Friday, 16 November 2012

Plagued By Happiness

Christmas is fast approaching. I know this because: there is a stack of wish lists under my till at work; I walk home in the dark and cold; I hear Slade approximately eleventy bajillion times a day; and there is a box of tinsel and streamers looking at me guiltily in my stock room - waiting to be put up.

So, what does this season mean in GW Hobby Town? More after the jump.

For me and GW, personally, Christmas doesn't mean much at all. In 17 years of collecting I have only ever received a Games Workshop Christmas Present once. That was back in 2008, I was living with some uni friends in a student flat. We'd been together as a group for over a year now and shared many happy memories.

I'd known Adam from my teenage school years, creator of 'Decline of Videogaming' and the artistic half of the 'Super Flash Bros'. We'd randomly met on Kingston bridge and he'd introduced me to his friends. We'd go to Grethe's area of halls for dinner, then crash in Adams dorm to watch 'Zero Punctuation', play some Smash Bros or to watch one of us playing through one of the latest video games. Yeah, it was a geek group and I loved em.

As an aside, they were also the first group of friends to ever make me a birthday cake - shaped as the Horde logo from the Warcraft universe.

But I digress. It was Christmas '08, we were sitting around our dinner table and exchanging gifts. Grethe had made me a little "Frosty the Frotwhelp" charm; Joe and Adam, as bad as it sounds, I can't remember, but Blanca...

I remember to this day opening a small present, wrapped as best as one can wrap an awkward packet, in crimson and gold wrapping paper. I remember tearing open one corner and seeing the brownish red backing card of a Warhammer blister pack, and then the excitement hit. Not only was this slightly over the amount we'd set for presents, but the choice touched me.

It was a Skaven Plaguepriest in metal.

Why did this little model touch me so much? Well, firstly, because I never really spoke about my collection with the guys. It was something I did that was separate from the group (they didn't share such an interest), and they probably saw none of my models for more than a few seconds. This insinuated that Blanca had actually really paid attention as my Skaven army was fairly new back then, and I must have briefly mentioned in passing the theme I was going for in the army. No matter how briefly I'd mentioned it, she'd listened. She'd gone into GW Kingston with limited knowledge and asked about it.

The point I'm making here is that it's not the price, or even what the model was that touched me. Don't get me wrong, it was a model I needed for my army, but it was the fact that someone had blindsided me with a present I'd never have expected from them. It was thoughtful and perfect.

Where am I going with this point? I don't honestly know, it was just something I wanted to share. I guess it's why we use Wishlists in Games Workshop. Lets be fair, most parents don't really know their Orks from their Orcs, so what we're offering is the ability to catch that present that really resonates with their child/spouse/relative; but I guess it's also really not limited to GW. This Christmas, why not really listen to those near to you, surprise them with something they want but may not have even asked for.

How about you guys? Have you ever had GW presents? Which one touched you the most? As always, comments, twitter or even email me!

I should really paint that Plague Priest...

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