Some time ago, I bought a set of resin figures that were sixty dollars from the original manufacturer, but then I saw identical figures from a Chinese seller for twenty. Taking the chance they were a cheap ripoff, I bought them…and they turned out to be just as good as the originals. Then I found several vendors of resin figures in China, all of which were cheaper than the originals, and were perfectly good quality. Needless to say, I ordered a bunch, as they gave discounts if you ordered bunches. On top of that, the sellers indicated that they sold hundreds of each type of figure.
This made me think of the stories I heard about how the same factories, using the same workers and same materials, would make original shoes, handbags, etc. during their day shift, and then would make “ripoff” versions after hours. Am I right in suspecting that figures supposedly from Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc., are actually Chinese made and sold at markup from other vendors?
About 90% of resin figures from China (Aliexpress) are recasts (ripoffs) of Western companies. Sometimes the copies are identical in quality, and sometimes have faults. The issue is that the Chinese copiers are benefiting from someone else’s R&D, and that the original artist is losing sales. So…I guess if they are selling copies of Russian manufacturers (Evolution, Stalingrad, etc.) that’s OK!
I delt with a few Chinese companies over the years. What’s happening there will curl your hair.
You pay them to make the molds and cast the product package etc. Then they hand copies of the molds to their cousin across the street who pours his own figure and sells it so it’s a double dip.
They also do it with the iPhone
So I took my stuff to Taiwan…
After I got ripped off from hobby b and trumpy
I gave all my data to AFV club and we worked together on tons of projects till I couldn’t do the work anymore.
At least it was an exchange deal and not money
Yep. That is exactly what happened to two designers that I know of. They (the Chinese manufacturers) sell the authentic merch out the front door, and the “knock-offs” out the back door. I believe the term is theft.
My guess is both are possiblities. In the case of the people I know, they hired factories in China to manufacture stuff from scratch. So the factory had all the molds, material, pieces, etc. …
One of my friends has now farmed out individual parts to different factories so no one company has all the pieces. Apparently, a royal pain in the , but it’s the only way he can get product made and not get ripped off.
Stalingrad, at the start of the Ukraine invasion, were saying they didn’t support what was happening, which I thought was rather brave. I haven’t seen subsequent info, but not all Russian manufacturers deserve the financial damage of the boycotts etc, or the illegal theft of their IP.
What figures were they? If they were a fraction of the original price, I would suggest they are pirated copies. The “original price” would be the realistic price of research, sculpting and manufacturing plus some profit so they can produce more in the future.
If all you have to do is copy, you can sell at “a fraction of the price”. No bulk buying etc…it’s just piracy .
And eventually the original manufacturer will go out of business because his product is being stolen.
I say this because I have many friends who are figure sculptors.
Only buy from reputable sources. China isn’t one of them. If the price is too good to be true, it’s a rip off.
I ordered this pair of figures back in November, 2022. To my knowledge, this was the only set available at the time. The figure set arrived in plastic ZipLoc bags without any labeling whatsoever. Once I was aware they were knock-offs, I voiced my concerns to eBay and left a scathing review. As you can see, the seller (taoboa-01) is still in business selling the counterfeit figures to this day.
Most of the kits on Amazon, eBay, and Google are now Chinese recasts and while the quality and prices may be great, they are indeed copies of original masters.
I was told in the late 1990s by a OOB local hobby shop owner that a lot of the JAFCON and Wonderfest Japan garage kits were bought by Chinese with fistfuls of dollars to copy, thus, one never sees these original resin kits ever again. That store owner would actually fly to those Japan model conventions to buy original Japanese resin kits to fly back to the USA. He ceased doing that because he just couldn’t stand in line for hours and discover that the Chinese bought out everything for sale by the vendor. However, that was decades ago. Still, it shows how business is conducted at those shows—cash money talks. And that is why some original resin garage kit vendors will not sell or ship to China today.
I knew an original resin USA garage kit maker who cast in China to sell in the USA. He said that the Chinese caster are the cheapest for the best quality. He made his caster sign a contract not to sell illegitimate copies. Nonetheless, the Chinese caster jacked up his prices and had such a backlog that the vendor went OOTB. So how is the vendor going to enforce the contact now that his caster failed to deliver?
Some resin kit vendors cast locally in their nation and because of that, their kit prices are indeed higher.
Now with 3-D resin printing, be sure to see where the print originates from. Many 3-D prints use the same STL files and are printed all over the world and that is fine as long as the STL file allows for unlimited printing once purchased.
You’d think by now the Chinese recasters would be able to make their own original figures-they must have the know how by now! There must be enough people in China who could carve original heads and know what clothing was used when.