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Lazerbrain

Why the big secret?

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Okay, I'm new here and this may have been discussed before, but I just have to know what this is all about, so here goes...

 

It's always bewildered me as to why tk armor isn't openly sold by its makers and everyone is also reluctant to divulge any information about it in public. LFL obviously knows the armor is being made and purchased, so what's the big deal?

 

Yes, GF got slapped around pretty good by the LFL lawyers back in 2001 (hell, I even have a copy of the C&D filed away), but isn't that all water under the bridge at this point? After all, the current attitude is that LFL turns a blind eye to the Star Wars costuming/prop fan community, so do you really think they'll go after a small operation like AP or TE2? I'm guessing it's highly unlikely they would, considering the fact that these armor makers are usually sole proprietorships and not flooding the market with manufactured product in high quantities. Granted that the armor in question is copyrighted and licensed, but just how much control can LFL really hope to obtain?

 

With that said, could someone please explain to me (in a logical and thought out manner) why the making and purchasing of tk armor is such a mysterious entity? :blink:

 

P.S. to the mods: It's not my intention to start any trouble, I'm just trying to wrap my head around the situation... so delete this post if you deem it necessary. ;)

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The simple answer is, by not selling openly you won't get a C&D. Anyone who openly sells unlicensed Star Wars costumed and props will get an instant C&D.

 

They only turn a blind eye to those not selling out in the open, and to be fair it's mighty nice that they just send a C&D and don't sue you for every penny you have and will ever earn in your lifetime. They have that right after all.

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I agree, I imagine it boils down to rights. If MR or Rubies etc pays $X for the rights to produce a prop, they should feel secure that LFL won't allow anyone else to sell the product and compete with them. While a maker stays 'under the radar', it's easier to ignore them. But if someone, like AA or GF, comes out with vac-table blazing, the licensed prop-makers will expect them to be shut down. Does that sound about right?

 

Phil

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Should AP and others be concerned now that MR has released the TK helmet? I read somewhere that as soon as a Licenced version was released that LF were more likely to chase counterfit makers down.

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Should AP and others be concerned now that MR has released the TK helmet? I read somewhere that as soon as a Licenced version was released that LF were more likely to chase counterfit makers down.

 

Let's all hope that doesnt happen.

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I donno guys (and please don't take offense), but I think those answers smack of 'Governor Tarkin Syndrome'. I mean, didn't Tarkin say something to the effect of "Fear will keep the local systems in line... fear of this battle-station!"? Which in this situation, basically equates "fear" to being a C&D and the "battle-station" being LFL, catch my drift? ;)

 

To me, the C&D rhetoric is just an overplayed myth thrust upon us by other paranoid fans and holds no real weight. If you don't believe me, take a look at Ebay. There's tons of replica prop stores who openly sell unlicensed product every day and very few are shut down. Sure, one or two get suspended from time to time just to appease the powers that be (i.e. if the license holder notices and complains), but those stores are right back at it in a matter of days or weeks.

 

The fact is, I have a hard time believing that the hand of doom is going to come down and thwart a small-time one man operation, which in turn, leads to endangering the entire hobby. Logistically, it's just not feasible for LFL to waste their time and resources on halting the actions of one person (or even a small group, for that matter) who aren't even denting LFL's profit margin in the least.

 

Are there any better arguments out there? Prove me wrong... I dare ya'! :lol:

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lol, I think the best way to prove your theory is to open up shop :D

 

I understand what you're saying and sadly the truth is that yeah, I imagine the possibility, however slight, of being fined tens of thousands of dollars for every infraction has people scared.

 

That's what keeps me from getting my helmet factory off the ground.

 

That and the fact that I don't sculpt and don't have a vac machine and wouldn't recast someone. But otherwise I'd be all over it :)

 

Phil

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heck I'm still trying to figure out why LF hasn't simply licensed the production of armor yet...if anyone knows why they haven't lemme know. I'm guessing it is simply to help foster the costuming community and "fandom" but I could be wrong...

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I always thought it was something to do with being afraid somebody in a licensed star wars costume would do something indeed, silly and they'd take the heat for it, but that makes no sense now that the Rubies Vader was made.

 

I really don't know, unless they think the sale price would be too high to make it economical. At this point, most people who want armor already have it or know where to get it more affordably than a licensed suit.

 

Just like most of us don't want an MR and, if we want an ANH helmet, know where to get one for a fraction of the price of an MR LE.

 

That's my take,

 

Phil

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heck I'm still trying to figure out why LF hasn't simply licensed the production of armor yet...if anyone knows why they haven't lemme know. I'm guessing it is simply to help foster the costuming community and "fandom" but I could be wrong...

