Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Long and Winding Road - of Toyfinity, Classic Maxx Zero, and Choices

Hello there, Toyfinity fans.
Been a while since we had a nice long chat.
2014 is a year where I'd be happy with a do-over. 2013 too, for that matter.
The initial plan was that we'd have Manglors this year, Knight of Darkness would make an appearance, probably a new Mordle or two, and we'd have the classic Maxx and Hun-Dred on our shelves. You know what they say about the "best laid plans..."
The schedule has been transformed by many different events behind the scenes, and most of those projects will not see fruition until 2015. What you will see this year is the first entry in the Classic Robo Force series.

All along, I've had a vision in my head of what my version of Maxx Zero would be. 
Because he existed as a vintage toy, we had a blueprint of sorts to start with - but the figure I was imagining was much more complex in terms of paint. Maxx is my Pheyden, my Mickey Mouse...I imagined his look would evolve in complexity after hundreds of adventures and accomplishments.
The figure would be, at his core, in the classic colors of Maxx, but potentially not what everyone would want as their Maxx.
I didn't want to exclude the fans who love the primal nature of the paint applications and details of the original Ideal Toys version. I also saw an opportunity to provide a product that the customizers of the world have asked me for - a completely blank Robo Force kit in a nice base color that would be easy to paint.
What would be the best way to reconcile these varied approaches to Maxx Zero?

And that is the beauty of being truly independent of corporate interests.
Toy companies since the beginning of time have been hamstrung by production realities - paint masks cost money. Assembly costs money. Paint applications cost money. There is only a certain level of complexity that a figure can have and still hit a retail pricepoint. The majors have an idea that a premium figure has to sell for a 400% mark-up when put into a box with a folding lid.
Toyfinity is not limited in that way. I believe we've been clear with you about why figures cost more as we add paint applications and pieces.
YOU, the fans, can make the decision yourselves - with one minor change to the overall process of how you have bought these figures in the past.

For the first time, Toyfinity is going to offer you the opportunity at three Robo Force kit selections as pre-orders. It's a reality that costs have jumped to create mass-production items, especially at low production runs. Knowing this, I can't place an order for a massively expensive and complicated figure (or figures) without knowing for sure what you, the fans, want. After delivering multiple quality products to you in the past, I believe the time is right for a pre-order.

To create this Maxx, we started with one key thought: the base color of the figure was key to his vintage image. Without the classic "Commodore 64 grey/beige", there was no point in undertaking this project. So we sent the factory a classic Maxx figure to match the plastic as exactly as they can.
Packaging will be the same as previous waves - Maxx will be packed in a baggie. There may potentially be a Robo Force logo sticker on the baggie - still working that out.
From there, we get into the options:


#1 - Maxx Zero Basic Edition.
The ultra-Classic Steele-Forged Hero!
At $18, we have the Basic Maxx Zero. He's a standard 41 piece kit, including all of the pieces that you get with any Robo Force kit. The intention of this figure is to provide a nicely-balanced figure that is a pure update to the vintage Maxx figure, with slightly more color than the vintage on some parts. The full schematics for this figure will be provided later today for your perusal.

#2 - Maxx Zero Unpainted Edition
Exactly what the customizers have asked for! For $12, you get a completely paint-free figure that you can customize in any way you want.

#3 - Maxx Zero Ultimate Edition
The big man himself. For $35, you get a Maxx which will have over ONE HUNDRED PAINT APPLICATIONS and is 100% detail lined!
Again, on Monday, a full set of mechanical drawings will be posted which show where all of the paint applications on this figure will be placed. Over sixty of these applications are brand-new and never before used on a Robo Force kit.  This figure has more paint applications on it than some import figures which sell for double the price!

I look at an Ultimate Edition much like Takara-Tomy looks at Deluxe Transformers - Hasbro has a one-size-fits-all box that they must fit a Deluxe Transformer into (that costs exactly $15). TT will take that deluxe figure and put 3x the paint applications on the figure because they know it will look better - and because they aren't locked into that US retail price on their figures.

I want this to be a showpiece in your collections, as it will be in mine.
As such, THIS EXACT KIT WILL NEVER BE PRODUCED AGAIN.
There may be other Ultimate Editions in the future, but never again this exact Maxx Zero in these exact colors.


So, now that you know the details, let's talk about the Toyfinity pre-order process.
This isn't Matty-style pre-ordering - there is no "sellout" that will magically pop up before the end of the order period. There is no "magical minimum order" that will suddenly be announced as missed and the project canceled. Whatever editions you order during the order period will be produced and delivered to you. There are no limits on any of the editions. Most importantly - no stock is being produced for sale in the Toyfinity store later. If you skip them now, you will NOT be able to purchase them from Toyfinity later.
Pre-orders are live in the store now. The full mechanical drawings for the Basic and Ultimate Editions will be posted later on Monday so you make your decisions.
The pre-order period starts now, and ends at 11 pm EST on 10/25/2014.
Payment is due when the order is placed, and the figures are currently scheduled to be delivered in December. I will keep you updated to any changes or issues that arise during the process.

What else to discuss...I suppose that's everything!
If there are any questions, send me an e-mail at feedback@toyfinity.com
It's a new time for toys. We're in this together, my friends. You have choices as to what Maxx Zero kits you want in your collection, and if it works, in many of our products going forward.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to provide you those choices.

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