Why doesn't Takara price their MP figures more competitively with 3P?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by SegaSnatcher, May 16, 2020.

  1. SegaSnatcher

    SegaSnatcher Well-Known Member

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    It almost seems like Takara doesn't care that 3rd parties are selling just as good if not better figures at a generally lower cost. At what point does Takara realize that they should start pricing more competitively before its too late?

    The quality of 3rd party MP stuff has been extremely impressive in the last couple of years and will continue to get better and offer more variety and I just think Takara should acknowledge this with their pricing in the future.
     
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  2. Tonyshotz

    Tonyshotz TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't think 3P really "competes" in the same way that another mainstream product might, at least not to the point of affecting their pricing model. We are a minority here, I think we're barely a blip on Has/Taks radar.

    Edit: I should mention that I 100% agree that their prices are insane and I have been priced out of the official MP game.
     
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  3. edgecrusher

    edgecrusher Pepperidge Farm remembers TFW2005 Supporter

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    It's kind of the other way around: Takara raised their MP figure prices first and 3Ps are now following suit.
    Yeah, the 3P figures are still often superior products.
     
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  4. Orion2703

    Orion2703 Ultimate Hunter

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    Because people still buy them regardless of cost or quality.
     
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  5. Mecheon

    Mecheon Grumpy Dinosaur Nerd

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    Also for extant vehicles, Takara need to factor in licencing fees. Which 3P figures don't need to worry about
     
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  6. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel > Cat Flu

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    And make up all kinds of insane reasons to justify it to themselves.

    I have wondered just how much Takara pays for those. Much smaller operations make officially license toy vehicles all the time and don't charge a hundred dollars a figure to do it. Heck, a power wheels Jeep can be bought for just over $200.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  7. edgecrusher

    edgecrusher Pepperidge Farm remembers TFW2005 Supporter

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    They had most of the G1 figures with real-world alt modes already licensed before they started raising prices, so that's not the reason for nor the bulk of the increase.
     
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  8. Tonyshotz

    Tonyshotz TFW2005 Supporter

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    The more I think about this the more I realize that the rising cost of official MPs has made me more tolerant to the rising cost of the 3P figures (mainly FTs).

    I would be out on official MP regardless of the existence of 3P but I don't know that I would tolerate the rising cost of FT figures if official didn't cost so much. Interesting!

    edit: Lends credence to edgecrushers statement...
     
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  9. octobotimus

    octobotimus # Make Devcon

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    Meanwhile, I never tolerate sudden rising costs. Unless you are making it better than you previously did, don't raise that price. FT's recent rise in QC hiccups makes price increases insulting. Even some KO companies seem to think they should cost more despite a drop in quality (ayoi mech for example).

    As to Takara's rising costs..... much like FT, blindly loyal fans, except much, much worse. People with brand loyalty keep even the worst of products alive.
     
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  10. SegaSnatcher

    SegaSnatcher Well-Known Member

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    That is a good point.
     
  11. Josh

    Josh Comic Color-guy

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    I feel like that's why we've seen the engineering get soooooo complex (and why they're charging so much, now). Maybe they're feeling like, going in this new approach, they're beyond 3P now
     
  12. SegaSnatcher

    SegaSnatcher Well-Known Member

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    I would say the most impressive MP figure Takara has released in the last couple of years was Sunstreaker. I was more than willing to pay the $95 or so for that figure.

    I've not been impressed with a lot of their new figures, either bad QC, bad design choices or really inflated prices, sometimes all three.
     
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  13. backhawkdown

    backhawkdown Well-Known Member

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    Your competitors price is irrelevant if it’s not impacting your sales. There’s no reason to believe Takara has to reduce their pricing in order to remain competitive against 3P.
     
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  14. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Because they don't care, because 3P MPs aren't actually competing with them.

    We think they are, because western fans import both and are more choosy, but Japanese fans are what TT aim for with their releases, and they buy official more than we do. Plus a lot of fans, not just ones here, end up replacing 3P MPs with real ones when Takara does get around to doing them. Every collector on TFW could swear off TT completely in favour of 3P and it wouldn't even blip on TT's radar.

    What TakTom should be doing is upping their QC, so that people aren't spending $200-300 on something that's going to break.

    Not that what I'm about to say explains or excuses the prices, but licensing fees are not the same across the board for toy companies. A company like Mattel or whatever that produces replica cars regularly likely has a renewable contract with companies that's far more favourable because 1. model cars are cheaper to produce, 2. model cars better advertise and represent the cars in question both physically and in demographics/reach, and 3. Mattel/etc will utilize those likenesses far more than TT will. TT won't be able to make the same deal with Porsche for Jazz when they plan to use the likeness all of once on a niche, high-end figure that may or may not satisfyingly represent a model of car they don't even make anymore. They'll pay a one-time fee to produce a single mould (that they might redeco once or twice afterwards) and Porsche or whoever is going to make sure that fee is substantial enough to be one-off. (and to not throw shade on their other loyal contractors producing- in their mind -higher quality, more glamourous product. We may think TFs are the greatest thing ever, but not everyone else does)

    Licenses aren't like a single-priced item you can just buy. The company doing the licensing has control over how it's used and how much it costs given the circumstances, and some companies like TT may see those costs as not worth it.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  15. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    If you were to ask a Takara rep who their main competitor is, they're going to tell you it's Bandai. They aren't even going to mention 3rd party. It's not even going to occur to them.
     
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  16. bri888

    bri888 bte888

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    I'd be out too without the 3rd party. To answer the question, I think Takara's jump in price is a result of them seeing people pay $200 for a 3p figure. Masterpieces used to cost less than $100 but now I guess its normal to charge 120 to $400.
     
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  17. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    Also keep in mind: Takara doesn't sell to us. We're not their customer. Their customer is Toys-R-Us, and whatever else they have over there. So their competitors are whoever else sells to TRU and so forth, whoever else's products are sitting next to theirs in the toy aisle. You can't go in to TRU and pick up a Capone, y'know, there's no FansToys section in Japanese Walmart, or wherever.
     
  18. octobotimus

    octobotimus # Make Devcon

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    And we are (or were) Toy’s R Us’ customer. They wouldn’t buy stock from takara if people didn’t buy from them.....
     
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  19. Scourgatron

    Scourgatron 4D Smart-ass

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    Which figure? I damn sure ain't paying $200 for a 7 inch figure. Most that cost that much are big.
     
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  20. SegaSnatcher

    SegaSnatcher Well-Known Member

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    I think FansToys Motormaster set a new benchmark. The feat of engineering on that figure is absolutely phenomenal and the price of around $160 ain't too bad either.
     
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