[DESIGNER VINYLS] Hot or Not?

Posted by Sanjeev 
Sanjeev (Admin)
Damn you, Peter...damn you to hell.

:P
Arrgghhhhhhh Peter, my eyes are burning out of my face!

Hey Sanjeev how come every time I post here I get auto- subscribed to the thread?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Lixx Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey Sanjeev how come every time I post here I get
> auto- subscribed to the thread?


Huh...bizarre. Well, I think you can control that under your account settings under the "Forum Settings" link. If not, it should be in there somewhere...
Lixx Wrote:
>
> Hey Sanjeev how come every time I post here I get
> auto- subscribed to the thread?

Is the "send replies via email" box automatically checked when you visit this thread? If so, it's probably your web browser settings - the browser may be overzealous in saving form data, and after you accidentally checked the box once, it saved it for every future visit. I used have a problem, I think it was with the Opera web browser, where every time I started a new thread on certain other messageboards, the browser would fill in the title of the last thread I started.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
OK I did notice it was checked. I've also deleted the marked threads in my control center several times but it keeps coming back. Hopefully it will take care of it. I mean it is pretty much the only thread I'm in here. Perhaps the thread wants me to keep coming back?
Depends what web browser you're using. I don't think most browsers let you remove saved form data for selected sites individually (pretty sure Firefox doesn't, for instance), so you'd have to clear all saved form data in the browser.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Sanjeev (Admin)
Lixx Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps the thread wants me to
> keep coming back?

It's just bad karma, bro. We're paying for the sins of designer vinyl...

:P
(Paraphrasing Half Baked): He's cool....


Sanjeev (Admin)
Ain't bad. But I probably wouldn't pick one up (even if it were "affordable" and easy to find). Like, the body sculpt is okay--I dig the plug/missile launcher/whatever in his chest, but the rest is a bit too simple. And the head is kinda meh. Doesn't look terribly imaginative to me.

I guess I'll always look at that and see a VERY weak take on Mechanikong. :/
The face sculpt isn't perfect, but I would absolutely take that blue Meka-Ju if it wasn't laughably expensive and hard to get. As it is, not worth the extra effort and headache.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
But it wasn't laughably expensive OR hard to get. I think the head is the best part. I don't know to me it screams almost like a 50's maybe early 60's toy. Here is a side view/close up:




And Sanjeev there is no substitute for mechakong :)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2011 09:43PM by Lixx.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hmm...I dig the hands and the missile accessory. It'd be killer if the missile could fit in his mouth (sideways--not the bj way!) like he's biting down on it! :P
Lixx Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But it wasn't laughably expensive OR hard to get.
> I think the head is the best part. I don't know to
> me it screams almost like a 50's maybe early 60's
> toy. Here is a side view/close up:
>


At this point, if I can't buy it from a webstore directly, or Mark Nagata doesn't personally email me about it, I'm not buying it. What IS the actual retail on these, then?

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
12000 yen retail. Which isn't bad. Exchange rate sucks these days though..
Why aren't the arms painted like the legs?
ed
I guess you won't be buying much Ben. That's a lazy way of looking at collecting. Putting the effort in to send one email for a possible chance to buy something as cool as that gorilla shouldn't be too difficult for anyone. How is that different than clicking "place in cart"?
Nice landing that Chris, I might get a mecha at some point we'll see. Too much other stuff this month, I'm almost glad I didn't win one heh.
Ed so nice to hear from you, hope all is well.

Considering the insane aftermarket prices on these (I could never afford one) I'm very pleased he is offering overseas ordering even if it is a lottery. Hype aside the figure is really spectacular in hand. I had no idea what to expect since I've never seen one in person and it did not disappoint (and I'm picky). Very bulky vinyl- think Shikaruna size only softer vinyl. Someone mentioned the arms and legs. My point and shoot camera does not really pick up details well. The arms have silver highlights on them as do the legs, but the legs also have dark grey added in. Very fun playful toy.
Sanjeev (Admin)
ed Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Putting the
> effort in to send one email for a possible chance
> to buy something as cool as that gorilla shouldn't
> be too difficult for anyone. How is that different
> than clicking "place in cart"?

See, I totally get this...but at the same time, that small effort is something only a "fan" would do. And at this point, I personally cannot count myself as a "fan" of designer vinyl any longer. Sure, I'll pick something up here or there on occasion, but when it comes to contemporary vinyl, I'll only pick up something for pennies on the dollar via skullbrain's BST or licensed stuff, which is easy to access--without having to follow a thread on skullbrain.

