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 Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?

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Kikimalou
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:31 pm

arafan wrote:
scot(t) wrote:
I think this is a very nice model. I'm looking forward to getting it. No complaints from me. (But I do enjoy hearing other members' thoughts. So please don't think that I'm complaining about other people complaining. I'm not, I swear it.)

(For what it's worth, thought, I do personally think we, here at the collectors forum, have a tendency to pick on Schleich a bit more than on other brands. I also think we have a tendency to give brands like CollectA and Mojo Fun a bit more of a pass -- notice I say a bit more. If Schleich had released the Black Bear that CollectA released this year, it would have received much more criticism than it did. We did criticize the Black Bear, but not as much, I think, as we would have, had Schleich been the culprit.)
I also do really like this model. Thanks for the review.
And Scott I'm absolutely agree, sometimes it seems a little unfair for me.

I guess we are more indulgent with younger brands and more severe with an old professional. Wink

About CollectA, we talked a lot about so much models this year and so positively that people give more of a pass for the Black bear Laughing

I was one of the first who seriously criticized Schleich years ago and I still could say a lot but it is meaningless to me. At that time Schleich was on the throne and it was a crime of lese-majesty to simply say this brand was not the best or to really criticize a Schleich model. I remember epic battles and, at that time, if Schleich have made the CollectA Black bear a lot of collectors would have probably explained how it was a good model. Laughing  The times are changing and Schleich still have a special place in this Collectors village Wink Even if it s no more a throne...

So what about this wolf ? I can't say it is a bad model but I need to watch it in real and I still think I prefer by far the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:42 pm

So I disagree completely, we usually feel things according with some personal preferences. A collector that started collecting with a certain brand, is always less receptive to negative criticism towards that brand and often neutral when criticism goes against other brands.
Also, everything regarding Schleich is "magnified" once that's by far the most popular brand. At this moment Safari 2015 topic has 198 posts while Schleich 2015 has 687 posts. Shocked
Expectations is another factor, the lack of diversity of Mojo is being this year much more criticized than the lack of diversity of Schleich. First, there's no comparison between the number of release and while Schleich has already a consolidated collection, Mojo is still building it up.
Even considering it, among the only 5 wild life figures from Mojo, we can find 2 species (ring-tailed lemur and capybara) that Schleich never released in more than 30 years. So we are unfair with which brand?
About the CollectA bear, I agree that's a poor figure, but in my opinion, much more acceptable than the new Schleich grey wolf. However, many collectors find always a good excuse to buy a Schleich figure even when it is not good and many find a good excuse to not buy a figure from other brand even when it is good.
We have the impressive popularity of the Schleich Shire mare, that I keep thinking it is a very bad representation of a Shire horse and if it was a Bullyland, it won't for sure receive a second chance. Being a Schleich there is always something to like, the huge eyes, the pink bows, the childish character, etc. A good example is the 2014 Mojo lion, an absolute masterpiece in my opinion and surely 2015 Schleich lion, that seems a quite poor figure, will be well received in a protective way., try to think the new Schleich lion was a new Papo release?
Back to diversity, Mojo released 7 horses in last 2 years, among these there is two breeds never released by any other major company like a Suffolk Punch and an Orlov trotter. There's also a pregnant Arabian something absolutly innovative.
In around 30 Schleich new horses in two years we have only a "half" new breed, the mini shetland. Ardennais and curly are new to the brand but not to the market. CollectA as no competitor in this point both in horses or wildlife.
Bullyland was almost ignored this year and probably the most criticized figure was the Safari WW puma what I think is fair although I think the worst 2015 figure can be found in Schleich range. I know my comment will look rude to some people but I don't intend to be rude, I only cannot prevent the protectiveness of other collectors once I suffer the same. Not worshiping a certain brand but when companies are still new on market. I even made my first comment on DTF just because the way REBOR was massacred. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:00 pm

Laughing Rogério cheers I feel a few years younger when I read you and I agree of course Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:08 pm

Kikimalou wrote:
Laughing  Rogério  cheers  I feel a few years younger when I read you and I agree of course Wink

Laughing :lol I haven't seen your comment before writting mine. geek cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:40 pm

I'm not sure if you meant to say you were disagreeing with me Roger. If so, I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with since I agree with much of what you say. I agree that Schleich has some followers who practically worship the brand and the brand, according to them, can do no wrong. I also think that Schleich models get some extreme criticism from the group that is still reacting to Schleich having been the dominant brand for so long (as Christophe points out).

I think Schleich's 2015 line this year is thoroughly mediocre. I'm vaguely disappointed by it, in general, and find very little to praise. That said, I'm still looking forward to purchasing the Arctic Wolf, the Hyena, and the Rattlesnake (there are probably a few others too). Those figures aren't blowing me away, but they have some very pleasing aspects.

I also agree that the Schleich Grey Wolf is worse than the CollectA Black Bear. That horrible monstrosity of a wolf deserves all the scorn that has been heaped on it. But the CollectA Black Bear, while much better than the Schleich Wolf, was still a huge disappointment.

I also agree that the Schleich 2015 Lion is pretty bad. If Papo had released that model, we'd be trashing it just as much. However, if Mojo had released that model, I think we'd criticize it, just not quite as sternly. I think that was the main point I was trying to make above.

I’m not a devotee of Schleich, not at all. But still, I would take Schleich's 2015 lineup, as a whole, over Mojo's 2015 lineup, in a second. (I'm not speaking about the horses right now, just the wildlife and farm animals. I think's Anna's equine models are just lovely and I have not liked the direction of Schleich's horses. So let's put those aside.) I appreciate that Mojo is a small company, that they're trying to grow, but too many of their 2015 models are just crappy.

My point in comparing the criticism of Schleich with the criticism of Mojo and CollectA was just that the culture of STS frowns on the latter in a way that feels a bit stifling to me. I feel like I have to be careful not to cross the line when criticizing those companies. (I am not saying there's no criticism of Mojo and CollectA. There is. But the sort of extreme criticism of Schleich and Papo that wouldn't raise an eyebrow will get stern frowns of disapproval if directed at these new companies.)

I don't have a preferred company. I'm not a devotee of Schleich, Mojo, CollectA, Safari, or even Papo. As it happens, my view is that CollectA's 2015 wildlife lineup looks to be outstanding and that no other company is coming close. But if CollectA were releasing this Arctic Wolf, I kind of doubt it would be receiving as many complaints.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:01 pm

Kikimalou wrote:

I guess we are more indulgent with younger brands and more severe with an old professional. Wink

I think this is right, and I can understand why.

Kikimalou wrote:

I remember epic battles and, at that time, if Schleich have made the CollectA Black bear a lot of collectors would have probably explained how it was a good model. Laughing  

I've read older discussions on STS -- discussions that were before my time -- that completely confirm what you say here. There was certainly a time when Schleich could do no wrong and anyone criticizing a Schleich model would be stomped on. I'm glad that is no longer the case. But the pendulum also has a tendency to swing to the other end rather than immediately coming to a rest at the most sensible position.

Kikimalou wrote:

So what about this wolf ? I can't say it is a bad model but I need to watch it in real and I still think I prefer by far the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Very Happy

I agree 100%. The Safari Arctic wolf is an amazing better model. The new Schleich promises to be a nice compliment to it though. As a comparison: No Indian Rhinoceros is going to beat Safari's wonderful version. But I know many of us here were still interested to see the Papo Indian Rhino from 2013.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:14 pm

I'm absolutely agree Roger, I also think that you know that I'm not a fan of Schleich. But sometimes it feels for me that everything from Schleich does bad figures and Collecta and Mojo produce only the perfect figures (I know that a lot of figures were discuted by us for examle the Collecta wild ass and the Mojo elephant).
And why do we everytime use the Schleich figures as bad examples, if a other brand sometimes really do badder figures.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:27 pm

scot(t) wrote:


(For what it's worth, thought, I do personally think we, here at the collectors forum, have a tendency to pick on Schleich a bit more than on other brands. ......

