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Bones Kickstarter A "Massive Loss"?


TheAuldGrump
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Retailers who dont stock Bones, Sedition Wars etc are just crazy

 

You'll have an installed user base..

 

AT WORST talking about how great the product is, how much they like it and looking for other folks to draw in

 

AT BEST they will be ordering more of it from your shop as they could not afford all they wanted during the KS period, or because they bought a bit to see what the product was like and now want more

 

being grumpy and not stocking it will mean these folks (and maybe their friends) will go elsewhere (perhaps for good) or just buy their bones etc on the net (so you loose sales)

 

If as a retailer your TERRIFIED all your customers have bought everything they will ever want to via KS, just make a small order, one SW box, a few bones blisters, maybe a few of the bigger figures and see if they sell, I bet they will (if you can't afford to do so your business is dead anyway, sad to say, you're bound to order something costing as much from a non-KS line that fails to sell)

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good FLGS shop owners are like gold, hard to find. you guys are totally right about the average management of game stores. tons went belly up in Denver over the last few years, mostly because of poor management. now to go to a shop i have to drive across the city. it has totally killed in-shop gaming around here.

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Okay, I'll probably get some grumpy replies to this, but someone should bring it up, respectfully. Yes, Reaper is a tough act to follow as far as Kickstarter campaigns go; they made it possible for anyone who decided to participate to get a freakishly huge amount of minis for a really cheap price. Everyone knows this. However, to say Reaper lost money on the campaign is likely a false assumption based on minimally-acquired partial information taken out of context by posts made from those who run Reaper. Many of these posts were filled with enthusiasm over the project's success and their willingness to admit to production difficulties as they were encountered. Reaper was being upfront and candid about unforeseen errors and I give them tremendous credit and praise for being as open as they have been.

 

Now, from the posts I've seen thus far regarding the--what can only be called--"sour grapes" from the Dungeon Crawler Miniatures project, I hope everyone remembers the important facts about this Kickstarter: 1) It's a rebooted Kickstarter; they realized they could not fund the first time around so they restarted it, because; 2) their original KS campaign had so many confusing pledge levels, many potential backers had trouble figuring out what something cost or which pledge group a miniature went into; so, they 3) relaunched their campaign (with free miniatures for backers from their first attempt), but, as with the first campaign, still made the concept of shipping being an additional charge after the KS somewhat vague, initially (As stated previously, a notice in each pledge selection would have solved this issue outright).

 

Those are the events as they occurred. Kickstarter campaigns are certainly not merely simple purchases; they are complex, serious projects requiring trust by a consumer base to basically invest in a project to receive something--be it miniatures, food, or a digital copy of a film--within a specified amount of time. Reaper set an incredibly high standard to which all future miniature projects will be compared. Dungeon Crawler Miniatures has done nothing less with their project, with all credit and respect to Greyhaze--well done! However, any company/individual who publicly bemoans a successful KS project while having an active project that remains unfunded will look somewhat suspect. Such talk looks unprofessional, especially on a public forum (run by said competitor, at that!) and could, intentionally or unintentionally, affect future perceptions or relations between these companies or individuals.

 

I wish everyone, backer and sponsor alike, amazing success with all their Kickstarter campaigns, be it Reaper, Dungeon Crawler Miniatures, or any of the other dozens, and even hundreds, of Kickstarters we have or will eventually discuss on these forums. Here's to the next great Kickstarter campaign!

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It seems that finding a store owner who can participate in the hobby(s) AND know how to run a successful business is disgustingly rare.

 

This has been my experience over the last 20 years and I've known only one independant* store where they got the balance right. The worst one near to me was where the owner would sit behind the counter watching TV and ignoring anyone until they actually came to purchase anything. I've seen many where their heart is in the right place but one week you'll walk in and see a large amount of Boy Crazy CCG packs sat on the shelf and you begin questioning the sanity of the people running the place and eventually it just starts selling posters and candles and finally nothing but Twilight merchandise before finally collapsing and dying..... that example may have got a bit specific at the end there.

 

*independant as opposed to GW own brand but I don't think comparing a lone outlet run and staffed by the owners to an international company run by a board of shareholders that don't care what the company is selling just that the balance sheets are positive makes much sense.

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It seems that finding a store owner who can participate in the hobby(s) AND know how to run a successful business is disgustingly rare.