^^And that last point is one of the big things for me. See, I would never have seen this robo-ape if it weren't for Chris posting it here--the implication being that I simply cannot STAND reading most non-vintage skullbrain threads anymore. If I have to rely on following a thread on skullbrain to learn about a toy, then it's just not happening for me. Hence, I can't consider myself a "fan".

On the other hand, there are a good half dozen other resources I keep up with regularly for general news about new Japanese toys that happen to keep me well-informed about contemporary licensed vinyls because...y'know...it's vastly more than a shrinking handful of skullbrainers who collect them. :P But the point is that that coverage is simple, concise and free of dick-riding and hype-mongering. I guess I'm just burnt out and can no longer endure fucking with some kids on a skullbrain thread for info on a fucking toy...
I admit that it is a pretty lazy way to try and collect, but I'm busy and pretty happy with the other stuff I've been buying lately. My problem is similar to Sanjeev's... In reality, it's awesome that the Gorilla-Jew guy is offering straight up international lotteries, as that's the most fair way to do it. At the same time, I just don't have enough hours in a day to check every toy maker's site for the off-chance to maybe get something I almost want. Since sticking basically just to Max Toy stuff and then buying robots, I've become much more aware of how I collect, versus how I was collecting six months ago. Saving up, making choices, pursuing specific things, and only buying what I actually WANT is much more satisfying than the mad scramble to try and buy things simply because they are offered to me, which is how the designer vinyl stuff feels these days.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Prometheum5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Saving up, making choices, pursuing specific things, and only buying what I actually WANT is much more satisfying than the mad scramble to try and buy things simply because they are offered to me, which is how the designer vinyl stuff feels these days.

^This.

I follow a couple artists blogs/twitters to get info on new releases. Usually, obtaining what I want is easy, but there is the occasional scramble to wake up early (I'm in the southern hemisphere) to get a release right on launch.

You guys here are pretty much the only exposure of discussion to the culture that I get. SB is so vast and mostly full of pointless rants its not worth trolling through.
Sanjeev, I visit SB because I still have friends there (despite the vast wasteland of useless posts, dick riding, and the almost exclusive hyped talk of non licensed japanese characters anymore). In fact because I'm still there I was able to secure something I'm getting in the next few weeks that I would have had zero chance of ever even finding. I guess I'm holding a vigil in the hopes that maybe people will see there is so much more in japanese toy world than overpriced hyped up crap. I do get pm's from time to time there saying thanks for posting pics (of toys we would like here). By the same token I guess I post pics here for the opposite reason to maybe show that there are good vinyl toys still being made and even though SB is a mess it's not all bad.

I'm like you, drawn to toho, ultra etc etc but I do see value in what I've come to know as 'patchi'- from patch summits or made up monster toys. Shikaruna was an excellent example of this. The creators took illustrations from the 1970's Sekai No Kaiju books and turned them into wonderful 3d monsters. I also like when companies (i.e. Zollmen) design something that looks like it could be vintage- (i.e. Mad Baron etc.). I have just about one version of almost every Toho, Ultra character I can think of so it's nice to purchase a toy a little off the beaten path, that might look like something vintage. The effort has to be there though. Hype or no hype it has to A) speak to me, B) not be insanely priced, C) available to at least try to purchase- not going secondary on anything people on SB are going apeshit over because I know it will be out of range. Mecha Ju did in this case. I get that it's not for everyone though.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh, to be clear, I'm glad you post the pics you do over here! My point in starting this thread wasn't to bash skullbrain, but to show that there ARE some genuinely cool designer vinyls being made. Just because I'm becoming burnt out and jaded towards this stuff doesn't actually mean that *solid* vinyl offerings aren't still being made or that other true fans/collectors will inevitably become burnt out like me.

I think that if I weren't so preoccupied with collecting robots or making my own toys, I'd probably still have the same exact attitude you have. But right now, my resources are too thin...and I just feel more fulfilled by the banter here and my efforts to make my own shit.


And this statement REALLY hit home:

Prometheum5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Saving up,
> making choices, pursuing specific things, and only
> buying what I actually WANT is much more
> satisfying than the mad scramble to try and buy
> things simply because they are offered to me,
> which is how the designer vinyl stuff feels these
> days.
I like the Mecha Gorilla-ju. Would throw my name into the hat, but I'm so out of it, I can't even remember the lottery details. But will probably have to wait five years to get my hands on one at a reasonable price.

Not to bust on Skullbrain, but the odd thing about the board is now little discussion there is about Super7 toys. For several reasons, S7's toys aren't my thing, probably cause I'm not the target audience. But you would think that the board would be designed to create excitement or discussion about the products one is designing and selling.

