I remember when we first got into 40K. Back then, Rhinos came in 3-packs and marine had a 10-man lead tactical squad and a 30-pack of plastic marines in Mark VI Corvus armor – more affectionately know as “beakies”. These were reasonably priced – about $30 US. This was the same time when they were selling a Warhammer Fantasy army pack of 60 plastics for about the same price – 10 each of wood elf, dark elf, dwarf, goblin, orc, and humans.
The problem with the figures was finding them. No-one seemed to carry them. When we went to Gencon that year, we lined up for the dealer’s room to open and rushed directly to the Games Workshop booth. They had a stack of 8 of them and I grabbed them all – 2 for Connor, 2 for Don, and the rest for me. It turns out that that had been all they had brought. I think I still have one of the sets unopened – I had also picked up lots of extra heavy weapon sprues to be able to make extra Devastator squads in the later years when they returned to GenCon so still have about 3 sets worth of figures unmade.
Back then, in the Rogue Trader days, I needed a lot of marines as I had thoughts of painting up marines armor in all the flags of the world. Plus I had been working on a mouseketeer squad of marines with ears that only got as far a making a few heads and a female torso.