This being primarily a gaming blog, how can I be the one to ignore the 500 pound gorilla in the room that is the latest price increase from:
"You gotta pay to play with my resin balls, bitches!!"
Although it would take ten times the space and take ten times as long to read, it would be easier to run through all the prices, illustrate all the increases and bitch and moan bitterly... but there's been plenty of that already, and not just by me personally, but all over the web and blogosphere. For all the relevant info, nobody summarizes the history, price increases and product releases better than Jay's Workshop. Definitely read his take on this situation.
While I did my minimal required reading on the subject trying to wrap my mind around all the moves Games Workshop is making, one financial expert set everything sharply in perspective. (For those of you in a traditional marriage, you're already way ahead of me on guessing that "expert" was my wife.) "The company hasn't changed it's practices," she said, "you've changed. You don't value their product like you used to."
Well... ain't getting old a bitch.
She's right... mostly. And I'll qualify that statement and the small dilemna that remains for me as to how to perceive all this.
True, when I bought my first set of Space Marines in 1988:
And around the same time period I also picked up:
I wasn't a) Married, b) a father of three, c) Staring an upside down 30 year mortgage in the face, d)smothered in debt of all kinds, e) paying utilities, f) paying insurance premiums for health, life, car, homeowners, etc... you get the picture.
Now that I DO have to consider those things, I don't necessarily value a single model the size and weight of a very fat paperclip. That, ofcourse, is my wife's practical point, and it does make a lot of sense. For example, if I remember correctly, this model used to cost 25.00 for three in a box set: Now, it will cost $30.00 (U.S.) for one model. Clearly, with the weight of my other considerations, I may not value this model like I might if it were 1988 or even if I were just 23 years younger, period. This logic extends to the entire product line, and I can also assuage my pride by conceding I own 3 versions of the game's rules and more models than I'll be able to paint any time soon. So if need be, as younger people with richer parents move on to sleeker and more expensive editions, I can happily exist in another era on the tabletop, much like I do with Dungeons & Dragons.
But then, there's the side of me that breaks from logic and acceptance that says: $30.00 bucks for that?? Really? Are you F-----G kidding me you greedy s--t bag f---s!"
My contention is, despite all the practical business considerations involved with GW's decision as a whole, I can't help but wonder at their values over the years. This was a company that captured not only my eye & imagination, but my loyalty for decades with things like this: Yeah, that's right, an underarm deodorant bottle dressed up as a "hover" tank, a few rules and a: "have a good time" philosophy. Now, in appearence and price they have the "cadillac" of miniature lines:
and the increasingly limited customers who will be able to afford them. (As a side note, I can't help but remember right now that GM/Cadillac is sponsoring the movie honoring China's Communist Party on their 90th year of "service" to the Chiniese people. Yeah. Great allusion there GW...)
In the end, make no mistake, GW DOES have fantastic looking miniatures worth taking your time on to model and paint and stare lovingly at for a disturbingly long time, after you've sprayed that last coat of dullcoat. The rules to use those miniatures are now easier than ever to learn and are incredibly streamlined. Yes, they're designed for the "draw" as opposed to actual winning and losing -- but that symptomatic of the times we live in. Also, don't be fooled, their target market is not the Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers with a sense of permanance and nostalgia, but their kids, brought up on video games and "apps", the internet and TV programs we as children would have found unwatchable. Hell, there are services now like tumblr for people that can't be bothered with the amount of time it takes to "tweet" or blog. And yet, it's those little turds with their own waxing and waning values they need to snag, even at the expense of us "veterens" (i.e. old people) who have given to the point of giving-out when it comes to our cash for their stuff. Again, I don't know what that says about GW's values or if they're going to go full circle someday and be catering to underarm deodorant bottle converters out there, in an old age home, as art therapy or something, in some not-so-distant future.