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TheAuldGrump

Bones Kickstarter A "Massive Loss"?

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From the Dungeon Crawler Tidal Wave Kickstarter -

@Gifted Vision & @ Tim ::

Unfortunately, with Reaper you were only given the options for add-on after they reached their goal, I am sure that we will see some really great add-ons & bundles much like Reaper had once their goal is achieved. Reaper also has a massive following, given the many many years they have been making minis. This following spurred conversations WHERE EVER gamers gathered, and all over the web.

Their campaign was a rehash of sculpts they already have made in resin, so featuring sculpts was easy for them to show. But they did have concept art to showcase the new minis to be made. Not to mention that given their years of manufacturing they probably own their own processing plant or get an insanely incredible deal manufacturing because of their aged seniority with their factory.

The Gifted Vision Campaign is VERY different than Reaper because of these things. We have been making miniatures for less than a year. As a new indie business to the industry, the companies hurdles to over come are much higher as the standards of miniatures very from one gamer to the next. Gifted Vision has a great desire to produce vinyl plastic miniatures.

Reaper was an incredible campaign, and a person would have had to have been insane to not have backed that project, but even Reaper has announced that they are facing many troubles that they had not anticipated with their campaign. And that they are producing the result of the campaign at a massive loss.

 

Why do I have my doubts as to the veracity of some of these claims? :huh:

 

*EDIT* I was going to pledge, but between a $15 shipping and handling fee on a $15 pledge, and that little bit of whining, I decided that a large pizza would serve me as a better allocation of funds.

 

The Auld Grump

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I don't know about that. But here's the problem I foresee, as a retailer.

 

The success of the Kickstarter effectively renders the models offered in the campaign as poison. Why on earth would I, or any intelligent retailer with any knowledge of Reaper's Kickstarter ever stock these?

 

Reaper treated Kickstarter like a store, and pre-sold all of those models, in giant numbers, to every interested party. And from what I can tell, all of you interested parties put in for plenty of them.

 

Minis are a niche hobby. As it is, they sit on the shelves forever, waiting for the accident of an inspired shopper to come along. Stocking those models means paying Reaper money through my wholesaler, and then basically sitting and watching them rot. Again, because you guys all already bought them. Reaper may as well run the production once, to get the product to all of you who ordered it through Kickstarter, then retire those models.

 

I don't think anybody really considered that. And why would they? Everybody was just high on the success of the thing. But success, just like laws of motion, always has an opposite reaction. And giant success can have a pretty huge opposite reaction.

 

Now, if Reaper had a game as successful as something like Warhammer, and all of those models belonged to it, it would make sense to continue to run them. Since games like that draw new players, and players like to have gigantic armies. But that's not typically how consumers treat Reaper product.

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Not sure where those guys got that but everything that Reaper has said is they made sure that, even with these awesome price levels, they wouldn't loose money. I figure I'd trust former CPAs, the Reaper crew, over someone who probably miss-read a statment from them about whether or not their KS caused them "massive loss"es.

 

I don't think anybody really considered that. And why would they? Everybody was just high on the success of the thing. But success, just like laws of motion, always has an opposite reaction. And giant success can have a pretty huge opposite reaction.

 

This actually was considered and was mentioned, and responded to, many times here and in the KS comments section. I'm not going to say who's right on the argument but Reaper has responded to it multiple times.

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I don't know about that. But here's the problem I foresee, as a retailer.

 

Anecdotally, as far as I'm aware, I'm the only person that goes into the local game shop who took part in the kickstart. Obviously I don't know or talk to everyone who shops there but it doesn't seem like much of a dent was taken out of their potential sales.

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My FLGS bought their own Undertaker set, and each employee (that I spoke to, 4 total) have ordered their own Vampire set as well. The customers I spoke to there about the KS didn't even know it had happened. Also, I think the biggest thing the FLGSs out there can look forward to is an increase in sales for bases and paints when the Bones get here. Those things are going to be needed en masse!

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I don't know about that. But here's the problem I foresee, as a retailer.

 

The success of the Kickstarter effectively renders the models offered in the campaign as poison. Why on earth would I, or any intelligent retailer with any knowledge of Reaper's Kickstarter ever stock these?

 

Reaper treated Kickstarter like a store, and pre-sold all of those models, in giant numbers, to every interested party. And from what I can tell, all of you interested parties put in for plenty of them.

 

Minis are a niche hobby. As it is, they sit on the shelves forever, waiting for the accident of an inspired shopper to come along. Stocking those models means paying Reaper money through my wholesaler, and then basically sitting and watching them rot. Again, because you guys all already bought them. Reaper may as well run the production once, to get the product to all of you who ordered it through Kickstarter, then retire those models.

