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dobbo
25-11-2011, 18:13
First off, I do not want the thread to start into another price thread/ GW bashing thread, all I want to know is why all the pricing flak is pointed GW's way.

All the GW pricing rants often irk me, especially since making moulds cost a lot (baneblade around 1m), this cost can only be recovered through sales. Furthermore, the quality of GW releases seems to improve year on year. GW price rises are obviously met with hostility; however, comparing a GW model to a similar sized model from PP, Reaper, Studio McVey, Avatars etc mini, all have similar prices for a similar sized model. In my opinion GWs models are just as good if not better quality, and have a similar price, why does no-one slate the other companies' prices? So is it purely about GW gaming systems requiring more minis?

Before anyone thinks otherwise, I do not/have not worked for GW and I am not affiliated with them in anyway. I just want opinions from one gamer to another.

Tarliyn
25-11-2011, 18:24
Just so you get some support early on, I completely agree with the exception of mantic stuff gw stuff on model by model basis is in an acceptable competive range. I do think the problem with gw is not with the cost on a model by model basis but the HIGH cost of start up compared to smaller skirmish systems.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

dobbo
25-11-2011, 18:25
I meant to put that Manitc seem to be the rare exception to the rule, thanks for pointing it out.

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 18:46
There are a lot of companies producing cheaper miniatures you conveniently left out. Some are even producing plastic minis (Perry Miniatures, Warlord Games, Wargames Factory, Fireforge Games, Gripping Beast), which proves that moulds do not cost as much as they used to/as much as you think, because otherwise these companeis would not be able to afford it.
Even if they were more expensive than they are now, it would make more sense to sell more kits at a lower price to recoup the high start-up cost.
All of this has been covered before ad nauseam. If you are interested in the subject, a search for posts by Reinholt will be enlightening.

Reinholt
25-11-2011, 18:48
I think there are three main reasons that GW catches so much flak:

1 - Larger model sizes required for games. I also think this is an area where GW has gone totally off the reservation compared to other manufacturers. People look at games on a both per-model and per-game basis. On a per-model basis GW is often comparable. On a per-game basis GW is 2-5 times more expensive.

2 - Repeated price increases. Once or twice happens. Doing it every year and outpacing inflation significantly alienates your customer base.

3 - Excessively poor PR; GW has given BS reasons for increases and done a poor job of justifying costs to consumers, to say the least. No gesture from a company will be well received if it is delivered in the wrong way. For instance, if GW cuts their prices in half but publicly states the reason they are doing so is that their customers are a bunch of disgusting, uneducated degenerates who can barely earn money and are such losers they can't afford their current prices, sure, you got a price cut as a customer, but how would you feel?

Those three things together seem to have generated the ill will. Any one alone could have been survivable, but the firestorm comes from all of it.

Tay051173096
25-11-2011, 18:59
Points per game value can be a problem.

The new mangler squig is 65 points in game. Cost 50eu.

Greatswords get alot of flack as well.

Cost of the main rule book is dear compaired to other companies, hell some even give their rules away...

This has to be balanced against the fact that GW has to support its store though with the costs of rent and wages.

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 19:02
This has to be balanced against the fact that GW has to support its store though with the costs of rent and wages.
From the perspective of somebody who does not have a GW store in his town, nor any use for these stores in general: No, it really doesn't.

Reinholt
25-11-2011, 19:28
This has to be balanced against the fact that GW has to support its store though with the costs of rent and wages.

This thinking is totally incorrect, to be blunt.

GW should be thought of as two companies:

1 - A production company that produces miniatures, strategy games, and related products.

2 - A retail / distribution chain that sells products.

When you split them up (and I really wish GW would report financials independently for them), you end up with a much clearer picture. Arguing that GW should have higher prices because of the retail store is like saying the production company should take losses to keep the retail company profitable. No! If the retail company can't be profitable on its own, you either fix it or shut it down, you don't handicap someone else because of that.

This is the sort of behavior that is typical in corporate conglomerates that often causes them to underperform or gets them into trouble over the long run. History is littered with examples of these transfer pricing / cross subsidy type issues that lead to the eventual downfall of firms.

