Did Forge World Just Raise Prices?

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Many hobbyists are reporting today that Forge World just raised prices on many Astartes models, perhaps to compensate for a loss in sales to  new plastics?


Hobbyists have noted that some Astartes infantry have gone up  £1, and a smattering of smaller vehicles increased from  £3 to £5.

Some specific price increases we have been able to verify are;

  • Fellblade was £155, now £170
  • Spartan was £101 now £105
  • Sicaran was £72 now £76
  • Primarchs £57 to £60

It’s a very ominous timing for a price increase supposedly only affecting Astartes models. Naturally that has led to a lot of speculation about Forge World trying to re-coup sales that may be lost to the new plastic Horus Heresy game by Games Workshop.

Looking at both sides of the coin here, either this increase could have been handled differently, or it’s right on time to maximize profits at a time of peak HH and holiday demand.

betrayal at calth

New X-wing and Armada releases are next month as well, ohh my poor poor wallet.


  • Joseph Boyd

    Really Forge World! Like your crap wasn’t expensive enough.

    • Djbz

      Pretty much my thoughts, the price has ALWAYS been what stops me buying forge-world stuff
      Maybe one day they’ll realize that by lowering their prices they’ll double their sales….

      • JP

        Snicker… they haven’t learned that lesson in 40 years. It’s not happening now. If it does, I’ll eat a whole bowlful of fried grasshoppers.

        • Djbz

          I know. 🙁
          It’s a shame, there is so much I’d get I just can’t justify that level of extortionate price though…

        • They´r actually not that bad you know? Even loaded with vitamines. Now, a bowl of nails however…

          • JP

            I know. I said that because I’ve tried grasshopper. Kind of tasteless, which makes it easy to give them any flavor you want.

      • DeadlyYellow

        But lowering prices cuts into profits, and devalues the brand as a whole! How will they maintain being a premium model company if everyone has their models?

        • The Long Night of Solace

          More importantly, how can they guarantee the increase in sales will compensate for the loss in profit per item sold?

          • DeadlyYellow

            As opposed to merchandise that doesn’t move?

          • The Long Night of Solace

            So you have access to their sales figures?

          • Azrell

            Its a publicly traded company. So yes we all have access to sales numbers.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            Broken down on a product by product basis?

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          it may not apply to FW, but for GW they are operating contrary to logic.

          They sell a product with high development costs (design, molds etc) but a very low unit production cost (cardboard and plastic is cheap). Thus they benefit from high volume sales. Deliberately contracting their sales base through high prices works against this economy of scale.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        they’ll realise that just after they go bankrupt!

      • HoldthePhone

        This “lowering prices – doubling sales” mantra is the urban myth of this community.

        Ultimately no-one here knows the per unit margins GW and FW are working with. If they are I would be interested to know.

        On the basis of what independent (online) discounters achieve it is fair to say 20% of GW current RRP (ex delivery cost) is roughly the limit of what you can cut from the ticket price and still make a modest profit. Even thought this comparison ignores the different commercial operating conditions and requirements.

        Is a 20% price cut going to double purchases? Not a chance! It would be unlikely to come close to increasing purchases enough to offset the profit hit from the price drop.

        The reality is a Sicaran tank being £4 more expensive is not going to make a difference to the average FW consumer who is likely well invested in the IP and has the cash to back that up with. If someone is willing to pay £72 they will pay £76. Similarly, a single long term price drop is going to be closer to, if not less than, the 5% mark. Is the price falling to £68 going to double sales? Obviously not. On the basis of that £4 saving are you going to create more sales from people who were previously put off? Lets face it unlikely.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      still seems to be the same price from China…

      • The Long Night of Solace

        You can save a lot of money when you don’t have to pay taxes, nor adhere to health and safety laws, and pay your workforce a slave wage.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          or when you don’t have a network of failing games stores, an overpaid and under-performing board and a bunch of worried shareholders who only hang around because of regular dividends to support.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            Welcome to every PLC ever, which is most companies out there.

            That said, buy shares if you feel you could make a dent in their failings. If you’re successful, it could be very profitable.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            well that’s the thing with GW, it always feels like they could be so much more successful, and so much better for their customers, with just a few minor changes even without lowering prices. or spending a lot

            Lets list some:

            let us buy FW in GW stores without paying postage (instantly makes Chinese recasts less attractive).

