Customs: Blueprinting and selling your product

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Jazz Masters, May 15, 2018.

  1. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    I've been meaning to make this thread for a while, but have been too lazy to actually get up and write it. >_> Oh well, anytime is better than never, right?

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I've been contemplating many ways to make a Masterpiece 2007 Movie Jazz figure that did him justice since lord knows, we've gotten some pretty crappy figures for the guy (studio series jazz just as bad), and even the best ones we've got were horribly inaccurate. The guy has seriously gotten very little in the way of love, in the movie, in the toys (save the fact that he got a HA figure), and in almost everything. His transformation is near impossible or would at least leave his figure ridiculously fragile if it successfully achieved screen accuracy, he did nothing all that cool in the movie, got the worst figures, despite his rank he gets outshined by a mentally inept orange scout who comes off as Michael Bay's wanna be '86 Hotrod, and killed like it's nothing taking on a Decepticon absurdly larger than he is despite knowing enough about him to make lieutenant. The only other bot to get a worse level of disrespect is Bonecrusher.

    So for years, off and on, I've been putting together doodles of transformation ideas, sections at a time - because that seems the best way to do it - of how I would achieve my goal, and I think I've finally come up with something I can be happy with. Though there lies another problem..... you can't rely on imprecise, unmeasured drawings that may or may not take into account other parts that may interfere with eachother...

    So here I am asking for help. I don't know what term you might come up with in order describe what I'm looking for here, so I simply coined the word "blueprinting" to best describe what I'm talking about. How would you go about blueprinting your own transformers transformation idea? Am I even using the correct word? Has anyone here ever created or known of anyone who has ever created their own transforming robots from scratch before? I'd like some tips.

    And managing to get past the blueprinting stage, I'd like to know what I could do to get this idea, I guess the word here is.... "marketed"? I'm pretty sure Hasbro wouldn't even bother with taking my idea, as I've heard some pretty bad things about how they take fan feedback regarding their figures. Seeing how their current line of figures are, "power of the primes" and the "studio series" having major flaws that come off as downgrades to the original figures that they were based on, being much smaller, with no lightpiping, and disgusting backpacks that could've been easily hidden or tucked away, or the quality of the figures themselves just being shoddy overall, I have reason to believe that's true. So I'll probably have to pitch my idea to a third party company, but how would I go about doing that? What would be the best method to approach them with these ideas?

    Thanks for reading
     
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  2. Jazz of Staniz

    Jazz of Staniz Movie Jazz is best Jazz

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    Now that I've done some thinking on the same thing, an MPM Jazz would be easier to do if it had a similar (but more complicated) transformation to that of MPM 3 Bee.

    Without faux parts on most of it, only the arms would have an unrecognizably different transformation.
     
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  3. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    I'm guessing no one here knows or thinks I'm a n00b not worth addressing.....

    C'mon people. There isn't a thread that already exists that answers this that I can be pointed to, or anyone who's ever tried to make and sell/market their transformation idea?
     
  4. BrutiKing

    BrutiKing I is a Bruticus fan

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    Well, you could post your sketches for a start and people would be more interested, I’m sure intrigued.
     
  5. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    If there's any hope of getting anything out of this idea, it'll definitely go out the window the moment someone else sees what I've got planned. And regardless of whether I can get anything off of this or not, I don't see what the need is to reveal anything when I'm simply asking for help.

    Give a little get a little? Absolutely not. That's like asking for money from someone trying to get directions. A forum is meant for discussion, and possibly building upon good ideas and helping out. If I can't get what I need out of this thread then oh well, so be it... it'll be that I just can't credit anyone here for helping me out. *shrug* There are other avenues to find this information, I figured I'd simply go the quick route and ask here.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  6. erwinsims

    erwinsims Well-Known Member

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    If the goal is to get the product made, who gives a rat’s a** about credit?

    The goal should be to make the toy (like the guy that made his Dino/Mirage and it got picked up and produced by a 3rd party..

    If you dont want to show ideas and dont want to share what you have in mind I believe the only route to go is write all 3rd party companies and beg them.

