ATTENTION: third party toys banned from BotCon 2012 / FAN ART NOW ALLOWED AGAIN

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by Sidecutter, Feb 8, 2012.

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  1. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    Comparing the contracts from previous years, this is not the same. Largely the same, yes, but a chunk was added to change the game.
     
  2. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    First off, If Hasbro did a full-on "Collectors Division" for figures, and made those high quality figures, they'd have to charge a high quality price. The last couple of times they did that, (Alts, G1 reissues) Fans balked at the high prices. They also balked and whined about the repaints despite the fact that not only do repaints help to defer the mold costs but that a number of G1 characters that "Fans" want are repaints.

    Generations is a collector's line because there is no supporting media for them except for collectors who want updated G1 figures and WFC/FOC toys. As to why they are sitting on shelves at $12.99? Cause collectors don't want to pay more than $12.99 for a Deluxe Toy.

    It never ceases to amaze me that collectors like you call yourselves fans. Do you really think that mean old Hasbro ought to just let 3rd party companies make whatever they want?

    Let's take KO's for an example. Not only do they ruin the collectors market because most people can't tell what's a KO and what is Vintage, (and if you are a true collector you'd like your collection to retain it's value right?) but they can be made with inferior quality materials. Lead paint, cheap plastic, poor assembled joints, etc... So when some kid hurts themselves with one of these toys, or if someone figures out one has lead paint, and that gets out into the news, who do you think parents and media are going to go after, the KO maker? Wrong. All the packaging for those KO's say Hasbro on them.

    Then there are the "original" 3rd party bots. Yea, they made a cool figure you wanted that Has/Tak haven't yet. But you pay thru the nose for them due to their small runs. (funny how that's a sin for Hasbro or FunPub when they make a limited exclusive for collectors.) A lot of them have had flaws too that leave the fans disappointed. Especially after having spent so much money. Then there are some add-on pieces that have damaged the actual toy you are trying to enhance. (anyone remember the Predaking wings?)

    Does your desire for a specific toy matter more than it's safety or Hasbro's IP rights? I for one would buy any 3rd party item if they got a license to produce with permission from Hasbro or Takara Tomy. Infact, I already have bought such items. Of course Hasbro isn't going to grant a license to to every idea or product somebody want's done, but it can be done. Fans can talk about things they'd like to see made on boards like this or you can contact Hasbro via E-mail. They aren't likely to make everything you want, but good things has been known to get made from time to time.

    MP Grimlock was one of my big wish list items from way back in '07. I wanted a Grimlock in scale with Classics Prime, not the puny Deluxe we got. I talked about it online and even mentioned it a couple of times to Hasbro guys at Botcon. I was told it would never be made but hey, look at it now on my desk. Now I'm wanting 4 more MP Dinobots to go with Grimlock. Will they ever get made? I hope so. Just like I hoped for Grimlock. Would I buy them if some 3rd. party made them first? Nope.
     
  3. rework

    rework The Voice of Experience

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    That is a great point about Hasbro's previous collector's issues. Even fantastic toys like Masterpiece Skywarp languished on shelves with a $55 price tag. Why would they risk the cost of designing and release of a deluxe-sized at that price point?

    Hasbro is not going to be able to make toys like the 3rd parties at the same price point. Hasbro is a world class toy company and has a reputation to uphold. Anything Hasbro produces is going to have to meet basic safety standards. That means higher quality materials, higher quality paints, drop tests and durability standards. If something breaks through normal play, Hasbro will stand behind it and replace it. Honestly, do you think the 3rd parties care about these to the same extent? I doubt it.

    And really, the collector's market for toys at a whole is very high risk. You can go through the clearance aisles of TRU or places like Tuesday Morning and see lots of "collector's item" toys collecting dust with huge markdowns. Yeah, there's a lot of 3rd party TF stuff out now, but we don't really know if this market is sustainable. I kinda doubt it is and think we are seeing a bubble.
     
