Customs: Repro Ethics

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by caretaker27, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. caretaker27

    caretaker27 Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MrBurns
    “Is there anyway to distinguish these KO parts from the originals? I am a little concerned that these could be sold as originals especially someone like me who wants only the originals.”

    Originally posted by reluttr
    “there probably isn't a way, other than the way the plastic feels and the color.”

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Grepicon
    “There is a way to tell. Find an original G1 Optimus Prime Cab, place the transformer part in it, close the rear door, and shake it. Then drop it on a table in front of a G1 Shockwave, take the part and rub it on his crotch and look at it under the light of his purple hand laser cannon.

    The only people who truly care are the people who are hoarding "rare" pieces and are looking to profit now, or in the future. It's plastic not unobtanium.”

    Originally Posted by MrBurns
    “That is pretty funny /sarcasm

    What would prevent people from selling these for actual G1 prices. When I buy parts, I want to know if they are originals or KO's. The maker should engrave his initials on these or something.”

    Originally posted by reluttr
    “Well he does sorta have a point... Knock off's have been around since...well transformers became popular. In other words the part market has always been tainted by look-a-likes, and the risk of getting a bad part is just as bad now as it has always been.

    Besides... do you really think that a malicious seller is really going to go through Darkov? They would much rather do it themselves at home and save on the shipping and commission costs.

    I encourage Darkov to continue his work, because I would rather pay him 3.00 for a repro, than to pay some scalper on ebay 50 bucks for a knock off part with 1/10th the quality of darkovs.”




    So after seeing this basic exchange on Darkov’s Repro Thread, which unless I am mistaken is meant for comment and critiques of his repro parts (not sales, or issues of right and wrong), I have decided to start a repro ethics thread.
    I am curious on the opinions of my fellow board members on what they think about the “ethics” of reproducing parts, notably hard to find vintage parts.
    Here is my stance: Recently I went through a Holy Grail G1 Binge and spent way too much on “valuable” piece of plastic, some just waiting for GPS to strike, and after receiving most of my figs, I realized if I want them to stay in good condition I should keep them in their box. Now I love having the rare pieces in my collection, but I enjoy them because they are fun toys. I worry about some breaking. If I had repros of some of the hard to find parts I would be able to display them without fear of exposure to the elements.
    For Example, Monstructor, I repeat Monstructor is going for over $250 easily (some people are trying to sell for close to $500) and honestly he’s a tiny unimpressive combiner when you have him in hand…but he’s rare. Why should the fans have to pay $40 for a head or more for a fist, when the price could be $10 or less depending on materials used?
    There is risk when buying piecemeal, and unless you open the box yourself you can’t be sure a part is genuine or vintage. Even if the reproducer’s initials were inscribed somewhere on the part, what is to stop an ebay seller from not showing that angle?
    In closing I love the idea of affordable quality reproduction parts, please share your thoughts, I want to hear how others feel on this regarding their collections.
     
  2. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Why would you absolutely , positively need the authentic part? If your looking for investment your not looking hard enough because toys aren't it. If it's for yourself no one cares if the part is authentic or not. It completes a toy then be happy.

    It's all plastic and it's all worthless after you die. So try to have fun with it and leave the anal bickering for someone in politics.
     
  3. unkrazimatik

    unkrazimatik Seeker, of the truth

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    I concur!!! I am leaning towards having Darkov cast me a set of G1 starscream long missiles. WHY??? B/C the "bleeps" on ebay that want someone to pay $20.00 plus shipping. In some cases more than that. Don't these people know that I can, in time, come across a G1 re-issue for $30.00, and just scrap my build-up? There is definately a need for reproductions. It may make the actual original parts go up, but if there were a large quantity of repro's online, everyone would have to water their prices down to make a sale.
    If it matches, if it shoots, if it fits, why not have a repro part. People buy the completeness and condition, not the carbon dating of a figure. Thats all I'm say-n......
     
  4. ANONYMOUS

    ANONYMOUS Well-Known Member

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    The problem with this is the same problem you have with the KO vs. original debate. You have Group A....we'll cal them the Pro KO team that thinks these toys are just toys to be played with and their only value is intrinsic and that toys are "not for investment" and believe that "true collectors" don't care if the items are KO or authentic, and could not care what their items are worth, etc.,etc.

    Then you have Group B....we'll call them the anti-KO team that only wants genuine items, doesn't want to be sold fakes at "real item" prices, and wants the items they spend their money on to have some value when the day comes that they no longer want the items.