GW should not have higher prices because of the retail chain, full stop. If the retail chain cannot justify its existence by being consistently profitable, it should be eliminated.

Also, note I am saying this in the context of running both properly. Currently GW retail underperforms, but that has something to do with it being a very poorly run retail arm... it's not possible to evaluate the value of a competent GW retail operation when all we currently have to measure is an incompetent one.

Edit: To clarify, since I know we have many who read these forums, I am not taking a shot at GW retail workers in stores here. You guys and gals are put in an impossible situation due to incompetent upper management and internally inconsistent and conflicting strategy; it's not fair to blame the troops for the decision of the general. I don't envy the job most GW retail people face, and many of them do far better than could be expected given the circumstances.

iamjack42
25-11-2011, 19:30
From the perspective of somebody who does not have a GW store in his town, nor any use for these stores in general: No, it really doesn't.

From the perspective of someone who doesn't sleep in your apartment, nor have any use for it, you don't need any money for rent, either.

Edit:

I do agree with Reinholt that GW should split manufacturing/design and retail, and that the current business model isn't a good one, that isn't to say that GW currently doesn't need to pay the rents on the B&M stores. They do. They are in binding leases now, so it might be somewhat of a spilt milk issue. Although they don't have to pay rent in a strictly literal sense, going forward, they sort of do have to pay them.

And for similar reasons, they probably need to keep the stores staffed while they have the leases.

shelfunit.
25-11-2011, 19:31
First off, I do not want the thread to start into another price thread/ GW bashing thread, all I want to know is why all the pricing flak is pointed GW's way.

All the GW pricing rants often irk me, especially since making moulds cost a lot (baneblade around 1m), this cost can only be recovered through sales. Furthermore, the quality of GW releases seems to improve year on year. GW price rises are obviously met with hostility; however, comparing a GW model to a similar sized model from PP, Reaper, Studio McVey, Avatars etc mini, all have similar prices for a similar sized model. In my opinion GWs models are just as good if not better quality, and have a similar price, why does no-one slate the other companies' prices? So is it purely about GW gaming systems requiring more minis?

Before anyone thinks otherwise, I do not/have not worked for GW and I am not affiliated with them in anyway. I just want opinions from one gamer to another.

I am not sure where you got the price for the baneblade sprues from, but even at 1m (which sounds several hundred thousand pounds too high for the number of sprues in the kit, and the fact that GW make the moulds in house) only 16,000 BBs would need to be sold to break even.
The sales volume is also a reason why other manufacturers costs can be similar to GWs - GW are the largest producer of this type of toy in the world - they have two large manufacturing centres. With the volume of models they are producing they are buying thier raw materials at massively higher volumes than other manufactrers and can thus get them cheaper. Avatars of War are a great example of this - the character models are priced similarly to GW character models as (relatively) few are sold, their box of plastic Dwarf Beserkers are priced at half the cost any plastic slayers GW will release (keeping inline with their other elite plstics), and this is because AoW know this is a price that will both a) sell and b) make a decent profit. When you factor in external mould making and sprue production (both of which GW have in house) the extra customer borne costs for GW plastics becomes extremely questionable, even more so when you figure the sculpting quality is at least on par with GW.
With studio McVey the metal "character" models for a normal sized trooper are about 6, for GW they are very rarely less than 8 - the limted edition range of models being around 13 each - well, they are limited edition and each and every one of them is of a sculpting standard far higher than anything GW have ever released.
For PP, it is a combination of economy of scale and the fact that to get an average sized force on the table and playing it costs far less than either of the two main GW systems, and you are not limited to which armies you collect in ths regard.
Reaper -well, I don't know which miniatures you are comparing to GW for cost, I assume it must be the GW plastics to te reaper metals, because Reaper metals are universally cheaper than GW metal/FC models.

Reinholt
25-11-2011, 19:32
From the perspective of someone who doesn't sleep in your apartment, nor have any use for it, you don't need any money for rent, either.

And to extend that metaphor, I doubt you give Emperor Norton any rent money as a result.

So why should someone give GW money to fund their stores which the individual cannot use?

