Este artigo é a versão em inglês do nosso artigo sobre o retorno da Games Workshop ao Brasil. Você pode conferir a versão em português aqui.
If you’re already following the blog’s social media channels, you’ve probably seen our note about Games Workshop getting distributed in Brazil again as it was published back in January on our Facebook page (if you haven’t yet, like our page there to keep up to date with our news).
So after publishing snippets for a while I felt it was high time I put all this information together on an article here on the “The Painting Frog” blog. This is actually the second time I put pen to paper (actually fingers to the keyboard) to write about Games Workshop’s products being made available in Brazil by means of a local importer and distributor, in yet another chapter in the relationship between GW and the local hobby community devoted to the company’s games.
On that first article, written over eight years ago, I reported on the launch event of Games Workshop’s product line in Brazil by the hands of Hobby Delivery during the 16th International Role Playing Game Encounter (EIRPG – Brazil’s biggest RPG/Geek convention back in the day).
Back then the news of having a steady supply of GW’s hobby products available in Brazil was really celebrated and the atmosphere during all the event was that of excitement and optimism, however the cicle under Hobby Delivery’s guidance was rather short lived (lasting little more than two years) and shortly after (to my dismay as I wrote back then) it surfaced that Games Workshop was going to be handled here by the already infamous Legends do Brasil and by now we all know that ended badly with lots of hobbyists being conned out of their money and a lot of damage done to GW’s reputation by an inescrupulous merchant.
The amount of complaints generated by customers who lost money to Legends do Brasil’s poor service (to put it mildly) was so big that Games Workshop saw fit to intervene and ceased to supply products for that trade account. It was during that episode that I started talking to someone from GW’s HQ and it was through him I first heard that a new company in Brazil was negotiating in order to become an importer and distributor of GW’s merchandise here.
The episode with Legends and GW’s intervention was, at least to me, a clear sign that we mattered to the company, and I really wanted to put the word out we wouldn’t be left wanting for our models for long, but as my source requested I kept the information to myself and resigned to keeping my mouth shut until the negotiations were concluded. The confirmation we were indeed getting a new supplier came shortly before I departed Brazil on a trip to England in January 2017. I thought that was a happy coincidence and asked my source if we could meet as I planned to visit Nottingham and Warhammer World again, a request he promptly agreed to.
Having been cleared to, I am now at liberty to share with you readers how that conversation went. The person I was talking to, my source, is Malcolm Owen, and he happens to be the person in charge of exports and emerging markets in Games Workshop.
According to him Games Workshop had been trying to crack into the Brazilian market for at least 12 years, even mentioning an attempt made to get GW to Brazil through a large chain of toy stores, but after all the problems with Legends do Brasil he was ready to give up and put Brazil on the back burner, when he got an email from someone here wanting to import and distribute GW’s merchandise.
Putting an end to the mistery, Malc shared with me the name of the new importer/distributor, revealing it to be a company called Solid Import, a Brazilian imports company with a history of dealing with collectibles and computer supplies but that, up to that point, had no relation with GW and its products. That initial email aparently picked Malcolm’s interest and doing his job he made all the pertinent questions getting from Solid answers that showed the Brazilian company had done its homework when it came to understanding the peculiarities of importing into Brazil and coming up with a plan to distribute GW to the Brazilian market.
I was curious about the initial order and Malc has told me to expect a broad range of products being made available here. As reported to me, Solid had placed a sizable order and was placing a lot of faith into what they were doing judging by the amount of money they were investing, which also showed how serious they were in their commitment. Realising it was really happening again, I asked Malc about what he hoped for, when it came to having GW available in Brazil again, to which he answered having no hopes other than seeing a steady flow of GW’s products into Brazil.
Are you curious about what we’re getting in Brazil? Well you can check the following list, but mind you some of it is
written in Portuguese.
I feel I must thank Malc in advance not only for taking the time out of his certainly busy day to talk to a Brazilian hobbyist, but also for being such a nice chap and hooking me up with something I’ll owe him eternally for. If you ever read this mate, THANK YOU one more time. I wish I get to return the courtesy sometime soon. I must admit leaving GW with a buzzing head that day, but also with a renewed hope of finally being able to purchase GW in Brazil without the habitual hiccups in importing them myself.
I know that after the Legends do Brasil’s fiasco a lot of people are following the news I’ve been publishing with some aprehension, with a lot of people wanting to know who was the new company in charge of distributing GW here (with some going as far as suspecting something wasn’t right because of all the secrecy). If you’ve been reading this far it is no longer a secret that Solid Import is the company behind it all, and I hadn’t divulged that name before because I was asked not to (I can hold my tongue, you see), but being faithful to my commitment to keep you, my Reader, informed I went after more information from Solid Import, which I’ll now share with you.
I have sent Daniel Rosa and Diego Oliveira, two of the partners behind Solid, some questions, and these are the answers I got from them:
The Painting Frog (TPF): Solid Import is an established importer in Brazil. Can you tell us how long it exists and a little bit of your experience thus far?
Solid Import (SI – Diego) – We have been operating in the Brazilian market for 4 years now and we work with 300 active retailers focused on the GAMING, COMPUTER, GEEK and COLLECTIBLE customers.
SI (Daniel) – Besides Solid’s 4 year existence, I believe no one here has less than 10 or 12 years expertise in importing, distribution and logistics. We have a very good team here.
TPF: I understand that GW’s products are a recent addition to your “mix” of products. Were did your interest in distributing GW’s products in Brazil come from and what are your expectations for them here?
