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Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

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Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby ShadowBlaze » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:55 pm

Just wanted to know what folks' thoughts are on altering a figure that is considered rare or valuable. While at BotCon last weekend, I picked up a 2009 exclusive Elita One (relatively common, I know, but a limited exclusive nonetheless) and it wasn't until I got her home and compared her to a few images online that I noticed mine is a fluke, having zero paint apps on her upper torso. After mulling it over, I decided to leave her be as I have only rudimentary customizing skills (minor paint touch-ups and small modifications like sanding an oversized peg or correcting flipped parts) and didn't want to ruin a costly figure. Even though I have no intention of selling her at any point, I have to wonder whether others would be more inclined to keep a rare but flawed toy in "factory condition" to preserve whatever value it still possesses, or if they'd rather modify it to suit their individual taste.

Apologies if this is a topic that's been covered before, and thanks for the feedback.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby RAcast » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:09 pm

Motto: "Can't stop, so what! That's how I like it!"
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I'd say leave it be, in case you do decide to sell it at some point. You can always pick up a Thunderblast if you want to do a custom job.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby ShadowBlaze » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:28 pm

Thanks.

And just to clarify, I wasn't planning to turn her into anyone or anything else. Rather, I was considering whether to paint in the absent portions of her deco.

Ultimately, I decided the solid pink torso looked less egregious than my amateur attempts to fill in the details.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby RAcast » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:35 pm

Motto: "Can't stop, so what! That's how I like it!"
Weapon: Rocket Launcher
ShadowBlaze wrote:Thanks.

And just to clarify, I wasn't planning to turn her into anyone or anything else. Rather, I was considering whether to paint in the absent portions of her deco.

Ultimately, I decided the solid pink torso looked less egregious than my amateur attempts to fill in the details.

I know what you meant. :P But all I'm saying is that if it REALLY bugs you, you can always go find a Thunderblast and paint it pink.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby Yotsuyasan » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:39 am

Motto: "No matter where you go, there you are."
I suppose it depends on a few factors.

One: Are you comfortable in your level of skill in whatever form of customizing you are intending to do?

In this case, you're talking about doing some painting. I, myself, would not feel comfortable with trying to do that. The closest I have come is some work with a silver Sharpie, but typically I limit my customizing to things like incorporating third-party add-ons. (New accessories, replacement parts, or Reprolabels.)

Two: What are your intentions towards this figure?

Are you a collector concerned with the value or potential future resellability of your figure? Or do you collect more for your own enjoyment, but you are greatly concerned with keeping your figures as "mint" as possible? Then customizing is likely not for you.

But are you the sort of person who collects purely for personal reasons, and is not afraid to do things that potentially decrease a figure's public value in the pursuit of making the figure better fit what you want in your collection? Then have fun!

I might have a few examples in my collection, I suppose. The best one would be Orion Pax. So we have an E-Hobby exclusive figure, not something usually thought of as extremely common in the States. In this case, it is just a recolor of G1 Kup:

Image
(Image from TFWiki)

Not a bad looking figure... but really not Kup. (Also, that photo is not to scale! That would be a huge Dion figure!)

But, slap on a custom head and some Reprolabels, and you get this:

Image
Image

A much better looking Orion Pax in my opinion. And something I like a lot better as a part of my collection then the stock figure. But, objectively, a devalued figure. Missing its original head. A bunch of random, non-original stickers slapped on it. Far from mint. Thus, potentially a wrecked figure in the view of some other collectors.

So, in the end, all of us can express our opinions on the merits or dangers of customizing rare figures. But in the end, what you have to ask is what you want out of your collection.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby craggy » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Yotsuya speaks sense. I'd definitely be of the opinion that a full custom job on a limited repaint, making it into a brand new character would be a waste, but a little touch up here or there, if done well, would only improve it in my eyes. In the end though I'd say that it does come down to your intent to ever sell this thing on. An altered figure runs the risk of being severely devalued in some people's eyes. If you don't mind that, or would be willing to hold out til you found someone who had the same idea that your work was an improvement, then go for it.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby SentinelA » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:10 pm

Had this dilemma not too long ago. Not a TF though. I had a DCIC Blackmask who I relunctantly am transforming into the original Red Hood. Replaced his head with a Joker's head and now all I have to do is paint the hood.

I wouldn't do this with any TF costing over $50. I did a mod on SG Starscream but I simply put :BOT: stickers on top of his red :CON: symbols. Easily fixable.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby grimdragon2001 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:28 pm

Motto: "Battle is my addiction."
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another factor to think about is how much are you going to miss the figure's original look. once you customize it, it will never be the same again. a few years ago I bought an Acid Storm just so I could repaint him into Thundercracker, now im wishing I bought 2 Acid Storms.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby fenrir72 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:31 pm

Motto: "Power to the strong and the right!"
Weapon: Plasma Cannon
[quote="Yotsuyasan"]I suppose it depends on a few factors.

One: Are you comfortable in your level of skill in whatever form of customizing you are intending to do?