  4. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    Every year we have handfuls of threads bitching about deluxe sized toys being 12.99 instead of 9.99 ... and some of us think a collector's oriented line will all of a sudden wipe out that mindset?

    Guarantee it, Hasbro would release a collector's division and we'd start bitching about the prices being too high and figures being released too fast. We all should have just kept hush-hush about 3rd party products instead of always asking Hasbro to hire these guys or flaunting new releases under Hasbro's noses.
     
  5. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    Legally, your 100% percent right. But in the real world, who re-reads a contract every year ??? I was referring to people who attend every year, not newbies. Do you read the back of every Red Bull can you drink to see if new chemicals have been added since the last one you drank ???
     
  6. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    So it's not our responsibility to read a contract ... or Red Bulls? I'm not sure I follow you. If a dealer is going to sign up for a table at the show, they NEED to read the contract regardless of how many times they've signed up for a table in the past. This whole thread was started because a dealer did his due diligence by reading the contract and asked for clarification. 150 pages later we have a bitch fest about how Hasbro is screwing the collector by not offering a collector's division. IMO, this thread has been lost from its original point and we're just complaining now.

    Bottom line:

    -Hasbro has a right to ban 3rd party toys.
    -Hasbro realized it's ridiculous to ban fan art; we now have it back.
     
  7. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I find it hard to see you as a true Transformers fan. You sound more like a Hasbro stock holder or a corporate stooge. If Hasbro sells the Transformers franchise to Bridget the Midget tomorrow, I bet youll start posting her pin-ups on your sig and endorse her because it was "official". I never understood the purpose of being a "Hasbro fan", I dont care about GI Joe, Lego, My Little Pony, or any other non Transformers related products Hasbro makes. This is a Transformers fan site and I am here to discuss Transformers related products whether they are licensed or not. Actually 3rd party figures are licensed. They just arent licensed by the company you would like them to be licensed by. And they are 100% legal.

    Now KO's are a little different. Basically Hasbro creates a really cool mold and then holds it hostage. No matter how many requests they get to put the mold to good use, they reply with another Bumblebee repaint. Thank heaven for reverse engineering molds. At least somebody is putting the molds to good use. It's actually debatable whether these Rainmakers are really KO's because Hasbro never made them. There are no identical "originals" from Hasbro or Takara. (Like CHMS Skywarp is an identical copy of Henkei Skywarp) The mold may be a KO but the figures themselves are indeed originals.

    [​IMG]

    Some KO's are poor quality because they were meant for kids who's parents can only afford to buy toys in the dollar store. But obviously you dont own anything from CHMS so you are in no position to judge the quality. However I do, and I can ensure you that while the quality is not perfect, it is top notch. (about 85-90% of the original)

    Can you tell which one is the KO ???

    [​IMG]

    On to the collectors aspect. I own a mix of originals and KO's and I never deny the KO's or try to pass them off as originals. It's all about the character anyways, not what factory they came from. I would rather have the original, no doubt. But some hoarders on e-bay are the equivalant of oil insustry speculators. $400 for SG Rodimus ??? $500 for Wildrider ??? Give me a freakin break. Theyre toys made out of plastic and not even antiques. So because some rich prince from Dubai drops $500 on a SG Rodimus, that becomes the new value and every other potential buyer must suffer ??? SCREW THAT !!!


    I display my KO's proudly as a quality representation of those characters. I could care less which Chinese factory sanctioned the lump of plastic to be baked into a mold.

    [​IMG]

    All official Hasbro figures are made in China anyways. If im going to support Chinese poverty I might as well do it directly and cut out the middle man. Why cant Hasbro set up shop in Detroit and pay laid off auto workers American wages to assemble figures ??? Dont talk to me about ethics cause youre ethics are dictated by written rules. My ethics come from the heart.

    Oh yeah, I forgot all about the kids. The freakin kids (LOL) When I called for a hasbro "Collectors Division" that targets adult collectors, your reply was kids safety concerns. My response to that couldnt be any more simple:

    WARNING: This is an adult collectible recomended for ages 18 and over. Small parts may present a choking hazzard and sharp edges can cause injury in not handled as intended.