This is probably true for me. Perhaps because I used to love them so much, and I don't like their new style. Sad Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:37 pm

Scott, it is interesting that you're having the same experience as I had while entering this world of animal toy fora. I thought it was not allowed to make negative comments towards Schleich and your comment makes me feel that something changed all these years. I remember reading a topic on Laughing Giraffe forum where some Papo and Schleich were being compared directly, I wasn't yet a real collector but I remember making my choices before reading the whole post. As most of them were felines, naturally, not influenced by the brands once I was not even able of recognizing them without reading. My choices were mostly Papo. My surprise when I noticed that many people were choosing Schleich, even when it was obvious the lesser realism of Schleich figures pictured there. I think it is hard to say that the Schleich lion, 2 generation ago was more realistic than any of the Papo lions or the lioness, tiger, etc. Though, the few ones choosing the Papo figures, were immediately bombarded with comments of disagreement, some of them very reactive. It was also not easy for me, when I started in this forum, to explain that from my point of view many Papo were better and that CollectA was a very promising brand. Though, all of this is very subjective, I know Schleich, without being consciencious of the name of the brand, for more than 15 years, I remember commenting in shops how cute they were but never felt attracted enough to start collecting them. I always found their design very toyish and not little sculptures. The only thing I really enjoyed was its manufacturing quality. I bought several Schleich to my niece, with 3 or 4 years old at that time once I've found Schleich design very adjusted to her age. I was trying to find some species not present in Schleich range when I found Papo. Only at this moment, I've found eagerness to get some figures for me once some Papo, like the lioness, cheetah and some others, seemed very realistic to me.  All that story to tell you that I already felt the same and I hope you can manage it as I did once we want everyone confortable here and feeling free to to comment in a democratic way.  You're a member of our family and I am surely one of many members that love to read your opinions. Very Happy
Scott, without any demagogy from me and also not wanting to make you feel bad of your opinion, do you think anyone could call crappy to this Mojo figure if it was a Schleich? Wink

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I can't resist, I have found a lemur with twins and I have found it lovely so I need to show here!
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p.s.: Bryan, I saw your question while writing this comment. We use Schleich figures as bad examples in the same way that we use them for size comparison. The brand is very popular so it is not efficient to give examples with less known figures. To be popular has advantages and also some negative points. Why do people always find figures too big or to small when compared with Schleich if Schleich figures are not in scale? Why is Papo hippo too big and not Schleich hippo too small? As you can see, there's a kind of Schleichcentrism in toy animal hobby, sometimes negative to other brands, sometimes negative towards itself, but that's the price of popularity. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:14 am

I can see I'm very new to the forums... Because I love Schleich, lol. xD
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:03 am

Roger, I really enjoyed reading your last comments. Thank you for taking the time to put them together.

I think I misspoke -- that is, exaggerated -- when talking about the 2015 Mojo Fun wildlife line up. I'm actually looking forward to getting the Bull and the Grizzly Bear, and I think the Lemur you posted is quite good and I will likely acquire it. (In fact, I was disappointed with the Papo Lemur in part because I think the Mojo Lemur is a better figure. The one advantage the Papo Lemur has is its texturing. Some of the Mojo figures (and only some) have poor texturing. The 2015 Elephant -- at least based on the photos -- is a particularly strong example of this. The Mojo Lemur is not bad in this respect, but the Papo has, to my eyes at least, a more pleasing texture: It looks less sculpted and more like fur. Otherwise, though, the face on the Papo lemur seems odd and the legs -- both in terms of position and shape -- seem less natural than the Mojo Fun.)

So, no, I don't think the Mojo Fun Lemur is crappy. Not at all. Putting the Schleich label on the picture doesn't really change my estimation of the model and unfortunately I just don't know whether and how I would judge it differently if I'd seen the picture for the first time thinking it was a schleich rather than a mojo fun. I immediately recognized the Lemur, even before seeing the label.

I would be an extremely interesting exercise -- perhaps at the end of 2015 -- to see pictures of models for the first time without knowing, at first, what company made them. This would be hard to pull off in many cases, since distinctive characteristics of the pictures often reveal which companies made the model, but I'd still love to try the experiment. (The most difficult part would be resisting looking at any announcements for three months until all the information for all 5 big companies have been revealed. Maybe someone else can volunteer for the experiment. Very Happy )

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:15 am

SUSANNE wrote:
scot(t) wrote:


(For what it's worth, thought, I do personally think we, here at the collectors forum, have a tendency to pick on Schleich a bit more than on other brands. ......

This is probably true for me. Perhaps because I used to love them so much, and I don't like their new style. Sad Laughing

I feel similarly Susanne. I am extremely fond of some of the older Schleich figures -- even ones that have stubby legs, cute features, and are not very realistic. One of the best examples (for me) is the old Schleich Hyena. I just love that figure.

Something Roger and I have talked about before is the fact that many of the older Schleich models had a knack for capturing our collective mental stereotype of an animal. So even when the animal wasn't actually accurate, it still felt like it was getting something right, perhaps because it agreed with the image of the animal many of us have in our heads. I love the Schleich Wisent, the Armadillo, the African Cape Buffalo, the Rodeo Bull, and of course the Hyena (already mentioned above).

I apologize to everyone for derailing this thread. My bad.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:59 am

I'm sure everyone here knows my feelings about Schleich and its product lines, both then and now. I must say that I'm surprised that there are still important members here who simply cannot move beyond a couple of "bad" experiences in an online forum (not really "bad" but a case where someone has expressed disagreement with a stated opinion). If, several years later, you're still kvetching about this stuff, maybe it's time to move ahead, in a psychological sense...don't let yourselves become modern-day Don Quixotes and Sancho Panzas, tilting at Schleich windmills till the day you expire... Rolling Eyes

I remember many, many comments by someone in the past in which he specifically argued that Schleich BRAND COLLECTORS were the real problem, not the company, its ownership, product lines, or market position. One of these comments was that because ONE "rogue" eBay seller attempted (unsuccessfully) to charge double-price for a special edition, Schleich collectors were partially responsible. These kinds of reprehensible comments are completely at odds with the stated purpose of this forum, IMHO, but they were made and repeated again and again. No

Schleich receives near-universal condemnation here from veteran collectors, and that seems appropriate to me, given what they produce and how they operate. If that is not enough for you two, I suggest you travel to Schleich HQ and blow the place up...

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:21 pm

Kikimalou wrote:
GiselleGazelle wrote:
I can see I'm very new to the forums... Because I love Schleich, lol. xD

Giselle, Love is a love affair Wink  Of course you are right to love your Schleich model and I wish you will share more walkarounds with us because I Looove walkarounds and it is a love affair cheers

My other fellows, this discussion is vey interresting for me and I would be happy to continue... I have so many things to say and read. Would you agree we split this topic in a "Shleich Arctic wolf walkaround" and a "What about criticism?" topic ?

Yes, sorry, Giselle !!! It seem that this wolfie triggered a lit of thoughts Laughing

Christophe, it is a good idea to give this discussion a separate topic, - what about " Are we biased by brand when judging a model ? " or something similar ?

