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Dear Hank and Flopper

The bonus figures are on the PSR site:

You can see that they vary greatly in quality. For example "G " is a very nice figure with excellent detail and some others are poor.

I suppose on this evidence, not including them in sets would not affect whether or not I bought the set.

A bonus track on a CD or bonus footage on a film DVD is a reasonable promotional ploy and the perception is added value as the CD may have been issued without the bonus. If the bonus has been factored into the costs and is standard I am not sure how it works as a promotion. I could be very wrong but few people would buy the set just for the bonus figure.

Time and trouble spent on showing colour schemes for the figures, recommended paints, the historical background of the figures etc would seem to be a more useful bonus. Including generic items like musket stacks or a pile of cannon balls could also be construed as a bonus when they relate to the period but not just the specific set. The same with Hank's suggestion of carts.
12 poses could be enough but often they are variations on a standing or kneeling rifleman or at the advance. Momentum is very important as well as imagination and inventiveness. A mini set could easily be a Crimean War mortar and crew in action and at rest with the right amount of figures. The formula of a sprue four times may relate to production issues but two sprues of crew and two of cannons and related stuff would be sensible ie twelve different crew poses. The Zvezda, Peter the Great artillery set has twelve crew poses 9 horses, 5 cannons, a limber and 33 superbly sculpted figures for about £10.The powder barrels could be seen as a bonus. This is the competition.