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<  From Pulp City HQ  ~  Direct Only discussion

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:10 pm
MortalPosts: 5Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 11:12 am
Nice to know [REF: new Direct Only minis from seperate thread here]

but i have to say that i'm not too happy with the multiplication of direct only pieces (and i'm not alone)
gentleman
the grims
Adron (this one i can understand)
now two suppreme...

i hope you will not continue this trend

i support my brick and mortar shop, he does his best to have a complete range and support the game here.

Just my two cent



EDIT by pulpcitizen: the posts were seperated to a new topic to tidy up discussion. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:12 am
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 2139Location: Maine U.S.A.Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:52 am
We all love to support the Brick and Mortar shops! Unfortunately in order to support those store you have to go through distributors who take a MAJOR bite out of Pulp Monster's profits. In order to keep producing the models we all love Morf choose to produce a limited number of minis that will be direct sales only. This keep the company in business but still allows him to produce minis for everyone. This is the nature of the beast. The fact is Pulp City is not big enough to compete with GW or PP or the others.

So in short some new releases are going to be direct only. Most won't. We keep the game strong and everyone wins.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:24 pm
MortalPosts: 12Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:33 pm
I have to agree with Agun_de_Merak. I'm doing everything I can to support this game at my store. Its already difficult with the very slow release schedule. We haven't seen any new pieces since Gen Con 2010 and those we had to get from the Pulp City booth. I understand the Giant Hadron, but supplying a gaming area for free and asking my customers to buy somewhere else is counter-productive.

I'd like to know for certain, when can I expect to order new Supremes from my distributor? This thread is about April releases, what is going to come out through the distributors this month and when? Bottom line - Am I wasting my time teaching this game in my store?

-Evilbread


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:49 pm
User avatarImmortalPosts: 1161Location: Montreal, CanadaJoined: Tue May 12, 2009 4:23 am
evilbread wrote:
Bottom line - Am I wasting my time teaching this game in my store?



You're definitely not wasting your time. Pulp City is still a relatively young game and it takes time to grow to the same level as Games Workshop or Privateer Press, but look at the quality of the game itself.

When you're teaching people this game, you're showing them a wonderfully simple system that offers amazing opportunities for strategy. You're exposing them to some of the best sculpts out there (See a reference to a quote by Kev White, somewhere in the forums). More importantly, this game is damn fun and adding some fun to your life is never a waste of time.

Is it ideal that we have to wait between releases? Absolutely not... but that doesn't at all make supporting this game a waste.


Last edited by cardboardvampire on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:53 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 4526Location: House of Jade LanternsJoined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:16 am
evilbread wrote:
I have to agree with Agun_de_Merak. I'm doing everything I can to support this game at my store. Its already difficult with the very slow release schedule. We haven't seen any new pieces since Gen Con 2010 and those we had to get from the Pulp City booth. I understand the Giant Hadron, but supplying a gaming area for free and asking my customers to buy somewhere else is counter-productive.

I'd like to know for certain, when can I expect to order new Supremes from my distributor? This thread is about April releases, what is going to come out through the distributors this month and when? Bottom line - Am I wasting my time teaching this game in my store?

-Evilbread


Glad to see you posting evilbread (and bread is never evil in my book, as my own waistline will attest!).

The game is going to have strong support going forwards as Devon notes – there is a lot lined up. :)

Morf is acutely aware of the need for continuing to release new products on a timely basis; unfortunately a lot of factors behind the scenes and beyond the control of Pulp Monsters can impact that.

Hopefully you will see a two waves in fairly short order (next wave is Solar, Avatar of the Jaguar & Stalker; Ra'Leigh, Master Aquarius & Stinger, Scorpio Fencer; wave after that Riposte & Arquero; Loup Garou II & Moonchild). Add in the Direct Only minis and there are quite a few on the imminent slate. Let alone the Monster on the horizon and the new game options that using Monsters will open up. Of course the response of various distributors is down to them, but hopefully your local stores will be able to order imminent waves pretty soon.

As Devon suggests, a balance is needed. The Direct Only minis will represent only a small part of the range, and is nothing that pretty much most/all small model count skirmish game producers are already doing. For an LGS there are limits in overall product space for SKU’s from numerous competing ranges so Direct Only minis shouldn’t overly harm their business model. Direct Only minis can also be slipped into the release schedule more easily as they do not require the same resources for packaging etc. (basically there is a reason why box sets are in pairs for printing etc.).

