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Prices of figures

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Ferris, May 14, 2015.

  1. Waterman Active Member

    Grandson been on here writing rubbish.
  2. Ray Stout Well-Known Member

    This is all very light hearted guys, but there is a serious side to this, and I see it all over the "Modelling Hobbies" scene in the UK and that is that we are pricing the young people OUT of our hobby. £20-30 for a new 54mm foot figure!! how are the aspiriring 14-15 yr. olds expected to find that sort of money? It's worse in the Model Railway field with engines selling for well over £100 or more. When I started, there were Airfix multi figures and 54mm figures were affordable, but not now. Ray
  3. MCPWilk A Fixture

    You can still get 54mm and 1/32 figures for a reasonable price. The problem lies with Pegaso, Andrea &c. pricing youngsters out of the market. I also think the problem lies deeper. There is a lack of narrative history teaching at school, teenagers now have the diversion of electronic games and construction 'toys' such as Lego give a far more instant hit for modern teenagers with a short attention span. Railway and aircraft modelling remain attractive with clever marketting and we must not forget that Games Workshop packs youngsters in as well.

    kevininpdx and Ferris like this.
  4. Martin64 A Fixture

    Agreed - and it`s surprising that Games Workshop and other are NOT pricing youngsters out of this hobby. A strong indication that it is not the price level that keeps youngsters away from historical miniatures. Looking back at my favorite Airfix Multipose and Collectors kits - currently Dragon, Masterbox etc offer great quality at a reasonable and affordable price for today`s newcomers.
    Pegaso and Andrea don`t target newcomers and kids with their ranges IMHO. They just have to keep an eye on hardcore figure enthusiasts and their ongoing willingness to pay what they ask for.
    Cheers, Martin
    Ferris likes this.
  5. DaddyO A Fixture

    Here's a few scans for you folks - Just love them old Historex adds :) (Afraid my MM collection is a bit patchy and not all have useful Historex adverts in them hence the odd dates)

    Attached Files:

    Ferris and Huw63 like this.
  6. Huw63 A Fixture

    I agree with your comments about the figures but not about vehicles. I started he Airfix route then Tamiya tanks then figures man years ago. I still do armour as I see them as a background to figures. What strikes me is that vehicles are much more expensive than they used to be. I think this a shame as get someone to build a tank, then they need a crew which leads into figure modelling.


    Martin64 and Ferris like this.
  7. Huw63 A Fixture

    Thanks for the memories. I got some Rousselot plates at the Montrouge show for 3 Euros each to replace some of the ones I bought from Historex decades ago but which a bit worn now - good deal that one. I have the book of the plates too but I think the plates are more useful as they are larger.


    DaddyO likes this.
  8. DaddyO A Fixture

    Still got my original Rosselot plates and binder box (which has now faded a bit, but then don't we all?) I couldn't bring myself to pass them on when I stopped doing figures way back when and I'm so glad now; they are simply beautiful to look at. I'm just a teensy bit green that you bought some for 3 euro's a piece Huw :D

    Must have root through them, because I've a Malmaluke figure just crying out to be built . . .
    Huw63 likes this.
  9. Ferris A Fixture

    I am getting closer to presentable results now and one thing that is very clear is that the price range of figures has increased a lot. It was said that new figures are £20-30, but there are good figures with prices around £10 (Hornet, Verlinden). That's what you pay for a Games Workshop mini. IF youngsters are staying out of historical figures (do we know if that is actually true?) I don't think it is because pf the price of figures, but rather because it is rather an uncool thing to do. Maybe even the word nerdy comes to mind. I don't care about that anymore, but youngsters do (I think). Anyway, I think it is great when shows engage youngsters and expose them to the hobby. Some will stick.

    Paul, thanks for the scans. I will add them to my overview.

    Hope to present first results after the weekend.

    Martin64 likes this.
  10. Huw63 A Fixture

    The binder box was something I couldn't afford at the time. Always wondered what they looked like though.


  11. Ferris A Fixture

    Hi Ray,

    Turns out the average pocket money of kids around that age currenlty is around £6,10 per week (UK data). That would buy 1 set of 4 Dragon figures per week. A high quality metal 54mm (let's say Hornet models) takes 2 weeks saving.
    This pocket money amount translates back to about £0,50/week in 1971, when figures cost around £1 each. So that figure would also take 2 weeks saving back then. The £20-30 figure you quote would take about 4 weeks saving, but I'm not sure this makes a fair comparison as this is a very high end figure with much higher quality than the one you could buy in 1971. (54mms today range from roughly £9-22 in the data I have collected so far).

    Just curious, do you remember how much pocket money you received when 14/15 years old (and when that was)?
    Would be interesting to compare. I don't remember how much I received unfortunately.