I'm not burned out on designer vinyl pieces. But I also like that the release pace, of quality work, has slowed down significantly. All of the big boutique brands seem to have cut back which is okay.

Back to toys, looks like another sculpt is coming...

[jme7315.blogspot.com]
ed
You can buy what's easy or what you like, but you specifically said you would buy the mecha if it wasn't expensive.
It wasn't expensive or difficult to attempt to buy, so you can't complain about not getting something if you don't make the attempt.
Sanjeev (Admin)
liquidsky Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Back to toys, looks like another sculpt is
> coming...

That's kinda interesting to me, but I'm not sure how I'll like the final product. It looks BIG (compared to the Gorilla-jyu), which I like, but it seems less like a traditional kaiju design and more like almost a super-deformed dinosaur. In fact, it reminds me of the Imaginext dino's (which is a great compliment, 'cause those toys look DOPE!)...but I just feel that style is more for fun children's toys, not adult collectible vinyls...

Just my two cents.
ed Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You can buy what's easy or what you like, but you
> specifically said you would buy the mecha if it
> wasn't expensive.
> It wasn't expensive or difficult to attempt to
> buy, so you can't complain about not getting
> something if you don't make the attempt.


Fair enough. I guess I should have clarified with 'if it wasn't expensive, AND I knew when it was available'. For the retail price, it seems like a neat toy, but the rest of my point still stands... I like it, but I don't like it enough to check the maker's site every day hoping for the opportunity to try and throw my money at him.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
[www.maxtoyco.com]

The latest Kaiju Negora sold out before the public sale period even opened.
Sigh.
It's just really sad to me that there are all these products being made that I really wish I could purchase, but they're basically inaccessible to casual fans. I'm not sure what I could've even done to get that Negora - I guess I could've joined the Max Toy Club last week, if I had heard about the new color of Negora a week earlier?

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
That is sad. I wanted a Negora too. I'm guessing the same will happen with Dualos. Vinyl isn't just expensive to get into; it's damn near impossible to buy the figures you want.
I'm sorry I have a bone to pick the way maxtoy sells figures and exclusives. Apparently even joining his exclusive list- which you have to pay for, doesn't even help at times. For instance when he painted those TE GID Gamerudons or when Sato sent his 10 GID versions to Maxtoy for sale, I heard even most list members were left out in the cold. I mean granted it's limited but I think it's a bit false advertising asking people to pay to get on a list that they may or may not get access to figures they want. What's the point of paying to be on the list? Just to MAYBE have access?
Sanjeev (Admin)
That is totally sad; I agree. Basically, the market is tanking hard...and as a result, prices are skyrocketing. For example, I think the Medicom Dualos retailed for close to $190--but that's also in part due to the shitty exchange rate. Further, run sizes are plummeting...which is why you see the hyped, intentionally short run toys still commanding attention...

:(
Sanjeev (Admin)
Lixx Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm sorry I have a bone to pick the way maxtoy
> sells figures and exclusives...

Well, if I recall correctly, the cost to get on the list isn't much (around $50?)...compared to the cost of a single ST figure, anyway. And it's a lifetime membership, so once you're in, you're in.

But I do remember the Gamerudons...but if there are hundreds of folks on the list and only ten toys, how would you do it? I think it was a lottery among those on the list. That makes sense, right? How would one improve on that?

I mean, Anraku had a list that was way bigger than the size of his toy runs...but only the more active purchasers among the list were even told about new toys coming out. That seems kinda shady to me. At least with Mark's system, everyone on the list has an equal (albeit small) chance.
Keep in mind, too, that the demand for the Negora also clearly took Mark by surprise. That's a risk you take, even with a 'preferred customer' list, or however you want to view it. You sign up for the list and get a sweet toy, and then you know you have first stab at stuff. You might not get everything, but you've got the best shot at whatever comes up. Not everything blows through like that... there are still some of a HP-run of mini Drazorans that went to the Club first, did not sell out, and are hanging out in the webstore.

Like Sanjeev's been saying, the market is a mess, and this shit ain't rocket science. Having a run end up falling short like this just gives Mark the data he needs for next time to produce a higher volume, now that he knows the demand is there. That strikes me as way more fair than something like the Anraku list, where what you are offered is dependent on how much you've previously spent. The whole Max Toy list gets offered everything, and that has both pros and cons. You've segmented the market into people who are more likely to buy what you offer them, but you still can't perfectly predict which items will be cooly received and which will take off like a rocket.

Mark has even sent out an email to people that were interested in the Negora to make a separate email list to properly gauge demand for future versions. If that's not trying to give the most people what they want, then I don't know what is.


