If licensed companies made accurate props, would you still make your own?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Jedifyfe, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If a licensed company (ie: Efx, Sideshow, etc) made TRULY screen accurate props/costumes FOR A GOOD PRICE, would you still strive to make your own?

    Like what Efx did with the Vader helmet. You can get a screen accurate version and an "idealized" version. It is a brilliant concept and I believe they sold out in like 10 minutes.

  2. aeonpulse

    aeonpulse Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think it's a fantastic concept, and great for people like me who lack the skills needed to create their own replica props and all. If I DID have the ability to create my own quality replicas, I believe I still would, even if there we're good screen accurate ones available to buy. I think it's safe to say that the majority of the members here who build and create their own replicas do so because it's something they enjoy and take pride in.

    Still, it would be a nice alternate option to have either way (if for example, you didn't have a whole lot of time to put together a costume, and needed specific props ASAP).
  3. SpyderDan

    SpyderDan Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For myself, and I would guess this would ring true for many of the busy professionals here, the big variable in the equation is really TIME.

    Sure, I'm a creative guy, and have plenty of the skills and experience, but I just don't have the free time to spend on my own prop builds these days. I don't have time for many of the creative endeavours I used to enjoy when I had the time.

    So, I'm all over it when somebody else (whether a licensed prop company or unlicensed prop builder) makes good accurate props available for a reasonable price. Of course, If I had the time, I would rather be able to do it myself and post my build progress here and bask in the glory. Unfortunately, I don't have that resource, so I have to spend money to get the toys that I want. $1000 isn't all that much, compared to the months of free time it would take to produce the same thing myself.
  4. Rassilon

    Rassilon Well-Known Member

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    The cost to manufacture a one of screen accurate prop can cost more than the purchase price of a licensed replica prop.

    Take my Rassilon Custom Tennant sonic for example, it’s not screen accurate but looks simular to a Tennant sonic. if I was going to just make a one of, it would have cost me well over $1000, and that’s taken in the time to set up the CNC mills and lathes the time to do the 3D design drawings so I can convert them into machine G codes for the CNC’s.

    Time is a factor in most build as well as cost, you may have the funds but no time or the right equipment to build your replica so buying a licensed prop replica is by far the cheaper alternative to making your own.

    And there are others that simply do there builds for the pleasure of building.
    For me I’m 50/50 would perchance a licence prop if there was one that I wonted and if there was not, I would build it.
  5. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    People make replicas for different reasons, and a licensee can not cater to all these reasons.
    People make costumes (with prop accessories) before a movie comes out, to wear at the movie premiere, but it is not always that the licensee, or vendors, have the items ready by then.

    In the OP, there was mentioned a licensed item that sold out. That is yet another reason to build it yourself.
  6. Dutchman

    Dutchman Well-Known Member

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    Making stuff yourself can be the greatest thing in the world (when it turns out nice, or even better than you expected). But I can seriously enjoy a good lisenced replica, because it's licenced and official. It comes in a nice and shiny box!!!!!
  7. Grit

    Grit New Member

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    It's all about the journey, here. Nothing more therapeutic than tuning out at my workbench.
  8. Lichtbringer

    Lichtbringer Sr Member

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    Sure i would. For the fun of making it on my own.

    It´s my way to relax from the office, from making business decisions to the good or the bad of our company.

    But that´s my job, nothing where my heart is - only for the money.

    But in my free time, i love to build stuff of the things i love - SF, especially ST, and over all SW. Obvisiously I´m no carpenter, but i decided to build my ST-themed home cinema on my own - i´ve bought the tools and i started, and i think it´s not that bad. Later i´ve started model building, incl. mastering some SW-kits, until i noticed getting tired on plastic. And atm. i try to build some blasters, and from time to time a lightsaber.

    Just for the fun of creating something - i don´t even display my build stuff (usually, except a handfull of lightsabers displayed on my SW-chronicles), most of it is lying around on the floor of the cinema, is stored in boxes, and is packed in a corner of my workbench.

    Who ever had a real Margolin/Sterling/MGC... - build in his hand, with real addon parts - and compared it to the respective MR stuff (as they are the most prominent license for SW) will only consider the licensed stuff if nothing else is available. And additional to the feeling of real parts is the fun of building it on your own.

