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

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For many KOs, I absolutely believe they are rejected "official" product. In this case, I think it is more like the factory sold the mold plans or the ko molds were reverse engineered from the existing parts or some other factory inside job type scheme was involved to produce a slightly different product.

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Typically when test batches are run these samples are not meant to be sold, but in many cases if the customer cannot meet their commitment and there is ample run from the batch then a new opportunity presents itself for the customer and manufacturer to come to an accord.

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But would test batches all consistently have the same different shaped parts and take so long after official release to come out?

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Sure they can. Blank test batches can be produced and then painted any color afterwards. 

Or it could be that the manufacturer is possibly producing parts using test molds. 

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Posted (edited)

That seems far more likely.  Valkyrie Factory isn't using rejected Arcadia toys, they're using rejected Yamato molds.

LEGO knew enough to bury their discarded molds in concrete:

discarded.jpeg.aab5566bfc5bc3182f4821991ef4e630.jpeg

If Yamato early test molds weren't properly disposed of, they're probably the source of these knock-offs.

Edited by tekering

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Wondering out loud if its possible to reverse engineer molds by taking apart the physical copy...

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If they were just using old molds it wouldn't explain why they're always doing releases after Arcadia does them... Maybe it's a business decision... But if it is, it's a real head scratcher. If they wanted to do a 1J next, Hikaru would have made a lot more sense than M&M.

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2 hours ago, seti88 said:

Wondering out loud if its possible to reverse engineer molds by taking apart the physical copy...

Yeah, you can do re-casts, or take a 3D scan or some CMM probe data of a part and use it to build a CAD model of the negative mold.

That might explain the small tweaks here and there.

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Posted (edited)

I remember on a Kickstarter for some dice that they found that molds wear out with use and have to be replaced. I kinda assumed that at least some of the molds being used for the ValkFac figures were already considered "spent" by Arcadia standards, but still good for a few more runs by KO standards. Maybe it's a different process though, I'm certainly no expert.

Maybe it's a combination of factors. It could be they're using old test molds and then lining up behind Arcadia to use the same paint process.

One detail that I don't think has been brought up and might be interesting for someone to noodle over is that the transparent orange shoulder parts are the same shape as the red transparent part on the strike cannon. Assuming that isn't the case for the 1P strike cannon, maybe it was an intentional change to cut down on tooling costs?

Edited by WaferMouse

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On 8/8/2019 at 12:41 PM, WaferMouse said:

One detail that I don't think has been brought up and might be interesting for someone to noodle over is that the transparent orange shoulder parts are the same shape as the red transparent part on the strike cannon. Assuming that isn't the case for the 1P strike cannon, maybe it was an intentional change to cut down on tooling costs?

I had to check the Assembly Kit against this KO as I thought there could have been a slight possibility that these could have been left over kits. And no the AKs are very different from the KOs.

WaferMouse, the lenses are not the same size. They are of similar shape, but the red one on the Strike Canon is larger, wider, and thicker....

Insert joke here.

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i'm betting these are straight up reverse engineered from final product.  just takes some equipment and a few engineers (remember labor in  overseas areas where production happends.. including skilled professionals is cheaper there than say the USA or Japan)  to do the 3D model up. and send those models and prints out for quote to the right molding houses, get it tooled up....and maybe do the assembly in house once the components are in.  totally doable, its just the business case to go ahead with tooling up the molds has to be solid...which they can guarantee via preorders etc....i would think.  the SSP are different enough that i doubt its old discarded molds being used (unless they are fairly early revsions etc)...although its certainly one of a few different possibilities.

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On 8/9/2019 at 12:49 AM, Sanity is Optional said:

Yeah, you can do re-casts, or take a 3D scan or some CMM probe data of a part and use it to build a CAD model of the negative mold.

That might explain the small tweaks here and there.

i suppose its easy to re-cast the vf-1, however for more complex valks like the 262, it may not be worth the effort.

All the more to avoid IP right infringements, just raise the complexity level on fit and finish.

