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Karl Confidential: A Wizkids Moment
Karl "Hair 10" Markovich (08/22/2011)
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Karl Confidential A Wizkids momentKarl "Hair 10" Markovich is a former Wizkids HeroClix Rules Arbitrator. He comes to us a freelance writer and HeroClix guru.

I spent about 45 minutes talking with Justin Ziran at GenCon. We talked about a pretty wide range of topics and I wanted to jot some of what we discussed down before I forgot it! I was asked not to share a couple of items from our discussion but the rest of it was wide open…

Overall figure quality

HeroClix Omega PrimeThis is something that Justin has worked long and hard on and he feels that they are making good progress on. We talked about paints and sculpts themselves.

I’d agree that the painting is getting much better with each set. I kind of disagreed with him on some of the sculpts, particularly the “waiting on the bus” poses of many of the commons and uncommons. He’s aware of this and they are continuing to work on it.

He stated that they (WizKids) are limited some by cost, but they will continue to work to make sculpts better.

“Oreo-style” bases
HeroClix Oreo BaseWe talked a bit about the “oreo bases” that are coming in the Superman set. He hopes the community reacts well to them as they spent no small amount of time and cost to address the dial issues. While some simply wanted to go back to the “H” style bases he saw that as addressing a symptom rather than the problem itself. He was also worried about how it looks to a new player to have to use the ring to turn the dials.

Disclaimer: I’ve had one of the prototype oreo bases for many months now. Justin sent it to me to show the players at my venue and get feedback on it. They are a huge improvement over the old dials and it was universally well received by the players in my group. And as an added “bonus”, the prototype allows you to take the dial sticker out of an “H” base dial, put the sticker into an oreo base, and put the oreo base onto the figure. This means I can “fix” all my Avengers figures! (Of course, this assumes the final production bases match the prototype I have).

Related Article: New Oreo Dial Preview

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Your Comments:
An interesting article. I will say that I did like the Chase rarity in CAP the best. The WL figures were good but I feel that 10 chases is just a bit too high. 4 a set seems ideal.

I also agree that I would pay a higher "per figure" price for a full boxed set then what I currently pay per figure in a blind booster because I end up with MANY fairly worthless dupes. Even if they offered limited factory sealed sets for people who signed up for a fan club or something, it'd work well.

Posted by: WarHULK on 8/23/2011 2:07:54 PM
Sorry Owlman, I disagree.

In the Captain America and WoS set, it looked to me like about a 50% chance of getting a chase in a brick. So in each case I got 1 chase.

This was OK with me, it meant that I got a click in one of the bricks that was worth $40-70 on evilBay, which made the brick seem like it had a bunch of other cool characters for cheap.

Now, if there was a "chase" in each brick, it wouldn't exactly be a chase anymore, but a Super-Duper-Rare. Now according to your pricing, the brick costs 20 dollars MORE while the "chase" is worth 20 dollars LESS or so. It just won't be as valuable if it's easier to get. So now I'm paying that much more for all those commons and uncommon figs, where in my example above I felt like I was getting the remaining 40 figures for $30 or so (including the other SRs).

Posted by: Kragnorak on 8/23/2011 9:59:29 AM
Awesome article; I'm no expert, but Here's a suggestion: From now on, Wizkids should Guarantee that there's at least 1 chase piece with every brick, and increase the Brick's price by 20-25 dollars. Agree? Disagree?

Posted by: Owlman166 on 8/23/2011 7:18:47 AM
What a great article. I thought the White Lantern distribution was great, although I am not a fan of them. The Cap chases were good as well. They should be included in a case. This will encourage the fans to buy more. It is quite aggravating to buy a case and not receive a chase.They should be challanging to get, but not hard.

Posted by: Brendan on 8/23/2011 6:32:38 AM
I don't like chase figures. being in the uk gamers are the hardest to find let aloan gaming groups but in the uk chase figures are like £60 so its not all bad

Posted by: ikari on 8/23/2011 4:19:32 AM
I don't mind chase figures. Sometimes the value of SRs in a brick will make me feel happy if I got a good deal.

