I needed to find a moment to get back to this but here I am for those who thought I´d let myself be silenced and give up my task of defending the original line which is no longer protected officially because of the expired license as everyone knows.
Yes, I am a purist when it comes to the Battle Beasts line and maybe you can even call me an extremist when it comes to my passion and interest into the original pieces of this line but that´s also because it are not only the figures I´m interested in but also their history. Together all of this makes that for me the original items are priceless simply because they´re directly connected to the stories, history, artwork, packaging, poster and whatever is out there because it completes the story a story that´s based upon my own nostalgia and memories.
As someone in the replies above already mentioned this isn´t the first time and it wont be the last time that discussion about reproductions are held but as before I´m out here to step up for the original line that´s left unprotected and which is no longer protected by heavy restricted licenses of Takara or Hasbro. But does that give everyone a safe-conduct to reproduce these figs!?
I just send a PM to GMB again, because not much has changed so far it looks like, with the following simple question that´s imho directly touching the core of the concerns and problems out here;
How would you feel if I´d purchase one of your own created Beasts and start reproducing these for a lower price than what you´re able to make them for!?
In this case you would not be able to make any money on the ones you sell anymore in order to break even or to make a little profit for the effort you´ve put into all this but maybe even worse is the feeling of someone else using your skills for their own benefit..... For them its just an easy way to make money and they don´t give a sh#t about the time and effort you´ve invested into sculpting and designing them. This is something literally anyone could do because your figs are not protected and licensed so everyone who buys one could potentially start reproducing them. What I try to explain you here is that even though there might not be written rules or licenses out there in the community we´re living in there are unwritten rules and that´s to respect each others work and creations
I think this perfectly shows what´s going on because when it comes to artwork or creations of fellow members out here, like the pretty awesome BB inspired figs GMB created himself and shared out here: http://www.littlerub...383#entry650223 , we all respect their work and none would even consider copying or reproducing the work of another member without asking BUT if we wanted to we could because most of these creations are, like the original BB line, not protected by any license or whatever. This is the unwritten rule I tried to point out here which for some of you might relate to just showing respect for the creator of the figure while for the creator or more purist collectors this is something that could go way deeper into the history and understanding of its origin.
For me there´s no real difference between the designed or sculpted figures that are created by a fellow member out here or the original figures sculpted by a Japanese designer back in the days who worked for a big toy company because in the end it´s all about the design that should be respected. So when it comes to reproducing original liens without any markings or whatever it is fine but I think a lot of us would step up like I do the moment someone new joins here starting to reproduce pieces that are created by an artist within our community who´s not able to defend himself any longer.
I´ve understood GMB has even been trying to get a hold of the elusive TGB Godbeasts with the intention to reproduce these. AWESOME isn´t it (?), I´d be up for reproductions of those right away because those are figs I´m still hoping to add to my collection one day as well BUT I don´t think Mary (TGB) would be very happy with the thought of someone else making money over his back not respecting his creations and breaking with the unwritten rules so out of respect for Marty there´s no way I´d ever even consider purchasing reproduction Gobeasts from someone else than him or by from someone who´s not supported by TGB doing so.
If these lines above don´t make sense to any of you here in this discussion that we´re having I rest my case but I would really be surprised to see and hear if people would not agree with me on this point because in the end ALL of us out here is somehow attracted to a certain LRG line because of the great design or history that goes with the figs and with that should also come the respect for the original design and creators of these lines and that´s not something we should ignore imho. And this also goes for the fact that I think most of us will have their guards up when they´d find out someone is reproducing artwork or figs that´re created by a fellow member out here because we should.
Back to some of the replies because luckily I´m not completely alone in my defensive lines as more people seem to agree with my simple request of adding a makers mark to the reproductions;
I think the vast majority does care to make sure the market stays a bit clean and true, so people, like this greenmountainbeastformers must take the responsibility to do 2 very clear things: #1 mark their product as remakes; from what I have seen on their auctions, and their product, all their stuff clearly stats American made and is clearly a remold. #2 is to keep away from the obvious GBB colors. A very simple solution (from my end at least, since I am no expert on molding) would be to add a unique color scheme, say glitter, or neons, or maybe a glow in the dark swirl, to their normal colors.
It´s more than taking responsibility here when it comes to the ¨gesture¨ GMB could make here because like mentioned above he´d show us that he´s also respecting the line by not crossing the unwritten rules and on the other hand the mark is also something he could and imho should use in his advantage as well because I think his unique BB sculpt creations deserve to hold the mark of their maker on them as well. So instead of only placing them on the reproductions I´ve advised him to also add these to his own creations.
