How do you decide (trust) your orders for 3P Products?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by batfan007, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. batfan007

    batfan007 Double the Dragon

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    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering how people base their purchasing decisions on 3P orders.

    Do you wait for a full review before release?
    Do you buy on faith some characters, hoping they will be decent based on early info, and perhaps onsell them if they turn out to be not so great?
    Some products we get the final look, or test build previews before ordering - but for others we only get the grey prototype to go on, so how do you base your orders for that sort of stuff?
    Do you trust certain companies over others / reputation etc?

    Anyhow, I'm curious about your buying habits. I only own a handful fo 3P stuff (that I really like) and I prefer full video reviews of final builds myself, to avoid costly Q.C. nightmares that instantly devalue the toy in my eyes.

    Some toys I have been tempted to preorder, but with poor looking mock ups, high price points, or too little information, I don't like "pre-order" limbo, and would rather just but when released, but with some limited run stuff you may miss out altogether.

    Anyhow, please share any insights, buying habits, wisdom, stories you like! There are no wrong answers.
    5 Energon bits to the most entertaining answer!*
    *DISCLAIMER: no Energon bits will be awarded. Offer entirely fictional.
     
  2. Haydenite

    Haydenite Ratchet Joints

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    I generally buy based on what I like.

    So far, I have steered away from only XTRANSBOT after buying Apollyon. Had that been a great figure with awesome QC I probably would've bought a few others from them. That said...
    I actually just received Simba on Friday and just opened it last night !!! The QC seems pretty good but I didn't transform it yet or anything, so we'll see later on.

    Basically, anything BC, Maketoys and Toyworld I will buy if I like it.
    Gigapower is another likely candidate for my money as well.
    Fanstoys so far I have not any interest in any of their products enough to purchase !!

    While DX9 I will almost buy blindly if the character is one I want. Whether the reviews are bad or good, I have not had a problem figure with any of my DX9'S so far !!

    So I guess, other than watching reviews for the figure itself, I don't base my purchases on anyone's opinion of said figure.

    It's mainly based on my personal aesthetics of said character and the company making it !!

    While price is also a small factor, let's face it; if you like the design of said toy, you're more than likely buying unless the price is astronomically outrageous !!!
     
  3. TimToyGeek

    TimToyGeek Well-Known Member

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    This is a good question, and one that takes some thought. I started buying 3P products maybe a bit later than some, I believe my first purchase was the duo of Fansproject Swindle and Blastoff along with the kit that converts Energon Bruticus into a much better toy. I remember agonizing over that purchase because it was $120, and I had never spent that much on a toy before.

    I still have and enjoy that set - and I like the Energon Bruticus just fine especially with that add-on. Over the years, I've started making more money, collecting nearly no other toy lines, and occasionally using bonuses, birthdays and Christmas presents to fill out a robust 3P collection along with some Hasbro and Takara product. I don't have everything, and I'm perfectly fine skipping a lot of 3P product as just not something that appeals to me enough to spend that kind of money on it. But there are things that 'flip my switch' and peak my interest - either on the reveal, or after some information is released, or after the initial reviews come out.

    Like many collectors here, I read this forum probably the most, and I find the whole process of creating, engineering, producing and marketing these things pretty fascinating. I genuinely feel that when a 3P project is good, it's like a work of art and a puzzle all in one, so I don't feel bad about spending a good amount of money, since I get an equivalent amount of enjoyment out of it. I appreciate all of the effort, design, craftsmanship and fandom that goes into these items, and in many ways I consider them art rather than just toys.

    What drives my purchase process? I think it's different with every collector, but for me I enjoy an involved sculpt, a certain degree of complexity in the transformation - if other board members are observing that it is difficult or challenging, that's usually what I enjoy. I like real-world alt-modes, but I'm not exclusive to them, or to any particular scale. I appreciate a good value, and a lot of accessories are always welcome.

    I especially enjoy being pleasantly surprised by levels of detail and complexity that are perfectly engineered, and robustly fun to where I can handle the items, transform them, and enjoy them for the masterworks they are. Recently I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from items from FansProject like Code and Smart Robin, from MMC like Feral Rex, from Quantron, from DX9's stand-alone transformers like Chigurh, Provider, Carry and Mightron.

    I'm not sure if there is any unifying characteristic here, but I'd say it's just a level of detail, artistry and complexity that gets my fandom interested - thanks as always to the designers, companies, the reviewers and to this community for heightening my collection.

