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Peeved at GW


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And again, GW has more to answer for than simple per-model profitability.

 

Every unmounted Leader-type model (non-named characters) for every army is $12. It's a price point they've decided works well across their Fantasy Line, from the bulky, detailed Skull-laden chaos warriors to the stunty, bare-chested dwarf trollslayers.

 

Say what you want about Games Workshop, but in addition to their expensive models they've got consistent release windows, probably the best Gaming Company website and online support in the industry (possibly tied with WotC), a company magazine published Every Month, a Bi-Weekly Online Magazine, Countless free hobby articles online. Not to mention hundreds of Company stores worldwide, and the costs to maintain a huge corporate infrastructure.

 

You can choose to pay $5 for your figures from Reaper with it's "soon" release dates and essentially non-existent marketing strategy, or you can pay what some would call a premium for Figures and supplements that release on-time, everytime and that come with a built-in player base and easily accessible support network of real-life players and online curmudgeons.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that for Games Workshop products, you're not just paying for a shaped lump of pewter. Reaper keeps thier model costs low by maintaining a relatively low overhead. But If Reaper ever decides it wants to be a Miniature Game company instead of a miniature figures company that also publishes games and starts to really butt heads with the likes of GW and Privateer for your gaming dollar and not just your miniatures dollar, you can bet that overhead costs are going to go up significantly.

 

Personally, I'd be ok with more overhead costs for better game support from Reaper, but I'm well aware that I am a lone voice shouting in the wilderness when it comes to such matters.

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>> Personally, I'd be ok with more overhead costs for better game support

 

It's the job of businessmen to figure out how to provide that support more efficiently than their competitors, and to spend their war chest more prudently. There is no burden on the customer to share this burden and doing so provides a disincentive for the company to effectuate changes.

 

I rolled my eyes a few months ago at the sob-story some game company released to get donations from their fan base. Companies that can't stand on their own deserve to go under. Using an emotional plea for help was sleazy.

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I used to buy GW stuff, now I don't. Pretty simple. Reaper has far better pricing, far more transparent pricing (expensive models are always bigger and more complex, and usually by a predictable amount), and their customer support is well up to par; to whit, they act on customer feedback, they replace faulty product, and they have a website well suited to my needs.

 

However, with regards to pricing, most of the cost to the company is setup: sculpting, moldmaking. Then there is mold wear and packaging. The number of parts in a mold is a contributer, as is the cost of casting and shipping by weight. Then there's marketting, and in the case of GW, an at least moderate corporate beauraucracy to support. So in fairness to GW, there's a lot more than the price of metal going on here.

 

And as far as price goes, no, I wouldn't pay more for extra additional useless crap from Reaper that I don't want; I'm peeved enough at having to cover the datacards. I want fine miniatures at a low price, to be frank, and Reaper strikes the best balance at this point.

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It's the job of businessmen to figure out how to provide that support more efficiently than their competitors, and to spend their war chest more prudently. There is no burden on the customer to share this burden and doing so provides a disincentive for the company to effectuate changes.

 

I rolled my eyes a few months ago at the sob-story some game company released to get donations from their fan base. Companies that can't stand on their own deserve to go under. Using an emotional plea for help was sleazy.

 

Not true, the cost of doing business is worked into the price of everything you buy, even if that company is publicly traded. Every company deals with overhead and that includes everything from the janitor emptying the trash at night to the artist/developer/designer that creates the product.

 

I know of which company you speak and I would have been more than happy to have seen them shut down because of their bad business practises that allowed them to be, allegedly, ripped off. However, their fans did come through in droves and got them the money. I guess when you really love a game or a company you will do just about anything. But, it was a sob story and it is the second time it has happened and the second time that the fans bailed him out. Truly amazing.

 

GW does what they do best though and the only way to truly affect their pricing though is to stop buying their product. I was talking to my FLGS and the owner said that his GW stock generates almost the same amount of profit for him as it did two years ago, however his overall sales on the line are down 15-20% that would indicate an erroding customer base for both him and GW.

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I don't see GW's pricing as a rip off. If it were ripping off, then they would go under as a business. They are pricing what the market will bear. You don't believe it? Go to any Rogue Trader tourney and see how many show up and how many figures they put on the table. Over half of the tables at the last two conventions I've been to were for GW play.

 

GW has marketing down pat. Timely releases and re-releases of codexes. Lots of advertising for new product that will be released on time (or before if you know the shop owner).

