I just saw on Troll in the Corner that Paizo and WizKids are teaming up to start producing prepainted plastic minis again! This is great news; the D&D Minis were the last thing I actually still bought from WotC and then they discontinued them.
I have no interest in metal minis – I have plenty that have gone unpainted; I lack a life sufficiently to play RPGs but not enough to waste time with basic menial labor related to them.
Sounds like it’s just the iconics to start but maybe if it does well we’ll see the return of real plastic minis!
And again Paizo out does WotC. Come on WotC just sell all the rights for D&D to Paizo & hurry up and die already. You are no longer relevent to the gaming industry.
@Matthew Lane: WotC discontinued the minis line because the cost of producing plastic miniatures became prohibitively high. Paizo has licensed this product out as a one-off, and only time will tell if they somehow are able to figure out how to make plastic miniatures commercially viable. Given that, following the cancellation of WotC’s minis line, Paizo staff were some of the first to come forward and explain exactly why it was almost impossible to make plastic minis work, I wouldn’t be surprised if the set released for the Beginner’s Box is the first and last.
Except that they’re still producing the exact same miniatures as part of their new board game line.
The cost is of course offset by them being part of a larger product rather than being standalone, and they’re no longer pre-painted, but still.
Right – they’re producing non-random, identical, unpainted sets for packaging with a board game, like every other board game company does. This is very different from how it was being done before.
WotC: Making the Possible Impossible Since 2008
@Matthew Lane: Oh, and really, it seems a little short-sighted to call WotC irrelevant. They are, without a doubt, the fiercest innovators in the industry. You can measure WotC’s relevance by the number of companies who choose to mimic them. Given that Paizo is now making money off a clone of WotC’s game, that they are picking up the plastic minis line that WotC decided wasn’t profitable enough, and so forth, I think you might be jumping the gun on this one by more than just a little.
The current WotC has innovated nothing, they’re a corporation that owns IP. No one who innovated the game Paizo’s developing work at WotC any more. (In act, some of them work for Paizo.) All WotC is innovating is how to alienate customers, but I will admit they’re good at it.
Paizo has to check for Quality. Some of the Clix from Wizkids weren’t that great at all… and I have no proplem to pay a little more if it’s worth it.
The last minis from WotC, at least a lot of them, weren’t worth the money. That’s why they probably tanked.
Oh, and if Paizo takes a clone of a game, that WotC abandoned, and thrives with it, and if this should work as well, you could argue, that innovation for innovations sake isn’t the best thing to do at all times…
(or innovation with the wrong goals in mind. Which can be a total subjective notion. “Not for me” e.g. is enough for me to ignore the innovational accomplishment of WotC…even if they should do something completely new and never before seen).
WotC abandoned pre-painted plastic minis due to rising costs, figuring (rightly) that customers wouldn’t be willing to pay ever higher prices for random sets of minis – especially their most reliable customers, many of whom already have enormous minis collections.
Instead, they did something different. They started producing glossy, punch-out, flat tokens printed with the monster’s picture (straight out of its published illustration) on the front and back (one side with a red border to denote a bloodied monster), and often with small numbers in the corner for distinguishing between multiple monsters of the same type (for those five-goblin encounters). They then packaged these tokens with the monster supplements, so that every monster that you find in the Monster Vault book has a corresponding token that you can use in play. The same is true of the Dungeon Master’s Kit, Shadowfell boxed set, and the second Monster Vault coming out next month. This keeps the price of having physical representations of monsters low, prevents customers from having to buy those physical representations separately, and provides a strong incentive to actually buy the physical boxed products rather than simply get your monster stats off DDI.
Ah, the little crappy punchout tokens… I remember those… From 1985.
Well, I was quite a reliable customer for plastic minis until they got ugly. Not because of costs, and not because I had much too many of them. I have much too many of them, but I still buy minis. Just not from WotC anymore… and even if it’s an incentive for players of 4e to buy a rules box with tokens, I doubt that anybody else will buy tokens with rules just for the tokens.
I bought and will probably buy in the future things that I can use, like dungeon tiles.
For me, as a customer, the changes since advent from 4e where almost all for the worst. Only dungeon tiles in a box is a neat way of getting these – but hey, dungeon tiles are much more generic than minis, so one box fullfills almost all your needs…
Oh and I just realised: I dmed a five goblin encounter last night. Tokens, dungeon tiles & minis used: Zero. Heh.
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