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This was bound to happen...gray market VF's?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, treatment said:

Well, the fans wants to consume some stuff and are ready and willing to pay for it. In fact, pretty much begging for the stuff.

The "rights-holder" does not offer the stuff and seemingly continually ignoring the fans about it.

So, then, now what?

Do you expect the fans to just continue to be ignored and just twiddle their thumbs about it?

 

And when companies like Arcadia do produce something for the fans at a lower quantity and higher prices due to the small market size, the fans complain. :lol: Yamato tried that and it didn't work. Arcadia adjusted the formula but it still doesn't look like it'll work in the long run.

Edited by neoexcaliber

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7 hours ago, frankell05 said:

The issue is that the bootlegs will have the adverse reaction of causing the originals to go up in price, if the original manufacturer has to now deal with losing business to bootlegers.

See.. this would be an issue for Arcadia, except that there's no business to lose, since they're not producing anything to compete with the bootlegs.

I almost halfway think these might even benefit Arcadia, if only by showing what sort of demand exists for the things they aren't making.  If and when they start, it'll be an issue for them, but at the moment, it's really just in Big West's court to knock down the companies producing bootleg stuff of their IP.

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21 minutes ago, neoexcaliber said:

And when companies like Arcadia do produce something for the fans at a lower quantity and higher prices due to the small market size, the fans complain. :lol: Yamato tried that and it didn't work. Arcadia adjusted the formula but it still doesn't look like it'll work in the long run.

Not really sure what you're talking about anymore.

There were no bootlegs of Yamato back in the day.  Partially due to Yammie's mostly excellent low pricing that flooded the market and suffocated any chance of any bootlegging.

Most of us got our stuff and we were happy.  Nobody's concerned about bootlegs. Heck! Nobody's really concerned even about even their competition back then from both Toynami and Bandai.

In contrast,

This upcoming bootleg-issue is now being raised by Arcadia.  They are somehow concerned that their home-market (Japan) will import these upcoming bootlegs.

It tells us that the bootleggers sniffed a good chance to make money out of those Macross-fans being ignored by Arcadia.

This bootlegging issue wouldn't really be a big deal if only Arcadia's satisfying the market (both their home and foreign) like Yamato did back in the day.

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54 minutes ago, Chronocidal said:

See.. this would be an issue for Arcadia, except that there's no business to lose, since they're not producing anything to compete with the bootlegs.

I almost halfway think these might even benefit Arcadia, if only by showing what sort of demand exists for the things they aren't making.  If and when they start, it'll be an issue for them, but at the moment, it's really just in Big West's court to knock down the companies producing bootleg stuff of their IP.

In a way, it's kinda funny.

One would think that most VF-1 fans have already migrated onto Bandai's HMR line by this time.  It's the new shiny and it's gonna have a more complete lineup, and then some.

However, it seems that the bootleggers are guessing optimistically that there are still some money to be made on the 1/60v2 line by supplying their KOs for it. 

I'm thinking this "new" 1/60v2 market is the newly-affluent fans in CHN.  They seem to be the ones that seems to be consuming most of those those highly-expensive Hot Toys and Fewture stuff, and even way-overpriced TF MPs.

 

 

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Terrible. These KOs are severely unethical.

I have no problem when a garage group designs its own figure and sells a few unique pieces to fans, even if it is unlicensed. 

But there is no justification for these at all.

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51 minutes ago, treatment said:

Not really sure what you're talking about anymore.

There were no bootlegs of Yamato back in the day.  Partially due to Yammie's mostly excellent low pricing that flooded the market and suffocated any chance of any bootlegging.

Most of us got our stuff and we were happy.  Nobody's concerned about bootlegs. Heck! Nobody's really concerned even about even their competition back then from both Toynami and Bandai.

In contrast,

This upcoming bootleg-issue is now being raised by Arcadia.  They are somehow concerned that their home-market (Japan) will import these upcoming bootlegs.

