Knight Models To Cease Making Marvel Miniatures

By Polar_Bear
In Miniatures Game
Feb 9th, 2017
23 Comments
2269 Views

Well, this is some big news just starting out the day. Knight Models has announced that they will no longer be making miniatures based on Marvel properties. Obviously, this means that their Marvel Universe Miniatures Game as well as the Spider-Man Miniatures Game are coming to an end. And they were still all just so new, too… Well, Knight Models still has the DC properties that they’re working on. Oh, and also that little Harry Potter thing they’ve got going on.

From the announcement:

Dear Customers,

This is going to be a year full of changes and new projects at Knight Models.

Our company was founded in 2008 and began working with Marvel Entertainment Inc. licensed products by designing and manufacturing high quality miniatures of its most famous heroes and villains for collectors and painters. Later, we expanded that relationship and created the Universe Miniature Game and its range of gaming miniatures.

Our long entrepreneurial relationship with Marvel has been incredible, and working on such a gratifying project for so many years, developing those characters that we love so much, has made us very happy. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

Knight Models will no longer make products based on the Marvel Universe licence.

It has been a difficult decision, as many hours of work, effort and excitement were invested in this licence. But we consider that our business must follow another path.

We would like to thank the teams at Disney and Marvel Entertainment Inc. for allowing us to create such wonderful products. We also want to thank you, our followers, for your support.

Our investment in our superheroes lines, however, continues with the DC Universe Miniature Game and, of course, our flagship Batman Miniature Game – these lines will continue to be developed, and we’re incredibly excited for the future of these lines, as well as forthcoming projects. The Batman Miniature Game has become a cornerstone in miniature skirmish gaming. The successful launch of the Suicide Squad game box has allowed us to invest even further in the game’s future, and grow our wonderful gaming community.

This year we celebrate the Batman Miniature Game’s 5th Anniversary, and we’re doing so in style, with some very special anniversary products and brand new expansions, starting with the Arkham Knight campaign book, with more great new content to follow.

Of course, it cannot have escaped the community’s attention that Knight Models will soon be launching another big licenced product. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Warner Bros. over the following years, and enter the fantastic, magical universe of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter Miniature Game will be a culmination of the team’s hard work and dedication to creating a true quality gaming experience, and we look forward to launching some of the most spectacular miniatures to accompany it. We hope that you’ll enjoy this new project as much as we have working on it!

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  • Davos Seaworth

    Given that Knight Models is a fairly small Spanish concern, I am presuming Marvel simply priced them out with the license, possibly with the intent of having another firm waiting in the wings that would pay more.

    • Right. I don’t think KM would be able to put up much of a fight against disney lawyers and prices. Maybe disney will get FFG on board since the’re already bleeding star wars products..

      It’d be nice to see a proper mini company get the license though.

      • Not quite sure what you mean by “proper mini company” there. Knight Models has been churning out some of the best-looking minis for quite some time. Sure, they were still getting their feet wet with the game rules, but there’s several other companies I can think of that started as “well, we’ve got a bunch of figures… let’s make a game!” Particularly GW and Wyrd. Both of those seem to have done rather well in the interim.

        Granted, that’s certainly not to say that KM’s done and dusted. It seems as though both Batman and the DC Universe games are catching more wind all the time.

        • DB

          Someone with wide distribution deals would be great. FFG games show up all over the place. They’re not squeamish about having merch in bookstores, toy stores, and so on, while traditional miniatures companies generally can’t/won’t make headway.

          Of course, FFG may not be the best company as an example, as they seem to be a rare case.

          • Ok, a bit of that I can get. But you’re right that FFG isn’t a good example, as they’re more a board game company that does some minis stuff and not what I’d really say is a minis company. Those I’d say are places like GW, Privateer, and the aforementioned Wyrd.

            And yeah, it would’ve been nice to have wider distribution of the models KM makes. But I’ve not been there and seen their books to know what sort of volume they actually have in terms of sales, and what their margins are on figures, which would determine their ability to sell to distribution.

          • DB

            I can see FFG going for that license, though, and having the cash to do it. I’m not sure which of the actual minis companies would do it, or whether Marvel cares whether it’s a board game or a traditional minis skirmish game.

