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Subject: How can these Kickstarter games do this? rss

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Sebastian Haley
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Hello. I was wondering how a lot of the Kickstarter projects for tabletop games with figurines are able to increase the number of miniatures you get anywhere from 2-5 times the original.

For example, Bones started out with a measly 30 statues, but now it's nearly 200 thanks to over a million dollars in stretch goals. How can they afford to do that?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1513061270/reaper-miniat...

I understand that the more they are able to make, the cheaper it gets, but I don't understand how they can just keep adding to the same backer level ($100) indefinitely.

Sedition Wars and Zombicide did it as well. Since I'm not versed in the ways of making these types of products, I was hoping someone could spell it out for me.
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James Hutchings
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If they have a million dollars of stretch goals, does this mean that they've raised a million dollars? Or a million dollars minus Kickstarter's cut anyway.

If people get 200 models for $100, that's 50c each, which seems about right given that they're getting a lot made.

For example here are some platic minis that sell for 35c each.
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Paul Dale
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The cost of the plastic in a miniature is maybe a couple of cents.

The cost to set up a run are staggering.

Make the run large enough and the cost per miniature will approach the cost of the plastic.


- Pauli
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J J
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paulidale wrote:
The cost of the plastic in a miniature is maybe a couple of cents.

The cost to set up a run are staggering.

Make the run large enough and the cost per miniature will approach the cost of the plastic.


- Pauli


To give some scale to "staggering", back in the old days when I cared about GW stuff (late 90s, early 00s), it cost (or so I read at the time) GW about 5,000 quid to machine each mould for a sprue of their plastics. The machines they used for injecting into the moulds cost much more. So that box of single-pose black orcs cost that much to set up. A box of their early multi-part, multi-pose stuff had about 4 different sprues, and so cost 4 times as much just to set up. It's no wonder GW saw plastics as a serious investment.
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Old Gamer
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Making miniatures is like making microprocessors. Most of the costs are set-up costs which remain the same no matter how many you make.

"The first one costs a billion dollars to make. Each one after that costs 50¢"
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Gunther Schmidl
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DV_Bastian wrote:
I understand that the more they are able to make, the cheaper it gets, but I don't understand how they can just keep adding to the same backer level ($100) indefinitely.


For some additional perspective, $25 of those $100 are for one single, limited-run metal miniature.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Keep in mind too that many companies offer lower prices for larger orders. So a print of say 1000 minis might cost 25c each whole a print of 5000 might cost 15c each. On top of the mold fee.

Varies from factory to factory.
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Sebastian Haley
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Thanks for the insight, everyone!
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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DV_Bastian wrote:
For example, Bones started out with a measly 30 statues, but now it's nearly 200 thanks to over a million dollars in stretch goals. How can they afford to do that?

Send me a million dollars and I'll show you. Maybe. In a year or two.
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CM Boyd
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I'm about to Kickstart a Card Game that has a ~150 card deck. One of my initial quotes had 1,000 copies costing roughly $8,500 and 10,000 copies costing just over $30,000. It really is all about the scale of economy when it comes to ordering, not just with miniatures, but most other (game) productions as well.

The Following will be a bit more math heavy:

Assuming the jump from 10k to 100k follows the same ratio as 1k to 10k, we'd be looking at 900k^2/8.5k or roughly $105k to produce 100,000 units. Or roughly $1.05 per unit. If I charged $10 per unit, (at 1k we were looking at 8.5 per unit, so $10 isn't unreasonable*) Then I could comfortably increase the level of my production to a 450 card deck instead of a 150 card deck and my costs are only $3.15** per unit.... that I'm charging $10 for. This is why they can get away with giving away 100 miniatures for the same cost as they were doing 30 earlier.

*$10 is actually entirely unreasonably low, since there are Kickstarter fees and shipping fees.
**The costs would probably be lower, because the initial 1.05 is including a much larger initial setup cost which is much less scalable.

EDIT: Added in the * and ** notes.
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