It tells us that the bootleggers sniffed a good chance to make money out of those Macross-fans being ignored by Arcadia.

This bootlegging issue wouldn't really be a big deal if only Arcadia's satisfying the market (both their home and foreign) like Yamato did back in the day.

Yamato did please the fans but the fans did not please Yamato since many of us put off purchases till they were 50% off during sales. We all know what happened to Yamato and their business model, in combination with the customer base, was definitely not viable. Also, you can't use Yamato's pricing without taking into account inflation and increase in taxes. It's been almost 4 years since they went bust. I also don't think they'd be in trouble if they were relying purely on the Japanese market since they have the option of protecting their IP. It's the international customer base that they're probably afraid of.

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Posted (edited)

Im thinking another company that will get effected is Bandai, mainly their Hi-metal R line.

The much lower cost of the KO will be very close to Bandai's Hi-metal R line pricing market, and much much lower than their secondary market .

KO have gone a long way since the 3rd party scene and it's not just about low cost and cutting corners anymore.  Some KO companies actually take pride in making their KO better than the original.:huh:  ,doesn't sound too right,  but true.:lol:

 

 

 

Edited by F360

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, neoexcaliber said:

Yamato did please the fans but the fans did not please Yamato since many of us put off purchases till they were 50% off during sales. We all know what happened to Yamato and their business model, in combination with the customer base, was definitely not viable. Also, you can't use Yamato's pricing without taking into account inflation and increase in taxes. It's been almost 4 years since they went bust. I also don't think they'd be in trouble if they were relying purely on the Japanese market since they have the option of protecting their IP. It's the international customer base that they're probably afraid of.

I think that actually brings up a funny conundrum for BW...

BW:  STAHP, Bootlegger!  You're violating my Macross-IP! Don't do that!

Bootlegger: Yeah, and?  This ain't JPN, you know. We're in CHN, so your IP do diddlysquat here. We heard that that smelly hobo over there holds your Macross-IP outside of JPN.

smelly hobo HG: Yo, BW! Want my help enforcing teh IP over here in CHN?

BW: F-U, you smelly hobo! STOP TOUCHING ME!

HG: good luck storming the castle, then.

BW: gawdammit!

 

:bump:

 

---

Like I said before, it'll be interesting how the IP holders will combat this upcoming bootleg issue.

:unknw:

 

 

Edited by treatment

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56 minutes ago, F360 said:

Im thinking another company that will get effected is Bandai, mainly their Hi-metal R line.

The much lower cost of the KO will be very close to Bandai's Hi-metal R line pricing market, and much much lower than their secondary market .

KO have gone a long way since the 3rd party scene and it's not just about low cost and cutting corners anymore.  Some KO companies actually take pride in making their KO better than the original.:huh:  ,doesn't sound too right,  but true.:lol:

 

 

 

I can only hope you're wrong. It'd be such a shame to have that line falter when it has all the promise in the world of becoming the most complete SDF line ever. 

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7 minutes ago, jenius said:

I can only hope you're wrong. It'd be such a shame to have that line falter when it has all the promise in the world of becoming the most complete SDF line ever. 

Is there any consensus on why Bandai's original Hi-Metal line came to an end? If it's true that competition in the form of Yamato's original 1/60 line made OG Hi-Metal untenable then I suppose it's plausible that these 1/60 KOs could pose a similar existential threat. I'm not sure whether these KO bootleggers should be taken as seriously as the Yamato in their heyday. On the other hand, the existence of Transformers KOs prove that some KOs can be of indistinguishable or even better quality than the original, though with in an admittedly less sophisticated product. 

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1 hour ago, treatment said:

I think that actually brings up a funny conundrum for BW...

BW:  STAHP, Bootlegger!  You're violating my Macross-IP! Don't do that!

Bootlegger: Yeah, and?  This ain't JPN, you know. We're in CHN, so your IP do diddlysquat here. We heard that that smelly hobo over there holds your Macross-IP outside of JPN.

smelly hobo HG: Yo, BW! Want my help enforcing teh IP over here in CHN?