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:23 pm

Yes I also would like to read more about that, sorry for write that in this toppic. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:28 pm

scot(t) wrote:
SUSANNE wrote:
scot(t) wrote:


(For what it's worth, thought, I do personally think we, here at the collectors forum, have a tendency to pick on Schleich a bit more than on other brands. ......

This is probably true for me. Perhaps because I used to love them so much, and I don't like their new style. Sad Laughing

I feel similarly Susanne. I am extremely fond of some of the older Schleich figures -- even ones that have stubby legs, cute features, and are not very realistic. One of the best examples (for me) is the old Schleich Hyena. I just love that figure.

Something Roger and I have talked about before is the fact that many of the older Schleich models had a knack for capturing our collective mental stereotype of an animal. So even when the animal wasn't actually accurate, it still felt like it was getting something right, perhaps because it agreed with the image of the animal many of us have in our heads. I love the Schleich Wisent, the Armadillo, the African Cape Buffalo, the Rodeo Bull, and of course the Hyena (already mentioned above).
.....
 

You are right as always, Scott !
Look at the old orangutan ! The old polar bears ! Very Happy

I suppose it is a question of a futile thing as artistic value Wink

The same goes for the first Papo models, - perhaps quite strange, but they are absolutely wonderful drunken

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:36 pm

Scott, I agree with almost everything you're saying, my disagreement is only when you think that there's any specific discouragement towards members that have negative comments about CollectA or Mojo. It happens with almost all brands and it is often related with the popularity of a certain company. It won't be hard for you to find posts discouraging negative comments towards Schleich either. Schleich was always popular, maybe a little less these days and both CollectA and Mojo gained some popularity these last years. I think Mojo line up is suffering this year some more criticism as a consequence of it. Those are all just opinions and I think we have no reasons to feel discouraged of commenting, as long as we are fair. Very Happy
I know you're an experient collector and I was not intending to make you believe that the Mojo lemur was a Schleich only because I changed the logo. It was just an mental exercise. I understand perfectly that when you stated that there are many crappy figures on Mojo range for 2015, it was just an exagerated comment, even if all 2015 Mojo figures were bad, they would never be many once they are almost as many as are new Schleich horses. Laughing Fortunately Zé Neto already confirmed that they aren't all presented yet. bounce




GiselleGazelle wrote:
I can see I'm very new to the forums... Because I love Schleich, lol. xD

Giselle, I am not new on foruns and I also love Schleich. Musk ox, mountain goat, wisent, armadillo, warthog, new badger, new kudu, are among my favorite figures of ever. Though, Safari anteater, aardvark, polar bear, African wild dog, Arctic wolf, coyote, Indian rhino...; Mojo gaur, pangolin, Brazilian tapir, tamandua, new lion, sable, emu, griffon, sunbear, sloth.... ; CollectA eland, nyala, springbuck, jackal, fennec, saola, blackbuck... ; Papo lioness, tigers, male hippo, cheetha, okapi, meerkats...; Bullyland wisent, grey heron, cinereous vulture, African elephant, capercaillie are also among my favorite. So, I think all brands are able of making good and bad figures and all deserve our love. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:27 pm

I like reading all these thoughts Very Happy Very interesting! A seperate topic would indeed be neat, as I see this as a huge area to be talked about Very Happy

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PostSubject: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:09 am

Christophe, I think a separate topic might be a good idea. (It may also keep the original post on the Arctic Wolf intact.)

Roger, after reading your thoughts and thinking about it more, I think it's possible you may be right that there is not any larger degree of disapproval here at STS towards those criticizing CollectA and Mojo. I don't know, but I'm at least going to suspect judgment for the time being. I suspect that my own perspective was perhaps a little skewed by the fact that a while ago (many months, maybe even a year ago) a couple forum members, including myself, made some criticisms of CollectA models on a different thread and others got very riled up (or they seemed to me to get very riled up) by these criticisms. (There was some talk at that point about people defaming CollectA and harming the company, which seemed a bit extreme to me.)

I'm always a bit wary of brand-loyalty.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:54 pm

Thanks for separating this! (Christophe? Roger?)

I like the question that is the name of the topic. And I hope others will share their thoughts. It's a good source of valuable self-reflection. (In my humble opinion.)

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:43 am

Christophe... Doesn't matter indeed Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:17 am

*digs deep* Pfff..... What can I say about this topic. Okay, first of all. What I type is my opinion, not something that is true Wink When I was younger, in the part that my collection got a growth spurt, I was looking for brands, just animals marked by brands.... At flea markets, second hand shop and here on STS. I ended up with a lot of animals that I didn't want in the first place XD After sorting out a lot of stuff I became more known of different brands and even developed a favorite list. Now, when I see an animal, I just look at that animal. Pose, paintjob, rarity of the animal in the wild, and numbers and family members in my collection. But I catch myself upon seeing only at my favorite brands. Bullyland and Safari LTD aren't even on my WL. Why? Quality and realism. This years new additions from brands was the first time I am completely honest of myself choosing only the best IMO for my collection. Seeing all the people judging certain brands, it makes me wonder about some animals sometimes. Examples are the new Schleich Cobra and male tiger, I think they are beautiful, even by a Schleich... See I did it... Even by a Schleich... Schleich is not a bad brand, although they sell for a different reason IMO. I giggled by the photo of the Mojo Ring tailed lemur with the Schleich logo on it.  won't buy the animal, because I don't collect apes/monkey and lemurs. But i think it if it was a Schleich, it would have been criticized more. Simply because Schleich has been in a direction many questioned.

But the main thing about such topic as this one, is valuable information from collectors that major brands can use... although I doubt major brands will ever listen to us collectors.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:20 pm

Wow, interesting new topic to read in new year Very Happy Thank you all for sharing opinions here!!! cheers



WARNING: My comment will be quite too long and perhaps chaotic, but if anyone likes to read, go ahead Wink



As for me I of course have some special feelings to Mojo, I'm just very happy I work with them and I know very well that people in this brand are really enthusiastic about animal replicas world and are listening to collectors. Even if Mojo is not always able to release new additions from collectors wish lists. But I know they would love to make rare and amazing species, perhaps in future it will be more possible, for now this must be done in kind of compromise with optimal marketing decisions.  

It doesn't mean of course I would defend the models that are not realistic or have not good manufacturing quality, it's always good to read reasonable criticism. Especially when it's about very objective things like proportions, shape, realism of the figures. This kind of comments are very good lesson for any sculptor  Smile

For the other brands, I think I like them all Very Happy It's possible to find several good figures in every one of the brands, in some it will be big lot of good figures in some it will be just a few. But I enjoy having at least one or few models from as many brands I can find.


Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven (ok it's getting boring here, I'm just talking too much sometimes Wink )


Perhaps some collectors may understood from my comments that I dislike Schleich but it's not true! I like them, I especially like the older models from the (in my opinion) better times of this brand (musk ox I love you standing polar bear sunny armadillo flower and more ). Many new figures are nice too. Maybe I'm not as enthusiastic about Schleich as I was in the past. They changed the style a bit and it's not always working for me (the older models had also style, but it was  somehow nicer maybe? or?).

But I think the reason is also I just try to learn more about proportions and anatomy and maybe that's why I also see more mistakes in these models now. I wouldn't noticed them in the past probably. I have read many critique comments about this brand on this forum and I think it opened my eyes for some issues. But we can find these or other mistakes in all other brands as well.

So I think critique is usually a lesson (well, sometimes it isn't, in case if it's only emotional expression "I don't like it because I don't like it") but in most cases it's is a good thing. We shouldn't think that criticising a brand is a personal thing against the brand, it's rather kind of lesson for us to see more details and be more observant.  Very Happy


I'm surprised to hear the voices that some of the figures would be more criticised if it was Schlech product. I never considered this brand as the most disliked one, definitely no. I would say it's the brand that got most comments, so good and bad ones. If Mojo or CollectA get less critique it's mainly because these new brands get less comments in general.

