Bryan Ono, CEO and President of eFX Collectibles, recently took some time to answer an impressive list of fifty questions submitted by our members regarding current replicas and models in production, future product ideas, payment plans, edition sizes and more. eFX Collectibles Midsummer Q&A Session:1. Are you only answering Star Wars related questions?
I will try to answer anything related to what we are doing.2. What are the delivery estimates on the TIE, Vader helmet, Luke Helmet, Luke Reveal?
TIE Fighter: The TIE Fighter that we just displayed at Comic Con is very different from the model that we showed at Comic Con and Celebration V last year. That model was made completely in resin. However, after attempting to produce a small quantity, we realized that it was very difficult to mold some of the more complicated pieces consistently that met our requirements. . . (like the Cool Shade on the wings) So we invested more than $85K on injection tooling to produce these components. This is the model that we showed at Comic Con a couple weeks ago. Those who saw it know how good this model looked! So, the model is now at Lucasfilm for final approval. After we get their comments and combine them with ours, we will go over it with our vendor in Asia to address any issues. We will then determine the schedule for the revisions and then we will then be ready to start production.
Luke Reveal: Unfortunately, the vendor made a mistake on the lead time to machine all of those parts, especially with the tolerance that would be required for the moving parts. (As you know, up this point, only static hilts were made) So we are hoping to start shipping the lightsabers from Asia the beginning of September.
Luke ESB X-wing Helmet: As many of you know, our vendor is having a lot of trouble with the visor. He could not vacuum form them to the quality that we require, so, we invested in an injection mold. Because he works with primarily with fiberglass and resin, he is not that familiar with the injection mold process. So, when they made the tool, they did not take into account the shrinkage of the material, so the visor came out too small. And to our surprise, this has happened 3 times! Our new tool is expected to be done this weekend. Stay tuned!
Here they sit, lonely and waiting for their visors!
Vader Helmet: The vendor is currently working on the Limited Edition. We are expecting his final prototype this weekend. Once we receive it we will review it and if it is close to our requirements, we will submit it to Lucasfilm for approval.3. What is the preorder schedule for the rest of the year (ANH Luke Helmet, Legend Stormtrooper)?
Believe it or not, we have molded all of the helmets for the ANH Luke Helmet. We will only place the ANH Luke for pre-order after we complete the ESB Luke helmet.
The Stormtrooper is still in development. We will be sending the master patterns for the molds to our vendor in Asia in the next couple weeks. So, if I were to guess, pre-order will be sometime in September.4. Is a Legend C-3PO head (helmet) in your future, or should I go ahead and buy the Sideshow bust?
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to make C-3PO, since he is considered a character, not a prop.5. Will we see a Biggs helmet in addition to the Luke and Wedge ANH helmets?
Obviously, we have 3 X-wing helmets in different stages of development now. We will finish at least the Luke's before we start on any more.6. With the possibility of a lot of items showing up at the same time, that means we are going to get hit with multiple charges. How will you work with us on that?
As you know, we already offer a lay-away plan for some of our products. Since this is a lay-away program, we have not charged your credit cards anything since the deposit.7. Does efx have plans to do props that are not helmets/studio scale ships/lightsabers? i.e. interrogation or mouse droid, Yoda's cane/necklace, etc.?
We have been discussing with Lucasfilm on the scope of our rights for lower cost products. 8. Is the At-At driver helmet and/or Scout Trooper helmet likely to be made?
We will (hopefully) have an exciting announcement in the near future!9. Is another Studio Scale replica in the works, if so, are you able to give a hint as to what it might be?
Yes. The Slave I has been an ongoing project going all the way back to the MR days. Unfortunately, the Slave I was on tour since the early 2000's and it just returned to the archives and it is supposed to be there until October.10. Boba Fett in Legend edition line?
We know that molds were made of the ESB Hero helmet to make the stunt helmets for ROTJ and the rumor was the molds were still in the archives. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find them yet, if they are still around.11. Any other trooper helmet in near future like Cody?
There are no plans at this time to go back and doing any ROTS helmets. As you may remember, MR did quite a slew of them!12. Will we see any prequel props in the near future? Jango Fett Legend helmet, Studio Scale Slave 1 ATOC version?
We will be supporting the release of the 3D versions of the prequels in the years to come, but as far as the exact products, we do not know yet.13. Any word on Yoda? I need to know if I should bother making a case for my Illusive Concepts version.
Yoda is very difficult. But it is definitely on our "to do" list.14. When will the BSG Viper Pilot Helmet be released & what is the future of BSG line?
