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Thread: Star Wars Ultimate Studio Edition Prop Replicas

  1. #631
    Quote Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post
    Many here throughout the years have expressed that if they had the connections, the funds, etc... they would be triumphant.

    Is not that easy... product design, procurement, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, licensing, approvals, quality control, payroll, marketing, customer service. Add to that to meet the expectations of a very demanding fanbase.
    Agreed. It's difficult indeed. It would be nice if someone in the prop business could explain the business model to us so we could understand better some of the hurdles these companies face. Don't we have forum members who work at EFX and Anovo? Anyone who used to work for Master Replicas?

  2. #632
    Here it is - a review of the Rey Lightsaber Hilt.


    I ordered one as soon as it was announced and received it after about 3 months. The packaging was very elaborate as you saw in that one unboxing video on YouTube. I have a pretty good idea why the guy in that unboxing cuts off shortly after getting to the actual saber. If he was anything like me, he needed time to process what he was looking at. I know my immediate reaction was "what the hell is this".


    The build quality overall seemed solid. The design, the core of this object was right on. But it is totally clear that there was either zero quality control, or by this point they had just given up. All over the saber, there was a black residue. It was concentrated around the controls and edges but was pretty much all over. At first I thought ok, maybe this was intentional? But as I looked at it more, it seemed like it must just be residue from the fabrication that they didn't polish off. Obviously in the promo picture you don't see anything like this. I found that if I worked at it I could remove it, but there was no chance I'd ever get it out of the control cavities. The more I thought about it, the harder it was to believe that they let this out of the shop. Especially for the price, this is ridiculous.


    I only took a few pictures because I was pretty mad at this point, but you get the idea. I contacted customer support immediately and they said that "clearly this was the work of the dark side" (nice touch) and that they'd replace it. Of course after I sent it back, PropShop closed down and they told me there would be no replacement. Awesome.


    This whole debacle takes me back to the original reservations I had about ordering one of these. So it's made by a company that focuses on movie props? Why are they switching from building carefully hand-crafted items to mass production? How could they possibly be equipped to do that? Well now I think we know what happened. They were about to go broke, so they had this crazy idea to stay in business by partnering with Disney on an expensive line of collectibles. And they failed badly. Given their desperation, they kept sending out half-finished pieces with hopes that they wouldn't be returned. And that is exactly what I received - an almost great item that was instead a huge disappointment due to quality issues.


    Since returning the saber I got one from Master Replicas. It was cheaper, and guess what? No crazy black residue. I think I would've been happy with the Ultimate Studio Edition if they had finished the job and polished it up before assembly, but the MR saber actually seems more solid and well-built all around. In summary, don't be disappointed that you didn't get one of these sabers before PropShop went under. You didn't miss anything.


  3. #633
    You could also have gotten a real Graflex conversion and thus own the real deal Nothing beats that in the end, no MR, no Icons, no EFX and no Prop Shop.
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  4. #634
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Bowtie View Post
    Here it is - a review of the Rey Lightsaber Hilt.


    I ordered one as soon as it was announced and received it after about 3 months. The packaging was very elaborate as you saw in that one unboxing video on YouTube. I have a pretty good idea why the guy in that unboxing cuts off shortly after getting to the actual saber. If he was anything like me, he needed time to process what he was looking at. I know my immediate reaction was "what the hell is this".


    The build quality overall seemed solid. The design, the core of this object was right on. But it is totally clear that there was either zero quality control, or by this point they had just given up. All over the saber, there was a black residue. It was concentrated around the controls and edges but was pretty much all over. At first I thought ok, maybe this was intentional? But as I looked at it more, it seemed like it must just be residue from the fabrication that they didn't polish off. Obviously in the promo picture you don't see anything like this. I found that if I worked at it I could remove it, but there was no chance I'd ever get it out of the control cavities. The more I thought about it, the harder it was to believe that they let this out of the shop. Especially for the price, this is ridiculous.


    I only took a few pictures because I was pretty mad at this point, but you get the idea. I contacted customer support immediately and they said that "clearly this was the work of the dark side" (nice touch) and that they'd replace it. Of course after I sent it back, PropShop closed down and they told me there would be no replacement. Awesome.