    Maybe I should be making 6 figure paychecks because I just did Hasbro's legal work for them.
     
  8. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    It's ridiculous when we start throwing out the "true fan" garbage. I'm trying to understand you man, but it's becoming very difficult.
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Yes, but unfortunately Hiro kind of started it with comments about doubting whether others are "true collectors"... so in this case, I think Rated X has a fair point, even if it's stated a bit aggressively.

    Hold on... I think you've got it wrong. Who "balked" at the cost of Alternators? They were perfectly appropriate to their size (same price point as Voyagers). And I think the complaining was not about the number of repaints (because, duh, we do know that many TFs are redecos of other TFs), but rather the nature of the repaints, which showed some poor choices.

    The whole history of the Alt line is a bit wacky anyway, with many of the molds being subbed in for other characters and such. But it was a good line and it had many fans. I think you're laying blame in the wrong places... the reason it died was that in 2003-2005 there weren't enough collectors to carry the costs. The toys too were pricey and complicated for kids, and the G1 cast had not yet been pushed back into the limelight, so they failed to find a mainstream niche. It's not that collectors didn't support the line. CHILDREN didn't support the line. Damn kids! :) 

    Again... no, it's because the collectors have already bought them, and not all of us buy 5 copies of the same mold. The toys are shelf-warming now because not enough kids are buying them due to the lack of a supporting media... though honestly, I see lots of kids playing with Generations figures, indifferent to whether they're movie characters or not, so it also might just be a distribution issue.

    A supporting media is nice, but it's not really necessary. Kids like transforming robots, even kids who don't watch TV. And with Prime on the air, and the movies still in the recent memory, kids are happy to get their hands on Transformers of any kind. And also, just for the sake of pointing it out... kids play WFC too... so it's not like those figures are "collectors only".

    Haha! Now we're talking about "true collectors" are we? Is that like a "true fan"? Dude, I couldn't care less whether my collection "retains its value". I take them all out of the packages and play with them and chop them up and repaint them. I'm not an archivist or a stock market speculator, preserving my financial investment for the future. I collect Transformers because I enjoy them, here and now... so maybe that makes me the "true" fan? ;) 

    Thanks to some KO products, I'm just happy I can have things in my collection that otherwise would be impossible.

    Yeah, you're right. There's a big risk of kids buying those $80 imitation G1 re-releases that are mostly only available through Chinese online stores. I'm sure Hasbro is reaaaaalllly worried about that.

    Most KO or 3rd Party items make no mention of Hasbro anywhere on their packaging... and the odds of kids ending up with KO Transformers is pretty much limited to the Chinatown dollar-store variety (which is what you're describing, lead paint and alll), and that is really a very different issue to the whole 3rd Party/high-end product debate.

    I totally would. Especially now that Takara's MP prices are higher than original 3rd Party item prices. :) 

    2 things to bear in mind. MP Skywarp was a repaint of a figure originally developed for the rather exclusive Japanese collector's market... so Hasbro didn't exactly need to break the bank "designing" an MP figure to put on Walmart shelves. Obviously, if the had needed to develop an MP figure from scratch without the Takara market, they probably wouldn't even bother.

    MP Skywarp languished on shelves for the same reason the Alternators did. Complex designs and prohibitive pricing alienated it from the kids market, and poor distribution did the rest.

    There are TONS of collectors out there who were desperate to get their hands on Skywarps, Starscreams, Rodimuses and Grimlocks, only to find that instead of being circulated properly, they ended up getting dumped only in specific regions, and often hit the shelf as clearance items!! (wtf?), which lead to rampant scalping. If you want to know why Hasbro's MP releases seem to fail consistently, I think it has a lot to do with how these things are solicited, purchased and distributed with regards to the retail chains. They still haven't figured out a working formula.