The BSG Helmet will be available shortly. We have just re-confirmed Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict to sign the plaque. We are in the process of getting the final approvals from NBC-Universal of the pre-production sample we showed at Comic Con.15. Any progress on the ANH Obi-Wan reveal saber?
We are continuing our development of this saber and we are designing based on what we are learning with the Luke Reveal. Since these sabers are significantly more complicated than the static sabers, we do not want to run into the same problems that we may run into with the Luke.16. How far along is the Starkiller saber?
We actually had a prototype at Comic Con, but unfortunately, it broke! I showed it Darth Luis when I was chatting with him. We have sent it back to Asia for repair and as soon as we get it back, we will post pictures.17. TIE variants like the ESB or, to some degree, the Interceptor coming soon?
We just resolved the manufacturing issues with the ANH TIE! Unfortunately, the Vader TIE is on tour and will not be back for a couple years, but the last time I was at the archives, the interceptor was still there.
As for the ESB version, we are not sure if we will be producing that one, since it is essentially the same model. Some thought that the color was different, but that was determined to not be true. The ANH and ESB TIE's are the same color.18. Will we ever see an EFX studio scale AT-AT from ROTJ?
As you may know, MR already did 2 different versions of the AT-AT, albeit, it was ESB. I don't think people have enough room for another!19. Any plans for smaller props? ie. Japor snippet, comlinks, Yoda's cane, death sticks, Jango's dart, etc.?
See #720. Any progress on the precision cast models? Or is that line dead?
Well, it is not dead, but it is a very difficult item to produce. For example, the tooling for the Falcon would have been more than $100K. This means that if we make 1000 pieces, the tooling cost alone would be $300-$400 per piece at retail! And that does not even include the final product! We are continuing to work with our vendor so that we can retail the smaller Falcon for about $400. So, as you can see, we are still way off.21. Cody has been mentioned, but what about a Rex helmet? I know it's CW, but surely he would be a hot seller.
Clone Wars is very difficult for us. The target consumer for Clone Wars is 14 and younger. This is not our target consumer.22. Continuing with helmets, what about the rest of the EpIII Commanders? Those would sell lot hotcakes. Or do you think there is not a market for them?
See #1123. Can you dig it?Is this what you mean?24. To add to the helmet questions, what about a Captain Rex one, as well?
See #2125. Any chance we'll see the .45 line of sabers/blasters/helmets return?
Gentle Giant has the license for mini helmets. We are reviewing the .45 scale again. In fact, I showed Darth Luis a .45 version of the Starkiller lightsaber at Comic Con. We not only want to add features to the lightsaber, but also be able to offer them at a better price than MR.26. Based on the thread here on RebelScum for the Stormy Legend, can you comment on the reason the brow looks so much more pronounced in Shadow's pics from the SDCC prototype than on Gino's screen grab? Is it just the angle the pics are taken or something not quite lined up?
Remember that was the first prototype that we showed at Comic Con. We finished it on the Monday just before Comic Con! For some of the components, like the trim, we used the closest things we could find. And the brow trim is slightly thinner than the one on the real helmet. We have molded profiles of the actual trims and will be making our own extrusion tools in production.27. Have you considered having a larger edition size for the Stormy Legend? I am really hoping for something larger than the Vader Legend, as the preorder for that one nearly gave me a heart attack.
Since we are making this available to some US retailers and international distributors, we are considering making the edition size based on the pre-order. Note that not all of the retailers will be carrying this item. We will have a special requirement that the retailer ensure that the customer knows EXACTLY what they are purchasing. (This is the reason that we made the Vader Legend only available from us, since we had to make sure the customer knew what they were buying. You can imagine if some "casual" fan was searching for a Vader and came across our Legend and they purchased it for $999 and then saw what it really looked like when they receive it. There is a good chance would be coming back with a nasty letter!)28. Any chance of a Studio Scale RotJ AT-ST (a first RotJ model)?
Not in our plans right now.29. A update for the Legend Vader helmet waitlist crowd?
We have not received any further cancellations except the few we received when we announced the new edition size. I do not anticipate any further cancellations until they start to ship.30. What happened to Ki-Adi-Mundi saber? Is it cancelled?
That lightsaber is on hold. We are still determining the demand for Council Sabers in this tough economy.31. Any chance to see Dooku EpIII and Sidious v2 LE sabers?
There are no plans to make the Dooku Ep III at this time. As for the Sidious V2, actually, it is our understanding that there was not a V2, it is just in one of the scene's he was holding (if I remember correctly) Anakin's lightsaber in a pick up shot.32. Any plans for prequel Studio Scale ships and vehicles?
See #1233. How does a prop or studio scale get selected to be made? Is it by the amount of interest from fans or Lucasfilm selects them?
