What Molds are you allowed to use?

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What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby william-james88 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:31 pm

Hi, I have quite a few questions for the TF Club staff and if you could answer them, that wold be awesome (might turn this into a questions thread if you like the idea).
My main question is: What mold can you use?
This Year's Botcon Megatron showed me you are able to use Japan exclusive molds such as the Microns, and you can use Kreo figures as well. Is there a limit through? For instance, could you use a G1 mold. Like recolouring G1 Blades into Alpha Bravo for instance or doing a similar to what e-hobby did with Crosscut. Could you use the G1 Dinobot molds? What about Beast Wars? Pretty much, what are your limits to the molds that can be used, if there are any?
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby thundershot » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:07 am

The G1 Dinobot molds are long gone, otherwise Hasbro or TT would have reissued them. We did get a BW figure with Big Convoy as Ultra Mammoth.

I, too, wonder about some of the molds. Could they make Groundbreaker, Sky High, and Splashdown out of Gekisoumaru, Hishoumaru, and Sensuimaru? The molds match the Pretender shells perfectly. Are these TT exclusive molds available to FP?
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby G.B. Blackrock » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:22 am

I think the basic idea is "if it's still in existence, it's possible."

That doesn't mean likely, of course. Molds that are tied to intellectual property outside of Hasbro/TakaraTomy (such as Alternators, some Masterpieces, most of the figures tied to the first live-action movie, ALL of the figures tied to characters that actually appeared on-screen in a live-action movie...) would be unlikely, because intellectual property fees would make the cost of producing the figure prohibitive (fans complain about the costs of these figures as it is. Imagine if they had to pay even MORE to cover those fees!).

Also, molds above a certain size or cost point are unlikely, not out of a lack of permission, because the price would have to be passed on to us, and would simply be too much. A Masterpiece Seeker, for example, might not run afoul of intellectual property owners, but would still probably be too expensive to consider.

Some molds would be perfectly fine, per se, but can't be used at a particular moment in time, as Hasbro/TakaraTomy's own plans make them unavailable. But we're really not talking about that kind of thing, for the most part. The only problem there is a matter of timing, and if it didn't work the first time, there's nothing stopping it from working next year. (The same applies to certain characters unavailable at a given moment, although there have been a few characters considered "off-limits" for various reasons without regard to timing. But that's another discussion entirely.)

But, again, the basic idea is that if the mold exists in the first place, it's possible. If they think we're willing to pay for it.

Final caveat. FunPub themselves don't always know that a mold is still in existence until/unless they ask for it. Hasbro/TakaraTomy then has to dig it out of storage. For this reason, they tend to focus mostly on molds that have seen recent use.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:17 pm

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It might be easier to list which molds can't be used.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby william-james88 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:15 am

Sabrblade wrote:It might be easier to list which molds can't be used.


I am all ears.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby G.B. Blackrock » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:18 am

Honestly, absent a formal answer from a FunPub rep, I think I've covered that part....
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:41 pm

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I have to agree with G.B. Blackrock here:

Down to the core, only two to three scenarios will utterly and positively make the use of a certain mold impossible by the club:

1) Licensing by a party other than Hasbro and TakaraTomy. Paramount, car manufacturer, you all know the kind.
2) Loss of the physical mold. That can have several causes, including deterioration, breaking, or simply losing sight of it (like what happened with X-9 Jaguar after BotCon 2001 Tigatron)

I wonder, would die cast metal factor into the potential use of a mold? The first-year G1 toys were full of the stuff.

Other than those, every mold should be fair game given the right price. Now, a better question would be "What molds do you prefer to use?". We have confirmed that they've retired from using Classics Starscream (that poor mold...I mean really, look at the state!), we've seen them avoiding anything larger than Ultra and smaller than Scout. What other self-imposed limits would they be willing to share with us?
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby G.B. Blackrock » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:07 pm

JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:I wonder, would die cast metal factor into the potential use of a mold? The first-year G1 toys were full of the stuff.

