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At what point would you stop buying Reaper Minis


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Miniature painting is a cheap hobby to maintain, aside from some initial purchase. If it takes you 5 hrs to paint a $5 mini, that has the entertainment value of $1 an hour. Yes there are cheaper gaming hobbies like RPG's and computer games, but as far as crafts go, miniatures are about as cheap as it gets. I don't think any amount of price increase would impede my miniature purchase routines for the purpose of painting, and that goes for any miniature company, not just Reaper. I would stop buying miniatures, if I decided to quit painting.

 

Those miniature I buy for wargames have a slightly different criterea. There probably is a price point, where I'd stop buying, but I'm not entirely sure what that price point is.

 

I think this echos my sentiment quite nicely.

 

And using wyrmgear's example. A movie costs me and my wife $50-60, since we need a sitter for those 3 hours, plus snacks, etc. A miniature represents weeks of enjoyment while I paint it (okay before the peanut gallery chimes in, it means years of enjoyment while I paint and yes I do finish some!!!), not to mention all the hours I spend hanging out with friends pushing metal around.

 

I am changing jobs shortly with a dramatic cut in pay (my own choice) so that means I will have less money to spend on fun things like miniatures. I will as a result have to buy less, but I can never really envision myself walking away from the hobby forever. It's too much fun. There would have to be a rather obscene jump in price that cannot be explained by anything short of pure greed that would turn me away. Like if Reaper suddenly made a price jump from 4.99 for a standard figure to 15.99 when everyone else was remaining around 5.99. Then I'd get my hackles up and walk away. If it slowly creeps over the next 30 years to a price point of 15.99 for a standard model (I hope to God not) I'll probably still be buying metal, just less of it, so long as price increases are not dramatic and remain commensurate with changes made throughout the industry.

 

I've already spent thousands of dollars on Reaper. And hundreds with other manufacturers. I don't see that changing. I might have a decline in the rate of growth of the shelf/box/closet/bookcase/more boxes of shame, but I have no doubt it will never stop growing.

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When I first found Reaper, the gal behind the counter at my FLGS handed me the catalog and said I could look through it and she could order, but it was old. I looked at the cover and it was maybe winter? I was there in late March. When she handed me the catalog, I said "so, I'm assuming that the prices will have gone up slightly" and she said "I don't see why they would, Reaper hasn't made an announcement of a price increase". I've worked retail a LOT. I've seen how often price increases occur elsewhere, and Reaper is NO WHERE near what I've seen in the past. The fact that Reaper has not had a price increase since I started buying their miniatures over 2 years ago makes me VERY willing to pay a small price increase on 1/3 of their miniatures. When will I stop buying? When they start casting them out of solid gold and my mortgage payment costs less than a mini. Reaper stays as reasonable as possible considering the price of their materials. Because of this, Reaper will get the lion's share of my hobby dollar (well, that and their high quality casts and sculpts). I do not think the price increase is unreasonable, I'm guessing the prices aren't doubling, so I'm cool with it. As my life progresses, we'll see what my income does, but I honestly don't see minis being the first sacrifice I make-dinner out, Netflix, heck, even my cable would probably go first.

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To be honest price isn't something that I look at when buying a Reaper fig. Now let me qualify that statement.

 

When I buy a fig I'm buying something for a specific need. I'm pleased when the cost is lower but paying fifty cents more than I paid last time isn't going to make me put it back.

 

I don't buy the large box sets or the dragons. I don't even buy the larger blisters because I don't like painting the large figures. So I can't say whether a few dollars more would impact me since I skip over them as a matter of course.

 

Since this is my hobby spending more money on figs means spending less money on something else. There's only so much play money in the pool. Instead of buying four figs I might have to settle for three. Or no figs while I get new paints. But I don't see a line where I would say "I can't buy these any more - they're too expensive" based on current pricing.

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Coincidentally, I received a package with my most recent ebay purchase yesterday: a Dark Heaven Apocalypse game in excellent condition. Included in the box were several old catalogs including Catalog 5.1 and the Casketworks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Interesting little bit of history, especially noting that in 1999, the average price per mini was between $2 and $2.50 for a human sized figure.

 

I am pleased that only some of the mini prices are going up and that prices have been stable for the last two years. The price increase does bring up an issue for BL members, but that's for another forum.

 

And, as Mengu said, mini painting is a relatively cheap hobby, particularly when you break it down to a per hour basis. And, I'd be willing to bet that if almost all of us stopped buying minis today, we'd be able to enjoy our hobby for a long time to come given the pile of unpainted pewter that we almost all have.

 

A price increase will limit my purchases somewhat (even if mainly done with BL points), but I've been meaning to limit my purchases anyway given the growing backlog of unpainted pewter that I have.

