Hello Reader!

I’ve recently published here on the blog an article about last year’s Bones Miniatures campaign which was successfully run by Reaper Miniatures on Kickstarter.

 

That article crowned the one year period during which I and a lot of other backers around the globe sat waiting for Reaper Miniatures to fulfill their part of the crowdfunding deal, and man they didn’t disappoint.

 

My reaction when finally opening that package, quite literally a birthday gift as I opened it a day after my birthday on August 24th was recorded and shared with my readers on that article and on Youtube and according to a friend it was a picture of happiness other hobbyists could relate to.

 

I finished that article by sharing a teaser published by Reaper on this year’s Gen Con announcing the imminent release of their second Bones campaign on Kickstarter.

 

It’s been a few days since the “BONES II: The Return of Mr. Bones!” campaign launched but I had been refraining to write about it here on the blog until things shaped up a little bit, but I feel now is the time to talk about it.

 

If anything I’ve said thus far is sounding a bit outlandish to you and you have no idead what this “Kickstarter” thing I keep writing about is allow me to explain: Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform available these days for companies and individual entrepreneurs that want to put a product in the market without having to turn to banks or investors for the funds they need.

 

“So if the company gets the funds they need, what do we get in return?” some of you might ask. Well from the moment we pledge some funds to their campaign we become backers and as backers we’re normally entitled some rewards, which normally is a copy of the product at discounted prices, but that is not all, quite often companies will offer “Stretch Goals” which are additional rewards, normally a bonus with no added cost, added to your rewards as the original funding goals are surpassed and that my friends is the very icing of the cake.

 

In Reaper’s Kickstarter campaigns that means extra miniatures and that’s what makes Kickstarter campaigns such as this not only a great deal but also a lot of fun (as we keep checking back to see what new goodies have been unlocked), and in my opinion that’s what made Reaper’s first Bones campaign such a huge hit with its public last year and expanded the original “Vampire Pledge” deal from 30 miniatures for 100 dollars to 241 models for that very same amount.

 

The full list of miniatures received in the “Vampire” pledge level with the included extra free miniatures.

 

So it should come as no surprise to you that expectations were rising as the countdown on Reaper’s website ticked down showing the impending release of the “BONES II: The Return of Mr. Bones!” campaign.

 

However as the campaign opened some of us were left pretty disappointed by some of the chances implemented by Reaper Miniatures this time around. Mind you, if you live in the USA you shouldn’t worry about any of the things I’ll comment on and have no excuse not to pledge for some awesome Bones models to be used in wargames, role playing games, or simply to paint and collect.

 

However, if you’re like me and live outside the USA there are some things to bear in mind before deciding whether to pledge or not, and it’s not good news.

 

Unlike last time, for the Bones II campaign the shipping costs will not be fixed and will depend on how much you order. In the first campaign Reaper Miniatures ran the shipping cost was fixed no matter how many extra rewards got added to your pledge by stretch goals or how many extra models you chose to add to your order, if you lived in the USA you got free shipping and if you lived abroad you paid a pre determined amount and that was it.

 

For the Bones II campaign shipping will be determined by the actual items you order and man do they add up fast. You can estimate your costs using Reaper’s “Pledge Calculator” and anyone on a budget should keep tabs on the shipping cost. Did I say it adds up pretty fast?

 

Reaper has published a pie chart graphic where they show shipping charges were a significant part of their costs (13%) but they pale in comparison with the amount used in tooling and producing the miniatures, which in the end was what the campaign was for, so it would be unfair to claim they were prejudiced by the shipping costs. We should mention that the varied shipping costs, and their more expensive prices, aren’t only on Reaper miniatures though, as the US Postal Services have dramatically increased their prices earlier this year and have already announced a second price increase for January 2014.

 

The published expenses graphic from the Bones I campaign.

 

A lot of backers have been requesting from Reaper to drop their shipping charges or at least to subsidy a part of them but Reaper has responded to such pleas for subsidized shipping saying they’re already doing so by absorbing the announced price increase without any other money requests for their backers.

 

Another thing that is giving us outside the USA the jitters is that the value declared for your rewards package when it ships will be the full amount of everything you order minus the shipping cost. Again this is different from what we had last time when our packages had their value declared based on your pledge level.

 

As an example, if you pledged for “Vampire” on the first campaign (100 american dollars pledge level) and added to it another 300 dollars in additional miniatures your package, when shipped to you, would have a declared value of 100 dollars, however the same situation in the Bones II campaign would see you receiving a package with a declared value of 400 dollars.

