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True; Richard Conte tried to do tribute sets to some of my generation's favorite movies but the licensing and copyright costs killed several of the projects before they could get off the ground and halted a couple others in the middle of the projects.
He's not the only one who was stopped.
Generic "space infantry" would be quite easy to realize, you can find thousands of concept designs and designers everywhere, say one kind of troopers with a taste of arab bedouins or berbers, lightly armed, one other kind with wwi german-like helmet, heavier armed and armored, one kind british wwi colonial-like, one kind wwi turkish with fez, generic sci-fi weapons... not much fantasy is needed here, nothing resembling star wars, starship troopers (quite generic too) or w40k (the triumph of genericity and adaptibility to every contest! they were a total commercial success!). don't know, this could be a long lasting good seller... like generic fantasy or generic superheroes, aliens... and should be not a risk...
Good point; it's not my thing, but I know the old Airfix "Spacemen" and similar sets are still popular and highly sought.
Seems there were three sets of 1:72 Star Wars soldiers by Caesar/Miniknight (SF001-SF003) some time in the past. Hard to come by these days and perhaps - at least in my case - they were somewhat "under the radar", probably because PSR usually doesn't review Fantasy and Scifi minis.
A guy in Russia puts them on Evil Bay now and again.
well, this is exactly what is not to do! this is the perfect example of copyright infringement... generic means not resembling anything existing, under copyright... or resembling everything existing without any copyright! wich is the easier thing to do? (if you don't want to be sued?)
I'd doubt whether Caesar's Star Wars sets were produced without license, as they even had the name Star Wars on the box. Doing something like that would have been a quiten brazen undertaking. If indeed they did that without license this might be a reason why they are out of business. But I don't think they were that stupid.
I would have thought it would be quite easy to make a sci fi range without impinging on copyright, certainly, lots of metal manufacturers seem to be able to do it without problem. As far as I know there is only one set available and although I rather like its 1950s feel I can imagine that it wouldn't be to everybody's taste.