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Prices of models and hobby 
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Corsair
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When talking about the cost of a whole army, you need to compare the prices of many models.
I happen to have a file with many 2006 prices.
Inflation is supposed to have been 14% since (and the purchase power has increased even more, which makes everything slightly more affordable).
I found the following changes in price per model, adjusted with inflation:

Incredibly cheaper (0%): AB, BRB.
Much cheaper (40% to 57%): CoK, corsairs, DR (for 11.50 euros, you had one single cow-one knight - now it's 26 euros for five, riding real cold ones)
Cheaper (79% to 84%): Harpies, Execs (FC), BG (FC)
Similar (95% to 106%): WE (FC), Shadowblade, Execs, BG
More expensive (110% to 127%): Malekith on dragon, shades, sparmen, RXBmen, WE, RBT, hydra, assassin, sorceress
Much more expensive (136% and 154%): Morathi, COC (the cow-one chariot costed 20 euros; now it's 35 but you get many spare parts such as the rabbit horses - but you get only one wheel).
Don't know for the CoB, I wasn't interested at all at that time.
I highlighted the models which were not re-sculpted (but converted to resin/plastic nevertheless).
3 old entries are missing now: Mangil Manhides, Malus Darkblade, Beastmaster on Manticore.
8 new entries are proposed now: BwS and Medusa, K-beast, SoS, SR, swordsmen, warlocks, fleetmaster, Lokhir, and some odd single model.


From these facts, I may conclude that it is not so much that the models are more expensive (all the more that most of them are more beautiful now than then), it is rather than we have more entries. For those who want them all, it becomes more expensive.

Conclusion: if you consider prices to be outrageous now, admit that they were already outrageous in 2006, with uglier models.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:53 am
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Calisson wrote:
When talking about the cost of a whole army, you need to compare the prices of many models.

Conclusion: if you consider prices to be outrageous now, admit that they were already outrageous in 2006, with uglier models.


Touche. I have been weighed, measured and found wanting. I've thought the hobby was getting more expensive for a while but never thought about having more models playing into it as well. While I still think $50 for 10 half naked models is ridiculous, I guess it all works out in the end.

Well thought out and thanks for the comparative information.


Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:24 am
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I prefer the old executioners, black guard and dreadspears/darkshards to the new ones personally but outside of that interesting breaking down Calisson.

The one wheel chariot is hilarious, I sure hope it only ever goes in a straight line !lol!


Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:47 am
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@ uklvrbm
In 2006, you'd get 3 metal WE for 11.5 euros (command group or regular), or 10 for 33 euros (without command).
Today, you get 10 for 45 euros, including an optional command group.
Let's say you wanted 40 WE, FC, that was then 143.50 euros(2006), i.e. 163.59 euros(2015), and you had 3 leftover WE.
Today, you pay 180 euros and get no leftover WE but many, many bits of SoS and command group bits.
That's approximatively 10% more expensive (16.4 euros) but for that price, the models are IMO improved a lot.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:49 am
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Some good points Calisson. It's worth noting that at least some of the models have stayed the same or become cheaper in your figures because of a shift in material. When I purchased a unit of 5 Blackguard in the UK in 2008, it cost me £12.99, while now a unit of 10 costs £30 (so £15 for 5). But a major difference is that Blackguard unit I purchased in 2008 were metal, whereas the models on sale are now plastic. Plastic models are significantly cheaper for GW to manufacture, so the net outcome is that GW pays less to manufacture each model while simultaneously charging more for their sales.

That has always been a major gripe for hobbyists - the cost of the materials used by GW are decreased, while the sale cost of the models are increased, even if only marginally. GW's profit margins per model yawns far greater, therefore, than your figures suggest.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:20 am
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You have to adjust for the inflation. From http://www.whatsthecost.com/cpi.aspx
Quote:
£12.99 in 2008 is equivalent to £15.31 in 2015
so the cost of BG did stay very close, even a few pences cheaper.

