Historic Prices of GW Space Marines

Lets compare a few late 80’s advertisements for Space Marines (courtesy of the awesome solegends.com) to some prices on the website today:

OMG YAYYYY 30 plastic Space Marines for £9.99, and they’re a multipart plastic kit! Comes with special weapons, heavies, and officers. This is more than enough to start playing Rogue Trader!!! And the prices for the Orks were similar. If you really want to impress your friends, you can use a copper wire and some paper to make a standard bearer!



And here’s a range of metal characters/special weapons. They come alone, not as a blister with some other model holding its helmet or four orderlies and a medic or some crazy nonsense like that.

75 frakkin’ p.

Alright, how about some modern type equivalents? Sure, there’s been inflation since 1990, but the economy of scale, 20 years of technological advances, and a now thriving market should have driven prices way, way down.


Telion’s just a typical example – nothing fancy like a standard bearer, Ork Nob, or a special character (be prepared to plonk down more like 16 quid for someone who actually occupies an HQ slot.)




In 2011, you can still get a nice, cheap plastic multipart box of Space Marines.

Only, they cost 7.6 times as much as they used to.

Yeah, yeah, these are great looking models. That’s entirely subjective. The beakies above looked *awesome* when they came out. The art of sculpting has changed over the last 20 years – should a comic book, painting, or album cost 7.6 times as much as it used to?

I’m not complaining that the market can’t bear these prices, or that there’s anything unfair about them. I’m just pointing out that the prices of miniatures have skyrocketed in the past and will continue to do so, and this just doesn’t make sense at all until you look at the miniatures industry and realized that it’s overcommercialized, and that we should fix it, now.

(Space Marines, Space Orks, and Rogue Trader are all registered copyrights of Games Workshop.)

This entry was posted in Scifi. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Historic Prices of GW Space Marines

  1. ThatPirateGuy says:

    Current data is only available till 2009. In 2009, £10.00 from 1990 is worth

    £16.90 using the retail price index

    £21.20 using average earnings

    If you need help determining which result is most appropriate for you, see Choosing the Best Indicator to Measure Relative Worth.


    seems pretty close to inflation rates 🙁 except you get 20! less marines.

    • admin says:

      Good point, thank you for making this correction. Am I crazy, or did the prices of action figures, frisbees, chess sets, etc not increase at all?

  2. Anon says:

    Late Eighties: 0.33£ per model.

    Same Model in 2011: 2.30£ per model.

    That’s a 600% price increase. Adjusting for inflation using the numbers above would be around 300% price increase. The question is did the quality of the models increase by 300%? Maybe.