Blog #689: Toy News: Botcon’s Deplorable Quality Control Continues, But Are They Doing It On Purpose?

Toy News: Botcon’s Deplorable Quality Control Continues, But Are They Doing It On Purpose?

Just as an FYI, I’m going to swear a lot in this post.  I’m angry, angrier than I have ever been at Fun Publications, and that’s really saying something.  What I always chalked up to incompetence and greed (which I am sure they do have in abundance as well) may be something else entirely.  It may be criminal.

I was online, as I usually am this time to year (when the Iacon sets arrive) searching for all the Botcon toy quality control issues to check my toys, and I came upon this thread on TFW2005.

Here’s the short version (though I recommend reading the whole thread, Fun Publications apologists seem to be dwindling in number).  A user on the TFW2005 board, deltagod, had a conversation with people from Hasbro about the QC issues with Botcon toys.  This one line sums it up: “The short version of the Hasbro conversation was “you get what you pay for” (in terms of manufacturing costs and QC effort).”

You get…what you pay for.

Funny, I thought it should be about US getting what WE pay for.  Guess I’m just old fashioned like that.

Now we seem to have an answer as to WHY we keep getting such cheap crap.  It seems that Fun Publications is not paying enough for the toys to have them made to a sufficient standard of quality.  They are CHOOSING the CHEAPEST option and are getting what THEY pay for, cheap garbage that is misassembled and incompetently painted, while we pay a fucking fortune year after year and get…CHEAP CRAP.

Very clearly we aren’t getting what we paid for.  Hasbro doesn’t seem to give a shit about that, but more on Hasbro later.

The discussion has gone on over and over about what they charge for the toys, and the apologists are quick to say that they are paying more than a retail store.  Well, no fucking shit, and that you feel like you need to point that out in their favor makes you look as incompetent as they are.

Of course they are paying more than retail stores pay, but let me ask you this.  They charged $60 for the club exclusive Transmutate.  How much do you think they paid for that toy?  Did they pay $40?  If so, then $60 is not out of line, you do have printing and packaging costs too.  Did they pay $30?  If so, then $60 isn’t that bad, considering the additional costs.  Now the big question.  Does anyone really think they paid as much as $20 a unit for those toys?  Absolutely not.  I’d almost go as far as to say there is no fucking way they paid $20 each to Hasbro for those toys.  Could I be wrong?  Sure I could be.  Absolutely.  I WELCOME Hasbro or Fun Publications to provide some verifiable documentation on this.  PROVE that we aren’t having our wallets (not to mention our credit cards) raped by Fun Publications.  In the absence of proof, the only possible conclusion is that we are being completely and totally fucked over, since it’s the only logical interpretation.

So, there is absolutely not excuse for Fun Publications not paying for proper quality control since we’re already being way over charged.  None.  Zero.  Zilch,  Nada.  There is no excuse for this.  They are INTENTIONALLY cutting costs at the expense of quality and failing to deliver what we’re promised and not remedying the situation.  There can be little doubt of that, and the only word for it is fraud.

Yes, I said fraud.

What else would you call it when you sell an item way above reasonable price and then deliver low quality defective merchandise?  When we could question whether or not Hasbro’s factories were just not doing a good job, then that was different, but we can’t do that anymore.  And yes, I am taking that post at face value, but that is the only information available.  Believe me, I would WELCOME a statement from Hasbro on this.  In fact, I’m begging Hasbro to speak on this issue, not in legalese, but in plain English.  Tell us why we are getting cheap crap.

nobcSomeone with the power to do so needs to starts a CRIMINAL FRAUD INVESTIGATION against Fun Publications for there knowingly providing low quality defective merchandise and then refusing to have replacements made or give refunds.  I don’t just want a class action lawsuit, which is long overdue, I want them prosecuted in a court of law for their fraudulent business practices.

I mean, think about it.  If Sears sold washing machines that cleaned your clothes but sometimes chewed holes in them, and then said, “Well, it was a factory problem, we aren’t responsible,” I’m pretty sure there would be a class action lawsuit, and if it could be proved that it was intentional, I think criminal charges would follow.  Kind of the same situation here.  (Though I shutter to think of the consequences if Fun Publications sold large appliances.  They would probably start eating people.)