    But without putting in the legwork I do doubt they would reply or even credit you for the idea.

    That said, I to believe Jazz deserves more than the deluxe and studio series.
     
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  7. BrutiKing

    BrutiKing I is a Bruticus fan

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    You can’t build on something that isn’t there.
     
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  8. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    Says the person who has everything to gain from sitting back and watching others put in the hard work to make something. Who cares about credit? I do! :)  I want to make sure I'm credited for the idea. What's so wrong with that? *shrug*

    I doubt they'll give me credit even if I show them everything all the way down to screw placement. None of this really matters though, as it's not exactly what I'm asking for.

    Agreed.

    Okay, again.

    I'm looking for:

    a.) Either someone who knows how or knows someone who knows how to take something and come up with blueprints or schematics so that I know my idea works when I try it myself.
    b.) Someone to point me in the right direction so that I can figure this out on my own.
    c.) The best way to go about contacting a company to get it made. Of COURSE I'm not going to show up to THEM empty handed.

    None of this requires any input from me, and NOW that I'm being all grouchy about this, I'm sure the overly sensitive types who may have this information who'll read this will get turned off and will not reply out of spite. Again *shrug*, I already gave up expecting anything.
     
  9. erwinsims

    erwinsims Well-Known Member

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    I have been trying for years to get a studio interested in a complete to scale (1:45/ Scout class ish) series of the vehicles from the movie, I even provided details regarding all scales (vehicle measurements, Robot modes heights, vehicle data) and what not, I would love to buy those but this far no result.
    And regarding the says the person who has everything to gain line.. I won't gain anything, I am looking to scale down, I am hitting 40 soon, I can buy whatever I want, I have no interest in MP-movie figures due to them being to big for my taste.

    I do hope you will get what you want.
     
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  10. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    Not to ruin your vision but, don't you think scout class would be a bit too small for accuracy (if desired)? Wouldn't it be better to just scale everything with the mainstream deluxes? Nothing wrong with scout class, but with the artistic direction the movieline figures have, they tend to be pretty frail (my poor, poor dead end's hood flap has broken off and I doubt I'll ever bother to replace it, since I was never rough with it to begin with)

    I'm talking more from provider to a receiver point of view. Even if you never bought it, it'd still be something for you to consume.

    Thanks. Hopefully we all get what we want. I can definitely see a market for scout class figures. I love those things.
     
  11. BrutiKing

    BrutiKing I is a Bruticus fan

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    I guess you can learn the 3D model and et a 3D printer. Hope that’s helpful. If you have enough motivation to make a working prototype, it’s more likely a company would take you seriously.
     
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  12. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to design a figure but before you start I would just want to say that if the purpose is to get the figure made I think you should give up right now. I find it very unlikely that any third party would use your design even if you had a finished CAD model. They still have to redesign for strength tolerances / minimum thickness, design the molds, get the factory time, assemble and ship the thing. But most important, they have to think it will sell (amusing they even read design ideas. I assume you need contacts in China in order to pitch ideas but I'm just guessing)
    No, I recommend you only do this if you feel the design process will be rewarding enough in itself and getting a figure made can be a bonus.

    And with that out of the way, I have been thinking of writing about my process for making custom transformers for some time but it never happened, partly because I think the interest is very limited (hence why you didn't find anything or got any help even when asking)
    I think thet even those that make scratch built figures here don't make very detaild bluprints but use more trile and error with physical parts.

    Ok, back on topic. I have no idea of your experience or skill level designing figures so I make this kind of broad. The way to make a blueprint is basically to draw the car and robot from multiple angles (primarily front/top and side) and make sure the same parts “fit” on both and where to place rotations/sliders. It may also be needed to draw a few in between steps too.
    In the beginning I feel it's best to start with pen and paper (squared paper helps a lot) and then move over to CAD when the basic design is figured out.
    Now it happen that I have a talent for doing what a CAD program does in my head (seeing a part from different angels and turning it around). It would be extremely interesting to see the work process of a designer from Takara or a third party but so far I can only speak about my own process and what I guess others would do.

