Toynami is Making New Voltron Shogun Warrior Jumbos

Posted by glane21 
Dont know about posters, but a little birdie told me..


Voltron jumbos will retail about $200, 500 of each made, due by end of this year. No firing fists as previously reported.
I've gotta wonder how many of these they'll actually sell. $200 is a lot of scratch for a robot toy that just..well, stands there and waves its arms up and down. But nostalgia can be a powerful force I guess.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Makes ya wonder how the Jumbo Stormtrooper's doing...
I am no marketing expert, but during the SDCC, there were plenty left on the shelves on the last day.
I hope they do well.
No firing fists?
C'maaaaan!
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well...as long as they provide big-ass blazing swords...
Given the low production numbers, I'm surprised they don't handle them through an internal pre-sale and just mail them out.

Is that a firm 500 each, or just for the 1st batch/version?

Does anyone have a firm number on just how many Stormtroopers are really out there now, given all packaging/toy variations?
Were there many variations on the Jumbo Trooper? I thought it was the solid # they made for release, and the 20-25 they made with pink that were given out.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
delta_7890 Wrote:
> I've gotta wonder how many of these they'll
> actually sell. $200 is a lot of scratch for a
> robot toy that just..well, stands there and waves
> its arms up and down. But nostalgia can be a
> powerful force I guess.

I don't think the play value really matters to the target customer. For me, at least, a modern Jumbo is more like a "one toy you'd keep in your living room" type of thing. This guy, for instance, is one of the most visually impressive items I've ever encountered. The size, complexity, and perfect proportions just create a wonderful effect that doesn't quite come across in photos. I'm imagining that Golion (and especially Dairugger) will have a similar impact in person.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
I guess the question that comes up concerning the total number of units of Voltron and Stormtrooper Jumbos out there becomes "is there really a market for $200 to $300 modern Jumbos?"

If there are only 1,200 Stormtroopers worldwide, and so many are still available on Ebay and other web sites, where are the collectors? I know that there probably aren't 1,000 serious Jumbo collectors in the US alone, but worldwide (especially Japan), isn't there more interest that what we've seen?

Plus, hello...Star Wars fans? Aren't there a jillion of them? I'd have to imagine that at least some of them would stray into the allure of a Jumbo trooper?

This goes back to the Unifive "reissue" line...at $100 a pop (which was a DEAL imho), how many did they need to sell back then to make it worth producing them? I would love to think that a Combattler (guess he was next up before the plug was pulled), a Danguard, G Ryger, G Poseidon, or even a "Swiss-Army-Knife"-Daimos would have been gangbuster sellers, but that Gaiking was pretty sweet and was nowhere near redundant to collectors who only had the US version, and they still cancelled the line.

With the Voltrons sounding like they'll be just more Big Vinyls vs. fist/missile launching "Shoguns", I don't hold out much hope for them selling well at the $200 price point. I know the real money in producing the line is the design and production prep work, but it's hard to justify that amount for a limited articulation hunk o' plastic without the gimicks.

Just saying,

-Adam
Supersentai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> This goes back to the Unifive "reissue" line...at
> $100 a pop (which was a DEAL imho), how many did
> they need to sell back then to make it worth
> producing them? I would love to think that a
> Combattler (guess he was next up before the plug
> was pulled), a Danguard, G Ryger, G Poseidon, or
> even a "Swiss-Army-Knife"-Daimos would have been
> gangbuster sellers, but that Gaiking was pretty
> sweet and was nowhere near redundant to collectors
> who only had the US version, and they still
> cancelled the line.
>

