Hi Clixfans! I’ve got several updates and announcements for you, all very exciting news. Let’s start with this press release about Hammer of Thor:
HAMMER OF THOR SOLD OUT!
WizKids is pleased to announce a manufacturer and distributor sell out of Marvel HeroClix: Hammer of Thor in the United States.
“Sales far exceeded even our high expectations,” said Lax Chandra, President of WizKids/NECA. “Preorders and consumer turnout were higher for Hammer of Thor than they had been for our last 2 releases. The product evaporated as soon as the product hit distribution, both in the United States and internationally.”
Despite the high demand for the boosters and specific figures, there are no plans for a reprint. The next HeroClix set, The Brave and The Bold will release on April 14th, 2010.
We solidified our list of international distributors for our next release. The expanded list will give us better coverage for The Brave and The Bold worldwide. Feel free to pass this info along to your store owners and managers.
Europe IntrafinDirac Pegasus Esdevium New Media Publishing Millenium
Canada Grosner Universal
South America Devir
APAC Asia Gold Sports Card Australian Neutral Ground
NEW OLD FACES
Justin has mentioned on several occasions how we are in “start up” mode and we’re ramping up our staff, resources, and processes to support the HeroClix line. The areas we are turning our attention to first are R&D and Sculpting, and I have a few announcements to make:
Seth Johnson will be working with the WizKids R&D team on various HeroClix projects on a project-by-project basis. Seth’s comic knowledge and passion for HeroClix are a welcome addition to the team.
We’ve also come to an agreement with Ben Misenar and will be keeping him busy with sculpting for the foreseeable future. Ben joins a team of sculptors working on HeroClix and we’re excited to have him on board.
I looked at how many Clix I had deposited onto my desk, and snapped a picture. I keep stuff I play with (Uncle Sam and a team of The Brave and The Bold generic figs kicked the Art Department’s behind recently), as well as figures for inspiration, stuff from older products and my small – but for some reason growing – collection of Swordsman figs.
Then I realized that unpainted prototype for **CENSORED** from the DC HeroClix Starter Game was sitting with the mob of figs, so I fixed that. Then I realized that **CENSORED**, who is Figure #3 in The Brave and The Bold was sitting with some other TB&TB figs which you have already seen, but wasn’t scheduled for preview yet, so I fixed that. Fear my MS Paint skills. Now it’s your turn. Post photos of your Clix collection on our Facebook page!
WizKids/NECA’s retail partners have shown a tremendous amount of support for the Hammer of Thor release. As you know, we’ve already sold out of Hammer of Thor Booster Packs, and orders for Hammer of Thor Organized Play Kits greatly exceeded our expectations. We thank all retailers who want to support the HeroClix brand by running in-store tournaments using the Hammer of Thor OP Kit. Unfortunately, despite printing more Hammer of Thor OP Kits than before, there were not enough kits to meet the extraordinary demand.
In an effort to help the stores which ordered an OP Kit and did not receive one, we have worked with Diamond and Alliance to identify these stores and send them replacement prizes, free of charge. Each kit includes Hammer of Thor Limited Edition figures and Mjolnir 3D Objects.
In order to meet the tight turnaround times, we were not able to include the character or object cards in the kit. Stores and Players can download and print the character and object cards from our website or visit the Wizkids Facebook group. All “print and play” cards for the HoT OP kit should be considered tournament legal.
Happy Holidays from Wizkids Games! My name is Justin Ziran. If that sounds familiar, it might, I was managing the WizKids games business in Seattle and through a series of events; I am now with the new Wizkids Games in Hillside, NJ. Over the next few months we’ll make sure you get to meet the all the new faces and say hello to some of the old ones too. But for now, all I can say is, I am
glad we have the day off – it took forever to catch the turkey!
I’ve been here only 4 days and already I’m swimming in ideas, tasks and planning everything that needs to be done for 2010.
Before I get to your questions and our updates, I want to set expectations for at least the next few months; as we are getting the next set out the door – we are going to be extremely busy. Does this mean we are not going to share information with you? Absolutely not. What it means is that we’ll probably do so in larger chunks (like this post). We are listening to what you are saying. As you’ll see, I am going to provide some answers and clarifications to questions that have bubbled up via message boards, retailers and customers.
Keep in mind that the priority since the purchase of WizKids has been to get you new product. We felt that this goal was single most important objective to accomplish in the short term. All other objectives – the web site, message boards, Customer Service and even some hiring decisions, while important, started their respective ramp-up cycles once we knew that Hammer of Thor product was on the boat. Thank you for keeping the faith as we bring these systems online over the coming months.