Finally, if you enjoy the game, then teach the game – it isn’t going away. :)



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:11 pm
MortalPosts: 12Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:33 pm
I have been playing Pulp City for about a year now. I just don't post outside of our store forums.

Pulp City keeps getting compared to GW and PP. Those are two giant companies that operate on a global level. Good comparisons would be Darkson Design, Spartan Games, Corvus Belli S.L.L., or Mantic Entertainment Ltd. They all have less than 200 minis in their ranges and are carried by the same distributors as Pulp City.

I'm not interested in their games. I'm interested in Pulp City. It just seems that things move very slow when it comes to this game. I try to talk it up to customers, but most of their questions are answered with "I'm not sure." or "I don't know.". I can find out what's releasing for Firestorm Armada, Infinity, Hell Dorado, and Malifaux over the next two months fairly quickly. For Pulp City, I have to check the forums daily and I still don't know if there are any April releases that are going to my distributor or do my customers have to go online.

Quote:
You're definitely not wasting your time. Pulp City is still a relatively young game and it takes time to grow to the same level as Games Workshop or Privateer Press, but look at the quality of the game itself.


If I'm not mistaken, Pulp City was at GenCon 2009. That means the game has been out for at least 32 months. There are less than 60 minis available in the retail range. That's not even two a month.

Quote:
When you're teaching people this game, you're showing them a wonderfully simple system that offers amazing opportunities for strategy. You're exposing them to some of the best sculpts out there (See a reference to a quote by Kev White, somewhere in the forums). More importantly, this game is damn fun and adding some fun to your life is never a waste of time.


I agree. I enjoy this game and the new minion rules open up endless possibilities. The problem is that when I'm teaching the game, I'm on the clock. I have to prove that my time is in the stores best interest. We have some of the best Pulp City terrain around (made by Ghazkhull) and we try to keep everything in stock that our distributor has available. But the bottom line is that we provide a free place to play and I can't figure out what and when our customers will be able to get new stuff from us.

Quote:
Is it ideal that we have to wait between releases? Absolutely not... but that doesn't at all make supporting this game a waste.


I don't mind waiting for new releases. I would rather have things play-tested and thought out than just throwing something out there. If you glance at the errata at the end of the Pulp City Guide, the changes either bring the models up to the new rules or make the piece easier to play with. Nothing had to be 'fixed' to so as not to be 'broken'. That's something that not many companies can claim. If there's only going to be six new packs of minis each year, than I would rather have a new pack every other month than to wait for Gen Con each year to stock-up on everything. Customers are always looking for the next new thing and if there isn't anything for certain, it gives the impression that its a dead game.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:48 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 1536Location: SE KansasJoined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:14 am
Not much to be said that if you compare us to the companies you mentioned, you can see that they don't always meet their deadlines either.

If you can see that Pulp City has been around since 2007, the game is here to stay. Morf has shown his longevity in the industry- not just here but in the hobby as well. There have been a steady supply- not as fast as one may like or expect, but the releases are there. They haven't mysteriously dried up or disappeared. The schedule is slow at times, and if a hiccup causes a delay, the delay between releases can seem even longer than a fan anticipates.

Anyway, to get to the crux of the issue, you'd like to see a release schedule and Pulp Monsters stick by that release schedule, correct? What would you suggest a small ONE man company do to improve that release schedule?

What do you suggest Pulp Monsters do to get all models out to the retailers and away from direct only sales (Which may be the only viable option for some models when you factor in sculpting, painting, concept art, and more costs associated with an expected return on profits.)?

Essentially, you're the fan, what suggestions do you see that can help PM meet your goals and expectations of the company?

EDIT: To note, Evilbread does mention in the above post some suggestions. My comments are for a general population of fans, not just for EB alone.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:02 pm
MortalPosts: 12Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:33 pm
That explains a lot. One person cannot keep up with the demands of retail. I've seen it before. You can't keep up with demand, but you can't direct enough profit to bringing on more people to make it worthwhile.

If I could make one suggestion that would be an easy change... Add a tab to The Pulp Shop for projects that are in the works and how far along they are. Just something simple for each Supreme like 'Concept Stage' - 'Play-Testing' - 'Sculpting' - 'Available Soon'. It will at least let us know what to expect down the road with out having to scour the forums and I can direct customers there easy enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:18 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 1536Location: SE KansasJoined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:14 am
evilbread wrote:
That explains a lot. One person cannot keep up with the demands of retail. I've seen it before. You can't keep up with demand, but you can't direct enough profit to bringing on more people to make it worthwhile.