Now, your issue is that GW makes more profit.
So what? As frustrating as it seems, that's not an issue.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not
    {a} manufacture cost + profit = sale price
but rather
    {b} sale price - manufacture cost = profit
What I mean is that profit is not a decision, it is a result. Sale price does not depend on GW, it depends on you the customer.
The price must always be set as high as the customer agrees to pay, from an economic point of view.
As the company is not a philantropic one, it makes sense for it to look for the highest profit.
Example: music CD cost less than 1$ to produce, but as long as the customer agrees to pay 15$, then 15$ is a fair price.
If the profit is outrageously high, soon a competitor will come with lower prices and the customer will no longer agree to pay high prices. For music CD, that is streaming online.
If no competitor shows up with a similar quality, that proves that the profit is not high enough to encourage competitors to step in.

Also, you mention the change for plastic.
Remember that GW ceased to produce metal at a time when metal prices went higher, so manufacture cost went up.
If {a} was true, it would have been enough to raise the prices. But they were already as high as the customer would accept, i.e. {b} was true, not {a}.
So GW had the alternative to lose money and go bankrupt, or to find some way to make cost lower. The answer was finecast then plastic.
In the future, the competition will be 3D printers. Lower cost for the customer, but also lower quality, so no real competition as long as GW quality remains well above non-professional 3D printers.


Conclusion: If someone is responsible for GW high prices, it is not the cost of the material, it is not even GW's greed, it is only because enough customers accept to pay these prices.
Don't blame GW, blame its customers.
And I'm one of their customers, when I can afford the price.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:41 am
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if you want a bloody good laugh, have a look at what us Aussies have to pay!!! the best one for me is the hobbit - champions of Erebor - $330 for 14 miniatures at $23.57 each!

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:58 am
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More filler:
[+] SPOILER
I'm not sure how comparable the production process of 1990 is compared to today, since they are played at such a different level. I doubt they had such an elaborate creative design team behind it in 1990 as they do now.
I doubt they had the production line they have now. I doubt they had the sales numbers they have now.

An artist's first CD may be the collection of a few songs he made in his garage, with a self assembled studio and mixed on his computer. The production cost of Muse's latest CD probably is a lot higher than that even though the production of the actual CD itself is the same cost.
Yet Muse would make more money than an artist in his garage... Well, most of the time anyway.

Obviously GW is trying to make more money. Prices are a mix of cost, profit margins and marketing strategy. You'd be shocked if you'd know the profit margins on some products in today's mass manufacture society. I sometimes don't want to know.

The prices are high, but I never felt cheated with the prices of the minis. They are the most honest part of the hobby because it's such a clear deal. "This is the price. This is what you get". Take it or leave it. You have detailed, high quality images of the minis. Many have 360 degree rotating images at screen size quality. There are painted examples, and even guides on how to paint them like that, hints of the paints included. You have showcases in many stores. There's a clear description of what's in the box, and often there's even a picture of the sprue. You know exactly what you're getting for your money. I have a clearer concept of what I'm getting from a miniature box of GW than I have from a book, or a movie. I've felt cheated when watching a free movie, because I didn't even think it was worth its time and the trailer was a lie.

90% of the other miniature manufacturers that I've seen fail on this part, either because they have crappy pictures, unclear descriptions and sometimes you only see a render or an artwork image. The payment system is shambly at best in most cases. In fact I don't recall ever having a better "customer experience" (which is everything you get until the money is removed from your account) than on GW's site.
While that doesn't justify the high prices, it's such a clear deal for me that I never felt cheated on the minis. If I don't think the mini's worth it, then I don't buy it. I feel I have all the knowledge in the world to make that call, no faith in GW needed. The other products and companies are a different story. My buddy once ordered two Dwarf zeppelins and two war machines from what's-the-store. He ended up getting one zeppelin and a half, and one of the warmachines didn't have the crew. It took him a long while to dig up all the information to discover that there's a separate set for the war machine crew and so, by deduction, you could assume it had to be ordered separately.

We can argue Finecast if you want. That's where people felt cheated, because the advertised product didn't live up to the expected quality. I never struggled with finecast myself, but it never gave me the confidence of plastic minis. I didn't buy many finecast products.

