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"How Much is Too Much for a 28mm Figure?" Topic

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17 May 2016 3:57 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Nov 2015 7:29 p.m. PST

Assuming it is standard 'human' size, not a giant…

Chris Palmer17 Nov 2015 7:37 p.m. PST

What's it made of? Cost depends a lot on materials.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Nov 2015 7:44 p.m. PST


Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2015 7:45 p.m. PST

Twelve USD -- for an unmounted figure. I might go that high for an exceptional mounted figure.

Who asked this joker17 Nov 2015 7:48 p.m. PST

$5. USD That's about the cost of a reaper mini.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2015 7:52 p.m. PST

I'd go as high as $5 USD for a character or leader figure, $3 USD for a line figure for a project I was interested in.

Winston Smith17 Nov 2015 8:02 p.m. PST

More than $3.00 USD, and that is being generous.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Nov 2015 8:05 p.m. PST

Unmounted, definitely.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2015 9:11 p.m. PST

For basic figures, the guys who bulk out my infantry, $3.00 USD is quite expensive enough. For leaders and special characters, I would go up to $5 USD-$6. As Who asked this joker noted, this is the going price for Reaper metal human figure. Reaper are widely available in the United States at brick and mortar stores, so they are probably where I'd go first for characters.

I have noticed the games where you have a band of 5-10 figures, each costing $10 USD to $15. USD I would really, really have to want that particular figure to buy one of those. I'm unlikely to realize I need them, because I don't even look at these figures in the FLGS.


Mako1117 Nov 2015 9:33 p.m. PST

More than $2.00 USD.

Henry Martini18 Nov 2015 12:13 a.m. PST

More than AUS$2.00(about US$1.40)for mass battles historical figures; maybe AUS$3.00 for leaders, characters, and skirmish figures.

thorr66618 Nov 2015 12:20 a.m. PST

$5 USD

snurl118 Nov 2015 1:02 a.m. PST

$5 USD for a really nice figure.

Doug em4miniatures18 Nov 2015 2:44 a.m. PST

I'm still charging £1.50 GBP for most of mine – no wonder I can't retire to a life of luxury grin


ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 3:10 a.m. PST

$3 USD max I usually only buy plastics now because of the price for metal figures

jeffreyw318 Nov 2015 3:44 a.m. PST

For wargaming (as opposed to fantasy) figures, two of my favorite lines are hitting the $2.40 USD-$2.50 USD mark per infantryman, which I'm starting to balk at, particularly when I can pick up plastics at 80 cents apiece. However, given that I paint Napoleonic Russians, which is limited in options compared to French/British, and that I buy in small lots, I'm stuck.

Norrins18 Nov 2015 3:49 a.m. PST

I would say that £3.00 GBP£4.00 GBP is my limit unless it's a figure I really, really want. Of course, if there's an incentive like free postage, then I'd probably pay a little bit more.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 4:04 a.m. PST

$5 USD US is really pushing it.

bruntonboy18 Nov 2015 4:24 a.m. PST

Infantry £1.25 GBP absolute maximum for a mass combat game.
RPG characters or one off officers etc.. maybe £2.00 GBPReal one off's say a Frostgrave wizard £3.00 GBP

To be completely honest anything over a pound per foot figure and it tends to put me off a project, if I can bulk the army with plastics at less than that (and IMHO they should come out at no more than the same price as metal 15mm cost) then I can stomach up to those maximums above for the metal figures to add to the army.

John Armatys18 Nov 2015 5:13 a.m. PST

£3.00 GBP is top whack for a single figure that I really want, assuming that I can buy it as a single figure. The problem is when it is one of an expensive pack.

FusilierDan18 Nov 2015 5:28 a.m. PST

More than $3.00 USD for figures used to build an army. $10.00 USD for a character figure.

Timmo uk18 Nov 2015 6:05 a.m. PST

£1.25 GBP unless I really want an officer or something special like that when I'll pay £2.00 GBP I'm pretty much done with 25/28mm anyway due to the usual cost/space/money considerations.