Well, in this case, Bandai/Unifive pretty well cancelled the line in Japan before Diamond even solicited them in the US (which was just leftover stock from Japan,except the new version of Garada). And three of them were more expensive when they originally sold in Japan (Great Mazinger and Gaiking were closer to the equivalent of $200 each, and Mazinger Z around $130). I'm guessing that Garada sold pretty well as many old school Jumbo collectors in Japan bought one just to have some kind of Garada in their collection (as chances of getting an original are slim to none). The other three were repros of pretty common Jumbos, so many of the Japanese collectors that this stuff was aimed at likely already had the original versions, so why would they want to shell out $200 for a repro of something they already owned? Those three robots mostly sat on shelves, and that's why Bandai dumped the remaining inventory at a big discount price to Diamond. If Unifive was smart, they probably should have focused on reissuing more of the crazy rare Jumbos instead of the common stuff (which I'm gussing they did so just because they were the more popular characters). They might have sold a bit more that way.
MattAlt (Admin)
>>crazy rare Jumbos

As a collector, this seems like the logical sort of choice, but in reality, you need to hook the average semi-interested person with the "basics" rather than the "core" guys if you want sales. They would rather have the most popular and well-known character than something obscure. Which is why we see endless permutations of Mazingers today, and only a handful of (say) Daimos or Mekander.

Garada being a prime case in point. Even I was excited when that U5 "reissue" first came out, but that U5 Garada was a mess. It neither looks anything like the real Garada, nor shares the aesthetic of the others in the kikaiju series, nor was it particular aesthetically appealing to anyone who didn't know the whole convoluted back-story about the toy's rarirty. I am really not sure what U5 was thinking with that, but it obviously wasn't enough to support the line.
call me crazy but maybe Bandai shouldn't have put so much effort into hiding their involvement with UniFive at first, and maybe doing a new Jumbo of something that hadn't been made before might have created more excitement.

A legit Japanese Gundam would probably have done quite well.

What is seems like is they saw the growing bank being made on vintage toys and they wanted in on that. See also their little boutique shop that died.

OTOH that entire line of toys they did (which should have been Soul of Popinica) was generally well done and should have been continued. I would have liked to have seen what the UniFive team could have done with the GatchaSpartan for example.
There is a legitimate Gundam jumbo as well as a Zaku. They did several color variations as well. Came out about a decade ago? It did OK. The best was the jumbo Zeta gundam.

Bandai charges 200 a pop for these toys because it is a niche market item. I think that the whole new jumbo line fell apart because, 1: they are expensive, 2: the number of real colelctors who would buy them is small. 3: they are big toys and the majority of consumers in Japan do not have the space to store more than a few...
MattAlt (Admin)
"hiding their involvement with UniFive"

YoU're looking for a conspiracy where the is none. Bandai was always listed as a parent company on the U5 website. Big companies like Bandai (and others) have a long history of using umbrella companies to release products they felt wouldn't fly with the usual brands/channels (such as Victora or even Popy.) I am not sure if they pioneered it or if it was a directive from above or what, but U5 seems to have been the prototype for the whole Tamashii Nations thing. And I agree that their diecasts were great. The GodPhoenix and Mekabuton in particular were pretty much SOC level.

I really dig the Jumbo Grade Gundam stuff, too. The Zeta is amazing (and amazingly fragile/expensive!)
MattAlt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "hiding their involvement with UniFive"
>
> YoU're looking for a conspiracy where the is none.
> Bandai was always listed as a parent company on
> the U5 website. Big companies like Bandai (and
> others) have a long history of using umbrella
> companies to release products they felt wouldn't
> fly with the usual brands/channels (such as
> Victora or even Popy.) I am not sure if they
> pioneered it or if it was a directive from above
> or what, but U5 seems to have been the prototype
> for the whole Tamashii Nations thing. And I agree
> that their diecasts were great. The GodPhoenix and
> Mekabuton in particular were pretty much SOC
> level.
>
> I really dig the Jumbo Grade Gundam stuff, too.
> The Zeta is amazing (and amazingly
> fragile/expensive!)


Well, not looking for a conspiracy so much as pointing out once again how playbooks are re-used and such, see also Animevillage.com. IN that instance it WAS a big secret that it was Bandai's entrance to the American home video marketplace, complete with unrealistic expectations. Then they did it again with Honnamise. Then again with Bandai Visual USA.

