On a bit of a deadline with this month's Iron Quill entry, amongst other things, so the part of this blog that's from me is going to be fairly short and sweet.
There have been rumours going around that Forgeworld is moving out from being online to being fully stocked in stores. This isn't the case according to counter rumours, and Faeit 212 has a piece on this that's worth a read, both because of the current speculation and for lifting the lid, a little on the behind the scenes workings at FW. Head over to Faeit for the full post and discussion. I'm quoting from the Anonymous Source.
"Forgeworld has recently begun experimenting with some new casting methods. The tartarus terminators for instance were originally injection molded.It's certainly food for thought, and it explains why buyers end up with the pare resin, it being no use to FW.
Due to quality, however Forgeworld returned to it's normal production methods shortly there after.
The clam shells are identical to the new GW blisters, but that's just because of a change in supply chain for packaging.
At this time there is zero intention to stick Forgeworld in retail stores.
Unlike GW, Forgeworld actually maintains a surprisingly low shelf stock of their miniatures. While very few are cast to order, Forgeworld maintains a weekly schedule for production based on the previous week's sales.
Forgeworld resin cannot be melted and reused so any unsold product is garbage.
As such, for Forgeworld to put even just 1 package of only their popular kits in every store it would still be 100x or more than their current inventory.
Also, conversations on this topic in the past have concluded that Forgeworld packaging would need to be improved to match the GW standard, which means photographers, graphic artists and more importantly: costs.
Furthermore, while this is in part due to the nature of how Forgeworld can currently be acquired, most purchases are large. Entire armies, etc. Thus, the sales pattern does not fit the retail environment. Admittedly this would change somewhat as there are for certain people who would buy just 1 kit if it were in store who currently buy nothing due to shipping costs and time.
Lastly, in terms of new (currently untapped) revenue it would not generate much if any. Predictions show that it would just redirect some funds from GW plastic to FW resin in some situations.
That isn't to say that GW isn't acutely aware of the demand for Forgeworld. Especially now with the Heresy being fleshed out.
There is a strong push for Forgeworld to be available in stores as Direct Order, without shipping or duty fees and presumably taking a fraction of the time.
What is holding that back is just the legal limitations. Someone has to pay the duty, and it is not predictable or consistent enough to factor into the cost of the models.
To get around that, the miniatures would have to be produced in the same country they're being sold in, or a neighbouring nation with a free trade agreement.
Sadly though, when it comes to north America, if something is made in the USA or Canada, you can't also import it (as the same company). Meaning if Forgeworld set up shop in Tennessee it would be the only place to get Forgeworld in north America.
Currently there just isn't enough demand in either America or Europe to split the supply like that.
Forgeworld is currently in a sweet spot where supply barely meets demand. Until that changes, the model won't. "