Friday, February 17, 2006

Front Mission Trading Arts Plus - Stage 2

I'm sorry if you think it's off topic. When I was checking the Cafereo big-birds, I found these - Front Mission Trading Arts (Figures) Stage 2. If you also play computer games, you may know what "Front Mission" is. For those who don't know, basically you works as a mercenary and then you will receive bonus when you finish some missions so you can upgrade your fighting machine. So it's fight and upgrade, fight and upgrade,... .... Although I haven't played it for a long time, I remember it was fun. On the other hand, if your only interest is military and Gundam is not your cup of tea, these sci-fi robots all have a military look so you may change your opinion on sci-fi figures.

I bought the stage 1 last year and I think they were very cool. I'm not sure about the scale as it didn't mention on the the box, I think they were closer to 1/72. You can check more stage 1 pictures in my web. The stage 2 will soon be released in Japan. Interesting point is stage 1 was released by a company called OOPARTS but it changes to Cafereo for stage 2. Are these 2 the same company?


bluedonkey99 said...

it is a subject i have raised in other forums before...

who owns who?

there appear to be strong links between many company in japan.

it is not clear which company owns another, or who is a partner....

like ise it is not always possible to tell manufacturer from the distributer?

Hasegawa seems to produce designs for Takara

Bandai owns POPY and B-Club and many more...

Platz and F-Toys appear to be linked. Are CafeReo linked to f-toys?

Takara and Kaiyodo whats the relationship?

Dragon and doyusha(?) are they the same or partners ?

do banda and dragon own the world!?

this is just small list of questions and no answers

i bet someone knows??

wtmblogger said...

Some of your questions I think I can answer. For example, Doyusha and Dragon. Dragon designs the Cando project. I think Dragon or some sub-cons in China manufacture the kits. As you may know, a distribution network is not easy to build. So Dragon need a good distributor in Japan to help distribute these kits in Japan. Many of these trading kits are sold in the small toy shops around the corner where you live so a very good distribution network is essential. Besides distribution, I don't think there is any role Doyusha involves in it. As you can see in the US, Dragon Cando is distributed by its own Dragon USA and it's very hard to find any Dragon tanks in the toy shops here. If Dragon want to grow the business, they should get a big distributor and sell all these in Walmart, Target or Toysrus. There is a rumor Dragon wants to close all distribution network and only sell them thru Dragon-online. To me, I think it's a suscide approach.
Between Kaiyodo and Takara, I think it's different. I think Takara owns the project and Kaiyodo is the one design the kits (Kaiyodo only produced resin sci-fi garage kits in the past). I don't know who initiated the WTM project but the relationship is Kaiyodo designs the kits and Takara distributes them. Kaiyodo is more like Dragon and then Takara is more like Doyusha. The only difference is Dragon is a lot bigger than Kaiyodo so Dragon has more power in negotiation and marketing.
Back to the Front Mission topic, the name "Front Mission" is still owned by Square Enix. Square Enix ownes the project and then I think some design house such as Cafereo or OOPARTS or Kaiyoda will compete to get the project. The winner will be the partner with Square Enix but next time could be another design house with Sqaure Enix if the sales and result is no good and that's why you one team up with this one this time but next time everything changes like musical chairs. For sure there is some kind of business relationship involved, if A & B are good partners, they will always look for each other first, they will then look for the other if it does not work out.
This is just my 2 cents on the Japan toys market so please feel free to correct me if anything I said is wrong.