    I agree that it's a difficult sales model to make work... these items don't have the broader appeal to the mainstream child market. But I don't think collectors are at fault somehow, because they're "cheap" or whatever, which is what some people here are implying.

    Funny thing... but most of the main 3rd Party companies have been doing EXACTLY that... with pretty solid customer support and a willingness to respond to (and replace) faulty parts.

    Does Hasbro do that? I have no idea. When I have a quality control problem with a Hasbro toy, I just return it to the store for an exchange, so maybe I should thanking Walmart (of all people) for their customer service... because those broken toys sure as hell don't get returned to Hasbro. :) 

    I totally agree with that. Collector toys in mainstream toy aisles tend not to fly so well... despite high visibility and accessibility. Mattycollector has certainly not been without their problems, but their direct marketing approach is an interesting variation. Of course, they're not cheap either, and Transformers are a lot more expensive to produce than muscleman dolls. :) 

    zmog
     
  10. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    I think you took my "Red Bull" example out of context. I was simply referring to human nature. I dunno, maybe you do read the labels on the back of food product. Maybe you go to a stadiums website and read the legalities of getting hit by a baseball before you buy a ticket. I dont.

    This is what I meant by the "real world" factor. Hasbro is not living inthe real world. Everything doesnt work as good as it looks on paper. The fan art ban was a perfect example.
     
  11. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    I think it wasn't a proper example, but I see your point. The thing I'm getting at is if you're a dealer buying a table there, it's your responsibility to do so. It's not an everyday purchase, such as a Red Bull, so you need to read the contract.

    To your point about Hasbro, no, things definitely don't work as well as on paper. That's why I give them credit for recognizing the ridiculous nature of the fan art ban. They corrected themselves. With the 3rd party ban though it's completely within their rights weather we like it or not. I don't believe for one second it has anything to do with Hasbro being intimidated, envious, or what have you; they're pissed off that someone else is benefiting from their IP. I'd do the same thing.
     
  12. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    I would define a "true Transformers fan" as a person who is LOYAL to the actual Transformers characters, not the humans that create them. It doesnt matter who's versions of "The Transformers" I buy, as long as Im buying something to show my passion for the characters. Maybe I buy Hasbro versions. Maybe I buy 3rd party versions. Maybe I make them myself with clay and toothpicks. I live for the characters. Not their creators, investors, stock holders, and copyright owners. Those people come and go but the characters themselves are eternal.

    Thats where my loyalty lies. You go hang a picture of some Hasbro CEO on your wall and glorify him. Im gonna hang up Megatron on my wall and glorify him.
     
  13. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to question your buying habits or your loyalties; I wanna make that clear man. The idea of a "true fan" existing to me is ridiculous in general. IMO, there's no such thing as a "true fan." We're fans. If you're buying KOs or hanging a picture of Aaron Archer on your wall (creepy ... ) it's all good in my mind.

    If you're a Hasbro loyalist that doesn't mean you're praising their stock holders or management. The same is said for those that are 3rd party loyalists. Hopefully I cleared my comments up a bit.
     
  14. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    The whole "True Fan" thing started because I was defending my stance against this quote from Hiro Prime:

    "It never ceases to amaze me that collectors like you call yourselves fans. Do you really think that mean old Hasbro ought to just let 3rd party companies make whatever they want?"

    Im not sure why you decided to jump in and throw him a life jacket. He clearly accused me of being a fake fan for not supporting hasbro's interests first.
     
  15. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    My comments weren't directed necessarily AT you. Apologies for that appearance.
     
  16. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    In the real world, any business owner who wants to stay in business and stay the owner of that business reads *every damn thing they sign* that has a contract attached. Not doing so is a beautiful way to lose money, lose your product or ideas, lose your retail space, or even lose the entire business.

    And as others have pointed out, something consumed daily is not the same, nor nearly as important, as the once-a-year dealer contract would be. A better analogy would be whether you read the contracts when changing health or car insurance providers. If you're not, you're just begging to have problems.
     
