Back when I was 11 we didnt have a GW
, just a dingy store room above a sports shop that sold games and minis. My first minis I bought was a blister of Fire Dragons, a blister of Chaos Terminators and a blister of Lightning Claw Terminators. A few weeks later I got a box of Imperial Space Marines (a ten man box of beakys) and some paints. The blisters had no pretty pictures and the beakys had Crimson Fists on the box. At that point the only other marine I had seen was a beaky painted as a womble so I had no idea other chapters were a thing. Now I wasnt the sharpest crayon in the toolbox as a kid (and the internet was years away so I couldnt check google,wikis,GW
,B&C etc) but I had the common sense to ask other people questions who play about what a Marine was, what the fluff behind them was. Never painted a Crimson Fist until 3rd ed.
My mate and his missus just started collecting, no Idea about the fluff etc, hell they dont actually know what a Marine is. She has Purple Wolves and he has Black and Gold Dark Angels. I dont recall Wolves having any alternate colours on the box, and he was just given the starter set DA's so had no idea they are supposed to be green. So the 'no fluff=Smurfpocalypse or Ultrageddon' argument for new players falls flat on its face. Hell back in my day we didnt have codex books, just WD articles that eventually became the Compendium and Compilation books.
Kids now basically live connected to the net, they are gonna google Space Marine at some point and see many colour schemes. Even the display cabinets and intro tables have alternate chapter schemes. Tbh I have never seen Ultras in a store display except when the Macragge starter came out, and they got repainted Dark Angels after a few weeks.
Actually now I think of blisters/clam packs, if a new player is browsing the selection he will see minis painted Red,Green and Baby Blue as well as Ultramarine colours.