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  1. #1

    eFX to take over from Master Replicas

    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.efxreplicas.com, and 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


    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.

  2. #2
    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.
    "Maybe I can help you. I am Boba Fett. The ship you seek is nearby." -Boba Fett

  3. #3
    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?

  4. #4
    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.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    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.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    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.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    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.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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