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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Pendraken Miniatures 2018 Review

Pendraken Miniatures 2018 Review

As we hit the end of the year I thought it would be good to look back at 2018 and assess how we did.  It's a bit of a mixed bag so we'll start with the areas that we didn't do so well...

BKC-IV
Despite all of the work that has gone into BKC over the past 12 months we weren't quite able to get it finalised and off to the printers in time for Christmas.  We know that a huge number of you have been patiently waiting for this to be completed and it's something that I'll be thankful to get off my 'To Do' list personally.  The good news is that the bulk of the work is done, we're just fine-tuning things at this point.  I've got some edits to make to the army lists, plus a few tweaks from our initial round of feedback and then we'll be sending a pdf out to a wider group for our final round of feedback.  Once that comes back, we'll make any final adjustments and then it's off to the printers! 

TB Line
We'd really wanted to be further along the TB Line re-releases by now but with the BKC work above and our other releases this year, they got bumped down the queue and we only managed to get two of the ranges released.  We also underestimated how much clean-up work was required on the figures, so the job of simply prepping them for new moulds was a lot more intensive than we'd hoped.  We know what we're dealing with now and with clearer waters ahead we'll be able to crack on with this.

Shows
From a purely business perspective, the shows for 2018 were a bit hit and miss and by the end of the year our sales were down considerably.  A large part of this was the loss of the Derby event plus us not attending the Skelp and Durham shows, so for 2019 we've added a new Glasgow show to the calendar and we're hoping to add another if there's space for us.  We're also doing some work on the show stand to streamline the 10mm side of things and expand with some product lines that will appeal to a wider market.

So with those out of the way, let's look at the positives!

Releases
We managed 313 releases this year which is a huge amount of new product.  We put out a complete range for the Korean War, plus Aztecs and Risorgimento Italians, as well as expanding our WWI, WWII, Napoleonic and Modern vehicle ranges.  All of the releases can be found here: http://www.pendrakenforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,18103.0.html

Those 313 codes are just on the Pendraken 10mm side of things, we also added a variety of MDF buildings, multi-scale animals and some third-party products as well.  For next year we'll be continuing in the same vein with at least 100 new releases already sculpted or in the works, plus the new projects which we've got planned.  We'll have more info on those in a separate thread coming shortly.

Website Photos
This is something we've been working on for a long time and over the past year we managed to add nearly 400 new photos to existing codes on the website, as well as making sure that all of the new releases had pics as well.  We recently did a tally-up and found that we've got a little over 1500 codes still without images so this is going to be a priority for next year.

Turnaround Times
With the 2 new casting staff on board we've made real progress on our turnaround times, reducing them from an average of 11 days in the previous year down to an average of only 4 days for 2019.  The new guys are doing well on a variety of ranges now so we've got capacity to expand their workload for the first time in Pendraken's history.  Having this available means that we can work harder on getting new ranges released and new images added to the site, as well as some other jobs that we've never had time for at Pendraken HQ.

Not-Kickstarter
The not-Kickstarter proved to be a real success and demonstrated that this is a viable method of getting future ranges into production.  Once the 1809 expansion is complete we'll have a sit down and work out where we can utilise this next.  At this stage it's likely to be further Napoleonic ranges.

Minibits
Minibits showed real growth this year, adding several new product lines in the form of Vallejo Panzer Aces paints and more RedVectors buildings, as well as running a successful Kickstarter for some new 28mm figures.  We've got plans for some more of the same through 2019.

Sales
Sales for 2018 were up on 2017, helped mostly by having a price increase in February (which always boosts sales in January) followed by the not-KS and KS boosts in November.  This helped to cover the downturn in show sales and keep the cash flow ticking over. 

WI Awards
Last month we managed to pick up 2nd place for Customer Service in the Wargames Illustrated Awards, which was a massive achievement.  When you consider the size of some of the 28mm companies and the massive market share that they occupy, for us to get that 2nd place is huge.  And it's all down to you guys and your votes, so thank you for that support.

So, all in all it's been a good year at Pendraken HQ.  There's obviously a few areas that we need to focus on but generally we've made good progress on several fronts.  With the plans we've got for next year, plus the imminent relaunch of BKC, things are looking pretty good!

We'll be discussing our plans for 2019 in a new thread very soon, so keep an eye out for that.  And in the meantime, we hope you all have a good New Year!

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