    This whole debacle takes me back to the original reservations I had about ordering one of these. So it's made by a company that focuses on movie props? Why are they switching from building carefully hand-crafted items to mass production? How could they possibly be equipped to do that? Well now I think we know what happened. They were about to go broke, so they had this crazy idea to stay in business by partnering with Disney on an expensive line of collectibles. And they failed badly. Given their desperation, they kept sending out half-finished pieces with hopes that they wouldn't be returned. And that is exactly what I received - an almost great item that was instead a huge disappointment due to quality issues.


    Since returning the saber I got one from Master Replicas. It was cheaper, and guess what? No crazy black residue. I think I would've been happy with the Ultimate Studio Edition if they had finished the job and polished it up before assembly, but the MR saber actually seems more solid and well-built all around. In summary, don't be disappointed that you didn't get one of these sabers before PropShop went under. You didn't miss anything.

    I think the black residue was indeed intentional. It was part of the "weathering" they did to the saber. From the ones they showed at the conventions and at Harrods (sp?), it also had the same type of paint scheme in the areas shown on yours. It does look a little heavy handed though

  5. #635
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrixman View Post
    I think the black residue was indeed intentional. It was part of the "weathering" they did to the saber. From the ones they showed at the conventions and at Harrods (sp?), it also had the same type of paint scheme in the areas shown on yours. It does look a little heavy handed though
    It's certainly still possible that this was intentional. What confused me is that customer service made no indication of that. When I reached out to them, I specifically asked if it was supposed to be like this, or what was going on. I actually didn't ask about a return/replacement at all. Their immediate response was just that they would replace it. Now I wish that I had pressed them on it and gotten a real explanation. Either way, it clearly doesn't match the pictures on the website, making it deceptive marketing at best. This seems to match the story of the Kylo saber from this thread. Yeah, it kind of looks like the pictures, but there is some serious variation here.

  6. #636
    I just looked at their site and everything's showing as out of stock.

  7. #637
    Quote Originally Posted by mtrixman View Post
    I think the black residue was indeed intentional. It was part of the "weathering" they did to the saber. From the ones they showed at the conventions and at Harrods (sp?), it also had the same type of paint scheme in the areas shown on yours. It does look a little heavy handed though
    This is the one I shot at San Diego Comic-con this year. I concur, the weathering is intentional, just sloppily applied.

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  8. #638
    Quote Originally Posted by XWINGER View Post
    Agreed. It's difficult indeed. It would be nice if someone in the prop business could explain the business model to us so we could understand better some of the hurdles these companies face. Don't we have forum members who work at EFX and Anovo? Anyone who used to work for Master Replicas?
    What you quoted above your own post pretty much covers a lot of it, but there's also the complexities of managing the license itself, including but not limited to meeting a minimum guarantee, royalties, reviews and approvals by the licensor, quality of the product you're mass producing while staying economical and typically a race to meet a delivery date that's tied to an event (like a major movie or video game release) as that's the largest and most opportune time to sell. The latter part not many of us are able to crack all of the time, but it's imperative as you can ride the wave the studios marketing efforts typically generate. If you come behind, you've missed the swell. Even then, if you're producing a product for a title that hasn't been released, it's a guessing game as to what potential products will be successful and is ultimately a gamble. In the case of Star Wars, I'd argue it's much less of a gamble, especially on the prop replicas side. It doesn't take nearly as much effort to sell compared to other licenses, well, as long as the products, price point and expectations you're setting as the manufacture are within reason.

    Depending on the items you produce and who you're working with, that isn't necessarily the biggest challenge, but one that wasn't mentioned in what you quoted. Are these factors that contributed to PropShop's failure? No, but it's something to consider.

    While not easy, I know from experience that a Star Wars license in this category shouldn't be some type of insurmountable challenge to make successful, especially (again) when compared to other categories and/or licenses. As long as it's economical and fair for everyone involved and in the hands of a company that can deliver actual product on time and at a price point that's fair for the market, it shouldn't be impossible. Probably equal to or better than producing and selling products for other titles.
    Last edited by jedicereal; 11-02-2016 at 09:57 AM.

  9. #639
    Would a real Graflex as a base for a saber really be more accurate for TFA, though? I thought they used copies (made if I don't know what) for actual filming.

    Interesting to see more reviews trickle in on these replicas.

  10. #640
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagjaguwar View Post
    Would a real Graflex as a base for a saber really be more accurate for TFA, though? I thought they used copies (made if I don't know what) for actual filming.

    Interesting to see more reviews trickle in on these replicas.
    From what I know they bought a bunch of real Graflexes and a MPP from a known RPF member.
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