Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Hobbit on DVD - a tarnished experience...?


Yesterday saw the release here in NZ of the DVD of the The Hobbit movie, and predictably I went straight from work to pick it up from the store... and no doubt I'll be grabbing the extended version when it comes out too.

I'd love to have got the Blu-ray variety, but I haven't invested in that technology as yet...

So we had our dinner first, then, with lights down low (dark nights here now in NZ), and glasses charged (wine for adults and juice for kids) and crunchy nibbles within arms reach, we went back to Middle-Earth for the evening...

Still love it!

We all sang along with the dwarves with their moody sombre fireside song... great stuff, very moving - I must remember to get the audio movie soundtrack...

And yet there was one small, discomfort, and that was knowing that, even though I am not actively playing the game at the moment, there is still a bunch of models I would like to collect, yet am so diussallusioned with the whole thing because of GW's pricing policy, I now don't know whether I will bother, and that hard decision has ultimately spoiled my enjoyment of my favourite movie franchise...

So thank you, you greedy bastards at GW, for ruining my love for something I hold so dear as a hobbyist...

$NZ40 for a single dwarf king model...
$NZ100 for Radagast's sleigh...
$NZ100 for 6 Rivendell cavalry...
$NZ80 for Elrond (foot and Mounted)...

...all prices from GW website... just ridiculous...and worse still, most of it is 'Finecast' AKA finecost AKA failcrap... so even if you get the figures, chances are you will have a ton of work to get the figure prep'ed and looking good, see my prior review here

54 comments:

  1. Scott,

    I hear your pain man, I love the original LotR Movies and I enjoyed the Hobbit, but I can not bring myself to spend my money with GW anymore. Our prices here are not as bad as yours, but they are still way too high for me. The said thing is I wanted to build armies based on the Battle of Five armies, but that will never happen.

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    1. Thanks for your empathy Tim, nice to know I'm not the only one feeling a bit gloomy about this...

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  2. I have to echo the same sentiments. GW has about priced itself out of any reasonable range for me in any of their games. I occasionally buy models from them to use in other games, or to play their own games in different ways. Even then, the Finecrap stuff has ruined even that. It's a shame.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts Jerry.

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  3. Even if I was willing to pay their prices I don't like what they did to the rules. They took one of the greatest games on the market and ruined it. Just another game that will take up space in my closet. The rumor is that they are stopping Finecrap due to all the problems they have had. I just wonder if GW will ever be able to get their older customers back.

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    1. Do you mean with the changes over time to the base SBG game, or the changes that were introduced with the Hobbit relaunch?
      I would have to admit I have not played a great many games of the new Hobbit version of the rules, but on the face of them found the new rules interesting...

      If the rumors are true about Finecrap being canned I would be pleased in that respect at least... if they also took the chance to re-think their pricing, I may reconsider my stance...

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    2. For me it was when the new army books came out for SBG. It changed how we built armies and I didn't like it. Then they repackaged the models and charged us more for the same sculpts. I gave up at that point and so did many of the other games in our community. Then I heard about more rule changes with the Hobbit rule book, one book to rule them all. I didn't buy the new rule book because of the price. For me rule books have a price point and they passed it for their big 3.

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    3. Thanks for the feedback, I see where you are coming from.

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  4. I was all set to make a comment about how if this is a hobby you love then it's worth spending a few dollars for. Then I ran the currency conversion... Obscene! I admit that I do like GW figures but I quit buying their stuff years ago as I could never seem to finish my army (since the army size kept increasing).

    Lately I've been waffling on purchasing a Saga starter army because it is ~$110 US, which feels expensive. Of course it contains 17 cavalry and a dozen infantry, which turns out to be a pretty darn good deal. Seeing what one alternative is, I'm all in next paycheck. What a bargain compared to what you've posted.

    As for the Hobbit game, if you like the game itself, get your miniatures from a more reasonable source (personally I find GW rules mediocre at best, so I don't have that problem). Sure you wont have the "proper" figures, but who cares! Are you playing the game for fun? Then the figure source doesn't matter - get some figures out there and throw dice! And if you can't enjoy playing of the game, don't play it. Don't let some game company impinge on your enjoyment of one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time taken to the big screen. Besides, the only way that GW will realize that it is pissing off all of its customers is if those customers take their trade elsewhere.

    Nick blogs at Spotting Round

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    1. Nick, thanks very much for stopping by, and your comments, much appreciated.
      I'll check your blog out too...

