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"How Did You Come Across Reaper Miniatures" Stories

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As some of you know, I'm working on completing my M.F.A. by doing a documentary that features Reaper and Reaper employees. Okay, I've been working on it for 2 years but I blame that on ReaperBryan introducing me to my husband and then I blame my husband for knocking me up. :rolleyes:


Anyways... :blink:


One question I've asked frequently is "How did you come across Reaper Miniatures?" Everyone has a different story! Here's mine:


I decided to do my thesis documentary film on gaming groups and, of course, had friends who played D&D or various other games. One day while filming, a friend was showing me some miniatures and mentioned they were Reaper Miniatures and how cool Reaper minis were. It wasn't long after that I found out from someone else that Reaper Miniatures was actually in Denton! 10 minutes or so from campus. I went to their website and looked over the contact names and decided Bryan's job description made it seem like he was the most appropriate person to email and so I did. The rest, as they say so often, is history.


What's your story?

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I'd been collecting minis for about 12 years, mostly GW, Ral Partha and Grenadier that I bought from local shops. About 10 years ago, when the local shops eventually went under, I started searching on the web for miniatures retailers. One place I found was Spirit Games, whose stock included Reaper. It was love at first sight.


It's possible I might have seen ads for Reaper figures before then, e.g. in Dragon magazine, but they just hadn't registered because I must have thought they were not available here in the UK.

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I remember I was at work on a lunch break and was surfing the net just passing the time. I had been an RPGer for about 20 years at that time. As a kid growing up I was a huge fan of Advanced D&D. My family was rather poor so I did odd jobs (mowing yards, shoveling snow etc.) to make a few dollars so I could purchase books like the Monster Manuel or modules like Against the Giants. Since money was so tight I could only dream of purchasing figures to play with in those days. When I went to college I was making a few extra $ and could afford a few figures so I purchased and painted about 20 or so during that four year period, mostly Ral Partha as I recall. Sadly, those figures were lost during a move back in the early 90's. Anyway about 10 years ago I was sitting at my work desk of my new job, finally making enough cash to offer me an entertainment budget when I decided to search for miniatures online. Living in rural western PA "hobby" stores around here do model trains or hunting & fishing supplies :P So online shopping was/is my best option. That's how I discovered Reaper! My first order actually was from a company in the UK and it took 3 months to get my order, ugh! So I tried Reaper, seeing they were a US company I hoped for better service. A week later I had new figs! I have been a loyal fan ever since, and can honestly say about 90% of my collection is Reaper product.

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Well, I've been painting miniatures on and off since I was about 10 or 11, which -- for those of you who know how old I am -- is a looooong time. :blink:


I can't remember specifically when I discovered Reaper miniatures. Or when I bought my first. But I do remember going online one day in 2003 (I had to look at my join date to get the year) to visit the Reaper webpage. I can't remember what prompted me -- either because the blister pack listed a web address or else a search for online vendors produced a link. In any event, I came to the front page, poked around, and thought to myself "Wow, this company needs a forum. I should write to the webmaster and tell him to get off his butt and put one up."


So impetuous as always, I clicked on the webmaster's contact link and began to write an e-mail. Only something started tickling me to check to see if there ACTUALLY WAS a forum before I clicked send on the e-mail.


Lo and behold... there was. :blush:


And so I was saved from making a fool of myself to Kit.... on that occasion, at least. :upside:

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Sandra Garrity and Julie Guthrie introduced me to Reaper. Even though they don't know me. :poke:


Seriously - I've been collecting miniatures a long time, and I'd always been a fan of Sandra and Julie's work with Ral Partha. Not a serious "OMG, I must have every one of their sculpts" fan, but it seemed that the miniatures I liked more often than not were sculpted by one of those two. So since SKUs 2005 through 2011 are all Garrity or Guthrie sculpts, I was naturally drawn to Reaper before they had even released two dozen sculpts.

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Mine's pretty short and simple. My husband wanted to start up a new D&D campaign. Now, he had been a miniature gamer for probably 20 years already at that time and had loads of historical minis and a good pile of fantasy minis, but for this particular occasion I was in need of a female elf outdoorish type adventurer to represent my wizard character.


Yeah..an elf. Go ahead and laugh.


So anyway, we went down to a local comic place we had heard about that had lots of D&D stuff and minis to have a look around. We found the perfect minis not only for my elf, but for two other PCs in the game...all in the Reaper display. Nobody else had anything near the choices that Reaper had, and of course there were a few copies of CasketWorks laying around with even MORE minis to choose from.


At least for me, the real selling point that day was the fact that there were so many female characters in their line.


Even female half-orcs. :wub:

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My "discovery" of Reaper was quite circuitous.

I've been an avid modeler since 7. I had a small group of friends who used to drop by my place to build models. I got tired of what I was working on (anime related kits) and started hunting the web for alternatives. I landed at GW, bought a set of Orks with the intention of starting an army. I then hunted further on-line for inspiration and new painting techniques (I was a figure painter, genus Historical, species oilpaintenamelum at one time). That landed me at CoolMiniOrNot.


That made my eyes bug out.


