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Peeved at GW


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Thanks ecs05norway, I just downloaded the all the Urban War magazines and in issue 3 or 4 they have a pic of a heavy weapons team set that makes GWs cadian heavy weapons team look primitive.

 

Yeah, they have some really beautiful minis. Given the Cadian comparison, I assume you're talking one of the Viridian models?

 

(Oh, and let me know what you think of the rules!)

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Actually a lot of Historical miniature companies pay royalties.

 

Early in its years, Ral Partha paid royalties to Tom Meier.

 

I would have to see evidence of royalties being paid especially by historical companies to sculptors. That is definitely not the norm. I have heard that about Tom Meier "receiving" royalties but I have also heard that he basically never got paid for his work and that was gradually translated into a bigger and bigger ownership share of Ral Partha. Again I don't know which if either story is accurate and evidence would certainly help prove the point.

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I think Tom Meier wrote his own personal views on the situation at TMP or something similar but I have no idea how to find that thread again I'm afraid.

I seem to recall it was closer to that partnership deal.

 

Concerning GW - They charge what they can charge, simple as that.

What bothers me more is the way they treat resellers of their stuff and I've also understood from discussing it with a few sculptors that they pay good money for sculpts (better than most) but can be very difficult to work with. Inconsistent and unpredictable management in the creative department seems to be the main reasons as far as I understand.

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I think Tom Meier wrote his own personal views on the situation at TMP or something similar but I have no idea how to find that thread again I'm afraid.

I seem to recall it was closer to that partnership deal.

Jack Hesselbrock wrote a 'History of Ral Partha' in 1996, which was reorganized in 1997. Here is the article on The Miniatures Page. Tom Meier's short bio appears on his Thunderbolt Mountain site, here.

 

I have had the privilege of meeting and 'talking shop' with both, and with at least three other former Ral Partha employees & contractors. Although out of respect for their privacy (and fear that I may misquote someone) I will not repeat all they said individually, I will say this: Ral Partha started as a partnership of very young gamers. Tom was only 15 or 16 at the time Ral Partha was formed, with Tom as a partner and the sole sculptor for Ral Partha's first four years. So, the concept of royalties is moot, in this instance.

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the only thing I buy from ole GW are plastic bases, as I glue all of my DHL minis on to those to have uniform bases on the bottom.

 

I would love to have some of the LOTR stuff again (mainly the Tomb of Balin set they came out with + a poopload of goblin minis & a few trolls, as I would love to do up that scene from the movie, as that whole sequence in the movies was my favorite parts.

 

sticking with LOTR/GW same could be said for the Balrog & the Oliphant minis, as I love both of those. Prices can vary, but overall I would rather spend my cash on Reaper & the other companies out there (well maybe not Rackham, but well you know, ha ha).

 

GW does good stuff no doubt, but their prices could come down & they wouldn't even notice the lost, as they have their following, just like M:TG had when it was hot.

 

Reaper just knows how to treats it's customer, it's fans right.

 

RM

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Actually a lot of Historical miniature companies pay royalties.

 

Early in its years, Ral Partha paid royalties to Tom Meier.

 

 

My understanding is that in alot of these cases this more a partnership than a Sculptor selling a sculpt to a company, some companies will cast and market lines for sculptors. I agree I have heard of this taking place, but in these cases I view this as the sculptors line that has been taken to someone else to produce. I could be wrong, but you are correct, in fact I have a friend marketing a historical line in this very way.

 

I don't think however it is all that common throughout the industry.

 

$300-$600 for a 28mm heroic size figure is moot with regards to production costs when companies are selling tens of thousands of a given mini for $5+ US each. In small production runs of only a few hundred minis it might be accountable for a somewhat premium cost of $1 more a figure, but any general rise in miniature prices cannot be attributed to sculpting costs. I mean when GW raises their prices I'm not sitting there thinking, Gee the sculptors must be getting a pay raise. In GWs case in fact the sculptors are quite possibly under a salary contract, rather than getting paid per figure. Just a hunch though.

 

GW does good stuff no doubt, but their prices could come down & they wouldn't even notice the lost, as they have their following, just like M:TG had when it was hot.

 

I assure you the share holders to whom they are accountable to would indeed notice any loss in revenue.

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In GWs case in fact the sculptors are quite possibly under a salary contract, rather than getting paid per figure. Just a hunch though.

 

 

They do employ some freelancers and pay good money for the sculpts. The vast majority is done by sculptors on a salary contract though and that pay is also above average in the industry.