A pure guess on my part, but I assume the main way in which die cast would enter into the equation would be the cost factor. Die cast is both more expensive material to start with, and the weight it adds to the figure means it would add to shipping costs (both in terms of cost to FunPub to get figures from the overseas factories, and in terms cost to us if we're having figures mailed to us).
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby william-james88 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:45 pm

G.B. Blackrock wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:I wonder, would die cast metal factor into the potential use of a mold? The first-year G1 toys were full of the stuff.

A pure guess on my part, but I assume the main way in which die cast would enter into the equation would be the cost factor. Die cast is both more expensive material to start with, and the weight it adds to the figure means it would add to shipping costs (both in terms of cost to FunPub to get figures from the overseas factories, and in terms cost to us if we're having figures mailed to us).


I was told by some very good sources that die cast is not as expensive as we think. And there are good points to be made. Look at the titanium line, or how cheap Hasbro's MP 1 is compared to their MP 10, or even how Hasbro's MP Starscream costs the same price as Bluestreak and yet has die cast. Supposedly, die cast being more expensive is a myth we fans keep propogating.

My main question here is, could funpub release a G1 alpha bravo using the blades mold? I think that would sell pretty well. It is the perfect product for a niche market.

Also, knowing which G1 molds they can't use lets us know which G1 molds will never get a rerelease, and thus, which G1 toys will be worth more in a decade from now. G1 whirl isnt selling for much these days, but as Hasbro keeps reissuing their G1 toys, the ones that can never be used again are bound to be more scarce.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby G.B. Blackrock » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:29 pm

william-james88 wrote:
G.B. Blackrock wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:I wonder, would die cast metal factor into the potential use of a mold? The first-year G1 toys were full of the stuff.

A pure guess on my part, but I assume the main way in which die cast would enter into the equation would be the cost factor. Die cast is both more expensive material to start with, and the weight it adds to the figure means it would add to shipping costs (both in terms of cost to FunPub to get figures from the overseas factories, and in terms cost to us if we're having figures mailed to us).


I was told by some very good sources that die cast is not as expensive as we think. And there are good points to be made. Look at the titanium line, or how cheap Hasbro's MP 1 is compared to their MP 10, or even how Hasbro's MP Starscream costs the same price as Bluestreak and yet has die cast. Supposedly, die cast being more expensive is a myth we fans keep propogating.

My main question here is, could funpub release a G1 alpha bravo using the blades mold? I think that would sell pretty well. It is the perfect product for a niche market.

Also, knowing which G1 molds they can't use lets us know which G1 molds will never get a rerelease, and thus, which G1 toys will be worth more in a decade from now. G1 whirl isnt selling for much these days, but as Hasbro keeps reissuing their G1 toys, the ones that can never be used again are bound to be more scarce.
Actually, I consider the Titaniums VERY expensive for their size and (lack of) complexity. As to the other examples you give, I wonder if the fact that they're all larger could be a factor.

I repeat my assertion that the difficulty of die-cast, specifically in regard to FunPub usage, is likely to lie in its heavier weight, and not simply whether or not it's intrinsically more expensive.


As to "G1 Alpha Bravo" out of (G1, I assume) Blades, I have trouble imagining how that would work. Alpha Bravo's color scheme was so much like (G1) Blades' that CW Blades had to get a substantial amount more red than he would otherwise have gotten.

Personally, I wouldn't be terribly interested in a such a tiny exclusive that would either look too much like the 30 year old original, or not enough like the character it would be trying to homage.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:47 am

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Concerning the Dinobots... if Hasbro and/or Takara put out a call, I'm sure there'd be someone out there who'd be willing to strike a deal with them being used to reverse-engineer them to get new molds, or something.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby william-james88 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:31 am

G.B. Blackrock wrote:

As to "G1 Alpha Bravo" out of (G1, I assume) Blades, I have trouble imagining how that would work. Alpha Bravo's color scheme was so much like (G1) Blades' that CW Blades had to get a substantial amount more red than he would otherwise have gotten.


