MR Star Wars Helmets ON HOLD

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by Montagar, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Montagar

    Montagar Legendary Member Community Staff

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    I have just been told by my MR dealer that all Star Wars Helmets that have not already been shipped are being put on hold to check for problems.

    Here is the list of helmets:

    SW-144 Clone Trooper Helmet
    SW-145 Shock Troop Helmet
    SW-146 Special Ops Helmet
    SW-138 Darth Vader Limited Edition Helmet
    SW-138S Darth Vader Signature Edition Helmet
    SW-138DS Darth Vader Dual Signature Edition Helmet
     
  2. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    oh dear :confused
     
  3. Cenobyte

    Cenobyte Sr Member

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    Would much rather them wait and have another QC than receiving an inferior item.
     
  4. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    I'll guess that these issues may push the Stormtrooper helmet further back as well :(
     
  5. hansicle

    hansicle Sr Member

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    I wish they would have checked for problems BEFORE they sent the first few out...
     
  6. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    i honestly doubt we'll see the TK or boba buckets before next year. :(
     
  7. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that is good news..
    that means they must of heard us.

    as for the Stormy and Boba just more time to save the moneys
     
  8. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    They should give you an option to just buy an unpainted helmet for people to finish themselves. Saves time, money, and quality control problems.
     
  9. JediCarl

    JediCarl Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I recall saying just that to MR back at CIII... that they should sell their helmets as unfinished, unpainted kits as well. They didn't seem to keen on the idea and I'm sure LFL would totally poo poo it altogether. It's a shame, though, because that would be the best way to go for many people. It would allow people to truly customize their helmets and paint/weather them as they see fit. And for a much better price point.

    Oh well. :unsure
     
  10. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    you have to remember only a small percet would want that. A lot of people just want the finish helmet and not have to worry about adding anything to it.
     
  11. Darth Maul

    Darth Maul Well-Known Member

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    The same thing happened with the Rocketeer hemlets either over or just about a month ago, and there is still no news on those is there?
     
  12. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    I'd say it's a conscientious and courageous response for any company, since MR is obviously as disturbed by the QC issues are we are. Other companies would have simply said "sorry, that's the best our manufacturer can do, so if you don't like it, just return it," and offset their losses from returns by saturating the market with other mediocre produtcs. :unsure

    In fact, there is a company like that:

    The Franklin Mint. :eek:

    - Gabe
     
  13. PantheraGem

    PantheraGem Sr Member

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    My feelings exactly.... Just what is going on with that situation now and will we be looking at the same situation a few months from now on these helmets? I'm glad I dropped my order.

    Maybe all these problems lately are what happens when a company becomes a "corporate entity", with talk of "Hong Kong offices" and such. If they can have Hong Kong offices and warehouses, why not in the U.K. so that our fellow collector's there (and there's plenty of 'em) don't have to pay such enormous shipping fees? The big problem is that they're not making $5, $10, or even $50 dollar action figures, etc. but items people are paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars for. I hate to feel I'm now on the bash MR bandwagon, but jeez.... Ok, now you can tell me how naive I am.
     
  14. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Dude - they have a Hong Kong office and warehouse because that's from where they ship the replicas made in their mainland China factory. Could it be any more obvious? :confused

    - Gabe
     
  15. PantheraGem

    PantheraGem Sr Member

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    You're right, I am a complete idiot.
     
  16. Al May

    Al May Well-Known Member

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    So after the long wait it's time to wait again,what a sham,paid for mine in August last year from Big kids collectables and this week received an e-mail stating it should go out any time now,Have not been able to get hold of them since but looking at this topic i would say there will be further delays,(anyone here received a vader helmet from this company yet?). :angry
     
  17. Star Wars Helmets

    Star Wars Helmets Sr Member

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    I think this was exactly the right decision to take.

    I am sure there were "heated discussion" within the company when the full extent of the problems became known so I'm glad they've taken responsibility of the problems and said they will put things right.