            CMON might buy the license and toss out a kickstarter. 🙂

          • Davos Seaworth

            The thing is: Knight Models did “real” metal minis. These weren’t the typical FFG tabletop toys boardgame stuff. And since NECA/Wizkids already has the Marvel license to crank out plastics there, I would presume some dedicated “real” metal minis company would need to be found to pick up this stuff. Unless maybe Marvel is re-evaluating all of their minis licenses, although I can’t see Heroclix dying after all this time.

          • DB

            I think they’re going through and re-assessing their licenses. Disney pulled their Infinity video game off the market and shuttered some of the Marvel-based digital games in the past year and change.

          • *used to play Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook*
            Man… I miss that game…

          • DB

            As a regular player of Marvel Heroes (their Diablo-esque ARPG), it is kinda worrisome.

          • Daniel R Weber

            Infinity shuttering had nothing to do with the Marvel component. Infinity wasn’t making the numbers as a whole Disney wanted so they stopped investing in it. They bet people would buy the figs and create their content for them in the ToyBox where players wanted more Disney-created content and SOME Toybox. Followed the entire Infinity release chain because kids and cool figs. Wasn’t because of Marvel. Infinity itself is dead.

          • odinsgrandson

            Yeah, the toybox is Infinity’s center stage, and it was probably its worst feature. Infinity could have been a much better game.

            But it does look like Disney (or at least some sectors of it) are reassessing their licensing agreements.

            Disney probably didn’t intentionally drop them, they probably just have a new ‘standard contract’ that won’t work for a small operation like KM.

            That also means that it is likely they don’t have a strategy for a replacement licensee or product.

            Which is sad. But at least we still get great Batman minis from KM.

          • Daniel R Weber

            Indeed. I’ll bet that it’s just an update to how they want to license things and KM can’t adopt/afford it. Nothing sinister, sadly, just business. Good that they’re keeping Batman. I wonder if they saw the writing when they started pursuing Harry Potter as their ‘other’ new game…

          • odinsgrandson

            I don’t follow Heroclix, but I have been told that it routinely dies off and is resurrected.

            Obviously KM’s deal wasn’t exclusive, so there’s probably no one lined up to take their place with the Marvel license.

          • odinsgrandson

            Most companies can’t get their stuff into the department stores. I’m sure a lot of them would LOVE to have that sort of mainstream distribution.

        • I did not imply that knight models wasn’t a proper mini company. I did take a stab at FFG though as they are not.

          I snagged a bunch of marvel KM stuff yesterday and plan to keep the game alive at least on my tables.

          • odinsgrandson

            That’s fair. I haven’t seen anything from FFG that can compare to the quality of minis we’ve seen from Knight Models.

            KM are really good at what they do.

            I can’t imagine that KM’s deal was exclusive, though. I mean, Wizkids have been making (pre-painted) marvel super hero minis for a long time.

            There are two possibilities- either Disney priced them out of the market, or KM were just stretched too thin and chose to drop the marvel line.

            (I have a hard time believing that they’d choose to drop all of marvel, but it is possible).

  • Davos Seaworth

    Also, it appears the Marvel stuff has already been removed from Knight Models online store. I presume the scalpers will be descending on eBay shortly.

    • Well… that certainly didn’t take long. O,o

      • odinsgrandson

        Wow. I figured we had a couple months before they’d have to stop selling them.

  • Brad Trulove

    Wow, I was on the fence about this game, so glad I didn’t go all in on these miniatures last week. If it would have Juggernaut or Apocalypse I probably would have.

    • odinsgrandson

      Yeah.

      On a side note- I’ve heard only good things about the Batman game (there are local players, I just haven’t gotten into it).

      • Ghool

        It’s pretty good as a game goes. But, it’s slow. Glacial slow. Like take 3 1/2 hours to resolve a skirmish between 10 miniatures slow.

        Don’t get me wrong, Batman is a fun game. It just kind of overstays its welcome. If the game was a little faster, it would be fantastic. But, each combat action requiring up to 4 separate rolls to resolve slows it down.
        I enjoy it. It’s just not a game I would regularly play every week. It’s a once every 2 months or so game for me.