Monday, November 26, 2012

The Hobbit - An EXpected Shafting!

Well after the sneak peaks of the pictures of the new hobbit releases that hit the internet the other day, I went down to the local GW to buy the mag (WhiteDwarf). I haven't bought one of these in many years, as the majority of what it offers doesn't interest me (WFB or 40k)... but I wanted to see the new Hobbit releases.



I have to say I was initially underwhelmed... the dwarfs are nice, and the orcs are OK. I didn't much care for the look of the new goblins but presumably this is how they look in the new movie (though why they changed them from how the Moria goblins look is anyone's guess  - I thought they were excellent!), and they'll be tied to the movie imagery when it comes to sculpting and releasing the figures...

I can only hope that with seeing the movie I will become more enamored of them?

But what horrified me are some of the prices! Especially for us poor saps in 'MiddleEarth' AKA New Zealand,... jeez you'd think they'd cut us a break or something, for goodness sake the darn movie was made here after all!!!

The new Ltd Ed boxed set is £75 in the UK, so at present conversion rates that's about $150NZ, but guess what the price is here???... $240NZ !!!!!!!!!!!! What have we done to deserve this! I don't for one minute believe it costs this much extra to ship it here for sale... especially when in the past, online resellers were able to supply at discounted UK retail price and with free shipping!

So we, especially here in NZ are getting royally shafted by GW's pricing policy. But hey no surprises there, its being going on a while it just hasn't impacted me as I haven't been one to buy many of their products recently...

The other issue is relative costs between makers of similar products - many other manufacturers are turning out high quality figures for their games and systems, typically for half the equivalent cost of the GW products... but GW have the IP on their Warhammer universe, fantasy and sci-fi, and the issue that affects me... the License for the Tolkien world of things... The former doesn't impact me, I gave up on those game systems many years ago...but the later does and I feel well and truly grabbed by the short and curlies...

So, time to reflect and consider...

At the end of the day I am going to want the figures and play the game, that's a given...

So I have to rationalize this somehow... at the end of the day, my hobby purchases are a luxury expenditure. I could do other things in my leisure / hobby time... I could play computer games which cost about a $100NZ per new one, and give about a weeks worth of entertainment before you've finished it... I could be into doing up cars and need the latest set of sport profile tyres, or racing shocks at $100s of a throw... I could be into horse riding and need a paddock, horse feed, stabling, vet bills etc etc... I could be into boats and sailing... I could into flying... I could be into fine wines and dining out...there's 101 other hobby things to do which all would cost me more than my current hobby does...

So I have to just accept I'll be part of this 'gold standard' of hobby gamers playing the Hobbit SBG... ;-). I say gold standard as it seems to me GWs target audience must be some kind of hobbyist elite in society who have endless money to throw at their hobby! Sadly not me, I will have to save up for and rationalize my purchases over time...

I'll bet there will not be so many sets bought for kids to play with at Xmas and smash up over the next few weeks, unless the parents have more money than sense, which could well be the case when it comes to Xmas presents for some kids... I wonder if in years to come Ebay will be full of smashed 'The Hobbit' models for sale, as it is now with LOTR ones???

So there I am, and here I stay, I wont jump ship just yet, as that's just cutting my nose off to spite my face... Thankfully I already have the White Council done from their previous set, and to be honest I prefer the older figures and poses. I can get the starting boxed set, that gives me all the named dwarfs, Bilbo, and the Goblins and King... I'll only need one Bolg, and maybe a goblin captain, the hunter orcs are close enough to the orcs I already have... The troll set would be nice to have, but I can see them featuring in one scenario once, so are they worth buying? Their only value will be as a 'collectable'...

I am going to take my time with this, enjoy the starter set and make use of the existing figures I have that I can use.

My only caveat - I'll be damned if I am going to pay prices here! If I can source abroad by fair means or foul, I will! I'll consider that a win, and a poke in the eye from me to GW!

So I am going to try and get hold of the Ltd Ed Starter set, and Rulebook to start with...

Whilst at the store I also picked up a Finecast 'Groblog' goblin. I decided I want to see what this new material was like myself... I'll report my findings in another post...

As a parting thought - at least I have no need to fill my games table with as many LandRaiders and Leman Russ's as I can, at $140NZ each...! ;-)

42 comments:

  1. I saw the title on my blogroll and knew exactly what this was going to be about. The TMP is buzzing like a hive of angry bees over the prices.

    I like your justifications for buying the pieces though! Spoken like a true gamer Scott!!

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    1. Its a pity there couldnt be a groudswell of internet unity and simply boycott the entire range? I wonder then if GW would do an about face on price?

      I hope your knee is better Anne?

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    2. I'm doing fine thanks, won't be blogging till next month though.

      I do think that the only way to get them to change is to boycott them. Leave them with stock sitting on the shelves and maybe, they'll change. Hard to get a consensus though.

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    3. Good to hear.

      Yeah that's the problem...

