Pre-painted miniatures delayed until March 2018


Accessories

Liberty's Edge

The Ninja Division SNAFU shines eternal.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For ease of conversation, here's what they said regarding the Starfinder prepainted minis:

Ninja Division wrote:
Ninja Division Publishing, LLC had originally planned to release the pre-painted miniatures officially licensed by Paizo™ for their Starfinder™ Roleplaying Game in the Fall of 2017. Due to the approvals process and our desire to provide the highest quality product possible, we are delaying the release of the pre-painted Starfinder miniatures until March of 2018.

As they said, the delay is "due to the approvals process and our desire to provide the highest quality product possible," and I'd like to give you some more detail on that. We've approved the sculpts—they're quite nice!—but we have asked for a fair number of adjustments to the paint ops on many of these minis, and that's creating additional approval cycles. We think it's going be well worth the extra wait.

(Those of you who have been following WizKids' Pathfinder Battles line since its inception will remember that it took us a while to get where we wanted there as well.)

Liberty's Edge

Sounds fine by itself, it just feels like all developments in this saga conspire towards disappointment. The unpainted miniatures getting delayed due to a last-minute sales strategy epiphany was a similar letdown.


Glass half empty; glass half full.

I choose to see this as "We're getting better quality miniatures eventually"

Schedules have always been a challenge in the industry.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

For ease of conversation, here's what they said regarding the Starfinder prepainted minis:

Ninja Division wrote:
Ninja Division Publishing, LLC had originally planned to release the pre-painted miniatures officially licensed by Paizo™ for their Starfinder™ Roleplaying Game in the Fall of 2017. Due to the approvals process and our desire to provide the highest quality product possible, we are delaying the release of the pre-painted Starfinder miniatures until March of 2018.

As they said, the delay is "due to the approvals process and our desire to provide the highest quality product possible," and I'd like to give you some more detail on that. We've approved the sculpts—they're quite nice!—but we have asked for a fair number of adjustments to the paint ops on many of these minis, and that's creating additional approval cycles. We think it's going be well worth the extra wait.

(Those of you who have been following WizKids' Pathfinder Battles line since its inception will remember that it took us a while to get where we wanted there as well.)

Thanks, Vic. Hearing specifics like that is reassuring.

I confess I was sceptical of the Ninja Division email - borderline cynical, really. It read to me as an excuse rather than an explanation. The PFB experience clearly shows the value of tweaking and re-working.*

*:
Although I guess the PACG Ultrapro carry case shows the risk. :(


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, March has come and gone. Any more updates on this?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

All 4 sets (Iconic Heroes 1 and 2, Corpse Fleet, and Pact Worlds Fleet) should be on sale at GenCon and should show up in retail stores later in August. (We had production samples of all of them on display at PaizoCon.)


Is there any plan to produce any other sets after the first four?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ninja Division has discussed several ideas with us, but we have told them to focus on delivering everything they've currently announced first.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Ninja Division has discussed several ideas with us, but we have told them to focus on delivering everything they've currently announced first.

I'm curious if Paizo has discussed the current state of the Kickstarter with Ninja Division; sorry I know this post is about the painted minis but I'm taking the opportunity here since you mentioned discussions with ND.

Cheers


I am also wondering if the KS is being discussed with them currently. I chose not to back the KS because of the lack of faith I have in ND/Sodapop as a company.

I would like to know too if they have some kind of exclusive rights to SF miniatures ?

Is it possible also in the future if SF miniatures might be available like the Pathfinder Miniatures from Wizkids and come in blind packaging?

Personally I'd rather have anyone except Ninja Division make these miniatures and even if/when they do deliver on there kickstarter I will more than likely choose not to buy anything from the line because of how the company has chosen to operate.

That said, anything and everything Paizo releases for Starfinder and quite a bit of stuff they produce for Pathfinder I will continue to purchase loyally.

Paizo Employee VP of Marketing & Licensing

Cory Marion wrote:

I'm curious if Paizo has discussed the current state of the Kickstarter with Ninja Division; sorry I know this post is about the painted minis but I'm taking the opportunity here since you mentioned discussions with ND.

Cheers

We've asked Ninja Division to be active on their KickStarter and respond to backer concerns as soon as they have answers for them. Here's what we know about their KickStarter plans:

1.) ND began shipping Wave 1 miniatures right before Memorial Day weekend. We know that some backers received miniatures that hadn't yet fully cured; ND is working on solutions to that now.

2.) ND will continue to send out monthly shipments as they receive new miniatures. This is more aggressive than their May/August/November plans they revealed as part of their KickStarter.

