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Quite personally, and I have been thinking about this for some time my view is that DML have seem to become the 21C Toys of some years ago.
This is not a DML Bash thread but remember the times?

21C blew GI Joe out the water
DML Blew 21C Out the water
BBi Blew DML out the water

and the cycle continues. It looks like DML has slipped in their innovative progression at producing a high quality kit. I look at DML now being not so much collectables but toys when put along side some other companies.

They all have their faults but looking at the same old rehash crap (come on guys there's nothing new for modern) it makes me wonder.

For me, I've come a long way since DML and would rather invest in a HT, TS, or ACE piece of equipment. They don't really lose value in fact they often gain value.

What are others thoughts? Are you in this for toys or in this for collecting or both? Are you happy with a sub-standard figure on your shelf or would you rather shell out that extra little bit more and get something top quality?

I've gone from kitbashing to just collecting boxed now, I used to be a huge hoarder of kitbash fodder.

What's your views?
 

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Dragon still remains my favorite for base bodies, many of their weapons and IMHO I think they made some fantastic pilot figures. Their new Neo 3 body is my current fave. That said, I think they've really thumbed their noses at collectors like myself. I have utterly, completely no use for anything WWII related, save a few headsculpts. I don't even bother looking when something new turns up unless it's the source of one of those new bodies.

I also don't leave anything the way it comes out of the box. I constantly part them out and add stuff from what ever manufacturer strikes my fancy.

Then again, it may simply be because I don't have the coin to drop on what's coming out from the higher-end retailers right now.

Taking what you've said further, I think DML is fading away, alot like 21st century once did. Until I see a series of modern figures in ACUs (not just an army base only low-ball figure) ABUs and other fully modern members of the military that isn't full of the same old rehash crap, I'll feel that way.
 

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BBi Fanboy
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Even in their twilight, 21st boxed sets never really resorted to rehash like these latest DML figures. 21st final carded figures were mostly rehash, but the same cannot be said of their last carded uniform sets (101st LT, USMC 1945, MOPP set). And their latest carded releases aren't really rehash either, because they've improved on the original releases. I think 21st fought the good fight, to a certain extent, right up to the "end".
 

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I would say that DML has certainly faced our wrath in its productions lately. I have to say, they got me my start in the hobby and as I look back it is amazing to see how far they have plunged. Some of the best figures in my collection (Corbin Black, Frank Laird, Mike Connolly) are from DML, but now they just put out junk. I got my Matt Clapton MP figures this week and put one together for display, and I cannot say how poorly done the thing is. I couldnt put into words how hard the leggings were to put on and how easily that pieces literally fell off (as opposed to my usual ham-handed tearing and breaking of fragile parts). They seem to occasionally pop out a decent piece (looks like the new Brit Mp will be nice, and the Tom Grieger piece was pretty well done) but all in all, they are crap. It is so unfortunate, especially given their prices, that they have sunk so low. Worst part is that when they do put out what appears to be a decent piece, they price them so that Hot Toys looks like a bargain.
 

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King Geek and OSW Admin
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While they are becoming the 21stC in the sense that they aren't moving forward with the rest of the other comapnies (DML still uses a lot of plastic parts) they still produce the greatest amount of affordable WWII stuff out there.

Some people are happy with DML, just as some people were still happy with 21stC. While I personally would love to see DML produce some new modern stuff with a level of quality I know they're capable of, it'll proably never happen. They're hapy doing exactly what they're doing.

The fact is: in oder to keep the hobby open the the greatest amount of people, there needs to be diversity in both product and price. DML is still the biggest juggernaut in 1:6, even if they're not "the best".

Touching on what Nelson said, DML is my main source of bodies and head sculpts. The Neo 3 is a great body and affordable. And, being a modeling company first and formost (let's not forget about that) they do make the best weapons out there. (Or at least they can, if they want to.)

I used TONS of their gear in dozens of my bashes-- both modern and Nam era. DML is a sleeping giant, capable of ruling the 1:6 world if only they weren't so fat and content...
 

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AKA "ChiliDoug"
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I'm not sure about the majority here, but I've bought one boxed DML figure this year and about 30 other figures from other companies that in my opinion, make a better product. A few years ago, it was the opposite, but I guess there weren't that many other companies to choose from.