BW: F-U, you smelly hobo! STOP TOUCHING ME!

HG: good luck storming the castle, then.

BW: gawdammit!

 

:bump:

 

---

Like I said before, it'll be interesting how the IP holders will combat this upcoming bootleg issue.

:unknw:

 

 

:lol: Funny enough, we'd probably say HG deserved it if it were their products being bootlegged.

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10 hours ago, treatment said:

Yes.  Joons and stuff.

There were also bootlegs of the the 1/65 Bandai Macross7 toys, which were actually better than Bandai's own toys, iirc.

 

 

Not in my experience. Those m7 bootlegs were poster children of what you expect a bootleg to be. Loose joints, mold fittings that are off, cheaper plastic, even cheaper stickers if they even came with any and some weird oddities. My bootleg blazer had red fire Valkyrie shoulders for some reason. Those bandai valks were not good to begin with but the bootlegs were definitely worse.

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Actually, if there's any company that wouldn't hesitate to sue these bootleggers, it's HG. x'D

No, seriously, China is one of the biggest markets for Robotech and they have their own toys to sell. And, yeah, it's true that HG has been dealing with 3P companies before, but I think it's safe to say that these outright bootleggers are unlikely to be seen as future business partners. Instead, they might be in trouble... Although, I don't know how much luck HG would have in taking them to court in China.

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TBH, this is old news for me. It's all deja vu actually. I was there when Daban, TT Hongli and some other weird companies taking over to KO Gunpla to the point that they're starting to create their own. And that was like 8 years ago. So this is not new to me esp reading everyone's comments here. It's practically the same comments I've read before. 

It's sad but I still wish Arcadia good luck and hope they will last and conquer this problem. 

 

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I'd buy a KO.  I buy tons of first party stuff.  I feel like I've compensated them plenty.  But I also feel like I have to put on my delicate gloves for fear of breaking my multi-hundred dollar toy.  With a KO, if it is cheap enough, and doesn't hide the fact that it is a KO, and it hits the quality bar, I can take that, and display it at work, and not worry too much if it falls down or breaks.  The MP Transformer KOs are great for having just around the desk.  Yeah, their manufacturing tolerances aren't great, but they look the part if you don't look at them too closely, and they costs 1/2 to 1/3 of the price (or less, even).

So if I could have a valk that looked like a 10 year old Yamato that wasn't terribly fragile, I'd do that as I have already paid Yamato/Arcadia 2-6 times for their mold to begin with.

I wouldn't want to be first in line for these things, but if someone gave the greenlight that they wouldn't crumble upon site, I'd consider it for the right price.

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Yeah man, it's all just competition to me. I don't think consumers have any moral obligation towards corporations whose only goal is to profit. Granted, Arcadia to me is respectable in that they seem to take pride in the work they do and I reward them by buying almost every release they put out...often mutiples of them! So if they can't hang because of KOs...so be it. If they can and excel further, excellent. It's all up to the market and what the consumers end up valuing. I'm definitely not concerened about there not being enough new products on the market for me to buy though. Lol, if anything there are too many and I would welcome less because if it;s there, I buy it, if it's not there, I don't really miss it.

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This whole situation reminds me of Lego KOs (e.g. Lepin). Some of the things they KO are Lego models that have long been discontinued and out of production. As some of you are aware, prices on discontinued Lego sets sometimes skyrocket to stupid levels (e.g. UCS Millennium Falcon going for $5k or more). The customer demand has been there for years but Lego refuses to reissue these sets. It's not like the molds are gone either since most of the parts used in these sets are still produced for today's sets, with only a very small percentage of rare parts.

Then you have scalpers who treat Lego as investments, reselling them at super inflated prices after they're discontinued so they can make a huge profit.

These two factors make KO Lego products suddenly seem like the only way some people will be able to get their hands on a set they've always wanted. Sure, the quality is not completely on par but it's close enough for them.

