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Author Topic: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?  (Read 2660 times)

Marc C

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The title says it all. Really enjoying the look of the new plastic miniatures. Definitely an upgrade in terms of look. Locally we never considered this game because of the previous sculpts. Now there is a buzz. Do we know if Catalyst will make the models available in blisters or even box sets so we don't have to buy the two boxes that came out to get extra copies of the Mechs. Also, do they have a 2019 release schedule for more Mechs models, tanks, infantry, etc?
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Empyrus

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #1 on: 07 February 2019, 18:43:48 »
We don't know.

The box sets seem to be selling well, so that's a positive thing.

IIRC, CGL has first claim on classic minis (ie in plastic form) before IWM makes them in metal, and we've yet to see those now freed from lawsuits, so i'd imagine CGL wants to get them out in some way.

I wouldn't expect tanks and infantry though, regardless of anything else, not anytime soon.

EDIT Previous lance packs didn't sell particularly quick, so i reckon TPTB might not be too keen on trying again. Then again, new sculpts... then again, they're unpainted miniatures-only "expansions" for a game that isn't really miniature driven.
« Last Edit: 07 February 2019, 18:45:44 by Empyrus »

Sartris

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #2 on: 07 February 2019, 19:00:40 »
I suspect there will be another box but that’s just my really poor intuition talking. I would expect to hear something closer to con season

JPArbiter

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #3 on: 07 February 2019, 22:03:32 »
We will know when Catalyst is ready to share
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General308

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #4 on: 07 February 2019, 22:47:05 »
I doubt it the alpha strike box sets didn't sell well.  Although I don't know why when they do a box set they don't also sell the box set minis by them selfs.  Seems like you have people buy multiple box sets just for the minis.  But I am guessing since the last box set minis didn't sell well it is hard to justify

nckestrel

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #5 on: 07 February 2019, 23:24:42 »
Tie box sets were being sold at a loss. The AS lance packs weren’t (at least intended to be).  But I don’t think the sculpts and duplicates were good enough to justify a cost that made money.  I think these new ones are.  And a set of Warhammers, Marauders, Archers, Phoenix Hawks, stinger, etc would do really well.
I’m fairly confident we will see more, but they will need time to make sure it’s done well.
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Hellraiser

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #6 on: 07 February 2019, 23:49:51 »
What????

The 25th Anniversary & Atlas boxes were sold at a LOSS???   

I find that incredibly hard to believe.


As for the AS boxes,  aren't those the ones where the mini's are 1/2 size?   To me that would by why they didn't sell well.  They don't match the scale of the other 200 minis I own.


The one's that to me seemed like they wouldn't sell well would be the 4 mech boxes that had 2-4 duplicates of mechs that came in the beginners sets.

I know I didn't buy any of those because it wasn't worth getting my 4th Jenner just to get 1 Wolfhound,   etc etc....  At some point multiples just aren't needed.


If they actually had made a boxed set of JUST the mechs that were not in the main sets I would have been all over that.   Something like BlackJack, Ostroc, Firestarter, Raven as a striker lance would have been a big grab for me since I don't own entire lances of each of those.

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nckestrel

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #7 on: 08 February 2019, 00:03:16 »
They were viewed as necessary to get players to being BattleTech fans that bought books. Catalyst had/is primarily a company that made books.
No, the AS boxes were not a different size. Literally half (minus one) were exact duplicates of the 25th anniversary set minis, and half were “new”.  You are thinking of the battleforce branded minis.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #8 on: 08 February 2019, 00:05:35 »
Yeah . . . if that is why you never bought any Hellraiser, you might want to correct that . . .

As for selling at a slight loss?  I will believe that- even if you take into account the quality improvement we went from 24 mechs +2 premiums down to 8 in the AC box, and it IS set to garner a small profit to keep the production cycles going.
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Sartris

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #9 on: 08 February 2019, 00:12:10 »
the primary indicator of whether the old box was an actual loss leader is if the new box actually stays in print. currently i buy that it was indeed a money sink because it took years after the supply had gone completely dry to get a new run.

Hellraiser

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #10 on: 08 February 2019, 00:20:33 »
Ok,  I was thinking AS = BF for the boxed sets.

So the "AS" sets were just the new versions of the Lance Packs that where each box had 0-2 "new" & 2-4 "beginners" mechs in each box?

They had the same names as the 80's boxed sets IIRC but were made from the beginners mechs mostly.  (Assault, Heavy, etc etc?)

Either way neither of those options excited me.

The Factional ones didn't either,  I seem to recall seeing stuff like Liao Medium lance or something a while back.

I guess my issue was I never found a boxed set where even 3 of the 4 was stuff I wanted &/or didn't already own.

Of course that's probably just my issue of having too many already & not looking to just buy a bunch of duplicates or stuff for factions I don't play.
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SteelRaven

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #11 on: 08 February 2019, 00:27:56 »
... it's not the 80's anymore Hellraiser, it hasn't been for a long time.
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Sartris

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #12 on: 08 February 2019, 00:36:01 »
They were the 8 archetype lances in the Alpha Strike force building section - Assault, Battle, Support, Striker, Fire, Recon, Pursuit, and Command (not exactly the same as the RP boxes from the 80s but in that vein). Each had two repeats from the box and two new (except the striker lance that had three repeats). Honestly that's the biggest gripe I saw and perhaps one of the big drags on sales velocity. They saved money on molds but the repeats turned some people off.

There are a lot of people who don't want to bother with assembling minis and like plastic more than metal.
And a set of Warhammers, Marauders, Archers, Phoenix Hawks, stinger, etc would do really well.
I’m fairly confident we will see more, but they will need time to make sure it’s done well.

if the sculpts are the same quality as the new box sets they will sell, I imagine. The people want the classics.


Bigkahuna

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #13 on: 08 February 2019, 03:26:00 »
Tie box sets were being sold at a loss. The AS lance packs weren’t (at least intended to be).  But I don’t think the sculpts and duplicates were good enough to justify a cost that made money.  I think these new ones are.  And a set of Warhammers, Marauders, Archers, Phoenix Hawks, stinger, etc would do really well.
I’m fairly confident we will see more, but they will need time to make sure it’s done well.

This is going to come off as me being very mean here, but in the interest of transparency and honesty the Alpha Strike Lance packs not selling should come to the surprise of no one.  I think the Battletech community has some sort of beer goggles when they look at the miniatures being produced for this game or something.  These Alpha Strike mini's were god awful, ugly, not even at the bottom of the barrel of what is an acceptable level of quality for release in the gaming markets today or even 15 years.  They would have sold more Alpha Strike Lance packs if they were cardboard stand ups to be frank. 

