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Everything posted by Newtype78

  1. That sounds like they're saying that it's virgin ABS. If that's the case, the plastic should be of very good quality. Good to hear. Thank you for giving us an inside scoop on the product.
  2. Speaking of co-existing with licensed and unlicensed manufacturers/producers, Hasbro has recently partnered with Shapeways to create a sort of limited licensing opportunity for people who want to sell 3D printed work that uses select Hasbro IPs such as Transformers, GI Joe, and My Little Pony. They use a web site called Superfanart for this initiative. The name is problematic as people have criticized it by saying "Why does fan art have to be licensed?" but I'll leave it at that. Such discussion belongs elsewhere. An example used by the CEO of Shapeways to illustrate the breakdown of profit sharing goes like this(roughly, I know it doesn't add up exactly): Hasbro receives a licensing fee in the way of 11.67% of the product's price. The designer of the product receives payment of 21.67% of the product's price. Shapeways receives 66.67% of the products price, which goes to manufacturing, materials cost, shipping cost, and basically running the virtual storefront. Some people balk at Shapeways getting over half the profit but...is it really that unfair for what Shapeways provides as the manufacturer, shipper, facility operator, storefront administrator, etc.? Also the designer gets just over 1/5th of the poduct's sale price. Do toy designers who work for companies normally get a 1/5th cut of all toy sales? I doubt it. So how is this relevant to Macross and its potential 3rd party growth? Well, it could mean that in the future, there could be a viable option for IP holders to work with independent 3rd part producers for mutual gain. The Macross toy scene isn't exactly booming these days. We could benefit from the collective potential of the global creative fandom of Macross. As already noted recently by Skullmilitia, it's very difficult to stop certain producers from doing what they do if they operate from a country like China. Instead of fighting a losing battle, why not try to approach the situation from another angle? Getting a licensing fee is better than getting nothing back when unlicensed 3rd party work is being sold in the marketplace.
  3. Oh, I see. That definitely makes importing U3P products into your country more of a gamble than most others.
  4. I know you're joking around but you do make a good point. As I understand it, a couple of MW community members have work or had work available through Shapeways that fixed or improved functionality of some Macross toys. While seemingly innocuous U3P products like joint replacement parts shouldn't raise the ire of the IP holder(s) but...you never know with businesses entities. At best, we can speculate on how a company behaves as an organization that is normally driven by business sensibility. These companies have responsibilities to investors so in some cases, the company itself may not care one way or another but if there's a matter that concerns the investors, then the company is forced to pursue further investigation or action into the matter. I would also like to learn how Japanese collectors, at large, view U3P products or if U3P products are even on their radar to any significant degree. It seems like when that topic is discussed, there is often mention of the limited time licensing offered at Wonder Fest for garage kits but I can't recall much solid knowledge of the U3P scene in Japan as far as toys go.
  5. It is most definitely IP theft, blatant at that. Despite employing SD aesthetics, this is a straight up usage of the SDF-1 visual design. Now is that "good" or "bad" or "moral" or "immoral"...that's a subjective and personal matter. As far as a legal matter, that's for the IP holder(s) to determine as far as pursuing action goes. I doubt you would have issues for purchasing and/or owning the toy but I don't know anything about the EU laws regarding IP infringing products. The Makuros does look very good in the promotional photos...personally, I'm primarily interested in the toy design and utilization of the materials in its construction. For roughly $100 plus shipping, I hope this is not a fragile object where I would have reservations about handling it despite it being a seemingly well articulated toy.
  6. I also do not want to see unlicensed 3rd party products directly compete with licensed products. I would not want to see recasts of existing Macross toys pop up in the scene. First of all, they're not necessary. Yes, some people haven't acquired a certain toy mold and to buy one on the secondary market at inflated pricing isn't practical but...deal with it. We can't always get what we want and someday, licensed producers could revisit toy molds as we've seen Arcadia do exactly that. Secondly, as I've seen in the TF U3P market, there is an opportunity to play around with concepts that already exist in the official license offerings. Why retread what is already done? Take some creative liberties and instead of merely copying, either tackle obscure concept designs or put a personal spin on a classic design. I realize that the Macross toy collector community is largely about accuracy to the source material. Well, if you want that, as sparse as the offerings may be, go for the licensed products. Slowly but surely, they're happening. The potential Macross U3P industry could be about realizing concepts in toy form that the licensed producers would not likely ever consider. Make these U3P products made to order so production costs can be somewhat controlled.
  7. That's what makes the Macross license more problematic for discussion than, for example, Transformers. For the former, you have a lot of third parties at work with most being licensed and a relative few unlicensed producers. So when people start slinging around "third party" with the intent of saying "unlicensed", that just muddles the conversation unnecesarily. Edit: The UTP, LTP, and GTP terms sound very useful! I think I'll start using them for my own clarification when I view these various products.
