The Knock-off Effect

This article originally appeared in Issue 8 of The Campaigner, published in 2014. The issue is still available as digital download or in limited print stock.

By Matthew Lee

Of any aspect of the tabletop wargame hobby, one thing simultaneously unites and divides the community as a whole. It has nothing to do with rules or editions and it spans the entire globe. And at some point every hobbyist, no matter what means they have, has had contact with it. It is the price of the staple of the wargamer. The humble miniature.

Miniatures, both used for tabletop wargames as well as by hobbyists purely for painting and converting, have steadily grown in popularity. Whatever you think of the company, this can largely be attributed to Games Workshop and the tenacious way they push their products.

Of course, the increased popularity of miniatures, coupled with Games Workshops regular price increases, has seen the knock-off market gain a new foothold recently. The major suppliers of recast Citadel miniatures have primarily come from Russia and China, and ever increasing numbers of hobbyists have been sending money to suppliers in these countries to bulk up their collections with cheap casts.

The Knock-off Effect

This came to a head recently when one of the more popular Chinese suppliers, Yoymart, had their credit card payment capabilities removed thanks to complaints from Games Workshop. This hasn’t shut them down, or removed the copyright infringing models from their store, but it has severely limited how international buyers can pay for products.

How far Games Workshop can, and is, willing to take this is currently unknown. Certainly, in the past, Games Workshop has been quick to shut down counterfeit Citadel miniature operations, but that was usually on a more local scale. Because of the internet Games Workshop is now not only dealing with knock-offs being created in countries with less strict or completely different copyright laws, but they are more readily available to the customer base than ever before.

In some respects you could think Games Workshop would take the hint.

Article continues in Issue 8. The issue is still available as digital download or in limited print stock.

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