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fatcow

Guardians Of The Galaxy! WOOOOO!

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http://www.actionfigurepics.com/2011/12/cc30-marvel-minimates-guardians-of-the-galaxy-by-brian-felgar

I'm not quite sure what to make of this because I don't collect Marvel yet. Could someone please elaborate on these...

Are these customs?

If this is obvious I am sorry but saw this on FB and it really caught me off guard as I am a huge GOG fan.

Edited by fatcow

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yes they are customs.

Custom-Con 30 day 2. If memory serves they are done by Lobsterman from this board.

Edited by MiniFiend UK

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yes they are customs.

Custom-Con 30 day 2

Then have they just written the article slightly incorrectly saying that these will be "available soon"? Also what do you think of them?

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The article is also entire fake, written by the guy who made them. It's part of the entry requirements for Custom Con.

Edited by The Geohound

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Too cruel!

Err... Too cool.

I was really hoping these were coming with a TRU tie-in of the modern GOG. I did think it was off that there was no Badoon army builder though.

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Ric Flair likes GOG?

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Part of the fun of CustomCon is presenting everything as if it were real. It can be a double edged sword when people really want to buy the sets in stores. :)

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And there is the sole reason I hate custom con and will never promote it anywhere. At best, it's a silly gimmick that confuses people -- if it's not done to trick people into linking to it, it certainly comes off that way. At worst, it's damaging to our business, putting words in the mouths of company representatives and making us look like we cancel a lot more product than we do. Furthermore, it fails to properly focus the attention on the customizer. Love the customs. Hate the text. I've been thinking about requesting a change since I started. Plan to discuss with Chuck and our legal dept, see what they think.

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Very interesting to hear you say that Zach. I've never considered what something like CC is from a company's perspective, but that is a very valid point. I always thought the text was usually pretty contrite, but never thought of the damage it could do to a company's image.

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The fake quotes from people like Chuck (not sure if they still do those, to be honest, but I'm sure it depends on the customizer) bug me the most. If it was a custom figure site, or even a humor site, or if it even SAID "custom" in the headline, then okay. But it's a toy news site, and they should present the customs like they present their news, by which I mean factually. This way, it's confusing.

Seriously, is it to show off how good the customs are, that they can be mistaken for actual product? I don't understand why they do it.

Nothing against Lobsterman of any of the talented customizers involved, by the way. I've hired people based on their work there in the past. It's just the format I don't like. Not sure what year CC started, but I'm surprised a company hasn't complained.

Edited by Zach Oat

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I had never been to that site before and knew they were customs, because I read the word custom. Just read the whole page before you geek out!

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Going by the first CC posts it seems to have started 1999.

I never thought of it from a companies point of view but I always guessed they would have taken it as a compliment especially a product like minimates to show how customisable they are.

Because the minimate customs shown are not always superhero based and shows with a bit of imagination and hard work can be used for nearly anything.

The mention of Lukes boxed customs on the DST QA makes me smile.

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And there is the sole reason I hate custom con and will never promote it anywhere. At best, it's a silly gimmick that confuses people -- if it's not done to trick people into linking to it, it certainly comes off that way. At worst, it's damaging to our business, putting words in the mouths of company representatives and making us look like we cancel a lot more product than we do. Furthermore, it fails to properly focus the attention on the customizer. Love the customs. Hate the text.

This is like saying you love editorials, but hate newspapers. The format, the presentation, is part of the package.

Frankly, and maybe not with you specifically, I've always gotten the impression that DST takes a bit of a dim view of customs in general; when the idea of selling blanks for customizers is brought up, it's always dismissed in a way that suggests the company isn't that interested in supporting customizing. I've heard on more than one occasion that DST doesn't promote, or even publicly recognize customs because they didn't want there to be any chance they'd be accused of stealing ideas -- at least that's the official line. Saying you like customs, but hate the way they're presented seems like a short hop from saying "customs are great, but could you keep them to yourselves?"

I can't see how you can classify Custom Con as nothing more than link bait, if that's what you're saying. It's pretty well recognized in the toy collecting community for what it is: a high-visibility forum for customizers to show off their work in a way that might not be possible through independent self-promotion. I'm not personally trying to get a job out of it, but I like that aside from the conceit of being a "convention," it acts as a sort of centralized portfolio review event for customizers.

Seriously, is it to show off how good the customs are, that they can be mistaken for actual product? I don't understand why they do it.

Okay, sure, I'll cop to that, but I don't think it's a nefarious as you're implying. There's always been a distinct line between custom work and factory-produced product (although I've seen the line grow much thinner in the past decade), and for me, and I suspect many other customizers, part of the joy of customizing is seeing how close you can get to that line without commercial manufacturing technology. So, yeah, in essence, making customs that are so good they could be mistaken for real product. I can't really see anything wrong with that. I understand the issues companies have when customizers start selling that work and how that might harm a company (although I'm highly skeptical of the degree of actual versus theoretical financial damage), but just making stuff that looks good enough to sell? Seems pretty benign to me.

The fake quotes from people like Chuck (not sure if they still do those, to be honest, but I'm sure it depends on the customizer) bug me the most. If it was a custom figure site, or even a humor site, or if it even SAID "custom" in the headline, then okay. But it's a toy news site, and they should present the customs like they present their news, by which I mean factually. This way, it's confusing.

Nothing against Lobsterman of any of the talented customizers involved, by the way. I've hired people based on their work there in the past. It's just the format I don't like. Not sure what year CC started, but I'm surprised a company hasn't complained.

