Privateer Announces “MiniCrate” Miniatures Subscription Service

Privateer just announced a monthly subscription service aimed at hobbyists and collectors.

Privateer Press Launches Monthly Miniature Subscription Service

July 14, 2017

“Bellevue, WA — Privateer Press, publishers of WARMACHINE and HORDES, announced the launch of its first subscription box, MiniCrate, a service that will deliver exclusive, limited-edition miniatures directly to players and hobbyists every month beginning in October.

The MiniCrate program is offered as a monthly subscription service. Each shipment contains a single exclusive, limited-edition miniature and a corresponding Collector’s Card featuring the miniature’s concept art that can only be acquired through the Privateer Press’ MiniCrate program. Subscriptions are offered as month-to-month Collector subscriptions or six-month VIP subscriptions. VIP subscribers get a free seventh bonus mini that will ship with their first delivery as well as gaining access to other special offers and promotions.

Domestic U.S. pricing is $16.99 per month for a Collector subscription and $98.99 for a VIP subscription. Prices include shipping. Subscribers will have automatic rebilling to ensure there are no gaps in their subscriptions. International costs will vary.

The first MiniCrate miniature, “Swamp Siren,” is a variant of the Swamp Horror Minions model made for HORDES and will ship to subscribers in October. Future miniatures will be revealed as surprises to subscribers with sketches and hints of what’s to come. Subscriptions will be available at www.mini-crate.com beginning July 14.

“MiniCrate is all about celebrating the artistry of fine-scale miniatures,” said Chief Creative Officer Matt Wilson. “While MiniCrate minis can be used in Privateer Press games, our main goal is to create exciting and memorable characters that anyone who is passionate about miniatures collecting and hobbying is going to love. We’re also going to have some diabolical fun while we’re at it—just wait until the videos start rolling out!”

Each exclusive, limited-edition miniature created for MiniCrate will be produced one time in a single production run. After the production run, Privateer plans to destroy the molds in as spectacular a fashion as they can devise. The retiring of each mold will be recorded on video and released via Privateer’s YouTube channel for all to enjoy.”

Mini-Crate Website

Service Description

“We design and craft each mini only for MiniCrate subscribers—you won’t find them anywhere else. Each mini will only be produced once, based on the current number of subscribers. Any overruns will be offered for sale to MiniCrate subscribers through special offers throughout the year, and when they’re gone, they’re GONE FOREVER.

That’s right: we’re putting the ‘EX’ into exclusive and we’re going to DESTROY THE MOLDS at the end of the production run. (Don’t worry, we’re going to post video, so you don’t miss out on all the fun.)

Play WARMACHINE or HORDES? All miniatures in the standard MiniCrate subscriptions are designed to substitute for existing models, so you can add them to your games right away!

The clock is ticking: lock in your subscription today so you don’t miss a single mini. And don’t miss our FREE BONUS mini for VIP subscribers!

MiniCrates begin shipping this October!”

Subscription Levels

Thoughts

So the Loot Crate moves into the tabletop industry. I’m actually surprised it took so long.  The minis is described as being aimed at hobbyists and collectors, but hte models CAN be used on the tabletop to replace existing Warmachine/Hordes models.

I’m very curious about your thoughts on this.

It’s  basically taking products that would normally be replacements or upgrades to older existing minis and making them in limited editions instead of being mass market releases.

~ What is your take on this concept as a tabletop games consumer?

  • Shawn

    This isn’t nearly as useful as it could be and screams “we’re not making enough money, what other money making idea can we steal?

  • Jay DeJarnett

    Why not? Most of the models that it replaces are in the 12 to 20 dollar range any way. Aren’t some of the most loved GW and PP models the exclusive models?

    • ZeeLobby

      I have a pretty large collection of exclusive models from both!

  • GiftoftheMagi

    I’m not exactly happy that this is a Privateer-only subscription, as I think a box like this would work better with Reaper or someone packaging models from several companies. But still not a terrible idea either.

    • Maresith

      A company already try that concept. It did not work from what I am able to understand, it do to the fact that get everything for a box for the month, require every company to spend their stuff on time. Which in most case, did not happen. Since it Privateer-only, it might be do able. I also what to learn more about how many items, will we get each month. Will it include other thing beside mini?

      • Donald Wendt

        Spikey Bits did their monthly Mystery Box. Seemed a good value from what I saw my friend receiving. Not sure I’d it’s still being done.

    • Cergorach

      PP has a pretty dedicated following, a following that would jump at paying that extra $200+/year for interesting variant miniatures. Producing a metal mini a month with a guarantee that people will buy it (recurring subscription) through a direct only distribution model guarantees that you don’t need a huge amount of subscribers to make it viable. It has the potential to make some serious money for PP.