 

This has been my experience over the last 20 years and I've known only one independant* store where they got the balance right. The worst one near to me was where the owner would sit behind the counter watching TV and ignoring anyone until they actually came to purchase anything. I've seen many where their heart is in the right place but one week you'll walk in and see a large amount of Boy Crazy CCG packs sat on the shelf and you begin questioning the sanity of the people running the place and eventually it just starts selling posters and candles and finally nothing but Twilight merchandise before finally collapsing and dying..... that example may have got a bit specific at the end there.

 

*independant as opposed to GW own brand but I don't think comparing a lone outlet run and staffed by the owners to an international company run by a board of shareholders that don't care what the company is selling just that the balance sheets are positive makes much sense.

 

FLGS's aren't sparkly!

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Okay, I'll probably get some grumpy replies to this, but someone should bring it up, respectfully. Yes, Reaper is a tough act to follow as far as Kickstarter campaigns go; they made it possible for anyone who decided to participate to get a freakishly huge amount of minis for a really cheap price. Everyone knows this. However, to say Reaper lost money on the campaign is likely a false assumption based on minimally-acquired partial information taken out of context by posts made from those who run Reaper. Many of these posts were filled with enthusiasm over the project's success and their willingness to admit to production difficulties as they were encountered. Reaper was being upfront and candid about unforeseen errors and I give them tremendous credit and praise for being as open as they have been. Now, from the posts I've seen thus far regarding the--what can only be called--"sour grapes" from the Dungeon Crawler Miniatures project, I hope everyone remembers the important facts about this Kickstarter: 1) It's a rebooted Kickstarter; they realized they could not fund the first time around so they restarted it, because; 2) their original KS campaign had so many confusing pledge levels, many potential backers had trouble figuring out what something cost or which pledge group a miniature went into; so, they 3) relaunched their campaign (with free miniatures for backers from their first attempt), but, as with the first campaign, still made the concept of shipping being an additional charge after the KS somewhat vague, initially (As stated previously, a notice in each pledge selection would have solved this issue outright). Those are the events as they occurred. Kickstarter campaigns are certainly not merely simple purchases; they are complex, serious projects requiring trust by a consumer base to basically invest in a project to receive something--be it miniatures, food, or a digital copy of a film--within a specified amount of time. Reaper set an incredibly high standard to which all future miniature projects will be compared. Dungeon Crawler Miniatures has done nothing less with their project, with all credit and respect to Greyhaze--well done! However, any company/individual who publicly bemoans a successful KS project while having an active project that remains unfunded will look somewhat suspect. Such talk looks unprofessional, especially on a public forum (run by said competitor, at that!) and could, intentionally or unintentionally, affect future perceptions or relations between these companies or individuals. I wish everyone, backer and sponsor alike, amazing success with all their Kickstarter campaigns, be it Reaper, Dungeon Crawler Miniatures, or any of the other dozens, and even hundreds, of Kickstarters we have or will eventually discuss on these forums. Here's to the next great Kickstarter campaign!

 

Expertly put, good sir. Bravo. ^_^

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The kickstarter must of made reaper money. Im a new painter and after I pledged I have already ordered (and received) 2 orders of minis that normally i wouldnt of got also on the RPM I upped my pledge $170 more. I presume there are lots of people like me who this kickstarter kickstarted the hobby for them

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I want desperately to support my FLGS(s) more often than I buy online but they make it virtually impossible. It seems that finding a store owner who can participate in the hobby(s) AND know how to run a successful business is disgustingly rare. They either run their business into the ground trying to gorge their own nerdy needs or they simply don't understand (or worse: can barely tolerate) their own patrons that they just prey on them or drive them off. Lastly it seems that, universally, all of them end up negative as hell after a few years. Dudes, you work in retail. You are NEVER gonna satisfy them all. Learn to tank geek agro like a man.

 

I think this is quite true for *any* small business. I mean, just because you can cook, do you really think you can start your own restaurant? Or, because you've sold several art pieces, you can quit your job and make a living off of it? Unfortunately, you need both talent in what your business offers *and* an ability to run a business. Often, the two don't overlap at all.

 

As for retailers, had Reaper not run this KS, the Bones line would have continued to be minimal. If a retailer says this KS would be eating into their Bones sales, you might want to point out to them that this Bones line would not have existed had it not been for this KS.

