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The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Do you love your new Hercules set? Can't get enough of FansProject's items? Upset that you bought a knock off when you thought you were getting an original? Use this forum to tell everyone your thoughts about TF Knock Offs and 3rd party toys.

Re: The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:41 am

Not quite sure I questioned the existence of third parties in my posts. I love the 3rd party scene. As much as I appreciate what Hasbro / Takara has to offer the 3rd party market gives me a lot of stuff I like.

As for BBTS, they took down their Reprolabes stuff too (although you cans till find in stock items in Google). I did notice 3rd party products getting less main page time (although they dosometimes reappear). Maybe they want to transition away from 3rd party stuff? That'd suck, but there's a lot of other places that'd get my business instead.
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Re: The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Postby Mekatron » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:08 pm

Fansproject's definitely got the upper hand as they seem to be trying to avoid online retailers in general by selling through FansprojectCore. As time goes on they seem to be becoming less & less of a Third-party Transformers company and more of a competing transforming-robot brand. I welcome that.
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Re: The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Postby RodimalToyota » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:47 pm

Mekatron wrote:Fansproject's definitely got the upper hand as they seem to be trying to avoid online retailers in general by selling through FansprojectCore. As time goes on they seem to be becoming less & less of a Third-party Transformers company and more of a competing transforming-robot brand. I welcome that.



Steel-core and Assaulter are so different in design from Broadside it's not even IP infringement. The same can be said for the "autocar combiner"
they are making, being so radically different in the car designs and shapes, it's so far removed from the original idea, it doesn't fit the IP enough.

the funny thing is, people don't really understand how IP infringement works. Basically it's up to the owner to make the claim as to how copied an item is.

Giant - has no licensed modes, it consists of generic construction equipment that combines into a larger robot.

It's not infringement... You can trademark a combiner, it's not a original concept. You can't claim colors unless there is more then three that exist in the exact same placement. The names have been changed, and the story is different.

Assaulter has a very different jet mode, and carrier mode then the original, it sports different asthetics, and only resuses colors, but not in the same places.





What I'm trying to say, is that only direct copy of molds, or molded designs taken from TM pictures in the Hasbro library would stand in court under IP infringement.

iGear, with it's remolds, and direct copies, is certainly the most infringing company on Hasbro IP.

Art Feather.. very infringing, it's close to iGear's status

FP, they haven't stolen an existing copy of anything. Even the upgrades are so drastically different then what Hasbro has offered, it can't hold a stone to the IP. They can basically be called a Toy Company, that specializes in robots that transforms. which is just about every company out Japan, Bandai, Yamato, ect.

PE, same here, so different, it would be a leap to anyone that didn't know the brand. people would say, oh a pink bike, and that's the only real forward comparison to the hasbro character.
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Re: The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Postby Banjo-Tron » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:37 pm

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RodimalToyota wrote:
Mekatron wrote:Fansproject's definitely got the upper hand as they seem to be trying to avoid online retailers in general by selling through FansprojectCore. As time goes on they seem to be becoming less & less of a Third-party Transformers company and more of a competing transforming-robot brand. I welcome that.



Steel-core and Assaulter are so different in design from Broadside it's not even IP infringement. The same can be said for the "autocar combiner"
they are making, being so radically different in the car designs and shapes, it's so far removed from the original idea, it doesn't fit the IP enough.

the funny thing is, people don't really understand how IP infringement works. Basically it's up to the owner to make the claim as to how copied an item is.

Giant - has no licensed modes, it consists of generic construction equipment that combines into a larger robot.

It's not infringement... You can trademark a combiner, it's not a original concept. You can't claim colors unless there is more then three that exist in the exact same placement. The names have been changed, and the story is different.

Assaulter has a very different jet mode, and carrier mode then the original, it sports different asthetics, and only resuses colors, but not in the same places.





What I'm trying to say, is that only direct copy of molds, or molded designs taken from TM pictures in the Hasbro library would stand in court under IP infringement.

iGear, with it's remolds, and direct copies, is certainly the most infringing company on Hasbro IP.

Art Feather.. very infringing, it's close to iGear's status

FP, they haven't stolen an existing copy of anything. Even the upgrades are so drastically different then what Hasbro has offered, it can't hold a stone to the IP. They can basically be called a Toy Company, that specializes in robots that transforms. which is just about every company out Japan, Bandai, Yamato, ect.

PE, same here, so different, it would be a leap to anyone that didn't know the brand. people would say, oh a pink bike, and that's the only real forward comparison to the hasbro character.

