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That was Zen, This is Tao
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Quality issue not cost

Like some others, I think the price is less an issue than all around quality. Sideshow just seems to be run by people who are not very business savvy. Here's the burning question, if ALL the figures sell out - why not make more of them and then you can charge less due to the larger production run???? The prices hold as others have mentioned because the market supports that price bracket. if you really want a particular figure, chances are you will pay whatever they ask (within reason) and that fuels higher pricing eventually. Let's face it though, if it was only pricing that Sideshow had against it - this thread might not have started.

The customer service is sketchy to say the least, with all this pre-order based ridiculous sales techniques. Twice I have called in at the exact (cell phone / satellite) time to order something and been told 'oh well it's only 9:59 am here - bye'. I have had two quality issues which I had to email about several times before ever getting an acceptable response. They sent me two Obi-Wans when I ordered only one and they have gotten my address wrong twice. Do they have something with messing up in pairs?

I also do not understand the exclusive versions, throw the crappy extra piece of plastic in with all the figures and stop feeding the Ebay resale mess. I am also dumb-founded that I can usually find the figures elsewhere with better prices / shipping than SST's website. Sideshow also appears bent on prolonging the figures everyone asks for time and time again, how about Chewbacca now? No - here's another Luke, this one is when he was in that hallway that one time and he wore this purple outfit and had this eight barreled gun he never used and this cool pasta machine... Here's Obi-Wan from ANH with Elf ears and the remote that should come with Luke and his blaster shield, oh wait - you don't get that, that will be an accessory pack.

You can say whatever you want on this topic, but we are now stuck with the higher prices and in my opinion SST will be selling out for quite some time to come. If Sideshow improved their customer service, quit the exclusive bull crap, got a QA department that isn't legally blind, I'd gladly pay even more for the figures as I think they are actually great (and worth the cash) when done right (Maul was one). Here's to hoping more money gets us a better quality product and service. Also for all the people defending SST in this thread, that's great - but this was a bitch thread (says so right at the top), so what were you expecting? :confused:
 

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Woops!!!

Totally my bad. I'm doing pushups as I type (one handed of course). You are right this IS a b____ thread! There is no whine limit in a b____ thread. Sorry! Let the whining continue.

My $.02 "Don't like? Don't buy!" (but write to the manufacturer).

Transmission complete.
 

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dude,there is nothing wrong with being a little upset if your getting priced out of your favorite hobby,this isnt a bitch thred,100 plus for a figure is expensive any way you cut it. if we wanted 'less expensive 'hobbies,well then we would have them,but we want this one,hence our 'bitch' imho..in the long run i cant help but wonder how many guys will keep buying 100 dollar figures.
 

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I have to agree. I took a two year break from the hobby after I got back into collecting 3 3/4" joes. Last year, I got back into the hobby and was suprised by the changes (DML no longer producing modern, No more Formative, Limited release from BBI, etc). I have to say it has become too expensive. I just pick up new items for kibashing now instead of trying to buy complete figures. I can't picture this going for too long at these prices.
 

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As long as we stay on topic and don't take shots at each other, we're good to go. Let us remember that shall we?

The conversation around SSC quality is a long one. I have seen a number of SSC 1/6th prototypes and they were and are, works of art. The people at SSC do care a great deal about what they do and work long hard hours creating some of the best stuff I've ever seen in our hobby.

However, and it is a BIIIIIG however, production issues are what kill SSC efforts in this scale. I have spoken at length to a number of the artists, sculptors and craftsmen who work for SSC and they all know that by the time the product returns to our shores that they and us, will be lucky if the finished figure has 50% of the detail and finish of the original prototype(s). Sucks big time, but that's what it is.

So anyway, There ya have it another opinion of no importance to anyone including the Author.
 

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The Aragorn prototype was amazing... the final figure was kinda not. Aragorn was also the first I remember thinking "wow that's kinda expensive" and looking at the prototype I also thought "but it's worth it, that looks great". Really happy I canceled my pre-order on that one.
 

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Mandoll withdrawl
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I've had a lot of moments like that ded-guy. And so have others, so we're not alone.

NOW, This is just a crazy thought because I kind of just woke up, but if production was where the fit hit the shan on most of these figures, especially the HS, could the sculptors take a shot and sculpt the heads for molding at a smaller scale than 1/6?

That way when it's molded and mass produced from the prototype the head will actually be at the right size, instead of larger?

I understand smaller means its more difficult, but with the amazingly stunning talent of Mr Parr[I only remember your forum name! sorry!] and Mr Bergholtz I'm sure it wouldn't be that much of a challenge. Just looking at Mr Bergholtz' gallery on his site, you can see the passion and care he instills in his work, so I do not fault the artists there, I doubt anyone really could.

