The cost of wargames figures

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j1mwallace
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The cost of wargames figures

Post by j1mwallace » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:24 am

There is a small discussion involving prices, in this instance via DPT and his excellent figures/Eureka miniatures.
I don't want to particularly discuss Eureka or single them out.
Does the price of figures REALLY put people off buying them.
I know that when I see a particular range of figures that I really like, i have no problems paying a premium for figures.
I think that historical wargames figures are exceptionally good value. I sometimes wonder why manufacturers put up with it.
Apart from Games Workshop I cannot see any other manufacturers making large pots of money.
Just wondered how you chaps felt with regards to costs
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by BP » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:04 pm

A bit like yourself Jim, if I want them I buy them regardless but I do restrict what I buy these days to what I can hope to realistically paint within the next 6-12 months. It helps to keep the lead/plastic pile down. As such I dont buy anywhere near as much as I used to. And my stocks of unpainted figures are slowly dwindling too.

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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by obriendavid » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:25 pm

I have no problem with the price they charge for such gorgeous figures, it's just with my medical and financial problems I can't afford them and with a huge unpainted lead mountain I'm trying to work through that rather than buying lots of new ones. At least that was the plan :roll:
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by Churchill » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:02 pm

Ray.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by BP » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:06 pm

And saying that, I've just ordered 3 units of 18 British Dragoons in bicornes ;) - Le Marchants brigade from Salamanca will be done hopefully by 02/11/2013 ;)

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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:32 pm

Friends,

As a buyer of Minitures over the last decades I like to say something here.
As long as I keep the costs of the miniatures in mind when ordering so long it cant realy hurt my wallet.
When I was an advisor to help in the creation of the EUREKA Saxon Guard du Corps and the Zastrow Cuirassiers I didnt of the future costs. If I would have been interested to get, let's say the two complete regiments, I would have spent the money without a flinch.
In the current time you wont get any well sculpted figure for less than GBP 1.- on the market. So whenever I intend to buy figures I have to think twice about the number I go to Order. If not I will have to pay the price so to speak.

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Günter
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by 18th Century Guy » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:23 pm

To me the price does matter. I think it does to everyone. I was on this same board ranting about the high cost of Eureka figures not so long ago but when I finally saw the figures in my hands I realized that they were well worth it. But, I have to limit what I can buy from them due to the price but I feel is it a good purchase to make. I think if the manufacturers offer discounts for volume purchases then that will help drive down the per figure cost which is what we are all concerned about.

As I celebrate another anniversary of my 39th birthday today I realize that I can't finish what I've already got in my lead pile so I have to really think about a purchase and decide if I can truly justify it.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by Adam Hayes » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:27 pm

Although I spend well within my means on my lead hobby / addiction, the price does have an influence but more so on impulse buys that I have no immediate requirement for than figures that I "need". At current prices however the cost of the actual lead is greatly overshadowed by the amount of time invested in painting the little blighters! There is also a more concious price versus quality influence; I am happier to pay more when am clearly getting a premium product. Some Eureka figures fall into this category high quality or unique subjects, many of them do not however.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by flick40 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:34 am

For me its not the cost of buying quality figures but that there are so few US distributors of them causing high shipping costs.

Dixon
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all varying quality but none have US distributors. Maybe I'll be proved wrong.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by Duke of Plaza-Toro » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:32 am

Good discussion.

Price has hardly ever been a major factor in my figure buying over the years. And I say that as someone who throughout my working life in both the UK and here in Australia has never earned anything close to the average wage! Expensive figures might get ordered in smaller quantities sometimes – but generally if they are what I want, I save up and pay up with a smile. This has always been the case, even back to my teenage pocket money days. I’ve never viewed the hobby as particularly expensive (beyond the GW universe, but more on them in a moment), and having worked inside the industry for a few years I have seen both sides of the coin - and that has only reinforced my view.

I no longer work for Eureka, (aside from a little occasional commissioned research work), so what follows are my personal observations and nothing to do with Eureka, nor are they related to my comments on the other thread, but as an ex-insider there are a few general points I’d like to get off my chest about the pricing of historical wargames miniatures and customer perceptions of them.