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    2. Nice blog Nick, though I find it tricky to interact/'follow' with Wordpress powered ones as I use blogger... but I'll have a play about with your RSS feed thingie (I haven't really used these before either)

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  5. I liked your description of preparations before the movie. My work-mate got the blueray version and called in "sick" the day he got it!

    And remember Scott, if you want, I gladly send some GW-products to you so you won't have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Let me hear what you want and I'll send it to you for the cost I pay (use google translate on www.figurspel.se for current prices) without any ridiculous postage adding. Just send me a PM over TWF and we'll fix it.

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    1. Thank you mate for the very kind offer. I do still have contacts I can source from in the UK, but somehow thats not quite the point, and even then they are still steeper than I really think the figures are worth, compared to comparable figures from other manufacturers...

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    2. I wholeheartedly share your view in this matter. But the pricing in your part of the world is plainly ridiculous, so one wants to help sometimes :)

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  6. Hi Scott, the stages of grief eh?

    Your blog post had me worried for a second there: I thought it meant the DVD would be dissapointing! I'll be happily picking this up and probably the extended version, when this comes arround too. After letting go of the idea of ever buying GW in NZ after they repackaged the boxsets see , http://roughwotr.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/key-gw-hobbitlotr-rumour-that-everyone.html I have only really been seeimg the Hobbit as a gaming project through my historicals/DIY lense.

    Look at it that way Scott, let GW go and just enjoy your hobby through the other avenues there..... and maybe check ebay now and then to see if you can getsomething good via that lol. We've been having fun with the Hobbit as a WOTR project. I kinda thought that, rather than GWs prices being a problem, it was an opportunity to just make our own better balanced lists and have even more fun with it :)



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    1. Hey Jamie, thanks for your thoughts - I missed that blog post of yours - I'll check it out...

      Dont worry I'm still enjoying other miniatures hobbying - notably FoW and Empire of the Dead at the moment, and I'll no doubt continue to play with the LOTR figs I still have ( and the bunkerful thats still to paint!). It just really irks me that GW has changed so much, spoiled the excitement I would have had at the new releases... if the prices had been fairer, I'd have been, 'oooh must have those'... but now it just a sinking feeling that I probably won't be getting them... so time will tell if people flog them off on ebay or what...

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  7. The prices are ridiculous £45 for Elrond mounted and on foot. I wouldn't give them a penny!

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  8. As an ex GW staffer from many a year ago now and still working in the miniature hobby industry I still am amazed by how needlessly greedy GW has become. I love the LOTR game and was excited by the hobbit and can afford the GW prices but I refuse to give GW one cent of my money because of their policy's. If they reduced their prices by 20% they would be in line with other company's producing quality products and would probably regain a a reasonable amount of lost business. When small company's like Wyrd "Malafaux" can produce their entire range of figures in quality plastic for a good price it makes a gaming monster like GW just look totally broken. I will forever be in GW's Debt for getting me into the miniature war gaming hobby but as far as their miniatures and games go they are dead to me. I will continue to play LOTR but my gaming money now goes to companies I believe deserve it. Scott my advise (for what its worth) enjoy what you have with your LOTR stuff and put your money into other games rather than the hobbit. If everyone just stepped back a bit and didn't buy from GW their pricing policy's would soon change. I hadn't heard the rumour regarding them getting rid of "finecast" my if it is true then i would expect they will move fully into plastic production.

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    1. Hey Mark, thanks for the 'insider view'... its certainly a little eye opening... yes you raise a good point, use what I have, and I'll continue to do so, and when young kids get bored of the gifts they receive in years to come and ebay them, hopefully I'll be able to pick a few not too damaged figrues...
      Also, good to know you're a fan of the game too!

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  9. I'm sure you're aware of the new controversy with GW and their pre-releases. People are getting fed up and there is a small "counter movement" of gamers who are going to play the game, but will not use GW figures. They are using classic figures that are not based on the movie, but on the book. You're not the only one unloading their collections right now. I anticipate that they will find a way to block the secondary market soon.

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    1. It seems they are pissing people of left, right and centre... theres already heaps of people switching to earlier versions of their other games; WFB $ 40K...

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  10. Scott, I feel your pain! I loved the film, as indeed I loved the trilogy, but find it ridiculous how they have scaled the price of this way beyond the reach of many. I may still pick up one or two items, but I can't ever consider collecting an army for gaming purposes.