 

I don't think anybody really considered that. And why would they? Everybody was just high on the success of the thing. But success, just like laws of motion, always has an opposite reaction. And giant success can have a pretty huge opposite reaction.

 

Now, if Reaper had a game as successful as something like Warhammer, and all of those models belonged to it, it would make sense to continue to run them. Since games like that draw new players, and players like to have gigantic armies. But that's not typically how consumers treat Reaper product.

None of which was any of the points quoted in the original post.

 

I doubt your accuracy as well - any discussion on a web forum is going to be biased by the fact that the posters do have ready access to the internet, and to things like Kickstarter.

 

While they sold sixteen thousand of the Vampire Pledge, in the long run that will end up being a small portion. The KS was one time - folks will want more, even of the models that came out in the KS. Plus, with enough items in the line the income should likely be sufficient to maintain an increased production of new items.

 

I know folks that already intend to buy more of the dragons when they hit the shelves, some for use in Warhammer/Kings of War.

 

But, we will see.

 

The Auld Grump

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Theres a lot of misinformation, uninformed opinions, and twisted logic being used in this thread so far... Not unusual to see on the internet, but it is unusual to see on Reapers forums.

 

Despite the large number of backers of the Bones kickstarter, that's really just a drop in the bucket of gamers and mini collectors out there. There's a lot of hobbyists who are still unaware and/or unwilling to use kickstarter. Around here pretty much all gaming stores sell Reaper products because they are such steady and reliable sellers. The large amount of Bones sculpts that the kickstarter allows to be made will benefit most retailers and distributors, as the brick and mortar customers are exposed to them in person. Especially if the retailer knows his customers well and understands which genres and sculpts they'd likely be most interested in.

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I was kinda confused at first who was saying what, but after reading this part:

Their campaign was a rehash of sculpts they already have made in resin, so featuring sculpts was easy for them to show. But they did have concept art to showcase the new minis to be made. Not to mention that given their years of manufacturing they probably own their own processing plant or get an insanely incredible deal manufacturing because of their aged seniority with their factory.
I could definitely see the ugly green monster (aka jealousy). xD
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*EDIT* I was going to pledge, but between a $15 shipping and handling fee on a $15 pledge, and that little bit of whining, I decided that a large pizza would serve me as a better allocation of funds.

 

Remember that they are out of Canada so US is a bit pricer then you're use to. A lot of smaller companies are just doing flat rates period for international shipping and I've seen worse. $30 for what you get actually isn't bad at all if you compare it to retail shopping.

 

I was kinda confused at first who was saying what, but after reading this part:

Their campaign was a rehash of sculpts they already have made in resin, so featuring sculpts was easy for them to show. But they did have concept art to showcase the new minis to be made. Not to mention that given their years of manufacturing they probably own their own processing plant or get an insanely incredible deal manufacturing because of their aged seniority with their factory.
I could definitely see the ugly green monster (aka jealousy). xD

 

It's mostly true though. The context is people were asking why there aren't a lot of extra minis for add ons, so people can pledge more, and so the first part of that was stating that Reaper could do this because they had the sculpt for a lot of stuff done already--basically a larger catalog to select from. I don't know how the manufacturing works so I'm not going to bother with the second part of that statement.

 

The biggest problem I see with their KS is the fact that $100 gets you a lot of miniatures, easily 50, but right now that's only between a selection of 8 which really isn't all that appealing.

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*EDIT* I was going to pledge, but between a $15 shipping and handling fee on a $15 pledge, and that little bit of whining, I decided that a large pizza would serve me as a better allocation of funds.

 

Remember that they are out of Canada so US is a bit pricer then you're use to. A lot of smaller companies are just doing flat rates period for international shipping and I've seen worse. $30 for what you get actually isn't bad at all if you compare it to retail shopping.

 

I was kinda confused at first who was saying what, but after reading this part:

Their campaign was a rehash of sculpts they already have made in resin, so featuring sculpts was easy for them to show. But they did have concept art to showcase the new minis to be made. Not to mention that given their years of manufacturing they probably own their own processing plant or get an insanely incredible deal manufacturing because of their aged seniority with their factory.
I could definitely see the ugly green monster (aka jealousy). xD

 

It's mostly true though. The context is people were asking why there aren't a lot of extra minis for add ons, so people can pledge more, and so the first part of that was stating that Reaper could do this because they had the sculpt for a lot of stuff done already--basically a larger catalog to select from. I don't know how the manufacturing works so I'm not going to bother with the second part of that statement.

