Remember the old 40k 3rd Edition Starter box? Seen by some as the set that started it all. 40k was at a new high in the hobby world, and this box set was just the thing to get geeks clamoring for 40k. The third edition of the game was released in 1998 and, like the second edition, concentrated on streamlining the rules for larger battles. Third edition rules were notably simpler and were less prone to give characters abilities only on the roll of a die.The rulebook was available alone, or as a boxed set with miniatures of Space Marines and the newly-introduced Dark Eldar. The system of army 'codexes' continued in third edition, enjoying some popularity. Although, you didn’t need the codices to play third edition, they did allow for more unit choices later on.
1 Tactical Space Marine Squad consisting of 10 marines. This is the basic squad which consist of the models available today but as, with the older command sprue. Therefore you only get the bolt pistol and chainsword, flamer and missle launcher as weapon options.
1 Landspeeder. This is the basic Spacemarine Landspeeder which can be equipped with either a heavy bolter or multi-melta. Both weapon options are included. (And IMHO, the absolute worst model to put together! I glued mine together, and put rubber bands on it to keep the sides from popping out, 3 days later, I took the rubber bands off, and “plink” the sides still popped out. It ended up finding new life on the back of my Looted Russ as a turbo-boosta.)
20 Dark Eldar Warriors. Including 2 Splinter cannons and perhaps 2 or 3 pistol configurations, the remaining weapons are all rifle. (I had a ton of these guys, at one point, I thought it would be cool to do a 1000 point army consisting of an Archon, and 100 warriors... think of all that dakka!)
The terrain included was some ruins, and jungle trees.
You also got a few dice, 2 red measuring sticks, plastic blast templates and of course, the 3rd edition rulebook.
You know the big one. (This was also known as the BBB or Big Black Book.)
All this for a mere $75.00 USD, which today is roughly the same as $103.86 utilizing http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ with a calculated inflation rate of 38.7% For my European readers, that is the same as appox. 53€ in 1998 and 73.04€ today.
Not bad considering everything you got in the box. Let’s break it down in today’s pricing terms just for fun, shall we?
Landspeeder = $27.00 (note: the model today includes parts to make a Land Speeder Tornado, where as the old one didn’t. An estimate of -$3.00 was applied to reflect this.
10 Marines = $35.00 (note: the models in the tactical squad now give you more options, so I applied -$2.75 from the standard price.)
20 Dark Eldar Warriors = $52.00 (note: the Dark Eldar warriors then were less detailed, and only included a pistol/close combat option for one in every 4 warriors (to make the Sybarite) and one of every four on the sprue had a Splinter Cannon, the rest were just rifles. To reflect this -$6.00 was applied.
Jungle Trees = $8.25 these have not changed at all!
Ruins = (No longer available) But if we take the standard inflation (38.7%) and apply it towards the 1998 price of $9.99 we come up with $13.85, and since GW almost NEVER prices things like that, we round up. (Why would GW round down?) to $15.00
Big Rulebook = $57.75 Wow, for a better quality book, if you took the 1998 price, and ran it through the inflation calculator, you come up with $69.24 so GW has actually lowered the price on something for a better product? I don’t believe it.
So, that leaves us with a total of $195.00 USD in today’s pricing terms. In 1998, the equivalent was appox. $140.00 USD.
I know the math isn’t perfect, but it is what it is…
Now I want to get one of these old box sets…darn it!