And lets not pretend that Hasbro is blameless in all this.  They keep saying how much they love the fans.  Well, why don’t they prove it?  They need to TELL Fun Publications that if they want the toys they will pay the price for proper quality control, or not have toys at all.  Don’t ask them.  Don’t suggest it.  They need to FUCKING TELL THEM.  And while they’re at it, tell them what they can charge for them.  This isn’t retail where they can’t make an outlet sell a toy at SRP.  Figure out what the MRP (Mandatory Retail Price) is on these Botcon toys given the costs of the toys, and Fun Publications costs for packaging  and printing for specs and instructions, etc, and then decide what they are allowed to sell them for.

Hell, make it even easier.  Tell them from now on all toys are to be fully packaged by Hasbro and then they don’t have to worry about how much they pay for printing and packaging.  Or even better.  Let Hasbro sell the Botcon exclusives and cut Fun Publications out of it completely.  That’s my best idea yet.

It’s hard to imagine anyone at Hasbro is really this stupid and still employed.  They are letting Fun Publications DRIVE PEOPLE to buy the very 3rd party toys you bitch about.  Notice all those unsold toys in Fun Publications online store?  A lot of the money that used to be spent on those is being spent on third party toys now.  Don’t kid yourself, Hasbro, that’s on you.

So, Hasbro, if you really care about the fans, DO SOMETHING ABOUT FUN PUBLICATIONS.  They are making you look bad and committing fraud against the very fans you claim to care about.  Oh, and by the way, Fun Publications BLAMES YOU for all of this.  Looks like Fun Publications is fucking you too, Hasbro.  And you thought they were just a pain in the ass.

You know, Hasbro, if all else fails, take the license away from them.  Let Botcon die as it probably should have done when Glen Halit stole it so long ago.  Then you don’t have to pretend you give a damn about the fans.

In closing, I am fully aware that no one is going to prosecute Fun Publications for fraud.  (Though, if it ever happens, I’ll pay big money for Brian Savage’s mug shots.)  Hasbro is never going to do anything about this.  They can keep yelling how much they love the fans, but they don’t give two shits about us.

Fuck you, Fun Publications.

Fuck you, Hasbro.

You’ve both certainly been fucking all of us for long enough.

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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4 Responses to Blog #689: Toy News: Botcon’s Deplorable Quality Control Continues, But Are They Doing It On Purpose?

  1. lmb3 says:

    Armchair Warrior needs food badly, you just proved my point. “FRAUD: wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.” Fun Publications represents their toys as being collectibles and charges us for collectible level pricing, but they knowingly are paying for the lowest possible quality control that results in us receiving inferior merchandise. They are doing this KNOWINGLY, and after it has happened again and again, they cannot claim to expect anything better than what we get every year. Their knowing deception is what makes it fraud.

  2. Armchair Warrior needs food badly says:

    FRAUD: wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.
    Yep, sounds right to me. Just because they’re allowed to get away with it doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. I liken it to the notion that corporations are now considered ‘persons’ with the same rights thereof. By your definition, it’s not illegal.

    But it sure as hell is wrong.

  3. lmb3 says:

    Go look up the definition of fraud. They took money from people and what they delivered is damaged, improperly assembled, missing parts, or sloppily painted merchandise. And since they are doing this knowingly by intentionally paying the lowest price knowing these things will happen, that makes it fraud. If they are going to do that then they need to sell the toys at a price appropriate for known defective merchandise and tell us that will be the case when we order it. I don’t get all upset about paint issues, but there is bad paint on my toys that even I can’t just ignore.

  4. Nick says:

    Glad you warned us about the perspiration at the top of your post. 🙂 But, you might want to let people know about the profanity as well.

    Joking aside, I am not seeing how what Fun Publications is doing amounts to fraud. It is scalping. It is direct to market scalping that eliminates the usual middle-man scalper. But, it is not fraud. (The washing machine in your Sears example is actually causing damage. Fun Publications is selling over-priced junk. But, the junk passes safety tests.)

    Fun Publications sells cheap crap because they can get away with it. Completists and other fans cough up money for merchandise that they should pretty much expect to be defective. (Those broken Sunstorm figures last year just about killed my interest, even though I never even bought one.) Hasbro is happy to take Fun Publications’ money (in the form of licensing fees).

    So, yeah, people are getting what they pay for. And, in some cases, they are willing to over-pay.

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