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DDM is dead! Long live Reaper!


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... now two toy companies are going to make two of your lines irrelevant...

 

Irrelevant? WotC produced DDM from well before 2007 until 2010. We released LE in 2007, and it continues to grow and sell strongly.

 

Was it irrelevant for the first 3 years of its development cycle? no. Is is suddenly going to be irrelevant with Paizo partnering with WizKids next year? No.

 

What makes it irrelevant? Is it only relevant if we're the only company making plastic figures? Is that the deal? You're saying only one plastic line for all, and the fact that there's about to be three means we might as well stop? Frankly, you're smarter than that, Mike, don't try to make that argument. Wendy's didn't stop making hamburgers when McD and BK (and Hardee's/Carl's Jr. and Whataburger and Arby's and In-and-Out and 5 Guys and ...) were. There's room in the market for more than one. Evil Hat didn't stop work on Dresden because there was already more than one RPG publisher. Troll Lord didn't stop working on a new edition of D&D with Gary (before he passed) because WotC had D&D and Paizo had Pathfinder and Kenzer had Hackmaster... Competition in the market does not make one or the other product irrelevant.

 

Which TWO lines? I have to assume one is LE, because this is an LE thread. I'm going to guess you mean the second one to be our Pathfinder metal figures, and if I'm wrong, tell me so.

 

Pathfinder metal figures aren't irrelevant either. We're working very closely with Paizo on that line, and continue to have success with the license, and have been working very respectfully with WizKids to be sure that both lines are value-added properties for consumers of all products. All companies in this arrangement anticipate continued success and continued future growth and development of all lines. I fail to see how exactly 60 plastic figures in random packaging makes our 80+ metal figures "irrelevant".

 

Then again, for 4 years I've been having this argument. John Q Public wants the volume that WotC gave them and WizKids gave them - 120 figures every 3 months. But they want them in non blind, because they hate random. And when a company gives them one without the other, you cry foul. There's DOZENS of blogs out there from WotC, WizKids, Paizo, and others explaining why non-random on large scale isn't sustainable quickly. We think we can eventually get to a large selection, and sustain it, but we also believe the way to achieve it is slow growth, that increases over time. From 4 to 6 to 12 to 24+ a year, eventually. But you want everything now, and we can't give it to you. We can't give you 50 cent commons and $100 rares, but we can make everything from $3-9.

 

And just in case you're still reading - there's two other reasons to grow slowly - educating the consumers, and stocking the retailers. I'll take the last one first - retailers would freak if we asked them to stock 120 stock numbers all at once of this brand new untested product with an untried business model. The line would die on the vine, and we'd have lost a fortune. Random packs have an advantage to a retailer - it's one part number. They can bring in 1, 4, or 2,000 copies of it as they wish, but it's one item to them. Ours stands at 35 items now, and that's fine, but 120 items, that's a lot to ask, every year. 120 new items in your store, every year, in continual release, restock them all, please. As for consumers - we have a hard time still after 4 years with consumers who think we should be able to produce all our models for 50 cents each, because the aftermarket has taught them to pay that. what they don't get is that 50 cents each isn;t what any of those companies is selling the models for - they sell you 4 for $15, $4 each, just like most of ours. and the bigger packs cost more - like our bigger models. The pricing of a 50 cent common is because the aftermarket guy makes his $15 back on the $20 rare, and sells the mooks for 50 cents to get them out of his way. But Joe consumer thinks that a 50 cent mini is reasonable, and that's a stumbling block for us.

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Deep breaths... :blink:

 

I don't doubt that almost everyone here knows that you can't please all the people all the time...that some are just insatiable, others misinformed, and still others make impossible demands ["What do you mean you can't do a life-size pewter Sophie for $2?"]; what's an obvious, brilliant idea to an armchair business mogul may be anything but once the nuances of the supply chain as a whole are factored in.

 

Besides; I'd like to think that on a Reaper-run board, an overwhelming majority of the members are supporters of the company and fond of its products.

 

I'm a stubborn old coot that still likes his (now wallet-rending, thanks Indonesia) metal, but having a pile of plastics to fall back on when you need expendable mooks, NPCs, a character for guest players...or simply have no time to paint that boss encounter's figure...can be a lifesaver. The price advantage of being able to get things like larger monsters that would cost a fortune in metal is something else my local group appreciates.

 

I suppose what I'm saying is relax, roll with the punches...and we as customers need to remember anything above keeping the line viable is a bonus, a sign of acceptance and growth. A multi-line company like this one knows what it's doing for introducing new lines, and we have to stomach our impatience at times and trust that Reaper knows what it's doing.

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Thank you ReaperBryan.

 

As a mostly lurker on the different mini forums you come across these threads were someone says company A is doing poor business and x product will fail. You never get to see the company speak back or explain their position, I found your response very informative.

