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If You Don't Mind KO Reissues


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#1 DINOBOT SLUDGE

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:20 AM

KO SWOOP DIACLONE VERSION

Wondered if they would ever do this and not only did they get the colors right but it is actually the Diaclone mold! Truly a rare item and apparently a limited run although who can say for sure if that is true or not. I know a lot of people complained about the quality of the original KO Swoop, but I got mine from a much later batch and the only problem I had was one of the launchers not fitting in one of the wings, which was easily fixed with a few applications of nail polish. Everything else was perfect including the head, paint, and ability to stand.

Needless to say I went ahead and took a risk on this too. Hopefully this one is top notch. Here is a link to the forum post:

KOToys.com Forum

This is becoming an expensive year for me and kind of surprising considering how little TF product from Hasbro actually interests me.

Edited by GALVATRON I, 15 September 2010 - 07:20 AM.

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#2 BB Shockwave

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:27 AM

It has been in existence for quite some time.

Frankly, I bought some KOs - Mirage, Ratbat, Frenzy - and I am not liking them much. I mostly just used their parts and sold the robots. If you are a real G1 collector, you simply see and feel the difference on the plastic, it feels cheaper, less durable and the die-cast and the paint on it is subpar. I felt the same with Encore. And decided, not to buy any more such reissues.

I might make an exception if they do that promised Fort Max KO, though, purely for financial reasons.

#3 DINOBOT SLUDGE

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:30 AM

I think that is all in your mind bud. The cassettes and Mirage might as well be official releases. They're wonderful product.
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#4 Mecheon

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:00 AM

It does look nice, and almost tempting, but...

Yeah, I'd prefer an updated Swoop

#5 BB Shockwave

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE(GALVATRON I @ Sep 15 2010, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that is all in your mind bud. The cassettes and Mirage might as well be official releases. They're wonderful product.


In my mind?

My Ratbat arrived (MOSC) with one wing's metal peg incorrectly assembled and standing out too much - because of this, his left wing came permanently apart at the second shoulder joint. As for Frenzy, well he was OK at first, but the spring was too strong and pushed out his arms in casette mode, and after a year or so, the stickers started to flake off. Same sticker problems with Encore Starscream - I had to superglue his eyes and the waist-stickers almost a few days after applying.

As for Mirage - the die-cast is obviously different, but my biggest beef is with the blue plastic. It is almost likey they tried to make it look yellowed, as it is more greenish then blue, almost the color of a yellowed Seacon.

Generally, if you put a real G1 and the reissue next to it, you can tell them apart by just looking at the plastic.

I don't mind the reissues, if they are being sold as just like that (and not trying to cheat people by telling they are originals), but frankly, for the prices they are asking for them (for example, the Shockwave KO costs almost as much as an original loose) I'd expect better quality.

Edited by BB Shockwave, 15 September 2010 - 08:39 AM.


#6 Telly

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:34 PM

im not paying $90 for a knock off. if ive got that kinda money for a fake, ill just save up and get a real one
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#7 DINOBOT SLUDGE

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE(BB Shockwave @ Sep 15 2010, 08:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(GALVATRON I @ Sep 15 2010, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that is all in your mind bud. The cassettes and Mirage might as well be official releases. They're wonderful product.


In my mind?

My Ratbat arrived (MOSC) with one wing's metal peg incorrectly assembled and standing out too much - because of this, his left wing came permanently apart at the second shoulder joint. As for Frenzy, well he was OK at first, but the spring was too strong and pushed out his arms in casette mode, and after a year or so, the stickers started to flake off. Same sticker problems with Encore Starscream - I had to superglue his eyes and the waist-stickers almost a few days after applying.

As for Mirage - the die-cast is obviously different, but my biggest beef is with the blue plastic. It is almost likey they tried to make it look yellowed, as it is more greenish then blue, almost the color of a yellowed Seacon.

Generally, if you put a real G1 and the reissue next to it, you can tell them apart by just looking at the plastic.

