Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Reaper Kickstarter another Up Yours to Retailers?
I reported yesterday that Reaper had launched their second bones kickstarter. It has brought in over a million dollars in the first 24 hours but has currently cut the growth rate a ton as it was like 900K in the first 12 hours. I expect pretty slow growth going forward until near the end again. I do not expect it to double up and up every few hours but it will probably net about the same total, but I do note that the average pledge is 100 dollars currently when before it was closer to 200 but this might have to do with the available levels and not a ton of options. They also might want to get people to add money later again as that did not unlock new rewards.
Reaper has literally just finished their first kickstarter. I final got my missing parts like a week ago. Retail products are probably available but how much time have they had to sell and Reaper launches another kickstarter. Retailers were already in a tough place with stocking the kickstarter Bones. There are a lot out there already and many of their customers already have them. Plus with like 200+ new sku's do you get them all or try to be selective. Retailers had a kickstarter package which yielded them packaged instead of bulk models so those might have an idea of which models will sell but that package was more expensive to them than the direct to customer packages.
The first kickstarter already strained the relations between reaper and some of the retailers as detailed here by Black Diamond Games out in the Bay Area. Reaper also has not really brought out any new metal models in like 6 months. For a company whose whole existence before the kickstarter was selling metal minis through retail, these are big issues. Reaper has stated that the original Bones line was selling really well which is great for them since these are plastic models so volume is what it is all about but the individual model volume when you have 30 models to choose from is going to be different that when you have 200.
Are the customers going to buy the old models at retail or try to get in on the second kickstarter where the end price the first time was like 1/5 the retail price. That is way lower than the retailer can get the product at even At least for retailers those models will not be available for like a year so they can sell the old bones models between the kickstarter closes to the delivery but if their customers have just dropped 100-200 dollars on minis are they going to go and buy a bunch more at higher prices. Least they were pretty up front that they were going to do another kickstarter so retails had an idea that they might not want to buy a ton of retail bones as they knew that reaper was going to under cut them again.
Is reaper addicted to the kickstarter candy? Did they damage their retail relations enough that they need the next kickstarter as their major sales driver? Or did they just find that preselling 20K of each mini makes all of them really cheap and the kickstarter is totally the best way to produce these commodity type products? I personally was sort of surprised that they did not have new unique Bones ready for the retail channel that were financed by the kickstarter but not part of the rewards.