      • CloakingDonkey

        well they better make sure they release tournament viable minis in that service because I think you’re a bit naive as to how many hobbyists really are within that “dedicated following”

        • Cergorach

          Besides GW with 40k, FFG with X-wing, PP is the third largest mini wargaming maker. That means that we’re talking about 100k+ customers worldwide, even with 1% of those in that region I speak of, this would be very profitable! Keep in mind that making such a sculpt would cost maybe $1000 (HQ sculpt by a HQ sculpter. Then around a 1000 casts, a master mold and maybe 3-4 production molds, some plastic bases, card prints, ziplock bags, small shipping boxes and shipping. If a thousand people subscribe to this, they have a budget of $15k/mini, that’s a lot! This would already be viable with a few hundred subscribers…

          It failed before because someone was working with different IPs and paying wholesale prices for it, to many people trying to make a buck with it. Not enough interest because no exclusivity.

          If GW did this they would need to move to plastic, pretty long lead time I suspect. Maybe FW could get away with it in resin for a premium price….

          • CloakingDonkey

            Do you have official numbers for any of those assumptions? Cause at least in Europe PP’s market share is dwindling. Shop after shop is taking their minis off the roster at the moment and where it once dominated my surrounding 50-100km it’s been replaced almost entirely by Bolt Action and 40k 8th.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean that’s just as anecdotal. We do know that based on recent retailer reports shown here on BoLS that WMH is third, behind 40K and X-Wing and in front of Age of Sigmar.

            A good parallel. 40K is almost non-existent in my local metro area. Doesn’t mean it’s dying and gone.

          • CloakingDonkey

            Yeah I know it’s anecdotal… but in absentia of any official numbers just as valid as what he said 😛

          • ZeeLobby

            That number wouldn’t shock me though. I don’t think we have real numbers for any game base, but ahead of AoS is not small fries. I mean ahead of Infinity, Malifaux, etc. Is pretty significant as well.

  • I’m sure “a random mini once a month that may or may not be usable in a faction I play” will appeal to… someone. I guess?

    Is anyone else getting the impression that Privateer has lost the plot just a bit?

    • Otter

      I think they are going after the painter/modeler crowed who want an intresting paint challenge once a month. The problem is that a lot of the other choices PP have made such as the widespread use of 2d terrain and the extreamly limiting rules about conversion for tournoment play ect; means that many of those hobbiest don’t really feel like warmahords is the game for them. So yah I would totaly buy this if it was for GW models or just random cool models from independents but as is I have no intrest which is a shame because the price point is great.

      • I agree; if this were, say, CMON doing it, I’d be all over it. Cool exclusive models from a bunch of manufacturers every month would be an awesome painting challenge and might expose me to manufacturers or games I’ve never heard of.

        Some weird, fanservicey PP mini for a faction I don’t play is bad enough, but considering their sculpting inconsistency, about half of them will be duds? Pass.

      • CloakingDonkey

        yeah my thoughts as well. After all of their nurturing of the “tournament meta or go home” crew and their complete abandonment of anything non competitive, I really doubt they’re gonna catch a lot of hobbyist types with this sorta thing… Also 19$ for a random miniature? Plenty of legitimately cool miniatures from GW and Malifaux for that price or cheaper…

        • Cergorach

          GW has done that for over a decade, maybe even two before they completely scrapped that mentality and we’re now were we are. PP has shown that they want to try the GW approach and ‘improve’ on the model:

          Metal => metal/resin hybrids => crappy PVC (a unique PP extra step) => HQ plastic kits

          PP released the rules for free and now the cards for free, that pretty much gives people free reign to make armies how they want with minis how they want. I suspect that 90%+ of the games played are not enforcing the idiotic PP rules on conversions/minis.

          The attraction is the exclusivity and just as with GW, there are plenty of people who either collect all the armies or just paint what is cool. And one thing I can say about PP alternative fun sculpts is that they look like fun (to play AND paint)!

          • CloakingDonkey

            except that somewhere along that path they decided that Europeans need to pay a premium to play their game 😛 And maybe it’s different where you live but within 100km I have never seen a single person who played WarmaHordes for the hobby. It’s always tryhard wannabe competitive nonsense. The hobbyists soon understand what’s up and go back to 40K, skirmish games or historicals.