 

The biggest problem I see with their KS is the fact that $100 gets you a lot of miniatures, easily 50, but right now that's only between a selection of 8 which really isn't all that appealing.

My objection is that rather than saying '$30' they claimed '$15' - with a shipping price equal to the Pledge.

 

I consider that a hidden fee, and a shifting of fees. There were other, better, and more honest ways of handling that. If the minimum shipping is equal to the price of the order then they should have just said '$30' and had options for shipping further.

 

They can pound sand.

 

*EDIT* As an example of purchases even after the KS for Bones - it is entirely possible that when I see the Cthulhu I may decide that I want it after all.

 

The Pathfinder goblins are a near certainty for later purchase of 'more of the same' - I already have some in metal, will be getting the Bones ones when the ship in March, but I am still very likely to get more. :)

 

The Auld Grump

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Maybe it's because I've backed so many KS and Indiegogo stuff that this doesn't bother me anymore as it's not uncommon (about a 1/4 of the stuff I've backed, especially non-US based ones). They've been quite upfront about it but I think they should have "Shipping not included" in their pledge level sidebar, under each pledge. The reason they didn't want it added to the price, and to your pledge, is they don't want shipping costs to inflate the goal needed as that's money they don't get so instead of 45k they'd need, say, 50k to fund.

 

I personally think they should have got the way you mentioned just because it's going to be a paint to collect shipping via paypal for everyone but not because I think it's dishonest.

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I think that it will cause their Kickstarter to fail, and that the little bit of vitriol on the part of one of their people is not going to help them.

 

And, given that the shipping doubles the cost of the pledge, I do consider it dishonest or at least disingenuous. It is as dishonest as those folks that sell iPods on eBay for $1, with a $120 shipping and handling fee.

 

Bah.

 

The Auld Grump

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But the iPod situation you mention is clearly dishonest since it doesn't actually cost anywhere near $120 in shipping. In this case however it may well cost them $15 to ship out each pledge, in which case I much prefer the transparency of knowing where my $30 (well more for me as I'm in New Zealand) is going. If I know the figures are being priced at $15 and the shipping at $15, that gives me a lot more information to make my buying decision than it would if the price was just $30.

 

I agree with MonkeySloth though, it should say 'shipping not included' within each bid. Or it should have said 'add $15 for shipping' and the goal adjusted accordingly. US backers don't seem to be used to paying for shipping mostly, so it should be more clear that's necessary.

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From the get go, Reaper made it clear that the major expense of the KS was the cost of the moulds for making the miniatures. Why would they run a KS to fork out all this dough on moulds and subsequently offer me Vampire level pledge minis at $0.38 (or whatever the cost) per mini only to shut down production of that sculpt. I personally see myself hitting a LGS to buy additional KS minis in the future just to do modifications and for things like diorama's, etc.

 

As for wargaming, I think it is fun. I wish that wargaming didn't come with wargamers who try to cheat their butts off around the battlefield and fudge abilities, etc. I've seen it too many times to count, and it causes me to stay away.

 

As to the EV Dungeon Crawler minis, I just don't like the sculpts and wouldn't use them.

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I've seen that "it had a KS it will not sell retail" mentality over Sedition Wars as well. In simple terms this mentality is wrong.

 

It proceeds from the erroneous assumption that the sun total of all people who want the product have ordered it through the KS. This is flawed on a number of levels and any retailer who is actually in tune with their customers knows this already. While pretty much every customer is using the Internet the sheer scope of customer interest and Internet resources makes it so that customers will nearly always find something new to look at in the store; there is just too much to track for one person.

 

Kickstarter is a great thing for retailers. Clever retailers will watch for highly successful projects and get those in stock. They will seek out the backers of those projects from among their customers and use them to further promote the product. If you spent say $100 on a game that requires opponents (eg Relic Knights) you (the customer) have a vested interest in getting others involved.

 

For Bones even at standard retail they are cheap compared to other minis. Buy 3 or 4 Bones for the cost of 1 metal? Do you seriously think customers are not going to be interested in this? I also expect that retailers will make more total profit from selling 3 Bones than they do from 1 metal.

 

The trick is you need the GW support model to get people buying unpainted models; painting days with demos, quality display models and so on. Teaching people how to paint makes them painters which sells them unpainted models and paints.

 

So no KS doesn't threaten good retailers.

 

Reaper also clearly didn't make a massive loss, they made enough money to make headway on building their own plastics facility in the US. People who want to get into the vinyl model game should be talking to Reaper about that future not making spurious claims about losses.

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