TFW's staff picks - favourite third party releases of 2018

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Sol Fury, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Janitor

    Janitor Well-Known Member

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    Wow and I thought it was just me and my own personal situation (had two kids) that I decided to step away from the 3P game, but could this be the start of a bigger trend? More 3P companies + stuff than ever chasing a dwindling niche market?

    @C310 Ginrai: This year for me is a recurring pattern of shying away from buying many third party products because of price, so my choice were very selective.
    @Lumpy: I don’t do much by the way of third-party anymore...
    @optimusfan: So, two years ago I indicated that I was getting tired of the never-ending stream of 3rd party products.
    @Seawing: The shift from CHUG scale to Masterpiece and Legends scale has left me few options to add new 3P figures to my collection.
    @Smashs: This was a pretty mild year of 3P purchases for me
    @Sol Fury: I generally do not pick up much in the way of third party...
    @Wreckgar: I’m not huge into 3rd party purchasing.
     
  2. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Moderator News Staff

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    You can read into the third party staff picks if you want, but there’s not too much there. There’s a ton of third party product available in combination with a ton of official product.

    I purchased plenty of third party figures this year, but they were all 2017 releases. For me, not a case of stepping away or being done with third party, but I’ve found I’ve waited on many products because of how volatile the market can be (sales, qc issues, aftermarket sales, different company offererings, etc.)
     
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  3. Smashs

    Smashs Internet: Pure Truth Moderator

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    Financial reasons here. Wife being back in school full time nearly cut her income in half. There's a LOT on my list to buy, still.

    Same went for Official. I bought probably a quarter of what I normally would.
     
  4. Sanity Bleeds

    Sanity Bleeds Well-Known Member

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    I find it sorta odd collectors claiming the increased pricing on 3rd parties as being an issue, when you consider we've got MP Dinobot at $250, MP-36+ at $250, MP BW Megatron at $320, and MP-44 Optimus at nearly $450, to say nothing of the cost of re-issues rising significantly over their original pricing. Yeah, I know there are 3P releases like FT Phoenix, FT Terminus Giganticus, DX9 Gabriel, or FH Double Evil that can run over the $200 mark, but that's about as high as most standalone 3P figures get, and those instances are absolutely gigantic releases.
     
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  5. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

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    This is interesting...with the increase of price for official product and the competition between 3rd Parties doing the same characters, I'm finding the prices quite appealing for most 3rd Party MP figures. Add in an eBay flash sale and the prices can be great...not to mention getting the characters years sooner, if at all.
     
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  6. Onslaught24

    Onslaught24 First immortality, then the bitches. Moderator News Staff

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    For me the issue was a severe lack of space, funds, and time. I'm a full-time college student and part-time employee and only have my bedroom for display space, so all of my 3P stuff was either catching up, upgrade kits, or a select few. Honestly I got most of my 3P stuff at TFCon as a final splurge before focusing on savings. Everyone, staff included, has different life and financial situations and different interests in figures. The way I see the staff picks is just a way for us to express our thoughts on our purchases and in turn provides this space for ya'll to do the same and compare in a positive way. There's literally nothing more to it than "We liked these things we bought, what did you like this year?"
     
  7. edgs2099

    edgs2099 Optimistically realistic. Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I love the IMMEDIATE conspiracy theory. XD
     
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  8. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Moderator News Staff

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    I’ll throw my two cents in. I ran the numbers on my personal budget and the sum of purchase price of official product to third party product was less than half. It’s not necessarily the individual figure’s price that is off putting, it’s the total. So if you’re a masterpiece collector, I’m sure you can agree that the totality of third party offerings can be more than official.

    Edit: I should clarify that’s not a knock, that is stating that I personally need to budget and wait more if I want to purchase all the third party figures on my wish list.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  9. Smashs

    Smashs Internet: Pure Truth Moderator

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    The only issue with 3P cost that I have is taking such a massive loss. Apollyon and Quakewave are perfect examples. I have NEVER bought a figure as an investment. But this hobby does often include re-selling, and when you can barely make a 50% return, it makes some purchases a bit harder to swallow when you know an official product is on the way.
     
