What the-?!

  • Why the change from 8 miniatures to 5 miniatures per booster? When we set out to re-imagine the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures line, our goals included increasing the quality of the product, dealing with the rising costs associated with producing the line, and optimizing the product as a D&D Roleplaying Game accessory. To that end, we are providing fewer figures per Monster Manual-themed booster, but these figures are of a higher quality. In effect, each booster contains two rare-quality figures (the visible Large figure and the randomized rare figure).

Ok, I understand that Hasbro just killed off the Skirmish game entirely…it wasn’t making money, so take it out behind the barn and shoot it.  But what leaves me absolutely gobsmacked is having just eliminated the entire market for the collectible aspect, why do they still package the damn things as if they’re collectible?  Rare-quality, shmare-quality.  For a role-player rare = inconvenient. Nobody’s going to be impressed that the Beholder they’re facing is a rare.  They’re going to be even less impressed when it’s represented, as usual, by a rubber ball because nobody in their right mind is going to buy 6 packs at $15 each to come up with one.  They just about doubled the price and you still won’t be able to just buy the damned minis you need for the particular adventure you plan to run.

I admit that I’m not their target market*, as I have no plans of running 4e ever, but I read Scott Rouse’s explanation and I have to wonder whether they actually have a target market in mind?  Or do they really think they can just create one by carving the bits they liked out of the failing market (lust for rares and completism…each set is smaller so it’s easier to get them all!) and graft it onto their new customers?  What I’d really like to hear explained is why having considered just making them all visible, as the manufacturers of metal miniatures do, they elected to go with the semi-hidden plus bonus rules making all the old gibes about WotC breaking D&D into a collectible card-game of rules a la Magic finally come true.  Except I’m afraid I know the answer.

* though given how many little toys and things I buy to use as minis in our games, I actually could be…I’ve just never considered getting any D&D figures precisely because of the random aspect.

5 thoughts on “What the-?!

  1. PatrickWR says:

    Interesting to note that Fantasy Flight Games redid their Mutant Chronicles minis game a couple weeks before GenCon this summer to make it non-collectible. In a weak economy, the “random satisfaction” model must not make a lot of sense to these companies.

  2. BBEG says:

    Well said Joshua. It makes me sad to see the D&D property doing this slow, money-grubbing marketing crash and burn. Years from now I wonder if the present crew responsible for it will be remembered in infamy for what’s being done.

  3. Dr. Checkmate says:

    Am I the only one not surprised by this? The skirmish game wasn’t very good, the design of 4e has been compared to famous money sinks like MMOs and CCGs, and now this? Seriously? Maybe I’m just cynical.

  4. Joshua says:

    What the-? is my reaction to it because I don’t see how they think it’s going to work. Say what you will about M:tG, it was an incredibly efficient way of separating fans from their money, with all the pieces like the tournaments and the revisions fitting neatly together into a money-sucking machine. This new plan sounds like something put together by the underpants gnomes. You can be as cynical as you like about their motives, but that doesn’t actually explain why it’s so half-assed.

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