Something I’ve been threatening to do for a while now is to tally up how many points of Tyranids I have and how much money I have invested in it. Tallying up points will be easy: I just have to force myself to sit down and do that. Coming up with pricing should be even easier though, as I can do that without having to dig all of the models out.
Well, that’s partially true. I can come up with a current value, based on MSRP. Sadly, I wound up buying a lot of things used or for otherwise less than MSRP, and I’ve purchased over the past twenty years or so, and prices have increased dramatically over that timeframe. I also didn’t have my frugal gaming project in place at that time, so I have really no means of going back to get an accurate number. Because of this, I’ll never know what I spent on the army.
So, armed with a list of my models (built from my last full inventory in 2012 and adding any models I’ve painted since then–I think), and using the current pricing from GW’s and Forgeworld’s websites, this is what I’ve come up with….
- I know that talking/writing about money makes people squeamish. I’m not doing this to brag or to throw it anyone’s face. I’m inspired out of sheer curiosity.
- I do have a lot of bugs (virtually all of them are painted), but keep in mind that this has been one of two armies I’ve collected over the past 20ish years. Most people don’t stick to one hobby for that long, and certainly not one army (rest assured that my Ultramarines aren’t nearly this comprehensive)
So, onto the inventory…
|Description||Manufacturer||MSRP||# Per Box||MSRP Per||QTY Owned||MSRP Total||Notes|
|Hive Crone / Harpy||GW||$80.00||1||$80.00||2||$160.00|
|Haruspex / Exocrine||GW||$73.00||1||$73.00||3||$219.00|
|Toxicrene / Maleceptor||GW||$73.00||1||$73.00||2||$146.00|
|Tyrannocyte / Sporcyst||GW||$63.00||1||$63.00||9||$567.00||*Not GW|
|Tervigon / Tyrannofex||GW||$57.75||1||$57.75||3||$173.25|
|Trygon / Mawloc||GW||$57.75||1||$57.75||3||$173.25|
|Swarmlord / Tyrant||GW||$53.75||1||$53.75||3||$161.25|
|Hierophant||Forgeworld||GBP 242.00||1||$367.84||2||$735.68||*not official, cast|
|Ripper Swarms||Forgeworld||GBP 19.00||3||$9.63||19||$182.91|
|Mieotic Spores||Forgeworld||GBP 19.00||3||$9.63||9||$86.64|
|Skylahser||Forgeworld||GBP 20.00||3||$10.13||6||$60.80||*not painted|
At the time of writing this, the exchange rate between USD to GBP is $1.52:1. Other things that aren’t official but are included are:
- 2x “Imperial” defense line
- 3x Trygon Tunnels
- 8x Forgeworld Capillary Towers (no longer in print)
- Custom-cut foam for everything
I don’t know what to value the stuff at above, so I didn’t include it. I’m sure that the capillary towers are quite valuable to the right person, but the Trygon tunnels are an unofficial terrain piece for a horrible rule that only applies to a bad unit so I can’t see them being worth much to anyone.
So why does it matter? Well, I guess it matters in a couple of ways. One could look at it as an extent of the Frugal Gaming project in that it helps to understand what kind of money I have tied up in the hobby, but if I’m quite honest with myself, it’s because I’ve been entertaining the idea of selling my bugs as of late. I know someone who purchased a good looking army recently for a fairly high dollar amount (not nearly as large or as expensive as this) and asked myself what it would take to sell off my bugs. Frankly, I don’t play the game enough to justify having this much “cash” sitting around, so what would be the number it would take to get rid of it all?
Well, now that I know that approximate MSRP is, I can come up with a number.
My initial conversations really started at twice the retail value (which essentially means you pay for the models, and for painting and get all of the bits, gubbins, foam, etc. for free). How many people out there have $13k to drop on a Tyranid force though? Sure, that person exists, but I have to imagine that they’d be pretty hard to find. More likely I’d have to find someone who wanted to trade their car or something, but even that would be extremely rare. So, while the price might seem reasonable at first, extrapolating it to the scale I’m dealing with makes it fairly absurd.
But nobody pays MSRP for most things. So why not give a discount on that (and the painting fees). Maybe a flat 20% off to reflect a normal GW discount. That’s still a tad over $10,000. Would I sell it at that point? You betcha! But if I can jump on that so quickly, what would I realistically go down to?
So then I thought about MSRP–would I sell it for that? I’m not sure. That might be doable, if I actually needed the cash, but I don’t have an urgent need for it. Selling it would mean that I lose all of that work I put into it, and I do enjoy playing with them the 12 times a year that I do get to play 40k…
My goals for ebay sales are generally to try to get 50-60% of MSRP, so why not sell it at that price? Frankly, that’s a non-starter to me. The thing is that I like playing the game, so at that price, I’d rather keep them and hand them down to my kids when they get old enough to play.
So that gives us some numbers to play with. It would be less than $10k, but more than MSRP. Still, you’re talking about a pretty hefty sum of money though, so I don’t think the pool of buyers would be very vast. For that purpose, I think I might just list it up for sale and see who bites. My guess is that it’d take a while before I could find the right buyer, so what does it hurt to start looking?
Do you know anyone that’d be interested? If so, send them my way!