 

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Is there any possibility that  this mold  gets made in non-canon colors, green, purple, yellow... I know most people here prefer   anime accurate , but if valkyrie factory offered having your vf-1 made a la nike id would be awesome. ! :wub:

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28 minutes ago, seti88 said:

i suppose its easy to re-cast the vf-1, however for more complex valks like the 262, it may not be worth the effort.

 All the more to avoid IP right infringements, just raise the complexity level on fit and finish.  

With modern laser scanners it'd be pretty easy to scan the parts for a 262 or the like, provided you can get it apart (or get a junked one that didn't make QC).

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You think so?  I have a 3D printer and I've looked at laser scanners (this was a year or so ago), and at least on consumer grade, the precision isn't there for submillimeter accuracy.  I've also printed friction fit parts and the difference between loose and tight can be like 0.25mm.  I use calipers to redesign broken parts and I usually have to trial and error print to get the fit correct.

I'd just be surprised if laser scanners could get that, but maybe a professional/expensive laser scanner could get there...Just saying these are high precision parts to get the types of allowances these toys have, even the KOs.

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The KO makers over in China probably have one of the nice industrial scanners, those can get down to tens of microns. Had to look into them for work, and honestly they're not all that expensive for a company.

Plus if they scanned in the parts in LQ then did clean-up manually it'd explain why the parts are sometimes different, like the head.

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Looks like the Valkyrie Factory VF-31J has been put off until 1st quarter 2020.  They still have pics of the model kit up instead of anything they actually made.

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Looks like their Fast Packs sets are also sold out. 

 

 

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Since that Valkyrie Factory is taking the pre-orders for M&M's 1J, it won't be long before the full KO GBP parts is issued. 

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6 hours ago, 505thAirborne said:

Looks like their Fast Packs sets are also sold out. 

That would explain why Show.Z sent me a knock-off Transformer instead...  :(

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Has anyone purchased/reviewed the the 1/60 Valkyrie Factory VF-1S Focker with Strike parts? I'm curious how it fared. I have a few friends that saw my collection and their nostalgia was strong! I'd like to get them some for presents (I'm not getting Yamato/Arcadia stuff, they're not into it that much). Just something to put on their shelf.

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31 minutes ago, sqidd said:

Has anyone purchased/reviewed the the 1/60 Valkyrie Factory VF-1S Focker with Strike parts? I'm curious how it fared. I have a few friends that saw my collection and their nostalgia was strong! I'd like to get them some for presents (I'm not getting Yamato/Arcadia stuff, they're not into it that much). Just something to put on their shelf.

I have a set. One more set is on the way.

I know this is a grey area, supporting KO is a controversial topic. I just can't resist getting a few as a cheap alternative for me to mess around with when I find the time. I would like to apply weathering to one of my KO Focker. Would not dream of doing that first time on a Arcadia PF version which cost north of $350. You can get the KO version for around $170. Mine are cheaper due to help from a kind friend with TaoBao account.

For the price it is really good. Not as good as the original, but it is PF (premium finished) level on finishing. All the tampo print are crisp and there are lots of them. No sticker at all.

The head sculpt is a bit different from the original but it does not bother me too much.

The joints are mostly ok, I find the knee joints are a bit mushy. But  once set in a post for display that doesn't bother me too much too. But if you like to handle them a lot, it might be annoying.

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 8:20 PM, tekering said:

That would explain why Show.Z sent me a knock-off Transformer instead...  :(

That sucks, could have at least sent you a VF-1 instead... or just a refund. 

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6 hours ago, sqidd said:

Has anyone purchased/reviewed the the 1/60 Valkyrie Factory VF-1S Focker with Strike parts? I'm curious how it fared. I have a few friends that saw my collection and their nostalgia was strong! I'd like to get them some for presents (I'm not getting Yamato/Arcadia stuff, they're not into it that much). Just something to put on their shelf.

 

 

 

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I would skip or ignore the "Bots & Bits" review as the reviewer has next to zero product knowledge.  He has the thing totally mis-transformed throughout the entire review.  The BensKOllectables is better but neither will compare that KO against an actual Arcadia/Yamato.