I don't mind the reissues, if they are being sold as just like that (and not trying to cheat people by telling they are originals), but frankly, for the prices they are asking for them (for example, the Shockwave KO costs almost as much as an original loose) I'd expect better quality.


Sorry to hear about your Ratbat.

And I agree that these sell for too much but the price on a lot of them comes down over time if you are patient. I've only seen them run out of one product over time and that is Gnaw the Sharkticon so waiting is a good option if you want to pay less. Also, you should always look around and you can often times find a good deal...

But the other issues you mentioned are really just issues with the toys themselves, not specific to the KO's. Mirage is that color of blue and his diecast is fine. Not every KO is perfect but Mirage and the cassettes seem to be pretty good in general - I have them and so do 2 friends with no issues. Even with official product you get some lemons so I always keep that in mind.

Maybe I am just lucky but I also do not have any problems with Encores including Bruticus.

In my experience:

GREAT KO
Mirage
Slag (chest color gold instead of red chrome though)
Sunstreaker
Wheeljack
Hubcap
Beachcomber (if you don't mind the Autobot symbol in place of the chest sticker)
Gnaw/Sharkticon
Springer
Cyclonus
Frenzy/Ratbat (Ratbat can be a little loose but I only noticed this after the Encore)
Rumble/Ravage
Reflector

GOOD KO
Snarl (launcher is loose in leg/arm socket and all black where it should have some gray, rear legs don't quite reach the ground)
Grimlock (dual blaster does not want to fit into fist without shaving of peg)
Constructicons (tight joints must handle with care, Scavenger holds his gun loosely and it does not fit into roof)
Scourge (red Decepticon symbol, chest flap does not want to stay up in robot mode)
Swoop (one wing-hole for launcher is too big)
Shockwave (arms are a little loose at the elbow and don't like to hold up the weight of the cannon extension if you move him around too much)

NOT THE BEST KO
Sludge (very tight joints, rear dino legs assembled wrong and do not separate fully to side, chest paint is sloppy)

Those are the only ones I have fully inspected at this time. Pretty good track record at least in my personal experience.

After seeing Swoop I am wondering if they could also do a more show/box photo accurate Slag?

Edited by GALVATRON I, 15 September 2010 - 06:07 PM.

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#8 MagnusPrimal

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

I want that blue Swoop.
I'm also looking very closely at the regular Swoop, Snarl, and Mirage. My wife was just asking what I wanted for Christmas, and I think I might have an answer for her.

#9 Database

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 10:04 PM

I might try to get this when i got some money, I've always wanted an "anime" Swoop, but Takara doesnt seem interested in the dinobots.
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#10 Cat

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:36 PM

QUOTE(Database @ Sep 15 2010, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I might try to get this when i got some money, I've always wanted an "anime" Swoop, but Takara doesnt seem interested in the dinobots.


Not to restart an old tired argument, but isn't the existence of this knock-off and subsequently you possibly buying this, further reduce chances of the real deal? Meant rhetorically, I guess.

I reckon it's an odd quirk of the TF fandom: most other toy fandoms I see, KO's are really frowned upon, yet TF fans seem to accept them for the most part.

Edited by DropCAT, 15 September 2010 - 11:37 PM.


#11 MonsterFromMars

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 03:14 AM

The only one that I would consider is Shockwave since Hasbro and Takara Tomy can't make more of them right now.

Theres a seller in Toronto that has some of them. I was wondering what the quality on them is. Also, I'm curious if these being knockoffs if anyone knows if they might have lead in them.

I used to only buy chinatown knockoffs for extra weapons combiner teams etc. I make of rule of not adding them to my collection nowadays due to the lead paint. I figure it makes it not worth it.

So im curious about that. Since I would definately just grab a Shockwave if I knew that no only the quality is good but that none of these guys have things like lead paint and such.
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#12 BB Shockwave

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 03:49 AM

I Agree with Dropcat - I only accept KOs if they are of toys that are otherwise impossible or very, very hard to buy (case in point: Japanese 1987 Headmasters set). I see no point in spending 20$ for a MOSC KO casette set (except for Ratbat) when you can easily get a loose, good quality G1 casette for 15$.

