thwarted by customers browsing through them. In short they are a space-wasting hassle.

In the set approach, it is likely there will be 1-2 minis in each set that buyers will want, encouraging them to buy the set for those minis, keeping the product moving off the shelves and ensuring that an unpopular single mini doesn't end up sitting on the shelf, collecting dust for the next 3 years.

#2 ReaperClark

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:19 PM

I would be curious to know why the PPM were not produced on a geometric base?

This would be an added expense as it would mean a pocket on the mold for the base and at least one additional glue spot. We are trying to keep our plastics as cheap as we possibly can without sacrificing quality. Not to mention it is an identifying factor for our products.

Therefore, we have no plans to re-base our plastics at this time, sorry.

The plastics come almost directly from our metal minis which the majority already have an integral base. What doesn't already have an integral base gets a base added that can be cast as a part of the mini so we don't have to pay more for each finished unit. We are learning as we go and we have found that some models may require a larger base as a plastic model then as a metal model. In these cases, and on new models, we will be adding to the size of the base but not a standard shape or size, just what is needed and practical.

I personally think that the standardized bases make the models look much more like toys or board game tokens and therefore "cheaper" looking, but hey, that's me. I think it is all in what you are used to. But, simply because it is my opinion is not the reason they are not on standardized bases... I ain't got THAT much influence. :-)

I suggest packaging these only in sets of 3 to 5.


Over all of the years of producing miniatures, we have found, through experimentation, that multi-pack models sell horribly. The whole premise of our approach is, non-blind, wysiwyg, get what you want when you want it. Most people do not want to be forced into buying models they don't want. Especially if the models they don't want are costing them several dollars each. The only exception to this is the multi-packs of the skeletons and orcs. We do not mix the different types of skellies and orcs as we are confident that people prefer this three-of-the-same-kind approach. We will only multi-pack models that lend themselves to this type of packaging, i.e. because people need larger groups of these models in a game.

What makes other companies plastics sell well in groups is the blind, collectibilty factor, not so much that there are several models in a pack. I will be very interested to see how well other companies do with a different marketing strategy.

...collecting dust for the next 3 years.


With our very liberal retail return policy (return anything made by Reaper for a dollar for dollar exchange. You pay to get it here and we pay to get the new stuff back to you.) there should never be a 3 year old inventory of a Reaper figure of any kind! If a retailer doesn't take advantage of a recycling return every 6 months or so, we can't help that. I believe we are the only company that actually offers this type of product exchange. If your retailer has this problem, have them call us/me and we can tell them all about it and help them get rid of old, non-performing stock.
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#3 kristof65

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:31 PM

Clark - one thing Reaper may want to do is consider some thin DDM compatible plastic bases to sell in a seperate multi-pack as a solution for those gamers wanting a DDM compatible base for their Reaper LEs (or even metal minis). Right now I'm considering buying wooden disks from Hobby Lobby or Michaels to mount certain miniatures for D&D, but I'm not a big fan of wood bases. Something similar in plastic and I'd snap up several packs right now.

Basically, a round, thin base (2mm thick, maybe) in the various D&D diameters - 1", 2" and maybe even 3" - in the same plastic that the LE figs are made out of would be nice. Not only for LE figures, but for any figure someone wanted to base to the D&D "standard". Then when people complain they aren't based like the DDMs, you could point them to your solution.

As for multi-packs. I understand the decision not to offer them in multipacks on the retail side, but given the advantages of direct web sales, would it be feasible to do "bulk packaging" discounts for web orders? Say someone orders ten or more of the same fig via your web-store, rather than getting 10 blisters, they would get a plastic baggy with their ten figures, and a small 5-20% discount for ordering in bulk. I'm not sure if that would cause conflicts with your distribution chain, just thought I'd toss the idea out there as food for thought.

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#4 orclord2

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:10 AM

Thanks for the quick reply.

Therefore, we have no plans to re-base our plastics at this time, sorry.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a huge mistake -- maybe it's just me, but hopefully others will speak up in support.


I personally think that the standardized bases make the models look much more like toys or board game tokens and therefore "cheaper" looking, but hey, that's me. I think it is all in what you are used to. But, simply because it is my opinion is not the reason they are not on standardized bases... I ain't got THAT much influence. :-)

That's actually sort of my point... they are game pieces. They are for roleplayers to move around on a game surface. I am certain people are not making their buying decision of these pieces based on their paint job and/or to showcase them on a shelf -- that's what the metal minis are for once painted. The sole purpose for PPM's are to be used for gaming... and what would make the gaming experience better?... a standardized base. I realize we differ in opinions here, but look at all the other Pre-Painted Minis on the market (D&D Miniatures, Confronation / AT-43, Battlefield Evolution, em4miniatures, etc). In fact, Reaper is the ONLY producer that doesn't put their PPM's on standardized bases. This means that either Reaper knows something that the other companies don't, or Reaper is just being lazy / cheap. (And believe me, I am a HUGE Reaper fan. When I think of a quality metal mini, Reaper is the only company that comes to my mind. Absolutely the best!) So making a reference to Reaper being "lazy/cheap" (purposely marketing a below quality product) hurts me as much to say, as it does for you to hear.