But someone has to be buying them.
 

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With all the smaller brands offering superior quality & diverse themes, i guess that DML has become the entry level figure at a affordable price point.
But DML still make quality product, I, like others have stated, still buy their
bodies & HS,s and in my humble opinion DML make the best M16,M60 & AK47
available.Are they the new 21C? you could draw that comparison in todays market but i dont think it is apples for apples. Example being, the playability
factor. With a 21c figure, little dudes could drop,submerge in mud, blow up,throw,drag their 21c figures with little or no damage and have a hell of a time to boot, now you just cant do that with a DML figure, he's gonna wind up in the
1/6 repat' hospital.:thumb
 

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For me, i certainly felt that DML seemed to have taken the foot off the pedal and now at times only come up something just to used up their own parts. That being said, i think DML boxed figure for their lower priced range, you can pretty much used it as a base for kitbashing.

I don't really buy boxed set from most of the big brands right now, only for movie masterpieces from HT and say a few boxed figures now and then as i m more into kitbashing than boxed figure guy but i must say DML do make some very good stuff for kitbash fodder ( Elcan scope, L96 / L95, G3 etc )
 

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Kitbash MacGyver
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I'm still buying DML due to their WW2 offerings, but I can certainly see their twilight years encroaching...if one is leaning towards modern or other eras then DML dropped the ball a long time ago. Kind of a shame, because I really feel that it was DML that almost singularly ushered in the higher quality era of this hobby.
 

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I'm BACK!!
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Like I've said previously, it's all about costs. DML look to be fighting to keep theirs down and something has had to give. HT are great, but we are paying through the nose to keep things that way. I think it's our fault that things are the way they are. We keep demanding better, so, they do better, but, doing better costs money and the only way to recoup the money is to charge us what they do. Them's the breaks!

Do you really want to pay $300 just to get a figure you're happy with!?

CHEERS!
 

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DML still going...

DML has always been focused on WW2 and Germans especially. I don't see this changing but I might be wrong. China is going to re-value their currency again this year while US currency is going down. At least DML is trying to control their pricing. They don't make primarily modern US figures but does that mean they are bad people? So we are mad about what?
1. DML $44 figure is not as good as Hot Toys $100 figure.
2. They don't make primarily US modern figures.
3. They have reduced content to control costs.
 

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DML has always been focused on WW2 and Germans especially. I don't see this changing but I might be wrong. China is going to re-value their currency again this year while US currency is going down. At least DML is trying to control their pricing. They don't make primarily modern US figures but does that mean they are bad people? So we are mad about what?
1. DML $44 figure is not as good as Hot Toys $100 figure.
2. They don't make primarily US modern figures.
3. They have reduced content to control costs.
You, Sir, have nailed it.

I don't buy much stuff other than Movie-related figures (SST, Hot Toys and Medicom), but I still really like my DML figures. I can see that DID delivers great product (my earlier interest was exclusively WWII), but DML have such a vast repertoire of figures that it is difficult for them not to repeat themselves.
On the other hand, their releases have begun to gravitate towards big items as well, so I guess in a way they're still steps ahead in certain items.
 

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What should I bash today?
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Ok, i'm gonna state the obvious here... whether the product sells or not depends on how companies balance these 4 variables... Rarity (uniqueness) vs market demand, quality vs cost. The company that is able to come up with the formula to balance these 4 components wins... IMHO, this is how the major companies fair...

- 21stC/TUS & Armoury Toys wins on rarity and cost, but slips on quality and market demand.
- HT is the EXACT opposite.
- DML slips on rarity and market demand, but does well in quality and cost.
- I think BBI has the best shot at the winning formula, but ironically in trying to achieve everything, they have to be careful not to end up getting nothing...

So what do I do? Mix and match parts! :lol

Oh, coming back to the question, is DML the new 21stC toys? They are NOT because 21C toys have produced wonderfully unique weapons sets and Modern Russian figures which DML hadn't dare attempt. But if DML maintains its quality and cost, plus 21C's uniqueness, they have the winning formula! But then they worry about market demand... Darn! What a mind job!
 

