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Messages - Nicklab

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A board member on rebelscum was kind enough to pick this guy up for me:

This one reminds me a little bit of AP-5.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Ads, Sponsors, & JediDefender
« on: May 12, 2017, 06:09 AM »
I'm certainly not advocating for a membership sort of fundraising model.  I don't think that sort of model is inclusive, and I think that being inclusive and open for users/readers is important.

I am a member of one musicians forum that has a tiered membership model.  Paying X amounts for an annual membership gives you increased access and perks.  Most people do that because access to sell in their classified forum is limited to members who pay the annual membership fees.  At that site it makes sense because those classified are for musical instruments that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, and reaching the target market of that site's membership.  That model works there given the nature of what that site does.

When I think about a kickstarter for a site like JD?  One thing that comes to mind is how Radiohead released an album digitally.  They gave people the option to download an album for free, or to choose to pay what they want for it.  And you know what?  A good number of people paid good money for that album because they love and appreciate that band, even though they could have gotten it for free.

I think fundraising drives might be a model that works.  Run one annually with a goal for site operations/maintenance that would go towards server fees and related expenses.  And run other fundraisers that have other specific goals:  "Fund our Toy Fair coverage", "Fund our SDCC coverage",  "Fund our Star Wars Celebration coverage".  If the fundraisers do better than expected?  Make some JD branded merch:  hats, t-shirts, stickers, etc.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Ads, Sponsors, & JediDefender
« on: May 9, 2017, 07:13 PM »
If only everyone was so forthright in their advertising/plugging of their affiliations.


Thanks for being upfront about things, Jeff.  It's refreshing to see that.  As for the word "transparency"?  That might not have been the right word to describe what I was trying to get at.

I think many who have been around the online Star Wars collecting community for an extended period of time understand the broad strokes of relationships between fan/news sites and their sponsors.  Clicks and traffic lead to revenue for sites.  Most often those cover operating expenses but not much else.  I remember a time where people thought that ol' PW over at that othe(R) site was cleaning up financially, but that certainly doesn't seem to have been the case.  He was into the concept of making money via Star Wars, but he found other avenues to make that happen (witness OfficialPix).

I also remember a time when there were a lot more online retailers who were advertising on the better sites.  Some of the etailers are still around and have flourished, but a lot of others went bust... as did a number of fan sites.  The result has been consolidation in the etailer segment, along with the rise of Amazon.  Collectors still have choices, but with Hasbro making the prospect of someone becoming one of their direct dealers an expensive proposition, a lot of etailers dropped out of the game.

And now?  There's certainly a modern day business model for financing a site like this one.  The old advertising model is still one that can work, but there does seem to be less cash to go around from the advertisers (see the consolidation factor).  It's also less easy for readers/users to see how their contribution can have a direct impact in helping a site or project.  That's why I brought up the crowd-funding idea that's commonly in use on sites like Kickstarter or Patreon.  While I do have questions about the percentages that some crowdfunding sites receive for hosting these fundraisers, I also see a greater potential for readers and users to get motivated to help out a site that they visit on a regular basis.  And they can get a greater sense of the impact of their contributions.

Some kickstarters have gone far beyond their goals.  That may be the exception rather than the rule, but it does sometimes happen.  And a fundraiser that was originally intended to go towards server and web design services may also be able to do other things: like funding site merch, aiding in travel budgets for event coverage, etc.

/End tangent.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Ads, Sponsors, & JediDefender
« on: May 9, 2017, 02:28 PM »
A case of wave 2 at Dorkside was the same price as the set from EE, and DS also offered free shipping.

Not sure what you mean - 40th Anniv 6" Wave 2 at Dorkside is $160 for the case of 8 with free shipping; EE is $165 for the case of 8 with free shipping.

Everyone is free to shop where they choose.  I'm not going to de-friend or ban anyone for choosing to save a few bucks since this stuff is more expensive than ever these days.  It's just in my job description here at JD to remind everyone once in a while that shopping from our sponsors helps us keep this place up and running. ;)

I originally ordered the wave 2 SET from EE.  And they charged $139 + tax and over $20 for their least expensive shipping option.  And that's been one of my gripes with EE for a long time.  They're on the west coast, and shipping to the east coast gets prohibitively expensive for me.  Their user interface also makes it that much more difficult to modify an order without the help of customer service.

When I saw the DST options for wave 2?  Their sets were more reasonably priced, as was the wave 2 case.  And DST also didn't selectively say "you can only get free shipping ON THIS ONE ITEM".  I liked having more options.

As the old saying goes, "business is business".

But on the topic of keeping the lights on?  I appreciate the affiliate/advertiser relationship, and I also understand the costs involved in server hosting fees, etc that go into operating a site.  However, I am far more inclined to show my support through a crowdfunding option.  I think those relationships are a little more transparent and I feel like things are much more upfront between the party that's conducting the crowdfunding and their fans/audience/users, rather than through a retail advertiser that may or may not appreciate my business.  And I also have concerns because I tried the link to EE in this thread and didn't see anything in my browser's address bar that would indicate that EE was tracking my traffic from JD to their site.

For the record, if all Star Wars collecting sites started doing crowdfunding instead of advertising, JD is one of only two or three that I would contribute to.