  17. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    So, let me get this straight, because I believe that 3rd party products can and do hurt Transformers as a brand, that I'm not a Transformers fan? That I'm a corporate STOOGE? And 3rd party toys are licensed, 100% legal??? What's in the water where you are? Your sense of self entitlement is staggering and borderline insulting.

    I used the term true collector as a means of pointing out the value of official toys being damaged by KOs and how fans can and are being cheated by them. If I want to purchase a Ghost Starscream Henkei figure, I want the real deal, not a KO. (and yes I can tell as I'd be a poor dealer if I couldn't.) The fact that most people can't is the problem. (not that you care apparently)

    But if you want to compare collections and years spent being a TF fan, step up and consider your challenge accepted. I'll match ANY TF toy you have and not only see you the original, but I'll match you with variations, regional versions and multiple numbers in and out of package. (made up toys that never had an official toy made don't count, but if you have to count them, I'll see those toys and raise you Lucky Draws and prototypes) I've been collecting since early '85 (not buying and playing with) and I've been buy-sell-trading since '90. Oh yeah, I'm also one of only two dealers who have sold at every Botcon.

    How long have you been playing this game?

    They hold the mold hostage? Really? Just wow.

    I like how you make assumptions about me and then try to make your stance sound noble. You actually sound like you work for a 3rd party company the way you try to justify a lower quality product. See, you are very wrong about my being in a position to judge KO quality. I have to be able to because I sell TFs and other collectibles for a living. I can't sell KO crap to my customers for the very reasons I stated in my last post.

    Try to understand, if I sell a KO and a customer brings it back to me because it fell apart or worse, their kid grabbed it off of his "collectors shelf" and hurt himself with it, what do you think I'm suppose to do about it? If I don't take it back, I've lost a customer. If I do take it back, I'm stuck with the loss. Why? Because I can't get Hasbro to take it back, it's not their toy and do you really think I'd get the KO company to replace it? And why would I want it replaced if it broke or could hurt a kid?

    [​IMG]

    Yes I can and have with that toy.

    You do know that you're not the only collector in the world right? You can twist your point however you want but it still comes out as self serving. So you don't want to or can't afford an exclusive you want. Boo Hoo, cry me a river. Not everyone can or does. That's a part of collecting. The fact that you want it so a 3rd party can make it and make YOU happy comes at the expense of another collector who made his purchase and has every right to want to see the value of that purchase protected. The very terminology you use paints you as a very spoiled fan. As to your SG Rodimus example, it wasn't $400 at the show when it was offered. That it raised up in value so quickly shows that it's a desirable toy. You do realize that the net operates on a Capitalist system of commerce right? So, yeah, if you can't afford a real one, you're screwed.

    Let me add that you, me, nobody is entitled to any toy. Owning a toy is not a right. I have to work for the money that I've used to buy my collection. Despite all the time and money I've spent, Hasbro doesn't owe me a damn thing. It's my choice to buy their product. That I choose to purchase exclusives with my hard earned money is the reason that I have them. That you don't or won't is not my or Hasbro's problem... it's yours.

    Wow, again your sense of self entitlement is staggering. Hasbro and every other company manufactures in China because people like you would never buy their product for the two to three times they'd have to charge for it to produce it over here in the US. We have min-wage laws (which I suspect you are for) and Unions that force companies to pay quite a bit more to employees than China does. And LOL about your ethics from the heart comment. Congrats, you've lost your argument. I also have to ask, are you with OWS? (I think I know the answer but I'd like to see if you'll confirm it.)

    In a country where people can and do sue restaurants for coffee being too hot, I don't think your warning label would go as far as you'd like it to. Do you really think just because a warning label is attached that a kid couldn't or wouldn't ever get their hands on it? That a safty label would mean that an adult collector would have to suffer a poorly made product with no recourse?

    In case you may have forgotten, you are an adult (I hope anyways) collecting a bunch of toys. The "freakin kids" have been and always will be Hasbro's first priority. The fact that they toss us collectors a bone (and there have been a lot of bones over the last decade) is a nice thing. Until fans like you muck things up.

