Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wizards of the Coast and Miniatures aka Bad Marketing 101

This is a screenshot of Wizkids site I took the other day.

The very first thing? Pathfinder Battles Iconic Miniatures.

The third thing? Not the second mind you. D&D with two brands, Attack Wing and Icons of the Realms. And those icons look way too crowded and way too busy. You can't see anything that's happening there except maybe you might think, is that Godzillia by the D&D brand?

I went to Wizkids because I was just at my FLSG, Games Plus.

While there, they had the NEW random collectable miniatures.

Usually WizKids is real good about providing a poster or some other means of, you know, KNOWING what the buyer can at least potentially get.

No such poster here.

So when I got home, I checked out Wizards of the Coast site. I knew that was probably going to be futile. For some reason, WoTC doesn't want people on their D&D section of the site as they didn't have a gallery of their previous release either.

And nope, at the time at least, no gallery. A few previews which is nice mind you but no actual gallery.

So I wandered over to Wizkids site.

Bam, Pathfinder at top.

That's gotta hurt.

I don't know if that's because Pathfinder is paying more, allowing Wizkids a bigger share of the cut, or just random weirdness but if I was WoTC, with a brand new set out, I'd want my brand on top.

I'd also want a gallery of what the miniatures people can buy look like.

But you aint' going to get that from Wizkids son. Last time I looked around the site, you could see some of the Attack Wing figures and the figures from the first set, Tyranny of Dragons.

That's not good marketing on WoTC site. It's not good marking on Wizkids site.

I've heard some people say, "Well, if you go to site X, you can see the full release."

And that's okay but it's certainly not what either of these companies should want to happen. If I have to rely on 3rd party sources to get information that should be gushing from your sites? You're doing it wrong.

But that's just me.

Anyone buy any of the new figures? I like some of the previews we've seen, but I'm also a miniature painter and I buy these things to either fill out gaps in my collection or because the miniatures are inexpensive. As the cost of the blind randoms have gone up, I've cut waaayy back. Part of that is my ownership of miniatures like Reaper's Bones or say, Mantic's Kickstarters. Other parts are that WoTC made D&D itself less reliant on miniatures.

I also can't help but notice that there are still no Dragonborn. Maybe I'm missing it. So WoTC makes Dragonborn a core race in two editions now, and we've got, including all the old ones, less than five I want to say? That's terrible. I assure you WoTC, we don't need elves, dwarves, or adventuring humans these days. But dragonborn and other IP that you own and few other people have touched? Might want to look at hitting that eh?

But some of them do look nice. I'd buy a few packs to take a chance on getting say a firesnake or an ettin.

In terms of what WoTC long term miniature plans are? Anyone have any guesses? I can't see the Gale Force 9 miniatures being a priority or long term way of handling things. It's not that the miniatures aren't solid. I've bought many of them myself.

At clearance prices.

From a "limited run".

Nice figures. Resin makes them brittle mind you but nice.

Nice and expensive.

I think WoTC needs to get Reaper on board with their miniature program. Put the well established brand of Reaper at work on their miniatures that are non-random and non-collectible.

Some may say that Pazio and Pathfinder are already established at Reaper.

Yeah, take a look at that Wizkids screenshot again. If Wizkids can't make a new set their priority on the web and have a gallery for it, and WoTC isn't on them like white on rice? WoTC can swallow whatever may pass for pride there and acknowledge that Reaper can do them justice without limited edition runs, without being made of brittle resin, and can capture the spirit of D&D.

But that's just me. I can't see either the Gale Force 9 miniatures lasting too much longer (which is a shame because they have a Red Dragon coming up that looks fantastic) nor can I see the random miniatures sticking around much longer when they can't even get top billing for a new release.

Others? Am I out of the water here? Is WizKids pushing WoTC IP into all new directions and all new fanbases? Let me know. I'm old and senile and keep telling these damn kids to get off my lawn!