Why are Transformers fans so lucky? Where are other 3P lines?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by John ofthe Dead, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. John ofthe Dead

    John ofthe Dead Well-Known Member

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    So, Transformers fans have a pretty sweet deal right now, if they have the bucks: there are several "third-party" companies making a whole host of Transformers-compatible toys, ranging from relatively-simple upgrade kits all the way to Masterpiece-level complete figures. Most of them are well-engineered, well-built, well-packaged, and do a great job of capturing the essence of the character.

    But why is this phenomenon pretty much limited to Transformers? Why isn't someone out there making, say, six-inch-scale GI Joe figures? Or Star Trek? Or Macross? Or X-men? Or pretty much anything else you can imagine? What is it about Transformers that makes it ripe for third-party products? Is it the freedom to "re-imagine" the characters? In many cases, the figures are evocative of a particular character, without looking explicitly like any particular iteration, which allows for more liberties in the likeness. Then again, some other 3P products are very clearly modeled after one specific version, and do a great job capturing it.

    So why aren't there 3P Batmen clamoring for our shopping dollar? Why is it just Transformers so far? Don't get me wrong: I'm delighted to have the 3P TF options. I'm just curious as to why there aren't other brands.
     
  2. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    There is a big market of third party accessories and stickers for GI Joes. There are dozens of "third party" lego brick makers - they are called Kazi, Enlighten, Mega-Blok... oh and Kre-O!
     
  3. BenjaminXavier

    BenjaminXavier Well-Known Member

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    Lego has "Brick-arms" that make real world weapons and stuff for lego minifigures.

    Joe has Maurader John who makes other guns and stuff for Joes, too.
     
  4. drpockets

    drpockets Ninja Consultant

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    Mostly because 3P transforming robot toy makers can approach the likeness of familiar characters, but still evade enough copyright infringement that HasTak would take action.

    For hose other properties you listed, unlicensed manufacturers would probably got too close for comfort for the license holders.

    Plus, with TFs, there so much that fans want that HasTak aren't fulfilling, that there's a lot of gaps for 3Ps to fill and then demand for the toys they make. Most 3Ps are just fans making the toys they would want but can't buy from official sources.
     
  5. divinecomedy

    divinecomedy Well-Known Member

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    If we are really lucky, we wouldn't have to pay high prices for good figures, Hasbro would just turn the crank and come up with those at reasonable prices.
     
  6. Rewind

    Rewind Motif

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    From the way I understand it, it's primarily because of how popular Transformers are in China. With a couple of exceptions, it's mostly Chinese fans/companies taking the initiative to produce these things, and they're making them mostly for other Chinese fans. If MOTU, GIJOE, etc were as popular in China as Transformers, I have no doubt there would be a host of 3rd Party companies making toys for them.
     
  7. primetime77

    primetime77 Well-Known Member

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    we recently got a die cast not licensed (although they were trying to get it and the packaging indicates that they at one point had the license) vehicle voltron. haha
     
  8. Cax6ton

    Cax6ton Insufferable Smartass

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    This. From that 3rd party AMA a few weeks ago, the third party people believe that China and Asia are far bigger markets for TF than the rest of the world, and they don't care as much about other toylines like they care about Transformers.
     
  9. ATLMYK

    ATLMYK Well-Known Member

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    A lot of Chinese engineers and factory managers got to see transformers as a child but could not get the toys. Now as adults they have the money and resources to make their transformer dream a reality.
     
  10. twelvesam

    twelvesam Animated Jumpstarter

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    WOW - I salivate at the thought of MOTUC 3PC. Odd that it hasn't really taken off, given that it seems to be a pretty easy figure style to replicate.
     
  11. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    Keith of KFC basically said this when I interviewed him. He wanted TFs as a kid, couldn't afford them, now he makes his own!
     
  12. KPhilipsen

    KPhilipsen Banned

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    I honestly can't think of any characters that the main line of motuc isn't covering already. Even really obscure filmation characters like Strong-arm, Nepthu and Icer have had figures produced. 3P Transformers tend to compliment the TT/Hasbro releases, not replace them. It would be like trying to compete with the MP line but producing the exact same characters. I don't think it would have the same appeal personally.
     
  13. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    Where are the third party Shattered Glass MOTU? I want to see a heroic Skeletor toy in He-Man colors, his sidekicks can be Beast Man in Man-At-Arms colors and Evil-Lynn in Teela colors.
     
  14. KPhilipsen

    KPhilipsen Banned

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    Reverse Faker!
     
  15. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    In Shattered Glass MOTU:

    * Only SG Man-At Arms, SG Orco and the SG Sorceress dont know that Prince Adam is SG He-Man.
    * SG Moss Man is the most durable and clean figure of the line. You can always find one is excellent condition.
    * SG Cringer is incredibly brave, but SG Battle Cat is a coward.
    * SG Fisto is called Footo.
    * SG He-Man is totally straight.
     
  16. Lbsammills51

    Lbsammills51 Well-Known Member

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  17. Evilgenius

    Evilgenius Well-Known Member

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    I wish someone would make MOTU figures in a smaller scale to fit with GI Joe & Star Wars. Especially Trap-Jaw, he was always my favorite character design.
     
  18. 9.8m/s^2

    9.8m/s^2 What's in a name?

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    There are Star Trek garage kits from small manufacturers; you can get most of the ships from the franchise in model form. They aren't toys, of course, but the market and supply do exist. They generally manage to fly under Paramount's radar, but every so often, a C&D goes out in the case of really blatant marketing.
     
  19. Afterburner

    Afterburner For your health

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    I wish someone would continue the Thundercats 8" or 6" Classic lines.
     
  20. Blurrz

    Blurrz J├Ągermeister Sensei

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    Among the many reasons others have listed, other franchises don't need third party companies because for the most part, they are actually taken care of quite well.

    I'm not a part of the fandom, but Star Wars Black Series looks to be pretty S-Tier. They get that stuff released on a monthly basis, while our equivalent is maybe, maybe Masterpiece and until recently that was on a 1 per year release schedule.

    There's also instances where anything other than 'official' product is completely frowned upon and blacklisted. For example, Ban Dai has a tight lock on their IP. A 3P company for Gundam that isn't just articulated hands would get shat on completely.