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Non-MUSCLE Sculpt Trees


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#26 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:10 AM

However, I’ve literally just had a thought. Star Wars figures often have VERY minor differences. These differences are often the result of the figure being produced in a different country. An easy example is the Biker Scout. If the figure was made in Taiwan its head looks one way and if it was made in Mexico it looks another way. Here is a picture.

Wow, so much to respond to! However, I felt it worth noting that if you look closely at those two sculpts, you can see that they are actually TOTALLY different sculpts, and that the mouth isn't some little molding accident. Look particularly at the waist.

Okay, like I said, I believe that the MUSCLE sculpt variations stem from each family mold having two molds for each sculpt, giving us variation 1 and 2. Why is this significant? Arforbes has said that he has owned 50+ Satan Cross figures and has only ever seen 1 variation. I think this is significant and not a mere fluke. Hell, I picked up 15 copies of sculpt #060 and quickly found a variation that divided evenly between my 15 figures.

For whatever it's worth, I think this means Satan Cross was only on one side of the family mold/tree that he was on. I don't know what that means...

TGB said that since Kinkeshi and MUSCLE were mass produced that there were likely multiple copies of each family mold. That means that even if Satan Cross was only on the family mold once, there would still likely be multiple copies of the family mold. (However, TGB said he wouldn't 100% rule out there bing only one family mold, with two of each sculpt.)

I think it is very significant that SC only has one variation, and my hunch is it is directly related to him not being on the poster and only being found in flesh.

Here's a thought: Were the non-MUSCLE sculpt trees scrapped because they only had one copy of each sculpt on them, instead of two?
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#27 NamaNiku

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:20 AM

This has been a very fascinating thread - great detective work :drinks: I have nothing to add, but love reading it :thanks:
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#28 General Veers

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:22 AM

Ok, I was just trying to give a basic SW example. If you want to throw down with SW variants we can have at it. I will pull Klaatu out and we'll discuss the something like 600 variations. :thanks:

:drinks:

That's an interesting thought about scraping the "one copy" molds. For me, the big hole would remain regarding BHS and SHA. If Arforbes said there were two versions, then shouldn't they be common?
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#29 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:28 AM

What do you think about my hypothesis that rare colors and/or SR’s could be the result of farming out production to smaller facilities to meet Bandai’s production schedule?

I think it is a good one -- particularly the "rare colors" idea. I don't think Bandai and Mattel purposefully made some sculpt/color combinations rare. Like you say, it is most likely a bi-product of how they were produced.

I think when it comes to MUSCLEs, we have to pretty much forget about "Kinkeshi Parts." All the MUSCLE sculpts were released together at once, and we know that the trees within each part were made in different colors. In other words, Mattel/Bandai just shipped the tree/molds around, and paid no attention to which part they belong to. (Hell, the MUSCLE numbering system has NO connection to Kinkeshi parts either.)

Veers, something that *might* be worthwhile -- but might be a wild goose chase as well -- would be to make a list of...

1. All the trees rare in green
2. All the trees rare in magenta
3. All the trees rare in red
4. Etc.

And see if ANY patterns jump out. (Hell, we may have even already tried this! :thanks:)

In any case, the other thing TGB said was that, like you suggest, there were most likely 2-3 plastics factories pumping these out. I'll just go ahead and post TGB's responses here:

(1) Would the two copies of the sculpt on the tree Arforbes found be identical, or would they be slightly different? (In other words, is this the cause of the two variations per sculpt that we have found?)

I would say that this particular tree shows them to have the same sculpts...only the one on the left end seems to have a spur attaching it on an opposite side of the head. I would guess that the 2 different variations are due to different molds/trees attaching them in different areas. Most 80's toys were made w/ at least A, B, and C molds. However, there could and should have been TONS of these molds per plastics company using them. If you look at BB/LB sculpts, some have letter variants (Mordels from RB&T as well) China/Hong Kong printed/sculpted variants, etc... This was all due to different molds probably in more than one factory or set up for additional back up runs in case a mold got destroyed.


