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40K: The Ultra-Exclusive Ultra Arrives and the Era of the Collector

2 Minute Read
Apr 14 2014
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A new ultra exclusive Space Marine miniature mini heralds the era of “Collector’s Edition” products.

GW updated their new website and with it came a new “Exclusive Miniature”.

First take a look at this guy:

Space Marine Captain – Limited Edition, Web Exclusive #2


DescriptionWEBSTORE EXCLUSIVE $30
Only available until midnight (UK time) 1st June 2014

This exclusive plastic miniature can only be purchased by entering the unique promotional code that was supplied with the free ‘Space Marine Captain – limited edition, Web Exclusive’ miniature.

This action-ready Captain with plasma pistol, power fist and banner is the second miniature in the two-part Web Exclusive Collection. This Space Marine Captain will never be available again, so don’t miss out on your only opportunity to add this miniature to your collection.

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So to me that looks like a fairly pedestrian Space Marine Captain.  But that whole “ultra-exclusive” angle with the promotional code got me thinking.

At Adepticon, I kept running into hardcore gamers who were really upset that they didn’t get to grab a Horus Heresy Collector’s Edition in the 12 hours before it sold out.  Then let’s think back to the $100 Void Shield Generator that sold out pretty much instantly (and now is only available at extortion prices on eBay).

And that has me thinking back to that language that has been flowing into official GW company financial statements of late about how the company is now catering to “collectors”.  It does feel recently like we are seeing GW test the waters with purposely limited releases of items at stratospheric prices to further increase their “rarity and collector’s items” status.

It’s classic high-end luxury goods marketing behavior, and it is certainly one way for GW to increase revenue at a time when they are working hard to climb out of the mid-year financial report.

But to me as a typical consumer, it all seems a bit too fancy and rarified.  It’s one thing to think Forgeworld and the miniatures are cool, and pick them up as I have money put aside now and then.  It’s quite another thing to feel like I’m in a GW created auction or race to get the items I’m interested in.

Purposely limiting supply to increase demand is a double edged sword for any manufacturer.  Sure, you get the revenue – but you quickly leave the mass market behind as well…

What’s your take on what’s going on?

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