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Prices of figures

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

  1. ellie A Fixture

    Hi Paul

    Don't agree with PF and other sites have replaced Clubs, The white rose Club has been going now for 28 years and still going strong Like the guys at Darlington who again has been going for quite some time. The clubs are still the place to see great figures and exchange Ideas. we also have Talks every month on different subjects. you can't get this on the net. yes the net is good but seeing things in the flesh is still the best way. I know some people have no club in the area and need the net to keep abreast of new releases and what's going on.

    We have members coming from Penrith. to Stoke-on-Trent that come to Leeds every month just for the contact and to see what's going on. clubs are not dead yet, long may they reign. they are just as vital to this hobby as the internet and shows. I know it's gone off track a little but it's just a shout up for all the clubs world wide that help keep the hobby going. and do sometimes bring in new blood to the hobby.


    Babelfish, tomifune, DaddyO and 3 others like this.

    We have just established a small figures club in the Toronto area and I agree Ian. PF is great but it best as a complement to, rather than a replacement for a good club.
    tomifune, DaddyO and Martin64 like this.
  3. Martin64 A Fixture

    Adrian, thanks a lot for this scientific approach - must have been tedious to do all this research. Afterwards you had still to write all your results down so that everybody can follow. This will be something to refer to in future discussions about price tags.

    At the moment we enjoy a nearly endless flow of high end products on an almost daily basis. The options to buy them all (a question of available money) and to build them all ( a question of available time) have not developed in the same way. So as a customer you have to make up your mind how to use your hobby budget to the best effect and as a producer you have to face a strong competition and will usually not meet the same number of sales from days past with a new release of today. The internet made advertisement and distribution easier and more effective but gave the customer more chances to compare offers and prices likewise.
    Therefore your conclusions make perfect sense for me.

    Cheers, Martin
    crf likes this.
  4. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Many thanks Adrian. This is greatly appreciated You have certainly put a lot of work into this, and taken a comprehensive, analytical approach to the issue. Consequently it has the hallmarks of a credible and valuable analysis, and it busts some perceptions about the rising costs of figures. I won't grumble anymore.

  5. Ferris A Fixture

    Thanks Martin.
    At some point it indeed became a bit tedious, but it became clear very early on that more than a few data points would be necessary to reach a conclusion. I still have some unused data about mounted figures. Maybe I'll post some more on this some other time. First 8'd like to do some more painting!

    Martin64 likes this.
  6. Ferris A Fixture

    Thank you Chris.
    Glad you are feeling happier about prices now. A good reason to extend the grey army!

  7. Ferris A Fixture

    Thank you Paul. Glad you like the analysis.
    Thanks again for your input.

  8. Ferris A Fixture

    Thanks for that Tony.

    How to make figures more affordable is a question that I did not go into. It could be interesting to post it separately and see what suggestion people come up with.

    To make figures cheaper I did suggest to change from metal to resin casting, particularly for the bigger scales, and why not for 54mm as well. Wonder if any manufacturer would like to respond to this...?

  9. Ferris A Fixture

    Thanks Colin and Mark.
    If anyone wants to pin this I can post a PDF as well. May be easier.

  10. Ferris A Fixture

    It is quite clear that resin figures tend to be cheaper than metal ones, with the difference being larger in bigger scales.
    I did not look into 200mm scale, but it is very clear that 120mm is a very good value-for-money scale.

  11. Claude Portsmouth Active Member

    Hi Adrian-thank's for the analysis which is well thought out and must have taken a not inconsiderable amount of time.

    Regarding the Resin Vs Metal costs I seem to remember there being posts on here going back in time from Manufacturers to say that the resin was as expensive if not more expensive than Metal. The switch has I think been driven by the improved detail in resin castings (even in older masters) something demonstrated to me by Graham at CGS with a David Grieve bust. The cost of postage has also risen considerably and with more business being done on line this is a major factor with resin figures costing a fraction to post compared with their metal equivalents.

    Main thoughts on the resin v metal argument,


    Easier to put together and display for the dealer and easier to repair display models If they get damaged in transit
    Less weight to carry in and out of shows for dealer and modeller.
    Cheaper to post
    Moulds are cheaper, so easier to write off costs on a non-seller?
    Your display cabinet is not likely to collapse under the weight
    Priming not essential
    Easier to secure in your carry box
    The dust is carcinogenic, a health risk
    The rise in the production of Busts has I am sure hastened the demise of metal in this particular area (weight factor)
    Resin mounted figures don't collapse over time.