    Aye, sure i would still build it by myself. :cool
  9. Womble

    Womble Member

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    I'm a props n00b, but I can't imagine ever buying a fully realised prop. (Beyond toys and action-figures.)

    For me, it's all about the artistry and craft. It's like the difference between creating a painting in oils, and just buying one from a store. They're just not the same thing.

    For the same reason, I'm not interested in screen accuracy. I like happy accidents, and individuality. I admire those people who do pursue such accuracy (particularly in scale modelling) but novelty and coolness always outweigh accuracy for me.
  10. E Q

    E Q Active Member

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  11. loveyuri

    loveyuri Member

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    Depends on what kind of props.
    If it's costumes then Yes.

    But if it's like other props(mostly guns and the other electronics), I would prefer if it's like a kit since building/designing brings the fun of making those props.
  12. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I might depending but for stuff I don't have the tech to make (machining tools and such) I would pay a good price for them just because it would be more affordable they hiring someone.
  13. C0mmand3rC0dy

    C0mmand3rC0dy Sr Member

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    If it came down to buying something that I could make better myself, you bet I would still make my own,

    Not to bee too redundant about what's already been said, but it is nice being in control (barring catastrophic accidents / cruel twists of fate) of a project and making the prop into what you want!
  14. fettster

    fettster Sr Member

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    Personally, I think I would buy. I have made props in the past but only because there wasn't anything out there at the time. It I can save myself all that trouble...great!
  15. Alan Castillo

    Alan Castillo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It all depends on a balance between

    1) The price.

    2) If I can make the prop myself, how hard would it be to make it if I could.

    3) How badly I want it.

    I'm a lazy bum at the end of the day, and if there is an easy way out, I'll take it :lol
  16. Onli Won Kanomi

    Onli Won Kanomi New Member

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    Illuminated sabers are my thing and what can now be done by 'pro' sabersmiths or DIY in the saber hobby is so far ahead of what Hasbro Force FX or even Master Replicas has ever offered that I can't imagine going back to licensed lightsaber replicas unless they made a quantum leap in quality that the mass production for mass consumers marketing paradigm Hasbro as a TOY company pursues makes unlikely. But if some other licensee someday would make licensed replicas to screen accuracy with modern technology we use in DIY sabers instead of the antiquated LED string component blades of the Force FX system I'd reconsider. Until then DIY all the way.
  17. defstartrooper

    defstartrooper Sr Member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  18. Alan Castillo

    Alan Castillo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Something that you don't have to think so many times over before paying. Would you still make you own then. That is the question I believe.
  19. defstartrooper

    defstartrooper Sr Member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  20. tgreco

    tgreco Sr Member

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    yes, I would, because it doesn't mean anything to me unless I made it myself

    anybody can buy a prop...
  21. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    I would still make my own, simply for the artistry and skill involved. As far as I'm concerned, this board has been, from almost day one, broken into two diviosions of the haves and the have nots.

    You have the people who have the skills to build their own props (which ranges from assembling a kit from a box of jumbled parts, to the guys that scratchbuild every last detail), and you have the people that couldn't assemble a cheese sandwhich, if their life depended on it.

    Then you have the people who have more money than they know what to do with, and you have the people who can barely scrape by.

    And it's the intersection of these groups that allow the board to exist. The people that can scratchbuild every detail, can sell props to those that have excess money (or who can at least budget for a new prop). Those who can build, can offer to build a kit for those with no skills and less money, for a smaller fee.

    So, of the four groups that one person could possibly belong to (rich with skills, poor with skills, rich with no skills and poor with no skills), the licensee is really ony catering to the "rich with no skills (or no time)".

    Now, I only have two licensed replicas in my collection, the ALIENS Motion Tracker and the HellBoy II gun. I got both when I found them on heavy discount - I would never had paid full price for them. The motion tracker was a bargain, because the individual pieces, besides being extremely rare, are expensive when you can find them. And I purchased the HB:II gun, because hell, who doesn't like a big ol' pistol :lol.