    Tim
    "toy geek"
     
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  4. Noobimus Prime

    Noobimus Prime Well-Known Member

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    For me it depends on two things. The toy company making the toy and the look of the figure. I want the figure to look like it's cartoon counterpart as closely as possible and I don't want it to fall apartwhile transforming it. Depending on the company I will watch several video reviews on YouTube to make sure I am getting the best possible product. I will also read reviews here from time to time although a lot of times people here have a "YAY TOY!" Mentality And skip over any faults the figure might have so I have to be careful. Fanstoys, Maketoys and Badcube have all earned my trust and I will usually buy anything I see from them without hesitation. Xtransbots, KFC, toy world, DX9, and unique toys are all on my buyer beware list and require extensive research before I will ever consider giving them my money.
     
  5. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

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    You should always, always wait for reviews. Even reputable companies can make bad decisions, and no one is immune to poor QC. There used to be a time where you had to pre-order, or you'd completely miss the boat. Fortunately, the third party market is so enormous now that you have the luxury to wait and see how products turn out.
     
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  6. evilash3373

    evilash3373 Well-Known Member

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    With the wealth of what's available, I preorder very little these days. I will only preorder figures I really want from trusted companies (Maketoys, Fanstoys).

    For all other companies I will wait until it gets in the hands of certain Youtube reviewers who can be trusted to really put the toys through their paces and thoroughly cover the negatives as well as the positives. If it gets positive early buzz i will keep an eye on it in this forum and see what you guys have to say about it. If feedback is good here I will pick it up.

    Sometimes reviews can sell me on a figure/company I didn't initially have any interest in Simba.
     
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  7. GR1ML0CK

    GR1ML0CK Dinobot Commander

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    I buy based on multiple reviews and lots of thought. I don't care what they've done in the past. I need to like what I see from the reviews and usually stick to the top 5 brands. Fanstoys, Unique/DX9, Maketoys, Mastermind Creations, and Badcube. Although I must admit that i'm gonna bite on that Cyclonus and Blitzwing from xtransbots and KFC. Of course only after glowing reviews
     
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  8. deaculpa

    deaculpa Stand Alone Complex

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    I would like to extend my personal thanks all the people that preorder everything, you should be commended. You brave souls continue to blaze the trail for people like me that simply cannot be bothered by the "v.1 QC issues". So again: Thank you for continuing to embrace the stress of the guinea pig.
     
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  9. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

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    I never pre-order and I never will.
     
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  10. eatingcake

    eatingcake Well-Known Member

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    Easy. No reviews needed, just pictures is enough.

    I've narrowed my collection to mainly MPs. Thus, I buy with full confidence either Takara or Fans Toys.
     
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  11. batfan007

    batfan007 Double the Dragon

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    Really want to see that KFC Blitwing, I like the DX9 a lot, if that was the only one I wouldy buy it. But I'm happy with with KFC Mirrorvers Transistor and Diaclone colors Magnus, so keen to see what their Blitzwing is like before deciding between these two, I think both will be/are great so far, just comes down to personal choice in aesthetics. Some characters I like the toon look, others it's nice to get a more modern update or comic book style toy.
     
  12. plastic therapy

    plastic therapy Banned

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    I watch reviews and or talk to people. Read forums. These things aren't cheap so I carefully weigh out pros and cons. For me, scale and G1 cartoon accuracy is huge. And price is a factor too. Some stuff is just too expensive for what it is.
     
  13. Juraash

    Juraash Well-Known Member

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    I almost always wait for reviews of the finished piece. I know the third party market has come a long, long way and while I enjoy some of the products offered by third party, I have a hard time completely overcoming the stigma of "unofficial".

    I know it's silly, especially with some of the stuff coming our of third party now, but I'm super paranoid about duds still. FansToys is about the only company I'm starting to feel like I could order from on prior experience alone.
     
  14. King Nergil

    King Nergil Ruler of a lost kingdom

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    G1 toon accuracy, scale and price are the main factors for me. The question 3P or original is of no concern to me. But it's different now than a few years ago when video reviews were absolutely necessary before pulling the trigger. There are many companies (1) that have gained my trust after they hit some homeruns (BC, FT, MMC, UT, DX9, MT). Some HQ pictures of painted prototypes (not renders!), possibility showing how the figure scales, are all that I need from them nowadays. Then there are other companies (2) that have interesting designs but still tend to have major QC issues, like XTB and KFC. While a video review is preferable, I sometimes preorder a figure (like XTB Cyclonus) - but then I worry a lot. Finally there are a few companies (3) that have never produced anything that was appealing to me. I won't mention any names since I don't want to start a riot in here, but everything they have designed so far looks like a gigantic mess to me. There is another possibility (4) though: In some cases I still wait for TT to show what they cook up before I commit to a 3P figure. It's been a hit and miss with their latest figures, but if they do something right, they are still able to make the definitive version of a character.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  15. GR1ML0CK

    GR1ML0CK Dinobot Commander

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    I was very vocal about how dx9 lost me with that Gewalt. Really wish it wasn't the case but I cannot forgive that tank.
     
