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Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by stu, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Tommys War A Fixture

    I agree Colin, I had a massive issue with my daughters primary school. She came home and was telling me about a film she had watched during a lesson. The film was still at the cinema so I phoned the school and asked how she could have seen the film when it wasn't on general release. It was a pirate copy, I got nowhere the school didn't see it as a problem, but it shows how endemic the problem is.

    But I guess the big problem is here that we're in a small hobby, it isn't the Hollywood film industry. I don't know the proportion of sales that are going to recasters, but as a producer I know how hard I have to work to just break-even. The margins are small and if that's chipped away then that's the end of it.

    This isn't simply a case of producers complaining or moaning about losing a small proportion of large profits, this is potentially game-changing, and that's not me being melodramatic.
    elanlane13, stu and crf like this.
  2. kagemusha A Fixture

    You are of course right Colin.....but the 'Mega Corporations/Millionaires' have the power/money/lawyers to take care of themselves....
    Those just 'making ends meet' are far more vulnerable to long lasting damage from these attacks on their livelihood....
    And yes....guilty as charged regarding media downloads....
    No theft is 'right'.....but...to a degree...is dictated by means/life/peer pressure....which of course is no defence in the real world....
    And your most valid point...we see our friends hurting...which in turn hurts us.....again...no defence....but a point well made.

    crf likes this.
  3. Colin_Fraser A Fixture

    Actually I disagree. I think we are going to get less original music from new bands, less good independent cinema and we will never see some great TV due to forecast revenue reductions due to piracy. It may take longer but some of these other outputs will suffer as well as our hobby. Not every form of electronic entertainment is controlled by a big label or studio. The big difference is that they can create alternative distribution channels like iTunes and they can build some copy safeguards into their products. I wish there was a way to build some sort of copy safe guard into our products.

  4. Waterman Active Member

    There is a lot of figure manufacturing work out there, and I quote the model railway hobby for one,who cry out for realistic figures of the quality we enjoy. I am not talking about the Hornby oo / ho people here, but those in the larger scales, 1/32 Gauge 1 , 16 mm , G Scale, 2-1/2 inch scale, even 5 inch and 7-1/4 Scale. Of engineering live steam,and battery electric, the market is huge and very poorly provided for. Indeed I have taken along some figures to a meet and have been swamped by people asking where they can get them from. My point is, that recasters could, I don't think that they will, but if they did start to have the effect of deterring military sculptors and manufacturers away from the hobby, then they will just turn their hands to something else such as I have shown. I don't think that the foreign recasters would be quite so willing then to copy these products.
  5. kagemusha A Fixture

    Again...some valid points...but....I will disagree with the 'new bands' arena....for years now they have been created to order...purely with the intent of making quick money for the industry/labels etc.
    Also...where TV is concerned...it has always been the ratings that govern whether a new series/season gets made.
    iTunes is not free from piracy issues...but...again..is part of a multi billion pound corporation....who don't even get involved in anti piracy situations...because they refuse to accept it as a genuine concern for them...
    All this being said Colin....I respect your viewpoint....and enjoy the tone of your arguments/points.

    crf likes this.
  6. stu A Fixture

    The difference now is these recasters are closer !!! But more importantly they recast current new releases and not old hard to find products.

    This is game changing. !!!

    Recasters have always been around...we all new it but they copied older products so its not a problem. When somebody recasts new stuff you can kiss goodbye to any sales. I have 2 kits in particular that were doing well ....now they are dead !!!

    I have to move fast..cast fast and sell fast or my product is finished if it is chosen to be recast. Take falling sales ...less modellers and recasting and the margins are tight.

    They are herd to stay only peoples habits can change the way things are going. Ironically recasting will put the costs up of original items i think...less volumes ...increased retail is needed to break even

    Its not good

    crf likes this.
  7. Waterman Active Member

    I can see this hobby going the way of very limited production runs,which will only proceed ,when set against the number or firm orders placed, and at much higher prices then is being charged now. There will be plenty of old recast stuff to buy, but if you want new subjects of quality it will cost a lot more and you will have to give notice of intent. Hobbyists have only themselves to blame, because what seemed to be a cheap bargain in the end wasn't.
    OldTaff likes this.
  8. theBaron A Fixture

    That's pretty bad. I don't think that would happen here, that is, a teacher might certainly use a bootleg in a class, but I don't think the school administrators would back him up, if called on it. Not out of any moral position, though, but more out of fear of legal action. American school districts (the basic administrative unit in our school system) are notoriously bureaucratically limited in their thinking. They fear lawsuits and bad publicity.
  9. DaddyO A Fixture

    Count on my support dude - just been crying over what I thought was a lovely figure (54mm French Guardsman carrying a wounded drummer boy on his back) No box, but a nice photo. Trouble is when you look at the casting, the detail is poor and there are clear waves in the 'metal' big waste of time and money . . .
  10. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter


    I was thinking in the same way.

    Even if Im not particulary found of the business idea that goes under the name of ”Crow funding” perhaps this will be more popular in the future as a way to fight piracy?