This box set they released for the core game now is the first time in 35 years that I have seen a miniature produced for this game that is worth purchasing.  Sadly, the success of Battletech's ambition to grow as a game, expand their profile and reach out to a larger community is entirely dependent on them producing better miniatures for the game going forward.  No amount of books and expanded content is going to do the trick, they must accept that Battletech is a miniatures game and the single most important thing for a miniature game is a steady release of high quality miniatures as is the standard set by today's competitive miniatures market.  E

Even that may not be enough as the competition in miniature market games is quite stiff.  The games rules for Battletech are fairly dated and while that has some nostalgic weight with gamers, in the end, I believe the games mechanics really need a refresher.  The game as it is, is simply way too long for a game that has so many rather randomizing mechanics.  It really needs a 2nd edition, that focuses on modernization and streamlining the rules a bit if you really want to appeal to the modern markets. 

StoneRhino

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #14 on: 08 February 2019, 03:57:49 »
The problem is that the last boxed set sold out, and its highly likely that the bulk of those sales were to established BT fans. If your fanbase stuffs themselves on boxed sets and you then pump out lance packs with the same mechs, you can't expect them to eat those packs up.

We are talking about people that reach way back to the start of the game and up until now that have grown up with the same ol mechs. I'm looking at a stack of lance packs where I have several others that are already opened and in painting hell/limbo. Of these mechs i have metal copies from over 20 years ago. the last boxed set and lance packs have bumped up my 3025 collection and filled it out, but I'm not the typical fan that may buy 1 copy of a mech that I want. I have no desire for the new boxed sets in the sense that they are new mechs that I don't have. I have more awesomes then I know what to do with and I know there are those out there that will say they have a batalliion of Awesomes. I have more then I need because I am a group builder, so I have always had a need for more minis then I need for myself while others would buy a handful...if they felt like it.

The boxed sets filled the needs of most of the players because they were great deals and we knew the last boxed set sold out. Lance packs added very little that was new, even if we are looking at it from the point of view of a new player. There were several designs that were left out of those packs, which cut down on some sales for those looking for additional hunchbacks, enforcers, and commandos. Had they announced that the mechs would all be in lance packs then it might have eased the purchases of boxed sets. They failed to do so , which may have added a percent of additional desire for the boxed sets over lance packs.

Had the lance packs been filled with mechs not in the boxed sets that would have boosted sale. The timing was also off. Had the lance packs been available at the same time as the boxed sets, and they had the same minis in each, there would have been less demand on boxed sets, which would have helped me make a few sales for a local shop, which could have expanded the playerbase. Instead I saw the interest drain from the eyes of those I had to say "no they are out of production ..but..." when asked about starter boxes. People apparently need starter boxes

Basically what is needed are a few lance packs that have new mechs in them. If you can't get them by purchasing yet another starter box, and the minis are not in pewter for 3X years, then you need to buy those lance packs. If they are mechs that are stuffed into BT history and given variants that reach most if not all eras of play, you increase the demand for those minis as its not a 3025 only or current era thing. Its not a matter of "do I really need a new sculpt of X design from 3025 that I have 30 of already?"

I like...well I Love the lance packs. It helped me go from getting 1 copy of each mini to hitting a point where I am painting in game units. As I have mentioned in other threads, that gets far more attention then randomly painted minis. Not only do more people stop at the table, but they spend more time looking, but are also more inclined to ask questions or make a comment to their friend in a hushed tone pointing to minis and making hand gestures suggesting that they are trying to analyze their likely moves even though they don't know the game's mechanics.

Hopefully CGL will include something new for established and new players in any future lance packs. A mini rules book like the CCG used to have would be kinda nice, which could be supplemented by an online addition to help reduce the printing costs.

Hellraiser

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #15 on: 08 February 2019, 12:22:43 »
Excellent point about timing SR.

I think a starter box is important but maybe not the the point of producing it at a loss & then having them gobbled up by vets looking for minis on the cheap.

Having those 4 mech lance packs released at the same time would have been a big deal if they had a bit of a group discount rate for buying 4 mechs and were seen as an alternative to buying a 2nd (3rd+) boxed set.

I like the new sculpts but I'm trying not to buy the new boxes since I own all those mechs in other forms, but, including the new fiction in them makes me want to gobble up 1 of each as well.
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General308

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #16 on: 08 February 2019, 15:21:27 »
Tie box sets were being sold at a loss. The AS lance packs weren’t (at least intended to be).  But I don’t think the sculpts and duplicates were good enough to justify a cost that made money.  I think these new ones are.  And a set of Warhammers, Marauders, Archers, Phoenix Hawks, stinger, etc would do really well.
I’m fairly confident we will see more, but they will need time to make sure it’s done well.


This goes back to the problem.  Existing players buy up tons of box sets.  Which is a loss for Catylst.  What they should do is a presell for just the minis for existing players.  That way the existing players do not buy up all the box sets.       

nckestrel

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #17 on: 08 February 2019, 16:00:42 »

This goes back to the problem.  Existing players buy up tons of box sets.  Which is a loss for Catalyst.  What they should do is a presell for just the minis for existing players.  That way the existing players do not buy up all the box sets.     

It's always easier to take risks with somebody else's money. A full box set print run and a full mini production run on top of it are great for players, a really bad idea if the market decides it's not worth it and leaves you holding a bunch of overpriced minis you can't sell. Because that's the assumption here, otherwise we're just pulling minis out of box sets and making fewer box sets, and that's not going to create more box sets for new players..
CGL had a plan for how much they thought they could afford to make, and more importantly plans to ensure the margins (selling price - production cost) would ensure they could keep printing it.
As my favorite quote from Mitch of HBS goes, the answer to almost every "can you do X?" is "In success."  With how the box sets are going, I am hopeful we will see more options.  Whether it will be packs of minis only, another box set with different minis, etc, I don't know.  It may depend on how the separate map packs sell (if they don't sell well, another box set may be necessary to make expanding the game, including maps, feasible). But they needed to ensure this (these) box sets went well before getting into "let's make more products!" I am enthusiastically awaiting those next steps now :).
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General308

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #18 on: 08 February 2019, 16:35:14 »
It's always easier to take risks with somebody else's money. A full box set print run and a full mini production run on top of it are great for players, a really bad idea if the market decides it's not worth it and leaves you holding a bunch of overpriced minis you can't sell. Because that's the assumption here, otherwise we're just pulling minis out of box sets and making fewer box sets, and that's not going to create more box sets for new players..
CGL had a plan for how much they thought they could afford to make, and more importantly plans to ensure the margins (selling price - production cost) would ensure they could keep printing it.
As my favorite quote from Mitch of HBS goes, the answer to almost every "can you do X?" is "In success."  With how the box sets are going, I am hopeful we will see more options.  Whether it will be packs of minis only, another box set with different minis, etc, I don't know.  It may depend on how the separate map packs sell (if they don't sell well, another box set may be necessary to make expanding the game, including maps, feasible). But they needed to ensure this (these) box sets went well before getting into "let's make more products!" I am enthusiastically awaiting those next steps now :).


Or you do a kickstarter and you presell those mini packs and you solve the problem. 

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #19 on: 08 February 2019, 16:38:38 »
Preselling seems like an incredibly unlikely approach, given Catalyst's experiences with plastics manufacturers. Once bitten, twice shy, and they've been bitten a lot more than once. Just because these boxes seem to have gone smoothly is no reason to assume future ones will also.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #20 on: 08 February 2019, 16:41:47 »
Have any of the starter boxes NOT sold well?   They seem to be out of stock for years at a time. 

