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decadentdave
01-06-2008, 08:16 PM
Posted on Scum:


The Star Wars prop community has been abuzz these past few days since seeing a teaser ad for a new Star Wars Licensee called "eFX".

Being the Bothan Spies we all wish we were, many of you went to work trying to figure it all out. Searching all of the internets with the Google, it wasn't long before you had it all figured out. So here's the scoop from one fan of TheForce.net :

".....being a computer geek myself, I decided to research this matter using one of my favorite investigatory tools: a WHOIS lookup. What that basically means is, I go to a WHOIS lookup website, I type in the URL, and I get a plethora of information about the website and its owner. Since I didn't know the URL of the website belonging to this "EFX," I thought I would try some generic URLs with "EFX" in them. I tried http://www.efxstarwars.com (http://www.efxstarwars.com/), http://www.efxreplicas.com (http://www.efxreplicas.com/), and http://www.efxprops.com (http://www.efxprops.com/). All three of these sites gave me pages that said This Domain is Reserved - Web Site is Coming Soon. Intrigued, I looked up their WHOIS registry information. Turns out that all three sites are owned by ToyTeq, and the registrant information lists Bryan Ono as the administrative contact. Who is Bryan Ono, you might ask? Well for one thing, he was a top dog at Master Replicas' Star Wars line. Coincidence? I think not."

Another thing to consider is that the tease ad stated "Coming 7-23-08". Which many have pointed out is preview night at San Diego comic Con!

Then there's this website http://www.efxcollectibles.com (http://www.efxcollectibles.com/)


I don't know about you but I'm so glad that someone stepped up to the plate for the prop community. So, by the looks of it we'll have the same people who were working on the Star Wars Master Replicas team, now working on the same license but now under a new name. Congrats to eFX, we'll be checking you out at SDCC 2008 for sure!I wonder if they will pick up with the FX sabers, minis, helmets, and Studio Scale? Still lots that MR didn't get to do. I kind of doubt they will produce the same items that MR did but if they did FX sabers they could potentially re-issue those. I wonder if they'll be getting Indiana Jones props as well since MR originally had it before their relationship with LFL went sour.

Jayspawn
01-06-2008, 09:36 PM
I think its good news. A little soon but, good.

I think we'll see the same type of items, as its founded by former Master Replicas employees. I wonder if Amy Blanchard (who has left MR) will be apart of it.

decadentdave
01-06-2008, 10:10 PM
Sounds like she was making a clean break to move back to her family so no, I think not.

I wonder if eFX will have some kind of Collectors Society?

JediTricks
01-08-2008, 07:40 PM
I think this is not the best move, in some ways it makes sense, but MR when they started didn't have the resources to do interesting cool stuff like the Force FX sabers, it took the success of the first few LE saber hilts to get them to that point. So starting over back at square-one right after we got nearly everything that could be made could be repetitive and bury it. I hope to see good things at SDCC though.

decadentdave
01-08-2008, 09:10 PM
But you forget that eFX is founded by one of the main guys from MR so I'd imagine he will utilize the resources he had at MR to deliver comparable quality products. From what I understand (after my meeting with Steve Dymzo and the people at MR in '05) is that there is one guy in China who designs and develops the Force FX sabers before they are mass produced. I'm sure he will be working closely with eFX should they continue with the Force FX line, likely they will have to call it something else since the name is probably trademarked by MR or that trademark could have expired with their license from LFL. Now that eFX has the license, I'd expect them to have the full support of LFL.

JediTricks
01-08-2008, 09:56 PM
The resources stayed with MR though, that company merged with Corgi and all their resources with it, including the manufacturing, the current design staff, and the materials.

decadentdave
01-08-2008, 10:00 PM
The resources stayed with MR though, that company merged with Corgi and all their resources with it, including the manufacturing, the current design staff, and the materials.

I'm not talking about manufacturing facilities, I'm talking about contacts. Even Steve D. who founded MR started his own company S.D. Studios making prop replicas in his garage. Talented prop makers are known among each other within the business because it is a niche market industry.

JediTricks
01-08-2008, 10:09 PM
Contacts aren't much of anything for this though. Sure he knows which factories might be the best to work with in the orient (that's manufacturing's term for the region still), but without having the proven track record or financial power to order in greater numbers, manufacturing will cost more, design may cost more, and materials will cost more since the initial orders will be for lower amounts.

