Is 1/6th DEAD?

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Thread: Is 1/6th DEAD?

  1. #1
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    Is 1/6th DEAD?

    Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of 1/6th scale military figures since 21st Century was the only thing around. I enjoy the kitbashing and repainting and trading with buddies and sewing and sculpting etc.

    But I raise a question…Are 1/6th scale military figures (particularly modern) on their way out?

    This question is brought up simply to get your thoughts. Here are mine:

    I hope the military figure thing is here to stay for a while longer, but there are a few things that make me wonder if the hobby is about to fizzle out. One thing is the lack of new figures produced by bbi and Dragon. Dragon has really dropped the ball on modern figures. Only a few have been released in the past year. They have also failed to keep up with bbi and others with making REALLY high end kit for their figures. Bbi has not put out but a couple of new figures either, but at least they’re making nicer stuff. Those of us at this forum are aware of other toy makers like Hot Toys and Toy Soldier and a few others that have stepped up and made the absolute BEST accessories and figures to date, but outside of the “hard core” 1/6th fans, the BIG companies (bbi & DML) are what brings new people to the hobby. My point…due to the lack of new and mass produced figures by the biggest toy makers, is that creating a loss of interest in 1/6th? Oh yeah…when is bbi going to make a new figure that’s NOT a Navy SEAL. I ask DML and bbi…where’s the new figures? The prices need to stay around $40-$50 per boxed figure too!

    My next thought is this: Has everything been done? There is so much different 1/6th stuff out there and its getting better to the point that I wonder if there is anywhere for the hobby to go? I was waiting for the toy makers to make higher end kit and in the last year they have. They are actually making things that our troops really use! And there is less molded plastic and more nylon and that is really nice! But now that the figures are coming out with top quality accessories and you can buy them as loose pieces online somewhere, is there anything to look forward too? Have we shot ourselves in the foot by getting exactly what we'vre been asking for? The US military involvement in the desert zones has inspired A LOT of 1/6th stuff. I think people are tired of desert stuff. I am! There is a whole lot of other stuff the toy makers could get into, but it seems like they are stuck in the desert. Is that losing people? I think the toy makers could and should make more stuff that is NOT desert related. There are other themes that could be covered more!

    I am concerned that these things may be examples of the beginning of the end of our hobby. I still have several figures I want to build. I hope the supply of 1/6th scale stuff will get more diverse, more detailed and more available.

    I don't feel like I said quite what I have been thinking. I am just curious to see what happens with 1/6th next.

    Please share your thoughts and concerns!
    Do, or do not...There is no try!
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  3. #2
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    I think once companies like BBI or DML come to realise that Hot Toys is doing well with their recent modern releases, more figures will be done. And the trend is often that when either BBI or DML starts putting out modern figures, the other will follow suit.

  4. #3
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    I won't say that bbi and DML will be pounding out figures like they did in years past. Word coming down the line is at least one of them has new figures on the way. There's others that have been announced, and hopefully they're not smoke. If the long waited-for Falklands figure were not followed through with, that would cause repercussions most interesting.

    Meanwhile, the new fair-haired boys of the manufacturers seem to be making strides in picking up opportunities lost by the "big two". There're some very good indicators there, especially since they tend to support bashers and needs not met otherwise.

    What's needed most is the ability of we in this hobby to stand fast. To use what's at hand, to innovate ourselves. A look at this area (General Discussion ) shows that's happening a lot. And that answers the question.

    Is OneSix dead? No. Because it's not the figures in boxes that do or do not appear. It's us. If you type "1/6" into a search engine, and get "No results...", then the hobby will be on the ropes, but it will still be breathing. It hasn't died since the first Joe was pulled out of the box, and that was long before many here were around. It can be knocked around and even down, but OneSix has never taken the full count yet.

    Companies may decide they don't want to sell us stuff, this forum is here for the guys who do the hobby. When they quit, this place will quit. Or will it?

    So No, 1/6th isn't dead, like the man said, the rumors of it's demise are greatly exxagerated.
    You are
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  6. #4
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    A slow period maybe but not dead. As PD says, with all the bashes and modern kits being produced by the secondary manufacturers, we seem to be doing well. The big 2 might be slowing down but the hobby is still strong.
    I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride. Wanted, Dead or Alive.

  7. #5
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    just a slow period; it always happens.

