Thursday, January 13, 2011

WotC to Discontinue Plastic Minis

Terrible news! Shinobicow at The Dump Stat blog has learned that Hasbro / WotC has announced to retailers that they are discontinuing production of their collectible plastic minis!

These minis are by far my favorite WotC product. Don't get me wrong - I love vintage minis, and I love painting minis, but I just don't have the time to keep up the stream of freshly painted villains. I've come to rely pretty heavily on WotC's plastic pre-painted minis for my gaming, especially in the monster department. One of the best things about the WotC minis is that you can get lots of them on eBay for a very reasonable price. I wonder if this discontinuation will jack up their prices on eBay. My PayPal account is already starting to hurt just thinking about it.

Shinobicow's post also goes on to describe how WotC is delaying or canceling production of a number of
major 4e products. I wonder what's up? Are they banking on the Fortune Cards as the new wave of the future?

PS: CLICK HERE for the entire official announcement from WotC.


  1. We never used minis at all back in the day, but I've picked up a ton of these in singles and sets and they've added a lot to my games.

    That said, I have all that I need and reasonably can afford (no thanks on the $25 "rare" minis) so maybe many are reaching the saturation point.

  2. Oh wow. I was just ranting about minis and how I didn't want to use them any more. Thats funny.

    I guess Reaper (I mean, Hobby-Q now,) made a smart move with it's Asylum line of plastic minis.

    But wow - no minis from WotC? Are they insane . . . ohhhh . . . that explains the big bag of cardboard circles in the Monster Vault. Duuuh. I should have figured that one out earlier. :)

    - Ark

  3. Yah, it's LAME. I bitched on my blog as well. It's the last product I was still buying from them.

  4. If you dislike the fact that they're discontinuing them, the only people to be upset with are your fellow gamers. Plastic minis are not consumed. Just like a book, once you buy them you have them forever. Most people will buy a certain number and then stop, content that they have all the minis they will conceivably need. Unlike a book, however, the minis have been edition-agnostic. You don't need to buy a whole new set when editions change, you can get by just fine using your old ones.

    Minis have been struggling for a long time now, as more and more people hit that saturation point. Tokens (like those from the Monster Vault) are cheaper to produce and easier to package. You can't blame WotC for ditching a product that is no longer selling. They could either drum up some kind of marketing gimmick to necessitate throwing out all your old minis and buying new ones (which I'm sure would just result in more bitching), or they can end the product line because it's hurting them financially.

    If you want to bitch, bitch at the D&D players who didn't buy enough minis. Of course, bitching over tiny plastic men is pretty silly to begin with.

  5. I wouldn't say that I broke any news really, just passing on what other's showed to me and I couldn't open in my feed reader... :P Thanks for the link over though. Yea. Quite the lame announcement by WotC; ironically, what preceded that announcement was the one about the new D&D movie... great....

  6. Sometimes I feel WotC has a formal business plan and sometimes I feel they throw darts at a board with labels like "Publish" and "Cancel" scattered randomly across it.

  7. Discontinuing the current lines isn't no plastic minis in the future. Heck maybe some corporate knob realized how much they can get for metal miniatures or simply licensing out to someone else.

  8. Truth is, the whole Shootin' match is run by Hasbro, who as an entity knows nothing about RPGs. But they DO know their bottom line. This is the one true hazard for D&D from the time that Hasbro bought them out. If it does not turn a profit in a timely manor then it will be discontinued. That's just the way that Hasbro does things.
    I just with that they had made some of the Gamma world Monsters before they quit making the minis.
    Ah, too bad.

  9. From hell's heart I stab at thee, WotC. I la la la loved those goofy little things. Oh well. At least I have a hell of a collection.

  10. Most people will buy a certain number and then stop, content that they have all the minis they will conceivably need.

    Hahaha! I've never met a mini collector who has "enough". Maybe we run in different circles...

    You can't blame WotC for ditching a product that is no longer selling.

    Well, they seem to be selling like hotcakes on eBay where buyers KNOW WHAT THEY'RE GETTING. I've never bought a single sealed package of WotC minis because I refuse to pay $20 without knowing what's in the package. This marketing model worked on me when I was a teenager playing M:TG, but not now. On the other hand, I've happily payed $100s on eBay for series of common minis. I reckon there's a lot of people like me out there that are incompatible with WotC's "collectible" marketing scheme.

    I just with that they had made some of the Gamma world Monsters before they quit making the minis.

    Aye, this is the biggest bummer of all! I was really hoping for a line of Gamma World minis! Damn!

  11. According to Chris Sims, interest in minis was waning and costs were increasing. It just became untenable for them to continue to produce the line.

    Being upset with WotC over this is really, really silly. They either bleed themselves dry supporting an unpopular, expensive product line, or they cancel it and look for other options. At least they had the foresight to begin rolling out the flat token alternative well enough in advance that they have a good idea of what to do moving forward.


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