Mute Bystander18 Nov 2015 6:07 a.m. PST

This is one of the reason I stopped buying 25/28mm figures, cost got excessive for army grunts.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 6:12 a.m. PST

Anything above $2.00 USD (U.S.) for the typical figure and anything above $4.00 USD for a special character is too high. In fact I find it hard to justify paying more than $1.50 USD per figure if I buy them in large quantities (more than 100 figures).

coopman18 Nov 2015 6:14 a.m. PST

Whatever Foundry charges.

zippyfusenet18 Nov 2015 6:54 a.m. PST

My limit is currently $3 USD/foot fig for new production, postage included, double that for a man and a horse. That rules a lot of manufacturers out. I have hundreds of figures waiting for the brush, I don't need another 50 that badly. I'll wait until I can get them second-hand, or on sale. Truth is, I trade a lot in second-hand figures, and buy very little new production. I won't set an upper limit for an extra-special one-of-a-kind figure, but highly exceptional is what it is.

I generally pay about $.75 USD for an unpainted rank-and-file 25mm foot figure. I get very nicely painted 25mm infantry for $2 USD-$4/figure. The big thrill for me is finding a batch of unique, good quality sculpts that have been OOP for 15 or 20 years, MIB at 1980 prices.

Martin Rapier18 Nov 2015 7:07 a.m. PST

My limit used to be 50p per figure.

I haven't bought any 28mm for some years….

boy wundyr x18 Nov 2015 8:16 a.m. PST

$5 USD-6 is about my limit and that's for some sort of awesome character that I can't live without.

Darkest Star Games Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 8:22 a.m. PST

I don't buy 28mm figs from major amnufactureers because (in general) they are too expensive. $7 USD-$12 for an unmounted figure is insanity.

Pictors Studio18 Nov 2015 9:11 a.m. PST

It depends a lot on the figure and if similar are available elsewhere and my interest in the period. I normally like to get regular infantry for around $1 USD a figure or so. I'll pay more, $4 USD-5 for regular infantry if I like them. Certainly I've bought Infinity figures in the past where some of the grunts are about $9 USD a figure.

For characters the sky is really the limit. I don't buy too many at $30 USD plus but $20 USD a figure for a very well sculpted character figure seems pretty reasonable in 28mm.

Pictors Studio18 Nov 2015 9:12 a.m. PST

I should add that the material from which they are made is irrelevant to my consideration on pricing as long as the figure looks good and is robust enough for gaming.

Militia Pete18 Nov 2015 9:16 a.m. PST

$3.00 USD is pushing it anymore. Fortunately, I am a member of the Old Glory Army and am quite happy with their work.

John Treadaway18 Nov 2015 9:33 a.m. PST

Exactly what Pictors Studio said +1

Cost depends on the quality of the figure and my perceived need*. The materials it is made from is irrelevant to me at any rate.

John T

* I accept that no one really "needs" a gaming figure but.. you know what I mean

Zargon18 Nov 2015 10:12 a.m. PST

I'll pay £5.00 GBP if the gold content is say 14 karet or so :) but for white metals that's another ball game, as the currency in the Kountry I live in is in the c-rapper I'd say a 50% discount on the normal £130.00 GBP would ve sooo relished :)
Cheers happy purchases.

ITALWARS18 Nov 2015 10:46 a.m. PST

you' re all true…but it's also true, and i don't side with anybody among producer, that 2 to 5 pounds for a sculpture that could necessitate days or reserach and hand-work plus specialised knowledge on the subject (Fantasy or Military) and, contrary to the majority of commercial product, has very limited numbers that will be cast out of it and then sold (i'm thinking at metal minis)'s a ridicoulously low price…miniature wargame industry is an exception which defy every production microeconomic theory…

bruntonboy18 Nov 2015 11:29 a.m. PST

The "value" of anything is entirely dependent on how much anyone is willing to pay for it. Some are happy to pay over £1.00 GBP per foot figure, some are not. If I need 50 or more of something my price tolerance of individual costs is going to be lower. If the costs of providing rank and file figures (especially) means that many consider them to be too expensive than the problem is the cost, not the customers willingness to pay. Foundry with their pricing have completely lost me as a customer, I don't even consider going to look at their products any more. They might be the best figures ever sculpted but that is irrelevant IMHO. My personal view of course.

