GW (bless ’em)

MMP Mithril in Middle-Earth The Prancing Pony GW (bless ’em)

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  • #207
    Barliman
    Participant

    The GW machine was always a subject for discussion in the ‘old’ Pony, so I thought we could use this old broom cupboard in the corner to continue the tradition (Nob will have to find somewhere else to sleep).

    The subject was brought back to my unreliable memory by a surf through the Last Alliance website yesterday (OK, I confess, I look at it on occasion), wherein one of their correspondents remarks on the fact that the company has made yet more staff redundant, axed some of its products and services and cancelled the dividend due to its shareholders.

    These are obviously not good signs. The fact that GW has been in a state of, how shall we put it, financial embarrassment for a year or so is well known, but these latest rumours, if true, place their entire future in question.

    I for one would find the company’s demise a sad loss. OK, some (many…) of their post-movie LOTR releases have been disappointing, but at its best the company has produced some fine figures if what you’re looking for is genuinely movie-based collectibles; and they have some very talented designers (the Perrys, Brian Nelson and others) who I wouldn’t wish to see out of work.

    But perhaps these are only rumours after all, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

    #1181
    Barliman
    Participant

    The GW machine was always a subject for discussion in the ‘old’ Pony, so I thought we could use this old broom cupboard in the corner to continue the tradition (Nob will have to find somewhere else to sleep).

    The subject was brought back to my unreliable memory by a surf through the Last Alliance website yesterday (OK, I confess, I look at it on occasion), wherein one of their correspondents remarks on the fact that the company has made yet more staff redundant, axed some of its products and services and cancelled the dividend due to its shareholders.

    These are obviously not good signs. The fact that GW has been in a state of, how shall we put it, financial embarrassment for a year or so is well known, but these latest rumours, if true, place their entire future in question.

    I for one would find the company’s demise a sad loss. OK, some (many…) of their post-movie LOTR releases have been disappointing, but at its best the company has produced some fine figures if what you’re looking for is genuinely movie-based collectibles; and they have some very talented designers (the Perrys, Brian Nelson and others) who I wouldn’t wish to see out of work.

    But perhaps these are only rumours after all, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

    #1182
    twrich
    Participant

    What I think might be sad is the loss of awareness that GW brings to our subject.

    I always have felt that Mithril (Chris) represents the spirit of Tolkien better than any other, but have appreciated the commercial appeal that the Lord of the Ring films have engenderd. Mithril likely benefited from the popularity of the movies.

    And GW makes Mithril look good by comparison

    #1203
    Wendy
    Participant
    twrich wrote:
    And GW makes Mithril look good by comparison

    :):D😆:D🙂

    #1208
    Gavin
    Participant

    GW’s financials are a matter of public record.

    And they are pretty woeful.

    They also cancelled the best selling roleplaying release of the year – two days after releasing it. The theory goes that they are either going to re-focus on their own properties (WH and WH40K) or trying to make themselves attractive to a buyer. Or even both.

    All this looks to me that we might not see a renewed LOTR license (because that sucker costs lotsofmoney), or at least not a 10 year renewal. I also think that the Hobbit will be a big movie event, but nothing of the scale of Lord of the Rings. (The second movie will be more interesting from a licensing perspective).

    So, the long and the short of it is – I’d stake money on someone other than GW carrying their SBG forward (probably paying a license fee to re-cast GW miniatures and using a different ruleset). GW will still be around, licensing its IP and probably reduced to a small number of shops.

    Gavin

    #1218
    hsf62
    Participant

    It is finerly happening! GOOD! Big mouth get’s a kick in the behind. When they started they sold a lot of figures cast with shit metal which was eaten away by lead rott. Now they sell plastic. I wonder what was better? The old metal I guess, at least I don’t have to look at these minis anymore….

    #1220
    Barliman
    Participant

    I take it from your comments that you’re not a GW fan, Holger! But in fairness, they haven’t used poor-quality metal (or even lead) for many years, and far more of their figures are in metal than in plastic. And regardless of what we may think of their products, many people love them. It’s a case of ‘eye of the beholder’ and ‘horses for courses’, as ever. I confess to liking some GW figures sufficiently to include them in my Middle-earth armies (though maybe I wouldn’t if I had to pay full price!), especially where no appopriate Mithrils are (or at least used to be) available.

