Wargames Factory under new ownership?

By tgn_admin
In News
Jan 14th, 2011
38 Comments
532 Views

It appears that Wargames Factory may be under new ownership.

From their announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Wargames Factory is now under new management. A more comprehensive “official” announcement is in the works but we felt it necessary to give you a precursor of coming events. Tony Reidy is no longer with the company in an official capacity; we wish him well in his future endeavors; a press release is being prepared. In the mean time, please direct all questions to Lonnie Mullins.

So, what does that mean to you?

  • An accelerated release schedule.
  • Better fill rates
  • Faster turnaround times on orders

Our goal on out of stocks is that they will be back in stock within 4 to 6-weeks
Payments for orders by check need to be remitted to:
Wargames Factory, LLC
P.O. Box 3111
Newtown, Connecticut 06470
Payments for orders by credit card will be addressed soon
Payments for orders by PayPal will cease until we set up a new PayPal account
Orders will be sent out with invoices

All of our products will be in boxes. Boxes will have a new “Green” packaging; we will lose a bit on graphics but we will be using materials that are better for the environment

We’re sure you have many other questions for us; feel free to contact Lonnie at the number listed below or by email during normal business hours and he’ll tell you what he can.

If you currently have an order in house with us we will fill it as soon as possible but please contact Lonnie for details.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to a rocking 2011 and beyond!


Lonnie Mullins
Sales Director, Wargames Factory
wargamesfactory.com
410-638-8346 Office
410-688-1445 Cell
[email protected]
M-F 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • evernevermore (John)

    What does this mean for sculpting? Will existing lines continue?

  • scarletsquig

    Not sure about the accelerated release schedule.. if anything they could do with slowing things down a bit and focusing on sculpt quality.

    Then again, it might be better business to simply get new products released, regardless of quality. There are hundreds of things for which no hard plastic models currently exist, so there’s definitely a void to fill there.

    As for the packaging thing, hope they’re still going to be using that Triangle company for their packaging.

  • What’s weird is that this is not posted on http://www.wargamesfactory.com/ or their forums – http://wargamesfactory.lefora.com/forum/category/general-discussion/

    all hell is breaking loose on their forums with allot of rumor, conjecture and flaming about the recent upheaval… this press release cannot come soon enough. The whole thing has been handled very unprofessionally and I dare say has cost these ‘new owners’ quite a bit of business.

  • With warlord doing historical stuff and doing it well and manic doing fantasy I think alternate sci-fi plastic is untapped epically if they could do a 15mm line of vehicles in plastic.

    I think they should start producing Sci fi plastics based off micropanzer Wargame studio concepts but then again I am a little biased.

  • riftsinger

    whats needed is cheap 15mm scifi buildings /ruins so we can get scenary on the table that dose not look like its been droped in from ww2 or north africa

  • What is needed is for them to take stock, decide on what direction they are going to move in, make everyone aware of their decision and get things back on track again.

    The whole Liberty and Union thing needs to be sorted out and a decision has to be made as to whether or not to continue with it…there are a lot of people who took time to post ideas and pledge sales only for very little to materialise…not really a good strategy for a company to be involved in.

    The quality of the sculpts could do with some serious thought…reputations can be won or lost over sculpt quality, no matter how little they cost.

    I wait with anticipation for a few positive noises from WGF…

  • puster

    This here gives some interesting insights behind the smoke:
    http://theminiaturespage.com/news/787442/

    • Zac

      I got the same email from Tony but haven’t posted it yet as I don’t think that it contains all of the information about the situation.

      I’m trying to get more comments from all sides involved.

      • puster

        The attempt to get a better picture is recommendable. If you get a comment from the Chinese you certainly deserve an award 🙂

  • Howard Whitehouse

    A week ago I’d have opened this as ‘Howard from WF”. but apparently I don’t have that job anymore.

    It’s all deeply unpleasant and quite complicated.

    I am not entirely free to tell all at this point, but it’s fair to say that we’ve got some serious crap going on, involving backstabbing and double dealing on the part of the Chinese end of the management and one of the US guys – Lonnie – we thought we could trust. Tony hired Lonnie (an ex-GW salesman) when he got laid off from selling plastic cups, but apparently chose to go behind Tony’s back to ally with the Chinese (and pass on ‘venting’ emails where Tony complained about delays and unreliability in getting stock in).

    I am not sure what’s going to happen here. We have a raft of packages that have been waiting to go to customers for over a week, but the bank account has been frozen by our, ahem, colleagues.

    We are angry and betrayed right now. Tony Reidy (a genuinely great guy) has sent out an open letter to the Chinese partner, which probably anyone who chooses to see will be able to do so.