So whatever happens with the minute and beautifully done details, I wonder if they could anticipate any changes between the final sculpt and the first prototype during the molding or manufacturing or w/e process since they all seem to suffer about the same detractions anyway.

Sideshow does great work when it needs to, but I've never really been enthused about their 1/6 products, I'm often wowed by their previews and sculpts, but when the final production pieces hit the wow factor kind of fades.
I've had in the past some of their sculpture/figure stuff that isn't 1/6 and I thought they were pretty nifty. Then again, as 1/6 nowadays demands a lot of attention to detail, and especially with prices rising, I don't see that as too much to ask for.

Even HT with all of its fanfare and coolness, and where the qc and product seems worth it for most, its really hard to bite the 100USD mark for a figure; and with prices rising all around it might just push a part of the market to the sidelines, picking at loose parts and being more conservative with purchases.

Speaking of higher end, good quality and well made figures, [for the most part] anyone see the price on the new ACE SEAL with the Scar? Ouch. Back to fishing for loose bits for me.
 

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King Geek and OSW Admin
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Major Rod, I understand your position 100%.

When I see new product posted on these boards and the same group of people seem to trash that same companies over and over, it gets annoying.

But, I think there are times when it's appropriate for people to have a discussion of this sort, as a group. We all have an investment, both financially and as hobbyists, in the future of our hobby.

We're a diverse group, from all around the globe and varying levels of financial means. Some people here can continue to keep paying more for their figures for a long time to come, without batting an eye. Others are barely able to hang on as it is-- but they love and enjoy the hobby no less.

I think the people that are expressing themselves here are the ones who are having a hard time paying 60-80 bucks a figure and fear losing the hobby they love if they're forced to pay 100 bucks.

I think that's fair and understandable.

No one here is acting like a fool. No one's talking trash or using childish words. They're simply talking with their fellow collectors about their concerns.

I encourage everyone to continue to post their thoughts and ideas.

And as for coming up with a solution-- have you seen LaughingGravy's work? The guy admittedly says he doesn't want to pay the prices that are out there these days-- and they don't really make the era he's interested in anyway-- so he makes entire figures (sans the body) from scratch! And his stuff looks GREAT!!!

Maybe more people will do this in the future. I always see him encouraging people to use their skills and give it a try.

We're a discussion board here. Sometimes we need to discuss something beside "great bash!" or "here's the new HT figure" or "where do I find this part?" Yes, those are major reasons most of the people come here-- but we also need to discuss the hobby. And this is one of those discussions. There will be opinions you agree with-- and those you don't. That's just what happens in a discussion.
 

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In case of emergency....
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Some more thoughts....

I'm already at the point where I think boxed figure prices have jumped the shark. I'm a big fan of Appleseed and had hoped for years that someone would do 1/6 scale figures of Deunan and Bri. $145-ish for Hot Toys' version of Deunan and $178-ish for the Takara Cool Girl version is well beyond what I consider reasonable for a 1/6 scale figure. It is disappointing but I will not likely buy either of them. I could probably scrape together the money but my heart just isn't in to it. I can't feel good about the purchase.

As a general rule, my enthusiasm for a figure drops sharply once the price goes over $100. They just don't seem to be as fun to me as they get more expensive. At this point, I'm pretty much priced out of the boxed figure market and I only buy loose parts.

I'm very disappointed by some of the current market trends but I'm not angry nor do I feel disenfranchised by it. I am concerned that if more people adopt my buying habits or just leave the hobby outright, the market and the hobby will suffer. We have enjoyed a period of major innovation and product diversity at a very accessible price in the recent past and it appears that that era is somewhat behind us for now. I think this has had an effect on our perception of cost and value and made some of us look for villains to blame. What I want is for people to ask themselves why, other than bad motives of others, is the current situation the way it is. Like Stinny noted about LG2, if you don't like the prices but love the hobby, is there anything you can do differently? Focus on a new era, learn to paint faces, sew uniforms, scratchbuild items? Could a less than current body style work for your project? Could you do something with the older, cheaper gear that's on the market?

And Lord yes, vote with your wallet! :lol If you see a figure that you must have but he cost more than you care to spend, don't hand over your money while grumbling about evil, greedy, toy-making bastards. I kitbash on a budget and I have a lot of fun; you can do it too! Some of the coolest, most creative stuff I see in this hobby comes from people with limited funds or a lack of ready-made parts who have to make or make do with what they have (Armand (LG2), uramegak and SavageLucy42 are some names that come to mind). You can find alternate ways to enjoy the hobby and have fun while not breaking the bank and/or becoming resentful towards the people who make and sell what we buy.