    It's bound to push the other helmets back (Stormtrooper, Boba, RotJ Vader Reveal?) but at least when they do arrive they will be better for this delay. I'm sure they'll look back and see it all as a learning experience.

    Cheers

    Jez
     
  18. Lynn TXP 0369

    Lynn TXP 0369 Sr Member

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    To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me one single bit if they dropped the helmet lines altogether because of this fiasco.

    Lynn
     
  19. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member

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    This is the quality you expect when you pay a laborer $.50 per hour. How much time will they really spend making your helmet perfect?

    I agree MR is taking the right measure here......but I can't see how the outcome will change unless they find the right company to do the work. And yes that will cost us, the consumer more $$.

    You can't have high quality and low cost...........it just doesn't work that way in the real world.

    I have no doubts we can all expect better products....but you had also better expect a bigger price tag.

    Dave
     
  20. Lukes Roommate

    Lukes Roommate Well-Known Member

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    It was the appropriate move for MR. As Gabe mentioned, many companies would just turn their backs on the customer base "Too bad, so sad".
    I can wait, and will, for my orders.
     
  21. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

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    It seems like MR is suffering under the old saying "you get what you pay for"

    SAS
     
  22. Star Wars Helmets

    Star Wars Helmets Sr Member

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    I agree that as a consequence of these problems we may well see an increase in price for the helmets going forward.

    However I think MR’s recent decision to grant themselves exclusivity over “LE” items, may actually be more indicative of the way they’re going to work this market. Clearly by cutting retailers out they’re increasing their margins considerably, so I wonder if we’re going to see an increase in the number of MR site-exclusive helmets e.g. LE ESB Stormtrooper, LE ANH “Davin Felth” Sandtrooper, etc. etc.

    Cheers

    Jez
     
  23. JediCarl

    JediCarl Well-Known Member

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    I agree with those of you who say that this was the right decision for MR to make at this time. Get these problems dealt with before shipping out anymore defective product.

    HOWEVER... one must ask the question: How then do they explain the 6+ month delays on these helmets in the first place? We were told they were being delayed because MR was not about to release them unless they passed their high quality standards, which obviously did not happen. So what gives? Why were these products pushed back many months yet still were not of quality???

    So, now we have to wait AGAIN for something that should probably have been taken care of during the first long delay of the products. Unless, of course, they were delayed for reasons completely different than Quality Control.
     
  24. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member

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    Good point...........and the truthful answer has to do with hiring to foreign countries where you do not have production control employees in place.............in that situation, there isn't much control over the process or the quality control. That is a hazard of dealing with a group of people that may or may not have your same ideals of service and quality. I'm not saying all foreign countries are bad because it's just not true. But I would be shopping around if I were MR. There has to be better factories willing to toe the line........even if it does cost more.

    Dave
     
  25. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    One answer could be that the delay had nothing to do with quality control (which seems to have some validity now).

    Let's examine history.

    Company gets license for Star Wars.
    Company make big splash with first few products
    Next round of licensees not so big a splash.
    Next up personel issues.
    Followed by rumors of money problems
    Followed by quality control issues

    What company am I talking about. Yes....ICONS.

    Please let that not happen again.

    ...and for the naysayers that will speak to the contrary.

    Perhaps if more of the "rumors" back then were brought into the light for examination, less people would have gotten screwed.

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    DOWN WITH PRE-ORDERS. DELIVER THE PRODUCT FIRST. THEN OFFER IT.
     
  26. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Totally agreed. However, doing the pre-order thing does heighten the level of hype and anticipation...and has worked for MR in the past. Unfortunately, it has backfired in the case of the SW lids with the QC issues.....
     
  27. soltic

    soltic Active Member

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    I saw someone using the ratio of 1:6 (good vs defect helmets), man, if that ratio is even close can u imagine the amount of repairs to be done w/ a good portion of those entire repaints. Man I wouldn't want to be in MR's shoes....