On to the questions & updates…..
There’s a lot of good news floating around about the performance of the set. I think we established a good foundation to build upon.
Q: What should we expect for Organized Play (OP) moving forward?
24 months ago we started to talk about a less cumbersome OP program that was easy to administrate, flexible for the storeowner and provided value to the consumer. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to pull it off before we shut down the old WizKids office. The silver lining to that story is that the current Hammer of Thor OP program is about 80% of what we talked about. We still have some bugs to work out, like how do we minimize the mis-use of the prize kits (selling it). Selling prize kits is clearly not the intended use for the kits. The spirit of the program is that kits are to be used to support in store game play. The challenge is that we don’t want to overly burden the administration of the program (both at the store level or corporate level) in an attempt to prevent the mis-use of the prize kits. My suspicion is that with Hammer of Thor we had more events, with more attendees, running at more locations than ever before. That’s a good outcome and we’re going to try to curb the abuse in a way that continues to support the level of play we’re seeing with Hammer of Thor. Most importantly – OP should be fun and easy to run.
We recognize that the allocation of the OP kits was a big issue – Demand was high, and the number of kits we manufactured was fixed – we tried to be as fair as possible. We’re going adjust the program in an effort to avoid this problem moving forward. We’re also coming up with a solution for stores that ordered a kit and did not receive one. More to come on this in the future.
Q: Will Wizkids continue with the store level brick figure?
From the sound of things, this was a big hit. We can’t commit to in-store Brick figure for Brave and the Bold, but we are looking at store level programs like this in the future. Again, the balancing act we have is preventing abuse and keeping the complexity of the controls we put in place low in order to get a great figure into your hands
Q; Will there be God-Packs in the next set?
No. Message heard loud and clear.
Q: What’s with the product allocations?
Demand was incredibly high and print runs were fixed as soon as the sale was made. In aggregate we produced plenty of product. We made the first wave of product available immediately vs. holding the first wave until the total production was complete. It was a question of having some product available or delaying the release. We opted for availability given the long hiatus. Additional product is now available for re-orders at Diamond and Alliance.
Q: What’s up with WizKidsgames.com?
We started from scratch! The marching directions were to make the site blog–based, so that any of us could update it easily (very different from old site). Matt and Mike, our developers, created a pretty kick ass gallery and we’re devising plans on how to get that built out with both new and old content.
Since our site is a work in progress, we’ll be interacting with the fan sites a lot more.
Q: Will there be a HeroClix Rules Arbitrator?
Absolutely, part of the restart priorities. We are working on a place to send us questions, ask rules questions, etc. That will probably take shape in the form of a combination of a wiki, knowledge base and FAQs, with the Rules arbitrator overseeing.
More news on this shortly. This is a priority for the line and we’re committed to providing official rules support in the very near future.
Q: Will HeroClix be available in Europe, APAC and Latin America?
Yes, Yes and Yes. Growing HeroClix internationally is one my top priorities. Setting up distribution takes a while, and add to that the rush to get Hammer of Thor product to market and we ended up with a split release date. Chances are high that we may have a split release date for Brave and the Bold too, but we are doing everything we can to limit the delay between US and international release dates. Once we get into 2010, we should be able to align relases a little better around the globe.
We currently have distribution in the US, Canada, UK (Esdevium), Belgium (Intrafin), Spain (Dirac), Italy (Counter), South America (Devir), Australia (Sports Card Australia), Asia (Asia Gold).
We’ll be adding to this list quickly and I will announce new territories/distributors as we bring them online.
Q: What going on with HeroClix Classics?
The HeroClix Classics line is a retail friendly entry point for the product line. The character selection, price point and release schedule are all geared toward the retail channel. Buying a randomized, blind booster of a game you are not sure you like is a VERY tough sell to a kid (or parent) not familiar with HeroClix. Conversely, seeing awesome Clix figs right in your hand entices new player to try the product. The Classics line is our attempt to expand our audience.
Q: Can you tell us about the the next few releases?
Thor’s Mighty Chariot – gets pulled into hobby stores by a pair of Asgardian goats on January 13th
The Brave and the Bold will hit shelves in March 2010 – The Duo sculpts look really good
The new DC Starter hits in May 2010 – Our most colorful take on a starter to date
Our 14th Marvel release will street in June 2010
Q: Do you have plans for Pirates of the Cursed Seas?
