Bandai release schedule

Dedalus5550

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The same thing happens with Revell kits once they go out of stock and Fine Molds when they lost the license.
A moment please. I have scads of Fine Molds kits. I thought when FM lost the license I would sell these and make tons of money. I watched the prices and that never happened. I'm not too upset as FM kits are miles ahead of almost anything not labeled Bandai. A few FM kits, maybe, but not in general.
 

Sent

Member
And for the record: I am extremely greatful for all the options Bandai has offered us for Star Wars kits. I'd like to see them doing more models, mostly more Prequel stuff, and in 1/48 scale, but this is all whining on a high level. If they'd decide to just run the existing kits for the time being, I would be fine, because the options they offer with their models are much better than what was there before, and the quality is fantastic.

I hope that their developers know how much their work is appreciated.
who's whining? I'm personally just sad that those rumors about droping license might be true in the end. Whole week of new announcement from bandai (the biggest one during the year) and no SW segment planned, that's telling something. It's even more heartbreaking when you consider that this happens when we were *that* close to finally get some more obscure kits like tie bomber. They even made polls and everything..
If I'd be angry at anyone, it would be disney for mishandling SW to such degree, that even remaining OT stuff is not considered good enough, even as limited run premium-bandai kit.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Star Wars is too big of a name to NOT have at least SOMEBODY making model kits. Remember when we thought it couldn't get better than Fine Molds? Well then Bandai came along...

There are people who have tons of MPC/AMT/ERTL SW kits because they were the best in that era (my dad is begging me to take some of his MPC kits off his hands, but I just can't bring myself to do it). People have hoards of Fine Molds SW kits for the same reason, and now people have hoards of Bandai kits for the same reason. Can Star Wars models get better than Bandai? Maybe, maybe not.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

SB
 

Sent

Member
Star Wars is too big of a name to NOT have at least SOMEBODY making model kits. Remember when we thought it couldn't get better than Fine Molds? Well then Bandai came along...

There are people who have tons of MPC/AMT/ERTL SW kits because they were the best in that era (my dad is begging me to take some of his MPC kits off his hands, but I just can't bring myself to do it). People have hoards of Fine Molds SW kits for the same reason, and now people have hoards of Bandai kits for the same reason. Can Star Wars models get better than Bandai? Maybe, maybe not.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

SB
true, but you know what this potential "new company" would make? Another X-wing, TIE fighter and other "safe bets" that every license-holder ever made. That's why I'm sad, because bandai ran out of "safe bets" already and there was a chance for at least one new obscure kit a year. Unfortunately it seems like sell figures of those lazy rise of skywalker reboxes-with-slight-retooling send them wrong message.
Oh well, let's just hope that lack of the separate segment during event doesnt mean no new kits.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I think I need a few more TIE Fighters and Interceptors. Got my B-Wing, got my Y-Wing... I'm still on the fence as to whether I should spring for a 1:72 Falcon or hold out for the possibility of an ESB version. I do still need another Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike, and I wouldn't mind a few Clone Troopers and a First Order Stormtrooper.

That said, I'm hopeful this is just a contraction as everything is slowing down. My last remaining LHS is shuttered for the duration of this. I hope they're able to re-open okay. I intend to do my part by special ordering about twenty Round2 Star Trek kits through them just to help them beat the inertia. But since a lot of manufacturing and shipping is slowing down, I'm not worried at this point. I intend to wait and see where we are come next spring and the fresh round of trade shows and WonderFestival.
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Can Star Wars models get better than Bandai? Maybe, maybe not.
Honestly, the future is in 3D printing. It's not going to be long until printers will be able to achieve Bandai level of detail (some more expensive models may already do) and then it's just a matter of making the files. Once that happens, there's no more waiting for a kit of the vehicle you want or hoping a version is released in your desired scale. Do you really want a 1/48 Y-Wing? Sure! Print it up! Companies like Round 2, Bandai, and Revell better start now figuring out a business model to get into the 3D kit market or Shapeways and similar future companies are going to make them obsolete. Once I have a good printer, I'd happily pay the same cost I pay now for a kit to download a file and print it up myself in whatever scale I desire.
 

thorst

Well-Known Member
I don't think so. I love my 3D-printer and I am spending lots of time modeling in 3D for it, but the big advantage of model kits I see is the material. Polystyrene is just so simple to work with, it is soft enough for cutting and sasnding while easy enough to bend into shape, and highly flexible. And it can be glued by fusing it together.

Detail-wise, the DLP printers like the photon are really great but still need some post-processing which destroys some of the detail, but that's not the real problem. The material is very hard and brittle, you can't bend it, and it is gard to cut and tends to break easily.

I think aftermarket parts can easily be replaced as soon as cheap DLP printers get about 5 times better resolution as the photon, because people working with resin parts will be willing to spend the little extra effort. But for children, beginners and the standard, occasional modeler, I don't see how plastic kits should be fully replaced with 3d-printers.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Honestly, the future is in 3D printing. It's not going to be long until printers will be able to achieve Bandai level of detail (some more expensive models may already do) and then it's just a matter of making the files. Once that happens, there's no more waiting for a kit of the vehicle you want or hoping a version is released in your desired scale. Do you really want a 1/48 Y-Wing? Sure! Print it up! Companies like Round 2, Bandai, and Revell better start now figuring out a business model to get into the 3D kit market or Shapeways and similar future companies are going to make them obsolete. Once I have a good printer, I'd happily pay the same cost I pay now for a kit to download a file and print it up myself in whatever scale I desire.
It is definitely an order of magnitude beyond standard printing. HeroForge is in the process of rolling out their full color gaming miniatures. Not to the extent of being professionally painted (though you can select that for an upcharge), but still -- rather than a uniform white mini you have to paint yourself, you can select hair color, highlights, skin tone, makeup, clothing color, accents, and so on and so on.

Then there's the question of kit versus completed. Some of us like the process of building. We get to know the piece inside and out. We can make decisions about what to superdetail from the bare bones up, rather than having try to open up a complete piece with minimal damage. SLA has been around since the '80s, but I feel we still have a bit to go before the price of good, high-resolution printers comes down enough to shift the paradigm. And of the options out there, I feel SLA is the best for things like minis and models/kits. SLS tends to still be slightly "grainy". And FDM has all the support issues to consider. I feel like it'll happen eventually... But not for at least another decade. Though wonks like us will likely have been doing it for years by that point.
 

Analyzer

Sr Member
How amazing would it be to have a sci-fi model version of HeroForge. I would love to be able to purchase licensed sci-fi models at any scale "on-demand" if you will
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
I don't think so. I love my 3D-printer and I am spending lots of time modeling in 3D for it, but the big advantage of model kits I see is the material. Polystyrene is just so simple to work with, it is soft enough for cutting and sasnding while easy enough to bend into shape, and highly flexible. And it can be glued by fusing it together.

Detail-wise, the DLP printers like the photon are really great but still need some post-processing which destroys some of the detail, but that's not the real problem. The material is very hard and brittle, you can't bend it, and it is gard to cut and tends to break easily.

I think aftermarket parts can easily be replaced as soon as cheap DLP printers get about 5 times better resolution as the photon, because people working with resin parts will be willing to spend the little extra effort. But for children, beginners and the standard, occasional modeler, I don't see how plastic kits should be fully replaced with 3d-printers.
All that is true, for now. 3D printing isn't there yet and it's mainly good for aftermarket and customized add-ons. But the technology AND materials will continue to evolve rapidly. If consumers want a material that behaves closer to polystyrene, eventually it will happen. The types of resins available are already improving and expanding all the time, and the level of detail will keep going up. Ten, twenty, thirty years down the road, people could look back and snort, "Remember when people were still using SLA and resin? How old school." I'll predict that within ten years I'll be able to print a 1/72 X-Wing indistinguishable in detail from a Bandai kit.
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
Then there's the question of kit versus completed. Some of us like the process of building. We get to know the piece inside and out.
That's a great point. I know most (if not all) of the enjoyment of modeling for me is the tactile nature of it. Building a subject, researching its details, holding it, assembling it, etc. I don't think that will ever go away because that's built into human nature. Some people just need to build things. But I think that's a market model companies can continue to exploit in a 3D printing world. Imagine Bandai were to come out with some proprietary software that would allow customers to print their kits at home for a price (I know I'm going down a sci-fi rabbit hole, but go with me a sec). If their files contained the same level of detail, and were created by designers with the same level of dedication and research as the people who make the PG Falcon, for example, why would I care whether the kit is something I can download and print today vs. a kit that is molded, packaged, shipped from overseas (and the current crisis is quickly showing the limitations of having everything we buy coming from other countries)? It'd be a shift away from material manufacturing to purely content creation. A company wouldn't need the massive infrastructure of factories, storage facilities, shipping costs, etc. -- all things that, surprise, suddenly become vulnerable in, say, a global pandemic. If Disney and Lucasfilm figures out a way to create a revenue stream from selling printable files of models or toys (assuming they figure out some way to prevent widespread copying), why not exploit it? If a Shapeways-like company is going to be making money on their creative content, you know they're going to want that business for themselves. It's inevitable as the technology improves.
 

basementdweller

Active Member
If Disney and Lucasfilm figures out a way to create a revenue stream from selling printable files of models or toys (assuming they figure out some way to prevent widespread copying), why not exploit it?
There is already a solution in place that a lot of miniature producers and sculptors have incorporated. It's a fantastic way to sell product if you are a small outfit as it cuts out almost everyone that takes a chunk in the chain of distribution. It's the equivalent of Spotify or Netflix, for digital files and it works really well.

They use a subscription service through patreon. It's become streamlined to the extent that it's basically a standard for printable files. ~$10 a month for a bunch of figures or if you go with statues it's a really detailed statue with extras. There is usually a merchant tier for those that want to sell prints. Joining nets you a welcome package (a nice selection of prior released models), this months products and there is usually a loyalty program that nets you specials for every 3 consecutive months of subscription. A lot have implemented a vault where they reupload and allow you to access older models or you are welcome to purchase them outright at a much higher price (you get discount prices being a subscriber) in a store front like gumroad or Myminifactory.

The most successful one currently has over 5000 subscribers which is close to $50k a month before taxes and whatnot. It's not bad considering there is no physical product that needs producing and distribution. There is no limit or minimum production to consider this way. It really is the cleanest and in many ways the least wasteful way to sell product.

There are 3 things holding this back:
  1. One being the technical aspect already mentioned in the thread like technical limitations of the technology. There is also no real standard in the sense that they can't sell a file and guarantee that the resulting product is up to par as that is highly dependant on your machine. They can produce awesome files, but the end product is completely reliant on the end users setup and gear.
  2. 3D - printing has not saturated the mainstream yet. In this sense - there are grounds for being wary of pirates as they will totally take advantage of this as long as it's not a common access thing like every home having a TV. Unless a good merchant program is put in place (which I think would be difficult from legal and points raised in 1. above) that allows a license for people to sell prints.
  3. Greed. I imagine making digital files available is the scariest thing ever for big companies, like they would lose control of their IP. The pirating is always going to happen, but much like with all other digital business it's a non-issue if you offer a good service at a reasonable price, once 3D printers are common enough. Proven time and again there are two groups that pirate: The ones that would never pay for the product under any circumstance and thus should not be counted as a loss and the ones that are the biggest spenders and connaiseurs of popular culture that use pirating as a complement and should also not be counted as a loss. The mainstream does not pirate as long as there is a convenient and good quality paid service available. Riddle the service with DRMs and make it worse than pirating and you will see a rise in pirating.
Just imagine having a Star Wars model subscription and you can specify a
  • Vehicle subscription: 1 or 2 1:72 scale ships a month with some diorama elements/greeblies, 1 Studio scale every for every 3 consequtive months.
  • Figure subscription: 1 fully articulated action figure per month and handful of static pose figures with a loyalty creature/monster every 3 months.
  • Boardgame miniatures: Minis like legion scale. 5 - 10 a month with a some scatter terrain and a loyalty reward of a gameplay enabled Ship/large terrain.
  • or a full one and get it all.
I know I would if the price was right. The thing with 3D printing is that it's a crossover hobby with so many people getting into models and figures because they can. I am fairly certain people that normally aren't modellers or action figure collectors suddenly become potential customers. It's a win-win and I hope it happens within 5 years.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Master Member
  1. Greed. I imagine making digital files available is the scariest thing ever for big companies, like they would lose control of their IP. The pirating is always going to happen, but much like with all other digital business it's a non-issue if you offer a good service at a reasonable price, once 3D printers are common enough. Proven time and again there are two groups that pirate: The ones that would never pay for the product under any circumstance and thus should not be counted as a loss and the ones that are the biggest spenders and connaiseurs of popular culture that use pirating as a complement and should also not be counted as a loss. The mainstream does not pirate as long as there is a convenient and good quality paid service available. Riddle the service with DRMs and make it worse than pirating and you will see a rise in pirating.
That's exactly what I was going to bring up. I'm sure since the first consumer 3D printer came out, companies are scrambling to figure out a way to protect their properties, as they should. I can already see a time when they will start going after people for even making a 3D model of something they own. I'm guessing they will react similarly to how they treat garage kits now. If you sell a TIE Avenger kit, you're fine, but if you try to sell a Millennium Falcon, you're toast.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Man, flashbacks to when the MPAA freaked out about pirated videotapes in the early '80s as VCRs started to become more commonplace... The FBI warning didn't really stop the pirates. Carried forward into CD and DVD eras. I feel like the same thing will hold true with this -- most people will follow the rules because path of least resistance. A few will always try to game the system to their benefit and The Man's loss, but I can't project what the actual dollars involved on each side of that might be.

I hate to say it, but to protect both IP (for relevant files) and artists' original creations, maybe some kind of embedded code that includes unalterable provenance so someone else can't claim authorship, and maybe something like with iTunes, where you're basically leasing the digital content... You can have it on so many platforms at once, they can revoke it if you violate TOS, etc. Maybe something like... you can print from the file you downloaded so many times before you need to renew your lease/license... or after initial download it can't be copied or e-mailed more that twice. Somethign like that. There are ways. The trick is to strike a balance between appeasing content creators and consumer satisfactions, while trying to make things dissuasively difficult for 'sploiters.
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
I'm going to be starting an Elegoo Mars thread since I and a handful of others here are just getting that printer, so I'll be continuing this conversation there. As for Bandai, if I were an executive at that company I'd be pushing to look hard at finding a 3D printing business model if for no other reason than it is a segment of the modeling community with huge growth potential. Imagine if Bandai had their own Shapeways-style site. Maybe for a subscription fee you'd get to download a certain number of files or something. All I know is that the people who get in now are going to be the ones making the rules and I'd rather see a company dedicated to quality and high levels of research like Bandai doing it than some others.
 

Guns Akimbo

Active Member
I'm going to be starting an Elegoo Mars thread since I and a handful of others here are just getting that printer, so I'll be continuing this conversation there. As for Bandai, if I were an executive at that company I'd be pushing to look hard at finding a 3D printing business model if for no other reason than it is a segment of the modeling community with huge growth potential. Imagine if Bandai had their own Shapeways-style site. Maybe for a subscription fee you'd get to download a certain number of files or something. All I know is that the people who get in now are going to be the ones making the rules and I'd rather see a company dedicated to quality and high levels of research like Bandai doing it than some others.
Please do, I have an Elegoo Mars Pro on my Amazon wishlist.
 
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Dedalus5550

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm gonna say this and run the heck outta hear. Has this thread about what Bandai can do for us become a thread about what we can just do for ourselves?
 

Hunk a Junk

Sr Member
I'm gonna say this and run the heck outta hear. Has this thread about what Bandai can do for us become a thread about what we can just do for ourselves?
Kinda.:D But its going to be a awhile until any of us can reach Bandai quality. So hopefully they'll keep making great kits for the foreseeable future.
 
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