I'm not trying to smooth talk the prices though. Price and cost is a sensitive subject, and a very subjective one as well. I've seen people curse at prices of 2$ a mini and I've seen people go "oh only 300$ for a tournament army! That's a side project.". We're debating cents, maybe a few euros a mini in this topic, while my social media is filled with movies and pictures of people hauling in entire regiments and terrain collections. It's not like they are aliens in the community either.
E-bay (and a FB page for trading in Belgium) is filled with people selling second hand armies priced from 500$ to 1000$ and they only want to sell the army as a whole. So there's this expectancy that people have such budgets available. That's not GW doing that.
The differences between players are staggering, way more than the differences in prices of the actual models.

Nobody can judge for another what a reasonable price is. It's why it's largely a never ending discussion and a nonsensical discussion as well. If someone is offended by a 4$ per mini price tag, well then, there's no argument against that. Go and be offended. What argument on earth could possibly cure that? I don't want to belittle someone who feels it's over his/her budget.
Likewise, if someone is willing to pay 400$ one month on a collection of minis and a few pieces of terrain, then.. well what's an argument against that? That it's somehow unfair?

Ask people in the street, how much they are willing to pay for a meal. Present one the budget over the other, see the reaction. Some will be offended, some will laugh. Well yeah. It is what it is.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:17 am
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This continues to be a legitimate gripe, and the reason why we call the game Crackhammer in my gaming group.

Fortunately I have a lot of models I bought a decade or more ago and I have the bits to convert almost everything I need to play now. I have models for 4 armies (DE, Warriors of Chaos, Beasts of Chaos and O&G). I have several models for Daemons of Chaos, but need to make some more purchases to complete the selections, especially since the banners allow for replacements and there are so many opportunities to summon more models. I'm especially short in the hero models and yikes! single hero models are outrageously priced. I know they're bigger, but the materials are honestly a tiny fraction of the production cost anyway. I plan to just be very patient on ebay and do several conversions to bolster the ranks of my armies with what I need. There's just no way I am going to pay $25-$50 for a hero model, even if it is standing in a chariot., and I'm not really crazy about spending $3-6 a model on rank and file models either.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:31 pm
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Calisson wrote:
Contrary to popular belief, it is not
    {a} manufacture cost + profit = sale price
but rather
    {b} sale price - manufacture cost = profit
What I mean is that profit is not a decision, it is a result. Sale price does not depend on GW, it depends on you the customer.
Uh... no. There's this little thing called "profit margin" which is basically an expected return per unit outlay. If GW's profit margins drop below an arbitrarily set cutoff point on any given item then they will simply axe that item from production, unless it's a designated loss leader like a starter box. Even then, I would expect the starter boxes to hit a margin of at least breaking even, and only maybe touching negative towards the end of the product lifecycle. That said, per every unit made after design work, the profit margin goes up, so as long as the non-development production costs don't increase to match pace with the rate at which development costs depreciate via economy of scale that's unlikely to happen.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:18 pm
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And never forget, unless you play in a GW corporate store, there are other options. I got a Reaper "Bones" Hydra for $8 a while back. Very serviceable Hydra, I'll post pics when he's painted up. Don't feel forced to buy GW minis for everything. Even if you have a FLGS to support, you can do so with non-GW figures. They make a profit off of whatever they sell, GW or otherwise. :)

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:23 pm
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Vulcrist wrote:
Bit the stuff out. Seriously. I plan to never buy directly at those prices. At Gencon, I was able to find a box set of AoS for less than $90 (and went half with my wife on it). I was also able to pick up, from a couple different second-hand stores, a box of Skullcrushers, a box of Executioners, and a Stegodon for less than 1/2 price. New, sealed, still on sprue. I also got a Chimera for the low price of absolutely nothing. Online bits shops (and ebay) are your friends. If you have the will to do it, this game is actually cheaper than most other games out there.
Harkening back, by this logic every other game that starts proportionally cheaper is also able to be played for far less. You will not beat, say, Force on Force for price if you pick the right war to do.

