Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Kickstarter Madness - Reaper Miniatures

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!


  1. I became a backer faster than I have ever done anything. I loved the first kickstarter.

  2. I loved the first one and the gave you a fair deal. Same for Robotech and the Winter Wars....each one treated their backers fairly and with product in exchange for support. I see that the better organized ones have more success and if they are reasonable in goals.

    To me Kickstarter is the new "preorder" for the gaming society. You want X, you pay for it up front and you get it first.

  3. With care Kickstarter can do for good business what the banks are failing to do, provide cash.

    Offerings need to be well thought out - I have backed a few and there are some I would like to see.

    One I backed failed - which surprised me as it was a good if niche offering, others have failed because they we not properly thought through.

    Certainly it is a new way to do business which I hope continues, but we have not yet seen any big failures - where money disappears - it will happen.

    Crowd-funding is just another way of raising money for business and has the same risks.

    But if the idea is well thought through and the business is sound, it can be fun to be in on the ground floor as new toys are developed.

  4. In the Winter War kickstarter you are really starting to get lots for next to nothing. This time in tin and resin. Great stuff, and I'm backing together with a friend, so we can share the loot.
    The Bones II.. yep, I've fallen. Totally missed Bones I, so this will give me primarily some cheap seldom used monsters.


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