Not many people will ever get rich running a wargames miniatures company – not even remotely ‘well off’ :D . There’s probably only one Byran Ansell. The margins are very small, and the majority of historical miniatures companies only survive financially on the prices they charge because their owners operate them as one man shows – often out of their own homes; and/or they sculpt their own stuff; and/or they have another source of income.

Factor in things like separate business premises and extra staff (essential if you are anything beyond a medium sized small business), commissioning sculptors (if you don’t sculpt yourself) – or god forbid you DO rely on selling miniatures for your sole income, and things can quickly start to look very lean indeed.

Some of this influences the pricing policies of even the higher profile, professional miniatures companies. I strongly suspect, for example, that if the Perry’s didn’t draw down a regular income from GW they might well be forced to charge considerably more than they do for their own excellent product. (For what you get, I think Perry metal figures are under-priced...). Even a big company like Old Glory is – as I understand it – ‘cushioned’ to some extent by the other business interests of its proprietor.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The historical miniatures hobby has a long honourable tradition based on ‘hobby businesses’, but the industry’s part amateur origins and continuing ‘cottage industry’ culture (not being subject to what might be described as full ‘professional’ overheads), has tended to keep figure prices down. Since the 1970’s historical gamers have got rather used to this. It therefore comes as a shock to most historical gamers to be confronted by GW’s prices! Everyone moans about GW – even their fans (I’m not one of them). Yes, it’s expensive and yes, their marketing practices are ‘morally’ questionable, but are they really doing that much wrong? This is a company with shareholders, staff to pay, and major ‘bricks and mortar’ costs to cover (have you seen the rents shopping centres / malls screw out of their tenants these days?) GW charge what they do because they have to make a healthy profit.

I would respectfully suggest that historical gamers should count themselves fortunate that most of our end of the retail hobby still functions on something closer to the ‘cottage industry’ level, and that we are not asked to pay prices nearer the business norm of GW’s world. Some of the serial price moaners that inhabit TMP and other forums should consider for a moment that it is perhaps not so much GW who is obscenely expensive, but it is more a case that companies like Front Rank or the Perrys represent bloody good value for money!

Right - I'll put my tin hat on...

DPT
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by Churchill » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:52 am

Ray.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by sharnydubs » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:50 am

I am willing to pay whatever the asking price is within reason for well sculpted figures. Where I struggle is with the inconsistent mailing policies and international exchange rates charged by some.

I recently bought some Conquest indians direct from the manufacturer (prior to their deal with Warlord) and after factoring in the cost of packaging and customs duty it worked out at about £6 per figure. I won't be doing that again.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by simon boulton » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:49 am

I agree that historical wargames figures are well priced. Provided I keep the amount of figures purchased in proportion to the number I can paint in say a month then the figures are affordable for me, although having had no pay rise for three years is starting to bite :(

Exchange rates and Customs duty is a pain when buying figures from outside the European community. With the customs duty no only do you end up paying the tax but you also have to pay the post office for collecting it!
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by 18th Century Guy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:10 pm

Flick40,

Front Rank does have a US Distributor - http://www.triangleminiatures.com/ but I've found that I can still get the figures cheaper if I order directly from Front Rank (or Elite Miniatures) even with shipping costs. So if you need just a one off type of order then you might try Triangle Miniatures. I've never seen him offer any discounts for larger bulk type orders which is why I've stuck with ordering directly from Front Rank or Elite. I can use their battalion pack orders and save a bunch. But check out his site as he carries a number of manufacturers.
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Re: The cost of wargames figures

Post by dashing blade » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:59 pm

Its an intresting discussion, I am put off by price if i find i need a lot of figures from a new range when individual figs are two pounds or more. I realise the costs to figure companies but have rather a tight budget. I have bought in bulk a few times,but feel gulity about the amount almost straight away. There are some beautiful figures out there,but sadly my wallet wont let me impulse buy. However i dont have a lead mountain and i have tried to source secondhand figs rather sucessfully.
I can only see the price of metals rising,if a battalion of 36 figs cost 50 quid or more now, imagine what price in a few years time.
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