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Thread: Tooling Cost Question

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    Tooling Cost Question

    I don't know if anyone can answer this, but there is an issue that I've wondered about for some time.

    We're always told that fully tooled figures are the most expensive and that new tools cost a lot of money. I get that, and I get why they can't be making a lot of new bucks, etc.

    What I don't get is that they have to do new tooling on almost every figure, much of which never gets reused. Examples include distinctive armors and weapons that never get reused, as well as unique shins, etc. Now, some can be repurposed, but much of it is not. Just think of the armors for the NA figures, for example.

    Why is it not so costly to do that? Why is it cheaper to make armor that won't be reused vs. a buck that won't be reused?
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  2. #2
    Supreme Fudge Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skystalker View Post
    I don't know if anyone can answer this, but there is an issue that I've wondered about for some time.

    We're always told that fully tooled figures are the most expensive and that new tools cost a lot of money. I get that, and I get why they can't be making a lot of new bucks, etc.

    What I don't get is that they have to do new tooling on almost every figure, much of which never gets reused. Examples include distinctive armors and weapons that never get reused, as well as unique shins, etc. Now, some can be repurposed, but much of it is not. Just think of the armors for the NA figures, for example.

    Why is it not so costly to do that? Why is it cheaper to make armor that won't be reused vs. a buck that won't be reused?
    ALL of it costs money.

    The steel molds are the "tools" in question here. They cost a fortune to make.

    It still costs money to make them for things like armor, heads, etc. The difference is that it either takes fewer of them, or smaller ones (depending upon whether or not they put multiple items/parts in a single mold).

    A fully tooled figure costs more because in addition to the things like the armor, head, etc. (the things that are unique to most average figures), ALL of the other parts are brand new as well. So there is more cost involved. It's not like there is just one set cost for tooling no matter how many unique parts have to be tooled. It varies depending on the size, quantity, etc. The fewer unique parts there are to tool, the cheaper the cost.
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior goluphi's Avatar
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    A piece or armour is a relatively small piece. A full tooled torso would require a significantly larger mold (as well as additional engineering), and most costs increase exponentially with size.
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  4. #4
    Evil and Reads Everything Straight Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goluphi View Post
    A piece or armour is a relatively small piece. A full tooled torso would require a significantly larger mold (as well as additional engineering), and most costs increase exponentially with size.
    This all day long.

    It doesn't get noticed as much, but when Scott talks about the value of these figures, compared to the increased costs, he's speaking 100% truth. We're seeing more tooling, and more new tooled parts per figure in the past 2 years than we were ever promised in this line, and so much more than we saw in the first 4 years. For a line in it's waning years, we're seeing a *ton* of extra time and money put into almost every figure we get.

    And yet some people complain about Battle Lion. He was a *cheap* figure to make, and probably went a long way to making guys like Blade, Extendar, Rio Blast and Modulok(!) possible in the same year.
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