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SamuraiJack

Blacklist Miniatures: Fantasy Series 1

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Click on the "Late Pledges Coming Soon" to be on their newsletter.

 

FS1 heavily overlaps Bones I-IV. Altar Quest has unique figures I haven't found anywhere else, although I'm not sure how many gamers really want a guy with a horses head. :upside: The AQ pledge *does* include multiples of traps, which I find hard to find at inexpensive prices (for Gloomhaven). BL will release some sort of coop miniatures game for FS1.

 

IMO, The project is riskier than Bones in that Blacklist does not have the miniatures experience that Reaper has, although BL has produced boardgames with a good number of miniatures before. Samples of Altar Quest miniatures have been shown. Miniature quality is supposed to improve, and they're using Quarterman Logistics, one of the better fulfillment centers (and a part of Cool Stuff Inc, if you're familiar with the OLGS). 

 

Someone said December's delivery date included SG's. Miniatures will have plastic trays. Dunno if estimated shipping includes SG's.

Edited by ced1106
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What worries me is the amount of "kickstarter exclusives". Even though they state that they still will be selling them on their own webshop, this effectively means they are not going to retail distribution with the majority of the miniatures, if any. Are they expecting to make their money by selling the individual models (or packs) off their own webshop? These are not boutique minis. They will be needing a great many individual sales, which is labor intensive, and probably not cost effective.

 

At the KS price point, I cannot really see them making any great amount of money, which is fine since they want to launch their new line of minis, but then again...all the kickstarter exclusives! ALL of the strech goals unless I am mistaken. Which at this point is the majority of the minis. Many of which are uniqe or large.

 

I can only understand this as a protection against devaluation by third-party sellers as amazon and miniature market etc are kept out of the loop and therefore won't be selling the minis at deep discounts, (and by doing that is ruining it for both other sellers and the creators by making the minis worth less and therefore a less attractive commodity to stock in your shop, which has been a downward spiral for many games and related items.)

 

Then again.... these are not boutique minis. Does Reaper have this problem with their comparably inexpensive Bones line? Or Nolzurs?

 

These things make me wonder what their thinking is. What am I not seeing?

 

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Well, by not printing retail copies of the KSE's, they cut off retail risk. Certainly they're not going to make money from the molds, but they're not going to lose money, either. Monolilth's Conan attempted retail, but, even though each base set cost them about $35 to make (?) and MSRP was $100, they *still* lost money on each retail unit they sold to their distributor, Asmodee. Distributors won't even look at your product unless they get a heavy discount, and, even then, may still not carry it.  The advantages KS has over retail is not only do you cut out the middlemen, but you print (nearly) to order. With retail, you guess how many units you will sell, retailers place their order, and you takes losses on units not sold, like Palladium did. (BTW, After looking at Petersen Games and CMON, I get the impression that, despite all the miniatures, there's enough leeway to print retail copies from the KS funding.) Blacklist said they were able to budget the KSE's to the project, but who knows.

 

Speculation is that, when Lost Tales, their upcoming coop miniatures game that uses the Fantasy Series I miniatures is ready, Blacklist will again make available these KSE miniatures. I also notice that the number of figures in the miniatures (eg. groups of five) match that in Altar Quest. So it's entirely possible Blacklist will make available these sculpts in a future AQ KS as well. Monolith did this (disastrously) with their Beyond Monolith campaign, and more successfully with their following Conan one. In the past, I've seen stuff without the KSE end up not being sold retail. I think CMON's Apocalypse (?) expansion for The Others did this. Personally, I think the models should have been marked, "No Plans for Retail", although that may make some backers upset that they're not getting exclusives, or more upset that a product they plan to buy retail never reaches it. 

 

Now... will Blacklist's business plan work? As said, this deal may only be to launch their new product line. And they may have investors or personal loans to supplement the KS funding (which adds risk that is not disclosed to backers). Dunno. KS has plenty of risks that backers take without being able to fully evaluate them. $65 is within my "okay to throw away money" range (and I passed on Bones V and Zombicide 2.0), but that's not true for everyone.

Edited by ced1106
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Well, all the retail stores are going to close due to no customers given the current pandemic, so why plan to sell in a market that isn't going to exist?  And I'm only somewhat joking here, honestly.

