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#1 Mon, Feb4 2008 9:05am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

GW (bless 'em)

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.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#2 Mon, Feb4 2008 9:51am

twrich
The Man in the Dark
From: Minneapolis, MN USA
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 686

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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


"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those that wander are lost." (Strider, The Fellowship of the Ring)

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#3 Mon, Feb4 2008 5:13pm

Wendy
Slowest Painter Ever
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 361
Website

Re: GW (bless 'em)

twrich wrote:

And GW makes Mithril look good by comparison

smilebig_smilelolbig_smilesmile

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#4 Mon, Feb4 2008 5:31pm

Gavin
Skilled Artisan
From: Canada
Registered: Wed, Jan30 2008
Posts: 916

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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

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#5 Tue, Feb5 2008 3:31am

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Australia Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2796

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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....


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#6 Tue, Feb5 2008 8:47am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#7 Tue, Feb5 2008 2:52pm

Gildor Inglorion
Wandering Elf
From: Montpellier, France
Registered: Fri, Jan25 2008
Posts: 3802
Website

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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)


"Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill." (Gildor Inglorion, LOTR1)

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#8 Tue, Feb5 2008 5:53pm

Wendy
Slowest Painter Ever
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 361
Website

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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.

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#9 Tue, Feb5 2008 11:53pm

ddaines
Skilled Artisan
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 1785

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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. big_smile

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#10 Wed, Feb6 2008 2:45am

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Australia Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2796

Re: GW (bless 'em)

What goes around comes around as they say.
There are actually some figures I like produced by sadsad 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.


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#11 Thu, Feb7 2008 3:36am

presto247365
Adventurer
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 94

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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!   big_smile

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#12 Thu, Feb7 2008 8:58am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#13 Fri, Feb8 2008 1:00pm

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Australia Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2796

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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!


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#14 Sat, Feb9 2008 7:00pm

Gavin
Skilled Artisan
From: Canada
Registered: Wed, Jan30 2008
Posts: 916

Re: GW (bless 'em)

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

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

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#15 Wed, Feb13 2008 12:32am

Axel
Collector
From: Norden
Registered: Sat, Feb2 2008
Posts: 102

Re: GW (bless 'em)

Regarding Great Eagles:

http://www.fantasyladen.de/gamezone/03-56.jpg
http://www.fantasyladen.de/gamezone/03-54.jpg

Gamezone makes fine minis for GW-games. They are also available with riders, but all their stuff is deliberately GW style. See here a pic with rider to get a figure of their size:

http://www.fantasyladen.de/gamezone/08-31.jpg

They will do fine for a conversion with Gandalf should the suggestion not win.

Regarding GW, I don`t think they will vanish soon. If they run into serious financial trouble they will close their stores.

Last edited by Axel (Wed, Feb13 2008 12:35am)

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#16 Wed, Feb13 2008 3:22am

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Australia Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2796

Re: GW (bless 'em)

That's the details I'm talking about! Very similar to the old Marauder High Elf on Eagle. The High Elf was  s... but the eagle is great.
Thank you for the info.


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#17 Wed, Feb13 2008 8:39am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

Nice eagles!


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#18 Wed, Feb13 2008 8:41am

Gildor Inglorion
Wandering Elf
From: Montpellier, France
Registered: Fri, Jan25 2008
Posts: 3802
Website

Re: GW (bless 'em)

very very nice eagles indeed!


"Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill." (Gildor Inglorion, LOTR1)

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#19 Thu, Feb14 2008 12:30am

Axel
Collector
From: Norden
Registered: Sat, Feb2 2008
Posts: 102

Re: GW (bless 'em)

I already ordered a couple. I will post how they build and look in real when they arrive in around three weeks. Sometimes Gamezone have problems with the fit of their kits, though the price is usually acceptable. 15€ for an eagle is not over the top, if compared to the prices of GW or (due to their low numbers) Mithril.

The second eagle would make a great diorama with Frodo and Sam after they disposed of the Ring...

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#20 Sat, Mar29 2008 7:29am

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

I see pictures of the upcoming Black Numenoreans from GW (ptui!) have appeared on the Last Alliance site. As predicted, they look like over-the-top plate-armoured Fantasy types, resembling lots of movie Mouths of Sauron more than anything else. I can't help wondering how Chris would have visualised them - nothing like these creatures, I'm sure. Perhaps one day we'll find out. In the meantime, none of the GW (ptui!) monstrosities will be appearing in my armies.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#21 Sun, Mar30 2008 12:59pm

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

The Perrys don't design all the GW LOTR figures, Master Estel - more's the pity - and they didn't design these. They're the work of the dreaded Gary Morley, who is happily no longer with GW but has left behind a seemingly substantial quantity of figures yet to be released. About half a dozen designers are currently working on GW's LOTR range.

And what's this nonsense about tea? You'll never get hairs on your chest that way.


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#22 Sun, Mar30 2008 9:23pm

Barliman
The famous Innkeeper
From: Bree
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 4239

Re: GW (bless 'em)

Elves have hairless chests? Wow, maybe I'm part-Elf too, then. That might explain a lot, though I am, alas, ageing at the same depressing rate as all mortals.

And never fear, the only things that make me angry are (1) Gary Morley figures, and (2) people not wanting to drink my fine ale - ah, hmm, I think I see what you mean...


"A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried."

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#23 Wed, Apr2 2008 3:10pm

hsf62
Master Caster
From: Australia Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 2796

Re: GW (bless 'em)

Thats the way! Have some ale. I try to grow some hair on my chest with drinking ale.....Hmm I must be a elf too. I have only managed to grow 5 hair on my chest in the last 45 years. I guess I have another 5000+ years to go to see at least some (555hair) results.


Where there is a will there is a way, just as there are no problems, only solutions! Guess it depends on ones own perspective of the matter at that time big_smile

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#24 Wed, Apr2 2008 6:54pm

Theobald
Wisest of Ents
From: the Osning in Germany
Registered: Tue, Jan29 2008
Posts: 5561
Website

Re: GW (bless 'em)

Huoommmm ... just don't haste, Master Caster ...lol

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