For the prepainted miniatures, their current plan is to have them into distributor hands by July 20th so retailers can have them on store shelves by August 2nd. They do plan to have them available at Gen Con.

ograx wrote:
I would like to know too if they have some kind of exclusive rights to SF miniatures ?

Paizo doesn't generally sign exclusive deals with licensees, and Ninja Division is not an exception to that philosophy. With that said, we want to make sure all of our licensees are successful and tend to avoid creating competitive licenses over the same small slice of pie unless it makes sense for us to do so.

ograx wrote:
Is it possible also in the future if SF miniatures might be available like the Pathfinder Miniatures from Wizkids and come in blind packaging?

Yes. We've heard this request a lot, both on these messageboards, at PaizoCon, on social media, and more. We don't have an ETA for that yet, but when plans get solidified we'll make some noise about it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jim Butler wrote:

We've asked Ninja Division to be active on their KickStarter and respond to backer concerns as soon as they have answers for them. Here's what we know about their KickStarter plans:

1.) ND began shipping Wave 1 miniatures right before Memorial Day weekend. We know that some backers received miniatures that hadn't yet fully cured; ND is working on solutions to that now.

2.) ND will continue to send out monthly shipments as they receive new miniatures. This is more aggressive than their May/August/November plans they revealed as part of their KickStarter.

"More aggressive" apparently depends on where you live.

They haven't started shipping to international customers apparently and when you ask them when they plan on doing so they either ignore you or send you a cut-and-paste answer that says they haven't yet started shipping to international customers.

Roll on new licensee.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Please, no blind packages when the day that more releases of prepainted minis come (whomever may produce them.) While I might be disappointed that the current minis are almost a year late, I very much appreciate the fact that I know exactly what I'm getting when I make my purchase. I haven't bought a random pack card game in nearly 20 years, and barring the unforeseen, never will again, and that philosophy extends to random packed minis as well. Give me something at the same quality level as, say, Fantasy Flight's X-Wing line, and I'll happily the higher cost per mini for it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jim Butler wrote:
ograx wrote:
Is it possible also in the future if SF miniatures might be available like the Pathfinder Miniatures from Wizkids and come in blind packaging?
Yes. We've heard this request a lot, both on these messageboards, at PaizoCon, on social media, and more. We don't have an ETA for that yet, but when plans get solidified we'll make some noise about it.

Excellent. I would *love* to see a Starfinder Battles line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fumarole wrote:
Excellent. I would *love* to see a Starfinder Battles line.

Okay, I am an old man; I was a teenager when Magic: The Gathering first appeared, so I guess the shine of purchase randomness has worn off. What exactly is the attraction of blind packages for miniatures? Is there a rarity factor?

The entire thing kinda smacks of loot crates.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Yes, there's a rarity factor for certain figures -- and if you buy a box, you're generally guaranteed a certain number of rares. It's the same model as CCGs or baseball cards.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Excellent. I would *love* to see a Starfinder Battles line.

Okay, I am an old man; I was a teenager when Magic: The Gathering first appeared, so I guess the shine of purchase randomness has worn off. What exactly is the attraction of blind packages for miniatures? Is there a rarity factor?

The entire thing kinda smacks of loot crates.

The reason is price and variation of sculpt.

If you have "known sets" you either need to pay more or accept that you'll only get the good sellers. (For a given level of quality - if you're prepared to compromise on that, you can manage cheap, diverse, nonrandomised sets but I suspect that's actual a recipe for failure).

If Ninja Division produce a set of iconics they will sell like hotcakes. If they produce a set of "Castrovel denizens" they will sell less. They either have to cut back on the numbers of the latter (which pushes up the price) or keep a consistent pricing structure and only produce those things with universal appeal.

By having a case, they can produce lots and lots of common minis (which them become very cheap and hence profitable) together with a few rares (which they may well lose money on per/unit). By bundling it all together, people who buy blind packs are essentially agreeing to be overcharged for the common skittermanders so that they get the occasional rare space whale. If they instead try to produce a pack of four assorted monsters of varying interest, they don't get the savings on the skittermanders to subsidise the space whale - so the price for each has to go up.

Similarly, going the randomised route allows the production of minis with large numbers of paint steps and large/huge minis with higher material cost. Producing a few large minis is expensive/figure but if you can subsidise that with a large number of tiny figures in the same case, it can be made commercially viable.

Personally, I've come around to the randomised sets due to the existence of professional secondhand sellers. There are plenty of businesses who buy multiple cases to open and then sell as individual minis. What tends to happen is that the commons are dirt cheap and the rares are stupidly expensive.

Those (like old me) who would prefer to know what they are getting can pick up all the commons that would have been produced. Those who want to now also have the choice to grab rares (if they're willing to pay the market rate for them).