    As the producer take orders for the finished product for a certain amount that will guarantee the profit needed for his business. The market get saturated in a blink once the product is released as well as sales can be somewhat controlled. Or at least better than today. Thus making the recasters market smaller.

    I do not agree that Hobbyists have them selves to blame. There are plenty of us that doesnt buy from recasters and apreciate the new releases.

    Janne Nilsson
    Waterman likes this.
  11. Waterman Active Member

    Yes Janne I apologise for the generalised remark about hobbyist being to blame. What I should have said,is that a few hobbyists by buying from re casters have spoilt it for the majority of honest modellers. Sorry got carried away in trying to present the case.
  12. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    It might not be a bad idea to offer just a selected run of a piece as hopefully it may get snapped up straight away and then no opportunity for the recaster to get hold. Yes we would be biting our noses off on long term sales but as proven once the recaster gets hold that shatters any future anyway. For example a run of 50 kits, waiting list is offered up before release , once they have gone they have gone. Any costings for master, materials and labour would be incorporated in the price. It would make pieces very exclusive, the overspill of what hasn't sold would be sold at shows if any were left. If the 50 have gone straight away there would be a record of sales and the piece would never go on general release. It won't win the war but it narrows done avenues and ensures that the manufacturer gets a return, the customer also has a special item. It happens a lot in the replica prop industry and other collector fields were products are sold out instantly, often on the back of just a prototype picture, they never go on general release and are actually good investments as they hold their price if not rising in value.
    Funky50 and Waterman like this.
  13. Waterman Active Member

    That is exactly what I was trying to say, but Gra has managed to put it over far better than I could. The manufacturer gets his costs back quicker, with his profit, and if you want a figure then grab it because tomorrow it will not be there.
  14. Adrian Cowdry Well-Known Member

    I am new to this thread and I will add to everyone's emphasis about being against recasters especially as I am a new manufacturer www.excaliburmodels.com - check my site out!

    I, like, Darren and many others would be some what P---ed off should my figures be recast elsewhere - to be honest because of the costings involved and using the caster I do I don't think any recasters would trouble themselves but I am positive that certain manufacturers (Pegaso, Scale 75 and one or two others) are victims of recasting. One or two of the naked ladies have been done - I can vouch for that as I have seen them.

    Recasting is the bane of such model manufacturers. I have seen many recasts in the garage kit arena - Billiken kits, Screamin' kits, and many of the smaller Jeff Yeagher and Janus type makers that do all those wonderful Monster models (I just got a 1/4 scale Frankenstein and Bride - in primer at mo will post photos when complete.

    But I would pose a moral question.

    My first figure was a Barton Miniatures Operation Nimrod SAS. A figure that is now collectable and I would like another to do - 30 years later.

    I know I am not going to get one at a good price - collectable price sure. If I saw a resin version (Barton were white metal), would I be tempted if the cast was good? I will not answer that but morally if you wanted such and such figure that ceased production 20 years ago and you saw a recast that someone has done from their own copy that has been dismantled because that person wants to do various versions...if there happened to be a spare few left over would you be tempted?

    As I said there are more examples of this in the Garage Kit arena - And many of the recasts cannot be told apart from the original unless the materials are different. Horizon did a vinyl Karloff Frankenstein that ceased production quite quickly due to licensing laws and deals.

    Try and find an original - it is not easy - there are plenty of recasts around that once painted look very nice indeed. If the kit is out of production and you desperately wanted one for your shelf - would you be tempted?

    Janus is a resin kit manufacturer of Universal Horror Film subjects - I'd say some of the best on the face of the earth - as far as I am aware none have been recast - but should you want a Dracula and Bride and can't afford the $600 plus for an original but could afford a third of that would you be tempted?

    We can all shout holier than though "No not me"...but if I had seen a recast of the Tiny Troopers Rorkes Drift figures I would have been tempted...as it is I have come across the Michael Caine figure - just want Stanley Baker now - and no it is not a recast!

    I desperately want the Pegaso 54mm Foreign Legion Camerone set - if I saw a recast I might be tempted - why? Because I cannot get an original at the right price and will not pay double treble etc. because I want to build it not make it an assett.

    So while as a manufacturer I abhor re casters - I also see the desire of such and such and once it's under paint no one will know - a situation I would venture to say that many figure modellers have contemplated.

    Let me just say - I have never watched a pirate DVD - and I agree with Darren's point.

    Also when it comes to music at present - this is not recast stuff but pre manufactured tripe that is fed to the masses with a few exceptions that are original. Mc Busted/insect/jedwoodward all roll into one...
  15. Ferris A Fixture

    And combine this with crowd funding and there is one method for keeping small businesses going. First release sketches of figures and who will sculpt them, collect interest/votes/money from buyers and then go do the most popular ones.

    The original manufacturers will always have one major advantage over the recasters: the ability to CREATE something new. That is what people are prepared to pay for. How that business is done clearly has to change because of the increasing recasting issue. The traditional model of releasing a figure and then waiting to see how popular it is and who will buy it, of which some are recasters, is going under, in my view.