I sincerely hope that Reaper re-considers producing these on bases. A lot of other producers with far less money than Reaper have not been detered by the extra effort/cost required to properly base the minis.

Over all of the years of producing miniatures, we have found, through experimentation, that multi-pack models sell horribly.

In my opinion (what ever the heck it's worth) you can't apply your metal miniature marketing experience to your pre-painted plastic mini products. They are two very different markets. Again, most PPM's are marketed in sets... I'm certain there is a reason the other companies do this. Wizards of the Coast has rebuilt their whole DDM line around this concept. I'm willing to bet they did a lot of research before they made this move.

As a consumer, yes I like the ability to walk into the store and say "I want only this figure and this figure." I also know as a consumer that if 1 mini costs $5 and a 4-pack of minis costs $15.... I'm buying the 4-pack.

With our very liberal retail return policy (return anything made by Reaper for a dollar for dollar exchange. You pay to get it here and we pay to get the new stuff back to you.)

It's always great to hear of a company that backs their products! This indeed allows retailers to not take a large risk in marketing your single packs. Based on this, I think both singles & "value" packs should be offered -- but only if they are properly based :)

#5 ReaperClark

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:46 AM

... for those gamers wanting a DDM compatible base for their Reaper LEs (or even metal minis).

Not a bad idea, but you are the first, that I am aware of, to ask for this. There doesn't seem to be a big demand. And, as orclord2 pointed out, generally speaking, people buying plastic are not modelers and do not want to have to glue anything. That said, I will bring this up to Ed.

...I'm not sure if that would cause conflicts with your distribution chain...

You will probably never see anything discounted on our web site that we do not offer to retail stores and distribution at a level that prohibits them form selling at the same price point, simply because of the distribution/retail store conflict it creates. The only way we would ever do an exclusive item on the web would be: If after markup, something would not sell in a game store, but could sell for us directly as we could make it cheaper and still have some profit margins. But, so far, we have never tried to rock the boat with this sort of strategy. We've had a few things, like the original "best of pro-paint" caddy that we sold on-line, but the stores could still buy it at discount if they wanted to. And, if distribution had asked, we would have sold it to them too.
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#6 Stubbdog

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:42 AM

I wont jump in here on what Reaper should or shouldnt do as you guys definitely know way more than me on the subject. I will only tell you about a direct experience I had at a retail store lately, here at a local store (Valley View Mall - GameChest here in Dallas).

I go in there from time to time as it is near my office. I went there not even thinking plastics at the time. But, I have bought enough Reaper stuff from them that they kinda know me as the Reaper Guy. It was my first time to go there since Reapercon dates were officially announced so I mentioned to them about ReaperCon.

Somehow the subject got changed to the PPPs. And basically what they told me was people are not buying them cause they are too expensive. I admit I have not bought a lot of PPPs yet cause all available PPPs currently are really old models. And I dont buy DDMs either so I have no idea how much they cost. But, knowing how Reaper metals are for the most part cheaper than everyone else, I just kinda assumed that it must be the same way with the plastics. I was wrong. He was pointing out to me that most of the other brands were selling in packs, but they were selling at about 20-30% less than Reaper's when you do the price mer model. and most of of those were the variety of the kind where you DID know what models you were buying (3-4 known and 1 unknown surprise).

Anyway, use that information how you will. I was just surprised when I found out.

#7 Dragon Snack

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:50 AM

Yeah, the pricing kind of puts me off too. Because Reaper doesn't have the economies of scale I think LE would work out better for larger figs. Using multipiece figs probably doesn't help keep costs down (off the top of my head, one piece Zombie - $2.49, multipiece Good Fighter - $4.49).

Other than DDMs though (which has dirt cheap commons and uncommons since people chase the rares), who has much cheaper? Confrontation has 6 human size minis for $30 ($5 a mini - although a lot of places are discounting them) and the new DDM distributions raises their price to 3 for $12 ($4 a mini).

... for those gamers wanting a DDM compatible base for their Reaper LEs (or even metal minis).

Not a bad idea, but you are the first, that I am aware of, to ask for this.

I've seen it mentioned before on other message boards, so he is not alone. Pricing would probably be the biggest concern though...

You will probably never see anything discounted on our web site that we do not offer to retail stores and distribution at a level that prohibits them form selling at the same price point, simply because of the distribution/retail store conflict it creates.

