Mouldy Money – Saving $7500 in Board Game production costs

Bx-VDE3IEAA1XWLIn one of our podcast episodes I described how we may have found a way to save $7500 in the cost of producing a board game with miniatures. I’m going to summarise the main points here because I know not everyone listens to podcasts.

  • We approached board game manufacturers to get quotes on the cost of manufacturing our game.
  • The manufacturers gave us a cost per game, plus an additional cost of $7500 mould/mold fees.*
  • We realised we didn’t need to have unique models for our game, re-using similar models from other games would work fine.
  • We asked the manufacturers if they would be willing to use existing moulds from other games to produce models for our game.
  • The manufacturers confirmed that they would be happy to use existing moulds as long as the mould owners give them permission.
  • Using existing moulds removes the $7500 moulding fee!
  • Savings passed on to customers, retail price of game reduced!

If you’d like to hear more details about how this works you can listen to our podcast via iTunes here or subscribe via RSS here.

Here’s a question for you: As a board game buyer would you prefer:

  • A cheaper board game ($5-8) with pieces you’ve seen/used in other existing games
  • A more expensive board game with unique pieces.

Let us know on Twitter by tweeting to @tinkerbotgames

Follow up: James Mathe of Minion Games pointed out that Eclipse and Eminent Domain both use ships from Galactic Empires, so clearly this idea has precedent!

*You can find out more about the process of mould making here


  • Jess Robinson

    Answer is “depends” as always! I think it’s mostly important that the game play itself is different enough – new techniques or new assembly of existing technique, with an interesting theme.

    Btw: I’m amused that this post is in “design lessons”, and I can’t read at all the date that this was posted, it shows up as light grey on white here.. I almost didn’t find it at all! Could you maybe fix it?

    • Gino

      Hi Jess, thanks for your comment. I can’t seem to change the format of that field but I’ll keep trying!

      I suppose it isn’t really design, more like publishing/manufacturing but this was the closest category we had for something like this!

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