    You will never get the 2 sides to agree because they are at the opposite ends of the spectrum

    Personally, I tend to be on the Anti-KO team, because these folks doing reproductions (counterfeits, KO,s, bootlegs, or whatever you want to call them) make it so hard to differentiate their items. If everything that was a reproduction had a "R" stamped on it somewhere (or any type of marking to differentiate it) then I (and probably most others as well) wouldn't care how much of this stuff people wanted to crank out, but they don't, and whether intentionally or unintentionally, this stuff is going to be passed off somewhere, sometime, as the real deal. That is my problem with people making identical copies of toys and accessories. Fixing the issue is so simple, yet it is never done, so it makes you wonder why? What is the reason people don't want to mark their reproductions as such?
     
  5. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Darkov said recently that he stamps "REPRO" on all of his casts so he's totally aware of the concern and has taken steps to remedy the confusion associated with legit vs. reproduction pieces.
     
  6. gaetz

    gaetz Gaetz

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    I do care if its' original or a KO. Its' a matter of perspective. Personally I've collected G1 Vintage, Vintage G1 KO's , Authentic G1 Reissues and G1 Repro KO's. They all give me enjoyment. I showcase almost all of them.

    Inregards to playing with them, I only fiddle around with the doubles. One set is for true aesthetic/monetary value, the other entertainment.

    Intrinsic vs Monetary Value. How much is your childhood memories worth. How important is having the original. This is why a hunk of original plastic can cost $50 vs $3 for the reproduction. It comes down to how much people are willing to pay in response to the supply and demand.

    The market demands reproduction, its an ethical issue only in the conduct of the seller. Either they don't know what they have, or its' moral ambiguity.

    If in doubt, be cheap. It's just a good buying practices. No matter how much I pay for what I get, I'm hoping for the Vintage G1. If I get Vintage KO i'm also very excited. Ex: Complete G1 KO Soundwave.. was a very nice find and only for $3.

    Plus if your really intrested in vintage transformers with a lower chance of ko's, its buying from Yardsales. Especially from babybomers. As the chances of Ko's from the current generation arn't going to be there.

    In the end, I don't buy anything with out the ablity to recoupe my intial cost if not make a health profit. I live economically, by a belief every dollar spent with the exclusion of food and toiletries should generate me two dollars. So I'm probly the exclusion to the rule.
     
  7. Darkov

    Darkov Well-Known Member

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    I suppose I should chime in here since my name has been mentioned more than once. I generally do not get into the discussion about right and wrong of repro parts....it tends to be a lost cause. I will repeat what I told a fellow board member today after he alerted me to this thread.

    Both sides have valid points so there is no winning over anti-repro part purists. I provide a service plain and simple. If people don't like the product I provide...they don't buy it. I make NO claim that the parts I make are originals. I have taken to marking a lot of my more rare parts with the word REPRO etched on them. I even question people who want to buy more than a few of any one part I offer. It all comes down to one thing and one thing only.....HONESTY. I honestly have NEVER tried to pass off any of my reproductions as originals. I know there are people out there just wanting to make a buck and are willing to stoop the the low level of lying about a parts authenticity. I got into making Repro parts as a favor to friends of mine that just wanted to complete there collections. Not caring that the parts were not original. Eventually my name got around and I was being asked by more and more people to make them. So that is what I do...I provide parts to people that don't want to pay the outrageous prices for a little gun or a radar dish..etc.etc So until I no longer feel that there is a need for my service or until I get tired of doing it....I will continue to offer parts to the people that want them.
     
  8. unkrazimatik

    unkrazimatik Seeker, of the truth

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    Thank you for your service.... :) 
     
  9. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Darkov: I've never bought from you personally, but I can appreciate what you do for the TFW community. Keep up the great work. Just remember that you can't please everybody. Some people are just going to oppose this sort of thing, but don't let that deter you from being such an awesome contributor. You and Delta Star make a lot of collector dreams become reality.
     
  10. blurr69

    blurr69 First time caller

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    Im glad there are repro part makers as well, and them going the extra steps further to make it be known they are repros and not originals only adds to their defence, for me. The only thing Im not crazy about is charging what they do.. Ive never seen or heard of any that, to me, are what I would consider repro prices. Now, I can appreciate the time and effort it takes to do this kind of work but, c'mon.. I would rather buy an original part at 10$ than a repro at 8$, which is basically profiting on what the market will bare a lot more than it is "helping out fellow collectors".. Prices need to come way down on that kinda stuff before I jump in and start actually supporting it, personally.
     
  11. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Casting reproduction pieces can be very, very costly. I don't think anyone that does this sort of thing on an individual basis can afford to sell these pieces at even lower prices. They would be doing it at a loss. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were doing it at a loss already.
     
