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Thread: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama post)

  1. #1
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    Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama post)

    I shall begin by saying that I love OSW for the fact it is usually a place of reasoned discussion where people can maturely discuss the hobby and even disagree in a civilised manner (quite unlike other places on the internet).

    Ok, so normally these sorts of threads are DFC's forte, but since yesterday evening I was reading and engaging on a thread on one of the Facebook collector groups regarding paint flaking on one of 'that brands' recent figures.
    The responses I got and saw elsewhere on the thread got me thinking about the loyalists (who populate such boards) who are intolerant of negative comments towards their beloved brand and their behaviour toward dissenting opinions.

    Are these types of collectors killing the hobby? (in the sense that genuine hobbyists who care about the products are slowly abandoning the hobby, leaving only those that collect either as a status symbol or those who are just brand loyal and don't care about quality).

    I must warn you that the Facebook thread really started grinding my gears (hence this post) and I am now in mood for a loooooong post (If you have the patience, grab popcorn/painkillers/cocaine/bleach and enjoy).

    From my many interactions with such individuals online (the less such interactions the better but they rear their ugly heads whenever I speak blasphemy against the holy brands) I have noticed patterns, things that they all share. I have kind of built a profile of these sorts of individuals and their strategies and below is a sort of 'inside the mind of' type post.

    The religious brand loyalist.

    They come in two main forms: status symbol collectors and the religious, the latter of which is becoming more common and most share the same traits: Often abrasive in personality and intolerant of criticism of the 'holy brand' due to emotional attachment to said brand. They are usually of a certain political leaning (which I won't go into here) and usually from wealthier backgrounds.
    They project during arguments and make use of multiple logical fallacies in their often repeated posts. Since they are emotionally tied to the brand in the same way that people often emotionally tie themselves to their political leanings, religions or nationalities, any criticism of the product/brand/hobby is seen as an attack on them personally, so they often respond by attacking the messengers of bad news/criticism.

    The most recent case study is a dude on the recent 'flaking paint' thread on a Facebook group who didn't take kindly mine and others comments about the quality of the products. Now normally there is another HK guy who pops up to defend said brand regularly (to the point many often say he is employed by the company) but he is not the subject of this post since he actually doesn't argue from emotion being a non religious loyalist, he appears to use his defence lawyer experience to protect the brand more professionally and often makes use of spin and distraction tactics. No, the guy I am looking at today represents the typical religious brand loyalist/protector you will encounter if you are a member of such groups.

    I will try to avoid names so I will from now on refer to the case study individual as He Man (Defender of the Brand).

    On the thread in question I commented that the flaking issue shown in the accompanying video demonstrated that the metal of the figure doesn't hold paint well (metal by nature doesn't hold paint as well as plastic, so is more prone to scratching and chipping/flaking and of course the weight of the metal itself leads to more stress on the joints resulting in more loose joints) and the fact the newer metal figures have more paint issues than previous ones might be an indication of unsuitable paint or incorrect preparation (e.g. acid baths) of the metal parts prior to painting. Such issues should not happen in high end products.

    The thread also included a list of known product issues from said brand that was pretty long (despite being incomplete) as example that the company uses unsuitable materials (likely in cutting corners) on a regular basis despite the high prices being charged.

    The defenders came out to state that said brand has the best QC around (arguably true, and I agreed that they do better than most on QC) and that they have a low low defect rate of 5% (who knows where they pulled that number from, one said it without source and the rest kept quoting it repeatedly). I argued that "good QC... doesn't mean the choice of materials is good. If the materials chosen are good for only a couple years or if they are only good for light delicate handling they may still pass QC (based on whatever QC standards the company has) but still not be fit for purpose as high end collectables.". This was not taken well by them of course. (and funnily enough, He Man even responded to someone that defects are even more likely at high price points, because reasons).

    He Man commented that the negative comments were mostly coming from non collectors, so I responded by saying that I collect hundreds of 1:6 figures and my collection includes over 40 figures from said brand (just the one product line mentioned, in total I have probably 100 figures by said brand in my collection) so my comments were from someone who is experienced in the hobby. This is where it started getting funny.

    In his response, He Man called me an idiot for expecting zero QC issues (I had already conceded that the company has great QC and was discussing choices of fundamental materials or design that result in common problems by the company beyond what normal QC checks would weed out).
    I avoided insulting him in return and explained that occasional defects are normal and expected but poor design choices are not and should not be excused. But that is too nuanced for a loyalist, and he immediately returned to the '5% defect rate is amazing' argument and demanded to know of a company that makes better products and cheaper. I happily provided an example (which wasn't convenient for him so it was quickly dropped) and explained that the role of a consumer is to raise concerns over inferior products to keep pressure on companies to raise quality and lower prices, and that not engaging in that role (going so far as to defend the brand) is counter productive and will result in inferior products and high prices.