MarcoSkoll
25-11-2011, 19:32
especially since making moulds cost a lot (baneblade around 1m)
I'm wondering what your source is on this, because even knowing both that steel moulds don't come cheap and that the Baneblade is a fairly complex mould, 1m sounds far too big a number.

EDIT: Ninja'd by shelfunit

shelfunit.
25-11-2011, 19:38
I'm wondering what your source is on this, because even knowing both that steel moulds don't come cheap and that the Baneblade is a fairly complex mould, 1m sounds far too big a number.

EDIT: Ninja'd by shelfunit

I know there are about 7 sprues in the kit (not sure if there are any repeats) and at "normal" pricing these should cost approximately 50-80k each, pssibly less for fully in house production. As for being ninja'd, well I spent about 10mins writing and 5mins editing, total fluke of the posting button there - I'm more of a kungfu panda than a ninja in that regard...

iamjack42
25-11-2011, 19:39
And to extend that metaphor, I doubt you give Emperor Norton any rent money as a result.

So why should someone give GW money to fund their stores which the individual cannot use?

I was wondering if someone would make that observation. Replace me with Emperor Norton's boss. He presumably does pay Emperor Norton. And Emperor Norton presumably works for a wage that allows him to pay his bills. All of them. Even ill-advised bills like an unsensible car purchase or credit card debt accrued buying toy soldiers.

GW has to charge the prices to meet the bills. Whether the bills are prudent is a different question.

lbecks
25-11-2011, 19:44
First off, I do not want the thread to start into another price thread/ GW bashing thread, all I want to know is why all the pricing flak is pointed GW's way.

I think some people feel at a certain point of a company being around for a long time (which develops expertise) as well as being global in reach (which should make them a lot of money), prices should either stabilize or go down. Video games are a good example of this. Smaller, newer companies with more of a local reach are usually forgiven if some of their products cost more.

Reinholt
25-11-2011, 19:45
I was wondering if someone would make that observation. Replace me with Emperor Norton's boss. He presumably does pay Emperor Norton. And Emperor Norton presumably works for a wage that allows him to pay his bills. All of them. Even ill-advised bills like an unsensible car purchase or credit card debt accrued buying toy soldiers.

GW has to charge the prices to meet the bills. Whether the bills are prudent is a different question.

I don't agree with this one. You don't pay your employees based on the bills they rack up, you pay them (ideally) based on their value.

Let's say I pay you 40,000 pounds per year, and you go and buy a huge house, then come to me and demand a 100% raise or you will quit. Do I give you the raise as a boss?

No, I let you quit and replace you with someone else for 40,000 pounds per year. You get more money if your performance justifies it. To that end, if GW delivers enough value with their product, you should pay it. If they are charging higher prices compared to competitors to fund a retail chain you do not use, you should play other games / buy other models if you like those as well.

Successful businesses do not price on costs incurred. They price on value delivered. They can attempt to do the former, but it often leads to them either grossly underpricing and underperforming, or grossly overpricing and going out of business when nobody buys thier stuff.

Binky
25-11-2011, 19:47
I am not sure where you got the price for the baneblade sprues from, but even at 1m (which sounds several hundred thousand pounds too high for the number of sprues in the kit, and the fact that GW make the moulds in house) only 16,000 BBs would need to be sold to break even.

That ignores all the other costs involved though, retailers markup, VAT, packaging, design, materials, transport, rent, heating and lighting for the buildings it's made in, wages of the designers, wages of the manufacturers etc. the moulds are probably a tiny fraction of the total cost.

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 19:49
I was wondering if someone would make that observation. Replace me with Emperor Norton's boss. He presumably does pay Emperor Norton. And Emperor Norton presumably works for a wage that allows him to pay his bills. All of them. Even ill-advised bills like an unsensible car purchase or credit card debt accrued buying toy soldiers.

GW has to charge the prices to meet the bills. Whether the bills are prudent is a different question.

So when can I expect to receive your contribution to my rent?
It seems to be a given that you should pay, since it is a different question whether it is prudent or not.

And I'd appreciate if we could let my DeLorean out of the discussion.

shelfunit.
25-11-2011, 19:59
That ignores all the other costs involved though, retailers markup, VAT, packaging, design, materials, transport, rent, heating and lighting for the buildings it's made in, wages of the designers, wages of the manufacturers etc. the moulds are probably a tiny fraction of the total cost.

