ANOVOS picks up the high-end Star Wars Costuming License!

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So, No, as I witnessed, the delay was not lack of production resources or production planning (although this could have been improved) it seems to be too many things started at one time and not having the cash flow to keep all the wheels turning. there never seemed to be enough hours in a week to accomplish all the tasks the ANOVOS production team was asked to finish. Cash flow.
lmgill, Just to be clear, when you are making these statements you are trying to separate the 3rd party manufacture from the actual Anovos company. Correct?
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is my humble opinion, but I feel if Anovos wanted to solve their cash flow problem they should have kept selling their OT Stormtrooper armor kit sets (complete) for the $350 introductory price ever since first introducing them.

I only own 1 Anovos product and it's the OT Stormtrooper kit. I JUMPED when it was first offered for $350, you can't get a kit that nice, that well made, and that accurate, for $350 anywhere.

I know a ton of money went into the R&D, making the vac-bucks (milled out of metal), etc... but at the end of the day once you've got the bucks and the manufacturing process set-up and good to go your costs are plastic and the mailing supplies.

If offered again at $350 I know I would buy another set, and probably a black set too, and if they offered colors (red, blue, etc...) I might even pick up a 3rd set. Can you imagine how many people would have bought a set of kit armor for $350 instead of the $1200 they've been asking. I feel so many people would have bought so many more sets or armor they wold have had a steady flow of cash coming in the door.

Maybe not, maybe no one wants Stormtrooper armor for $350. Maybe it's just me.
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Again I did not file the class action blindly. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the issue of ANOVOS not having any money left for refunds after taking full payment, including shipping, for every preorder.

Where did all of the money go? It had to be spent or taken by someone or something. We are talking millions of dollars collected over the years so how does Anovos still owe hundred of thousand of dollars or more to vendors in the USA, China and Taiwan.

It boggles the mind to think about it but goes to show the risks and problems involved when fans like us get the chance of a lifetime to run a dream company making something you love. If you do not have a background in business or any experience then maybe you shouldn’t run a million dollar company.
"The Pawn"
I have seen first hand many cases of "Large amounts of Money" vanishing due to improper management instead of outright theft or "pocketing".
In the film industry, there are often very large sums of money given out to produce specialized items, to people who do not have the experience (or mind set) to tightly manage these sums, and it gets used up fast. This is most often due to the general attitude (by management & employees) that there is such a huge amount of money available, that "pinching pennies" is not required.
For example, about 10 years ago, we did a half million dollar job building props for a film. This was a huge sum of money and word got around to the management and employees, we had a lot of money to do this job. As a result, people relaxed their concern and didn't check items as thoroughly as they should, and when mistakes were made, "Oh well, we have the money to re do it" was the prevailing attitude. We had about $2500 worth of leather that was cut by an outside vendor, and our team didn't check a sample, even though I told them too. The thin pieces were cut from the thick leather and visa-versa. So, we then had to buy more leather, have it rush shipped and pay to have it cut again. Cost-$5000. This happened with a number of items over the few months and when the projects deadline was extended (Shooting schedule change) my shop managers kept the whole crew for an additional 4 weeks. I was out of town on another project and when I returned and saw the payroll, (at around $35,000/ week) I asked what the hell was going on. "Because we had the work" was the answer I was given. The real reason was "we had the money" and guys figured they could relax and not work as diligently since the new deadline was 4 weeks away. In the end, a job we should have made 40% profit on, we lost money.
From an outsiders point of view, the common mistake is to compare ones own expenses to the problem, while looking at the huge income of the other guys. When I was first moved to LA, I spent as much on my apartment rent as I now would on a business lunch. One because now I can, and two, because it's expected from someone (company) that is established as Global Effects is. Expense is directly related to income, willingly or unwillingly.
Typically I think you want to see a 25-35% profit on a job like ANOVOS is doing. You don't have the time or quantity of items to really work the costs down to the penny, so as a result, your product cost much more to produce than another type of "Mass produced" item. In addition, you are producing a specialized item, who's cost to produce is driven by the important little details, that other products are not. Like matching a film costume or prop, which wasn't designed from the beginning to be "mass produced".
By the time you factor in rent, payroll, insurance, travel, taxes, outside vendors.....money can get used up quickly. When you add in the general attitude (as outsiders do) of there is so much money, why worry, then that a $2,500 bill becomes a $5,000, but in this case, more like a $30,000 bill becomes a $150,000 bill.
I'm not saying ANOVOS isn't "at fault", I'm just trying to point out it's more likely mismanagement and out of control circumstances trying the "Keep the boat afloat" instead of simple theft or irresponsible lavish spending.
 