    But please ignore my good advice and continue with your oh so self important ways. Maybe if enough of you guy of like mind get together and push Hasbro and Takara, they'll finally get serious with all of the 3rd party toy makers and end this crap once and for all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  18. VAwitch

    VAwitch G1 GeekGirl

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    I disagree.

    Mark it *clearly* both online, and on the box, that this is a "adult collectible", as per (I believe) the BotCon sets, not recommended for ages under 12.

    Cuz frankly, if an adult buys a $50+ "adult collectible" w/ a age 12+ due to small parts choking harzard for their 5 y/o, I don't have a lot of sympathy - kinda like when parents go "OMG - there's titties & blood in that game!!! Did he just drop a F-bomb???" - on a T or M-rated video game, being played by their 10 year old, that the parent bought for their kid (And yes, I am a parent, and no, my kid doesn't see every PG13 movie or play a lot of T-rated games)

    My son loves to watch LOTR, and loves TFs - he doesn't get to watch "Game of Thrones" with me, and he understands that just cuz Lennox & Epps drop "Shits" & "Dammits", he doesn't get to as well.

    I am tired of idiot parents that want the government and manufacturers to do parenting for them. Give us the tools (recommended ages, and WHY it got that rating/rec), then let me be a parent.
    V-Chip all the way, vs auto-cancelling shows that might be "questionable for young viewers".

    Umm, If I'm plunking down $200+ to sell something, where a contract is required rather than just "you agree to use X space for Y cost during dates A-B", you bet I'm reading each time I sign it.

    I dunno about you, but if my signature is going on a paper, I am going to at least scan it, and if I could be considered liable for something I am reading it.
    It's not like the dealer-table contract is more than 5 pages long.

    Especially if I'm selling unofficial stuff, at an officially sanctioned & supported show vs a true 100% grassroot fan-show.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  19. Rated X

    Rated X Well-Known Member

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    Wow is Miami (my hometown) the only place in the country where you can do business without all the red tape ??? All this talk about contracts, IP, rights and crap. Come out here to Fleamarket USA on 79th st and 27ave and see all the bootleg stuff for sale from DVDs to Louis Vuitton handbags to Polo cologne and nobody gives a crap. It's amazing how middle America glorifies Hasbro and their rights over $12 lumps of plastic. Or am I just the only Transformer fan who didnt get a degree in law ??? Amazing...

    We shouldnt even be arguing. If you work for Captured Prey then you you support 3rd parties and are on my side. I bought from you guys before in Botcon 2010. You guys are good people. But Im not into all that legal crap. The bottom line is the dealers got screwed.
     
  20. VAwitch

    VAwitch G1 GeekGirl

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    Agreed - I live by 2 WM, 2 Targets and a TRU.... and 90% of the time, when folks say "OMG I found X at TRU" - my local TRU doesn't get diddly.
    They didn't get Perceptor; they had the Insecticons - about 3months after everyone was reporting seeing them; and seldom the MPs. Or if they did have the MPs, the suckers got bought out very quickly.

    Woodbridge isn't super small, so we tend to get a lot of stuff. But Transformers, I have noticed, we're one of the last folks to get things. In fact, a board member here has often been kind enough to pick up TFs for me in the past, and he lives less than an hour away from me, but the distribution pattern by him is completely different than for any of my local TF-carrying stores. And we're in the same state & technically in the same geographic area (northern VA).

    About the only thing my local TRU has carried, "on time" was the TF Prime figs this past Xmas - and I am now kicking myself that I didn't pick them up for myself vs getting the other toys my son actually wanted ^_^

    When you go to the HTS, within the first week of a toy being released - but not in your local area, to see "Out of Stock".... yeah. That's not languishing. But that's if it is even carried at HTS, or TRU.com, etc. Some MPs & re-issues I've been waiting for in the past few years don't seem to make on there, only in stores- or they are immediately sold out as fast as they pop on.
     
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