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· Cobra Infantry Commander
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3,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
given the response to my observations thread, i think i need to ask should we start a 1/6 company? I am serious about knowing if we are confident enough in ourselves to try that out. tell me if you think we should... i know it won't be easy, but i wouldn't mind trying. that said, if we did, we'd need a name, and a product/ brand idea. but first do we really want to stand up to ht or just wish allday?



i was thinking maybe we could try a improved female LEO, or a nurse with scrubs or perhaps a newer female soldier.... but anything could work. you ideas would be needed of course, and we could only probably make the one item/figure that was most asked for first, and we'd need plenty of financial backing, but atleast we'd be creating it. anyway tell me if we really should, and if yes, then i will pursue a name trademark or atleast a DBA, and start trying to organize a team to design and make what we are wanting most in 1/6. and maybe even soon we could then start a kickstarter campaign to fund it.
 

· Registered
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1,555 Posts
Who's we? Is your company a democracy or are you CEO and what you've said, goes?
Do you realise how much money you'd need?
Furthermore, you'd have your work cut out getting anyone to finance something like this, when there's little guarantee the financiers would make a profit.
Who's going to do the work? Keep it local or go with China? Do you have any Chinese contacts?

I made investigations a year ago about having a simple uniform set made for which I know there is actual demand.
The printed cloth alone would have cost in excess of $2000 before the seamstresses got to work.
Do you need moulded items? That's at least a couple of thousand dollars more you'd have to spend, per item.
You'd have to factor in wages, the packaging, distribution, advertising and every other element to make sure your sets are a success.
In short, it would be an incredibly expensive enterprise.
 

· Cobra Infantry Commander
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3,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Who's we? Is your company a democracy or are you CEO and what you've said, goes?
Do you realise how much money you'd need?
Furthermore, you'd have your work cut out getting anyone to finance something like this, when there's little guarantee the financiers would make a profit.
Who's going to do the work? Keep it local or go with China? Do you have any Chinese contacts?

I made investigations a year ago about having a simple uniform set made for which I know there is actual demand.
The printed cloth alone would have cost in excess of $2000 before the seamstresses got to work.
Do you need moulded items? That's at least a couple of thousand dollars more you'd have to spend, per item.
You'd have to factor in wages, the packaging, distribution, advertising and every other element to make sure your sets are a success.
In short, it would be an incredibly expensive enterprise.
i see what you are saying, and i agree that it would be expensive, but i was thinking that as a 1/6 forum, we (OSW) could make what we want as a company and be controlled by selected forum members, with me as chairman of the board so to speak.
 

· Registered
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1,555 Posts
And what do we want?
Basing a production run on the selected views of the participants of one particular thread is does not mean there is demand.
Ask yourself why the manufacturers constantly release SEAL or DEVGRU figures. It's because it's what the consumers actually want. More to the point, it's what is demanded by the 1/6 consumers in China.
It doesn't matter that many of us are sick of the sight of SEAL figures, they sell, so why would the manufacturer's go out on a limb to make something only a tiny portion of the 1/6 hobby care about?
The number of emails I receive about new products is Legion, you have to be doing something pretty extraordinary to make distributors want to buy your product.
 

· Per ardua ad astra
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1,073 Posts
A similar thread discussed a topic along the same lines as this thread before if I remember correctly. As a forum, we all have different tastes in figures. How many people are interested in law enforcement, female figures, international figures (including, but not limited to: Russians, Chinese, etc), or the steampunk figures that are being showcased here? The thing is, we are diversified. We would want to invest our money to where our own interests lie, isn't that right? At least that's how I see it. Even then, some of us would rather scratch-build specific items they need or just wait.

Basing a production run on the selected views of the participants of one particular thread is does not mean there is demand.
Indeed. Also, there has to be a good number of people who are demanding for certain figures to be made (based this assumption from previous threads and posts wishing for Russian figures), and probably some media exposure as well (take a look at DAM's VDV in Crimea and the "Masked Green Men") to make it happen.

I guess for now, you could just wait. ZCWO and DID are/had producing/produced LE figures anyway, which means there are plenty of items you can use to build a figure from the ground up and wait for better pieces in future releases.

I feel you honestly, back when there were no Russian figures being made for a long time until KGB Hobby and DAM released their line.
 