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    1. Yes thats the sad thing about it, its just about become a thing just for collectors and diehards of which I thought I was one, but monetary sense has to come into play somewhere...

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  11. Yes, I agree completely. I'm afraid all my money is going into Victorian steampunk at present where I can assemble a number of forces for a reasonable amount. I don't mind spending £4-6 on a really nice character figure but £10 or £12 is ridiculous.

    Interesting about the finecast rumour. As I have said before I have only bought one set (the Fellowship) and had no problems with it at all but I seem to be in the minority. I certainly wouldn't pay premium prices for what appears to be an inferior product.

    I have to say, though, that this situation is worse because I, personally, don't want to use substitute figures. I want to reproduce the look of the characters from the films (I was never that enamoured of the books> I could do this with the original LotR range but not for this.

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    1. I could agree more... VSF has my attention too. It will indeed be interesting to see what comes of Failcrap...
      And I am with you again, whilst others have suggested using other manufacturers figures to play the game, for me the game is too closely tied to the movie imagery to do that..., and enjoy the experience...

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  12. One option is to wait for them to come cheap on eBay. The problem with using other models is that they just aren't the same - I do want the models to reflect the movie and the GW sculpts are really good (finecast aside). I also think the rules are quite good but like you just cannot face walking into another GW store. I wouldn't mind you getting a second wind though with LOTR cause I want to see your thoughts on the new Hobbit rules and the boxed set.

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    1. Agreed on all points.
      Don't worry I have not given up on the game as it stands (just frustrated at the prices of new releases) and I still must 'get my second wind' and finish the dwarves, and finally get some games in the Goblin Town I built!

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  13. I will not comment about the Movie because I respect your interest for it.
    I'm happy for you and your family that you have good time with this movie.
    (To be honest, I must say that I've bought the Blu-Ray, I'm too curious to see it again... oups!)

    For the figures, GW$ have done a choice: expensive figures ! I think that enough people buy them.
    It seems that they are figures for collectors and not for wargamers, or only rich or GW's addicted ones.

    The other "great" manufacturer for Tolkien Universe, MITHRIL, have the same policy: very expensive figures and a lot of collectors and it seems that it works.
    (and I saw that some collectors sometimes paint them !! incredible !)

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    1. Thank you Sam for your thoughts, I does make you wonder if this is some kind of Gold Standard in gaming, and if I REALLY wanted to, and ONLY played this game, I could afford them, BUT, since I play other games with other figrues too, its makes you realise how much you are getting ripped off... and that the money that might buy me one dwarf king figure, would buy me 2 Tiger tanks, or whatever, it just further makes you know where your money is going to go...

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  14. Shame that you feel you can only play the game using Movie based figures - I am old enough to have my own "vision" of what characters need to look like, so I can use other ranges (and quite old ones at that too) - after all, a dwarf should have a beard in my humble :-). For your situation, maybe eBay will be the answer, but probably not while the films are still being released.

    Good luck.

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    1. Yep, I reckon I have a wait ahead of me...

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  15. The price-gouging has really soured things for me, and I had been expecting it- but the level exceeded even my jaundiced expectations. Very disappointing.

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  16. It's so true. A lot of people have decided on missing out on the Hobbit section now because there's just too much costs involved, whilst others pick and choose vary carefully, as such a small amount of models is the same cost of what previously you could buy for double the models.

    I myself have only stuck with the Grim Hammers and The Escape from Goblin Town Box set, and that box set was a harsh and hard choice, whilst the Grim Hammers were a no brainer. One thing I really like about this casting of models though, is that they provide a lot more poses now than what they use to. Maybe that's one reason for the price hike?

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts.
      Not sure multi-poses warrants a price hike though, many other manufacturers do multi-pose kits too for a fraction the GW cost...

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  17. My wife bought me the DVD as a surprise gift (I told her I didn’t want it and was happy to wait until the extended box set -I’ve since watched 5 times) and I have to say I think it translates to DVD excellently. In fact I think its better on a smaller screen simply because over here (UK) there is a lack of cinemas with the requisite equipment to play higher frame rate. In normal frame rate all those slow panning shots are uncomfortable to watch, they blur too much. I did manage to see it in IMAX which was a fantastic experience although it only exacerbated the blurry panning (the Trolls were great at that size). I’d be interested to know if NZ cinema’s were able to screen it at higher frame rate seeing as the premiers happened down there?