            I mean hey if they start putting out proper plastic kits that can compete with GW on both quality AND price – great. Maybe I’ll reconsider when that day comes…

          • Cergorach

            I’m Dutch, so I know the pain. The premium pricing is due to it being a US company vs a UK company that is GW. The folks in the US feel that pain with all the GW products. I have the same issue with the FFG products, pricing in the EU is quite high. I won’t lie, it’s stopped me quite often from buying PP/FFG products and buying GW products instead, especially in discount packaging…

          • CloakingDonkey

            yeah it’s just too much for me at this point… I look at the new Megalith sculpt, see the 60€ price tag and ask myself: why exactly am I not getting another Lord of Change for the same price? 😛

        • Daniel Enos

          THANK YOU. PP spent years establishing WM/H as a “competitive” game. It was treated that way for so long that now the casuals they have just play in a basement with three or four friends.

          I don’t see them being hardcore enough to want a rando miniature for 17 a month.

          • CloakingDonkey

            if you can find 3 or 4 friends who exactly hit that sweet spot between wanting to play Warmachine but not taking it to tryhard mode… good luck with that 😛 Usually it goes either full tryhard stop watch meta mode or *sigh* … you know 8th edition 40k just came out mode =/

          • Daniel Enos

            Yup. I have four friends who play but 1 of them is a WAAC try hard. It’s painful to play him and that attitude puts me off of this game more than the ugly models.

          • CloakingDonkey

            yeah that’s usually how it goes. It really only takes one or two tryhards to ruin a Warmachine group =(

          • WarriorOfIron

            or any group really, if you get douchey people it ruins a community no matter what game

        • WarriorOfIron

          I’m kinda curious what GW models are 19$

    • Kinsman

      A bit?

    • Crevab

      Hmm, I think it appeals to me. By the look of the first two, it’s like they decided to make convention mini every month.

      Who knows, maybe in a few years there will be enough silly pinup models to replace every unit in an army

  • Desmond Burke

    I’d be tempted if it wasn’t Privateer Press. Too many bad customer service encounters for me.

    • JN7

      I’ve had nothing but positive customer service interactions with PP.

    • Cergorach

      How long ago was this? I backed Widower’s wood, had serious damage to the exclusive chest, filled in their form:
      http://mispack.privateerpress.com/
      Emailed them with pictures of the damage and got an email about a day later that something shipped.

      Only criticism I can give is that they didn’t note what is being shipped, I assume that it’s a replacement chest.

      That’s pretty damn quick turnaround on such a major item…

      • ZeeLobby

        They’re real good imo. Maybe overseas?

  • Kinsman

    What is PP doing?! LoL. Fix your game, dudes. You wouldn’t need these scams.

    • Apparently Soles’ latest great idea is to break all of the factions up into model-exclusive theme forces. You are no longer a “Khador player”, you are an “Iron Fang player” or a “Winter Guard player” or a “Man-o-War player”, etc.

      I’m not entirely sure how he got that job. He doesn’t really seem to have the design chops for it.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. For being the anti-GW they tend to follow a lot of the silly design decisions. I mean it’s very similar to GW’s recent desire to produce a ton of mini factions. That said, maybe both are a biproduct of oversaturation of a fully grown market.

        • The longer this goes on, the more I think it really was losing DC that started all this. With nobody else keeping Soles on a leash, well, here we are.

    • Cergorach

      That’s what we’ve been saying to GW for over thirty years… GW’s strength has never been great gameplay…

      PPs was fun (2nd edition), haven’t played the current edition yet. It has great concepts, had a skirmish feel, etc.

      But PP ran into the great wall every skirmish game runs into, sales stagnate because a skirmish game doesn’t need that many minis and most skirmish games don’t scale well to large battles. Hopefully they solve this. I currently collect a metal Cygnar, a metal Trolls and a metal ‘pirate’ army. I bought some of the PVC minis, but at premium prices and crap quality I’ll stop doing that. Might get some of the other starters and use the PVC minis from the PP board games (surprisingly better quality and far cheaper then the premium priced crap). They need to produce an army in HQ platic kits before I’m really tempted (with the exception of the armies I already collect).

      • Kinsman

        I’d say they should follow CB and not GW. Infinity continues to be on the upswing and it’s a skirmish game going on 15 years now. CB, however, has never tried to chase GW, where PP has.

        I’d love a return to that skirmish level game in the Iron Kingdoms, I played 1st edition, 2nd for a bit….gave up.

