Discussion in 'Whatever' started by JoeMan, May 1, 2014.
I just saw some KR marvel figs in TRU this weekend, last handshake with the devil if ever I saw it.
Production-wise, I think you're right, but as far as stores go, it certainly feels like they're falling like flies. It makes sense too. Most toy manufacturers now sell mostly direct and leave their less desirable/higher run toys to be distributed to third parties, where they slowly gather dust on shelves... High-spending collectors will also have rather focused tastes and chances they will find the exact version they're looking for in a store are slim to nil. Again, not helping. And walk-ins... Well, from experience, they find the toys cool, but rarely buy.
I think they flooded their own market by starting to put out 2 or 3 different runs of dummies and such a year, making them even more trivial and less valuable. It's kind of ridiculous how they have such a strong aftermarket trade going that they actually host on their forum, and they make no $$ from. They even have rules against people acting as "stores" on their forum but they stupidly allow people to act as such. Why buy figures for retail when you can grab others' leftovers for much cheaper the day after release To me it's kind of like if gargamel was solely trying to run their business off blind bag micros
Just waiting for that smokin snoop to hit clearance level
So much to correct here but there is no point.
It's a sign of the times. So much went wrong as can with any business.
I will say that the key words I find entertaining here are "seems" "I guess" and "strong products".
I once read a great piece by Jake Phelps in an issue of Thrasher in the mid-90s. It was about skaters writing in to complain about the magazines and shops changing their products with the changing face of skateboarding. Upset that it/they didn't focus on the old school. He gave them a hard lesson in business.
The world of toys has changed so much in the last 10 years. There were vinyl toys before KR and there will be after. It peaked just like punk in the 70s. Much like 70's punk dying in popularity in mainstream..then came the hardcore. The small companies(bands) that don't give a shit about being huge. Don't care about runs of 10,000. That is what's important. The KR news may seem out of the blue to some of you but trust that it is not.
Super7 will always make vinyl toys because we love to, not because it pays our bills.
(This of course represents my own opinion and does not reflect anybody else at the store or company.)
I guess in the end this is what really matters. The companies that love toys will keep going, and the ones that love to swim in money will move on to what ever is profitable for the moment.
That's so naive it's beautiful.
Goddamn hippy rhetoric . . . makes me wanna hurl!
It's true, I can't believe how much delusion there is out there about how much money you can bring in making these toys. Just do the math in your head.
Some people are talented enough they can manage to build a brand and make it happen, Others aren't but try regardless and crash and burn. There will always be those who fail even if they love it, some of those guys probably should have never tried, but if you have the money and time to waste I understand the desire to give it a go. People will fall out of love with it, some will just get tired of the bs that comes with it and some will just move on. People will always be coming and going. If you like something, enjoy it and grab it while you can, because nothing is forever.
Not sure if you misread what i wrote but I thought there were some valid points. Working at comic cons I can see that there are still people asking for [expletive deleted], South Park, Marvel and all of that other licensed stuff that the guy wearing a brand new Wolverine t-shirt would snap up because they relate to the characters and not the 'vinyl toy scene'. You've got the quantity of small but frequent sales coming in there. Then you have the type of guys that would actually camp outside a store overnight for a pair of sneakers or line up outside Toy Tokyo for a couple of hours before opening for some ugly [expletive deleted] release who would buy the higher priced artist editions that KR would bring out.
I'm not a big fan of KR, but I can see how the general consumer can see KR as a 'strong product'.
When I got into collecting vinyl there were a lot of new school designery style toys coming out like BxH and those little Sony capsule toys that Kevin Lyons and a few other guys were doing. KR jumped while these new school style vinyl toys were trickling into stores and for a few years their business would have been going gangbusters. It definitely seemed that way here in Australia, but I can see how the view might be incorrect.. I am making a lot of assumptions, hence the use of "I guess" "it seems like" "I think" etc
I'm sure nobody was making Kanye West money but I'm sure things were comfortable financially for Kid Robot for a long time there for sure. Even though I haven't bought KR for years, I'll be sad to see them disappear if that is the end result of whatever mystery is brewing behind closed doors.
Turns out the *unny word is an expletive!
They sure robbed me enough to make some money
so, elephant in the room: if KR stops churning out releases, is it possible there may actually be a demand for their product someday?
You never know... Maybe those $4 mass-produced CruddyBunnies that people are trying to unload on eBay might be worth $5 someday!
It's an interesting question. It will take a while to dry up, but really will it dry up? How many of those bunnys are thrown at grammas or used as doorstops? Not many (and not enough!) Though some die at the hands of customizers, etc. I'd imagine they just stay in the market because none really get ruined or anything. I mean with vintage toys, they were played with so some survived, some didn't. These well....they just sit there, in boxes or on shelves. I'd venture to guess there will be an oversupply of mint toys and not enough demand- due to high runs and a small, niche' market/fanbase. Unless the whole world starts to treat their stuff like Warhol or something I don't see a big KR boom happening. The value of their stuff has really done nothing but slightly decrease over time, and I think it will just get worse.
