Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Miniatures are a Dicey Business

About once a month or so, we get asked by a miniatures company to pick up their line. We generally do not for two reasons:

1. Expense. Investing in miniatures is much more costly than other products. We can bring in a copy of a new RPG or boardgame with a fairly minimal investment. We stock in one copy and see if it sells. If it does, lather, rinse repeat, so to speak. In order to do well with a miniatures line, you have to stock the core rules, plus a reasonable footprint of single figures and boxed sets. This can come to quite a bit of money. Stocking the core Flames of War line will run a store over $1000, which is not an amount we, or any store for that matter, is willing to invest without some assurance that the line will sell.  This leads to #2:

2. Burnout.  Not us, the players. With the exception of Warhammer 40,000, all miniatures gaming in the US is highly regional. Warmachine may do very well in one area, while Flames of War sells like hotcakes in another. Many miniatures games have a fairly short interest span. The players try one out, it does well to that group for 1-2 months,t hen they move onto something else or back to their favored game. We have about half a dozen miniature lines that did well for a period of time then interest in them petered out, leaving the remnants on the shelf.