GJ, in my response you mention replicas are made at $15? Where can he find one so he can save the money? I am sure many would like one for that range. Not everyone has money to throw around on the originals, and also when is the last time one has been listed? I was trying to come up with options for him
And before I get applause, please consider that some guys on here spent a lot on there collections, those of us looking for cheaper alternatives need to respect that and not try to devalue their collections.
The $15 reference I made was towards the Clear Carp reproduction (American Made) Beast he had listed out on Ebay. A Stone Cobra reproduction shouldn´t cost much more if he´d find the right composition of swirled colors to cast it in. So maybe we´ve gone of a little bit there but in the end the idea is clear I don´t mind and I´d even be happy for someone if they´re happy with a reproduction of the real deal which they can purchase at a for them affordable price as long as there´s the mark.... And I think that is something you´d agree with me as well because your last line shows the respect going both ways and that goes for me as well. But that respect is, again, only valid if the originality of the line is respected as well by the makers mark.
Reproductions of transformers have been going on for years, its only in the last 5-10 that exact repoductions have come out. Hasbro and Taraka are still making plenty of money even with the reproductions and third party customs. So please stop with the 'protecting the original line' line. If you wanted to do something useful, how about finish that guide on your blog, detail every single Knock Off item, other collectors will help I am sure. You may need to buy some but for collectors who just want original items it will become their #1 reference.Reproductions are only worth what people will pay, look at those repo shields, are they not going for pretty cheap on ebay? Not much demand any more is there?No, I just would like a stone cobra to complete my line up, I dont think its particularly awesome in any way. Hell once my 1 year old gets older and stops dribbling everywhere and biting everything then he can even play with it (playing with toys woooooo) That is why I'd be happy to buy a reproduction. You might be happy to pay top dollar but there is a market for people who just want a figure to fill the gap. Reproductions are not out to hurt you personally and in hand they would be an easy tell, originals will still demand a high price so you can keep saving and add more original stone cobras to your collection while leaving others to buy the reproductions!!How would they take away a holy grail feel? Thats an odd one, original items are still original, unless your in it for investment purposes then I dont know how that holy grail feel will be lost. Note buying toys as an investment is a bad bad idea!!
I don´t really like the tone here because I´m investing quite some time and effort building up my Blog in order to make it a nice and informative place to hang out for fellow BB collectors completely for free, because I do it for fun, and with well documented information and based on the reactions I get from fellow collectors this is pretty useful and helpful already! So don´t start talking to me as if the Blog is sh#t and I´d better start working on a guide for Reproductions............. I did purchase quite a lot of reproductions that´ve been on the market over the last years, from the Chinese repro LB weapons to the Shields and whatever, in order to have my own in hand reference and to be able to tell and feel about the differences when people come to me with their doubts. But there´s no way I´d ever start writing a page explaining about the reproductions/fakes/scams you, as a (new) BB collector, could bump into because that´s not something that would make me happy or something I´d do out of fun like the rest of the blog because if a page like that has to be created it´d just show how disrespectful people have been handling this line. So imho it´s better to prevent things like these to get onto the market without a mark rather than to talk about the problem afterwards in order to educate collectors about how to find out they´ve been burned.
The Repro shields you refer to are the perfect example of how someone with a good idea and the intention to make money out of reproducing high end items from a toyline screws up the whole history and collectors value of a certain piece while in the end he burned himself as well. If you know that at a certain moment some of these EU shields sold for $300+ each with extremities going up to $500 each you´d think its a very smart move to start reproducing these and start selling them for only a fraction of the price at $15 or $20 each or whatever they cost back than BUT what he didn´t knew is that the amount of people who´re willing to pay those high prices, the purist, were actually a very limited group and this also went for the amount of original shields that were available hence the reason why they sold for those amounts. But what happened by the time those repro shields hit the market was that the original prices dropped towards $100 and that the demand for those repro EU shields was much lower than expected resulting in the fact they´ve soon left the market because selling those reproductions was probably not profitable enough........... So the creator has probably not made a lot out of this project because having them created in that way would´ve cost him a serious investment while on the other hand the original line is been damaged by the fact those shields have shown up for a certain period of time meaning it was a negative influence from a purist point of view but the seller himself got burned as well. Luckily these were marked so they´re clearly distinct from the real original ones but if that wouldn´t have been the case all of this would not only have been a bummer for both sides but it´d have also effected the history of the line because in 5 years from no none would know those were reproductions if the mark was left out meaning they´d think the shields weren´t as rare as they might´ve been because they were available in the US and a lot of other places in the world while in principle the EU shields are, from a global point of view, so unique because they´re only released in a very limited number of EU countries. That´s what makes them the EU shields and that´s what give it that history and that´s why purists, like me, like these very expensive pieces of plastic......
