Difference between good and great...

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Difference between good and great...

Post by Jessiedart on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:53 pm

So,  recently I was lucky enough to get some much desired 3a pieces.
I bought the lost Planet mercenary ,Halo Carter and Bambaland exclusive Krote, and the rest of the Iron man releases. Also Threezero Ghost captain form and the  beast Titanfall Atlas.. Yea those aren't 3a,but the same applies.
In short, they are beautiful beyond belief. The designs, paint, everything just looks stunning.
However I couldn't help thinking about what my old boss thought me, he said the difference between good and truly great are always the "small things".
Along this thinking I can't help comparing 3a to companies like Hot Toys.
Why?... Because I think they get the "small things",  and often 3a may miss those opportunities. Here's what I mean.
3a/Threezero no matter what the price point the item sells for, simply will not include a base or batteries.
This to me is ponderous and beyond logical description.
Halo Carter and all the Iron man releases to put simply... Need them, badly in fact.
To open a 1/6 figure in this day and age without some type of base is unacceptable, especially when even a cheap static base costs less than 10 bucks and probably has a manufacturer cost of 2$. These figures I've listed above are hundreds of dollars, a base.. Any base is required. Look at the bases Hot toys uses, big, thick, detailed, some light up, thick metal rod to hold the figure with rubber connectors. All releases have some base and in the years, they have raised the bar on its bases with each release.
But 3a is still absent of any kind, simple or high end. And when you think about how much figures like a iron man and the halo releases NEED one,  it's even more apparent of this missed "little thing".
I've watched my Carter and Iron man shelf dive more than once and it's a shame. Carter is so wobbly that he can only stand strong in a few poses without a stand and even then the slightest rumble in the house causes him to sway and bob in panic.
 
Secondly... The old story. Batteries.
No Hot toys release bares batteries. But 3a/3zero..Even at $400 on Atlas, $350 on Fullmetal ghost, $200 on Carter... Nope, at no price point will you be able to enjoy the light up features without a run to the local store. That is completely unacceptable, in a world where a $99 Neca figure comes with them all installed.
This I believe is the difference between good and great.
I'm hoping 3a/3zero move into the great column. Their toys and designs and paint work are reference.. But please complete the package.

I'm not asking for anything so far out of normalcy here. In fact it's really just what's required really. A stand is just that, something to make the figure stand. Batteries.. Again if Neca can install them on every 1/4 scale release for under $99..heck a $8 action figure bought at Walmart has them.
Remember it's the "little things".
When you open a figure, and it has a tiny screwdriver, batteries, and small tool for opening up parts of the toy, those go a long way in the overall experience.
Those should be standard with high quality high end companies like 3a.

My wife, who knows nothing about toys or collectibles, noticed that I always have to go out and buy bases and batteries for 3a releases. She commented this week as to why only for them do you have to do this... I had no real good answer.

This month alone add it all up... Its a lot of dough.
Just take care of the little details.. It makes a world of difference.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by bubblegumking on Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:10 pm

Pretty sure it was stated at some point that they are restricted from sending batteries internationally for some reason, but someone within the company may be able to answer that more definitively.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by wutasi on Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:40 am

What bubblegumking said.
There are a lot of restrictions when it comes to battery shipping, you can google it and get a feel what kind of a headache it is.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Wooly on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 am

Yep, I understand the initial premise of the post,... but the batteries and bases are non issues for me.
The little things, imo, would be like including two gun holding hand sculpts when the figure comes with multiple guns. Still very subjective on my part though, I know.
As far as overall difference between good and great... I'm thinking consistency of execution(paints, materials, design) and quality standards(body construction, durability, etc).
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Ce on Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:07 am

Fair points, I don't know about the batteries but not having them is not a deal breaker for me. Stands would be nice though. Still what threea/threezero are doing is way better in my eyes than other big companies like hot toys, who fail in the other little details in my point of view:

- Marvel. Yes, their partnership with marvel has been very lucrative but I personally got tired of just seeing the same characters over and over again. Good Old Iron Man is cool but not a million figures cool. I know it sells but I don't buy what sells more for a company I buy what I like. One of the reasons I disregard the brand for others.

- Shipping. Hot Toys had the amazing idea of prohibiting japanese stockists to sell their products overseas. What does this means? No Hot Toys for me. I got my figures directly from japanese retailers but now there are not many options since we don't have a local distributor. Good old sideshow does not ship to México which is frustrating since:

"Sideshow Collectibles is the official distributor of Hot Toys figures in the US,North and South America, Europe, Australia and throughout most Asian countries."

Well certainly not doing a great job there aren't you? hehehe

- Quality control: ED-209 and Iron Man Mark XLII two of the most anticipated figures of 2014 were shipped with quality issues and in the case of ED not an exact likeness to the movie design.

I think threea/threezero surpass ht in these points. They get licenses I'm more fond of, have a more global approach to their business and better quality control.