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2 hours ago, John Fiala said:

Well, all the retail stores are going to close due to no customers given the current pandemic, so why plan to sell in a market that isn't going to exist?  And I'm only somewhat joking here, honestly.

 

This sadly rings true.  I do think it was odd how many they made KSE though, compared to the cost of plastic molds.

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I’m optimistic. My local gaming stores are back open for business and have plans to reopen the actual gaming areas as things ease up. 

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I've been trying to buy more from my FLGS where possible; you have to support what you want or else it won't be there!  

I also am concerned about the KS exclusives though.  While a great way to create FOMO, it's a one-time revenue generator.  I would much prefer if they had a way to keep the income coming in without significant modeling and molding expenses for new models as that keeps a company afloat.  Offering a primed version, or even painted versions of existing sculpts are a great way to re-use old designs and create new options for buyers.  I hope they can create the product line they are aiming for.

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On 5/11/2020 at 10:32 AM, animesensei said:

I also am concerned about the KS exclusives though.  While a great way to create FOMO, it's a one-time revenue generator. 

 

It's KSE to reduce retail risk. That is, when releasing a product to retail, a company has to estimate how many units it will sell. Overestimate, and you lose money. You've probably seen Runewars and Wrath of Kings on clearance at Miniature Market, and may know of the problems Monolith had selling Conan retail (short answer: they lost money on every copy they sold retail to distributors). Additionally, just because a product is on KS, distributors are under no obligation whatsoever to carry it.

 

The definition of KSE can vary by creator. It can mean that the KSE will be available only for a particular KS project. I think CMON defines it as for a particular project and convention sales (which ended up as items old in their Time Machine). I believe BL said the miniatures may be available in a future KS and on their website (or I'm speculating that they will be available in a KS for their upcoming miniatures skirmish game).

 

It's only a handful, but I've heard enough horror stories early in the days of KS of KS backers not receiving product because a KS creator intended to sell KS product for retail. The creator used KS funds to print base product for both retail and KS backers (one print run is cheaper to print than two), and assumed that retail sales of the base product will be sufficient to pay for the next run product, which included addtional KS material. The retail revenue doesn't materialize and the publisher ends up having to sell their KS product at clearance rates and doesn't have money to send the rest of the KS product to backers. Palladium's Robotech KS is one of the better-known examples of this, although other publisher decisions and delays contributed to the failure of the project. 

 

fwiw, Some creators, including BL and CMON, have retailer pledges, where retailers not only pledge less money than backers (for FS1 retailer paid $250 plus shipping for six pledge levels which included KSE's) but sometimes only need to place a deposit (not BL). Seems like meeting retail halfway with KSE's without putting retail risk on a creator. (Despite paying less per pledge than backers pay, I hear retailers *still* don't like these pledge levels because it ties up money.)

 

It's been awhile, but, last I heard, it's Magic the Gathering that's kept the FLGS afloat as well as impulse-priced items (eg. snacks). (IIRC, the $100+ Conan boardgame didn't move as quickly at FLGS's as a box of Magic or Keyforge.) IMO, A FLGS survives by offering services, convenience, and product not available online, rather than competing against it. I doubt my occasional purchase of a paint bottle at the FLGS really helps them, but I'll buy it from them, rather than pay shipping and wait for the paint to arrive.

Edited by ced1106
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I filled out my pledge a couple days ago, even got three players in my dnd group to back it and then they got people in their other groups to back based on the discord chatter I’ve seen. ::D:

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Late Pledges are now open for the Blacklist Miniatures KS if anyone else has been keeping an eye out.

 

Latest Update (#26) says Pledge Manager closes July 22 at 11:59PM EDT.

 

Late Pledge appears identical to backing during the KS including Stretch Goals (211 miniatures for $65 + shipping).  

 

Add-ons are available for Late Pledge, with AltarQuest games (Quest, Ruins, First Four) showing a limit of 1 copy per late pledge.  I did not notice a late pledge limit on the main pledge or scenery add-ons.

 

Now to decide if the value overcomes the "but I still have Bones 1-4 largely in their shipping boxes" problem...

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