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Illegal pirated copies

Discussion in 'Figure News' started by ModelCellar, Apr 2, 2017.

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  1. ModelCellar A Fixture


    I hope you are all doing well, and that 2017 is off to a good start for
    each of you.

    It has been brought to my attention that a vendor/manufacturer named "Must Have Models" from France has been pirating my figures and maybe others.


    They do not have the figures on their website, but they are selling them
    from their trade stand at shows.

    A very good French customer of mine attended the Bron-2017 model show in Bron/Lyon France on the weekend of March 4-5. While at the show he came upon a vendor named "Must Have Models". On their table he sees my Voss, Bishop, von Schleich and the WWI German Pilot and Mechanic figure set. However, they are in plain plastic bags with generic 'photocopied' labels. He also notices large casting blocks (which my figures do not have) and some are in grey resin (which I do not use). Being familiar with my figures because he has actually purchased some directly from me, he suspects they are illegal copies. He asks the vendor: "these are nice, who makes these?" To his surprise the vendor claims them as his own work, says he sculpted them and is the producer. The customer managed to circle back around and discretely took photos of the 'Must Have' table with my products. I have attached the pictures for you to see. You can see in the pictures the pirated figures next to their own aircraft conversions and accessories. In one of the pictures you can even see the female associate of Must Have (my customer confirms she was part of the Must Have table). I have since managed to obtain two of the pirated copies. The last picture I have attached (with the burgundy background on my kitchen table) shows the hard evidence now in my possession. It shows:
    - the pirated copies of Voss and Bishop
    - the envelope they were mailed in with the hand written return address:
    (Didier Goujon, 115 route d'oyonnax, 01100 Geovreisset, France)
    - The invoice for the pirated figures from Didier
    - the PayPal transaction receipt paper trail back to Didier for payment for the figures.
    To show the evidence is in my possession and there is absolutely no question of the illegal activity, you can see my hand in the upper corner holding my own original figure kits.




    I am disgusted (and REALLY PISSED) by this sort of unsavory practice and you should be too. This practice undermines our entire hobby industry. Not only do these thieves steal from me, but they also steal retail sales from any legitimate reseller/vendor. And, in effect steal from the original artists who sculpt, paint, etc. by benefiting financially from their work without compensation. Do what
    you want with this information, take it further or not, it is entirely up to you, but I wanted you to know. As colleagues in the hobby industry I believe we all have to fight against illegal recasters. As we attend model shows, please let's circulate and look out for each other. If you see recasts of anyone's products please notify each other and spread the word. I am going to contact the organizers of the show and report it. And, if you attend a show and see something like this please let the show organizers know about it. If we can get vendors like this banned from shows, that would be a step in the right direction to shutting them down. ...please pass the word. If you carry their products I respectfully ask that you discontinue them as they are dishonest thieves. And if you see these folks at a show, do me a favor and let them know that you know they are dishonest thieves =)).

    I notice, in one of the pictures, is the German Mechanic from KellerKind. It is the piece with a black and white un-painted label. (Notice too that the labels they used for my figures are not just copies of my labels, but they are the pictures from the catalog page of my website!?!? Those thieves took the time to go to my website and even steal the pictures to make their own bogus labels. ...who knows, they may be copying figures from other manufacturers too?!? I have tried to contact KellerKind, but when I go to their website it says it is down for maintenance/updates. If anyone has their email please be so kind as to forward this message to them.

    Please lets all stand together.
    best regards

  2. valiant A Fixture

    Hi Paul - I'm sure we will all keep our eyes open for this kind of piracy, especially at shows. It is disgusting that this happens, at all and I feel for the manufacturers.

    I hope you reach a resolution to this, as Stu at Stormtroopers hopefully has done with Ebay.

    DEL, Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  3. montythefirst Well-Known Member

    Hi Paul,

    Sorry to hear this is happening to your company as well. Good luck for the fight against these pirates. Keep us posted


    Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  4. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Have you contacted Must have Models to state your case Paul?

    Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  5. ModelCellar A Fixture

    Hi Keith,

    yes, I did that first, two days ago, but got no response.

    Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  6. valiant A Fixture

    Ive just been on the website and there don't appear to be any figures listed, but lots of resin conversions and spares, etc. Maybe they are pirated, also..?
    Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  7. ModelCellar A Fixture

    I don't know about the conversions and spares. ...can't say about those. But as I said, they do not have the figures on their website. They seem to be selling them from their trade stand only at shows. Once we were alerted, we managed to contact them after the show and buy the pirated figures directly from them. Hence the paper trail (invoice, PayPal transaction, and envelope with hand written return address). I have emailed my legitimate vendors, professional colleagues in the hobby business (sculptors and painters, etc.) and other figure manufacturers. Some other manufacturers also in attendance at the show have also confirmed what you see in the pictures.
    Blind Pew, Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  8. Ferris A Fixture

    Sorry to hear this.
    Suggest you let them know you are aware and request them to stop. It will not work, but you have to demand this repeatedly.
    You could also seek out which shows they are attending and then contact the organizers and try and get them boycotted.
    And, a bit out of the box perhaps, but if you have some friends in IT, perhaps they can make their website malfinction... ;-)

    Blind Pew, Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  9. ModelCellar A Fixture

    Huw63 and clrsgt like this.
  10. clrsgt A Fixture

    I agree that piracy is wrong and completely disgusting. I like Ferris's suggestion.
    Blind Pew and Huw63 like this.
  11. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    Huw63, clrsgt and tomifune like this.
  12. fabrizio19691969 A Fixture

  13. Andrew Perren PlanetFigure Supporter

    And yet if you paid them in counterfeit money - you would go to prison. Hope you can get some resolution from this, otherwise I can hire out my hitman minion to you. ;)
    stoffy01, Blind Pew and clrsgt like this.
  14. stu A Fixture

    Hi Paul

    Sorry to hear this !!! I have passed the info onto a friend in the French police .

    Recasting has become a scourge on our hobby. It is undermining creativity and friendship within it. What one man cant afford another will copy to meet this demand.

    Recasters are hurting everybody and not just manufacturers.

    The increases in quality by manufacturers has only aided the recaster, but if people want better quality then why buy a recast ???

    I now believe cost is the only determining factor,,, monies tight we all know that and I firmly understand that but what you are actually buying with a recast is a bloody expensive casting !!! Frankly your being ripped off !!!

    That's makes the person who buys a recast a MUG ,, because he is spending hard earned money on an inferior product, undermining his hobby, cheating his friends, and spending a lot of money on junk that basically costs 20% of what he is paying to produce. Looked at that way the people that buy these are seriously ,,,,,, up. The recaster really is laughing !!!!

    Recasting hurts,,,,bad. It kills something inside you when you see your product that you have developed and cherished treated this way. It gets in your head and it sucks your energy, your drive, your reason to produce something.

    Its not just the financial impact so many go on about its the loss of passion, asking yourself why???, whats it all for.

    I ask this of myself a lot lately, and I think I am not alone.

    Blind Pew, Nicolaos and Huw63 like this.
  15. ellie A Fixture

    I agree with you stu this is the scourge of our hobby , it hurts everyone and getting to the bottom of it is the hardest thing to do. we have had things re cast and I know what a pain it is trying to get to the bottom of it. it's sad when you see sales on e bay in their hundreds then you look at how hard it is for you to shift stuff that you have taken the time to produce, research,commission. but I have to say it again and again if the customer did not buy then we would not have the problem. the stuff might be crap but the same people keep going back for more and more the question is why?

    Paul I do feel for you and this is the most blatant way of selling re casts, where are the organisers in this. I know this person has been mentioned before on face book last year. someone reported him selling at a french show. they told the organisers. and as far as I was aware he went quite. he should be named and shamed, your outlets should also let organisers know who he is and they should have him on a band list. in some ways this might help a little bit in stopping him getting stuff. I know it will not stop it but it will show that you and others are on his case.