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  2. If you really want to shaft them, Scott, offer anyone in the country to buy online in England and ship them to your Dad's place to be onshipped to NZ... I guess that is a bit unrealistic (especially from your Dad's point of view!), but I agree about the fair means or foul. Do you still have any gamer mates in England that would do you a favour? I can just see it now - the GW underground - freeing gamers from the shackles of unrealistic GW pricing.
    I thought recently about maybe doing a bit of Lord of the Rings gaming, but there is no way that I will pay GW a cent of money until they align their prices with the exchange rate or remove the stupid ban on online stores selling overseas.

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    1. Thats a fine idea Nate, though not sure what my dad would make of 100's of parcels arrive at his house! He'd probably have to arrange a shipping container to get them all here in one go! ;-)
      Cool idea though...
      Yes I have still have mates in the UK who I am sure would be willing to help out too, the only issue is the ease of funds transfer to pay them, I suppose Paypal would work, if you added in a little cover their fees, it would still be way cheaper than buying here?

      What we need to do is march on the GW stores here en-masse waving plackards, and cause as much of a nuisance to people trying to get into the store they'll give up, maybe hand out leaflets showing why we are deomonstrating showing the differing prices around the world and how we are being shafted here... That would be cool!

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  3. When I saw the prices the other day, I didn't have the heart to tell you, as I knew you had your own heart set on gaming the 'The Hobbit' (is that correct grammar - "the 'The Hobbit'"?!).

    I guess you're right that, when all is said and done, even expensive figures are cheaper than many other hobbies. But it still smarts ...

    I'm glad you've reconciled yourself to do what you feel is right by you. Knowing how immersed you are in the world of LotR, I couldn't see you shrugging off gaming it.

    I've got to say for myself, I'm finding the sneak peeks of all the critters from 'The Hobbit' before the movie even comes out a bit off-putting - I would've preferred them as a surprise in the film itself. Still, not knowing what they looked like could only have lasted so long, anyway ...

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    1. All valid points Roly... I know what you mean, it would have been nice had the surprise been kept until we saw the movie first...

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  4. Couldn't agree more on the shafting of the southern hemisphere. Hell, Kiwis _made_ the Tolkien revival.

    I'm lucky- I've got a relative in the UK coming out here soon, so I'm getting the 'starter set' sent to her for under 70GBP. That's a 50% saving off Aus/ NZ GW RRP!!!

    I get frustrated when UK and US gamers are shocked about the price- while we're paying double.

    Also, nice blog- following.

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    1. Agreed indeed on all points, and thanks for the comment and following. Your blog got me all worked up to dig out my own hobbits for a lick of paint!

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  5. My sentiments too Scott. I've been looking forward to The Hobbit game and, whilst the NZ prices are steep, I really want to play this game so your justifications are very helpful. I'm in Auckland so hopefully Vagabonds will have some (slightly) better deals than GW themselves.

    Nice blog by the way, and I look forward to some more Hobbit posts from you!

    Kind regards
    Bryan.

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    1. No problem Bryan, and thanks for your thoughts. I hope you have some success in sourcing product at a price that is at least in some way "acceptable" to you!

      Don't worry I have not give up on the game itself, and only on sunday demo-ed a game to two gaming pals. Battle report will follow shortly...

      The core game is still as good and fun as it ever was, and I am intrigued to find more about the hinted at extra Monster Abilities and new heroic actions that will be available with the The Hobbit SBG rules...

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  6. Years ago I worked in a US game store. Even then GW was known in the industry as the "Evil Empire".

    I remember one of their "Rogue Trader" figure packs . . . we had ordered it over a few months time and we had (note all for the same figure):

    6 in a pack for $4.95
    5 in a pack for $5.95
    4 in a pack for $6.95
    3 in a pack for $7.95

    That was their price increase (83 cents/figure to $2.65/figure) in just a few months . . . and I don't believe it has ever gotten any better.


    -- Jeff

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    1. They truly are the 'Evil Empire' - I keep thinking about that scene in the movie 'Dogma' - when the two fallen angels go into the Exec office board meeting of some corp. and do the 'deed'.
      I have no idea who these faceless people are these days and I am pleased RickP is no longer part of it, he's too nice a guy... as for the others... put them up against a wall!

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  7. Scott - I have a way of getting stuff on-sent from the US at fairly reasonable rates - gimme an email if you need to know more... :)

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    1. Many thank for the offer Jon, I've got my tentacles out at the moment, just seeing what eventuates...

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    2. Please drop us a line if anything concrete emerges. @Livewire Games said he is looking for a cheaper source and he's usually able to do 50-60$NZD below on the boxes so who knows?

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    3. Yeah I have looked at LIVEWIRE before, but he didn't seem to stock any LOTR stuff, lets hope that changes soon...

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  8. Disgusting the prices you guys have to pay - Sending you a pm on the One Ring Scott

    Kev

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    1. Thank you Kev, received and replied. I'll bear your kind offer in mind.
      Cheers
      Scott

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  9. Scott, I wonder just how many idiots there are like you and me who will buy at this price though! Can't believe the extra premium in Middle Earth - unbelievable!

