Wardens of the West, price in 2009

A short post whilst waiting for the green stuff to cure. The following text is merely an observation, not a rant. Long time readers and followers know when I rant, and this is not one of those times, as you will become aware of after noticing the lack of invectives.
In late spring 2009 I went down to the Games Workshop store (miles away, not a local one) and finally bought the Wardens of the West-boxed army of dwarves which I had goggled a few weeks. It cost 113 USD (converted from 750 SEK at the dollar spot trade value or whatever it's called, it was around 6,6 IIRC) and contained the following:

24 Dwarf Warriors.
24 Dwarf Rangers.
1 Dwarf Ballista (with two crew).
8 Iron Guard.
1 Dwarf Captain.
1 Dwarf Banner Bearer.

Total of 59 warriors for 113 USD, in 2009.

If I were to buy the same amount of warriors from the Games Workshop homepage today - without the minor discount you got from buying an army - it would cost me:

2 boxes* of Dwarf Warriors, 74 USD.
2 boxes* of Dwarf Rangers, 74 USD
1 Dwarf Ballista, 50 USD.
8 Iron Guard, 93 USD.
1 Captain, 16.5 USD.
1 Banner Bearer, 16.5 USD.

Total of 59 warriors for 324 USD, in 2013.

Nearly tripled in price in 4 years. With a whole bunch of caveats (the higher price comes from no discount, buying from Games Workshop's notoriously expensive homepage, "finecast" etc).

If I would like to buy the same amount from, let say figurspel.se (my favourite internet hobbyshop) I would get a substantially lower price, though I would not be able to get all the entries, so I went with the official GW-prices where availability is guaranteed but price is around 15-18% higher!
     It would also be impossible to get all these warriors at the FLGS nowadays, not without paying premium GW-direct prices and also because the local store "adjusted" their prices after release of The Hobbit. Of course, the only truly honest comparison would be with the old shop, or if they re-released this army-pack with a new price, but that won't happen.

But let's say we got a substantial discount and paid between 266 and 274 USD, the difference is amazing. I don't think I have a point besides just stating the obvious: This hobby is expensive. But as a user on The Warhammer Forum once said (you get a 404 if you search for it):

- The high cost keeps the riff raff out. 

I suppose it's worth every penny then.

- - -   - - -   - - -

*) There are typically only one sprue in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit plastic boxes nowadays. It used to be two, in case someone missed the change for the worse. Also, one sprue used to contain 10 or 12 warriors, most often a dozen. The obvious exception were the Uruk-hai Warriors and Easterling Warriors, but there were others. Today seems to have a bigger spread than the normal dozen of Before The Hobbit (BTH).

19 kommentarer:

  1. Quite horrifying really, and frankly taking the p*ss, especially when I reflect I have not had a pay rise in 4 years... and the cost of living keeps going up...

    I shudder to think what new prices will be implemented with the latest movies release...

    1. I'm with you, Scott.

      Got a letter with information about my pay "rise" last week, I litterary punched two of my right hand knuckles in. Still haven't gone to the doctor... Not that it's especially expensive, it's just that the "doctors" are in 80% of the cases from "abroad" and speak my language VERY bad. None speaks English either. I probably have to learn Arabic if I want to stay in this area and live a (sort of) normal life. Also, the "doctors" are incompetent... he added laconically...

      But back to GW and prices:

      At least we know that if we buy today, we save money tomorrow... Or do we?

      Cheers for stopping by, I think your comment was more honest than my "neutral observation"! ;)

    2. Hah just thought I check the GW site and see whats happened, sure enough... 10 warriors of Dale from AUJ $NZ65, compared to the new 10 Mirkwood rangers from DOS $NZ80 !!! Its just laughable... $80 for 10 plastic figures, thats $8 per figure... sheer lunacy...

    3. 8 AUD per flipping figure! I actually started laughing - that's got to count in their favour...