        • Cergorach

          Infity has been around for only 12 years, the ‘army’ size is currently larger then in 1st edition, it doesn’t upscale well either and honestly I don’t want to play a large scale battle in the Infinity universe. But you might have noticed that they are currently on a resculpt spree. Do you really see much, stretch beyond that in the game? I love the minis, but there comes a point where it stops being viable as a product line. They might stretch it another couple of years by going hq plastic, but they said that they didn’t want that…

          They are already starting side projects to grow further, but I doubt that’ll give them much breathing room. This is CBs only big property, a company like that needs to grow or it dies quickly. Look at games like Confrontation, Warzone, VOID, etc. PP is currently in the same boat, growing pains.

          GW had these issues 30 years ago, but that was in a world where metal was still cheap, production easy, not much choice and there was very little internet. Even then GW difersified to Rpgs, board games, other properties like 40k from fantasy. Maybe you don’t remember, but RT was a beast to play. And 2nd edition solved a lot for larger armies, but an army became awefullly expensive outside the UK in mostly metal.

          Everyone wants to follow the GW model because it’s the only one that has a future for wargaming companies. PP has the potential to get it’s act together, and they are slowly working on that, we’ll see if the succeed…

  • Scott Trujillo

    If they made models that I liked, I’d be all over this.

  • WarriorOfIron

    I think it is funny that there is all this hate, yet if GW was to do this people would be praising them.

    • GW on a bad day produces better models than PP on their best. On top of that, Privateer has never even remotely catered to the collector, only the WAACy hardcore tournament player, so they haven’t exactly attracted the right audience for this sort of thing.

      And I hate to say it, but… GW’s on a roll right now, while Privateer’s, pardon the pun, ship, is listing notably to starboard. They need to be figuring out what the want their games to be, not devoting time and resources to silly gimmicks.

      • Cergorach

        Sorry, they have for year catered to the ‘collector’, they’ve been making fun and extreme models for years!

        • ZeeLobby

          When you’re on the other side of the fence all you see is the extremes people clamor about on your side. Having straddled the fence for years, PP definitely caters to both. They have a ton of narrative events and releases as well. People just only see a tournament article and as

          • So where are all these narrative and casual events being played, then? Because it sure ain’t where I live.

            “Where I live”, by the way, is fscking BELLEVUE. MY FLGS is literally a thousand feet from PP HQ. I can see Lock & Load from my office window.

            This place SHOULD be the center of the universe for EVERYTHING Privateer does.

            What is it actually? “IGQ or GTFO” at every store between Everett and Olympia.

            So if Privateer is actually supporting and promoting something other than hardcore tournament events, they’re doing it somewhere other than their own backyard.

          • ZeeLobby

            Their narrative events this year have been a huge hit. At least the one locally was packed. Honestly most casual players I know never game in store (for any system), so maybe that is the reason you don’t see them? We have a local narrative group that never plays in store but at their houses. So this really might just be a case of anecdotal assumptions.

          • WarriorOfIron

            I mean if you look at lock and load they actually had the battles of boarsgate which was a fluff event they ran, they also had the staff scramble going on Sunday. They also have plenty of campaigns which this last one was the one that lead up to boarsgate, as well as many other campaigns. I’m sorry you don’t see it, and I hope it can change, or if you play the game run the campaigns yourself as that is something that you can do as they help promote this stuff to be ran by the community, where GW has lost that connection.

            Also going over to the topic of sculpts, they actually have quite a wide range of alternate sculpts that they allow you to buy every convention they are at, or through their store. The extreme sculpts have actually been updated and no longer all metal models which still sell.

            Again I’m sorry that this upsets you so much, and if it’s because you want to improve the community near you for warmachine/hordes go out and try to improve it, PP didn’t say that everyone has to play tourneys, maybe that’s just how your area has shaped, but maybe they will also be open to campaigns or you can draw new people into the campaign side of warmachine/hordes.

        • Pissing out the occasional overpriced “extreme” sculpt is not anything like support for collectors, and they haven’t done a new one in years–they’re all leftover MkI models as far as I know.

          They’re trying to cultivate a segment of their customer base that doesn’t appear to exist.

          • Cergorach

            What about the bath witch, the beer troll, etc?

      • firemarine

        I’ve been playing 40K for over 20 years and switched to WM/H after the nightmare that was 7th ed. No one will ever accuse GW of making bad Minis… that said they are up to their old GW tricks, roll out a new ed with “free” rules that aren’t even all the rules like every other system that actually offers free full rule sets, put out indexes that will quickly be out dated by what will most likely be over priced hard back Codex books not to mention the new edition rolls out and there are already FAQs the month the new ed rolls out and they are hailed as being fan responsive instead of being scolded for puttIng out rules that read like they were written by a bunch of drunk Orks… if any other game system rolled out a new edition and FAQ’d it the week after release the GW fan boys would be all over that like flies on crap. As a matter of fact I seem to remember that very hate dropping here when PP FAQd MKIII a full six months after release..PP is offering something cool that will apeal to their hard line fans but haters gotta do what they are best at.