 

And what’s so important about that? Well import duties and taxes will be calculated based on the declared value of the package. While that might not be an issue for those living in countries in which you’ll not be taxed because that amount is exempt of taxes or be taxed in the order of 3%, that is a big problem for those of us living in countries where such taxes are outrageously expensive, if not downright absurd, like Brazil where the base import tax is that of 60% of the packages declared value, including shipping, and that might go up depending in which state you live in.

 

Living in Brazil myself I would NEVER be able to afford the same amount of models I purchased on the first campaign this time.

 

While some are right to say “your loss for living in Brazil” a lot of backers seem to sympathize with that situation, and again I fail to see why Reaper shouldn’t do the same they did on their last campaign.

 

I can hear some readers crying in despair and others meaning to cancel their pledges. Should they do that? The short answer is NO! Reaper has already asked people to not be hasty in deciding if they want out of the Kickstarter or not as they won’t be able to secure your original place if you drop out right now.

 

Oh yes, I hadn’t mentioned that yet, but that’s another thing Reaper is doing differently this time. Instead of shipping all rewards out at the same time, Reaper has been unlocking pledge levels as the campaign progresses so if you pledge early you might be in wave one, which ships in September 2014, but if you join now (as I write this) you’ll only get your miniatures in wave 6 (september 2014), so, for the time being, it’s better to stay put and wait.

 

Reaper has said they opted to do so in order to give backers a general ideal of when they’ll receive their rewards but anyone who followed their frantic activity when receiving, packing and then shipping the 17.744 rewards from the last campaign can see this will also help their logistics immensely making the aftermath of the campaign a lot easier on then, and in all honesty there’s no reason why they shouldn’t do that, so, thus far, the campaign operates on a first come, first served basis.

 

So, in order to make double sure if you’ll be able to stick to the very end, if you have already pledged, you should, sometime before the end of the campaign, use the already mentioned pledge calculator and see if your costs meet your budget, and then deciding accordingly, either downsizing your pledge or cancelling it altogether.

 

If you haven’t pledged yet what are you waiting for? Just take into consideration what I’m discussing in this article and hop in.

 

Mind you I’m in no way advising against pledging to the Kickstarter campaign this time, far from that, but I’m definitely urging those outside the USA to watch closely how much they’ll spend this time keeping in mind the increased shipping charges and the amount of import duties you’ll have to pay so that you have no unpleasant surprises in the near future.

 

Having said that, I say again there’s no reason why we shouldn’t join in the fun. Bring them Bones Reaper, we surely want MORE!

 

Want to check what’s on offer right now? Check this link (you can hover your mouse over the models to check painted versions for some of them and their metal versions for others).

 

Over and out.

 

+++

 

Salve Leitor!

 

Dia desses publiquei aqui no blog um artigo sobre a primeira campanha no Kickstarter da Reaper, a Reaper Bones.

 

O artigo em questão coroou o fim de um ano de muita expectativa, desde o final da campanha em 25 de agosto de 2012 até o dia em que finalmente abri a caixa com as recompensas por ter participado da campanha (a minha reação foi devidamente documentada e compartilhada em vídeo no artigo em questão).

 

Eu terminei o artigo com um teaser publicado pela Reaper Miniatures na Gen Com deste ano (2013) apontando o iminente lançamento da segunda campanha.

 

Bom a campanha “BONES II: The Return of Mr. Bones!” foi lançada há alguns dias e embora eu tenha avisado em um comentário no post original, acabei esperando um tempinho antes de escrever este artigo sobre a segunda campanha já que muita coisa mudou em relação à campanha original e pode afetar a decisão de muitos brasileiros em participar ou não da campanha.

 

Pra quem ainda não sabe do que se trata o Kickstarter é uma plataforma de financiamento coletivo através da qual, muitas empresas têm viabilizado projetos através do aporte de recursos oriundos da própria comunidade à qual o produto se destina. Em essência trata-se de uma pré-venda onde as pessoas que contribuem para o financiamento de um projeto recebem o produto financiado a um preço mais barato do que aquele que será o preço final de mercado do mesmo.

 

Porém, o grande barato do Kickstarter são os chamados “Stretch Goals” que nada mais são que recompensas extras, frequentemente gratuitas, adicionadas à recompensa original a cada meta de arrecadação batida acima do valor mínimo de arrecadação.

 

Ficou confuso? Explicando de modo fácil os “Stretch Goals” implicam em termos práticos no caso das campanhas da Reaper Miniatures em mais miniaturas adicionadas gratuitamente à sua recompensa original à medida que a campanha arrecada mais fundos.

