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kristof65

Availability of LE vs DDM

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Ok, based on conversations in other threads, now that the LE minis are out, I've decided to do a little research, based on what my own buying habits would be.

 

I want to bulk up my Necropolis army using prepainted skeletons - maybe 24 or so. Once the three packs are out, this will be quite easy. But how easy will it be to do so if I don't care if they are Reaper minis or not?

 

I have never bought DDM singles before - I've seen a few here and there at the local game stores, but I've just glanced them over. Based on what I've seen, not the best places to start my quest, nor can I just run out there right now while I'm thinking about it. So I'm going online to see what I can find. Mind you, I'm basing this quest with no knowledge of DDMs, only that I've been told here that DDM skeletons are commonly available. I'm starting this quest at about 2:25pm.

 

First stop, Ebay. Search term, D&D mini skeleton. 6 listing results, one of which is NOT a D&D mini. Of the other five listings, I could bid on a total of 3 human warrior type skeletons - two are a deal - 2 for $0.99 if no one else bids. Oh wait, $2.50 shipping. The other listing, is a buy it now, $2.5 plus $4.50 shipping (for one skeleton).

 

Ok, ebay, not the most cost effective way to amass my skeletal legions. Next stop Google. Search term d&d singles. Lots of sites selling them, lets start with the featured listings, iconusa.com, battleworks.net, GameRocket.net.

 

Iconusa.net - no way to search for indivdual figs. Have to look through each set. Heck, I don't know what sets contain human skeletons. Glance at a few sets, find nothing. Lets move on.

 

Battleworks - they have a search function, use search term skeleton. Hey, cool, it pops up the Reaper LE line in addition to DDMs. Hmm, browsing the DDMs, there is only one human type skeleton - and it's listed for $4.49. The orc skeletons are pretty cheap - $0.88 - but I don't want orc skeletons. Lets move on, but book mark this site cause they have the LE skeletons.

 

GameRocket - they have a search function, too - same search term. 11 different types of skeletons available. First two are AF43, a decent looking skeleton. WTF!?! $6.29 each? No fricking way. Oh, look, they have the Orc skeletons available, too - at $1.39 each. Oh, they have another human type available, $4.49 each. Um, no. Let's see what else google gives us.

 

Twilight games is the next site - hmm, they have only four types available, only the burning skeleton is human, but I don't want burning skeletons (btw, the other sites had the burning skeleton, too). Moving on.

 

Next stop - Central Games - no, wait, they're in the UK, don't want to pay that shipping.

 

Hmm - next link is to the forums at TMP. Let's see what they say there. Browsing through this, I get a recommendation for paizo - lets see what they have:

 

Paizo - search term skeleton again. Ok, they have quite a few listings - but all of the DDMs are either non-human, or way more expensive than the LE skeletons. Paizo has the LE skeletons listed - in fact, they're the most cost effective PPM skeletons there.

 

Ok, what next - let's see, someone on TMP recommends Auggies ebay store. Ok, quick look there - ooh, best price I've seen on orc skeletons - $0.38, but other than the burning skeletons, no human types.

 

You know what, screw this...this is taking too much time and effort for what I'm told should be widely available and cheaper minis. It's 3:06pm now, and I've found the LE skeletons more often and for cheaper than the DDMs. I'm just going to head over to my FLGS, and place a special order for my LE skeletons. If they happen to have a couple of DDM skeletons in there for the same or better price, I'll buy them - but based on what I'm seeing, I bet they won't.

 

I'm sure someone is going to come along and show me a better place online to buy DDM singles. And since I can't leave for the FLGS for another 2 hours, that's fine. But I wanted to actually see what results I would get approaching this with no knowledge of the DDM singles market, which many, many GMs and players don't have.

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here is anther option for DDM singles purchases + of course LE

 

but miniaturemarket.com has them as well

 

this is just a search of skeleton, so ignore the other figs like the Privateer Press ^ Rakham

 

skeleton search on mm.com

 

this is how I go after my DDM singles when a new set comes out, as I got tired of goin on ebay & then getting smacked for shipping, granted it's been forever since I placed a order under 75 at mm.com (free shipping over 75), so I have no idea what their shipping is these days.

 

just a option + I agree that price per the LE are a great value, of course I've said my points about what I don't like about them but then again I've said that with other pre-paint lines as well.

 

RM

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Thanks for the link - but same thing - the LE skeletons wind up being the best value vs availability there, too. I just briefly did the same thing with orcs - there is a wider availability of the orcs in the DDM singles than there are skeletons, so I can see someone spending the time could walk away with a bigger orc horde for cheaper.