    GW pricing policy is baffling. Except its not as its clear that it is purely aimed at profit and shareholders. I made a decision not purchase their products about 3 years ago and have never looked back. It’s a shame as I, like many who have replied cut my teeth on GW games prior to expanding my horizon and it’s a shame that its come to this. Its great for the smaller companies though! It beggars belief the prices that you have to pay in the southern hemisphere, which is why I’m stocking up in anticipation of getting out there (there’s space in the container thankfully).

    Looking forward to the continuing adventures of the Victorian Terrace!

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    1. Hey Ste, the main cinema in Wellington had the full monty big screen show with all the bells and whistles... I just caught the 3D show at the local cinema. I would guess a big cinema in the other major NZ cities like Auckland probably did the same big effects?

      I'd fill that container of your to the brim mate! I did when I shipped out here...

      Thanks, Ive finished more work on the windows and doors recently, just looking to figure out internal lighting before I glue it all together...

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  18. Think we all get to that point in the hobby where GW just isnt 'the thing' anymore but that comes even quicker now with finecast rubbish. Still play WHFB and 40K now and again but haven't bought a GW new figure in years and looking to go back to earlier 'Old Hammer' rules probably 6th ed. Always been an officianado of using the figures you've got not the ones they try and sell you. After all it's your hobby. And yes we all sang along with the dwaves when we watched the DVD too.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback and thoughts Hendrid!

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  19. Feel your pain mate. I've still not seen this movie yet.

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    1. Now's the time Sir! What are you waiting for !? ;-)

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  20. GW doing their very best to lose their customer base and it appears exceeding all expectations.

    I hope they change so you and others can access their figures and not have to pay absurd prices.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts Chris

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  21. BTW love the "rant" label. Might use that on my blog.

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    1. LOL, by all means, everyone needs a good Rant! now and then...

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  22. Personally speaking, I'm not complaining about the GW prices. They can sell at these prices and they do! I cannot buy at these prices and I don't! So simple! The one and only Hobbit thing I bought, was the Escape from GT box set. My opinion about their figures (finecast models are not included) is that they are the best! That's why everyone wants to play with these ones. Or better, everyone who can afford!
    I have already told you about the situation here (in Athens, Greece). Shops do import the new GW models but in a tiny amount and sell everything in stock at a very nice price. I bought recently the 'The Tainted' blister for 4 euros (yes, just four!) instead of the initial 23 euros.
    Panagiotis.

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    1. Wow, thats a heck of a discount! How can the shop sell at this discounted price without GW getting all over them?

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    2. There aren't any GW shops here! Two chain stores and a couple of shops used to import GW models. They still have some LotR models and sell them at a very low price till they get rid of them all, which is an opportunity for LotR fans. Crisis has two faces, you see! In the meanwhile, they import Hobbit boxes and blisters, but no more than two or three items of every release.
      Panagiotis.

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  23. It's a complete drag when corporate greed damages the enthusiasm for a world that has been so lovingly created. Similar to what you describe is Lucas' treatment of the Star Wars universe. When I was a kid I LOVED that movie (toys, comics, the works) and then I had to spend my teen and adult years watching this muppet (Lucas) completely f*ck over what we thought was the perfect, unkillable franchise. Now I can't even watch anything past Empire (the original theatrical release please) without my stomach churning. Terrible, just terrible.

    So I feel your pain completely my friend! These souless corporate flunkies can smoke a turd in hell as far as I'm concerned...

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    1. Hey Curt, yes you raise a valid point.
      I was a big fan of the first original 3 movies...those that followed, whilst having 'better effects' had poorer characters and story... I couldnt stand Binks for starters...

      I'll be there to prod their arses with a pitchfork too!

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  24. Hi Scott, great blog - nice to see other Kiwi gamers who play this. I agree regarding pricing. I picked up the book because Vagabonds had it going very cheap, but will not be going in for the new miniatures. Too damn pricey down here.

    I am very happy with Angmar as a Warband army, and shall continue to play this with my gaming group.

    Great to hear the DVD still captures the movie experience (saw it at the theaters a few times) - holding out for the Extended versions myself.

    Keep up the great blog mate.

    Tim's blog; http://tronhammer.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Thanks Tim :-)
      Yeah I have had fun with my Angmar list on several occasions, I like the creepy, monstrous feel to the army...

      Likewise, the movies are still a joy.

      Ta.
      Following yours now too, like those snow effects...

      If you are ever down this way, give me a heads up.

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