One very interesting post from Imgill over at the RPF:
ANOVOS picks up the high-end Star Wars Costuming License!
I have been quiet about this for a while, and have read many "arm chair" speculation. But perhaps some first hand info is in order.I'm not sure how many companies "in China" Anovos is using, but the main one I know about does great work and it is not an issue of shipping sub-standard work, it is about not shipping any. This happens when you are owed six figures for work you have already done. The Chinese comapny, who specializes in high end collectibles and also produces props and costumes for film, does amazing work. They have made us a number of things and their work has been very good.We (Global Effects Inc.) started doing work for ANOVOS in the beginning of 2015.First prototyping the classic y-wing helmets to be used in Rouge One. Three unpainted helmets with liners were sent to the Rouge One production company and 2 were painted "as new". Anovos displayed one of these.
Eventually our deal was to produce any short run production (less than 100 pieces) items for ANOVOS and rework the First order suits, for eventually making 1000 - 1500 kits. They also had their US production staff headquartered at our North Hollywood facility.We prototyped much of their Star Wars helmet line and many of the armor sets. (The pictures you see on their site) Boba Fett, Kylo Renn, Phasma, First order Tie Pilot, Snow Trooper, Classic Snow Trooper, X-wing Pilot, AT AT Pilot, plus some others.We produced 50 each of Tie pilot, AT AT pilots, Snow Trooper and X-Wing pilot sets, hard goods and some soft goods. These were delayed several times because of ANOVOS management changing priorities and / or not supplying detail parts to us in sufficient quantities or on time. (Some of the small "found" parts were purchased and supplied by outside vendors) All of our completed sets were picked up from us in mid 16 or early 17.
We also completely retooled the First Order suits to make then easier to build, visually closer to production used suits (The original suits were cast urethane). We redesigned the gaskets so they actually bent and re engineered the leg suspension so the legs didn't want to rotate or drop when you walked. The helmets were injection molded by the company in China and were fantastic. (Much better than the film used helmets)This prototype was painted gray here so you can see all the surfaces are smooth and the seams (panel gaps) small and parallel. (this prototype is missing mid drift boxes and belt.)
In 2016 we built over 100 First Order suits for ANOVOS with this new production tooling. These were to be used at Disney, Disney knew these were mass produced "costume" kits that were being modified for use on figures (Not walk around) and ANOVOS cut them a good deal. But after art director review, Disney decided they wanted higher detailed suits. Which in order to meet their new requirements, would have necessitated molds for fiberglass parts or cast parts, something ANOVOS told us they didn't want to do.In all we did about 31/2 years worth of work for them and in the end we called it quits when payments became chronically late, we were redirected too many times on "in production items", and when ANOVOS cancelled the 1000 First Order Trooper kit order. This last one was quite a surprise, as in addition to having an invoice and down payment on this order, we had spent significant sums of money reworking the tooling for this order and Disney's order. We had greatly improved the kit from ANOVO's first version, lowered production costs substantially, gave them reliable delivery times and made the suit easier for the customer to build and all while being more accurate.Eventually all of my advanced and "trick" vacuum forming tooling methods (all the tooling we made) were taken and handed to the Chinese company. The Chinese company was asked to improve the suits we made for the Disney projects and they told ANOVOS they couldn't make them any better. In looking at the images on the ANOVOS site, the premier kit looks like our suit, either one of our prototypes, or a Chinese made version of our suit.So, for what it's worth, there is some first hand info on why ANOVOS may not be delivering product, at least from one vendors point of view.