Actually, why didn't the publisher release the game with carboard player boards and vegetable (cardboard or wooden) tokens you could place on your personal board? Because of the cost? Come on, the game is $12-$15 in Europe already, which is far from cheap as it includes 9 dice ($0.20 each -retail price), 4 pencils ($0.10 each -retail price) and 2 pads (worth, I don't know, $1.50 each maybe).
The costs you estimate would indicate a $12-$15 retail price.
Margins, my friend, margins.