Sofubi in the 2020s

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by badteethcomics, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. badteethcomics

    badteethcomics Post Pimp

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    It looks like we are entering a crazy decade for sofubi... will prices continue to rise? Will new makers enter the fold and bring something new and refreshing? Will it all crash and burn like western vinyl did when we entered the 2010s?

    Uzumark entered a new realm of ridiculous pricing today... I mean I get it. Higher pricing automatically gives the perception that you are an artist that matters. Neckface recently told a story about how at his first gallery show the curator asked him "how much are you selling your paintings for?" and Neckface replied "Hmm I don't know.. $100?" and the curator said "No no no - these won't sell for $100, you will be taking them back home with you. We are going to price them at $500" Neckface thought she was crazy - but guess what? He had a complete sell out and the myth took off from there. Sure it's not quite the exact same situation as guys like Hirota and Uzumark have been building their production for years - but I believe the theory still rings true. If you could buy Mr. X for $40 would most of today's HxS fans look twice at it?

    Apparently we are gonna see soft vinyl artist-made toys produced in America during the 2020s.. hmmm still extremely skeptical about this one.

    Datadub posted another events calendar for 2020 on Facebook last week - the schedule is completely saturated. From the sounds of it people are over Dcon and are abandoning the event after this year - I imagine toy events will dry up completely besides Superfestival/WF and a couple of exhibitions by 2024 (and I feel like that's being generous - wouldn't be surprised to see a massive drop in events/releases/pricing around 2022).

    Also with events being saturated, that ties into my general feelings on sofubi coming into the next decade. At this point when you think about how many RxH figures are in circulation, how many Zagorans exist in the world, how many Refreshment cats are on people's shelves (and a hundred other examples) I find myself thinking about sofubi as being in the 'mass-produced' category. Sure there aren't thousands and thousands of Yamomark figures out there but collectively, the category of "sofubi" doesn't feel so special anymore.

    I feel like it's going to be a very interesting decade ahead for sofubi - anybody else have any thoughts?
     
  2. Alebrije

    Alebrije Comment King

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    There are marketing theories that say if you want to make a product be perceived as a luxury item regardless of being manufactured with the best materials you must to put a high price on it, so that it will be only available to individuals with large budgets to acquire that product, in that way you will limit the purchases and make it more desirable for individuals who cannot pay for it.
    Something similar is happening with some sofubi figures most of the time caused by the same artists, other times by dealers or gallery owners and in some other cases by the market.
    The future is uncertain, I have always had the idea that a speculative bubble is being created for some particular sofubi figures and that at a certain moment it will explode, it will be interesting to see what happens with the prices.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich Die-Cast

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    Things change, collectors come and go, events come and go. But this in no way says anything bad, just evolution.

    Glenn I know your passionate but the majority of your post are usually around how bad, over priced or how everything is coming to an end. You pepper in some interesting art threads that are positive, but aside from that you seem to have a real negative take most of the time. Why ?

    I’ve been around for 13-14 years. And in that time sofubi went from noone knowing what it was, to Hirota selling his art for thousands. So to say this so coming to and end because it’s in another adjustment phase I feel is wrong.

    Literally all artist, art is hype. No one needs any of this to live. One persons idea of worth is different from the next.

    It’s impossible to tell what the next year will hold let alone a decade.

    But from what I’ve personally seen, it’s evolved into nothing but positives not this down trotted outlook. It’s just not the same and if your looking for things to be the same as it was even 5 years ago it’s not gonna be fun. The collecting world as a whole changes every six months.

    I think the problem is that it’s the viewers perception. If you think it’s getting bad your gonna add in some of your own feelings and look for the negative.

    If you ask me, big shows outside of Japan where this came from were never really the sweet spot. Smaller shows, gallery shows that focus on one or two artists at a time work best. More personal where the heart is.

    2020 is off to a great start if your following artist your enjoy. Lots of fresh changes and shows. Lots of colabs. So much to look forward to.

    You can’t compare sofubi to western toys. Not the same collector, or toy or history of collecting.
     
  4. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    I'll settle for Charactics vehicles making a return in Lucky Bag form, some time in the next decade :lol:

    I think as long as sofubi stays specialised and labour-intensive, the niches of immaculate, classic factory work and soulful garage operations are sticking around. Plus the kaiju nerd crowd are in it for the long haul, so the roots should stay intact and continue to yield beautiful offshoots. Point being that, while extreme market shifts in either direction have their pros and cons, the bedrock seems firm.

    Climate change should figure into this discussion, by the way. Worth remembering that the heart of the scene is a country made up of islands, and one that's already vulnerable to environmental disasters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  5. Paulkaiju

    Paulkaiju Mini Boss

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    More skulls!!!!
     
  6. Rich

    Rich Die-Cast

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    So more of the same ? ;)
     
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  7. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    But with even less brain
     
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  8. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    Why try fix it if it ain’t broke?
     
