Articulation.. What does it cost to add more?

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by rattrap007, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. rattrap007

    rattrap007 one with the Force TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Posts:
    15,629
    News Credits:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    417
    Location:
    Evansville, IN
    Likes:
    +560
    After buying the GI Joe movie 2 Cobra Fangboat I find myself really disappointed with the figure. It has next to no articulation. I kinda want to get the Joe dune buggy one, but again the driver figures are a turn off. It got me wondering. How much does it cost to add articulation to a figure?

    With stuff like Transformers, the complexity I can see adding large costs in the design. More little joints and stuff the harder it is to make. But we are not talking about robots that turn into a vehicle. We are talking about humans. The main figures manage to have more complexity. Now I'm not expecting the figure to be ultra detailed like a 25th Anniv or pre-movie 2 quality figure. Hell I'd be happy with some generic re-release of a figure. Hell pull out a generic Cobra Trooper or Joe from 25th or other mainline and reuse it. It will have the good detailing and articulation, and cut the cost of designing a new figure.

    But does adding the elbow and knee joints increase costs that much? I guess I'm spoiled on this. Look at MU figures. They are small and well articulated. Look at mattel's JL figures from several years ago... exact same basic mold for nearly EVERY figure. Only articulation was at the hips and shoulder. Everyone looked like they had a stick shoved up their ass.

    I'd personally love to see a DC version of the MU line. Imagine a nice 3.75" Supes that can be posed to kneel before Zod. Or Flash who can actually take a running pose.. hell take several and line them up right next to each other in a line and you got super speed in action! I know I'd buy a bunch. I'd buy Supes, Flash, Bats, Question, Green Arrow, and more. But no. The large figures look good, but they are not as poseable as Marvel Legends. Marvel Legends manage to look nice and be ultra articulated. Why can't DC get the same love?

    Seems like with the humans once you get the basics down on the articulation that it would be easy to work around that basic "skeletal" design. I use this term because the line will all have the same Shoulder/bicep/elbow/wrist and ball hip/knee/ankle articulations. Take a few MU figures and you can pose them the same. Uniform articulation. So why is it that we are going on the cheap now? The original Joe vehicles came with drivers just as good as the main line ones, so why now do they suffer? I know cost of oil and such, but you would use the same amount right?
     
  2. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    5,857
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +242
    There are more than likely many factors that we as a collector can not know or fully understand. That being said, articulation has been a staple of G.I.Joe for a very long time. At first, I too shared your concerns, your questions, ironically enough I find myself enjoying the look and feel of the Swamp-Viper that was included with the Cobra Fangboat a lot more than I initially thought.

    I wouldn't say I'd want to see this become the norm for all Joe vehicle drivers, far from it, but the sculpt work, the design and the fun factor to me far outstrip the minor complaints of no knee, elbow or even ankle joints. There's something to be said about a vehicle driver that is designed specifically to fit inside of the vehicle without causing you to have to fight with him to get him to sit inside.

    Due to the construction of some Joes they tend to make really poor decisions with vehicle drivers some times. Take for instance Frostbite from the RoC line, he was made the driver of the Ice Dagger. Unfortunately, due to his size and some of his design choices I can't get him to even fit inside the cockpit and close the thing, this is more than likely because Hasbro failed to re-mold the Ice Dagger from it's original design used during the VvV days, so that the larger sized moern Joes can't actually fit inside of it, but it can be dissapointing equally so when the driver won't actually fit inside of his vehicle properly.

    The problems with DC figures as opposed to Marvel ones is the old thinking of the toy manufacturers at Mattel, these are the same people who design Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels the same way they have for over thirty years. They refuse to evolve with the times, I'm sure at this point there is the cost to consider, however Mattel as a toy company is not leading as strongly as they once were, indeed if they ever were. Hasbro has long outshone them in numerous fields.

