Mech Ideas has dropped the Gauntlet. The future of 3rd party pricing.

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Zambot, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Zambot

    Zambot Pixarian Artobot

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    I am stunned sitting here with Geminus in hand. It's incredible quality, fit and finish, engineering, tolerances all just spot on. Things just got real folks.

    I was playing with UT Warhawk (which I love) then cracked open Geminus and was stunned, floored at the price and quality difference. Warhawk is a really great figure, but in terms of construction and fit/finish, I can't believe what I'm getting for 37 bucks in Geminus. Wow!! If this thing was released on the shelf at TRU I couldn't tell the difference.

    37.00 bucks for a solid, mass retail level of quality, in a Generations scale deluxe figure. WTF. The gauntlet has been dropped on 3rd Party toys.

    I don't think any of us realize the ramifications of this. It's pretty damn significant. This is only 15-20 bucks more than what you'd pay at retail for a figure like this!

    If Mech ideas can consistently deliver this kind of TOP notch tooling, fit and finish at this unprecedented price point, we WILL see a change in the 3rd party market.

    I am watching Mech Ideas VERY closely as I think they (along with FP and MMC) could very well help shape the quality standards and pricing for the coming years.

    For those of you who own Demolition Crue, what do you think? I'm utterly impressed.
     
  2. dwong1207

    dwong1207 Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that MI was able to reuse the mold for a lot of the parts...and they were generous enough to pass on the savings to us collectors. That's at least why i think their pricing was so low.
     
  3. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Well-Known Member

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    It's a supply and demand thing. As long as there's a demand at a price that we don't mind shelling out, even if its $20 or $50 more than one would happily pay for it. The supply and overheads and profits will influence the supply and price. Or they just push it as high as they can get it. Supply something when you know the market is going to eat it up no matter what the price must be good to have. Also these middle men seem to be a factor too.

    Just my two cents.
     
  4. OptionZero

    OptionZero Well-Known Member

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    Yup, MI had several factors in its favor:

    - two guys that use probably 90% of the same mold, sold in a two-pack. That's alot of bang for your tooling costs buck

    - no box packaging. A simple plastic shell and card, plus art work done by a TFW member

    - no comic. That's less printing and less effort. hell, both figures have one instruction sheet in common (same as #1)

    - MMC. Mech iDeas is run by a former member of MMC, a relatively established group. Getting a foot in the door with the online retailers and production side is bound to help

    Without looking at their books, we'll never know exactly how each group is doing, and with each group a loosely affiliated group of part-timers overseas, we'll never see the books.


    Oh, before someone else says it: Any group that prices higher than this is a dirty, capitalist scumbag, and they should be tarred and feathered. We are transformers fans, dammit, we should get our toys for free, hand delivered to our houses. Paying for toys, much less paying more than I THINK I SHOULD for toys, is offense.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2013
  5. ORIO

    ORIO Plant-Based Bot Super Mod News Staff

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    As these products continue to be more and more successful, this is the natural path of things. I agree with you. The Jump starters are stunning for their price. Fansproject has always been fair in my opinion too. MMC is also a good example lately with their discounting.

    TFC and Perfect Effect are two groups I think will need to think about future products.


    Oh and crazy fucking devy
     
  6. Zambot

    Zambot Pixarian Artobot

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    All good points. BUT, (using other 3rd parties as a peg) they could have charged 60.00 each and many would still have bought in. What I'm getting at is, this was a conscious choice by Mech Ideas to price competitively and deliver high quality.

    If it IS possible for 3rd parties to make a profit at this price point and competition continues to grow, I think we are seeing the beginnings of a shift in the 3rd Party arms race.

    Per your mold/tooling point. Could MMC have given us the HOS seekers cheaper? They were just repaints of the EXACT same mold. I don't think the price has AS much to do with retooling, it helps, BUT producing the toy still costs money so with your logic MMC should have been able to deliver the seekers at 50-60.00 instead of 80-90.00.

    Fansproject is charging 60.00 bucks for retooled Stunticons T-Bone and Car Crash. So I don't think you're theory holds up.

    The companies set their OWN MSRP, based on a profit margin AND what they think the market will bare. Who knows what their costs to produce are.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  7. Lbsammills51

    Lbsammills51 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, yup and giant fucking yup.
     
  8. wildfly

    wildfly Fermenting pork tube.

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    Come to think of it, aren't both closely tied to Robotkingdom?

    I've been fairly scathing of TFC before, contending they offer less toy for more money, and suggesting size was the only advantage their toys have.


