Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Problem with Prepainted Minatures

The advent of prepainted plastic miniatures is sort of boon and bane for the RPG industry.  Ideally it gives us cheap painted minis that allow Game Masters that don't care for painting a chance to field minis that look nice.  In actuality they have packages these in random distribution boxes that prevent us from seeing what we are getting.  So we are throwing money out in hopes of getting what we need for our planned encounters.

With the Dungeons and Dragons miniatures the idea was the minis were for a collectible miniatures games.  I guess that make the packaging understandable.  The Pathfinder minis were present primarily as a Roleplaying Game aid which makes the random packs sort of a kick in the balls.  You couple this with them selling singles on their web site for $3 a common and you realize your balls are in a vice.  That price is higher than the developing secondary market on eBay.  There were initially enterprising resellers like Troll and Toad that opened boxes and sold individual minis but stocks sold out quickly.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on 20 or so goblins and a very fair price.  I could use similar number of undead, orcs and ogres.

I guess we have a second set coming out sometime later this year from the WizKids/Paizo folks.  This is going to be called Rise of the Runelords which may or may not focus on that series of Pathfinder Adventure Path modules.  Really its a hope and at looking at the set, there are some OK commons though after the initial set I have my goblins.  They are at least giving us some ghouls commons.  My larger problem is the lack of large commons.  Maybe by nature of the large pack they are trying to give a more random distribution but I really need a bunch of ogres for a decent price as a game master. 

What I would really like to see would be a nice series of reasonably priced packs of goblins, undead, orcs, ogres and random dungeon vermin.  This would be a help to those of us trying to do the minis thing.  It could be on online exclusive thing with coupons inside the boxes or even a flag point give away like the GI Joe manta.  Just please give us a way of getting a nice large selection of minis for a decent price.  Say 32.99 for 15 common small miniatures and 44.99 for 12 large uncommon.  This should not be like investing in Warhammer.  Though unpainted War Machine can almost be picked up for a price around what Paizo is offering online.  That sounds like hyperbole but I have been looking and if you get the right deals you can eBay up a decent Rhulic army for similar prices to the Paizo.com price on prepainted singles.

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