    It's getting the people who buy these rip off's to stop!!! and look at what they are doing to the hobby. companies can not commission new works if they cannot sell the products they have out their now because of the re casters. this harms companies and in some cases might even make them stop producing as it's just not worth the time, money and frustration.

    I do hope his days are numbered and that he is frozen out of the hobby. well good luck Paul I hope you get a good result, I for one will keep an eye open and my ears to the ground.

  16. yeo_64 Well-Known Member

    Please find ways to prosecute these illegal vendors/producers to the fullest extent of the law, Paul :mad:. I, for one, am a loyal customer of your fine figure sculpts and it really pains me to see that some people would stoop so low as to steal from honest vendors/producers like your good self :cry:. Rest assured they and others like them will not get any custom from me ;). All the very best and cheers :D !
    clrsgt and Huw63 like this.
  17. Steve Ski PlanetFigure Supporter

    Seems to be a lot of that going round, SOBs trying to make a quick buck off other's work. Next time someone sees this kind of activity they need to bring it to the attention of the organizer putting on the show immediately, let them be aware, and even make a stink to the vendor publically. Let them feel the embarrassment and shame publically, shame them, especially if you can irrefutably prove it. I personally am sick of this kind of crap!

    This is unacceptable! Ok, I've vented, but I'm still pissed.

    P.S. Boycotting the site would be in order as well.
    clrsgt, Jeff T and Huw63 like this.
  18. megroot A Fixture

    I saw at Ransart a French company who sells a recast from Alexandros figures a Murat bust.
    Beside that they had more recasting from other company's, mostly busts. But the casting is so bad, that most of us see what is happening.
    They are there for years, and the organisation allowed them every time on there show.

    Blind Pew and Huw63 like this.
  19. billyturnip A Fixture

    That does not help one bit, organisers of shows have their part to play in this by not tolerating the sale of recasts.
    clrsgt, Blind Pew and Huw63 like this.
  20. Tazz Member


    as the one who saw and unashamedly denounced the SOB that is MustHaveModels to Paul, I would urge anyone to do the same when and if you see illegal copies at shows.
    Editing a figure is expensive, you have to pay a sculptor, a painter for the boxart, advertise and promote the product, pay taxes etc... I know, I've started my own brand ;-)

    If we accept this unacceptable practise, there will come a day when re-casters will have nothing left to copy because they will have put the geniune, dedicated and honnest figure manufacturers out of business.

    That day, OUR hobby will die !

    Furthermore, if one buys an illegal copy, chances are it is going to be of poor quality... for the sake of a few bucks or quid... A great figure, badly casted is a piece of cr.p and will make painting it a sad and sorry experience.

    I believe we can put an end to illegal copying of figures as there are very few of the re-caster scumbags and many many of us, honnest et passionate figure enthousiasts. If we denounce and expose all those we know to be dishonnest, we can make it unattractive and unprofitable to do re-cast. Of course, it's difficult to stop it completly, but I, for one, will not accept defeat without a good fight (unusual for a Frog, I hear you say ;-) LOL) and I will challenge anyone who makes money on the back of others. I know and love the figures that Model Cellar makes and I want Paul to keep on creating quality figures that we love to paint and display. If we allow SOBs to undermine figure manufacturers by stealing their work, then we'll have nobody else, but ourselves, to blame for the disappearence of our hobby.

    I am doubly ashamed of this sorry affair, firstly, as a French man and secondly, as a passionate figure painter and manufacturer.

    I am currently doing all I can on French forums and social media to expose and shame MustHave Models...

    Together, we are stronger and if we speak consistently and strongly against illegal copying, we can make a difference and I, for one, think it is worth it !

    Best regards

    Helm, kevininpdx, Tecumsea and 10 others like this.
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