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chris_valera

Who owns Reaper Miniatures / Hobby-Q

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What there ever any talk in the office of doing pre-paints, when it was obvious that was huge (the MK / Heroclix era, which arguably hasn't ended.)

 

--Chris

www.chrisvalera.com

 

The Legendary Encounters line Wren discusses on the previous page is a line of pre-painted minis. http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/LegendaryEncounters

 

 

 

Forgot about these, but so few are available. There was another company (EM-4) that did pre-paints for $5-10 and it seemed like those never sold either.

 

 

This was started before Bones, and since Bones is a more popular response to the problem, the P65 was canceled.

Bones grew out of Legendary Encounters, which grew out of dissatisfaction expressed by consumers over the blind pre-painted miniature packages sold by Dungeons & Dragons and Mage Knight in past years. Legendary Encounters were pre-painted blistered figures where you saw exactly what you were buying. The line sells, but not hugely. It's costly to produce the moulds for the figures, so it grew pretty slowly compared to the metal lines. 

 

Then someone at Reaper had the idea of seeing whether they could produce the Legendary Encounters figures in a type of plastic that would take paint well, and so Bones was born. And then it took off running. Reaper didn't really push Bones. They had only 18 different figures or so within the first year or two, compared with the thousands in the metal. And by the end of that couple of years, those Bones figures were doing something like 1/4 to 1/3 of sales.

 

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P65 always seemed like a bad idea to me, although I see the reasoning. But all it would take is another lead scare and Reaper would look like the bad guys. And really, do you really want your lovingly painted figure to get prize fighter's nose after taking a fall from a shelf?

 

Bones was a surprise, but a good surprise. In these tough times, money really does trump all. I'd be interested to know if they took a bite outta GW's sales. There's a lot of "on the fence" figures I'd normally pass on, but would take a chance on in Bones plastic

Edited by chris_valera

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P-65 wasn't a bad idea because as Ed pointed out at the time, the figures are labelled 14+.  I think even the Bones are.  It's just that Bones turned out to be a much better solution to solve the cost issue while simultaneously not having any toxicity issues. 

 

Similarly, LE weren't a bad idea but as it turned out in reality there's a much larger market for "unpainted prepaints" than for prepaints.  And really, if all anybody wanted was LE-style paintjobs, it's very quick to paint Bones to that level.  Be even quicker if Bones were molded in black plastic, but it's just an extra step to darken them. 

 

I like that Reaper is both cautious and solution-oriented.  They don't make a move without really giving it a good going-over first.  Even "failed" lines were successful "best solutions" at the time.  Like Pro Paint II.  That was a smart idea.  Reorganize Pro Paint, keep it as a line concurrent to MSPs.  But then bottle supply was a problem, so with a bit of rework most got folded into MSP HD.  P-65 is gone, but only because something better presented itself as the clear indisputable winner (from a market perspective, I know some people lament P-65s loss).

 

LE is currently thin in numbers, but presumably the potential for making new Bones into LE prepaints remains a possibility.  Depends on how viable the idea seems, see if it's worth doing. I've mostly stopped giving Reaper suggestions because I realized they know what they're doing much better than I do.  As an example of being wrong, I thought Bones were a stupid idea and I was very resistant to them.  :lol:   Shows what I know.

 

So now I pick my battles.  That's why I was willing to team up with some other people and pressure Ron about the upcoming Anhurians - we prepared our case and argued for them.  In the end, Reaper agreed that the suggestion made sense.  Hopefully sales won't turn us into buffoons. 

 

But what I learned was that while Reaper's happy to listen, they put a lot of thought into their business - so if I have a suggestion or criticism I want listened to then I have to really work to prepare it in order to argue its validity.  Because by the time it's gotten into my hands it's been worked over pretty well, so the best I can do is troubleshoot (wobbly Deathsleet) or make a case for a certain item (Anhurians). 

 

I have to say that Bones II didn't give me everything I wanted, but it is a peerless example of Reaper giving the most people what they most wanted.  I remain astonished at their ability to take our community rabble-ramblings and convert them into actionable form. 

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The lead scare was nonsense from beginning to end - an election ploy by a politician.

 

Ticked me off at the time, their data was hopelessly biased, with no peer review until after the ban was put in place. (The ban was quickly overturned for just that reason.)

 

There are ways that P-65 was a superior material to tin, and ways that it was inferior. Paint sticks better, price is lower, takes detail better, and casts at a lower temperature. Downsides are that it remains malleable, and is more subject to details getting mashed.

 

The poor research would have annoyed me, even if I was not a lead junkie.

 

The Auld Grump

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If Reaper ever opens up an option to invest in such a way that my money could derive dividends I'd be interested. However given that will likely never happen (and for very good reason) I'll keep backing the kickstarters to help with capital investments and getting the dividends of minis at insanely good prices. Or even near retail... Cause sometimes investments pay off and sometimes they don't.

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The lead scare was nonsense from beginning to end - an election ploy by a politician.

 

Ticked me off at the time, their data was hopelessly biased, with no peer review until after the ban was put in place. (The ban was quickly overturned for just that reason.)

 

There are ways that P-65 was a superior material to tin, and ways that it was inferior. Paint sticks better, price is lower, takes detail better, and casts at a lower temperature. Downsides are that it remains malleable, and is more subject to details getting mashed.

 

The poor research would have annoyed me, even if I was not a lead junkie.

