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Rumor has it that new HeroClix owners are on their way, which begs the question, "can a new company be profitable with HeroClix?" If not, then what can be done to change that? I’ve got some ideas…
By my estimates, Wizkids made about $1.50 profit per booster of HeroClix (and it cost them about $3.50 to produce and get to market). Assuming they produced about 10,000 bricks, that 's a healthy $150,000.00 in profit. Of course, much of this money gets poured into paying for the next set. That being said, the new owners face an interesting challenge because a good chunk of that profit will go towards making payments on that big loan (which was needed to bring HeroClix back from the dead). There's going to be a great deal of pressure to raise prices for the sake of profits, but I don't think that's necessary. Let's see what options are available.
1) Raising the price of a booster
I put this first because I want to stress that I think this is a terrible idea. HeroClix has been dead for months now, and the price needs to stay the same to instill confidence in the community… at least for the first set. I understand that costs go up (a natural course of business), but please save those price hikes for future sets. If prices need to go up, do it once and get it over with, and don’t make it more than a $1-$2 increase, and keep it there for at least 3 years (don’t increase the price twice in twelve months like Wizkids did). Jeff from Phantom of the Attic felt that the $15.00 mark won’t fly very well unless some extra figures are thrown into that booster, but even that is iffy. The economy is still soft, and keeping the $12.00 MSRP will help reward loyal customers and bring back those other customers who vowed never to return. Is raising the price of a booster by 15% worth it if you’re going to lose 25% of your customers?
2) Increasing the cost of the mail-away figure
It's not unreasonable to pay $11.99 for a mail-away figure (same as a booster). I certainly would have paid that amount for the World’s Finest and Joker figures. Would customers purchase multiples? Absolutely. Those who are hoarding over 4 bricks are still going send away for those 4 figures (and still cause some artificial shortages), not to mention: players are getting at least a $12 discount per brick from their local retailer. Raising the price to $11.99 would definitely help make up for not raising the price of a booster!
3) Make the Mail-Away figures worth it.
If the cost of the mail-away is going to increase, then make it worth it. World’s Finest (WF) may be lousy to play with, but it looks cool and has a strong comic book tie in (and look at all the boosters that sold). And let’s not forget the cool Joker mail-away and even the Dark Phoenix! Give us a good mail-away, and we’ll buy more bricks, and be willing to pay the higher cost for shipping and handling! On that note, Jeff mentioned that many of his customers were disappointed that the WF figure sold out so quickly. I hope that the new owners keep the mail-away reprint policy that Wizkids implemented before getting closed down.
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