New to this hobby/forum - have some questions

Hey everyone, just a few basic questions.

  1. Why do figures take so long from announcement to release? From what I see here it seems to take forever to release to actually release, is this common or just due to corona?

  2. Why is info regarding these companies and what they make so scarce in English? Is this not a popular enough hobby in the West as it is in Asia to warrant better communication from various brands?

  3. Are there multiple batches of these figures made or do you only have one chance before they’re gone?

  4. How many are usually made per release?

  5. How fragile are the plastic pieces to these? Will they explode under the slightest bit of pressure if I don’t have the steadiest hands when assembling?

That’s about all I can think of for now.

Thanks for the help, looking forward to trying this hobby out.

If this post has broken any rules please let me know and I will edit/delete. :smile:

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Hi @Husk_1986,

welcome. To answer some of your questions as good as I can.

Some companies seem to have the monopoly in using factories and others are plainly close to bankruptcy. Guess @AdamC knows much more here.
Easy and Simple and DAM have a frequent output. Flagset and Mini Times are moderate. Soldier Story and MCToys for example are always long overdue.

It depends on. Once got a Soldier Story figure with wrongly sewed pouches. Received this item in a proper state later from a European place. Soldier Story is doing batches nowadays regulary.

In general, get it when you can. Usually, everything will be out of stock eventually and some items are never redone so far. Rather buy one more rifle, than less. Otherwise, you might regret it later :smile:

Easy Simple tends to make some S marked figures artificially scarce by only making 100-300. But normally, around a few thousand. 5000-10000 I estimate.
Expo figures from DAM and Soldier Story used to be limited to some, I guess, but Expo seems to be more of a marketing thing now, if I am not mistaken.

Usually not, but it also depends on the brands. Soldier Story rifles are less sturdy, DAM is usually very sturdy. I would apply special care with shades/sunglasses and headphones with rail adapters. Also cloth items like shoe laces or helmet straps might tear. Not to forget low quality plastic buckles of pouches. With some figures they tend to break easily.

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Welcome aboard, Husk. Welcome to the madness.

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A few factors. They rely on various factories to produce items and are subject to their availability and wait times. They may be waiting to receive enough seller demand to hit the minimum order quantity needed to produce an item. Funding can be another issue, especially with smaller or newer brands as there are a lot of up front costs involved with design as well as production. There may be a problem with a particular component found after production that requires an item being remade.

Again a few things here. The majority of brands are based in China so language is often a barrier. Even there they don’t communicate that often directly. Brands often rely on distributors to handle communication, and they in turn rely on sellers. When brands participate directly they are often put off as conversation tends to devolve quickly into other questions like where is this, why is this item I received broken, when are you going to make this item, etc. Much of the product is also unlicensed so they aren’t going out of their way to advertise all of their information.

This is the sort of hobby where everyone has their likes, dislikes, idea, etc and by the time a brand is ready to announce a product it may be too late to make changes. There has been a history of products and ideas being copied so by the time you see a product previewed it may already be far enough along in the design process that they aren’t wanting to make changes or may not be looking for any feedback.

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Welcome to the Hobby !

  1. These figures are made to order, so the company announces the item , waits for the pre-order numbers to come in and then decide how many to make, start producing. This reduces risk substantially. That contributes to the long lead time. The super long lead time of >1,2 year seen by Soldier Story is NOT common. Bear in mind most of these items are super detailed and often require some / alot of stuff made by hand. There isnt a machine that just poops these out. Yes COVID-19 has had an impact due to the workforce required. Expect delays. Most of the companies have products made in the same factory (OEM service). This is much more efficient and cost effective than setting up your own factory. E.G, Our brand, (General’s Armoury), Green Wolf Gear, MSE, SMG all have our products made by the Easy & Simple factory. So if we want a figure made, we would have to figure the schedule out. Thankfully, Easy & Simple’s workers are super fast and churn out figures at lightning speed !

  2. China makes up 90% of the market. 1/6 is basically nearly dead in the west. The mindset that the US market is the dominant one is outdated. This is also why we see more and more China and Russian figures being made. (Think current geopolitical climate). The thing about the 1/6 market in china is, they are controlled by a massive monopoly, called BBICN. This is a HUGE , the largest distributor in China, they even distribute to other countries. Communication with customers are often via distributor / as what Adamc says. Of course there are bilingual companies, like us (General’s Armoury) who focus on customers and communication!

  3. You only have once chance, once they are gone, they are gone. I think Chpo got mixed up with production batches, at times a figure is widely popular, the company would not want to wait for all figures to finish production (some will be just sitting in the warehouse) , so they release the figure batch by batch, instead of having customers wait. By doing this, they can also catch QC issues from customer feedback. Downside is quality varies between batches. If you really like a figure, pre-order it, if you are on the fence, wait for it to be released, there might be extra. Of course a lower price is given as a reward for pre-ordering.

