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View Full Version : Rackham going under again



IJW
29-10-2010, 11:55
http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2010/10/28/40457

And people wonder why GW don't do pre-painted plastics. Between Rackham and Starship Troopers PPPs really do seem to be the kiss of death. :(

scarletsquig
29-10-2010, 12:28
Along with pretty much all the clix games that are now dead...

I think monsterpocalypse is literally the only PPP game left that's doing well.

blongbling
29-10-2010, 12:45
Along with pretty much all the clix games that are now dead...

I think monsterpocalypse is literally the only PPP game left that's doing well.

and then "well" is all relative

Night Bearer
29-10-2010, 13:21
Monpoc was huge around here when it first came out, but seemed to die just as quickly. OTOH, Heroclix seems to have made a comeback. At least it seems like I'm seeing it played and bought more and more.

I can't speak for the other clix games, but I think Rackham's Clixfrontation failed because it was just as expensive as a GW game but with badly-painted plastic figs. Plus a lot of my gaming friends were fans of Rackham's metals and I think almost didn't play out of protest.

I've heard only great things about AT-43 rules-wise, and the three people who play at one of the local game stores seem to really love it, but for whatever reason it just never caught on.

Setha
29-10-2010, 13:27
i hope the molds get sold to another company that can produce some of the metals again,really wanted to get my hands on a few.

Odin
29-10-2010, 13:30
i hope the molds get sold to another company that can produce some of the metals again,really wanted to get my hands on a few.

Yeah, I really wanted some of their metal models, but they don't seem to be available any more.

IJW
29-10-2010, 13:40
I thought the moulds had been destroyed?

sigur
29-10-2010, 13:41
Around my LGS and the two gaming clubs in the Vienna area, I never heard or saw anyone mention or play anything "-clix" or anything prepainted (eventhough my LGS sold these clix things and prepainted reckham as well) but Warmachine seems to be popular.

I have to admit that I feel a great deal of satisfaction each time I hear pre-painted minis not going well. :evilgrin:

Due to a sale on Rackham paints at my LGS, I started using them recently. They don't have a very good reputation but I think they're alright.

loveless
29-10-2010, 14:29
I thought the moulds had been destroyed?

I had heard this, but I was never aware as to whether it came from an official source or not.


-----

Is anyone surprised at the news? Is it ever a good idea to market to a subset (non-painters) of a subset (tabletop gamers)?

EDIT: Wait...is this in GW General? Why?

IJW
29-10-2010, 15:08
Yeah, it should probably have been in SF&F news.

Zark the Damned
29-10-2010, 15:39
I think monsterpocalypse is literally the only PPP game left that's doing well.

Heroclix has been revived recently and is doing really well again. They are also soon to be publishing a new set featuring characters from Street Fighter, and a new clix game based on the Star Trek license.

Wintertooth
30-10-2010, 02:58
They doomed themselves long before the switch to PPP.

They had a great business model during the days of Confrontation 2 - they were making first-rate, top quality miniatures that were a genuine alternative to GW in style, not a cheap rip-off like so many companies out there now.

They were fantastic painter's models. They were no cheaper than GW's metals, but everyone I knew who played it got into by picking up one or two blisters just to paint, then having the rules in every blister, and being a small skirmish game with a strong allies system meant before you knew it you had everything you needed to play. For a time, practically every release was compatible with four game systems, and Warmachine barely had a foothold outside the US.

But for whatever reason (investor pressure?), they threw it all away trying to be GW. Conf3 requiring an expensive hardback rulebook to play killed the burgeoning scene in my area overnight. Rag'Narok was dead on arrival in the UK as far as I could see - everything in metal made Warhammer look like the budget option. I barely noticed when they alienated their remaining customers with Conf3.5 less than 12 months after 3 - nobody here cared any more.

I kept buying for a while, but never even got to play Conf3. This is probably the first time I've given them any thought since their first Clixfrontation Happy Meal toys hit these shores and killed any remaining interest I had in the company.