Lixx Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm sorry I have a bone to pick the way maxtoy
> sells figures and exclusives. Apparently even
> joining his exclusive list- which you have to pay
> for, doesn't even help at times. For instance when
> he painted those TE GID Gamerudons or when Sato
> sent his 10 GID versions to Maxtoy for sale, I
> heard even most list members were left out in the
> cold. I mean granted it's limited but I think it's
> a bit false advertising asking people to pay to
> get on a list that they may or may not get access
> to figures they want. What's the point of paying
> to be on the list? Just to MAYBE have access?

This complaint is so full of misguided frustration it's not even funny. Nowhere does it say that being a Max Toy Club member will guarantee you every toy you want, nor would it be reasonable to expect it to. As far as I remember, the TE Gamerudons were offered by lottery to the list... what could be more fair than giving every member of a list, the very membership within indicates your interest in items such as this, the same chance at a highly limited item? The Max Toy system gives the most fair chance to the most dedicated fans to get the stuff they like the most. You sound like you're just mad because you didn't get this particular item, and that's a level of stress/compulsion that sucks the fun out of toy collecting for a lot of people.

What would you guys rather, an open lottery for every item? Now, instead of say, two hundred (making this up) dedicated Max Toy fans competing for limited items, you've got every Tom, Dick, Harry, and scalper out there signing up for every lottery just because they're limited. Look at the Paul Kaiju lotteries... the entrance form gives people a lottery number over a thousand at times, indicating that they have effectively no chance at winning, while flippers have every living and deceased relative signed up, and they'll have three on ebay the next night.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 04:21PM by Prometheum5.
Prometheum5 Wrote:
> Keep in mind, too, that the demand for the Negora
> also clearly took Mark by surprise.

> Like Sanjeev's been saying, the market is a mess,
> and this shit ain't rocket science. Having a run
> end up falling short like this just gives Mark the
> data he needs for next time to produce a higher
> volume, now that he knows the demand is there.

I don't know how much advance time is required for production of vinyls (I'm sure you guys can tell me) but this IS the fourth color of it and it's been a few months since the first one came out. If he planned and made all four currently released Negoras at once, that would explain it, though.

> That's a risk
> you take, even with a 'preferred customer' list,
> or however you want to view it. You sign up for
> the list and get a sweet toy, and then you know
> you have first stab at stuff. You might not get
> everything, but you've got the best shot at
> whatever comes up.

Which is really rough for someone like me who only wants one or two Max Toy items a year. I'd essentially be paying for the privilege of deciding whether or not to attempt to buy a toy that I might not even be able to get before it sells out. If I only want two of Max Toy's 2011 releases, and they sell out before I get to the site, then what I have in return for my membership payment is a single item that I don't want. The membership is really only useful for people who expect to want a majority of Max Toy releases, or people with an interest in supporting the company that is as important as the products themselves.

I understand that the small-scale nature of vinyl production affects the economics and the dynamic between producer and consumer. However, you have to recognize the justified frustration felt by collectors who are accustomed to a more conventional method of purchasing, and who don't want to make the commitment (in terms of time, money and attention) that's necessary just to secure the few items they actually want.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Prometheum5 Wrote:
> > Keep in mind, too, that the demand for the
> Negora
> > also clearly took Mark by surprise.
>
> > Like Sanjeev's been saying, the market is a
> mess,
> > and this shit ain't rocket science. Having a
> run
> > end up falling short like this just gives Mark
> the
> > data he needs for next time to produce a higher
> > volume, now that he knows the demand is there.
>
> I don't know how much advance time is required for
> production of vinyls (I'm sure you guys can tell
> me) but this IS the fourth color of it and it's
> been a few months since the first one came out. If
> he planned and made all four currently released
> Negoras at once, that would explain it, though.
>
> > That's a risk
> > you take, even with a 'preferred customer'
> list,
> > or however you want to view it. You sign up
> for
> > the list and get a sweet toy, and then you know
> > you have first stab at stuff. You might not
> get
> > everything, but you've got the best shot at
> > whatever comes up.
>
> Which is really rough for someone like me who only
> wants one or two Max Toy items a year. I'd
> essentially be paying for the privilege of
> deciding whether or not to attempt to buy a toy
> that I might not even be able to get before it
> sells out. If I only want two of Max Toy's 2011
> releases, and they sell out before I get to the
> site, then what I have in return for my membership
> payment is a single item that I don't want. The
> membership is really only useful for people who
> expect to want a majority of Max Toy releases, or
> people with an interest in supporting the company
> that is as important as the products themselves.
>
> I understand that the small-scale nature of vinyl
> production affects the economics and the dynamic
> between producer and consumer. However, you have
> to recognize the justified frustration felt by
> collectors who are accustomed to a more
> conventional method of purchasing, and who don't
> want to make the commitment (in terms of time,
> money and attention) that's necessary just to
> secure the few items they actually want.


