Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

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Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:35 am

Please re-locate this if it's in the wrong spot, apologies in advance. Smile

I'm not sure what the attitude is towards customs & reproduction stuff is here but im toying with the idea for one specific figure, and I'd like some feedback especially if your position is "Don't do it!" Smile

I've got an absolutely roached out R5-D4 and I'm thinking about cleaning and repairing the figure as well as putting it on a reproduction card back.

This figure was given to me some 15-20 years ago by my cousin, at the time he said it was his only surviving childhood figure. He has remained very much into Star Wars, (He's actually caught up on rebels Neutral ) so I couldn't think of a better Christmas gift than his only surviving childhood figure looking like new with a wall hanging acrylic case.

This R5 is in such poor condition that it doesn't have much value in its current state, and I don't think there is any realistic concern about the "MOC" being mistaken as genuine by anyone down the road. A simple Google search could reveal that the bubble is not accurate for an astromech. Not only that, but I'm sure that I won't be able to fully correct the yellowing, but perhapse make it good enough that it wouldn't look weird on card.

I've not done anything yet but I thought I'd post the assets and get some opinions. Toy Palloi and Retroblasting both have videos on restoring this figure which were very insightful.

Here is the loose figure, fortunately the vac metal section still looks perfect as that would be pretty well impossible to recreate for me. Theoretically, I'd dissassemble, wash everything, set aside the vac metal section, peroxide bath for the white parts, wash again, re-sticker/paint.

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Here is the replacement sticker I ordered, red looks a bit desaturated (Selected it because it had the rounded vents & it was produced a few kilometers from my work)

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Here is the reproduction card back I've got on order from Spain, the print looks good but the bubble seems to be a generic one so the position of R5 might look a bit low.

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And here is a mint example from Jedi temple archives:

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Let me know what you think. I could also use my personal, great condition R5 with that card also, I really wanted to see the quality of these cards up close without spending too much, seemed like a good gift idea as well.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by Commander Clint on Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:37 pm

Reproductions are generally frowned upon in the vintage community.  If you do use the cardback you've ordered.  Write "Reproduction" somewhere on the back of it. So it can be easily identified.

Trying to chemically turn the plastic back to white might be tricky.  Plus, no one knows how long it will stay white.

But you could turn the figure into something completely different & unique.  Something from the movies that Kenner never made.

Some from my collection

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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by ourchickenshack on Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:31 pm

As Clint said , many of us do custom figures (with beaters) but attempting to restore something to its original state , particularly with the use of reproduction parts / decals , is not thought of very highly by the community .

Give him a real R5-D4 in good condition (they're not too expensive) and leave the childhood figure as is - it's a survivor What a Face

Maybe you could even figure out a way to make a Twin Pack custom card - so both figures could be displayed side by side Very Happy
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:37 pm

Those customs look fantastic Clint. There is something a bit dirty about straight up reproduction right? lol I was never even interested in having one myself but as something I was passing on as a gift it didn't seem to offend me quite as much lol like, I wouldn't want one but since it was someone's personal figure it seemed like a cool gift idea.

I think it just looks so rough that it hardly seems better leaving it like that. Good call on marking the card, they really should be sold like that in the first place on the print.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by Commander Clint on Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:45 pm

I like James's idea about giving it back in the same condition.  And pairing it up with a loose one in good condition.

Plus getting your childhood figures back (no matter what conditon), can be a very emotional experience.  Maybe put the original well played one (as is), on the card.

It's the emotional attachment that brings a lot of us back to our childhood toys and turns us in to collectors.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by ourchickenshack on Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:39 pm

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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:01 pm

I am surely familiar with and agree with those arguements. This is working from the assumed position that anyone comparing a photo of an authentic piece to this could clearly see the problems with this one. (and having it literally say "reproduction" on it somewhere seems perfectly reasonable as well.)

I can see how weapons could be really problematic given that they are probably the most convincing.

That being said, the card quality may not be any good. If it is, I do kinda like Clint's idea of putting the unrestored figure in there.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by Ian_C on Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:28 am

It's all opinions, and those of us very vocal against reproductions of any kind are sometimes dismissed as having an "elite" view, that the "real deal" is too expensive, that they are an exception who would "never sell it on as real", etc.

However, I'll always maintain a stance that no matter how good your intentions may be, there are still reasons against doing what you want to do.

1) You never know what will happen to it down the line. YOU may not sell it, the person you're giving it to may not sell it, but at some point, it will eventually leave your possession. Even if it's years later due to passing away. You can never assume that a potential new owner down the road will be experienced or motivated enough to check it out as a repro. Even if the card is marked, crafty scammers will list it in a way that omits the label. Furthermore, if you're restored the droid itself, making it appear brand new off the assembly line, a scammer may just rip it off the repro card and try to sell it as a mint loose one (dead mint R5's with no yellowing and perfect stickers can actually get $30 and above). You may just end up unwittingly lead to a future scam.

2) The guys who make these repro cards know that they won't get rich off the big ticket items. High value figures will be heavily scrutinized for authenticity. An R5-D4? Not so much. Therefore, the repro people make their money by selling large quantities of lower priced repros. You're helping to fund a person who is directly responsible for fooling many new collectors with fakes. To make it worse, every single time someone buys one, it tells the guy making them he has a market for them, and continued production leads to improving future batches which will just be even more confusing down the road. You may think "it's just one card and sticker", but the thousands that are being sold cumulatively add up, and it's all a bunch of people who think their one small purchase hasn't hurt.

