That one finished in the bottom three in polling but someone needs to get a Grom figure out there. It is a shame Soldier Story didn’t take more advantage of the license earlier as it would have helped them get ahead of the curve on recent trends. Overall whether it is licensed or not, brands should pay more attention to the trends in video games and capitalize on them. Much bigger audience that they can leverage there, like Hot Toys has done with movies. Ubisoft has figured out how to ride the tactical/military wave and we saw some good stuff come from DAM via VTS from that. Gives any brand an excuse to get out of that reference photo rigidity while giving enough structure to avoid some of the more unfortunate mishaps that happen with other adventurous choices in figures.
I wish the SCAR didn’t have the camo paintjob, but seeing as I apparently collect AOR1-painted weapons now… sigh One rifle set please, Adam.
Although I could walk that back. I’ve seen a lot of praise for E&S’s AOR1 on their MP7A1 and HK416. How does the AOR1 on these promo pictures stack up? I know the finished product is all that matters, but I’m still curious.
Looks more refined than their previous efforts with better coloration. Always hard to say until you see one in hand since it is always hard to get an idea how close a digital picture is to in hand color appearance. The ES ones were better than their previous efforts which were too orange in tone or had a very sharp/unnatural pattern. Here are some various models to give some idea:
It is from 2015 after all. I can’t think of any brand that communicates well with their customers outside of China, but at least they are all slowly edging their way onto facebook which is encouraging.
I can’t recall saying that about the Soldier Story one, but I recall at one point saying the old DAM color looked like baby food. We’ve seen quite a variety of colors for AOR1 over the years, and I suspect that has been down to brands using airsoft gear as reference. There has only been one airsoft brand that has managed to steal away some original Crye Material in the past, so alot of it depends on tracking down surplus Crye/LBT gear for reference.
Good to see Soldier Story alive and kicking but I for one will be skipping this release. It’s a little late to the party and I had already picked up 3 similar figures within 4 months. So I am Devgru’ed out. I may pick up a couple loose items but that’s about it.
Yeah we have had a few AOR1 options over the last bit between ES and DAM. For me the pistol set and plate carrier would be worth grabbing some spares. AOR1 gear tends to come and go in waves but ends up being a royal pain to find once that wave is over.
Comparing MSRPs is a bit tricky. For example the USD ES MSRP (which is what is quoted for outside of China) is priced with factoring in logistics costs and higher than their CNY MSRP converted to USD. In China it works out to about a $17 USD difference between the two based on their CNY MSRPs converted to USD. One could argue you are getting a lot more for the difference, but Soldier Story tends to do more niche subjects as “safe bet” expo figures so they are taking less risk as speculators will buy up all the stock regardless of what gets put out.
With SS or DAM all we can really do is look at the translation from the official CNY price, which won’t factor in logistics costs. Distributors outside of China can have MSRPs that vary and are not priced consistently, sometimes lower or higher, sometimes capitalizing on certain releases but not others. In this case that $154.99 China MSRP becomes a $199 US MSRP, which really should not be the case. If a distributor has a true distributor agreement they should be able to come within $10-20 of the China MSRP. If a product is licensed they should be able to ship by sea for less than that per unit, given that there shouldn’t be any need to worry about customs workarounds. That being said, distributors in either countries or the brands themselves may try to make a bit more on certain products to offset riskier products. They have other considerations like minimum quantities on every release and such.
I’ve always felt that Soldier Story tends to offer the best bang for your buck in terms of what they include. More parts, more refined pieces overall. Of all the brands they have a slower product cycle so that means less money invested less frequently in new tooling and prototyping and more of a long term approach in product planning. If we want to see more frequent releases that means more investment and higher pricing or more basic figures, more reused parts, etc. Both approaches have their downsides and create a situation where comparing one product to another on price is not so straightforward, but for the end customer all they see is this product costs X and this product costs Y and that is all they they think about. I look at is either you release less product and put out a more refined and rounded out product and build your brand loyalty that way or you release more product more frequently and appeal to impatient collectors eager for the next new thing.