No. The costs for the manufacturing of the moulds are that price of 50-80k per mould, this includes all wages to make the moulds and energy cost for the same. What is left is, as you point out material (plastic costs) - everythng else is salaried. The salaries themselves are not dependent on the Baneblade cost by itself, they are covered inpart by it, but the baneblade kit is a very small portion of what GW produces and sells, and so the wages are spread across much, much more than jut this kit. As I said the cost of the mould seems very high for that product, and a more realistic price for them would be around 500k tops. At that price 10,000 sales would pay for them, materials and any other assorted wages/costs you care to name.

EDIT: Moulds for plastic sprues are the most expensive part of the total cost of a plastic kit, unless you only ever produce a single kit and build a factory around it..

iamjack42
25-11-2011, 20:00
I don't agree with this one. You don't pay your employees based on the bills they rack up, you pay them (ideally) based on their value.

Let's say I pay you 40,000 pounds per year, and you go and buy a huge house, then come to me and demand a 100% raise or you will quit. Do I give you the raise as a boss?

No, I let you quit and replace you with someone else for 40,000 pounds per year. You get more money if your performance justifies it. To that end, if GW delivers enough value with their product, you should pay it. If they are charging higher prices compared to competitors to fund a retail chain you do not use, you should play other games / buy other models if you like those as well.

Successful businesses do not price on costs incurred. They price on value delivered. They can attempt to do the former, but it often leads to them either grossly underpricing and underperforming, or grossly overpricing and going out of business when nobody buys thier stuff.


So when can I expect to receive your contribution to my rent?
It seems to be a given that you should pay, since it is a different question whether it is prudent or not.

And I'd appreciate if we could let my DeLorean out of the discussion.

You both appear to have missed the point I made, which apparently means I didn't really make it. I think the analogy only works so well here.

What I was expressing was that the employee needs to find a job that pays enough to meet his needs. GW similarly needs to find customers that pay enough to meet their needs.

I agree that just like an employee may be unable to find such an employer, GW may someday be unable to find such a consumer. But to say that they shouldn't be trying because EN (apologies for the initialism) doesn't have a GW nearby is silly.

Saying that it is poor practice is different than saying they don't have the bills because EN isn't able to patronize one. Presumably EN doesn't have a need for the employee-provided health benefits and worker's compensation insurance of the US manufacturing staff, but does that mean GW shouldn't calculate them into the price?

EDIT: Again, just to be crystal clear, I agree that GW is not running their business efficiently. I would agree that price rises are a worse solution than trimming fat. But saying the retail stores are a bad business decision is different than saying that GW doesn't need to calculate them into the prices.

rodmillard
25-11-2011, 20:12
There are a lot of companies producing cheaper miniatures you conveniently left out. Some are even producing plastic minis (Perry Miniatures, Warlord Games, Wargames Factory, Fireforge Games, Gripping Beast), which proves that moulds do not cost as much as they used to/as much as you think, because otherwise these companeis would not be able to afford it.

All of those companies produce miniatures for the historicals market, which is a very different beast. Comparing the Historicals market to sci-fant wargaming is not helpful if you are only going to moan about prices ("Warlord do a starter army with 90 miniatures for less than the price of a GW battle force that contains 12"), but can be enlightening if you want to understand why the prices are the way they are.

The prices for historical minis are largely static, because there are so many companies in competition with each other. No one dares to raise prices by more than a few percentage points over inflation since their competition would immediately undercut them - the standard price for the market has been set low, and new companies have to compete on that level or they won't attract customers.

The problem with the fantasy market is that GW have been the market leader for so long that they effectively set the pricing scheme for it. Anyone coming into the market (and all of the companies mentioned in the OP are younger than GW) can set their prices up to that level and still be competetive. Only Mantic (and a few limited releases from Wargames Factory) have tried to market sci-fi or fantasy minis at anything close to the price point in the historicals market.