  8. #6
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    NO. 1/6th is not dead , it is not even sleeping but it does appear to be drowsy lately. So much of what I see appears to be rehashed from other sets and rightly so considering that many units use the same equipment as everyone else. I think we need more accessory sets. I like the Armoury sets ( except for the fact that you have to buy at least 2 different sets to kit someone out) and they represent units that most ignore. I have their IDF units and all of the German units. The most common figures coming out now have 90% of the same stuff , it makes it hard to justify spending 40 dollars to get a new rifle ( unless it is an Hk11 or something really exotic ). I love our troops but it seems every unit currently deployed could be readily kitbashed from existing figures. I would like to see some Polish GROM or Soviet Spesnatz. German KSK or SEK you know units not currently flooding the market. How many Galils or FALs have you seen out there compared to MP5s and M4s ? The Falklands Marine is great and I will probably buy at least 3 when it arrives but I would also like to see South African RECCE or Rhodesian Army units. How about a Congolese Merc with a FN FAL 50.63 or Bush FAL ? Maybe an IDF with a NEGEV ? I think branching out into these fields would help to revitalise the 1/6th community. My $.02 sorry for the rant.

  9. #7
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    I have a solution

    Yes it is. 1/6th is old, cold and over. So send me all of your figures. I mean if the hobbies dead you really won't need them now will you?
    Last edited by Just Clay; 10-10-2004 at 22:12.

  10. #8
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    2 great points by Pukingdog and Sigurd:
    1st we are the hobby and we can keep things alive by posting pics, kitbashing, trading, selling, buying, making/ improving existing stuff, sharing ideas/tips with each other and turning on new people to the hobby.
    2nd I too think that the big boys could provide more accessory sets and leave them in circulation longer. Alot of the times I'm interested in sets but by the time I have money or need more sets to bash more figures the sets are all gone.
    Even the little guys need to make more sets and keep making them for longer.
    I for one am not tired of desert stuff because I just got into Dragon, BBI and Hot Toys figures this year so I'm playing catch-up. I got back into the hobby with the 21st stuff and finally stepped up to the higher priced stuff from the other companies mostly because of the lack of new 21st 1/6th scale. I hate that 21st has abandend 1/6th scale but really have grown to enjoy the detail from the other guys.
    I do see a potential problem with the lack of quality lower priced figures and the bigger retailers moving away from stocking 1/6th scale because a beginner to the hobby could see it as too price prohibitive to spend $40 to $100 per figure. Hopefully this can change and the big boys can do a combo of highend and affordable but so far BBI is dropping the ball with the lower end line.
    I hope we are just in a dry spell.....

  11. #9
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    If the hobby was dead; we wouldnt be here posting awesome kitbashes.

    I think the 1/6th market is booming now more than ever; customized gear is now being sold as factory produced; something I dreamed of when I was 13.

    If theres anything the 1/6th community could really use its more product competition. More companies need to take the mistakes and hits of other companies and study them to make an overall better offering of 1/6th product; and at an affordable price.

    If companies continue to overprice their products, though; the 1/6th community will decend into a depression, I know I havent bought any 1/6th for months now; I havent bought a boxed figure since christmas 2002; theyre just too damn expensive considering the ammount of things you recieve.

    But as of now; I think the hobby is still going, talent is alive and flourishing on this board, and I think it will be for a long time to come!

    (Just my .02 cents)

  12. #10
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    Edit: Well, nevermind, that didn't work.

  13. #11
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    All of the modern boards seem to be quieter than before.. or at least the type of posts have changed, don't you think? Maybe all of the different boards popping up have spread things out too much. OSW gets most of the kitbashes/customs and their quality is staggering, but there isn't as much pure discussion anymore (except for threads like this ). You don't see as many intense figure discussions as before.

    However, it certainly has something to do with the lack of releases as well. Look at the Sideshow board.. not many picture posts, but there are quite a few threads for a board that size since Sideshow is constantly releasing things at the moment. Toy Soldier has a lot of releases, but people seem less interested in talking about accessories unless they're really unique.

  14. #12
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    For my 2 cents, I'd say 1/6th has slowed down, but far from dead, or dying. Last year I was about ready to "take a break" from 1/6th, but I found the "Fantasy Net" board and fantasy and medieval figs perked me right up. Guess I was just tired of all the modern and WW 2 figs.