  • Veritas

    This just reinforces my opinion that miniature companies should NOT deal with Chinese manufacturing to get plastic sets done. Either they have to stick to metal and/or resin, get their own plastic manufacturing facility, or stick with domestic manufacturing. Miniature companies are simply too small to goad the Chinese managers into taking their product seriously. Hence, there will ALWAYS be delays and broken promises on their end. They are only interested in the bottom line.

    • Or maybe go with Renedra that is based on the UK and actually knows abouat the product they are producing…

      Too bad about al the Wargames Factory situation… thay had some nice models and it seemed they could improve with time and more experience.

      Andres

  • Veritas, I agree 100%. Steeldragon, they improved because their manufacturer was improving their skills. Chinese companies love to take advantage of small, ignorant American companies. It sounds like they held all the cards from Day 1. Too bad WF didn’t see how they were being used. I am 100% positive the manufacturer was planning this a long time ago. I have heard this story many many times. Has happened in the model railroad and RC hobbies as well. Someday we might learn, but by then it will be too late.

  • hdan

    Wow. I guess I should grab whatever boxes I want from my FLGS and consider myself lucky.

    Howard, I wish you and Tony luck in your future endeavors. What a shame.

  • Yes this has turned into a real train wreck, with no apparent useful information coming out at all (I take the comments in the original announcement with a pinch of salt). The clash between the two sides makes supplying product difficult – and as traders we have been without certain WF products for some time.

    Where will it go from here, well I am increasingly of the view that once my current stock is sold, thats it, I will not be able to replace it. The new War of Spanish Succession box has sold well, half of my stock being sold the week it arrived.

    Liberty and Union, nice idea if you take it for what it is. If enough interest is expressed, the figures get made. Not enough interest, then you are out of luck. But it is a scatter-gun approach, a bit here a bit there. A planned development plan has its advantages. A good manufacturer should know what the best sellers will be and develop those, rather than leaving it to a public vote.

  • fattdex

    Liberty and Union was a joke too, Lost interest after having paid pre order for the 6mm necron sprues, then it got to the 1000 limit, then they raised the production limit to 2000, then 3000… then decided not to do it anyway. Rediculous.

    • puster

      I have registered interest on many LaU-ideas, but never had to pay for anything. Sure you have done so???

  • Agamemnon2

    The moral of this story appears to be for all miniatures companies to stay the hell out of China. Mongoose got shafted pretty totally by them during their Starship Troopers phase, too. IIRC, their Chinese caster made the moulds three times the actual size because they were supplied with 3-ups by Mongoose. Even Privateer Press has had numerous delays on their plastic product.

    Matters are not helped by the tenuous business model of WF, or the flaky nature of their L&U project that for all its fire and bluster, only produced one plastic set of note (the SF troopers) and even that was best described as a “disappointment”.

    So thanks, Wargames Factory, for at least making the effort. Shame it was a bit rubbish towards the end.

    • I thought that was i-Kore/VOID and not SST, but I could be wrong if SST was affected the sam eway

      • Agamemnon2

        SST got hurt with the Light Armor Troopers, who were supposed to be a plastic release of Mobile Infantry in the “movie gear”. It wasn’t the straw the broke the back of that particular game, but it cannot have helped.

        • Rich_B

          Don’t forget the wonderment that was Battlefield Evolution as well…

  • Howard, Tony – I hope you come through this ok. It sounds very ugly, very very unpleasant, and my thoughts go out to you two and all other WF guys adversely affected by it. I love what you did for the gaming industry, and I love the products you developed and brought to the market.

    All the best.

  • Morf

    It’s like watching Social Network. But set in the miniatures world.

  • trajan

    I’ve read the announcement here and the Open Letter on TMP.

    Can somebody now tell me what the problem is, from a customer’s perspective?
    As far as I can see, Wargames Factory has changed owners, Obviously not in the way that the original owners would have liked, but it has changed hands nonetheless. However, it is still in business and trading. It is still producing the products it manufatures, doesn’t it? I have seen nothing anywhere that says the company has been placed in receivership, or ceased trading, so why all the fuss?

    • puster

      It seems that the new owners are the party that is responsible for the “delays” in shipping – and that does not really bodes well for the future. Those of us who have sent them money on preorders certainly should get their goods or a refund.
      For the future I personally will only buy WF if its “in stock” with retailers, and I seriously doubt that the new owners can keep on the drive to create new sets. The best I hope for is that they do continue to provide the existing sets, and that Tony manages to set up a new company without having to hand over its control to some “investment backer”, so that he can create the minis HE wants.
      I fear that Triangle will also not be in the business plans of the new owners, but I am willing to live and learn of pleasant surprises.