I see that perhaps some of us like this or that brand more, I don't think it's a bad thing to have favourites. My recent favourite brand when it comes to realism and manufacturing quality is Kitan Club, some of the Kaiyodos, and many of the handmade, 3D designed or customised animals made by members of this forum and some other artists. I love also Lineol and many vintage brands. In general I try to search either very decent realism or interesting style (let's call it vintage style, but it will look different in let's say Lineol and different in Clairet or Marx or Dinamização).

In fact in a modern toy brands very decent realism is a rare thing actually, no wonder we have much to criticise in all of the brands. We will find many quite realistic and good enough models, and that's fine too! I think it's a good thing to "play" finding the mistakes in this or that model because it teach us to be more observant etc. But I understand it may be hard sometimes to not take it personally when someone really likes certain brand?  study

The style of some modern brands is not the most interesting one to me. For example huge eyes and everything chubby and fluffy is not always appealing for me (sometimes it is, but only in some cases).


Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven  (OK, answer for the main question in the topic, if you skipped the boring part, you can just read here Razz )

Now, if I'm biased when judging a model? I think sometimes, very slightly small yes because I like the brand for which I'm working. But it's very slightly and I'm trying to not be biased. For the other brands I think, I HOPE, I'm not Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:48 pm

Just to point out folks that a similar discussion might have taken place between collectors 50+ years ago regarding (now vintage) brands.

For many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Britains, Britains, Britains, with other brands (just looking at the UK for the present) such as Charbens, Cherilea, Crescent and JoHillCo being regarded as decidedly downmarket.
In reality, whilst Britains products were mostly of a good average quality, they did produce some duds, whilst some of the other companies designed some real gems along with some truly dreadful items.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:10 pm

DaveScriv wrote:
Just to point out folks that a similar discussion might have taken place between collectors 50+ years ago regarding (now vintage) brands.

For many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Britains, Britains, Britains, with other brands (just looking at the UK for the present) such as Charbens, Cherilea, Crescent and JoHillCo being regarded as decidedly downmarket.
In reality, whilst Britains products were mostly of a good average quality, they did produce some duds, whilst some of the other companies designed some real gems along with some truly dreadful items.  

For British people of course Wink

50+years ago in France, for many then (& quite a lot now!)  it was all Starlux and for a lot it was Clairet... Britains ? C'est quoi Britains ? Laughing

In Germany, for many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Lineol or Hausser... Starlux ? Was ist Starlux ? Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:27 pm

Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone - let’s hope 2015 is going to be a bumper year for animal figure collectors with plenty of spectacular new releases and perhaps collectors of vintage animal figures will be able to capture a ‘Holy Grail’ that has been eluding them for some years.

Now back to the topic. There is a parallel between Schleich and the old Britains company that is market positioning. This enables / enabled said companies to gain a hold on the market to the almost exclusion of their competitors. Today I can find Schleich in my local toy shops (yes we still have them here in England) and in Toys ‘R Us. I found Papo in a toy shop that was part of an art community! The only other animal figures I can find in shops are plastic bags full of ‘Made in China’ copies of Elastolin and Britains and tubes containing similar items. Never seen Mojo animal figures in any retail shop as yet and this goes for just about every other animal figure companies mentioned here on STS.

Going back to my childhood it was a similar case for Britains. Britains were available in all toys shops (many more existed in the 1960’s compared with the present!) and in department stores - remember these? The lesser companies mentioned by Dave: Crescent, Charbens, Cherilea etc... were relegated to newsagents and market stores - down market locations in our eyes even back in those days!. The other thing in favour of Britains was that they produced a yearly catalogue so you knew what Britains made and you could tick off what you had and more importantly knew what else to look for! For the reason of market positioning Britains held in the 1960’s the minds of youngsters like me held the fact that all other companies were second best.

Using the Britains example above Schleich currently are in the same position. There is also another similarity between the old Britains company and Schleich - they are designed for children! Animal figures today have to undertake a far more severe testing procedure than they ever did in the 1960’s!

Unfortunately, for collectors, Schleich (and the old Britains company) exist/ed to provide for the needs of children and their products have to relate to this market.

As Jack Odell (part owner of Matchbox toy cars) once said in the 1960’s “collectors just get in the way with their demands”. Just like then toy animal figure manufacturers first priority is for children and their products have to comply with health and safety legislation and to the needs of children at play.

Finally, going back to the original question: "Are we biased by brand when judging a model?”

If one is using the above the answer is: Yes - our first love is the one we remember forever! Very Happy

However, how many of us are objective in our views? Do we need to be? Should we judge a figure by what some else has written? Most of the reviews here on STS are of animal figures I have never seen before and possibly never will. I feel it is good that STS has a range of collectors and they express their personal preferences and somewhere there is a happy medium.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:28 pm

Kikimalou wrote:
DaveScriv wrote:
Just to point out folks that a similar discussion might have taken place between collectors 50+ years ago regarding (now vintage) brands.

For many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Britains, Britains, Britains, with other brands (just looking at the UK for the present) such as Charbens, Cherilea, Crescent and JoHillCo being regarded as decidedly downmarket.
In reality, whilst Britains products were mostly of a good average quality, they did produce some duds, whilst some of the other companies designed some real gems along with some truly dreadful items.  

For British people of course Wink

50+years ago in France, for many then (& quite a lot now!)  it was all Starlux and for a lot it was Clairet... Britains ? C'est quoi Britains ? Laughing

In Germany, for many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Lineol or Hausser... Starlux ? Was ist Starlux ? Wink

Regarding France and Germany - of course. I had thought of those, but didn't want to make the post overly long and complicated.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:03 pm

Are we biased by brand when judging a model?

More thoughts here - what is a model? Is there a difference between a model and a toy?

For me a model is something in miniature that represents a real item in scale form.

A toy is essentially an item for playing with. It’s detail depends on the age group it is aimed at. For example Duplo animals are basic but they have the main characteristics of an animal and can be identified as a particular animal. As a child gets older the animal figure needs to be more realistic but still has to comply with health and safety requirements.

So how can a collector of animal figures criticise an animal figure that is has been designed as a children’s toy?

In my view such criticism should be aimed at manufacturers that produce models of animal figures.

Sure some products from Schleich can be described as cute and cuddly but we must remember the market this animal figure is aimed at!

I have never seen any CollectorA models in the flesh but assume due to the name the company has selected that they have aimed their products at a collector. Therefore, their products need to be realistic and move away from the cute and cuddly to being a realistic representation of the animal modelled.

In short if we are being biased by brand when judging a model we need to first establish the market the said figure is aimed at.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:44 pm

This topic is so interesting cheers
I was turning all the different opinions in my head...and put tooh paste on my hands instead of hand lotion geek Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Chris Sweetman wrote:
Are we biased by brand when judging a model?

More thoughts here - what is a model? Is there a difference between a model and a toy?

For me a model is something in miniature that represents a real item in scale form.

A toy is essentially an item for playing with. It’s detail depends on the age group it is aimed at. For example Duplo animals are basic but they have the main characteristics of an animal and can be identified as a particular animal. As a child gets older the animal figure needs to be more realistic but still has to comply with health and safety requirements.

So how can a collector of animal figures criticise an animal figure that is has been designed as a children’s toy?