In this case, you're talking about doing some painting. I, myself, would not feel comfortable with trying to do that. The closest I have come is some work with a silver Sharpie, but typically I limit my customizing to things like incorporating third-party add-ons. (New accessories, replacement parts, or Reprolabels.)

Two: What are your intentions towards this figure?

Are you a collector concerned with the value or potential future resellability of your figure? Or do you collect more for your own enjoyment, but you are greatly concerned with keeping your figures as "mint" as possible? Then customizing is likely not for you.

But are you the sort of person who collects purely for personal reasons, and is not afraid to do things that potentially decrease a figure's public value in the pursuit of making the figure better fit what you want in your collection? Then have fun!

I might have a few examples in my collection, I suppose. The best one would be Orion Pax. So we have an E-Hobby exclusive figure, not something usually thought of as extremely common in the States. In this case, it is just a recolor of G1 Kup:

Image
(Image from TFWiki)

Not a bad looking figure... but really not Kup. (Also, that photo is not to scale! That would be a huge Dion figure!)

But, slap on a custom head and some Reprolabels, and you get this:

Image
Image

A much better looking Orion Pax in my opinion. And something I like a lot better as a part of my collection then the stock figure. But, objectively, a devalued figure. Missing its original head. A bunch of random, non-original stickers slapped on it. Far from mint. Thus, potentially a wrecked figure in the view of some other collectors.

This case is an exception. Also own this which I snagged at ebay a few years back. Using the original head simply make the fig meh but the custom head gives him a far different personality. Personal choice aside, the custom head imho further increases its value. (Now if only I had the proper skills to a apply a clear acrylic spray to give the head a glossy finish)
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby xyl360 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:50 am

I've customized some extremely rare and expensive figures. I don't give a shit about re-sell value or monetary value. I've paid stupid money for figures that shouldn't cost that much only because they were worth it to me and have refused to pay what seemed like true deals for extremely rare figures simply because I thought they were crap (regardless of their 'exclusivity' and how much other collectors seem to desire them). If I think I can improve a figure, make it more show accurate, or if I desire to make a neat custom out of it, I do so. There is no hesitation. 'Official canon' and 'official representations' etc. can bite my shiny metal ass as far as I'm concerned.

My toys are what I say they are and my customs are whatever I make them to be. I'm not collecting MISB toys so that I can one day have a collection worth thousands (mine's already worth that based on sheer volume ;)) and brag about it someday. Screw that, these things are for my enjoyment, period. If I gave a shit about escalating value, I sure as hell wouldn't be investing my money in toys because there are far more lucrative financial investments with far faster (and more reliable/consistent) ROI. The entire concept of collecting for 'value' is ridiculous in my book, but I can understand some collectors who collect minty figures because they want to enjoy looking at shelves of pristine, minty boxes and/or figures on their shelves, and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not me.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby Wreckgar » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:50 pm

I've also used the reprolabels set on my Orion Pax. I also stick rub signs on my botcon etc figures. Stickers aren't permanent, so I have no qualms about that.

Also painted my E-Hobby Sunstorm's eyes, because G1 Seeker eyes stickers look daft.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby xyl360 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:43 am

Wreckgar wrote:Also painted my E-Hobby Sunstorm's eyes, because G1 Seeker eyes stickers look daft.

:lol: that they do, and they also typically don't stick worth a damn, at least for me :P.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby fenrir72 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:32 pm

Motto: "Power to the strong and the right!"
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xyl360 wrote:
Wreckgar wrote:Also painted my E-Hobby Sunstorm's eyes, because G1 Seeker eyes stickers look daft.

:lol: that they do, and they also typically don't stick worth a damn, at least for me :P.


You'd think that given modern computer guided painting techniques when Tomy released Meister with a colored visor that they still couldn't paint the G1 seeker mold's optics. :BANG_HEAD:
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby xyl360 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:46 pm

fenrir72 wrote:
xyl360 wrote:
Wreckgar wrote:Also painted my E-Hobby Sunstorm's eyes, because G1 Seeker eyes stickers look daft.

:lol: that they do, and they also typically don't stick worth a damn, at least for me :P.


You'd think that given modern computer guided painting techniques when Tomy released Meister with a colored visor that they still couldn't paint the G1 seeker mold's optics. :BANG_HEAD:

Yeah, I'm certain they could paint it, I guess they just didn't want him to stand out next to the other seekers or something.
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Re: Modding/customizing a rare or valuable figure: Yes or No?

Postby SentinelA » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:05 pm

SentinelA wrote:Had this dilemma not too long ago. Not a TF though. I had a DCIC Blackmask who I relunctantly am transforming into the original Red Hood. Replaced his head with a Joker's head and now all I have to do is paint the hood.

I wouldn't do this with any TF costing over $50. I did a mod on SG Starscream but I simply put :BOT: stickers on top of his red :CON: symbols. Easily fixable.


I forgot about some TFs I did paint. I painted Energion Bulkhead's face silver so he'd look like Springer. Before that I painted Primal Prime's head to look more like Optimus Prime. Oh yea, I made several custom seekers with U2 Starscream including Sunstorm.

So I've done some repainting but again not on TFs over $50.
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