 

Ron

 

PS: By way of comparison for hobby costs, I used to ride regularly until 2 years ago. Before Nathan was born, I rode twice a week. At the time (2002), 1 hour lessons were $30 a pop. So, $240 a month for riding lessons. After Nathan was born, I dropped to once a week, but lessons went up to $35 a pop. Two years ago, work got really busy, and lessons went up to $45 a pop. And that cost doesn't include a saddle, boots, chaps, helmet, or riding clothes, not to mention an actual horse and stabling costs (the latter two I didn't have).

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To be honest price isn't something that I look at when buying a Reaper fig. Now let me qualify that statement.

 

When I buy a fig I'm buying something for a specific need. I'm pleased when the cost is lower but paying fifty cents more than I paid last time isn't going to make me put it back.

 

I don't buy the large box sets or the dragons. I don't even buy the larger blisters because I don't like painting the large figures. So I can't say whether a few dollars more would impact me since I skip over them as a matter of course.

 

Since this is my hobby spending more money on figs means spending less money on something else. There's only so much play money in the pool. Instead of buying four figs I might have to settle for three. Or no figs while I get new paints. But I don't see a line where I would say "I can't buy these any more - they're too expensive" based on current pricing.

 

This pretty much sums it up for me. The price rises of miniatures is not something that I look forwards to, but it is a part of living that stuff costs more.

 

In general, if prices go up then I will spend the same and get less. The price of miniatures is much more likely to stop me getting into a game, than it is to stop buying for a game that I have already bought into.

 

However, there does a come a point where miniatures dont represent value. This does not necessary relate to the cost of the item, but whether I think I am getting conned by the company. For example, GW raise the cost of their plastics each year, to the point where I a single 40K Crisis suit is very expensive. Now, the cost is not so much the issue - if I want the model then I pay the cost. What I do object to is the fact that this price bears little resemblance in my mind to any notion of 'fair price'.

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As Mengu said, miniature are pretty cheap overall. And I don't buy that many - because I don't game, just use them to build dioramas. So price isn't really a factor for me. So whether they be Confrontation, GW, or Reaper I buy the one that appeals to me based on sculpt - pose, expression, whatever. Obviously there would be a top end somewhere, but I don't see it coming anytime soon...

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Sheesh, I can remember when I paid a buck a mini. I've kind of grown to accept the price increases as just being part of the hobby. I have also had the privilege of seeing the Reaper factory and meeting the staff. They are all good folks and nothing at the factory gave me the impression that Reaper is wasting money on lavish extras. Since Reaper has some of the best priced minis around, I don't expect I'll stop buying their minis any time soon.

 

Castlebuilder

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Cb put it best I think about seeing the taj mahal of Reaper goodness & the people that run it, one factor that contributed to me pretty much dumping my nascar modeling hobby. Here a good comparison for yah

 

nascar model hobby

 

(box stock build--meaning no real aftermarket stuff other then decals, no photo etch, no high dollar detailing)

 

kits (depending on where you get them of course) 13-18 dollars

aftermarket decals (as the kits one suck & not all drivers are done just in kit form), they can cost anywhere from 16-20 dollars

now what if you don't have the right paint for this car (depending on your paint of choice 4 for a can of testors all the way up 10 for company called MCW (model car world, they specialize in matching paint codes but for hobby use). Thou this factor can be out if you already have the paints.

other misc items (like glue, hobby blades, etc etc) say 10 dollars for cheap supplies

 

that is a total of around 50-60 bucks (this is high end) for just one car. That pushes the price into diecast car of the same (plastic modellers or at least the ones I know despise nascar diecasts btw) thing. I'll take a 6 dollar mini anyday over that. Also what happens if say you break a axle or something & need to get it replaced (I know Revell will replace parts but you have to pay for it, even if was mistake on their part) or buy anther kit, sure you have to do that if you knight mini's arm with the sword breaks off but at least you can justify getting anther one + if's a Reaper you can also toss it into your melt bucket & save it for ReaperCon (yes I know that cost $$$ to go, but come on you know you wanna go).

 

I'll admit it, I'm a Reaper fan boy, I love the company, I like the people that run it (hell I wish my workplace was like their's then I wouldn't have anything to complain about), & I love their product, it brings me back to when I was a 11-13 year old & really into painting minis, playing D&D, that sorta thing. I don't paint as much I should, but I still buy my monthly lot of minis. I play MMOs, really only 1 right now & it costs me 10 bucks a month to do it, I get my money's worth from it.

