Monday, August 15, 2011

5 Minute History: Skulz Program

Starting in June of 2000 Games Workshop started the Skulz program where hobbyists and collectors earned little silver stickers / pogs with skulls on them. For each $10 dollars of Games Workshop merchandise purchased you would receive one 'skulz token'. Additionally there were skulz tokens given at special events, in some issues of White Dwarf and stores were given then to hand out for gaming nights and as local promotional material.  



In the June 2000 issue of White Dwarf the first set of prize brackets were released, most notably containing the limited edition Adeptus Mechanicus set and the Imperial Aquila belt buckle.



In June 2001 the second and final prize catalogue appeared in White Dwarf 258.



Unfortunately after just two short years the Skulz program was discontinued by Games Workshop. While it lasted the Skulz program provided a great opportunity for gamers to obtain some rare and unique pieces for their collection. It offered a unique system for earning extra merchandise through purchases and was generally well received by hobbyists. Unfortunately I don't know why the program was discontinued, but if anyone has any insights into that I would love to hear it.

Cheers,

Tallarn   

8 comments:

  1. I remember that from when I first started playing. Man, memories.

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  2. They would also offer triple skulls if you mail ordered enough. So my friend and I would pool our orders so we got the skullz bonus. We did this several times and cleaned up on the prizes.

    ColKG

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  3. I wish they would bring this back, but I was just thinking about it. To get the Baneblade you had to spend $3000, that would be almost a whole stores worth of stuff back in those days. Now, it would just about buy a single army.

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  4. it was a really interesting way to add some very rare items, like the adeptus set. If it were used to create rare one-off items I think it would be well recieved by the community. Lord knows they could use the good will these days...

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  5. In England we didn't have quite so many cool things. We certainly didn't get the chance to grab a Baneblade, Mega Paint Set or the Ad Mech group. If I can dig around I'll see if I can find the UK list of things you could get. Also, we got 1 sticker for every £10 we spent, so with exchange rates it didn't work out quite as nicely as for Americans.

    The reason they stopped Skullz, from what I was told at the time by my local GW staff, was because of the newly acquired Lord of the Rings license. The agreement included caveats such that, amongst other things, LotR models could not be sold separately (leading to the lack of bitz service until they renegotiated the contract 5 years later) but also that the models were not allowed to be sold off at a cheaper price, such as during a sale (leading to the death of GW's "opening sales"), given away in offers, or be used to qualify for such offers (such as Skullz). As such, they had to close down the Skullz promotion because LotR models could not be used to qualify for the stickers and would not allowed to be traded in for.

    At least, that's how it was told to me; I can't verify it but the guys whom I talked to about it were usually pretty spot on with regard to the things they told me.

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  6. That is a great piece of extra history I did not know, thanks for adding that, I appreciate the extra information!

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  7. No problem. I've been in the hobby for just over 17 years now and have a pretty good memory for this kind of thing. If it weren't for the fact that you do them already, the "5 Minute History" idea is certainly something I could have been doing myself.

    Keep up the good work :-)

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  8. Great article, and great insight from the Masked Thespian as well!

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