Re: Any advice on how to select models for first release?
- A couple of points:
1. I also don't like to buy a handful of minis from one place because of shipping costs. But if a site really catches my eye I'll bookmark it and maybe buy stuff when they have more minis I want.
This leads me into my 2nd point...
2. I like sites that have good clear pictures of the minis. It doesn't matter to me if they're painted or not, but I want to have a good idea of what I'm getting before I buy, especially from a line I haven't purchased before.
OK, a third point (nobody expects the Spanish Inqusition!)...
3. Customer service. If you can establish a reputation for really good customer service I think that can go make a diffrence between making a go of it or not. This is a niche hobby and word gets out, good or bad. Average service probably won't generate much "buzz", but top-notch can be a deciding factor. While poor service can kill things. I would even go so far as to say quality of customer service can be as important as quality of product.
Anyway, those are my opinions as a gamer and collector of large quantities of miniatures, mostly building armies (although I will buy the occasional mini purely because it catches my eye, even better if I can fit it into my armies/games).
- Having followed the thread, I must say that I was probably giving you
bad advice. I spoke from experiences of digitally distributed products.
Did not consider shipping, or even gaming needs. Seems that the vote is
leaning towards single range, with previews of things to come. Also if I
read between the lines perhaps you need to discipline yourself to a few
ranges. You didn't mentions how many you had planned, but if I were
doing it, I know I would have trouble keeping up with more than 1-2
ranges. The business side of it is going to take a lot of time too. from
what I hear most startups run into trouble because of underestimating
administration, customer service, shopkeeping and stuff that are not
really related to the production.
I've been following the response and you've already got a lot of useful info.
I'm going to add my bit and it starts with a question.
How are you going to sell the miniatures?
If directly to painters/gamers etc. the release will depend on where your market will be buying.
With a small release for direct sale you could use an unthemed shotgun approach through eBay (I hear the groans about eBay's CUT) where there are other items that attract trade (and people get carried away and forget shipping cost).
If you are going to sell directly through a website or indirectly through 'the trade' it's the themed release that seems to work best.
Just one bit of advice. If you can't answer the Who?, What?, Why?, When? Where?, How? and How Much? about competing products it's time for a lot more research.
AND there is one thing that most (honest) successful traders in anything will admit to - however much research and hard work you put in you will still need a barrelful of LUCK.
All the best and good luck,
--- In 1listSculpting@yahoogroups.com, "a_thousand_hats" <a_thousand_hats@...> wrote:
> I'm currently working on several miniatures with a view to sending them to be mastered ready for production and ultimately releasing my own range of miniatures.
> (I'll probably be sending them to be mastered next month - depending on how I progress over the next few weeks).
> Being a bit of a genre butterfly I'm working on a variety of models ranging from alien critters, through pulp adventurers and into fantasy babarian/tribesmen. I've also got several concepts for Sci-fi troopers too which I'll be making a start on soon. (Despite crossing multiple genres I've not got any historicals in the mix at the moment - I'm not sure I have the passion for the accurate uniform detail research for that - respect to those that do though!).
> My question is how do you select an initial range for release?
> Should I focus the first release into one specific genre - E.g. Fantasy Warriors? Or should I go for a more general selection and give a taste of each one (e.g. a couple of alien critters, a few barbarian warriors and a couple of pulp adventurers etc)?
> I'm trying to work out which is the best approach for a new company to take. I realise there is a certain amount of 'if it's good enough someone will buy it whatever it is' to the question but I was wondering whether an initial cohesive genre-specific release has more impact than a wider (albeit small) selection of miniatures from different genres.
> Have you tried a focused range release? Have you made a broad range release?
> If you have any experience with release selection that you could share I'd appreciate your insight.
> I'm planning on my initial release consisting of 6-12 miniatures if that has any bearing on your thoughts on the subject.
> They're aimed at the painters and general gaming market so don't have a specific game title tied to them at the moment. (I do have several game titles in progress so I am working to a plan of sorts with regards miniatures designs but the actual games are a long way off completion).
> Forgive me if this has been asked before. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
- Many thanks again for all of those who responded to this topic.
It's been a very useful discussion and it's certainly helped me to focus my mind and 'zero in' on what I'm going to compose the initial release from.
I've decided to focus on a single period/genre (most of my ongoing WIPs were heavily related) and contrary to my initial mention of not doing historical minis, it's going to be a historical release!
The reason being that my WIPs were pseudo-historical once I looked at them with a different eye and it's not taking much of a divergence to make them fully compliant with factual references.
The whole process has also narrowed one of my game design projects down too which could result in honing it to releasing some rules to support the range.
I certainly feel I have much more direction now with regards the first release and several ideas for how to progress into the following releases (revenues permitting).
Thanks again for all the help - now I just need to buckle down and stay focussed.