They're UnofficialWell, that one is a no-brainer. By not producing official, actual Transformers, they just seem generic. It's like going to the grocery store and instead of buying Frosted Flakes, you buy Iced Flakes or something. Sure, Hench may look like a great looking Brawn, but he's not Brawn.
The naming process also annoys me. Sometimes they're kind of ingenious. Take the iGear version of Gears. They named him Cogz, which hearkens back to the character that they're paying "homage" to. Then there's SXS's Continuously Variable figure. I understand where they were going with the name, kind of, but it still doesn't make any sense.
I've brought this argument up before, but no one seems to think it's feasible: why doesn't some enterprising 3rd party company simply strike a deal with Hasbro for a high-end collectible deal? It's not that far a stretch. Hasbro owns G.I. Joe, and they've given a license to Sideshow Toys for high-end G.I. Joe figures. Behold:
That's a $200 or more Destro figure right there. Sure, he's a 12" figure, but Hasbro also puts out 12" figures. So it's not that far fetched an idea.
They're ExpensiveThis is a big deal to me. I'm all for paying a bit of a premium for a great condition vintage figure. Within reason. Heck, I'll even shell out a premium for newer figures like the Masterpiece figures. I cannot bring myself to pull the trigger on a purchase of a 3rd party figure when I look at the prices.
Igears' Hench? He's $45 for a Legends class figure. A Hasbro Legends figure? $10. Is Hench's quality such that it deserves to cost more than 4.5 times the price of a Hasbro figure? I don't believe so. Then again, to each his own.
The real draw to 3rd party figures seems to be the giant combiners. I'll be the first to admit that they almost always look great, well, with the exception of the various Not-Devastators out there. Let's take a look at those.
I brought up the Masterpiece figures earlier. I paid $250 for MP-10 when he was first released and I'd gladly pay it again. Why? Well, for starters, he's official. He also contains die-cast metal and he has a trailer. Would I pay $400 for an MP-10 style figure that was even more cartoon accurate made by a 3rd part company? No.
There's Too Many of ThemHey, want a 3rd party Predaking? Cool, which one? Do you want Mastermind Creations Feral Rex? How about Unique Toys War Lord? Or do you prefer TFC's Ares? Luckily, there are three options out there for the discerning collector. Unfortunately, there are three options out there. Say you opt for War Lord, seeing as most of his components are currently out now and the last one is being released this month.
|War Lord www.twf2005.com|
|Feral Rex www.tfw2005.com|
My Collection Isn't CompleteI don't believe that anyone's collection is ever truly complete. I can say that my G1 US figures are nowhere near complete. I still have a lot of figures to get. The foremost thought in my head when I look at a $60 3rd party combiner limb, or $150 on Perfect Effect's Warden is: Can this money be spent on say Reflector, or Brainstorm? And that's what it all boils down to.
I don't want anyone to think that I'm anti-third party all the way. I actually think that third party companies have done a lot of good. Do I think that Hasbro would've even thought about making Bruticus if there hadn't already have been movement on that front from third party companies? I doubt it. Takara has also stepped up their game with the Masterpiece line in response to these so-called interlopers. We, as fans and collectors have greatly benefited from third party companies pushing Hasbro and Takara out of their comfort zones. We're getting a Swerve, for Primus' sake!
And who knows, if one of these third party companies were to break down and focus on an original creation, and the price was right, I may break down and grab it. I am a collector after all, so you never know...