Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On Pre-Painted Miniatures

Oni smash!
I've been putting finishes on my own gaming pieces for years, but I have to say that when you can get eight pre-painted miniatures of this quality in a box at a cost somewhere between $1.25 and $2.75 AUD a figure it's really hard to see why I'd ever go back to unpainted metal.

The Oni above is courtesy of D&D Miniatures, which is pretty lacklustre as wargames go but is an excellent way of stocking up accessories for a tabletop 4th Edition game. Sadly the packs are randomised to enhance "collectability" so if you're looking to quickly make up a squad of kobolds you'll need to go trawling the internet for speciality dealers. I can't for the life of me understand why Wizards of the Coast aren't selling "goblin warband" boxed sets and suchlike.


Chris said...

Why would Ha$bro choose to help the consumer when they can rake them for cash via "collectibility"? >:)

Greg Tannahill said...

Well, there's two markets here. I have no interest in playing the miniatures game or collecting a full set. I bought ten packs or so of these things during a half price off sale, and because I'd never bought any before I got very few duplicates. But beyond that point I'm not interested in soaking money into the thing in the hope of getting the specific figures I want to use in 4th ed.

They've reached the limit of what they can get out of me with collectable boxes - but they can keep bleeding me for money by offering me specific boxes of what I want. Quality pre-painted miniatures of D&D monsters is a niche not currently filled by any other manufacturer (so far as I know) so I can't just go take my business to Games Workshop. I'm a market just waiting for them to sell me a product.

Greg Tannahill said...

UPDATE: Once again Hasbro are way ahead of me. They're ditching the D&D Miniatures line, at least insofar as it's a separate game, and bringing out "semi-random" miniature packs where you can see some of what's in it but you still get a surprise rare miniature. Not a perfect solution, especially considering they'll be charging more money for less miniatures.