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"The GW problem (not by T01)" Topic

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The H Man30 Jan 2023 3:31 p.m. PST

GW has a problem.

By getting away from metal and resin for characters and special units, they make them in plastic.

Plastic moulds are expensive, so they have to sell a tonne of the figures.

Yes they can simply charge more to fill the gap, but the plastic figures are, usually, not that much more than the metal/resin.

Either GW raised the prices on metal/resin to allow for later plastics to be under sold, or they will need to sell more plastic than they did metal/resin to pay for the moulds.

I can see their partwork helping them here, as they expand the market for the products, thus more can be made and sold.

Problem is, with all their characters and such, I can't see them selling enough to pay off the moulds.

They must be thinking extremely long term. Which means not making new versions every few years.

The only other thing they can do is raise prices on other models to generate the income to pay off the moulds on slower sellers.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2023 4:59 p.m. PST

I believe that what you are describing (someone please correct me if I'm wrong here) was the old way of doing plastic figures where the molds were a huge investment. From what I've seen that's not the case any longer and molds can be made quickly and cheaply, but the cost would certainly fluctuate with how many figures had to be produced. In house services would be cheaper than contracting it out, but with the amount of figures that are in all of the Kickstarter boxed games, various add ons to ranges, etc., there's no way all of these companies are paying massive sums for plastic molds.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2023 7:39 p.m. PST

GW May have a problem. But it ain't charging too little for their models!😂

Schogun30 Jan 2023 8:14 p.m. PST

Siocast has changed the playing field.

joedog30 Jan 2023 8:45 p.m. PST

GW certainly seems to not keep plastic molds in production as long as they used to.

They do seem to recycle some of them into different products, but some just quickly disappear.

Is it that there are leas sdurable molds that are cheaper to make, but wear out more quickly?

Mr Elmo31 Jan 2023 4:57 a.m. PST

Since the cheapest thing in a box of GW miniatures is the plastic models, I don't think there is a problem. Warhammer stores will give away a "$6" model because it really only costs about 25 cents.

From what I understand, you need around 7,500 units to make the ROI on the mold. If we consider the new Kasarkins they were in Kill Team and will next get released as a 40K troops choice. Good reuse there.

You see that a lot where an Underworlds Warband will be given Warcry rules and eventually an AoS Battle Scroll. Triple use there.

The H Man31 Jan 2023 4:18 p.m. PST

Metal moulds for plastic figures are very expensive. $100 USD-200 for resin/metal V's $10,000 USDs for plastic.

While modern gubbins for cutting the metal moulds have made it cheaper, the machinery to do so is expensive again.

You can make a mould for metal/resin yourself at home with little effort. Not so a mould for plastic. The same goes for casting.

So pouring expense into one character, who each player needs only 1, no matter how many games they may use it in, is going to have pricing issues compared to a grunt that a player may want 10+ of.

Also remember, while most players in an army will probably all need a bunch of a certain grunt, they may, or may not, opt for a special character or unit.

Yes, plastic figures are cheap to cast, but only if you are making a lot of them.

I just can't see GW selling enough of some figures to cover the cost of producing it. Perhaps they spread out the costs, and while they may make a loss on some, they Jack up the price on others to cover it. That would help explain the their high prices.

Other companies only need the plastic grunts to pay for the plastic grunts, so can be cheaper. Then they use resin and Metal for the ones sold in lower quantities, which can look after themselves.

joedog02 Feb 2023 8:42 p.m. PST

There was a time when GW made a nice plastic SM Commander/character box with one sprue (or two small sprues) that had enough options that you would buy several – and make different characters, use some of the bits to customize your Sgts, etc.

That seemed like a well planned kit.

The H Man04 Feb 2023 2:23 p.m. PST

Yes that sounds interesting, any idea which ones they were, so I can take a look?

Perhaps the best way they cold do characters is to do a character box. Maybe 5-10 in a box with lots of options. It would make ordering and shelf stacking easier and guar people are buying many figures at once.

Such a box should see the individual Price fall per figure, as one large mould should be cheaper than several small moulds to make and handle.

It's also an item that's guaranteed to sell one to each player. Plus they could make an RPG type game to use them in also, where you control a band of characters.

The H Man04 Feb 2023 10:10 p.m. PST

" the old way of doing plastic figures where the molds were a huge investment. (Now) molds can be made quickly and cheaply."

This still baffles me.


Plastic cheap.

Cutting into steel expensive.

Thats why they make car chassis from it. It's hard to damage.

You can use aluminium, but it still ain't cheap.

"Kickstarter boxed games, there's no way all of these companies are paying massive sums for plastic molds."

The idea of Kickstarter is lost on some.

They need to crowd fund to be able to afford to make the moulds.

Again, plastic cheap, metal moulds expensive.

In fact it's the rising costs of metal itself that pushes people to make plastic figures in the first place.

The H Man05 Feb 2023 2:28 p.m. PST

And I'll add, it's the huge costs involved in cutting metal moulds for plastic figures that has people making resin, pvc and other such figures. It's even what's keeping many producing metal figures, aside from the better quality, of course, even though metal costs so much more than plastic. Even siocast and 3d printing. All desperately trying to avoid paying $1,000 USDs, if not $10,000 USDs for a mould.

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