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DDM is dead! Long live Reaper!


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#16 Doug Sundseth

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:25 PM

I think it's an apples and oranges. While yes, the compulsive, collectible, aspect may encourage sales initially, it's an unsustainable model with miniatures. Especially miniatures that tie into a game.


By the accounts I've heard, WotC made money (just not enough money relative to their investment) through the entire, more than seven year, run of DDM. That sounds sustainable to me.

In point of fact, the money made by WotC on that one line of products is almost certainly greater than the amount of money made by the vast majority of still extant game companies.

It looks to me like your definition of "unsustainable" is quite different from mine.

Miniatures are not trading cards.


Nor are they pizzas, which is equally on point.

If you have an actual argument, feel free to make it. I'll not do your work for you.

#17 Nanite

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:29 PM

If I've offended you, I apologize. I stand by my original statement though. If the randomized model was sustainable, WotC probably wouldn't be killing it.

D&D, and Star Wars are big licenses for the market, and now both lines are dead.

Pizza would also be a bad fit for the random format.


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#18 Leader of the Rats

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 04:41 PM

Well suppose you paid $15 for a box of 10 random minis, and inside is one worth $50 (based on ebay or other online stores). WoTC could have made alot more money selling the minis at what value the market deemed worthwhile, instead, online retailers seem to be cashing in, and rich (or lucky) people are getting the better minis, everyone else misses out.
The whole idea is dumb and strange to me, not to mention somewhat unfair.
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#19 vejlin

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:59 AM

Sustainability differs greatly depending on context. While might have been making money (probably a lot to have survived for years), it may not have been enough compared to the potential income had WotC put the same effort into something else. And that's what it's all about, especially to publicly traded companies.

Some of you are talking about sustainability in an absolute sense (is the line producing profits) while others are talking about it in the relative sense (does the effort pay for WotC/Hasbro relative to something else they could be doing). Investors can be pretty cutthroat and will typically NOT let you simply do whatever as long as it reaps a profit. They want you to engage in the MOST profitable activity you can, or they'll invest in something else. So for a big publicly traded company like Hasbro, they are definitely NOT thinking about absolute sustainability, but rather relative sustainability. The line might have been making (a lot) of money, but if the investors leave it's all over.

Edited by vejlin, 16 January 2011 - 03:01 AM.

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#20 vejlin

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:17 AM

as a consumer though I loathe the random/blind purchase format, and I have on several occasions chosen not to get into games that would otherwise have been appealing to me, simply because of that format.
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#21 Dr.Bedlam

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:32 PM

It's true -- the kind of sales and revenue that would gratify a company like Reaper ain't even a drop in the bucket compared to what Hasbro does. Given this business model, I find myself wondering how long a niche product like Dungeons and Dragons will be offered. The game itself does nowhere near the kind of sales that GI Joe or Monopoly does.

WizKids, it seemed, was doing great until they were acquired by Topps, and then, suddenly, it seemed to me that their games quit getting support overnight, apparently because stuff like Baseball Clix didn't take off and become a national craze like Topps wanted or expected.

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#22 drow

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:47 AM

Well suppose you paid $15 for a box of 10 random minis, and inside is one worth $50 (based on ebay or other online stores). WoTC could have made alot more money selling the minis at what value the market deemed worthwhile, instead, online retailers seem to be cashing in, and rich (or lucky) people are getting the better minis, everyone else misses out.
The whole idea is dumb and strange to me, not to mention somewhat unfair.

the only reason that one mini is worth $50 is its rarity in the random format. if they cranked them out by the boatload, they'd command much less than that, and thousands would be gathering dust in a warehouse somewhere in barstow, CA. you point out the $50 mini, but how many thousands of commons rot on ebay at 99 cents?

#23 Leader of the Rats

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

True true.
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#24 vejlin

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:46 PM

well that is also a testament to the deliberately poor game balancing that gave rare miniatures an in-game advantage.
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#25 WizardOne

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:09 AM

This discussion of sustainable/unsustainable has been interesting but also confusing.

