Kickstarter, Is It The Future Of Toy Collecting?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

I will admit that last year, I thought that Kickstarter was going to be changing how toy collectors looked at collecting. I thought for sure that we would start to see a new direction for those looking to bring new product to the market, and a new means for collectors to get their hands on it. But now, now I’m not so sure anymore.

The latest Kickstarter from October Toys, the Skeleton Warriors Grimskull Action Figure, is a fantastic looking product. They have put a lot of time and research into this figure, but in its final hours of the campaign, things are not looking good with them $20,000 short of their funding goal. This isn’t the first action figure toy line I have seen fall shot in the past year or so either. The first Kickstarter for October Toys’ Skeleton Warriors Baron Dark and Titan Skeleton barely got in under the wire as well.

The first Kickstarter from Play With This Too is another example of a line that failed to get off the ground. They are currently underway with a second one and are a third of the way to their funding goal. Now I do hope they hit that goal, but traditionally unless things pick up in the final days, things aren’t looking too good.

Another Kickstarter that is on the verge of going in either direction is The Fwoosh’s Articulated Icons: The Feudal Series – Ninja Action Figures. This kickstarter is in its final week and is at 77% of its goal. Now there could be a big push at the end and they will find the funding needed to get this line off the ground. But then the question is, what comes next? If they want the line to expand beyond a couple of basic Ninja action figures, how do they do it?

Now you could say well what about Boss Fight Studio’s Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S., or Marauder Gun-Runners’ Marauder Task Force, and later their MTF Valkyries? Both of these we very successful. What is the key to the success?

I would say that 4 inch figures seem to be the answer, but the Skeleton Warriors are 4 inch figures, and are not having as much luck. Is it the theme of each of the lines? Is the absence of G.I. Joe in the market a big reason that Marauder’s two military themed Kickstarters were successful? Is the fact that there really isn’t any mythology action figures the reason for Boss Fight’s success as well?

Both of those Kickstarter campaigns have been the topic of heated discussion with problems that can come up from independent toy companies. Turning many fans off in the process. Did this cause many other fans to be come apprehensive about backing others? The TruForce Collectibles Mega Man X Kickstarter has been a hot topic as well, with many fans not happy about the delay in the figure being shipped out. Is this another mark in the column against backing new action figure projects?

UPDATE: I did forget about the Four Horsemen Studio’s Kickstarters, Gothitropolis: Ravens and Mythic Legions, which I was reminded about on Twitter. These have been met with success each time, but have also had their fair share of problems as well. Again, I feel these Kickstarters are filling a niche not generally found at retail.

I know in the past there have been many Kickstarters (and sadly there are still more to come) that have failed to materialize with what they promised. Meaning a product has never happened. Luckily I have yet to have this happen to me, though waiting almost a year longer than expected to get the Marauder Task Force figures was a bit of a let down.

It seems that video games and other non-toy items are still doing very well, so what is the problem with action figures? Is it a result of a shrinking market with adult collectors? Are collectors being more selective these days? I know I am, but I still look towards other options than retail to find new and interesting things to collect. Is a reason possibly poor promotion? Not enough people finding out about the campaigns until they pass? What about not understanding how Kickstarter works?

Do you back Kickstarter campaigns, or did you and are no longer? Either way, why do you? Not that I’m expecting to find the answer, but maybe we will. So share your thoughts and comments on Kickstarter and toy collecting.

S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Decade Gets Some New Images and Pre-Order Start Date

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

In addition to the new S.H. Figuarts Kinnikuman announced a couple of weeks ago, Bandai’s Tamashii Nations also announced the new S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou (Renewal) Kamen Rider Decade as well. And like with the Kinnikuman, we now have a pre-order start date and some new official images to check out. The Shinkocchou Seihou Decade will be opening up for pre-orders on Thurs., Oct. 1st. This is a Tamashii Web Exclusive and will be priced at 6,480 yen (about $54 USD). It is expected to be released in February 2016.

The Destroyer of Worlds himself, Kamen Rider Decade joins the previously released Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Kabuto, the first figure in the new line, followed by Kamen Rider Habiki, Masked Rider Kuuga Mighty Form, and finally the Masked Rider Agito Ground Form which was release last month in August. Check out the gallery of new images below, then look for Decade to arrive in early 2016.

Images and Pre-Order Start Date For S.H. Figuarts Kinnikuman Soldier (Ataru) and Throne Contention (Suguru)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Just a couple of weeks ago now, Bandai’s collector division, Tamashii Nations, announced new S.H. Figuarts Kinnikuman variants that will be heading our way. These variants feature the brothers, Kinnikuman Soldier (Ataru) and Throne Contention (Suguru). At the time of the announcement, we knew that they would be available in February 2016, and that they would be priced at 5,940 and 5,400 respectively. What we didn’t know is when those pre-orders would be opening up. Well now we have that answer as well. Pre-orders will be opening up on Thursday, Oct. 1st, and both figures will be Tamashii Web Exclusives.

These are sure to be quick sell outs, so don’t wait to long or you will more than likely miss out. In addition to the pre-order start date, we also have few new images of the S.H. Figuarts Kinnikuman Soldier Color Vers. and Throne Contention Vers. figures which I have posted in the galleries below. Enjoy!

Kinnikuman Soldier Color Vers. – Ataru

Kinnikuman Throne Contention Vers. – Suguru

Figma Hulk (THE AVENGERS) Announced With Pre-Orders

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Today the Good Smile Company has opened pre-orders for their Figma Hulk figure. This version of the Hulk is based on the 2012 blockbuster movie, The Avengers. I must say it has very nicely captured the raging green-skinned alter ego of Bruce Banner in fantastic plastic form. The Figma Hulk figure stands 21 cm tall (about 8.3 inches), making this the biggest Figma to be made, to-date. The figure comes with a stand to aid in posing. Sadly, no other accessories are included, which is a little surprising. It is priced at 12,000 yen (about $100 USD), but you can find it less than that, around $85 USD seems to be the average from online retailers. Look for it to ship sometime in May 2016.

Detroit Shows Graffiti Is Not Ugly, Artists From Around The World Paint Eastern Market For Murals in the Market!

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

This week in Detroit, Michigan, there has been a fantastic event taking places, the Murals in the Market. Over 45 local and international artists have come to Detroit to partake in a design festival, this includes graffiti art all around the Eastern Market. If you have been there before, you have seen some of the amazing and crazy pieces of art that was featured on the buildings in the market area. Now new pieces have been down and they look just as amazing and are worth checking out. The Murals in the Market event is being spearheaded by 1xRun, which also has limited run prints available from the artists as well. If you enjoy good art, then I definitely suggest checking this out. The overall event is nearing the end, but this doesn’t mean you still can’t check out some of the great art being produced. (Via Fox 2 and MLive)

When Worlds Collide: Stormtroopers vs Aliens!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

When it comes to fan favorite properties, one things fans like to do is imagine what it would be like if two were mashed up. We’ve had two favorites already together with Aliens and Predator, but unless they are owned by the same company it is rare to see this happen. Artist Guillem Pongiluppi has brought together two very popular sci-fi properties in this Stormtroopers vs Aliens piece, causing my mind to be blown! What a fantastic creation in this piece. Next to the Star Wars: Death Troopers book, where Star Wars and zombies crossed over, this might be my next favorite mash-up. You can check out the Stormtroopers vs Aliens piece, along with many other fantastic pieces of Guillem’s work on his personal site, and ArtStation page. (Via Kotaku)