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The real problem with any retailer calling the Bones Kickstarter something that has destroyed the market is really only thinking short term (which is the only way gaming stores make it in this economy, so I cannot fault the thinking of any interested retailers) and not long term. Yes, anyone who backed the Kickstarter will have diminished interest in the Bones miniatures. However, there were only about 18,000 individuals who backed the project and that is not a major percentage of the miniatures market, by any means. There are likely tens or hundreds of thousands of others who did not know about the project who may become interested in the Reaper Bones as future miniatures choices because 1) metal minis are too expensive, or 2) They simply want the miniatures once they are publicly available, or 3) people who did back the project want more and like to support their FLGS when they make reorders (and it remains economically viable).

 

Plastic miniatures are called "Plasti-crack" for a reason. They will sell. They do sell. Market them accordingly, based on your consumer base and their interest. There will soon be quite a few Bones to choose from!

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"Over half of the goals being at a loss or breaking even", does not sound like the campaign that was operating in the black, and to assume that they were going to end on a high point is comparable to rolling a d20 and banking on rolling over 10 (as over half of the campaign was at less than favourable funding level).

 

While this is somewhat true, I think its a little disingenuous to present that one quote when there have been many other quotes from Reaper made since that time and your mention of a "massive loss" was only made very recently.

 

To reiterate what was mentioned up-thread: Reaper have mentioned that they got enough additional funds from the KS to start moving production from China back to the States, beyond the money they were originally aiming for to cover whatever percentage of master mould costs they wanted to cover to make Bones minis. Id say thats a clear indication of profit, and not loss.

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I take full responsibility for the post that was made and apologize for implying that the entire campaign was done at a massive loss. This was not our intent.

 

We are being compared to Reaper's Bones campaign regularly. Starting out a KickStarter at a $70k out of pocket is not something we can do, and starting with this kind of deficit is what we would consider as operating at a massive loss. That is over double of what they were asking for in their goal. Keep in mind we are just trying to make our first goal, we're not even discussing Stretches here.

 

"Rehash" was used to state that Reaper was using their previous metal sculpts to bolster their new line of plastic miniatures. We do not have this kind of library of sculpts to draw upon. You may not like the word "rehash", but that is what it is, and there was no negative intent behind the word - so, I will apologize again if there is a better word that could have been used.

 

"Over half of the goals being at a loss or breaking even", does not sound like the campaign that was operating in the black, and to assume that they were going to end on a high point is comparable to rolling a d20 and banking on rolling over 10 (as over half of the campaign was at less than favourable funding level).

 

Much of the statement praised Reaper Bones campaign.

 

As far as our jealousy of Reaper's incredible repertoire and following is to be expected. Reaper did an amazing job!

I think there's a lot of anger being erroneously directed at you, Grayhaze, and I want to step in and remind everyone to calm down.

 

Our Kickstarter was not a massive loss - although yes, there were levels that were losses - some levels we lost as much as we raised, in fact. But we're a big company, with 20 years of history and product to rely on, and I wouldn't expect very many companies to be able to do what we did. We were able to pay for what we are offering, and begin the process of expanding our operations to include manufacturing in-house. I'm not suddenly driving a Lexus, either, I've got the same 11 year old Hyundai I had before. But we're not sinking in a pool of red ink.

 

We expect to be able to use the Bones form this line in retail stores for many years to come, as we do not think our market "caps out" at 17,744 people, and then there's the people who wanted just one of a part that came in a bundle of 4 or 5. Obviously, however, if a retailer wishes not to stock these, that is their choice. Please do not hurl invective towards those that express that.

 

Likewise, we wish Greyhaze and those at Dungeon Crawler luck with their project. What we did should not be a reflection of what everyone can do, but only of what we did. Please respect that they are doing what they can to provide a deal that is within their ability, and back them if you believe in the project.

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I disagree people won't buy more of those Kickstarter Reaper models. Sure, some of them will probably have lower demand than if not first offered through the campaign, but many people did not buy in on the campaign because they buy selected minis in smaller scale and would buy a couple of orcs but not pay $100 for a ton of minis. And others like me who just got into the hobby because of the Kickstarter campaign will probably buy more of the models I'm interested in, hopefully after I paint at least most of the ones that I get from Kickstarter.

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