            A range of cheap push-fit models for basic troops.

            Advertising new products ahead of time to build interest and allow people to save money for them.

            Communicate with customers. GW could take a leaf from FW’s book on this.

            Occasional sales. A loyalty system that applies wherever you buy your models.

            Treating retailers like the partners they are, not like someone you are doing a huge favour to.

            Reduce the barrier of entry to the game. This means radically cheaper rulebooks or free rules, and a decent supported skirmish variant.

            Consistency and balance in rules design. Stop changing how you write codices halfway through an edition.

            A known lifespan for codices (I suggest 3 years) or better still a living rule set.

            Playtesting! Perhaps even open community alpha tests.

            Timely FAQs and errata. When I buy an expensive book with major rules ambiguities, what exactly have I spent all this money for? Doesn’t make the customer feel good!

          • The Long Night of Solace

            1) Please don’t. A, I’d have to go into the local GW store, and B, I would be immediately broke if I could buy Forge World off the shelf. 😛
            2) They do this for Cadians, Cultists and Space Marines. IMO they just need to expand it across to other races.
            3) Advertising I fully agree with. So irritating, I don’t put aside a GW budget anymore because I never know what’s coming. Spartan have £100 of my money for the 25th of November when the Halo Massive Carrier ships they’ve teased since July are released. I could’ve bought a Stormsurge on release if I didn’t stumble across its existence and have to spend ages looking at the rules, dismiss it as alright, then find out two weeks later how it actually meshes with the Codex itself.
            4) FW do customer interaction so much better, I agree. I can’t speak from a retailer point of view, though, so I won’t say anything on that front.
            5) I think Kill Team or that Combat Patrol one would be perfect for Skirmish 40K if properly supported. Maybe one day…
            6) Balance, FAQs and such are another bugbear of mine. They’ve apparently said at an Open Day that FAQs/Erratas are a thing of the past for them now, which really annoys me. Not to mention stuff like the Tau Codex being effectively repackaged rather than updated, which feels pretty weak. There’s still glaring rules problems there that haven’t been addressed.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            timely FAQs and Errata seem like fundamental aspects of customer service for a games company. Otherwise you are just essentially abandoned by the manufacturer with a faulty product, a bit like a car maker refusing to correct a fault or even service the car you just bought.

            Very few published products are perfect on release, especially something as complex as games rules, so for GW just to say ‘get on with it it’s fine’ is very very poor!

          • Azrell

            What you talk about is called “effort”. Thats so much harder to do than just riding off the good will others banked 15 years ago.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            you are right, if GW were a new company there is no way they would dare to treat their customers so dismissively. We are all held hostage by the fact we are invested financially and emotionally in the game and fuff.

          • Shawn

            Well said Knight.

        • Samuel Sanchez

          Nor pay any sculptors or artists or have any legal departments. In actuality looking at China prices it’s really a ripoff considering how little of a discount you get from standard prices.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            Yeah, given that I don’;t even know what grade of resin they use. It must be a very profitable enterprise.

          • Porty1119

            The Chinese will generally build to the quality specified by the customer, provided they’re selling to a distributor or importer. For example, Chinese firearms are pretty fantastic quality (as in, I choose them over Remington for QC reasons), but Norinco is also accountable to their importers.

            For recasters that are likely small-shop operations with no accountability to an importer in the US, UK, or otherwise? I’d honestly be suspicious of their resin, and that’s coming from someone who actually appreciates the quality turned out by segments of Chinese manufacturing.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            Yeah, I’d wear a dust mask and goggles when sanding it, let’s just say that. Also gloves. Perhaps coveralls too. 😛

        • Drpx

          Just waiting for China to announce their first Hive City.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            Have you seen Beijing? Smog choked, sprawling, teeming with people working for an uncaring regime? 😛

          • Oceania

            Ahh good ‘ol fear mongering, have you ever been to China? I have, the people love their government because their government cares for them. In the end no one in China gives a damn what you think, you still buy all of their products making China huge profits while your local home grown companies either ship manufacturing to China or shutdown.

          • The Long Night of Solace

            “You fool, your anecdote is wrong and MY ANECDOTE is right!”

  • An_Enemy

    GW main: Here lil bro let me show you how the pros do it.