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:08 pm
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Quote:
The price must always be set as high as the customer agrees to pay, from an economic point of view.
As the company is not a philantropic one, it makes sense for it to look for the highest profit.
Example: music CD cost less than 1$ to produce, but as long as the customer agrees to pay 15$, then 15$ is a fair price.
If the profit is outrageously high, soon a competitor will come with lower prices and the customer will no longer agree to pay high prices. For music CD, that is streaming online.
If no competitor shows up with a similar quality, that proves that the profit is not high enough to encourage competitors to step in.

This is purist economics at its peak, and it's a very well articulated outline of that perspective. But, sadly, real world economics don't work quite as fluidly or as equitably as "the invisible hand" makes out - if it did, we would all be living in a care-free utopia by now.

The issue with GW's approach to profit is that it decided to maximize profit per model while reducing numbers of model sold. There's a decent rationale to that choice, but I'll get back there in a second. Essentially, making money through profit can be done in two main ways (with a sliding scale in between):
- Option 1: Sell a lot of product with a small profit margin. If you have a profit margin of $1 per product unit sold, then if you sell 100,000 of those product units then you make $100,000.
- Option 2: Sell a small amount of product with a huge profit margin. If you have a profit margin of $100,000 per product unit sold, then if you sell 1 of those product units then you make $100,000.

Over time GW has moved gradually towards the latter. My hypothesis (unproven) is that GW now sells less numbers of product units each year, but aims to get a higher profit margin per model sold. One rationale for that approach is because their customer market is increasingly saturated by individuals who already own the overwhelming majority of the models they need. So, they try to sell fewer models, with a higher price margin, because they don't believe that decreasing the price will result in a sufficient commensurate uplift in numbers of sales to match the loss of profit they'll gain per model if they drop their prices. If you sell 1 product unit each year for $10 that costs you $1 to make, then if you drop the selling price to $4 you need to sell three product units to break even with your original profit gain. If you sell 2 models at $4 each when they cost you $1 to make, that is less profit than selling the 1 model for $10. That seems to be the logic GW has traditionally applied over the years at an increasing rate.

Interestingly, though, Age of Sigmar represents an alternative approach to this conundrum. By pseudo ret-conning most available models (see "silly rules to shame people when they use their existing models in public") and unleashing a whole new wave of models, they eliminate the product saturation problem by making us all start effectively over again. The tragedy is that they have basically maintained their existing "high sale price = high profit margin" dynamic, when they had the chance to really kick age of sigmar off with a bang by selling the new range at cheaper prices than we've seen in years on the rationale of "more sales at lower profit margins = high profit". A missed opportunity perhaps - c'est la vie.

Anyway, I ramble nearly pointlessly. That's what economics does for me - gets me all confused and I forget my original point :D

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:42 pm
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So, what then about the need to reinvest in AoS? It's clear the provisional rules for our old armies were written to tick us off, so what's the future for our existing collections? Keep going with the previous ruleset and its known tweaks, or bury the hatchet and await the upcoming Aelfs (buy a vowel)?

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Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:03 pm
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I'm sure the idea is to show us some Aelfs so attractive :P that we will feel compelled to get them.
This might work on me.

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Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:31 am
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Yeah, Calisson has hit the nail on the head. The idea, I imagine, is that we are so enamored by the new models that we are happy to shove our existing armies into the back of the cupboards to gather dust and replace them by purchasing lots of shiny new plastic models from the Aelf range (gosh, it really is a truly, truly awful name - I appreciate the need to change the name for IP reasons, but surely there were better alternatives!). That all assumes, of course, that my conspiracy theory - that AoS was really just a gambit to ditch Fantasy with as little bad PR as possible - is wrong. We'll see :D

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Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:20 am
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Aelf can't be IP protected, it's a regular word like elf, and it even means the same damn thing.

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Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:23 am
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Red... wrote:
The idea, I imagine, is that we are so enamored by the new models that we are happy to shove our existing armies into the back of the cupboards to gather dust and replace them by purchasing lots of shiny new plastic models from the Aelf range

And they'll probably make the new Aelfs a bit bigger than the current range so that they won't be mixed easily...