I think a 10-12 pack of Zombies or Skeletons, packaged similar to the Warlord units, would sell at retail.

We've had a few things, like the original "best of pro-paint" caddy that we sold on-line, but the stores could still buy it at discount if they wanted to.

What was this? Is it still available?
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#8 kristof65

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:20 AM

Therefore, we have no plans to re-base our plastics at this time, sorry.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a huge mistake -- maybe it's just me, but hopefully others will speak up in support.

Depends on the buyer - see my comments below


The sole purpose for PPM's are to be used for gaming... and what would make the gaming experience better?... a standardized base.

The problem here is that what is standard for your game, may not be standard for my game. DDMs use circular bases, while Warlord and other games use square bases.

... for those gamers wanting a DDM compatible base for their Reaper LEs (or even metal minis).

Not a bad idea, but you are the first, that I am aware of, to ask for this. There doesn't seem to be a big demand. And, as orclord2 pointed out, generally speaking, people buying plastic are not modelers and do not want to have to glue anything. That said, I will bring this up to Ed.

I just had the thought because over the weekend I finished up an 02794 Oriental Dragon for my d20 game, and wanted to base it to fit the system. Before that, it hadn't occurred to me because I'm usually basing stuff for warlord or GW games, and square bases in a variety of sizes are readily available. But this isn't the first time someone has asked for the LE bases to match the DDM ones - something to which I am opposed.

And that may be part of the perceived problem here - hex and square bases to match a wide variety of games are readily available from a variety of sources, while round bases for the DDMs are not. Therefore your wargamers aren't unhappy with the basing situation of the PPMs (like me) simply because they're used to gluing bases and have them available. And while the people buying plastic may not want to glue anything, it's my opinion that it is better off leaving the bases usable for ANY system by gluing an appropriate size on than it is trying to please one crowd by "standardizing" the bases for their game - because that will surely alienate those who want to use it for another game. It's far easy to glue an appropriate base on to the smallish bases you provide than it is to cut the "wrong" base off.



...I'm not sure if that would cause conflicts with your distribution chain...

You will probably never see anything discounted on our web site that we do not offer to retail stores and distribution at a level that prohibits them form selling at the same price point, simply because of the distribution/retail store conflict it creates.

I figured that would be the case.

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#9 kristof65

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:06 PM

... for those gamers wanting a DDM compatible base for their Reaper LEs (or even metal minis).

Not a bad idea, but you are the first, that I am aware of, to ask for this.

I've seen it mentioned before on other message boards, so he is not alone. Pricing would probably be the biggest concern though...

That really depends on demand, which is probably very difficult to figure right now. If demand is high enough, a large run could bring the cost down to well below what Reaper's currently charging for other style of bases.

I think if the cost were reasonable - $3-5 bucks for an 8-12 pack of 1" discs* - and a good opening marketing "blitz" for them to make retailers aware they can be used to turn any mini into a DDM - then they would sell pretty decently.

I've currently been basing my RPG minis on the 1" recessed metal squares Reaper sells, but they look out of place since most of the minis my current D&D game group are using are DDMs. Two of the players were using unpainted pewter minis on their brocoli bases, but since confusion came up a time or two because of that, I "solved" the problem with a couple dabs of super glue and a GW 25mm round base. The problem with those bases is that they are so tall, and when combined with a brocoli base, make the minis look funny. And that solution doesn't work for larger critters, because the GW round bases only come in 25mm, 40mm and 60mm - while 25mm roughly corresponds to 1", 40 and 60mm don't even come close to 2" and 3"

Because of that, I can safely say that I would immediately pick up a pack or two were they to become available. I do realize though that one person on a forum saying they'd buy something doesn't make it a viable product. Hopefully Reaper has enough resources they can figure out whether it is.



* for comparison, a 10 pack of GW 25mm round bases costs $4.50

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#10 Sanael

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:45 PM

First off, I am a painter, and I would have no problem glueing a PPM to another base. I am also a D&D player, and unless a "broccoli" base (or other vegetably integrated base) is WAY too large, I've never had a problem using them in a D&D game. I do NOT play the DDM skirmish game (and I don't know whether you could proxy LE minis in for DDM, thus necessitating round bases).

That said:

If a pack of DDM-sized round plastic bases were available from Reaper, I could see myself buying a pack, especially if they are relatively cheap. I use my minis for D&D games, and the round bases would be nice (although square also works just fine for me). But these hypothetical bases would have to be less expensive than the round plastic bases I've already bought from other sources.

So what's available from not-Reaper? Very little in inch-based sizes...but we can find 25mm, 30mm, 40mm, and 50mm rounds pretty easily.