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  9. bryce_r

    bryce_r Die-Cast

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    It will ebb and flow like every other year..since the 60's. It's a hobby. :roll: If you've been here since 05-07. You know that trends come and go and people adapt. Not sure why were are doing these trend threads.
     
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  10. badteethcomics

    badteethcomics Post Pimp

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    For most of us, collecting Kaws, KR, StrangeCo etc was a gateway towards sofubi. Even if it was a matter of being exposed to sofubi in Super7 or Juxtapoz magazine because western vinyl/related artists drew you towards those magazines. I think it's a fair comparison to make.

    Anyway - @bryce_r sure the hardcore guys have been around for over a decade and seen the shifts and waves in the sofvi scene - however the alarming thing over the past year or two has been the outlandish pricing. This kind of thing can't be sustained at a retail level and will collapse eventually in the secondary market (if that's your thing). At no stage has pricing been this crazy where $300 - $500 has become the cheaper retail for popular toys.

    I see guys with reliable and realistic retail pricing like M1, Cometdebris, Yamomark etc surviving - but what happens to guys like Hirota, Uzumark, etc when the hype dies off? You can't lower your prices after selling toys for $400+ a piece. I mean sure you could - but how would customers feel paying $400 for a sculpt last year only to see the same sculpt for $250 12 months later later because the customers dried up?

    Pricing is a small part of the problem.. as the skulls comments suggest, and the fugly thread proves time after time - there is barely anything creatively exciting being produced these days. Which is a strange thing to say seeing as sales would be at an all-time high for a lot of makers. Things like that example where huge sales for sub-par ideas is another strong indicator that things are gonna crash soon.

    Just trying to get some kind of discussion happening around this joint... which is difficult to do when you bring up tough pills to swallow like this kind of thing. I guess everybody is in Legoland and singing that annoying as fuck Everything is Awesome song
     
  11. GoldenArmKid

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    Buying less is an option.
     
  12. badteethcomics

    badteethcomics Post Pimp

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    Sounds like you're missing the point of this thread.. not quite sure how to interpret your 5 word contribution, but if you're suggesting that I'm complaining about being priced out of the hobby then you might want to re-read the thread.

    But to reply to your post... saying that buying less is an option suggests that there a plethora of desirable toys out there for us to throw our money at. There's a plethora of toys that belong in the fugly thread that's for sure - a flood of shitty zombie-dick toys that reflect the influx of chromium foil covered 1st issues during the comics speculator boom. I wish I had the 'option' of buying less! I'd love to be spoiled with choice for new sofubi toys but sadly it's just not the case - there's a lot of shit out there. And as awesome as a sculpt may be - there's a cap in how much I'm willing to spend for a little plastic toy rather than make substantial payments on bills and living expenses. $1000 for one figure just ain't gonna happen.
     
  13. The Moog

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    Yes, yes and probably.

    This thread is all over the place topic wise, but to me it generally seems to be about rising prices. The way its going I just can't see how it can be sustainable. EBay prices for many sofubi have become laughable and even Mandarake have joined in on flipping festival exclusives for silly money. But its not for all sofubi, only certain types have skyrocketed, a lot of makers are still perfectly affordable.

    Personally, I'm just one of the unlucky collectors that desires and collects certain types of toys that have gained in popularity and hype. I also live in a country where sofubi is not very common at all. I marvel at all the opportunities collectors in the US get to meet up in person and buy sofubi on their own soil, its always made me feel a little left out of the party if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, im currently buying the odd piece at a snails pace whilst patiently waiting for the rarer and more expensive Bear Model pieces on the secondary market to come down in price. (who knows if that will ever happen, right?). Still, I have a nice and varied sizable collection and will always enjoy looking at my shelves, regardless of how much im currently buying.
     
  14. Anti Social Andy

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    It's not just an option, it's a life-choice! :D
     
  15. Michael Beverage

    Michael Beverage Line of Credit

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    Well if you don’t like what’s being made these days, there’s cool shit to chase and collect going back decades upon decades. I’m only collecting a handful of currently active makers... the rest is filling in the back catalog of older toys for said makers, or vintage. There’s always plenty of cool shit to collect. This hobby is no exception.
     
  16. Smotemotem

    Smotemotem Fresh Meat

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    It will be hard for us to come to any kind of consensus, here. We all collect different things for different reasons, and the market is so diverse. The fugly toy thread is a perfect example of this, as most pieces on there are a must-have for somebody here. It’s all subjective.

    For me personally, I have a hard time paying more than $10 per inch of height, because I’m a cheapskate. I just know there are hundreds of beautiful toys out there for under $100 if I am patient and diligent. If a toy is much higher than that, I just shrug and move on.

    I see lots of new artists entering the scene, and I think that’s a net positive for the hobby, even if we can’t get everything we want.

    Regarding toy shows, I think that’s just a trend of the global market. There’s less brick & mortar, and more online shopping, all over. Why make something exclusive to Hong Kong if you have a customer base worldwide?
     