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1,177 Posts
We must collect DNA samples from all great CEO of 1/6 companies, then we make our own 1/6 Serpentor to be our perfect CEO.

From there we take over 1/6 world.

OK let's do kickstarter to gather enough fund to pay Destro's service to make that happen for us.:goodluck
 

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What is your business's legal structure?
Who provides the start up investments?
What are your financial plans and projections?
Have you done a breakeven analysis?
What are your qualifications?
Who's we? Is your company a democracy or are you CEO and what you've said, goes?
Do you realise how much money you'd need?
Furthermore, you'd have your work cut out getting anyone to finance something like this, when there's little guarantee the financiers would make a profit.
Who's going to do the work? Keep it local or go with China? Do you have any Chinese contacts?

I made investigations a year ago about having a simple uniform set made for which I know there is actual demand.
The printed cloth alone would have cost in excess of $2000 before the seamstresses got to work.
Do you need moulded items? That's at least a couple of thousand dollars more you'd have to spend, per item.
You'd have to factor in wages, the packaging, distribution, advertising and every other element to make sure your sets are a success.
In short, it would be an incredibly expensive enterprise.
Unbelievably good questions here, and I can't do anything but repeat them.

Now, a company is a damn large investment in both time and money. I'm pretty worthless with both, but I could probably invest a few bucks (making me a stock holder - and I would want a return! :D ). And I wouldn't even mind if the company went and made a couple of figures I personally have no interest in, but I would also like to have my opinions count in future productions.

And there where I think this might go slightly wobbly: If you've read all threads about what people want, you'd see it's an immense variety of figures - modern Canadian soldiers, comic book characters, people from obscure movies, A, B, and C-listing actors, movie monsters... The list is endless.

I think the best route would be to simply crowd-fund it to begin with. Settle on a figure you want to make, find out how much it would cost to make this figure and start collecting. If the interest is there, you'll get the money to get started, and hopefully, a lot of the investment can be re-used for future projects.
 

· 1:6 Acquisitionist
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13,360 Posts
So who is the "we" behind the company?

Are you just the idea man or are you going to put $ where your mouth is?

As others have echoed, did you put real and serious considering or are you just going off half cocked or not even fully loaded?

Enthusiasm is to be admired, but being naive and not having a detailed and thorough plan leads to failure.

We've seen it online.

I've personally experienced it from both sides.

My post/reply is not about being negative, but it's about reality and being realistic.

To use a quote from the awful and cheesy early 80s action film MEGAFORCE . . .

"DEEDS NOT WORDS"
 

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2,054 Posts


Word. And while unwatchable today, the soundtrack and intro with the wheelie-doing machine gun motorcycles were absolute HBO Saturday Afternoon *gold* back in the day..... ;)

No, in case I haven't made this part clear, I don't want a Barry Bostwick Megaforce guy on my wall in 80's Aerobics Gym clothes =|
 

· 1/6 HSLD SOF fanatic
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1,595 Posts
I think the best route would be to simply crowd-fund it to begin with. Settle on a figure you want to make, find out how much it would cost to make this figure and start collecting. If the interest is there, you'll get the money to get started, and hopefully, a lot of the investment can be re-used for future projects.
This

I believe some people here have contacts with companies that presumably would be willing to produce something for which they would have a sizeable up-front payment, in pre-arranged prices.

If a lot of people are willing to get into this, it could work within the crowdfunding principles.

From what I learned here and there, 500 pieces of a product or even more would be the minimum, and I am not sure we could get that kind of direct and substancial involvement in a figure, even here in OSW.

So a middle ground would be either

A) to suggest a figure that the company would think it could sell to a broader audience and then partially crowd fund it.

B) Convince a major retailer/distributor in the US to get on the wagon and take part like BOT is doing with the ZERT figure or MSE with the MRAD.

IMHO there are a lot of people here that could work in concert and make magic in the hobby, but I am a new guy and probably not aware of some realities on the ground so read this as just my 2c.
 

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"Dammit, Janet!"

Now, Rocky Horror characters in 1/6....