 

It is sometimes very easy to become an armchair quarterback. Especially when it is about something we(Joe Q Public) are passionate about and want to see succeed. Think sports teams even the last place team fans think they can win the championship the next season if only xyz and the planets line up. Management is responsible to make that happen overnight as well.

 

You make a wonderful product across all your lines and though I can’t get enough and always want the next set of releases to be sooner I would rather see you guys succeed and grow then go down in a blaze of glory.

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Brian I'm not like the DDM crowd who came here demanding everything Reaper did be done in PPM. Honestly I'm reporting what I see by use. My store carries all of your lines except LE and the three LE blisters they have are from folks who didn't buy their special orders. The LE didn't ever move off of the shelves because of DDM. The fact that the FLGS had their finger in the secondary DDM market didn't help either. The only place in Texas where I've seen the most LE blisters is at the Asylum store. Everywhere else seems to carry a paltry handful of your best sellers.

 

Now by irrelevant I mean no one here is using your figures when they play RPGs in public spaces. They use Sorry game pawns, DDM, DDI tokens, coins, etc. They aren't using your stuff, even when I tell folks about your awesome stuff, which in my book says irrelevant. So there is a disconnect between your idea of educating customers, and what potential customers are doing. Going to your hamburger analogy irrelevant is everyone talking up McDonald's when your burgers are really the best in town. The fact you're making money doesn't matter if you're not generating buzz.

 

As for Pathfinder PPM as a GM I get more figures for the same cash layout I would spend on a small metal horde. Who cares if they're blind? I certainly won't? Add to that the time and effort to paint that horde and the PPM becomes a steal.

 

My largest moment of headdesk frustration came when I was looking at pictures from the Deadlands tables at Tacticon. Did I see your figures? Nope plastic toy cowboys and Indians bedecked many tables. I use this as an example of the greater what is going wrong that a great figure company is failing to target the purchases of their core market?

 

Brian I know you're reading me wrong. I'm passionate for Reaper and their stuff. I'm am just dumbfounded, confused and frustrated that most of everything you do that is better than everything available is playing second fiddle.

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I have to say that the LE line is Irrelevant, No one other than Reaper Fans are buying it, you you self say you have to "educate" the people about it, and it has been out for 4 years???

 

The metal Pathfinder line you do I dont think is irrelevant as there are people who like Metal minis and who always will. More power to them, I personally don't like or buy metal minis.

It is Irrelevant because it is just not producing more than 4 new miniatures a year, and a good portion of what you have can be had cheaper.

 

This post shows why I would consider it Irrelevant.

http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/42750-restock/page__pid__600307__st__0&#entry600307

Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:14 PM

We have restocked these models:

 

20003: Skeleton Spearman 3 pack

20006: Skeleton Spearman single

20008: Orc Archer 3 pack

20009: Orc Spearman 3 Pack

20011: Orc Archer single

20012: Orc Spearman single

20025: Werewolf

20027: Giant Spider

Matt Clark

Production Director

Reaper Miniatures

 

LE is Irrelevant because there are two good chances (really more) to put out NEW minis, instead of just putting out the old ones over and over. You have said that the minis can and do sell out, so your desire to always have them in stock is impossible, so if they aren't always in stock just deal with that, embrace it and go with it, make some new ones. I say let some of them sell out every now and then, choose 2-3 from line (preferably poorer sellers) and don't instantly restock them, make some new ones, just 1 new one a wave would do a lot to show movement. Make room for a new mini instead of making 8 old ones, put out at least 1 new one every restock and then it shows continual growth and not fits and starts. The always restocking of the old minis will mean it will be harder to put out new ones, your limited budget for production means that every time you do mange to put forth the capital for product, the last new on increases the number that need to be restocked stretching the resources further and further…

I would much rather see

20008: Orc Archer 3 pack

20009: Orc Spearman 3 Pack

20011: Orc Archer single

20012: Orc Spearman single

20025: Werewolf

20027: Giant Spider

200NEW1

200NEW2

 

You may still only get out only 4 new minis but a more steady stream of 1 new mini every 3 months Seems like more progress.

 

 

And No I don't expect "the volume of WotC" of out of Reaper, but I do want some continual movement on producing new minis, and would very much prefer a different selection. An adjustment of the production schedule could go a long way toward making it either look like it or actually being a change as it stands now LE is just not considered by many many people as a source of minis.

 

I also Don't hate blind packaging, I dont need to be educated on it and its business model. I totally understand the model, and actually LOVE blind packaging for the reasons you mention above. My FLGS has stopped carrying pretty much any Reaper mini about 5 years ago, as they were peg warmers. They had loads of pegs of Reaper that just sat there. They had a massive clearance sale on them for really cheap and to this day they have pegs of them that just don't sell. The reason they stopped carrying reaper was all of the SKUs, and sorry to say to you non of the customers missed the pegs of reaper blisters. With your webstore (and others) you likely didn't even notice the fact that all 4 of the FLGS within a 30min drive of me don't stock Reaper minis anymore. The web means If I want something I can just order it from you (or another source) and get it.