I mean, even the first "new" boxed set, the one before the 25th anniversary was gone in days/weeks it seemed like.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #21 on: 08 February 2019, 17:05:54 »
Have any of the starter boxes NOT sold well?   They seem to be out of stock for years at a time. 

I mean, even the first "new" boxed set, the one before the 25th anniversary was gone in days/weeks it seemed like.

They have sold well, as far as we can tell.  And AS lance packs apparently did not. Therefore the hesitation is saying yes CGL should do less box sets and sell minis separately.  I think the problem with the AS lance packs was the lowered value expectations set by the old box sets combined with the less than exciting sculpts/duplicates. 
And certainly plenty of people have commented on the current box set being less of a value. How much that would “hurt” sales was very much a question prior to their release. And one that wasn’t really going to get an answer until they were released and had time to settle in to long-term sales. 
I think we are seeing it, so I have hopeful of seeing more products like them. But yes, there were questions going in.
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Sigil

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #22 on: 08 February 2019, 17:23:19 »
If you put previous Awesome sculpts next to the one from the new box set, the scale is different.  This is what I find most perplexing about the new miniatures: they seem to have revised the size and girth of the BattleMechs.  This, in of itself, in many situations, makes the game board appear inconsistent when playing with mixed generation sculpts.  It's not all that different than mixing the traditional Ral Partha/IWM sculpts with MechWarrior: Dark Age Clix models.

If this is the new normal, I'm looking forward to a steady stream of updated and up-scaled BT miniatures.  I absolutely love the new design aesthetic and the heft of the miniatures.  Well done, CGL!  Now, keep it up!

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #23 on: 08 February 2019, 17:37:56 »
As you say Nck, the price for these at $20 & $60 IIRC? isn't a screaming deal but it seems like its closer to what they need to be at.

Myself, yeah, I feel $49.99 would be the best target price.  And I know I'd have been a lot happier if the 8 minis didn't have 3 duplicates from the last several sets in there.

Swapping the Awesome, Catapult, & Commando for a Wasp/Stinger, Mad/Hammer, & Stalker or even tossing in the Griffin/Wolverine from the Beginners set so you got both in the same box or something like that would have really been spot on for me.


Actually Wolverine/Griffin do make for solid pair in the beginners set so maybe the larger set could have been.....

Locust, Wasp, Phoenix Hawk, Shadow Hawk, Thunderbolt, WarHammer, Marauder, BattleMaster ?


I'm just spit-balling on the "is it worth buying at all v/s buy every single one you can get your hands on", level of interest.

Trying to find that balance between getting them to the new players & not making the price so high that its not worth getting.


I think the idea of "Expansion/Campaign" boxes going for $30 & having 4 mechs in them is another great idea that someone mentioned.

Something like that gets you 4 mechs at a cheaper than metal price while also picking up another map & some added rules/fluff for whatever the setting is.
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General308

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #24 on: 08 February 2019, 18:12:10 »
If you put previous Awesome sculpts next to the one from the new box set, the scale is different.  This is what I find most perplexing about the new miniatures: they seem to have revised the size and girth of the BattleMechs.  This, in of itself, in many situations, makes the game board appear inconsistent when playing with mixed generation sculpts.  It's not all that different than mixing the traditional Ral Partha/IWM sculpts with MechWarrior: Dark Age Clix models.

If this is the new normal, I'm looking forward to a steady stream of updated and up-scaled BT miniatures.  I absolutely love the new design aesthetic and the heft of the miniatures.  Well done, CGL!  Now, keep it up!

BattleTech and scale are two words that should only be used loosely together.  Look at the size of all the different Atlas sculpts.  Or catapult sculpts.   Still love that fat plastech one.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #25 on: 08 February 2019, 18:36:42 »
Original sixteen Omnis when?

Hellraiser

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #26 on: 08 February 2019, 18:38:07 »
I just noticed IWM has a 10 pack of Omnis up for sale on line.

I think it was 9 of the Originals & a Kingfisher?? 

Pricey in metal but a solid starter Binary.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #27 on: 08 February 2019, 18:41:23 »
Regarding buying mechs, I just would like IWM webpage not to suck so much and have visible product instead of microimagea and popup windows. Makes looking for models a nightmare and detracts a lot of my impulse to buy BT products :(

MoffMalthus

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #28 on: 08 February 2019, 18:41:52 »
I love the new sculpts and if they produce new sculpts and sell them in boxed sets I'm sure they would sell very well. The old AS boxed sets are just molds of mechs from the 80's which is why they never sold well. My gaming group is actually excited about Battletech for the for the first time in many years because of the new boxed sets. I'm sure this is a new trend you will start to see if people get exposed to the game.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #29 on: 08 February 2019, 19:02:23 »
nckestrel: Honestly, the reason I never bought an AS box set is that I stopped reading at "Alpha Strike", much less clicked through.  I suspect I was not alone.

BattleTech is the brand... label stuff that way (maybe with a "compatible with Alpha Strike" subtitle), and I bet you sell more.

pheonixstorm

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #30 on: 08 February 2019, 19:30:26 »
If CGL did new lance packs using newer more modern sculpts with units that haven't been in plastic before or additional classics it is certain they will sell. Especially the new Marauder and Warhammer. I would buy packs of those all day. 4 mechs for $20 in plastic is a good buy. Being able to buy the 8 units from the GoAC box in 4 packs for $20 would be an excellent buy too.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #31 on: 08 February 2019, 19:35:18 »
Having just gotten my box of stompy robots today, I certainly hope CGL is able to produce more plastic miniatures.

Heck, if IWM said "We're investing in plastic injection machinery and going to make molds for the top 10 best-sellers, here's our Kickstarter page." I'd be all over that.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #32 on: 08 February 2019, 20:08:19 »
I just noticed IWM has a 10 pack of Omnis up for sale on line.

I think it was 9 of the Originals & a Kingfisher?? 

Pricey in metal but a solid starter Binary.

There’s a coupon code in the box that lowers it to $90.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #33 on: 08 February 2019, 20:15:51 »

Myself, yeah, I feel $49.99 would be the best target price.  And I know I'd have been a lot happier if the 8 minis didn't have 3 duplicates from the last several sets in there.

Swapping the Awesome, Catapult, & Commando for a Wasp/Stinger, Mad/Hammer, & Stalker or even tossing in the Griffin/Wolverine from the Beginners set so you got both in the same box or something like that would have really been spot on for me.


Bear in mind when these boxes were in development there was this little lawsuit going on you may have heard of. So there was no way in hell any of the Macross designs were going to be included.


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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #34 on: 08 February 2019, 22:08:46 »
If CGL did new lance packs using newer more modern sculpts with units that haven't been in plastic before or additional classics it is certain they will sell. Especially the new Marauder and Warhammer. I would buy packs of those all day. 4 mechs for $20 in plastic is a good buy. Being able to buy the 8 units from the GoAC box in 4 packs for $20 would be an excellent buy too.