    So lets take something simple like a G1 Stunticon and look at the work process. The way I'd imagine it went was to start with the car and then add the "cuts" or sections that make up the robot and finally establish the rotation points (see pic) Of course they had the general idea/concept made up first like side becomes arms and so on like your doodles and thoughts the past years.
    countach 1.jpg countach 2.jpg countach 3.jpg

    For a more complicated figure the process is basically more of the same.
    When I made my Sunstreaker I started with cutting up the car according to the comic design and place the parts on a robot shape and then try fit those shapes back in the car. This went back and forth until I had a decent sized robot that could still fit in the car. This is where the squered paper help as you can easily keep the sizes consistent between images as well as lineing up different viewes.

    Hera are some of the sketches from that time (also added some help lines):
    Sun car.jpg Sun robot.jpg Sun robot2.jpg Sun transform.jpg Sun transform2.jpg

    I have more sketches for the spine and many of the rotations but I also solved a lot of things while building the Lego model. This would bee where a CAD program would be handy. I have heard people like fusion 360 and it's free for small projects.
    But I should also point out that learning/using CAD isn't necessary for making a basic blueprint. It can be done completely by hand (like the time before computers) and if the goal is still just to have someone else make a figure it may not be necessary to have every detail figured out for you to pitch the idea.

    This is pretty much all I can contribute with at the moment. Hope it will help and good luck.
     
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  13. Jazz Masters

    Jazz Masters Active Member

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    Holy crap, that sounds like the best advice I've gotten so far! Some of it I kind of intuitively figured out myself, like the graph paper and simply drawing out the ideas piece by piece and getting them to where they need to go, and yes, I had a conception of there being some sort of limitations as far as how small you can possibly go and how thick pieces would need to be in order to meet quality control purposes. Regardless of all of this intuition, I'm still a boot shining scrubby n00b at designing a figure, I've never done it before.

    Regardless, I'll still try to appeal to companies. Worst they can do is say no or ignore me.

    Thanks man!
     
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  14. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's that much of a stretch to think you might be able to get a 3p company interested in producing a design you make. There have been people who got custom designs picked up. Hell, the guy who did Hasbro's chug Arcee figure got picked up by Hasbro after they saw a custom Arcee he designed (it was a few years later that they had him design the actual Arcee). I myself have been approached by a rep from a 3p asking if I could do design just because he'd seen the thread for my unfinished custom. I had to tell him that my skills were too rudimentary to take on a full design but it shows that it's very possible to get noticed (also, it was very flattering).

    I'd recommend learning some 3d modeling or cad design. If I were going to seriously pursue this, I'd try fusion360. It's free for students and hobbyists. It uses multiple methods of designing, including more cad style work as well as more modeling style. It will let you add joints and can even be set to not allow parts to overlap so you can actually test if your design could really transform as a physical figure. From there, I'd recommend getting a 3d printer for prototyping. You'll be able to test tolerances and wall thicknesses and such that way. Even a relatively inexpensive printer like the Maker Select can be modified to give you pretty darn precise parts without costing very much (it's the one I use).

    Then, once you've got a design or, better yet, a prototype, start showing it around. Shouldn't be too hard to show that it works well in both modes without giving away all the keys to its design. If it's good and it's a figure for which there would be a market (movie Jazz sounds like a pretty solid market, especially if you can make it better than the other ones that've been produced) you'll probably have at least a few 3p companies coming to you, but even if they don't, you show then what you've got and I'd bet one of them will pick it up... unless they've already got their own design.

    For better advice, you might try hitting up some actual designers. 539 designs has a Devianart page and I believe he's been known to respond to brief inquiries. 539Designs on DeviantArt. I'm sure some of the other designers out there have Facebook pages. I wouldn't expect any of them to devote a huge amount of time to you but I bet, if you ask nicely, they'll point you in the right direction and maybe give you a few tips and tricks.

    Good luck!
     
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  15. Jazz of Staniz

    Jazz of Staniz Movie Jazz is best Jazz

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    Looks like this thread is finally getting some good advice! :D  Thanks everyone who suggested stuff for helping out.
     
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  16. combinerlover

    combinerlover PREDACON`s , Unite !

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