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The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:07 pm
by skifflebits
Latest low-down from Al on GB:
First off with B&M just to restate every year the line does well for them and has grown but they are a budget retailer at the end of the day. Unfortunately they (the customer) contribute nothing to the overall costs .. thats absorbed by CO UK and the margin on these product (aka the profit) is substantially slimmer ... almost anorexic. Not only that the cost of tool storage and extraction, clean up, testing, spray masks and vac forms etc .. is also all absorbed by yours truly .. so you can imaging how much love there is for the B&M line within the company.

On the flip side B&M each year (because it does well) isn't stupid and insists that the new items have too be NEW and different from the ones they have run before .. Using that as a basis for the B&M lines means we are extremely limited in what we can do (Though i do try). We simply have no option But to use existing tooling and where possible the simpler tooling available. .... again you're getting action figures with as good if not better decoration levels for substantially cheaper than anywhere else.

I can undertstand the frustration of not getting new figures but the development costs are ASTRONOMICAL versus what we'd currently make back OR what we'd have to pass onto you guys.

Regarding the Big Finish items ..
Each of the sets is 'inspired by' stories in the range .. where possible they are literal but we'd rather give two what is seen to be the best doctor variant and the coolest looking Daleks we can .. pithing the bounds of the time War its actually perfectly feasible and a great creative path. these were developed with BF themselves and people that absolutely know the audios so where there is a bit of leeway we will use it. in regard to box art we can only use what exists and what is best suited .. again creatively its a judgement call but we'll get as close as we can.

We did look with BF at having these packed or bundled with CD's but in the time we had it was too tight to call and this is essentially a BIG experiment in cross promotion .. We might bring some BF fans to action figures and the acton figure may get some folks in the audios ...

Frankly from my point of view Big finish are absolutely streets ahead of the TV series (all of them) *I know its cheaper to produce than TV BTW ... But the stories are absolutely superb which is the critical thing! ... and personally i possibly enjoy them more in many ways than the series .. they are subperb and i cant recommend them enough. That said if its not your thing then its not your thing. I hope most people just enjoy the sets and it gives us some cool new figures that (refer above) perhaps the main line doesn't ..

In Summary
We wont please everyone and we wouldn't hope to .. if the B&M and BF items float your boat then job done ... within the restrictions we have i think we've outdone ourselves this year and i say that only because i started this years development in something of a malaise saying that that would have to be our swan song line because there wasn't much else we could do ...

However ...'Time will tell Ace .. it always does!' ...

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:18 pm
by DalekCheese
Well that’s nice of him to give an explanation:)

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:23 pm
by TheVoiceThatGrates
I haven't been collecting these figures for a while. Having said that, I'm keeping an eye out for these.

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:24 pm
by Koth2
Amazing stuff! With that said i think CO are achieving greatness with these repaint and kitbashed figures. Thank you Mr Dewar for all your input and what you are striving to achieve with what you have already created. Joining with Big Finish is a total nobrainer when you are looking for new ideas as they have ideas in abundance. Please keep doing what you are doing for as long as you can. Its great! Thats not to say dont continue with the new series figures but maybe what you are doing now may impact how you approach the new figures.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:58 pm
by skifflebits
Yeah, I have no idea if Al ever looks into this forum, but my hat is always off to him.

I don't always agree with everything he says, but it's undeniable that he's the reason we're *still* getting any figures at all long past the line's hey-day.

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:23 pm
by DalekCheese

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:32 pm
by skifflebits
Passing along some more Al from GB.

Someone had posted that Amazon paid to modify the old Primeval mold for the new Bill figure. Al said:
Popping in here ... not true as with all tooling mods CO pays ...
Then someone asked if it would be easy to simply modify old molds to make new figures cheaper. Al responded over a few posts:
its again the costs .... the cleanup and repair cost of the old tools ... the new sculpt .. models and then tooling up. rest shots and other costs .. not of its cheap .. you're still talking 1000's of dollars .. so if you tool a new head and say just for instance it costs 8,000 dollars to produce you have to add that cost to the cost of the actual figure and then work out how many you need to sell to make it break even. and just to break even your are into a LOT of figures ..
i have suggested a few times about crowdfunding a figure .. it would be an interesting experiment though i think a console room would be a better crowdfunding option personally ...
a bit like Hasbro Labs do with their sail barge etc .. but i think the costs would still scare people
So Al has at least considered the crowdfunding route...

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:39 pm
by Danoftardis
It's great that he gives out this information, kudos to him.

And on a more vain note I'm glad my crowdfunding suggestion in the 'save the line thread' obviously wasn't stupid.

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:44 pm
by skifflebits
Not stupid at all, just limited in how much you can actually produce.

The big companies that have tried it haven't done more than a couple of big playsets. MOTU did a $250 (?) Castle Grayskull a while back, and are trying again with a larger, more expensive MOTU set.

Hasbro did the sail barge for $500. IIRC, they needed 5,000 pre-sales to make it happen, and they got something in the mid 8,000s.

I don't believe any company has tried, say, crowdfunding a wave of standard figures.

Re: The I Heart Al thread

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:49 pm
by Danoftardis
Oh yeah, it probably wouldn't work for a standard range of figures, maybe a limited collectors range, it would be a very interesting experiment though.