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Hat have slowed, but are still functioning , the market has changed over the last few years , we are buying less, my own unpopular view is that the manufacturers need to put the prices up, so they can generate the revenue to produce new sets, because despite the wild claims of I will buy 100 sets of X if you make them, most of us only buy one or two boxes of most sets, and we are not a mass market. Quality over quantity seems to be the way the hobby is going with the resin companies churning out very high quality figures, and even I am tempted by some of the Nappies they do, then there is Germania figuren`s Zulu range that makes my plastic stuff look very toy like side by side, and it is being replaced by resin figures where applicable, Zvesda tried charging more , but it didn`t work, my thoughts are if the hobby is to survive and thrive we have to get off our habit of cheap figures and pay a bit more, I will pick my coat up on the way out.....
My issue in the UK is you have to use mail order(on line) as model shops and suppliers are a dying breed. This takes the guts (or fun) out of it. I now have more disposable income than ever and my hobbies are fading fast.
The wider picture is this is affecting most hobbies. I think I will have to start to collect Rembrandts. In essence I am buying nearly nothing in this hobby as it is too much of a task to get the stuff from my mind/want to my collection. The anti gambling slogan says rightly about gambling "when the fun stops stop" better still never to start. Price may be one of the factors but upping prices will just give me the smug and entirely false satisfaction that I wouldn't pay those prices even if I was a trillionaire ( about a trillion £s short of that). Still my beneficiaries probably think the whole thing is brilliant and long overdue and about time Dad/Grandad spent his money on something other than low resale bitso plastic and put it into high yield ISAs. Funny that they don't tap into these arcane forums under a gormless pseudonym and tell us we are all doomed and the hobby is reaching its last gasp and far better to invest in stocks and shares ISAs.
Often said it but I feel like "Titus" Oates "I am just going outside and may be some time." is that the same as "I'll get me coat"?
Alan- I’m afraid I don’t agree. The chief cost of producing plastic figures is the mould. So to make sets work economically companies need to make more copies of less sets and keep them on the market longer. If collectors just want a few specialist sets and are prepared to pay more for them they should look to the metal manufacturers. Personally I have found the cost of plastic sets (now pushing the £10 mark) is prohibitively high. The days of buying sets I like the look of are over – I only buy stuff I need for specific projects - PS I know this won't be a popular view on this forum.
Philip, if you buy 12 Newline cavalry, it costs you 15 pounds. Forty metal infantry figures is 21 pound. Newline, nice figures, are on the cheaper end of metals.
Plastics, providing most/all of the figures are useable, is still more cost effective.
Yes, but other respondents are saying they would pay more for plastic figures and in previous posts have discussed things that surely no-one would want in large quantities, civilians for example. For building large forces plastic figures are the most cost effective so keep the manufacturers on track making things that people would want in large quantities than more esoteric sets.
I also suspect that whilst popular amongst collectors, the HaT MAC format ate deeply into their margins.
I've drawn the exact same conclusion from it. Production is simplified by releasing a single set for each nation, but with the right mix of pose variety. One could easily have 2 action sprues plus 2 marching and 1 command sprue in one box (the current sampler has 3). This is the old approach to model manufacturing, the Esci Revell one, essentially. That's what Hät has been attempting when they came up with their "samplers", a time-leap back to the origins of 1/72, trying to see if they can replace the MAC format with them.
I have no problem with one set containing all poses needed for everyone.
This way we all share in the cost of production regardless of our particular hobby needs and uses.
My needs and interests in collecting are constantly changing and I've even mellowed over the years and this way I will always have matching figures for new uses and conversions. I never get rid of anything, even sprews can be used for conversions and accessories such as log barricades.
Bottom line, I trust the manufacturers to find the best fit in production for themselves to keep their profits up and prices and blood pressure down.
Thank you Strelets. Your current format is "Good Value for My Money!" :wink:
Come on fellas, brighten up! This thread seems to have descended into a death spiral of pessimism based on the 'I think it so it must be true' line of argument that has become so prevalent in our idiocracy world.
Here are some observations.
- We have Strelets driving a 'golden age' that makes that of the 90s and early 21st century seem quiet.
- A recent comment from admin on the Hat forum suggests that they are playing the long game and will have increased flexibility to produce figures at at range of scales.
- As has been pointed out above, Linear A have produced some lovely sets recently and have a steady stream of top quality figures in production.
- The Ultima Ratio gladiators are beaut. Comments from others suggest that those that don't interest me were too.
- Mars are still producing sets. I have always liked their 'interesting' figures (can seem rough, great when painted), but they are 'improving' so as to become more appealing to the 'mainstream' (as evidenced by ratings on Plastic Soldier Review).
- Others like Waterloo 1815 produce occasional sets and there will be other manufacturers that you can add to this, I am sure.
- Each day/week I see new names of people adding comments, questions, ideas or astute observations on the two fora that I follow (this one and Hat). You'll find even more if you go beyond English. So, there are a few of us 'men playing soldiers' out there.
-You can obtain figures for most troop types of the 'major' conflicts of history. I'm sure that any of you could list conflicts that are not covered (a sad indictment on human history), but I expect they'd be less well-known and could be covered by available figures with a bit ofr imagination and/or knife/putty work and/or paint.
- I suspect that we here in the antipodes pay more than just about anywhere else. At $0.40 to $0.75 per figure (multiply by around 1.9 for GBP, 1.5 for USD and 1.6 for Euro) with great detail and fine sculpting they are still keen buying. I'm more than happy to add metal figures to fill gaps or if I want a heap of guns, for example.
- We are sequestering carbon in figures that will last for 40+ years (granted a few problems with the production process need some work as does a way to re-use/recycle those sprues).
I could go on, but you'll be pleased that I won't, I'm sure.
If you want to see the hobby last longer than any of us will, show the little tackers what grandpa/poppa/great uncle (hopefully female versions too) is doing. Play a simple game or two with them. Make a section of diorama with them. Let 'em paint a figure or two—they could be the prized individual in your army (if necessary you can allow a bit of 'wastage' with the keenly priced plastics or clean 'em up and paint again). Buy them presents to 'sow the seed'. I was speaking with one of the staff in our local (100 km away) shop when I was buying Christmas presents for some of ours (Battletech starter set, Warhammer 50K starter set and a couple of 'strategy-style board games). She is into role-playing games and has been working on her nieces with books, videos, games and says that she now has her sister interested in watching the stuff that she once poo-pooed so as to be up with her daughters!
Plenty of upside for mine!
You started an interesting discussion Yevgen, but it got a life of its own!
A somewhat direct answer to your question. I recently got Caesar's WWI German Army c/- Rupert at Drum and Flag. They were initially out of stock. In response to my enquiry he suggested that he'd get some in weeks. It took days! So, they are/have beeny producing from their existing catalogue. I hope that's of some use.