I've been thinking about this over the weekend and I think we are perhaps not looking at the bigger picture. Being the age I am, tin baths powdered egg the blitz, ok not that old I remember the days before the rise of GW. Then it was the basement of the minifigs shop in Victoria with Orcs who looked like a cross between men and pigs, but I still like them, dwarves and hobgoblins but not many of them and a very basic Sci Fi range. Then I discovered the original GW shop in Hammersmith and was introduced to a wider range of figs but mainly from the US. In fact the shop was run by two fine chaps from North America, the Olsen brothers?, where are they now? Then we had Citadel figs and a wider range of figs. At that time the shop was filled with stuff from all over the world. As time went on things got bigger. But in those early days it seems to me that GW attracted enthusiastic gamers and sculpters all with a similar ethos ie we like this stuff no one else makes it so we will if you want to use it with other figs or rules the choice is yours. Over the years the company got bigger and as such more proffesional, thats to say they had to get more organised and employ suits to do grown up stuff like copy right, wages and all that comlicated stuff that sally somehow manages todo. The end result being, and I'm open to correct here, the biggest games company in the world.
Now the good thing about this is that in my opinion one of the best sculpters is British, Jez Goodwin, but better than that it has meant that we now have loads of brilliant sculpters who have gone through the GW system come out the other side and developed there own style. The end result of that being we have Kev and Sally and the best figures on the market and and a great company to boot. The other good thing is for every 10 kids who start off in GW I'm sure many move onto other systems.
The bad thing is that you have big buisness who need to make money, keep share holders happy and all that sort of thing. You also end up with those people who become completely blinkered and think the only system is GW and any variation is wrong. But you get those in all walks of life, windows v apple, etc etc........
So what am I trying to say? If GW gets people involved in our hobby lets be happy and ignore the GW zealots. I went to the Games day this year, yes probably overpriced and not as diverse as Salute but enjoyable. But speaking to the likes of Jervis Johnson the people at GW like him are like us enthusiastic gamers who like painting and playing with toy soldiers.
I'm sure this will cause a bit more debate which is good and why I I'm on the FOD not comedy dwarf and chainsword or whatever it was called.
I'm off to order more goodies from sally