Personally, I detest the idea of stealing IP. But when I see a KO UCS Super Star Destroyer going for less than $100 (compared to the ridiculous $1.2k price it goes for today), I have to admit that it does seem more than a little tempting to me.

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It would be veeerrry interesting if the KO people get their hands on the 1/60 Yamato Regult kit and started producing that at a low price...hmmmm.....:ph34r:

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9 minutes ago, derex3592 said:

It would be veeerrry interesting if the KO people get their hands on the 1/60 Yamato Regult kit and started producing that at a low price...hmmmm.....:ph34r:

Theyve knocked off the fan racer (I got one) and are currently producing the 1A suit. If they do the Regult I would definitely buy a couple of those. 

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30 minutes ago, Slave IV said:

Yeah man, it's all just competition to me. I don't think consumers have any moral obligation towards corporations whose only goal is to profit. Granted, Arcadia to me is respectable in that they seem to take pride in the work they do and I reward them by buying almost every release they put out...often mutiples of them! So if they can't hang because of KOs...so be it. If they can and excel further, excellent. It's all up to the market and what the consumers end up valuing. I'm definitely not concerened about there not being enough new products on the market for me to buy though. Lol, if anything there are too many and I would welcome less because if it;s there, I buy it, if it's not there, I don't really miss it.

I understand and respect everyone's take and comment about this matter. But I can't call this as a competition because you're robbing someone else's IP here (the plastic molds). I will call this competition if they're creating their own take of a 1/60th scale Valkyrie rather than a carbon copy of what's out there. Lego and MegaBlocks are competing with each other and not a carbon copy of one another. A healthy competition is a lot better rather than using someone else's products and recreate it.

I also understand Archie's explanation on the Millenium Falcon and the price it's going nowadays. But it's just so happen that they already released this product years ago and I'm not sure if Lego practices reissues and whatnot. And if people didn't get the chance of owning one from the initial release, then they have to pay more to get it now. But it doesn't mean that some KO company has the right to copy one and make it more affordable just because the original is expensive.

At the end of the day, just try to imagine yourself in a position when someone else is copying your idea and gets profit out of it without you knowing it. Let's see how we react to that. It's sad but it's true.

 

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This is a topic that doesn't have an easy answer. On the one side there is out right theft going on. Not only have these KO not paid any licensing fees but they are using the exact same molds. They did not create their own product. They didn't even bother to change the scale or make any other changes/improvements that I can see.

On the other hand I'm a consumer whore that has needs. Those needs aren't being met by Arcadia at the moment. Given the choice between an official product and a KO I would choose the official product 100% of the time. But when my only choice is KO or nothing... well all I can say is that I am weak. Should I purchase a KO and Arcadia subsequently releases an official version I would still buy the official version. So, at least for me, Arcadia wouldn't be losing any of my dollars.

All I can hope is that by there being KO's out there that it opens Arcadia's eyes that they have a larger demand out there that they aren't fulfilling. I don't want them to go the way of Yamato by flooding the market but a couple more releases/re-issues a year with some more variety would be nice.

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11 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

I understand and respect everyone's take and comment about this matter. But I can't call this as a competition because you're robbing someone else's IP here (the plastic molds). I will call this competition if they're creating their own take of a 1/60th scale Valkyrie rather than a carbon copy of what's out there. Lego and MegaBlocks are competing with each other and not a carbon copy of one another. A healthy competition is a lot better rather than using someone else's products and recreate it.

I also understand Archie's explanation on the Millenium Falcon and the price it's going nowadays. But it's just so happen that they already released this product years ago and I'm not sure if Lego practices reissues and whatnot. And if people didn't get the chance of owning one from the initial release, then they have to pay more to get it now. But it doesn't mean that some KO company has the right to copy one and make it more affordable just because the original is expensive.