  10. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

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    Oh, for sure. If you buy 10 figures, it's very likely going to cost a lot more than 3 do. But if your goal is a specific cast and you can refrain yourself from buying the latest version every time one becomes available...then 3rd Party is looking more and more the way to go. For example, I think a TT Galvatron is incredibly likely at some point. I also think it will cost upwards of 200 and who knows how much longer before it comes to be...where as I got FT Galvatron for $128 shipped and has been on my shelf for at least a year (I don't remember if I got it a year ago or if it's been two already.) While I am pretty sure I will like the look of TT's better, I am more than happy with what I have, I've already had it all this time, and I'll be relieved not to give 2 shits when TT's costs $275 shipped or whatever ridiculous price it ends up being.

    My collection is also nearly complete! Shouldn't take more than another 18 months or so to get the last couple charters I care about. Waiting for TT, it would probably be another decade, if ever.
     
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  11. ServO

    ServO Seeker (I look for stuff) Moderator

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    I think 75% of my collection is 3rd party, but at some point one has to ask "where does it end?"
    I have a limited amount of space for this stuff, so I need to make smart decisions on what gets a spot on the shelf. Other hobbies such as model building, and customizing factor in to this as well.
     
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  12. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

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    There's definitely an art to taking advantage of third party. Sure, those two figures aren't great examples as they were earlier on and nobody can predict the future, although there was a time you could have made a killing on Quakewave... But if you can discern what version of a character you'd be happy with and not buy it the second it's released, you can do pretty well. If you wait a month or two after a figure is released when the demand has died down a bit and wait for an eBay flash sale, it can result in some pretty healthy savings where you probably wouldn't get killed selling it, if not make a profit.
     
  13. Cracka J

    Cracka J tfs / kicks / rasslin / sfa2 TFW2005 Supporter

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    the picks are whatever. like any staff picks at any retail business, the picks are what the staff purchased/viewed and enjoyed the most for themselves.

    but it definitely doesnt account the amount of product purchased/sampled and why some fans who bought more 3p product this last year might be looking at some of these choices and raising the peoples eyebrow.
     
  14. Smashs

    Smashs Internet: Pure Truth Moderator

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    Which is where I'm at now. And really, I don't even mind taking a loss most of the time. I bought it, had fun with it, displayed it, etc. It's now a used item. It's only when the disposable income goes away that I'm more selective.
     
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  15. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    I found there were less "larger" things I was interested in. FT Quietus was the biggest 3rd party thing I got. I did get several legends scale figures. I will say that the market for collectors is getting saturated in terms of $100 figures. Collectors are only going to get so many of those.
     
  16. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Rattrap Teabag

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    Personally, I'm happy to wait for the officials instead of wasting my $$$$ on "stand-ins". Naturally there are some characters I doubt Takara will (or can't) ever get to, like Omega Supreme, Jazz, Mirage, and the Dinobots so I went ahead and picked up 3rd party representations of them. I've been burned a few times by just getting stand-ins and finding them to be over engineered, not up to quality or not evoking the character in the way I'm satisfied with. Takara is FAR from perfect but I've been much happier with their releases than most of the 3rd party "masterpieces" I've bought just for the sake of having the character.

    Just my two cents. There are plenty of collectors who feel differently and that great.
     
  17. Cykill 1

    Cykill 1 Well-Known Member

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    I think most collectors get 3rd party figures because of how they look. For me, 3rd Party is out of my price range.  But if you are looking at it as an investment, I would say stick to foreign official figures.  All those figures really skyrocketed in price.  Anywhere from 5 to 10 times what you get them at retail.  All of my foreign official TF figures are worth a lot more than when I purchased them.  
     