Oh, my gosh.  If they released a bunch of 4 mech sets for $20, I'd buy every single one of them.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #35 on: 08 February 2019, 22:19:59 »

Or you do a kickstarter and you presell those mini packs and you solve the problem.

I agree, just look at the sucess of Reaper Miniatures and their Bones line, they've done 4 and one for CAV.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #36 on: 08 February 2019, 23:25:08 »
I'd be wary of hoping for 4x'Mechs for $20, the reason being that the starter box costs that but has only 2x'Mechs. Yes, it contains other stuff as well, but still...

I mean, it'd be nice but just seems unlikely to me.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #37 on: 08 February 2019, 23:35:56 »
I'd be wary of hoping for 4x'Mechs for $20, the reason being that the starter box costs that but has only 2x'Mechs. Yes, it contains other stuff as well, but still...

I mean, it'd be nice but just seems unlikely to me.
I believe that is what the original metal Beginners Sets cost, before they were repackaged as lance packs. So... it isn't unheard of.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #38 on: 09 February 2019, 00:50:37 »
I wouldn't mind plastic clan mechs but I know I'm a vocal minority on that.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #39 on: 09 February 2019, 02:08:22 »
I'd be wary of hoping for 4x'Mechs for $20, the reason being that the starter box costs that but has only 2x'Mechs. Yes, it contains other stuff as well, but still...

I mean, it'd be nice but just seems unlikely to me.

Why? We already had $20 lance packs, there would be no new investment, and there would be no need for anything in the box beyond the mechs and a plastic bed to keep them safe. Maybe AS cards as well. It would be an expansion which would require either BMM/TW or one of the box sets to play.

Doesn't matter if the starter is $20. If you buy the lance you then have to buy a rule book. By then your up to 60 and unless you buy into Alpha Strike you need maps, which means you need one of the boxes (for now). Overall if I had never played BT I would buy the starter, then toss it or buy the books and more mechs. Can't do much except paint if you have no rules to go a long with the minis.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #40 on: 09 February 2019, 02:11:40 »
I wouldn't mind plastic clan mechs but I know I'm a vocal minority on that.
I'd like 'em as well.
Namely the 16 original Omnis (and some Elementals), less interested in others.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #41 on: 09 February 2019, 04:22:53 »
I don’t think there is any question or doubt that Lance Packs would sell like hot cakes if they where of the equal quality to the new box set and they where unique molds (different from the box sets).

The previous Alpha Strike Lance packs didn’t sell for many reasons, the fact that the sculpts were garbage was no doubt at the top of that list. 

The books are an issue too.  The core Battlemech Manual for example should never be out of print, even if you have to overstock that thing and sell it at a loss.  Its the main book.  Without it, your game is officially ”out of print” no matter what else is available for the game.

I introduced Battletech to a friend this week, he like me is a consumer of games but a decade younger then me and had never played Battletech.  We played and his opinion was ”this game feels like a game from the 80’s”, mind you he was born in 85.  Suffice to say, I think that is the one other issue Catalyst needs to address.  I know that the fact that the game is unchanged in 35 years is a kind of point of pride, but, I have to agree with my friend.  It was a nice side trek for us, but the game mechanics are too unsophisticated and the design is from another time, its not something we can play and get into.  Not with modern designs like Bolt Action, Armada, Legion... etc.. I mean there are so many fantastic, modern miniature games that can be played in 2 hours that give you a full robust highly tactical and very strategic experiance.

Battlemech is what I would call a feather light tactical game that takes a minimum of 6 hours to play even if you use the shortcuts and speed through the rules.

This game needs a 2nd edition.. one that focus on tighting up and modernizing the mechanics.  Fancy miniatures arent going to solve the games problem of getting a new generation into the game simply because we get very fancy miniatures from all companies for all games, this is the standard and expectations of todays games... Battletech making a 8 mini box sets of plastic is not some gift, its a requirement and expectation to compete in todays market, but its not enough to expand the line.
« Last Edit: 09 February 2019, 05:37:40 by Bigkahuna »

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #42 on: 09 February 2019, 05:04:59 »
For me the biggest issue with the lance packs was the amount of redundancy of mechs in my intro box.  I would have to debate whether it was worth buying the lance pack even though really only 1 or 2 of the mechs were new for me and at that point I better really like the new mech or mechs I was getting.  IN one instance I bought one only because on of the mechs was a wolfhound and that just happened to be the mech my wife wanted to play so that worked out great.

If they made new plastic lance packs made up of mostly new mechs (or perhaps have a common mech but in a different mold) then I would be very interested.

MoffMalthus

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #43 on: 09 February 2019, 07:30:10 »
I don’t think there is any question or doubt that Lance Packs would sell like hot cakes if they where of the equal quality to the new box set and they where unique molds (different from the box sets).

The previous Alpha Strike Lance packs didn’t sell for many reasons, the fact that the sculpts were garbage was no doubt at the top of that list. 

The books are an issue too.  The core Battlemech Manual for example should never be out of print, even if you have to overstock that thing and sell it at a loss.  Its the main book.  Without it, your game is officially ”out of print” no matter what else is available for the game.

I introduced Battletech to a friend this week, he like me is a consumer of games but a decade younger then me and had never played Battletech.  We played and his opinion was ”this game feels like a game from the 80’s”, mind you he was born in 85.  Suffice to say, I think that is the one other issue Catalyst needs to address.  I know that the fact that the game is unchanged in 35 years is a kind of point of pride, but, I have to agree with my friend.  It was a nice side trek for us, but the game mechanics are too unsophisticated and the design is from another time, its not something we can play and get into.  Not with modern designs like Bolt Action, Armada, Legion... etc.. I mean there are so many fantastic, modern miniature games that can be played in 2 hours that give you a full robust highly tactical and very strategic experiance.

Battlemech is what I would call a feather light tactical game that takes a minimum of 6 hours to play even if you use the shortcuts and speed through the rules.

This game needs a 2nd edition.. one that focus on tighting up and modernizing the mechanics.  Fancy miniatures arent going to solve the games problem of getting a new generation into the game simply because we get very fancy miniatures from all companies for all games, this is the standard and expectations of todays games... Battletech making a 8 mini box sets of plastic is not some gift, its a requirement and expectation to compete in todays market, but its not enough to expand the line.

They already tried this with Mechwarrior about 15 years ago and it was a disaster. The only games for me that take 6+ hours are those that get up to company vs company. Lance vs Lance we usually average 2 to 3 hours. We have two new Battletech players in our group both in mid 20's age range and they love the rules. They are both 40k players who think the battletech rules are a breath of fresh air in comparison. I guess it just depends on the player...
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General308

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #44 on: 09 February 2019, 12:15:27 »
Having just gotten my box of stompy robots today, I certainly hope CGL is able to produce more plastic miniatures.

Heck, if IWM said "We're investing in plastic injection machinery and going to make molds for the top 10 best-sellers, here's our Kickstarter page." I'd be all over that.