It´s clear that toys are just toys for you, which is fine and which is something I can respect but its also the reason you can´t seem to care about the fact there´s another way to look at rare or valuable toys because collectors value is not always expressed in $$$ as you mention with toys being an investment. I´m sure everyone has one or more toys in their collection which $$ wise doesn´t cost a sh#t but which they wouldn´t let go because of the personal value such an item might represent. My first BB was a simple and beat up Rabbit but even for $1000 I wouldn´t let him go so when we´re talking about priceless or valuable toys you might think of $$ signs but that´s not the case.
I mean, I spent countless hours digitally restoring the Japanese poster a while back, which from a "historic preservation" perspective seems viable, but you were more concerned that the value of the original print would be impacted by the handful of prints I sold to collectors. This conversation began years ago when you were spreading fear about the LB rifle reproductions by claiming that in no time the market would be "flooded" with them and prices would plummet. This didn't happen; and to my knowledge no one has seen any new LB rifle sets since the one I bought in 2013.
It's a matter of perspective. You'd be hard-pressed to find a group anywhere in the world other than this forum who would even know what you're talking about most of the time, much less care about the finer points of reproductions enough to have a conversation about it. Telling that insanely niche (generally slightly obsessed) group of collectors that they "don't care about the toys and are dooming the line" simply because they don't agree with your opinion isn't exactly diplomatic. When a fan is doing custom work that many others are enjoying but you're convinced that you need to be proactive and step in to "preserve the line" (whatever this actually means to you), I think it's reasonable for the community to come to the defense of that member. Maybe it's time to re-assess what is actually important here?
Anyway, already wrote more than I meant to, but I think it's reasonable to assume that every BB/BF/LB collector here appreciates your obsession with this line if only because the research and dedication you put in has turned up some interesting information, but don't get it twisted. At the end of the day you're another collector, just like the rest of us
The reason I stepped up the moment you´re working on the Poster wasn´t directly because of the harm it´d do to the value of the posted because I´m probably the only one out here with a $200 BB poster, which is the amount I paid for it via an auction on Ebay in which I was bidding against a fellow collector who seemed to be in need of one just as much as I was, but my concern was more related to the fact that a digital file could potentially be much easier used to scam people by simply printing out the file on a large size paper and sell it as original resulting in the fact that people would get burned in a way that´s also possible with the GMB repro´s. You provided a good watermark and protection to the file and I know that with you its in good hands so there´s no concern but with digital files that represent old posters/packaging or whatever that could pretty easily be printed on whatever there´s always a potential danger.
The fact that none has ever seen more of those Chinese reproductions lasergun sets is not something that´s suddenly been stopped overnight because there´ve been some serious talks going on behind the scene´s with that Chinese reseller in order to make him stop selling these as such. So don´t believe in the fact that that´s been a threat that stopped itself.
Perspective is always there and it will always be here because with 10 collectors out here there´ll always be 10 different visions or approaches and that´s good because that´s how we learn from each other and how we keep things interesting but it will only work as long as we´re able to respect and sort of try to understand each others perspectives. As mentioned earlier I don´t mind and even support fan art or custom projects related to this line as long that unwritten rule, which I explained in the beginning of this writing, is not crossed because for me that´s a matter of showing respect and understanding to all the various visions and perspectives out here.
¨Preserve the line¨ I think you know well enough what I meant here because you´re involved in it yourself as well and with the poster restoration and the digital file that came out of it you´ve even preserved a piece of BB history yourself so you might´ve placed another stamp on that but for me it also shows that your passion and interest in this line goes deeper than just collecting some figs
We´re indeed all collectors and none is more important than others so let´s enjoy the beasts and look forward to more of GMB´s new BB inspired creations and let´s hope we´ll soon see him come up with his own Makers Mark because that´s what those creations deserve and that´s also what the reproductions should get in order to respect the original line doing a favor to the idiotic purist, like me, out here. Thanks!
David (GMB) got back to me suggesting the following;
Once I figure out a way do make a hot brand, I will be marking all my beasts with it. All I could do now is carve my initials with an exacto knife, but anyone could do that.
For me that´s all we need in order to end this whole discussion because this simple carving or hot brand mark would be enough to differentiate these reproductions from the originals. Because like the original Beasts that have marking underneath their feet these are details that´ll be noticed and that´ll probably be more than enough to have some alarm bells go of and do a little extra checking on them, and that´s what´ll prevent us or future collectors from getting burned in the future.
Edited by Beastformers, 21 March 2016 - 07:22 AM.