 

I think the one thing I really ike about Reaper minis, other then they are some really cool sculpts is knowing the people behind the figures, knowing that when Tre Manor says thank you, I'm glad you like it, I know he is telling the truth about, or the whimsical stuff on a Wiebe figure, knowing that it's just an extension of him. + having the sculptor's name on each package is a class act if you ask me. Only way I know Bobby J or Werner sculpts a PPress fig is by reading No Quarter, other then that no mention of who the sculptor is.

 

Also I'm not into buy US buy US, but I like knowing that metal figs come from here, thou having the plastics come from overseas doesn't bother me one bit thou.

 

So it'd take a huge hike for me to stop buying Reaper minis completely, hell I'll stop buying other companies way before I'd stop buying a Reaper fig. Even if I don't paint them on a normal basis.

 

RM

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Lots of things enter my thoughts here....

 

Strictly speaking on the price of minis in general, I am overall happy and have no problems with their pricing, as has been expressed, a $6 mini that I spend 10-15 hours painting on (I am a slow painter) and then spend another 20-30 hours playing with over time, is well worth the cost.

 

Thinking from the point of view of Reaper in terms of the game I play, I can honestly say, I actually would not mind a little more of an increase than what seems to be announced, and have tha money go back into making the imaginary world that I am a part of even deeper thru more artwork, more fiction, more web based goodies to feast my unceasing hunger on.

 

Then, there is another part of me that knows and is on personal relationship levels with several of the Reaper employees. We may not be best friends, but I would say that it is more than simply the nod in the hallway. And I know that their paycheck is paid, even if only a small part of it, by me and you and all of us here. And I know what I go thru on a daily basis in my own world wanting to get pay raises or provide more for my family, and then I look at things like this and see where Reaper, and all of those relationships within, have chosen to care more about me and saving me a few dimes than they do about themselves. And I feel a little guilty sometimes. Its easy to not like GW and some of the others that seem to go to the oposite extreme, but then again I do not have any personal relationships with any GW people.

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I'm going to come at this at a slightly different angle than most have, but I'm not much of a painter. I'm a Warlord player, so I don't usually buy a single miniature.

 

The current price of models HAS slowed down my purchasing.

 

When I purchase a miniature, rarely is it for a single model. Usually I am buying 3 to 9 figures. When you're buying figures in that quantity, I start to see that small price change have a large affect.

 

My budget hasn't changed, but my buying patterns have and this is just how the cookie crumbles.

 

I will continue enjoying my hobby for xx dollars a month. The difference is that $xx will only buy me half a troop, and next month I'll buy the other half or different models.

 

I guess my Happiness with Reaper and willingness to give them my money, is not tied to number of models I can get with my Cash.

My happiness is in fielding several great looking figures in a fun game and being able to continue to do that with $xx. And currently they aren't even close to an amount where I would STOP buying and find a new game. They have only slowed me down.

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I would stop buying minis at the point where they revert (not saying reaper made minis of this quality) to a Hero Quest sculpt quality at more expensive than they are now.

 

Every new mini that comes out you can see the sculptors pushing themselves to be better, to do more, perfect this or that with thier craft. It is maybe not as apparent from day to day, but look at the majority of the minis put out in the 70's and 80's. then compare the minis of the 90's to today's minis. Its worth it.

 

Now sure cutting back will happen. When gas goes back to $2/gal, and we all get $3 raises it will balance back out, but most everyone I know right now has had to cut back on whatever hobby they have. But if I lost my job today, and couldn't buy another mini for 5 years, I think I would still have unpainted pewter.

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Something else that just popped into my feeble little mind.

 

When a single mini costs more than some ghastly pseudo-coffee drink then I'll consider whether or not they're getting out of hand. Not that I even drink coffee but I like the comparison.

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For the quality of the sculpts I've seen of the CAV and Warlord mini's, I think Reaper has been VERY fair on their prices. So they now need to boost some prices due to rising costs, this is to be expected. It will effect everyone in different ways, some will curtail their purchases and others will just cut back or adjust. I don't think it'll (and it shouldn't) hurt Reaper, they're in business to make money and they need to do what they need to do.

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I have to say that the actual cost of an individual mini is not really a deterrant to me. If I really want something, I'll usually end up getting it. Luckily for me (sadly for our savings account), my husband is usually fairly encouraging of this behavior (possibly because of the forebearance I display when he gets enthusiastic about a new wargame and plunks down a couple hundred dollars on a new army). In his defense I ought to admit that he hasn't bought a new army in a year or so and my purchases have been fairly steady throughout.

 

However, things like GenCon coming up or Christmas will make me curb my spending - but this is on all purchases, as I hoard my money for all the possible goodies at GenCon or to spend on presents. Sometimes the growing pile of unpainted metal also makes me ashamed of buying even more models that I know I haven't a hope of painting in the next five years.

 

/ali

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