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Fleece Blanket coming ...

Threads regarding QMx and their line of licensed Firefly / Serenity stuff

Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby AZSneed » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:48 pm

Try to tell QMx that! :roll:
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Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby Beery » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:36 pm

Well, I can kinda see QMx's problem regarding stuff like this - basically there's not much point in making a product that anyone can pick up fairly inexpensively on eBay. QMx's market has to include the most casual Firefly/Serenity fan, so they have to produce stuff that is recognizably "Firefly", and to a casual fan, a 19th Century style wool blanket just isn't. Yeah, it's exactly what you'd find in a Firefly bunk, but the casual Firefly fan is just not gonna want it. Casual Fans basically want stuff they can use and that says "Firefly" on it. I think we have to realize that, a decade after the series aired, we hardcore Firefly fans are a rare breed and becoming rarer: most of us have gone on to new TV shows, or our Firefly fandom has simply waned. If QMx tailored their business purely to our desires, they'd soon be out of business.

On the other hand, I cannot fathom why QMx can't find something that's going to have broad appeal AND satisfy the hardcore fan. I mean, off the top of my head, if I was the owner of QMx, I would at least be figuring out sources for a Serenity plastic model kit - it's incredible to me that there has been no such kit produced by anyone yet. And QMx could easily make a top quality Jayne hat - 13 years on and most Firefly fans are sporting those nasty half-baked acrylic Jayne hats while the only decent reproductions are still being made in ones and twos by a couple of devoted Firefly fans who happen to also be knitters and who advertise only half-heartedly on the web because they can't fill the demand. I mean, QMx could farm this out to a knitting shop in India and QMx could make a killing with the best 100% wool reproduction possible at a decent price. But no. What's up with that?

Again, I think the problem is that QMx are completely incompetent when it comes to figuring out how to make a decent product that will sell. They managed to get the official license to make stuff, but everything else about their operation is half-baked.
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Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby pennausamike » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:22 pm

Beery wrote:SNIP
On the other hand, I cannot fathom why QMx can't find something that's going to have broad appeal AND satisfy the hardcore fan.
SNIP
Again, I think the problem is that QMx are completely incompetent when it comes to figuring out how to make a decent product that will sell.
They managed to get the official license to make stuff,
but everything else about their operation is half-baked.


Mostly, this:

namebrand wrote:The reason QMx doesn't do prop replicas isn't because the fan base won't pay for them, it's because QMx can't do a 5000% mark-up and have fans pay for them. I happen to know the price points on some of the items that were proposed and they were all affordable and items most fans would want. They just weren't the mark-up level of posters and cheap trinkets made in China. They were healthy mark-ups that meant easy profits, but not massive profits with zero effort on their part. We're talking props from $20-500. Hell, they even gave up on shirts cause there wasn't enough profit, and it's easy to make money on shirts. I replicated the art for all 3 variations of the dead fish shirt (using the original shirt as direct reference) and they paid already...how many years later and they just abandoned it. Likewise the water shirt was in planning stages at the time.

Not to derail the thread, but we can easily blame QMx for crapping the bed on multiple prop licenses that could easily make money in favour of cheap mindless trinkets.

I would like to see something happen with props by fans again, so keep threads like this going!


I'm reminded of Badger's posting from awhile back where he offered Qmx
a metal Mal pistol with wood grips made in China that would retail for $250 IIRC.
As namebrand points out, the mark up wasn't high enough, and they went for the polystone version
(brittle ceramic resin statue material) for eighty bucks.

If you go back to our poll from awhile ago
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=563
I see a number of prop suggestions that would work for QMx as both props AND swag:
Firefly Mal pistol, resin and metal
Jayne's Boo resin and metal
Tall cards and rules for play (now being done by someone else)
Firefly banknotes
Mule license plate (I think this would be pretty big!)
Alliance food bars (molds?)
Serenity pop-up, light up grenades (Mine don't even light up, and everybody LOVES these things.)
I would add, a full line of Jayne T-shirts, released one new one every couple of months.

Keep in mind, all these suggestion would be affordable to make for the license holder,
versus a one-at-a-time fan made effort.

Mike
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Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby taimdala » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:30 pm

I agree with you Beery. QMx has a deplorable sense of what will sell with Firefly fans. I don't know what their sales stats are for their other licenses but I have been disappointed more often than not by their Firefly/Serenity efforts.

