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Air Fighter


6 comments posted
Oversized bootlegs

I don't know this for sure, but I may be able to provide some insight on the oversized-knockoffs mystery.

My understanding is that the simplest way to make a knock-off of something is to just acquire a specimen of the original toy, break it down, and then take casts/impressions of the original parts. It's naturally much easier than, say, trying to get the original tooling or re-modeling the toy's parts.

The casts can then be used to make new tooling for the knockoff, but there's a catch: no matter how carefully it was done, some details of the original mold will muddy and deform from the original shape, since the specimen will by no means be a perfect copy of the mold. And these aren't done carefully, so they're often horrible casts. So if you produce it at original size... it might not fit together at all, and will likely look like an unrecognizable lump.

Blow it up, though, and bam. Muddy details are less of a problem, unless you care about, say, good parts fit and mold flash. But who cares about that, right?

... now, as to *how* they perform this mysterious re-sizing process, I got nothing. Anybody out there know their manufacturing better than me?

MaidenLili's picture
Posted by MaidenLili on 4 April, 2012 - 14:09
mysterious processes

I think another reason for rescaled bootlegs is, in some cases, to produce an attractive item at lower cost by shrinking and simplifying it; or, in other cases, to make a simple, cheap-to-produce item more attractive by making it bigger.

"... now, as to *how* they perform this mysterious re-sizing process, I got nothing. "

Most likely with a pantograph-
Which would also account for some of the loss of detail and shape deformation in rescaled bootlegs.

recognizer's picture
Posted by recognizer on 4 April, 2012 - 14:49
Hey JoshB, you need this

Hey JoshB, you need this book:

This small $15 book Is a guide book detailing the cheap mostly original transforming/combining robot toys Japan has produced in the last 30 years.

This Air Fighter was originality released with two other robot sets (that each formed from two vehicles) and you could mix and match the six vehicles together to form different robots. (Page 76-77 of that book)

Your review of the Henkei Gatsutai Big Fighter OA from a few weeks back is a bootleg of the robot seen on page 23 of the guide book...The two vehicles BX-1 and BX-2 each transform into robots on their own besides combing together.

You should get that book, it will help in the quest for the background behind all these crazy bootlegs.

BraveMSW's picture
Posted by BraveMSW on 5 April, 2012 - 07:34
*How* they rescale

I read an article a long time ago about how toy makers rescale toys from original sculpts. There's this machine that has been around for decades. They slowly run a stylus attached to an arm across the contours of the original, and the machine somehow scales it up.

Txos's picture
Posted by Txos on 5 April, 2012 - 10:17
Now I remember, there are

Now I remember, there are gears attached to the arm that move another stylus but at twice the scale, and the second stylus scrapes away at a block of wax. When they're done with this process they have a wax reproduction at a larger (or smaller scale) which they use to make the molds.

Txos's picture
Posted by Txos on 5 April, 2012 - 11:23
BOOTLEG Goodness

This toy is full of it, very 80s sentai robots, i look forward to any other fun odds you find Josh.

armorhide's picture
Posted by armorhide on 6 April, 2012 - 19:34