One thing to remember when buying on eBay is that while most folks put ‘lot, collection, D&D miniatures’ and some other search terms into their auctions, not everyone does. I almost missed a HUGE opportunity by not searching ‘D&D miniatures ‘collection’ ‘ this week (which is usually a very ‘slow’ term, meaning there aren’t many lots advertised as ‘collections’). As I was bidding on an auction yesterday evening, I was lucky to see a picture of a huge number of minis in one of the advertisements that show up at the bottom of a listing. Most shocking of all, but this lot only had 2 hours left to go! I usually track all the big lots, whether I am going to bid or not, from as soon as they show up (usually 7 or 10 days earlier), so it was amazing that I saw this one with only a couple hours to go. If I wasn’t online bidding, I would have missed it.
The lot was for what must be the largest D&D Miniatures collection of Drow in the country, and maybe the world. No joke, I’ll leave the list of minis from the auction at the bottom. 3 Champion of Eilistraee, including one bagged. 24 total Driders. 7 Large Deep Dragon (one of my favorite dragons)…4 more Drow Cleric of Lolth (putting me at 7!). 14 Mounted Drow Patrols! The uncommons are just as crazy…50 Drow Fighters, 21 Drow Wizards! I can’t imagine the time and effort it took to acquire this collection, my hat is off to the owner. And these were just the D&D Minis…there were also 50 metal miniatures and dozens of Drow Sourcebooks, including another copy of Fane of the Drow (can never have too many maps!), 2 copies of the original Harbinger rulebooks, and a bunch of map tiles. My wife says I have a man-crush on the owner, which I probably do. One of the best parts is the seller has all the cards in binders, which I haven’t ended up with in many of the lots I’ve won.
While that would have been an amazing enough win for one weekend, I also won the largest booster auction I’ve seen yet on eBay. My guess is it is the liquidation inventory of a game store. 106 total boosters, essentially 10 cases of miniatures or so, including 12 Giants of Legend Boosters, 6 Against the Giants, and 8 Lords of Madness. Plus, just enough for me to play sealed with, are 2 Harbinger boosters.=) I doubt they can stand up against the newer sets in terms of sealed, but it’s always fun to see what you get. This will put me at 148 unopened boosters from 14 total sets.
I’ll work on updating my total costs and collecting page tomorrow. I had gotten my cost per mini down to about $.81 (with about 2000 minis left) as I’ve sold about $5000 worth of minis or so, but this weekend will definitely bump it up back over $1.25 or so until I can figure out what I want to clear and what I want to keep. I know I originally said I would only collect the Original Edition Sets, but as I’ve made so much progress in just 2 months, I think I’ve decided I will try to collect ALL the D&D minis instead, especially with a case each of Against the Giants and Lords of Madness to open!
One more announcement for tonight…I think I’ve decided to start designing accessories for D&D Miniatures Original Edition. I’m going to commission some maps, create some scenarios, and basically create and sell some starter and adventure kits. I don’t expect the market to be huge, and I may only sell a few, but I definitely want to be involved in DDM in a bigger way. My goal is to someday fund the creation of a real PC client to play DDM. I’ll definitely try to get some help via Kickstarter, and I’ll have to call my line of products something different due to Copyright, but with most of the OE monsters plus the rules being part of the OGL, I’ll have a lot to work with. As Kickstarter backers like to see ‘other work’ folks have done, if I have some professional maps, kits, and other design credits, they’ll be more likely to think a project will be completed successfully.
It will definitely be slow going for a bit as I’m just one guy and my business is going gangbusters right now (not to mention I have twin one-year olds and another on the way!), but even that is an encouragement. If I have 8-9 more years like I had this past year, I’ll be able to retire in my early 50’s, sell or turn the business over to my girls, and start working more heavily on my passions, which mainly means gaming. Of course, anything can happen, but I’m hopeful. Maybe in another 8 years (more like ‘probably’ I think) the price of 3d printing will be so low that I will be able to run a miniature-production operation out of my own facilities…and just as likely, if you don’t want me to mail them, I will be able to simply sell you ‘schematics’ of the minis you want for a warband and you’ll be able to print them out yourself on your personal 3d printer…for less than the price of a booster today. That may sound like wishful thinking, but the pace of technological change we are in for over the next 20 years is going to be beyond what we can comprehend today. Large scale 3d manufacturing will be able to build anything from molecule size blood cells to skyscraper size buildings, at a fraction of the cost of conventional technology.
Anyhow, before I start boring you with talk of the singularity, I’m off to play a game of League of Legends before bed!
May your warbands always be victorious, warriors!