  8. No, it's not a lesson in diction or semantics. I'm neither giving a lesson on how one speaks due to style of written or spoken language(diction) nor am I going into a discussion of interpretation of meaning(semantics). The terms "third party" and "unlicensed" are not synonyms. All I'm attempting to do is use precise language in an attempt at better understanding. Clarifying the difference in "third party products" and "unlicensed products" is not a matter of semantics, it's a matter of proper usage of terms. Third party is not arbitrarily interchangeable with "unlicensed usage". The breakdown of most discussions involving the topic of the "third party" stems at least in part from the misuse of the term "third party". As for what the TF community calls it, I know that full well. I'm a part of that community. I'm more of a TF fan than a Macross fan, to be frank. It's because of my involvement with the TF community that I'm taking part in the discussion in this thread. I see this discussion as a potentially useful opportunity for MW members to expand their horizons beyond licensed products because, to be honest, Macross isn't exactly the most flourishing brand as far as toy products go. It's obvious there's a hunger for more Macross toy representation, particularly of the high end variety. So, yes, perhaps my involvement in the thread up to this point is dry or repetitive to some such as yourself, Exo. However, are my contributions counter productive? Have my posts gotten in the way of progressing the discussion at least in the way of clarity of what is actually being discussed? Do I deserve a snide bit of sarcasm from a board member who is a moderator, no less? If people knew what constitutes the first, second, and third parties in commerce, I wouldn't have engaged any further about it beyond my first post in this thread. If you all know what you're talking about here, as you say, there wouldn't have been a need for clarification on what constitutes a third party and why it doesn't mean "unlicensed producer". Edit: As Tober has, I'll stop this line of discussion. I think that enough has been said on this area and while I'm by no means an expert on this, I at least enjoyed my interaction with Tober on figuring out the "parties".
  9. Not quite. The best explanation I can find for how first, second, and third party applies in this discussion is the concept of the "third party source" as used in commerce. Quoted from Wikipedia:
  10. Oh no! I'm getting kicked out of the internet! As I understand it, in commerce, the second party is always the customer. Hasbro can't be the second party to a customer because it's not buying anything from the customer...I don't think you can apply first, second, or third person perspectives in writing to relationships of the first, second, and third parties in commerce. Licensing isn't a matter of a buyer/customer transaction for a product or service. It's a business deal where, for a fee, the licensor grants permission to the licensee to use, to a degree, a property of some sort. So Hot Toys isn't a second party due to paying for licensing rights to make an Optimus Prime figure. They're paying a fee to Hasbro for permission to create Optimus Prime products. They're not buying a product or service from Hasbro. They're not a customer, they're a business partner in this example. It's not that using "3rd party" is inaccurate, rather, it's ambiguous. As I said earlier, not all 3rd party products are unlicensed. Most discussions involving 3rd party products incorrectly use "3rd party" to mean "unlicensed" or something that is not made with the permission by the intellectual property holder. For example, I have a plastic cup with the image of artwork from the movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". This appears to be a third party product because Marvel did not manufacture it and sell it to me. However, the manufacturer has permission to use the IP of CA:TWS for this cup's artwork and has permission to sell it. In return for using the IP of CA:TWS, the manufacturer of this cup pays a fee for use of the license to Marvel. Many, if not most, objects in the households of everyone posting in this thread are technically 3rd party products.
  11. Lunch was good. Not every purchase is an endorsement. I'm buying the Master Made Makuros out of curiosity. I don't approve of it. I can't until I see for myself what qualities it possesses as a toy product. Even if a purchase was necessarily an endorsement, in my post, I stated that I am specific about what kind of unlicensed products I would purchase. So purchasing one unlicensed product is not a wholesale endorsement of unlicensed products at large. The breadth of what unlicensed products are and can be is too varied in my eyes for me to say I support them or I don't support them. That's why I don't condone or endorse unlicensed products. It is a case by case judgment, or endorsement if you will, for me. As I understand the terms, at least with respect to the subject of 3rd party or specifically unlicensed products, the 1st party is the primary seller/producer/owner of a product/product line/brand. The 2nd party is the customer. The 3rd party is anyone else who isn't the 1st or 2nd party. In my previous post, I used Hot Toys' upcoming Optimus Prime figure as an example of a licensed 3rd party product. They have permission from Hasbro and/or TakaraTomy to create a product using the IP of "Optimus Prime". They are not the 1st party(HasTak) and they aren't the 2nd party(a customer who is buying a product) so they are the 3rd party. The fact that "the 3rd party" is so broad is the reason why I chose to specifically address "unlicensed products" rather than "3rd party products" for the sake of reducing ambiguity(hopefully it makes sense now why I speak of unlicensed products rather than "3rd party products"). Another way to put it is that all unlicensed products are 3rd party products but not all 3rd party products are unlicensed products.
  12. The 3rd party industry is quite broad. Being 3rd party doesn't make something automatically unlicensed. Hot Toys' upcoming Optimus Prime figures are 3rd party but licensed and legal. So with that in mind, I will specifically discuss unlicensed work for this post. First of all, I see it as a very straight forward matter. When products are not licensed and blatantly utilize IP that doesn't belong to the producer, that's not legal. However, I don't see it as a moral issue the way that many do. It's strictly a legal matter to me. I don't condone or endorse unlicensed products. I choose to buy them when I see them being worth the purchase price. I think that many new generation unlicensed products are a mixed bag as far as the producer's motivations. Partly there is an element of fandom but it's also a business endeavor. These unlicensed products are made with the intent of turning a profit. Unlicensed product makers aren't saviors of fandom or benevolent toy makers who "give" to the fandom. There is a price for these toys. It's a business transaction. As far as brand loyalty, that's a personal choice and I think it's misguided in many ways. Brand loyalty comes from a perception of these companies as some sort of feeling human entity. They are not. They are businesses composed of many individuals who work together as a matter of obligation to their employment requirements. As a fan of brands like Macross, I don't want to see the brand harmed. If unlicensed products are of the variety of kinds of products that the license holders have little to no interest in producing, then I don't see harm being done by the unlicensed product. If unlicensed product makers pursue the making of products that compete directly with products being made by the license holders, that's when I choose not to purchase unlicensed products. There is so much more that can be said on this topic but I'll leave it that for now. I'm on my lunch break and it's almost time to get back to work!
  13. I have also placed a preorder through Lunar Toys. I'm looking forward to seeing what this ambitious product brings to the table.
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