(2) How many molds do think there were for each individual Kinkeshi/MUSCLE sculpt? Two, four, or more?

Since Muscles were MASS PRODUCED...I would say a minimum of an A, B, & C molds...maybe many more. It would take forever to make enough Muscles at 2 per cast w/ one mold. Even though plastic injected figures cure fast, I would guess many molds. Injection molds are EXPENSIVE to make and companies often try to reuse molds or maximize the # of figures each mold makes and how many are made. I know when Kenner made the Animated Batman toy line a plastics company in Hong Kong burned down to the ground and the "Robin Dragster" molds were ruined...so that toy shot up in value BIG TIME! Collectors KNEW that Kenner wouldn't spend the $$$ to have the molds remade.


(3) If there are only 2 sculpt variations per Kinkeshi/MUSCLE sculpt/character, what does this tell us about the number of molds? (For example, if we find only two sculpt variations for the Claw, does that mean there were only two molds used to produce that sculpt?)

Not much...I am sure there were at least 2 (probably more) plastics companies or locations where the figures were made, so there were probably several molds or TONS of molds.


(4) What would you guess the one-variation-SC sculpt might mean? (Only one mold existed for SC?)

That maybe no one has found the other mold variation OR only one plastics company was making them at that time and there were no other molds other than the ones that company was using.


I hope my answers help...while I am no authority on plastic injected molding, I do know the process and I do know how toys have been made in the past.

Follow up question:

So, based on what you said above, are these two variations caused by there being two family molds, family mold A and family mold B. (With each family mold having two copies of the sculpt on it as per Arforbes tree mold.)

Or, are these two variations seen above sculpts from the SAME family mold, but one is from one side of the mold and the 2nd is from the other side of the mold?


I think that the pour spouts are most likely machined in by a worker after the mold is made and really the accuracy of the injector spots is due to human imperfectness if you ask me.

That said, I wouldn't rule out 100% the possibility that they came from separate molds either. Muscles obviously weren't marked w/ 1, 2, 3...or A, B, C... so I would assume that there could be TONS and TONS of molds they used to make these in HUGE quantities since they were sooooooo mass produced and mass marketed. Which could also lead to variations of the injector spots. But then again, there were 236 in the USA and how many total in Japan? 500+? So w/ that many, maybe there weren't more than 2-3 molds per tree and maybe there was only 1-2 plastic manufacturers making them.


-----

It seems like TGB also mistook the ejector pin marks for the injection spot (I think). Also, I tend to think that if SC had two variations, Arforbes would have found it. Keep in mind that he found two for SHA and BHS.

Edited by Soupie, 06 August 2008 - 10:36 AM.

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#30 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:42 AM

Ok, I was just trying to give a basic SW example.

Actually, I think this is significant and maybe I need to make a clarification. It's perhaps why Tortle was confused about me calling the ejector pin patterns a "sculpt variation."

The example you shared above of the Biker Scout is a REAL "sculpt" variation. In other words, those two sculpt are different.

The MUSCLE examples we have been finding are probably more properly called a "mold" variation. In other words, the two #060 sculpts are identical, however, the molds used to make them are different, i.e., injection point slightly different and ejector pins slightly different.

:thanks:
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#31 General Veers

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:21 AM

In any case, the other thing TGB said was that, like you suggest, there were most likely 2-3 plastics factories pumping these out.

This is fact. Bandai confirmed it. What they could not confirm is the number of factories and the number of countries (although they seemed to allude towards Japan and China). Some of their confusion seemed to stem from the fact that figures could have been farmed out to other subcontractors.

To me, this really adds credence to the simple production error theory. And the subcontractor version of the production error theory accounts for all of rares and SR’s.

Your point about the Parts and Trees is also interesting. I think you’re on to something there. By breaking up the Parts (which don’t matter) they can ship Trees to more factories. Each of these factories are then responsible for less sculpts, making the number of figures they produce a more manageable production number for the factory. Does that make sense? Instead of 100 copies of 100 different figures, they only need to make 100 copies of 8 different figures.

