I'm a Star Wars fan, but not a hardcore one by a long shot. I have the six movies and that's about it. I've never read a book and only seen a few animated series. Still, I don't hesitate to spend good money on good quality Star Wars figures. Why not do the same with D&D monsters and character classes?
Making the analogy with D&D, the Star Wars movies are like the core books. Once bought that's it, revenue is over. Making more rule books is a demanding task that also complicates the game, but cranking out action figures would be a relatively trivial thing with a good margin for a profit. Action figures would create a revenue stream without necessarily creating a version war.
+Robert Brumbelow for providing the link). A nice large set of figures, but let me be honest, it's quite a good set of "nobodies". I mean, with all due respect, who the fuck is Elkhorn? A Storm Trooper, even being one in millions is still a "Storm Trooper". There's no strong background, no attachment to Elkhorn. The fact that the quality of the figures is also a bit sub-par also adds up to the not-buy decision. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly reasonable to buy it for nostalgic reasons. Warduke sells for about 25 US on ebay.There's a market for it, but it isn't growing.
On a side note there's also the less than menacing evil ogre lord face. If I'm going to pop 25 US on a figure I want it to be a kick ass fear instilling figure that generates awe in all who see it! Something that would make me proud of showing off in a private collection at home. Not something that says "look at what I played in high-school, good thing I grew out of it"
So what would get me to start cranking out 20 bucks a figure? First of all something I can identify with. Take for example Parkinson's great piece "The North Watch", one of my favorite Dragon Magazines covers. It already sells as a miniature here at 45 Euros a piece!
Now imagine an articulated version of it. The dragon and the rider. Hell fuck yea! I'd jump in and buy it without a doubt!
Other figures that come to mind are the fighter from the D&D Basic red book. How about the mounted fighter from the Companion set cover? Aleena? And don't even get me started with monsters. A beholder, a lich, goblins, lots of goblins. The list goes on and on!
Think 6" drows, the drow spider queen, a mind flayer; goblins on a 12" dire wolf; the beholder; the rust monster; orcs!, let us not forget the orcs; giants! lots of different types of giants, 8", 10", 12" even 24" giants!; a lich; the owlbear; a huge tarrasque the size of my AT-AT. The options are limitless.
Of course I'd expect something like this to the right, and not something like this below.
Evil dudes should have a pissed with life expression! They should make me feel like they could kick some ass and harass my schnauzers if I don't keep a watchful eye, and not look like they're sorry for being evil.
What do you think? Too far fetched? Would you pay 20 to 30 bucks for a 6" D&D action figure? Maybe 50 or more for a more elaborate piece like the drow spider queen? What would be your dream collection of 10 6" monsters? What about character classes? What would you like there?
WotC if you're reading this, what's stopping you?