In case you have not heard the news, Reaper Miniatures is releasing a new line of low cost plastic miniatures entitled Bones. Here is the promo video.
According to the website, the miniatures are ready to paint right out of the box....no primer is needed. What? No primer? Blasphemy! Another apparent benefit of the new line is the ease of conversions. Reaper says conversions take about as long as it takes the glue to dry. Head and weapon swaps should be a piece of cake. It all sounds very interesting and intriguing. But possibly the most newsworthy aspect of the announcement is the price.
Reaper's new endeavor certainly seems cost effective. A blister of six Kobolds from the Bones line will put a buyer back $3.49. It just so happens that I recently purchased the Kobold Raiders blister (02470) which contains five metal miniatures (three of which are the exact same pose as the Bones blister) for $9.99. A bit of simple math seems to agree with Reaper's advertising claim.
Although the miniatures are less expensive, the money saved means nothing if the quality is not present. I've collected and painted many Reaper miniatures over the years and until recently, all have been of superior quality as far as the casting goes. If the new plastic minis are unable to compare favorably with the metal versions, then Reaper's new line may be doomed to fail.
I just ordered the Bones Kobold blister (77010) from Reaper and will paint them up to match the metal Kobolds I have been working on the last few nights. Once I have both batches complete, I'll compare them, take a few photos, and post a review to discuss the question of quality.
For character models for roleplaying, or heroes for wargaming, I'll stick with the metal version. But for monsters, NPC's, and rank and file, Reaper may be on to something with the Bones line if the quality of the miniatures lives up to the claim.