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I've been following with some interest HaT's "crowdfunding" project and was wondering whether this is something you, Strelets, would also consider. For those who many not know what this is, it's simply that the manufacturer would create any models you want, provided he can get enough people to actually fund the project. This means that, in theory, we could have anything produced we want.
Somehow I feel that the manufacturing processes of Strelets would lend themselves nicely to this, mostly because the sets could be produced at relative high speed.
Would this something you would consider Strelets?
Cheers to all
we believe, that this is technically possible, although it poses few questions:
1. what for? What is the subject, that, in your opinion, can't be made other, than this way?
2. for us to bother with the project, we have to ensure, at least, 1.500 boxes sales. To be honest, we doubt that it's possible to have a pool of subscribers for such lot. If you think about that, to re-create Hastings, for example, you've got to have just about 100 boxes for each side, so unless you're planning something really major, like, for example, Leipzig battle, there's simply no immediate demand for such number of boxes.
3. in the past you witnessed few successful attempts of our visitors to lobby certain subjects, and in cases, where we saw commercial potential, we made those sets. So, with a bit of clever approach it's possible to achieve same result with traditional means.
Thank you very much indeed for your reply and for your position on this. I'd be curious to see what other collectors/players/wargamers think on this.
Somehow 1,500 boxes doesn't seem that many to me, particularly if you look at the numbers of people out there who buy them, but then maybe I believe that there are a lot more people out there than there actually are...
Having said that I get your point entirely. This has to be commercially viable, otherwise why bother?
Over to you guys, would love to hear more people chime in!
I bow to Strelets on the issue of sales. I don't think any of us know what constitutes a viable run and what sales(100%?) make a production run a success. I would presume it changes with different financial conditions. Sales outlets get fewer every year in the UK and importers order small batches which has the effect of trickling returns on investment.
Crowdfunding is difficult when you haven't got the crowd to start with. If the project is a video game or a single from a well known singer/group then the fan base can be estimated as +or- several 1000s based on sales. It is hard to get a crowdfunding group in our minifig world to focus on a set as most people want something that suits their specific requirements when asked to stump the money up front.
If crowdfunding niche hobbies is the way forward then the experiments will spawn more. I don't think it is even off the starting blocks yet.
I am sure it is true of most people who write on this forum but I can say I have got a lot of joy from Strelets sets in the past 15 years especially the Crimean War ones. I am glad Strelets turned in my direction rather than making rear lights for Skodas (they probably do that also). I may have contributed several hundred pounds to the Strelets huge profit vaults and financed stuff I wasn't interested in but it seems to work and I don't care.
Thank you for this brilliant reply. I agree with you and we're not there yet on an "industrial" scale, however there are several manufacturers who already offer to make small batches of figures on demand.
My point was simply to see the reactions out there. but it is clear that people, as you say, have too many varied interests or that we really are a dying breed... probably both actually, as well as other factors.
Like you I have spend copious amounts of money on figures I am really into. I have over 50,000 figures for the Napoleonic wars and not far of 20,000 for WW1. And I know people who have in the hundreds of thousands. But there aren't that many.
Anyway, an interesting topic in my mind. Perhaps one day we'll hear more of this.
In the meantime, all the best to Strelets and to all those who love the little figures out there!
I think crowdfunding has real potential, at one level the manufacturer can gauge the level of interest before forking out a lot of money, it also is a great way of sorting out the " if you make xxxx set I would buy 20, 50, 100 boxes of them ". It gives niche projects a chance where they may not get them if the risk was all on the manufacturer. It is in its infancy and it will be very interesting to see how it develops, I have bought in to both Plastic soldier company`s and Hat`s efforts, not only do I want the product on offer, but I want to encourage future projects and that will only happen if they have success, and that is down to us the buying public.