A large and well known miniatures company recently announced that a price increase is coming. They write that they have not changed their prices for nearly two and a half years and during that time the prices of postage, materials and services have risen, especially "the price of metal having almost doubled in the last twelve months."
I may not make any friends among fellow manufacturers for saying this, but what is really annoying to me is that while they say the price of metal has risen recently, what they DON'T say is that the price of metal had dropped by half in 2009, making the net price today a little less than it was at its height in 2008.
What they also don't say is that the really big cost--unless they do a huge volume of sales, which perhaps they do--is the cost of making masters. The metal cost is actually a relatively trivial amount of the total cost of the figure. I can assure you that over the years, my scuptors have made a lot more money than I have--and not that I begrudge them either. The quality and detail found on figures today far exceeds those 25-cent figures of fond memory.
So without getting into a technical discussion of the various metal alloys and the prices thereof, let me simply say that Askari Miniatures will not be raising figure prices anytime soon and that I haven't had a general price increase for over three years. In fact, while I have adjusted prices to reflect economic realities over the years, there are quite a few models--such as the artillery and animal packs--whose prices have remained the same since I began in 2004.