Warhammer’s miniature figurines net big figures

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The Superman actor Henry Cavill once called them “plastic crack”. The legions of Warhammer fans clearly agree as Games Workshop, the owner of the fantasy games, announced record revenues yesterday for the first half of the financial year.

The company was founded 48 years ago by three friends who made and sold wooden board games from their homes. Games Workshop secured the European distribution rights to Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing game, and opened its first store in Hammersmith, west London, in 1978.

Warhammer, which was created in 1983, is sold in its own chain of 517 shops in 23 countries, although the total number of stores where customers can buy figurines is more than 5,000 around the world.

The company says it makes millions of models a year and at the present share price, the company is worth a shade under £3 billion. Games Workshop said yesterday that its revenue in the six months to November rose 7 per cent to £226.6 million — the first time its half-year revenues have topped £200 million.

Coming up for the company is a tie-up with Amazon, with Cavill, 39, set to star in and produce films and TV shows based on Warhammer 40,000 games. The actor said last month that for “30 years I have dreamt of seeing a Warhammer universe in live action”.

He told fans that he promised “to bring you something familiar. And I endeavour to bring you something fantastic that is, as of yet, unseen.”

Cavill said: “I have loved Warhammer since I was a boy, making this moment truly special for me. The opportunity to shepherd this cinematic universe from its inception is quite the honour and the responsibility.”

Kevin Rountree, the chief executive of Games Workshop, said he was confident that it would “bring the worlds of Warhammer to the screen like you have never seen before”.

Alex Chatterton, a City analyst at the stockbroker Panmure Gordon, pointed out that Amazon had paid $250 million for the rights to produce Lord of the Rings programmes for TV. “While we do not believe the deal between Games Workshop and Amazon will be anywhere near this figure, we do believe it will be a material contribution,” he said.

In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show last year, Cavill said: “You put them together in little armies and you fight against someone else’s army. It’s fun. It sounds ridiculous but it is fun.”

The actor is not the only celebrity with a penchant for Warhammer, though not all the big names admit to it. The list includes Vin Diesel, Trey Parker, the co-creator of South Park, and Ed Sheeran, the singer. The late Robin Williams was also a big fan.

Original article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/warhammers-miniature-figurines-net-big-figures-mh5lpkhwg

Author: Dominic Walsh, The Times

Alex Chatterton

Director, Research Analyst, Consumer & Leisure

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