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Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:28 am
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Quote:
Aelf can't be IP protected, it's a regular word like elf, and it even means the same damn thing.

Don't believe they won't try though. They'd have a stronger case, I guess, as it's a less commonly used word.

Gnosis wrote:
Red... wrote:
The idea, I imagine, is that we are so enamored by the new models that we are happy to shove our existing armies into the back of the cupboards to gather dust and replace them by purchasing lots of shiny new plastic models from the Aelf range

And they'll probably make the new Aelfs a bit bigger than the current range so that they won't be mixed easily...

Yes indeed. We saw them do something similar with Lord of the Rings miniatures (although in that case they made them slightly smaller IIRC), which they bent over backwards to make incompatible with Warhammer Fantasy so as to avoid cross-over of mini use between the two. Bigger minis also represents an increasing trend for the company as whole - it makes it easier to provide miniatures that have more details, allows them to charge more, and excites those kiddies who believe that bigger is better. Unfortunately, it's all a load of crock - at this stage, GW is increasingly producing action figures rather than miniatures.

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Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:31 pm
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Rork wrote:
r530 wrote:
They want 33$ US dollars for 2 censer bearers, see here:
http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Pestilens-Plague-Censer-Bearers

I wonder just how expensive they think they can make their stuff.


Yeah, I saw them for £20 here and choked at the price. Hell, I converted my own a few years back because I wasn't prepared to spend £7 on two of them.


Might be worth noting the page explicitly mentions the following:
Quote:
This set contains 5 Plague Censer Bearers, with 5 Citadel 32mm Round bases.


Doesn't make it cheap, but I think a 250% increase in models for the price listed does make a difference. Just a tad.

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Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:10 pm
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Daeron wrote:
Might be worth noting the page explicitly mentions the following: This set contains 5 Plague Censer Bearers, with 5 Citadel 32mm Round bases.


A good example if ever there was one of marketing folks needing to be aware of first impressions when advertising. The accompanying text says "5" but the picture has just two models on it and, as the picture is far bigger and more eye-catching than the text, the onlooker sees the two models in the picture and accepts that as the number being sold for the $33. As the text shows, the pack isn't terrible value (although over $6 per model is still pretty weak given what the models are) but the advert itself is badly done.

(edited for missing word)

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Last edited by Red... on Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:25 pm
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Yup. In fact, I'll mail this to GW, and see how they respond :)

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Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:49 pm
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Daeron wrote:
Rork wrote:
r530 wrote:
They want 33$ US dollars for 2 censer bearers, see here:
http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Pestilens-Plague-Censer-Bearers

I wonder just how expensive they think they can make their stuff.


Yeah, I saw them for £20 here and choked at the price. Hell, I converted my own a few years back because I wasn't prepared to spend £7 on two of them.


Might be worth noting the page explicitly mentions the following:
Quote:
This set contains 5 Plague Censer Bearers, with 5 Citadel 32mm Round bases.


Doesn't make it cheap, but I think a 250% increase in models for the price listed does make a difference. Just a tad.


Indeed, but I already corrected the fact that in now says 5 instead of earlier when it said 2 earlier in this very thread here:
http://druchii.net/viewtopic.php?p=929510#p929510

and also:
https://twitter.com/RyanSavage87/status/629943116775190532

EDIT: Interestingly enough the correction post is the very post below the one you quoted.


Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:43 pm
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You're right. I missed that. Hmm... I remembered it being brought up, but didn't remember it was solved already. Well.. 'Solved' ;)
Good catch and sorry for the double report.

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I love me a bowl of numbers to crunch for breakfast. If you need anything theoryhammered, I gladly take requests.

Furnace of Arcana, a warhammer blog with delusional grandeur.

"I move unseen. I hide in light and shadow. I move faster than a bird. No plate of armour ever stopped me. I strike recruits and veterans with equal ease. And all shiver at my coldest of whispers."
- The stiff breeze


Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:03 am
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Black Guard
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:24 am
Posts: 296
No worries, $33 for 5 it is and certainly not trying to mislead anyone at this point.


Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:07 am
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