What in the bloody hell happened to our once proud world of miniatures?! We go from a bursting abundance to near annihilation in less than four months! Wizards officially gave the bad news back in January that they were cutting back to one little ol’ set (Lord of Madness) for all of 2010.
Reaper Miniatures, long known for its unpainted metal sculps, decided to dip its toes in the pre-painted arena in March 2007 with Legendary Encounters. The depth of its first line (5 figs) is paltry in comparison to the WotC Harbinger debut (80 minis) in November 2003.
The results are encouraging though. Monsters like the spider, great worm and ghost are slam dunks for any D&D game session. However, Reaper’s release schedule is painfully slow – maybe those boats from China just need more horsepower.
Reaper has released additional miniatures since then but sadly, at a near glacial pace. New product managers, poor selection (a unicorn – really?) and the rising cost of raw materials are the biggest culprits. Still, one can only dream if Reaper had gotten right and could have capitalized on Wizards’ downsize decision.
Ben gives props to Reaper for giving it the college try. They brought us the pack concept (Skeletons and Orcs). And they’re only one of two companies (with Rackham being the other) to try and give Wizards a run for their money.
It’s a very high probability that the industry will move to depressing flat cardboard tokens for 2010. Let’s say a prayer to Bahamut that this isn’t the case. Let minis reign!