    From that point He Man started typing responses shotgun style, making frequent ad hominem attacks, false equivalencies, straw man arguments (constantly ignoring that I was not saying the basic QC was bad, but the fundamental design choices were, and he of course neglected to respond to my actual points) then after repeating his original argument again proceeded to call me whiney, saying I cry on the internet and should pi** off (and later things like f**k off). Of course I did not sink to such name calling or foul language in my responses.

    It continued like this for a while, me naively thinking I could counter his attacks and foul language by pointing out the frequent logical fallacies he was making and then spelling out my argument as clearly as possible, with the help of other product examples and metaphors (such as if high end watches used rubber parts that cracked and disintegrated within months making them cease to function as an example to show the difference between bad QC and bad design) to help explain what I was saying.

    The mistake I made was in thinking that He Man simply misunderstood me. It turned out of course that he fully understood me and was simply ignoring my arguments in favour of his insult and fallacy filled strawman argument so that he could appear to have 'won' through posturing, acting like a dominant slapping his lesser opponent (and hilariously he kept saying he was only being logical despite the numerous logical fallacies he continued making, the irony and hypocrisy was mind blowing).

    I could see it wasn't going anywhere (and to be frank I have better things to do) so after he flung some more insults I simply stated that I will leave it up to the readers to decide who was correct and who was being illogical.

    Now that should have ended it but this morning I saw that the thread had continued (and more loyalists had joined the discussion) and He Man named me personally in another comment responding to someone else and continued insulting my character and calling me a loser, so I responded simply by saying that I had made all my points earlier in the thread and readers can read through those to make up their own minds, then stopped responding to him. Of course, the mind of an emotional loyalist can't rest until they have vanquished the great evil dragon so he continued several more posts stating that I am 'the bane of the hobby' etc.

    Brave He Man then proceeded to block another person who disagreed with him (somehow I avoided being blocked so far, probably because I stopped responding to him). This sort of behaviour is another common tactic among loyalists. There was one before (a couple actually) among those who blocked me when I posted criticism of the holy brand who later unblocked me after coming to reason and actually apologised and admitted he was wrong without any prompting from myself which was nice, but most are not so reasonable and remain dogmatic.

    While writing this post I decided to do a quick count of He Man's comments about the flaking issue (he had stated that I was on a crusade by commenting constantly, but at last count he had replied the thread posted yesterday 82 times with a further 4 on his own page and who knows how many elsewhere. Like I said, projection.

    As I said, I think the abrasive loyalists behave this way because the hobby (or more specifically the brand) has taken on religious levels of emotional attachment for them.
    The less emotional loyalists (the sort who aren't attached but to whom the hobby is merely a status symbol) have different tactics: mainly either making excuses for the brand or telling those with complaints that they should leave the hobby if they are not happy, the irony there being that they will themselves often leave expensive hobbies to move on the next big thing because they are merely wearing the hobby as a status symbol.


    Now by now you are probably sick of my rant/drama post and in need of some Ibuprofen, but I find this kind of thing interesting and I needed to vent a bit of my frustration from dealing with such individuals. If you made it this far, I assume you think I just should not engage in such disagreements (sure, there are better things to do) but I do think that criticising bad product design is important for consumers to do.

    Do you think that the brand loyalists will destroy the hobby over time or do you think they are simply replacing the hobbyists? Is my characterisation of brand loyalists fair or am I in the wrong here?

    (If anyone wants to the read the original facebook post I can provide the link or screenshots for your own masochistic entertainment).

  2. #2
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    I doubt brand loyalists will destroy the kit-bashing hobby. To each his/her own. But it truly sucks to get sucked into a FACEBOOK argument. I never visit that site-too many crazies!!!! Tooooooooo much negative for a hobby that makes me happy.
    "Be sad! Be glad! Be neither! Seek, or shun!
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    Thy being's being is a contradiction." S.T. Coleridge

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    ... there will always exist a person like He Man in any group...

    destroy the hobby? nope, but in the end they will destroy the brand they worship because others that use common sense will start to losing interest for the figure from that brand.

    I've joined to group like that, kinda funny... because sometime a photo of "the brand" brown cardboard box get more "like" than others who put effort in their figures (like weathering or custom)...

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    I do think they are damaging, because the company listens to them and thinks they're doing ok and they continue on their merry way knowing that the faithful will always remain so. They know the faithful will blindly pre-order the snot from their noses if it has their logo on it. They sit back and rest, knowing they're safe with their band of faithful followers to protect them if things start to slide, which they do. Then they bring in a license or figure which the faithful lap up and all is well again.

    These days it's best to sit back and leave them to it. When I have been dumb enough to stick my head above the parapet, I have learned that the quickest thing to do is to delete the comment and leave them to it again.

