Hellboy lends his oversized hand to HorrorClix

Hellboy has given WizKids a reason to try a HeroClix/HorrorClix crossover product… other than the desperation retailers saw when WizKids announced the return period on HorrorClix would be cancelled for any distributor making a reorder. Even a windowed “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D Action Pack” with the Dark Horse Comics logo riding shotgun will be hard pressed to pull the HorrorClix game out of its downward spiral. Maybe the Aliens vs. Predator packs will be able to pull the game out of the fire. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

WizKids press release follows:

HELLBOY© TO REJOIN HEROCLIX AND HORRORCLIX GAMES

October 16, 2006 (SEATTLE) – WizKids Inc. announced today the return of Dark Horse Comics to HeroClix® with the release of the seven-figure Dark Horse HeroClix Hellboy and the B.P.R.D Action Pack. This windowed product, which features all-new sculpts and game play, will be released in March 2007.

Hellboy is the popular demon-turned-hero created by Mike Mignola and published by Dark Horse Comics. Hellboy has been featured in a live-action movie, an upcoming animated movie and will be seen in Hellboy 2 by Universal Pictures in 2008. The B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) is a group of government agents whose sole duty is to protect unsuspecting citizens from the forces of darkness.

Because Hellboy and B.P.R.D. are horror-themed comics, WizKids will be branding this product as a dual HeroClix-HorrorClix release. HorrorClix™ is the new monster-themed collectable miniatures game that is loosely compatible with HeroClix. The Dark Horse HeroClix Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Action Pack will contain seven monster cards along with victim tokens for HorrorClix compatibility.

“We’re very excited to complement HeroClix and HorrorClix with this great property from Dark Horse Comics,” said Lax Chandra, president of WizKids®. “HeroClix is really a game for comic book fans, and the Hellboy property fits perfectly into the HorrorClix genre. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. are very high on the wish lists of our players and collectors.”

“Playing Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. will be very easy, no matter which game system you’re using,” said Mark Tuttle, WizKids brand manager. “If you’re playing HeroClix, you’ll use the figure’s dial and reference the standard powers and abilities card. If you’re playing HorrorClix, you’ll use the included monster cards to know how to play each figure. This will become the standard for any dual-branded HeroClix-HorrorClix product we release.”

Exact pricing for the Dark Horse HeroClix Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. Action Pack is to be determined. For more information on Dark Horse Comics, visit www.darkhorse.com.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Topps Company (TOPP), WizKids is a Seattle-based game developer and publisher dedicated to creating tabletop games driven by imagination. Its HeroClix and Pirates brands are among the most successful games on the market today. The company has sold hundreds of millions of game pieces worldwide. For additional information, visit www.wizkidsgames.com.

©2006 WizKids, Inc. All rights reserved. HeroClix, HorrorClix, and WizKids are trademarks of WizKids, Inc. Dark Horse, Dark Horse Comics, and the Dark Horse logo are trademarks of Dark Horse Comics, Inc., registered in various categories and countries. Hellboy is © 2006 Mike Mignola. All rights reserved.

19 comments

  1. Wizkids ain’t got nuffin else right now, but it’s pretty apparent they are clear that this isn’t going to sustain their company for the far future. They are trying an Online Pirates game to drive revenue. BSG is a massive flop. Horrorclix seem _ok_ at best…but they need to do something to drive cahs intot he coffers until they can figure out what to do next. being owned by a Sports Card company can’t help in that transition for sure…even if they are trying to make a transition, I suppose…

  2. Usually the game arrive about the same time as the movie or after it, but there are a number of companies licensing Hellboy stuff early. People must be expecting Hellboy to do well for them.

  3. I don’t think I understand. I thought the reason for removing the return period was because they sold through the initial order and were already having to rush to meet demand. At the few conventions I have attended since its release, people seemed to be buying them by the handful.

    What makes you think this is a downward spiral, other than this site has a weird thing about hating CMGs? (Which is fine, just weird. You know, like carnival acts.)

  4. You make the point in your question. They removed the return period. They broke their own agreement with their distribution and retailer partners. That’s pretty much enough for me…

  5. Nobody here hates CMGs. But we aren’t shy about offering our thoughts on each CMG release, especially when our retailer friends (including, but not limited to, Chris) keep telling us the game in question isn’t selling well. Maybe retailer sales aren’t reflecting the convention excitement you saw. Which conventions did you see HorrorClix selling well at?

    If HorrorClix was having strong sales, then WizKids ending the returnability period early was an extremely odd message to send. “We need you to commit to those sales now, not in a few weeks.” A message like that smacks of desperation.