 

 

My guess is your right. this way it stays a "hobby" and we all have some sense of craft or art (as well as time and money invested) or pride in our suits and turn out a great inexpensive LF publicity machine.

 

It wouldn't be as much fun if you could go to walmart's men's department and pick up a TK, even a nice one.

 

Also if LF licensed a good set of armor we all could afford then LF would be responsible for turning 4000 501st members out on the streets with nothing to do but drink and cause trouble. The current setup keeps us off the streets and in our basements, shops and garages most of the time.

 

edit: also I'm on a clone forum where some of the artists are very concerned about their work falling in the wrong hands. 501st access only helps them guard against parts and armor being bought by re-casters.

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I've always wondered this myself and was just talking about it the other day at an armor party. One of our Garrison members just became "official" 501st and I was saying how now they can have access to the 501st forums where you can purchase any type of armor or part you want or need, and that it's total opposite of most of the sites that all have the "no WTB threads allowed".

 

I understand the reasonings, I guess, but it's funny that once you are in the legion you can pop on the forum board and see fifteen threads selling full sets (used and new), parts or even raw kits. I was frustrated when I tried to score my first set and didn't know where to go. I ended up on ebay and got a nice set from costume junkie, but payed out the rear end for it :P Now that I'm on the 501st forums over the last year I scored all sorts of stuff - at just a fraction of the price.

 

The best advice I can give at this point is search out your local Garrison and register on their boards. Once you get talking to local people you will find it's easier to locate what you are looking for, you can get a little more personal with the interaction and you will have them around to give you a hand if needed. Good luck!

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Arthur, it's not rhetoric. After the first few C&Ds, LFL and the fan armourers reached a tacit understanding that's expanded to the rest of the 501st over time -- we don't advertise our wares and they aren't forced to take official notice of us. THis is further helped by the fact that each set of armour requires trimming and fitting before being worn, and isn't sold (usually) with all the accessories. Thus, "some assembly required". A buyer still has to take it into their workshop and customize it in order ot make it wearable.

 

I'm sorry it sounds like a BS reason to you, but that's really the way it works. As long as we keep it to initials and oblique references and private messages and e-mails, there's nothing that will pop up on a web search (ideally), and they can pretend not to know we're doing this. They want us doing this. They like our enthusiasm and the quality of our work and the people doing this. And if we did something public enough for a licensed seller to complain to them, or otherwise make us impossible to ignore, they'd have to sic their lawyers on us and risk souring relations.

 

Those are the rules the owners of the intellectual rights have laid down, albeit unofficially. We play by them, so they let us keep playing. As with all things, you break the rules, you get kicked out. We don't want to get kicked out. :)

 

--Jonah

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Arthur, it's not rhetoric. After the first few C&Ds, LFL and the fan armourers reached a tacit understanding that's expanded to the rest of the 501st over time -- we don't advertise our wares and they aren't forced to take official notice of us. THis is further helped by the fact that each set of armour requires trimming and fitting before being worn, and isn't sold (usually) with all the accessories. Thus, "some assembly required". A buyer still has to take it into their workshop and customize it in order ot make it wearable.

 

I'm sorry it sounds like a BS reason to you, but that's really the way it works. As long as we keep it to initials and oblique references and private messages and e-mails, there's nothing that will pop up on a web search (ideally), and they can pretend not to know we're doing this. They want us doing this. They like our enthusiasm and the quality of our work and the people doing this. And if we did something public enough for a licensed seller to complain to them, or otherwise make us impossible to ignore, they'd have to sic their lawyers on us and risk souring relations.

 

Those are the rules the owners of the intellectual rights have laid down, albeit unofficially. We play by them, so they let us keep playing. As with all things, you break the rules, you get kicked out. We don't want to get kicked out. :)

 

--Jonah

 

 

Wow, that is a great explination. This should be copied and posted on every 501st related board out there, pin it on the "FAQ" threads. I know there is something similar on most boards but this is pretty clear and would get the point across to new users in an intelligent way.

 

I pop in and out of a lot of boards and you all know the first post of a new member is "Hi I'm so and so, love Star Wars, where can I get some armor?". Then the old time guys politely refer them to the FAQ and explain we don't do that, and so on. I think anybody could relate to this explination.

 

Jonah, you shoulda posted this 5 minutes before I saw the topic, now I wanna take back my prior post, LOL :P Like I said, I've been in the Legion for a while and all over these boards and it never really made sense to me, or I didn't view it this way until now, ha...