At the end of the day, just try to imagine yourself in a position when someone else is copying your idea and gets profit out of it without you knowing it. Let's see how we react to that. It's sad but it's true.

 

I've been in the creative field for a long time so I know all about it. People have copied my work and profited from it but to me, it's nbd. "Imitation is the highest form of flattery". Just gotta keep making adjustments and stepping up your game! I already mentioned this before but if you are going into a manufaturing business and willing to go to a country in order to take advantage of the low wages for labor, you gotta deal with the risk of them using your "IP" that you are putting into their hands. Also, at least in the case of 3Ps, which emerged as the next step beyond KOs...they actually boost the market for officials, at least for me. If it wasn't for 3P MP style Transformers, I wouldn't be buying any MP Transformers. In the end, it's all about value for me. The 1/60 VF1 mold is very old and there is no more R&D involved so if Arcadia wants to charge more and not give us the variants we want and a KO company will and offers the same quality or better for less, KO wins!

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See... LEGO stuff is a special case here...

LEGO bricks have never gone out of production.  Even if a particular set is gone from the market?  Likelihood is that you can find the pieces for it somewhere else, and the instructions are often archived online.  There are some unique elements, yes, but I don't think any pieces in any of the UCS sets I've gotten were unique (unique colors and printings notwithstanding), save for the original UCS X-Wing's canopy, and even that's been updated and replaced with a new version.  People charging so much for the UCS Falcon at this point might seem ridiculous, but what's the comparative cost of buying the parts to build it yourself?  I'm honestly curious what it would total up to. 

Anyway.. as far as why the original Hi-Metal line died, Bandai couldn't compete with the old Yamato pricing.  People weren't going to buy a 1/100 VF-1 that cost as much as (or even more than) a 1/60 with more features.  Yamato was underselling and overproducing compared to the competition.  Arcadia's new pricing level makes the 1/100 line viable again, because you can't find 1/60s going for less anymore.

It would be very funny if HG stepped in and started buying up the bootleg merchandise to sell in the US though.  Maybe it would finally get BW upset enough to bring the hammer down and resolve the nonsense once and for all.

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1 hour ago, Slave IV said:

I've been in the creative field for a long time so I know all about it. People have copied my work and profited from it but to me, it's nbd. "Imitation is the highest form of flattery". Just gotta keep making adjustments and stepping up your game! I already mentioned this before but if you are going into a manufaturing business and willing to go to a country in order to take advantage of the low wages for labor, you gotta deal with the risk of them using your "IP" that you are putting into their hands. Also, at least in the case of 3Ps, which emerged as the next step beyond KOs...they actually boost the market for officials, at least for me. If it wasn't for 3P MP style Transformers, I wouldn't be buying any MP Transformers. In the end, it's all about value for me. The 1/60 VF1 mold is very old and there is no more R&D involved so if Arcadia wants to charge more and not give us the variants we want and a KO company will and offers the same quality or better for less, KO wins!

Agreed. And it is what it is when it comes to KO's and 3P's products. Also we always get what we pay for for those products. Now it's just a battle of conscience and it's really up to consumers which one to support and buy.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Chronocidal said:

See... LEGO stuff is a special case here...

LEGO bricks have never gone out of production.  Even if a particular set is gone from the market?  Likelihood is that you can find the pieces for it somewhere else, and the instructions are often archived online.  There are some unique elements, yes, but I don't think any pieces in any of the UCS sets I've gotten were unique (unique colors and printings notwithstanding), save for the original UCS X-Wing's canopy, and even that's been updated and replaced with a new version.  People charging so much for the UCS Falcon at this point might seem ridiculous, but what's the comparative cost of buying the parts to build it yourself?  I'm honestly curious what it would total up to. 

I think it will cost thousands of $ too if you want to buy the bricks individually from places like bricklink, but only because sellers are charging outrageous prices for a single piece of the rare, sometimes out of print, elements. An example is the radar dish on the UCS Falcon which costs over $100 for a single Lego piece. Take into consideration that the average value of a single Lego element is estimated at $0.10.