I hope nobody takes anything I've said as some kind of insult. I'm not personally knocking you if I disagree with your opinion. Like Stinny said, OSW is a discussion forum and discussing the health of the hobby is a part of what we must do. When things are too expensive and people resent the prices and/or refuse to pay them, that isn't healthy for the present state. It can lead to change either good (greater variety at lower prices) or bad (lack of new products, limited choice and high prices). A good understanding of why the market is where it is helps us understand how to make it better. Conversely, anger and misplaced accusations based on emotions and perceptions rather than fact can lead us to destroy it. We hammer these things out in the arena of ideas to avoid a destructive end.
 

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I forgot to add something. Let me qualify the following by saying that I don't see every makers accounting books, and the statement is a generalization of what I know about the production/retailing side of the fence. That being said: please understand that these price increases are not from the makers saying: “hey let’s raise prices and screw the collectors so we can make more money”. They are well aware of where the market is at and that raising prices hurt the overall sales. The truth be told, most makers are making less profit margins on action figures than they did at the lower prices. It all has to do with China and the realities of production there. Keep in mind that these makers to not own the factories that actually produce the items. They contract with suppliers. These suppliers may make any number items that may or may not be toy/collectible related. As China’s economy changes, making action figures is less and less important to the factories. They want higher and higher MOQ’s (minimum order quantities) to even do a production run. Anything 1/6 is considered a small production run by Chinese factory standards. 3000-5000 pieces is nothing these days. The smaller the run, the higher the price.

I know the business side of this hobby pretty well. I have been doing it for 10 years. Trust me when I say that makers and retailers are making lower margins than ever (even at the higher prices). The only way to combat this trend is to triple the size of the 1/6 market and that is not going to happen any time soon. It is kind of a catch 22 in that the only way to get things cheaper in today’s China, is to make a gangload of them. You can’t get them cheaper unless there are more people in the hobby, but you can’t get more people in the hobby because today’s prices are higher.
 

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I think that discussions such as these add to the value of the forum. Once the 1/6th hobby has been part of your life for many years it is a little hard to accept that you will have to limit your purchases and yes, you may get priced out of buying new boxed sets. I am not angry at anyone. I do feel things are going to be tough for new hobbyists. I have a lot of figures now so can slack off on purchasing and still enjoy my figures. I am having fun building figures out of parts and appreciate the ones I do buy a lot more. The economy has changed, simple as that.
 

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Okay. It's time to add my piece. Some of you may remember me when I was a regular poster here a couple of years ago. Many of you were probably lurkers then like I am now, since I see a lot of names I don't recognize. And I respect every opinion of every hobbyist here. Now Pardon the whine....

I may have little right to this conversation, but I fit into at least one category here: Those who have almost been priced out of the hobby already. I am a 26 year old back in school with a wife and 4 yr old and a full time job. Money is tighter than the belt around your Aunt Myrtle. If I were to set up a budget of money for this hobby, I might could reasonably allow $20...a month! I know we all come from different backgrounds, young and old, and many of you who are more established in life can fork out the 80-100 bucks for a figure. I can't. From the time I entered in this hobby 6 years ago, I've relied on loose parts and trades. I think I've bought 5 boxed figures in that time. 2 old DML guys and some discounted 21st. And I've had a blast! I have over 80 figures and still growing as the money allows.

I ceased being an active member of this forum out of pure jealousy eventually. WHIINNEE!!! When BBI was a thing, I could afford a little here and there. DML was somewhat within my means. When the HT and ACE stuff started selling at 15-20 bucks for a lose PIECE, I hit the road. I can't do that. Sorry. And there's no freaking way I could shell out 100 bucks for a figure. Not that I wouldn't want to, I just can't. For 100 bucks, the gun better actually fire real bullets!

I've switched almost exclusively to old 21st stuff, and I love it. My desire for perfection isn't as great as most of yours, and that's just my personal taste. Kudos to those who make an exact miniature person. Mine are toys. Also, I can't stand to make a stand alone figure...mine must be a team. Try to make a WWII Airborne squad with the products you guys buy and see how much that runs you. I can do one for under 200 bucks, fully loaded gear. They LOOK like toys, nowhere near the detail you guys get, but that meets my personal level of need. And yes, I still play with them. No offense intended to any of you who spend a load on your guys.

Now a question: Why did these manufacturers who made an affordable product basically get put out of business by companies who charge 5 times the price for a figure? Are there still so few of us out here who just want toys, not masterpieces? 21st-gone in 1/6, Power team-hard to find, Bbi-practically gone, SOTW/Formative-gone all together. What the heck happened here???????

To those of you who I remember, great to see you still around! The work on this board is amazing, and you have a fine group of talent here. If you all lived in the same vicinity, you could probably make a run at you own company and succeed. I'm still checking in from time to time, but now I'm going to play with my TOYS!
 

