Wiz Kids Tales of Future Past
- John LapriseUnited States
IL...and I am so tired.
I pulled these links off another fan site. Wiz Kids are the folks who own the whole clicks franchise and while not a boardgame strictly, I thought that this would be a good place to post. WK since being acquired has held its cards close to its vest. The following links are to a WK ppt presentation for the coming year. I don't really play any of the games except for MechWarrior. Ergo, I'm screwed.Recommend
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For those of you without ppt:
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I'll admit that yesterday I got fed up with the situation. Wizkids recently let slip a [removed by admin] document outlining their product schedule to Diamond Distributors for 2008 that demonstrated their lack of support for a number of their existing systems. I was going to keep this under my hat but WizKids censorship of this information on their website has incensed me further. Yesterday I sent an open email to Topps ownership (Madison Dearborn and Tornante) and copied Topps. I was unable to copy Wizkids as I have been having trouble accessing their main site. These sites all have general website email boxes and I have no idea where my email will go once received. I also took the liberty of looking into Madison Dearborn's senior managemnt and realized that one member was also a university professor...with an accessible email address. I copied him. They understand the power of fans and social networks. If you feel like me about WizKids, start making noise where it will be heard.
Text of letter follows:Attn: Mr. Michael P. Cole, Mr. James N. Perry, Jr., and Prof. Harry M. Kraemer;
I write to you today to bring to your attention that your WizKids property has been horribly managed by Topps. I am sending this email to the main email inbox for Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners in the hope that it reaches Mr. Cole and Mr. Perry who are Topps board members. I have also sent this directly to Prof. Kraemer as I was able to locate a direct email address for him and I hope that upon reading this email he will choose to deem it important enough to forward directly to Mr. Cole and Mr. Perry.
I have been a WizKids customer for 7 years. Wizkids has been responsive and supportive in the past to customers. This has ceased. New products have been few and unevenly received with design and production issues. Most problematically, Topps has squandered and devalued a series of brands which WizKids sought to enhance. A cursory look at the dearth of WizKids industry, design, and consumer awards since Topps’s acquisition demonstrates the sheer scale of mismanagement. WizKids always catered to a niche gamer market. It was effective in bridging a number of different hobby groups including miniature wargamers, board gamers, and comic fans and expanding its customer base. It has ceased doing this. It is increasingly successful at alienating all of its core constituencies and damaging the brands which it supports.
Since MDP’s and Tornante’s acquisition of Topps there has not been any apparent improvement in WizKids management, product, creative properties, or customer support. Today, it is far more common to encounter other hobbyists and talk with them about being former WizKids customers. Moreover, former customers despair of any improvement and increasingly disparage the WizKids. This will likely lead companies to choose not to trust WizKids with their IP and brands, and in turn diminish Topps. Brand management and enhancement is at the core of Topps’s and WizKids’s business model and it is failing spectacularly. In recent days this has been exacerbated by inadvertent releases of marketing materials and which are now circulating on the Internet. The powerpoint presentation appears to detail Wizkids 2008 product release schedule to Diamond Distributors. The absence of new releases for major product lines has led many customers to conclude that those lines are ending.
I urge you to take immediate and direct action to avoid the continuing erosion of WizKids customer base.
I would be happy to respond to any questions or inquiries.
Admin note: Edited by admin to remove link to copyrighted material
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