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Starline 2500 Production Relocation
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the thing.

1. The squadron boxes MUST match the 2400/FC ones, period. No argument, no discussion, no negotiation, no exceptions. (The FC/2400 ones worked fine because the singles had a reasonable price and the 24-ship border boxes were easily available and reasonably priced at $100.)

2. The big 16-box packs were too much strain on the production system. We need to be thinking of smaller boxes, 3-to-6 ships.

3. I have tried all I can and all I'm going to to convince Matthew that his $15 price point for single ships was not just ridiculous but BAD for the product line and was literally a nail in the 2500 coffin.

The simple solution is some blister-packed three-ship squadrons with a reasonable price around $25 depending on ship size. I would not bother doing those for any ships that already comes in a two-pack. Those are just fine.
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Bill Stec
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

I think the 3-ship squadron packs would be a viable alternative, since you can't change the Squadron Boxes.

I can see that perhaps the Fleet boxes were a strain on production with the older, less efficient mini maker. But are the Fleet boxes still likely to be a strain on production with the new mini maker, since I guess he produces the Border boxes for you as well already?

As for the single ship price, you have that right. $15 a ship is a turnoff for many people. I think a price much above $8-9/ship (a cruiser or larger ship/2 frigates) is hard to justify in this economy. I can think of a decent number of people who had interest in the game, say forget it, when the price went to $150 for a fleet box. $100/box they had alot more interest, but I recall you saying that $100/fleet box wasn't viable, didn't I? $125ish for a fleet box might have been better...
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big boxes are still a strain because the new casting house is the same equipment in a new location, with a smaller but more competent crew.
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Bill Stec
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERE'S AN IDEA THAT CAME TO ME.

Part of the problem of the singles the the cost of packaging (manpower and materials).

What say every "single" pack ship is replaced by two identical ships for $25 (effectively $12.50 per ship, a price break over $15 that I have a decent chance of selling to Matthew). I don't think I can talk him into a lower price. He is convinced that you guys will "starve to it" meaning you'll eventually break down and pay his price. (I think he's been proven wrong, but he doesn't.)
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djdood
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the ships in the pack. I think this could work for mainline cruisers and destroyers (and is already done for small ships, like frigates).

Oddballs like fast cruisers is where it could suffer. However, the ACTASF players will affect things, as their game is different and drives different sales (fast cruisers are very popular and used *a lot* in ACTASF).

The $15 price-point is a familiar target, but I'm not convinced is the right one for SL2500 minis (obviously not my call, though).

That is the price that Fantasy Flight sells their plastic X-Wing Miniatures game singles at. However, those are pre-painted and come with cards and die-cut tokens and action-dial parts. The "perceived value" is possibly higher, as a lot of folks just don't understand low-run pewter vs. massive-run injection-molded plastic and print runs.
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Bill Stec
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
HERE'S AN IDEA THAT CAME TO ME.

Part of the problem of the singles the the cost of packaging (manpower and materials).

What say every "single" pack ship is replaced by two identical ships for $25 (effectively $12.50 per ship, a price break over $15 that I have a decent chance of selling to Matthew). I don't think I can talk him into a lower price. He is convinced that you guys will "starve to it" meaning you'll eventually break down and pay his price. (I think he's been proven wrong, but he doesn't.)


Well we shall see. I will decide what to do when the time comes, but that being said:

I hate to be the guy who is saying this in public. It's like dropping a turd in the punchbowl. In this economy, especially, I am of the opinion that the $15/ship price is no longer viable for me any longer. I am a rabid fan of the game, with 150+ minis on hand or on order. I am probably atypical, though I do know of several people who have collections probably close in size to mine (aside from Tony, who is in a league of his own Very Happy )

In the past, I bought fleet boxes + squadron boxes, and numerous single ships to round out the fleets. This was kind of expensive, but being as I was gung-ho about the game, and some other factors were in play, I put up with the $15/single price and grit my teeth.

I try like heck to support ADB/Mongoose and buy from you guys, but paying $12/ship now from one of several online vendors is becoming more and more appealing over $15/ship. I have been gravitating from buying all ADB to buying more ships online, and only getting from ADB what the online vendors don't have.

For example, I can only find the following ships at ADB, not online:
Civilian ships
Klingon F5W
Klingon E5
Fed DNL
Fed BB

And so on. So I buy them from ADB. I got a fair percentage of my ships this year from credits I get from Mongoose for running Demos. Whatever I don't have enough credits for, I buy from ADB if you have it and the online guys don't. The rest, I am steadily gravitating towards online purchases.