No company is perfect but if we are pointing weaknesses I can't help but also notice them in threea's competitors, I don't think asking for shipping to my country is something outrageous and that hot toys or their distributor aren't capable of offering on the 21st century. There's always room for improvement.


Last edited by Ce Acolmiztli on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by ennui on Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:28 pm

BGK and wutasi are completely correct.
The reason we cannot include batteries are restrictions based on shipping out of our control.
Especially in those cases when we are shipping the product directly to you.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by gimbat on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:47 pm

What Cody said about the batteries.

I understand the appeal for stands for some, but personally I prefer to pose my figures without them, as they are ruining the illusion and whole look for me, plus they would make the figure final price more expensive.

But different strokes for different folks.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by ESeffinga on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:31 pm

Personally I like that my AW designed toys like WWR and Popbot, and even his designed versions like Ironman, don't come with something to strap them down onto. It makes them more like they have leapt onto whatever surface they are sitting on, and right out of one of the drawings or paintings that inspired them. Tethering them to a stylized object that comes with the figure just ruins that psychological effect for me. Perhaps for Ash and Kim too?

Having extra doodads that bring nothing to the package (IMO), other than additional cost isn't appealing to me, because theya re the sort of thing I would leave in the box and stick in storage personally.

Unless my memory is getting really lousy, Ash also said early on with 3A that he didn't want to make figures that needed stands. It was the impetus behind the switch from pegleg Bertie to the Mk2 Bertie with feet. The non-ThreeA released Mk1 Bertie came with a stand and Ash indicated that it made the piece more of a statue and less of a toy for playing with.

Take that with a grain of salt, because in recent years we've had a couple releases that could certainly have used them, and some items (animals like Ghost Horse, Labs, etc) that are arguable more statue than toy, and of course Lassy has hers in the 3AA pack. But I think the overall sentiment about stands is the same.

I can get where someone coming from a toy collector background surrounding other people's properties would be used to seeing stands as part of the package/toy. There are plenty of folks that buy these figs as icons and the act of collecting can be very fetishistic. We've all got our quirks.

I've gotten the impression 3A likes their figures to come across more like the toys of their youth. Star Wars, Micronauts, MotU, Machinder/Shogun Warriors, Transformers etc. didn't come with stands. They came to be played with. One could argue they were certainly cheaper mass produced toys, but I see the angle 3A has long approached it from.

I'm sure if folks were clamoring for stands, dioramas (they've been discussed as a possibility before), etc. there would be serious consideration of them. At least with the licensed products.

To me what really makes for a great toy is a GREAT toy. One that connects on a visceral level, be it aesthetics, nostalgia, attitude, craftsmanship, etc. And as many of those as possible. If it is flawlessly designed, built and executed, I am in heaven. I wouldn't care if it came in a paper sack, so long as the toy arrived to me in that perfect condition. I've met and am friends with folks that are into collecting for colorways. Collecting for the number of accessories jammed into a product for a bang for the buck feel. Collecting for the the boxes... and don't get me wrong with any of this. I love a good box design. Design is what I do. But at the end of the day, I'm collecting for the toy. If it's great, it's great. Unless it is something that needs to be there to really make the toy, then so be it. But if the build is lacking, or the design is boring (for me this is the lifelike products lifted directly from movies, games or TV shows) then that is what makes a good toy out of a great one. As Dan said, different strokes...


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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by gregory on Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:57 pm

I don't know the exact deal with the battery situation and international laws, but from what I am told it is very expensive to get around them. Big electronics corporations like Sony and what not can afford whatever the necessary permissions are, it's a drop in the hat, but 3A and Threezero regardless of the licenses that have been obtained, are still a small company(s).

Speaking as a collector I'm personally not a fan of a figure that can't carry or hold everything it comes with. All the accessories and extra hands or extra faces or whatever end up living in the box or a desk drawer. I appreciate the options, but sometimes it feels like padding to make up for a potentially mediocre toy. One or two accessories or weapons or swappable hands - as long as it makes sense and looks cool, that's fine. The appeal of the figure shouldn't come down to "but it comes with x accessory", it should be about the figure itself.

I'm also not a fan of the current trend of every figure coming with a stand. It's more unnecessary padding, it's almost a stigma for me if a character comes with one, and that is ultimately it might not be able to stand on its own (which is something for myself to get over). I like my toys to be able to pose and hang out on my desk or shelf without assistance.  

Speaking in terms of 3A, I know all designers and engineers strive to make figures that can stand on their own without a crutch, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Lasstranaut, Ray, etc. Supreme NOM is the one exception where I think the figure would have benefited from coming with a stand of some sort. There are a few figures in the pipeline that will have stands due to the need from the design.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Sideglide on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:26 pm

As a guy that ships stuff to friends from Japan, I can definitely confirm on the battery restriction. Even on a private level. Batteries contain acid and or corrosive material. To ship them internationally, you would need certification of each battery type shipped and proper documentation on file and labeling on the box.

