Hello, wargamers! Have you ever made a high-impact purchase for your latest miniature tabletop hobby, only to be faced with a difficult ethical decision? Should you really open that older box of miniatures? In this opinion piece, I'll show you what's going on in my own head regarding a specific mini, and we will see by the end whether it'll be unsealed after all.
Let's take, for example, the above miniature that I obtained during Wyrd Miniatures' latest sale, which ended on April 9th. This miniature, depicting "The Dreamer, Avatar of Imagination", sold on their webstore for $45, and is a beautiful model to behold. It's practically a diorama!
Now, the thing about this is that my conversationalist brain tells me: "It's nearly ten years old, and is definitely out of print! In another ten years it could fetch ten times what you have paid for it!" At the same time, my lizard-brained id, filled with desires beyond rational comprehension and a flair for the aesthetic, has other words to say on that front.
"Yeah, but if you ever sell this mini, you may never see another one, even off the market. It'd be gone forever…" says my id, perhaps a bit too slyly. The id, a good judge of beauty and its own desires but little else, knows what it wants.
Interestingly, a few weeks ago I'd read an article on another site about the price of starting an army in Warhammer 40,000 by Games Workshop from the ground, up. This analysis included the price of the necessary hobbyist tools, but the brunt of the costs were in new models. Granted, these were actually new models and nothing out of print, but the total costs totalled somewhere in the $800 USD range. Therefore, to see something like the Dreamer Avatar model new-in-box and fully sealed is a treat for many, especially because assembled and/or painted models are worth far less when done improperly. And boy, oh boy, am I ever a terrible painted when compared to some others.
To answer the question on everybody's minds among those reading this op-ed, I couldn't resist opening it. Who am I to deny myself?
In the end, miniatures-based wargames are not about business, or value, or even really competition. Wargames, like any hobby, are about granting the hobbyist a crumb or two of serotonin and the rush that follows. Even hardier "wargames" like TCGs such as Magic: The Gathering (which yes, I can loosely classify as such) aren't entirely about finance or play for everyone. So go out there, open a Revised Magic booster pack, or a Plague Cart boxed kit from Mordheim. Your mind will retain the memories and happiness of the moment, and you'll feel better for it.