 

I'm actually not a big fan of the PPMs myself - they have their drawbacks - but I have to admit that when I'm GMing, having 20 skeleton minis on the table is better than the card board standups I use now. And having painted ones is better than unpainted - particularly since I'm unlikely to buy more pewter and paint it up.

 

Plus my Necropolis army is going to be more as a loaner army, so the durability of the plastic is a bonus to me.

 

I mostly did this as a real-world test of what some others have been saying here about Reaper's poor choices in the first available figs, and the release schedules. I wanted to see for myself how easy it was to find the DDMs. What I found actually surprised me - I really did expect more of the DDM skeletons to be easily found online.

 

And I didn't expect commons from some of the earlier sets to be going for more than $2-3 bucks each - especially things like skeletons. For instance, I kind of like the Skeletal Warrior common from the Archfiends set - but it's going for $4-6 a piece these days. The skeleton in the Harbringer set is the same way. That's hardly affordable to someone just looking to amass an army.

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While you can get stuff cheaper on Ebay, you are relying on whether or not they're available at the time (and price) you want them. At least with Reaper's LE, it's available when you want it at a set price that, while not as cheap as some, is still a good value.

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That's been my point on other threads. I was mildly surprised to find out exactly how true that was. With all the talk about the secondary market for DDMs, I really expected more - in otherwords, I expected the results to skew towards LE, I just didn't expect them to skew that much.

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ok, just a quick comment ....

Part of the reason you didn't find what you were looking for was that you did a search for skeleton.

The last couple of human skeletons have been skeletal archer and legionairre.

If you search ebay for "d&d mini* skele*" you get a lot more hits.

The prices aren't really cheap at the moment, cause it's been more than a year since there was a human skeleton DDM.

Which shows Reaper picked well when they decided to do skeletons.

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I guess a lot of the 'skeletons & orcs' concern has come from folks who have already been buying DDM for some time. While I can understand that they are probably not interested in more orcs and skeletons (I myself have plenty) there are other folks out there that might just be beginning their collection of PPM (for whatever game or reason), folks who have flatly refused to buy packs of random mini's in the past, folks who can't/won't use ebay, folks who simply don't want the hassle of searching for mini's online, and probably a bunch of other folks that I'm missing completely (I'm none of these - but I acknowledge that there are some people with different opinions/preferences to me).

 

As it has been pointed out above, if you are in the market for a couple of skeletons right now, then it's a little hard to come by some of the DDM ones (I've looked at a couple of the UK sites I usually get some DDM singles from, and right now they are all out of human skeleton types).

 

So for the folks that have lots of skeletons and orcs in their collection already, it might be a bit of a disappointment that there are not more mini's that are appealing to them in this set, but all that means is that they (and I include myself in this) are probably not the target audience for those particular minis (whereas some of those folks I've mentioned above are).

 

That's not a problem to me, I'll pick up the minotaur and the ogre (maybe the troll... but I already painted the metal version of this one) when they surface over here, and probably ignore the rest. Sure I would love it if every mini in the set was something that was perfect for me... but it's not. It's much the same with the D&D mini's (there is usually only about 1/3 of the set that interests me) - but I flatly refuse to spend more that a couple of pounds on any PPM - so I never get most of the cool rares I would like (unless I'm lucky enough to get one in one of the few boosters I buy).

 

Of course this is just my take on things... but it's certainly not going to hurt us (the consumer) if there are always a bunch of 'mook-type' figures readily available on the shelf of the FLGS, or online store, or whatever ::D:

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My thought is that these are going to be more of a point-of-purchase sale item. You're walking through the store and see them, then realize that 20 or so skellies on the table would look cool. And since they're not random you can grab just what you need.

 

I know game store owners in my area are looking forward to carrying them, probably seeing the same impulse purchase dollars that I am.

 

I still don't know if I will be getting any of these since I don't have a defined use for them. And a defined use is one of my criteria for bringing new minis into the house. But I'm watching to see what they're releasing next!

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smithmeg - ok, using your search term gets me far closer to the results I actually expected. That's kind of a three fold problem - 1) my fault for not thinking of that search term - I strictly went with the obvious skeleton, 2) WotC for naming them Skeletal instead of Skeleton and 3) the auction listers who didn't think to include both terms. Mostly mine, though.

 

But it does illustrate that you have to have more knowledge to navigate the secondary market than you do to pick up the non-random blisters at your FLGS.

 

csp kris - your last line says it all.

 

Rastl - exactly.