Pirates is a very valuable part of the portfolio of product lines NECA purchased. We are considering new configurations on the Pirates line and will keep you in the know as to how that is progressing. I don’t expect any major announcements until mid-2010 but long-term, the Pirates line is part of our plans.
Q: Do you plan on supporting the Action Clix line?
Short answer: Yes! Long answer: RELOAD!
Q: Will there be any more Horror Clix releases?
Looking at options in terms of licenses and our approach on game compatibility. More news in 2010
Q: Any plans for new games?
NECA’s portfolio is a treasure chest of gaming goodness. Expect to see new games ranging from Clix minis, to board games, to mass market games and even some hybrids (Board games that use minis) in the future. There is one that has the whole office buzzing but I will leave that news for another day.
And one last thing…we caught the turkey. Here it is! Print and play!
Oh, all right. Another last thing: Thanksgiving Trivia: What does Chicken + Duck + Turkey + Thor’s mighty lightning equal? Check our Facebook group later today to find out (if Volstagg hasn’t made it there first).
Wizkids is proud to announce the availability of the newly designed Figure Gallery to coincide with the release of Hammer of Thor. Players and fans can now see Thor and his comrades in all their Asgardian glory, while comparing their abilities and stats. In addition, in the coming months, even more of the figures will be finding a permanent home in the gallery as previous releases begin to appear.
I would like to take a moment to explain the current functionality, so that our fans can get the most of what this gallery has to offer. However, I must first note that while almost any browser can access the gallery and check out the figures and their stats, our users will get the most out of the advanced features available by using Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or IE8.
Upon loading, the gallery will populate with the figures from the Hammer of Thor set. The drop down menu, which currently only lists Hammer of Thor, will allow you to select different sets as they become available.
Just under the drop down menu, there is an Advanced Options button that, when clicked, will expose different search criteria that can be used to further refine the figures you would like to see and compare. Currently, you can search by name, point value ranges, and/or keywords. You can choose to use as many, or as few, of these fields as you would like, and keep in mind that partial words will return results as well. For instance, I could swear there are some figures in this set that have a name that starts with an Lo… Sure enough, there is that eternal trickster:
Now that we have some results, let’s look at how you can display them. By default, search results are ordered by their set name and number. However, by clicking on the up and down arrows in a given field, we can change that ordering. Let’s say I want to see the most expensive figures first, because frankly I love to run a tentpole team. Click on the up Pts up arrow, and this is what we get:
Sorting the characters is all well and good, but how about seeing their powers, dials, and mug shots. When you click on a figures’ row, a popup will appear displaying the image of the figure, the dial, and various important pieces of information. Moving your mouse over any given power will cause a tooltip to appear, providing the official rule text for that given power. Don’t feel like you are constrained to the stylized crop of the character image either, clicking on the image expands out to show the full figure.
Finally, don’t limit yourself to just one popup. Our gallery allows you to open as many windows as you can keep track of, and then some:
So, we hope you enjoy the new gallery, and it helps you not only choose the characters you want on your wish list, but also helps you build your next winning team. Stay tuned for even more exciting features in the coming months along with the inclusion of those prior sets I mentioned. We want to make the gallery a part of your everyday ‘clixing, and a valuable addition to your experience with Heroclix.
Check it out [http://www.wizkidsgames.com/heroclix/gallery/]
Marvel HeroClix Hammer of Thor, the latest expansion in the HeroClix game from WizKids/NECA, appears on Hobby store shelves nationwide Wednesday, November 18th. Will Thor defeat Loki? Can Odin and the warriors of Asgard stop Surtur from starting Ragnarok? Answer the call of battle and find out!
Marvel HeroClix Hammer of Thor features 60 highly-detailed 3D miniatures. In addition to the heroes and villains of Asgard, Hammer of Thor includes classic and current Marvel characters from teams like the Runaways and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Additionally, customers who purchase a 10-booster ‘ClixBrick’ receive a free, exclusive Ragnarok Surtur Buy it By the Brick figure right at the register! Head down to your local comic or hobby shop and grab a ‘brick today!
Welcome back WizKids fans! We’re proud to roll out the new WizKidsgames.com website. We’re hard at work making this site work for you. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be adding additional functionality – a retail store locator, the HeroClix figure gallery (starting with Hammer of Thor) and other resources and reference material to enrich your game. Stay tuned to this official WizKids blog for updates and information about this website and about WizKids games.