  • Orodruin

    I’m curious. Do FW and GW not share the same giant bank account? Just doesn’t really make sense from the “to compensate for lost sales due to plastics” theory so much as it would in a “let’s make more money, guys” theory.

    • Xlightscreen

      I was woundering that as well. It seems that GW likes to treat FW as some rival yet GW gives them the license to do stuff for 40k and such.

      • Azrell

        They are literally in the same building, like almost right down the hall from each other.

    • Jonathan Boynton

      FW is owned by GW, last I heard. That means they are legally separate entities, with different revenue and cost streams.

    • Spacefrisian

      Some still see FW as a seperate thing from GW, do not wake them up they havent figured it out yet.

    • Me

      I could be very wrong (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am – I mean this is the internet), but it is my understanding that both are wholly owned by Games Workshop Group PLC, but that they are separate business entities.

      Regardless of whether the above is right or wrong, the books are kept separately and major decisions are made based on those books. If FW starts underperforming, you can bet that someone is going to pull out a figurative ax.

  • rfinkle

    Eh, there are loads of new FW for cheap on EBay.

  • Robomummy

    GW products raise prices, in other news water is wet!

    • vlad78

      and GW sales decrease

      • Robomummy

        As long as they keep making models people will buy them.

        • Porty1119

          …in ever-decreasing quantities, perhaps.

  • Steve Painter

    “Naturally that has led to a lot of speculation about Forge World trying to re-coup sales that may be lost to the new plastic Horus Heresy game by Games Workshop.”

    Or maybe they’re just doing it because they can.

  • Site is down for maintenance. Hopefully the price changes weren’t intentional… but I am not going to hold my breath

  • vlad78

    170 pounds a fell blade. lol
    60 pounds a primarch. lol again

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      for a 28mm figure this is absurd.

  • MPSwift

    Considering commodity resin prices have increased between 1-3 pence per pound in the last year and I would assume Forge World use a slightly more specialist resin I would assume their material costs have increased as well, probably by more than 1-3p per pound. Add to that that they appear to have invested in at least 1-2 seats of SolidWorks or similar (the ordinatus was done in CAD, previously all FW models were hand sculpted – as I found out when I asked about a CAD job with them at an open day haha) which run between £4-8,000 roughly depending on the version plus either a new hire with CAD skills or training for existing staff which would be another couple of thousand. Also, if GW are planning on cranking the handle on the HH line (and why wouldn’t they) it wouldn’t be outside of the bounds of possibility that the FW team has been expanded to cope with the anticipated demand. Not to mention the replacement of old molds and some not so old ones such as the Spartan that had the two large side pieces re-cut to have the tracks molded on rather than as separate parts.

    TL;DR – barring the £15 hike on the superheavy (which does hurt) most of the increases are pocket change (the difference in price for the primarchs is less than a pint in Bugmans…). With UK inflation being so low at the moment it is a larger hike than I would expect but it’s still not horrific.

  • Parthis

    Why the question in the article title?

  • The Long Night of Solace

    They do this every year to counter inflation.

    • Spacefrisian

      I wonder how they do Market research…oh wait they dont.

      • The Long Night of Solace

        I imagine Forge World just ask customers at all the events they attend. I wish GW followed that example.

      • Drpx

        FW market research: “yup, people will still spend the price of a car down payment on a lump of plastic to beat up their friends’ lumps of plastic. Make another Knight variant.”

    • The Basement Gamer

      Inflation for US and UK for 2015 was less than 1%.

      • MPSwift

        0.1% to be precise! (UK anyway)

    • MPSwift

      Less about inflation (which in the UK is pitiful at the moment) more about increase in wages across the UK due to Osborne’s “Living Wage”, increase in material costs for resins, greater levels of investment (CAD seats and training for FW is a new departure) as well as the existing operating costs.

      • The Long Night of Solace

        That’s a more fair assessment. Gotta love Mr Osborne btw.

        • MPSwift

          My bank account (and therefore GW’s coffers) do at any rate! 😛

  • ted1138

    They must be expecting a lot of new customers(‘quick, raise prices before they get here!’).

  • Benderisgreat

    This, right here, is why people buy chinese knockoffs. This.

  • Their prices havent gone up in a while so this isnt that big a deal. You still save money on bundles never ceases to amaze me that people think this hobby is expensive lol

  • Shawn

    Or, perhaps, in compensation for all the Chinese knock offs.