Why are legends scale so expensive?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by MonsterMash, May 27, 2020.

  1. MonsterMash

    MonsterMash Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Posts:
    456
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Likes:
    +653
    Maybe I'm missing something, but based on the amount of material that goes into a legends figure. they seem kinda pricey.

    Don't get me wrong, I've bought some New Age and Magic Square figures they are definitely cool for their size.
     
  2. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan OFFICIAL MMM REP

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Posts:
    19,626
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    427
    Likes:
    +4,151
    Ebay:
    YouTube:
    I've been asking myself that for a long time. Sometimes they are half the cost of a MP style figure but nowhere near half the size.

    Probably something to do with part count and minimum mold costs. 1/4 the size doesn't mean it's 1/4 the production cost.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Reygn

    Reygn Leader of The Abyss

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2019
    Posts:
    2,137
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +2,645
    First off, these companies are not Hasbro or Takara, meaning their production runs are going to be far fewer in numbers. Second off, most high end toy companies tend to charge more than what seems reasonable because the demand far exceeds the supply, with these companies having small production runs in proportion to the demand left unsated by both Hasbro amd Takara.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    21,076
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Location:
    Somewhere over Macho Grande
    Likes:
    +12,503
    And it’s size class, not scale.
     
  5. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Posts:
    24,195
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +14,356
    Materials costs account for almost zero of any given toys' price tag. The amount of plastic and metal in a toy, for even a Masterpiece-scale toy could be measured in cents. Maybe you can work it up to a whole dollar or two for larger figures.

    The steel injection molds are the largest cost factor, outside of the engineering development itself (and who knows if 3P people treat themselves to a proper "salary" or whatever). They can easily cost tens of thousands apiece. And you're probably going to have at least two of them, accounting for the different plastic colours.

    So even with those rough baseline numbers, you can do some basic math. If the development and tooling costs ~$20,000, then a production run of 2000 units (seems to be roughly the ceiling for a first run 3P product) needs to be priced at $20 just to break even. Considering the extra costs involved beyond basic production, and the fact that you're trying to actually be profitable, then you're looking at a price tag of about $40. Which happens to be about the floor for 3P Legends-class figures.

    Toy companies like Hasbro/TakaraTomy are capable of manufacturing and shipping a much higher volume of toys. They could push out a run of 5,000 of a similar item, easily, subsidizing the production costs over a larger run, at a mere $4 a pop per figure, with an $8 price tag as a result. This is what's referred to as "economics of scale".
     
    • Like Like x 8
  6. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Posts:
    9,904
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +23,361
    Ebay:
    It comes down to the engineering and parts count. Early legends figures were in the vicinity of $20 and MFT's figures still are, but those figures are much simpler, often using ball joints at the elbows and knees and having hands fused to the figures' arms. But the demand has been for more complicated figures with better articulation and more cohesive transformations (no leaving the back of the leg home and open so it can just fold up for transformation). Add in double jointed elbows and knees, panels to cover up the gaps from hands folding out, wrist swivel, and so on, and the parts count gets pretty damn high. More parts means more time for the workers to assemble it and more time and effort put into QC.

    Not any more. Now it's a scale built around that size class. But if you wanna stand your ground on this one, you can join me - I'm still fighting against the term "4th party."

    Nah, they start at or just under $30 for the smaller ones and sometimes even less, and that's with the retailer's overhead and "free" shipping baked in (obviously that hasn't been the case as much since Corona). They get more pricey as they get bigger but $40 is still on the high end (NA's seekers are a notable exception that went for $45 each but you can get them in a bundle for around $110 making them a little less than $40 each)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Megawillbot

    Megawillbot Well-Known Nuisance

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Posts:
    1,698
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +3,287
    TL;DR

    The actual weight of materials isn't the pricey bits- most of the cost goes towards the part count, quality control, assembly, design, prototyping etc

    Plus the limited runs means they make less money out of each design
     
  8. HunterGreen2005

    HunterGreen2005 In Stock

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Posts:
    4,882
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +9,074
    Yeah, small 3P companies have way higher fix costs and don't have the same economies of scale like Hasbro.

    Custom production vs mass production. Kinda like having private chef cooking you a burger at your house vs going through the drive-thu at McDonalds yourself.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Posts:
    24,195
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +14,356
    I said "about". The number I provided are really rough ballpark-y, and there's far more layers and nuance to it that just that. It was just to give an impression of what's being dealt with here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    21,076
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Location:
    Somewhere over Macho Grande
    Likes:
    +12,503
    Ok.
    Then what scale is it?

    And I’m fine with 4th Party.
     
  11. rapid_fire

    rapid_fire TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Posts:
    5,138
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Likes:
    +2,460
    Cuz they're all the rage and people are willing to pay it
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Dutchy79

    Dutchy79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2020
    Posts:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    82
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Likes:
    +257
    Hastak makes 100.000, Third party +-2500/3000.
    Hastak buy material bigger in bulk and have a lesser quality (legends/chug)..etc etc etc.
    There is enough to make a choice from, I am not rich and am happy with Legends +, those do not cost much :lol 
    50/60 bucks a month get's you a nice little collection and just like the normal legends the + size keeps getting better
     
  13. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Posts:
    9,904
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +23,361
    Ebay:
    Oh somewhere around HO scale I suppose, give or take. I mean the cars, trucks, and planes don't scale to each other so I guess it depends on which of those you use as your base.
     
  14. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Droppin' Space Colonies

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Posts:
    36,132
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    [REDACTED]
    Likes:
    +17,172
    For those who don't know - HO Scale is roughly 1:87

    Source: Am Model Railroader in HO scale.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. nhyone

    nhyone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Posts:
    1,636
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +1,354
    We need to look at KO to estimate production costs since there is negligible design costs.

    And we need to look at prices in China to eliminate shipping and other overheads.

    A few come to mind.

    The Gravity Builder KO costs around 520 yuan ($72.50). That's $12 apiece.

    IT-01 costs 350 yuan ($49).

    MFT MF-46 Grapple costs 90 yuan ($12.50).
     
  16. ChucklesLastLaugh

    ChucklesLastLaugh Undercover so long, they all forgot who I work for

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019
    Posts:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Likes:
    +545
    Molds are expensive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Posts:
    9,904
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +23,361
    Ebay:
    In that case, would you say that MST legends figures fit in that scale or am I off in my estimate?
     
  18. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Posts:
    10,902
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Likes:
    +6,969
    It sounds like people don't remember when these legends class figures cost $15-$20 shipped.

    And if the mold is the expensive part, how can MFT upscale these toys at half the price?

    The fact is, the Chinese have seen what collectors will pay for this stuff and jacked prices up accordingly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. BIOMEC

    BIOMEC Terrorcon, aka "Ratchetman"

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Posts:
    9,768
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Location:
    Central America
    Likes:
    +10,421
    Exactly people still think that only size matters in the pricing of this things.

    But we live in a world where people actually think that the more weight, the more quality your toy has. :confused: 
     
  20. Megawillbot

    Megawillbot Well-Known Nuisance

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Posts:
    1,698
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +3,287
    About 1:54