So perhaps SR’s come from the Bandai headquarters, because they house all of the molds. Rare colors come from small factories that were responsible for certain figures. But how would they screw up the color that badly? If my factory is supposed to make 100 green Claws, then how do I accidentally make 10 purple Claws? Hmmm...

And I know what you mean about the difference between molds and sculpts. We’ve probably been using the terms interchangeably (and will probably continue to do it). But I believe we will only see mold variations, not full blown sculpt variations.

I’m sure I’m forgetting to touch on something.
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#32 mrjayberry

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:53 PM

I want to add that I'm a big fan of your "farming out production to smaller factories" theory based on your ace investigating that said Muscle was a top ten toyline (far exceeding mattels expectations) and agree this might have something to with the rare colors. Consider this, would Bandai ship first to a U.S. hub and then Canada or might we have gone striaght to Canada from the factory and then to stores. If they go to Canada directly its possible that one factory made all the figures intended for Canadian release. Due to simple shoddy management or colored plastic/dye distribution problems we end up with some rarer colors.
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#33 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 01:01 PM

Well, while we've got this ball rolling... Thinking out loud:

We know there were multiple factories, but we don't know how many. It definitely seems like more than 2 though. You're suggesting that each of the factories only had a portion of the Trees, besides perhaps Bandai's main factory.

Did all the factories have all of the colors? Were there 2-3 of the factories that were missing, say, magenta, orange, and green?

Here's another odd thing. There are some trees that were only made in 4 colors -- like Part 3, Tree One -- you'd expect all those colors to be common, right? Wrong. Only one of the 4 colors is common, and the other 3 colors are uncommon. So here's a tree that was limited to 4 colors, and it seems it's run in the four colors was limited too.

And then there's a Tree like Part 19, Tree 1 that has four colors, all of which are common. Hm, we can't get too hung up on the common/uncommon labels though.

(1) If there were only certain trees at certain factories

(2) And certain factories had only certain colors

Then I think we'd get exactly the crazy color patterns we see -- no less than 4 colors per tree, no greater than 8 (with the exception of the tree that was made for the board game).

For speculation purposes, look at the following example.

Bandai Main Factory has colors red, blue, and purple. They make Tree One and Tree Two.

Factory B has colors red, orange, and green. They make Tree One.

Factory C has colors blue, magenta, salmon, and light blue. They make Tree Two.

Since Tree One was "double dipped" in red, it will be common in red. But it was also made in blue, purple, orange, and green for a total of 5 colors.

Since Tree Two was "double dipped" in blue, it will be common in blue. But it was also made in red, purple, magenta, salmon, and light blue for a total of 6 colors.

EDIT: Since some trees come in only 4 colors, it's very tempting to say thet were only made in one factory... that only had those four color. I'm not sure that's accurate though...

Edited by Soupie, 06 August 2008 - 01:03 PM.

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#34 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 01:32 PM

If BHS and SHA were on a separate tree from the other Part 21 NMS as you suggest, what other (at least) 2 sculpts could have been on there with them?

I stand corrected. Part 21, Tree two only has two sculpts on it. (Unlike trees from Parts 6 and 7, it does NOT match up with any other trees from other parts.) It truly only has two sculpts on it.

Now what was the sense in using a tree that only had two sculpts? :thanks: I suppose this means that BHS and SHA could have been on a tree together by themselves as well...

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#35 THEGODBEAST

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:01 PM

Ya, I did mix up my terminology...I meant ejector pins, not injection spots. :thanks:
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#36 Soupie

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:28 PM

I want to add that I'm a big fan of your "farming out production to smaller factories" theory based on your ace investigating that said Muscle was a top ten toyline (far exceeding mattels expectations) and agree this might have something to with the rare colors. Consider this, would Bandai ship first to a U.S. hub and then Canada or might we have gone striaght to Canada from the factory and then to stores. If they go to Canada directly its possible that one factory made all the figures intended for Canadian release. Due to simple shoddy management or colored plastic/dye distribution problems we end up with some rarer colors.

