New Miniatures... Info?


New Publisher
Would you rather get a rare Nightwalker?

I use my extras for:

take off the arms, base them, and call them bigby's whatever
repaint and make a fire elemental (tried, didn't like my work, then they came out with one)
break apart, repaint grey, and mount (or not) as a broken statue.

yes, that minis was not my favorite, but I'm not sure I'd want a rare one. To make the model work, some minis needed few paint steps, to pay for the better ones.

That said, i agree with your general point on quality decreasing, though I decided much earlier not to be a completist (and I won more than 2000 of these things).

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What I believe he's saying is that any further research would cost more than it would profit.

Actually, what I'm saying is that nonrandomized minis cost more than randomized minis. They cost more because of sales inefficiency. If you fix that problem through market research, then they cost more because of market research. Either way, they cost more.

Lots of people have suggested ways that market research could be carried out on the cheap. That's great (if it were actually that simple), but generally those suggestions apply to making D&D minis better. There's nothing wrong with that (I'm all for it!), but that doesn't address the issue of sales inefficiency among nonrandomized SKUs. Nonrandomization costs more if D&D minis are crap, and nonrandomization costs more if D&D minis are awesome.

Melba Toast

First Post
I fully support non-randomized PC minis.

However, from a business perspective, I'm surprised Wizards didn't think to include at least -1- random "mystery mini" with each PC pack. That would help offset the price and increase repeat purchases.

Wizards made it's fortune selling randomly assorted packaged toys and games. I'm not sure why they would want to end a good thing.

Siran Dunmorgan

First Post
It makes me wonder, though... They've already gone sort of half-way, with non-random PC packs, and a single visible Large creature in each monster pack. I wonder if it would be worthwhile for them to take some of the (more or less) guaranteed sellers and make themed packs out of them.

For example, something like a non-random goblin pack with 1 of each non-minion, and a half-dozen of the minions... or something similar.

Do you mean something like these?

Or, for those of you with an interest in the undead, these?

It's certainly true that the more you have of the latter, the more effective they are. :)

More to the point, selling non-random miniatures seems to have worked for them for a number of years. Production and transportation costs certainly started eating their way into profits, and massive changes in management have slowed new releases somewhat, but the model has been shown to be viable, even increasing in quality over the years.

And they are a Wizards of the Coast brand, now.

—Siran Dunmorgan


New Publisher
And they are more expensive and they have almost no product coming out for two years now. Heroscape fans are convinced that their game is still thriving, I'm not convinced (and I own a ton of HS).

I think I'm going to try my hand at sculpting my own minis. Just got some old dental tools from my dentist for free and I grabbed some Studio Sculpey from my local craft store. I'll let you know how it turns out(though I expect to be making and remaking the same thing quite a few times before i get something that is passable).

Dire Bare

Dude, do you really think that's what I'm implying?

If so, let me be clear: When I talk about market research adding cost, I'm talking about the difference in market research between the current level and the level necessary to significantly affect sales efficiency.

You've been clear. It just seems to me that some folks are just too fond of the idea that WotC is clueless and that a child could do better. Despite lack of experience or knowledge on what it truly takes to put out a quality product.

I think it takes work to misunderstand your points as some are doing in this thread. Of course WotC does marketing, of course WotC wants to produce product that makes fans squee . . . . sometimes they succeed at this and sometimes they fail . . . . just like every other RPG or miniatures company, or any company for that matter.

It boggles my mind how some folks in this thread are pulling the craziest stuff from "between the lines" of your posts . . . .

Dire Bare

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that having an uncommon huge nightwalker (a solitary high-level creature) is not really a good idea. On the other hand, an uncommon huge treant is a great idea, because treants can sub as scenery.

That's the kind of stuff you can work out without any market research whatsoever.

Really? You really think it's that easy? Wow.

Safe to say I completely disagree with you. I hated the Nightwalker figure, but not because it was an uncommon mini, but rather because it was very silly looking. Had that mini rocked, it would have made a sweet pull in the uncommon slot. But, as Charles has pointed out, lots of factors go into this sort of thing. I really doubt the WotC's guys thought, "Hey, this mini is kinda lame and no one is going to want it, so lets slot it as an uncommon." But rather it started as what the WotC guys thought would make a fantastic bad ass mini, but unfortuneately it failed. But hey, it's not rocket science (how insulting).

If they just did market research by getting one of the DDM price guides and seeing which stuff sold best, at least they'd have a good start. But, the other advantage of the random method was adding in monsters that not everyone would want. Who knows anymore.

Researching what has sold well is important, and I'll bet dollars to donuts WotC does just that. But ultimately, it tells you what has already sold well or poorly, not what will sell well or poorly tomorrow.

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