3) In your personal situation, your recipient may just have more nostalgia for the figure as is, than restored to a condition he doesn't remember it in.


I agree with the others. Customizing figures is considered okay, as it is impossible for anyone to think it's the real thing. I like the idea of carding the figure as is (as long as the card is marked in a way that makes it impossible to pass off as real). You just won't find many people agreeing to completely restore it to "original" condition.

Having said all that, I do give you credit for asking opinions and not just going ahead and doing it. Welcome to the site.

Ian
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by ChristianC on Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:18 pm

I stay away from anything to do with restoring or reproducing,
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:50 pm

Well I hope anyone who reads this through understands my actual position on it lol nothing like a quasi repro thread to drum up posts and activity lol

The first thing I said was that I wanted to hear from people who were apposed to it, which seems to be about 100%, I think I'll either not use the card or put the beat up figure on it.

The weird thing to me is that there seems to be a good amount of advanced custom work being done in this community so the distaste of reproductions seems to have more to do with concern about scamming than it does destroying the original condition of pieces. I would have presumed those issues to be closer to equal parts. Thanks for the insight. Smile
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by ourchickenshack on Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:10 pm

I am sure there are plenty of folks that look down on customizers - regardless of the subject , there are always pros and cons to it .

To me , the difference is customizing means making something that didn't exist . Restoring a figure to it's original state , even if not done for unscrupulous reasons by the "restorer" , can present problems later down the line .

I know there are those that also think a customizer is ruining a collectible figure - the truth is , customizers (like Clint and I) only use the most beat up figures that no one wants anyway and they certainly don't want to pay collectible prices for . To most customizers it is just a way to give a shit figure a second life and not just throw it in the trash bin .

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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by Commander Clint on Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:24 pm

Scamming is definitely the major issue in this hobby at the moment.  I think most of us have been burnt on a purchase, at one time or another.  Also the prices that some people are paying for items, only to find out it's a repro, and there is no way of getting your money back, really makes it a sore spot for many collectors.  At one time or another in the future, these repro items in peoples collections, will eventually will make it back into the open market.

There where millions of these toys made.  Most collectors only want the nicest (minty) versions for their collections, so what to do with the non-mint versions (beaters as we call them)?  Why not re-purpose them into figures that Kenner never made.  Even that said, the price for beaters has gotten out of control.  So I've turned to molding original parts to make my own creations.  Now lots of collectors would even frown on this because of one or two guys out there, that have molded original parts & even whole figures for profit.  I decided long ago, after my first custom figure (a black cape Squid Head) that I sold on ebay for $0.99 to a fellow moderator (long before I knew who he was, cough, cough, Marco), that I would only trade my custom figures with my fellow customizers.  I proudly display these trades, in my display cabinet to this day.  They are some of my most charished pieces in my collection.  And it's even better to hand out your creations at Celebrations & Cons as swag.

Your going to get so many opinions of different aspects of this hobby, please take them in stride.  You have to decide what kind of collector you want to be (also holds true with giving gifts).  rockon

edit, James, you beat me to it. cheers
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by Dr Dengar on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:52 am


Chris a good thing that you discussed this topic in all openness. Very Happy

I would also leave the childhood veteran R5 untouched. And try to display him in an unique way.


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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:39 pm

Well the only reason not to talk about it would be the intent to sell. Personally I find the "preservation" argument much more compelling.

I'm far from an expert collector (as you can surely tell Smile but I can easily identify factors that would make the reproduction kit pictured very suspicious.

That being said, I really appreciate everyone's perspective and I'm glad that I took the time to gain that before doing anything irreversible.

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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by ChristianC on Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:23 am

No worries Chris. It's definitely better that we all able to discuss this openly. As soon as someone mentions repro in our hobby they generally get abused and then the discussion is over without any real progress being made.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:14 pm

Yeah I guess that's understandable, it seems that everyone who has been buying this stuff online for long enough has been burned atleast once.

Given the objects in question, that's a big loss on what is essentially a couple dollars of prints and plastic.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by chris.75 on Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:39 pm

I have to agree with the other guys. Even if you're intentions are good, if you're gonna put a vintage figure on a repro cardback, then the card back should be clearly labeled as repro. Especially if passing the reoro onto someone else, because then you loose control of what happens to it in the future.
I also really don't agree with bleaching yellowed figures. I think this can also mislead collectors into paying way over the odds for a figure that is potentially damaged. It might be at some point in the future, this repro ends up for sale in eBay and someone deliberately buys it so they can take the figure off of the repro card and flip it as a mint condition figure. Not all collectors are good at spotting repro decals, so some poor person could get end up paying way over the actual value for this figure some years down the line. The whole repro/ restoration idea just brings up to many potential ways in which people can get burnt. Where as customising the figure is a fun and creative way of bringing new life into an old beater figure. Even putting the custom figure on a custom card looks cool and can not be mistaken for an original item.
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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by poncho on Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:50 pm

He's awesome leave him be. I would buy a loose acrylic case stick him in that and present that as the gift.

Although I get the sentiment and thought. Your fuelling that Spanish idiot who churns out those repro cardack kits....

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Re: Reproduction Cards / R5-D4 Project

Post by the89thchris on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:02 am

lol I didn't realize he was like the main dude who does that. Since first looking into it I've seen videos where the print quality really does let hold up under close inspection. I guess the big concern is the eBay auctions where it looks fine in photos where you can't see the print pattern up close.

I've got to think of some other controversial posts that I can make lol perhapse slightly less controversial.
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