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PowerCreep

Whats up with GW's prices??

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Hello!

I was looking around GW store for some color scheme ideas and saw this:
Dreadlord on black dragon/sorceres on black dragon - 32.5 pounds

Varangaurd- 60 pounds

Now there is so much wrong wiht this.

I saw taht a black dragon if not converted stands around 20cm tall, has a 10 cm base, and is decently looking

3 WAY smaller guys are DOUBLE the cost.

wut?

I knwo they are are more detailed but holy cow 2 times the price?O.o

It's the same with 40k

2 deamon primarchs are exactly the same size, but again diffrent prices.

2 (YES JUST 2!) non-character leaders for primaris marines are 45 pounds, only 5 away from the freaking Triumvirate of the Imperium!

GW, pls fix this. O.o

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1 hour ago, Screwface said:

Did this really require a new topic?

I am just confused.Never been in this hobby before

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52 minutes ago, NinjaDetective said:

So  you want them to  make the dragon more expensive?

no.I jsut said it doesnt make sense that a smaller monster costs more

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the last CEO (who technically still owns the company) said that GW will never lower prices to shareholders. So every bizarre and ****** price they've come out with is stuck like that. It is why they put out really cheap bundles though.

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22 minutes ago, stratigo said:

the last CEO (who technically still owns the company) said that GW will never lower prices to shareholders. So every bizarre and ****** price they've come out with is stuck like that. It is why they put out really cheap bundles though.

Fact which isn't true anymore..

When the AoS  "Start Collecting FireSlayers" was recently released at the "usual" price as all other similar Start Collecting kits (i.e. 65€) the Magmadroth individual kit price was lowered from 85€ to 65€..

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Just now, Skarloc said:

Fact which isn't true anymore..

When the AoS  "Start Collecting FireSlayers" was recently released at the "usual" price as all other similar Start Collecting kits (i.e. 65€) the Magmadroth individual kit price was lowered from 85€ to 65€..

Yeah it feels like Kirby's influence on GW has been diminishing steadily. 

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In brief.. The price of miniatures isn't based on the  size of the models nor on the quantity of plastic involved.

There are multiple items which come into consideration when setting the price of a product like plastic miniatures.

One of the items with the highest cost in the chain of production is the cost of the master mould.

You need to take into consideration that the Dark Elf Dragon model is from the previous generation : its price was set with the involved costs at that time.

In case you're interested to learn more information about this topic, you might want to view the below YT video from 2 years ago:

Games Workshop Pricing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOofXcoCgE8

Victor is a veteran Warhammer player collecting and playing for more than 25 years. He's also a R&D engineer in plastic consumable products.

Edited by Skarloc
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As far as I am aware there are a couple of things that explain the inconsistent pricing. The first is that the price of the kits is related to the volume of expected sales, so a hero mini will cost more as people will probably only buy one of them as opposed to several battleline units. 

The second is increasing costs over time. When the dragon was released the design studio had 20 or so people drawing a salary, now it is more than 30. So the cost of running the business has gone up and so the cost of the minis have also gone up. 

Another interstesting thing is that the new CEO has said that he does not want to increase the price of the back catalogue so to account for inflation and increasing cost he intends to gradually make new minis more expensive. Unfortunately this means that new minis will increase in price at greater then the rate of inflation. This will hopefully be offset somewhat by start collecting sets and the battle forces we have at Christmas. 

If you are looking to build an army for  a reasonable price, don't buy a new army. Either dip into the back catalogue which as you have pointed out features cheaper minis or wait for the inevitable start collecting or battleforce. Every new AOS army released this year got a Christmas bundle. 

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And if you don't mind second hand, there are literally hundreds of people selling used armies via ebay, facebook and on this forum as well.

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To me, it seems that Games Workshop don't really change the price on old kits these days.

Instead what happens is the newer kits bite the bullet and are costed at higher prices. IMO the worst are the characters, you've got single Stormcast characters that cost more than a box of 5 Liberators.

I get that characters don't sell as much as units (Like, old characters used to cost $20~AUD while you'd get a box of infantry for $40AUD), but it's pretty absurd on the pricing scheme of some things in particular.

