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Erk

A nice chance

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I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to point fingers at other companies, so I am going to have fun writing this circumspectly.

 

I frequent the boards of a certain large company that produces, among a great many other things, prepainted miniatures for major RPGs. This company's customers have recently been commenting a lot on the drastic drop in quality on prepainted miniatures for fantasy RPGs.

 

The thing is, they feel they have nowhere else to go to buy miniatures, unless they want to learn to paint. There aren't even two dozen LE figures yet, and the last ones came out more than six months ago if I'm reading the release dates right.

 

I like to plug LE when I can (despite not having many LE figures myself as I like to paint), but it's honestly a little tough. The quality is good, but there just isn't selection. With certain other companies letting their quality drop because of an unopposed market, it seems like the perfect chance for Reaper to step up to bat and crank out some more selection to draw in some of these frustrated customers.

 

Just thought I'd make the observation.

 

[edit: after reading some more of this forum, I see there are logistical problems. Still, with things the way they are and the amount of tension in other communities, I hope they can be overcome soon :)]

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It's OK, you can say Wizards of the Coast...

 

Some of the "I've got no place left to go" feeling is perpetuated by fans of the DDM line. Surprisingly, there is a somewhat large anti-Reaper contingent of DDM players/buyers that will always chime in to shout down any mention of the LE line. As much as there's always a group that's anti-WotC for being part of a big (read: evil) corporation, they have their counterparts in those who write off Reaper as failed because they can't come out with a huge new release every couple of months.

 

It's been a while since I've been on other sites discussing DDM, but an underlying issue rarely brought up was that if Reaper succeeded with non-random prepaints, then WotC's distribution model (and their stated reasons for it) would have been shown to be a farce. Now that WotC is changing the distribution of DDM this is probably less prevalent, but I have no doubts that the sting of an upstart Reaper challenging "their" collectible game is still in the back of their minds. I bet there's also some backlash from the fact that Reapers main product is 'paint it yourself', but since they rarely come out and say that I could be ascribing other motivations to their vile.

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It's OK, you can say Wizards of the Coast...
Aww, my way was so fun.

 

Some of the "I've got no place left to go" feeling is perpetuated by fans of the DDM line. Surprisingly, there is a somewhat large anti-Reaper contingent of DDM players/buyers that will always chime in to shout down any mention of the LE line. As much as there's always a group that's anti-WotC for being part of a big (read: evil) corporation, they have their counterparts in those who write off Reaper as failed because they can't come out with a huge new release every couple of months.

 

It's been a while since I've been on other sites discussing DDM, but an underlying issue rarely brought up was that if Reaper succeeded with non-random prepaints, then WotC's distribution model (and their stated reasons for it) would have been shown to be a farce. Now that WotC is changing the distribution of DDM this is probably less prevalent, but I have no doubts that the sting of an upstart Reaper challenging "their" collectible game is still in the back of their minds. I bet there's also some backlash from the fact that Reapers main product is 'paint it yourself', but since they rarely come out and say that I could be ascribing other motivations to their vile.

There are certainly some pundits who claim LE paints must suck and that LE is through-the-roof for prices, but they are far from the majority. Most people are just curious when they hear there are alternatives to WotC minis. The trouble is there aren't enough minis in LE to go far in recommending the line. I can tell people to go to LE for their orcs and skeletons, but that's about where it ends. And most of the detractors are certainly old DDM fans; you could have something regarding their indignation sense.

 

It's pretty hilarious the reaction you get from people who are afraid of paint. One guy was telling me he didn't want to invest thousands of dollars just to have a few player characters painted... lol

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There are certainly some pundits who claim LE paints must suck and that LE is through-the-roof for prices, but they are far from the majority. Most people are just curious when they hear there are alternatives to WotC minis. The trouble is there aren't enough minis in LE to go far in recommending the line. I can tell people to go to LE for their orcs and skeletons, but that's about where it ends. And most of the detractors are certainly old DDM fans; you could have something regarding their indignation sense.