CMON and an issue of White Dwarf introduced me to Jen Haley...another search.

I ended up here at the Reaper Forums, lurked, and finally decided this was the place for me. I'm not a gamer, but the quality of figures, the range of choices, the paints, the dedication of all involved, and the helpful, friendly people, convinced me that this was to be my main haunt for all things mini.


I may drop out/stop painting/stop posting every now and again, mainly due to work and kids, but I'll always attempt to log in once in awhile, to check the pulse of cool little pewter things.



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I had taken a few years off from D&D and painting minis during my university/college years. Before that I had accumulated a large number of older lead minis from Ral Partha, Grenadier, and Citadel. The Citadel minis had disappeared from the places I shopped and were replaced by GW minis that all looked much the same because they were meant to be part of a unit or squad or whatever it's called. Being an RPG player, I was more interested in PC's/NPC's and monsters as opposed to what had basically become a bunch of fantasy-themed toy soldiers (don't get me wrong - I have nothing against wargames; just don't play any is all). So when a friend of mine moved back into town and showed me his D&D3e books and a few Reaper minis he'd bought and painted during his years in Vancouver and Toronto, I was intrigued. Headed down to my old FLGS (which I was happy to find still in business despite having moved a few blocks), and lo! A couple spinning racks full of Reaper minis. Quickly noticed that in addition to a huge assortment suitable for people's PC's, they had a lot of very reasonable analogues to D&D monsters too, which a lot of other companies don't (ie. beholder, beholder, beholder, displacer beast, carrion crawler, mind flayer, mind flayer, undead mind flayer, mind flayer, behir, Drizzt, roper, couple more REALLY scary Ropers, otyugh, dragonne, ettercap, bulette, sahuagin, myconid, myconids, umberhulk, thri-kreen, gorgon, aboleth , shambling mound, shambling mound, grell, vrock). OK, they didn't have all of these in stock that one day; I've been trying to keep track over the past few years & these are just the best matches I've got on my list... Not exactly an enormous selection at the FLGS compared to their 2 walls of GW stuff, but still more rack space than any of the other companies had... That is still the case, and I'm still buying Reaper minis there.



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The shortest "How did..." story perhaps ever told. The local gaming store that I found when I started playing Magic again only carried Reaper Miniatures, so it was a little while longer before I found out that there were such things as other miniature manufacturers and paint lines.


If you need a little longer story, I can add that the only reason I ever started painting miniatures was because I saw the manager of my FLGS painting a mini and thought I could do better. Yup, I started painting minis because my ego wanted to take a trip.

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I moved to Denton in the spring of 1993 to attend one of the universities there. The same week I moved was the Ft Worth Origins. There was this vendor there with a huge, table-sized tray of loose lead ... the old Minifigs line.... cheap (50 cents to $1). I was just getting back into painting after about an 8 year hiatus so I bought a bunch of stuff. It wasn't long before I could find the figures in one of the Dallas game shops (LoneStar)... and they had little newsprint catalogs they were giving away too... and I saw they were starting to put out new sculpts that looked really really good...


And I've pretty much been hooked since.


Sometime in '94 or '95 I talked to someone at Reaper about doing a website for them. I was offered product in exchange for the work, which seemed like a good deal to me, but my boyfriend at the time talked me out of it, saying the company would never last and I would end up getting screwed. So I turned it down...

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I guess it was when I stumbled across a display of DOOM minis at a store in Killeen, TX in the early '90s. For some stupid reason, I did not buy them even though I thought they were great. After that, I seemed to bounce into the company more and more over the years.

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It's all my husband's fault!


He, and his friends were starting a new 3.5 D&D campain. This was about 1.5-2 yrs. ago. (They've been playing since high-school. So, about 15 yrs.)

Anyway, his character was a female dwarf with a crossbow. He had already heard about Reaper and wanted a mini to match.

So, we went and checked out a local shop. They had a great selection of Reaper minis.

But, I really had no interest in looking through all those minis. So, I sat outside and waited while my husband looked around.

He had only looked though the DHL line, and the closest thing he could find was a male dwarf w/ a crossbow. He bought it.

When we got home I noticed the web address on the back of the blister pack. So, I checked it out.


Holy cow! There were minis coming out the wazoo!

I sat there for I don't know how many hrs. going though every single mini on that site.

Finally, I had found a female dwarf w/ a crossbow in the WL line. I did end up ordering her for my hubby.

Of course, I also checked out the painted gallery. Wow! I couldn't believe how awsome they looked!

I'd always been a little artsy-fartsy ever since I was a kid. I started to get an itch to try out painting minis.

I bought myself the "learn to paint" skin tones kit. After all, I needed to see if I was any good at it before painting my husband's female dwarf.


Guess this story is about both, how I discovered Reaper, and how I got into painting.

My husband also thinks that he may of created a monster! :poke:

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Back around '77 or '78, I wuz a kid, and I started a D&D group. We figured out the game as we went, and had a fine time. The rules suggested the use of miniature figures, but growing up in a little bitty cow town in south Texas, they were kind of hard to lay hands on (I got my original D&D set and hardbacks from a B. Dalton bookstore in a mall in Laredo; I'd never seen a comic shop or game store.)

