Reaper Miniatures are at it again!
Longer-term readers (and followers of Kickstarter) will remember last year's Kickstarter, which raised over $2,000,000 and (if you were into fantasy miniatures) produced an absolutely mental quantity of figures for your $100 pledge. As a veteran RPer, I was very tempted, but in the end didn't succumb.
Their new Kickstarter kicked (yeah, yeah) off today, zipped past its original goal in about five minutes flat, and is already at ... wait for it... just shy of $700,000 from six and a half thousand backers. In fact, it'll probably have passed $700,000 before I finish this post.
I can't really fault Reaper for producing really cool figures that clearly appeal to folks, but... heh. I dunno... They've clearly got it figured out (dear, oh Lord, the involuntary puns are bad tonight) - start low, offer good deals, reap (sheesh) the rewards. One assumes that since they're doing it again, they managed to pull off the first one without financial embarrassment or major shipping nightmares. (And yup, it just passed $700,000).
And this gets me pondering Kickstarters as a concept again. I think my real problem with the big ones isn't really Reaper's fault. Kickstarters like this, and Sedition Wars, Kingdom Death and the Mantic ones, have the potential to set an unreasonable expectation of other Kickstarters. Not everyone has the time or resources (or even desire) to deliver on a Kickstarter of that scale, but you do see occasional unpleasant comments on smaller Kickstarters to the tune of 'you're being stingy with the stretch goals/we deserve more/ I invested $60 and I was expecting more than this'... Economies of scale apply just as much here - bulk producing models in plastic is massively cheaper than the same number of figures in lead, or buildings in laser-cut MDF, so the likes of the Winter War Kickstarter is never going to hit the same insane level of 'something for next to nothing'.
Conversely, of course you can get it spectacularly wrong: the best example in our field is Beyond The Gate Of Antares: I still can't quite figure out what they were aiming to do. I'm pretty certain if they'd set a lower target than $300,000, and handled things with stretch goals it would have helped. But part of it seemed to be that the whole project wasn't in anyway complete, and more importantly not even completely planned.
The new Reaper Kickstarter's about to cross $720K. Good luck to them!