Paizo and WizKids launch Pathfinder Battles prepainted miniatures line

By tgn_admin
In Fantasy
Aug 1st, 2011

Pathfinder BattlesPaizo and WizKids have announced a new collectible range of pre-painted fantasy figures.

From their website:

Paizo Publishing and WizKids Games announce Pathfinder Battles, a new ongoing prepainted miniatures brand to debut in December with Heroes & Monsters, a blind-packed, randomized set of 40 miniatures based on the smash-hit Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Additional sets will follow throughout 2012 and beyond, including a 60-figure Rise of the Runelords set scheduled for June 2012. These sets join the already announced Pathfinder Beginner Box Heroes pack of four high-quality non-random prepainted plastic miniatures, due in October 2011.

  • I’m assuming the announcement for “the game” will be coming at GenCon.

    You can infer that from the comments..

    Also its the only reason there would be rarity..

    Is this a good idea? The main problem with CMGs is the storage of all the commons.

    Plus those are the worst pre-paints I have ever seen, thats early Mage Knight level, if the studio figs look like that…..

    • To be honest they are nowhere near as bad as the old mage knight or even most of the D&D plastic pre-paints. With a bit of a wash they might look rather good!

      • Mage Knight MkII minis and the later sets were really acceptable.

    • KelRiever

      Paizo is to D&D as Mantic is to Games Workshop?

      An inquiry.

  • I am sad that the figures are not going to be Reaper sculpts, disappointed about the quality of the previews, disappointed about the blind packaging… well, you get the point.

    • There is an internet meme there….


  • Thraug

    I like the detail on that troll but it needs a wash, badly! I don’t buy painted minis to wash them. 🙁

    • cannondaddy

      The lack of wash is perplexing, but I wouldn’t have a problem doing it myself and I would prefer to do my own basing.

  • Hunter

    I can understand the randomness to make up for the cost of plastic pre-paints (and they’re nice enough to come out and say so). The sculpts are nice, just needing a wash which isn’t really a big deal (hell, I could just dip them like I do all the figs I paint up for our D&D games).

    So long as the price isn’t too high and they keep making metal figs with Reaper I’ll be happy. Oh, and if they can make figs for some of the odder things that pop up in their Adventure Paths as well.

  • -DE-

    These figures look like low poly 3D models before textures have been applied. They are way too barebones in their designs for my tastes. And randomly packaged… really? If these are aimed at game masters, and not collectors or players of the Pathfinder miniatures game that doesn’t exist (yet?), then why the blind purchase format? If a GM requires a specific monster for an encounter, they won’t be buying random packs and hope for the best, they’ll be buying singles on e-bay. And if they DO buy random packs, then they’re collectors, and we all know how well it went for WotC and their D&D minis that were targeted at die-hard D&D fans. Smells like another soon-to-be-dead line to me.

    Oh, and as for the paintjobs – if they need a wash then they’re not prepainted, for any potential buyer will need to invest in a brush and some paints, which defeats the whole purpose of prepainted. The D&D minis might’ve had worse sculpts, but at least they were factory-washed and less “flat” than these.

  • mathieu

    This troll looks like smoothed down and slightly converted Dire Troll Mauler. If this is the final product indeed (and not some resin cast version of it), I think it is quite alright.

  • tredhed

    Reading the forum posts about it over at Paizo (not all the way through them all), they say there are no plans for a minis game. They do ask if it something we would be interested in.

    • I went back and re-read the comments to be able to link to them, it seems Vic Wertz edited/deleted a few.

      Yesterday he made some vague statements about a game before it was even mentioned the randomness.

      Why else would there even be rarity? You will still have to buy a ton of boosters to complete the set and get the number that you will need.

  • Klingsor

    The miniature may not be quite the same as the finished article. What does disappoint me is the word ‘random’. The random nature of the WotC sets was a major source of annoyance to us and doubtless to anyone else just just wanted ‘ten orcs and a minotaur’ and cared nothing for rarity or collecting them. One would have thought that sets such as ‘ten orcs with leader’ or ‘common dungeon monsters I’ or ‘Low Level Adventurers’ would have been a much better thing to do. Something I still thing WotC are missing out on, they already have the moulds, all they need is a slightly different base style and they could churn out some useful and desirable sets.

    • Thematic warband sets or regiments would sell quite well I think

    • bj

      I have been saying this for years: “If WotC did a module in a box (tiles, poster maps and figs for critters in the adventure), they would make money hand over fist.” Sure the price point would be high, but most people who play D&D are committed to spend tons of money anyway.