  4. It depends on pre-order. A company will look at the pre-order number and decide how many to make. Usually there is a small buffer. If 500 people pre-order, a company is likely to make say 500-600 ? Chpo, 5000-10000 is an outlandish number. A figure produced in higher quantities would be a run-away hit, think wildly popular figures like the Easy & Simple double gun Devgru, Soldier Story Voodoo / Winter Seal.

5.They wont explode, they are fragile, be careful. Each scale weapon can be made of more than 20 pieces.

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What a smack by GeneralSam, Enrique!!! . Was I lying? 500 to 600 figures. You have just one chance to buy a figure o a specific part. Better pre-order. When they are gone the are gone for good, only to be found in the hands of collectors or at an auction or a vendor specialized in “oldies” at a price out of the reach of most of mortals.

Just as an instance, try to obtain in the Net Hot Toys British Royals and Dragons Lieutenant in Afghanistan figure (I own two of them) or Hot toys First Blood figure with M65 jacket ( I own two of them too) and see how they make your current account hurts. Same rule applies to the many other Soldier Story, DamToys, General´s Armoury, Easy&Simple, Green Wolf Gear, MSE, ACE Workshop, Toy Soldier, Playhouse, Saturday Toys, Red Horse, and many other manufacturers oldest figures and loose parts I own.

Sorry boys, this is a personal message. It would require a very long explanation so you could understand. Basically I think he is a brother of mine who accuses me of throwing away an awful lot of money on this hobby and being a sort of a compulsive hoarder.

Kind Regards

To clarify, im just using 500-600 as an example. A company will produce a buffer over the final pre-order amount, and thats all. That buffer will cater to re-orders, defective items etc.

You may have seen it around before, but the general rule is, if you miss it, dont go paying absurd amounts for it. (unless you REALLY REALLY MUST HAVE IT, i know that feeling, i have multiples of Soldier Story boxed figures sitting in storage which i REALLY like, i have 4 unopened SS084 Soldier Story Devgrus)

a couple years down the road and most often than not, another company will make a similar item with better details / technology. Missed the Hot Toys Brits, or the DAM brits, well GWG has made some too, missed the GWG brits ? I’m sure how GWG being a british entity will be making more in the future, if not another company will step in. The SS084 DEVGRUS that i had ? well Easy & Simple came out with awesome renditions of their own and we are waiting for DAMtoys to release their version, DAM 78065

But of course the item made in the past in UNIQUE and will never be made exactly like that in the future.

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Welcome to the club.

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I am not discussing family issues in public anymore but there is much more that meets the eye here and no one should take sides without knowing the story at all.

First. I have allways bought my figures and parts cheap. I would never pay an otrageous ammont of money for a figure or part.

GI Joes are “Stone Age” toys, ugly as Hell, and, how much is people willing to pay for out of stock figures and parts. Specially some rare pieces?

A good or commodity worths what people are willing to pay for it. Neither more nor less.

I don’t want to add fuel to the fire here but let me just say this. The value of any figure is personal to each of us. A figure is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I’ve spent several hundred dollars for figures that I’ve coveted and been what I deemed rare and worth it. Finances are personal. I don’t think any of us intend to condemn or vilify anyone else for what they can or can’t afford, or what they are or aren’t willing to spend. We’re all friends here.

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He has made all my family mad at me for I have this hobby, though I am an adult that can spend his money as freely as he wants.

He is just an outsider. He is no enthusiast of this hobby. He condemns this hobby and thinks we all are childish people wasting their money on stupid toys.

Bill, let it be. You don´t know a dammed thing about us.

Edit: Are not his questions insidious enough?. Will plastic pieces explode if I don´t have steady hands when assembling them? :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile:

Edit again: He didn´t write “steady hands” but “the steadiest hands”!!!

I apologize. I had no idea this was someone trolling you. I totally understand.

First off, thank you to everyone who has provided in depth answers to my questions, it’s much appreciated and I’m happy to have some better insight into this hobby.

Second, I’m not really sure what’s going in the past few comments, and I don’t see how asking a few basic is trolling. Granted, I was being a bit hyperbolic with my “exploding parts” question, but I don’t see how using some exaggeration is "“insidious”. I honestly think you have me mistaken with another person.

Regardless, I don’t want to stir the pot or break any rules here, so I’m going to refrain from responding any further and let a mod/admin handle this if they see fit.

Sorry if I stepped on any toes here, and thank you again to those who answered my questions.

Guys just a friendly reminder to tone things down a bit. Between hyperbole and language issues we can all have misunderstandings but let us not direct our frustrations with the hobby or other issues towards each other.

There is no connection between the two posters. If you suspect a problem with another user feel free to message me.

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