  12. blurr69

    blurr69 First time caller

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    Till someone can actually show me in black and white the break downs to justify it, I really dont buy that.. Im not claiming to know any better with out concrete information but, my common sense tells me that its not as bad as the prices charged reflect.
     
  13. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Or you could try gathering the materials and parts and trying it out for yourself.
     
  14. blurr69

    blurr69 First time caller

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    Or not.

    Like its been said a million times over, the repro makers provide a service for people, no more no less. People can choose to take it or not, plain and simple. Im simply saying Im one of the ones who will not, and for x y and z reasons, which is, if Im not mistaken, more or less what this thread was created for. And to be clear, Im not necessarily calling anyone a liar or fraud, Im just a "need to see it to believe it" type person.

    If a manufacturer cant justify the price of their products to me, granted its something I want, Im just not having it ::shrugs::

    Basically all I was saying, and Im not sure what else I COULD say.
     
  15. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    People tend to not understand the effort, time, resources, and money involved in producing something in such a limited capacity (when compared to an established company with the manufacturing muscle). If they truly did, as much as they claimed, then they wouldn't have such a naive perception of all that it entails. This will be my last comment on the matter. If you'd like to take it further, you can always send a PM.
     
  16. blurr69

    blurr69 First time caller

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    Im offended you would call me, or anyone, naive here.. I never claimed to know about any of the logistics involved with repro part making, on an individual, or any level for that matter. I verbatum said even, I dont have concrete information.. and I would imagine as well, that no one really does (besides the people actually doing it of course)..

    Again, all I was ever even saying was that I dont personally endorse repro parts on account of what makers try to charge. Ive never once heard anyone justify it other than saying exactly what you did "people tend to not understand the cost, time, effort, etc"... I dont feel like the burden of proof falls on me or a consumer either, simply the option to take it or leave it. Im glad you have nothing else to say because, I really am offended by your previous condescending comment.. Not having information doesnt necessarily make you naive or ignorant....


    edit: I dont mean it as personally as that sounds too.. satomis a really cool guy, I just, a little TO passionately sometimes, defend "shit I believe in" I guess..
     
  17. caretaker27

    caretaker27 Well-Known Member

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    hey guys,
    i started this thread because i saw the repro feedback thread turning into a "how can i tell if its a repro part"/"if you don't like it...don't buy it" war. I (in my admitted ignorance) believe that the feedback thread is soley for comments and critiques on the work themselves, not on the ethics involved. I think some people have put out their points very well so far, but let it be known that the intention of this thread (as per the original poster...which is myself) is not to call out any repro maker, but to move/continue the discussion on what is right and wrong about making/buying/potentially reselling repro parts.

    I see that some feel even repro prices are not good enough. I do believe that in a perfect world a G1 scorp head should cost no more than $10 at most, but even with a service there is a charge involved (and deservedly so). To use true life as an example, i would rather buy a repo scorp head for $25 any day than pay the $80 (which i, sadly, did in 2002) on ebay for a Vintage G1 Scorp head , which btw was missing the peg for the left arm, and had the left arm positioned backward on the right peg, as the right arm was lost previously.
    I think we will be better served continuing this general conversation if we do not focus on pricing, but focus on what is done with the parts when they are casted (As Darkov has said, "I have taken to marking a lot of my more rare parts with the word REPRO etched on them. I even question people who want to buy more than a few of any one part I offer." Those are safety protocols that to me seem to be valid and helpful, I personally can't think of anything else that could be done.
    I am all for the repro makers, and as i have started collecting the rarer G1's i would much rather have a repro set for a Black Zarak (which won't crumble when i look at it) that i can display freely, than spend literally thousands on one that i dare not remove from package.
     
  18. blurr69

    blurr69 First time caller

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    Like I said, Im all for honest repro makers/sellers, I would even say grateful. Like a lot of the "third party" companies now putting out accessories, figures, etc that ppl like to rage about as well, these guys are providing services many desperately want, where no one else does.

    and about my pricing rant.. To be fair and honest, I havnt even looked at anyone that still makes thems prices or threads in a very long time.. So I may be completely off base in the first place. I just remember thinking a lot of times back when.. "wow, I may as well just buy the originals at that price", being just dollars more. It seemed like it was just because it was what the market bared but, again, I may be completely off base. If someone showed me in black and white how/why something is though, ::shrugs::, Im never one to argue facts. If people are making things than in the end cost a fraction of what is charged to make, like Ive suspected, Id rather have no part in it though. Where it stands now, I just dont have enough information to make edecated choices about it, so I just steer clear in general, as a rule of thumb.

    3 cheers for repro parts makers in any event. Glad SOMEONE does it still
     

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