I prefer KOs that are modifications of the existing mold, or totally new molds (which are, not really KOs...) - like the 4-star Dinobots.

Edited by BB Shockwave, 16 September 2010 - 03:50 AM.


#13 Axaday

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:46 AM

I bought the red Mirage quite a while back. I wanted to see how the knockoffs were and I wanted to put him on my Powered Convoy. Obviously, it was cheaper than a real red Mirage, but it wasn't cheap. But I was a little miffed that he didn't transform properly and I took his shoulder apart to see why and found they had shortcutted by putting in a piece that was identical to the piece in the other shoulder when it should have been a mirror image. Really I'm not sure they shortcutted. Maybe it was just misassembled and there is another one out there with two of the other piece. But it soured me on them.

I have a real Diaclone Swoop anyway.

#14 Mecheon

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:54 AM

QUOTE(DropCAT @ Sep 16 2010, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Database @ Sep 15 2010, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I might try to get this when i got some money, I've always wanted an "anime" Swoop, but Takara doesnt seem interested in the dinobots.


Not to restart an old tired argument, but isn't the existence of this knock-off and subsequently you possibly buying this, further reduce chances of the real deal? Meant rhetorically, I guess.

I reckon it's an odd quirk of the TF fandom: most other toy fandoms I see, KO's are really frowned upon, yet TF fans seem to accept them for the most part.


I swear the Dinobots are one of the lost molds, anyway. All 5 of them

#15 Professor

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:59 AM

QUOTE
I reckon it's an odd quirk of the TF fandom: most other toy fandoms I see, KO's are really frowned upon, yet TF fans seem to accept them for the most part.

I don't think most people have a problem with the existence of a (clearly-labelled) KO of a toy that Hasbro hasn't sold for 25 years.

Of course, the counter-argument is "Well, now Hasbro definitely won't give us one!" I don't personally find that very persuasive. If Hasbro thought they could make money selling that toy, they would have done it.

When a KO becomes ubiquitous, like the Constructicons that were available for $5 in every drug store, then I can see that having an influence on Hasbro's product; however, expensive G1 reproductions just aren't cutting into their market enough to factor into their decision to re-issue a toy or not. If they're not, it's because they don't think it's worth it.

#16 Buster Darkwings

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:13 AM

QUOTE(Professor @ Sep 17 2010, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
I reckon it's an odd quirk of the TF fandom: most other toy fandoms I see, KO's are really frowned upon, yet TF fans seem to accept them for the most part.

I don't think most people have a problem with the existence of a (clearly-labelled) KO of a toy


Uh, since when are they clearly labeled? The manufacturers certainly don't do that. Maybe a few online retailers and auction sellers are honest about what they sell. But I doubt that most places that sell them label them as KOs, especially not in Asia (the HQ KOs are always labeled as "official overseas reissues" by Yahoo Japan sellers). I imagine China is the same, but given that like 8% of their GNP is based on counterfeit goods I'd imagine it's harder to find non-KO TFs in a lot of places.


QUOTE
Of course, the counter-argument is "Well, now Hasbro definitely won't give us one!" I don't personally find that very persuasive. If Hasbro thought they could make money selling that toy, they would have done it.

When a KO becomes ubiquitous, like the Constructicons that were available for $5 in every drug store, then I can see that having an influence on Hasbro's product; however, expensive G1 reproductions just aren't cutting into their market enough to factor into their decision to re-issue a toy or not. If they're not, it's because they don't think it's worth it.


Hasbro has never been a major factor as far as reissues are concerned. They never reissue anything TakaraTomy hasn't already done, and they only sell them as store exclusives. It's TakaraTomy that has always gone to the trouble of restoring molds and selling them at mass retail, thus KOs affect them much more. And I have it on good authority from a fan with connections in TakaraTomy that KOs have long caused them to not bother reissuing certain figures, especially combiners. I wouldn't be surprised if all the "Chinese Reissue" KOs have been a major factor in the decline of the Encore reissues.