 

There have been a couple of people in other threads who have insisted that Reapers choices for the first releases were poor, because of the vastly superior availability of DDMs on the secondary market. My little expirement shows that isn't as true as they're contending. Sure, in a week or two it may change as more stuff floods the market, but then it could go right back to what I actually saw, or get even worse.

 

Which has been my contention all along - that the secondary market is more fickle and unreliable than just walking into your FLGS and picking the LE minis up.

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This is a good example, and perhaps Reaper did choose well in making skeletons a first choice. As a long time (since Harbinger) DDM collector with nearly 400 of the things, I have way too many skeletons to consider buying more from Reaper. But I checked my favorite eBay site (Auggie's) and found he had no skeletons for sale in "Large Lots", where you can get 10 of a given mini for prices from $.15 to $.50 each (and he has a flat shipping rate of $3.50, regardless of how many or what type of mini you buy). In fact, the only skeleton I found he had was a burning skeleton for $1.39 each. He does have "Deathlocks", an arcane-casting skeleton in lots for about $.25 each.

However, suppose the next DDM set has a "Skeletal Soldier" (they've already had warrior skeleton, skeletal archer, skeletal legionnaire and about three other skeleton types of humans). Then Auggie's and other sellers will have plenty of them (they've always been a DDM common, meaning every third booster will have one of them), and probably be selling them for $.25 to %.50 each (undead always go a bit higher than most commons), with the $3.50 shipping. So, say even the $.50 price, you get 10 for $8.50; much cheaper than the LE skeletons; but only for a time (the time limited sets mean most minis gain value over time). Then they'll become more expensive until they're either sold out or even or above LE's.

Same thing with the orcs, but not so much with ogres, minotaurs or trolls, especially if compared to DDM rares. Versus DDM rares, the LE are probably always a better buy one figure vs. another (meaning you're buying the DDM on the secondary market), and even if you buy lots of boosters (I usually get two to three cases, so 24 to 36 boosters), you're unlikley to get more than 2, 3 at the most, of a rare. So if you want a lot of ogres, trolls, etc. you're better off with LE.

DDM uncommons are probably close to equivalent with LE. The DDM uncommon troll was easy to collect in large numbers (I have seven), but on secondary market, even new, went for at least $2-$3 dollars each; and more now (if you can find any from a set released about two years ago).

It also can't be argued that for many folks, going to your FLGS and picking up a pack of skeletons is easier than finding and buying they same number off eBay. Folks like me who've been into DDM long enough to know the best ways & places to collect them probably aren't going to buy LE i the same numbers, because we don't need to. I am planning on getting the minotuar, ogre and a couple of trolls, and eventually some of the orcs (I have a green skinned orc subrace in my homebrew they'll do better for than the gray skinned DDM, which are another couple of orc tribes). I'm hoping for more LE that match up with the DDM rares, some uncommons and then things DDMhasn't and are unlikley to make (townsfolk and the like). I'd also love a LE pack of three or more simple mounted solder-types, but since DDM folks have said mounted minis are expensive enough to only be rares in their line, and DHL & WL doesn't have these type, than it may be a pipe dream!

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I'd also love a LE pack of three or more simple mounted solder-types, but since DDM folks have said mounted minis are expensive enough to only be rares in their line, and DHL & WL doesn't have these type, than it may be a pipe dream!

Mounted minis in any material get expensive. I'd seriously love Reaper to go with a combo though - readily avialable LE PPM horses, and a line of DHL mounted figures to go on them.

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I'd also love a LE pack of three or more simple mounted solder-types, but since DDM folks have said mounted minis are expensive enough to only be rares in their line, and DHL & WL doesn't have these type, than it may be a pipe dream!

Mounted minis in any material get expensive. I'd seriously love Reaper to go with a combo though - readily avialable LE PPM horses, and a line of DHL mounted figures to go on them.

 

I think this would be an excellent choice - basic mounted human soldiers, mounted goblins, and maybe mounted skeletons to start? They do have a basic mounted skeleton cavalry...

http://www.reapermini.com/FigureFinder#detail/02361

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There are mounted humans in the discontinued minis. Dryfus, Mounted Lancer (2300) and Anhurian Cavalryman (2346).

 

I'm pretty sure they would sell better as $4-5 prepaints than $7-10 metals.

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I'm pretty sure they would sell better as $4-5 prepaints than $7-10 metals.

 

Probably not by much. There just isn't as much demand for mounted models compared to models on foot.

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No doubt about that, but the Anhurian Cavalryman sold well enough to stay in production for quite a few years. And if he's cheaper he will sell better, that's simple economics...

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