    But w/ that said, maybe they should get their current production qc problems secured & sell off the defect inventory to the RPF etc. as, well, "kits" that need some TLC in the way of a strip 'n paint :rolleyes .... MR can keep the #'d plaque....

    Betcha I could media blast & have a clone painted properly in no time. :D

    'Course in a perfect world, that's after they sell it to me for fitty buckarooos :p
     
  28. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    I've been quietly wondering the same thing. I don't want to seem like a vulture preying on the misfortune of others, but I wouldn't mind picking up a problem helmet returned for a refund at a discount. Sand paper and spray paint are cheap, and I'm not afraid of a little work.

    The only way it would happen is if it is more costly to repaint the helmet than it is to sell them at a discount. They really might be better off sending them back for a new paint job and reselling at full price. I'm keeping my on eBay though.
     
  29. atacpdx

    atacpdx Well-Known Member

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    A high defect rate in manufacturing is 8% across all industries. MR averages 2%. These helmets are approaching 6%.

    Look you guys can jump up and down and yell and scream because you are disappointed but it really does no good. They'll ship when they ship.

    As for all the speculation as to the whys and wherefores, 99% of you are clueless as to what goes on behind the scenes at MR and what it takes to manufacture items overseas, under license. Give it a rest.

    MR is standing behind the items and replacing them. They have responded quickly and fairly to the problems they have faced. What more do you want from a company?

    Dealing with Lucas and the issues of licensing is a nightmare and often issues are way beyond MR's control, yet they never blame Lucasfilm. Instead, company reps come here and field abuse from us and try to appease what is admittedly a small percentage of their customer base.

    You guys don't stop to think before you yell...here is a perfect example.

    A member here bitched once about the price point on FX sabers and said something like "They can't cost much to make so why not sell them at $75" "MR is just raping us". Yet what we don't see is the fact that Hasbro goes to Lucasfilm and screams when Lucasfilm okays the FX line. As a result, Lucasfilm then come to MR and says "To protect Hasbro's toy saber line sales, you have to price this as close to $150 as you can but at least over $100". Now who's fault is that price point really?

    Over all, MR has bent over backwards to correct their missteps and do good business. Have there been mistakes? You bet. Will there be more? Hell yes. Will they make them right? So far it seems that they will...

    My $.02
     
  30. JediCarl

    JediCarl Well-Known Member

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    Where are you getting that 6% number, if I may so ask?

    Forgive me for being skeptical, but I do not buy that number at all... especially given that MR has now halted shipment on their helmets.
     
  31. atacpdx

    atacpdx Well-Known Member

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    That number is straight from a source inside MR and the rest are from industry averages reports. MR halted because they are at 6% and were uncomfortable being that close to 8%. Seems pretty responsible to me.
     
  32. ImprisonedFett

    ImprisonedFett New Member

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    So it just so happens that here and in other communities the number of bad helmets far exceeds the number of god ones. But everywhere else this is not the case? Counting us into everyone else there are only 6% defective? I find that hard to believe. Either we have as a group, one of the worst streaks of luck or MR isn't plugging in the correct numbers.
     
  33. atacpdx

    atacpdx Well-Known Member

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    That number is based on the inspections they are currently doing of product held in warehouses I believe. Also, there are in fact many who have gotten helmets that are happy either because the helmet is fine or the know no better and don't spend 10hrs a day on sites like this :lol Those people don't / won't post their satisfaction, they'll just go happily on. Also, if you read carefully, there are few people actually posting that have actually RECEIVED a helmet versus those just jumping on the "This sucks" bandwagon. I'd be surprised if a dozen members here actually have the Vader helmet and it is bad. Bashing threads can make things look far worse than they are.
     