 

The Auld Grump

 

1. The grounding for the lawsuit in NY that started the lead scare was so thin that the judge rebuked the lawyer that brought it. (Which nearly never happens, btw, especially for a government lawyer.)

 

2. The melting point for lead is quite a bit higher than that for tin (though I can't say what the melting points for the P-65 alloy and the current Reaper alloy are specifically). I generally prefer the high tin alloys that are currently popular ... other than the price.

 

3. I miss P-65 because it allowed Reaper to make short production runs for large figures. That's really not an option with Bones.

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I have to say that Bones II didn't give me everything I wanted, but it is a peerless example of Reaper giving the most people what they most wanted.  I remain astonished at their ability to take our community rabble-ramblings and convert them into actionable form. 

 

Bones II wan't that generous, but it was still a great deal. I don't know of any controvery over Pro Paint II (?)

 

 

 

3. I miss P-65 because it allowed Reaper to make short production runs for large figures. That's really not an option with Bones.

 

 

I'd rather have super-cheap miniatures based on popularity or size.

 

I'm cool with it.

 

I'm just wondering if having such a huge range is hard for game stores.

 

Also CAV and Warlord, does anybody play these games? I used to be an Outrider for GW, and I never saw them being played at cons. I think CAV would get some love if the rules were better and they were in Bones.

 

I know i won't get it, but I'd love to see Reaper's numbers.

 

--Chris

www.chrisvalera.com

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Don't know what Cons you've been to, but I've seen and played in demos of Warlord at Origins, Gen Con and seen them at several smaller cons. I just usually have too many other things to do to take advantage of any of the tourneys but I've seen them. :)

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I have to say that Bones II didn't give me everything I wanted, but it is a peerless example of Reaper giving the most people what they most wanted.  I remain astonished at their ability to take our community rabble-ramblings and convert them into actionable form. 

 

Bones II wan't that generous, but it was still a great deal. I don't know of any controvery over Pro Paint II (?)

 

 

 

Bones II was less generous than Bones I, but overall count is still pretty generous.  But I was meaning more in terms of selection of items offered.  I pressed for the mountain troll, anhurians, and cavalry and got those.  I didn't want more gnolls and bugbears, and wasn't especially thrilled about the sci-fi stuff - but lots of people wanted those instead of more trolls and town guardsmen.  Somebody (or several somebodies) even made arguments that they didn't want any cavalry at all and they'd prefer to see those slots devoted to some other miniatures.

 

Face with such a disparate range of data and preference, Reaper managed to compile a good package that gave everybody a piece of what they wanted.  Maybe not all of what they individually wanted, but a pretty fair representation.  As I recall, you yourself wanted more sci-fi stuff and less fantasy stuff for us "grognards".  So your preference was the opposite of mine - but we both got some pretty cool stuff, and I think the distribution of items reflects the realities of potential sell-through when these items hit retail.  Reaper's product line is very heavily into fantasy, but that's not by accident - it's where most of the money is.  Ancillary lines are also growing at a decent pace and so long as the non-fantasy sells pretty well then we'll see more of it. 

 

 

Pro Paint II wasn't really controversial (though there were one or two conspiracy theories afoot when it happened) - just bad circumstances.  That line of paint was a substantial investment for Reaper to develop and promote, but it was killed off because of problems in the supply chain.  It's just an example of something no longer around that we could call a "failure", but that was still a good idea at the time.  It was only prematurely done in by external circumstances outside of control or prediction. 

 

We're a diverse community, and sometimes we can be like a herd of cats.  But overall Reaper does very well by us, and while some of us may be unhappy some of the time - most of us are happy most of the time.  I'm not happy with everything Reaper does, or has done, but I have no complaints about the level of effort and passion they expend to keep us happy and keep us spending.  I'm an unabashed Reaper fanboy because they've earned it, and they've proven they're a company worth respecting. 

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What's wrong with CAV?

And while Bones II was less generous than Bones I, it's still a hell of a deal.

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I have to say that Bones II didn't give me everything I wanted, but it is a peerless example of Reaper giving the most people what they most wanted.  I remain astonished at their ability to take our community rabble-ramblings and convert them into actionable form. 

 

Bones II wan't that generous, but it was still a great deal. I don't know of any controvery over Pro Paint II (?)

 

 

And while Bones II was less generous than Bones I, it's still a hell of a deal.

 

Yeah, I'd like to see who has a more generous deal. Seriously, I'll give them money right now.

 

I have backed over 100 kickstarters, and some I love so much I would back them again without hesitation, but there isn't one that comes anywhere near the deal Bones II is. For $100 you get approximately 150 great looking minis, several of which are large, plus 80 bases. Browsing through some of the kickstarters I backed, here are some of the better deals. I did a quick count, so some of them could be off by a couple minis. Stonehaven was a great deal, 18 dwarves for $56. Oathsworn got you 10 dwarves for £32. Robotech, 100 minis for $140. Tome of Horrors, 65 minis for $200. The best deals I've found are around $3 per mini. Robotech is $1.40 per mini, or still twice the price of bones.

 

And as a discount off of retail prices, you won't find anything even close. Most kickstarters work out to somewhere around 20% to 50% discount compared to retail prices. The first bones was around an 80% discount. Most medium sized bones retail at around $2.50, so bones II will end up working out to about a 75% discount over retail.

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