EDIT:  BTW, EE has pulled the listing for the Star Wars Black Series 40th Anniv. 6-Inch Figures Wave 2 Set.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Ads, Sponsors, & JediDefender
« on: May 9, 2017, 10:00 AM »
Sorry Jeff, I wanted to do it but Dorkside was $5 cheaper.

I feel like the Tusken would have been a better choice since you can't really army build the DSC, but I guess since he is in the Lando wave too that makes the DSC a compelling option as well.

A case of wave 2 at Dorkside was the same price as the set from EE, and DS also offered free shipping.  I get the affiliate relationship between JD and EE.  But I do want to get some value as a customer.

Rogue One / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: May 8, 2017, 10:54 AM »
I've only done ship to store with WalMart a couple of times.  The most recent time I did that it worked great.  It appeared that my order was packaged at a distribution center, and that box was placed in one my local stores pickup lockers.  I entered my order info at the kiosk and the locker with my order popped open, and I walked right out of the store.  Pretty easy in my book!

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series Rumors
« on: May 8, 2017, 10:49 AM »
Man, so much good stuff in that leaked GameStop list! (Yakface retweeted)

Snoke, Snoke with Throne exclusive, the Guards of Evil 4-pack (Senate Guards and Shadow Guards!)

Plus whatever Cool Beta, Blue Leader, and Foxtrot are...guessing a Leia and Poe in there.

Excited for Snoke, finally!

Definitely some good stuff on that list.  I'm glad to see that the 40AC Vader and Stormtrooper look like they're going to be reissued in standard packaging.  This version of Vader is awesome, and I do want to do a little army building with the Stormtrooper.

The SD9/1 note almost certainly refers to a sale date of September 1st, which is Force Friday.

But the questions for me are with these:

AF  SW BLK 6in E8 VICTOR 2 w THRONE EXCL    $39.99
AF  SW BLK 6in E8 Victor SD9/1                        $22.99
AF  SW E8 BL GUARD OF EVIL 4PK EXCL            $89.99

The educated guess about E8 VICTOR 2 w THRONE EXCL is that this is a Supreme Leader Snoke with Throne.  But E8 Victor?  I'm wondering if this is a standard 6" version of Snoke, or Snoke's guard?  Rumors about Snoke's guard have been floating around out there, so this could be it.

This set seems like one of the most interesting E8 BL GUARD OF EVIL 4PK.  Is this going to be 2 pairs of guards?  Which ones?  Or could it be guards from across the saga, including the Senate guards from the PT, Emporer's Royal guards from the OT, the TFU Shadow guards and maybe a ST Snoke's guard?  There's even been a rumor that Snoke's Royal Guard in TLJ may not be uniform in appearance, and each member of his guard may have unique appearances.  When we've seen 4-packs of Stormtrooper and Clone Troopers we've seen something akin to an Evolutions kind of assortment where there are different troopers in those sets.  This one seems like it's worth keeping an eye on.

I've seen reports that these are being clearanced out at Disney Store Outlets, but not all Disney Store locations.

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One 3.75" Wave 4
« on: May 4, 2017, 10:03 AM »
I'm still wondering how Fenn Rau is going to get released, since EE never offered him up.

The more I see this set, the more I'm liking it.  I hope I can get this version, because the exclusive package elements are very cool.

Now I'm hearing rumors of a possible third SDCC exclusive.  It's rumored be a 6" figure 2-pack of Luke Skywalker and Rey from the final scene of The Force Awakens.  The rumor goes on to say that these two figures will also be released individually later as part of the line for The Last Jedi, since the beginning of TLJ will reportedly pick up right after the end of TFA.  We do know that there's the 6" TBS Luke Skywalker from TFA in the works, and that figure may be a part of this set.

Rogue One / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: May 4, 2017, 05:48 AM »
MAY THE 4th BE WITH YOU...and your wallet!


Rogue One / Re: Rogue One 3.75" Wave 4
« on: May 3, 2017, 10:05 PM »
I got the shipping email, too. That email was a pleasant surprise!

These actually make the 25th Anniversary 2-packs look really good, pre-posed as they are.

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One 3.75" Wave 4
« on: May 2, 2017, 09:03 AM »
I bit the bullet and put in my pre-order for those three.  Considering how I still haven't been able to track down the R1 Shoretrooper and REBELS Thrawn yet, I didn't want to deal with "last wave syndrome".

Hasbro and the retailers really screwed the pooch with inventory this time around.  We're still inundated with R1 wave 1 and 2, with barely any signs of wave 3.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars Spin-Off #? - Boba Fett?
« on: May 2, 2017, 06:26 AM »
Dusting this off, because I read something before SWCO that this project might still be in development.

The rumors I've heard say that this project may not just focus on Boba Fett, and it may actually feature a number of bounty hunters on some sort of mission.  So it may be more of an ensemble kind of story.  Will it get into some EU territory like the bounty hunters guild?  That could make for some interesting callbacks to established material.

A story pitch that I'd like to see including the bounty hunters might take place between the events of A NEW HOPE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.  Just how did the Empire learn the identity of the rebel who destroyed the Death Star?  How did Darth Vader make that connection between the X-wing pilot he came close to shooting down during the trench run, and the son he didn't know he had?  That might be a story worth telling that employs the bounty hunters.

Rumor also has it that the next anthology / spin-off movie may get announced over the summer.  I would think that could be at either D23 or SDCC.

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