One day, one of the players returned from a trip with his parents, and showed up with miniatures. Ral Partha, IIRC. He'd painted them with Testors enamels (the only kind of craft paints you could find locally). I about lost my mind.

I subscribed to Dragon magazine, and began ordering stuff from The Dungeon, the hobby shop run by the company that published D&D, out of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I began to accumulate the official D&D miniatures (from Grenadier, back then) and I soon found that there were a great many miniatures out there. I discovered Ral Partha (and Julie Guthrie and Sandra Garrity, although I didn't know it yet), Martian Metals (a little company out of Texas that made miniatures in the seventies and eighties), Dragontooth, and a slew of British companies. Originally, I bought figures I could use for D&D -- dragons, monsters, halflings, and so on -- but as I progressed, I began buying things just to paint for fun and display. Mom knew about acrylics, and turned me on to them (water cleanable and stank less)... yeah, I was hooked.

Things changed when I left home for college. I still played the games when I could (and I discovered game and comic shops!), but real life slooowly ate away at my time, and as an apartment dweller, I had to be more mobile. By around 1990, my gaming stuff wound up sold off or in storage, and I got on with life. I got married and became quite poor for a while, and had no money to spare for games.

After a few years, my situation improved, and I became involved with a card game, Magic: The Gathering, which required me to begin frequenting game and comic shops again. The local comic shop owner had seen some of my old minis, and asked if I'd paint something for him -- a "life counter." It was a very nice piece of pewter, gorgeous work, I thought. I painted one for him, and painted several others which he then sold at horribly inflated prices which he then split with me. I hadn't painted anything in years, and was having wonderful fun limbering up the old skills.

One day, he gave me a handful of minis. Apparently, the company that made the life counters -- Reaper -- had sent him some promo stuff, but he wasn't interested in RPGs or minis games (Magic was his bread and butter), and since I was the only person he knew who'd do anything with them, I got them.

I took 'em home and examined 'em. They were nice work -- easily equal to the old Ral Partha sculpts, and light-years ahead of the lumpy sculpts of the seventies and early eighties. I painted them. They painted up nice. I wound up scouting the hobby shops in the Austin and San Antonio area, looking for more. Apparently, Reaper made a 25mm line called "Dark Heaven," and they were quite good!

The addiction had reestablished itself. Not long after that, someone turned up at the shop with a D&D Player's Handbook -- the newfangled Third Edition -- and asked me, as Alpha Geek and Reigning Elder of the premises, what I knew about Dungeons and Dragons.

That was a while back. Since then, I've begun a weekly RPG game, and accumulated a fair parcel of Reaper minis, and made it to Reapercon '09, my first gaming convention since the eighties.

Life is good.

d1b1782848d203032056935f59d1405e.jpg (DRAGON magazine, circa 1995)

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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I started painting miniatures in 1996.


A guy that I dated at the time, introduced me to it.

He had miniatures in his attic that he used to paint and since I was into fantasy stuff, he decided to get back into painting and taught me how to paint.

I loved painting from the second I started and knew it was going to a be great hobby for me.

By the end of that week, I purchased every Citadel color and spent about $600 on Ral Partha and A D&D miniatures at a gaming store in Manhattan.


A few months after that, I went to a local gaming store in Staten Island, NY and they had the "Dark Heaven Legends" series of Reaper Miniatures.

I fell in love with the miniatures that they had.

I made the owner of that store very happy when I spent hundreds buying those miniatures in the first transaction.

I became a huge Reaper fan ever since.


I moved to Texas in October 2008. I worked 70 hours a week in the Verizon store so I didn't have time to learn my way around Texas or make any friends.

The only gaming store that I knew of around me was Games Workshop in the Grapevine Mall.

When I was laid off from Verizon, I started going there to paint so that I can meet people and hopefully start making friends.

The first time I went, I brought 2 Ral Partha minis from the 80's to paint. All was well, but most of the people there were not very sociable.

The second time I went, I brought a Reaper mini. Then I was told that only Games Workshop minis could be painted in the store.

I basically told them "Well just about every mini I have is Reaper. I have very few GW minis because most of them are not my style and they are very expensive. It seems that we are at an impasse here." :lol:

A guy that was gaming at the store said to me "Oh you like Reaper?! They are cool, have you ever been to the store?'

I said "Store? Where?!"

He said "Oh it's in Denton shouldn't be too far from you. They have a store and they give tours of the factory."

I was so excited and couldn't wait to find it! I googled the number and called 30 seconds later.

I was at the store the next day and Bryan gave me a tour. Everyone at Reaper was so sweet and friendly and you can see that they love their job. They treat you like part of the family right from the beginning and you could tell that they love and appreciate all of their fans. I found that to be an extraordinary quality in the company.


I went to Reapercon in May and had more time to get to know everybody in the company. I had a great time and became friends with a lot of the people in the company.


I now work for Reaper and I can honestly say that couldn't be more grateful for not only having the Reaper peeps as friends, but to also be a part of something that I have loved for so long.

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