    My emphasis changed to parts and medievals, with some of the Joe 40th Annivesary sets to re-kindle my spirits. Still going strong with those figs for now. I feel I'll get back to WW2 sooner or later, always do, but whatever. Right now I'm having a blast making knights, monsters, cavalry and good ol' Joe.

    Things will change, YOU might change--that you can be sure about. If anybody gets tired of their collections, maybe you might consider doing something "different" about your collections. Change to a different interest--if you do WW 2, try phasing into Korea. If you do ETO, try maybe--PTO. If you do "grunts," try paras. Or tankers. If yer doing Special Forces, try the grunts. Maybe if you have been making up tankers, try back-dating to horse cavalry, or vice versa. Maybe try making "futuristic bashes." Do some "space pirates!"

    The point is--do something different if you're feeling "down" about your collections at this point in time. The hobby is NOT going away anytime soon. It's still growing IMHO, but maybe not as fast as it was a few years back. Maybe we'll only see a few new releases each year instead of being over-whelmed by dozens of new things.

    I mean, I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'm not made outa money. I can't spend hundreds of dollars each month on all the stuff coming out. I haven't been able to do that since there's been sooo much. I used to travel hours each week to find 21C and So/tW stuff at Target and TRU. I haven't done that for a coupla years now. Thank goodness!

    Maybe it's just time to analyse our collections and thin them out and spread them around the community. Maybe it's time for us to sorta "specialize" our collections, ya know? Or maybe "generalize" our collections. We might be doing all of us a favor by doing that--IDK fersure. Just an idea.
    "I live in my own little world. But it's OK. They know me here."

    "No healthy person willingly heaps abuse upon another struggling soul."

  15. #13
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    It probably depends on what an individual is into collecting. For WW2 hobbyists like me the 1/6 arena has never been better. For modern...well, I can understand the frustration. I was looking the other day at my first three DML purchases....Hans, Klaus, and Gerhard. These three figures were revolutionary at the time they were produced. In today's standards, they are as night is to day: the quality has certainly never been better all the way around, modern, WW2, or whatnot. For me right now the fulcrum seems to rest on what BBi's future plans are. The head-bumping going on between BBi and DML has meant nothing but good things for us fans...but now the rumor mill seems to suggest that BBi may be limiting their 1/6 offerings, deciding instead to focus on their 1/18 line (proof positive of newer offerings in the 1/18 WW2 realm are evident by showing off their new Sherman tank). However, I think that like no other time before the 1/6 community has a better chance than ever of sticking around: too many people have been "bitten" by the bug.
    It's never too late

  16. #14
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    Sometimes it seems like modern and wwii figures have been done to death. But like the brigadier says, there's plenty of room to grow in other historical eras. WWI, American Civil War & Napoleonics, War of Independence have only started to be covered, and they are all fascinating historically with plenty of cool uniforms and gear.

  17. #15
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    As others have said, no, it's not over. Not by a long shot.

    As PD said, WE are the hobby. As long as there are people out there buying, trading and customizing, the hobby is alive.

    One has to remember that there was a time known as the "dark ages" in this hobby. There was NO new 1/6 ANYWHERE. Guys were making their own stuff, or checking out the "pink" aisle to see what they could paint or dye OD green. The only figures were vintage Joe and Cotswold.
    Needless to say, we got out of that all right.

    And here we are today. If you want to kitbash a fig from just about any time or place, it's just a matter of going on-line or to a local shop to get the parts.

    I remember a couple years ago we were saying "slow down!" to the companies. "You're putting out to much." "We can't keep up."
    I'm not saying that's why we are in this slow time right now, but hey, now we have a slow down to reorganize our collections.
    To sell off or trade what we find we don't need.

    Another thing we have to realize is that DML and BBi are NOT the only companies making 1/6. Sure they seem to have slowed down, but that doesn't mean the whole hobby has.

    21st has a repainted R/C tank out. Hasbro has a few new figs hitting stores. SOTW is sure to hit more Wal-Marts as we get closer to Christmas. PT has some VERY nice stuff out.

    So 2 out of, what, 10 companies slows down, big deal. Even IF they stopped making 1/6, we would complain, moan and groan, then move on.
    If ALL the companies making 1/6 quit, the hobby would not go away. We would still kitbash and customize and come to boards like this for years. And after a while a new company, maybe started by a few collectors (ala 21st), would start making figures and accessory sets the way we want them.

