I'm not sure how many of my readers are familiar with Mantic Games, but I think anyone who likes playing with toy soldiers of a futuristic nature should acquaint themselves with this out of nowhere company. Unless you're a died in the wool Games Workshop fanatic, Mantic has something for you for less coin than many of their competitors. If you're a converting kitbashing maniac like myself, then you should really pay attention and read on.
Their motto is "Affordable Wargaming" and I truly believe them. Taking them solely at cost versus like things in, say, Games Workshop (who we know charges a premium for their products) we see almost immediately just how cost effective Mantic is for the consumer. From the Enforcer line in the Warpath universe to the Kings of War line to everything else, they have something for everyone. Whether you want to play a zombie apocalypse game to a fantasy skirmish to a full fledged scifi invasion scenario involving Martians- they got you covered. Everything is reasonably priced, and the multipart kits (so far that I've experienced) are very good quality.
But is that all Mantic is- cheap toys for the budding consumer? Probably, but that's ok. Where GW will charge premium prices for really snazzy models, Mantic charges budget prices for really versatile kits. Moreover, when compared to other small companies like Maelstrom's Edge, their prices are still very competitive. They seem to have found that sweet spot wherein they can get premium quality goods to their customers at budget prices. That's a hard thing to beat, and one that I feel they do very well.
What's more, they have a rewards system to boot. With Mantic Points (which you get from every box set you buy) you can redeem them for free figures to add to your collection. Since the last time I viewed the list, there seems to have been an explosion of Mantic points worthy models (including Chard- the one I'm going for) and I don't think this will abate any time soon. This may seem silly to some, but getting rewarded for loyalty is a really big deal in my book (shipping is on you- so include the freebie with a regular order so save some coin).
Is this to say that they are necessarily better than other companies? No, not at all. But they are a very forward thinking and good company with reasonably priced goods for the discerning cheapskate like myself. Don't get me wrong- I really dig Space Marines and Tyranids (mainly Genestealers, my very favorite GW models) and GW has turned a real corner in the last year or so, but Mantic is something special. They didn't need to turn a corner- they defined their own corner, and they manage it well.
Check out their blog, and their shop. Peruse the free rules. Give them and their products serious consideration next time you're looking to buy yourself some toys. My next Mantic post will look at what I consider their best value for the money- the GCPS line. Compared to what they will doubtless stand in for, the Imperial Guard, they are a supreme deal. I plan on reviewing each set I purchase in succession, focusing on the GCPS first (I already have the heavy weapons teams enroute). Hopefully this is good reading for the budget conscious gamer out there, and helps this company get some sales as a result. Look for the follow on posts starting next week.