      A bottle of wine can cost thousands of dollars. It will not taste like thousands of dollars. The same goes for the DoS-models. A limping parable but the message is in there. Somewhere :J

  2. Yeah, even though I have what might seem to be too many unpainted LotR minis, and even too many unopened boxes, considering where the prices are now, I wish I'd picked up some more.

    The sculpts are simpler than Warhammer plastics, and don't have anywhere near the amount of bits and extras (often none at all) so I don't see why the prices are as close to warhammer prices as they are.

    1. I actually did pick up a few extra boxes that I knew I wanted to fiddle around with, before the infamous price-hike.

      The best boxes are from Perry Miniatures, cheap and comes with a bunch of models and bits and bobs: Their Somali Ansars are perfect for Haradrim. And the Medieval bills & bows can be modified (with head swaps from WHFB/WH40K) into Hunter Orcs, for example.

      The LotR/Hobbit bits-less-ness isn't particularly exciting, and I suppose it's understandable that LotR got a "bad rep" amongst WHFB:ers and some grognards - they called it a kiddy-game. Of course it is not, but the models were, and are, perhaps a tad too simple... At least for the price we pay.

    2. I enjoy extra bits because I love to convert. I'll still do conversions with LotR, just means I have to sacrifice an individual mini here or there & use more scratch building options than the easier kit bashing the warhammer line can swing.

      I never understood criticism that LotR game being too simple compare dto warhammer. I haven't played the army game, but enjoy the strategy battle game. It uses the same mechanic as the legends of the this & that and makes for good games. Some of the best GW gaming I've ever had was running the battle company rules that white dwarf had for the strategy battle game, maybe 8-10 years ago? Good fun and I found it more entertaining than the warhammer games I was losing interest in at the time.

      Perry plastics boxes are good, I have some mahdist I picked up, might use for some VSF gaming some day. I also ordered a box of wargames factory orcs.. they had a sale and $12 for a box of 24 minis was hard to fault. I'll see about quality when I get them in hand, but they look like good candidates for Mordor Orcs to me, which I'm not so impressed with the GW plastic mordor orcs, which seem poorer than some of the others like uruk scouts or easterlings.

    3. Yep, with you on the conversion part! I've bought not so few WHFB/40K-kits these last three years only for the bits. It was easier to cross the threshold when the prices didn't feel ridiculous when compared to LotR. Now the Hobbit-models are on par with or more expensive than 40K models.

      The criticism about LotR being simple is probably from people who like to win by memorizing rules and beat you by lawyering. That's why I always liked this system, it's more elegant than simple and it feels intuitive after a few games (a very personal opinion, I know). Many people who swears by the WHFB-systems perhaps haven't been exposed to any of the newer rules-systems...

      I trust you'll make a little post on the WGF-Orcs? I had totally missed them. Time for some image-searching!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding content to the blog, mr Ferret!

  3. I hear you on this. GW prices are even worse down here in New Zealand. Compared to the rest of the world there seems to be an additional like 10-15% on top. They are so commercially minded GW that it does turn you off them and make you look elsewhere for models. Their products are good quality, that I will say (leaving aside Finecast) but I simply refuse to pay full price for them.

    1. As you say, their products are good quality, but... no... it's just too much, nowadays. Funnily enough, an acquaintance of mine, with quite a lot of experience in the [not sure of the word here... ] peddler(?) business, confirmed what I've been taught many times, a lesson I do not like at all:

      In general, the business that can keep the highest price - even if he sells a substantially less amount than his competitors - will likely take the large part of the market in the end.

      Or something like it, it's suuuperlate here in Old North, my brain is going on overtime.

      I keep forgetting my point, let me come back with a better reply tomorrow :J

  4. I picked up this box in about 2009 as well for about $A100 (and I'm glad I did). I just checked on GW Oz, and today this would cost $A268. That's without either the banner bearer or captain, but I could get four commanders for an extra $A66.


    The 'Hobbit' prices are ridiculous, purchasing anything doesn't even cross my mind. $A30 for a simple foot figure?