    Actually, I’d love to see more CMGs succeed and sell like wildfire, whether from WizKids or other companies. That would give me more games to borrow prepainted figures from for my roleplaying campaign. 🙂

  6. Dude, you must not listen tot he show regularly when I myself have spoken towards the ungodly amounts of money I have spent (personally) on Pirates and Star Wars minis…

    Gotta have the whole story before throwing out generalizations 😉

  7. It’s cool — I wasn’t even being overly belligerent. I have just notice that, whether you mean to or not, you have a pretty consistent bias against most WizKids minis (the constructible games notwithstanding).

    And honestly, that doesn’t even matter. I mean, I don’t work for the company and the only game I buy is HeroClix (which I buy as individuals on eBay because I’m a comic book geek, and use a completely different rule system).

    But my understanding of the removal of the “free look” period was because the product was selling very well, and therefore the “free look” period was no longer necessary, as retailers could be satisfied enough with demand to begin buying the product as a normal retail unit.

    Is that not what happened? Because if that *is* what happened, then your initial comments border on outright falsehood.

  8. It’s cool — I wasn’t even being overly belligerent. I have just notice that, whether you mean to or not, you have a pretty consistent bias against most WizKids minis (the constructible games notwithstanding).

    And honestly, that doesn’t even matter. I mean, I don’t work for the company and the only game I buy is HeroClix (which I buy as individuals on eBay because I’m a comic book geek, and use a completely different rule system).

    But my understanding of the removal of the “free look” period was because the product was selling very well, and therefore the “free look” period was no longer necessary, as retailers could be satisfied enough with demand to begin buying the product as a normal retail unit.

    Is that not what happened? Because if that *is* what happened, then your initial comments border on outright falsehood.

  9. It has yet to be proven to us that HorrorClix is *actually* selling well where it counts: retail stores. WizKids announced the initial run of the game was sold out, yes… from their company warehouse only. Distributors still had plenty of it in stock, awaiting retail orders. Yet multiple retailers I’ve talked to say they’re not moving HorrorClix into the hands of actual consumers. If distributors stocked up on HorrorClix in anticipation of Halloween, but fully planned on returning anything left over, they weren’t really buying the product, effectively offering it on consignment instead.

    Given the lackluster sales we’ve observed, and the “sold out” announcement, the same retailers were suspicious that the only reason the WizKids warehouse was devoid of more HorrorClix product was that had intentionally underprinted the game.

    I guess the main gripe we have is when companies create situations that hurt retailers, or continually do so (reducing retailer discount rates, flooding distribution with too much product, altering return policies for the worse, etc). That describes our impression of WizKids over the past year or so, and is probably the reason we’re so hesitant to believe these are good signs for HorrorClix or WizKids as a whole.

    I hope you’re right and I’m wrong. I’m not trying to make any statements that “border on outright falsehood”; that’s why I speak with more retailers than just Chris before I come to a conclusion. I’d like to see WizKids succeed, and produce more great CMGs and other games. But after talking with some bitter retailers that aren’t too fond of WizKids right now, I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

  10. Fair enough. You may be exactly right. They *seem* to be selling well at the local shops around here (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC), but I don’t really know for sure.

    I did buy a Cthulhu at DragonCon, and it may be the single coolest object I have ever seen up close. It’s awesomeness is downright mystifying — I have feelings of light-headedness and confusion around it that are probably not unlike the way Bush feels when forced to discuss foreign policy in public.

    By the way, I do actually listen to your show with some regularity, and enjoy it quite a bit. Can’t say I often agree with you guys, but it’s still a very informative and entertaining diversion from my work commute.

  11. It’s awesomeness is downright mystifying – I have feelings of light-headedness and confusion around it that are probably not unlike the way Bush feels when forced to discuss foreign policy in public.

    LOL 🙂 Agreed, the Great Cthulhu figure is *amazing* and certainly capable of causing some sanity loss. I still resist the urge to buy one, as I fear it might kill me in my sleep…

    We’ve noticed before that nearly every collectible game finds areas to take root, even if it doesn’t catch on elsewhere. Even a single store with a well-organized league can give a game some life in that area (more reason that retail stores are so important). You might be in a hot spot for HorrorClix activity, whereas we’re in one of the game’s inactive regions. Hard to tell, though.

    Thanks for listening! Agreement certainly isn’t required, and we’re happy to divert, as long as you don’t miss your exit. 😉

  12. And, all that being said, I may have to pick up one of the Hellboy HorrorClix packs, since my wife’s a big fan of Hellboy. 🙂

  13. I have a feeling that the reason why the Cthulhu figure is selling is the same reason why I’ll buy the Hellboy set without ever playing any Clix game: the fanboy factor.

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