Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug! The price of plastic...

Only a few days before the release of the much awaited sequel in the Hobbit trilogy...

Just thought I'd check out whats happening on the GW site, just out of curiosity.... BANG!

Sure enough, only one movie and one year on and prices have jumped again... info from GWs New Zealand portal...

One year ago and the price of 10 plastic toy soldiers had jumped, then, to an astronomical $NZ65...


To be totally eclipsed by the latest incarnation... 10 plastic soldiers now setting you back a cosmologically eye watering $NZ80 !!!


Sheer lunacy, and frankly taking the p*ss!

Oh well, I can still enjoy the movie, and look on bemused at the current price of a plastic soldier from the GW stable...

What do you predict for next years post movie releases? Will it crack $NZ100 for 10 soldiers, ...nah I reckon they'll go for $NZ120, for 8...

[UPDATE - had to share this -

brilliant! ]


58 comments:

  1. Aye. Just to show you how much they've lost touch with reality, GW will sell you an entire chapter of Space Marines for a mere NZ$20,500.

    Tried to get back into 40k, but after buying the rule book and a codex, I'm broke. :(

    This is what happens when you have an effective monopoly, you can just charge whatever the hell you want. Slowly but surely they are eliminating any competition, so pretty soon, I think it's their intent that you can only buy their products from their stores. But that's been good for the rest of the wargames hobby because the tighter their grip on their own products, the more they're driving people into other games. Surely people use cheap (ie; sanely priced) historical figures as substitutes for a lot of the LotR figures.

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    1. I know, to think that they think that anyone in their right mind would shell out 20 grand on plastic soldiers in one hit just shows how out of touch they are...

      Thats the crazy thing - it almost seems they are deliberately pushing their customers away... I just cannot understand whats been going on with them over the last few years...

      Yeah you could use other models, buts its the visual tie in to the movie where the appeal lies...

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  2. Wonderful looking figs - they look sort of like Medieval Russians; but the price is over the top. Best, Dean

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    1. Agreed - must admit It wasnt how I envisaged them from reading the book, but I can see why they went that way, and they have grown on me since... sadly price puts them beyond reach...

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  3. I've got to say I like the new figs, however I shall not be buying any until they're on eBay or some other site whereSimone is selling them cheap. iI may be less than 100 miles from GW hq but even here in the uk the price is a joke. I'm not paying £20+ ten plastic figs when I can buy metal for that price (or 6 perry plastic napoleonics) I don't care how wonderful they look.
    I would hazard a guess that the royalties they have to pay are not doing gw any favors

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    1. Yeah, interesting that even folks in UK where price is cheaper than here, are still not happy paying that price... Would they have to pay royalties?... I would have thought having bought the licence first they wouldn't need to? But I really don't know how these things work...

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  4. I agree entirely. Thing is I do like some of the new stuff, but $80 for 8 plastic figures is obscene. UK prices are so much better for these ($80 is about £40), so if you can get them for £20 in the UK you are doing way better than us.

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    1. Crazy international economies... I cannot fathom the reason for...

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  5. This is the main reason I no longer purchase GW products the prices are absurd!! The palace guards are £25.00 retail here. I would offer to ship these too you but reckon the postage would possibly out weigh the gain.
    Loki

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    1. Yes nice figures...Thanks for the offer, but no worries, if I really wanted them I have sources in the UK ...

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  6. Ridiculous I wouldn't pay UK prices either!

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    1. Thats the thing - its because you know its 'just plastic' and other folks like the Perrys do just as good stuff at a fraction the equiv GW price...

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    2. I've seen pricelists as to what LGS actually pay before selling them on at 20% its nearly 50% of the RRP. I mean if GW even did there own sales now and then perhaps it wouldn't have killed off there fans.

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  7. Glad everyone understood my badly formatted comment. Thanks for chipping in Loki. The other main reason is the truly mediocre rules they now publish and the very brutal corporate decisions they've been taking (axing warhammer historical a few months after publishing the new edition thus reducing the quantify of copies available in the market.)
    it's just a shame that they're slowly alienating such a loyal customer base and they don't seem to be able to see it!
    ( Sorry for hijacking your blog Scott, this one's touched a nerve :-) )

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    1. Couldn't agree more, and no worries - I hoped the post might stimulate discussion... the more we whinge ... maybe somebody at GW might listen and do something about it, though I'm not holding my breath... you'd think they might pick up on attendance at their tournaments being down might give them a clue too... d'ya think???

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  8. That's insane. I remember playing war hammer when I was a young lad. Back then it was only $40 for a box set. It has gone up quite substantially. Somehow I am not so sure their justifications for the increase in price such as increased manufacturing costs were accurate.

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    1. Agreed - I struggle to see how they can legitimize these prices... the worrying aspect more me is that someone, I think it was the Legatus commented elsewhere, that Jervis Johnson made the observation in White Dwarf that the hobby was about 'collecting' now... now a collector only needs one of each model for his collection, not an army of figures... hence, packs of smaller quantities of figures at higher prices...and collectors aren't going to play the game, so it doesn't matter how crap the rules might be because they wont be used... so is that where they are heading... if so its very sad... for LOTR as a 'game' and the hobby as a whole...

