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8 May, 2005

Cheeky ***s

Each year, Games Workshop runs an international competition* for those sculpting and painting fantasy/sci-fi 'toy soldiers', the Golden Demon Awards.  I happen to have won twelve, plus the Slayer Sword for 'best-in-show' once.

Each year, some months after the event, GW publishes a feature article in their monthly magazine, 'White Dwarf', devoting ~20 pages to photographs of the winning entries.
A couple of years ago, the article was separated off into a paperback 'collectors'' booklet of its own, provided free with the magazine.

This year, the Golden Demon 2004 Winners booklet has been sold separately, for half as much again as 'White Dwarf' itself – £6 for something that's always been a freebie to purchasers of the magazine. It's not even as if GW generated the majority of the content themselves; that credit is due to the entrants, who each paid £25 to contribute. By that I mean it's free to enter Golden Demon, but in order to participate, one has to attend the Games Day 'convention', tickets to which cost £25 (it's boring as ****, apart from the opportunity to catch up with some of the nicest people I know: the other regular GD entrants and the GW designers).

I'd better also stress that GW have done nothing illicit: by entering, the winners automatically gave GW permission to publish photographs of their miniatures (no jokes, please; I couldn't think of a better way to phrase that). I just think it feels a bit exploitative.

*: There are several, in fact: Canada, three in the USA, Australia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and maybe another I've forgotten, but the 'biggie', with thousands of entrants from several countries, is held in the UK, as GW are based here.

[Update 01/04/06: To their credit, GW didn't repeat the tactic: the 2005 booklet was free with White Dwarf 316.]

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