 

O grande sucesso da campanha original se deveu justamente a isso, já que a Reaper foi generosa nos “Stretch Goals” e o “Vampire Pledge”, que era o melhor nível de contribuição para se qualificar para miniaturas extras, que originalmente custava 100 dólares por 30 miniaturas (aproximadamente 3,33 dólares americanos por miniatura) entregou ao final um total de 241 miniaturas pelo mesmo valor.

 

Todo o conteúdo do nível de recompensa “Vampire” ao final da campanha com as miniaturas extras adicionadas gratuitamente ao longo da campanha.

 

Justamente por isso muita gente estava com expectativas altíssimas em relação a segunda campanha no Kickstarter da Reaper Miniatures mas algumas mudanças implementadas pela empresa nesta campanha foram um verdadeiro banho de água fria para colaboradores fora dos Estados Unidos, e em especial para nós aqui no Brasil e devem pesar bastante na sua decisão de participar ou não nesta campanha.

 

A primeira mudança digna de nota é em relação ao frete. Na campanha original o frete referente às recompensas que você receberia ao final da campanha era fixo, não importando quantas miniaturas fossem adicionadas gratuitamente ao seu nível de recompensa pelos “Stretch Goals”, ou quantas miniaturas extras você escolhesse adicionar ao seu pledge (por um custo adicional) esse valor permaneceu o mesmo (salvo engano 25 dólares para contribuidores internacionais no nível “Vampire”).

 

Desta vez o custo do frete (Shipping) será variável e dependerá do peso combinado de suas recompensas. Dessa maneira à medida que a campanha progride e mais itens são adicionados o seu frete fica mais caro. Não preciso dizer que os adicionais também encarecerão o frete final, principalmente se você está de olho em alguns gigantes e dragões oferecidos dessa maneira, que por serem maiores também pesam mais. Por hora o frete para o pledge básico está na ordem de 40 dólares.

 

Muitos colaboradores têm reclamado a respeito do custo do frete, e embora esse valor não tenha sido tremendamente impactante na primeira campanha (segundo o gráfico publicado pela Reaper os custos de envio representaram tão somente 13% do valor gasto – um montante de 433.600 dólares americanos) de modo a justificar um aumento tão grande, a culpa do aumento dos valores não é toda da Reaper. Os correios norte americanos tiveram uma significativa alta de preços no começo de 2013 e já anunciaram novo aumento para janeiro de 2014. Diante disso a Reaper miniatures tem negado os pedidos de subsidio ao frete para colaboradores internacionais alegando que já o está fazendo uma vez que não está computando nos preços do frete o aumento anunciado para 2014, assumindo a diferença na postagem que será feita tão somente no ano que vem.

 

Gráfico das despesas da campanha Bones I.

 

A segunda mudança, bem mais significativa para nós brasileiros, é que desta feita o valor declarado para seu pacote de recompensas será o valor total do seu pledge descontado o valor da postagem. Na primeira campanha o valor declarado era tão somente o valor do seu pledge (100 dólares americanos no caso do “Vampire Pledge”) sem qualquer adição, não importando quantas miniaturas adicionais fossem desbloqueadas e adicionadas a sua recompensa ao longo da campanha, ou mesmo quantas miniaturas adicionais você comprasse.

 

Pra ficar fácil de entender, na primeira campanha, se você tivesse escolhido o nível “Vampire Pledge” (100 dólares americanos) como colaboração e comprado outros 300 dólares em miniaturas adicionais (como o Kaladrax, o Cthulhu e outras tantas oferecidas ao longo da campanha) totalizando um valor de 400 dólares sem a postagem, ainda assim seu pacote teria sido declarado com o valor de 100 dólares americanos.

 

Nesta campanha a mesma situação geraria um valor declarado de 400 dólares americanos, e o problema mora justamente ai já que e sobre esse valor que será calculado o imposto de importação devido, que aqui no Brasil é calculado na ordem de 60% do valor declarado incluindo em alguns casos o valor da postagem(e lembrando que ainda podem incidir impostos estaduais dependendo de onde você mora elevando ainda mais esse valor).

 

Consigo escutar daqui alguns leitores gritando “Ai meu Deus do Céu e agora o que eu faço!? Cancelo meu pledge?” e pra eles a minha resposta é não.

 

Outra inovação desta campanha é que os contribuidores estão sendo alocados em “waves”. Segundo a Reaper eles tomaram a decisão de fazê-lo dessa maneira para permitir que os contribuidores saibam, mais ou menos, quando receberão suas recompensas, mas quem acompanhou o longo processo de recebimento, preparo e envio das 17.744 recompensas do primeiro Kickstarter sabe que isso se deu muito mais pra facilitar a logística dos envios para a companhia, o que não é errado de maneira nenhuma, e implica que ao menos por hora aqueles que contribuem antes são atendidos primeiro.