lmgill

Sr Member
lmgill, Just to be clear, when you are making these statements you are trying to separate the 3rd party manufacture from the actual Anovos company. Correct?
Yes.
I don't think the fault lays with a manufacturer in China (Or elsewhere) making sub standard items or missing delivery schedules that have been a prime contributor to the delays in ANOVOS' shipping product.
But to be clear, I am not involved in any of their business dealings at this point, and I have never been privy to all of the companies dealings with outside vendors, I am only adding a point of view as a vendor, who provided a significant amount of support and product to their company a couple of years ago.
 

vader45

Sr Member
This is my humble opinion, but I feel if Anovos wanted to solve their cash flow problem they should have kept selling their OT Stormtrooper armor kit sets (complete) for the $350 introductory price ever since first introducing them.

I only own 1 Anovos product and it's the OT Stormtrooper kit. I JUMPED when it was first offered for $350, you can't get a kit that nice, that well made, and that accurate, for $350 anywhere.

I know a ton of money went into the R&D, making the vac-bucks (milled out of metal), etc... but at the end of the day once you've got the bucks and the manufacturing process set-up and good to go your costs are plastic and the mailing supplies.

If offered again at $350 I know I would buy another set, and probably a black set too, and if they offered colors (red, blue, etc...) I might even pick up a 3rd set. Can you imagine how many people would have bought a set of kit armor for $350 instead of the $1200 they've been asking. I feel so many people would have bought so many more sets or armor they wold have had a steady flow of cash coming in the door.

Maybe not, maybe no one wants Stormtrooper armor for $350. Maybe it's just me.
I had a TK kit when they were 450 on order untill it was delayed twice. I requested a refund. It took 2 weeks but I kept it on them everyday about it.

This would be a good thing idea if they actually shipped them.
 

oblagon

Sr Member
A lot of people have been complaining about the Anovos suits in the various costuming groups. Basically really thin material, cracks easily, cheap all around.
$350 sounds great, until you realize you get what you pay for.
 

GF

Sr Member
Their $350 trooper kit is what its worth nothing more, cheap and not accurate, the only reason they sold them at $350 is to generate interest and to finance the toolings with all the preorders, at that price after license fees and all expenses I can assure you they barely made profit.
 

GF

Sr Member
This is my humble opinion, but I feel if Anovos wanted to solve their cash flow problem they should have kept selling their OT Stormtrooper armor kit sets (complete) for the $350 introductory price ever since first introducing them.

I only own 1 Anovos product and it's the OT Stormtrooper kit. I JUMPED when it was first offered for $350, you can't get a kit that nice, that well made, and that accurate, for $350 anywhere.

I know a ton of money went into the R&D, making the vac-bucks (milled out of metal), etc... but at the end of the day once you've got the bucks and the manufacturing process set-up and good to go your costs are plastic and the mailing supplies.

If offered again at $350 I know I would buy another set, and probably a black set too, and if they offered colors (red, blue, etc...) I might even pick up a 3rd set. Can you imagine how many people would have bought a set of kit armor for $350 instead of the $1200 they've been asking. I feel so many people would have bought so many more sets or armor they wold have had a steady flow of cash coming in the door.

Maybe not, maybe no one wants Stormtrooper armor for $350. Maybe it's just me.

Because knowledgeable people rather spend more and get a more accurate and better quality costume elsewhere, many Anovos customers had no choice but to buy replacement parts from other trooper kit vendors, does that make even sense?
 

Legendary

New Member
I have been quiet about this for a while, and have read many "arm chair" speculation. But perhaps some first hand info is in order.

I'm not sure how many companies "in China" Anovos is using, but the main one I know about does great work and it is not an issue of shipping sub-standard work, it is about not shipping any. This happens when you are owed six figures for work you have already done. The Chinese comapny, who specializes in high end collectibles and also produces props and costumes for film, does amazing work. They have made us a number of things and their work has been very good.