Hios colour scheme is nothing like blades, he's orange and blue. Blades has a bunch of red on his chest and legs. You could replace all the red with orange and of course chance the head or paint on the face.

As you can tell from these pics, the colours are different enough:

Image
Transformers G1 1986 Blades (Graze) Gallery

Image (I know, not the same mold, but I wanted to show the colors in a G1 context)
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby G.B. Blackrock » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:40 am

You know, with the proviso that the Vortex mold was used instead of the Blades mold, I will at least concede the toys look sufficiently different from what we've already gotten. Note, however, that changing the mold is no insignificant thing. If we were to try to use the Blades mold, as I originally understood the intention, there would be a question of whether the mold would even allow the legs to be the same color as the arms (as with the Vortex mold). Without that distinction, I would have to say that I simply don't see orange as distinct enough from red as you seem to do, and thus the toys would look too much the same for my tastes. As I said, again, CW Blades was changed from G1 Blades' color-layout for exactly this reason.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby TF_JW » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:22 am

Really it's not as easy a question to answer as you'd think. There is no blanket "everything from this line is good, everything from that line can't be used."

A good rule of thumb for G1 toys is that if it hasn't been reissued by Hasbro or Takara Tomy, then Fun Pub probably won't use it either. Tracking down 30 year old tools and then getting them cleaned and repaired if needed is a very time consuming process that doesn't fit into Fun Pub's production schedules. And if the tool ends up missing or damaged beyond repair, it's a bit of a panic finding a replacement for the offering.

Another good rule is that if it involves licensing, Fun Pub probably won't use that either. So your licensed vehicles like sports cars and trucks, or characters designed by Paramount or some studio not owned by Hasbro are likely off the table. But notice the words "probably" and "likely", since licensing agreements aren't all the same. And even with a single studio can change over time.

As far as Japanese "exclusive" figures, if they've been created for a main line, Fun Pub probably (there's that word again) has access to them. There will more than likely be a delay before the Fun Pub use of the tooling, however. With Takara Tomy designs, Fun Pub learns of them about the same time as the fans. So design and concept phases start off with a time lag compared to some of the Hasbro toys.

Of course that's for the main line figures, as mentioned. Takara Tomy's smaller, side toy lines are more problematic since the vast majority of them involve licenses. Alternity, Sports Label, Music Label, Q-TF, etc. And those licenses have been sold to Takara Tomy not Hasbro, so in most cases are only good in Japan.

Beyond all that, if Hasbro or Takara Tomy end up having a tool in production at the same time that Fun Pub want to use it, then that too affects availability. Same goes if they have a tentative plan to use a tooling for a similar purpose (even if those plans eventually fall through).

So there really is no list of "Yes, Fun Pub can use these tools whenever they want" or "These tools are forever off limits". But some common sense and familiarity with a brand team give a good sense of what can be used.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby william-james88 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:08 am

WOW! Thanks for this answer, it really helps and is super itneresting!
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby Sabrblade » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:16 am

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We should probably sticky this thread or something (or at least always remember Jesse's answer) to come back to whenever the subject of what molds people want/expect to see or not see for future BotCon exclusives.
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby ScottyP » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:36 pm

Weapon: Battle Blades
TF_JW wrote:A good rule of thumb for G1 toys is that if it hasn't been reissued by Hasbro or Takara Tomy, then Fun Pub probably won't use it either. Tracking down 30 year old tools and then getting them cleaned and repaired if needed is a very time consuming process that doesn't fit into Fun Pub's production schedules. And if the tool ends up missing or damaged beyond repair, it's a bit of a panic finding a replacement for the offering.
This makes me feel better about most of the "unreleased characters not using the originally intended mold" decisions. Very logical explanation and it makes a ton of sense business wise. Thanks for the reply!
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Re: What Molds are you allowed to use?

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:12 pm

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Pretty much what we expected and then some! Pretty interesting about the "time lag" for TakaraTomy-original molds, never knew but it does make sense as FunPub seemingly has direct access to Hasbro inside info (which probably lead to Onslaught turned Bludgeon).
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