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Kitbash MacGyver
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I think what Austeyr is commenting on is the fact that from the late 90's to a few years later 21st were the kings of 12" manufacture...at least in a mass market approach. Then as DML arose 21st began to be reviled for their lesser quality figs in a relatively comparable price range such as what DML was offering. Kind of refreshing to see 21st getting a few pats on the back recently, as it was much different not that long ago. Also, I don't think that anybody on the forums has ever referred to DML as being populated by "bad people"...but as much as I love their WW2 offerings I can clearly see the frustration others have in their lack of diversity. Way too many facets in this situation to say that DML will go the way of a 21st Cent. Toys, but they seem to raise the ire of a lot of people. I like their WW2 stuff, so for now I'm relatively satisfied, and like Rogerbee reminds us I can handle their level of quality as long as their price range stays similar to what it is.
 

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Inspector 12
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I will just say that a company that doesn't listen to its customers is doomed... eventually. Now, the problem with that is we may not be the target market for DML's product. It seems the Pacific Rim may love the WWII Germans and if that is the case and that is their target market, then they will thrive until such time as they either have no new figures to offer that market or they have failed to move forward. They are beginning to show signs of lethargy, although once in a while they make a somewhat whimpering attempt to offer something to the other collectors out there.

I would have to see their product distribution to get a better understanding of their market, but its become increasingly apparent that the American and European collectors are either not their market or they just choose to ignore many of us.

As for the DML/21C comparison, I think there is no comparison because of a variety of factors. I think 21C's product couldn't pull a price point similar to DML and BBi with the quality they were producing at their peak.

They have shown flashes of brilliance with some of their carded weapons sets... not at the level of quality that others offer, but for the price, they are great products.
 

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I've been Minimoyzed
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Yes and no.

DML is definately at the lower end of the spectrum, cost and detail wise. Look at the competition now. Hard to compare quality in most aspects. They make mostly WWII now, and DiD is the only other WWII maker that compares, and price wise they are fairly even in most respects.

But.... DML is the undisputed king of 1/6. Wait for it.... No seriously. When DML was into this big time they had the most eras, best details, Some licenced products, Cyber Hobby exclusives, vehicles carded sets..... They outdid 21c in that arena by adding more variety, and better detail. And they are still putting out some new stuff, so they're not dead yet. Sleeping, or just contemplating retirement? Who knows.

Are they at the bottom of the totem pole now? Yeah, kinda looks that way. And so have replaced 21c in that position.

But in the Grand scheme of things? No way. When HT SS TS ACE have cranked out this kind of 1/6 glory, then we will have some real comparing to do.

Besides, whatever your personal taste is, there is no real low position. Just levels of detail, and MSRP. Chose your favorite.

I like them all for different reasons. some for cool new parts. Some for amazing detail. Some for being kick butt toys. Some for making me feel like a kid again. Sur I prefer some over others, but they all have ups and downs.... EVERYTHING does. You only buy what you like right. If you don't like it, you don't buy, or you sell if you did buy. Easy.
 

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I went into the local Harley Davidson dealership the other day and started ranting about how they were thumbing their nose at me and not listening to what I wanted and how they didn't know what they were doing and how if they wanted my business they should make what I wanted.

It went on for a good 20 minutes or so.

Finally, the fat lady behind the counter with a no filter cigarette hanging from her lips, half smoked, and another fresh one ready behind her ear.... She had a wispy red Abraham Lincoln beard with crumbs of some sort in it. Anyway, she takes a deep, wheezing breath and shouts...

"Hey, numbnuts! We don't make pick-up trucks, idiot! WE sell motorcycles and accessories!"

So, I left.
 

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1:6 puppy
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DML keeps churning new products out...unlike Bbi,which seems to dribble them out if they even do that (remember when we were so upbeat about their 'in the pipeline' figures?...the ones that we are mostly still waiting for?).yes,dragons whole nazi fetish is frankly creepy...but they must be selling to someone...you dont crank out products that dont sell.and yes..hot toys is the king of the hill...but paying triple digits is going to drive more out of the hobby than it will bring in.the days of cheap plastic are over.the price of oil trumps cheap chinese labor.half empty? half full? end of the hobby?..hmm..maybe we should be grateful for what we have...even though whinging and whining is entertaining.
 
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