Is there any line of miniatures or some other wargaming related product that has defied the normal life cycle of all products? (Research & Invention, Introduction, Growth, Maturity, Decline, Termination)

Here is a graph that illustrates the key portions of the generalized case:

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Hasbro/WotC must believe that for its PPP DDMs the green line has (or will soon) cross the zero level.

All products (except Pizza ::D: ) do this: Buggy Whips (gone), Music CDs (going), your favorite minis/games ( Insert the long list of OOP stuff in your closet Here ).

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#26 Bruunwald

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:31 AM



Let this be a lesson to everyone: Blind boxed minis are a failure. Never try it. Prepainted Plastic? Fine. Just for the love of all that is polymer don't make them random blindboxes!


Disagree.

Say what you like about whether you like randomized miniatures (and many people have said many uncomplimentary things), the random reward structure of collectible cards and miniatures sells product. (The strategy hits the same reward triggers that slot machines hit.)

WotC sold huge numbers of boxes of random figures and many fewer boxes with partially random figures. And Reaper hasn't sold anything like those numbers* of unrandomized figures, even though their sculpts and paint jobs are orders of magnitude better.

* Speculation; I don't have access to either company's sales figures. But I'd put fairly serious money on a bet that I'm right.


I think it's an apples and oranges.  While yes, the compulsive, collectible, aspect may encourage sales initially, it's an unsustainable model with miniatures.  Especially miniatures that tie into a game.


Miniatures are not trading cards.

Totally agree with Nanite. From what I could tell over the past decade, Magic remained strong while DDM went through stages of okay sales, but mainly remained sluggish overall.

It's easy to put down a few bucks for a pack of booster cards for the cheap thrill of hoping to get something good. I, myself, was addicted to that way back in the day, and it's a habit kids can afford to have.

$12 or $14 boxes of random minis is an entirely different animal, and gets real boring, real fast. It's simply unsustainable. The kids can't afford it for long, and the adults (like myself) are eventually going to put their foot down after getting even the same crappy Rares over and over, and refuse to buy anymore (which I did).

Every time I went into my FLGS, talk was about how long WoTC could sustain it, given that it was not a big seller. When the news came down the pipe months ago, that Wizards was going to be ditching it, there was a sigh of relief from their management. No more having to discount them 20% just to get them moving.

Now all of that is from the on-the-ground, retail side. I personally have a feeling that what really sustained the line for this long, was the fact that stores and traders were outright buying up boxes to empty, to sell the rares on the secondary market. eBay seems to have been the biggest market for DDM, with storefronts selling individual minis. You always heard stories of guys buying crates of DDM just to get the rares and toss the other stuff out. That means that Wizards is selling a lot at cost initially, but it also means the market was cannibalizing itself. That can't be sustainable for long.
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#27 Heisler

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:53 PM

After hearing about what is happening to a couple of other companies producing plastic minis, I don't think I blame Reaper for moving slowly and making sure they are not in debt to a manufacturer in China for their product.
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#28 DARK ELF

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:10 PM

After hearing about what is happening to a couple of other companies producing plastic minis, I don't think I blame Reaper for moving slowly and making sure they are not in debt to a manufacturer in China for their product.


agreed. but now would prolly be a good time to pick up the pace a lil. off topic. ive been asking Mr Lee & WotC for years, to make a DDM Mimic and Fire Beetles. they never did. but Reaper has now. (in white metal.) thanx for the minis Reaper! (oh. and the townsfolk boxed set!!) Orky!!
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#29 greyhaze

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:31 AM

I don't post here... much... but, with PPM being limited as it is, I'd love to see reaper pick up the slack that DDM is leaving with PPM. I'd love to see the villagers made in to PPM. Just 1 request, can you make them with a uniform base of some kind?

#30 joshuaslater

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:01 AM

Reaper's Slow Boat from China.

Keep it slow and steady. Heisler summed up everything nicely.
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