But the other 28mm fantasy manufacturers seem to have realised something that GW has forgotten: if you price models at that point, you need to cater to low model count games. All of those companies produce skirmish games while GW let their skirmish lines wither and die; the only other company that produces a fantasy mass battle system in 28mm is Mantic, and tellingly KoW minis are priced closer to historical mass battle ranges than GWs, while Warpath minis (designed for company level skirmish) sell much closer to GW's pricing structure.

So the reason GW takes flack for their pricing is that they are trying to sell minis designed for mass battle games at a price point better suited to skirmish systems. In many ways, the market has overtaken them and they need to catch up or drop out of the race. Or change the rules...

popisdead
25-11-2011, 20:39
I always like to point out that for every company selling a product as a replacement to GW does not have anywhere NEAR the infrastructure.

There are traditional artists, development studio, CAD sculptors, IT support, Warehouse distribution, customer support, retail presence, in-house paint team.

The guy who owns Mantic even commented on getting his painting done for free product. Seriously,.. GW is a beast and to compare prices is pretty weak.

The physical product is essentially meaningless as it's pennies. Even shipping costs more than the physical product.

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 20:57
I always like to point out that for every company selling a product as a replacement to GW does not have anywhere NEAR the infrastructure.

There are traditional artists, development studio, CAD sculptors, IT support, Warehouse distribution, customer support, retail presence, in-house paint team.

Don't companies usually make things in-house because it is cheaper than contracting somebody from the outside to do it?
After all the other companies have to somehow procure art, sculpts, websites etc. as well as GW. But unlike GW they don't have economies of scale on their side.

Pacorko
25-11-2011, 21:26
... And the cadre of artists and wotnot is already factored in the costs, so yes... you might come to expect a higher price... but even small companies make use of these experts and, believe it or not, hiring freelancers might eat a proportionally bigger chunk of the revenue they make with their product. Subcontracting isn't "always going cheaper" by any means.

And yet the difference in pricing is somewhat noticeable. But I agree with the OP in that we as a market are being charged what we will bear by GW (the still-leader in this particular niche of ours) and thus many of the smaller companies follow suit because:

a) This helps them have a healthy profit given their freelancing/subcontracting depletes funds and they need to spend cash to get the finished goods--as in Studio McVey, Mantic, et al.

b) They have their acts set all nice and proper, and see charging a sum near or equal to GW tags as an easy increase in their revenue enough so they don't need massive sales to remain a profitable business. They are perfectly happy with the slowly building the core of customers because they can weather it--Privateer Press was a prime example of this during its first two years. Reaper's Warlord is another product that comes to mind that grows slowly, but steadily, in popularity and their prices aren't outrageous but certainly above the typical Reaper pricing levels.

bolshie
25-11-2011, 21:42
From the perspective of somebody who does not have a GW store in his town, nor any use for these stores in general: No, it really doesn't.

From the perspective of someone who refuses to go into GW shops on a ccount of their being staffed by rude fellows employing the worst of sales techniques, I buy on line at between 15 and 20% discount. So I don't really understand the point.

dobbo
25-11-2011, 21:47
I am not sure where you got the price for the baneblade sprues from, but even at 1m (which sounds several hundred thousand pounds too high for the number of sprues in the kit, and the fact that GW make the moulds in house) only 16,000 BBs would need to be sold to break even.

Got the price from someone who works for GW, although high, not entirely unrealistic. On the flip side, the same person told me only costs 80p to make said sprues. Still, there is a lot of costs to recover...

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 21:47
From the perspective of someone who refuses to go into GW shops on a ccount of their being staffed by rude fellows employing the worst of sales techniques, I buy on line at between 15 and 20% discount. So I don't really understand the point.

The discount (obviously) is not GW's doing.
Imagine buying GW products from online stores with your usual 15-20% discount on a price set without including a surcharge to support GW's own stores and you might see the point.

ForgottenLore
25-11-2011, 21:53
All of those companies produce miniatures for the historicals market, which is a very different beast.


bunch of stuff
So it's OK for GW to charge 3 times or more than historicals because Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans are dumb and will pay it?

That's basically what you said.

dobbo
25-11-2011, 21:55
So it's OK for GW to charge 3 times or more than historicals because Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans are dumb and will pay it?

That's basically what you said.

So that's what I want to know, is it purely because of the game we pay more and thus criticise GW more than other manufacturers?