Anyway here are some MW Member reviews from last October/November (page 21 & 22 of this topic).

On 10/27/2018 at 2:37 AM, WaferMouse said:

Mine arrived today, so here's my little mini-review. The "Bad" section will be longer but only because I want to be specific on the differences vs a 1P figure:

The Good:

Everything's complete and intact. No major blemishes, just a few small scuffs. Nothing is loose or floppy. It comes with more tampo than my 30th anni VF-1J. Everything transforms properly. I don't know whether modern Arcadia releases are coming with the cool neck/side covers, but it's a nice upgrade over my existing PT figure.

The Bad:

Tolerances are all over the place. I've seen photos of the back pack hinge breaking on the first attempt, and I thought mine was going to as well, but it eventually gave. Also the tabs that hold the chest and back together in F/G mode had some sprue junk on them, took a lot of force to transform but I suspect that will be easier now the junk's gone. I also had to take the left shin apart because there was some junk stopping the foot from getting past the detent, some light filing sorted that.

If the nose wheel turns, I don't want to twist it as hard as it needs. It doesn't seem as though the intake covers come off, but maybe I just didn't put enough effort into it. If anyone gets to the intakes, let me know!

The Ugly:

Mine was incredibly gappy over the hips in F mode when I took it out of the box. I haven't transformed it back yet so maybe it just needed some play. I'll take a photo if it's still the same when I put it back in F.

Conclusion:

For the price you pay (£100 for me all-in), this is really great value. Absolutely worth it for custom work, or if you feel as though you're missing a VF without wanting to pay Arcadia prices. I'd probably buy another if I saw one for Max, just so I could pair it with my V1 Milia.

Some people have been asking whether these are QA rejects, but based on the tolerances I'd guess that this run came from molds that were already spent by Arcadia standards.

I'll take some photos at some point.

 

On 10/27/2018 at 11:04 AM, rdrunner said:

Mine also arrived today. 

Quick verdict: for about $80 including postage, this is not a bad KO copy for messing around when I can keep the genuine Arcadia copy in display.  There are a few noticeable differences in tolerance and finish. I will just focus on these: 

1. Leg fin parts do not line up well when they are not folded. Bigger gap than Arcadia or Yamato and the Fin feels slightly thicker. 

2. Wheel doors on each leg do not close up flushly. This may be a tolerance thing or the parts just need massaging in  

3. I can’t get the tabs that tab into the back of the legs in fighter mode to tab in properly. The alignment of the feet in F mode is a little off probably because of this.

4. HOW TO DISTINGUISH between a KO and genuine copy: look at the two pics of Battroid mode. The orange “lights” behind the shoulders are different in shape and colour tone. The KO one is lighter and the lights are slightly longer.

5.  The red “sights” of the gunpod are different - KO has a mold line in this piece where the Arcadia is completely smooth and the red is brighter in colour. 

6. Top down view of the shoulders show a little difference in the shape of the parts near the front hinge. KO is tapered and Arcadia has straight corners. 

7. Wing tip lights in the KO has matte paint, Arcadia uses metallic paint for the red and blue.

8. The clear parts near the wing root are well aligned and flush in Arcadia’s copy. The KO clear parts are not installed very well and stick out  

 

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On 11/4/2018 at 6:25 PM, rdrunner said:

Ok @borgified as a fellow GBP fan I was also curious to see the results for myself. 

It feels just like me digging out a pair of old jeans, and go, meh that should still fit, but the moment I finish putting it on, the button and zip explodes...and that was almost exactly what happened to my GBP armor when I tried to fit it on the KO -1S. 

 There were clear gaps in the nappy area, the arm and leg armours will just not lock in properly, the chest falls off, and I only managed to get one shot of it in full armour before I stared at it too hard and the leg armours just disintegrated in front of me. 

Verdict? Don’t even think about trying to fit a GBP on a KO. I wonder if FextHobby’s 1/60 OWL (if it gets made at all) will fit better on it, but I don’t intend on trying. 

