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Frankthedm

How about having the customers pick what gets made with kickstarters?

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Instead of just guessing what will sell, put the minis where the money is and use kickstarter to let the customers buy in for the minis they want.

 

Put up the concept art, name the sculptor and let the market decide from there.

 

$1: HQ jpg of the concept art and honorable mention

$5: print of concept art

$ model's retail value : copy of finished model and a thank you certificate

$20: HQ signed print of concept art

Fill the rest out with oddball reaper swag and just watch what happens.

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I personally do not like this idea.

It will lead to droves of Mouselings, naked women and dragons being sculpted because the majority of buyers likes those.

Other things that the minority wants won't even have a chance to make the cut.

Not a fair system at all. :(

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To launch a new line, sure. For new minis in old lines, please no. I also concur with the above statement above re naked chicks and dragons. I really never need to see the octoberfest extra nekkid cheerleader special super edition sophie.

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It seems impractical to me to do on an individual mini basis? Might be more useful for something like a boxed set or boxed minis game where it's difficult to predict if there is enough interest to do it.

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I feel pretty confident in their feel for what the market needs that a kick starter probably isn't necessary.

 

Perhaps as a new line launch or some of the specialty releases like the old dark maiden resin piece. Something like that would make sense. Like if the decided to make a finari resin that size or some monster dragon.

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If it's just a case of seeing what is most likely to sell, a simple poll will do. The most popular ought to make enough money to justify producing it, as it is the most popular.

 

Ishil

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I think there is some potential. One thing they could try is to increase the speed at which bones figures are released as well as the size. If X size figure cost Y, then if A amount of people pledge for it, it gets made.

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If there were such a thig, I would reccommend it for CAV or other lines that just aren't profitable enough to see regular releases.

 

Bones releases might be another one for Kickstarting, and maybe the painted versions of same.

 

To test support for BIG releases such as dragons (maybe even...dun dun duh! Tiamat) the Kraken, or a Linnorm.

 

But for regular Dark Heaven and Chronoscope? Nah.Let them happen as they happen.

 

The Auld Grump

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I think Kickstarters have a definite place, but I am reluctant to ask our entire business model to become KS based. "We'll only ever make a mini if the KS is high enough" sounds fun, albeit nerve wracking for us deciding if we're going to get paid this month... but it would be a terrible disservice to you in the long run.

 

Lemme 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

 

We produce, at present, nearly 4,000 SKU's. Of these, we remove from distribution each year roughly as many as we add - so that if we add120 new figures to our catalog, 120 old figures come out each spring. This keeps the burden of maintaining a store's inventory of all current product reasonable, and an attainable goal for larger stores, while simultaneous helping all stores cull low sellers from their shelves by allowing them to return any NIC part. it has worked well. It has a side effect - only ~1000 to ~1200 of our SKUs are int he catalog at any given time. So 75% or so of our line is NIC - which is a function of sales and profitability. The lower 75% of our model selection, though, doesn't automatically suck, it just was less popular than the upper 25% (which is kind of logical, really).

 

That lower 75% though, still accounts for a significant portion of our web and retail traffic (stores may choose to order NIC product if they wish). It's nto the flashy, popular figures, but it is still useful to *somebody*. We have figures that well underperform, selling less than a full moldspin worth - which is typically a dozen - in a year. but those figure *do* sell. Some player, painter, or GM wants one. Or two. Or twelve. not the several thousand of Mr./Mrs. popular.

 

OK, so how is that relevant to KS projects? If we put every SKU from now on up for KS, as suggested, then only the Mr./Mrs. Popular figures would get made. Woohoo - a boon for sales as we only make top 25%'ers from now on! Except that those bottom 75%'ers are still useful to somebody. If we eliminate those, we no longer provide new "niche models". Our line stagnates, in a weird way. Those 75%'ers aren't sexy, they aren't for everybody, but they are for somebody - and we love them, too. Even the worst selling figure I have data for - (Incidentally, 02170, which sold 1 copy in the previous 90 days) still has somebody that loved it. It would be a horrible disservice to that person to stop making that figure, or to create a business model that says "if 500 dollars worth of people want it, we'll make it, and if only 499 dollars worth do, we won't. You 499'ers, tough poo, the internet has voted.

 

I don't wanna be that guy.

 

But I do agree Kickstarter has it's place in the industry. I'm just not happy with the place described above for me, or for my people. I want everybody - from the 500's, to the 1's to gave a chance to get the mini they need for their campaign, painting studio, or anti-personnel mines. ^_^

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Which 'place described above'? The make every sku kickstarter, make the ones that Reaper has noted are expensive on Kickstarter, make specialized boxed sets on kickstarter or just the whole kickstarter bit in general? Might be useful for other projects like more fiction for the Warlord line or making other special edition characters.

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Yeah, I know the OP talks about doing it per SKU and I agree that a per SKU KS is a bad business plan for you, but there is so much you can do with it beyond that 1x1 basis for small miniatures.

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