Steve Dysmo did a good job of starting MR, but MR broke out of the small prop replica ultra-niche market very well and I wonder if that will be able to be repeated.

decadentdave
01-08-2008, 10:27 PM
In the prop replica field it takes craftsman and artisans with skills for replicating props. Even most Hollywood studios contract skilled craftsman to make their screen-used prop replicas. Yes, it takes manufacturing facilities to mass produce prototypes and artist proofs which are costly but even companies like Sideshow Collectibles pay to have their prototypes mass produced at factories in China. It's all part of the overhead business costs. MR was founded by a group of prop making afficianados who were able to get the capital to go after costly licenses like Star Wars based on their reputable skills as being the best prop making hobbyists in the industry and thus were granted the license. When LFL gave the Star Wars license to MR after Icons faultered it away, they were concerned about making sure it was given to the right people who would manage it favorably. I think MR did a great job for the 5 years they had it, obviously far surpassing what Icons did, but I also think they missed a lot of opportunities that could have taken them to the next level. They were struggling with Star Wars generating their primary stream of revenue. I remember reading at some point that the Force FX line and Mini's was pretty much keeping them above water because they had retail penetration with those and could produce more to increase their revenue. One of the reasons why Corgi took over because they needed stronger financial resources. However, once Corgi took over, I really felt that the company had gone down with their handling of the license. I was buying less and less from them. When they scoffed at the LFL contract, I was not disappointed. I knew somebody would step in to take over the license, but I thought it would be QMX or somebody like that. eFX may be a startup company but I'm sure that the costs required for ponying up the Star Wars license was considered by its investors as being a profitable one. Time will tell if eFX is another MR or another Icons or both.

JediTricks
01-08-2008, 10:41 PM
MR actually created themselves specifically to pick up the Star Wars license which Icons had lost several years prior when they went out of business. It was the right recipe of people with contacts at Lucasfilm when there was a lull in interest.

My point is that a lot of companies do prop replicas now yet most are a tiny niche business, even Sideshow does prop replicas (I'm kinda glad they didn't get this license, I don't like their prop replica business model or design philosophy as much), but nobody really got it to a greater level until MR, and it's not just because of Bryan Ono or Steve Dysmo. Hell, even MR's other licenses have many misses for the few hits they do have.


MR is running Corgi, so if you have qualms with how the license was being handled at the end, it's those at MR who were helming it. And they didn't scoff at it, they tried to make more concessions to keep it, Lucas pulled out.

decadentdave
01-08-2008, 10:55 PM
If MR had to make concessions and LFL pulled out, what does that tell you? LFL lost confidence in MR's ability to handle the license. They obviously had someone else in mind when it came time to renegotiating the license so they made unreasonable demands on MR with the expectation that they would not meet those demands and non renew the license. Obviously they still had faith in a few key individuals from their relationship with MR to entrust the license to them after their departure from MR. Even at Comic Con back in '06 I was getting a different vibe from MR. Most of the original people I knew there were gone and the new staff just didn't seem to be as friendly. I knew something was up with the changing of the guard. I have high hopes eFX will continue the original philosophy set precedent by pre-Corgi MR.

Jayspawn
01-09-2008, 01:02 PM
I dont think its that LFL lost confidence in MR. Truth be known to those who dont know, the cost of the Star Wars License is INCREDIBLY high, the rate of keeping it may be been to big for MR in 2008 -so they somply pulled out to pursue other licenses.

On the side, theres still a bunch of replicas still to be made that havnt. Indiana Jones will be a hot property so hopefully we'll get some long overdue props.

decadentdave
01-09-2008, 01:39 PM
Well if LFL had wanted somebody else to takeover the license, they could have asked an unreasonable amount that they knew MR would not agree to. An upstart company like eFX sure thought it was worth ponying up for the cost of the license, otherwise the license would be sitting in limbo with no company touching it. I kinda thought LFL would license their own replicas in-house since they are the keepers of the original film props. It's not like they can't afford it.

JediTricks
01-10-2008, 04:47 PM
If MR had to make concessions and LFL pulled out, what does that tell you? LFL lost confidence in MR's ability to handle the license. That is not what it tells me, not by a longshot. I suspect Lucasfilm saw an opportunity to make more money by selling the same lightsabers over again through another firm. Either that or Lucas wanted to show Corgi who's boss with the brand when Corgi bought 2 Star Wars licensees.