I think that is a neat idea. I mean, it is pretty much established that "rare" figures tend to show up in Canada (and sometimes the UK).

It will take me awhile, and might be fruitless, but after I group all the trees by there missing colors, I'm going to group them by color rarity.

If a pattern emerges for either, maybe we can begin to somehow group the trees by which factory they *may* have been in.
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#37 General Veers

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:53 AM

I hope you guys don’t mind, I pruned the tread. There’s so much information I figured we didn’t need the extra stuff.

In fact it’s hard to figure out where to start. I think I’ll start with Jay’s comments.

I feel like I had asked Mattel and/or Bandai about this (where were they packaged?) unfortunately I don’t remember the answer, if any, that I got. I should look back through some of the old threads and my notes. I don’t want to say my guess, because I don’t want to confuse us.

Colors and factories. Hmmm...

I’m starting to feel comfortable that certain factories only had certain Trees. And clearly they all had the same base plastic. I would also assume that Bandai had a set formula for making the colors. Would this be something each factory mixed or would it be produced somewhere else and shipped to the factories? Hell, for discussions sake – would the same be true for the plastic?

These types of issues are way out of my comfort zone. My guesses would be based on nothing. Let’s see what we can turn up about standard plastic manufacturing processes.

Part 21, Tree Two – hello monkey wrench. 222 and 227 weren’t 28-pack figures, right?

Geez, any idea I have sort of gets blown up by SC’s feet not being found. And just to clarify you suggest the SC body was on one side of the mold and the feet were on the other side, right? But for BHS and SHA there was a figure and extra piece on each side, right?

Soupie, sorting those Trees and colors and rarities are going to make you go cross eyed. We need to convert the data we have into some type of useable database. I’m just not sure what the best way to do it is. If I have time today I’ll try and send you a rough draft. I’ve got an idea, but I don’t know if it will work.
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#38 Soupie

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:37 AM

I’m starting to feel comfortable that certain factories only had certain Trees. And clearly they all had the same base plastic. I would also assume that Bandai had a set formula for making the colors. Would this be something each factory mixed or would it be produced somewhere else and shipped to the factories? Hell, for discussions sake – would the same be true for the plastic?

I'm glad you mention this, Veers.

(1) Injection molding machines are fed tiny colored plastic beads that are poured into the machine, melted, and "injected" into the molds under high pressure. There is no dye added to the beads. They are the same color as the final piece.

(2) Now, having said that, in order to make the beads (where ever they are made) I'm sure there needs to be some mixing of dye. I just don't think Bandai did that in-house.

(3) As fare as color consistency and plastic type. That could tell us two things, I think: (1) Bandai did an amazing job of keeping everything consistent, or (2) there was a relatively small number of factories pumping out MUSCLEs.

(4) For instance, 1st series Cheap Toys, of which there are only 10 sculpts, can be found in 3 different plastic types. One plastic type is even unique to the UK. Furthermore, the base colors of blue, green, red, and peach can be found in multiple different shades. It seems they tried to be consistent, but there's no doubt about it, there are all kinds of shades of all the base colors.

(5) The production time of Cheap Toys was similar to MUSCLEs. That is, it spanned about 1-2 years. Therefore, I don't think the color change -- with the exception of the UK figures -- is due to being made at different times. It's most likely the color variations are due to being made in different factories.

(6) However, we know that, like MUSCLEs, Cheap Toys were farmed out to several factories in China.

(7) Why does MUSCLE ave such plastic and color consistency over 235 unique sculpts, whereas Cheap Toys do not over 10 unique sculpts? (For the record, Cheap Toys were made by Topps which is a pretty big company.)

And just to clarify you suggest the SC body was on one side of the mold and the feet were on the other side, right? But for BHS and SHA there was a figure and extra piece on each side, right?

