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Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
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I think you answered your own question. The people earning fortunes out of the hideous licenced toys can do so because they bought an exclusive licence from the copyright owner. Anyone making the figures without that licence might earn nothing but litigation. Sadly the cost of these licences is, I suspect, well outside of the budget of any of the companies that that make our figures.
That said there are some good generic fantasy figures being made that can be used by lovers of a certain series of old books that are absolutely not intended to look anything like the characters in the mega billion dollar film franchise those books mutated into. Which is good because the licenced figures were UGHly(Neanderthal spelling intended).
Really can't understand how certain garbage could sell better than a good box of well shaped toy soldiers, you can paint them, you can play with them, you can collect and sell again over the years, they never break in pieces... my generation (1972) waited for 40 years to see decent superheroes on screen, now it's really time to have them as toy soldiers! No one expected the success from tv shows or theatres until they didn't try... Action figures, statues, figures for tabletop games and other horrible merchandise are already on the market, why not toy soldiers!?
We are supposed to buy only the popular things that we get offered.
Strangely enough I was sorting through some old boxes at home and found a Jabba the Hutt play set pretty close to 1/72nd scale and an army of Ewoks and many others. Probably Galoob/Micromachines but I am not sure. I bought them cheap as end of line stuff.
Disney has different ideas on merchandising to 70s Star Wars bloke®. My guess would be their legal department is much bigger than their design department. Calling them Galaxy Conflicts® figures or Z men® doesn't mean you are in the clear and you also risk confusing potential customers.
International copywrite laws may have gotten stricter, but bottom line is it is very tough & very expensive to do. Much easier to slap your own people who order such products as soon as they touch our shores! Happened to me with NFL jerseys. They can't or won't police the Chinese for backdooring products so they wait & screw over the people buying them! Not terribly fair, but gets the job done! Write your congressman/senator about it & you get a big fat dose of; "Our hands are tied! We can't intervene!" BULLSH%$!
Sorry Giorgio I think I misunderstood your question. I thought you were asking why the figure manufacturers don't make super hero figs, and there are good reasons.
Now I realise you were asking why the big toy companies who own the merchandising licences don't make sets of toy soldiers instead of the crud they do make. Very good point, I've seen some of licenced movie merchandise and wondered just how much entertainment mileage a kid might get out of it. But if they made a set of 1/72 figures based on the latest blockbuster movie, with all of the films main characters in the box then kids would be able to recreate the whole movie or, better still, create their own version which is far superior. How good would that be?
When we were kids toy soldiers were the toy of choice, that's what we wanted and we were a big market. Now we're a small niche market and the kids are buying different stuff. I'm sure the toy companies would tell you that they only sell what the kids want to buy but I think it's fair to say they are heavily influencing the market, a lot of clever advertising goes into telling kids what they want.
So sets of toy soldiers with the hook of popular movie themes might do well, they might even revive the toy soldier market. But I have doubts about marketing these days it seems to work on the principle that if something's good and people like it, you have to change it.
It is easy to make generic superheros. Most superheroes are male in a leotard with or without a cape, or female in a leotard, with or without a cape. So essentially four poses and you have most of them.
Add a couple accessories, like a shield or two in different shapes, and a couple other bits, maybe an assortment of heads, and you have a reasonable super hero set.
Superman is Batman without a cape, and CPT America is Batman with a shield. In this scale only the painting is really different.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog
Sorry Mike, supers are no more in leotards, they wear super-hi-tech suits that you can't paint in a credible way on nude bodies, then there are aliens, veihicles, aircarfts etc. More, i don't really want a handmade fragile little guy with a paper cape o green stuff pointy ears around a gametable, we are professional in our mania!
I don't think that Hasbro or Mattel or whoever should make toy soldiers, i think that Strelets (or 1/72 plastic manufacturers) should make them, it's a niche market, for niche costumers, not for kids.
Same market for 28 mm fantasy or science fiction gamers... you can build armies of aliens (kree, skrulls, chitauri, asgardians, atlanteans, thanagarians, rannians, khunds, shi'ars, amazons, deviants, manhunters, apokoliptians, klingon, romulans, borgs, predators, xenomorphs, colonial marines, T-800 terminators, hunter-killers, arachnids-bugs, mobile infantry-starship troopers, empire stormtroopers, snowtroopers, sandtroopers, clone troopers, droids, sardaukars, harkonnen, atreides, ixians, bene gesserit, matres honoratae...), with special characters (heroes, generals, monsters, giants, assorted creatures... in a word: superheroes).
There are whole new (licensed), unexplored and frustrating worlds out there...
I love the film Starship Troopers and would welcome sets depicting both the Mobile Infantry and the Arachnids (though for copyright purposes they would probably be called something like "Space Soldiers" and "Alien Insect Warriors"). Right now, the closest thing to the Mobile Infantry is the 28mm Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 Cadians, which can be quite expensive (I only have a couple of the small snap-together sets). Don't know if there's anything out there that can be used for Arachnids. I'm also not sure how commercially viable thy would be, however, since the first movie was made in 1997 and might not be too familiar for the current generation of young people.
ST was also an animated TV series called Roughnecks about 1999 - 2000. Very toned down and given a PG but a large number of episodes, writers and directors. Some of them quite good. Also ST Invasion (2012) feature film, 15 certificate and 2012 style slick animation.
Galoob did ST Battle packs and almost everyone had an Arachnid in and also Vehicle sets. The packs and sets looked close to 1/72nd scale.
Funnily enough Arachnids isn't copyright as they are real spiders, scorpions etc. It is the name of the class of invertebrates. It could be registered ® eg Arachnid® mountain boots (are better than 8 legs)
I wasn't aware of that series, thanks for the info. I've seen the two sequels to the 1997 original, thought they were decent enough, but it's good to know there's more out there for this universe. I wonder if there are also models of the Marauders, those were pretty cool.