I don't think IWM would ever do that.  To be  honest it is expensive.   Look at Reaper with all the kickstarter money they have raised all they have been able to get the machinery to make are the bases.  All the minis are still made in China.    Honestly I think to make that Happen all the US mini companies would have to go in together and do a super kickstarter and create a new company to control the machinery.   It is so sad we can't do this here in the US.

Bedwyr

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #45 on: 09 February 2019, 18:11:01 »
Hey guys. Injecting some modlyness here. The subject is getting a bit off course from the plastic miniatures discussion into a general "how do we change the game rules and save Battletech?" subject. Please steer the discussion back towards the plastics. If you want to continue the rules adjustment discussion, please start another topic.

I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.


Alright. I went ahead and split the conversation. Plastic minis and musings about minis releases here. For rules modifications and streamlining discussion go here: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=64346.msg1480898#new
« Last Edit: 10 February 2019, 11:39:40 by Bedwyr »
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #46 on: 10 February 2019, 13:02:18 »
Gods, how I hope so!
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Bedwyr

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #47 on: 10 February 2019, 13:07:31 »
Gods, how I hope so!

*I am not speaking in any way for, nor do I represent the views of Catalyst Game Labs or In Media Res productions, nor necessarily my own views which are idiosyncratic. 1967 film quotation is not for everyone, consult your doctor before use.
« Last Edit: 10 February 2019, 15:48:56 by Bedwyr »
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #48 on: 10 February 2019, 14:12:28 »
I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I'd love to see sets of the cardboard standees, ala the Pawn boxes that Paizo sells.  Being able to get a large number of mechs, with various house/unit paint schemes, and all easily storable would be a big plus for me.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #49 on: 10 February 2019, 14:21:37 »
You’re not the first to voice a desire for such a product. The lineup from TRO: Succession Wars would be a welcome addition for me

rkhigdon

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #50 on: 10 February 2019, 19:56:26 »
That would be a great start.

ArchonDan

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #51 on: 10 February 2019, 21:58:13 »
I think the new plastic miniatures look great and the line up to date. The style, pose and bulk really bring them out of the 80s. Plus the new reseen look great!

Cubby

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #52 on: 12 February 2019, 12:54:48 »
Just a quick check-in, because I keep seeing the phrase "the Lance Packs didn't sell well." The word "well" needs a bit of qualification.

My understanding, and based on past comments from management elsewhere, is that against a very large initial print run they didn't sell fast enough. I've beaten this drum of sales velocity a couple times in the past, but it's a big part of understanding why things do and don't happen.

Money is invested up front to produce a product, which then needs to sell briskly to get the maximum amount of profit back into the company coffers to go make more stuff. The longer it sits in the warehouse, the longer your investment is a sunk cost--and worse, that warehouse space ain't free, and that cost scales to the amount of product you have sitting in it.

With a large initial order, the pressure on fast sales is that much greater--you've put that much more money in upfront, and have that much more stuff sitting. My sense is that the Lance Packs sold about on par with other BattleTech product in terms of speed. And they sold through, finally, but it took years. I don't see numbers and neither do you, but draw your own conclusions on the impact that had on the initial investment.

Would some different choices in the composition of the product have aided its sales velocity, like the ideas being thrown around here? Maybe, maybe not. But within that discussion, I don't want it to be lost that speed vs. initial order size is an important factor, possibly more important even than product contents.

I'd be wary of hoping for 4x'Mechs for $20, the reason being that the starter box costs that but has only 2x'Mechs. Yes, it contains other stuff as well, but still...

Don't underestimate the production costs of that "other stuff." You may see it as just a bunch of throw-in paper, but the factory isn't throwing it in there for free. All of those costs have to be factored into the final MSRP of the product. The Lance Packs don't have those elements, so their composition and costs were different.
« Last Edit: 12 February 2019, 12:56:52 by Cubby »
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Church14

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #53 on: 12 February 2019, 15:34:07 »
I for one wholeheartedly would get behind more lance packs. I buy them usually whenever I see them on a shelf.

If the models exist for CGL somewhere, please do so. Please please please organize them by TRO and weight class. Gimme a 3058 IS lights, 3058 Clan lights, 3060 IS mediums, etc. Call them whatever you want.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #54 on: 12 February 2019, 16:55:34 »
I'm thinking Catalyst could sign a deal with Wizkids. They do a very good job for D&D and Pathfinder/Starfinder models. Let them worry about the cash flow, production and only take a royalties on each models. Is that something that could work?
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WARGAMES played : Starfire • Cars Wars • Ogre/GEV • MechWarrior Dark Ages • 40K • Infinity • SAGA Dark Ages • Freebooters Fate • Pulp City • Dropzone Commander • Gates of Antares • BSG Space Battles

Colt Ward

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #55 on: 12 February 2019, 17:09:34 »
As has been mentioned, Iron Wind Metals has the rights to miniatures- like Micro$haft has the rights to electronics/gaming, its part of the fallout of the FASA collapse.  To try to hold on, they sold off assets and rights to their IP which leaves us with a fragmented IP that makes it difficult to get any synergy in the various mediums.
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Marc C

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #56 on: 12 February 2019, 17:19:26 »
As has been mentioned, Iron Wind Metals has the rights to miniatures- like Micro$haft has the rights to electronics/gaming, its part of the fallout of the FASA collapse. To try to hold on, they sold off assets and rights to their IP which leaves us with a fragmented IP that makes it difficult to get any synergy in the various mediums.

Crap... that is sad.  :'( xp
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Colt Ward

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #57 on: 12 February 2019, 17:27:00 »
Its a problem, but IWM is honestly a great company.  All my experiences with them have been positive.  For the complaints about the 'old minis' that is the artwork though it is faithfully rendered.  I personally had a problem with a lot of the minis around the TRO Pro Phoenix timeframe b/c of the parts.  The 'new' 3145/50 stuff is done by a lot of the current artists that produced what is in the box set.  We also have a lot of Mechwarrior video game minis, part of what makes the Timberwolf and Atlas iconic.
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Church14

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #58 on: 12 February 2019, 17:54:18 »
I'm thinking Catalyst could sign a deal with Wizkids. They do a very good job for D&D and Pathfinder/Starfinder models. Let them worry about the cash flow, production and only take a royalties on each models. Is that something that could work?

Wizkids “Dep Cuts” line seems to be pretty good. They would probably do well with mech minis

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #59 on: 12 February 2019, 17:55:39 »
...We also have a lot of Mechwarrior video game minis, part of what makes the Timberwolf and Atlas iconic.

