If you aren't familiar, the idea is basically a Mini-of-the-Month club. You can either buy them one at a time, or pay to receive 6 minis over the course of 6 months (and a 7th if you pay for all 6 months at once). These are new, limited edition minis. They only make as many minis as they have orders for, so if you don't order the mini by the deadline, you'll either be out of luck, or have to pay out the nose on eBay. I did manage to find a Doji Ren mini that wasn't marked up, so that was my first introduction to painting these.
I'm not too keen on the business model, since I'm not big on using artificial scarcity, or F.O.M.O. to sell things, but I understand the thinking behind it.
The initial price tag is a bit steep at $17 per mini, plus tax (price includes S/H), or $99 for the "VIP" (6 month package). If you subtract a bit for shipping & handling that means you're paying about $13 per mini individually, or $11 per mini for the VIP. It's kind of a niche product, so it makes sense though.
I'm here for minis though, so I'm just gonna stick to my wheelhouse.
I've gotten two shipments so far. They come in these neat boxes.
On the inside there's a small clamshell with your mini, or minis, if you get the bonus VIP mini.
In addition to the mini, you receive a character card. It's not fancy, but it's kinda handy to help you define the different parts of the mini.
I wanted to start by painting the bonus mini, the Shika Speardancer. These sculpts are all based directly on art in the Fantasy Flight LCG, or TTRPG books. For instance, here's the speardancer's book art, and the mini promo art side-by-side.
The minis I've seen have had pretty fine mold lines. The spear was kinda bendy & delicate, so it was a little challenging to clean up some of the fiddly bits. They also take a little work to balance nicely on their bases. I like to make it look like minis are standing on top of the basing material, so it takes a little work to get the tabs to glue just right in the bases.
The mini itself was easy to paint. The lines are nice & clean, the details sharp, so it wasn't hard to pick out specific points, like her ankle wrappings. I painted it over the course of my Monday, so it was decently quick. I tried to replicate the original art, although I decided to skip making it look like she's in moonlight.
The minis I've seen & painted have been high quality. I like the representations of the characters, and variety of clans, roles, & poses. They need more Crab Clan characters, but I'm kinda biased in that regard. Years ago I started out painting the old Clan War minis, and these remind me a bit of those, albeit a bit slimmer & taller (I'll make a post comparing the products in a few months). If you like L5R, and miss the old Clan War minis, these will fit the bill nicely. Give them a go.