I dont think its that LFL lost confidence in MR. Truth be known to those who dont know, the cost of the Star Wars License is INCREDIBLY high, the rate of keeping it may be been to big for MR in 2008 -so they somply pulled out to pursue other licenses.MR didn't pull out, they were hoping to get the license back by the end of the year.


So now we have another piece of the puzzle, and I think we can really see what happened now:
http://www.sirstevesguide.com/index.php?categoryid=10&p2_articleid=1276

Hasbro is the master licensee for Star Wars now? And they're getting control of the Force FX line??? That's some bad mojo. Hasbro has been notoriously aggressive when it came to defending their power over the license, the Code 3 die cast collectibles thing they fought tooth & nail until Lucas told them he was insisting on it, and they've held LEGO back from several avenues by claiming they can't sell packs of only SW minifigs since they'd no longer be "building toys" but "action figures". I suspect Hasbro made a move or threw some more $$$ at Lucas for a piece of MR's business and Lucas went for it.

I don't for a minute think Hasbro in control of the Force FX line will result in anything but diminished quality.

DarthQuack
01-10-2008, 04:49 PM
I've got 4 FX sabers so far, Full Maul, Vader ESB, Luke ROTJ, and Yoda. The only other ones I was looking to get were Luke ANH and Mace...I'd just be happy of one of each color....Think they could manage to get us any other colored ones?

JediTricks
01-10-2008, 04:57 PM
I have nary a clue. Hasbro may resume production exactly where it left off, with a TPM Obi-Wan saber waiting in the wings, or they may just rerelease old sabers for the time being, with Luke's ANH and Vader's ESB being the most recent.

The Mace saber I think they'd probably want to go back to the drawing board on as it has an unsatisfying blade color and uses the larger 6-cell battery system.

Tycho
01-10-2008, 06:39 PM
I need to make several obligatory comments that you'd expect from me as forthcoming:

1) I love Amy Blanchard. She's a sweetheart and I wish her well. I have a way to contact her and I may do so. I'll say "hello" from everyone.

2) I want an Obi-Wan Kenobi FX lightsaber from "The Phantom Menace / Attack of the Clones" more than nearly any SW collectible I can imagine. I'll retain hopes that I will get it.

3) Repackaging the sabers that have been released by MR already:

Vader
Anakin / Luke
Luke ROTJ
Yoda
Darth Maul
Mace Windu

will not be THAT successful for a new company.

a) many of us have them and don't want them in new packaging, or even with few new sounds (as compared to a whole new saber)

b) There are a few others that could be huge new sellers for a company if they can pull it off:

Palpatine
Dooku
Obi-Wan TPM / AOTC
Anakin AOTC
Qui-Gon Jinn


These are where I'd start. If they have the license to bring out the "older stuff" that MR already released, then do it balanced with the newer stuff, so sales are continuing to be driven by old customers as well as new ones.

With the movies being over, and Force Unleashed and SW TV being untested (and I'm not currently in the market for products from either), I don't think you'll see a surge in lightsaber demand like there was at C3 especially, and presumably at C4 as well.

Tycho
01-10-2008, 06:42 PM
I don't for a minute think Hasbro in control of the Force FX line will result in anything but diminished quality.

But now we can finally get "Spider-Man's lightsaber" not to mention "Megatron's Energon Sword" and "Optimus Prime's Laser Axe!"

decadentdave
01-10-2008, 07:28 PM
Then why did Hasbro buy back all of Lucasfilm's 30% share of their stock that was given to them as residuals for the Star Wars license immediately after ROTS? Seems to me Hasbro was pushing LFL out of being a controlling shareholder of the company so they would not have to split the profits with them.

Hasbro is a horrible company to take over the FX line. MR created high quality, high-end LED sabers that made Hasbro's "toys" look like the cheap plastic junk for kids they are. I have more confidence in a high-end collectibles company who specializes in prop replicas manufacturing these then I do an umbrella toy company whose products are all over the map with limited speciality. Remember the 12" line and how crappy those were. Hasbro sold off the license to Sideshow Collectibles because they specialized in 1:6 scale figures. I have a feeling Hasbro's FX offering will be trumped up versions of their toy lightsabers. No way am I going to buy the same stuff I bought from MR already. This to me was a bad move. Hasbro is obviously smarting from their sale of the 1:6 license to Sideshow and now that they are running out of ideas and relying on repaints and repacks of their action figure line is desperate to find something to keep the license alive through 2018. Hasbro and High-End Collectible should never be used in the same sentence. eFX should have continued the FX license period.