    Most of the resin positives are negatives in metal
    Metal Models have a better perceived substance in my mind which is derived from their weight-I can only sum this up by comparing with going into a gift shop and being offered an assembled figure, one is light as a feather the other heavy and substantial, the price is the same....which one would you buy?
    Swords and other accoutrements are easier to straighten in metal

    In spite of the above I am a confirmed Metal enthusiast, but having read my own post I sometimes wonder why...LOL

  12. DaddyO A Fixture

    Good to hear your club is going strong Ian (and others) Apologies if I gave the wrong impression - you are absolutely right t'internet can never replace having a brew (or a beer) with some like minded souls and exchange ideas and chat. Shame I'm not closer it would be good to pop along and say hi. :) Long live clubs
    Cheers for now
  13. Ferris A Fixture

    Hi Mark,

    Yup, budget is everything. I've used average income as a refernce but everyone's personal situation may be very different at any time. So despite prices being more or less the same now, there will be a lot of people that will find them expensive, as well as people that find them ok. At the end of the day it is a subjective thing.

    It was discussed in another thread, but we can make the hobby as expensive as we can afford. If we would only buy what we would paint, it would be a very cheap hobby (for a slow painter like me at least)!

  14. Ferris A Fixture

    Thanks Andrew.
    And thanks again for your fantastic input. That price spike around 2010 I would have missed if I had only had my own data to go by.

  15. ellie A Fixture

    Cheers Paul, yes it is a shame that people have some distance to travel but mybe one day you and other my be abale to get to one of our do's for a weekend fingers crossed.



  16. TADATSUGU Guest

    Great work Adrian.It's a good job you enjoyed doing this, considering how much time it must have taken.
    The results concerning 90mm figures only confirms what I thought when I recently posted a gripe along those lines. I do not dispute that the quality of figures has improved over the years or that better quality may equate with better value, but that does not help much if you still can't afford it.

    The Ray Lamb Taisho figure was not cheap in it's day, and it's a hell of a lump of metal, but I could still afford it, even though I had a fraction of my current income at the time. I suspect that if it had come onto the market as a new release now, it would have three times the relative cost regardless of any inflation factors.

    I feel the worst offenders of the 90mm price hike are probably Pegaso, Andrea and Romeo. Their 90mm mounted figures are arguably the best sculpted models out there but I wouldn't fork out the prices they ask for them. Andrea's Napoleonic Dragoon figure "The Trophy" is currently retailing at 175 Euro - yes it's got a flag but I still don't see how that cost compares to Bonaparte's reissue of the Poste Militaire 90mm Dragoon, without one, for £110. Just how much does a flag cost? (I'm being facetious!).
    It's not that I couldn't buy any of these figures if I chose to, but I cannot justify that outlay to myself for any single figure, regardless of their quality or value.

    Contrary to this, I do feel that the Pegaso Romeo etc, 75mm stuff is still reasonably priced, the level of detail is the same and the standard of casting is just as good. It's just that, to me, the relatively higher cost of their 90mm releases does not seem to simply relate to the relative "poundage" of metal utilised.

    In comparison I have recently bought a couple of older Art Girona vignettes which composed a number of figures, (five 54mm figures in one, and three 70/75mm figures in the other, plus a not too insubstantial lump of sculpted base in both cases). Both vignettes cost less than a single Andrea 90mm mounted figure. Art Girona tend to use a mixture of resin and metal parts in the same model, which presumably helps in keeping their costs down. Why can't the other European Manufacturers do likewise?

    Maybe the next question should be, what are the big European manufacturers doing to make their releases more affordable?, or;- Has the all-metal 90mm figure had it's day? (Sorry Claude).
  17. Waterman Active Member

    I have a number of CGS figures and they do use a mixture of resin and white metal where it is considered appropriate, ie swords Bayonets and other accoutrements. CGS are a European manufacturer also.
  18. Ferris A Fixture

    Hi Claude,

    Although I am not a fan of white metal another advantage that I personally like of it is that the polished bare material forms an excellent basis to get a very natural representation of metals. No paint can beat the shine of ntural metal.
    Personally I do not like the weight. It makes for more difficult construction, with stronger pinning, and is a risk in transport, particularly for mounted pieces.

    I'm curious about two other things you say:

    First: Metal as casting material being cheaper than resin? I would love to hear from a manufacturer, but with resin being so cheap I find it hard to believe. That could be me of course....

    The other thing is resin making crisper casts. When you say you saw this as an example, were the example pieces painted? My impression is that the casts are actually the same, but bare resin looks crisper than bare metal because of the different ways in which the materials reflect light. If the difference in crispness would be there after painting, with the casts coming from the same mould, I'd be very surprised.

  19. Ferris A Fixture

    Hi David,


    I also find 90mm expensive compared to other scales, which is backed up by the data I presented. The few 90mm pieces I have were bought at reduced prices.

    I mentioned that bigger figures were more expensive because of the relatively large amount of casting material, but Claude's post cast some doubt on that reasoning. If metal and resin are just as expensive there must be something else at play. Hope someone can say something about casting material cost....


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