Supply and Demand does it's own thing. I mean what do you do with literally 100 of those things? Adultish Kids become adults, Moms give them to thrift stores, whatever. Value drops if it is not significant. You'd never find a piece of good Kaiju in a thrift store because even someone who knows nothing would be like "Dang, THIS is cool" and pick it up. I could imagine a bag full of those bunnys in the thrift store and people walking right by, like "yeah, so. what IS it?"
I don't really understand the KR love here either, I mean we all bought some blind boxes when we got in the hobby, paying $175 a case for a bunch of dupes...until we wised up. Now that we have indeed wised up don't go back and thank them nostalgically for the fucking. Please. It wasn't that cool.
I'll shut up now. (running feet sound, trailing off, door slams.)
Have you check the BST here, Lots of stuff people cant even sell for below retail. Lots of people lost interest in designer vinyl in general.
And Kaiju has lost its cool to people too. I heard collecting knives is what the cool kids collect.
I recently sold our $#nnys on ebay. I got every penny back I'd ever spent +
The ones with a ratio of 1/100 i got about $100 for, 1/40 about $40 etc.
I would assume if they ever did go all the way under, 2nd hand prices will shoot up.
Between the new Godzilla, and Barry'd treasure, "KAIJU" has only gotten a bigger buzz IMO.
All this talk is getting depressing, toys are still live and going string. Don't agree ask PK, Hirota, Pushead etc...
KR was in the end shit, so what it's closing, it's not a sign of end times.
Haha one thing's for sure, your products are still going strong! But therein lies the issue, you make high-quality toys oozing with originality, and KR just grabs merchandising licenses and poops out mass-produced crapola. Seems like in the end people are seeing their stuff for what it is, Made-In-China plastic bunnies that probably cost cents to produce. There's really not many redeeming qualities about that, other than the fact you can pick up a lot for cheap.
I still think the custom market is going to be strong no matter what happens. There are a lot of talented people who make those CruddyBunnies into actual works of art. I still prefer original sculpts to customs any day, but there's no denying that the custom market is strong and a lot of customizes put their heart and soul into making those boring bunnies into something awesome.
I wonder if Kozik has anything to say about these store closures and whatever is going on behind the scenes?? From what I've seen in interviews he cuts right through the shit and tells it like it is
You're making a pretty sweeping value-judgement there. Also, most consumers are nowhere near that thoughtful or quality-oriented about the shit they fill their lives with. Been to a McDonald's lately?
The one thing I sorely feel is lacking from western toys and that whole scene is a sense of history and knowledge, and the high-standards that inevitably come out of that over time. I think there are a number of reasons for this lack in 'designer vinyl', not least of which is a general ignorance (or maybe disinterest) on collectors parts (who wants to do homework on toys when you can just f5 your face off until a new dummy arrives), and, of course, the companies that are able to exploit this. I guess it's part of the pitfalls of being such a new art-form, and i use that word overly generously.
It doesn't help that companies like KR and Funko (and many a customizer) have capitalized on this by constantly pushing some new thing which is really just an old thing, or a really-really stupid thing, in some new guise
It's no wonder bloggers like Jeremy Brautman stopped covering the western toy scene all-together, and it's a really pity, because i'm sure as many of us here know, the more we put into this hobby, the more knowledge we share and build on, and the more time we take to understand it, the more we can appreciate the subtleties, history and art that goes into producing these toys. That's the shit that keeps people around. It's the stuff that keeps me collecting. Everything else fades.
ok. i'm gonna stop drinking now. Wait, no, what am i thinking, i'm gonna stop posting but carry on drinking.
So when is Funko going out of business?
While I disliked most of their products and some of there methods I still think they did several good things as well. For one they did bring tons of people into the "hobby" of collecting different kinds of designer toys. At first that might seem like a bad thing but how many people started with KR then got into the japanese stuff and actually learned the origins of these toys and the difference between mass produced and Made In Japan? Sure the majority of people who started with KR stayed with KR but for a lot of them it was a gateway into the true heart of japanese vinyl. Just because someone got pulled in by hype and popularity doesn't mean they couldn't evolve past that and end up collecting what they actually like and treating those toys and toy makers with the respect they deserve.
The only thing I say with certainty... It ain't happening ANYTIME soon. Never knew a company like that, what seemed to just be making bobble heads and pop figures could be so EXTREMELY financially successful. Like on a level that no "art" vinyl company(like KR) could ever reach. It really is mind boggling to see from the inside.
Also Kozik has plenty in the works. I'm sure he will announce it all in time.
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