    • OK new owners take over.

      People still waiting for their orders to be sent. You are asked to contact Lonnie to make that happen.

      No new orders being taken (new business is in one State, figures in another).

      Now (and here is the biggy) if the new owners are prepared to stab the previous owners in the back, how safe do you feel dealing with them? Remember this is a trust game, we pay our money in the expectation that we get product.

  • Zac

    Lets just recall that the details of what happened here haven’t been conclusively recounted and so we’re all speculating at this point.

  • trajan

    That is my point! The company has issued a statement and the previous owners have retaliated in their own way. As we don’t know the facts we have to take things at face value. For instance, you say that orders were not fulfilled. Well, who was at the company at that time? The former owners have now left, who were obvioulsy identified as the cause of the problem and there is no reason, as yet, to disagree with anything they have said or done so far. Whether you choose to take the side of the fomer owners or not is up to you.

    What I would like to know is, will those customers who have outstanding orders post either here or on TMP or even Facebook, when those orders have been fulfilled? Will they be honest enough to do that? If so, and I doubt that they will, we will know whether the company did the right thing or not. One thing is for sure, the former owners, who sent out the Open Letter, will not admit they were wrong if the company does carry on and improve , as suggested in this announcement, because of their grievance with the new owners. The company will probably make such announcements on their website and facebook page.

    Why is everyone so quick to denounce the company because of what has happened, just because the former owner feels he has been betrayed? He was at the helm when the outstanding orders occurred and he failed to answer emails, using excuses like “there were problems with the email system” (See the Facebook page). What does that mean? I can tell you what it doesn’t mean…That the company was falling behind on orders because of a shortage of money or figures! If it meant that, well , it wouldn’t mention the email system. It would mention that there were difficulties in manufacture or something. So who is telling the truth? You’ll have to give the company a chance to prove it has made the changes for the better. I wonder if we’d get the same sort of posts if GW had made such a move?

  • antenociti

    From what I can piece together from the disjointed rumours and accusations:

    WF made a deal with a Chinese factory owner to produce multiple sprues at a time.

    Lacking the money to do this themselves WF “sold” a chunk of their company to the Chinese as part of a deal to do just that.

    Sales haven’t been good enough to recoup the various investments.

    The Chinese have now taken complete control of the company in lieu of unpaid accounts, and put in place their own team of people to run Wargames Factory and try to recover their investment.

    The old WF team of people don’t like this.

    The old team of people have gone to various forums and posted their dislike of the new team and owners.

    The new team of WF people have announced everything is fine, a new team is in charge and the problems of the past will now be overcome by the new team.

    Lots of people got angry with them for doing so.

    Errmm…?

    • Agamemnon2

      As far as I’m concerned, the “new WF” will have to prove they’re worth anything. If they really are controlled by Chinese investors, it will be a long, uphill struggle as far as I’m concerned. I have no particular love for WF products, and I doubt any amount of shuffling of the deckchairs can save the company.

    • TylerT

      it depends on who failed who? the Chinese company could have intentionally sabotaged the shipping scheduled to ensure the company failed and they could take it over.

      • antenociti

        As I understand things TylerT they already owned the majority of the company and already had assumed the financial risk, so why would they sabotage anything?

        • Veritas

          I, too doubt the Chinese went in looking to sabotage the company, BUT I could also see them killing it through negligence. Like I said previously, to most of these Chinese toy companies the orders coming in from companies like WF are an infinitesimally small part of their business. Hence, when WF and an even middling sized toy company are both clamoring for restocks who do you think the Chinese company is going to move to the head of the line for resupply? Hence, it could simply be negligent homicide (business-cide?) on the part of the Chinese company. This is the reason I think all small miniature manufacturers, (heck, even BIG miniature manufacturers,) should keep their production out of China.

  • antenociti

    I guess it helps being totally ambivalent about the entire affair, but I’m not sure that is the case Veritas.

    Getting away from the “Tony-Drama” all that has happened is a management replacement with a stated aim of improving delivery of items to stockists and customers, and ensuring back-orders are cleared.

    Neither of which seems in any way, shape, or form, to be detrimental to their business and certianly nothing like self-harm.

    Nothing else, that I can see, has actually taken place other than a member of the replaced management posting a rather bitter letter to the public in an attempt to solicit sympathy, but in practice diretly and, possibly, seriously harming the company he claims to “love”.

    /em shrugs

    • Perhaps he loved it when it was his and is unhappy about it being taken away?