I certainly understand the argument that official reissues of figures like the Dinobots are long overdue and even before the KOs came around it seemed like official ones weren't coming anytime soon, and even official reissues often aren't problem-free. But that doesn't mean I'm OK with counterfeits that can and have been used to rip people off. Not to mention that neither TakaraTomy nor Hasbro profits off of them. I'd rather not give my money to companies that blatantly steal IP, especially given that counterfeiters in China often have ties to the Triad.


#17 BB Shockwave

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:59 AM

QUOTE(Buster Darkwings @ Sep 17 2010, 07:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Professor @ Sep 17 2010, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
I reckon it's an odd quirk of the TF fandom: most other toy fandoms I see, KO's are really frowned upon, yet TF fans seem to accept them for the most part.

I don't think most people have a problem with the existence of a (clearly-labelled) KO of a toy


Uh, since when are they clearly labeled? The manufacturers certainly don't do that. Maybe a few online retailers and auction sellers are honest about what they sell. But I doubt that most places that sell them label them as KOs, especially not in Asia (the HQ KOs are always labeled as "official overseas reissues" by Yahoo Japan sellers). I imagine China is the same, but given that like 8% of their GNP is based on counterfeit goods I'd imagine it's harder to find non-KO TFs in a lot of places.


What he said. There are still people trying to sell these as the real deal, yes, even on Ebay. When last year, since I finally started earning enough to afford him, I began hunting for a G1 Shockwave, I had a hard time finding one that was from 1985. People do sell out of the box KOs for double the price, saying they are "Original OMG RARE!" Mostly happens with Shocky, Ratbat, Gnaw and Swoop... The amount of loose, good quality G1 Swoops have grown suspiciously on Ebay in the last years.


#18 Professor

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:00 AM

QUOTE
Uh, since when are they clearly labeled?

He was talking about all KO's and the fandom's response to KO's in general, not just this one.

Although, personally, I'm fine with a reproduction that doesn't have "KNOCKOFF" on it in big letters, as long as it is always sold as reproduction. I don't buy prints of famous paintings that have "REPRODUCTION" on them in big letters, either. There are plenty of examples, even among collectibles, where an accurate reproduction is considered a virtue, and only passing it off as an original is frowned upon.
QUOTE
Hasbro has never been a major factor as far as reissues are concerned.

They're the only factor when it comes to re-issues in North American stores; the existence of a TakaraTomy product is meaningless if Hasbro doesn't feel like doing something with it. I'm in absolutely no place to relate my impressions of the Asian TF fandom's responses, so I left Takara and Japanese fans out of my post.
QUOTE
And I have it on good authority from a fan with connections in TakaraTomy that KOs have long caused them to not bother reissuing certain figures, especially combiners

Which is why my post included an entire paragraph talking about this, using a combiner set as a specific example. As you noted, though, the Swoop toy mentioned in this thread is not that sort of KO. I'm very skeptical that TakaraTomy is meaningfully cowed by the release of a very expensive Dinobot KO of inconsistent quality. Any Takara re-release would cost less and be sturdier, and would therefore face no meaningful competition from the existing KO. If Takara's not re-issuing Swoop, the toy in this thread has nothing to do with it.
QUOTE
But that doesn't mean I'm OK with counterfeits that can and have been used to rip people off

Fair enough, but it sounds to me more like your problem is with what people do with the reproduction toys, rather than with the toys themselves. Certainly, plenty of official re-issues have been sold by unscrupulous folks as G1 originals, even to the degree of being sold with authentic G1 packaging or accessories. Do you have a problem with official re-issues because they "can and have been used to rip people off"?
QUOTE
Not to mention that neither TakaraTomy nor Hasbro profits off of them.

Yep, this is undeniable. But, my sense is that the reason TF fans considering KO's seem to "accept them for the most part" is that neither TakaraTomy nor Hasbro seems to want to profit from these toys. By and large (and with the exception I already mentioned), if they did, they would.
QUOTE
I'd rather not give my money to companies that blatantly steal IP, especially given that counterfeiters in China often have ties to the Triad.