Where can I get these models?
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #61 on: 12 February 2019, 18:31:55 »
What you would be looking for would be the Mad Dog/Vulture Mk III which has the MW4 look . . . and I think shares it with the II?  The II was a GB Dominion build of the I, explaining the look/difference of the to be b/c it was built outside the homeworlds.  The Uziel 2S is also from MW4 along with the Thanatos, Chimera, Black Knight 5H (from MWDA stat-wise but the look comes from MW4).  Razorback, Sha Yu, Men Shen, Lao Hu, and Anubis appeared in MC2.
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Marc C

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #62 on: 12 February 2019, 18:48:18 »
http://www.ironwindmetals.com/store/index.php

Are these the MWO video game sculpts the other poster was talking about?
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #63 on: 12 February 2019, 18:55:09 »
No, no mini maker afaik has been legally allowed to make MWO scuplts- b/c Microsoft does not have the rights to mini production as I said.  They can do some stuff under merchandising agreements I think but that is not my area.  They DO have a pair of Shadow Hawk sculpts that were put out, one is a jumping Royal and the other is the -2H.
Colt Ward

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #64 on: 12 February 2019, 18:58:01 »
Maybe Catalyst should do a Kickstarter to collect the funds to buy backache IP from Iron Wind... I wonder how much that would cost.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: 12 February 2019, 19:58:09 by Marc C »
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #65 on: 12 February 2019, 19:55:11 »
....what.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #66 on: 12 February 2019, 19:58:35 »
I think he’s asking or much it would cost cgl to buy the minis rights from iwm

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #67 on: 12 February 2019, 20:03:58 »
...I got nothing. Iron Wind Metals is one of the best things to ever happen to Battletech. To cut them out like that would be a despicable betrayal of the highest order. Moreover, getting rid of metal minis doesn't mean that plastics would suddenly happen. It would mean no minis at all, aside from the small number of plastics we're already getting now.

Is there a reason you don't want to use that vast amount of money to provide IWM with the equipment for plastics manufacturing?
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #68 on: 12 February 2019, 20:21:15 »
Maybe Catalyst should do a Kickstarter to collect the funds to buy backache IP from Iron Wind... I wonder how much that would cost.  :thumbsup:
That wouldn't matter. Nobody can get the rights to produce the MWO designs unless they purchased both parts of the IP. Basically, it's so complicated that a billionaire would have to really want to see it happen. Good luck with that.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #69 on: 12 February 2019, 21:54:12 »
Oh well, I see that I'm out of my depth on this topic. Forget what I wrote about the KS...  :-[
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #70 on: 13 February 2019, 00:37:57 »
Its not anything specific to you . . . its just it has been debated around quite a bit and you will see the policy about not displaying MWO 3D printed minis.  Its great to see the excitement but these are the unfortunate answers that have been found to be the case over the years.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #71 on: 15 February 2019, 14:02:02 »
I need clarification...

My understanding is that Microsoft has the rights to make video games, Catalyst (CGL) has the right to create books (and minis but only if they’re in starter boxes), and IronWind Metals has the rights to create miniatures based on CGL’s IP.

Is Microsoft obligated to make its mechs look different from the tabletop game’s source books?  Some have clear differences, like the Awesome, but I’d be hard-pressed to identify an MWO Catapult or Commando from the new CGL plastic minis.  Does anyone get in trouble if the designs converge like that?

What allowed CGL to sell lance packs?  I assume IWM sees CGL’s starter boxes as an opportunity to grow its market and is therefore not opposed to them, but the old lance packs look like direct competition.

I assume IWM needs CGL’s permission before releasing each mini based on CGL art.  Do they ever create their own designs or redesigns?  I guess they wouldn’t be able to use a Battletech mech name if they did. 

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #72 on: 15 February 2019, 14:09:11 »
I need clarification...

My understanding is that Microsoft has the rights to make video games, Catalyst (CGL) has the right to create books (and minis but only if they’re in starter boxes), and IronWind Metals has the rights to create miniatures based on CGL’s IP.

Is Microsoft obligated to make its mechs look different from the tabletop game’s source books?  Some have clear differences, like the Awesome, but I’d be hard-pressed to identify an MWO Catapult or Commando from the new CGL plastic minis.  Does anyone get in trouble if the designs converge like that?

What allowed CGL to sell lance packs?  I assume IWM sees CGL’s starter boxes as an opportunity to grow its market and is therefore not opposed to them, but the old lance packs look like direct competition.

I assume IWM needs CGL’s permission before releasing each mini based on CGL art.  Do they ever create their own designs or redesigns?  I guess they wouldn’t be able to use a Battletech mech name if they did.

Confused yet? ;)
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #73 on: 15 February 2019, 14:13:50 »
My understanding is that IWM has ALL mini rights. CGL gets their permission to put minis in the starter boxes, or to make the lance packs.
As for MS, my understanding is that they have full video game rights to everything FASA did, but no rights to any later art.  So MS has no rights to the Reseen or new Classic artwork, but they have rights to use the old Awesome, etc from FASA times. And to make derivatives of such art for themselves.
Similarity, CGL (Topps) has no rights to art made by Piranha. Even if it’s derivative of old FASA art.
If I wrote something for BattleTech, it doesn’t give me any rights to BattleTech, and BattleTech only gets whatever rights to my work I give them (presumably in return for getting paid).   The same applies to art.
Of course, what’s legal has to be determined by lawyers and courts, and is often contested even then. But that appears to be the understanding everybody is operating under.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #74 on: 15 February 2019, 14:19:02 »
I need clarification...

welcome to the humble club

Quote
My understanding is that Microsoft has the rights to make video games, Catalyst (CGL) has the right to create books (and minis but only if they’re in starter boxes), and IronWind Metals has the rights to create miniatures based on CGL’s IP.

that checks out.

Quote
Is Microsoft obligated to make its mechs look different from the tabletop game’s source books?  Some have clear differences, like the Awesome, but I’d be hard-pressed to identify an MWO Catapult or Commando from the new CGL plastic minis.  Does anyone get in trouble if the designs converge like that?

historically, it doesn't seem so. MechCommander and MechWarrior 4 definitely had some very CBT-looking mechs (eg the Osiris in MW4). I think each just wants to maintain its own artistic aesthetic. 

Quote
What allowed CGL to sell lance packs?  I assume IWM sees CGL’s starter boxes as an opportunity to grow its market and is therefore not opposed to them, but the old lance packs look like direct competition.

my guess is that they're considered mini box sets in their own right. they come with ancillary materials (and also a direct upsell to IWM minis in the 5th mech card). what you'll probably never see is just an Atlas in a baggie like Bones minis.

Quote
I assume IWM needs CGL’s permission before releasing each mini based on CGL art.  Do they ever create their own designs or redesigns?  I guess they wouldn’t be able to use a Battletech mech name if they did. 

Some of the IWM sculptors wade around in our muck and can probably answer directly, but the IWM release schedule is a bit of a mystery. there have been some resculpts in the past few years like the chimera, hellspawn, and highlander - but i'm not sure if that art came from somewhere or it was artist's licence.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #75 on: 15 February 2019, 14:43:03 »
As for MS, my understanding is that they have full video game rights to everything FASA did, but no rights to any later art. 

Slight expansion - Microsoft have the rights for any and all computer expression of the Battletech IP. This means not only games, but design programs, electronic record sheets, etc. Rick Raisley of HeavyMetal fame used to have to pay licencing fees to MS back in the day (I suspect he may not be doing so now, due to low volumes).