Chris, I think that's true, toy animals should not be criticised for what they are. But we can talk about their realism even if the producer is not very much interested on making them  perfectly realistic. We are collectors so, that means we search items for our collections. And if many of us is looking for realistic replicas why not check all possible brands, even the typical toy brands? Let's think about AAA/ELC (Early Learning Centre) animals. They are typical toys but among them we can find some quite realistic replicas, for example AAA giraffe after repainting can be really amazingly realistic Very Happy . It's so much fun to look for realistic animals in toy brands Very Happy

Chris Sweetman wrote:
In my view such criticism should be aimed at manufacturers that produce models of animal figures.

Sure some products from Schleich can be described as cute and cuddly but we must remember the market this animal figure is aimed at!

I have never seen any CollectorA models in the flesh but assume due to the name the company has selected that they have aimed their products at a collector. Therefore, their products need to be realistic and move away from the cute and cuddly to being a realistic representation of the animal modelled.

In short if we are being biased by brand when judging a model we need to first establish the market the said figure is aimed at.


Again, I think we can look for realism in all brand. Perhaps we should not be negative if toy brands are not very much realistic but we can compare them to real animals, talk about their proportions etc.  Mainly for learning something from such discussion and for having fun to find the differences or to define what is typical style of certain brands. So I think what we call "criticising" is perhaps more just "talking" about all points negative and positive, style and realism.  It's so nice to talk about these things, isn't it? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:24 am

First of all: Yes we are biased.
We think we know what we can expect from a brand and we expect the animal model to be to that standard.

Chris Sweetman wrote:


As Jack Odell (part owner of Matchbox toy cars) once said in the 1960’s “collectors just get in the way with their demands”.

This intrigues me.

I'm from '69, but I would like to call myself an internet child.
Everything I need to find or need knowledge about or buy, I do on the internet. I don't know any better.
.....so, here my story starts.

When I started collecting animal figures, I wanted to collect real looking animal replicas = animal models.
So I did a internet search and the first animal toy companies I stumbled upon were Schleich, Bullyland, and Papo.
I loved the Papo animals a lot more, but they were almost always WAY more expensive. So most of the times I ended up with Schleich animals because they were cheaper and easier to get than Papo.
I never bought any Bullyland animals because they were not replicas (to me) but cheap looking children toy figures.

Also because of the internet, I found this wonderful site: STS forums.  cheers
It was a Walhalla for me.
So many pictures and photos and comparisons and discussions.
For many months I enjoyed myself looking at old threads, finding out about Kaiyodo and Kitan Club animals.
Such realistic looking animal models made in Asian countries, just for the price of a chocolate egg.
The beautiful realistic horses of Breyer (and too expensive for my taste). And AAA/ELC figures.
Only easily available in the USA at that time, so out of my reach.

Then...., all of a sudden, there was CollectA!
And then MOJO!
And things got quite overwhelming.
So many beautiful animal replicas.
Not toys! But replicas.

Some of the Schleich animals I purchased before, didn't look as realistic as the ColletA and MOJO ones.
So I had no problem replacing them for CollectA and Mojo figures, because they were more realistic.

And there is what I think the problem lies for some people.
Schleich was the brand to go to whenever you wanted a (realistic?) animal figure. You didn't really have no other choice.
They dominated the market for years. Until CollectA and MOJO showed up.
And now, with all these beautiful realistic animal replicas being availible, we start to discredit Schleich, because they are not keeping up with this standard of lifelike animal replicas.

While in the meanwhile, all Schleich wants to do is to sell "children's toys". Not the best "animal replica model".
That's not the market they are in for.
When it comes to children animal toys, Schleich still wins, I think.
With their cuteness, and braided hair, and big eyes.
They used to make good animal replicas in the old days.
Nowadays they make good children toys.

"collectors just get in the way with their demands”.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:59 am

Exactly Simone - Schleich is the market leader in animal replicas and their availability is second to none. As I stated in England Schleich are available in every toy shop and Toys ‘R Us stock them too. Note I said toy shops so Schleich know their customer base - children. Schleich also have a role for adult collectors of animal replicas in that an uncle or aunt may visit a toy shop to buy a present for their nephew or niece and end up liking these Schleich replicas so much they might start to collect them! cheers

Also we now have a phenomenon that wasn’t present in the 1960’s the 'nostalgia collector’. These people may have ‘collected’ animal replicas in their childhood and now are curious on what is available now. The start of their collection is possibly what they collected back then maybe - Schleich?

Now we have the internet and forums like STS, both phenomenon that did not exist even 15 years ago, and the world of other animal replica manufacturers becomes apparent.

Unfortunately, great companies can fall as we see in Matchbox (although the brand exists it isn’t owned by Lesney - the original owners) and Hauser (with their Elastolin brand) both failed in the mid - 1980’s. The original Elastolin moulds are now with Preiser. So we are lucky to have a range of Elastolin animal replicas available today. If one is looking for the Rolls-Royce of animal replicas then the ’new’ Elastolin range should be considered. However, it seems not many collectors of animal replicas on STS collect them. Maybe the price is to high or the poses reflect a different era and collectors have moved onto more realistic ‘wild life’ style animations.

One thing that has changed and that is scale. One of the positive areas of Britains zoo animals in an educational role was that they were all to 1:32nd scale and a youngster could see the relation between an elephant and a platypus. Elastolin animals were available in 70mm (1:22nd scale), 40mm (1:43rd scale) and in the international 54mm (1:32nd scale) so they too within these ranges had a relationship. Nowadays the animal replica companies seem to have a total disregard to scale which in IMHO is a backward step.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:55 am

Susanne wrote:
I was turning all the different opinions in my head...and put tooh paste on my hands instead of hand lotion
lol! lol! lol!


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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:22 am

Sorry if anyone disagrees with this, its just my opinion, and also if this isn't relevant. Anyways, I feel that there are some interesting comments in here. I'm not sure what I think exactly though. For me, I think every brand has good years and bad years and especially good models and bad models at any given time, regardless of "age." I "grew up" on Schleich, so I have a certain appreciation for their older figures that I own and played with and their charm (even if they aren't the most accurate, as discussed above) but I also find some figures to like in their modern lines (like the rattle snake). I personally don't have a favorite brand anymore, I've just come to expect that certain brands have specialties (like Papo big cats). I also think that everyone has biases, whether they recognize it or not, it may just be because its a childhood brand, or they like a certain style, or whatever. I guess what I'm saying though, is that we may not be cognizant of it, we all probably have biases.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:41 am

Chris Sweetman wrote:


One thing that has changed and that is scale. One of the positive areas of Britains zoo animals in an educational role was that they were all to 1:32nd scale and a youngster could see the relation between an elephant and a platypus. Elastolin animals were available in 70mm (1:22nd scale), 40mm (1:43rd scale) and in the international 54mm (1:32nd scale) so they too within these ranges had a relationship. Nowadays the animal replica companies seem to have a total disregard to scale which in IMHO is a backward step.

Scale is indeed an issue which can be discussed at length within this thread, and is also related to their original intended use.

Modern manufacturers have to comply with modern toy safety laws prohibiting very tiny toys or parts thereof, which is why (1) their tendency towards large scales and (2) why real life small animals are made larger, the "total disregard to scale" within ranges.

This was also seen in vintage brands, even with Britains who tried to get their ranges consistent 1:32, but had to make some concessions to the realities of toy manufacturing. Taking their old lead farm range as an example, their rabbits and cats look fine in 'the world of toy' compared to their cattle and horses, but they are still not really accurately consistent.
Other vintage brands always totally disregarded consistent scales, notably Charbens and JoHillCo wild/zoo animal ranges. I suspect that apart from small size safety issues, they were also thinking about manageable pricing policies and perceived value for money - remembering that they were often supplied to shops in mixed boxes (36 assorted small animal, 24 assorted medium animals & 12 assorted large animals or something like that) to be sold in the shop individually. Shopkeepers didn't want to be left with tiny animals they couldn't sell because most kids (apart from the geeky collecting kids) would think the tinies poor value for their precious few pennies of pocket money.