  34. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not true at all...the laborer was cheap because of the location and country...
    This is also the same practice in the Movie Industry, location shoots for many movies are cheaper in other countries because of the cost of living is different in that country. That's one of the reasons New Zealand and Hungry have been the new areas to shoot so many movies. ItÂ’s cheaper there. They pay the far market value in the country. Many things are made in "low cost" areas that are excellent quality. To say itÂ’s the "low wage workers" is not fare to those workers. I have family that live in other countries and work for low wages but that's a low wage to us not them. The cost of living is different and takes less money. Hell the US is a low wage country compared to the UK. The issue is QC and thatÂ’s something that can be trained for.
     
  35. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thats strange I just got an email from a retail about the up coming LE Luke Saber they are offering.
    http://www.shopafx.com/stwareexlusk.html
     
  36. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    agree
    Its like staring in the Mircowave "is it done yet? is it? I want it now."
     
  37. soltic

    soltic Active Member

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    Sorry to bother u Megatron, just wondering if u have rec'd or have any of these lids on order....
     
  38. JediCarl

    JediCarl Well-Known Member

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    Even the steadfast Apologists are dodging the real question...

    If we now have to wait further for these products to ship due to Quality Control issues, then what was the previous 6+ month delay for??? Because that was supposedly for the same reason (QC), yet we still waited and we all know what the results were. So why should we as the consumers expect yet another delay will result in the quality that should have been there in the first place (and definitely after those additional several months of waiting)??

    Unless, of course, something else entirely was in play all along.

    Look, I like MR. I am NOT one of the usual "MR bashers". I am a loyal customer, know some people there personally and even toured their facility in Walnut Creek a few months ago. There is nothing personal here. But as a consumer I do not like even feeling like a company is not being forthcoming with an expensive product I have on order from them. And, right or wrong, I am starting to get that feeling with these buckets.

    This whole helmet situation stinks to high Coruscant.
     
  39. Darth Bill

    Darth Bill Well-Known Member

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    All the current complaining is on the "back end" of quality control.
    By that I mean, "paint issues", scratched lenses and so on...

    The first delay, I'm sure, was with the manufacturing process.

    It's one thing to manufacture a couple of prototypes flawlessly for approval but, remember, this is MR's first foray into helmet development....
    Mass-producing these puppies is another thing altogether.

    You could crank out your first 100 and find out there was one tiny thing wrong with the tooling and... back to the drawing board.




    Russ
     
  40. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I receiced the Vader and still have no word on the Shock Trooper clone but I should be getting my 501st soon. Its really not that long of a wait when I look at other props I have wait for that I have paid up front for. I would rather wait for some made correct then something made like crap. If I have to send something back the so be it. At least I know the I will get what I paid for.
     
  41. JediCarl

    JediCarl Well-Known Member

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    That is a very good point and makes a lot of sense. The problem is, it's pure speculation because MR never came out and said that. Instead, for the reasons behind the previous long delay, we got "We are ensuring that each product meets with our high quality standards"... yet they still somehow shipped a large amount of helmets (from each of the products) with flaws, many of which were obvious and glaring to the point of disbelief.

    Also true. However, perhaps 600-750 of a particular item is "mass-production" for MR but many companies would laugh at that remark. In other words, there were only 750 of each of the Shock Trooper and Special Ops made. In the scheme of things that is really not so many. In fact, those are some of the lowest runs ever for a licensed SW product.
     
  42. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah it's gonna suck waiting for the delay but I would rather wait then have to send a crappy helmet back.

    As usual Mr is handeling things well.. :thumbsup
     
  43. Star Wars Helmets

    Star Wars Helmets Sr Member

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    Maybe thats due to change after the Luke, but I'm pretty sure MR recently revealed that they would be selling the LE's exclusively themselves.

    Cheers

    Jez
     
  44. soltic

    soltic Active Member

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    Did u receive the Vader lid w/ any scuffs etc??
     
  45. Megatron

    Megatron Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just some scuffs but easy to polish out. My finder prints show more then anything. Need to wear gloves with this one.
     

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