Buying 3rd-Parties: The Tell Me EVERYTHING Thread

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bumblemusprime

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So, I'm trying to write up a decent article on third-parties for my lords and masters. It's so far a bit harder than I thought as the industry seems to keep pretty close to the chest, and I haven't been at a con to pin people down. If I could get my ass to Chicago, maybe...

Anyway, here's the discussion I posted at TFArchive. Given that this is my home board, please just tell me everything you know about third-parties.

http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=53465

If you've ever bought a third-party toy, interacted with the companies, or just have an opinion as a collector, please let me know here! I'm particularly interested in having these questions answered:

- What makes a third-party worth the price to you?

- If you exclusively collect third-parties, why?

- Do you think the bubble will burst? Why or why not? (Potential reasons to burst include more legal pressure from Hasbro)

- Tell me a bit about how third-parties have impacted your toy budget

Any other thoughts on this crazy new industry! This is hopefully going to be a big momma, and quality, article.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

bumblemusprime

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I said EVERYTHING. Come on, Yaya, you got the Knight Morphers and Quakewave, right?

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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The closest I've come to a third party toy is staring through the proverbial Internet window wanting all the goodies on display. =(
 

snarl

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Never bought one, but tbh I think most of them look ******* amazing and if had less wilpower and more money would buy ******* tonnes of em.

The recent Fort Max + the new add on parts looks ******* unbelievable.

http://www.robotkingdom.com/pedx03ew.html

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bumblemusprime

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snarl wrote:Never bought one, but tbh I think most of them look ******* amazing and if had less wilpower and more money would buy ******* tonnes of em.

The recent Fort Max + the new add on parts looks ******* unbelievable.

http://www.robotkingdom.com/pedx03ew.html


He's the one that broke me--told the wife that was Christmas for me.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

Yaya

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Well, I kind of agree with that asshole Commander Shockwav on TFArchive. Who basically says:

What makes a third-party worth the price to you?
Well, third-party companies tend to give greater attention to niche fan desires. They also seem to put more of an effort into the project with more attention to detail. Third-party companies are likely made of "fans first" creators, so the love is there.

If you exclusively collect third-parties, why?
I don't collect exclusively third-party products.

Do you think the bubble will burst? Why or why not? (Potential reasons to burst include more legal pressure from Hasbro)
I think the bubble might eventually burst as companies like Hasbro put their collective financial influence to use in putting pressure on the lawmakers to protect their interest. It really depends on how much they are losing to third-party companies and whether it's worth the no doubt drawn out court battles that would ensue.

- Tell me a bit about how third-parties have impacted your toy budget
I don't really buy much other stuff, so I usually have plenty to spend on these overpriced items.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

Best First

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Ugh. Commander Shockwave. I am soooooo glad we banned that douche.

If it was up to me we would have covered him in Geoff Senior art and thrown him to the Furmanites.

anyhoo

The only ones i have ever bought are the fansproject ones for Bruticus and Superion which were add ons to the Energon combiners as well as the add on for generations Hardhead that gave him his comic face

- What makes a third-party worth the price to you?
- i suppose it is mainly that they look so much more like the characters you love, there tends to be a focus on capturing the comic or cartoon look while still making an amazing transformer. For me tho buying the above has not opened the floodgates, firstly there are too many of the buggers and secondly Hasbro seems to be catching up a bit. Some seem ill-advised - why would i get Citizen Stack when i can have Masterpiece Magnus for example? And thirdly jesus christ the cost. equally i would not have bothered with Superion if i had known the generations stuff was coming a few years later (but probably still would have with Bruticus as the Fall of Cybertron one was a bit wank)

Actually mastrerpiece is another good reason - i can't even keep up with that line anymore and they are amazing and arguably better quality manufacturing wise than the 3rd party stuff

- If you exclusively collect third-parties, why?
- nope

- Do you think the bubble will burst? Why or why not? (Potential reasons to burst include more legal pressure from Hasbro)
- it is of interest to me Hasbro "allow" this to happen - it is a pretty flagrant IP rip off - as i say Hasbro's own remakes seem to be converging more so harder to always argue it is filling a gap in the market - i think the accessories are fair game (altho i am generally less excited by them)

- Tell me a bit about how third-parties have impacted your toy budget

i don't spend like i used to so not really
 

Hound

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- What makes a third-party worth the price to you?