Then there is the issue of intended use by the kids who had them, which has always included elements of playing with them and collecting them. The switch from playing to collecting happens with much younger kids/teens now than it did decades ago.
Larger scale figures are played with in relatively small numbers by younger kids, and then are displayed on shelves as they get a little (or a lot!) older.
Smaller scale figures were always intended to be played with and/or displayed in much larger numbers to make a whole farm or zoo scene, plus as Britains and the others made toy soldiers, knights, wild west, etc. figures as well, their animals were often included in those kids play or adult diorama roles too - especially farm horses and cattle, and zoo bison in the wild west.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:41 am

First of all, I want to assure you I've read (with great pleasure Wink ) all your posts. If i didn't answer to some, it is mainly because it would be a Hercule's task Laughing .

NightLioness wrote:
Now, when I see an animal, I just look at that animal. Pose, paintjob, rarity of the animal in the wild, and numbers and family members in my collection. But I catch myself upon seeing only at my favorite brands. Bullyland and Safari LTD aren't even on my WL. Why? Quality and realism.

It is fun to see how we are and how we can be biased by brands or other things  Laughing . What I appreciate with Safari Ltd toys is their realistic sculpting, alas often ruined in my eyes by a bad painting.

I have the same feeling with the old Britains and I guess it is because I am a 50 years old French macaque. monkey

NightLioness wrote:
This years new additions from brands was the first time I am completely honest of myself choosing only the best IMO for my collection. Seeing all the people judging certain brands, it makes me wonder about some animals sometimes. Examples are the new Schleich Cobra and male tiger, I think they are beautiful, even by a Schleich... See I did it... Even by a Schleich... Schleich is not a bad brand, although they sell for a different reason IMO. I giggled by the photo of the Mojo Ring tailed lemur with the Schleich logo on it.  won't buy the animal, because I don't collect apes/monkey and lemurs. But i think it if it was a Schleich, it would have been criticized more. Simply because Schleich has been in a direction many questioned.

I think the Schleich cobra and male tiger are very welcomed by the STS community and I think the Ring-tailed lemur would be more loved, more criticized and more comments if it was a Schleich. Why ? because the Schleich section is still the biggest of STS.

NightLioness wrote:
But the main thing about such topic as this one, is valuable information from collectors that major brands can use... although I doubt major brands will ever listen to us collectors.

I can’t agree with you Karin. I think it is exactly the ”heart” of Scott feelings about STS. Schleich has a special place on STS because this brand have a special place in the Animal toy’s history. CollectA and Mojo have a special place on STS because these brands are listening and discussing with our community. More than that, i think all the Majors have a look at DTF, ATF and STS.

Ana wrote:
But I think the reason is also I just try to learn more about proportions and anatomy and maybe that's why I also see more mistakes in these models now. I wouldn't noticed them in the past probably. I have read many critique comments about this brand on this forum and I think it opened my eyes for some issues. But we can find these or other mistakes in all other brands as well.

So I think critique is usually a lesson (well, sometimes it isn't, in case if it's only emotional expression "I don't like it because I don't like it") but in most cases it's is a good thing. We shouldn't think that criticising a brand is a personal thing against the brand, it's rather kind of lesson for us to see more details and be more observant.  Very Happy

I think we all improve our knowledge about toys and animals and that is a STS tribute and I agree it is a very good thing, even if the models are more criticized and if we are more hard to please.

Ana wrote:
I'm surprised to hear the voices that some of the figures would be more criticised if it was Schlech product. I never considered this brand as the most disliked one, definitely no. I would say it's the brand that got most comments, so good and bad ones. If Mojo or CollectA get less critique it's mainly because these new brands get less comments in general.

Mainly but not only.

Ana wrote:
I see that perhaps some of us like this or that brand more, I don't think it's a bad thing to have favourites. My recent favourite brand when it comes to realism and manufacturing quality is Kitan Club, some of the Kaiyodos, and many of the handmade, 3D designed or customised animals made by members of this forum and some other artists. I love also Lineol and many vintage brands. In general I try to search either very decent realism or interesting style (let's call it vintage style, but it will look different in let's say Lineol and different in Clairet or Marx or Dinamização).

In fact in a modern toy brands very decent realism is a rare thing actually, no wonder we have much to criticise in all of the brands. We will find many quite realistic and good enough models, and that's fine too! I think it's a good thing to "play" finding the mistakes in this or that model because it teach us to be more observant etc. But I understand it may be hard sometimes to not take it personally when someone really likes certain brand?  study

We are all collectors and we all have favorites and it is not a problem indeed. I'm a Clairet lover and of course I want to share this love affair with all of you. Of course, speaking about the Clairet's realism is not my goal n°1  Laughing  I prefer talking about art déco style  Wink   Laughing
I'm also a Lineol addict and I must admit some critics from younger members are a bit painful for me "Lineol zebra? Piece of S..."  Rolling Eyes  so I can understand it is hard sometimes for a Schleich lover. We need to  educate ourselves to accept constructive critics and to make also constructive critics. Most of the time it is the STS mood I guess  Very Happy

Chris Sweetman wrote:
Using the Britains example above Schleich currently are in the same position. There is also another similarity between the old Britains company and Schleich - they are designed for children! Animal figures today have to undertake a far more severe testing procedure than they ever did in the 1960’s!

Unfortunately, for collectors, Schleich (and the old Britains company) exist/ed to provide for the needs of children and their products have to relate to this market.

As Jack Odell (part owner of Matchbox toy cars) once said in the 1960’s “collectors just get in the way with their demands”. Just like then toy animal figure manufacturers first priority is for children and their products have to comply with health and safety legislation and to the needs of children at play.

Finally, going back to the original question: "Are we biased by brand when judging a model?”

If one is using the above the answer is: Yes - our first love is the one we remember forever! Very Happy

However, how many of us are objective in our views? Do we need to be? Should we judge a figure by what some else has written? Most of the reviews here on STS are of animal figures I have never seen before and possibly never will. I feel it is good that STS has a range of collectors and they express their personal preferences and somewhere there is a happy medium.

This is not only true for Britains and Schleich. This is true for all the companies and they have all their own style. Starlux were made for children, Lineol were made for children and it is the same for CollectA or Mojo... And despite they are all different, as a Toy collector, I don't feel unfortunate about this  cheers

Of course we are not always objective in our choice and ideas, nevertheless the good thing about critics is we can see things with eyes of other collectors and this magnified all of us.

DaveScriv wrote:
Kikimalou wrote:
DaveScriv wrote:
Just to point out folks that a similar discussion might have taken place between collectors 50+ years ago regarding (now vintage) brands.

For many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Britains, Britains, Britains, with other brands (just looking at the UK for the present) such as Charbens, Cherilea, Crescent and JoHillCo being regarded as decidedly downmarket.
In reality, whilst Britains products were mostly of a good average quality, they did produce some duds, whilst some of the other companies designed some real gems along with some truly dreadful items.  

For British people of course Wink

50+years ago in France, for many then (& quite a lot now!)  it was all Starlux and for a lot it was Clairet... Britains ? C'est quoi Britains ? Laughing

In Germany, for many then (& quite a lot now!) it was all Lineol or Hausser... Starlux ? Was ist Starlux ? Wink

Regarding France and Germany - of course. I had thought of those, but didn't want to make the post overly long and complicated.

