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HI all a little about me I used to be really into WFB but I haven’t played Warhammer or bought a miniature in about 12 years. Well recently I decided to put my collection on Ebay so looked around at a few sites to get an idea of what the scene was like now, initially I was shocked by the prices and felt that GW had jacked them sky high. Well I did a little research and found some thing interesting out, adjusted for inflation prices now are the same as in 1991.
The cost of Metal has been rising steadily due to increased demand from China India and other developing markets averaged out its been rising at about 8% a year over the last 16 years. Inflation in the UK has been low for a number of years and again using internet sources I averaged it at about 3% per year. Using the old retail rule of thumb 33% manufacturing costs, 33% for the retailer and 33% profit, I applied the 8% inflation on metal to the whole of the 33% manufacturing cost and the 3% inflation figure to the other 66% of costs.
In 1991 you got 4 normal 25mm figures for £3.99 or about £0.99 each applying my rough calculations the price now should be £2.33 for one or £6.99 for three if GW are to make the same percentage of profit 33%.
Oh and to American readers GW doesn’t seem to have accounted for the weakening dollar so you are in fact paying less then you did in 1991.
This of course doesn’t account for the fact that in 1991 you could get 60 plastic miniatures for £12 the cost of plastic hasn’t risen by anything like the cost of metal so you are all being fleeced on that one.
If any one would like to host it I have an excel spread sheet of my calculations.
interesting, however plastic is a petrol product. as for metal i can understand the cost, but plastic is still much cheaper. so yeah we are getting fleeced.
Well, you have to remember that plastic moulds were a lot more expensive to make back in '91 compared to today, and, in general plastic mould have a much higher setup cost.
Also, the company was much smaller back then.
The old low prices on plastics were there to ensure that they sold enough units to recoup the cost of the mould.. production costs are not a problem with plastic.
Now, the company is bigger, and tech increases have resulted in the setup cost on the plastic moulds coming down. So, they can afford to have inflated prices on plastic models without having to worry about not selling enough of them to justify the initial investment of cutting the mould.
Also don't forget that the moulding and design process for a single model can be thousandsof pounds!! Saw the statistics at Games Day 2005
the plastic models are cheaper in the long run but the initial setup and design cost is a friggin bundle , not to mention every other production cost from the mold to your tabletop. Nowadays the cost of the product compared to what you get is very cost efficient IMHO. I am also in love with the variety of options and bits I recieve from the current plastic kits. Gw may charge a lot but please consider what you get for your dollar.
Thought for the day: A Burning Heretic , Will brighten the Decor of any room.
You canít blame rising petrol prices for the cost of plastic figures the price of a barrel of oil fell between 1991 and 2005 only over the last two years has it risen though admittedly steeply. If you average it out it has still risen at a level bellow inflation. Had the cost of a Rhino (£6 in 91) tracked inflation it would be £9.62 now.
Hey Iím not trying to knock GW they gave me a lot of fun over the years and if you feel you get value for money then you do. Iím just a little saddened to see all the things that drove me away from the hobby are still a problem.
When metal was cheap enough for people to play all metal armies plastic figures were the cheap and nasty alternative and priced accordingly but as metal rose at a rate above inflation plastic became a necessity for most people. Prices on plastic seam to have been increased to ensure that GW make the same level of profit on the same volume of sales as they did when they were selling mainly metal rather then trying to drive up the level of sales at a cheaper price that reflects the manufacturing cost.
I hope GW isnít killing the goose that laid the golden egg. For a company that relies on new players joining at about 12 or 13 and sees the majority leaving at about 18 or 20 keeping the barrier to entry as low as possible would seem like a necessity.
While I can't argue that prices have gone up- especially on single metal models- the overall cost of building an army has probably dropped, or at least remained the same, over the last 10 years. This is particluarly so in WHM.
Let's look at Empire, they're a recent re-release. 10 years ago a unit of knights would have consisted of 1 blister pack per figure (and even then people bleated about the cost of blisters) or a box of 4/5 for the same price as a current box set of 10. Same story with pistoliers. Flagellants- again used to be 3 figures in a blister. For the price of a current unit of 20 you would have been only able to get 9-12 figures. I would suggest that you're getting better figures now, too. Halberdiers? Need a unit of 30? Good thing you're not collecting 10 years ago!
Let's look at some others- Ogres are a great example- how much would that army have cost 10 years ago? Dwarves? How about beastmen?
Even in 40k there is good news. Cadians, anyone? Necrons?
Just my 2c.
Last edited by The Paint Monkey; September 3rd, 2007 at 22:00.
No more NG spearmen, thanks! Now I need some pump-wagons!
First I wasn't saying that petrol was a primary cause a price gauge. Anyways, GW make us pay more cause they can. They are what you consider a leader in the price market and because they are almost the first major retail for mini, they actual set the price way before other companies. So we're looking at GW maximizing their profit plus they are probably gauge their prices just a little. The Apocalypse boxes are prime examples cause they are selling so much in those boxes (economy of size ignored of course), just ask, how can they afford practically 30-50 percent off compared to similar deals.
Considering so heavily the value of raw materials when talking about the retail pricing of what is essentially a highly prized piece of commercial art purchased based on the design merits of it and the surrounding product and a desire for membership in the community of established customers... seems... non-intuitive?
Minis of a particular level of design merit and market desirability have no greater or lesser value as a game product if they are lead, pewter, styrene, resin, ceramic, glass, gold, silver, platinum, limestone, gypsum, or molded cocaine.
Look at the hobby forums full of threads about how plastic is so much better than metal, give us all plastic, no more metal, it's easier to model, it's more durable, it's easier to glue, on and on and on.
So if the market is speaking overwhelmingly that we strongly prefer a particular type of product... why would we expect it to be cheaper? =) Do you really think it costs 5-10-20x more to manufacture an Air Jordan than a non-branded shoe?
Last edited by InquisitorAffe; September 3rd, 2007 at 23:02.
Games Workshop price mark-up > Zimbabwe Inflation rate.
"In dedicato imperatum ultra articulo mortis"