If I could make one suggestion that would be an easy change... Add a tab to The Pulp Shop for projects that are in the works and how far along they are. Just something simple for each Supreme like 'Concept Stage' - 'Play-Testing' - 'Sculpting' - 'Available Soon'. It will at least let us know what to expect down the road with out having to scour the forums and I can direct customers there easy enough.


You don't like surprises then, eh? :twisted:



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:42 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 2139Location: Maine U.S.A.Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:52 am
Not to worry the main website is getting a major overhaul to help with this stuff. Everything takes time though. Hang in there.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:40 am
User avatarMinister of PulpPosts: 2027Location: Street FightingJoined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:13 pm
@evilbread @Agun_de_Merak

Thanks guys for the feedback.

We are probably the smallest company with models sculpted by the best out there, cast by the best out there, and distributed by the best out there.
Comparisons to Mantic and Corvus Belli are humbling. Pulp Monsters is me and my Sales Manager.

We are coming to a point where the number of SKUs will be too big for most of the stores to carry in 100%. There are few stores that carry big skirmish lines - a Customer will spend 500+USD on a non-skirmish game, buying doubles of certain boxes/units. It's natural for shops to carry selections of skirmish models, ordering missing items on requests.
Releasing more than 10 boxes a year would be suicidal. Games like Confrontation got axed mostly because they had 15+ armies, each requiring at least 10 SKUs constantly present to be competitive = 150+ blister pegs!


Now some math: With each 14 Euro box sold to distribution we end up seeing usually around 5,6 Euro. At least 3 Euro will go into the direct production costs (i.e. eveything you get as a Customer). The rest will have to "feed" the artists (painter, concept, sculpt), molding, warehousing, internet costs etc. The distribution sales would have to go beyond 500 sold copies to break even.

Direct sales are what provides you with new models.
I am happy which ever way you as a Customer want to play it:
- buy at LGS, promote it and skip direct models
- shop direct for all your gaming needs
- buy at LGS and once in a while place a direct order for direct minis and pay small shipping fee.

Thanks for understanding. For Pulp City it's swim or sink situation. The game still breaks even but with the increasing tin prices, it is getting scary sometimes.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:53 am
User avatarMinister of PulpPosts: 2027Location: Street FightingJoined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:13 pm
PS: Some models, like Giant Hadron would be a retail suicide. Printing boxes, ordering a pro paintjob and letting him through retail would add easily another 20 Euro to the price, making him completely not viable. As a gamer, I would just go to Walmart and convert any super hero vinyl toy.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:37 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 1536Location: SE KansasJoined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:14 am
Morf wrote:
PS: Some models, like Giant Hadron would be a retail suicide. Printing boxes, ordering a pro paintjob and letting him through retail would add easily another 20 Euro to the price, making him completely not viable. As a gamer, I would just go to Walmart and convert any super hero vinyl toy.


What's the equivalent of Wal-Mart in Poland, Morf?



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:46 pm
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ther is none
- ther are a lot of smaller ones but nothing like Wal-Mart .. i think so


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:18 pm
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evilbread wrote:
That explains a lot. One person cannot keep up with the demands of retail. I've seen it before. You can't keep up with demand, but you can't direct enough profit to bringing on more people to make it worthwhile.

If I could make one suggestion that would be an easy change... Add a tab to The Pulp Shop for projects that are in the works and how far along they are. Just something simple for each Supreme like 'Concept Stage' - 'Play-Testing' - 'Sculpting' - 'Available Soon'. It will at least let us know what to expect down the road with out having to scour the forums and I can direct customers there easy enough.


This is a very interesting thread. I recommend we move it off the news and Pulp Monsters main thread into another area though.

The questions here are really what does the gaming public want, what should gaming companies try to provide and how much should the voice of one customer be considered in an age where it is so easy to spread bad press.

I gotta tell you guys, after a little over two years on the other side of the fence I think there are only three positions a miniature company or gaming business can be in:

1 - out of business.

2 - firmly astride a mostly dead horse.

3 - hanging onto a tiger by its tail and hoping it won't turn around and bite you.

I am in favor of anything that keeps Morf safely in between 2 and 3 :)

I think Morf is doing a great job running things. I have no problems demoing the game and telling people where to go to get more info and figures. When the owner of my LGS asks, I tell him to buy the rulebook and the starter boxes, maybe the citizen counters. The rest he can stock or not as space becomes available. But with those main items, new people are happy, old people can claim some sort of a home base, and the store owner always has the option to order from PM based on a special request or projected interest.



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