    #1221
    Gildor
    MMP Elder

    Though my point of view is not as… negative as Holger’s, I must admit I have never liked GW… First because , from the beginning, I try to defend a collector point of view for figurines…. as opposed to wargaming… And though GW has produced roleplayin/collector figurines (citadel etc) it is mainly because of them (and Warhammer) that this image of the small figurine (32mm) was necesarrily associated with wargaming by the mass people. Don’t get me wrong, I am not angry at wargamers or anything… but at the marketing force that put in front line the wargaming possibilities, putting back the collecting aspect. I always supported the idea that both should exist without confronting each other… Many brands of figurines have disappeared because of what GW has done…

    And besides, there is a style…… Mithril is realistic, GW is fantasist in the shapes and design of their figurines… I always have liked realism…. Mithril is to GW what Everquest 2 is for Worlds of Warcraft (for those of you who know these references)….
    And I am a long time fan of EQ2 and I don’t like WoW at all for the same reasons I don’t like GW… mass people, simplicism, unrealistic design of characters.

    Who besides Mithril makes realistic figurines? excepted the famous collector figurine brands such as Pegaso, Andrea, and all sorts of historical figurines. The fantasy ranges are … left only with Mithril… (even Andrea 32mm is too fantasist for me, unlike the 54mm)

    #1224
    Wendy
    Participant
    Gildor Inglorion wrote:
    Who besides Mithril makes realistic figurines? excepted the famous collector figurine brands such as Pegaso, Andrea, and all sorts of historical figurines. The fantasy ranges are … left only with Mithril… (even Andrea 32mm is too fantasist for me, unlike the 54mm)

    Thunderbolt Mountain figs are nice and well proportioned, but it’s basically Tom Meier’s hobby so while the prices are very nice, the availability is difficult. (They are closed till mid April.)

    I’m not too fond of any of Andrea’s figures. Their casting quality is not consistent and their accuracy is suspect. Pegaso and Romeo have beautiful figs, but expensive (not that Andrea isn’t). Enigma’s 54mm fantasy figs are nice, from what I’ve heard, but the quality goes down quite a bit for their smaller scale fantasy figs.

    I would be more ambivalent towards GW if they hadn’t been such a bully to other companies.

    #1237
    ddaines
    Participant
    Wendy wrote:
    I would be more ambivalent towards GW if they hadn’t been such a bully to other companies.

    I think that sums it up about perfect Wendy. :D

    #1241
    hsf62
    Participant

    What goes around comes around as they say.
    There are actually some figures I like produced by :(:( But these got produced a long time ago and I do have them still. One of these guys got now submitted by the wandering Elf and will have my full support, even thogh I think GW has done a lot better (detail) then Chris so far with his eagles.

    #1253
    presto247365
    Participant

    Hmmm…mixed feelings about this one. Although I don’t particularly care for the way GW pushed it’s weight around with licensing and other marketing issues. And some of their figs are good, and some are utter crap. All are VERY expensive for a mass-produced item. I make of point of almost always buying GW stuff second hand to save myself money and to protest the way the market themselves.

    The fact remains that they put wargaming, specifically fantasy wargaming, back into the forefront of the gaming community. In my book, that is a good thing.

    There’s a lot of rumblings in the historical gaming community about how hard it is to keep doing business as a figure manufacterer, and how many brick and mortar hobby shops have closed here in the States. I think a lot of that has to do with the universal availability of hobby supplies on the internet via E-bay or direct sales. It makes brick and mortar redundant. GW has fallen prey to the same pitfalls as Starbucks. Over-expansion, loss of core identity, and watering down of the brand.

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are going to hobby shops with my Dad, who was always shopping for model railroad items. I still recall seeing all the racks of the old Ral Partha and Grenadier D&D figs. GW’s stores were fun in that same way, if more slick and sales oriented. I can only hope they introduced a generation of youngsters to gaming, collecting and modelling fantasy figures.

    BTW, my 3 1/2 year old son, Max, wants to say “HI” to the crowd in the Pony! This summer, I’m going to read him the Hobbit as a bed-time story for a few weeks! :D

    #1254
    Barliman
    Participant

    Is this the one you promised to lend me for cleaning out the stables a while back? It’s good to hear you’re bringing him up the way you should!

    As for your precis of the GW situtation, I think you’ve covered all the salient points very succinctly. GW are in effect the victims of their own success and their own business ethics (as Holger said, what goes around comes around). And I agree entirely, though I sense that many would not, that their demise – should it come to that – would be a Bad Thing for the hobby rather than a Good Thing.

    #1263
    hsf62
    Participant

    I don’t wish GW to be closed down eighter, but what’s going on at the moment may get them thinking again….Hopefully the thoughts will go in the right direction!

    #1277
    Gavin
    Participant

    There’s also this guy:
    http://www.ebobminiatures.com/

    Who makes some pretty impressive Great Eagles and potential Easterling figures.

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