Monday, October 21, 2013

A 3D Fan Debate

Where was the update?
It ended up being only the store update little bit last week due to getting too busy with other deadlines. However, with this week, the deadlines are done and a normal update appears.

This week's item of the week is also the blog topic of the week.

Weirdness of the week: Sonic & Garfield PC Game pack. The world's slowest cat and the world's fastest hedgehog? Doesn't seem like a good team up. A very bizarre choice that almost looks fake.

Item of the Week:
Has to be the 3D Printed Sonic mini figure. It's awesome because it's a hallmark of things to come. As the little entry for it says "Toy companies watch your backs" when the fans get a hold of actual, non difficult 3D printing, you're going to have to step up your game to compete with little Betty or Jill in her own home. Of course, tons of people would love to see that day never happen because it's easy to grab everyone's money when you can make something they can't...even if your item stinks.

Is it good?
Yes. The object the printer turned out looks nice. It looks like a toy-quality toy, not some home-baked-hash like what early printers (its a group of dots! that looks sort of like Mickey Mouse? Okay.) I would own one.
The experience was probably exciting too. Watch it print, it's novel, find the data to use to make the print, etc. You could easily imagine opening up one of those little blind-box balls and pulling out the figure and going "thats cool".

Is it a FAN item though?
I don't know. Sort of? It seems very 'fan like' to me. I really did not know where to put that little figure. The 3D sprite that made it was done by Sega. The printer may be fan-assembled, but importing a file and pushing 'print' involves no actual creative work. It's about the same as using your home printer to print out official Sega art of Sonic. Of course, ONLY a fan would do something like that.....but it isn't really 'fan art' on a most technical sense*1.

What would make it more fan?
Well, designing from scratch some Sonic related 3D item and then printing that out. But really, that would be hard to do because almost every single thing has been rendered in 3D by Sega at some point. The only exceptions could be like Mighty Armadillo & Ray Squirrel (possibly also Bark & Bean because while Sonic Fighters was 3D it was...very...square)

What could be 3D printed?
How about any badnik you wanted? Actual rolling Motobugs?
Wisps! (no more just 1 or 2 from some wisp pack, how about all of them AND Yakker too?)
My #1 Fave & Big want: CHAO
Not just hero & dark, but all the various ones you could do on SA1. Little green stripe ones that weren't all the way evolved to the blue "Sonic Run" chao, the NiGHTS chao, the list just goes on and on especially when you ad SA2 Battle chao variety to the mix. (ghost type, egg shell mask, etc etc)
ALL of the E-series robots?
Eggman's machines! How about the egg-o-matic? Or even the Tornado!

It'll also stop companies from the ever-irritating "Girl's Curse"
And it should take care of the whole "We said we'd make this figure" and then never actually get around to doing anything. Looking at you: Rouge the Bat. Because when you know that other people out there can and will do what you do, in order to sell anything you've got to do it first and also better. Saying you will make something and then not making it will no longer result in people holding onto their money and waiting on you, it will result in them spending the money and making it themselves.

*1 Going forward, I dont know what to do with 3D printed figures on Gear itself. Make a page for just those? Take only ones that are different? Take only ones that come with the 3D file from Sega that was used to make them (sort of like the "Sonic Crafts" area)? As analyzed, they aren't technically fan items in most cases. But they're cool to see & there's only going to be more of them. Who's pioneering it? Well My Little Pony people seem to be on the band wagon because Hasbro won't make toys of certain characters and the cross-section of the fandom contains enough people with 3D knowhow, cash to buy printers & desire.

2*Easily obtainable reasonably priced & fan-desired items never get drowned out by bootlegging or piracy. See all those stats about how itunes, spotify, netflix, hulu, crunchyroll, & all those media selling/renting things makes piracy drop wherever they appear. It's giving people what they want (shows/music) at reasonable price, that is easy and not full of viruses or torrents or waiting. Actual responsible figure companies shouldn't need to fear the 3D printer.

Next week:
Should be a bunch of UK items, and maybe some USA shirts as well. Shirt & clothing reporting levels have been way down recently. Either no one is shopping for clothes, or distribution on clothes has become poor. Wanted Gear is piling up with stuff nobody seems to be able to find.