I've never been in the DST war room before, but I have trouble believing that "guys who make up fake quotes about customs" is at the top of the PR threat board. And I also have trouble believing that if customizers would only present their work "in the right way," there wouldn't be a problem. If you put a disclaimer on it, someone is going to say he didn't see the disclaimer. If you put "custom" in the headline in 40 pt text with a blink tag, someone is going to say he just got the image through a google search. The mere fact that there is a picture out there that looks convincing enough to be real is all it takes for someone to get confused, then sad that DST isn't making Samurai Pizza Cats Minimates or whatever. Being in marketing, I completely understand and sympathize with the fact that the actual problem is: we, the company, want to be able to control our messaging 100%. And customs, fanfic, homemade t-shirts, all of it, chips away at your ability to do that. Sadly, that's the price of having passionate fans. But I have to believe the passion behind someone making up a fake quote has much more upside than not.

I've been thinking about requesting a change since I started. Plan to discuss with Chuck and our legal dept, see what they think.

I don't think any company has ever won that hearts and minds battle. Getting a restraining order against the guys who love your product so much they want to make it themselves never leaves you looking like heroes. Every time I've heard of that Hasbro, Mattel, or whoever takes legal action against customizers, it's caused major blowback in the collecting community. Is some potential confusion over whether you're really making a set of customs (which is almost always self-corrected by people in the collecting community, as evidenced by the responses to this thread) really more damaging to DST than the potential loss of goodwill and loyalty among your diehard fans?

Zach, I respect your opinion a lot, and I'm certain you're much more knowledgable about both the toy collecting community and the business of selling toys than I am. However, I've always been skeptical of the corporate line against customizing, in a broad sense and in its various, reasonable-sounding iterations such as you've presented. It strikes me as similar to going after ants with a magnifying glass – mean-spirited overkill.

Sorry I got so fired up about this, and I hope you're not going to punch me in the nose at the next convention. :sweat:

Edited by Lobsterman

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I don't think he's saying he hates customs, Lobsterman, but rather the fake press releases that accompany these specific custom con customs. I've always found they are trying to read as something official. Based on past Q&A blogs on the official Asylum website where people ask when these custom con entries are coming out, it seems that not everyone gets that the press release is a custom as well. This is the bad part I take it.

For example, just taking a look at old Minimates custom con entries, I found one for Age of Apocalypse Minimates that was announced as a Luke's Toy Store exclusive. Given that he now actually HAS exclusive Minimates with the Agent88 thing, I can see how a fake announcement like this can be viewed by a company as a bad thing if they get e-mail asking why they haven't been released yet.

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Can someone at least change the title of this thread? It could potentially be quite cruel to those of us who may be waiting patiently for their Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord and Groot mates. If those people exist

( :sad: )

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I totally see the points that both sides are making on this. However, amidst all that I also think it's worth saying what an awesome set of customs they are and I for one would love it if DST saw them and decided to make a couple of boxsets of that exact team, maybe with a badoon or korvac to round them out! That way, everyone (or at least me!) would be happy!

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Lobsterman, you are so gonna get one in the nose. I just need a stepstool. What are you, 6'5"?

As the man who's in charge of writing all packaging text and press releases for the company, yeah, I want to control all info coming out of our company. So when someone writes a fake press release saying we're putting out a product, yeah, it bugs me. Not because I'm jealous someone's making cool customs we don't have plans for or don't have the rights to, but because it leads to disappointment among fans. And given that our business model sometimes leads to solicited product not getting manufactured due to low orders, I want to keep that to a bare minimum.

(Granted, I can also see customs introducing new fans to Minimates, but I'd rather that be for something we ARE making than something we aren't. It gets us off on the wrong foot.)

I don't think DST has anything against customs, they would just rather make Minimates of their own stuff or licenses they've already paid for than make DIY sets. Digger saw it differently, once, and that's probably why Luke is now somehow getting a ton of nude blanks. I know companies have tried to kill custom figure sales on eBay in the past because it was unlicensed product. But those are licensors, and I understand that. It doesn't make sense for us to do it, especially with Minimates. But a licensor would also not want to read a report that we're making something they don't know about. Yes, it's not true, and can be cleared up quickly, so ultimately who cares, but it adds to the cloud of confusion.

(And I know this is not on the top of any "threat list". I mentioned our legal department because I wanted to get his opinion -- our legal department is also Minimates product manager Robert Yee. I figured he could comment on any far-reaching legal implications for the brand and its licensors, of which I, being a layman, might not be aware.)

The link bait idea was just a thought -- I don't think AFP or Figures or ToyMania are trolling for hits. It's just odd, is all. At ToyFare (I also started in '99), I wrote about customs all the time, for Wish Lists and for entire features all about customs. And we never did this, because companies would have flipped and pulled advertising. So I know there are better ways to do it that glorify the customizer, and not the company that didn't make them.

(On a related note, we also had a fake news section for a while, and it was one of the worst editorial decisions we ever made.)

So nobody take this as DST cracking down on customizers. Take it as the former editor of ToyFare being a persnickety grump. I can already see the angry e-mails in my inbox...

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So in summary,

Lobsterman wants the freedom to make customs and show them off. (great Customs BTW Lobby!)

Zach wants a clearer line where people are told they are customs and for people not to make up faux quotes for industry people as it could cause a lot of hassle.

Both points of view seem pretty reasonable to me, but if there's a fight I want someone to put it on youtube!

T.

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CustomCon has always had the "toy fair homage" theme as far as I know. I think it was to generate the same feel and excitement we used to get when toy fair (the NY show, not the mag) would show all these wonderful upcoming toys. It's such a tradition by now that most people don't give the format a second thought.

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Oh and Zach, When you see a custom represented as coming out soon, do you flip out and go bezerk in your house

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