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I was frustrated when I tried to score my first set and didn't know where to go. I ended up on ebay and got a nice set from costume junkie, but payed out the rear end for it :P Now that I'm on the 501st forums over the last year I scored all sorts of stuff - at just a fraction of the price.

 

Hmmm... perhaps you just touched on something there, Nav. I'm going to go out on a limb here and hope nobody saws it off before I reach the end, but if you want to hear a paranoid theory, here's one:

 

Back in the day I had a friend who was heavily into Batman and wanted a '89 suit, so he hit the forums looking for one. He finally found where all the hardcore bat-fans hung out and eventually was able to acquire a suit that was adequate from a few of the people on the forum who made them. Shortly after, another artist popped up who had better looking and better quality suits to offer for much less than the others were charging for their crappy suits. Basically, in a nutshell, what happened was that this new artist was told he couldn't sell his wears on that forum, because he offered the same things the other artists (*cough* or hacks *cough*) made and was undermined by these people and their friends (even the forum administrators) at every turn. At his wits end, the new artist became very frustrated and left the forum, never to be seen again, anywhere.

 

In my own experience, I've seen similar acts occur in the Star Trek community, like certain individuals withholding vital information on a prop or costume simply because it made them feel they had an advantage over everyone else. I've also seen others get degraded/shunned for sharing such information or supplying tutorials on how to build a popular prop. The list goes on, but I assume you get my point.

 

Now, I'm not saying this very thing is going on here, but it does seem rather odd that the average person or costumer has a rough time finding quality armor until he/she exerts some real effort and signs up with their local legion to become one of the 'in crowd' or emails 20 different people to track a good suit down. Is it just me or is this starting to make some serious sense?

 

So, as I try to dodge all of the rotten tomatoes, I look forward to where this thread turns next! :lol:

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Those are the rules the owners of the intellectual rights have laid down, albeit unofficially. We play by them, so they let us keep playing. As with all things, you break the rules, you get kicked out. We don't want to get kicked out. :)

 

Okay, just to play devil's advocate, then prove that what you say is indeed true with actual documentation or something even remotely tangible. Again, not trying to start a flame war here... just the facts, ma'am. ;)

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I think that there's a certain 'right of passage' feeling to getting the really good stuff.

 

I'd venture a guess that the reason you can't find the best stuff without some time or social investment is that you never know the real identity of the 1-post newbie who's asking for it. Maybe not so much a fear of legal action as it is of recasters?

 

Phil

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So, as I try to dodge all of the rotten tomatoes, I look forward to where this thread turns next! :lol:

 

actually already looks like you took a shot on your avatar :)

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Maybe not so much a fear of legal action as it is of recasters?

 

Recasters? C'mon Phil, you're honestly going to sit there and tell me that all tk armor (except for TM's) isn't a recast in and of itself? Tisk, tisk... :lol:

 

As for who is looking to purchase the armor, every dealer runs that risk every time he sells something, no? I mean ask yourself, have you ever met an honest and up front lawyer or corporation representative? I'd rather trust a Jawa. ;)

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Come Arthur, who are you really. Your first post vs what your posting here don't jive.

 

All kidding aside, I got my FX armor a few weeks ago and just don't like it so I thought I'd go where the real troopers hang out and get educated, hope nobody minds. Anyway, looking forward to the whole experience!

 

Nobody gets educated that fast, and newbies don't have copies of GF's C&D legal papers.

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Come Arthur, who are you really. Your first post vs what your posting here don't jive.

 

 

 

Nobody gets educated that fast, and newbies don't have copies of GF's C&D legal papers.

 

sh_profile3.gif

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Dude, I never said I was dumb or rich. ;)

 

Sure, I've been around the costuming and prop community for a few years, so one is bound to pick up interesting information here and there... after all, I do read. The fact is, I've always wanted tk armor since May of '77 and finally found a reasonably priced FX suit. But now that I actually have the armor in my hands, I didn't realize how stylized it was and regret the purchase, so here I am... does that make me a bad person? :unsure:

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does that make you a bad person? Boys, saddle up the dewbacks, we need a rancor.

 

:P

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as i sit and read this i look back at my short time as tk6939 and say to my self if i only new... And I stop. No the time, hart, and money I have put in to my armor. the time i've spent digging around the board to learn about all the diff things not just makers of armor is why I am the tk I am. I have fx/ap and it ok, is it what I wont, no but spent a lot of time to find that out. If some one had just sold me the best set of armor rite off the bat I dont think I would be as in to the hole thing as i am.

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