So if Matt decides to release 2 cruisers/$25, it's not much worse than $12 each now from an online vendor. And if the online sources don't carry said 2-packs, well I may pay the $25 just to keep ADB around and profitable. But I may buy fewer ships. AND if the online vendors start to offer 2 cruiser in a pack for $18-20, well ... you can see where this is going.

The way I see it, the venture would be better served selling say 500 ships at $9 each = $4500 in sales, versus say 150 in sales @15 each = $2250. The game needs more rabid fans who will buy lots of minis. They then run games and show their buddies. Better to have more rabid fans and less profit per ship sold, because there's a good chance you will have more rapid growth selling more less expensive ships over fewer pricey ones that most people won't pay for.

It's the usual sell more volume but make less profit per mini versus sell few minis but make a killing on each one. I think the first option leads to a larger playerbase, who will continue to buy more mins... and the second leads to perhaps a nicer profit stream in the short term, but the game dies on the vine in a year or two. Confused

Most of the people I tell about what the minis cost, most especially singles, they basically go "blech, forget it". I try to get them to buy a squadron box or two to get them hooked. That $150 fleet box is a hard sell. I think that selling 2-3 packs of a given ship is a good idea; it spreads out the financial cost over time. IF the price per ship is only slightly higher than a fleet box to cover increased packaging costs, it might work.

Sorry to be so blunt, but I think it's something that needed to be said. I think Matt is mistaken on this, but in the end it's not up to me what he wants to charge. But if prices don't come down in a major way, I don't see the game continuing to grow at a decent rate. Obviously you have access to sales figures, etc that I don't, Steve. But that's my opinion on this, and you know what they say about opinions. Laughing


Last edited by Bill Stec on Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gimp
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a Klingon Fleet box at the original $100 price. Before I bought the Federation fleet box, the price hike came. That made the fleet boxes something I wouldn't buy.

I've bought the squadron boxes, not as happily as I did at the $30 price tag, but the miniatures have been good enough to keep me buying at $40.

I haven't bothered buying individual ships, though a few have tempted me. $15 each is far steeper than I see reason for. I can play with counters happily, but I like the visual of painted ships. I don't like that visual enough to buy ships at $15 each.

Matthew probably bases his ideas on what GW does for pricing, but ACTA:SF, or even FC & SFB, do not have the market share that GW has to leverage that kind of obnoxious pricing.

I'm happy to support ADB, but Mongoose is not making it easy.
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Bill Stec
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that the Fleet boxes are already removed from Mongoose's webstore. So if anyone wants to get a fleet box, you had best buy very soon.

ADB still has some, but I wouldn't count upon that situation persisting for very long.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What we have we will sell, but we won't be able to get more.
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Marauder
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Something I hope to see next year is a more rational distribution of ships in a new series of mid-range "fleet builder" boxes.


Glad to hear that. One of my pet peeves of the previous packaging is that in buying both a Fed Fleet box and the Fed Squad box, I ended up with 2 DN's and 3 BC's. I wanted to pick up the newer ships (NCL's, DW's etc), but the box these came in would give me yet another DN and BC. Would very much like something that gives you the new ships but doesn't give you more big ships again!

-Tim
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce told me yesterday that he should be spinning up the first 2500s in about a week or ten days. They had to move the equipment, and replace elements in (and repair) a major piece of the equipment, which was time consuming and expensive.
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marcus_aurelius
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the price point of individual ships, I would agree it is too high. The 2 packs of F5W, F5 and E5 were tolerable but I have only bought 1 individual ship other than that. I have seen Orion CRs but too high a price. I have been using my Kzinti BCHs quite well as BCs because the price of individual BCs is too high, I will wait for the sqadron boxes to get BCs and CRs even if it takes a year. I also agree that a DN ad BCH in EVERY squadron pack is overkill.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not 'starving' to get more 2500's, I just want to collect distinct models before they go out of print for good. I remember missing out on the Elites. Due to the size, the 2500's are more like models than playing pieces.

I collected all the 2400 boxes, I can't imagine having the same number of 2500's as I do 2400's. I'm game for any new packaging strategy and price break.

Will the new manufacturer be able to produce metal DN's and BB's?
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ingkent
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the detail and the size does make the 2500's a bit like models. I just got in the mail from StarFleetGames the Fed BB earlier this week and its all metal. I prefer resin personally, easier to put together and to mod...but metal is good as well.
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