I get your points and where you're coming from. While I don't agree with all of what he said, I will point you to Ed's sentiments that the nature of all this vinyl stuff makes it kind of unfeasible to be a 'casual' collector while being that selective. Is that a good thing? Probably not... BUT, doing things this way offers a level of protection and security for guys like Mark that has been really crucial lately.

The other thing I will point out is that it's not like these toys have evaporated from the face of the Earth. If you still want one, keep an eye on places where they might be traded second hand... you're lucky in that Max Toy stuff hardly has the inflationary problems of other 'hotter' stuff. If you do want to be a casual dabbler in this stuff, then you're going to have to be a patient one as well.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Prometheum5 Wrote:
>
> Is that a good thing? Probably
> not... BUT, doing things this way offers a level
> of protection and security for guys like Mark that
> has been really crucial lately.

Yeah, I absolutely understand this as well.
Besides the benefit to the creators, I also recognize that this system is beneficial for collectors who have a personal interest in supporting every release that their favorite company makes, who don't even have to think about it before taking the plunge on the latest item.

> If you do want to be a casual dabbler in this
> stuff, then you're going to have to be a patient
> one as well.

Yeah, I get that. I mean, I often find out about items for the first time YEARS after they come out, and thus expect to wait years more before I can find one for sale. It's just exceptionally frustrating to miss out on something by a week, and then have to recognize that I might not have even been able to get one if I'd had advance warning.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
ed
once again Ben,I totally disagree with your assessment on the anraku list.

It has ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW MUCH YOU HAVE SPENT.

It has everything to do with being a good customer.

Seriously, people need to stop whining about how people do business. In one sentence you're defending Mark for how he sells toys, yet blasting someone else who sells toys his own way in another.

Yes I'm on the list. Have I received an offer in the past 6 months? No I have not. Do I buy gogas for $250 when given the opportunity? Yes. Yes I do because I love the toys. Would you? I doubt it.

I have spent the past six or seven years being a good customer, buying stuff from him, paying on time, and not complaining when it takes a year to get something. I can only imagine the emails he would get from some people just getting into the hobby complaining that it's been five minutes since they ordered something and they want a tracking number.

I also would like to put out there that I have tried to get about 30 people on that list over the past few years. What did I get for that? Grief when nothing happened. It's his list, his business, he can sell what he wants to whomever he wants without having to listen to people whining about it not being fair.

Blah blah blah. You guys are complaining about SB and how whiny and annoying it is. you should step away from this thread for a few days and come back and read what you sound like. It's not far off.

I seriously have no beef with anyone in this thread, but it really is starting to sound like SB complaining.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/27/2011 03:52PM by ed.
Ed, that's all fine, and you can correct Sanjeev and I on where we are misunderstanding the Anraku system from (obviously) an outsider's perspective, but it's not really the point here. We simply brought up Anraku as an example of another method of offering toys to fans... it doesn't really matter how it actually works, but my point was that it's different from how Mark offers his toys.

What I was getting at was that, given the volatility of demand, especially with a new figure, I can't think of a safer way for both the maker and fans than the way the Negora was handled. You guys are railroading Mark for not having enough of a toy he had no way of knowing would have such high demand. If you want to bitch, wait to see how the NEXT Negora release goes before passing judgement... it might not all be perfect, but Mark's always striven to do right by both his loyal fans and people new to the hobby, so give him a chance to react to the sudden clamor.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
ed
Erm, if I read it correctly, his methods were posted as being "shady" which is clearly not the case. It's straightforward if you ask me.

I read the past page as more of an entitlement aspect, my apologies if I misinterpreted. It bugs the hell out of me when people post me me me all of the time though, I think that is what has burned me out.

It brings to mind a phrase I use a lot lately. First world problems.
ed Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Erm, if I read it correctly, his methods were
> posted as being "shady" which is clearly not the
> case. It's straightforward if you ask me.
>
> I read the past page as more of an entitlement
> aspect, my apologies if I misinterpreted. It bugs
> the hell out of me when people post me me me all
> of the time though, I think that is what has
> burned me out.
>
> It brings to mind a phrase I use a lot lately.
> First world problems.

Ah. 'Shady' was Sanjeev's word, not mine ;) But yeah, this thread is basically First World Problems central... but then again, what aspect of designer vinyl isn't?

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
ed
i should also mention that I should not be reading message boards with jetlag and a 5 hour time difference coupled with my first day back at work in almost two weeks.

/sigh
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