It's interesting you consider the UniFive thing a prototype for Tamashii Nations. Why, if I were to say that people would call me crazy! :) (even tho true, complete with two failed attempts to broach the American market)

When I suggested UniFive might have made a Jumbo Gundam, I didn't mean the giant super pricey things that exist today, I meant in the classic JM style. It seemed to work for the chogokin Gundam, right? Totally retro. And I think a JM for Gekiganger III would have blown people's minds.

(say, what ever happened to all the blow molded stuff Bandai was selling via their LaLaBit site? Anybody ever actually buy the giant MS hand chair?)

I'm gonna need to get that U5 Godpheonix. *sigh*
Uh everyone knew Animevillage and Honneamise were Bandai. The Honneamise discs all say BANDAI VISUAL USA on them. What are you talking about?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
"hiding their involvement with UniFive"

Wasn't Kong Tong Town a BANDAI store?? How is that hiding their involvement?
I was there when Animevillage started, 1998. Those first tapes, those first emails, their website, no mention of Bandai involvement. They tried to portray themselves as a startup company akin to Books Nippan's US Renditions.

Asked directly, for that first year they said they only licensed Bandai material. This changed when the web only biz model failed and they had to start dubbing tapes and selling them in stores, the whole Gundam Wing thing.


Honnemise, yes, Bandai Visual was mentioned but the first foray was using Image as their distro. This quickly fell apart, then they shifted to their own distro, then it turned into Bandai Visual USA starting up and totally ignoring their already established Bandai Ent. arm, all of these startups designed to bring Japanese home video pricing to the American market. Bandai Visual USA died within a year of launch.
Oh yeah, they totally only license Bandai products but they are TOTALLY independent of Bandai. Gimme a break. My Patlabor movies, Gunbuster, and Gunbuster vs. Diebuster DVDs all say Bandai Visual on them, and before any of them came out, Anime World Order was talking about how they were Bandai Visual. I'm with Matt: There's no conspiracy. It's just Bandai under various branding but it's never been any kind of secret.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
I was at Comic Con in 98. Anime Village and Bandia were in the same booth. They were definitely not trying to hide anything. I still have the RX-78 shirt I bought from them.

-Randall
SteveH, I think you managed to go from making a dubious claim (about Bandai/Uni-Five) to deploying an analogy with an even more dubious claim (Anime Village).

All I have to say is this:



Now who's Norm?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2010 07:17PM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - cheers_cliff.jpg (17.2 KB)
Go look at your Animevillage.com VHS tapes from 1998 then come back and apologize. I can wait. :)

DVDs don't count.
Howzaboot a press release? (Link here: [www.animenewsservice.com])


Press Release 07/03/98

Bandai Entertainment, Inc. ("BEI") announces the creation of AnimeVillage.com, a virtual community on the World Wide Web for the exclusive distribution of anime (Japanese animation) directly to fans and consumers in North America. Fans and visitors can now log on, learn more about the village, register and be immediately entered into a sweepstakes for valuable prizes. The full launch of the community is scheduled for September 1, 1998.



That sneaky Bandai. Trying to get this one over on us by announcing it to the world.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2010 07:45PM by gingaio.
MattAlt (Admin)
" It seemed to work for the chogokin Gundam, right?"

Man, I WISH that thing had taken off and sparked a trend! But near as I can tell it was a colossal flop. There were stacks of those things going for about $15 for years at SuperFest, so they didn't fly off the shelves. I would have killed to have seen others (Zaku, etc) in that series.... Ah, well.
MattAlt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> " It seemed to work for the chogokin Gundam,
> right?"
>
> Man, I WISH that thing had taken off and sparked a
> trend! But near as I can tell it was a colossal
> flop. There were stacks of those things going for
> about $15 for years at SuperFest, so they didn't
> fly off the shelves. I would have killed to have
> seen others (Zaku, etc) in that series.... Ah,
> well.


Yeah, I recall that being mentioned. Maybe it was the timing? I dunno. Or maybe it somehow offended because it was so retro.

But see, it's crazy! Didn't those bulbous retro Gundam sofubi get some heat? Maybe Bandai should try again. Didn't they recently shoot out some re-repops of chogokin, the Black Raideen and something else?