    One must also realize, there are THOUSANDS of collectors out there.
    I read on another board about a collector who met an old friend not seen in 20 years. When the collector asked his friend what he has been doing, the friend said he has been buying action figures and customizing them. When the collector told his friend that there is a whole HOBBY for that kind of thing, his friend had no IDEA. He thought he was the only one doing it. He didn't know that thousands of collectors did what he was doing everyday.

    And that just reminds us that there are people buying figures at TRU, KB, Target that don't know they are members of a VERY large hobby that has been around for many years. That is why I thought BBI going into TRU was a good idea. To get the people that have never heard of BBi or DML.

    I'm not saying anyone that buys an action figure is a collector, but there are people that collect that have no idea we exist.
    And there are new people getting into this hobby every day.


    So to answer your question again, a big NO. Think of this as a rest. The hobby has been going strong and fast for the past 5 years. Many long time collectors are surprised that we have lasted THIS long.
    Eventually we will lose a company or two. It's a tough business. But like I said, we will survive. It won't be the end.

    As John Wayne said in "Big Jake" when a bad guy said "I thought you were dead." John Wayne replied "Not hardly."
    "Grant us wisdom from Thy mind, courage from Thine heart, strength from Thine arm, and protection by Thine hand. It is for Thee that we do battle, and to Thee belongs the victor's crown. For Thine is the kingdom, & the power & glory forever, Amen." SF Prayer

  18. #16
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    This is the reply I received recently from BBI after I sent them a message asking about the future of their 1/6 line. The original message was sent about 6 weeks ago:

    "Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your enquiry to our info line and we wish to assure you that
    bbi remains fully committed to the future and further development of our
    Elite Force line of figures and accessories.

    We take great pride in our offering of this line and ensure that each and
    every item is painstakingly researched.

    Whilst this research delivers an outstanding product, it does not always
    conribute to a timely or regular release of new items.

    We trust that as a supporter of the Elite Force brand we will continue to
    enjoy your support.

    Best Regards,
    bbi Customer Relations - CL"


    James
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

  19. #17
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    The RUSSIANS ARE COMING!!!!!!
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  20. #18
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    Never Say Die!!!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is 1/6th DEAD?-last-act-jpg  
    You are
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  21. #19
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    I've just been in Kid Robot today, and their best display cases are those that contain 1/6 - and they also contain no BBI or Dragon figs.

    HT PJ, Medicom 12" ninjas, SEAL Nightjumper - I guess the point I'm trying to make is that this isn't about BBI or Dragon - and there's a ton of stuff out there that I know I'll never get round to picking up so as far as I'm concerned this hobby is as strong as it ever was.
    'I'm giving you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eatin' that trash can.'

  22. #20
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    I do appriciate your comments. I figured as much that most of you were going to be VERY positive!

    I am not quite so optimistic. I guess I will "beleive when I see it".

    My 1/6th interest is fairley specific and limited...Modern US Special Operations Forces. Some of you may be into anything and everything and thats OK, but I have a specific taste. I only have a handfull of figures and have only bought 4 boxed figures. I prefer getting loose parts because if I have the choice to make a figure EXACTLY how I want it, I would rather! But that's my way!

    I know DML and bbi are not the only ones making the stuff, but I feel as though they are the backbone of the 1/6th business. Maybe the shift is in the process to moving over to HT, TS, A.C.E. etc.

    I hope like the rest of you that 1/6th is not dying. As long as a business makes money they will continue to produce. So you are all correct in saying that WE are the hobby. If we keep buying, they will keep making.

    Some of you stated that you haven't bought a figure in a long time. That's because there HAVEN"T BEEN ANY coming out! I hope all of the toy makers are just taking time to regroup and blow us away with future offerings!

    Maybe somebody will make a figure that will meet my approval right out of the box.

    Thanks for your comments. Please feel free to expound on the topic.

    My 5th SFG guy in Afghanistan 2001 pics will be posted by Christmas I hope. If I ever get time to finish him!
    Last edited by ODABasher; 10-11-2004 at 10:53.
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  23. #21
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    1/6.....no, my wallet........YES
    Just wait another month, and the big boys will be rolling out there Holiday goodies, I hope
    Daniel

    Owensboro, KY

  24. #22
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    I haven't been playing with LEGO for like 10 years. Is LEGO dead? Nope.