 

“E o que isso tem a ver com a minha decisão de abandonar minha pledge ou não Estevão?” Bom, se você já contribui é provável que esteja em uma das primeiras levas a receber suas recompensas, enquanto a primeira leva de recompensas será enviada em setembro de 2014, as atuais estão sendo prometidas para novembro dezembro (enquanto escrevia o artigo mais um pledge level se esgotou) daquele ano, isso se não ocorrerem atrasos, e a Reaper Miniatures já avisou que não tem como recolocar contribuidores em suas levas originais uma vez que eles tenham cancelado o pledge.

 

No fim das contas meu conselho para todo mundo é ter muita calma nessa hora e esperar a definição das coisas além de planejar muito bem os seus gastos. Se você já fez o seu pledge o ideal é esperar o final da campanha e decidir se continua nela ou não. Se o custo final estimado através da calculadora da Reaper estiver muito além do que você pretendia ou poderia gastar você vai ter a opção de diminuir a quantidade de miniaturas que vai pegar ou desistir do seu pledge.

 

É justamente isso o que pretendo fazer.

 

Pra quem ainda não entrou na campanha fica registrado o conselho de planejar os seus gastos tendo em mente as modificações da campanha deste ano e evitar esbanjar nos adicionais escolhendo-os com sabedoria e sabendo que o seu pacote será taxado pela receita federal (não soube de nenhum brasileiro que tenha recebido sua recompensa da campanha anterior sem ser taxado).

 

Entenda que não quero desestimular ninguém de participar da campanha. Longe disso, porém meu intuito com este artigo é fornecer informações suficientes para meus leitores de forma que vocês possam tomar uma decisão informada acerca de sua participação, ou não, em mais uma fantástica campanha de miniaturas da Reaper.

 

Enquanto esperamos vamos conferido as minis disponíveis nesta campanha. Confira este link (você pode passar o mouse sobre as imagens para ver as versões em metal das miniaturas – e se espantar com os preços – e em alguns casos versões pintadas delas).

 

Grande abraço e até breve.

Comments
  1. eriochrome says:

    I have written a few post on my site about the kickstarters 1 and 2 and trying to get info out of them about the facial quality issues. There is a fair amount of mixed feelings about the kickstarters. The models are not up to the metal originals and too many of them had serious mold issues but they were really inexpensive so some allowances are made.

    Still on the fence about another pledge but I am in the states so shipping and duty issues are not a problem.

    • Gereth says:

      Hi there Eriochrome and thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

      Yes I agree with you that some of the miniatures in the first Reaper Kickstarter campaign left a lot to be desired when compared to their original metal counterparts, however, given their price, I believe they’re great at what they are… a cheap option for those who want to use miniatures in their games.

      Thanks once more mate for commenting.

      • eriochrome says:

        I will probably break down and pledge at some point but given the huge number of models I already have I can wait for a later shipment. Probably 2 or 3 more sets into the core line will be enough but that might be all that shows up as the rate has slowed down a lot since the first day. Fewer of the options interest me so far and I note that the parts of the core that you can add as options all seem more expensive than they were the last time. The expansion also does not have enough minis that look good to me for that.

        • Gereth says:

          Hi again Eriochrome!

          Yep, I agree the rate at which the pledged amount had been increasing has slowed down significantly and I have been wondering how much of that was a direct result of the changes put into practise by Reaper I talked about in this article.

          I’ve only pledged U$ 100,00 thus far against what I had pledged in last year’s campaign, and I know personally a couple of friends here in Brazil who have already bailed out from Bones II, while also hearing about a lot of people on the verge of dropping out as well.

          If we think about it this KS campaign had the potential of hitting the same number of backers and funding from the first right from the start as who among those backers from the first campaign wouldn’t come back for more if conditions had remained the same?

          I guess when it comes to the appeal of the models themselves that’s really a matter of personal preferences. While I’m also not over excited about Reapers choice for its “Core” starting set there are a couple of miniatures there that have picked my interest and I can find a use for the rest of them.

          I’m also on the fence about the “Core Expansion” … while there are some great models there most haven’t got me interested at all.

          We’ll just have to wait a while longer before making our minds.

          Cheers!

  2. Buhallin says:

    Forgive my ignorance on how such things work for other countries, but with regards to the declared import value, aren’t you effectively asking Reaper to lie about the value of what they’re shipping you? Again, not an expert, but it seems to me that if Reaper sends you $400 worth of miniatures, declaring that as $100 worth of miniatures would constitute a violation of customs law, and probably open Reaper (and possibly you) to a great deal of unpleasant attention.