I used this example to show that Britains and Schleich have a very different place in the Animal toys world. Despite their great qualities, despite the place they have in vintage collectors' shelves and heart, Britains, Lineol or Starlux are "Regional" big number ones.
Even now, we just need to have a look on eBay.uk, eBay.de or eBay.fr to verify this. Schleich is the first nearly international brand and it is easy to see this also on eBay.

Chris Sweetman wrote:
Are we biased by brand when judging a model?

More thoughts here - what is a model? Is there a difference between a model and a toy?
In short if we are being biased by brand when judging a model we need to first establish the market the said figure is aimed at.

I understand Chris but IMHO models "is not exactly" a British word. Like all community STS is building its own language and our international village use the word model to describe an animal item, toy or not. It's the same for "Major brand", it is our convention.

SUSANNE wrote:
This topic is so interesting cheers
I was turning all the different opinions in my head...and put tooh paste on my hands instead of hand lotion geek Laughing

Yes, I even ate my French fries with hand lotion mayonnaise and I asked for a plate of toothpasta with mushrooms  Laughing

Ana wrote:
Chris Sweetman wrote:
In my view such criticism should be aimed at manufacturers that produce models of animal figures.

Sure some products from Schleich can be described as cute and cuddly but we must remember the market this animal figure is aimed at!

I have never seen any CollectorA models in the flesh but assume due to the name the company has selected that they have aimed their products at a collector. Therefore, their products need to be realistic and move away from the cute and cuddly to being a realistic representation of the animal modelled.

In short if we are being biased by brand when judging a model we need to first establish the market the said figure is aimed at.

Again, I think we can look for realism in all brand. Perhaps we should not be negative if toy brands are not very much realistic but we can compare them to real animals, talk about their proportions etc.  Mainly for learning something from such discussion and for having fun to find the differences or to define what is typical style of certain brands. So I think what we call "criticising" is perhaps more just "talking" about all points negative and positive, style and realism.  It's so nice to talk about these things, isn't it? Very Happy

Yes it is nice and so sweet Anna Very Happy

Again Chris, CollectA is a Toy manufacturer and its main goal is to sell their toys to parents for their childs. CollectA wants to have a wide (the widest ?) range asStarlux in the past and to be realistic as Britains but it is a toy maker.

Bloodrayne wrote:
First of all: Yes we are biased.
We think we know what we can expect from a brand and we expect the animal model to be to that standard.

...Also because of the internet, I found this wonderful site: STS forums.  cheers
It was a Walhalla for me.
So many pictures and photos and comparisons and discussions.
For many months I enjoyed myself looking at old threads, finding out about Kaiyodo and Kitan Club animals.
Such realistic looking animal models made in Asian countries, just for the price of a chocolate egg.
The beautiful realistic horses of Breyer (and too expensive for my taste). And AAA/ELC figures.
Only easily available in the USA at that time, so out of my reach...

So many pictures and photos and comparisons and discussions cheers This is exactly wht I love in our forum drunken

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:27 pm

I think one detail is interesting regarding Britains and its 'regional'/UK v worldwide status which goes right back to the 1930s, is with wild/zoo animals in the US. There were very few US made wild/zoo animals, yet they had world class (real life) zoos with busy souvenir shops too - yet US manufacturers seem to have never even tried to go for this market, and left it to UK manufacturers Britains and Taylor & Barrett (with their modestly priced little boxed sets of chimps tea party, elephant ride, llama cart ride and camel ride sets, which Britains either didn't do, or did do but were very expensive).
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:34 pm

In the 1930's even Blancherie Freres were sold in the US for the same reasons and in the 1950's Marx used Clairet models to make their standard animal line, it doesn't mean Clairet and Blancherie Freres were International brands.
I'm sure the Britains and T&B adventures in US are discussed among Britains and T&B collectors as BF and Clairet adventures are discussed among the French vintage collectors...
Nevertheless, Schleich is discussed everywhere and has no Internatonal competitor, Schleich Gasher's book is known everywhere in the collector's world and it would be uneasy to find a good book about Britains or Lineol in France, i know it would be the same for you for Starlux or Quiralu.
I don't know which "regional" brand was the biggest "regional" brand, I know Schleich have a different place.
I'm not a Schleich collector, my first mainstream collection was the old French animal toys but I know that STS is a reality because some international toy collectors met in a playmobil forum with a small section for Schleich items. I guess STS would never came to life without the Schleich impulse and so Schleich made things none made before: Schleich collectors have the chance here to discover other modern brands from all over the world, they can discover vintage brands and have a view on their hobby's whole history. Vintage collectors can enjoy the future vintage toys and we can discuss about our "great regional" beloved brands as it never really happened before, a place where Lineol, Britains, Starlux and all the old stuff can live together. If there is only one reason to thanks Schleich it is this one cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:09 pm

Kikimalou wrote:


NightLioness wrote:
This years new additions from brands was the first time I am completely honest of myself choosing only the best IMO for my collection. Seeing all the people judging certain brands, it makes me wonder about some animals sometimes. Examples are the new Schleich Cobra and male tiger, I think they are beautiful, even by a Schleich... See I did it... Even by a Schleich... Schleich is not a bad brand, although they sell for a different reason IMO. I giggled by the photo of the Mojo Ring tailed lemur with the Schleich logo on it.  won't buy the animal, because I don't collect apes/monkey and lemurs. But i think it if it was a Schleich, it would have been criticized more. Simply because Schleich has been in a direction many questioned.

I think the Schleich cobra and male tiger are very welcomed by the STS community and I think the Ring-tailed lemur would be more loved, more criticized and more comments if it was a Schleich. Why ? because the Schleich section is still the biggest of STS.

Yes, I think the same Christophe Smile


Kikimalou wrote:
Ana wrote:
But I think the reason is also I just try to learn more about proportions and anatomy and maybe that's why I also see more mistakes in these models now. I wouldn't noticed them in the past probably. I have read many critique comments about this brand on this forum and I think it opened my eyes for some issues. But we can find these or other mistakes in all other brands as well.

So I think critique is usually a lesson (well, sometimes it isn't, in case if it's only emotional expression "I don't like it because I don't like it") but in most cases it's is a good thing. We shouldn't think that criticising a brand is a personal thing against the brand, it's rather kind of lesson for us to see more details and be more observant.  Very Happy

I think we all improve our knowledge about toys and animals and that is a STS tribute and I agree it is a very good thing, even if the models are more criticized and if we are more hard to please.

cheers  cheers  cheers


Kikimalou wrote:
Ana wrote:
I see that perhaps some of us like this or that brand more, I don't think it's a bad thing to have favourites. My recent favourite brand when it comes to realism and manufacturing quality is Kitan Club, some of the Kaiyodos, and many of the handmade, 3D designed or customised animals made by members of this forum and some other artists. I love also Lineol and many vintage brands. In general I try to search either very decent realism or interesting style (let's call it vintage style, but it will look different in let's say Lineol and different in Clairet or Marx or Dinamização).

In fact in a modern toy brands very decent realism is a rare thing actually, no wonder we have much to criticise in all of the brands. We will find many quite realistic and good enough models, and that's fine too! I think it's a good thing to "play" finding the mistakes in this or that model because it teach us to be more observant etc. But I understand it may be hard sometimes to not take it personally when someone really likes certain brand?  study


We are all collectors and we all have favorites and it is not a problem indeed. I'm a Clairet lover and of course I want to share this love affair with all of you. Of course, speaking about the Clairet's realism is not my goal n°1  Laughing  I prefer talking about art déco style  Wink   Laughing
I'm also a Lineol addict and I must admit some critics from younger members are a bit painful for me "Lineol zebra? Piece of S..."  Rolling Eyes  so I can understand it is hard sometimes for a Schleich lover. We need to  educate ourselves to accept constructive critics and to make also constructive critics. Most of the time it is the STS mood I guess  Very Happy


Yes, this is exactly the way of criticising that is  not constructive, additionally almost rude and of course it can be painful to read. If it was just comment in this style: I don't like paint job and style and whatever I guess it would be much more acceptable and no one would have reason to feel bad about it probably?