    Good point you raise about pirated software and music Colin. It shows many of us have double standards: bemoaning recasting, but a hard drive full of pirated stuff. It really is the same in my view: stealing other people's creations. It is irrelevant if those people are rich or poor (and who checked that anyway before stealing?).

    crf likes this.
  16. Adrian Cowdry Well-Known Member

    How many of us would tape an LP onto a cassette for our car or walkman? It's for our personal use. How many bought a bootlegged version of the Butcher Album by The Beatles? It's for our personal use. And how many of us taped that LP for our pals because you were doing them a favour?

    How many would recast a Verlinden figure and change the heads so you could achieve a platoon or legion? And how may have taken existing figures and made sets up and cast them perhaps slightly changed - Airfix multipose I have seen done as white metal figures (Japanese changed into Mexicans) - and I seem to recollect a figure last year that had been adapted from another (the thigh was very obvious).

    The problem is the policing of such dubious happenings - anything that is current and been recast is a huge no no - lets face it you can pick up on the collector kits type stands a lot of unmade second hand late stuff. Same sort of prices as a a recaster will sell at.

    But if you want that resin figure from 20 years or so back - if you have been searching for say three years - a recast is presented to you...would you be tempted?

    I have never purchased or bought a pirate DVD...
  17. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    The ethics behind buying a copy if a piece is long out of production and when no knowledge of the master has been discussed before Adrian. It is still illegal though and a practise I would never do. In this respect I am whiter than white, I have a loft of grey army genuine pieces without needing to ever buy a copy.

    The buying of recasts KNOWING they are in production is no more or less illegal, but it hits the manufacturers and future of new releases NOW. We can gloss it up and stick any technicality in the mix but we all know what is going on.

    It is fine to compare or justify with copying of CDs and LPs etc and I see the comparison but it doesn't really affect the community here like recasting of figures does, much the same as I doubt the DJ forum are discussing our woes :)
  18. Adrian Cowdry Well-Known Member

    I have not seen the previous conversation about older kits recast and being able to obtain that old figure if the master has gone - until I do I will not comment.


    I am throwing the cat among the pigeons - I am not justifying copying CD's etc. (I bet we've all done it though) - I am not justifying recasting - I am a manufacturer too now and I would be very displeased to see one of mine being recast...

    ...what I am saying though is

    If you want a particular figure and it is out of production for so long and you want it that bad there are some who will take a recast.

    Also there are some who will take a recast because an original will be overly costly because it is a collectors item and not to be made...Janus is a very good example (Hunchback Originals £600)....

    I have not purchased a recast....but never say never...

    As for current items as I say I have seen Pegaso recast - the female line - it is abhorrent equivalent to piracy - and I agree that the damage is done affecting figures now and the future... present figures if recast should be policed - tough to do - only vigilant honest modellers who spot that Johnny Recaster has recast the latest from X maker will point this out - the figure model community is actually quite small internationally.

    But how can it be stopped - a small claims court against Ivan in Czech Republic from Joe Soap in the UK? - Can you see that working? And even if you get a judgement in your favour young Ivan will start again under a different banner....It can never be justified recasting new and present figures...but can it be stopped?

    And will it be stopped when you really want that figure from 20 years ago? Illegal and Immoral yes - and I am not tarring anyone with a brush - but I am saying that if temptation were there for a recast copy of that old figure then I would wager a few in the figure community will take the recast because they cannot get anything else.

    And bootlegged records and DVD's are a good comparison - I will admit to getting a bootlegged soundtrack many years ago of Blade Runner - the full soundtrack had never been released. The release of the soundtrack in full 7 years later killed off the demand for the bootleg. That example underlines that every manufacturer perhaps needs to re cast their originals and have them available for sale whether it be back orders and doing cast runs when enough have been sold or once the mould has had it's day recasting a best example and keeping production alive.
  19. Gra30 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I agree Adrian, stopping it is a massive dilemma and there are no complete answers.

    Your explanation of how some people will buy older figures, even if recasts highlights my point as I also suspect those same people will also buy modern ones.

    This calls for a whole new approach where I think the manufacturer has to release and get a return and then run.
    When I purchased the David Grieve range it still held a currency value. If a manufacturer was now to decide to sell a range, for whatever reasons, the value of the masters is probably worthless if they have been recast.

    Imagine, all those thousands of pounds spent on masters not worth anything. This will only get worse, master figures can no longer be classed as assets but a commodity to get a return and then to throw, the same as rubber and resin. The recasters don't cast everything but monitor and cherry pick pieces that they see getting frequent publicity.

    If the return and costs have been made, enticed by the low availability, it has to then be accepted that any recaster will make some money but at least the manufacturer has got in first. This may even deter recasting as I doubt they will hold any trading value, the recaster will struggle to get hold of the piece and this may eveb bring some recast customers back to the genuine manufacturers as modellers want, hunt or have no choice but to buy the real deal early.

    This highlights how bad it is for everyone and only one possible approach, but it inevitable that in order to get that special piece you want, will probably start costing more.
  20. yellowcat A Fixture

    I am posting this again.
    What's wrong with recasts.
    Here is an article from Kitbuilders magazine back in 1994 on the subject of recasting garage kits.
    This is parallel to historical figures recasting.

    theBaron likes this.

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