 

So this is why you can see examples of pricing disparities. Stuff like Nagash are cheaper than other characters because he was an earlier release, not necessarily that the model has less plastic or less sprues.

Edited by someone2040
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Now I don't think their prices are unreasonable most of the time (compared to other high quality miniature manuf) and can almost understand that the "gaming aspects" has an impact on the price (so the new shinny toys are more expensive). But it is highly irritating to see an extremely similar product with great disparity. Obvious example: Eternal Guard (31E), Sisters of Avelorn (40E), Witch Elves (45E). All three "modern type" dual kits that however present inconsistent pricing, for some not so clear reason if taking into account the usual aspects of miniature pricing.

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20 minutes ago, VBS said:

Now I don't think their prices are unreasonable most of the time (compared to other high quality miniature manuf) and can almost understand that the "gaming aspects" has an impact on the price (so the new shinny toys are more expensive). But it is highly irritating to see an extremely similar product with great disparity. Obvious example: Eternal Guard (31E), Sisters of Avelorn (40E), Witch Elves (45E). All three "modern type" dual kits that however present inconsistent pricing, for some not so clear reason if taking into account the usual aspects of miniature pricing.

From memory, at the time 'elite' infantry kits were priced at the $69AUD (I guess 45Euro?) mark, while 'Core' troops tended to be cheaper because you needed more. The Eternal Guard/Wildwood Rangers are hence on the cheaper side, because although Wildwood Rangers are an elite unit, the Eternal Guard were a core unit.

Of course, now Witch Aelves are dirt cheap in game... so you need a ton of them and they cost an excessive amount.

So there is some 'logic' behind the pricing, but it certainly does make some kits feel overpriced (That being said, yes, elite infantry are overpriced. It's why the running joke back then was that Greatswords were Goldswords, as they were the first instance of these new elite infantry kits at the new price point).

Edited by someone2040

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The pricing can feel all over the shot, but it's often worth stepping back from comparing model x to model y and think about what goes into making models.

  • Initial concept brief - creative discussion around direction of range/game etc
  • Concept art
  • Design work up of art into a doable piece
  • Designers actually start to create a render of a model
  • Model render is subject to review for consistency with army aesthetic,
  • Render gets transferred to engineer types to work out how you actually turn this into something you can cast up
  • Mould for the model is designed
  • Assembly instructions are written based upon the mould pieces
  • Mould is created (still a fairly expensive process)
  • Multiple cheap bits of plastic are pressed in the mould to make sprues
  • Sprues are then boxed up with instructions, base etc and stored in a warehouse
  • Warehouse ships boxes through distribution channels
  • Models sit on shelves of GW stores throughout the world & to independent stockists.

So which part of those costs are significantly different for a single stormcast character from 5 broadly similar liberators? 

That I can identify it's the tiny volume of pretty cheap plastic that goes into the actual production and pretty much everything else will be broadly the same.

So why don't all kits cost virtually the same?

The obvious answer is supply & demand.  How many liberator kits will be sold, well they're a battleline unit, they can be run in units of size 5-30 and they're in a large number of the batallions, so it's not unreasonable to expect each army to contain 3-4 boxes worth of these guys (reality is that because they're in so many starter sets I'd not expect them to actually sell that well as an individual box but that's a separate point).  Now look at the stormcast character, how often do people run multiples of the same character - sometimes but generally not across the board (obvious exceptions like Aetherkhemist aside).

So for GW  to make the profit they require on every unit (or lets relate it to the key cost component here - every mould) I need to try and work out how many of that unit I'm likely to sell and how much profit per sprue I need in order to generate it.

Price per box = [total Profit+ total Cost]/expected number of boxes sold

So for my liberators that is broadly the same profit and cost divided by potentially 3x the number of sales to generate the return I require compared to my character model.  ie the character model costs considerably more despite being a far smaller model/volume of plastic you're buying.

 

Now what you could argue is that after they have paid back those initial design & mould costs they could reduce their price per box down to the marginal cost plus profit rate for the remaining units.  That's broadly true but then psychological pricing kicks in.  If you know that if you waited 1-2 years until GW made enough money to repay their investment costs and then dropped their prices to the pennies of material & profit then you'd probably stop buying at £30/box and hope to wait it out till £5/box but if everyone does that then the model doesn't work as they don't repay the upfront design & mould costs, so what happens is you never drop your prices and people just buy when it suits them.