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  17. Rich

    Rich Die-Cast

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    Seems like the real question and topic is money and cost.


    First what one person can and will spend is not the same for the next. Can we PLEASE accept that and move on. It’s getting tiring explaining over and over how one persons finances and what they are willing to spend is a personal choice. So what one person thinks is insane is not to another just accept that. Same for makers, some people hate hate hate some makers, some love them. We have gone over this in the fuck you thread.

    Prices. We also covered this in the same exact thread in the fuck you thread.

    Makers can raise and lower prices, because you sell one toy for a lot does not mean you can’t now lower prices. Glenn you brought this up before and and we all talked about it already. Micro runs, large runs etc prices change and it doesn’t affect anything. If you lower your prices I’d think fans would be happy not mad. And it would most likely be the same people who spent a lot on previous releases that would be even happier to pay less. Also you keep talking in this future where everything is now worthless and what’s he gonna do. I’d say he’ll cross that bridge when he gets there if he ever does. Until then why are you trying to force this narrative that hasn’t happened yet. It’s your opinion it’s gonna happen. Literally people said this about NAG and BEMON 10 years ago, hasn’t happened yet.

    After market is gonna go up and down. It’s like your just waiting for the dip to scream ahah! Well yes it’s gonna happen at some point, then will raise and then fall on so on. People come and go and sell and buy.

    I think again, it’s a personal thing, what one person feels is ok is massively different from the next.

    And SB isn’t the god damn voice of the global collecting community. It’s a very small voice that is taking itself way to serious most of the time.
     
  18. bryce_r

    bryce_r Die-Cast

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    And SB isn’t the god damn voice of the global collecting community. It’s a very small voice that is taking itself way to serious most of the time.

    100%
     
  19. Paulkaiju

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    And more bias.
     
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  20. The Moog

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    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  21. patrickvaz

    patrickvaz Addicted

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    ..
     
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  22. skaldavsatanssol

    skaldavsatanssol Toy Prince

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    Sofubi in the 2020s
    Why can't people complain about prices if they feel so inclined? Sure, they can take the advice on this thread and focus on what they can afford and forget the rest due to being priced out (I mean come on, no collector wants to admit this but many of us are) but it doesn't mean they can't call out what they perceive as bullshit when they see it. I hear Glenn's concerns much more from the community I engage with directly rather than this whole "what person thinks is OK, isn't for the next" rhetoric. I don't think I've ever really heard anyone go down that kinda conversation path unless they are a maker who chimes in to self justify their actions, obnoxious fanboys circling said makers in a public forum or a cashed up hypebeast who uses toys as clout. I don't give a fuck either way because I'm just chasing vintage and Toho/Tsubarya goods moving forward but I honestly think Glenn's concerns are a major concern of many of the community AT LARGE and rather than be hammered down, should always be considered. I won't name drop but I've spoken to plenty of Japanese toy makers who thinks their peers are self-important crooks in the current scene so the sentiment does extend beyond fans. Could this single post reverse the way the current scene is? Probably not. It's just a damn shame nearly half the scene can only spout praise and acceptance for whatever new standard comes out next.
     
  23. Anti Social Andy

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    ^^^ I like this guy. He knows his shit!
     
  24. xSuicide Squadx

    xSuicide Squadx S7 Royalty

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    @skaldavsatanssol Perfectly said. I’ve admitted to being priced out of several artists before, and it’s since had me focus more heavily and easier on artists I deem more worth the dollars that haven’t, what I perceive to be, gouging fans. I’ve also been able to return to back collecting the likes of BxH and Headlock Studio.

    This idea that we shouldn’t, dare I say “can’t”, talk about price increases and getting priced out is dumb as shit. At that same token no one should be complaining that artists have gotten too difficult to obtain because they sell to the same elite or their lottos are rigged. Realistically what’s the difference? If you’re a dedicated fan and essentially get financially pushed out of the room by the very artists you’re dedicated to, I think it’s totally valid and should be discussed, on both ends. I’ve yet to hear a legitimate reason why not, other than “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it,” which is a total cop out. I’ve personally had more conversations with people on Instagram and convention floors about either being priced out, or not liking the price increases, but still supporting the artists because they love what they do that much, which I tip my hat to them for. This board certainly is the small voice, ‘cause it gets brought up and talked about way more outside of here.

    Edit: I’d like to point out I don’t think any artists or collectors should be vilified in their point of view, but rather the stifling of the dialogue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  25. Rich

    Rich Die-Cast

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    This has all happened before

    http://skullbrain.org/bb/index.php?threads/fuck-you-fuck-you-thread.51919/page-82

    Also like has happened before I’m NOT trying to tell anyone what they can and can’t say. Just that we’ve had this convo before. And everyone has their option on what’s what.

    I didn’t know, it’s never my intent but always is taken in a way that is the exact opposite of what I’m trying to say.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019

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