    I too wish I could get a properly articulated Superman or Batman figure to stand next to my other 3 3/4'' figures, sadly it just isn't going to happen. Not only because of costs, but because of mentality, Hasbro's mentality is different from Mattels. They make strange decisions, however you'll notice that they continue to cater to the fans with both MU figures, Joe figures, Transformers and even the Vintage Star Wars Collection. They aren't cutting out articulation clear across the board, what they are doing is catering to both kids and fans alike. So that they can continue to offer these super articulated figures to the adult fanbase they need to minimize costs on the figures that the masses, IE the kids, will buy.

    Personally though, I don't see anything truly wrong with the vehicle drivers. I am however highly annoyed at Hasbro's lack of creativity this go round. We've got a Ghost Hawk II, another HISS Tank a Cobra Fangboat (I mean really what the hell was wrong with keeping the Sting Raider name? I ask you.) and then, to add insult to injury Snake-Eyes is running around driving the Ninja Commando 4x4... NINJA COMMANDO 4x4! Good God Hasbro, are you really going to sit there and turn the AWE Striker's basic design into a new vehicle and call it what Snake-Eyes actually is as a member of G.I.Joe? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it like calling Optimus Prime's Cyberverse Space Ship (Or what have you) the Autobot Leader Ship? Why not call Starscream's Cyberverse Playset the Aerospace Commander, or how about Cobra Commander's tank the Cobra Leader. UGH! Forgive my ranting, but damn it I really have this urge to punch whoever coined the name for that vehicle.
     
  3. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Posts:
    21,422
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +551
    I believe Scrapper 6 covered a lot of ground. I'll just add that it's a movie line and most of the time such lines are geared towards kids do its understandable if articulation is left out to save cost for Hasbro. Think of it this way, if they can save costs now, we'll get better toys down the road...hopefully! :D 
     
  4. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Posts:
    20,912
    Trophy Points:
    357
    Likes:
    +444
    If you take Mattel at their words it's because "kids" hate articulation and if Mattel would add more even on their 6" inch figures they'd go bankrupt. Oh, and we should be grateful that they even bother to make these figures.
     
  5. T16skyhopp

    T16skyhopp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Posts:
    5,072
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +16
    Ebay:
    I obviously don't know specific costs but articulation can add up rather quickly. Agding a simple single pin hinge increases a parts count from 1 to 3 (top, bottom, pin). Also each part needs to be tooled into a steel mold, and that is the most expensive step in the manufacturing process.

    Also those ball-shaped swivel hinges, like Star Wars elbows, are "insert molded" which means that the joint piece is inserted into the main body part mold and the plastic is poured and formed around it. I'm sure this process is more expensive than just molding and assembling separate pieces.
     
  6. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Posts:
    20,133
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    357
    Likes:
    +2,059
    It costs substantially more. The reason we got under-articulated drivers for the Retaliation line was to cut costs. Rather than short-change the vehicles, Hasbro opted to short-change the drivers.

    Now, with that said, if costs could be cut further by not including a driver figure, I would have been all for it. The driver figures are all disappointing to begin with, why waste money molding something we don't want?

    Tooling cost is higher if there are more tools to cut. The more articulation there is, the more joints there are, and the more tools need to be cut. For the same of comparison, a figure with 4 points of articulation has a lot less parts to mold than one with 16 points of articulation, so the latter would be more expensive.
     
  7. Scrapper6

    Scrapper6 Lord of Constructicons

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    5,857
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +242
    Because I'm sure ther are some of us (IE Me) who will want them. Granted I appear to be in the vocal minority of Joe Fans, I mean I still want them to make a modern update of Golobulus, Raptor and Crystal Ball, characters that aren't very well recieved by most Joe fans.

    The point is, just because the adult key word there, fans mostly don't want limited articulated drivers doesn't mean there aren't some people, or of course the vast majority of kiddies, who do want them.

    Hasbro knew that Joe fans would be even more up in arms with them if they cut out drivers altogether, seeing as how most vehicles in the 90's were lacking drivers and more than likely weren't as openly well recieved as their profit margins would have liked. Although at this point I'm just guessing, I freely admit to lacking any hard data on those years of the Joe era.
     

Share This Page