      • bj

        And after thinking they have already tested this with the Adventure game series, Ravenloft and Wrath.

  • Zac

    I also really don’t understand the blind buy and random nature of the product. It does nothing other than potentially drive more sales but it doesn’t provide any benefit to the gamer.

    • Hunter

      They answer that in the press release:

      Q: Why prepainted plastic miniatures in randomized packs?
      A: Prepainted plastic miniatures are expensive to make. Sculpting and painting are costly, and making molds for plastic figures is costlier still. To make all these costs work, you need to spread them out over a large number of miniatures. If these figures were released individually, some would sell better than others, and some–or even many–of them would lose money. Randomizing the miniatures ensures that you sell predictable quantities of each figure, and it also allows you to price them reasonably without losing your shirt. Another benefit of averaging out costs over a large number of figures is that it allows you to spend more money on some miniatures–you can make them larger or more detailed, or add more complicated (and thus more expensive) paint operations than you could otherwise justify. In short, selling more of the common minis allows you to spend more money on the rarer figures.

      Randomized miniatures also allow you to provide more variety. Not only can you introduce more figures at once, but the fact that you make make some of them rarer than others means you can produce plenty of the figures that everyone needs, like goblins or skeletons, and fewer of the figures that have narrower appeal, like strange monsters or iconic figures.

      Another factor to think about is the brick-and-mortar retailer. It’s much easier for a retailer to stock single booster packs than individual packaged minis. Our first set, Heroes & Monsters, contains 40 miniatures. Selling them individually would require a lot of retailer effort to keep them all in stock–and it would also require a lot of space to display those miniatures. And if next year’s 60-figure Rise of the Runelords set were released as individual minis, the retailer would then have to track and display 100 individual items. As the line continued, individual minis would soon become impossible for most retailers to keep up with. Because randomized miniatures are distributed to retailers by the case, there’s usually only one item for them to order for each set, so it’s easy to maintain stock. And since it doesn’t take much space to display a handful of booster packs, retailers can easily continue to stock and display the entire line of miniatures as long as they’re available.

      Retailers who have a greater inclination toward managing more complicated inventories, or who have more space to display miniatures, will almost certainly break open random boxes to sell singles, groups of individual figures they can tailor to their customers’ needs, and even complete sets.

      A lot of thought has been done on the topic of the best way to produce prepainted plastic miniatures, and the random packaging method, supplemented with the occasional small boxed set of non-random figures, has proven to be the most successful. Paizo is committed to working with WizKids to ensure that customers will be able to purchase the miniatures they want at a fair price.

      • cannondaddy

        I was getting ready to post a comment that there had to be good reason why companies choose the blind packaging. It’s was never a big issue with me but there are a lot of people who are very vocal in their opposition. When I collected Mage Knight, blind packaging was part of the thrill. If there were specific pieces I wanted for an army, I just used the secondary market. I think the biggest problem is for anyone who trying to make a complete collection.

  • I’m a bit sceptic. I suppose this will be a “game” but they don’t tell much about the mechanics or will it be a range of minis for the RPG?
    Moreover they announced a rebirth of Mage Kinght many months ago and also a LotR collectable game and now this Pathfinder Battlles… I’m afraid they may not be able to handle 3 products that more or less compete each other… Their commercial strategy seems a bit unclear…

    • Mahrdol

      Out of the 20 or so players I know who have D&D minis only 1 bought them for the miniature game. The RPG Pathfinder will drive the miniatures sales just like D&D did for D&D minis. Contrary to what WotC was saying that DnD didn’t make money only the miniature game did. No RPG then no miniature sales. If the miniature game is good then it will be icing on the cake.

  • If there’s a miniature game system I’m curious to see it. Seems it won’t be a clix based game.

  • scarletsquig

    Randomized pre-paints, no thanks. Almost every other attempt at doing this has crashed and burned eventually, they’re only good for making money in the short term then ditching when the line starts to become unprofitable.

  • Repeter

    They tried to make me buy more random pre-paints–I said no no no…

    What, too soon?

    • KelRiever

      Not to soon. Actually, quite appropriate. Addiction is the exact phrase that comes to mind when it comes to buying CMGs.

  • Nicolay

    Haha! That green troll is in fact a 3D render, you can see the GI undersampling. That is some really funny stuff, that.