Sites like Sarna, and teams like MegaMek, could technically be hit by MS lawyers, but MS is unlikely to do so as there's no money, and they're not competing with MS per se. Pihrana had to licence from MS, then Harebrained licenced from them -  or vice versa, not quite remembering - but then it's pretty much as above.

Quote from: Sartris
Some of the IWM sculptors wade around in our muck and can probably answer directly, but the IWM release schedule is a bit of a mystery. there have been some resculpts in the past few years like the chimera, hellspawn, and highlander - but i'm not sure if that art came from somewhere or it was artist's licence.

I do know that a new IWM mini can't be made without genuine BT art, but this could be old or new art. Many of the new minis are, I believed, inspired by dissatisfaction with the old sculpts, enthusiasm of the sculptors, a dash of fan funding. and the continued enthusiasm of IWM for our game ;)
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #76 on: 15 February 2019, 14:54:57 »
I don’t know how much of those are legal requirements and how much is tradition/understanding. I’m not sure even Topps/Microsoft know for sure. Making claims of legality without ha jog seem the actual legal documentation is always bound to be wrong.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #77 on: 20 February 2019, 13:33:23 »
Maybe Catalyst should do a Kickstarter to collect the funds to buy backache IP from Iron Wind... I wonder how much that would cost.  :thumbsup:

Catalyst has said no to kickstarters so that won't happen. However if you scroll down to the miniature section of the forums you will see that IWM offers a special type of crowd funding to produce new sculpts and iwm gives us a voucher for what we donate to purchase later on after the sculpt is released

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #78 on: 20 February 2019, 13:38:57 »
The miniatures have needed a kick in the ass reboot for the longest time. With that said the mini's in the box sets is exactly what we need. A lot of the people who have played it in the past in my area love the new look and are talking about getting back into the game.  I can only hope now that IWM &c GL would get together to get the new sculpts taken care of in have it re design for everything pre clan era

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #79 on: 20 February 2019, 14:03:48 »
The thing with the minis in the boxed sets is that we need continuity. otherwise it will be a summer snow event.

And IWM needs a new webpage. When the people making MWOnline nonlicenced miniatures have way better webpages than the official line, you have a problem above and beyond them doing illegal things.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #80 on: 20 February 2019, 14:30:39 »
historically, it doesn't seem so. MechCommander and MechWarrior 4 definitely had some very CBT-looking mechs (eg the Osiris in MW4). I think each just wants to maintain its own artistic aesthetic. 

You may already know, but Dave White made those for MW4, and they got added to the paper BT universe after the fact. He has also been one of the main artists as a result of his work on all that.


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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #81 on: 20 February 2019, 14:38:26 »
i had forgotten that the osiris was one of those actually

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #82 on: 20 February 2019, 14:59:34 »
IWM is the only reason I'm still into Battletech after all these years. And I know I'm not the only one.

They kept me going when nothing else was going well in this game.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #83 on: 20 February 2019, 14:59:43 »
Slight expansion - Microsoft have the rights for any and all computer expression of the Battletech IP. This means not only games, but design programs, electronic record sheets, etc.
We don't know that.  Remember legality is rarely known until a court case settles it. Especially when the current people involved were not the ones that made the agreement and the agreement is old.  We know that the various parties have acted one way. If you had asked what book rights were 20 years ago, you'd get a definitive answer.  Then digital publishing hit and we got all sorts of answers on how those rights were affected by long standing agreements.  Sometimes writer kept digital rights, because they were stipulated in the agreement.  Sometimes the writing was given to the company, but the artwork was not given (for digital use). It threw everyting in the air. What was true 20 years ago re: Microsoft's rights may be interpreted very differently now, where some sort of digital technology is heavily involved in many tabletop games.  Clearly MS's rights don't limit CGL having a BattleTech website.  Does it affect the master unit list?  Does it affect the MUL having AS unit cards available? Does it affect the MUL allowing players to select units and make a list to print?  Does it affect the MUL allowing players to construct their own units, using the in print game rules, and print their own AS unit card for it? Would you give the same answer for other games?  Does Warmachine having a computer game make Privateer Press unable to make digital aids for its own game?  Can you think of any other tabletop game that then has a computer game, where the tabletop game is then unable to make digital aids for its own games?
Of course, there could be something in writing from FASA saying otherwise, but I'm not sure anybody has seen it (including CGL).  it's all guesswork and how much does CGL want to push back.  Oh wait, push back against Microsoft... There's the last puzzle.  Legality goes to the one with the best lawyers..
Quote
Rick Raisley of HeavyMetal fame used to have to pay licencing fees to MS back in the day (I suspect he may not be doing so now, due to low volumes).
As far as I know, it was a one time fee. And no term limit. 
Quote
Sites like Sarna, and teams like MegaMek, could technically be hit by MS lawyers, but MS is unlikely to do so as there's no money, and they're not competing with MS per se. Pihrana had to license from MS, then Harebrained licensed from them -  or vice versa, not quite remembering - but then it's pretty much as above.
I don't know of a single court case where a tabletop game has had to stop making digital aids because the computer game rights are with another company. Of course, there may be a specific agreement for BattleTech, but considering when that agreement would have had to be made (at or before FASA Interactive split), I don't think anybody was going to specifically refer to digital aids for a tabletop game. MegaMek is on pretty shaky waters, I agree I don't see anything saving that but MS not caring.  But Sarna? I don't think MS could go anywhere near it.  Topps on the other hand?  The probably could.

Final note, I took a class in Business Law.  So I am dangerously ignorant.

TLDR: We don't know what is legally binding on anybody. We have some idea how it has worked out in the past.


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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #84 on: 21 February 2019, 20:27:17 »
Having just gotten my box of stompy robots today, I certainly hope CGL is able to produce more plastic miniatures.

Heck, if IWM said "We're investing in plastic injection machinery and going to make molds for the top 10 best-sellers, here's our Kickstarter page." I'd be all over that.
In MY opinion, that would be a Dark Day for IWM.  I have at least 1 friend that has said he'll never buy a plastic mini, and if IWM was to somehow "Switch Over" to plastics, he'd never buy another IWM mini.


While I LOVE the new Classics we've gotten in the new Box Sets, I'm NOT a big fan of plastic minis.   :-\  I was happy enough with the last Box Set also, but never bought a single AS Lance Pack.  Why?  Plastic.   xp 


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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #85 on: 21 February 2019, 21:46:13 »
I just don't think there are enough BattleTech players out there to justify the switch to plastics. The start up costs and molds are astronomical considering what IWM can do. You could argue a chicken & egg thing: would new miniatures generate enough interest in the game to sell all those new plastic minis? Maybe, but I don't really need to buy any new miniatures as I have a solid collection of the 'mechs from the eras I play. But how representative am I?

