I don’t really ever upgrade my games by adding cooler components or by painting minis or anything like that. But every once in a while there is a product that can add enough to the game to make it worth it. Today I want to introduce you to Meeple Source.
I wrote about Meeple Source in my Sourcing Game Components: Meeples article last September. They make fantastic custom meeples with a ton of character. Today I am mentioning them because they have a campaign currently running on Kickstarter (KS Link). I have personally met the fine folks behind Meeple Source and they are great people with a great product.
I brought back a few of the character meeples from BGG.Con and my kids (ages 4 and 2) loved them. I wish I had bought more of them for my kids, and for my own games and game designs.
The campaign they are running has ten days remaining. They are over $70,000 and they have more stretch goals to go.
So far they have added some awesome stuff to the campaign. They added custom character meeples for a few games, like Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Lords of Waterdeep and Pandemic. They have three custom meeples from other companies like Miniature Market, Board Game Geek, and Tasty Minstrel Games. These are free to people who pledge $9 or more. They have also added cool viruses, germs, or plagues for Pandemic.
Here are just a few of the MANY meeples you can get:
I won’t get into the pledge tiers for the campaign because there are a ton of them. But go check it out and choose some sweet character meeples for yourself, or your kids, or your parents, or to hide in your co-workers office. I’m backing to get a fresh set of 10 different meeples, but since they keep adding awesome content I have no idea which 10 I’ll choose in the end.
Last week I posted the first in this series of four articles about sourcing components for your board game designs. That article was about sources for cards. Today I’m covering my go-to sources for meeples to use in games. Here’s the list of what I’m covering in this whole “Sourcing” series:
- Sourcing Cards – 9/5/13
- Sourcing Meeples – Today!
- Sourcing Chits – 9/19/13
- Sourcing Dice – 9/26/13
So that’s the list I’m working with. Those are probably the four main components you are likely to use in a prototype. When I refer to “Meeples” I am referring to the components that are used to mark your spot or location on the board or player mats. Meeples can mean different things to different people.
As I wrote last week I want to give credit to the list that inspired me to write these articles. This list is much more exhaustive than mine since I am just highlighting a few of the major suppliers. But here’s the list so you can check it out yourself:
I have picked a few of those sources to add to the ones I also use. And like last week I’ll start with The Game Crafter since they are my go-to source for these things.
The Game Crafter
First things first: If you order pawns or anything that doesn’t have to be printed, you still need to wait your turn in the production queue. I recently placed an order for 30 pawns that cost a total of about $5 and I started out as #550 in the queue. The estimated ship date was October first. I know that they have the pawns just sitting over there. I bet I could drive over and simply ask if I could buy the 30 pawns and get them the same day.
Here is their page for pawns: The Game Crafter – Pawns
I like to use the Avatar pawns. They cost 14 cents each and are not ugly. These have worked well for me in the past and I’m looking forward to getting my set of new pawns so that I have enough for a few more prototype copies of Scoville. They are just simple and easy. No need to get complicated for a prototype! But if you want to mix things up, this next source might be the right one for you…
I’ve never bought from Meeple Source, but after giving their site a long, drooling look I think they might serve me well in the future. They offer the following categories of meeples from which to choose:
- Standard Meeples
- Mega Meeples
- Mini Meeples
- Super Mega Meeples
- Character Meeples
- Camo Meeples
- Sets of Meeples
- “Misfit” Meeples
Wow. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also check out their Plush Meeples!
This site has a TON of meeples to offer and I’m afraid I should have listed them lower in this article because I feel there really isn’t any sense for you to continue reading. But please continue anyway!
If you happen to be an awesome reader from Europe, I’m glad you’re here. If you are interested in meeples or pawns, then you might be interested in ordering from SpielMaterial.de. They are a European vendor of board game component awesomeness.
Here are some links:
They have so much to offer that it’s worth just browsing on their website. You might get inspired for a game design simply by looking at all the things they can sell you.
Boards & Bits
I have ordered from Boards & Bits in the past and was pleased with the service I received. Boards & Bits must have a HUGE warehouse to accommodate all the products that they carry. Their options go well beyond pawns and meeples. Their website isn’t the greatest since it is a little difficult to navigate, but they just offer so many things that I can easily look past that.
You will mostly find typical meeples and pawns at Boards & Bits. They don’t offer the painted meeples the way that Meeple Source and SpielMaterial do. But if you want a cheap source for prototype worthy pawns, then perhaps Boards & Bits is for you!
If you are only interested in little wooden people, then maybe you should check out Craft Parts. They offer a small assortment of wooden people figures that might work great in your prototype.
These components range in size from 1 1/8th inch to 3 9/16th inches. So these are quite a bit larger than your standard meeples. But maybe that’s what your looking for because you typically play games with giants. These will help those giants grab onto the pawns much easier!
So there are a few of the numerous online sources for meeples and pawns. If there are any major vendors that I have overlooked, please let me know and I will update this list. Thanks for reading!