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Pre-Painted Plastics vs Metal and related Debate


Sergei
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Don't forget the fact that these minis will be legal proxies for Warlord. There are lots of gamers that really don't feel like painting 2 dozen skellies just to field a fully painted army.

 

exactly, would rather field a painted army then a hap hazard primer here or some paint here army + it also goes back to my example, it allows you to spend more time on your special characters, the guys that have the good stuff in the game, guys you would like to get noticed during a game, etc

 

RM

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We've got returning U.S. servicemen and women having to relearn how to function with metal and plastic prosthetic limbs, and people are making an issue of metal vs. plastic toys?

 

That's what I mean by keeping this toy soldier stuff in perspective.

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It dies off in a few weeks because everybody has it? Have you ever considered how many RPG groups are out there that would buy at least one pack each of 10 orcs and 10 skeletons? thousands? tens of thousands? How many Orc and Undead armies exist that are being built up by non-RPG folk? How many boxes would they buy? At the very least one to see how they fit in with their existing armies quite possibly more or maybe buy into a new army. I don't think this is something that would die of quickly by any means because its not catering to the CCG or CMG market, these are catering to the gamers out there a whole different market.

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I can easily see the three of us who GM in my group picking up a 10 pack of each at first, then adding another 2-3 packs each over time - particularly as PCs advance in level. We certainly can't be the only RPG group that feels that way. That's not even counting the number of people I could get into wargaming if they didnt' have to build and paint.

 

I've had RPG battles with 100+ orcs against the PCs, so I can see them being the occasional impulse buy for years. As I've never had any desire to ever paint orcs, I've never had miniatures for them.* When I've actually used something to represent them, they've always been cardboard counters I've made with with CC2: Character Artist. Even those take time to print, cut and fold, so PPMs are desirable not only from the perspective of being better looking, but from a time aspect as well.

 

 

Damon- I don't think anybody's being purposely dismissive of your feelings on the matter. I think people (myself included) are sometimes going over the top in looking at the bright side of things when attempting to allay your fears, though. I, for one, am happy to see the PPMs, but I still prefer the metal when it comes to character and hero figs. So, for me at least, the arrival of these PPMs will mean the only metal models I'm not buying are the grunt packs. I don't foresee the hobby (painting metal figures) as ever truly dying, because I know there are a lot of people like yourself and I who will continue to buy metal. We may not being dealing with companies that have a huge line of metal figs like Reaper does any more, but there will always be companies like Freebooter and Hasslefree. And I'm not counting Reaper out just yet for metal, either - Ed stated early on in this thread that this in no way affects their planned metal releases.

 

I know that it's easy to look at GW as the example - they have almost entirely converted over to plastics for their squads and units - and worry about Reaper going down the same path. But a big difference between GW and Reaper is that GW is focused on one thing only - sell as many figures to as many people as you can - revise rules, packaging, etc to make that happen. They hardly do anything that fosters growth of the hobby as a whole unless it somehow helps them as well - just one look at their literature calling it "the GW hobby" tells you that. Other examples include the increasing "size" of armies (at one point in time, vehicles were so expensive point wise that you could only afford to take 2-3 tops in a 2000pt game, now armies are regularly fielding 6 or more vehicles.)

 

Reaper has focused on providing decent miniatures for RPGs and hobbyist painters. Even their wargames are set up to be friendly to the customer - no overly large squads requiring the purchase of huge amounts of figures, a liberal proxy policy (influenced by us, I might add), squads easily meshing with figure pack sizes (did you know at one time, GW was selling figs packaged 4 to a blister, while their army lists required 5 per unit?), etc. Ed regularly gets on here and chats with us, the only contacts I see regularly online from GW are the occasional game designers, mail order guys and store personnel, none of whom really have any insight or influence over corporate policies or marketing.

 

(gah - this edit took longer than I wanted. I'll shut up now)

 

 

 

*I think Spike ended up with my share of desiring orcs.

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I can't wait to see what Reaper does with the line. I must say I was surprised to hear it (I found out on another board as well). I don't really need more Orcs or Skeletons at the moment, but will probably get some to proxy for Warlord... :rolleyes:

 

Mage Knight was my gateway drug, even though I never played the game (I used them for D&D). Don't discount the people this could bring into the "hobby" (as painters). It certainly won't kill it. There's no reason to stop buying and painting metal miniatures because the company also produces prepainted plastics. In fact, I think this has a good opportunity to expand Reapers share of the marketplace (from personal experience, but also from researching the marketplace when I looked into opening a game store and seeing firsthand the market by doing demos and Paint and Takes at various stores and Conventions).

 

I trust Reaper knows what they are doing. As was mentioned, they've stuck around when others have failed. I don't see them taking a flyer on something that could undermine their core business. I will however hold my breath as to when (and how fast) we see these things released, there's a reason we say "Soon" around here...

 

FYI - D&D Minis will be releasing non-random packs in the future again ("announced" at Gen Con, if you went to their seminar), starting with the Drizzt pack later this year (Drizzt being one of the most sought after DDMs). They are taking a different tack than Reaper, but they see the demand too.

 

Additionally:

Frosch may call himself a "metal snob", but he doesn't complain too loud when he uses my D&D minis.