In summary, buying these discontinued sets or buying all the parts individually will have relatively similar costs (including shipping these from different places around the globe that might have them). And that's because people are charging way too much for some of the rarer parts in the set. 

 

Edited by ArchieNov

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Here's what you guys aren't telling us about Yamato products:

The white plastics yellow if exposed to the sun.
The boxes (at least of the 1/60 v1's not sure if they ever fixed this though) have inferior ink on them which literally bleeds off onto your hands if your hands are sweaty at all.
Some memebers reported broken joints out of the box or joints breaking later on after what I would assume to be very careful transformations.
Reissue of a reissue of a reissue which knocked down value.
"Perfect transformation" models which knocked down the value of the version 1's.

Need any more excuses for a KO?  Plus last I read, Arcadia's stuff is way overpriced.  I would feel like an idiot paying that much for a valk unless maybe it was an old collectable takatoku or bandai 1/55.

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The company that's really losing out here is Big West (on new profits, not existing).  If the bootlegs are released 6+ months after the original release, Arcadia are not losing profits unless people neglect the originals in favor of the boots (which I don't think affects us too much, we're pretty loyal...we want Arcadia to keep producing new toys).  Also if the quality is crap they will only be customization fodder.

Now if Arcadia decide to produce M&M's in 2 years, yes, this would definitely hurt them in terms of future profits.  But at this point it doesn't appear they're going to do that.  Arcadia has release the Roy and Hikaru VF-1S's twice in a row now, correct?

I don't know how the Arcadia's production number compare to Yamato's, but the price point on VF-1's is nearly double.

I will buy all.  Mandarake is my only option for V2 VF-1's and I'm not spending $300 USD for old toys. 

I have a bootleg Buster prime and it's awesome.  I got it because Hasbro didn't make the silver-accented prime in the US and both the Hasbro and Takara are too pricey (not like they're losing out on profits those runs are long out of print).

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Yeah but... the valks I see in OP are very old.  If they are bootlegged, the collectors already got them a long, long time ago.  I'd be in for an M&M bootleg set.  I don't feel like paying $150+ each for them.  I'm only missing from my V1 set M&M and Elint Seeker.  Well and the TV cannon fodder but I already have the normal cannon fodder box.

I still like Bandai 1/55 better.  Nostalgia sake which Arcadia/Yamato lack.  Those didn't exist when I was a kid.  Plus the boxes don't bleed onto my hands for my 1/55 reissues :p

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I still want an upscaled 1/55 chunky......

Kinda glad they did not do an upscale KO of the 1/60....I would want Bandai to release their 1/35......but if they do not by end of next year.....:unknw:

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1 hour ago, jvmacross said:

I still want an upscaled 1/55 chunky......

Kinda glad they did not do an upscale KO of the 1/60....I would want Bandai to release their 1/35......but if they do not by end of next year.....:unknw:

How about a self-transforming chunky? :ph34r:

 

 

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10 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

How about a self-transforming chunky? :ph34r:

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Pedro2k6 said:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/137067866318821/permalink/1812526442106280/ this from a Mexican fan page of macross.... 1 member manege to get one bootleg stand, the price?? $34 + shipping. According to him is very well done and good quality.

Curious. Hey Pedro, can you post the pic directly? It says only members can see the post. Thanks! ;)

 

Edited by no3Ljm

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This entire situation bothers me.

One, that conditions are such (limited product availability, prices higher than most can either afford, or are willing to pay) that there is even a market for Knock-Off copies of Yamato/Arcadia products and two that there are people eager and willing to support said bootleg market.

Don't think that for one second Arcadia won't just decide to exit Macross altogether if their products are going to be stolen and replicated. This isn't Takara where that business can be absorbed in other ways, either volume or with other profitable properties.

I'd go without before I bought a KO. Which is completely different than a 3rd party, alternate design, of an already made product or character.

-b.

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