Esta é a versão em inglês de nosso artigo sobre a participação da Games Workshop na CCXP 2017. Você pode conferir a versão em português clicando neste link.
2017 will go down in the history of wargaming in Brazil as the year Games Workshop’s products arrived here again (hopefully to stay for good) by the hands of a new importer and distributor, leaving behind the period in which the brand was being handled by a very ill-reputable seller in Brazil.
So back in January 2017 we first broke the news to our readers and to the Brazilian wargaming community that we would soon have Games Workshop’s products available here through official channels (did I tell you guys we have exclusive content both in our Facebook and Instagram pages? The first announcement was made there), confirming that information soon after when we divulged that the new importer/distributor for Brazil was a company called Solid Import, and that this new attempt to crack the Brazilian market was the result of the efforts of Solid Import’s partners, Daniel Rosa, Diego Oliveira and Eric Hutter, the last one a member of the hobby community here in Brazil.
Since then we have had at least two shipments of products arriving in Brazil through Solid Import, the first of them early in the year (in February 2017) and the second in November 2017 (even if it had indeed been promised for “after Carnival”, eight months is a lot of time to wait for new models). In between these shipments we’ve had a lot of complaining about prices and few demonstration events showcasing the GW hobby happening in stores that started carrying their products in order to present them to their consumer base (we have heard of at least three of them being held in “BAZAR MAGIC”, “FNAC” and “LEITURA” respectively) and that, according to the retailers and distributors in their social media outlets, have been hugely successful in introducing the hobby to a whole plethora of new enthusiasts.
So with 2017 fast coming to an end, I must admit being surprised by the announcement published on the 29th of November at “Games Workshop Brasil’s” Facebook Page (the channel through which the importer interacts with the community) informing that GW would be present at COMIC CON EXPERIENCE 2017 (CCXP 2017, held in Sao Paulo between the 7th and the 10th of December 2017). This would be the first big marketing action organized by the Solid Import presenting Games Workshop and its products to the huge mass of attendees, and potential consumers, of what is today the biggest “nerdy” event in Brazil, raising exponentially the penetration of the GW hobby in the country.
The announcement did raise some eyebrows at first as neither Games Workshop nor Solid Import were listed as confirmed exhibitors at CCXP 2017’s list and everyone knows they sell out their floor space way in advance and the announcement was being made mere days away from the beginning of the convention, however it soon came to light that Solid Import/”Games Workshop Brasil” would be sharing the stand of Bazar Magic, one of the stores carrying GW’s products in Brazil.
With that confirmation I must admit being mildly overexcited over the perspective of seeing Games Workshop being showcased in the biggest nerd convention we have happening in Brazil so even if I hadn’t made arrangements to attend this year (which made me mad at myself, but how could I know?) I enlisted a few friends (Guilherme, Marlos and Jefferson) that were taking the trip to Sao Paulo, to register everything so we could have a proper write up about GW’s formal debut in a big event. I even wrote up a few questions and sent them with Jefferson so he could try to interview the guys at the stand helping us to get a firmer grasp on what the future holds in store for us in Brazil and to find out how good their first year was.
Those attending CCXP 2017 expecting to find a Games Workshop stand were surprised by finding a Bazar Magic stand, thats as we have already mentioned was the actual exhibitor, and which dedicated a little part of its window space to the Games Workshop products, along all the other merchandise being sold by the store.
So while there were not demonstration tables, nor any gaming space (which had been a feature in the events organized during 2017 in Brazil) the Solid Import team attending the event did their homework, not only by putting together an attractive display with beautiful painted models and a nice range of products, but by also actively engaging interested passersby explaining the steps to get started in the GW hobby.
As the photos ilustrating this article show, the Bazar Magic stand was quite spacious and according to our correspondents was pretty busy during the four days of the event, which certainly resulted in massive exposition of the GW products on display. As I’ve mentioned the range being exhibited was pretty interesting and all of it was available for purchase by any interested parties, featuring paint pots, the “Start Collecting” boxes and recent releases like the “Easy to Build” kits for Primaris Space Marines, Pox Walkers and Death Guard.
Luckily my mate Jefferson was able to interview the crew of Solid Import using the questions I sent with him as a guide. He was answered by Eric Hutter over an informal conversation on the stand. Unfortunatelly this conversation was recorded in Portuguese. By translating everything I’d run the risk of misinterpreting something and I’d like to avoid that, however I am maintaining the audios here for the sake of thoroughness. If you udnerstand Portuguese please, do listen.
Seeing all the pictures, talking with friends who attended the event, and after hearing Eric’s interview (unfortunately only available in Portuguese) I must admit being a little disappointed in not seeing the Games Workshop brand being displayed with a bigger visibility. I understand that Solid Import might have been invited to tag along by its participating associate without much further notice, but I also think the brand deserved a bigger spotlight than half a display window. On the interview the importer revealed being extremely surprised with how well the product was received having sold 80% of its stock by the second day. If that was indeed the result of half a display window, I imagine how much bigger that result in sales would be if they had invested on their own stand with room for gaming, demonstrations, painting workshops and, of course, their own thematic sales corner (like the Harry Potter store in CCXP 2017 or what they have in Warhammer World). Am I day dreaming? I don’t think so as that’s exactly what the guys from Hobby Delivery set up back in 2008 in what was, at the time, the biggest nerd event in Brazil (the now extinct EIRPG).
I’m under the impression that Solid Import’s participation in CCXP 2017 proves that the appeal of Games Workshop’s products to its target audience is undeniable, evidenced by the amount of people crammed to check on what was on display and by the sales figures already mentioned, and that the only limiting factor for the hobby GW in this country might be the prices being practiced on the market.
I also think that despite their great success in the conference, Solid Import has wasted a great opportunity to make a loud bang about Games Workshop being in Brazil, kicking in the market’s door once and for all and giving the brand it’s deserved spotlight, after all we are talking about the biggest name in the wargaming business industry. Even with the wasted opportunity there’s always the next year and if Solid really wants to impress GW’s corporate HQ back in the UK (like they mention they do in the interview) it’s high time they started thinking about their presence in CCXP 2018. The photos and the word down the grapevine both show that GW’s future in Brazil is promising, as there is indeed a market ready to be explored here.
Criticisms apart I’d like to register my congratulations to Solid Import for their participation in CCXP and my wish that in 2018 we can see the GW hobby gets a lot bigger in Brazil, and that the new year brings with it a greater variety in products and paints available on our market. The future never looked brighet for the GW hobby community down here in Brazil.
Do you want to join in the conversation? Leave a comment here sharing your thoughts and we’ll roll from there.
See you soon!