View Full Version : Figure prices
01-01-2004, 05:22 PM
Just carrying on from the previous topic. Does anyone feel that figure prices, especially 25mm are getting out of hand? I understand market forces etc, I even have an economics qualification, but lets be honest, when it gets to over a pound a figure (not sure what that is in dollars, about $ 1.75 ??) is it becoming a bit prohibitive?? At my club the only 25mm armies are years old.
I like 25mm but I can get 2 or even 3 15mm armies for the price of a 25mm army. Are manufacturers "killing the goose that lays the golden egg"??? I'd love a 25mm DBM army but I have no chance of affording one, I cant justify spending £200 or more on it.
I realise that living in the UK we are spoilt with no real problems of distance when it comes to going to shows and seeing figures but there is little point looking at figures when you can only afford to buy a few of 'em. Will 15mm go the same way??? Hope not!! I just thank God I'm a 15mm man!!! It's a second mortgage for a 25mm army now!
[ January 01, 2004, 14:24: Message edited by: AlanYork ]
01-02-2004, 02:43 AM
Perhaps it has something to do with the GAMES WORKSHOP phenomenon. If I am not mistaken, thsoe games are 28mm, however, an army of figures for those games doesn't end up being a large amount of models, as (Warhammer 40K at least) the games are akin to what we would call skirmish games. so they maximize revenue by driving prices up, and making sure you need a fair amount of figures (but not too many) to field an force. Of course, they turned around and made their rules for 10mm, so you could build more traditional armies, but OH NO! you really can't use any other figures.
01-02-2004, 11:19 AM
When I compare the prices of any fanatasy with any but Foundry historicals I have to laugh. Fantasy seems to average around $3 US per figure. My flgs owner who is a great fantasy fan but carries no historicals is in shock every time I tell him that historicals can be had for 1/3 that price!
I have seen non-GW single figures as high as $8+.
This is why I love 15mm.
01-02-2004, 02:52 PM
I play 25mm and sell 15mm armies. In DBA even the top end 25mm/28mm stuff is reasonable, and an army can be had for around $100. The pagentry, the detail level of painting and all the visual effects are enough to warrant the price. Only in traveling to 15mm have an edge IMO.
I tend to pay around $1 per fig in 25mm. Then again, I prefer GB, Ral Partha, and bargan bins smile.gif
01-02-2004, 08:38 PM
I use 25mm and 28mm figures for my own skirmish and small battle rules. I have also been cosidering doing DBA armies in big figures. (Currently I do DBA and HotT in 15mm and 6mm.)
Prices vary according to manufacturer. Warrior Miniatures 25mm figures work out at 25p each if you buy their 100 piece army packs. Newline, Old Glory and Gripping Beast are a bit more expensive but are 28mm figures. However, I can not see myself starting another army that depends upon Foundry figures.
Alan York is right about the price differential between 15mm and many 28mm figures. I have considered buying a Redoubt 28mm Mycenaean DBA army pack for £50. I can not remember exactly how much the Essex 15mm Mycenaean I have just finished painting cost, but am sure that it was less than £20.
01-02-2004, 11:32 PM
Also consider that a 25mm figure contains much more lead than a 15mm.
01-03-2004, 03:40 AM
Originally posted by Ted Galacci:
Also consider that a 25mm figure contains much more lead than a 15mm. Irrelevant, Ted. The figures are not made of silver. The cost of materials in a 15mm figure is basically nothing (a few pennies at most); the cost of materials in a 25mm is probably four times that -- 10 cents total rather than two and a half cents. I've bought casting pewter by the ten-pound ingot; the materials cost is not what drives the figure price.
01-04-2004, 07:51 PM
''I'd love a 25mm DBM army but I have no chance of affording one, I cant justify spending £200 or more on it.''
Choose the army carefully - I bought an early libyan army from Gripping Beast for less than twenty pounds.
OK - so it's I/7d, but it's a full DBA army.
the bigger figures are so much more impressive on the table. and to be honest, so much more entertaining to paint.
I have seven 28mm armies and two 15mm ones.
you'll see some of my armies in the gallery soon- there is one in this update.
Granadine in 28mm cost me little - I'll go and total it up.
01-04-2004, 08:15 PM
There are a number of more of less fixed costs in producing a figure; metal, labour, overhead, packaging, distribution, marketing.