    CHEERS!

  5. #5
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Share your OP with the folks on Sideshow's forum!!!! See what they think. Lol.
    "Be sad! Be glad! Be neither! Seek, or shun!
    Thou hast no reason why! Thou canst have none;
    Thy being's being is a contradiction." S.T. Coleridge

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    sounds like something that happened on another board so long ago

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Long post, short reply: Yep!

  8. #8
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    A lack of critical thinking is bad for anything. I'm much more worried about what people like that are doing to democracy than what they're doing to the hobby.
    "Impossible is just a stage." Chris Hadfield

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
    A lack of critical thinking is bad for anything. I'm much more worried about what people like that are doing to democracy than what they're doing to the hobby.
    Yep....

    It is just crazy to me that so many collectors cant tolerate an opinion (or facts) they disagree with. Never ceases to surprise me.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    There will always be people on both sides of the extremes. But that's not the majority.
    It's the core of people who make the hobby, so it wont be killed off anytime soon.

    Plus, only 33.4% of the worlds IQ's are above average.
    So there is no shortage of idiots in the world.



    Problem is when you get more than one, then
    they get that idiot mob mentality going.

    I fear that the movie Idiocracy (2006) will come true.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by jaztermareal View Post
    Yep....

    It is just crazy to me that so many collectors cant tolerate an opinion (or facts) they disagree with. Never ceases to surprise me.
    Among collectors there is an irrational fear that pointing out the problems with a given product will somehow put off the manufacturer/brand and jeopardize the release of future products. If problems aren't pointed out manufacturers/brands won't get a proper understanding of how their product is being received and what a consumer's expectation is at a given price point. There are sectors of the hobby that resemble an echo chamber where people just bow before an altar and sing the lego theme song "Everything is Awesome" over and over until collecting becomes an ideology. Pointing out problems in this scenario is probably not going to result in a fruitful discussion.

    To the extent that it is harmful to the hobby you are correct. This results in brands not addressing shortcomings with their product (why spend more if you are only/mostly seeing positive comments?), which unless they are in a position of market leadership or enjoy exclusivity, has negative consequences for their sales. There is a reason why some brands perpetually have overstock, although usually they attribute this to the subject matter rather than the underlying problems.
    Something Wicked This Way Comes Soon.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Damaging the hobby? No. Annoying other collectors? Hell yes! I believe that the vast majority of hobbyists, actually do (or should), just ignore these asshats. I doubt that the manufacturers take emotionally invested collectors all that seriously anyway.
    Sgt. Markoff: "Keep shooting, you scum! You'll get a chance yet to die with your boots on!"

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
    Damaging the hobby? No. Annoying other collectors? Hell yes! I believe that the vast majority of hobbyists, actually do (or should), just ignore these asshats.
    Yep. The worst thing you can do is to get into an argument with them. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

    I doubt that the manufacturers take emotionally invested collectors all that seriously anyway.
    Not so sure about that. An enterprise needs repeat business from loyal customers to survive and emotionally invested collectors are the best source for this.
    More of my work can be found at One Sixth Arsenal

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Why not name names...it's Hot Toys were are talking about, and I hate to say it, some of them are so absorbed by HT being the best they can't see the forest for the trees....

    Lets face it, there is a great difference between the hobbyist and a collector. Some can be both, but I would think most of the people on that FBI group fall into the collector group. I think they are so protective about the brand is to help them sleep at night due to the price they have paid for these figures...
    " and just what would you do with a Brain, if you had one"? "Prince, harley....come on....Cooper you are such a goofball
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    theres so much i can say, but i wont. i dont want to rant right now, but i do agree with this thread. people need to call them out when they act like jerks. the zealous Hot toys kooks have this coming.
    Hail Cobra!

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    To be honest, the Big Brands tend to cater for media based characters rather than military, so they won't affect that side of the hobby much. True we don't have the same amount of military gear as we had in the 'golden years' when DML were cranking out figures like sausages... but they tended to take short cuts to keep prices down - moulded boots which were overscale, plastic belts and inappropriate ribbed strapping for rifle slings, etc... and way too many Germans. Rising oil prices made things made from plastic more expensive so prices went up... and DML went back to model kits.

    HT and their ilk don't encroach on the military side of things... in fact in some cases they can provide clothing and equipment that we don't see even from the military brands - for example the GI Joe Joe Colton (?) figure comes with an M65 temperate uniform, suitable for any Cold War era 1965 to ERDL camo period, such as NATO in West Germany. They also produced weapons that no-one else has touched, or produced them to a standard we had never seen before, such as their British Afghan War figures... a boon to any of us bashing British soldiers.

