Masterpiece Galvitron one off- Get out your check book!

Posted by Marvin Lee 
[cgi.ebay.com]

I have to admit VERY good job!
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hardly.

Over the years, I've seen enough TF customs to come to realize how much they actually suck. First of all, jagoff TFans will pay absurd amounts of money for "toys" that can be poorly cobbled together and painted without THAT much effort.

It's a racket. And yes, I've considered getting in on the action! ;)
God, I hate Transformers customizers. They're the best of crooks, able to take advantage of the most sheeple fanbase out there. I've never seen an entire community so enamored of simple drybrushing. Just talentless.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Jin Saotome.

Hahaahahaha
Yeah, if only I had the time, I could make a good deal of side money this way. I can drybrush like nobody's business. Heh.

More serious than thou
I really, really need Takaratomy/Hasbro to make one.
Guys I really have to disagree with you all which is unusual since I usually agree with Sanjeev 95% of the time. Why should we hate the customizers because the customers pay a crazy amount for their work? I don't see any difference between what they do and what Fansproject does except that many of these customizers have to do all their tooling or do something really creative with existing tooling.I see them all as artist who get paid for their efforts. Would I pay $500 plus dollars for a gaurage kit Galvitron... no. Would I pay $2000.00 for a scale Devistator...No but if their is a market and the seller is honest about what it is and not say something like "Original prototype" when it is clearly not then go for it. Sanjeev you have access to a CAD machine and are working on a stand for Unicron and look at all the effort you are having to put into it and that is just for a stand. I think you should get paid for your effort and time and that stand isn't nearly as complex assome of these customizers projects. Years ago I made a 24 inch Jumbo Megatron (With the hopes of doing a matching Optimus Prime) and the work I put into it was a real bitch! So much so that I never attempted to do it again. I sold that figure for a little over $400.00 and that worked out to about $3.00 and hour. Besides when an individual doesa better job at making a better TF then the multi billion dollar corporation (ie: Powerglide.)it makes me think that the corp. is just lazy or stupid and it makes us expect a better projext. Compare the Classics Astrotrain to the Universe/Classic Drift. QT and exicution has jumped several fold.
Personally I don't hate them for what they make. I hate what they come up with as an end result most of the time. Usually it's just a quick repaint of an existing toy with little or no work involved other than doing the painting. They wind up with a fat wad of cash for a couple hours work.

Then again, I did a custom of a Star Wars Republic Gunship a while back. It was actually very well done if I may say so (no simple drybrushing), and did require many hours of time. Still there was no love for the item, even on Ebay, where it sold for around the original cost.

Guess it all comes down to the market and what people are willing to pay. Clearly TF fans are a bit nuts in this regard.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Marvin Lee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why should we hate the customizers
> because the customers pay a crazy amount for their
> work?

It's a fair question. I guess what it boils down to is that the whole TF customizing sub-hobby is a fucking shit-show...and I'm not particularly interested in masking my bitterness about it! ;)

It breaks down roughly to this:
1) Customizers in general put a moderate amount of work into the majority of these pieces...not a LOT of work, mind you--and most of the customs we see don't even require much skill, from a technical artistic perspective.
2) They magnanimously put their work up for auction to share their divine work with us, peons (while, of course, pimping the dog-shit outta them on every public venue).
3) The pieces sell for OUTRAGEOUS money...and only benefit the customizer and the buyer (if that).

Now, have you handled any of these "scratch" customs before? I have (quite a few) because I knew someone who made these all the time (for himself--he never sold them). They kinda suck. They look okay posed and photographed with pristine lighting...but they're not composed of parts manufactured for the purposes they're being used for. They're just not good toys.

They often have loose joints than need constant maintenance and tweaking even if you transform the toy just once. The transformation sequences usually involve more parts-swapping than the still photos imply. And the paint-work is RARELY anything impressive--let alone durable--in person (you'd be better off taking a stock official toy and just weathering it yourself).

And all this for what? To make some cash offa some dumbasses on eBay.

So the question becomes, as you said, do you hate the player...or the game? Like I joked above, I've considered getting in on the action. I mean, why the fuck not??? It's a hustle, and no more or less ethical than what I or anyone else does for a living. So you're taking advantage of some morons on eBay...so what?

So do you hate the fans who bid on these? Well, what can ya do? They're fanboys. And we've discussed fanboyism ad nauseam here. They generally ruin shit.

WELL...what you CAN do (as a thoughtful "fan", not a selfish fanboy) is actually support people doing creative shit that's accessible to as many other fans as possible. Let's face it: the "exclusivity" (read: classism) behind having a "one-of-a-kind" (expensive) custom is the majority of the allure of these things. That's crap.

Fansproject and iGear don't make customs--they manufacture runs (including reissues) of their toys to make them as accessible as possible. Oh, they're bootleggers, to be sure, but their business practices are fair. They have controlled retail prices and they don't seem to hype their products artificially (manufactured shortages, questionable marketing, and the like)...and they never profit from aftermarket sales of their shit--whether a particular toy blows up the spot or not. THAT'S what's up. Even that dope Powerglide retailed for a sane amount of money.