It seems to me that blind packaging results in everyone getting what they want - those who hate not knowing what they're buying have access to basically the same range they otherwise would at lower prices than they'd otherwise be paying. As far as I can see the only "risk" is that you can no longer buy them from the producer. However, that seems to be mitigated by the professional on-selling websites: there are plenty of them who will accept returns for defective product, for example - a risk if you were buying from Ebay or something.

If your property is big enough to have collectors outside of gaming (ie star wars) then you can probably justify mass producing a large variety - secure in the knowledge it will eventually sell to someone. With a gaming figure though, sinking resources into a sculpt which proves unpopular is going to be a significant loss - hence there's no appetite for risk taking (ie "out there" minis) and we'll get loads and loads of known-to-be-popular figures.


Thanks for the clarifications and answers Jim!

I am not the hugest fan of blind packaging either but I don't believe with non-blind packaging that you will ever see some of the more obscure and non-desired miniatures.

I am also in the fortunate situation of being gainfully employed with a decent disposable income but I understand how lots of people see the booster packs as being very hard on the wallet!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Excellent. I would *love* to see a Starfinder Battles line.

Okay, I am an old man; I was a teenager when Magic: The Gathering first appeared, so I guess the shine of purchase randomness has worn off. What exactly is the attraction of blind packages for miniatures? Is there a rarity factor?

The entire thing kinda smacks of loot crates.

I don't think age has anything to do with it. M:tG came out in 1993 when I was in college (not that I've ever played it, or collected baseball cards). If I love a set enough I will buy a case and typically get all of the minis. If there are enough sculpts that I do not like/need then I will buy the singles.

The price is much lower per mini for the blind purchases. With a Paizo subscription, it comes to about $2.30 per mini when you purchase a case, including the case incentives which can go for about $80 or more themselves when sold individually. The MSRP for a box of non-blind iconics comes out closer to $6 per figure and these are all small or medium sizes.

I don't paint so the pre-painted minis are perfect for me at a very good price point when bought by the case.

The Exchange

Steve Geddes wrote:
a lot of good stuff.

Randomized boxes are good for people like me who GM a lot but don’t actually collect minis. I bought a case of Shattered Star minis when I started GMing and that provided me with a whole bunch of useful (common) minis to represent what the PCs are up against, several rares for the BBEGs, and it was a lot cheaper than buying individually.

I would totally buy a case of Starfinder Battles for the same reason. . . “You’re faced down by 3 Shirren and a Vesk in heavy armor.”


Interesting arguments. Thanks, starfinders!

The Exchange

Vic Wertz wrote:
All 4 sets (Iconic Heroes 1 and 2, Corpse Fleet, and Pact Worlds Fleet) should be on sale at GenCon and should show up in retail stores later in August. (We had production samples of all of them on display at PaizoCon.)

Did anyone buy some at GenCon? How’s the quality?

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Belafon wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
All 4 sets (Iconic Heroes 1 and 2, Corpse Fleet, and Pact Worlds Fleet) should be on sale at GenCon and should show up in retail stores later in August. (We had production samples of all of them on display at PaizoCon.)
Did anyone buy some at GenCon? How’s the quality?

They only had them on display according to our VC who went, and was told they should be available in October.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Yeesh. At this point, I'm not sure I'll believe the release date until they actually show up at my FLGS. I'm glad I didn't pre-order these things a year ago, like I'd originally planned to.

Paizo Employee Licensing Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Markask is correct - the pre-painted Iconics and fleets were only on display. We didn't allow them to be sold at GenCon because they're not yet available at retail. They're currently shipping to distribution and should be in your FLGS some time in September.

They do look pretty fantastic.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Thanks, Glenn. I appreciate the good news!


Jim Butler wrote:
Cory Marion wrote:

I'm curious if Paizo has discussed the current state of the Kickstarter with Ninja Division; sorry I know this post is about the painted minis but I'm taking the opportunity here since you mentioned discussions with ND.

Cheers

We've asked Ninja Division to be active on their KickStarter and respond to backer concerns as soon as they have answers for them. Here's what we know about their KickStarter plans:

1.) ND began shipping Wave 1 miniatures right before Memorial Day weekend. We know that some backers received miniatures that hadn't yet fully cured; ND is working on solutions to that now.

2.) ND will continue to send out monthly shipments as they receive new miniatures. This is more aggressive than their May/August/November plans they revealed as part of their KickStarter.