Look, seriously, I have given up on trying to understand Bandai a bit ago. It's all chaos theory now. Pick a subject that goes totally against what logic would dictate and watch Bandai crank out a $200 SoC of it. And everything is still Gundam.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Howzaboot a press release? (Link here:
> [www.animenewsservice.com])
>
>
>
> Press Release 07/03/98
>
> Bandai Entertainment, Inc. ("BEI") announces the
> creation of AnimeVillage.com, a virtual community
> on the World Wide Web for the exclusive
> distribution of anime (Japanese animation)
> directly to fans and consumers in North America.
> Fans and visitors can now log on, learn more about
> the village, register and be immediately entered
> into a sweepstakes for valuable prizes. The full
> launch of the community is scheduled for September
> 1, 1998.
>
>
> That sneaky Bandai. Trying to get this one over on
> us by announcing it to the world.

::golfclap::

Very good.

I do need to apologize, I created some confusion when I didn't properly separate Animevillage.com (the hidden stuff) from Mayonnaise and Bandai Visual USA.

Yes, we 'in the know' understood that Bandai was bringing the stuff over. I had forgotten that BEI got its start as the 'ghost daddy' of Animevillage. ANN hyped the Bandai connection because they wanted to be cool and 'in' but if you can find the early sell sheets they handed out at cons, or, again, look at the darn tapes, no mention of Bandai except in that product was licensed from Emotion. I talked to a Bandai guy at Project A-kon in Dallas in '98, I asked point blank about the relationship and he smiled and said "Oh, we're not connected. Animevillage is a totally separate company that licenses from Bandai"

(he was Bandai Japan, seeing what the reaction was to things. I'm pretty sure I was clear enough and his English was pretty good)

MAN was that a fast ride to failure for Animevillage. Web only, sub only in July, by Dec. They're shifting to selling to stores and dubbing product, in '99 the name Animevillage gets shoved aside and it's all about Bandai Entertainment. 2000 is the teaming with Cartoon Network and by 2001 Animevillage is dead. Then it's revived for their dot.anime site, which then died. Wow.

Makes me tired! :)
I'm on Steve's side...Bandai has been quite tricky in the past.

Remember that "Bandai Investment Toy Series" they tried out in Toys R Us's back in the 80's. It's not so much that they were trying to hide their involvement in the series...because of the name and all...but that after owning the toy (Big Bird Gatcha) for over 20 years, I don't feel one bit more "invested" in Bandai than I did back then. What gives?

Scoundrels!
SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------



The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2010 11:48PM by gingaio.
Attachments:
open | download - Rummy.jpg (26.8 KB)
SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ANN hyped the Bandai connection
> because they wanted to be cool and 'in' but if you
>
Whether or not ANN hyped the release is beside the point. That Bandai issued the announcement meant that it was distributed through the media and that no "cover-up" was intended, right? Or am I totally off on what I think a press release is?
>
> can find the early sell sheets they handed out at
> cons, or, again, look at the darn tapes, no
> mention of Bandai except in that product was
> licensed from Emotion.
>
You won't find a Toyota badge on a Lexus, but that doesn't mean there's a conspiracy to keep the connection a secret either.
>
> I talked to a Bandai guy at
> Project A-kon in Dallas in '98, I asked point
> blank about the relationship and he smiled and
> said "Oh, we're not connected. Animevillage is a
> totally separate company that licenses from
> Bandai"
>
He could have said that for a number of reasons we're not privy to. He might have been contradicting the company line. He might not have fully understood the intention behind your question and so answered that specific way. Who knows? Did you go back and ask why he said that when you knew differently?

Then again, if you'd only mentioned earlier that you had a Bandai Deepthroat, it might have put us in our places earlier.
>
> (he was Bandai Japan...and
> his English was pretty good)
>
Probably better than your Japanese, I'd say. :)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2010 12:25AM by gingaio.
I think if you asked the average person they would be shocked, shocked to learn that Lexus is a Toyota brand. Of course nobody thinks of such things, how many people know that Pepsi owns Yum! Brands which owns Taco Bell and KFC (and others)?