CHEERS!
I'd be in on a Riff-Raff if they got his sneer right ;)

And not to derail the OP's topic further: No, you shouldn't start a 1/6 company by asking about the feasibility on a web-forum. The first thing a company needs is a good lawyer, so put one on retainer and then get an idea of what you are up against.
I will also say this: There are enough 1/6 manufacturers right now, and since they all want $75 or more for anything they make, I'd say the market is probably being served adequately. If people are new to the hobby, there's more than a decade of ultra-high-quality product out there to choose from, even the cheap Dragon stuff will blow the minds of anyone who only knows the 12 figures sold at Toys R Us.
 

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767 Posts
Short answer, No.

A more realistic option is do short runs of customs, like Iminime or Brother's Production. Actual manufacturing could be outsourced, if the skill set required cannot be done in-house. Costs can be kept under control if the quantities are only small. Even so, it would still require thousands of $$$.

Aiming to start a company, capable of "standing up to HT" from the get-go, is simply not doable. Financing would require (at minimum) tens of thousands in investment, even before any molds were made. Any potential investors or financial institutions, would be asking what your track record is like before investing anything. At the absolute minimum, they would expect previous work experience (at a senior level) with a current manufacturer, whether action figures specifically, or toys in general.
 

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If you haven't got money.......a LOT of money, forget it.
If you haven't got direct prior experience doing this, forget it.
If you haven't got a clear, set outline of what you want to do.........sense a trend forming here?

Consider: a trademark costs about $1000 to properly set up. That comes out of someone's pocket right off the bat.
If you want to have a "design team", and people COMMITTING their time and effort to it, they'll need to be paid a living wage.
Prototype and sample output will be really slow and low because without pay, there's not a lot of incentive to handle a lot of corrections, or break one's back for a deadline. That slows everything down, and remember that trademarks have to be used ( actually see marketable product) in a certain amount of time or they lapse.

Then don't forget about egos and personalities. Most of us know each other here only by text, and probably not face-to-face.
Money changes EVERYONE and EVERYTHING because then there's something tangible to lose. There's no way to tell if personalities will actually work together until they are under a single roof.
And the person who should be the boss would be the person with the most direct experience doing the kind of stuff the business would do....namely making high-end action figures.

I've seen hundreds of well-intentioned endeavours ( from various, very different, creative businesses) proposed and maybe only one or two actually get something to market. Most fail because although people may love the idea, most hate the risk.
 

· Rogue Trader
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1,183 Posts
Funding sources
Organisational development
Resourcing
Location and organisation infrastructure
Tooling for design
Legalisation (local and global)
Product development conceptualisation
Product costing
Design
Complexity
Material selection
Material sourcing
Material storage
Manufacturing
Large / small scale distribution planning
Logistics post manufacture
Health and Safety
Recycling legislation
Waste management
Outsourcing
Advertising
Financial management
Customer interfacing and brand development
Employee development

Is that everything? Not even close...I didn't mention IT and software licencing for commercial use :)

When you look at that list and consider that all you want is a 1/6 action figure, it becomes obvious why 'artists' and visionaries don't often make good CEO's. All you can see is a new shiney figure, but the mountain that needs to be climbed to get there isn't born of a thread on a hobby forum.

All of the above can of course be outsourced (most likely to China), but then the volumes you would need to sell in order to break even and survive beyond your first figure will cripple your creative input and will force you rely heavily on market forces and what sells. Before you know it, your first figure will be a Navy SEAL, followed by Barbie with an M16.

......just saying.
 

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250 Posts
I wonder if the OP is regretting starting this thread now.
I deal with this kind of thing on animation forums all the time, and I tell them all the same thing:

If this, the smallest of speed bumps, stops you in your tracks and makes you reconsider the endeavour, then good. You were never meant to pursue this and you do not have what it takes.

The people that do this, who actually go the distance and are 1000% serious about it never announce they are going to do it. They do it quietly.

They get all the ground work done and out of the way, they do all the homework.
It's not a guess, or a preference, or an affectation. It becomes an obsession fuelled by progress made. They go ahead not even expecting to get all the way there on their own because they know at some point they'll have to stop and ask questions--but they make the bulk of the journey themselves.
Most people aren't prepare to do that. They'd rather have someone else to champion the thing.

All ideas are lovely, they really are.
That's why people love to sit around and daydream.
But to realize something from the ephemeral into the tangible means stepping out of the lovely dream and into the ugly reality. Most ideas don't even get to that first footfall.
 
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