We (Global Effects Inc.) started doing work for ANOVOS in the beginning of 2015.
First prototyping the classic y-wing helmets to be used in Rouge One. Three unpainted helmets with liners were sent to the Rouge One production company and 2 were painted "as new". Anovos displayed one of these.
View attachment 1028006View attachment 1028008View attachment 1028016

Eventually our deal was to produce any short run production (less than 100 pieces) items for ANOVOS and rework the First order suits, for eventually making 1000 - 1500 kits. They also had their US production staff headquartered at our North Hollywood facility.
We prototyped much of their Star Wars helmet line and many of the armor sets. (The pictures you see on their site) Boba Fett, Kylo Renn, Phasma, First order Tie Pilot, Snow Trooper, Classic Snow Trooper, X-wing Pilot, AT AT Pilot, plus some others.
We produced 50 each of Tie pilot, AT AT pilots, Snow Trooper and X-Wing pilot sets, hard goods and some soft goods. These were delayed several times because of ANOVOS management changing priorities and / or not supplying detail parts to us in sufficient quantities or on time. (Some of the small "found" parts were purchased and supplied by outside vendors) All of our completed sets were picked up from us in mid 16 or early 17.
View attachment 1028009

We also completely retooled the First Order suits to make then easier to build, visually closer to production used suits (The original suits were cast urethane). We redesigned the gaskets so they actually bent and re engineered the leg suspension so the legs didn't want to rotate or drop when you walked. The helmets were injection molded by the company in China and were fantastic. (Much better than the film used helmets)
This prototype was painted gray here so you can see all the surfaces are smooth and the seams (panel gaps) small and parallel. (this prototype is missing mid drift boxes and belt.)
View attachment 1028007
In 2016 we built over 100 First Order suits for ANOVOS with this new production tooling. These were to be used at Disney, Disney knew these were mass produced "costume" kits that were being modified for use on figures (Not walk around) and ANOVOS cut them a good deal. But after art director review, Disney decided they wanted higher detailed suits. Which in order to meet their new requirements, would have necessitated molds for fiberglass parts or cast parts, something ANOVOS told us they didn't want to do.

In all we did about 31/2 years worth of work for them and in the end we called it quits when payments became chronically late, we were redirected too many times on "in production items", and when ANOVOS cancelled the 1000 First Order Trooper kit order. This last one was quite a surprise, as in addition to having an invoice and down payment on this order, we had spent significant sums of money reworking the tooling for this order and Disney's order. We had greatly improved the kit from ANOVO's first version, lowered production costs substantially, gave them reliable delivery times and made the suit easier for the customer to build and all while being more accurate.
Eventually all of my advanced and "trick" vacuum forming tooling methods (all the tooling we made) were taken and handed to the Chinese company. The Chinese company was asked to improve the suits we made for the Disney projects and they told ANOVOS they couldn't make them any better. In looking at the images on the ANOVOS site, the premier kit looks like our suit, either one of our prototypes, or a Chinese made version of our suit.
So, for what it's worth, there is some first hand info on why ANOVOS may not be delivering product, at least from one vendors point of view.

“...it is not an issue of shipping sub-standard work, it is about not shipping any. This happens when you are owed six figures for work you have already done.”

So are you saying that this is the case with Anovos – that they owe their Chinese manufacturer six figures for licensed product that the factory has produced for them?Because if this is so, we are talking a minimum of $100,000, up to potentially just under $1 million worth of goods, not at wholesale prices, AT MANUFACTURERS PRICES. CHINESE manufacturing prices at that! I mean, if the factory is holding those goods until their invoices are paid (seems to me most places will offer terms such as net 30, until you prove incapable of paying on time, then they will either wait to release goods until you pay the balance, OR demand full payment up front) we are potentially talking about CONTAINERS full of product that people have ordered and paid for upfront, just sitting over at the factory in China because Anovos won’t pay their bill (!?!)

I mean, a simple explanation such as this would certainly explain why so many customer’s pre-orders have gone unfulfilled a lot better than some of the stories they’ve given customers thus far. ☹
 
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JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I mean, if this were the case, it would certainly explain why so many orders have gone unfulfilled. ☹
It would also kind of substantiate Anovos' claim that canceled pre-orders caused them a lot of problems. If they were operating on a very thin margin, with the already high cost of these items, you don't need that many cancellations before things start to spiral out of control. Trouble just waiting to happen.

I've recently heard back from them about a couple things- perhaps because I've yet to join the law suit and have not yet asked for refunds on everything. Took a couple weeks though. (I am not sitting idle however... I'm keeping tabs on my options, including chargebacks because my CC seems to have a solid "fraud protection policy". I just have so much negative 'real life' stuff happening around me atm to jump deep into this too.) I do get the sense that they're trying... that they know they're on their final rope. My take is that if they survive the suit, their only chance is for their current estimates of starting to ship a lot of product before the end of the year. IF they do that, maybe they can right the ship. If not, there will be multiple 'fat ladies' singing for them.
 

Jamesfett

Active Member
Is any substantial product being delivered? Helmets, costumes, etc.. Other than bad gloves is anyone getting anything major?

I am concerned as not only do I desperately want what I paid for, but I am worried the Class Action Suit might just be it and Anovos just folds up, files for bankruptcy, and that's it. We are all screwed.

Even if the suit is successful won't they just file for bankruptcy?? I don't know nuttin about the law so you lawyers please explain it in simple (ONE PARAGRAPH) language.

Thanks

One small paragraph. o_O
 

theacerbiccafe

New Member
Is any substantial product being delivered? Helmets, costumes, etc.. Other than bad gloves is anyone getting anything major?

I am concerned as not only do I desperately want what I paid for, but I am worried the Class Action Suit might just be it and Anovos just folds up, files for bankruptcy, and that's it. We are all screwed.

Even if the suit is successful won't they just file for bankruptcy?? I don't know nuttin about the law so you lawyers please explain it in simple (ONE PARAGRAPH) language.

Thanks

One small paragraph. o_O
This is exactly how I feel. I want to join the suit, but I honestly would be happy with an email that said, "Hey thanks for being patient, we messed up and are trying to fix things, we expect to ship your stuff out...(and then gives a realistic time table that they will be able to meet)"

The only communication I've had from them is those sad emails from April. Their website says my item STILL is expected to ship in Q2 (the next 8 days)... i just want my stuff.... I have no problem waiting a year or two, not expecting my Nano Gaunlet from Sideshow/Hottoys until December 2020, but they set realistic schedules and contact diligently with any delays. More often than not their schedule changes are because an item arrives early.

Pad your times and deliver sooner, not the other way around.
 

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sometimes, honesty can go a long way in mending broken relations.
I too would be willing to stay the course if Anovos issued an honest statement with a promise to deliver.
Considering how red hot this topic is within our hobby right now, all the new preorder posts that show up on social media are only stoking the flames in my opinion.
 

oblagon

Sr Member
I can't believe how forgiving some people are here with a company that has screwed with your money for years and repeatedly lied. Not to mention the whole no refund and we'll ship whenever policy.
If you're that desperate for that SW prop where you're willing to hand over money with no delivery date. I'm sure Jim Logan Props and others like him are still taking orders. Because I'd certainly put Anovos in their camp.
 

Spankuh

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just curious, but has anyone added up the number of products that are late and how many items are in pre-order? It would seem that we are talking about a very big number. I would think that would spell trouble for any company.
 

Jamesfett

Active Member
I can't believe how forgiving some people are here with a company that has screwed with your money for years and repeatedly lied. Not to mention the whole no refund and we'll ship whenever policy.
If you're that desperate for that SW prop where you're willing to hand over money with no delivery date. I'm sure Jim Logan Props and others like him are still taking orders. Because I'd certainly put Anovos in their camp.
I agree that in this rare case people are too kind but I also feel their desperation to not only get our stuff, but I believe if Anovos folds that is it for official prop replicas. It's not been that long that we have gotten official props. It was not that long ago that Icons started. Before that there was not much if anything. Illusive made stuff out of latex. Good call. Ebay Illusive Yoda. So sad to see. That was all their was.

EFX is a joke so that would be it. If Disney leaves the prop community alone to make this stuff great, but I worry that would not happen.

I understand why people want to give Anovos a chance if they would turn the ship around but they won't and they certainly do not deserve it, but it would be nice. Good for them and good for the community.
 
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