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m1s1n
30-07-2005, 21:34
There has always been some amount of debate regarding Games Workshop's policy towards "special edition" models along with limited releases. On one side of the arguement it seems unfair that certain people will have access to models while the same opportunity does not arise for others. On the other, the people who are allowed access to those models still had to go through proper steps--available to everyone--along with spending the money to acquire the model.

With the recent U.S. release of the Wood Elf army boxset Games Workshop placed a limit on the number available through their online store, and limited quantaties sent to most stores. In the city that I live in a total of 4 boxsets were sent--2 per hobby store--all sold upon arrival. The boxsets were only available for three-days before the online store had completely sold out.

My question is this--
Does Games Workshop encourage "blackmarket" sales of their product by limiting the amount released to the general public? Currently markets such as eBay and other online auction sites are taking advantage of the limited availability of models. If Games Workshop were to change this policy and make all models more readily available--including "special edition" models, such as Army Battle Standard Bearers--could Games Workshop effectively increase their profit while decreasing the profit of aforesaid "blackmarket" sellers?

Edit:I'm not just discussing the Wood Elf boxset--this is just an easy example. I'm also discussing models limited to Gamesday, like Archaon or the Limited Edition Black Orc. Models, that are not openly accessable to everyone.

Griefbringer
30-07-2005, 21:43
I passed by my local indie store today, and they had several copies of the WE army box on the shelf - and I did not see bunch of WE players rushing to grab theirs either. I guess the number delivered depends by area, or the people here haven't got excited enough on it.

However, the ebay-boom for this basic WE stuff is really temporary - in a couple of months those products will be available in stores.

However, I have heard of many people getting annoyed when they have gone to great lenghts to obtain a model advertised as a special limited edition model produced in great numbers, only to find out that a few months later it is made freely available through stores and mail order in unlimited quantities.

tzeentchgiant
30-07-2005, 22:30
I do see the problem, but I sincerely was not aware that a limt was imposed on theese boxed sets, in the UK at east I ave never seen the online store become sold out until about 6 weeks after the release, plenty of time to cgrab one.

Must just be your area, (everything on the same continent, but North of Mexico)

TG

Baggers
30-07-2005, 22:38
I don't think that all limited editions sell out quickly. The Vampire Counts army deal was not very popular and GW had hundreds left for years. However becasue of the wait for the Wood Elves and the excellence of the models, I am sure this box would have flown off the shelves. I do not remember seeing one in my Local GW store this afternoon, and this was just after 1 in the afternoon.

However I did hear that the Spanish were miffed about us here in Britan getting hands on the Marco Colombo model.

Crazed_monkey
30-07-2005, 23:32
Also the special edition standard bearer is a bonus to encourage people to buy the army boxes, they aren't getting the greatest of deals but they do get a 'special' model for forking over all that cash.

Muffin Man
30-07-2005, 23:37
Well the particulars surrounding the WE's aside, Misin's got a point. Many people read an anti-old stuff current in WD as designed to discourage people buying or using second hand mini's (I remember being shocked that they outright said that xx's sculpt of the old cold one's was terrible). Making something limited edition sounds like another logical way to make sure people don't let go of those minis to the second hand market. This strategy worked for the diamond business (wikipedia/google it for more info) with their "A diamond is forever" slogan and their purposely limiting supply.

However GW isn't selling diamonds and a many of the limited edition minis are simply beyond the means of most of GW's fanbase, hence anyone who can pay ~$200 for an army box or afford to go to Games Day and buy a boxful of the limited edition minis can turn around and sell it to those who only have say $30 or no means of getting to Games Day, etc.

So ya, I agree with Misin, if GW changed their policy they would probably be able to curtail reselling, by making sure that limited edition is accessible both financially and geographically. Of course there's no way to totally eliminate reselling except by getting rid of limited edition.

Depending on why GW has limited editions, it's either worked or backfired. If they have it to encourage people to go to Games Day or put down the massive sum for an army box then I couldn't tell you if it's worked (but I'd assume it has). But if they do it to control supply and eliminate competing with their own (older) stock, then it hasn't worked out at all.

Last note: hasn't GW changed the policy towards Games Day mini's? As in, you get it with your ticket or something like that to limit it to one per attendent? I've never been to GD, but I remember hearing something to that effect.

TeddyC
30-07-2005, 23:46
i hate it when they give certian counties certian special models.

Eg.... america got the really nice male witchhunter..... though we got it later.... we couldnt even order it through US mail order. Thats what bugs me. surely thing like that should be available rather than saying 'we arent gonna ship to the UK we are gonna force you to wait and therefore drum up interest'

Im not against special/limited ed models. Its good, it rewards you for going to games day, for buying the 130 box set (if you think the limited ed figures are worth that much)

If they were available to 'everyone' then they would not longer be limited ed. even if its only for a limited time then everyone who wants one would snap it up fast and then no more would be sold.

On gamesday minis.... im pretty sure its changed and you can buy as many as you like.

Griefbringer
31-07-2005, 12:30
However GW isn't selling diamonds

Though looking at their prices one might expect otherwise... :rolleyes:

warpoet
31-07-2005, 15:10
The dancing Ultramarine captain mini was given with your ticket to Chicago GD, and bucketloads of em were available to purchase.

Frankly, I'm not sure why GW would care if I bought 30 of them and sold them for 20 bucks a pop on Ebay--I still bought them from GW to begin with.

Selling old minis, now that makes sense that they would not like that. But let's be real, here: how many gamers out there are going to buy a load of old Wood Elves now that the new ones are out? A few, sure, but the bread and butter of GW business is interested in getting the best figs GW makes.

TeddyC
31-07-2005, 23:00
Frankly, I'm not sure why GW would care if I bought 30 of them and sold them for 20 bucks a pop on Ebay--I still bought them from GW to begin with.

Because later when the models arent as available they can sell them themselves for massively inflated prices...... im thinking the classic 'collectors' (i.e. 5th ed models!) like 10 temple guard for 40!!! (ish)

Im not saying thats right at all.

Once you have bought those models (and not had them given to you), as long as its not a term of you buying them that you dont sell them before the official release date..... you can and should do whatever the hell you want!

Muffin Man
01-08-2005, 00:42
Selling old minis, now that makes sense that they would not like that. But let's be real, here: how many gamers out there are going to buy a load of old Wood Elves now that the new ones are out? A few, sure, but the bread and butter of GW business is interested in getting the best figs GW makes.

But that's kind of my point, when I first got into warhammer, back in 5th edition, everyone on the newsgroups and bartertown was itching to get as much old stuff as possible to round out their armies (not just WE's either). Therer wasn't a mentality that the best figs were the newest ones. Sure the plastics back then weren't the multipart ones we have now, so old vs. current quality wasn't that different, but still people liked to flavor up their armies with older minis at times. At least that was the impression I got, plus all I ever wanted was the old 3rd edition WE knights, with the crazy horses, and my favorite unit was an old WE scout unit that looked like Indians.

Also, the current GW range seems to be bigger than it used to be. I recently picked up a box of nightmare legion thinking to use them as tomb guards and found I couldn't because they were so much smaller than everything else in the tk range. Also they seem to be drastically altering the style of some armies and units. Compare how the completely armored black orcs and stormvermin have changed from before. Granted this style change hasn't happened across the board, and could just be them improving the lines (the current DE's vs the old ones come to mind). But I suspect it's also partly good (but is it dirty?) business to make sure they're the only supplier by phasing out older stuff by changing styles and sizes as well as advocating a mentality that newer is better.