In the beginning I was buying from them fairly regularly. I bought the ship's papers, the Firefly Blueprints and the blueprint reference pack, both versions of the Londinium poster, the money pack, the planets lithograph, the Verse Map, the Atlas of the Verse, Vol. 1, Ben Mund's "historical" posters from the war, and all the LDH maquettes save Serenity (99.00 is a bit steep) and Simon (yet to be made). And more.

As you can see, the majority of my purchases are printed images--because I'm an image junkie. They feed the stories in my head the way 3D objects simply don't. The LDH maquettes are a departure from habit because I'm collecting those for their value as a complete set. I weakened and bought the BDH maquette of Kaylee because I loved the staging of it and the mechanical pieces and parts, but to date, she's the only one of that line I've bought and River has since sold out. Had I been collecting the BDHs for their collectors' value, I would have invested in River as well. I didn't, because Kaylee was a sentimental purchase rather than a calculated one.

But there's the problem: for a while, QMx was making items that had clear collectors' value as well as hard core fan/detail fiend appeal. Sure, it was paper, but you could sink into the images and stay there for hours. (Results not typical. Your mileage may vary.) The furry spirit animal fox, however cute and adorable (and I LOVE foxes), cannot offer the same. Once I saw that offered, I got that sick feeling in my gut that QMx had taken a turn for the worse. The years since have shown that while my gut wasn't entirely right, it wasn't entirely wrong either.

Somewhere along the line, someone made the decision to spend less effort on the design side to make production cheaper. I can't pinpoint the exact product that indicates the change because it would take my trawling through their entire catalogue and dredging up from memory the offerings they've since removed from their catalogue but I think it happened right around the time they offered the keychain. I *think* that would be 2010, maybe 2011. But I can say that the *depth* in their material has gone shallow and has remained shallow for some time.

That's the point where I have to walk away. If it's nothing more than a piece of paper or a paperweight, I'm not buying it. I'll just copy the catalogue picture for reference and move on. At that point, I've already made the internal decision that I could gin it up in Photoshop/Illustrator myself and *customize* it to my own specs and be happier with it. My passports and other props posted here are an expression of that.

QMx is in trouble when a long-time customer looks at what's offered and thinks "I could make that and I could make it BETTER/JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT."

My purchases these days are rarely for myself. The last purchases that fell in that category are the 4-poster lithographed set (subsequently signed by the actors and donated to the Raleigh CSTS 2009 raffle) and the Firefly keychains v.1.0 in gold and pewter colors. Everything else, posters and tee shirts and card sets--those are going to my CSTS raffle. While I may keep a set of the cards for myself, I will not be opening them. Like the LDH maquettes, I am keeping them for collectors' purposes.

I suppose it's a little sad that I'm not enjoying the QMx offerings as much as I did in the beginning but for the sake of the CSTS raffle, I'm still a semi-regular customer of theirs. I would like to think my patronage will help keep them going until they "straighten up and fly right", but only history will prove the outcome.

EDIT: Gorram typos. Fixed now.
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Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby taimdala » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:42 pm

I would also like to add to pennausamike's list of props: Kaylee tees.

Back in 2008, I'd spent some time making up Jayne-themed and Kaylee-themed tee shirt images, thinking I'd run them up on my home ink jet printer on transfer sheets and iron them onto craft store tees. My images very quickly exceeded the limits of ink jet transfer capabilities in their complexity and rather than spend days razoring out the unwanted opaque backing from the transfer sheet image prior to ironing, I let the entire project drop.

This was in the days well before Firefly tees took off on the internet. I've bought several Firefly shirts from those vendors and have been happier with them than with the ones QMX has offered. I have since then found several venues online that will print custom images onto a wide variety of shirts at a reasonable price. All I need do is choose the tee, upload the image from my files, edit it with the vendor's online image editor, and click "Submit". I've had good results and I may start up the tee shirt idea again.

I wonder how long it will take before I want to add foil transfers to the designs? I've been haunting those places online for years. Maybe it's time to indulge a little.
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Re: Fleece Blanket coming ...

Postby Miker » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:53 am

Not to big on Fleece. I have some for camping and any breeze goes directly through as though you're not wearing anything. First one I bought, others were given to me. I didn't have the heart to say anything, didn't want to offend. I guess on a summer evening it may do.
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