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  9. Ridiculous! The latest GW christmas catalogue hit the shelves here in Canada, and had the Canadian and US prices side by side. Despite teh two dollars being pretty much equal these days, there was a gouge on all the Canadian prices ($15-25 depending on the box). What made it worse was it was written right beside the US cost, and we all know what the two currencies are worth. Talk about a slap in the face.

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    1. A slap in the face indeed, that's just plain rude...

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  10. Why do you do this to yourself Scott? You know it's going to make you crazy. It's like watching a reformed addict touring a meth lab. ;) Go back to your lovely steam-punk Victorians and leave this madness to divorced parents who are compensating for quality-time and 20-somethings living at home with no mortgage or car payments.

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    1. I know, I know... trouble is this subject is close to my hobby-heart... its like scratching a raw nerve... I will enjoy the movie, take a chill pill and paint and play something else...

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  11. I feel a serious GW rant coming on, but I don't have time now. Rest assured I will add my rant to yours.

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    1. Please do, the more the 'merrier' ! I don't know what we can do, to make them change their policies, other than simply stop buying their products... but even that doesn't seem to work...

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    2. Ok my rant I like you Scott are a long time One Ring member and like you the only thing GW has to tempt me of late are the new HOBBIT figures. I wanted the Rivendel Knights very badly but couldn't afford the price due to financial circumstances, my finances are still poor but the prices are so outrageous now I can finally resist my urge to collect the HOBBIT line. I've taken some time to look into GW's practices and finances in recent years and I've discovered 2 very important things.
      1) GW has been steadily loosing customers since 2006.
      2) GW is posting more or less the same earnings each year.

      GW is maintaining it's earnings level by simply squeezing the customers who continue to buy from them. GW makes in the area of 40% or more in pure profit on everything it makes, they have to pay a licensing fee on the HOBBIT miniatures instead of reducing their profit margin they are jacking up the price to insure their 40%. Knowing this has freed me from needing these figures.
      Rob

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    3. Thanks for chiming in with that Rob, much appreciated. Agreed I'd love the Rivendell knights, but not at crazy prices...

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    4. I have the Rivendell Knights...I am sorry to say they are as awesome in person as they look on screen...

      But.

      I bided (boded?) my time till the LGS had a fire sale and got them, Grimhammers, and Eagles half price.

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  12. Read the "Desolation of the Wallet"... I'm also trying to resist the GW RANT. Sad thing is that it is the veteran gamers that carry GW's (Certainly WHFB's) ongoing popularity, Or am I wrong here? Maybe it IS the 12 year old community. The 12 or 14 year old with a passing interest that lasts a year or two (Unfortunately that appears to be where the money is - rich kids with deep pockets or their benevolent family with deep pockets I am a keen Dark Elf Player, and have been able to survive the new flood of releases with conversion and substitution of models (this far). Trade Me/EBay is a wonderful source of models and options.

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    1. Yep, I think they are just interested in targetting teenagers for the transient time they can squeeze a buck out of them (or their parents?)... sad sad sad ...

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    2. I wouldn't resit, rant, vent, let GW know that this has to stop. It went to far when they asked/demanded 100 (roughly) for hardcover full colour books printed in China and this is just the continuation of that. The more people who raise their voices in protest of this the better.

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  13. To be honest I had to look up how much they appeal for the figures in Germany because I had no idea how much a $NZ is: 35 EUR !

    Somehow I left GW's systems some years ago because the groups I met at my new habitation were too tournament oriented and not casual enough for my taste. But with such price policy they make it easy for me to abjure. 3,50 EUR per plastic (!) miniature is just crazy. Plastic...

    It's hard to believe...

    But, Scott, don't flagellate yourself. Do yourself - and us - a favour and delight us with some more victorian stuff. Your results are just too good not to be continued. :-)

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. Thanks for your observations Stefan... and I agree, I'll be delving whole heartedly into Empire of the Dead... so I hope to please you all with more of that :-)

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  14. Nobody understands Games Sweatshops crazy price hikes, but it seems somebody starts paying when another stops. They only target the transient gamer and a small hard core base that pays anything. I stopped buying Games Sweatshop years ago as I have many other interests in the hobby and all are more affordable then Games Sweatshop is.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts Chris, preaching to the converted clearly...

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  15. Dire Avengers got their box price increased and their models halved. 5 Models for 65 dollars hurts.

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    1. And seems that us at the Dice Odyssey have had nothing but Rants to say about GW too lately. Hard not to do.

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    2. Its difficult to support conscientiously anything they do these days...

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  16. Wow! That's expensive!
    I won't be buying any for collecting or gaming.
    cheers

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    1. I imagine you guys will be pretty much ripped off as the rest of us, over there in Aussie?

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  17. Well you know I really tried not to rant (BTW my Hobbit rant last year is month on month my most popular blog entry lol) but you made me do it Scott!