    But of the rest of my props, I had a hand in building or designing, almost 99% of them. There are a few that I purchased from fellow members: Rylo's JP can, because I'm not a machinist, a blank Indy LC diary, because I'm not a book binder (though it is taking me forever to fill in all the pages), a Cross of Coronado, because I'm not a sculptor, and a ROTLA idol, for the same reason. Most of my sabers contain some, if not all, real parts. Some are machined parts from other members. All of my blasters are mostly real parts, with the exception of my Boba ESB blaster (resin copy from a member).

    The point is, I can look at all of my props and remember all the work I put into them. When I look at the two licensed props I purchased, all I see is the money I spent on them. No real emotional attachment.

  22. Guri

    Guri Sr Member

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    Yes, I would still make costumes and props rather than buy them.

    But maybe not as many.

    And if they made everything I wanted, it wouldn't be as exciting because while part of the fun is knowing I made it, another part of the fun is having something unique.
  23. bookface

    bookface Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I like making stuff. So yes, I'd probably still make stuff myself.
  24. Dung0beetle

    Dung0beetle Well-Known Member

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    It's not about the prop itself for me. It is about the journey of building it. "Anybody can buy a prop."
  25. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I would keep making them. I am not really a collector, but I like working with my hands and making things. I used to work on old cars with my brother until he passed away. My day job has an annual Halloween contest and the last few years my team has been doing things. Every time we do that I get the arts and crafts bug. This year when it happened I also saw a tutorial someone on another site had done about making chocolate skulls and the video of Volpin getting tanked on red stripe while demonstrating how to roto cast by hand. I figured if he can do it drunk then maybe I can do it sober. So now I'm making my own mini nuke and I really enjoy it even when I totally screw something up.
  26. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, I would.
  27. Chris Fields

    Chris Fields Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As someone said earlier..

    it's about time, money, cost of making/building vs cost of buying, level of accuracy of making/building vs buying, quality of making/building vs buying, etc..

    I started making swords because I was unhappy with the ones available.
  28. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    I think it depends on the prop but overall I would still prefer to buy an accurate licensed item mainly because I simply don't have the time to make them myself.
    For certain items, especially those that have a lot of weathering or difficult paint jobs I would prefer to buy a kit (i.e. ss models) and build and paint it myself. But to build build something from scratch - no.
  29. drusselmeyer

    drusselmeyer Well-Known Member

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    The answer is "Of course we would!" The reason? With the tiny production numbers and high prices, it would be nearly impossible to get them anyway! You'll be left with the same choice you have now - make it yourself or go without.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
    Guri likes this.
  30. tripoli

    tripoli Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, mainly if there is an issue of price or frankly, sometimes I just want to go ahead and build something myself for the sheer fun of it.
  31. DarkJedi1500

    DarkJedi1500 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't buy the licensed replica, but at the same time I wouldn't build the prop at that point either. For me, prop building and costuming is a social outlet and not about collecting, so my build foucus on items that have not been done before (Subject Delta, Video Game Proton Pack) or somewhat rare to cons we go to (the Dalek). The idea is to create a conversation starter with random people and peak their interest.

    For instance, last D*Con I made a Portal Gun. Right now it is still a somewhat rare prop (I know of 5 that were at the con) and a lot of people would stop me to ask how it was made and get their picture taken. If it was mass produced and everyone could get their hands on it, mine would not get the reaction it has now. Another instance is the Ghost Trap. Before last year I knew a few people who spent hundreds to make a trap with light and moving doors, and invested hours and hours of time. Now I have no intrest to make my own because I have a working trap for $149 from mattel.

    The one excption I see is if the licensed replica is rare. if it is a collectors item that most people will hide away in their homes, then I would make my own for personal use.
  32. CJS

    CJS Well-Known Member

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    I love building stuff. I'm obsessed with creating. I think the only time I would buy something is if it's virtually impossible to build or screen used. Making stuff is the only thing I've ever been good at. I'm almost on the cusp of doing it and making money, which would be sweet.
  33. adorman1

    adorman1 New Member

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    I would love to build my own if I had all the time in the world. However, given the number of things that I want to make, very little spare time, and a skill level that is far lower than the majority of rpf members, buying is a option that I would pursue. This, of course, assumes that the price is within reach, which is often not the case with my limited budget.

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