SI (Diego) – I have worked as national sales manager for NC GAMES, the biggest game distributor in Latin America, for 4 years, I have been a Role Player for little over than 20 years now and I’ve had an excellent contact with Warhammer 40K about 3 years ago. Our expectations are the best possible. We have come up with an excellent plan to open the market for these products through our main clients that have an affinity with the products and a lot of visibility: Saraiva, FNAC, Leitura and at least 5 websites that are sending their orders in and will soon be disclosed.
TPF: This is, if we recall it right, the 4th attempt to bring Games Workshop’s products to Brazil. What are Solid’s plans to make this the definitive attempt to bring GW to the country?
SI (Diego) – We understand that (with all due respect) prior attempts have been extremely amateurish and must not be considered. We have a big staff respected by all the national retail, including especialized accounts. We are a strong company when it comes to collectibles and licensed products and we offer our own credit line for our clients. The clients we have chosen are partners and have been included in this development for aproximately 3 months.
TPF: Games Workshop has an extensive catalog of products, so taking that into account, what products/lines Solid intends to bring regularly to Brazil?
SI (Diego) – Our initial portoflio has been build by 8 hands: GW (Malc) , Solid, a local community member and especialized retailers. We have brought only 180 items from GW’s catalog and got a lot of input from Malc on what would sell well and on what to include. All the “starter” and “boxed” lines will be brought regularly, the same applies to “top 100” miniatures. Books will be brought depending on their sales (which we expect to be good) and we’ll always have new releases accompanying what’s being released by Games Workshop.
TPF: Will we have the line of paints and primers in Brazil?
SI (Diego) – Yes, that is part of our expansion plan. If this release is a success we’ll have all the possible lines.
TPF: We’re aware that Solid will have exclusive rights to distribute GW products in Brazil, however, we’d like to know how that exclusivity will work in practical terms when it comes to the final consumer and the possibility of purchasing directly from GW.
SI (Diego): – That’s something that was left to Malc, after the official release here in Brazil. However when the final consumer experiences the “power of readily available products”, the possibility of paying in installments, displayed products (the product has a lot of appeal there) and certainly when he does the math, the product imported directly from GW will become less interesting.
TPF: Thus far Solid has been focusing in importing and distributing GW’s products to local retailers in the Brazilian market. Are there plans for Solid to, sometime in the future, sell directly to the final consumer?
SI (Diego) – Solid is a distributor and that’s our current business.
SI (Daniel) – Solid doesn’t sell directly to the final consumer, however, we do handle fulfillement for other partners, in different lines. Even on that circumstance our final price would be the same.
TPF: What about community support? Can we expect something from Solid on that front or will that be left exclusively to each retailer? Can we expect support from Solid to the independent gaming scene, or even for Solid to organize events and tournaments like “Throne of Skulls”, “Games Days” and the more recent “Open Days” organized by Games Workshop?
SI (Diego) – You can expect the events and I rely a lot on the help of the community to help us advertise these events. There are a few retailers working on future events like the FNAC Pedroso store in Sao Paulo; Leitura Shop Dom Pedro and Bazar Magic SP. We must add value to these events because retailers will only restock the products depending on how well they sell and the advertising events. We count on you.
SI (Daniel) – Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!
TPF: One of the great concerns being voiced by the community is about the final pricing. Can you shed some light over how the final consumer price will be decided upon in Brazil? Does Solid participate in determining the final consumer price with the retailers?
SI (Diego) – As we shared our math to Malc, prices are determined by the minimal profit margin the retailer works with in all their lines, and the price we purchase from GW. We were careful enough to discuss pricing so that they would be good enough, especially for the final consumer.
SI (Daniel) – All prices will be the same for the final consumer, but we must remember the added benefits: ready supply, broad mix of products, payment in installments, displays on brick and mortar stores and idoneous importing. Solid isn’t interested in making a profit on its first, second, or even third shipment. We want the volume/large scale to reduce costs and then make a profit.
TPF: Assuming one of my readers owns a store and would like to sell GW’s products, how can they get in touch with you?
SI (Diego): You can direct them tomy email, as I am in charge of retail along my sales team (so if you’re interested Diego’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org).
Before I wrap this up I’d like to share the list of stores where you’ll probably be able to purchase your GW models from in Brazil. The first listing of stores I’ve been made privy to is the following:
Out of the initial listing I now have confirmation that Livraria Saraiva wil begin by offering GW in two brick and mortar stores as well as on its website; FNAC on one store and on the website, Leitura in 4 stores and Bazar Magic in two stores.
As soon as we have confirmation of new retailers we’ll share them with you on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out for our news there.
I think that will all this information there is no room for doubts about Solid’s intentions, and that this new attempt to bring GW to the Brazilian market is not something half thought about. I believe it is worth pointing out that the success, and continuity of supply will hinge heavily on the local community’s support of the product, which in turn depends on how expensive the final dost of the product will be here, as there’s nothing worse than being priced out of your hobby.
I won’t dare wrapping this up with predictions about pricing, or the future of Games Workshop in Brazil, but I will voice my profound wishes for success for the guys over at Solid Import in their attempt, and rooting for their success I will join Malc in his hope for a solid and steady flow of products into Brazil, readily available to the community here. There’s nothing I’d like more tha being able to promptly replacing my paint pots, especially when I spill the latest pot of Nuln Oil on my desk.
Fingers crossed and I’ll see you soon. Over and out.