  25. #23
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    Well hey ODABasher, if it's US SF guys, I think you're probably still in the catbird seat. Next to Germans, I'd say the SFs are some of the most popular choices for manufacturers. That's not a judgement or complaint, just an observation.

    You might want to dig in a bit deeper, improve your overhead cover, and hold on just a little bit more.
    You are
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    When it counts---The Masao
    - Ryan Bonaminio lived his life this way -

  26. #24
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    I think one of the greatest stumbling blocks to 1/6th is the limited runs. Why make these figs so limited? Yeah, it creates a feeding frenzy at first, but what's wrong a with a longer more sustained sales pace?

    Regional, shop, and club exclusives are a real sticking point for me. The companies jack up the price, and the average guy can't get his hands on it, even if he could justify the price, shipping and import fees.

    Another big issue with me is political issues. Some of you have heard or seen me rant about this, but what's the big hard-on for Nazis? They were evil bastards. They slaughtered millions; jews, soldiers and anybody else they didn't take shine to. More over, they lost the war. Just because they had some dress sense doesn't make them cool guys. Sorry.

    The other problem is the companies are cashing in on a captive market. They're not broadening the scope of their ranges, because as collectors, we're more than happy to keep spending cash on Modern O:IF and WWII Nazi figures. Why produce a UN Peacekeeper, a cold war era Soviet tanker or WWII Juno Beach Canadian soldier, if they know we'll be happy with 'Uter', the 8th variant of the same old fallmsjaager?
    "I'm no stranger to sarcasm, sir." Private Dexter Grif, Red Army, Red vs. Blue
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  27. #25
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    OF COURSE 1/6 IS DEAD!!!!




    AND ITS BURNING IN HELL.......................................


  28. #26
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    I think the post is really if bbi and dragon are dead. We have always looked for them to make figures because most of us are unwilling to pay hot toys prices. However if and when bbi and dragon do bring out more modern figures, count on the prices starting at $50.
    If my aunt had nuts, she'd be my uncle.

  29. #27
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    Ralph, the Stryker brigade figure from dragon will be $44.99 so you'll probably see him for about $40 online. The Falkland Islands figure from Dragon will likely be $10 more with that Bergen. As far as I'm concerned things are okay. Dragon is releasing as many WW2 figures as they ever have and most are $45 or less. Just 5 years ago Dragon was releasing one WW2 figure per month and bbi hadn't started with 1/6th yet. Can you imagine just one figure per month from Dragon/bbi, and it's WW2 to boot? Things would be better if bbi would release some "collector" WW2 figures that were under $45, it's been 6 months since they've done that. I hope it's just a delay as their distribution agreement for Merit to take over bbi's 1/6th gets in gear.

  30. #28
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    I think its just on vacation.

  31. #29
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    The hobby is on hiatus. There's only so much you can do with modern-day SF and WWII German or Allied forces that hasn't been done before, repeatedly. IMHO it's stuck in a rut, and it really needs soemthing cool to kick-start it. This is why I gripe that BBI and DML don't work harder with movie/game companies to make some PROPER movie/game characters in 1/6. And not just military games, but others--could you imagine how different the 1/6 Solid Snake figure would have been like if BBI or DML sculpted him instead of Yamato?

    But the problem is dual-ended. DML for all intents and purposes made too many figs in too short a time, with too scant gear (and some with questionable headsculpts). BBI had better gear and stuff, but released far fewer. adn while I like the G3.5 body's incredible posability, the taller fig makes it harder to customize using some bits of uniform.

    For me, I've slowed down for practical reasons--not enough space at home, and I plan to move Down Under mid next year (and haven't figured out how to store or move my stuff yet). I might ot might not buy one more fig before the end of the year--not ruling that out, but for me, personally, I'm slowing down. Heck, I'm still not done with the finishing touches on my two MOUT figs (both DML), so it might be real slow for me--until I finally move, get a decent job and pad, and start back on the hobby all over again. Hopefully by then, the 1/6 set will have kick-started with a whole new breed of figs.

    Oh, and Hardcase? You can have my figs when you pry them from my cold, dead, bloody fingers.
    I will be changed on the road that heads on to a new dawn
    Witness the Journey Through The Decade

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