The developement of miniatures is obvious when looking at 80's fantasy models and comparing them with more, dare I say contemporary models. An appropriate example (this whole text is a mess, I have around three different subjects here that I want to drone on about):
The plastic Radagst to the left looks, well I don't need to tell you how dynamic and well done he is. In comparison, they both have their strenghts, but of course the newer one comes out way on top. Look at that little porcupine - no hedgehodge - under Radagast's left arm, or the beard or the decorative design on his mantle-coat. Way better - especially when considering he is plastic. He requires some assembly, but that little extra time taken is naturally worth the effort.
So why am I talking about this? It has nothing to do with the Three Trolls that were released 1st of December. But I will talk about them to further convulate my rather simple message, which I will come to further down. The trolls cost 600 SEK here in Ultima Thule and probably 400 AUD down under. Why, you ask, and I say: I don't care (there might be, as someone said on TWF that one explanation might be that they are named characters), the thing is: They look boring and I won't buy them. BUT, the thing is, with my The Hobbit: Escape from Goblin Town - Limited Edition, there was a whole bunch of faults in the plastic models, and this is what I do care about! Will the 600 SEK trolls have similar faults?
Radagast's staff was broken. A total of three goblins had their hands and or arms bent or snapped. Two of the dwarves had their weapons bent or snapped. And some other minor faults that also wasn't part of bad handling of the boxes (all the fourteen boxes that the local store got on the 1st of December were in perfect condition, well at least the twelve that I could inspect).
Things like this have happened with around 30% of all my white metal models ordered from various companies stocking Games Workshop. I have accepted it because of the Swedish Mail isn't handling goods very well. And in stores I can get that kids and stupid adults mistreat the blister packs hanging around. But when light-weight plastics are damaged like this I wonder... Or: When looking at some of the lost parts, I clearly see that the plastic haven't really "welded" together as there are cone-like fractures. So, for the price we pay for the great models like the new Radagast, is it sensible to hope that material is up to the task? You may notice I have never even mentioned finecast.
TL; DR: I got many models damaged in my box of The Hobbit: Escape from Goblin Town - Limited Edition. Did you?