EmperorNorton
25-11-2011, 21:56
So it's OK for GW to charge 3 times or more than historicals because Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans are dumb and will pay it?

That's basically what you said.

I don't think he said it was okay, but he aptly described the status quo.

Hellebore
25-11-2011, 22:16
It all comes down to perceived value.

The mangler squig is a good example. The model is huge, nicely sculpted and has character. It's also two squigs in one model.

As a model in its own right people might perceive that it's value is the price it currently is. It's large and impressive etc. However because it's designed as a gaming piece first and foremost (given that GW only makes these things to use in a game) then its 'gaming' perceived value also has an impact on its worth to a consumer.

It costs far too much for its gaming value, even if it MIGHT have a cost at least vaguely in line with being a display model. And as their games get larger and the points costs shrink, the gaming value of an item becomes more and more relevant because it forces the cost of an army up and up.

This is where Privateer Press etc get a boost. Their models are expensive, but their gaming value is similar to their display value so there is far less disconnect in their perceived value.

GW currently have a horrible perceived value because they are charging display prices for gaming pieces. One is low numbers/high cost, the other is high numbers/low cost. GW are trying to do both. WHY they are doing this is irrelevant to a consumer. All they see is the perceived value. If you have a business that doesn't work, you don't try and force consumers to change, you adapt to your consumers. If GW's current business system ONLY functions by trying to sell at high prices AND sell in large volumes to individual consumers then it's not a sustainable strategy.

Hellebore

MarcoSkoll
25-11-2011, 22:33
Got the price from someone who works for GW, although high, not entirely unrealistic.
Yeah, but GW staff have a habit of being a bit generous about these numbers. If you tell tales of huge production costs, prices (regardless of how high or low you might believe them to be) start to sound more reasonable.

I don't pretend to be an expert, but based on what I've picked up from people wiser on the subject than I, I'd be surprised if that wasn't generous by a factor of at least two.


On the flip side, the same person told me only costs 80p to make said sprues. Still, there is a lot of costs to recover...
That however, is probably about right. As a rough rule of thumb, the polystyrene in a GW kit is about 1-2% of the shelf price.

That does of course come with the addendum of it being at current prices, but given that modern kits come with more bits, I suspect 1-2% is probably a good rule of thumb back for the last decade-ish.

StratManKudzu
25-11-2011, 23:01
It all comes down to perceived value.

The mangler squig is a good example. The model is huge, nicely sculpted and has character. It's also two squigs in one model.

As a model in its own right people might perceive that it's value is the price it currently is. It's large and impressive etc. However because it's designed as a gaming piece first and foremost (given that GW only makes these things to use in a game) then its 'gaming' perceived value also has an impact on its worth to a consumer.

It costs far too much for its gaming value, even if it MIGHT have a cost at least vaguely in line with being a display model. And as their games get larger and the points costs shrink, the gaming value of an item becomes more and more relevant because it forces the cost of an army up and up.

[snip]

Hellebore

The opposite of this percieved value example is my issue, where a model or unit costs more than the similar sized and detailed model/unit due to in game power or points cost. i'd gladly pay more for a large detailed model that is of low points cost/power in comparison to a smaller model with more points cost/power. For example, the price of 5 terminators vs. 10 tacticals, etc.

Rogue
25-11-2011, 23:18
First off, I do not want the thread to start into another price thread/ GW bashing thread, all I want to know is why all the pricing flak is pointed GW's way.

All the GW pricing rants often irk me, especially since making moulds cost a lot (baneblade around 1m), this cost can only be recovered through sales. Furthermore, the quality of GW releases seems to improve year on year. GW price rises are obviously met with hostility; however, comparing a GW model to a similar sized model from PP, Reaper, Studio McVey, Avatars etc mini, all have similar prices for a similar sized model. In my opinion GWs models are just as good if not better quality, and have a similar price, why does no-one slate the other companies' prices? So is it purely about GW gaming systems requiring more minis?

Before anyone thinks otherwise, I do not/have not worked for GW and I am not affiliated with them in anyway. I just want opinions from one gamer to another.

