A Note On Pricing
At the risk of over-sharing, I believe this is an important topic to discuss. In my time in and around the industry, I have seen nothing that gives miniature company owners more heartburn than trying to figure out pricing. And during these current times of ever-increasing material costs and overhead, it gets harder and harder to make ends meet. Not that I’m complaining. In all honestly, I do feel honored and privileged to current caretaker for the Ral Partha brand. This company truly is a labor of love.
But there are several challenges that small-level miniature producers have to navigate, that many are not aware of. If you are interested, I am happy to share some of this all with you. While I can’t speak for my peers in the industry, I know many of them face the same struggles. We can not produce product in large enough numbers to really apply economies of scale. We can’t buy supplies in large enough quantities to get the really good discounts. We don’t ship in large enough quantities to get the good shipping discounts. We generally don’t have the storage space to keep large amounts of supplies or spare equipment on hand. Also, sales aren’t steady enough to reliably hire regular help (for those who are lucky enough to be able to afford employees). Advertising is expensive and it is hard to hit our target audience in such a niche market. On top of all that, distributors and hobby stores are themselves operating on tight margins, so they aren’t really in a position to take a chance on smaller companies. What they often rely on are the big miniatures companies that have massive advertising programs. You know who they are. So we little guys have to fight much much harder to get our product in front of potential customers.
All that sounds pretty grim, right? Well, it’s not. I’ve got a couple things the mega-companies do not. Through sheer stubbornness and extreme dumb luck, I managed to get myself imbedded into the larger group of people surrounding Ral Partha. I’m still not quite sure how, but I’m glad I landed here. So now I get to represent and play with some of the best damn miniatures to have ever been produced. The other great thing I’ve got going my way is that I get to work with some of the top talents in this industry. Again, I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I do know I owe it to the generosity of others, and close-knit relationships that developed in the industry years before I stumbled into it. So far, I have had the privilege to work with Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, Bob Charrette, Richard Kerr, Dave Summers, John Winter, and Steve Saunders. And this project is a wonderful example; producing over three dozen new sculpts by Tom Meier. Tom is to the miniatures industry as Elvis Presley was to music. Others had come first, but his work changed everything. In fact, Tom was the first person to sculpt miniatures in green epoxy. He sculpted the template of what we all imagine Elves to look like today. I could go on and on, but this section isn’t for that. My point is, that the opportunity to work closely with Tom, and Bob, and Julie, and all the others is something that I wouldn’t trade for all of the advantages that the big companies have. But I digress…
The point I am trying to get at here is that I want you all to know that, we aren't charging you any more than we have to, in order to keep our businesses in the black. Nobody in the industry that I know is getting rich off this. We are just enthusiasts trying to keep involved in this hobby. It may sound like a line, but if I could give the miniatures away for free, I would. However, my goal is to get more classic and new miniatures produced, and build this company into one that is financially solvent and set on the right path to last for years to come. And doing all that does require making sales.
I am seriously NOT asking you to buy anything that you do not want. I never want to do that. But I do hope that you can appreciate the beauty in Tom’s sculpts shown here, and can find some use in the assortments that I am making available. Tom’s work is top of the line, and I just hope that I can do it some justice, and get it some of the attention it deserves.
I really do appreciate your business, and hope to continue releasing more hand crafted miniatures, and re-releasing more classic miniatures in the future. Thanks everybody.
Ral Partha Legacy Ltd.