I can't call that guy a deep source. I had one run-in, only because I was one of the guests at the con, we didn't exchange meishi. I had more face time with Tomino back in '84.

(OTOH I did exchange meishi with mecha designer Kunio Aoi and damn. embossed silver mylar? I have to find that, it's with some con badges I think...)

and my Japanese, as limited as it is, is fairly clear and understandable. Or so I've been told but that's just as likely the typical Japanese shock and amazement that a big-ass gaijin can actually SAY something understandable. but yes I would agree, his English was much better overall than my Japanese.
SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think if you asked the average person they would
> be shocked, shocked to learn that Lexus is a
> Toyota brand. Of course nobody thinks of such
> things, how many people know that Pepsi owns Yum!
> Brands which owns Taco Bell and KFC (and others)?
>
I'm pretty average, and...

When Infiniti/Lexus hit in '89, I was a kid and everyone in my family and all of my friends, basically everyone in my world, knew that these were luxury offshoots of the established brands. I learned it from them.

My first job out of college was at a magazine housed across the street from Taco Bell headquarters, the bottom floor of which had a KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. The roof had a helipad, in case the Chihuhua needed to make a sudden visit to So Cal, I guess. Needless to say, people in the area were well-versed in the corporate connections.

It's kind of hard to universalize facts from personal experience, you know? Hasty generalizations, logical fallacy, all that jazz...

>I can't call that guy a deep source.

Yeah, I know. :)
Lots of wacky info and conspiracy theories in this thread, so I'll try to clarify a few points that hit close to home...

There is only one version of the STORMTROOPER SUPER SHOGUN. It is limited to 1200 pieces, and EVERY serial number was put into circulation - nothing was held back, meaning that #1 is floating out there waiting to be claimed. Or possibly it has been claimed and no one has announced ownership.

The "pink" TROOPER is not a variant, or even a product. It was an early prototype/material test. TBDXers are familiar with it since THE CHAIRMAN was lucky enough to come in possession of one, but these most certainly were not "given out" or distributed in any way. Exceedingly few tests were even conducted. Hell, I don't even own one of the pinkies myself!

The SUPER SHOGUN has not yet hit retail in EUROPE or JAPAN by distributors at this point (although their preorders were very encouraging!). SUPER7 has not wholesaled TROOPERS to any outlets in the US as yet, with the sole exception being a limited quantity to THINKGEEK. No other stores (brick & mortar or web) have the toy; it has only been available directly from SUPER7! It is not even available on STAR WARS.COM, so I can't imagine where people would be seeing "so many available" all over the place. It might be a situation of the marketing presence being confused with the retail presence.

The STORMTROOPER sold out all quantities at SDCC! None were left by the end of the con!

SHILL ALERT:
We also hope to sell out the stock we take to STAR WARS CELEBRATION V next week in Orlando. Stop by booth #223 and experience the rocket punch love.


As for the ancient U5 history....my memory admittedly may be dusty, but here goes...
The JUMBO MACHINES import agreement between DIAMOND and UNIFIVE was made in 2000. It was not a "close out" or liquidation deal, though the goods were sitting in stock at the time. UNIFIVE was an entirely separate entity from BANDAI, and the company was only acquired by BANDAI a year later. Each of the four jumbos imported were uniformly retailed by DCD for $120.00 each.
MattAlt (Admin)
"UNIFIVE was an entirely separate entity from BANDAI, and the company was only acquired by BANDAI a year later."

Not to spark a NERDWAR or anything, but I don't think that's accurate. The Wikipedia JP page for the (since disbanded) Banpresto, which itself was a Bandai subsidiary, states that they acquired Unifive in 1994. Banpresto "absorbed" -- shorthand for disbanded -- Unifive as a standalone entity in 2001, which may be the source of the confusion. Japanese keiretsu are like nestled, interlocking Russian dolls.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, I have an animevillage.com videocassette from 1998...and "Bandai"--in logo form or otherwise verbal--doesn't appear anywhere on the packaging or the videocassette, itself. The Sunrise and Emotion logos *do* appear, however, on the packaging.