Some people (myself included) only backed their Kickstarter because Paizo's name was attached. Is there anything Paizo can do to make Ninja Division honor their obligations, or barring that refund us?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I keep forgetting that actual Starfinder minis are coming... I have fallen in love with infinity and chronoscape minis for most PCs and have a mixed bag of ship options... it's weird to think but at this point the official minis are going to have to compete against the stuff I've already found. That's just a strange thought to me. Though I have such a weakness for ships that I will likely pick up those ones at least. Once they get to the stores. Was the issue with the curing on the minis resolved?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jim Butler wrote:

We've asked Ninja Division to be active on their KickStarter and respond to backer concerns as soon as they have answers for them. Here's what we know about their KickStarter plans:

1.) ND began shipping Wave 1 miniatures right before Memorial Day weekend. We know that some backers received miniatures that hadn't yet fully cured; ND is working on solutions to that now.

2.) ND will continue to send out monthly shipments as they receive new miniatures. This is more aggressive than their May/August/November plans they revealed as part of their KickStarter.

So six weeks without an update after promising them biweekly

Even most us backers who they started to ship to first haven’t received wave 1

After the partial first wave all shipments stopped


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Robert Gooding wrote:
Jim Butler wrote:

We've asked Ninja Division to be active on their KickStarter and respond to backer concerns as soon as they have answers for them. Here's what we know about their KickStarter plans:

1.) ND began shipping Wave 1 miniatures right before Memorial Day weekend. We know that some backers received miniatures that hadn't yet fully cured; ND is working on solutions to that now.

2.) ND will continue to send out monthly shipments as they receive new miniatures. This is more aggressive than their May/August/November plans they revealed as part of their KickStarter.

So six weeks without an update after promising them biweekly

Even most us backers who they started to ship to first haven’t received wave 1

After the partial first wave all shipments stopped

I don’t mind the delay if it’s caused by resolving the curing issue and waiting for nonslotted bases.

I was expecting this Kickstarter to be late (they nearly always are).

Where they’ve dropped the ball inexcusably, in my view, is in communication. Not only are they not posting updates, they appear to have stopped answering emails too. In my mind, that’s not on. I don’t care if the answer is “still waiting on bases - nothing has changed” an update shows they’re still working on it.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'll be a subscriber to a Wizkids-manufactured Starfinders Battles the day it's announced.
:)


Looks like people over in the Kickstarter are starting to blame Paizo.


technarken wrote:
Looks like people over in the Kickstarter are starting to blame Paizo.

Yeah looks that way. I don't think blaming Paizo or hating them as indicated but one poster, is warranted. But that's just my opinion.

I'm frustrated as I think the vast majority of backers are, but I'm trying to stay optimistic.

I think Ninja Division could turn this around if they could gets some communication out addressing the quality and shipping issues.

As for Paizo...kind of the same thing. I realize it's not their product but they put their name on it and branding is important and should not be underestimated.
I Kickstarted an iOS game called Core Worlds, which was a digital port of the boardgame. It was a bad KS, and when things started going sideways Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games stepped in because he recognized the damage to his brand and frustration of his customers.

Paizo has commented here and there but it's not been to the level I think many of us expect, but again just my opinion. Perhaps they feel it's not their company and not their KS, so not their problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ninja Division just answered my most recent email (entirely reasonably and completely). So I appreciate that. It doesn’t help actual fulfillment but, at least in my view, the communication is the most important thing.


Cory Marion wrote:
technarken wrote:
Looks like people over in the Kickstarter are starting to blame Paizo.

Yeah looks that way. I don't think blaming Paizo or hating them as indicated but one poster, is warranted. But that's just my opinion.

I'm frustrated as I think the vast majority of backers are, but I'm trying to stay optimistic.

I think Ninja Division could turn this around if they could gets some communication out addressing the quality and shipping issues.

As for Paizo...kind of the same thing. I realize it's not their product but they put their name on it and branding is important and should not be underestimated.
I Kickstarted an iOS game called Core Worlds, which was a digital port of the boardgame. It was a bad KS, and when things started going sideways Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games stepped in because he recognized the damage to his brand and frustration of his customers.

Paizo has commented here and there but it's not been to the level I think many of us expect, but again just my opinion. Perhaps they feel it's not their company and not their KS, so not their problem.

Nobody would give a damn about their Kickstarter for "Generic Space Miniatures" because that doesn't have names attached. Paizo's name is all over that project, their art is everywhere because Ninja Division didn't have renders yet. It is Paizo's official licensed product. At this point any damage ND does is damage to the Starfinder brand as a whole.

I don't think ND can turn this around because based on their track record as Soda Pop "Take the Money and Run" is their business model.

I only bring the matter up because I believe Paizo actually gives a crap about their customer base.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder Accessories / Pre-painted miniatures delayed until March 2018 All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.