|Space Marines Release in 1998|
In the last 15 years, Games Workshop expanded this treatment to nearly every other line in its range with further developments in design and the technical process, leading to truly jaw-dropping kits as seen in the Dark Eldar and Tau (to name just two). The process is now so well-developed that Games Workshop's plastic kits are jammed with bits and even can include part for multiple unit configurations.
However, Malifaux and Dreamforge Games have shown that the process and technical developments are not possessed by Games Workshop alone. Both companies are rather small in comparison with Games Workshop's global network, yet have shown that good design and injection molded plastic are attainable by even small companies. Indeed many other small producers have rivaled Games Workshop's ability to produce designs appealing to an aging demographic and new players alike.
Quite simply, today's wargamer is getting exposed to many other producers who are experimentng with new designs, more accurately proportioned, realistic and high-tech models. Corvus Belli has shown us the success of catering to a wargamer that craves high sci-fi.
Now we see a release of a new Tactical Marine kit and instead of utilizing their vastly superior design and production process, Games Workshop simply used the technology to make an old design more crisp with more defined details. Instead of doing what they did in 1998, Games Workshop produced more of the same.
Legs - still too short and bow-legged.
Heads-no change except two or three unhelmeted versions.
Purity seals-yep still there.
Grav-gun -oh, well there is at least one new design.
This is a cautious position to take considering the upper-hand that Games Workshop wields on the market. Their resources could have produced a kit of "true-scale" Space Marines -the likes of which we've all seen in the Ultramarines movie, while maintaining compatibility with older kits. Seriously -imagine models that stand taller, with straight legs, new helmets, new bolters, etc...whose joins are all the same size as previous kits such that customization is allowed.
|Is this really that new or different?|
We also know that alternative Space Marine models are popular, evidenced by how well Forge World's line of Horus Heresy models are selling. People are really craving something new for their space marines...I mean, ask yourself, do you really see anything special about this Tactical Squadbox, other than a new Grav-gun?
A re-design would have done four things for Games Workshop.
First it would have given them a direction for producing Space Marines over the next 15 years. Miniature companies die when they cannot produce new models. The Space Marine range and some of the other factions are simply reaching the point where there is nothing new left to produce. I mean, how many different Space Marine units can you really produce? What happens when every faction has a plastic range of multi-pose troopers, flyers and big models? You need a re-set. Considering the developing of GW armies, the re-set stage is not far off.
The next thing it would do is pull back some of the players who've gone for other games. People who are bored of seeing the old Space Marine design in different colors and dresses. The sheer sensationalism of a complete, yet compatible, re-design of the Space Marine frame is bound to bring folks back.
Thirdly, it would have made everyone's Space Marine collections "vintage." This has the dual effect of giving veterans something new to spend their money on,while creating a second-hand market for vintage Space Marines. Not really for GW but there would potentially be a huge buy out of their previous kits, clearing out stores for something new.
Lastly, a re-design would have further underscored Games Workshop's ability to produce top quality plastic kits in a market that is getting flushed with smaller up-starts fueled by KickStarter and the accessibility of CAD design, 3d Printing and the like.
But no...Games Workshop has shown their true colors as a risk-adverse and conservative company. Though their kits are top quality, the design mantra is "more of the same." It's sad really.
And I haven't even touched on the lack of dynamism. They're still just standing around.