Right now, I'm able to find (the first dozen hits on a google search for 30mm bases) bags of 15 30mm rounds for $1 (30mm is 1 3/16", only slightly larger than the standard 1" DDM medium). Which is not very much at all. The larger bases, 40mm and 50mm (50mm is 2", a DDM large), are a bit more, cheapest I'm seeing is 3 50mm bases for $2. But still inexpensive. Of course, all these prices are online, so they may require add'l shipping fees.

But, unless Reaper can produce such bases at the 15/$1 rate or better, they won't offer anything new. I would bet that brick and mortar stores would continue selling PP and GW bases rather than pick up Reaper's (one black plastic base is much like another to a generic buyer, but a brand buyer is more likely to buy only his brand), so the only people getting such things would be online stores and direct-from-Reaper customers.

To pull this back to the OP, I'm still reasonably certain that buying the skellie-pack from Reaper (online for $4.50), plus $1 worth of 30mm bases, plus $5 CYA glue ($10.50 altogether) is still better than buying the $5+ (each!) DDM skellies ($15 or more for three) singly, or buying multiple $10-40 booster packs, hoping to get three skeletons. And if we're talking about the newer you-can-see-'em packs WotC is putting out, those are A)not monsters and B)still $7 or more for 3 minis, not all of which you may need.

But what about the labor? Well, since the bases are plastic and the Reaper PPMs are plastic, you don't really even need to hold them together while the CYA glue cures. Just put down a drop of glue, put the mini on it, and walk away. No muss, no fuss.

Also, though I agree that PPM and metal minis are different markets, I still say no to package sets (except sets of a monster type, such as skeletons or goblins). I buy single minis because I can buy what I need. If a mini I like is only available in a set, I probably don't need it that badly, and I won't buy it; I hesitate to buy a pewter mini at more than $10, so I'm certainly not going to spend $10 for four plastic minis I don't want just to get one useful mini.

OK, said a lot. I'm done for now...

[/overly wordy rant]

(Edit: realized I was crazy, and removed references to a mythical 4" "huge" base. DDM huge is 3". I haven't seen any 75mm bases.)

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#11 kristof65

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:54 PM

Saneal - where are you finding those 50mm bases? I haven't seen any.

Also, my thinking on the bases isn't so much the diameter, but the thickness. The 25mm round ones from GW are nice, but when you glue a pewter brocolli base to it, it can make dwarves taller than a comparable DDM human - I'd like to see a relatively flat plastic disc approx 1-2mm thick, maybe with a beveled edge for a base, which isn't something I've seen offered by anyone.

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#12 sethohman

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:07 PM

Also, my thinking on the bases isn't so much the diameter, but the thickness. The 25mm round ones from GW are nice, but when you glue a pewter brocolli base to it, it can make dwarves taller than a comparable DDM human - I'd like to see a relatively flat plastic disc approx 1-2mm thick, maybe with a beveled edge for a base, which isn't something I've seen offered by anyone.


I would like a 20mm base. Like what has been said, 25mm bases are pretty easy to find. They are many things I would love to throw onto a 20mm base, including most normal humans / elfs / dwarfs / etc for D&D. I like the way the smaller base looks in the map square. Don't know why. The 25mm round really fills it out, and makes it harder to slide around things, maybe? And 25mm square is not my favorite, either. Most of my stuff is on the GW 20mm square bases, and I would love to remove those for round versions. And then not re-finish the base for a year..........

Edit - best of my knowledge, GW does not make a 200mm base

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#13 Sanael

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:10 PM

50mm bases are available at Fantization in 5/$5 packs made by PP, or at CCG Armory or Game Outfitter in 3/$2 or less packs made by Rackham (also at minimarket, but they're out of stock). The PP bases are "scenic," and the Rackhams seem to be flat across.

I'll agree on the height problem. With both a round and an integrated base, you might have to assume all your Dwarves carry a stepladder with them.

I know some places can custom-make thin bases, possibly out of brass or some such (likely expensive). You could also cut your own bases out of plastic sheet, if you could find something relatively stiff. But that gets into more labor than even I would like.

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#14 Sanael

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:14 PM

Sethoman, Impact Miniatures produces a 20mm round, slotted base.

I'd be more likely to use these for size small in D&D.

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#15 kristof65

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:15 PM

( I think we hijacked this thread)
I hear you Mike.

My favorite bases of all time are the thin ones that came with GWs Space Marine (Epic 40K) and later in Warmaster. They only had the two sizes - 25mm square, and 20x40mm though. I'd love to see someone come out with that style of base in a much larger variety of sizes - 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50mm round/square/hex, etc.

For the purposes of this thread, however, I'd be happy with round versions matching the DDMs.

And while I know I can go online and order tons of bases in a variety of styles and quantities on the cheap, this is the type of base I'm more likely to pick up in a blister pack as an impulse buy at my FLGS - keep it less expensive than comparable GW bases, and it will be priced just fine.

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