JediTricks
01-10-2008, 08:40 PM
Then why did Hasbro buy back all of Lucasfilm's 30% share of their stock that was given to them as residuals for the Star Wars license immediately after ROTS? Seems to me Hasbro was pushing LFL out of being a controlling shareholder of the company so they would not have to split the profits with them. Control of the company. Lucas having $200mil in stock options gave him power within the company and was an outstanding credit they knew could come due at any point. The payment was a deferment of their agreement for $220mil in cash or $200mil in stock options, this way they were able to give him the cheaper example and then buy him out at that price without giving him the full $220mil or having him take advantage of this outstanding IOU if they were to ever weaken. And I think that deal was before ROTS, not after.


Hasbro is a horrible company to take over the FX line. MR created high quality, high-end LED sabers that made Hasbro's "toys" look like the cheap plastic junk for kids they are. I have more confidence in a high-end collectibles company who specializes in prop replicas manufacturing these then I do an umbrella toy company whose products are all over the map with limited speciality.To be fair, Hasbro has more experience and contacts with the electronics manufacturing industry that will be needed for this than any small high-end collectibles company (besides MR, naturally). But what we'll lose from that is accuracy and quality, Hasbro QC is pretty dodgy even on high-end products.


Remember the 12" line and how crappy those were. Hasbro sold off the license to Sideshow Collectibles because they specialized in 1:6 scale figures.They didn't sell it, they are "partners" with Sideshow, Hasbro still holds the license and Sideshow goes through that license. It'll be the same with Indiana Jones later this year, as I understand it.

decadentdave
01-10-2008, 10:52 PM
Control of the company. Lucas having $200mil in stock options gave him power within the company and was an outstanding credit they knew could come due at any point. The payment was a deferment of their agreement for $220mil in cash or $200mil in stock options, this way they were able to give him the cheaper example and then buy him out at that price without giving him the full $220mil or having him take advantage of this outstanding IOU if they were to ever weaken. And I think that deal was before ROTS, not after.

It was generally around that timeframe that Hasbro made the announcement which sparked speculation regarding Hasbro's future relationship with LFL and the future of the line. Seems like they were pushing LFL out.



To be fair, Hasbro has more experience and contacts with the electronics manufacturing industry that will be needed for this than any small high-end collectibles company (besides MR, naturally). But what we'll lose from that is accuracy and quality, Hasbro QC is pretty dodgy even on high-end products.They have more experience with mass-produced/mass-marketing electronics which will give them an edge as far as distribution which will allow them to produce and sell at vastly greater quantities than MR could, even at retail chains like Borders, Spencer Gift and Toys R Us. The downside is the loss of high-end quality and accuracy as well as the collectible novelty when anybody can walk into any retailer and buy an electronic LED lightsaber for roughly less than the cost of MR's did. That may be good for parents and kids who otherwise could not afford them, but for collectors, it's a slap in the face and an insult.


They didn't sell it, they are "partners" with Sideshow, Hasbro still holds the license and Sideshow goes through that license. It'll be the same with Indiana Jones later this year, as I understand it.Guess that explains why Sideshow's 1:6 figures look little more than glorified versions of the Hasbro figures when they should be competing on par with the high-end collectible quality of companies like Medicom and Hot Toys.

Tycho
01-11-2008, 02:13 AM
No. SideShow's sculpters have nothing to do with being Hasbro contractors so far as I know. SideShow just pays Hasbro off to use their license.

I don't consider the sabers to be immensely high end museum pieces. I duel with mine. That's why I want the TPM Obi-Wan blade - for the best grip.

decadentdave
01-11-2008, 04:13 AM
It's probably a good thing Sideshow didn't get the license either. They really don't have the resources for machined metals. Most of their prop replicas are polystone or styrene. Code 3 had some good scaled die-cast replicas but they just seemed like glorified Titaniums. If I'm going to spend that much for a scaled vehicle, I'd rather it be a Studio Scale model. Still lots of those that haven't been done yet.

dindae
01-15-2008, 07:18 PM
I was shocked to learn that Hasbro was taking this over. But I don't know that I'm displeased. I have been thinking about getting one and I know that Hasbro will be able to do it cheaper and that is always good. Plus the hard work has been done and the basic model has been made all they have to do now is rescuplt and repaint which is something Hasbro is an expert at.