 

It's interesting to see the lurkers this subject pulled out too (Brooding Paladin! What's up brother!).

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It's interesting to see the lurkers this subject pulled out too

::): I'll be the first to admit that it was this news (that I first saw on the homepage ...which I check regularly) that brought me back to the forums.

 

I hadn't been around since the time I consistently got viruses every time I visited the forums ...and even before that I guess I've always lurked a lot more than I've posted :blush:

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Well, I'm going to say this:

 

After reading Bryan and Clark's very detailed responses to my concerns about this new direction, or rather, new product line I'm pretty satisfied that this can be a very good thing for Reaper. Prepainted plastic minis aren't my bag. Never have been. However, it is refreshing to see exactly (or as exactly as need be) how they are tackling the issue, and I thank them both for their input.

 

I'm adopting a wait-and-see attitude. They've got a handle on the business end of it, quite obviously. NOw having been informed about the increase in production efficiency and seeing that rather than voting themselves rich they're targeting an untapped market (get-what-you-want prepaints instead of random booster sillyness), I'm confident that this holds promise of good things. To the actual miniatures themselves? I'm still a wee bit more skeptical. But that's just good consumer acumen, no?

 

Finally, if Clark and Bryan don't mind may I requote those posted messages elsewhere?

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On the one hand, you're right; there is a sort of gambling factor that causes some buyers to keep buying closed boxes in the hope that they will eventually get something good, and that does probably boost sales, overall. On the other hand, I don't think that's what Haldir was referring to when mentioning the "BS factor." I think Haldir meant that it sucks that you can't just buy what you want or need, under the pretense of "rareness" and "collectibility." And I agree, that IS BS. I have a very strong feeling that just as with the comics industry in the '80s and '90s, all of this "rare" and "special collectors" nonsense is going to end with the supposedly rares being not worth much at all in ten years. Just as with Magic: The Gathering, where, yeah, for a short while the cards were going on eBay for pretty good cash, while eBay was new and the game was relevant. But eventually, mass-produced means mass produced, and that means a lot. And a lot can't truly be rare and holds no true value for collectors, down the road.

 

Thus, both my local comics shop and local hobby shop only give store credit for comics/cards you bring them, and at that waaayy under value. So obviously, the collectibility racket is just that: a scam. A marketing technique. Which is BS.

 

But on the subject of whether open box stuff can have repeat customers, let's not underestimate the human (and especially gamer) compulsion to buy. Just because I bought a box of ten orcs a year ago, doesn't mean I don't want the new orc box when it comes out. I probably do, not only because they're newer and cooler, but because I either have a new game hook which requires them, or looking at them, I come up with one.

 

Yes - exactly! I won't argue the actual value of items, but its the perceived value to the person buying the packs. Ie.. "I must buy a case because it's hte best way to insure that I'll get a bronze dragon!" Yes, that bronze dragon may be worth some money for a while in gaming circles - but eventually it will lose value as the game falls out of favor - but the point is, the person already bought an entire case to get one figure. The company has made it's profit - and considerably more than if it sold the dragon alone - which is why I think the colectable format is so favorable for companies. BS or not - it works and it works well.

 

People - particularly gamers - have a compulsion to buy. I'm reminded of Igor from Dork Tower. I was like that too when Magic first came out, I had to have one of everything.

 

I personally like the idea of the non-collectable status of items. I like to know that I can walk into a store knowing I want something and that I can obtain it easily and at a fair price. Sadly, the non-collectable items don't seem to sell as crazily as the collectable ones do. I'm sure that if the Legendary Encounters line is of high quality, it will do well.

 

 

Frosch may call himself a "metal snob", but he doesn't complain too loud when he uses my D&D minis.

 

 

Well.... maybe not to you....

 

;)

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No offense, but are you serious?

 

Yep,

 

No, metal minis are no where near the size of plastic model kits as an industry. Reaper is not Revell, however, they have dwindled down to almost nothing as compared to when I was a young whipper snapper buying them. It was merely an example from another industries shrinking, not meant to be an apples to apples comparison. I used to be able to find good selection of plastic model kits in my home town of 6000 folks. I don't think there is a one to be found there anymore... and they have a small Wal-Mart too! In a large city you can find them in boutique-like specialty shops or you can get them on-line/mail order. That was the only comparison I was making.

 

Get my point?

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No offense, but are you serious?

 

Yep,

 

No, metal minis are no where near the size of plastic model kits as an industry. Reaper is not Revell, however, they have dwindled down to almost nothing as compared to when I was a young whipper snapper buying them. It was merely an example from another industries shrinking, not meant to be an apples to apples comparison. I used to be able to find good selection of plastic model kits in my home town of 6000 folks. I don't think there is a one to be found there anymore... and they have a small Wal-Mart too! In a large city you can find them in boutique-like specialty shops or you can get them on-line/mail order. That was the only comparison I was making.

 

Get my point?

 

I live in the area that's the exception to both the gaming industry and the plastic kit industry. Our population of slightly over 2,000,000 on the front range running from Pueblo to Ft Collins seems to support more gaming and hobby stores than we have a right to. I can walk into half a dozen stores within 20 miles and find just about every plastic kit currently on the market and a bunch that aren't. I'm positive that you won't find any of these pre paints languishing on shelves around here.

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