    ...and MMC are snapping at their heels on that one.
     
  9. SkywarpsNipples

    SkywarpsNipples ホンマおもろい人やね〜

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    These two look really good, but I don't have a budget to take on another project so I'll have to live vicariously through you guys.
     
  10. Primal Sabbath

    Primal Sabbath Well-Known Member

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    I ordered the demolition crew earlier tonight, I had like $80 spare in my Paypal account, trying to decide what to spend it on, and the price for these two just drew me in. Also reading/seeing great things about them helps. I hope Mech Ideas can keep it up.
    As far as tooling cost & such is concerned, I can't see why the FP Stunticons T-Bone & Car Crash are priced at $60. Maybe working in that limb mode has something to do with it, idk.
    But considering they're the same mold, I wouldn't see why they aren't $10-$15 cheaper. But hey, they look good and we're willing to pay $60 (myself included), so meh... Lol
     
  11. originaljk

    originaljk Technobot

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    I agree that MI has knocked it out of the park, both in quality and price. Other 3rd Party manufacturers should pay attention. On the note of FP Stunticons being expensive for retools; they have upped the price on the limbs to keep the price of MotorMaster down, because he is bearing all of the combiner parts along with being large deluxe/voyager sized. But I agree with all other companies needing to rethink their price points based on what we've seen with these 2 crue members.
     
  12. Primal Sabbath

    Primal Sabbath Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I didn't know Motormaster was coming with all the limb pieces.
    And sadly, the demand for what we want is simply too high, some of these companies are going to capitalize on it. But at the same time, could we get any better official pieces? The answer is obvious, so I can find the justice in that, having spent $100 to get Screecher & have it shipped to me earlier today makes for proof of that. I just hope Mech Ideas keeps the ball rolling. I wouldn't mind seeing them get competitive with these other companies. I also wouldn't mind them coming out with a few more Wreckers either :D . I'm always willing to add to that shelf. And the way they priced these two, I'm on board with them.
     
  13. darthsutius

    darthsutius Minor Sith Lord

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    What needs to happen is MI tackling the same project as another company at the same time.

    If they were to announce tomorrow that they're doing their own version of Superion, it'd be on like donkey kong...
     
  14. DrillBIT

    DrillBIT Silver Wolf

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    Money for making and adjusting steel molds, spending time and investing in getting the design to work are almost fixed.
    Using cheaper material is one of the options for a price drop.
     
  15. Cast

    Cast Roll the dice

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    MI Sups? I'd be all over that like a fat guy on a burger.
     
  16. Thundershot

    Thundershot Ratchet Fanatic

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    Meanwhile, igear is gouging for their Miniwarriors remolds and repaints.... Seriously...
     
  17. MidnightBliss

    MidnightBliss Well-Known Member

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    This so hard it hurts!!!

    I dropped out of the mini warriors because of the ludicrous pricing. After "brawn" and "cosmos" the price isn't worth it, imo.

    These bad boys from MI are great. Sure, they share a lot of the same tooling but look at it as a single character. $40-ish for one of these guys is a steal.
     
  18. Thundershot

    Thundershot Ratchet Fanatic

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    I was going to be a Mini Warrior completist until I saw the sets with the remolds were more money than the one with two full new molds.
     
  19. Gauntlet101010

    Gauntlet101010 Well-Known Member

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    iGear got greedy. But I'm still on board for Beachcomber and Gears. Not any of the others, though. At their original price I might have got them all.

    It'd be nice if this causes a large drop in 3rd party pricing. Comparatively FP's Stunticons look VASTLY overpriced. We'll see if they were made to offset the price of MM; that's just a theory until we see MM in stores.

    But it could go the other way. THis could just be a way to get an easy foot in the door, leading to larger prices in the future.
     
  20. Felixman

    Felixman Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. While I would not be shocked if MI's next release is Pounce and Wingspan to capitalize on their 'twin' momentum, that well is rather shallow... I'm not sure there are any other twins in Transformers that actually share the same basic mould, other than Prime Skyquake and Dreadwing. This could just be their attempt ( and an excellent one, I will say ) at building a fanbase before moving onto the larger projects most 3rd party groups focus on.

    Still, I LIKE the idea of a group primarily dedicated to smaller, more affordable, simpler offerings like Apex and Geminus for the price-restricted fans who want to experiment with 3rd party stuff. As much as we love them, not EVERY transformer is at their best when gigantic... there is a slew of minor characters that are ideal for smaller, cheaper, but still high-quality releases.