Still it's a small part of the cost for the completed range.

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If people would pay more for Reaper models, Reaper would charge more. They're a company first. The reason Warlord is cheaper? Loss-leading. They're trying to get a foothold.

 

Want to know why bigger companies charge what they do? Welcome to capitalism at its finest. :;):

 

Complaining about prices for a luxury item (and this is certainly such a thing) is ridiculous. Don't want to pay it? Don't. Very simple. Vote with your wallet.

 

- "Loss leading" is a technical term and I do not for one instant believe that Reaper is taking a loss on each and every Warlord figure in the hope that they'll achieve the kind of market dominance it took GW 20 years to establish before they go broke. Really. Look at Warlord, look at Dark heaven, the established line that is AFAIK the mainstay of their business, pricing for figures of comparable size and complexity is at par.

 

- usually in fact bigger companies charge LESS. Thanks to capitalism. If they fail to keep margins tight, someone else will steal their market share. Most companies cannot depend on the kind of customer loyalty miniatures-makers get.

 

-Totally agreed. I vote with my wallet. If you hate a company, don't buy their stuff. If you love a company, buy lots of their stuff!

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Reaper might not sell as many minis as GW does, but believe me, they have a foothold in the market, and I can only speculate how many minis they sell each year (certainly millions), let's remember who the biggest consumer of Reaper minis is (including Warlord minis) RPG players, of whom there are 10's of millions around US.

 

GW might sell fewer leader models than troop models, but I can assure you Reaper sells far more Warlord Leader and Elite models than they do soldier models simply because the real market for these is as RPG PC models. This is why vast portions of the line could be released long before a game appeared, and still sell well.

 

Reaper is not Loss-leading to keep their prices in line, in fact their prices are very much on par with many other companies, although they are far from the cheapest minis on the market, if you are willing to sacrifice quality many smaller comapanies can offer you better prices than Reaper because of a lower overhead, and a smaller profit margin. Reaper is making profit, not the kind that GW makes, but enough to run a successful business.

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-Totally agreed. I vote with my wallet. If you hate a company, don't buy their stuff. If you love a company, buy lots of their stuff!

 

I vote with my wallet according to the product, not the "company" per se. That way I don't blindly choose things just because one company is the good guy and one is the supposed bad guy.

 

Not that you do, but for silly reasons, many do. :rolleyes:

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True enough, there are even GW models I would consider purchasing if I was to need them for a RPG or something as a one off purchase (PC or NPC model that really fit my needs). Price is prohibative, and their games arn't up to par with others, but my dislike for them wouldn't stop me from buying a model I needed that couldn't be better fulfilled by another company. That being said I havn't bought a GW mini since 1999.

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Very interesting this one,few points/observations to make......

 

1.IMHO the general standard of the reaper figs is way superior to the GW stuff,I have been buying reaper stuff for a while now and when I "examine" a potential gw purchase I actually think their standards have fallen of late.Whether this is because they can get away with it and are becoming complacent I can only hazard a guess?

2.Point was made about Reaper in the UK being expensive,which is subjective as they are,as highlighted,a pure luxury item.However when you compare the cost of a single "character" figure it can be just as "cheap" to buy reaper and get them shipped,which is another pointer to how expensive gw have become.

3.Every now and again you will find an anomaly in the gw price structuring which makes you think they must have got it wrong,sadly this only occurs from the cheaper perspective,they remain generally,IMHO,overpriced.

4.It isnt just the figures either,they recently released the masterworks paintbrush set,basically five brushes in a balsa wood box with a cloth and soap,which was retailing over here at £75,dont know if it is being sold in the U.S?

5.Despite all of the grievances they cause,I cant help but ask myself "where would the gaming world/community be without them"?And to be honest I dont know the answer to that one!

 

Thats my rant over! ::P:

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I dn't buy GW, not bacause of the price, or the minis (some are nice, some are not to outrageously priced), but because they treat retailers like the dog crud on the bottom of thier shoes.

 

Being in business I understand the charge what the market will bear, and figuring in overhead (like my casting setup thats $5k, and for low production volume), but being a jerk, isn't nessisary.

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I dn't buy GW, not bacause of the price, or the minis (some are nice, some are not to outrageously priced), but because they treat retailers like the dog crud on the bottom of thier shoes.

 

Being in business I understand the charge what the market will bear, and figuring in overhead (like my casting setup thats $5k, and for low production volume), but being a jerk, isn't nessisary.

 

That I can agree with.

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