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Liverpuncher

Kickstarter idea

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Hey Reaper!

I've backed all of your bones kickstarters - and have been very happy with the results.  With that said, I still love metal miniatures - and would enthusiastically back a Reaper kickstarter that focused on metal figures.  Any chance that could happen? 

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While not a Reaper peep, I seriously doubt that Reaper would have a kickstarter for metal miniatures. They already can produce metal miniatures at will so needing to run a kickstarter to fund that process isn't necessary.

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17 minutes ago, Heisler said:

While not a Reaper peep, I seriously doubt that Reaper would have a kickstarter for metal miniatures. They already can produce metal miniatures at will so needing to run a kickstarter to fund that process isn't necessary.

 

Agreed, in general. There might be limited success for larger metal figures that are generally being done in plastic now. That may be better for smaller and more specialized companies though. 

 

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The main reason for running Bones Kickstarters is the high cost of the moulds.   

The cost of a mould for spincasting pewter is nowhere near that price, so Reaper have no problems in financing and producing moulds in-house.   

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We release 6-10 new metal models every month.

 

We have no significant operating costs to overcome via crowdfunding to create any new metal models, as we are an established casting house that owns our own equipment and facilities.

 

The same is not true of Bones plastics, where the molds cost more than a car, and the machines more than house, and we do not yet own enough machines (nor any mold making facilities) to enable us to overcome the not-insignificant startup costs.

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Thanks for the reply Bryan! 

Economics aside I'd selfishly like to see a "Metal"  Kickstarter ("Iron Bones?")  just due to the value it would offer.  There's something awesome about seeing the momentum behind your kickstarters, and the stretch goals/ add ons offered to backers. 

Anyway, thanks again - and I look forward to the next KS!

 

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The problem is that the main cost of metal minis is the metal and the casting time. That won't change with large volume production.

For Reaper, who does all their metalcasting inhouse it would probably mean having to suspend production of other minis while the fulfillment of the metal KS is under way. Or they'd have to make some now and then, or build up a larger stock of the more popular metal minis to avoid running out.

That means tying up a lot more money in the form of metal and stoage space. 

Doing a metal KS might actually be more expensive for companies like Reaper than just selling them in their store as they get introduced.

 

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10 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

The problem is that the main cost of metal minis is the metal and the casting time. That won't change with large volume production.

For Reaper, who does all their metalcasting inhouse it would probably mean having to suspend production of other minis while the fulfillment of the metal KS is under way. Or they'd have to make some now and then, or build up a larger stock of the more popular metal minis to avoid running out.

That means tying up a lot more money in the form of metal and stoage space. 

Doing a metal KS might actually be more expensive for companies like Reaper than just selling them in their store as they get introduced.

 

All of these points are correct.  

 

While metal in larger quantities *can* be cheaper, the price differences are in cents per lb (which translates to fractions of a cent per model). Even a .25/lb reduction in price only shaves off on average of a penny and half per figure from our cost - but that's just the metal cost. Making multiple copies of each mold (with that many copies, you need to) means we're buying many molds more than our standard process - so mold costs skyrocket. We make 2 molds of everything now. For this, I'd estimate 10 molds per figure, so while I'm saving a penny per model in metal, I'm buying 2 cents per model in extra molds. 

 

And that's not even getting into the labor needed to produce 10,000 Core Sets of 150+ models, or 1.5 million models. Without getting long-winded about cycle times and QC rejection rates, a back of the envelope calculation assumes this ties up our entire casting department for 52.3 WEEKS. And that assumes no models have separate bits so everything is a one-piece "drop". As we add second components the time increases on a predictable, albeit linear, slope. This doesn't even assume Optional SGs. During that full calendar year, 100% of our casting, mold making, and Qc resources are dedicated to this job, and so all other sales that are not Bones are impossible. Now, we could be smart and dedicate only half or 3/4 or some such, but that increases the amount of time that half or 3/4 of our resources are spending the money we already made, and not generating new revenue. Even that would be crippling.

 

Or the *faints dead* shipping cost of trying to ship 150+ models per backer. The weight! The size of the box needed because metal models require significantly more protection than Bones! The cost of all that foam and peanuts! 

 

Ok, so those are just a FEW of the logistical NIGHTMARES that make me pretty darn insistent that the answer is no. But there's one more *super great* reason not to do it.

 

Zero Innovation.

 

We can, because the production process and the material properties, produce larger, more dynamic models than we ever could before. Ma'al Drakar would be impossible in metal, at least without us developing whole new processes which would increase the cost exponentially. So we'd be stuck with more or less figure models, in not-super dynamic poses (or, as described above, adding complexity via assembly). Well, not to put too fine a point on it, we do that now. We release models every month, mostly figure sized, with varying levels of dynamism and complexity of assembly. 

 

It's basically "please spend the next year-plus producing a year-plus's worth of figures, in addition to the figures you would normally produce in a year-plus". you know, Double your output, but make us pay up front for half of it.

 

And honestly, that doesn't sound like a good deal for you, or me, or anyone.

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While I'm all for getting a good deal...  

I'm usually the one saying 'no, we don't need any 'free' stretch goals in Kickstarter projects. 

They're usually financed by the 'economy of scale' volume discounts, and honestly, I want the creator to have that money. I figure that if the creators make some money on the project, they may want to make another one later...   

Which means another chance for a good deal.

(I also say it to elf off all the snowflakes posting on KS about how they're 'entitled' because they bought in at the lowest possible level)

 

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Also, there are plenty of other metal miniature KS that wants your monies! ::):

 

I haven't looked too closely at metal miniature KS, but I imaging that there's not the economy of scale that plastics have (for plastic, once the molds have been paid, it's pennies per miniature while, for metal, the metal used in the miniature is expensive relative to the rubber mold), so you wouldn't get the free SG's in a metal miniature KS that you would in plastic. Maybe the savings of the KS for a smaller caster is the pre-order aspect of it, and bulk casting being more optimal for smaller casters?

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Gotta say, if Reaper ever decides to run a hard plastic mini campaign, I'd go in on it hard. I already love their metal figures and affordable Bones monsters. Still, if they ever came out with hard plastic figures I'd be over the moon! No idea if Reaper's current machine could cast them though.

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23 minutes ago, CorallineAlgae said:

Gotta say, if Reaper ever decides to run a hard plastic mini campaign, I'd go in on it hard. I already love their metal figures and affordable Bones monsters. Still, if they ever came out with hard plastic figures I'd be over the moon! No idea if Reaper's current machine could cast them though.

I would be interested in a small test run of high end models on sprues that rival the quality of Kingdom Death but fit the Reaper style. 

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With the caveat that I am not generally a fan of resin (fragile! not suitable for tabletop use!) ... if Reaper decided to do a short run of, say, resin busts or something (mebbe resin Nethyrmaul? The size it was supposed to be? I'd buy one, sight unseen!), via Kickstarter, I would be all over that. And only moan a little at the damage to the budget. ^^;

 

But metal? For all the reasons listed above, I'm not seeing that.

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4 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

The last item in Reaper's Master line was a Resin Dwarf bust...   

 

I expect there's a reason that line was cancelled. 

Incorrect. The last item was the elf ranger flat.

 

The line was absorbed into other existing lines and is still available. Not all have been released as we have limited numbers we can release each month.

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