I'm not crazy about things like the Gen-Con exclusives. I didn't mind back when the Mighty Thor was offered at every major convention, but now as a Thunderbolts/Dark Avenger fan I feel penalized for not being in a geographical region. The luck factor is not even part of the equation.

Posted by: Kragnorak on 8/22/2011 3:12:22 PM
This was an excellent read, and something I was glad to see. Articles like this are part of what makes this site worth visiting.

I also enjoyed the commentary. While I dont agree with everything that was said, it makes the piece so much more thoughtful and makes me think as well.

Posted by: Winndwalker on 8/22/2011 1:03:44 PM
Thanks for the access to someone behind the scenes and you guys covered good areas. I would simply say, that this entire article scares me, as I can feel the cold hand of corporate greed, cutting costs and analyzing areas to which the answer was clear. Delaying product or stalling to dodge questions simply means the answers were not gonna be good ones.

Posted by: Shatter006 on 8/22/2011 11:47:26 AM
I don't mind chase pieces, I just wish they would be minimal like 3 or 4 a set

Posted by: x.law22 on 8/22/2011 11:32:43 AM
I liked reading the article, and am glad to read some information re: Iron Maiden clix (Up the Irons!)... hopefully it woon't be much longer until we get our grubby mitts on 'em...

Karl, I'm with you: I HATE Chase figures. It freakin' kills me that for as narrow a focus as I have with my HC collecting, that a number of the ones I want are chase. Trying to trade for a chase is a lot like trying to talk your best friend into giving you his grandmother's ashes, and $200, to boot! It's to the point where unless you have a chase to offer in exchange, you're better off being ripped off, er, buying it through eBay. I would wager that these chase figures probably don't cost significantly more to produce than a common, yet due to some arbitrary decision, one figure commands a price 10x, 20x, or more than it cost to produce. And once the person offers it for trade, you'd think that it was cast in solid 14 karat gold, not plastic!

Posted by: MEsch on 8/22/2011 11:31:40 AM
That was great information. I have had many of the same concerns. I enjoyed helping you at worlds back during the old envoy program.

Posted by: x.law33 on 8/22/2011 11:29:45 AM
@ Greyknight... Sorry, but I didn't think to ask.

@Kragnorak... Yeah, removing the stickers is going to the only issue. And yeah, they'll add a bit of height I think.

@chrisgo316... I hate the collectibility aspect of the game. I would love to just buy a set (even if it cost a bit more) and be done with it.

Posted by: hair10 on 8/22/2011 11:12:06 AM
I love Chase figures and I also love chasing after the Chase figures. I just prioritize what Chase I "need" to get :)

Posted by: chrisgo316 on 8/22/2011 10:18:10 AM
I'm not sure how the oreo bases will help fix Avengers dials. I've tried changing this before, and the dial paper is glued to those awful bottoms. Last time I tried to remove the paper I aborted the mission as the paper was tearing. What I found works better is filing the Avengers base insides down so that they turn freely.

I only have one question about the oreo base. Will they add to the height of the figure? WK has been doing great with the scaling recently so I'd hate to see that change again.

Posted by: Kragnorak on 8/22/2011 10:06:32 AM
I enjoy chase figures, but I don't enjoy spending so much money to get them. The only exception was DC75 and if they weren't lanterns I would have passed them up. Even though the WoS had low sales I liked the extra super rares better.

Posted by: Nafets920 on 8/22/2011 9:31:13 AM
Any chance you found out anything about Captain America ATAs or feats?

Posted by: Greyknight on 8/22/2011 8:55:52 AM
Hair10, thanks for sharing some details of your converation w/ Justin.

I, for one, second your opinion on the Chase v extra SR's. I would prefer for a set to 12-15 SR's than 9-SR' and 5 Chases.

Posted by: Hodak on 8/22/2011 8:28:05 AM