I'm also ignoring additional whole of life costs, moulds don't last forever, so when it wears out GW have to decide do they make a new one, or discontinue a product.  If you've not been around for long you might have missed what happens when they discontinue anything, people get mad.  That isn't great for their business either so they try not to do that.

 

There are a bunch of other factors and indirect costs which I've completely ignored in pulling this together but hopefully you can see how actually the size of a model is actually pretty irrelevant for the pricing process.

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1 hour ago, Dave Fraser said:

The pricing can feel all over the shot, but it's often worth stepping back from comparing model x to model y and think about what goes into making models.

  • Initial concept brief - creative discussion around direction of range/game etc
  • Concept art...

There are a bunch of other factors and indirect costs which I've completely ignored in pulling this together but hopefully you can see how actually the size of a model is actually pretty irrelevant for the pricing process.

Excellent comment!!

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I spoke to one of the sculptors the beginning of the year and they were saying that the box pricing was related to the box/sprue size and number of sprues*.  My feeling is that price takes into account a pretty quick ROI and wouldn't surprise to hear this is 1-year.

@Dave Fraser has done a pretty comprehensive list of direct and indirect costs :) one extra cost is running Warhammer World, when you look at the number of staff and the size of the place (including 24-hour security), you realise that the running cost must be huge and that's before you even think about running the exhibition and gaming hall.

* At least that was the case when I spoke to them - it's entirely plausible this has been modified.

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I genuinely don't care what the prices are.  If they get to a point where I think the expense outweighs the enjoyment I get from the product or i simply can't afford it I will stop buying stuff.

Its the same for every other product that exists.

If you want the Varanguard you gotta suck it up - If you want the Dragon you can be glad its a pretty reasonable price :)

Its worth noting (if you are new to the hobby) that many independent sellers will give you a 15%-25% discount on the newer products particularly.

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55 minutes ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

I genuinely don't care what the prices are.  If they get to a point where I think the expense outweighs the enjoyment I get from the product or i simply can't afford it I will stop buying stuff.

Its the same for every other product that exists.

While I agree that the cost to benefit ratio is phenomenal (for me too) your follow on statement that it's the same for every other product that exists is an abbreviation of the typical description of luxury (non-essential goods).

For the majority of people (and probably all of us on here) we have the luxury of being able to spend our money on doing things we want to and often have the luxury of considerable choice what we can do with our 'disposable earning'.

People often compare the price to miniature gaming to computer games, or going to the cinema or other such things.   You can slice & dice this various different ways and make it show different outcomes. eg

Computer game - 20 hours of gameplay £50 = £2.50/h

Cinema - 2 hour film £8 = £4/h

Removing from sprue, cleaning mould lines, gluing together, priming, painting & basing 3 varanguard = too damn long! £60 = many hours of my life I'd never get back

alternatively

Carefully converting & lovingly painting & basing 3 varanguard = 20's of hours of joy! £60 = £3/h

alternatively

building 3 varanguard and playing years of games with them = 100s of hours £60 = £0.6/h

 

Discussing relative value of these things to a person is a reasonably futile exercise as it is so highly subjective.  It is, however, easy enough to validate GWs prices. Are they going out of business?

No, actually at present they're booming, so the prices aren't putting customers off buying. 

Is there merit to discussing pricing of anything GW makes? I'd argue not really unless you are a management accountant/director working for GW, but we all do it anyway.  As a consumer we all feel we're knowledgeable about these products but I honestly don't have the vaguest clue about how GW generate their pricing, beyond the very high level principle of such that they make a profit, or think that community input (at least in the discursive format) will ever lead to pricing changes. 

Prices will change as a result of - products not selling or changes in underlying costs & drivers to the business, so in that regard I totally agree with your sentiment Twitch of Iz

 

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On 12/3/2017 at 9:35 AM, Skarloc said:

Fact which isn't true anymore..

When the AoS  "Start Collecting FireSlayers" was recently released at the "usual" price as all other similar Start Collecting kits (i.e. 65€) the Magmadroth individual kit price was lowered from 85€ to 65€..