    Yes, it was certainly nice that they did exactly that for the first round, but that seems to me like it was probably a mistake on their part that needed to be corrected.

    • Gereth says:

      Hi there Buhallin and thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. That’s appreciated.

      Mind you I’m in no way asking Reaper Miniatures to lie about the declared value of any packages.

      What I believe to be stating clearly is that last time Reaper did a KS campaign they did declare our packages at the value of our highest pledge, out of their own volition, and that they’re not doing so this time, which might have a significant impact on people’s decision on whether to back this project or not.

      If that was a mistake or not I’m not going to be the one to judge, but that decision back then was what allowed a lot of ROW costumers to back and participate in the huge success that campaign was.

      Having said that, you are right in you assumption that lying in a customs form is an offense, even if your country charges ludicrous amounts of tax, and probably against the law.

      Thanks once more for you visiting and for sharing your insight on the subject mate!

  3. MikeL says:

    You should read the FAQ on the declared value. They address this issue and what you’ve said is a sign that you clearly didn’t read through all the way. I would hope anyone that’s writing a review of the kickstarter would do the due diligence and actually research the subject properly.

    “The value we will declare is the total amount of your pledge for product. The value we list on the import document WILL NOT INCLUDE shipping charges. As an example, if you order a Core Set for $100.00 plus a dragon for $15.00 and add $37.50 onto your pledge for shipping your total pledge would be $152.50. We would declare the value of your shipment as $115.00”

    • Gereth says:

      Hey there MikeL and thanks to you as well for reading and taking the time to comment.

      I did read all Reaper issued FAQs as this is not my first KS campaign. It was only after thoroughly reading everything reaper had to say that I sat down to write this article discussing the implemented changes and how they affect me and all my fellow wargamers outside the USA.

      My objective here is not to engage in any sort of “fanboyish” Reaper bashing. Far from that, my aim is to help other fellow hobbyists to make an informed decision whether to pledge or not for this campaign.

      I’d like to make it clear that I never said the shipping charges will be included in the total amount declared for the packages mate. In fact I did mention quite clearly shipping value will NOT be included in it.

      I quote myself:

      “…Another thing that is giving us outside the USA the jitters is that the value declared for your rewards package when it ships will be the full amount of everything you order minus the shipping cost…”

      I did mention that “… import duties and taxes will be calculated based on the declared value of the package. While that might not be an issue for those living in countries in which you’ll not be taxed because that amount is exempt of taxes or be taxed in the order of 3%, that is a big problem for those of us living in countries where such taxes are outrageously expensive, if not downright absurd, like Brazil where the base import tax is that of 60% of the packages declared value, including shipping…” but as I think the article made clear I was mentioning the situation in Brazil.

      Youu see, the way things work here in Brazil is that, more often than not, custom officers will charge you import duties on the sum of the declared value plus shipping (which I mention on the article). To give you an idea I bought myself a Thunderwolf the other day.

      I only needed a single model so I bought it from a bitz seller on ebay for a total of USD 18,00, which is an amount that would be exempt of taxes in Brazil. It turns out they guys at the customs office saw fit to charge me another USD 17,50 as import duties.

      While this might seem outlandish to some of you living abroad that’s a common reality for us hobbyists in Brazil and it is no using complaining because the bureacracy to do so is unbeliavable.

      While most out there would shrug and say it’s our loss I do know a lot of people sympathize with us and understand that’s really unfair.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment mate!

  4. International shipping keeps climbing at a crazy rate. Living in the US, it’s getting difficult to order figures from the UK. A recent transaction cost me £15.60 for a 2kg package. Those big boxes of Bones are going to weigh in at much more.

    • Gereth says:

      Hi there ChicagoTerrainFactory!

      What an honor to receive a comment from you mate! I’m a fan of your work and have browsed your website for hours looking for inspiration and insights on how to build my own terrain pieces! You’ve just made my day!

      Yes, I must agree that prices for international shipping are creeping up everywhere, but they’re not increasing as much as they are in the USA. Buying from Games Workshop (as we in Brazil can only buy direcly from them thanks to their trade terms) in the UK is a LOT cheaper than buying from the one in the US even if the US is a lot closer.

      It is really disheartening for hobbyists everywhere but that’s especially cruel to us in Brazil, where we have to import every single thing we use in our hobby.

      Thanks one more time for commenting… did I say you’ve just made my day?!

      Cheers!

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