Reaper Miniatures conducted another Kickstarter for its popular Bones line of injection-molded vinyl based plastic miniatures titled Bones II: The Return of Mister Bones, that completed on October 26 at $3,169,610, far exceeding its $30,000 goal. With over 15,000 backers, the Bones II Kickstarter placed #2 in ICv2’s highest tabletop game Kickstarter list and was just 8 percent short of exceeding the first Bones Kickstarter at $3.4 million.
The Kickstarter took the form of a Halloween board game, with “tricks” and “treats” along the way. Reaper learned quite a bit from its previous Kickstarter and applied them to Bones II. Reaper clearly delineated the types of stretch goals by color: dark purple for the core set ($100), light purple for extra copies of the core set (varies), ochre for expansion 1 ($50), orange for additional rewards (varies), blue for expansion 2 ($50), and red for expansion 3 ($50). The change in the way Reaper offered its goals meant that there was less offered in the base set, with backers encouraged to instead push the Kickstarter higher so that the expansion sets increased in value. That’s not to say the $100 core pledge was without value: it featured everything from animals to undead to sea monsters to Pathfinder and Savage Worlds unique characters. Bases were also added to the set of medium (1″ round), large (2″ round) and huge (3″ round) bases.
The stretch goals were of particular interest, because Reaper is clearly paying attention to other miniature Kickstarters. One stretch goal at a time, Reaper horned in on smaller miniature companies’ turf:
- Dungeon Crawler’s peryton, tentacles and kraken have competition from Reaper’s peryton in the thank you pack ($20), shadow tentacle spell effect kraken ($15), and its goroloth demon that looks a lot like a kraken ($50).
- Center Stage Miniatures’ demons & devils are similar to those included in Reaper’s lesser demons (core set $100), greater demons ($12), demon lords ($15), devils ($10), the snake demon (AKA marilith) in the thank you pack ($20), and demon lord of miniatures, frog demon and shadow demon in expansion #2 ($50).
- Mashaaf, Great Old One ($12) looks a lot like Cthulhu Wars’ Bokrug.
- Chandler Walpole’s ill-fated Kickstarter to create a tarrasque inspired by the legendary monster from France fell afoul of Wizards of the Coast’s lawyers — but Reaper’s Khanjira, the World Breaker ($25) is hopefully different enough to not suffer the same fate.
- More importantly, the ridiculous price of the various gelatinous cubes (averaging over $50 from Wizards of the Coast) was finally addressed at $10 in Reaper’s Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter was not without controversy however. A female barbarian added to the core set featured some nudity that caused a stir (the picture of the miniature was later edited for modesty), and a stretch goal in which ReaperBryan was hit in the face with a pie offended some backers. Kay Radebaugh summed up the sentiment:
I think it’s really crappy that after everything Reaper has put Bryan though with the first KS, then toss in RC in the middle of it, and then dump another KS in his lap just days after the first one is fulfilled- you “thank” him for everything, heck, WE THE FANS “thank” him for going through hell for us- by assaulting him??? I know it’s all done in fun but that’s just the crappiest thing you could have done to this guy. I’m extremely disappointed in you Reaper.
Although the “pie to the face” was all meant in good fun as part of a Halloween trick, it gave the impression that Reaper was running out of ideas near the end of the Kickstarter. Although the Kickstarter did not achieve the stretch goal of $3,250,000, Reaper still threw in Cadirith, Fiendish Colossal Spider.
Despite the minor controversies, Reaper’s Kickstarter was another roaring success. Smaller companies will be hard pressed to find a market for their miniatures after the success of Reaper’s two crowdfunding campaigns. Reaper is now officially the 800 pound gorilla in the world of miniature innovation.
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