Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fifteen bucks!

Hey everyone, GW just posted a mini product under twenty bucks australian. Yeah, I know...
Five chaos cultists for fifteen bucks. Thats like... (counts on fingers) ... almost reasonable.

Keep this up and I may start buying new from the stores instead of waiting until kiddies get over zealous, buy too much, get frustrated they cant paint like 'eavy metal and ebay it.

Speaking of which, I have to make a confession... I actually have some of the new Dark Heresy minis on my desk. No, I am not being lured over to the dark side but damn, loving the new feel of the models in the last two white dwarfs. The addition of secondary masses to the chaos armor instead of blocky primary masses and fussy tertiary details add a more swollen mangabot feel that brings a great deal more interest to the designs.
That helldrake and chaos shrine are ridiculous though.

I have me a chosen squad and the painy, melty dreadnought thingie. Really cool.

Flicking through white dwarf highlights great things happening with the models. I just cannot figure GW's maths.

When they sold their figures for under three quid for five metal models I bought hundreds. Not just one army- I had a decent whack of all of them, plus bloodbowl teams. Elves, dwarves, zoats- everything! I disnt even own a copy of warhammer, let alone PLAY it.

Now the economic rule is 'set prices at what the market can bear'. But here is the thing I do not get- GW put out product at such a high mark up it forces most mortals to focus on one or two armies. More still run to ebay or leave the hobby altogether. Sure, for every old player that leaves there are kiddies to replace them... But... Why replace them? Why not take both oldie and kiddies cash?

Lets say GW slash their prices by just fifty percent tomorrow. Something well within their power, considering the mark up and manufacturing costs.
I personally would rush to GW and stagger out laden with boxes.

Over a year, I would not just grab an army, but I could easily see myself gathering up a skaven, Nurgle, Slanesh, Empire and Dark Eldar force. Plus a whole whack of stuff just for bits too to make inquisitor models.

80 dollars for a pack of three bloodcrushers? Piss off! But 40 bucks? Thats do-able. Ten bucks per model, is a reasonable price for a few days modeling entertainment and (lets face it) a diddy plastic toy. Actually, 40 bucks is pretty do-able per month or even fortnight for a large majority of gamers.

So here is a thought.

Setting up an 'common sense intervention' register for GW. You register what products you like, might buy and not only definitely will buy, but would pay right now for IF they gave a fifty percent discount. Then compare this to what you currently buy. Like a sort of reverse kick starter... where they can see the potential money and goodwill they would have if they did the smart thing.

Dave King
Current GW purchase per month: 0
Fifty percent purchase this month:
Undead throne of wibbly ghost bits...
Skaven pit aberration
3xcairn wraiths
3xnurgle lords
1xnurgle champ on horseback
Gnoblars box
Dark Vengeance boxed set
New Khorne chicky babe with wings
2x Talos Pain engines

Total income difference: $$$...well I could do the maths but yawn.
I am guessing about 400 bucks not including whim purchases such as paint.

GW would improve their image overnight and would find lost customers flooding back. Plus current customers would start collecting additional pieces that would trigger off new army collecting.

If I had any influence over GW it would be this... Go half. Half the design team. Design and Produce half the new products, combine and halve the factions in the rules (marines, inquisition and guard as one- chaos demons, beastmen and warriors as one), make kits wider in scope so multiple purchases of same box product occur (half the packaging, half stock items and tooling costs and reduce risk) and finally half the price at retail.

Why spend soooo much on new art- most of its tail chasing anyway rehashes of the same stuff anyway.
Why make a core rulebook more expensive then three video games? Cut half that crap out!

So whats your thoughts?

Would you join the Happy half club? If so, what difference in spend would you have? What armies would you collect?

Laters... Got to fly..


  1. Hear hear! Quite the rousing speech there. I can see you on a street corner standing on an upturned soapbox waving a rolled-up white dwarf in the air, spittle flying from your lips as you berate the masses.

    But anyway. I can't recall the last time I just plain bought something from a GW store. It's all online retailers and ebay. I would certainly join the club, and would then think about starting:

    Chaos space marines (loving the new chaos lads)
    Warriors of chaos (Tzeentch)
    Orcs and Goblins
    Genestealer coven

  2. Walked into a GW store recently, and browsed through the LotR stuff. I was fairly taken by the minis, but the prices made me choke, so I walked out with nothing. Not even a pot of paint.

    I too remember the days of my youth when I had a fraction of my current disposable income, and I have a TON of GW stuff in my parents attic. At least 3 armies worth, plus stuff for Necromunda and a Blood Bowl team.

    I don't know that there's much that'll change their current strategy though, they seem to have marketed themselves into a corner, and to change too much would be to admit fault and lose face. Plus, to be honest, I don't think there is a will to change within the company. All current players came up through the current system, so know nothing else.

    Maybe I'm just old and jaded!

  3. I think the problem lies with the very nature of shareholder capitalism. Common-sense, fairness to customers and general 'long-termism' go out the window in favour of short-term profit. And once a precedent has been set price-wise you'll rarely ever see a reduction. Given their frankly heinous pricing I'm surprised GW aren't in much bigger trouble, but I can't see their current model being sustainable for much longer. Still, if life has taught me but one thing it's that there's plenty of stupid f***ers out there...

  4. Actually I am talking pure bottom line.
    My argument is they would make more money if they lowered their prices by fifty percent as they would increase their market size, stimulate their current market and encourage multiple purchases of each product.
    Corporations are evil, pure and simple. But it would make everyone, including their shareholders much happier if they did.
    Regarding face, no one would complain that suddenly they are cheaper. Well, only the guys who bitch about anything. Hell, I would throw a party.
    They have good product, distribution and marketing. But they have made a critical mistake in their business model.

  5. Dave-
    I agree with you whole-heartedly that, by cutting their prices by 50%, they would make more money selling figures to guys like. . .everyone who reads this blog. Unfortunately for us, however, is the fact that GW doesn't appear to really want our business. I believe that THEY believe it is far more profitable to ear their product towards the unwashed 14-year-olds you mentioned in your post. They've re-written their rules over the years to encourage the collecting and gaming with absolute hordes of units, to the complete detriment of their core products. I mean, 8th edition WHFB and the new edition of 40K are complete shells of what was Priestley gave birth to with 3rd edtion WHFB and Rogue Trader. For them to scrap their current model of "sell tonnes of minis for codex 'x' so that nex month we can re-re-release codex 'y' which will dominate codex 'x' " just ain't gonna happen.

    What I do think would work, however, and why they haven't done this is beyond me is to start back up the old out-of-print miniature ordering system. I remember not too long ago you could mail order old minis (and even bits) directly from some sort of "heritage" location, and they were fairly affordable. By doing that, GW could make money out of both sides of its mouth. . . and we could finally get our paws on McDeath minis and Gimbrins and all that crap without paying ridiculous sums on eBay. If they don't do it soon, the counterfeiters and owners of 3D printers are just going to do it anyway, and then they've lost.