[Third-party companies] Who are those masked men?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Predaking000, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    Sorry if this has been covered before, but the thing that's so unique about the TF fandom, that differentiates it from just about any other toy fandom at the moment, is the proliferation of the third-party companies.

    It's especially interesting to me as companies likes Fans Toys are single-handedly keeping me interested in the TF world. And also, we've reached a moment in which third-party products are frequently rivaling and even surpassing the quality of official releases.

    So I'm wondering who these people are behind Fans Toys, MMC, Toy World, Gigapower, etc...

    Are these ex-toy designers? Or people involved with the toy industry? Bored NASA engineers in search of a side-job?

    Because the designing and producing of something like a Phoenix seems so complicated, and was pulled off with such aplomb, that I can't help wondering what professional backgrounds these people have, and why they haven't spread to other toy lines (I'd love a third-party Cheetara and powered-up Mumm-Ra to finish off my Classics collection, BTW, or an in-scale, deluxe-quality Skystriker or Tomahawk for my Joes).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. lordcryotek

    lordcryotek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Posts:
    2,545
    Trophy Points:
    257
    Likes:
    +1,601
    Lizard people Illuminati, of course. What human could design such amazing things?
     
    • Like Like x 12
  3. Starganderfish

    Starganderfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Posts:
    2,744
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Location:
    Australia
    Likes:
    +2,115
    Most reports suggest they're passionate fans who have some contact/experience with the toy industry - either design or manufacturing. They are breaching copyright and IP though so I imagine they keep their identity pretty quiet.
    We do see some 3P stuff in other lines - there's been a few Voltrons of varying quality and the First Goken 3P Krang for TMNT is faankly amazing.
    What seems to set Transformers aside is there's such an opportunity for variety in looks and designs thanks to the transformation idea. I mean a ninja turtle is a ninja turtle. There's a limit to how much creativity you can get. The TF line is so large and varied that there's a lot of scope for creativity.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Posts:
    2,308
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Location:
    Central America
    Likes:
    +1,536
    Most of the time they are fans with some engineering / design background...
     
  5. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Posts:
    2,308
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Location:
    Central America
    Likes:
    +1,536
    Watch this:

     
    • Like Like x 6
  6. boomerdave

    boomerdave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Posts:
    2,387
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Location:
    Probably at work goofing off.
    Likes:
    +1,331
    I never saw this before but wow. If you are any kind of 3rd party collector and wondered about these lines, you should watch the first hour and a half of this. I learned a lot about this hobby that I never knew.

    Really informative.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  7. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    Never seen this before; thanks for posting it!

    So much fascinating info...that multiple companies are owned by the same person, the sabotaging of other people's designs...
     
  8. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Posts:
    2,308
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Location:
    Central America
    Likes:
    +1,536
    You are welcome! Nowadays the situation might be different though!
     
  9. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    I also never knew Dr. Wu is an actual ER doctor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Spence

    Spence Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    Posts:
    767
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +777
    Take this video with a grain of salt. Not all of it is entirely Fact but more of a point of view from a western side of things. Not at all always what it is actually like in China or HK. There is also a big thread on this video and if you have the time it is good to go through the thread itself as it reveals a lot of what may be fact and what may be fiction.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  11. Mormolyce

    Mormolyce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    Posts:
    1,288
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Likes:
    +1,135
    Within every generation are 36 righteous men - their identities are hidden, even from themselves. For the sake of these secret saints, God preserves the world of men.
     
  12. Predakign2000

    Predakign2000 All Hail Unicron!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Posts:
    1,397
    Trophy Points:
    182
    Likes:
    +12
    Can you link the thread here?
     
  13. Spence

    Spence Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    Posts:
    767
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +777
  14. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    Thanks for the link. Yeah, Chris/Autobot78 misspoke on some things, but he came back and clarified/qualified his comments, and I think most people would assume that yes, he only represents one point of view. There was some unneeded aggression in that thread, but even that Chris/Autobot78 took in stride and responded in a classy manner.

    Interesting conversation. I wouldn't mind watching a documentary on the third-party world, but it makes sense that the people involved would want to stay on the down-low.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    15,408
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +2,013
    Fantastic video. Definitely a must watch. Will have to watch pt. 2.
     
  16. edgecrusher

    edgecrusher Retro Active TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Posts:
    6,186
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    272
    Location:
    Slowing down
    Likes:
    +4,310
    Rather than concerning ourselves with names and owners, get a sense for the spirit behind the industry. This will provide a lot more perspective on small business in China than the interview:
     
  17. Spence

    Spence Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    Posts:
    767
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +777
    Unneeded aggression? On TFW? Go on.....you are joking right? hahaha

    There are many who think 3p is a real interesting world but really it is no different from any other toy manufacturer really. The biggest difference is the scale of the operation but the procedures are the same.

    What makes 3p such a thing is the drama and nonsense that is behind it. There is a lot of that kind of thing going on. Because 3p is not governed by any license or any real governing body, things can get pretty nasty. That also happens when you have a bunch of people who have zero idea on how to run an actual company and do everything word of mouth instead of legit contracts.

    The manufacturing side of it is the same as any other company, you get a design, get a prototype, get it molded, manufacture it, sell it. Fairly simple stuff.

    Distribution is also another thing a lot of the 3p companies really don't know much about and why you had the huge conversation about the middle man that was going on. Chris touches on it but does not really have the whole picture. It is not just that RK was being a huge pressure but it is also that guys like TFC had no idea how to actually distribute their product and their lack of english made things difficult for them. Using someone like RK to distribute only made sense at the time and RK ran with it. But like anyone who hard hands things, eventually they piss off the wrong people and eventually settle into what they are now.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    Well, yes, assholery is quite common 'round these parts. But I was trying not to be blunt and trying not to put anyone on blast.

    To me, the biggest difference is that these manufacturers have no license to manufacture their products. A number of these people are also (probably) not professionals in the toy manufacturing world (or at least they didn't start out that way), and their products may simply be a result of their "side jobs" or "hobbies"...these are pretty big distinctions from "any other toy manufacturer." This third-party movement is an extension of the DIY and "share" cultures--and however else you want to codify it--evolved into something tangible and significant, at least in our little corner of the nerdosphere. Except instead of selling crafts on Etsy or the Custom section of TFW2005 or something like that, they're mass-producing stuff---these handfuls of fans--that have modifed the landscape of our collecting world. That's what's so striking.

    Yeah, but not nearly as interesting to me as the other stuff I mentioned above.

    To me, this is understandable because, again, I'm assuming a lot of the people involved with these companies started out as fans, and not business majors. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of them had half-baked business plans or models. Or maybe they've really got it together, who knows? But again, what's striking to me is what these fans accomplished.

    Phoenix is one of the best toys I've ever owned, and it was not produced by an official company, nor by professional toy designers. The better these toys get, the more we'll take that for granted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  19. Predaking000

    Predaking000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Posts:
    1,567
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +417
    Yes, I've been interested in the way our culture's shifted for quite a while now. That said, what's always interesting to me are the people involved with the Third Parties. For example, Dr. Wu being an ER doctor who makes toys in his spare time. I'm curious as to what the other people behind DX9, Unique Toys, Fans Toys, etc...do, what their experiences/backgrounds are, what led them down this path.
     
  20. jmkprime

    jmkprime Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2014
    Posts:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Likes:
    +14
    A lot of these groups seem to overlap -- being the result of tranfers, splits, and mergers. It'd be interesting to see a family tree (ala Rock Family Trees) of their evolution.
     

Share This Page