When you play the videocassette, however, you get the familiar Emotion logo sequence that starts with "Bandai Visual Presents". Please don't make me take a screenshot...

[www.youtube.com]
Thanks Sanjeev... I was fighting the desire to fish out my Bandai Village Gundam Movie VHS tapes to also verify the same thing. Happily, you beat me to it!
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, I have an animevillage.com videocassette
> from 1998...and "Bandai"--in logo form or
> otherwise verbal--doesn't appear anywhere on the
> packaging or the videocassette, itself. The
> Sunrise and Emotion logos *do* appear, however, on
> the packaging.
>
> When you play the videocassette, however, you get
> the familiar Emotion logo sequence that starts
> with "Bandai Visual Presents". Please don't make
> me take a screenshot...
>
> [www.youtube.com]


Did you forget the Animevillage logo that appears first?

It's rather like, say, The Wizard of Oz. Pop that DVD in and you get the Warner Bros. logo before the MGM logo appears. For a time it was a three-way, with the Warners logo, then the Turner logo, then the MGM.

The Bandai Visual Presents is part of the video content package and would be there regardless of who the releasing company was.
Sanjeev (Admin)
H-man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks Sanjeev... I was fighting the desire to
> fish out my Bandai Village Gundam Movie VHS tapes
> to also verify the same thing. Happily, you beat
> me to it!


Haha...those are exactly the tapes I have! Or...had, rather. In this exercise in idiocy, the VCR (which I'm AMAZED I still have!) actually ate one of the tapes. Oh well! :P

SteveH, I stopped caring a *while* ago, but your case just ain't looking good...
I hate to be the one to bring the topic back to focus here...because that typically is the opposite effect I have on a thread...but aaaaanyway.

Given the prospect of any future production of "Jumbos", and I use the term openly (Neo Jumbos, re-issues, new imaginings), what WOULD folks be willing to shell out $200.00 US for these days?

Myself...I'd shell out that amount for a "re-issue" of a Popy Daimos, Ryger, Poseidon, Combattler, and of course a Danguard. Heck, I'd pay $250, maybe $300 for a re-issue Danguard or Daimos of the same caliber as the UniFives.

I'd easily pay $400 for a Daiku riding toy re-issue as well.

I would pay $200 for a Dairugger done in a Shogun/Jumbo style with the car fists shooting off, and the shoulder blades spin-propelled (and blazing sword...goes without saying), but ain't hyped about the one it looks like we're getting.

Heck, the LJN release version of Golion, even without missiles, is much more appealing to me than vinyl-zilla version they're prepping.

-Adam
MattAlt (Admin)
"Myself...I'd shell out that amount for a "re-issue" of a Popy Daimos, Ryger, Poseidon, Combattler, and of course a Danguard. Heck, I'd pay $250, maybe $300 for a re-issue Danguard or Daimos of the same caliber as the UniFives."

Unfortunately I think we're in the minority. I couldn't BELIEVE that U5 sold the Gaiking at the price point they did. I think a lot of us here bought those. But I don't think there's enough of us to support an actual marketplace for vintage reissues. Recall how poorly the "THE Chogokin" mini-reissues sold -- and those were a relative bargain, so I don't think the issue is one of price. Bandai's been bitten a bunch of times with this stuff, and I just don't see it happening again (though would be happy to be proved wrong...)
That's the sort of thing I'd like to know about, WHY these things don't take off. Is Bandai setting the expectations too high? Is it a question of distro and advertising?

I've gotten the impression the loving re-release of the vintage chogokin Gold Litan toys crashed and burned. That's a real shame.

I can't really think of any vintage line I'd like to see re-popped, except maybe a full court press of vintage Popinica toys, the vehicles, not just robots. But that's not going to happen, there's two things guiding Bandai lately, that's Gundam and anything that might be tied to the Super Robot Wars games.

Well, one thing we all know about Bandai? Give them a couple of years and they'll try the same concept AGAIN, having learned nothing. :)
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer