Discussion time! Fan Made vs Officially Licensed.


Sr Member
I would like to get as much into this discussion as possible.

Where do you stand with Fan made and licensed stuff. What do you collect and why? And what is your stance on the subject.

Truth be told fan made items are boot legs. They can be better or worse then the licensed counter part depending on the piece and artists skill.

But largely are better because a lot of fans are left with wanting more.

I like to hear your thoughts .


Sr Member
A matter of price and accuracy regarding either for me.

I’m really not very dogmatic in terms of my preference to either.

Now, I will say that 80% of the time, or better, fan-made wins in both categories.
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Sr Member
I kinda agree with ALLEY. There is high and low quality in both.

I like to support fan made pieces, and they are sometimes more accurate and less expensive than officially licensed stuff.
Fans put a lot of love into their work and research. They have the advantage of it being a hobby for them.

The licensees have to pay a royalty fee which drives up the price, or if the item is mass produced, corners are cut on accuracy to make manufacturing simpler. Not to say that licensed pieces are no good. I have friends who work for companies that do that, but the cost reflects the need to run a business.
One plus for the licensees is that good ones can get official access to original props, which means the accuracy can be good.

So like ALLEY said, it's "a matter of price and accuracy".

Rob Skramstad

New Member
It's all about accuracy, quality, and appearance. Whichever is subjectively "best," from my perspective is the one I'm likely to gravitate to.

I love fan made stuff because I like to support the concept, along with folks who do it as a hobby, creative outlet, or whatever. However, sometimes the licensed stuff is simply better - either because it would be way too expensive to build without the financial support licensed products can have, or because it requires very specific materials, tooling, or manufacture.

Sometimes both sources have their own perfectly sound places in the prop replica universe. For example, I have a great fan-made ST TOS communicator, but I also have the Wand Company's working bluetooth version. The fan made version is on a display shelf, broadcasting to visitors that I'm not afraid to get my nerd on, whereas the licensed version is in my pocket tethered to my iPhone, and I use it daily as my primary phone.

Other stuff isn't as good a fit for one or the other. Replica guns are well-suited to fan manufacture (although Temenosuke's BR blasters are impressive) and I have several, whereas MR's upcoming HAL 9000 Command Console would be tough for a fan to create, in particular with the its functionality (such as it is).


Sr Member
I pretty much agree with all of the points made here. Sometimes fan-made is the only thing available, best price, the most accurate, or most lovingly made. Sometimes licensed is more accurate, better priced, or packaged with valuable peripherals. It really depends on the piece! One thing that always gets overlooked is original sourced replicas. There are few things more satisfying than a replica that comes straight from the original maker. A few examples that I have are Walter White's Jos A Bank jacket, the Drive jacket made by Richard Lim, the Turnbull and Asser Joker tie, Baron Hats Westworld man in black hat.

Ultimately, it comes down to the piece and personal preference. Some people like the clean, finished feel of a licensed replica while some people prefer the hand-crafted authenticity of a fan-made prop.


Active Member
Stuff made on a production line will never, or hardly ever, be as accurate as decent fan-made stuff.


Sr Member
My preference is for whichever has the greater accuracy so my collection is mostly fan sourced. When I have invested in licensed replicas I have been known, on very selective occasions, to modify them where needed but I usually leave them alone so I don't impact their resale value.


Sr Member
For me it depends on what section of the hobby. I'm not into the statues and busts at all, so that is a factor. For handheld props (Star Wars) I'm 100% on the fan made side, I've never thought a licensed props have ever come close to what I'm looking for. Model kits, I like both licensed kits and garage kits. Bandai has been putting out some very high quality kits. There are other model companies that put out decent kits but with some mods and third party upgrades become excellent.


Active Member
I look at fan-made props because those fans are making things in which I am interested that have never been released as licensed/legal versions.