Kikimalou wrote:


Ana wrote:
Chris Sweetman wrote:
In my view such criticism should be aimed at manufacturers that produce models of animal figures.

Sure some products from Schleich can be described as cute and cuddly but we must remember the market this animal figure is aimed at!

I have never seen any CollectorA models in the flesh but assume due to the name the company has selected that they have aimed their products at a collector. Therefore, their products need to be realistic and move away from the cute and cuddly to being a realistic representation of the animal modelled.

In short if we are being biased by brand when judging a model we need to first establish the market the said figure is aimed at.

Again, I think we can look for realism in all brand. Perhaps we should not be negative if toy brands are not very much realistic but we can compare them to real animals, talk about their proportions etc.  Mainly for learning something from such discussion and for having fun to find the differences or to define what is typical style of certain brands. So I think what we call "criticising" is perhaps more just "talking" about all points negative and positive, style and realism.  It's so nice to talk about these things, isn't it? Very Happy

Yes it is nice and so sweet Anna  Very Happy

Again Chris, CollectA is a Toy manufacturer and its main goal is to sell their toys to parents for their childs. CollectA wants to have a wide (the widest ?) range asStarlux in the past and to be realistic as Britains but it is a toy maker.

Yes, I agree with Kikimalou, I think CollectA, Mojo, Safari, Schleich and most brands described on this forum including Japanese brands all are made as toys, some probably are specially designed for younger kids and some are a bit more serious but still toys.  Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:16 pm

Chris Sweetman wrote:

Unfortunately, great companies can fall as we see in Matchbox (although the brand exists it isn’t owned by Lesney - the original owners) and Hauser (with their Elastolin brand) both failed in the mid - 1980’s. The original Elastolin moulds are now with Preiser. So we are lucky to have a range of Elastolin animal replicas available today. If one is looking for the Rolls-Royce of animal replicas then the ’new’ Elastolin range should be considered. However, it seems not many collectors of animal replicas on STS collect them. Maybe the price is to high or the poses reflect a different era and collectors have moved onto more realistic ‘wild life’ style animations.


I acquired few animals from Preiser and I'm quite happy with them Very Happy The only problem for me is they are very hard to get. I ordered several more of them but I wait for the info from the supplier already almost two years and none of the pre ordered animals arrived to the shop yet. If they were easily available I would probably buy much more of them, maybe whole line, they are really lovely and in scale to each other Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:21 pm

Brands tend to play an important role in my collecting. I don't outright buy with brand bias in mind most of the time, but the differences between different brands means I end up buying lots of certain ones and almost none of other ones. For example I enjoy many of the Wild Safari figures and buy many of those, while I generally don't like the CollectA figures so I only have a few of those. I rarely look for completion of a brand - I only do this with Kaiyodo Dinotales and Battat dinosaurs because these lines as a whole appeal very strongly to my personal tastes.

The only brand I outright dislike is Schleich. Now before everyone gets up in arms, this is because I am primarily an extinct animal collector. To me 95% Schleich's prehistoric animals (and almost all of their current line) are absolutely atrocious - they are both highly inaccurate and aesthetically unappealing, and it is clear that the people behind the line really do not care much for these factors. When combined with the fact that their aggressive marketing tactics push out other brands like Safari and CollectA that do in fact take the time and effort to make accurate figures that the collector community wants, I cannot help but dislike Schleich. I recognize that their extant animals tend to be quite good, but unfortunately that does not help us dinosaur collectors.
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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:36 am

I am more biased about airplane manufacture companies than figures honestly. Razz

I show enmity to Airbus while I love Boeing. Very Happy xD Laughing

I boycott Airbus by choosing Boeing-run flights when I fly places. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:00 am

I don't really have so much of a bias when it comes to brands really. All brands have their strengths in some areas.For instance,Papo is practically untouchable when it comes to it's big cats (like the snow leopard among many others for example) while Safari Ltd. has in it's prehistoric lines (The Carnegie Museum of Natural History Ichthyosaurus,2011 Carnotaurus ect. and Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimorphodon,Yutyrannus ect.) some of the best dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal models ever made in my opinion. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:34 pm

My least favorite brands personally are bullyland and mojo fun,bullyland for the weird rubbery material that they use (some of their sculpts are derpy looking also) and mojo for the dull paint work. Some like the wolves are excellent in Mojo's case. So I will still buy a few from them.

Safari and Schleich are hit or miss,I actually like the newest version of the Schleich dogs because they are small and cute. The new wolf is terrible but I will get it eventually just because it is a wolf,not because of the brand. I love the arctic wolf though. Alot of newer safari animals are beautiful. The 2013 Elk is one of my favorite figures from any brand.

I like papo and collectA but they can only be bought online. Both have older models that are eh but most of their newer models are really nice.

I have some brands that I like more than others but I will not go more harshly against one brand over the other.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:51 pm

I fully agree with Anna.
I never looked at brand, I just learned brand's names and try to buy those figurines, which I can find localy. So I grew up with Schleich and Papo.
For me it doesn't matter what brand is figurine that I can see on the shelf of any shop. I always, from very-very young age, was trying to find the most realistic models. So I always look st the figurine as biologist. If it is really good, I'll buy it, even it would be «made in China».
A bit different situation is with wolves.

Stop abuse the new Schleich growling wolf! I was on of the first who get him, I'm learning wolf anatomy since 2009 and so I can see he has almost perfect anatomy. BUT NOT PAINTING. It is the only one real lack in him, but if you can draw, you always can to repaint him. THIS is the solution.

Wolves are my passion, and so I have more than 50 wolves already. Ones are almost perfect, others not good, some not beautiful. I can see all of their lacks and I never stop find new ones, but I like all my wolves, in to a greater or lesser extent. But I haven't only one favorite. Each of them has its own advantages and lacks. So, as a biologist, I can pick out some wolves: almost all of Schleich (except wolf from 1990), Safari Polar Wolf, Fame Master, Marvel and etc.

Not long time ago I couldn't decide what brand is my favorite. After I thought it's Schleich, but when Papo started to fast developpe, I more liked Papo, which is my favorite for now. I was SO glad when I saw promo-photo of Papo Howling Wolf. But later you know, what's happened. I smash Papo to smithereens with their canids at all.

Well, enough of wolves. I think all brands have a good and bad models. You can remember Schleich Arabian Mare 2014 and compare her to older one. I like Safari ltd very much, especialy new 2015 figurines, I like Mojö with Anna's sculptures and etc.
Actually, it doesn't matter what brand are figurines, it's important that you, guys, like it. Each of us has his/her own taste, and no one can change it. But for me the most important, main, criterion: anatomy. Not even painting (just imagine how much each brand make new figurines per day, I'm sorry for paint workers), but only anatomy.

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PostSubject: Re: Are we biased by brand when judging a model ?   Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:15 pm

I think there is obviously some bias, but how much is a certain thing we look for: color, variety, accuracy, scale , availability, a certain species, durability / material, and how much is a brand loyalty is a bit ambiguous.

I know my collection has a bias to schleich, but that's mostly an availability issue - most local stores have particularly slim offerings other than schleich.

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