    I'm not a brand junkie - the most figures I have from any manufacturer is 3 (QMx Star Trek), with a couple each from the likes of Big Chief and Art Figures. However, I don't think having a go at brand junkies or 'apologists' is helpful... makes us look petty.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    I generally agree with the OP's assessment from my observations in several online 1/6 groups. Since delving into this hobby, I've noticed the way people communicate is very different from other collectible hobbies I'm involved with. There is a lack of critical thinking and acceptance that other people have had different experiences with the same item or seller. Many people are incredibly thin-skinned and seem to have arrested development. It's a small community, but there seems to be many old grudges and perceived slights that get carried on for ages. I find the FB groups really unfulfilling because the level of discourse and debate is so undeveloped. Your religious analogy is apt because there is an orthodoxy about certain brands or even 1/6 in general that people seem to be 'required' to follow. That's why I like OSW, because it has better discussions. Why is it different here? Maybe, the less visual usergroup format attracts a different (I'd wager older) cohort. It also has a more military, seamless, and truly creative kitbash focus than most of the 'worship at the altar of HT superheroes in a glass IKEA case' groups.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Not so much HT, but I have seen collectors of another brand getting very protective about the figures and going off on one if there's any criticism of the actor's likeness or quality of the clothing. And no it's not a Far East company.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Hard to believe anyone would waste time arguing&fighting about their toys. .
    "Be sad! Be glad! Be neither! Seek, or shun!
    Thou hast no reason why! Thou canst have none;
    Thy being's being is a contradiction." S.T. Coleridge

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Comicsrcoll ONE SIXTH WARRIORS lets let the 12" people do the fighting !

    I'm sure these people are just 'snow blinded one day they will realise there is more out there than their particular brand.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by Delanie View Post
    Comicsrcoll ONE SIXTH WARRIORS lets let the 12" people do the fighting !

    I'm sure these people are just 'snow blinded one day they will realise there is more out there than their particular brand.
    Maybe they don't care... and neither should we. People buying every iteration of Iron Man have no effect on my purchasing Star Trek figures or bashing military figures.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    I need the parts from the big brands like Headsculpts. So i´m depend on they preduce more new stuff. Without i can´t bash new figures.....

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    An update: due to the huge influx of HT apologists arguing and attacking people the OP of the thread deleted it to avoid further behaviour. Sad.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by jaztermareal View Post
    Ok, so normally these sorts of threads are DFC's forte,
    --

    Really?

    That's news to me. I didn't know I had a forte.

    I used to be a brand loyalist with regards to Triad Toys. In looking back, it was not good. It was loyalty that was misplaced. It wasn't just me. There was a few, but I was the most overzealous. Based on that experience, I am no longer a brand loyalist.

    If a brand does well and they produce good products, they earn our support. If they <CENSORED> up, then earn our criticisms. If they get completely ignorant and disregard their customers, they earn our disdain.

    We all like certain brands. When it comes to modern military, it's pretty much DAM vs. SOLDIER STORY so we that brand loyalty game played out whenever either company shows a new offering.

    The HT collector mentality mindset is very different for a variety of reasons. Most know why.

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaForceChung View Post
    --

    Really?

    That's news to me. I didn't know I had a forte.
    You are the guy who usually discusses ideas and wider issues for the hobby so yeah, I think it is your forte

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    drink 7 cups a day, but I don't even loyal to the coffee brand I buy weekly...

  27. #27
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by jaztermareal View Post
    ...I was reading and engaging on a thread on one of the Facebook collector groups regarding paint flaking on one of 'that brands' recent figures.
    Hey, Jaz... what recent figure might that be? I'm only aware of First Avenger Cap and Avengers Cap's shields that were flaking.
    "If symptoms persist... insult your doctor."

  28. #28
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Figured it out a long time ago...

    You can't argue with dumbass or crazy. Just can't...

    Sounds like your boy has a little of both going on.

    Life's too short to piss away precious time or energy on that sort. You'll probably never change his mind because he's a dumbass. Even if you do succeed in changing his mind, he won't admit it because he's crazy.

    See how that works?
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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Not sure they are killing anything, HT didn't become the most emblematic brand in the hobby in one day, and surely not thanks to these apologists... I agree they are annoying, personally I just try to stay away from any debate with people like that, but the opposite behaviour is equally annoying.
    Some collectors will spend all their time and energy to bash this or that brand just because of one bad experience they had... Some customizers too are quick on criticizing each HT release but they are just as quick to buy HT items only for their custom works...
    In the end I believe any "extremist" opinion/position is annoying, even more considering we're talking about toys, high end ones for sure, but still toys

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    Re: Are brand loyalists and defenders killing the hobby?? (WARNING: long drama p

    Quote Originally Posted by rollotomasi View Post
    hey, jaz... What recent figure might that be? I'm only aware of first avenger cap and avengers cap's shields that were flaking.
    mk46

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