I seriously doubt that it costs one million pounds to put a box like a baneblade into production, especially since most of the manufacturing is done in the United States for GW last time that I checked. The managerial accounting that GW does on that prduct is either misleading, or wrong.

The problem is that GW is running their business as if they have a monopoly, and that gets under peoples skin, especially when in reality GW does not have a monopoly. They have a company that sells both rules and miniatures, which is not the norm for the larger miniature market, but changing more to the reality. (There are quite a few fantasy game systems out there, but are published separately from the miniatures) So, yes you are right that the rules are a problem but part of the problem. I would also have to admit that brand loyality plays a big part in GW's success. It is as hard if not harder to change manufactureres of your miniatures as it is to change manufacturers for your car. These two are competitive advantages for GW. However, they protect their IP overly aggressively to a point of bullying, rising prices at will with flimsy to no reason, and demanding that their models be used with their game. (may not be a written rule, but seems unwritten to me, and there are plenty of discussion on that throughout the boards here) These are all examples of monopolistic behavior GW does.

Most of those manufacturers that you mentioned are staying in the same price range mainly because they dont have to compete on price with GW, but rather on model quality. When GW starts cutting prices then either they will comply or close down, but my money is on few of them leaving the market. To go back to your point on the high expense to get a miniature product to market, I have to take a look at how other manufacturer's are getting their historical models out there at a very economical cost compared to GW, and they have been around long enough to have lost all of their seed money and close their doors by now if their business was not profitable. Most people that compare GW's miniatures to historical manufacturers and get sticker shock and ask questions on the line of why is it that GW is so expensive when I can buy at a 3:1 ratio. Someone mentioned that it was unfair to compare historical mini's to what GW produces, as in comparing apples to oranges. However, in ranges that are of high to late middle ages we see a substitute good, as most economists would characterize, for Empire and Bretonnian armies. In this instance with these people they are comparing apples to apples. I do have to disclose that I am one of those people.

The difference is in that GW is a company that is based on a business model that is very differential from other mini manufacturers, but they do not own the miniature market even for their genre enough to behave like a monopoly, nor are they a nitch business any more. I would admit that most companies do not offer the variety that GW has in their fantasy line, if anyone wants Viggo Mortensen miniatures they have to go through GW, and they are a very powerful force in the miniature world in general. I see GW's model prices as the thousand dollar shoes that women buy at places on park avenue. However, for those who are not tied down to GW only models or are sick of dealing with GW, there are alternatives out there. Some of us are exploring what is out there. Sorry for the shameless plug, but to read more please feel free to read my blog in my sig.

Pacorko
26-11-2011, 00:40
I seriously doubt that it costs one million pounds to put a box like a baneblade into production

Yes, yes... the cypher is utter rubbish. We in Mexico were told about approximate costs for making various sprues by someone who was then a high management individual. So let's just put that off.

I am very interested and intrigued by the whole "perceived value" thingy--a fallacy of sorts, really--because it has always been the case that GW customers know they upon entering the hobby, they are going to make a considerable expenditure--let's forget about the "investment" term too while we are at it, shall we?

So it's not like GW was/is shady about it at all. No one can claim they were duped, not even at GW stores.

Then, the PP starter boxes is "all you need to play a game"... quite a small limited game, that is. Same as with GW starter sets and if you are not absurd about it, even that damned battleforces will see you have a few good, solid wins in small games.

So where's this so-called "perceived value" in a two-player box that gets you 30 minis or so (PP's) or one that yields up to 103 (GW's)?

bolshie
26-11-2011, 01:19
The discount (obviously) is not GW's doing.
Imagine buying GW products from online stores with your usual 15-20% discount on a price set without including a surcharge to support GW's own stores and you might see the point.

I see the point, but I also see that without the shops, GW would not have much of a business.

bolshie
26-11-2011, 01:24
So it's OK for GW to charge 3 times or more than historicals because Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans are dumb and will pay it?

That's basically what you said.

That isn't what was said, that is what you percieved.

bolshie
26-11-2011, 01:48
I seriously doubt that it costs one million pounds to put a box like a baneblade into production, especially since most of the manufacturing is done in the United States for GW last time that I checked. The managerial accounting that GW does on that prduct is either misleading, or wrong.