As far as eFX, I don't know how successful they will be. MR did a great job in covering the major character weapons so eFX has to go broader to get fresh ideas or redo MR's peices which will tick off collectors.

SirSteve
01-15-2008, 07:38 PM
And it can now be announced that Amy has joined eFX!

Doing my happy dance! :D

Jayspawn
01-15-2008, 09:03 PM
Alright! I had a feeling she would!

Tycho
01-15-2008, 10:21 PM
SWEET! We love AMY! :love:

JediTricks
01-16-2008, 05:51 PM
And it can now be announced that Amy has joined eFX!

Doing my happy dance! :D
Man, where did that come from? That's wild! Welcome back Amy!


I wouldn't count on Hasbro lowering the price any time soon, they've been raising prices on all their products the last few years.

Jayspawn
01-17-2008, 11:23 AM
I bet Hasbro keeps the FX sabers in the same price range.

Just hope the quality doesnt suffer.

DarthQuack
03-27-2008, 07:29 PM
Any word on the continuation of the FX line or any other line yet?

Jayspawn
03-27-2008, 07:33 PM
No word yet. eFX will have their initial prop/replicas on display at SDCC this year -so we have a few months to wait. hasbro is continuing the FX lightsabers -they should have them on display at SDCC as well. We should see actual product by fall thisyear.

Tycho
03-27-2008, 08:23 PM
It was already said they are easing into the market by re-releasing what they've already offered:

Anakin E3 / Luke E4 / E5
Vader E3 / E4 / E5
Yoda E2 / E3
Luke E6
Mace E2 / E3
Obi-Wan E3 / E4
Darth Maul E1

Whatever was actually made and released above. MR identified differences in the props between the movies when they were supposed to be the same sabers - but I don't care to look that closely.

In any event, 2009 Toy Fair or so, we'll start to see product that has never been offered before. That's when I'll buy:

Obi-Wan E1 / E2


There may also be:

Qui-Gon E1
Anakin E2

MR had said previously that Palpatine and Dooku are too difficult to make because of the size and shape, respectively. Hopefully, that might change.

There might also be minor-character Jedi and EU sabers. But I think they can still sell all the blades mentioned above just fine.

Jayspawn
03-27-2008, 08:26 PM
I also wont be rebuying anything.

Before the loss of license, MR did state that they had a Dooku FX in the works. Shame that it never came to pass -but maybe Hasbro got that design as well.

Tycho
03-27-2008, 08:30 PM
It might have been the prop replica hilt, but they couldn't attach an FX saber deep enough in the curvature to make that work, as far as what I heard.

I'd love a Dooku FX saber, though.

But Obi-Wan's TPM blade is my priority. SW's finest lightsaber!!!

But no, I don't think they expect us to "re-buy" things. They are going to market to those that don't have them already.

DarthQuack
03-27-2008, 08:32 PM
I also wont be rebuying anything.

Before the loss of license, MR did state that they had a Dooku FX in the works. Shame that it never came to pass -but maybe Hasbro got that design as well.

I'm with you.....I've got Yoda, Vader, Maulx2blades, Luke ROTJ, I'd love to see Dooku or Sidious for another Dark Side blade.

Jayspawn
03-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Theres a few select replicas I still want to see made though...

Amidala's Sporting Pistol TPM
Biker Scout Pistol ROTJ
Ki-Adi Mundi's Lightsaber ROTS
Darth Vader's weathered Lightsaber ROTJ
AT-AT Driver Helmet ESB
TIE Pilot Helmet ANH
Commander Cody Helmet
Darth Vader Helmet ANH
Slave 1 Studio Scale
AT-ST Studio Scale
TIE Fighter Studio Scale
X-Wing Starfighter Studio Scale

Akka
04-24-2008, 01:25 PM
I don't understand why people feel that the mace windu saber does not have a satisfactory color. Mine is amazing. I got it for 10 bucks at gamestop (they have dropped the prices for clearance so if your gamestop has one hiding in the back like mine did then you can get it for 10 bucks.)

I had been wanting a Windu saber since the beginning. Here are two pictures of mine. Mine never does not look great purple.

(two attachments of pictures. One in light, one in dark. Like I said, I think it looks awesome purple. Maybe I just got lucky?)

Akka
04-24-2008, 01:29 PM
took this picture just for the site :-D like I said I think it looks very purple