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Is this the death of the replica line?

Discussion in 'Muppet Replicas' started by Andibcool, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Andibcool Member

    Maybe old news but i found this while im googleing :

    Source: http://www.sideshowcollectors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44458


    For those who are collecting these, I found a post by a Rep explaining the Death of the Line after only 3 Posers.

    This also may explain the uncertainty of other Future products and Higher end collectibles of how the collectible Industry works. How long can Sideshow keep going? .................................................. ..............


    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and yes, we could have done things differently or perhaps better, but we cannot change that now. What is important is the future and how we go forward. Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad tidings or give bad news, but honestly folks its tough out there. Its brutal. We do this for a living, it puts food on our tables and pays our bills. Its not a game, or a joke. So lets have some FACTS

    1)Gonzo and Animal have been very disappointing. We have attempted to push sales by drastically reducing the prices and they are still very slow.
    2)We showed Fozzie at all major trade and public events in 2007 and early 2008 such as SDCC and got absolutely ZERO interest from potential buyers. It was too big, too expensive and too risky were the common complaints. We did not even get a glimmer of interest, sure lots of people loved him, as we do, but were not willing to translate that love into an order, which in the cold light of day is what matters. The few retailers who did choose to speculatively list Fozzie as a pre-order had similar lacklustre results.
    3)Believe us we have tried and tried and tried to get our Muppets posers in with every possible stockist, all the ones that have been suggested on this thread, turned the range down flat. They see it as simply too specialist.
    4)We cannot find a factory who is able to produce Fozzie to the standard and quality that you and we both require. We want to meet or exceed expectations, and do not want to face similar complaints to those we faced with Gonzo and Animal on accuracy and authenticity. We will not simply throw out a sub-standard Fozzie out there, or any product for that matter.
    5)Its not just a quality problem, it is simply an availability problem. A total of 3,631 toy exporters in China or 52.7 percent of the entire industry's businesses shut down in the first seven months of 2008. It is a bloodbath out there. Many of our long term partners are no longer in business. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7670351.stm
    6)If you do not pay your bills you do not get product. Its quite simple, we won’t bore you with the details of how the toy trade works. Just look in Wikipedia under Letter Of Credit or LC if you are interested. In most cases we have to effectively pay up-front to have items produced and this is why we always try to avoid producing anything before we have a firm number of orders or a definite idea of demand. Expensive unsold products sitting in warehouses means you go out of business quite rapidly.
    7)Marketing toys is a catch 22, economically you cannot afford to spend marketing $ promoting a product that will have limited results , there simply is not the margin to pay the costs. However without marketing results will be limited. Sadly with specialty products this is even more the case. We only have limited resource and would rather put that into products and packaging than potentially waste it. So we rely heavily on viral and direct marketing for these products. We think that we have effectively reached the vast majority of the target market for our Muppets products.
    8)This is also born out by the response to the Fozzie polls if we are hugely optimistic and combine all results from various forums into one it would lead us to believe there are less than 200 globally who want Fozzie. So lets be hugely generous and double that. We are still 100 away from even a semi viable edition size of 500 pieces, let alone an edition of 2000+. Producing 500 pieces if we could find a factory would mean that any costs on packaging, shipping, tooling, moulding or any production whatsoever are then divided across 500 rather than 2000 and this means a higher $ unit price out the factory.
    9)We are investigating the potential of producing Fozzie and other posers in a semi bespoke method, having them effectively hand made to order, perhaps even in the USA or other locations for individual domestic markets. We are talking to all the right people. HOWEVER and read this carefully, firstly the prices that have been proposed so far would shock you, and that’s just the cost to us. This is a specialist craftsman-led business that takes many, many hours and sadly that means $. Additionally we are restricted by the terms of our license and cannot simply do what we want, everything has to be approved. The practicalities of retaining consistent quality through this method are haphazard to say the least and it is highly likely that we will be prevented from being able to do this, but we are looking at it.

    Our feeling is that the Posers line is a dead end in its current form. It simply does not have the ability to support itself economically. Prove us wrong or suggest other ideas. We know the Muppets is great, we love it too, and we know that demand will grow over coming years. But are posers the right way to service that audience?