As to the configuration of SC and his legs on a Tree, that is TOTAL speculation. What we can say, though, is that unlike BHS and SHA, Part 21 SC did not have his "small part" attached to him. I really think there is something to this though:

(1) SC not on the poster but fairly common in flesh
(2) SC has small part, but was not in the same mold as body
(3) SC can only be found with one sculpt variation
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#39 General Veers

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:56 AM

Has injection molding always been done like this? I would assume so, but I thought I'd ask.

Based on what you've said I feel like one factory had to produce all the beads. The color and consistency is just too strong. GPK couldn't do it, and even Star Wars had some problems with different figures. So you've got Topps and Kenner both having problems.

What if Bandai was only responsible for the beads? And shifted production to other facilities? This would allow all of their routine production to continue, while still filling Mattel's need for MUSCLE figures.
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#40 General Veers

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:04 AM

Or...

What if Mattel supplied the beads from existing stock?

This is a long shot, but maybe worth thinking about. You’ve got Mattel supplying the materials (Flesh first, then Colors). Bandai can afford to farm out production because they don’t have a materials cost, the return is still profitable for them.

As Bandai is preparing for the second release of figures, they recognize their Flesh supply is running low or won’t meet the production demands. Mattel maybe sends over Blue, Red, and Purple. It is during this time we get the Flesh SR’s (second wave) and the Color SR’s (second wave, but in color). Again, the supply is low and Mattel sends odd ball lots of Light Blue, Green, Magenta, Orange, and Salmon. As certain supplies run out, some color figures become rare.

Sure it’s a long shot and a bit crazy, but I’m just brainstorming.
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#41 Soupie

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:25 AM

...but I think that is a damn good idea. (Check out the attached graphs.)

Another MUSCLE color mystery, of course, is why some trees were produced in only 4 colors and some were produced in higher numbers. (And interestingly, even though some Trees were only produced in 4 colors, they aren't necessarily common in those four colors.)

How could Bandai have been so consistent with plastic type and color shade, but so "inconsistent" with how many colors each tree was made in, and how many pieces were pumped out in each color? I think the simply answer, as you say, is that Bandai was in control of the former, and the farm factories were in control of the latter. I'd still like to find a pattern though.

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#42 Soupie

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:34 AM

What the numbers tell us, I think, is that Bandai did a pretty good job spreading the colors around. In other words, it looks something like they made sure each color was used on 140-150 of the 235 sculpts.

However, the quantity of figures made (rare vs. common) is not so even. There are WAY more figures common in purple, blue, in red. This suggests, as you say, that more trees were "double dipped" this colors.

The thing that throws us off though, is that some Trees are still rare and uncommon in purple, blue, and red, while other Trees are common in light blue, salmon, and magenta. Even though the overall rare/common trend is opposite this. What does this tell us about the factories/production?
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#43 General Veers

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:01 AM

Soupie, I saw your thread about the color trees. Thank you for putting in all that work. I was pretty excited when I read through the four, but bummed when I read the five. One quick question, what if somehow the 5 and 7 color trees signify an abnormality?

The breakdown worked with 4, does it work with 6? What if the "extra color" for the 5 and 7 color trees comes from Bandai, or maybe a one color factory? If we look at the breakdown, could the odd color be Rare figures?

I also checked in with some injection molding specialists. My father has worked with that kind of stuff for years and he put me in contact with someone else. Lots of the answers were, "It depends."

But there was one constant. Manufacturers are provided with pre-colored injection molding balls. To me, this proves one of two things: (1) Bandai made the balls; or (2) Bandai had one supplier for the balls.

I believe the latter is true.
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#44 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 10:18 AM

Alright guys.. Sorry for being so amiss lately. I finally was able to read everything today, and you guys don't sound so crazy after all! :p

However I have an idea and possible solution to the colors/numbers of colors/number of molds/missing colors/factories stuff.