Marvin, your Megatron was unfortunately way too far ahead of its time. Can you imagine the madness that would ensue if you made that today? There really wasn't a "custom Transformer" sub-hobby back then...and yet, we still talk about that toy every now and then here. You blended two genres that are COMPLETELY separate (not entirely unlike Super7's Jumbo Stormtrooper...it's just that your toy didn't take a hundred g's to develop!).

And me and my stupid Unicron stand...I *could* make just a couple, pimp the shit out of them on every TF board, and slowly trickle a few out onto eBay to make $100 a pop. But that's bullshit. That's not a hustle I want any part of. I'm gonna make as many as I can handle, keep the cost strictly controlled as best I can, and do my fuck-damned bestest to get one in the hands of anyone who wants one. Simple as that.
Sanjeev, I think it's fair, however, to charge a bit more than the production cost for your stands. I mean, for example, $5 profit on each stand is by no means gouging anyone, and it would make up for your time in designing and hustling to get it produced.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
I agree. I mean, I'm sure iGear and Fansproject are charging plenty more than just their production costs. But in the end, what they charge is pretty fair in my estimation. For me, I'll charge a little more than cost, but obviously, this isn't a "business" for me...my goal is more creative expression (read: ego ;) ) than profit!
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fansproject and iGear don't make customs--they
> manufacture runs (including reissues) of their
> toys to make them as accessible as possible. Oh,
> they're bootleggers, to be sure, but their
> business practices are fair. They have controlled
> retail prices and they don't seem to hype their
> products artificially (manufactured shortages,
> questionable marketing, and the like)...

That's not entirely true. FansProject got lambasted last year for releasing the DairyCon limited edition exclusive Powered Commander (Diaclone colors) armor for Classics Optimus Prime and then a month or two after the 'con they announced a Japanese version with chrome (but without the energon cube suitcase which was stupid to begin with) for Henkei Optimus Prime for like half the price and with higher production numbers.

> And me and my stupid Unicron stand...I *could*
> make just a couple, pimp the shit out of them on
> every TF board, and slowly trickle a few out onto
> eBay to make $100 a pop. But that's bullshit.
> That's not a hustle I want any part of. I'm gonna
> make as many as I can handle, keep the cost
> strictly controlled as best I can, and do my
> fuck-damned bestest to get one in the hands of
> anyone who wants one. Simple as that.

Sanjeev, I for one have no problem with you profiting from your Unicron stand and I want you to profit. As for TF and other toy customizers, I see most of them in the same light as Urban Vinyl. Low effort, simplistic, uninspired design/engineering, shitty/ridiculous paint schemes, low numbers, high price, over-all lame bullshit (and more power to them, they charge what the market will bear).
I think the issue is that most of these customs are super lame. I seen people glue an Optimus Prime head on Gundam model and spend 15 minutes painting it and sell it on eBay for hundreds. Super lame.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Ginrai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think the issue is that most of these customs
> are super lame. I seen people glue an Optimus
> Prime head on Gundam model and spend 15 minutes
> painting it and sell it on eBay for hundreds.
> Super lame.


This is it for me. People see a guy like Frenzy_Rumble, who maybe spends an hour modding some minor thing, and then just sprays and drybrushes everything. Always the same, every time, zero effort or artistic talent, and it sells for hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of dollars on ebay, which is where all of the customs go, immediately. All it does is set a role model of low effort and high return, and the Transformers customizing community is just the worst because of it. Every two-bit kid rushes out and grabs the closest figure to slather paint over, in a rush to get it on ebay before the paint is even dry. The overall quality of the community's output is shit, and there's no motivation or discussion to improve because they see their role models doing nearly the same thing, and all the toys end up on ebay anyway. Almost none of those people make any customs to keep, they all just think they can get in on the racket and become god's gift to mankind. Constructive discussion might actually be less welcome there than it is in the vinyl community at this point.

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

Marvin, your Megatron was unfortunately way too far ahead of its time. Can you imagine the madness that would ensue if you made that today? There really wasn't a "custom Transformer" sub-hobby back then...and yet, we still talk about that toy every now and then here. You blended two genres that are COMPLETELY separate (not entirely unlike Super7's Jumbo Stormtrooper...it's just that your toy didn't take a hundred g's to develop!).

Damn that's about my luck too soon. You might not believe this but back in 1997 I went to my local bank (SouthTrust Bank.) and tried to show them how they should start on line banking. I had a business model and nice programming model (For 1997). They said and I quote. "People will never be comfortable banking on the internet ." and they actually laughed me out of the banking office.
Marvin Lee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sanjeev wrote,
>
> Marvin, your Megatron was unfortunately way too
> far ahead of its time. Can you imagine the madness
> that would ensue if you made that today? There
> really wasn't a "custom Transformer" sub-hobby
> back then...and yet, we still talk about that toy
> every now and then here. You blended two genres
> that are COMPLETELY separate (not entirely unlike
> Super7's Jumbo Stormtrooper...it's just that your
> toy didn't take a hundred g's to develop!).
>
> Damn that's about my luck too soon. You might not
> believe this but back in 1997 I went to my local
> bank (SouthTrust Bank.) and tried to show them how
> they should start on line banking. I had a
> business model and nice programming model (For
> 1997). They said and I quote. "People will never
> be comfortable banking on the internet ." and they
> actually laughed me out of the banking office.

Heh, should have gone to another bank!

More serious than thou
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