There are obvious iconic props that are considered. We always review our product plans with Lucasfilm and they have the ultimate approval.34. Will eFX be looking for another delivery company (cough,... USPS,...cough) to ship to international customers? The current rates are a killer.
As you know, most of our boxes are huge and thus too large to ship via USPS. And, in fact, FedEX Ground is usually the least expensive for US shipments.
As for international customers, FedEX and UPS are approximately the same price. We extend our discount to our customers. And the box is usually too large for USPS.
And those who say that some retailers offer a lesser cost. The reason is that most shopping carts cannot take into account dimensional weight and thus only reflects the cost based on actual weight. In the end, when they ship, they will usually absorb the extra cost.35. Star Trek Update please.
We are working on a number of Trek items. We have shown a number of items at Comic Con. a) Will you be doing a TOS phaser? (midgrade or hero)b) Will you be doing any weapons or devices to compliment Anovos costumes?c) Any TNG prop plans?
They are anticipating to start to make them available in September. We have established a line of products that we call the "Red Shirt" collection. These are obviously the stunt versions of some props. ANOVOS and eFX are working together on several projects.36. What about the Muppets? Would love to see Ms Piggy and Beaker made.
The Muppets continue to gives us manufacturing issues. We cannot find a vendor that can make them at the quality and cost that makes sense.37. If the Stormtrooper 'Hero' Helmet is being made from ABS plastic as per the original, will any precautions be taken to prevent from 'yellowing' over time as the original did?
There is really nothing can be done to prevent the yellowing of the ABS. Since the 70's, the plastic suppliers have improved UV resistance, but ultimately, it will start to yellow. Therefore, we recommend not displaying the helmet with exposure to direct sunlight. And you have to remember the original helmet that we had is almost 35 years old!38. I need to sell on one of my my pre orders for the Luke ESB helmet and have tried to contact EFX many times over the past few weeks to arrange and confirm this but I haven't received a response. Can this be arranged?
We will not make any changes to orders until the item is ready to ship. The original purchaser will get notification when they are in stock and at that time you can change the name on the order.39. Will we see a Studio Scale Shuttle Tydirium in 2012 or sooner?
This is not on our 2012 product plan at this time.40. What's the story on the DISNEY license? Is there any chance for any POTC replicas?
We do not have any rights to Pirates.41. When will the McQ Stormy helmet go up for pre-order?
We are still in the beginning stages of the development of this helmet. So, we do not have a schedule for pre-order yet.42. Are you going to replace the broken COA from the McQ Vader helmet?
Yes, we just have not had the time to address this. In fact they are sitting in a box in my garage!!43. What are other possible McQ items you are looking to do? Besides the x-wing? I want a Snowtrooper and Rebel!
There are a number of items that we are working with Ralph on. There are some props that he would like to see us make. Even though we do not have the rights, he keeps asking about ET's ship!44. Is there any chance we will see a RMQ Stormtrooper Concept lightsaber hilt?
That is not one of the items that Ralph has mentioned.45. Any chance we will see a pair of Assaj Ventress Lightsaber Hilts?
We actually made the 3D files several years ago before we made the Ahsoka Lightsaber. But as I stated before, Clone Wars items does not really target our core consumers.46. Are there any plans or interest in doing pilot chestboxes to go with the helmets?
Let's get through the helmets first!47. Re Vader Legend, can efx pls ensure that the LGD helmets be painted with strict precision re the correct masking to Gino's proto (You know what I'm talking about and clean quality of the brush strokes - No criss-crossing - there are only 340 after all- clean brush strokes (that much care obviously went into the prop) brush grain will still show-but if the strokes look intentionally "brushy" with a single layer of paint, it's gonna look striped black/silver/black etc instead of machined. THX! Send Gino there if you have to, to oversee the quality (ready to go the the factory, Gino? )
Even though we have very high QC requirements, we work with our vendor to give them a reasonable tolerance in production. Since each one is hand made, there will be slight variations from helmet to helmet. Each one is actually like a custom job and thus will be slightly different.48. Will the ANH hero legend helmet have the oval tracks in the tear trapezoids?
Our prototype had it. Just note that it is not as visible on the Hero helmets as it was on the stunts.49. In 1976 did they use the same mold for the rear of the stunt and hero helmets?
No really knows for sure. It is our belief that after they molded the stunts, they cleaned up the molds slightly to make them look better in close ups and publicity shots.50. What's the coolest replica you're planning on that none of us know about that will have our jaws dropping?...and begin.
You will have to stay tuned for that! We have been looking around the archives and we found some "obscure" but really great ideas!