The death of Rackham is a sad loss to the industry, but it happened years ago. A stark warning for today's boutique miniatures companies.

dominic_star
30-10-2010, 12:39
I still have one of their great metals which I love. It looks like a tzeentch disk rider to some extent and will be used as a herald of tzeentch. It came with a large metal angel style figure which I've sadly lost and about 5 miniature angel looking creatures. That cost me 17 direct from France and 8 of that was postage so I don't think they were expensive. On size a good third less than GW were charging even back then so I don't see how they couldn't compete.

frozenwastes
03-11-2010, 09:49
Rackham was growing when it was making individual metal miniatures for sale to people interested in painting them. They switched their business model and everything went screeching to a halt in terms of growth and then they entered a death spiral.

Hmmm, I can't quite think of a way to get a third metaphor into my mixed metaphor. Hopefully I'll be able to pull it off next time.

unheilig
03-11-2010, 09:57
Time to go hand out a few "I told you so"s.

Prepainteds are nothing more than board games. They require no creatie investment, and are thus easily forgotten.

Osbad
03-11-2010, 15:18
Time to go hand out a few "I told you so"s.

Prepainteds are nothing more than board games. They require no creatie investment, and are thus easily forgotten.

There was a heck of a lot more to the issue than simply PPP. PPP per se was working fine for AT-43 - it developed quite a following. The problem was Rackham messing their distributors around, overpackaging which meant that the models cost too much in the shops and just dropping the ball on game development. Having OK, but not earth-shattering quality rules for AT-43 didn't help much either.

What killed them though was the decision to axe the metal Conf. models. That was a PR disaster, and fed back into illwill that gutted the company.

If they had managed to keep the goodwill of the fans, things might have turned around, but they were too gung ho and sure of themselves and their ability to foist on the market place a product that there was inadequate evidence that the market wanted. If they hadn't taken the risk of going PPP with Conf, until they had ironed out the problems with AT-43 and got that working, then they may still have been around. With the market dominated as it is by GW, it is the tortoise, not the hare that will ultimately thrive.

As it is, here's hoping someone who understands the wargaming market picks up their IP and does something useful with it. There's rumours around that Reaper (for instance) are interested. Now there's a company that has successfully dabbled in PPP. They have managed to launch a PPP line that are complementary to rather than in replacement of their traditional metal models, and that may not be making them millionaires, but it didn't sink the company either.

I still think PPP can be made to work. But it takes a heck of a lot more thought and care than simply assuming the kind of people who buy metal models and plastic kits will suddenly turn around and buy prepainted models. Its a similar, but not an identical, set of folks.

Pacorko
03-11-2010, 16:50
I thought the moulds had been destroyed?

It's been a rumour that has been going around ever since the horrid plastics came the out. "The last models are now discounted and moulds will be destroyed".

But so what?

They have the master sculptures--even if the master moulds have been destroyed--for each and every of their models. It's just a matter of doing new prod moulds and off anyone goes.

Still, I did mention it somewhere else in this fine corner of the website: all those fire sales were not a good indication of Rackham becoming more popular, more affordable or healthy as a company.

Let's see if any one picks up the licenses, and I pray it's not FFG because the pricing and painting quality would be bound to be the same as before and that will not help anyone.

So long Rack-E, it never was a pleasure and I'm sure you will not be missed.

Rabid Bunny 666
04-11-2010, 20:24
Looks like i'll scoop up some of the plastic Ram stuff when the cost drops, they're preally nice sculpts and the paint job isn't too hard to paint over.

Max Jet
05-11-2010, 13:53
Prepainteds are nothing more than board games. They require no creatie investment, and are thus easily forgotten.

I for one was put away from Rackham by their silly prices, not so much by their prepainted models (which can be easily painted over)

They sold the starter box vor 30€ on the "Spiel 09" which was a superb price, but expansion? Dear god it was even more expensive than GW, imagine that.

But I am sure people will come up with a gazillion fantastic reasons for their downfall other than their horrendous prices.

magath
05-11-2010, 14:32
I for one was put away from Rackham by their silly prices
I'd agree with that. I've often been tempted by Rackham stuff until I looked at the price. Its not a good day when GW looks like the budget option...

TheMav80
06-11-2010, 21:47
I bought a few of their metals off Warstore when they were having huge sales on them a while back. I use some of them for characters for DnD. :p