Help support TMP

"Not Buying Figures Any More?" Topic

59 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Wargaming in General Message Board

Action Log

01 Sep 2016 6:59 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Wargaming in General board

21 Feb 2017 8:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Profile Article

The Training of an Assistant Editor

How a two-year search for an Assistant Editor finally ended.

2,256 hits since 31 Aug 2016
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Sep 2016 6:59 p.m. PST

Someone recently wrote me:

Due to the aging of the hobby, people just don't buy figures anymore.

Do you agree? Do you find yourself concentrating on what you already own, and not purchasing more?

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 7:12 p.m. PST

I find I often tell myself I should stop buying figures and concentrate on the ones I have. I realize this is an option, and I could spend my time building more scenery and things to go with the figures I already have.

However, I keep buying. I have realized that, at my age, I will be able to get to a limited number of additional armies, so I'm trying to select the best ones, and not go off on an "oh, shiny" binge.


John Armatys01 Sep 2016 7:15 p.m. PST

I buy in small quantities, adding bits to the armies I already have, whilst working to paint the lead pile acquired over the last 40 years.

Tommy2001 Sep 2016 7:16 p.m. PST

Sounds like a gross over-generalization based on one persons experience to me.

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 7:17 p.m. PST

I still buy figures and vehicles to fill out 3mm and 6mm SF. In an ooh shiny moment I also bought 3mm Romans and Gauls recently but I buy very few figures any more. They just wont get painted and gamed with in the time I have left on this mortal coil.

gert174601 Sep 2016 7:23 p.m. PST

I have been forcing myself not to buy new figures for projects I would like to start. I still buy figures for ongoing projects though. When I go to conventions, I feel like I need to help support the vendors, so I buy terrain.

Dennis030201 Sep 2016 7:24 p.m. PST

I still buy figures but not as many as in the past. The cost has made me far more selective in terms of what I buy. As an example I only buy from a few off shore vendors due to shipping cost. I was ready to place a 114 pound order with a UK vendor but the shipping was 42 pounds. The order didn't happen. My interests have also narrowed and I limit myself to 15mm. As to the aging of the hobby I haven't seen enough demographic info to be able to give an opinion one way or the other and I can't comment on the sales of figures because I haven't seen any numbers on that topic either. Perhaps the author of the statement you quote could provide us with the numbers or is the statement based on just opinion rather than hard numbers?

Garand01 Sep 2016 7:28 p.m. PST

I often buy a few packs of figures every paycheck, so I am always adding to the pile…


Winston Smith01 Sep 2016 7:30 p.m. PST

Old farts like myself and the OFM may prune unused stuff, but there is akways something new.
I had thought I had sold and got rid of all my '97 Oirish to epturner but no….
I now find myself looking forward to buying and painting some '98 Frenchies. That's rather sad, when you think about it.

21eRegt01 Sep 2016 7:36 p.m. PST

Still buying, though it is more to fill gaps or add "pretty-pretties" to the collection. Otherwise I've been depleting the lead pile.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 7:43 p.m. PST

My buying has slowed considerably

More filling gaps and adding a unit here and there

Still have quite the lead pile

Winston Smith01 Sep 2016 7:51 p.m. PST

By the way, only old people should post on this thread. grin
Those who sense mortality, and see themselves on the downside of the curve.

Mako1101 Sep 2016 8:08 p.m. PST

I suspect a lot of the downturn also has to do with less disposable income too, but I can see the issue of realizing you've got enough, and/or not being able to complete projects before your expiration date.

Personal logo FingerandToeGlenn Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 8:11 p.m. PST

Stop buying…is that legal?

Personal logo Gungnir Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 8:13 p.m. PST

I'm just ctrying to conentrate buying figures for more sopecific areas I am working on, with as few sidetrips as possible.

HangarFlying01 Sep 2016 8:26 p.m. PST

I have a pile, not a mountain. I do plan on getting more, though instead of large orders, I'll probably do smaller ones.

Cyrus the Great01 Sep 2016 8:44 p.m. PST

Now why would I ever do that?

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 9:09 p.m. PST

I have massively slowed down on buying things. Mostly selling off stuff and only picking up a few things to finish existing projects I am working on.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 9:29 p.m. PST

Well, I ship orders of new figures out to customers every day.

Frankly he sounds like a crank.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 9:46 p.m. PST

I would ask the people who make figures if they think people have stopped buying.

wrgmr101 Sep 2016 10:07 p.m. PST

Still buying…

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2016 10:09 p.m. PST

Trying to cut down.


nevinsrip01 Sep 2016 10:21 p.m. PST

Hell, I own my own figure line, yet I buy all kinds of other stuff. I placed large orders to Perry, Battle Honors, Old Glory and whatever the AWI plastics are boxed up as now, over the past year.

VVV reply02 Sep 2016 12:18 a.m. PST

I am not buying figures because I don't have time to paint the figures I have.

GarrisonMiniatures02 Sep 2016 12:41 a.m. PST

For me, storage not really an issue plus want to keep active in my old age. Also in future income liable to drop. Result? Buying more now in new periods to hedge against possible uncertain futures.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 1:50 a.m. PST

I buy at about the same rate. And I'm a bit grey.

snurl102 Sep 2016 2:36 a.m. PST

I am a lot more picky about buying anything new, I already have more than I will ever paint. But I still come home from conventions with a bag full.

Calico Bill02 Sep 2016 2:40 a.m. PST

Very, very little. I already have the minis I need. I still have plenty to paint, but find I'm gaming more but painting far less.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 2:52 a.m. PST

Of course I still buy figures.

Lucius02 Sep 2016 2:52 a.m. PST

I buy much less.