Kirby still owns the majority share of the company

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He's not even the single biggest shareholder, which has been Investec for a long time. He owned 6.6% of the shares as of September this year which means recent developments have probably been exceptionally beneficial for him but doesn't mean he's making any decisions.

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15 hours ago, Dave Fraser said:

While I agree that the cost to benefit ratio is phenomenal (for me too) your follow on statement that it's the same for every other product that exists is an abbreviation of the typical description of luxury (non-essential goods).

For the majority of people (and probably all of us on here) we have the luxury of being able to spend our money on doing things we want to and often have the luxury of considerable choice what we can do with our 'disposable earning'.

People often compare the price to miniature gaming to computer games, or going to the cinema or other such things.   You can slice & dice this various different ways and make it show different outcomes. eg

Computer game - 20 hours of gameplay £50 = £2.50/h

Cinema - 2 hour film £8 = £4/h

Removing from sprue, cleaning mould lines, gluing together, priming, painting & basing 3 varanguard = too damn long! £60 = many hours of my life I'd never get back

alternatively

Carefully converting & lovingly painting & basing 3 varanguard = 20's of hours of joy! £60 = £3/h

alternatively

building 3 varanguard and playing years of games with them = 100s of hours £60 = £0.6/h

 

Discussing relative value of these things to a person is a reasonably futile exercise as it is so highly subjective.  It is, however, easy enough to validate GWs prices. Are they going out of business?

No, actually at present they're booming, so the prices aren't putting customers off buying. 

Is there merit to discussing pricing of anything GW makes? I'd argue not really unless you are a management accountant/director working for GW, but we all do it anyway.  As a consumer we all feel we're knowledgeable about these products but I honestly don't have the vaguest clue about how GW generate their pricing, beyond the very high level principle of such that they make a profit, or think that community input (at least in the discursive format) will ever lead to pricing changes. 

Prices will change as a result of - products not selling or changes in underlying costs & drivers to the business, so in that regard I totally agree with your sentiment Twitch of Iz

 

not enough people see things like this...one chocolate bar ~£0.80 lasts 30 seconds.. coffee ~£3 lasts 5 mins? people dont even question these prices yet something that costs 10 times this and lasts hundreds of times more is suddenly a rip off..

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On ‎03‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 2:35 PM, Skarloc said:

Fact which isn't true anymore..

When the AoS  "Start Collecting FireSlayers" was recently released at the "usual" price as all other similar Start Collecting kits (i.e. 65€) the Magmadroth individual kit price was lowered from 85€ to 65€..

Actually there is no individual kit for the Magmadroth anymore. If you look on the GW website under the Magmadroth individual listing you will see the following message;

"Please note – when you purchase this miniature, you’ll receive the Start Collecting! Fyreslayers box. This contains the complete Magmadroth kit, with all the options as described here, as well as 10 Vulkite Berzerkers, for the same price!"

So technically no reduction on the kit, as weirdly it no longer exists by itself! ;) 

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8 hours ago, Arkiham said:

not enough people see things like this...one chocolate bar ~£0.80 lasts 30 seconds.. coffee ~£3 lasts 5 mins? people dont even question these prices yet something that costs 10 times this and lasts hundreds of times more is suddenly a rip off..

Coffee is largely a rip off.

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22 minutes ago, stratigo said:

Coffee is largely a rip off.

Like many things it depends on what you're actually paying for. For me 6€ on coffee and a pastry in one of my favourite cafés is also a couple of hours working somewhere which isn't my home office, which is beneficial in a lot of ways. It makes a difference to my energy levels and productivity with the rest of the day, which is directly related to my income. Same is true of a lot of things. Taken in isolation getting a suit dry cleaned for a single day is a waste of money, but if it helps you land your dream job it's the best 10€ you'll ever spend.

Whether or not Warhammer is good value to you or not is going to depend on many things. If you enjoy painting and modelling, then that's an extra return on your investment, if not it's another cost in terms of time before you can actually play with your toys. Likewise, if you play a lot of games, you're going to get a better €/hours of fun return than if you rarely play. Then there's the diminishing returns for players who already have large collections of toy soldiers to play with. 

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