The problem is that GW is running their business as if they have a monopoly, and that gets under peoples skin, especially when in reality GW does not have a monopoly. They have a company that sells both rules and miniatures, which is not the norm for the larger miniature market, but changing more to the reality. (There are quite a few fantasy game systems out there, but are published separately from the miniatures) So, yes you are right that the rules are a problem but part of the problem. I would also have to admit that brand loyality plays a big part in GW's success. It is as hard if not harder to change manufactureres of your miniatures as it is to change manufacturers for your car. These two are competitive advantages for GW. However, they protect their IP overly aggressively to a point of bullying, rising prices at will with flimsy to no reason, and demanding that their models be used with their game. (may not be a written rule, but seems unwritten to me, and there are plenty of discussion on that throughout the boards here) These are all examples of monopolistic behavior GW does.

Most of those manufacturers that you mentioned are staying in the same price range mainly because they dont have to compete on price with GW, but rather on model quality. When GW starts cutting prices then either they will comply or close down, but my money is on few of them leaving the market. To go back to your point on the high expense to get a miniature product to market, I have to take a look at how other manufacturer's are getting their historical models out there at a very economical cost compared to GW, and they have been around long enough to have lost all of their seed money and close their doors by now if their business was not profitable. Most people that compare GW's miniatures to historical manufacturers and get sticker shock and ask questions on the line of why is it that GW is so expensive when I can buy at a 3:1 ratio. Someone mentioned that it was unfair to compare historical mini's to what GW produces, as in comparing apples to oranges. However, in ranges that are of high to late middle ages we see a substitute good, as most economists would characterize, for Empire and Bretonnian armies. In this instance with these people they are comparing apples to apples. I do have to disclose that I am one of those people.

The difference is in that GW is a company that is based on a business model that is very differential from other mini manufacturers, but they do not own the miniature market even for their genre enough to behave like a monopoly, nor are they a nitch business any more. I would admit that most companies do not offer the variety that GW has in their fantasy line, if anyone wants Viggo Mortensen miniatures they have to go through GW, and they are a very powerful force in the miniature world in general. I see GW's model prices as the thousand dollar shoes that women buy at places on park avenue. However, for those who are not tied down to GW only models or are sick of dealing with GW, there are alternatives out there. Some of us are exploring what is out there. Sorry for the shameless plug, but to read more please feel free to read my blog in my sig.

This is just overblown rhetoric.

The only place I know of that you can't play with non-GW figures is in GW shops and at Wargamer World - and perhaps in GW sponsored tournaments. I know plenty of people who play with non-GW figures and no one says a thing.

As for not being able to buy a Viggo Mortensen figure that is because GW has the licence. Try buying a Star Trek figure, of a Marvel figure, in a GW shop.

Sgt John Keel
26-11-2011, 02:07
The prices for historical minis are largely static, because there are so many companies in competition with each other. No one dares to raise prices by more than a few percentage points over inflation since their competition would immediately undercut them - the standard price for the market has been set low, and new companies have to compete on that level or they won't attract customers.

The problem with the fantasy market is that GW have been the market leader for so long that they effectively set the pricing scheme for it. Anyone coming into the market (and all of the companies mentioned in the OP are younger than GW) can set their prices up to that level and still be competetive. Only Mantic (and a few limited releases from Wargames Factory) have tried to market sci-fi or fantasy minis at anything close to the price point in the historicals market.

Hah, someone should write an microeconomics textbook based on examples from the wargaming industry.


So it's OK for GW to charge 3 times or more than historicals because Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans are dumb and will pay it?

That's basically what you said.

I'm not sure if morals can be applied to pricing, but whatever. It's OK for GW to charge three times more because that signals that the market isn't competitive (or perfect). Which in turn leads to the entry of other companies into the market (since there's money to be made on the margin), which in turn will lead to better customer satisfaction on the whole. And there's also this whole IP-monopoly issue that keeps prices high (which I don't think is OK, but it seems like most do).

Actually, GW should probably make more money than they do.

Wintermute
26-11-2011, 07:12
This is clearly a thread discussing GW's pricing policy and we only allow such discussions to take place here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209297).

Thread Closed

Wintermute