  12. Waterman Active Member

    I joined the RMs in 1958. I was paid as a 15 yr old Bugler/Drummer £1 a week, but out of that I had to buy, boot polish toothpaste soap Brasso Blanco Washing Powder, and send sheets and PT shorts to laundry. Everything else you had to hand wash yourself. Now if I was left with 5 shillings , 25 p in todays money after all that, then I considered myself rich. When I went home on leave the Admiralty paid me 2 shillings a day, 10 pence, for Ration Allowance, so from that I deduce that that is what they worked on when feeding us in Barracks. A trip to the Cinema, cheapest seat was 6d or 2-1/2 Pence. A pint of Mild was 10 old pence, so at 240 penny's in the £1 that worked out at 24 pints. Brown and Mild was 1and a penny a pint, a bit dearer. A pair of best Tweed trousers with the Red Stripe was £5 , a new peaked Cap White with Red Band was 10 shillings, 50 new pence. A silver topped malacca Regt Walking out cane/ Swagger Stick, was 2 shillings or 10 p. It all sounds cheap but it's all relevant, we were just as poor then as some people are now. Five years later serving as a 1st Class Marine, I was only getting £5 per week, I think that it later crept up in increments to £7 . A ticket home on the train from Portsmouth to Kent, nr Chatham, was 7/6 for a Servicemans Return. 37-1/2 pennies. Southdown coach to Bristol was 5 Shillings Return, 25 new pence. But still we struggled at these prices. Whoever would have thought that one day we would be paying £4-50 for a pint. My first house I bought on getting married was £1760, the mortgage was £3 week including rates, and my mother said that it was a Millstone around our necks for evermore. Less than a pint of beer at today's prices.
    Babelfish likes this.
  13. Ray Stout Well-Known Member

    I was 14 in 1962 and had no knowledge of the hobby then, but I did have a Paper Round earning £1.25 a week, until I joined a Beat Group earning £5.oo per night which, if we played more than 4nights a week gave me more earnings than my Dad, (didn't declare it to the Tax man) so no National Insurance either.regards, Ray
  14. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    It might be important to consider the difference between large run figures from big companies wich sells larger quantities to garage industry.

    Janne Nilsson
    tomifune likes this.
  15. Tommys War A Fixture

    £14.00 for Tommy's War and Victoria's Heroes 1/32 scale figures. In fact you can buy the award winning 9th Lancer, mounted for just £30.00! ;)
    tomifune likes this.
  16. tomifune A Fixture


    I have been hearing this myth for as long as I can remember. Every "kid" that I see has a better phone than me, better laptop, better tablet. Ever see the price of video games? Not just system games but pc ones. You have to play online so the cost of that enters in. How can they afford it? Their income is their parents disposable income.
    The MMSI has been offering FREE kits and materials to juniors forever and I have given kids free kits and paints to seemingly interested juveniles. Net result: zero
    They are interested in history but not painting it. I guess it come with age. The Gamers National Convention had free participatory painting sessions and the line went down the hotel corrider out of the hall. Shep Paine was there as a guest a few years ago and couldn't believe the crowds. As said previously, these figs are not cheap.
    Yes, some of us got interested when we were young but I knew nobody else who was. Now when I see youths not interested, I think of the expression, "You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink."

  17. Babelfish A Fixture

    Bloody Hell Ray, I had a paper round in 1977-80 (Monday to Friday evenings), and I was only getting £1.25 a week then! They were taking the p**s!!!

    Having said that, at the same time I also had a Sunday morning round (from a different shop) which earned me the princely sum of £2 just for that one morning, plus a freebie advertising paper round (Wednesday evenings) for which I got a veritable king's ransom of £12 per month. All of which combined kept me comfortably in Airfix Multipose and the occasional Tamiya tank.

    - Steve
  18. Ray Stout Well-Known Member

    Looks like the Newsagent saw you were desperate Steve. Ray
    Babelfish likes this.
  19. ellie A Fixture

    I had a paper round when I was 14 (1974) and got £5.oo a week for that but it was six days a week got £2.00 of my mum and dad and a £1.00 of my grandmother. so did well. spent it on Music and plastic kits mostly music. I used to play in a band we had at school which every now and then we got paid for playing at parties and stuff but it was usually food and soft drinks we got lol ( ho and a beer if we could sneak a bottle) come to think of it still play in the band and still get paid in food and drink lol.

    On another note I think kit bashing and painting should be part of an art class at school that's the way in. at Ellies school we were asked to show what we do at an after school event. it went down very well indeed. the teachers had not seen anything like it and were very taken with the response we got from the kids. so much so that we ran an after school club for a term. we got the kids to bring a kit in or we would sell them a figure at cost just to get them going. we had 15 kids attend ages 11 t0 17 both boys & girls. in the end the school paid for the kits we supplied. the course was fun to run the kids used oils and acrylic. we found that the girls were interested in aircraft and what parts of the aircraft were called ( 6 girls made aircraft they like the WWI planes) the boys were mostly into the figures. at the end of the term we got feed back from them as to how they thought it went. and it was positive 7 out of the 15 kids have bought figures from us since and 2 of them have got the dads interested. ( just need to work on them coming to the White Rose Club) it's a start we have been asked to run it again. I have said yes. if it gets people involved then its a bonus to the hobby. we have a display of the Figures /Planes on display in the school and it has attracted some good responses.

    Just as a add on the kids that have bought from us since we have given a discount to just to keep them coming back. it's good for them and us too as it's giving something back. and if it keeps them coming back then job done.



    Waterman, billyturnip and tomifune like this.
  20. Claude Portsmouth Active Member

    Well done Ian............I have always maintained that we as a hobby are very poor at self promotion and this was a great initiative with very positive results. When I was in Stresa last summer I encouraged 3 groups from the hotel I was in to visit the exhibition. They all thoroughly enjoyed the Expo and said that they had no idea anything like that existed.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could put some form of permanent display at the Leeds Armouries?

    tomifune likes this.

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