Saturday, July 2, 2011

Games Workshop Metal: Crazy or Collectors Items?

I think the entire world, except for a few ancient tribes hidden deep in the Andes Mountains, have heard that Games Workshop has switched from metal to resin for their figures. The big debate on the many GW-based forums has been the poor quality of the new resin figures, which GW designates as Finecast, though gamers designate them something else unfit to mention in mixed company.

So this begs the question: Will the old metal Games Workshop  figures--and by 'old' I mean those that were in production as metal until only several weeks ago--will those figures now become prized collector's items? Will gamers and fanboys in the not so distant future pay even more money than sensible to get their hands on metal instead of resin? Currently, I am leaning toward "yes they will." And therein lies the rub.

If GW metal figures begin demanding high collector prices, what do we do? Do we sell off our mint-in-box/blister metal figures to rake in the big bucks, using the funds to purchase more "inexpensive" figures from the likes of Foundry? Do we keep the sealed metal figures on a shelf or in a display case, examples of the "good old days of metal" as their collector value increases in price? Or do we throw all caution and sensibility to the wind, rip open the perfectly sealed boxes, paint the sacred metal figures contained therein, and then play with said figures, all the while laughing madly as the world crumbles around us?

Ohhhh, I want the say the latter. I really, really do. But as I stare at my sealed mint-in-box Ambush at Amon Hen set of 10 metal figures, three of which are fairly useless in a game unless one wants to start the game with Boromir dying and Merry and Pippin being carted away by vile Uruk-hai. So as I stare at that boxed set of out-of-production-in-metal (OOPIM) goodness I paid an entire $5 at a Cold Wars flea market because the fellow thought they were plastic, I can't help but say to myself, "Boy, you got a collector's item there! Don't you dare open it because it will pay for your retirement!"

Sigh . . .  What in the world has happened to me!?! When did I go from being a miniature gamer to being a miniature "collector"? (Note that I said collector and not hoarder--there is a difference! As miniature gamers, we're all hoarders regardless what we like to tell the wife about our "collection" of unpainted figures.) Please tell me I am alone in my crazed thinking? Do we have collector's items now? Will you save your GW metal as your retirement fund or open them up right now, even going as far as playing with them (gasp!) unpainted just to "stick it to The Man"? This, my friends, is a weighty decision, is it not?

Then again, in a year or so Games Workshop could switch back to metal, thus rendering my above thesis totally invalid. On this matter, the tea leaves are unclear.

1 comment:

  1. The same thing happens...suprisingly enough to the 1/72nd plastic sets...some companies...Strelets and ceaser being but two have what seems to be limited runs on thier sets. This leads very quickly to price rises...sometimes within a year of them first coming out.
    Based on this I started buying not one but sometimes 3 sets of each of the sets I was interested in...1 for painting, 1 for any later projects and conversions and one ...all sealed and carefully packed away, for the "future".
    I´ve stopped doing this now as it got a bit expensive and I decided that I could actually carry on living a normal life without the rare sets and I wasn´t going to become a millionaire..even if I held onto the unopened sets for the next 100yrs.
    You´ll probably find the price will go up for the metal ones...and in a year or so the very same figs only available now in metal, will be released in resin..making the "old" metal ones an exotic choice rather than a necessary one.