Before we begin…
Nova Cult take a deep breath. Do you feel better? Good. Now moving on to more important things…
As you have noticed the Interwebs spreads the hate towards GW all the time and we still keep on buying like good plastic crack addicts. One of the major gripes leveled at GW recently has been the change in policy as it relates to new releases. Gone are the days seeing new models and codices a month before you could buy them. Now all new releases come out a week to 10 days after being announced.
The change of to the release schedule has led many Independent retailers to join the chorus of hate. Already fighting a tough economy, independent retailers are now forced to guess GW product demand without time to gauge the level of interest or product quality. At the same time savvy shoppers aren’t just going to throw down a grip of cash on an entire range of new models if they are any good on the table top. GW has also dropped giving promo models to stores as well, so even the hobbyist cannot take models out for a test drive.
My local shop quickly called the policy change “Mandrakes are unplayable therefore policy”. The theory goes with players having access to the Dark Eldar codex a month in advance they quickly found Mandrakes not very playable– even though they looked amazing. So when my store received the minimum two boxes of Mandrakes they have collected dust ever since. What is GW response? Instead of making every unit good in a new codices GW instituted a new policy that is “designed” for “impulse” buying because everyone knows dropping dough on Games Workshop products is SO impulse!
With the release of new Dark Eldar models and Ogre Kingdoms we have gotten a taste of the GW strategy.
Surprisingly (and a bit frightened), I think I like it.
I have enough self-control that I don’t need instant gratification and I am willing to wait before buying a product. I have no problem waiting. I like seeing the new stuff go on the GW website and bam! a few days later it arrives at my store. No longer do I have to fight for Codex time as the one book is tossed around like Snooki in a bar fight. I now go in, buy my book and leave. If I want to buy a new model I do a little online research and if I like I can head back down to the store. This of course doesn’t work for everyone, many don’t have self-control, uninformed, and or just lazy.
As a consumer, I am fine without the month-long anticipation and I know what I like aesthetically to decided if a model is pretty enough to buy. This doesn’t change the fact that independent retailers are left with uncertainty and have a tougher time gauging just how much they need to order. For my local store they buy the minimum required and try to avoid Fine Cast and single models. That leaves one hand shaking my fist in protest, while the other still passes over the credit card.
What do you think of this particular GW policy change?