If there are people like me who are long time players who have most of the miniatures one would want, then you are relying on players with smaller collections or new to the game. I don't know if BattleTech could have enough velocity to justify the cost of switching to plastic. Newer metal sculpts are more realistic. Despite the cost of metal minis, at least the quality and sharpness of detail are superior. I like the overall designs in the new box sets, but have been disappointed with some of the quality of the plastic. But it is what it is. I see both sides of the argument.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #86 on: 22 February 2019, 10:43:33 »
For me the best way to get more plastic minis out there is for expansion box sets.

Would be ace to have a Tales of the Black Widows expansion box set that comes with a Warhammer, Marauder, Crusader, Rifleman, Griffin, Wasp and a pair of Stingers. Players could than field these mechs in linked scenarios against the forces from the core set.

Put in a novella,  maps,  scenario pack and pilot cards. Maybe faction dice too?

You could roll expansion box sets for different merc forces or house forces.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #87 on: 22 February 2019, 10:51:06 »
Slight expansion - Microsoft have the rights for any and all computer expression of the Battletech IP.

Close. The exception being location based computer versions of BattleTech which is owned by Virtual World Entertainment.

So BattleTech has three owners: VWE, MS and Topps. MS and Topps farm out their IPs to multiple different parties making a whole mess of fun.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #88 on: 22 February 2019, 10:53:55 »
can Randall forge the One Ring equivalent for battletech?

... or is that just a number with a bunch of commas on a check?

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #89 on: 22 February 2019, 11:37:41 »
Randall ran out of his comma allotment for the year on his first three sentences alone.
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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #90 on: 22 February 2019, 11:42:00 »
So, exactly where is this person to buy it all out and reform?

Nowhere.

We're on our own.  :thumbsup:

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #91 on: 22 February 2019, 12:03:43 »
This is going to come off as me being very mean here, but in the interest of transparency and honesty the Alpha Strike Lance packs not selling should come to the surprise of no one.  I think the Battletech community has some sort of beer goggles when they look at the miniatures being produced for this game or something.  These Alpha Strike mini's were god awful, ugly, not even at the bottom of the barrel of what is an acceptable level of quality for release in the gaming markets today or even 15 years.  They would have sold more Alpha Strike Lance packs if they were cardboard stand ups to be frank. 

This box set they released for the core game now is the first time in 35 years that I have seen a miniature produced for this game that is worth purchasing.  Sadly, the success of Battletech's ambition to grow as a game, expand their profile and reach out to a larger community is entirely dependent on them producing better miniatures for the game going forward.  No amount of books and expanded content is going to do the trick, they must accept that Battletech is a miniatures game and the single most important thing for a miniature game is a steady release of high quality miniatures as is the standard set by today's competitive miniatures market.  E

Even that may not be enough as the competition in miniature market games is quite stiff.  The games rules for Battletech are fairly dated and while that has some nostalgic weight with gamers, in the end, I believe the games mechanics really need a refresher.  The game as it is, is simply way too long for a game that has so many rather randomizing mechanics.  It really needs a 2nd edition, that focuses on modernization and streamlining the rules a bit if you really want to appeal to the modern markets.

This is a good opinion, even if the words are a little rough. I agree with it.

I got into the game recently (as in, with these new boxes) And I honestly don't belive the bulk of these purchases were from veteran players as it was told earlier in this thread.

I do belive a lot of new people are like me, and want a cool game about giant robots. People who played the recent Computer Game and are excited by the way better looking miniatures and the fact it is a game that actually feels like a bunch of huge machines punching/shooting at each other.

I'd love if Catalyst continued to support and release plastic miniatures. It's an expensive investment, yes, but I think the community and game would rise a lot more if we kept getting quality plastic like the ones in these boxes.

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #92 on: 22 February 2019, 12:38:35 »

For whatever my opinion is worth, the next logical step would be something along the lines of a Boxed Set to follow on to The Game of Armored Combat set, as a "next step".  I think such a set would be the ideal to do the rest of the "classics" or "nuseen" or whatever we are calling them now that aren't in the first two boxes, plus a Star of the iconic Clan mechs and vehicle counters,  to introduce all of those rules as the next stage beyond the current Boxed Sets.

It would obviously have to be a somewhat high-price-point set with all of those, but I think it would make a great next step.  Plus, just as the Game of Armored Combat set pairs well with the Battletech Manual, this type of an "advanced" set would pair very well with Total Warfare.

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Sartris

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #93 on: 22 February 2019, 12:56:43 »
something tells me the base product line isn't going to include vehicles any time soon

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=60405.msg1389013#msg1389013 (locked thread, can't quote directly)

Quote from: Adrian Gideon
Try to look at it this way. Flavor. If you’re running an ice cream shop, you can’t just do vanilla, your need chocolate and strawberry. Honestly, you’d be best with a dozen assortments, right?

What seems to be the case, at least talking on the business side, is that “vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry” isn’t “Mechs, vehicles and infantry,” but instead “Mechs, other Mechs, and more Mechs.” Vehicles and infantry are the flavors you experiment with once you have your solid dozen flavors.

House Davie Merc

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #94 on: 22 February 2019, 15:58:41 »
I would personally LOVE to see lance packs similar to the
older ones ,but with less repeats per box .
(Light ,medium ,heavy , and Fire especially )

If the quality can be kept high with the plastics I think a lot of you would
be surprised how many players would grab them over metal .
I'd like being able to carry a hundred minis and my 3D terrain into the
LGS  without a forklift . Also dropping a plastic mini doesn't usually
result in terrain damage either .
Metals are nice-but well done plastics can be great as well for
the average gamer .

IWM has been there for us  over the years -perhaps helping them to get
into this technology could be a boon for all of us .
« Last Edit: 22 February 2019, 16:11:03 by House Davie Merc »

Sartris

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #95 on: 22 February 2019, 16:17:25 »
I wouldn’t be surprised about plastic classics being more popular. I always assumed the no assembly and price point were the biggest reasons for plastic mechs’ popularity

Psycho

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #96 on: 22 February 2019, 16:21:50 »


For the most part, I agree. Really, there are pros and cons to both materials. The caveats on lance packs would be that we as consumers don't know how much (or even if) CGL turned a profit on the previous sets, and what price point they'd need to sell at for new sets to be profitable. Remember that by re-using existing molds they were able to cut costs substantially.

IWM being able to effectively utilize plastics is a question of volume per sculpt. They know their sales numbers and what that means to their bottom line. The average right now is nowhere close to what would be needed. Maybe if CGL can bring in loads of new players - and keep them with some solid follow-on product - there will be enough of a change to support that kind of move.

Cache

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #97 on: 22 February 2019, 17:33:39 »
I wouldn’t be surprised about plastic classics being more popular. I always assumed the no assembly and price point were the biggest reasons for plastic mechs’ popularity
The price point is something I wonder about. How many people actually paid retail price for theirs? If memory serves, the forum didn't go wild about them until the were on clearance (50% off or so).

abou

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Re: Will Catalyst produce and sell more plastic miniature sets?
« Reply #98 on: 22 February 2019, 19:02:38 »
Looks like on Facebook they posted a new version by ShimSword of the Orion. Looks like we are getting remodels. But who knows what that roll out will look like.


 

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