Here is a tree : Info from MDB

Part 13
Nb/ Db/Gr/ Lb/ Ma/ Or/ Pu/ Re/ Sa
14/ 9/ 0/ 10/ 18/ 16/ 6/ 0/ 12
30/ 9/ 0/ 8/ 23/ 15/ 7/ 0/ 7
34/ 13/ 0/ 3/ 18/ 16/ 9/ 0/ 8
58/ 10/ 0/ 8/ 20/ 18/ 8/ 0/ 6
96/ 9/ 0/ 6/ 18/ 9/ 11/ 0/ 15
111/ 9/ 0/ 11/ 18/ 17/ 8/ 0/ 11

If you average out the numbers of each color the tree was made in it is either 0, 10, or 20 respectively That means there were twice as many figures made in Magenta and Orange as there were Dark Blue, Light Blue, Purple and Salmon, and none were made in Green and Red.

My reasoning is this. Like mentioned there are more than 1 master molds for this tree of figures, and more than one factory making them.

Say there were 3 molds. A, B, and C

Factory 1 : Has more injection machines than Factory 2. Meaning they can meet twice the demand. So they would be sent Molds A and B respectively. They now can make two times the amount of figures from this tree. However that does not exactly mean twice the colors. Both machines may be connected to the same plastic feeder. So Factory 1 might make twice the figures in a color, but opt only to make colors Magenta and Orange with this tree. Since they can produce more figures at once, they would have Molds A and B for each Tree in the US/Canadian Muscle set. So they would have to double up as much as possible on the colors so they could get to each tree and meet the demand.

Factory 2: has less injection machines than Factory 1. Meaning they would only receive 1 Master mold, C respectively. They must be quick to meet demand. They can only produce one color at a time, so they must switch colors, or molds quickly for each tree to do so. Meaning less color figures in each color, but more colors. So they may have made Dark blue, Purple Salmon, and Light blue.

Of course this is just an idea, and reasonably could be altered to fit your personal idea better, but it gives you a sort of idea how it may have worked. Since most factories just don't make one thing.

Other than that, I can't think of much more right now.

Oh here is something to chew on if you guys havn't really seen this.

http://ulala69.hp.in...haniwasatan.htm
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#45 General Veers

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:02 AM

I like your idea, and I think you’re on the same basic page as Soupie and I. I just want to ask a clarifying question.

Factory 1 gets molds A and B.
Factory 2 gets ONLY mold C.

Were you suggesting that both factories would get the same colors, but may have chosen to only use certain colors (for whatever reason)?

You may not have considered this, but I think the lack of color variation within a color suggest a central supplier. These materials would have been shipped to the various factories.

Did each factory haphazardly use the colors and molds, or was there a plan?

The second question isn’t just for you URS, it’s more for all of us.

And is that a Kin variation? Does the site offer an explanation? Because just from the picture I would guess there is a simple answer. The original mold broke and they copied a figure to make the new one.
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#46 Soupie

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:10 PM

Did each factory haphazardly use the colors and molds, or was there a plan?

As far as a production plan, I don't know. However, I feel intuitively that the fact that there is no fewer than 4 non-flesh colors per tree and no more than 7 means something. If the process were totally random, I think we'd see trees in 1, 2, 3, and 8 colors as well. There's something about 4, 5, 6, and 7 colors per tree. Wtf is it though! Arrg!

:huh:

Also, another set of numbers that leads me to believe the production wasn't completely random is the fact that each of the 8 non-flesh colors is evenly distributed over approximately 145 of the 235 sculpts (although dark blue and purple come in at around 180). Again, if the production were completely random, I think we'd see, say, all 235 sculpts made in purple and green, 200 sculpts made in orange, 80 sculpts made in magenta and light blue, etc. Instead, we have a rather uniform 145.

As to that interesting Kin sculpt, Fitz pointed that out some time ago when we were discussing molds. Here's what Naochin says on the site:

Presumably left is the "original" formed products, the right to "production model" that would Suspected formed products.
As you can see the market demand for the kin are several off mold is present, but (with a runner off Kam-runner's position is different, formed products that exists to support this),
The more "mass production" to make the first-formed products to produce the "original" is necessary.
The "original" formed products are "production model" formed products is characterized by large one-handed.
The PVC materials, and a calque around the contraction of the reasons for doing this.