When I do buy, it is always a complete army, and the figures are always the best, like AB or Perry.

I don't buy another army until I've either painted the previous one, or sold it off. On average, I add a matched army pair a year to my collection.

razuse Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 3:47 a.m. PST

interesting question…buying a lot less but focusing on 2 or 3 projects…and will buy for them…selling a ton of stuff.

Durban Gamer02 Sep 2016 4:15 a.m. PST

The trick is to stay faithful to your original collections and absolute favourite few periods. Buy what is compatible with them and needed to round out, according to your historical research. Above all, resist scale creep that causes you to waste your previous expences and painting work!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 4:15 a.m. PST

Your original complainant seems like the sort of person for whom failure is always due to forces outside his control. Old gray wargamers have more time and money.

That said, while I had to add a scale last year, I'm also selling to reduce the total volume and trying to get all the periods battle ready. I don't mind having lots of stuff and a reserve of lead, but I DO object to spending money on periods and still not being able to put on a game. Pretty much past that since I retired, but not altogether. Orders now finish or supplement armies, not start them.

Personal logo Dentatus Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian02 Sep 2016 4:33 a.m. PST

Not sure what aging has to do with it.

Yes, I've accumulated plenty of figs over time. At this point I have more than I need and concentrate on filling gaps.

But if my group decided to start a particular game, scale, or period and I needed an army, then I'd buy it.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 5:41 a.m. PST

Many people I know are buying pre-painted figures such as the Star Wars X-Wing type games or have moved to skirmish gaming, so they don't need as many figs. Gone are the days when my group would show up with several painted battalions of figs twice a month!

boy wundyr x02 Sep 2016 6:20 a.m. PST

I'm still doing my part.

Frederick the not so great02 Sep 2016 6:45 a.m. PST

Me too, still buying and still seeing shiny things.

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 6:54 a.m. PST

I am slowing down on the big collections but ramping up on the small. After 2 years of buying very little I have been getting more for Frostgrave and Saga of late.

vtsaogames02 Sep 2016 7:06 a.m. PST

My buying has slowed for a simple reason: my apartment is full of books and figures. That and getting my crew to play a new period and/or rules is like pulling teeth. I already have several projects that haven't really been played much if at all: 1/2400 age of sail, 1/600 Battle of Britain, 28mm French Foreign Legion, etc.

Now if I move to a more rural location in a couple years or so, with lots more room… I'll eventually have a Viking funeral, surrounded by loads of toy soldiers.

Timmo uk02 Sep 2016 7:53 a.m. PST

I spend as little as I can on the hobby and buy as little lead as possible but I still get tempted by good deals. I like to try and add at least something to each of my periods during the course of a given year but really rather than more figures I need more terrain but I still enjoy painting in small doses.

I'm on the verge of starting a new project which is an unexpected departure from my usual interests.

Personal logo Miniatureships Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 8:19 a.m. PST


There are several things to think about when it comes to question, and it doesn't have to relate at all to the graying of the hobby.

First, About 30 years ago, Old Glory came out with the box sets that featured variants. That lead to many more companies moving away from the single pose figure and offering variants, which was a significant change from the way people purchased figures. The result was a the gamers ability to purchase a lot of figures at a very low investment. This also lead to many gamers replacing their entire collections, with all new stuff from companies like Foundry and Old Glory. Now, most don't replace their collection they just add on.

Second, there has been a switch in gaming from the mass games using thousands of figures, to skirmish games. Several years back you saw companies come out with rule sets and figures, and of the later you only needed about 50 or so to play the game ever. Plus, another issue is the flood of rules available, which has lead to many times people posting that the group they game with won't play a period because no one can agree as to which set of rules to use.

Third, as person working in the industry, we still sell a whole of figures, so people are still playing games, painting figures and such. But, we are not the only company selling figures, and it appears that every year a few more people come on to the field adding new figure lines, while the lines from 70's still exist. Basically, we may not see the purchases like we use too, because the variety of dealers and the variety of methods in which to get our figures via the internet.

Thus, it may not be the gray of the hobby as much of the change in they way business and gaming is now being done.

jdpintex02 Sep 2016 2:38 p.m. PST

I'm 56 and have accumulated a good number of minitures so far this year. Admittedly a fair number of Star Wars pre-paints.

The concept is ridiculous

Weasel02 Sep 2016 2:57 p.m. PST

The kids I see at the retail stores seems to be all too happy to spend their pocket money (or their parents pocket money, whichever).

Not every gamer is 140 years old :-)

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2016 10:38 p.m. PST

I am 60 years old and I intend to buy everything I want by the time I turn 62 and retire to spend the rest of my life playing with the army men.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2016 3:03 a.m. PST

No, I'm not buying miniatures any more … but I'm not buying them any less, either!

Wakka wakka wakka!

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2016 4:54 a.m. PST

Just ordered a couple hundred this past week. Contemplating ordering a couple hundred more on a sale. Need to find more hiding places for my unpainted minis.

Ottoathome03 Sep 2016 11:54 a.m. PST

Hardly. I don't buy as much as I used to, but then I have so many. Besides I've started teaching myself to make them.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2016 12:38 p.m. PST

My buying has declined as our FLGS is not renewing or bringing in new figure lines. As I don't buy on-line I don't get to see new figures to buy!

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2016 2:35 p.m. PST

Oh God! I just bought about $300.00 USD worth last night. Will be buying more for the same project. I am as gray as they come but I didn't have the money when I was younger.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2016 3:24 p.m. PST

I still see things I want or need and still find myself buying figs to add to my fallout shelter lining.

Pages: 1 2