DanWW218 Nov 2015 12:13 p.m. PST

£500.00 GBP is too much for a 28mm metal foot figure:


I believe two the same went for £175.00 GBP each recently.

doug redshirt18 Nov 2015 12:20 p.m. PST

Doesnt old glory still have their discount card. Used to 30 or so figures for about $1 USD each. Why on earth pay 3-5 $ a figure. Hadn't notice since I do 15 and 10 mm figures now.

tberry740318 Nov 2015 12:43 p.m. PST

What the market will bear.

Huscarle18 Nov 2015 12:50 p.m. PST

Hmm, it varies, my highest costs are probably the Mithril Fellowship figures at about €20.00 EUR a pop. That said, fantasy figures generally cost a lot more than historicals. However, if I want a particular figure then I'll pay what it costs, after all it's only money and I can't take that with me, while on the other hand…

It's generally the postage that I baulk at grin

pvernon Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 1:31 p.m. PST

I am firmly in the less than $3.00 USD camp.

KSmyth18 Nov 2015 5:37 p.m. PST

I mostly do Old Glory, Perry and a few Eureka figures for large projects. Puts me in less than $3.00 USD class as well.

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2015 5:58 p.m. PST

Anything about $1.75 USD … 2 bucks is way too much!

Jon Sutherland19 Nov 2015 4:08 a.m. PST

I don't know if its because I can remember paying 7p for a Minifigs 25mm and thinking 10p for a Tradition one was too expensive, but I've been put off new projects because the price of the figures was too steep.
Given that you are now paying between 70p-1 for a plastic figure and around a £1.00 GBP-1.50 plus for most metal 28mm it might be that the days of the huge projects is over for most people.
Granted, you can still pick up bargains from some manufacturers, at least some have the sense to realise that a figure they had mastered, bought and paid for 30 years ago is not going to attract many customers at £1.40 GBP a go. I wonder just how many figures some manufacturers really sell when their product is 30 years old and is selling at the same price as something designed last week? Presumably they are happy to sell a few dozen a year and pay to keep the equipment and moulds on a rack somewhere.
I had intended to expand my Indian Mutiny again when I saw the nice new range that Empress are selling. Then I saw the pack price of £7.00 GBP for 4 figures. Now call me old fashioned and that, but £1.75 GBP a figure? They are nice, but £1.75 GBP of nice? No. Maybe I'll wait a few months and pick some up on Ebay! I appreciate that buyers are making a contribution to the overheads of developing the range. But I can't justify £35.00 GBP for a 20 figure unit from a distinctive looking range that may or may not continue to develop (at a pace that suits me as a customer am I happy to wait two or three years before I see anything on a horse or whatever).
The prices of figures from a lot of manufacturers isn't prohibitive, its just restrictive. For me, I don't really do skirmish (and I define that as anything less than 100 figures a side). On that basis, when I consider a new period I want a decent, comprehensive range, they need to be vaguely humanoid and I want not necessarily cheap, but value for money. I fail to understand why many manufacturers don't recognise the fact that new ranges in particular require a leap of faith from the customers. Is the range going to be supported and developed over a reasonable timeframe? Is the style and look of the range going to be maintained and once locked are the prices going to be maintained at a sensible level. To some extent it would be more sensible to offer a deal at the outset, build some buzz and momentum and then put the price up.
All too often, the initial enthusiasm of a project, often a vanity project funded by some wild-eyed benefactor loses its way and impetuous, the net result an incomplete range with so much promise that never quite grabbed the attention of the wargaming community. there have been notable exceptions to this such as Fife and Drum, Footsore and Barry Hilton's range.
I know not all manufacturers want the level of sales or demand to continually innovate and produce like a Warlord Games or Mantic for example. They are happy to sell a few figures and cover the costs of developing the range.
I think the lines between "character" and skirmish figures compared to rank and file have been blurred as far as prices are concerned. Roleplayers have always been expected to pay over the odds for their figures. No doubt there is some justification that the prices reflect the artistry involved. Well we all know the answer to that nonsense. We also know that some manufacturers are renown for their inflated prices, its part of their business model and their customer base churns so quickly that by the time their customers realise they have been ripped off they have discovered girls, beer and showers.
So for me £1.00 GBP-1.25 for a rank and file figure is more than enough. I'm going to buy 5-600 of them so where is the problem? On the other hand if you want to charge me twice that then the likelihood is that I won't make the decision to buy 250-300, I'll just pass thank you.
I just bought £800.00 GBP+ of War of the Roses from Front Rank. I took advantage of the ready-made packs to get the prices down, so I got a reasonable amount of soldiers for my money. I would have bought Perry, but the price difference between the metal Front Rank and the plastic Perry was so small it was a no-brainer.