Edited by Soupie, 11 August 2008 - 02:15 PM.

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#47 General Veers

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:03 PM

One quick question, what if somehow the 5 and 7 color trees signify an abnormality?

The breakdown worked with 4, does it work with 6? What if the "extra color" for the 5 and 7 color trees comes from Bandai, or maybe a one color factory? If we look at the breakdown, could the odd color be Rare figures?

Hadn't seen a response to this, any thoughts?

As for the numbers, I think you’re right. The numbers seem to suggest SOME pattern. Random would suggest at least one figure being made in some odd combination of colors.

I don’t totally understand that translation, but it got me thinking.

What if the demise of the line wasn’t just based on Mattel’s financial situation? Sure Mattel was consolidating lines, and sure buyers hated MUSCLE – but it had been a top selling toy in 1986! Could the down turn have been so drastic from Q4 1986 to Q1 1987?

What if the line was profitable, but recasting molds wouldn’t have been profitable?

So what if the factories make their assigned colors, but at the end they are making only the colors they have left in the molds they have left?
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#48 Soupie

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:02 AM

The breakdown worked with 4, does it work with 6? What if the "extra color" for the 5 and 7 color trees comes from Bandai, or maybe a one color factory? If we look at the breakdown, could the odd color be Rare figures?

Technically, there wasn't a "breakdown" for 4. There are 12 Trees that have unique combinations of 4 non-flesh colors. Since they only have 4 colors, there's not really anything to "breakdown." I was able to break down at least one 7-color Tree into two 4-color Trees.

However, I wasn't able to break down two, randomly chosen 5-color Trees into two 4-color Trees. I didn't try any more 5-color Trees, nor did I try any 6-color Trees. I should and will in the near future.

I'm not sure what this data means... but it may mean that the factories simply chose not to use certain colors on certain Trees, even though they could have. If that is the case -- that factories had colors and simply chose not to use them on certain trees that they had -- then I don't think there is any way we can find a pattern. :angry:

However, since the colors seem to be evenly distributed over 145 sculpts each... maybe there was a "formula" that Bandai was following. ;)
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#49 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:11 AM

I like your idea, and I think you’re on the same basic page as Soupie and I. I just want to ask a clarifying question.

Factory 1 gets molds A and B.
Factory 2 gets ONLY mold C.

Were you suggesting that both factories would get the same colors, but may have chosen to only use certain colors (for whatever reason)?


Oh yeah, sorry I meant to cover this too. I am implying that both factories would have had access to all colors, and that they would have switched tree molds as well as colors as they went. It isn't far fetched to believe that one factory would be able to produce many colored plastics. We would probably see a huge continuity in all colors if one factory only had three colors and another had like 4.


You may not have considered this, but I think the lack of color variation within a color suggest a central supplier. These materials would have been shipped to the various factories.

I was under the impression that factories of this type only purchased colored pellets or whatever and could easily control the combination of multiple color pellets to create a color like salmon with little to no variation in shade. Like mixing paints.

Did each factory haphazardly use the colors and molds, or was there a plan?


No, I'm positive there was a plan. Most factories need one, but plans don't always workout, and unknown variables can distort production plans and schedules, such as machinery breaking down, or delay in product arrival. I think I mentioned the idea Long ago in a galaxy far away. For example Say they make tree 1 in red, then switch to blue, after an hour, then they switch to tree 2 and go with green, then purple.
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#50 General Veers

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:19 AM

I was under the impression that factories of this type only purchased colored pellets or whatever and could easily control the combination of multiple color pellets to create a color like salmon with little to no variation in shade. Like mixing paints.

I feel very confident about this fact. The factories received pre-colored pellets.

Everyone I have spoken with said the colors come pre-mixed. You place your order with a supplier and they produce the color. Factories do not mix pellets or mix colors.
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