You just don't have really anything I want to order, all I have bought from the LE line was the two human warriors and the female ranger.

 

I don't need for you to try to educate me, I know that the "Average cost of a Mini" is in the $4 range, but guess what I don't care, I don't buy the boosters, so I don't pay that average cost. I buy the minis I like as singles from various places, and get Exactly what I want, non blind. I get as many of the cheap ones I want, for Cheap, I like the secondary market. I only buy a few of the $4 range and I very very rarely buy the Expensive Rares as I just don't generally need or use them, so your $4 skeleton is not worth the price to me, the LE I bought were the not "masses" minis I can get cheaper..

To me your stumbling block isn't what you think it is, It is not us the consumer, it is you the producer. We consumers know that minis don't cost less than 50 cents to produce. If we know about the other minis at the rock bottom prices then we know there is a range of prices, from the cheapo commons to the $45 rares. We don't think ALL minis should be at $0.50. We know that there are some out there that we can buy that are that much, due to the secondary market. I for one (and many others) would rather buy them at that 50cent mark to get more bang for my buck.

The stumbling block is you, why don't you educate yourselves, don't "complain" about needing to educate people about your product, about people not wanting to buy your more expensive minis when there are other options. The Pathfinder line will have a skeleton and it will likely be common and way cheaper than yours. So Don't make the "cheap" products in your line (zombies, skeletons, spiders to name a few). Educated yourselves and put out minis that the "stupid consumers", the people you want to buy your product are willing to buy at that price point. Produce the things the customers you trying to educate are more than willing to buy in the $4 price range and have been buying for years. Listen to your own threads on what people want, and it is the minis that sold for the $4 up in the DDM line. Don't go cry oh they hate random, because there are many many (just read the Paizo thread on the new Pathfinder line) who like the Blind aspect as it does produce cheap commons.

 

If Reaper were making "PC" minis, peasant minis, Devils, demons, something not produced by other companies for cheaped priced, and have been on the cheap for Years before the LE line came out, there wouldn't be an issue with needing to educate anyone.

I would buy those type of minis at the $4 mark as its a mini a want, and dont have another source for it cheaper. As it stands LE was irrelevant as there are still cheaper sources of most of your product line, and there are now new versions coming out so a good chunk is still irrelevant.

The ONLY reason I buy a mini is if I have a use for it. I dont have a gotta catch them all mentality, I buy the minis I like and can use as singles in the secondary markt. The secondary market serves that well and blind packaging is an offshoot of the secondary market. Dont need to be educated on that, I know and like blind packaging because of it. You just aren't producing the minis I want, or even in a timely manner. I am still waiting for you to get out another batch of new minis this year, 4 months left.

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Wow. Well let me start by saying to G_S, I've had different experiences from you. So your experiences may be valid, but not neccessarily a representation of the whole.

 

Bryan's statements make me feel secure in that he does know what he is doing, even if it is frustrating to my immediate gratification needs. At the start of DDM there were many arguments over blind packaging and not, and a fellow named Merric came up with a great idiom. "Non-Random Packaging, Cheap Prices, and a Large Range of Figures: Choose two." Simple, but it does model the underlying factors behind it all.

 

Now as for Reaper's LE's being expensive, you should check out the prices for what you get with the Pathfinder PPM's. The price point is their biggest complaint over there, and I think that is mostly because they have been spoiled by the secondary market. Which is why Reaper, as well as Paizo now, needs to educate the consumers.

 

Halber

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I've said pretty much everything I need to say on this subject until I'm tired of saying it. I've even started threads on other sections of the boards to say it again, and I've had our own board moderators delete my posts for saying some of it so passionately, and so directly.

 

I politely invite those who dislike LE to not buy it, and otherwise, I'm done.

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Wow. Lots of feeling.

 

Despite the heavy duty posting, I think G_S has a point. You gonna buy a $4 skelley or a $.50 skelley? Consumer is going to go for the biggest bang for their buck. Might want to focus on things that aren't out there in spades. Diversifying over restocking makes more sense too. You have some new stuff coming out, it's not what I would've picked, but it's new.

 

Hell, I chose to open my PPMs with tentacles, it is a gamble, but so far it's different.

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I got into DnD in 2004 and at first I had no desire to paint my own miniatures and felt that the prepainted was good enough for me. However, about a year later I got into painting and have been hooked since. However, I like monsters. Any monster, and I have a hard time paying 30 dollars for a large monster. Because I am cheap, I have no problem using plastic instead of pewter. However, I refuse to used anything but pewter for my pc's, any plastic (DDM or LE) has less character than metal. I would be overjoyed if the LE line could become a line devoted to the beasties one would expect to find in a dungeon, however, I am sure that anything of above average size is cost prohibitive to produce. Until larger LE are able to be produced, I am more than content fleshing out my hordes with LE.

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