    Let us know directly, you can call or email, and if anybody thinks they might know somebody who can get batches of these things produced in say 50’s lets hear from you. i am really upset to hear that. i was extremely excited for the release of fozzie bear and other muppets characters. i really hope that MR can keep it up!
  2. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Old news.BTW, the limited editions by a small workshop have been knocked on the head by Disney.
  3. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Only a small company like MR would give the idea of Muppet posers a chance, but a small company like MR has trouble with investment cash flow that makes it nearly impossible to actually market, warehouse and retain the line like a bigger company could. But then again, the bigger companies didn't bite. If posers were an easy proposition they would have been made long ago. It’s all about patience and accepting that maybe the three we have will be it.
  4. Andibcool Member

    Yeah i will be happy with the three of em for sure.
    This kind of stuff you will get once in a lifetime and you have to take ur chance.
    I would love to see Fozzie but i also think its not goin to happen anymore.
  5. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    I wasnt refering to MR being a small company.They are a global company with offices in Hong kong, London and California.I was refering to MR's idea of using a small manufactuer or workshop to hand make a limited amount of Fozzies and other characters to order(remember the $3000 issue!)That idea is what Disney have said no to.
  6. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I wasn't talking about your post at all. However, MR is a very small company consisting of two people in a Walnut Creek office that happens to be a few miles from me. You're confusing them with their parent company Corgi that is now owned by PopCo. Check their site. I think you must have read that wrong. As for your report of the small workshops, you have made that idea clear several times. I get it. ;)
  7. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    According to the Master Replicas site, Master Replicas isnt even a Company! It is a brand of Corgi International, which is confusing because they were suppose to change their name to Popco,which is what they have in places as the Company, but also as a brand name.The walnut creek office is still part of a global company, based in Hong Kong, which ever name they are going by.And it is the first time that I have mentioned that the small workshop idea has been dumped by Disney.:p
  8. MuppetCaper Active Member


    Then what does Disney have in mind?
  9. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Any factory must be approved by Disney in advance.Disney's plans are still in developement, which is why we have to wait a few months.
  10. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    You posted so much about that topic already that the final Disney inclusion is redundant, but still a different point. I get that. The small workshop churning out extremely expensive pieces would be insulting to most of the supporters of the line so far. MR knew that and I guess Disney figures that too. I'm glad that idea's now been officially nixed by the Mouse. I always felt it was an elitist sort of product plan that served only a few rich collectors. :smirk:

    MR is still a small company that is part of a larger one. Unless something changes soon. The internal structure of exactly how that works in their situation isn’t listed on their site. I’m certain there are tax issues as well. But to say MR has more than just one California office is incorrect. ;)
  11. Luke Active Member

    PopCo and Master replicas are both kinda part of the same divison under Corgi. They were supposed to merge with MR taking on the PopCo name but it didn't happen although all their sales and stuff is i believe now done by Popco. Master Replicas was just meant to exist to sell off the existing stock and then concentrate on a few streamlined more pop culture orientated licenses. Yes it is part of a bigger company technically, but as Jamie said it is also just a few guys in an office doing the admin and thats it, because the work the others did who left is now either done by PopCo elsewhere or freelanced out.

    I can see them winding down, if thats what they are doing, because to be honest, once Corgi had sold their main business to Hornby and Cards Inc sold off to Edsevium it really just left all the low profit margin specialist product areas that i would think Corgi probably feel are more administrative/logistical hassle than they're worth.
  12. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That said, Popco is doing well for itself, right? They released pictures of wave 2 of the Japanese remolds of the Super Mario toy line (a line I was begging for for years) and I want to see these make it.
  13. theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    I just hope that whatever happens a Fozzie sees the light of day... I know that's highly unlikely in any form at this point... but it would still be nice.
  14. MuppetCaper Active Member


    I agree.
  15. Luke Active Member

    thirded! :cry:
  16. Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

  17. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    So what are you all agreeing on?-that you hope Fozzie is made or you think it is unlikely to be anymore or both? Have faith.
  18. Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

    I meant I want him...now! :p

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