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I'm considering getting one if I can get it on a sale for an office toy.  Just gotta be patient.  They sold out the other day when it was $9 off.

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@DewPoint and @F360 thank you!

Edited by sqidd

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13 minutes ago, DewPoint said:

I would skip or ignore the "Bots & Bits" review as the reviewer has next to zero product knowledge.  He has the thing totally mis-transformed throughout the entire review.  The BensKOllectables is better but neither will compare that KO against an actual Arcadia/Yamato.

Anyway here are some MW Member reviews from last October/November (page 21 & 22 of this topic).

 

 

I'm considering getting one if I can get it on a sale for an office toy.  Just gotta be patient.  They sold out the other day when it was $9 off.

Which parts were misstransformed through the entire video?

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Just off the top of my head... The shoulders never seemed properly locked in place in GERWALK or Battroid mode.  They appear very low in Battroid and too far back in GERWALK.  The leg fins are folder over in GERWALK or Battroid mode.  The door behind the head was not properly recessed in Battroid mode which is why you got pressure/rubbing into the paint of your tail fins.  The right side cavity filler for Battroid mode is practically falling out in the last 4 minutes of the video.

They just stood out to me.

After some thought, It could very well be that it is the fault of the transformation instructions of the KO.

Edited by DewPoint

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1 hour ago, DewPoint said:

Just off the top of my head... The shoulders never seemed properly locked in place in GERWALK or Battroid mode.  They appear very low in Battroid and too far back in GERWALK.  The leg fins are folder over in GERWALK or Battroid mode.  The door behind the head was not properly recessed in Battroid mode which is why you got pressure/rubbing into the paint of your tail fins.  The right side cavity filler for Battroid mode is practically falling out in the last 4 minutes of the video.

They just stood out to me.

After some thought, It could very well be that it is the fault of the transformation instructions of the KO.

The KO has no instructions
The shin fins are folded over in both modes.
During the shoulder transformation in my video @ 10:28 for Guardian.  Assuming the Youtuber 'ScorchedEarth Toys' Arcadia reviews are correct, then mine is in the correct position. The extreme tightness of the shoulder ballsocket flexes the transformation hinge on its rotation pin. If that's what you're referring to, I discuss that in the video.
I didn't realise the shoulder pads shimmy up for Battroid. I think that's your problem with the shoulders looking low.
I didn't realise the air brake could be recessed.
Yes, the side fillers are falling out. The tabs do not hold them in firmly (I discuss it in the video) I think this is because the diecast hip hinge on mine is backwards, and does not allow the chest to collapse fully.
Yes my product knowledge is limited, I didn't know any of this existed until the KO popped up for sale.

If you end up watching my video again, please let me know if you notice something incorrect.
I'll be chucking up a vid of the Blue KO as soon as its released.
 

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I suspected the KO came with no instructions.  Your review feels like it was made for the more casual and curious collectors.  It's perfectly fine for that.  Those looking for a more inexpensive alternative to Yamato/Arcadia offerings were likely not your target audience.  My comments were intended for them.

Enjoy the trip down the rabbit hole!  I look forward to see your Blue KO review.

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Just a few small additions to my review that @DewPoint very kindly quoted up for us:

- I did eventually get into the intakes, things were just really tight around the covers. In the end I carefully stuck a scalpel blade in and popped them off.

- The gappiness over the legs in fighter mode never really went away, but I got it slightly better than OOB just by fiddling a bit.

- I bought a second KO with the same issue in the left shin, but it really is just a ~5 minute job to pop the leg open and lightly file down the junk. I'd never seen the inside of the leg before but the issue instantly leapt out at me when I had it open, so you don't need any expert knowledge to fix it. If you open both shins and compare them, it makes it easy to see where to work. Make sure you check the feet extend before you give them to your friends!

Edited by WaferMouse

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Posted (edited)

You can get the official Miria for just a bit more from HLJ on sale... Well, if that sell is still happening.

Edited by jenius

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