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im saving my pennies for some barrack sarge,and some sideshow,but thats about it these days. i just cant justify 120 dollars for one hot-toys figure,i wish i could but i cant. i love my d.i.d. world war 2 figures,but at 75 bucks each,i just cant justify it.
Irish, you touched on somthing that's been on my mind. I like what Sideshow has, and I really like Hot Toys has to offer as well. But, when you compare what DiD offers as a set you sure do get a lot of stuff for your buck. I am not a collector of boxed figures. I'm a basher, so more parts the better.

I just got the HT PCU Mt. OPS sniper, John Coleman, and Albert Ross. The quality of the HT is great on all the soft goods, but the cast pieces are very fragile. With DiD the quality of the soft goods as well as the cast pieces, not to mention all the cast metal pieces is awesome. I only thing about DiD I don't like are the bodies.
 

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all up in your bizness
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That's a very good point Brady that I didn't realize before. It is good that we have a community to voice our concerns and express our interests as the hobby changes. As the economics of the world change I hope both collectors and companies will adapt to them.
From the standpoint of an individual a collector, I would like to see more accessory sets rather than full figures. I think a set of gear or clothes makes products more affordable and available to a wider audience hopefully encouraging more people to join the hobby. Mixing and matching is a big part of this hobby. And if bbi is listening, re-release that U2 pilot!
 

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I remember the days when I paid mid $30's for a DML figure,. I will collect at less 2 each and some time up to 6 each so I can do dio. When their price started going up and they releasing 4 or 5 per month and flooding the market. It became too much for me to digest. I start getting very selective, and eventually I stop buying DML completely. Cause once I break the chain, it became easier to stop buying the next figures and so on.

Now I'm into HT. Paying $100+ per figure(only one each, thank you). The most recent purchased was the Power Loader for $250 back in Dec. Was I'm happy laying down two bills and half for it? Somewhat. I wish It didn't cost that much. But I do think I got what I paid for. But that also meant that I have to pass their two Mountain Ops Sniper to buy the Power Loader. With so many HT coming out. It's almost like they are doing what DML did. Flooding the market.

Like most hobbyist, I don't have a money tree growing in the back yard. With each figures pricing in the $100's. It's becoming even harder to follow each release then DML, ACE, or TS. Will I eventually stop buying HT altogether? I don't know.... But I missed several HT,TS figures already. Missing one or few more don't make that much difference to me anymore now. Especially with the housing market not doing so well. Who knows what will happen to the economy? So I,m even more selective on which box figure I'm buying. What ever it is. It better worth the price. Take the Medicom Shocktrooper thread for example. It cost $150. It came with a gun. Do I think the Shocktrooper worth the price? Nope! I don't know about anyone else. As much as I would like to have a few Shocktrooper. But, for $150....I want more, way more accessories then that, ....way more! For that reason. I don't buy Medicom figures anymore. They priced me out years ago. I still buy HT when I can, cause I'll get loads of accessories. But, with their price keep going up. They'll be pricing me out too. Not that I can't lay down a bill for it. But why should I? Especially when I can bash a figure with lose parts cost around 2/3 the cost of a HT box figure. And it was as good as or better then any HT, ACE or TS. Still, I'll buy HT, ACE, TS or any high price figures "IF" I really think it's worth it price...and I can't bash one better or for less.

Good thread, buy the way.
 

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I have been a fan of Sideshow from pretty much day one with my lil Creature on a skateboard. I see the prices rising, and it hurts but i will pay for the items i like and leave the ones i dont. am not a fan of all the Indiana crap....dont hate....so i am not really inclined to get it. HT makes awesome stuff, and i cant afford it so i leave it alone. point is if you want it buy it if not let it go. as far as the QC when you are mass producing something of course its not gonna look like the proto, if they had someone ink and drybrush every figure i am sure those artists would want alot more than $100 a pop.
 

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Furious Genius
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Silas and some of the other folks have it right, like me they've stopped buying ST figures that don't measure up. I got tired of receiving frickin' bobble heads instead of decently scaled sculpts, and I got tired of the "special editions" that for as much as an extra twenty or more dollars you got an additional part or two in the box, Woo-woo! No, the best way to get what you want from the manufacturer is to let them know what it is you want and then stop buying until they hear you. Ask an Irishman who Captain Boycott was and then do it.
 

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I Must Break You
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I completely understand the point Brady/MD makes. It is good math and good economics. Taking it as a truth, I understand why prices are higher across the board. But the real question is not "why are prices higher across the board," it is "why is the product quality so varied at the same price point?"

And I don't think there is a simple answer. But I can say that since prices are up all across the board, I choose my purchases even more carefully than I used to, so let this be a lesson to all producers: bring your A Game. If you produce a "bug eyed, rail thin, 7 foot tall freak," you can either keep it, or sell it to a B Game player.

Which is odd for me to be saying ... If I haven't made any 1/6 purchases in 2 months, am I a "player" on any level, A, B or Z???

(If that damn HT PMC would hurry up and street, I'd be able to break my hunger strike!)
 
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