    I'm in Dubai at present and one of the locals here told me that they pay 80% more than the UK here for GW too.

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    1. What I fail to comprehend is other than the Die-hard fans who may also happen to be comfortably well off, how on earth do GW expect to grow this game???
      They are turning people off to GW products left, right and centre... you've just got read some of the blogs and forums out there... and how the heck do they expect to attract new customers to the game at these prices? $240NZ for box of plastic toy soldiers and a couple slim pamplet size 'rule books'. Who in their right mind would pay that?

      Looking potentially ahead to the Battle of the Five Armies, if they plan a revamp of the WOTR rules for this setting, who on earth will be able to afford to buy such a large force at the current pricing?

      The whole thing is just farcical... I'd laugh if I wasn't crying inside...

      The release of The Hobbit should have been a time of pure joy for the fans of the story and game... as it is it feels like a right royal square on kick in the bollox ... a pained and sickened feeling...

      Delete
  10. I really like LOTR and the hobbit, but as of yet I have not collected figures for it and at those prices helps stiffen the resolve not to. That said I do agree and like your justification for doing so. I do really dislike GW's corporate polices.:-(

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Chris, your thoughts and opinion are most welcome.
      If you were intersted in starting the game, look for cheap deals on ebay... its the only sane way...

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  11. Tough Scott, I ordered the stater box over the weekend here for 125$ post free. I am not really sure why I bought it but your blog was one of causes for my re-kindled interest in LotR.

    This is something you want though, and your rationalization of the purchase is very reasonable, I am not out in the boozer overnight, my addiction is wargaming, my wife can not believe how little I spend in a year.

    John

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    1. Pleased I have inspired you with LOTR :-)

      Yeah, I don't go to the pub either, don't drink much at home, don't smoke... though my wife does occasionally raise her eyebrows at my hobby expenditure, but never complains ;-)

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  12. It sucks the average price for just the basic LE set is around £64.00 from various GW Re-sellers I suppose though if you compare it to games like zombiecide etc they are of a similar price?

    I have to agree the import prices are extortionate.

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    1. Yeah thats the biggest kick in the guts for us over here, why are we being ripped off. It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't know it, but in these days of internet and global awareness, its just taking the p*ss!

      And frankly its not like I earn more over here than I did in the UK, quite the opposite, my salary is probably 2/3rds what I could earn in the UK for doing the same job... (still, there are other breaks to being in NZ)

      Delete
  13. "The Hobbit" new releases bring happiness, while the prices bring sadness! To buy the LE box or not? This is my dilemma of Xmas.
    In my opinion it is the only one that is value for money, but unfortunately, it is so expensive! 100 euros are a lot of euros!
    Panagiotis.

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    1. Yeah I feel for you Panagiotis. Greece is still having a pretty tough time of it financially at the moment?

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    2. My apologies for the delayed response again. I don't do this on purpose. I'm doing shifts at the Service I am now and I don't have access to the internet there.
      Financial situation is still difficult here and nobody knows when it's getting better, if ever.
      By the way, the cemetery is very nice!
      Panagiotis.

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    3. No worries, I understand your difficulties and unfortunate position Greece finds itself in. I hope there is a return to better fortune for your country soon.
      Thank you :-)

      Delete
  14. That's a bit of a piss-take with the price, I'd be as angry as you,,me thinks!!

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  15. I was very exciting about the release of the Hobbit miniatures as the Lord of the Rings saw my foray into the hobby, but I was flabbergasted when I saw the prices - £50 for three trolls!!! As for the mark up over there - absolutely shocking and yet I know I will have to pick up a couple at some point.

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    1. Good to hear you are a fan Michael... I look forward to seeing your work! :-)
      Oh, just to make you feel a little better about buying those trolls for £50, the price here is $165NZ, thats about £83...

      Makes my blood boil... I feel like becoming an arsonist...!

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  16. Prices in the US are fairly ridiculous at this point. The White Council is US$75! The rulebooks is US$85. I can't imagine what GW was thinking. I see from here and other places where gamers around the world post that neither does anyone else understand them.

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  17. Its just insane here, The White Council is NZ$145, that about US$120 !

    The rule book here is NZ$165, that's US$135 !

    Bolg - one figure, is NZ$50, that's US$41 !

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  18. We must drive gold cars here and have gold falling out of our bottoms. How much? Fricken insane.
    I walked away from GW years ago but now it is even more insane with it's prices. If gaming companys were people.....perhaps GW is the un-medicated lunatic running around and repeating ...."must make more money than every one else, must have all the money in the world, must have inconsistent pricing around the world, sell only to the rich elite."
    Give me a break!..sheesh!

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    1. I could not have said it better myself!
      Thanks Brendan

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  19. I don't have anything to add you already read my blog and we are of similar minds. We actually love the game and would support it but the quick turnover is being sought here plain and simple.

    Glad I re-discovered your blog as a a result though!

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    1. Many thanks for your thoughts :-)

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