        • Josh Watkins

          110% agree. As a 40k convert myself I have to sit back and laugh at all the ridiculous salt coming from the 40k fan boys.

        • “PP is offering something cool that will apeal to their hard line fans”

          And that’s sort of the problem. ONLY their hard-line fans, which here in their own back yard are few and dwindling.

      • WarriorOfIron

        Straylight thats weird because they have so many campaigns and at LnL did a bunch of fun events as well as their normal tournament events. Mk 3 is better than Mk 2 was and that is better than what the rushed 8th edition has given us. I’ve been playing 40k for quite some time and I feel GW is just missing out on too much and reaching for more than they should and other companies are taking advantage of that. PP is starting to catch up on their quality of models, yes GW has some great models but PP is younger than them and are starting to knock out some great models, take a look at some of the new ones such as Azrael, Loki, the Greylord Forge Seer they are all great sculpts.

        • Cergorach

          Quality of sculpts has absolutely nothing to do with the age of a company, it has to do withthe quality of the sculptors. Many very young companies have very high quality sculptors and sculpts.

          That said, it has to do with the style of the time. Even the older Infinity sculpts look janky as F when compared to the new sculpts. At the time those sculpts were awesome!

        • > they have so many campaigns

          Name two in the last year THAT ACTUALLY GOT RAN.

    • Jay DeJarnett

      GeeDub fanboys got to hate.

      • WarriorOfIron

        True! I completely forgot about that, haha

    • CloakingDonkey

      well GW models are actually fun to paint. PP’s range is neither here nor there at this point… When you want intricate, natural detail, you’re much better off buying Infinity, Bushido or even Malifaux. And PP hasn’t cared about the hobby side of things in years. It’s all 2D terrain and smear 3 colours on your minis but make sure those arcs are marked with them. This move is… baffling honestly.

      • ZeeLobby

        To be fair, PP is not really the ones who ever pushed 2D terrain. They don’t sell any outside of the trenches, which honestly arent that bad, and every battle report has full terrain on the table in No Quarter. I think people just like to hate what they can’t grasp honestly. Like the fact that there is a community of narrative PP players that enjoy painting models. It may not be as large as say GW’s (let’s be honest, their game has always been competitively atrocious), but they exist.

        • Cergorach

          The new fantasy stuff, certainly, things like Nagash are ridiculous, but still very cool. As for subjectivity, there is some common ground. Painting an army of SM or eternals is booring as… Well, I asume F, isn’t that booring, otherwise people wouldn’t be doing it so often 😉 But you know what I mean. Painting an Infinity army isn’t booring at all. A warmahordes army compketely depends on the composition…

  • Averam

    “I’m actually suprised it took so long” – and yet this company in the UK just celebrated their first anniversary of providing this type of service http://yourmodelbox.com/

  • James Hall

    I’m totally up for this.

  • Daniel Enos

    LOL. I’m sorry but PP Minis aren’t consistently nice enough to want to randomly get one a month. Seriously if you randomly grabbed a model from the entire range it’s about a 60/40 chance the model is going to look like garbage

    This is only going to appeal to all 25 die-hard PP fans.

    • Ghoul2

      Hit the nail on the head. Who is going to pay for an unseen PP mini with the garbage minis they have been putting out?

      • William Jameson

        To be fair they’re not 100% unseen, computer generated mock-ups are on the site for the October (Swamp Siren) and VIP (di Wulfe in Sheep’s Clothing) releases.
        I don’t mind the Swamp Siren since she has a cool squid vibe going on, but the di Wulfe one… there’s just something off about it. I think it’s the onesie she’s wearing (stripping out of?) that makes it look like she’s wearing fluffy clown trousers.

        But after that you’re correct, completely unseen and unknown as to what you’re signing up for.

    • WarriorOfIron

      I mean that happens with any game that needs to recast old models, take a look at GW’s older sculpts such as bezerkers or some of the old demon models that haven’t been re-sculpted. Also its funny you say that PP has such a small following considering they are like the 3rd or 4th most popular games.

  • William Jameson

    Not to be pedantic – but how does one mini make a “crate”? Most of the other crate companies have boxes filled to the brim with sweet loot (or dog toys, etc). Unless they’re being very serious about the name “mini crate” 😀

  • Nosebleed

    can’t wait to subscribe. I hope they have a non-EU/EU/UK international option!