Again, fair enough, but it sounds to me like this is again a problem with specific people, and not the concept of KO's in general, which is what I was discussing in my post.

I'd point out, however, that the reach of organised crime is rather sweeping, and it's rather hard to live anywhere in China without putting money in the hands of the Triad. If you live in a large city in Japan, you are most likely putting money into the hands of organised crime on a daily basis. I'm not saying that it's unavoidable, but rather that being concerned about the money trail for expensive reproduction toys, but not for more mundane purchases, is a little fickle. Perhaps you're very careful about such matters. Quite a few people are, and that's a good thing. Honestly, though, I'm not, and I suspect most of the TF fandom isn't, which comes back to my point that most of us don't seem to mind as long as intentional misrepresentation about the toys isn't involved.

Incidentally, I usually don't buy KO's. I think in my entire toy-buying career, I've spent maybe a combined total of $40 on unofficial toys, mostly when I get them on a whim for cheap at the drug store. My point is just that I can see why plenty of people don't generally have a problem with it.

#19 Buster Darkwings

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:21 AM

QUOTE(Professor @ Sep 17 2010, 05:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Which is why my post included an entire paragraph talking about this, using a combiner set as a specific example. As you noted, though, the Swoop toy mentioned in this thread is not that sort of KO. I'm very skeptical that TakaraTomy is meaningfully cowed by the release of a very expensive Dinobot KO of inconsistent quality. Any Takara re-release would cost less and be sturdier, and would therefore face no meaningful competition from the existing KO. If Takara's not re-issuing Swoop, the toy in this thread has nothing to do with it.


Sturdiness isn't a huge concern for many collectors, often they just want a display piece, even one that's never removed from the box. Or they want it just to have it.

QUOTE
Fair enough, but it sounds to me more like your problem is with what people do with the reproduction toys, rather than with the toys themselves. Certainly, plenty of official re-issues have been sold by unscrupulous folks as G1 originals, even to the degree of being sold with authentic G1 packaging or accessories. Do you have a problem with official re-issues because they "can and have been used to rip people off"?


Official reissues aren't made with the intention of ripping people off, and they can't really be used to do so when they're in the packaging (unless the person is really uninformed and gullible). Counterfeits OTOH are made specifically to be as accurate as possible in order to be passed off as the real thing. It may be easy for us to tell, but not so for people who don't hang out in TF forums all the time.


QUOTE
I'd point out, however, that the reach of organised crime is rather sweeping, and it's rather hard to live anywhere in China without putting money in the hands of the Triad. If you live in a large city in Japan, you are most likely putting money into the hands of organised crime on a daily basis.


Perhaps, but I still avoid it when I have suspicions about something. I certainly don't patronize Pachinko parlors and the like (although those put more money into the hands of North Korea than the Yakuza last I checked). No soaplands or hostess bars for me, either.

QUOTE
I'm not saying that it's unavoidable, but rather that being concerned about the money trail for expensive reproduction toys, but not for more mundane purchases, is a little fickle. Perhaps you're very careful about such matters. Quite a few people are, and that's a good thing. Honestly, though, I'm not, and I suspect most of the TF fandom isn't, which comes back to my point that most of us don't seem to mind as long as intentional misrepresentation about the toys isn't involved.


I think you're underestimating how much intentional misrepresentation actually goes on, though.

#20 BB Shockwave

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:22 AM

By the way - this KO Diaclone Swoop is one of the cases where I can make an exception to my "NO KO" rule. I do have the original 1985 Swoop, but will never have the money (even if I had it, I would not spend that much on one toy) for a real Diaclone Swoop.

Just wondering though - wasn't the original Diaclone's pteranodon head fully chromed, upper beak too? And was the head really blue, not red as in the cartoon?

Edited by BB Shockwave, 17 September 2010 - 03:24 AM.




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