But there is also the question of how you value the intellectual property and creativity that went into sculpting the figure.
All consumer businesses face the classic trade-off between volume and margin.
25mm+ figures have virtually become miniature works of art and the manufacturers are pricing them accordingly. They go for margin per figure to make things worthwhile.
15s seem to be more competitive on price and manufacturers tend toward the volume end of the equation - even though there is arguably just as much creativity in the sculpts.
Ultimately of course, it is us who decide whether X's lovely 28mm Knights are worth 1 pound per figure or 2 or whatever.
Supply and demand tell. The upper limit of figure prices is what we're prepared to pay.
Personally I love 25s too, and have embraced DBA partly because I can have lovely 25mm armies at a reasonable cost.
I now have a matched pair of 25mm DBA English and French HYW armies, but only play DBM in 15s.
[ January 04, 2004, 17:17: Message edited by: Whatisitgood4 ]
01-05-2004, 08:07 AM
Irrelevant, Ted. The figures are not made of silver. The cost of materials in a 15mm figure is basically nothing (a few pennies at most); the cost of materials in a 25mm is probably four times that -- 10 cents total rather than two and a half cents. I don't think it's irrelevant - but it is constant across manufacturers.
On average 28mm figures contain 8 to 10 times as much metal as the 15mm guys. My rough costings work out at about 8p for 25/28mm metal costs and around a penny for 15mm.
BUT there are considerably more 15mm figures in a mould than 25mm, spin cost is greater per figure. Postage cost is greater both to the caster and back.
This explains the difference betwen 15mm and 25mm.
The explanation of difference in prices in the same size is purely down to quality.
To parallel the car world A Jag X type costs pretty much the same to produce as a Mondeo (COntour Mystique), they are based on the same floor pan and most of the mechanicals are identical - trim and extras are different - the prices are too, around 25% extra for a 'Jag'.
Recently in 15mm I have had figures from Corvus Bellis and Old Glory - one manufacturer was very cheap, one wasn't.
I spent nearly five minutes cleaning up a single horse from one of them - I looked at the rest of the pack and they were all the same. Result is some expensive waste. The figure by the other manufacturer are almost finished.
In the end you get what you pay for - it's down to personal preference.
For years Foundry had the market sewn up for top quality, well sculpted figs. Not any more, other manufacturers are catching up, check out stuff by Newline, Gripping Beast, Corvus Bellis, Xyston, Mirilton and more.
Market forces have dictated what is out there - I woudl gladly pay a pound a fig if they are exactly what I want and I like the sculpting.
To me that is much better value than 50 pence for rubbish I don't want to paint or game with.
I probably spend three times as much time painting as gaming, I don't want to spend this time painting rubbish badly just so I can finish yet another army.
DBA IMHO is designed around a central philosophy of 'less is more' I want my 12 elements to be miniature dioramas to the highest quality I can achieve. Hence I buy the best figures I can.
But to date I have only ever bought two Foundry packs and both were in the sale - there are limits even I cannot bear to cross!!
[ January 05, 2004, 05:17: Message edited by: GAZMAN ]
01-05-2004, 11:33 AM
Is £1 for a 28mm figure really so much to ask? For the amount of painting time, gaming time and general enjoyment you get from a great figure, I think it is very fair. The figure makers I've come across, with a very few exceptions, seem to be very small businesses producing low volume, niche market products - I don't think we're making too many millionaires with our figure purchases.
01-05-2004, 12:18 PM
I think you're darn right - what can you get for a quid these days???
An hours parking, half a pint of cheap beer, ten doughnuts, just over a litre of petrol, a bottle of water...etc. I don't know what the US equivs are...
Personally I am more than happy with £1 a fig in 25/28mm providing the sculpting is worthy of close inspection.
What I object to is paying any amount at all for something that doesn't pass muster.
[ January 05, 2004, 09:19: Message edited by: GAZMAN ]
01-05-2004, 06:51 PM
Ivan Nastikov, just as a matter of interest, do you use the official 60mm wide bases or do you go use 80mm wide bases for 28mm?
Sorry to go off topic, but I have quite a few Foundry North European Bronze Age figures to paint that I am intending to do as a DBA army. Their main opponent is going to be later Mycenaeans in 28mm. Those elements on both sides which have four figures on will be a bit cramped if I shoehorn them onto the official 60mm wide bases.
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