Agree with every word. Why people use the existence of 3rd parties to justify KOs and tar them all with the same brush I'll never know. Makes them sleep easier, I guess.
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Re: The price we pay...3rd party pleaures.

Postby That Bot » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:07 pm

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Gauntlet101010 wrote:Throw us a bone one in a while ... like TFCC? Or Botcon? Like the various classics lines? Like the Masterpieces? Like the constant homages in current TF media? Or more than that?


All the things you listed are good examples. But BotCon and TFCC has been a clusterf**k lately (seems like they got some problems solved with the new pieces, but really there's no need for the obscene amount of repaints, instead introduce new figures). And if they were doing such a great job, there would be no need for 3rd party companies, and they would go out of business. And that is not the case.

If you want new molds through the club, you'd be looking at a four or five digit price tag. Toys are expensive to design, manufacture, and test. ESPECIALLY to safety test, and they have to test them even though they're marketed for adults because Hasbro is liable if someone DOES get hurt and it looks really bad on them when a headline says "HASBRO TOY KILLS INFANT" or something. Redecos are all that FunPub has the budget to do while still keeping their service relatively affordable.

The difference between a Hasbro offering and a third party offering isn't just the price tag, it's everything about the design of the figure. Hasbro has to worry about making an entire line of figures that are aesthetically similar yet diverse enough to be uniquely appealing (which is why you'll never get six green construction vehicles outside of a giftset), conform to size, plastic, and paint limitations, are marketable to kids, desired by retailers, and are safe. They have to pay thousands of employees and still make their products affordable to the general public. Third parties don't have to worry about any of that. Their designers have regular jobs and they work on not-Transformer design as a hobby or secondary job, they don't have to conform to plastic limitations, size limitations, don't have to worry about complexity, worry about product safety, worry about budget limitations, worry about marketing to children, worry about diversity, or even worry about affordability. People have proven they will plunk down over a hundred dollars for a third party product of comparable size to a $15 Hasbro figure as long as it gets people's G1-boners going. They don't have to worry about being able to get retailers to carry the product, as the retailers know they know they get a higher percentage of each sale compared to Hasbro products, and they only have a handful of people to pay instead of thousands. The situations are not comparable. And yes, Hasbro throws us bones. LOTS of bones. We've gotten every major MP figure except big Prime with trailer, Megatron, and Rodimus's trailer. We're even getting a MP that Japan hasn't (yet): Thundercracker from the MP-11 mold. We've had several product lines geared towards engineering classic characters with modern technology: Alternators, Classics, Universe 2.0, Generations. The Energon line was ONE GIGANTIC HOMAGE to the legacy of Transformers. Was it perfect? No. But by god, they did what they could with what they had while trying boldly to attempt to appeal to new and old fans alike. You are never going to get the entire cast of G1 represented in brand new Classic-style molds from Hasbro. That's unrealistic. We've got most of the mainstays, the Club exists to try to give people their minor characters using existing molds as creatively as possible. As for the number of redecos, I go back to the fact that toy design is expensive, so if you can create two or three different characters out of a single design, that helps recoup the cost of development and makes for easier profit. This is especially true for complex designs like the Masterpiece figures. I can't fathom how much it costs to design each one of those, so I can absolutely see why they'd want to make sure they get at least three runs of each mold. Once the design is done, any subsequent figures from the same mold have a much higher profit ratio because it costs very little to come up with a new color pattern for an existing mold than to make an entirely new one.

I'm not saying third parties shouldn't exist. They make money by making what Hasbro can't or won't. (usually they "won't" because they "can't" due to the way they have to operate). But you really aren't giving Hasbro enough credit. This also isn't to say they're above criticism, because the way the line is right now is evidence enough to the contrary. But Hasbro has done a lot for us, and I think your expectations of what they should do are unrealistic.
Third parties are not bad overall, although the individual companies kind of vary on that point (I'm looking at you, IGear). They're a tremendous asset, improving and filling out people's collections for the past several years. Hasbro is certainly exploring Combiner technology again, but third parties are doing it better for now. A lot of that is the issue of good proportions vs. not having tons of kibble. Hasbro veers towards the latter, sacrificing the former. Third parties lean towards the former, sacrificing the latter. But, enough of that.

As it stands, there's a lot of third party things I'd like, a few less that I'm willing to buy for their price, and only two that I actually own right now (Fansproject Munitioner and Explorer). I'm terrible at budgeting, and I missed out on a lot of the smaller things I want because I wasn't familiar with third party stuff at the time, which is why I only have a few things. I'll get that G3 trailer eventually, though!
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