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Jun 01, 2006

Confessions of a Toy Pusher: There's a Fine Line [opinion]

Alright, so I’m as much of a fan of variants as the next guy but don’t you think it’s getting a little ridiculous? I want to be fair so I’ll start off with some counter-arguments. Designer toy companies drop tons of hard earned cash into making little plastic toys for all of us boys and girls and all they ask for in return is a medium sized wad of cash in their pockets. Looking at it from a broader point of view, the amount of risk being invested on a limited edition, limited targeted toy project is significantly higher than the rewards. Therefore you figure they would need to put themselves in the best position possible to get their investment back and then some. That’s where variants come in. They give the toymakers an added advantage by being able to sell 3 “Limited Editions” (Black! White! Glow!) of a toy instead of selling 1 “Semi-Limited Edition”. You see, making these “variants” is a hell of a lot cheaper than making a brand new sculpt and it significantly increases the chances of selling out all their figures considering there is a certain amount of figures that need to be produced to make them affordable. Sounds all nice and dandy right? But what happens when the medium wad of cash they’ve been earning eventually becomes a big wad of cash?   They make even more variants of course!

Ok, I may be a bit harsh here, Some companies need to keep the variants coming in order to keep their cash flowing and be able to make higher quality goods which in the end will help everyone involved but sometimes they go a little overboard. If Company T (for example) built their empire on making variant upon variant of the same toy then it would be foolish for them to stray from their cash cow. But there gets to be a point where “Making toys for the joy of making toys” jumps the border into “Making toys for  the joy of making dough”. There’s really no reason for a semi established toymaker like Company T to come out with blue, red, silver, black, yellow, white and orange versions of the same toy just to encourage people to become completists searching for every single variant. Smart collectors (and not too smart collectors as well) will quickly come to the conclusion that Company T is either A) getting heavily shafted by the artist who designed the figure or B) is heavily shafting their consumers’ pocketbooks.

Here’s what I recommend, for every design created there should only be one straight color variant available. If you’re talking about special variants (glow – even though that’s not that special anymore, clear, accessories, design alterations, things like that) then you can venture another 2-3 versions because sometimes I like to have my farting donkey on my shelf with my SDCC exclusive yellow flocked non-farting version to keep each other company. One more thing, try to have straight colorways announced beforehand, there’s nothing worse than buying a white Michael Jackson figure then finding out a black version is coming out the next month. Hopefully companies will read this and at least considered toning down their rainbow armies because your customers don’t like to be dicked around. So remember Company T, don’t bite the hand(s) that feed you.

The opinions expressed above are solely that of Toy Pusher.  He can be reached at [email protected] if you'd like to discuss the articles further.

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Comments

here, here, I agree with the man, good point!

i'm interested in reading more opinion pieces from you!

I couldnt agree more.The pusher should have his own weekly bitch fest.

...cough cough... toy2r...cough cough... kozik... cough cough...

tell us something we don't know.

I want a farting flocked donkey !!!

awesome!

Why are VP still giving this idiot the time of day? Who the hell is he to tell collectors what to buy? I'll make my own damned mind up on how many color variations I'll own of a particular design, thanks all the same.

Dang! Gaston is really getting better with these columns.

I like rainbow sherbet better than a rainbow army. keep pushing those buttons!

Is Company T anything like Company KR? Ar Donkeys like Labbits and is farting the new smoking... Maybe I will just sell my collection... or better yet raffle it.

What a croc, grow some balls Gaston ( BTW. who the fuck is that?) And Vinylpulse. What is this? What a pussy move is this. I held VP to a higher standard. I do not see the New Yorker or even Toy fair magazine using fake names. If you do not reveal who this is. I will boycott your shit and post how lame you are around the Bloggosphere.
Unless that is, unless you all are just another set of superfans blowing wind on other superfans and not the Boing Boing of toys I though you where.

Good luck,

Dealer McDope.

Funny that people who complain about fake names, use one...
Anyway, agree with him or not, I like the fact that VP is becoming more than just a list on new stuff coming out. Having a discussion about toys and art never hurts.

And on the variants, I think 99% are lame. Toy2r has made great toys but there are way to much variants of already weak designs. But as long as completists are buying it blindly, who am I to complain. I rather see a toy get a second ariant run because it's so popular, than have the choice between 5 variants to start with. Most toys don't look better in gold or GID.


This is Journalistic poverty at its lowest.

Shame on you VP for giving this coward a plataform.

Andre.

I think some readers may have missed the following lines:
[opinion]
&
The opinions expressed above are solely that of Toy Pusher. He can be reached at [email protected] if you'd like to discuss the articles further.

I think shaming VP is bit ridicules.
Keep up the good work VP!

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