Way back in time, before the 1st edition of Kings of War came out, Mantic was producing miniatures. The first miniatures they did where their elves, with hard plastic sprues for spearmen and archers, with command option sprues for both of these. These reused over half the sprue (the bodies), changing the lower half for the weapons options. They then did the same thing with their skeletons, again reusing the bodies for the revenants and command sprues. For both the elves and undead they also made some smaller sprues for war engines and their crews, as well as some other units - such as zombies, ghouls and elf scouts.
They used the smaller sprues then for orcs and dwarfs - going from 10 models per sprue to 5, or 3 for orcs. They also came out with a couple of alternate armies (the Abyssal Dwarfs and Twilight Kin) that used the existing plastics with metal bits to make them unique.
I believe that all the hard plastics up to that time were made by Renedra, a molding company in the UK. Because of the high quality of their products, they became more and more popular, until the wait time for them to produce new models began to approach a year or more, so Mantic had to look somewhere else to meet their deadlines. As so many do, they found what they needed in China, and the first thing they had the produce was the new hard plastic goblin spitter sprue.
The goblins have now gone from some of the worst hard plastics to some of the best. They don't have options for a standard or musician, but then only old farts like me seem to care about these since they removed them from having any game effects after first edition.
These are already shipping for Vanguard and the brand new 2 player starter set (also featuring brand new ratkin hard plastic models), and will begin shipping new regiments as well as new army boxes (and mega army boxes) featuring these great plastics.
Because it is all fun and games . . .