 

It's pretty hilarious the reaction you get from people who are afraid of paint. One guy was telling me he didn't want to invest thousands of dollars just to have a few player characters painted... lol

 

When I frequented the same unmentionable site on a daily basis, there was a lot of aggression towards the LE line. There were three camps: those who already liked to paint and already knew about LE because they were Reaper fans (we were a minority), those that liked the idea of an alternative to DDM for myriad reasons (another minority), and those who were just haters seemingly for hating's sake, but who came up with all sorts of fuzzy math to justify it. They definitely were in a majority then. But then again, it is "their" website in their minds.

 

If there has been a significant change in that attitude it would be very interesting to me, because it probably would be, as you've said, out of frustration of declining quality in the DDM line.

 

I, too, have never understood the hatred of paint one sometimes encounters over there. I originally learned about D&D through painting minis. A friend of my stepdad left us a box of AD&D halflings from Grenadier he found in a lost-and-found bin. I was ten and found them fascinating. Within the year I was playing D&D, after a friend who played with his brother found me trying (badly) to paint the halfings up.

 

For that matter, D&D is the spawn of games where players painted little metal men. But I guess the haters will always find a way to hate, even if they have to exaggerate or outright lie about the cost of it.

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I don't put much stock in gamers woofin' and moanin' behind a screen name on the internet.

 

Is the crux of the biscuit that Reaper should devote more time, money, resources, money, advertising, money to the LE line to satisfy the prepaint crowd?

 

I'd say they're on the right track with the slow boat from China. Reaper is metal, not unlike Black Sabbath when they came out back in the day. They've got the largest fantasy catalog of individual models that I know of, on Earth. I'd like them to stay that way.

 

The LE plastics are great. I have a few and plan on buying more, but the plastics market is even more fickle than the metal. Look at the Dreamblade line. I bought most of them on clearance when they flopped. Rackham has gone plastic, and their future is uncertain.

 

Do you really want Reaper to double down on plastics?

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You've got a point. I was quite excited about the possibilities for LE when I saw just how incredibly, unrelentingly awful the latest DDM offerings are...

 

mi20090408a_mtw.jpg

 

but after some more sober thought I've taken more to plugging people taking ten minutes and a 30 dollar starter kit to just learn to paint themselves.

 

Still, I'd love to see more LE. Especially mook-types: goblins, undead, things like that that are dull to paint and I need a lot of. Those are what I have bought so far and what I'll continue to buy.

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The bottom line is, I want what I want. If I want a miniature of a nude cowboy riding a tap dancing ostrich, and Reaper happens to make one, then Reaper is the candidate to get my money.

 

When it comes to the stuff that lots of people make -- orcs and skeletons being two fine examples -- then it's going to boil down to price and quality. WotC has done some nice things, but the fact remains that up until now I've had to buy blind boosters, hoping I will get whatever figures I'm after. This looks to continue, to some extent, with their new business model, at least for monsters.

 

Furthermore, I am not impressed with their new sculpts -- I've heard it said that they're using three dee renderings now, instead of actually sculpting from concept art. Whatever they are doing, it shows, and their quality is dropping. This doesn't seem to be a problem for Reaper, because they seem to be using the same molds they used for their metals. This would seem to be a good time for Reaper to push forward on the plastics front...

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I'd say they're on the right track with the slow boat from China. Reaper is metal, not unlike Black Sabbath when they came out back in the day. They've got the largest fantasy catalog of individual models that I know of, on Earth. I'd like them to stay that way.

 

It think you just found Reapers new sloagan! I like it!

"Reaper is METAL!" :B):

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You've got a point. I was quite excited about the possibilities for LE when I saw just how incredibly, unrelentingly awful the latest DDM offerings are...

 

Funny you should mention that... there's a discussion going on over at The Miniatures Page that mentions that DDM really ought to look at what Reaper is doing with their prepaints, and emulate THAT....

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ive said the same thing over at hordelings,and maxminis! Reaper is what Wizards minis should look like! well...lets just say,im not that well liked over there. :(

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