    1. Oh you did also get the box? In 2009 the AUD was as strong as it is today, IIRC, so when converting circa 100 AUD up to SEK I get an acceptable sum. But 268 AUD?! Wow! Just wow!

      Not to be a big complainer though, I am just merely "observing" and it feels the prices here are almost bearable compared to yours ;D

      I must confess though: Bought the plastic eagles as well as some other boxes. The last one was the Dale Warriors - but this was to do something naughty: I had the good old silicone ready for them. The project is put on hold, but isn't it fantastic, that it would actually be more economic to CF *plastic* models than buying them!

      "LoL", as the younglings say.

  5. Even if you don't like the lesson my friend, it has its point. Me, a "riff-raff" last year I had in mind to spend 100 Euros for our hobby. I bought the limited box and nothing else, from no one else! This year I'll spend 50 Euros. This amount of money I'll give to them as I did last year. I don't buy what I like but I buy something from the plethora of their products, that I can afford first and then - like! Hope I am clear. So that's the way they dominate on the market! This is not necessarily bad because this way, they continue to produce minis and LotR is still alive. Otherwise there would be nothing for us to buy!

    1. Hahah! "Riff-raff"! Aren't we all in a way or other... ? I eat 'burgers and sometimes wear a track suit when going to the kiosk, that's pretty riffy-raffy, so you're in good company (he said without irony, heheheh).

      You are indeed correct when it comes to their production of minis and their corresponding prices. However, that's why converting Mahood Gazzi/Ansar Warriors (can't remember the correct title of the box now) and Bows & Bills from Perry Miniatures is such a joy. It feels like you actually MAKE money!

    2. "Mahdist Ansar - Sudanese Tribesmen 1881-1885" plastic box of Perry miniatures. I agree, that's why I followed your advice and bought the box! Check here:
      Two heads, four right arms and one left come from Perry's box!

  6. Another thing I have just discovered is that the range of figures available has dropped considerably. Many figures I wanted have just disappeared. Interestingly Jervis Johnson said in White Dwarf last year that that the Hobby was about collecting not gaming. Maybe because you'd now need a second mortgage to buy an army!

    1. Yes, a recollection of Jervis J. stating this - or perhaps it was one of the annoying podcasts I persist on listening to - about collection.

      About taking a mortgage is indeed true: If you missed it, I recommend taking a look at the large Space Marine-army they sold a while ago on the Games Workshop homepage. It cost nearly 89 000 SEK, which is somewhere near 8300 GBP, if I remember it correctly. That's a 1 bedroom flat in a post-industry municipality here in Sweden (yes, yes, a very cheap flat, but still... ).

  7. I was surprised today after looking for hunter orcs riding wargs that even some Ebay secondhand prices work out more after postage to NewZealand than buying direct from GW... go figure! GW is ridiculous with the price rises and I'm totally finding a way around.
    A. get some Hunter Orcs on Wargs discounted purchasing from Ebay
    (which I did today at a 20% savings on the GW sites price)
    B. Copy them making molds (as you will... for personal use and not4sale)
    C. Convert, Add greenstuff, add Hirst Arts and bingo!

    Appreciate the inspiration Llama,
    Keep up the great work,

    1. I'd go B and C in conjunction!

      Then you not only save the dollars and cheat GW out of the same amount, you will get a few hours of fun as well!

      If you copy either one or two wargs, cast some up and then convert some other minis as hunter-riders (wouldn't know which ones, come to think of it though, perhaps some WGF-models?) you'd probably get a very personal and nice little collection of Hunter Orcs on Wargs!

      You got me thinking of this now... there will be an order for some Perry Minis soon enough, maybe they have some ramshackle or at least unarmoured guys one could convert up and use as riders?

      I'm feeling with you on the NZ prices! It is almost fascinating, in a weird way :/

      Sorry for the late answer (the Christmas times and afterwards were busy), by the way, and thank you for the kind words!