Even items that are glued are problems because of, I guess, the potential fumes and state of solidification. Everything i send has to basically say "電子なし、のりなし" which is "no batteries, no glue".

I think stands can be cool, but most manufactures still see a stand as static. I would like to see stands being used in a dynamic way that enhance a figure's pose. Think of a stand that could give a fig a Chow Yun Fat jumping in mid-air firing 2 weapons for example. Static figures sometimes use such a stand, why not use them for 1/6 figs as well.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Wooly on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:32 am

Wow, great posts guys. (ES, I read all of that) Really enjoyed the perspectives.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by IronChap on Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:00 am

Great posts and interesting perspectives. I've never really been bothered that my 3A stuff doesn't come with stands, but I like having my Marvel Hot Toys on theirs and it actually really bothers me that they've switched to a new, bulky style for the Age of Ultron figures because now when I get Black Widow and Hawkeye to finish off my set of my preferred version of each character theirs won't match the rest. That may be the catalyst for me to take them all off their stands...

I don't mind a bunch of accessories if they make sense for the character - I like to have some options to change up my poses and displays, but I don't need, say, a Fighting JC to come with 6 hands and 5 different guns just to pad out the box.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by bubs67 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:23 pm

he said the difference between good and truly great are always the "small things" ...

batteries, stands, hands, this an that ... the small things that 3A do get right more often than not are in the hand sculpt itself .. the small things I think are in Ash's resistance to add more this n that .. and let the small things all work together .. think 3A do this particularly well ..more often than not
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Wooly on Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:56 pm

I would also add just how important this is to keep as a reminder that comes up during the month at some point for the 3A design team. (and honestly not just for 3A,... shoot I know I could use it)
The key component the company has is that you have Ash and his brush bringing characters to life, what a starting point! Also 3A just started in the "truly great" category like BOOM, out the box, from day 1,... so the standard being set that high from the beginning really forces a discipline where they stay on top and keep moving forward with progression and quality.
That's also a piece of 3A that has me ever hopeful for the future. Whatever perceived "steps back" there have been based on sentiment over paint apps or quality, I know that moving forward they always have the ability to knock it completely out of the park at any moment. I'd love to see that aspect of "truly great" happen more and more for everyone.
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Post title

Post by Ce on Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:12 am

I like how threezero went for AAA batteries with the Atlas. I prefer this type of batteries than watch batteries, maybe it's time for 3A to go for 3A batteries bounce
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Musahi13 on Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:48 am

I see the difference is toys vs art. Sometimes the lines get blurred, but most days three a is making art. Stands really detract from the dynamic poses that most of the three a toys are capable of. Lord piper and his incredible posing is a fine example of what can be done without stands.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by counterfeit on Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:28 am

yep, I hate stands, that's make the figure ugly.... even last time when I have Supreme NOM, I never use the stand, I prefer laid her on background or another figure.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by gar on Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:23 am

I let her rest with one hand on a robot so she could stand on some kind of tripod.

only exception I have is Lasstranaut and 3 Bertie the Pipebombs.

Love the avatars.
Talking about great toys.
WWR iron Panda holy trinity (LM / Square / DC) are the best, imho.

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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Drip on Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:49 am

I think stands really take away from a piece. Its an eye sore. It costs more money.

If a figure can stand alone without assistance then its a success in my book, and to me this makes the figure better. It means that the maker actually took the time and care to make it work rather then just plop it on a base. These are the little things that matter to me.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by bubblegumking on Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:27 am

not a fan of stands at all.
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Re: Difference between good and great...

Post by Beaumont on Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:10 am

Great thread!

Lets see. The batteries to me are a non issue. I do think its great that some companies provide them though. saves me the hassle from buying them myself. But do the batteries bump down the figure from great to good if they are not provided by the manufacturer?. For me, absolutely not. I don't use them enough or at all sometimes.

Regarding the stands. Some of the stands that these figures come with, for example this Hot Toys Thor makes the figure look 10X better. But lets be honest, very few figures come with sculpted stands, they are mostly the basic black ones or sometimes some graphics added, but they are generally "standard black stand". I agree with the ones who said that they make the figures look pretty static as well. 3A toys don't fit with the "display collectible" category like hot toys to me. They look better scattered across the house in some funky poses I think.

To me the small details are the pose-ability and details in a figure. For example. Take a 3A TK and any Hot Toys male. 3A has much more posing capabilities than the Hot Toys one. The likeness on a HT could be impeccable but whats the fun in a toy when you cant really pose it too much?. Another detail is the weathering. HT Battle damage toys are laughable to me, they are so shiny and new looking that I wonder why they even try doing a battle damage. The Star Lord weathered coat is another good example of weathering fail, it doesn't look believable to me.

I guess this is just a subjective topic though. People look for different thing in their toys/collectibles.

FYI. I'm not bashing on HT. I have more HT than 3A figures lol!
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