Timmo uk19 Nov 2015 8:49 a.m. PST

I have to admit that when the 28mm hard plastics came onto the market I was expecting them to be much cheaper than they have turned out to be. I know there is the heavy tooling cost to consider but even then I'm sure the sales of the popular boxes saw those overheads covered a long, long time ago. I've not looked recently but I'm guessing a box of about 40 plastics is about £20.00 GBP but only pence to manufacture. Of coarse a box needs to be packaged, handled and shipped but I can't help but feel that they seem expensive for what you actually get. Or perhaps I'm a cheapskate, ok I am… I'll be honest having made an painted some of the plastics I'm just not very keen so would only have got into them had they been really cheap. I'm much happier with super high quality 18mm metals over what I think are so, so 28mm plastics. YMMV.

The 28mm range I have in my collection also has plastics available but I'm happy spending £7.00 GBP for six metals.

Sorry back to metal prices…

ordinarybass19 Nov 2015 8:51 a.m. PST

I've paid $12 USD for a particularly nice figure or something to complete a unit of rare figs (Necromunda…) but that's a real rarity. I generally try to pay no more than $3 USD for new figs and most of my figs are used and gotten for between $1 USD and $0.50 USD each.

davbenbak19 Nov 2015 9:26 a.m. PST

$1 USD per figure is as high as I'm willing to go. $25 USD for a 24 figure unit is the max. The price is what keeps me in the 1/72 plastic range. I could kick myself for not buying more minifigs in the 80's ($2.95 for a 6 figure blister). I remember when the 15's went on clearance at a local hobby shop and I passed because I was already too far into the 25's and that's what everyone was playing. (If only there was an emoticon of me pulling my hair out) I see that the 25's are only available in England now and not knowing the exact exchange rate seem to be about $2 USD a piece. Add on shipping to the US and they are pretty much out of my price range.

Fergal19 Nov 2015 10:22 a.m. PST

I used to balk at expensive figures, then as I got older, my painting time shrunk and shrunk. Now with a few different jobs, 3 kids and a wife I like to see once in a while, it's a very small amount of time. I no long want to spend that time painting 25 of the same figure, so skirmish gaming it is. I also want to paint a different pose each time and really enjoy the limited time I do have, so I don't mind paying more for figures.

I'd go up to 7 or 8 USD for my skirmish figures, easily more if I really like them. I only buy a few a month these days. When I was younger, I let price decide how I would spend my time, now I just decide what I want to do and pay a little more.

RudyNelson21 Nov 2015 3:56 p.m. PST

Hard to sell castings consistently when they cost more than $2. USD

Dark Fable22 Nov 2015 2:58 a.m. PST

producing 28mm figures in metal isn't cheap these days, especially for smaller manufacturers – unless your doing it yourself – but then you have to have invested in the equipment. I tend to sell three figures packs for £7.99 GBP (about $12 USD)- after production costs, transport, fees and other expenses I make about £1.75 GBP per figure. Most of this money goes back into casting more stock, paying for new production moulds or commissioning new models. Actual profit in my pocket is small . . . very small and it would not be worth doing if I received less than the amount I am currently charging. Some companies charge much more than I do per figure or per pack and seem to have no problem finding buyers – it certainly helps to be well established with a large customer base.

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