  16. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

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    For one thing, I stopped pre-ordering. Because 50% of the time the figure ends up having shit design or QC and the other 50% of the time it ends up being on sale after it's in-stock.

    I read multiple forum posts and reviews about the product before buying.
     
  17. evilash3373

    evilash3373 Well-Known Member

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    That's the direction I am heading in as well. Leaning on selling off all my CHUGS, Cybertron, Energon, Car Robots, and possibly even Binaltech figures. The main line figures just aren't as visually interesting or have engaging transformations like the MP figures.
     
  18. LazyAza

    LazyAza MMC color go brrrr

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    Here are the Super Untouchable God Tier Ultimate companies that eclipse all others:

    FanToys, MMC, Maketoys, DX9

    Here are the very high guarantee quality and satisfaction companies: (TIER 1 / A TIER)

    FansProject (old), IronFactory, PlanetX, GigaPower, MasterMade

    Here are the generally positive but slightly riskier companies: (TIER 2 / B TIER)

    ToyWorld, Perfect Effect, FansProject (now), TFC (now) BadCube, Generation Toys/TFM, Unique Toys, KFC (now), Shadow Fisher, X2Toys

    Here are the very high gamble but not completely disastrous companies: (TIER 3 / C TIER)

    KFC (old), Warbotron (out of business), Gcreations, TFC (old), Xtransbots

    Here are The Dumpster Fires you'll be throwing money in to to burn if you're that kind of person:

    Xovergen (probably out of business), BTS (out of business), Impossible Toys (out of business), Igear (out of business)

    I assume every KO company is somewhere between tier 3 and the dumpster fires by default. I'm told their are exceptions but I've never and probably never will take that risk with KO makers personally.
     
  19. Electro Rush

    Electro Rush Just a guy waiting for the perfect Whirl

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    I've lost a lot of interest in the MP part of my collection, largely due to Takara dropping the ball down a flight of stairs into a volcano starting with MP Tracks onwards (the MP Beasts look damn good though). I think Fans Toys Stomp will be the last MP bot I'll buy in a long time. I feel pretty satisfied with what I have now.

    I'm far more interested in the legends side of things these days. I mess with them a lot more than I ever have with my MPs, which might as well be statues considering how little I actually transform them. I fully trust Iron Factory with my money in this case; I just know I'm getting a fun little bot thats well made and full of personality. The DX9 legends figures are a little lower on the totem pole, not quite as fun but still well made mini bots. I loved their Hulkie and look forward to see what their Predaking will be like. One thing I don't like about DX9 is that their legends sometimes doesn't scale well with the Iron Factory bots. Their Megatron, for instance, is a bit too big when put next to other legends bots. I hope their seekers will be slightly smaller than that Megatron.

    While I do watch reviews, most of the time they aren't for purchases but rather just for fun. I don't preorder many things either. I've realized that if I wait a bit, a big chunk of this stuff can be found for less.
     
  20. Felixman

    Felixman Well-Known Member

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    So, yes, as others have said, do your research. Video reviews and these boards make it straightforward to get a feeling for the general level of quality a figure has, though of course only your personal opinion when you get one truly matters.

    To that I would add three caveats:

    1- Carefully consider criticism before taking it to heart. If you are very tactile and regularly rotate a few figures to fiddle with during the day, than complaints about sculpt and paint mean less than a smooth transformation and high-quality materials with good tolerances. Conversely, if you mostly display, than maybe you don't care if the transformation is a bear and it doesn't pose well- as long as it's going to look AMAZING on your shelf! Your intent matters... and feel free to redefine that intent for each purpose, if you want.

    2- It's okay to be on the fence. There's no reason to be ALMOST on the cusp of buying something, but trying to talk yourself into it. Too expensive, reviews itching at you, a somewhat poor match for your vision, ANYTHING. If you don't feel that gut reaction of 'GET', hold off... but remember you ALMOST had it. It's not impossible for many of these figures to go on sale, sometimes heavily if the response is lukewarm. Maybe it was too rich for your blood at MSRP but at 20, 35, 50% off? Suddenly, it just might be worth it!

    3- Finally, don't let one experience define your opinion, good or bad. Every company has a bad toy in them, or a store has an off week helping you with getting a replacement/fix. When folks around here say Company X is top-tier, or one of the best, that is not some arbitrary assessment (We be a critical lot, actually!). To earn widespread respect and approval means a company is consistently hitting above average is just about every department we can semi-agree on, spread over dozens of figures in some cases. Don't let, say, a frustrating time with transforming Fanstoys Willis flat-out halt you from getting Fanstoys Stomp, who pretty much everyone will tell you is a far more intuitive figure with just as much, if not more, sheer presence and fun in his frame.