  18. ZapRowsdower

    ZapRowsdower Besieged by Rising Hasbro Prices!

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    What about 4th Party? :) 

    Also, you guys need to remember that 3P was ALWAYS expensive. The difference (today) is that there's more than 5 products per year. :lol  So completists (i.e. ALL of you) find a lot of cognitive dissonance between trying to collect, say, all versions of a character, and the fact that the options now far outmatch your collecting budget. That's how I see it, anyway.

    Which brings in LEGENDS-scaled 3P (and 4P) - I am gonna keep promoting this alternative as the best method of collecting unofficial pieces AND the best way to get the more obscure characters and odd alt modes! The smaller scale means cheaper production costs and lower prices - plus, each figure doesn't need an entire shelf of display because he's so damn big. :rolleyes2 
     
  19. ZapRowsdower

    ZapRowsdower Besieged by Rising Hasbro Prices!

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    Actually, with that $450+ MP Optimus coming out? It's official: 3P is CHEAPER than official. This is true for a lot of recent releases, and I imagine while TakaraHasbro push the prices up, competition will push the 3P prices down. Add in how the 3Ps are smaller shops that actually listen to fan feedback, and you have a very bad situation for HasTak! Can I say that I appreciate how a 3P will offer replacement parts for free, and own up to problems with their toys? :eek: 

    I'm pretty surprised by this lack of class: when Takara messes up some shoulder joints in your MP, you should have to spend extra money to buy a 3P kit to fix it? Really? Is this what the fandom expects from official products today?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  20. ZapRowsdower

    ZapRowsdower Besieged by Rising Hasbro Prices!

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    Does anyone actually buy 3Ps for the financial appreciation? :confused: 

    I'm also gonna contradict most of what you said: do NOT go into this hobby because it's an "investment" or because your toys are now "worth double what I paid!" :rolleyes2  This is rare, imo.

    The reason your collection doesn't rise in value? Increasing Seller fees and rising postage costs!

    For example, let's say your $25 Voyager doubles in value.
    $50
    - $7 selling fee (around 15% on eBay)
    - $10 shipping fees (average, where price depends on distance shipped and weight, plus the cost of your shipping tape/box/etc.)
    - $25 original purchase price
    = $8 profit!

    WOO! :D  OH! And don't think you can just charge $75 to offset these fees/costs -- the 30 other sellers on eBay will undercut you and make it impossible to sell at $75! ;)  And, there are always Chinese sellers who pay far less in shipping costs (due to unfair shipping rates in China), and can therefore profitably charge less than you. Next, don't forget to consider your storage costs, where you held this toy for some 10 years (i.e. you profited 80 cents per year of storing this toy). Finally, aside from storage and space expense, consider the time it takes you to list the item and ship it - you're definitely working for less than minimum wage. :cry  (In other words, a realist would tell you to dump the toys in the garbage and work somewhere for a real wage, if your goal was to profit from your collection in a meaningful way). Of course, there are RARE exceptions, where someone can sell a G2 Stunticon toy for $30k - do NOT throw that one in the garbage!

    I realize this is an unpopular thing to say, but I think the majority of folks who dream of riches from selling their collections have not been on eBay recently (or to a recent Con) to verify their theories.

    When I sell chunks of my collection, I KNOW I'm not earning a profit - I'm simply trying to reclaim as much value as I can, for the amount of work (and time) it takes to sell the items.

    If you tell anyone that your collection has somehow appreciated... well, I hope you can sell your collection quickly enough for this to stay true. The longer you wait, the worse the fees/costs are, whereas I'm afraid all toys have a cap on how much someone is willing to pay.

    Oh, and don't forget how 4P can affect 3P values: if a 4P version of your toy comes out, you can be sure that the buyer pool will significantly decrease for the original 3P version. Sometimes, the 4P version even improves on the original, making it that much harder to sell your original 3P toy. Point of interest: 4P products are on the RISE.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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