    I actually think just as I posited last year GW has no intention of this game being supported long term. Looking at the makeup of these sets I would suspect they were all completed long before the final tills of The Hobbit UEJ were closed and they did not think they lowered their expectations of product turnover. Look at all the plastic it’s instance to have so many plastic released but they obviously don’t think this well sell or be a keeper and increased the price to maintain the margins. Note the Desolation doesn’t have a hard cover when GW has been forcing collectable hardcover’s down our collective throats for 12 months now seems a little odd...

    But lets judge based on the model alone.

    I like all the new released. As models I think they look great have a distinctive and unique style there isn’t anything else out there like those Elves. But when compared with say the new Avelorn Archer set from High Elves yes its $81.00 Vs $80.00 (snigger) but it’s also 89 components VS 23 components.

    I WANT this game supported I don’t want GW to just be a stupid game of “mass battle” of circa 80 chaff dudes one monstrous cavalry 2 war machines one monster/machine/alter and wizards or of just Marines or just giant tanks and skull ridden terrain but GW don’t actually want you playing this game. Why would they?

    SO I am upset is it justifiable probably not is it worth getting upset over? No, It's just toys but I had such a long good time playing in this game that it’s hard to let go and I struggle that the company that makes it so clearly has no joy from it.

    As stated above I got the Knights, Grim hammers, and Eagles half price and they are some of the best plastic kits I have worked with so clean and details and easy to assemble (having spent 18 months cleaning Mantic other resin type models it amazed me to get a unit ready for priming in under an hour) I would like to support the notion that you can have a unit of fighters be half male half female and be awesome and not nekkid I want my son to see more ranges like that but not at this price.

    Here endeth the rant thank you Scott for your hospitality as always!

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    1. Okay just a postscript:

      Okay one more thing

      10 Mirkwood Ranagers – polystyrene hard plastic semi multipart (not multipose) $80.00
      http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat970005a&prodId=prod2330081a

      10 Cygnar Stormguard – non-polystyrene plastic multipart (not multipose) $61.90
      http://www.slavetopainting.co.nz/products/wargames-miniatures/warmachine/cygnar/stormguard.aspx

      Wargames Factory Eisenkern Stormtrooper Rifle Squad (10- Figure Rifleman Kit polystyrene hard plastic multipart $33.00
      http://wargamesfactory.com/webstore/dreamforge-games/eisenkern-stormtrooper-rifle-squad-10-man

      Warlord Games Commandos – 25 polystyrene hard plastic multipart $45.00
      http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/british-commandos/products/commandos

      You can see examples of four lines here and three have their own dedicated gaming system. Seriously I don’t p[lay WW2 but at that price it’s tempting $1.80 a figure?!

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    2. Thank you for your rant, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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    3. You're welcome! I am still sad though...

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  18. Why do they keep increasing prices annually?

    Because they are a publicly listed company that is beholden to no one but their shareholders.

    Increasing profits = increasing dividend payouts = happy shareholders!

    No amount of ranting/complaining -or any other descriptive term for voicing your dislike- will make them stop.

    But as others have also pointed out, there are many better & cheaper alternatives to buying GW crack around....so don't despair.

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    1. You make a very sound point, that I cannot fault... but surely, at some point enough gamers will stop buying their products that their profits will eventually take a hit... what then, they drop prices or the company folds? This cant be a sound long term business plan surely?

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    2. I am guilty of making the same comment myself, "at some point enough gamers will stop buying their products", but it just doesn't come to pass.

      They've been increasing prices for years, and they still keep on going strong.

      You are correct though, at some point they will hit a "price ceiling", but when & at what price that is? nobody knows.

      But remember, we operate in a free market, capitalist economy. Publicly listed companies operate on the notion of ever increasing profits....regardless of where it will lead. If their performance (profit wise) falters then a management change or sale of the company will occur.

      In my mind, the golden age of GW ended in the mid nineties....after they floated the company.

      Anywho, I'm content with what they produced up till that stage. I'll be enjoying ROC & RT till the day I die.

      Cheers.


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    3. Good points again, guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes to pass... the more I look about there seem to be rumours GW are trying to do anything to make a dollar, selling their IP, for apps and god knows what else being a possibility or selling up to hasbro...

      RT = Rogue Trader (yes?), but ROC? You lost me there... , just though, Realm of Chaos?

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    5. Correct, sorry about the abbreviation Scott, but it saves me over 20 taps of the keyboard :)

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    6. No worries,,, you had me scratching my grey cells for a mo'... then the penny dropped ;-)

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  19. That's real extracting the urine!

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  20. As already said, it's even more galling when these figures are sculpted by the Perrys whose own range of wonderful plastic figures (WoTR, Napoleonic, AWI, ACW, WWII, etc) work out at about NZ$1.00 each

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    1. Thats exactly my point, and why you know as soon as you walk in to a GW store you are getting ripped off... because somebody (actually the samebody) makes a product so similar for a fraction the cost...

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  21. Crikey that's a massive price premium! I was in GW yesterday and bought a box of The Hobbit dwarves. They are lovely but £20 for ten (small!) figures???

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