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"busted" companies, what does this mean to the hobby?

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  • "busted" companies, what does this mean to the hobby?

    I have been "in" with GW for a bit, about 5 years I would say. I am, however, very much new to the larger miniature community and have been poking around quite a bit to try to familiarize myself with it.

    There are good, there are bad, and the absolute extremes of both. I am becoming concerned, however, because I am noticing a lot of somewhat large companies going into hard times....or flat out going out.

    Is this normal? Do companies come and go on a regular basis? Are some of these old companies that just finally bit the bullet? Should we be concerned? I would like to hear more about this, especially from people who have been in the larger miniature community for a while now.

    Personally, I realize change is a part of life, and that companies coming and going is normal, but it just seems to me a large number of them are going right now.
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  • #2
    I think that it is a reflection of global economics at the moment.

    It isn't helped when companies don't have a business plan that shows a distinct direction in terms of releases nor will it be useful if you don't cut your cloth to suit hard times. If the profits aren't there then you can't keep drawing as much out of the company to maintain yourself.

    I think that the good thing with this right now is that more and more small "companies" are springing up, with the internet as their marketplace and they are able to succeed because they don't have the overheads, or the stock holding problems that the big boys are forced to take. Plus, if things don't go so well, they can quietly pull out without a huge financial burden involved.
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    • #3
      Usually you can see it coming which companies go belly up. For instance, Rackham and Ex Illis had loads of problems with their releases and it quite silent around them. Once this happens, it's often a sign things are going downhill and leading to a dead end.
      Good thing is there aren't a lot of established companies going down. It's usually the newer companies and ones with "interesting" approaches to the hobby (pre-painted Confrontation and Ex Illis are good examples).
      "That is not dead which can eternal lie,
      And with strange aeons even death may die."


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      • #4
        Even well established miniature company's can fail..such as Magnificent Ego's but this was from there being 4 co-owners, distributors not paying on time, etc...so several factors lead to this one example sad to say ..but Valiant Casting nabbed them up to keep the molds alive thankfully.

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        • #5
          Is Ex Illis dead already? COuld never quite figure out what they were from the adverts, as they advertised themselves like any of the numerous and "free" MMO games available.
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          • #6
            Yep, I think it's the nature of the beast. Companies come and go in this business.

            The good ones last, and the great ones thrive.
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            • #7
              I think its the nature of any company beast in any market but its magnified in miniatures because business isn't a hobby. Some people appear to conceive a business on a hobby basis and not like people who want to run things in a business like way. They often make decisions to go to mass production techniques that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds on the back of market research they must have done on the head of a pin.

              Rather contradictory to me..if you want to make money you have to have a sound plan, as Iacton mentioned, not just skill or enthusiasm.

              What you find is that often mini companies will come back around again (see Imperial Gallery) or just go quiet for a while, but people need to think about scope when they start off..the small well run firms thrive and expand for a reason and its not coincidence. Some of the 'large' companies going under are not large at all, its a lot of talk...Ex Illis is a good example, its hardly established in the hobby.

              The big ones that fail make really daft decisions..Rackham for example, that was a real pity.

              GW survives because it makes hard business choices..which then mean people hate it as a company. Oh irony.

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