 

Weighing the metal is not a good way to judge the price of a mini. It cost the company to pay the sculptor (possible royalties?). It cost to make the mold - about the same for a skeleton or goblin as for a big bull orc - more for a multipart as each part takes up mold space. Packaging costs and shipping costs.

 

Then it goes from the factory to a distributor to a retail store - with markups all along the way.

 

Want to compare?

Coke at a movie theater? Raw cost no more than $0.25. Your cost $5.

Beer at a football game? Very similar.

Logo T-shirt (concert or theme park souvenir) Less than $2 each wholesale, retail over $40 depending on the band or logo.

CCG games? Individual card costs probably between a penny to a nickel to produce, yet a Black Lotus has been as high as $1,000 or up.

 

Bottom line is that it is not about the cost of the material, but about the intrinsic value of the item.

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Around here, GW stuff is slowly drying up at one of the game stores too. Warmachine is slowly eatting up it's wall.

 

Warlord is kinda stillborn, and CAV is DOA. Didn't used to be this way. I think the whole rush to 'rewrite' CAV in Rage right it was released killed it out of the gate. It was doing pretty damn well. But no, we need to make it 'consistent', and then delay the book for 2 years, and now it's essentially dead.

 

 

 

I also think, that to really survivie and thrive as a game company, you have to offer more than paints and figures. A good portion of your customers that HAD to buy and paint metal figures but didn't really enjoy it will now just go to the Cheapo Common CMG box at a store and pickup a handful of orcs.

 

So you've got to provide a reason to buy your stuff. How? Backstory, fluff, linked products, etc.

 

How long have we been waiting for the D20 Dark Haven RPG?

How long has CAV 2 been delayed, and after essentially killing it with a lack of support, we'll get a PDF?

Black Lighning support has pretty much disappeared. No one cares about Warlord or the supplements. No tournaments, nothing.

 

Reaper's game design department keeps sputtering along. People come, people go. No one seems to be driving the vision of what reaper wants to produce as a company, or where it wants to go in the market. There is no stable dedicated art or writing department.

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Note that lots of businesses charge more things than the raw material costs.

Ron

 

This is very true. GW just does it to the extreme end of insanity though. The price of tin may be on the rise but that is no excuse to charge $45.00 for a single PLASTIC giant or $60.00 for a PLASTIC Balrog. If people will still buy them then I guess GW isn't so crazy after all.

 

$45 for a single giant is not the case. Have you actually looked at one of the boxes? There is enough parts and customizability in there to build nigh 1 and a half giants.

 

That's a great thing about many of the products you buy from GW -- customiziablity, extra bitz and so forth.

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For me though the extra bitz don't do me much good. I don't really do conversions and if there's something that I want, I'd rather scratchbuild it instead of finding something that might work. The extra bits just lay around taking up space that could be occupied by more minis. I'd rather have a cheaper base model with bitz blisters to give it whatever game ability I'm looking for. Besides, I think I can count on one hand the number of true WYSIWIG games I've played in.

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Want to compare?

Coke at a movie theater? Raw cost no more than $0.25. Your cost $5.

Beer at a football game? Very similar.

 

And just because people have become accustomed and are willing to pay these over-inflated prices doesn't make it any less of a rip-off. At least in defense of the theaters and ballparks, they are offering something of a convenience (in the form of an onsite, cold beverage) - this would count as a value-added service. And the simple fact is that it is no longer just the cost to produce that product... but also to provide the service (a paid vendor).

 

Exactly what value-added service is GW providing with their $12 dollar a pop leader models to the average gamer? I dare say that it is exactly this kind of pricing stucture that discourages miniature collectors (as opposed to miniature wargamers) from buying more of GW's products. Yes, I was willing to suck it up in this one case, but it was only after I'd already ordered the figures and committed to buy them that I learned they were $12 each. I haven't purchased another figure from GW since. On the other hand, companies with more reasonable pricing stuctures have made far more profit off of me.

 

Apples to apples (leave out the oranges; they have no play in this discussion), GW is ripping people off with their pricing structure. Justify it if it makes you feel better about the armies you've bought from them, but when a company manages to turn 3-400% profit on a single item, you are getting... umm... the shaft.

 

~v

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Only if your perceived value of the item is less than what you are willing to pay for it.

 

Frankly, my large collection of $10-$12 a pop CAV models are worth a whole lot less to me right now without a viable set of rules than any of the allegedly overpriced GW stuff I own because I can actually find people who are willing to invest time in a game, which is the primary reason I bought them in the first place.

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