Most of the TP stuff I have are combiners - the detail, articulation and size of these things when combined are insane. Hasbro can never match this as I suspect these things would fail the drop test or whatever safety standards are in place.

Also I find that the TP companies often update characters where there is a gap - Fansproject started releasing Headmasters a couple of years ago, Toyworld are making Throttlebots, Badcube made a masterpiece Huffer etc. Some companies have even cottoned onto the success of the MTMTE comic as there is a set of DJD on the way & Impactor was recently revealed. There is some amazing & exciting stuff coming from TP companies.

As a collector I just feel like TP stuff appeals to me more. Hasbro's Generations line has been consistently good but feels like an afterthought behind whatever cartoon or movie they are tying into at the time. They are aimed at kids, not 30 year olds. It's totally understandable but that's not what I want. Also the quality & size of Hasbro stuff has been mixed for a little while now. TP figures cost more but (for the good companies at least), the quality is very good

- If you exclusively collect third-parties, why?

No. When Hasbro get it right, it's often great - recent figures like Armada Starscream, Skids, Trailbreaker, & Springer were great. I definitely buy less these days though

- Do you think the bubble will burst? Why or why not? (Potential reasons to burst include more legal pressure from Hasbro)

It's got to burst. There about 6 different companies making various interpretations of G1 Dinobots at the moment. They are starting to cannabilise each other as they are fighting over a pool of the same characters instead of creating their own. Also: the bizarre lack of interference from Hasbro & Takara is ...weird

- Tell me a bit about how third-parties have impacted your toy budget

I guess my average cost per figure has gone up quite a bit. I buy less Hasbro and more TP. It's expensive but mostly worth it. For example, I recently purchased Warbotron's Swindle, Blast Off & Brawl. They are amazing interpretations of the g1 characters. They are near-masterpiece quality. I can't imagine I will ever have to buy another version of those characters again. They are definitive.

Any other thoughts on this crazy new industry! This is hopefully going to be a big momma, and quality, article.

I'm sorry, the Generations combiners genuinely look great but they wont compare to this

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bumblemusprime

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Thanks, guys.

This is where I'm at: I got a great interview with Cassy Sark, and then all the companies that expressed interest in an interview have not gotten back to me. One company said, "as you can imagine, most of what is done here is guarded and pretty secret" and I don't think I'm going to get much, which is frustrating one of my big questions: how are they made? 3D printer in-house jobs, or by contracting with factories?

This may not seem that important, but there's an angle that has always fascinated me: could third-party toys be a more socially responsible product, as small companies, than the enormous Hasbro machine, rife with tales of sweatshop cruelty?

Anyway, without any luck on that front, I've begun writing. Am very interested in the ways that Hasbro has relaxed what was initially a hardline stance, not allowing any third-parties into Botcon in 2012. In addition, the fandom-wide argument of "is it stealing or isn't it?" from a few years ago seems also to have relaxed. The main concern, articulated many times in this thread, is that the third parties are all making the same bloody characters.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

bumblemusprime

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Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

Yaya

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Nice article.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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bumblemusprime wrote:It is written and live:

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/12/rob ... mers-toys/


Well done!
 

bumblemusprime

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Thanks, guys. This was damn hard to write. I got one interview out of my ten or so requests, and Sark was great, but not exactly a font of information. Without Transfans, and without Compy's finger pointing toward the Chapterhouse Games article, I would have thrown the thing away.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

bumblemusprime

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Also, I had to cut some great forum quotes to avoid repetition, including Ben's gem: "The lack of interference from Hasbro & Takara is... weird." :(

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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bumblemusprime wrote:Thanks, guys. This was damn hard to write. I got one interview out of my ten or so requests, and Sark was great, but not exactly a font of information. Without Transfans, and without Compy's finger pointing toward the Chapterhouse Games article, I would have thrown the thing away.


Glad we could help! Shame about the quotes. Ben's quote would have been ace, but editing is always a pain. :)
 

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