Thursday, October 19

How Much?

After Tuesday night's game of Space Hulk, I thought I'd look into whether or not Games Workshop still made the miniatures for it. I had no intention of buying any, I was just interested to see if they were still in production, since although Space Hulk has been out of print for many years now, the miniatures are shared with Warhammer 40K their futuristic miniatures wargame.

It turns out they are still making them, but the price of them absolutely staggered me. They are selling packs of five plastic terminator models for a staggering £25. That's five pounds each for plastic miniatures. £25 for two plastic injection moulded sprues. That's ridiculous - that's what it is. Who buys this stuff? Millionaires? At that price the Space Hulk game box would cost £65 just for the miniatures alone, ignoring the counters, map pieces and rulebooks. Mental.

In other news, after a few days break after Psychocon, I've finally started manufacturing more copies of Border Reivers. I've three copies in stock, but I really should try to build on that, there may yet be a run before Christmas, and I need to take advantage of all the gluing opportunities I get, as soon it will be getting too cold, even on the good days. What I really need to do is find a cheap, permanent glue that can be used indoors, that is high-tack, bonds quickly and can be easily wiped (or rubbed) off areas it has got on accidently. Any ideas?


AndyB said...

in a word... 12-year-olds. At least that's what I see when I 'walk-past' a GW store.
And yes the prices are frakking rediculous now! Ebay is a much better place for buying GW miniatures ;) and really I ought to sell the stuff I have, as it's taking up space in my closet.. As kids, my brother and I had a Space Marine army and a Tyranid/Genestealer army... but we hardly ever actually played 40K... I enjoyed the painting more than the actual game!! But it took so long to actually paint anything to completion!

Jack said...

But how do they afford it? It's not like they're well paid.

I had an Orc Warhammer Fantasy Battle army, plus an epic scale Space Marine/Imperial army.

AndyB said...

I think probably mummy or daddy pick up the tab... or perhaps in these modern times it's the step-daddy.

Actually it's interesting to find out how people got into the gaming hobby... miniatures or roleplaying usually feature high on the list... and with later generations perhaps CCGs as well.

As a game designer do you consider any of that 'history' when looking at your potential target market, or just put out the best possible game you can and then find the market for it?

Jack said...

Man, that's a good question. So good in fact, I will answer it in tomorrow's post :-)

Steve said...

To answer the question "how do they afford it" the answer is simple - they bleed their parents dry!
Some of the "captain" and "chaplain" figures are even more ridiculous - £8-£12 for ONE figure!

Personally I think GW had a bit of a resurgence on the back of the Lord of the Rings movies (certainly the store in Newcastle relocated to much bigger premises and they have a good site at the Metro Centre) and they're trying to cash in while the interest is still high.

I'm not sure you should be too scathing about GW appealing mostly to the 12-14 range, mind - that's how old I was when I spent the most time there (before I discovered girls ;-)

Jack said...

I was around that age (or perhaps slightly older) when I first got into Games Workshop games too. They obviously know their market, it just surprises me their target market can afford to play.

hmocc said...

The reason I avoid GW is precisely that: It's really expensive, not to say overpriced. Apart form the games rules etc.

I prefer somthing simpler to play, thus, my biggest addiction ever was Magic: The Gathering in the late 90's back in Portugal.

And, at the games club where I played I used to see 10 year olds buying boxes. Boxes! Not 1 or 2 boosters as I did more times than I should have. Boxes.

Anyway, I think it's just one way of parenting: they may not be there for them, but the things they give their kids make them less guilty for it. Or maybe it's just teenagers knowing where to find money better than we do.

Jack said...

I was a big MtG fan too. I just don't understand how kids can afford boxes. I guess they don't have to pay rent or bills, but my pocket money/paper round earnings would never have covered this stuff.

andyb said...

MMm yes, I spent a lot of my holiday earnings and student grant on Magic cards... I bought more than my fair share of starter packs and boosters.. though I never bought whole display boxes like some people did!!

I think you're all totally right about GW marketing... they get the kids in at just the right age (12 - 14) and once you're hooked you do spend an absolute fortune. I'm not sure the prices have cranked up recently as much as people think though... they were stupidly expensive even when I was in my early twentys.
My parents weren't all that well off, so thankfully when I was the target 12-14 age, we got more second-hand games (and man some of those were REALLY good... Talisman 2nd ed. Block Mania and later on Space Hulk!).. it was only when my brother reached the target age that we got more into the miniatures, and I had money of my own by then.