Defending the DeAgostini Millennium Falcon Part Work…

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DeAgostini started 2015 off with their part work Star Wars Millennium Falcon replica.

While the world is currently divided over freedom of satire, others are losing their s*** over the chocolate change in Cadbury’s creme eggs–and this part build.

People have serious criticism for this series. It’s about the price, and it’s about the delivery of this product. It has really surprised and thrown me, and I feel the need to defend it.

The media are criticising such an expensive ‘toy’, many consider it overpriced, people are doubting whether the series will complete, people are claiming it has hidden costs, and others are labeling it a con. Yes, people think this publishing company is trying to do you over. And people are actually going into the Facebook fan page for this and slagging off the product and the people that buy it. Yes, really.

Now, this got a lot of advertising over Christmas, so yes it is likely to attract the attention from kids. But this clearly isn’t a ‘toy’ for kids. It’s a model, it’s not a toy–it won’t take being played with. It’s gonna be huge and heavy. It’s also going to take two years to complete. Beyond the attention span of most kids. Parents may have the unenviable job of saying ‘no’ to their kids on this, but if that’s an issue then having kids was probably a bigger life choice mistake than buying into this.

Don’t want to have an expense through your kid? Good luck with that then mums and dads, because they’re gonna want gaming consoles, computers, mobile phones, tablets, and best keep them well away from musical instruments, Games Workshop and football matches and kits. Those expenses won’t be spread out–and many of those things will need replacing or updating to be ‘bang on trend’.

Which brings me into the expense criticism. £9 a week, or £36 a month, £900 in total is a lot of money. Except it’s all relative. How many of these scoffing critics have made life choice expenses they don’t think about? Kids, I’ve mentioned all those–the most expensive ‘luxury’ you can have. But, smokers might burn £7 every couple of days or every day on a packet of cigarettes and damage their health to boot, a night out drinking alcohol which might be £3 to £5 a pop, which you’re going to pour down the drain at the end of the night and might feel worse for in the morning, a regular glossy magazine can set you back £5 and is disposable, or £50 a month for that gym membership that didn’t get used. The tea and cake I’m having now in Costa cost me a fiver and I do this a couple of times a week. It’s down to what you choose to spend your money on.

As to whether it’s worth £900 is the other criticism around the cost–and that’s also subjective. Most big geek shows and films have budget and high-end expensive merchandise produced from them. What’s better and is worth the price? Depends what you’re into and what you’re prepared to pay. I have frivolous geek and more considered geek purchases, and cherish each of them on their own merits. Generally it’s all crafted plastic, resin or metal or all of that, and doesn’t do anything. But art doesn’t ‘do’ anything, and my geek merchandise is art to me. I want it because I appreciate it. It’s of value to me.

Do I think this is worth it? No. Because I’m not that into the ship. Well, not £900 into it. Plus I have a life size Dalek and a Cyberman and a bunch of other stuff I’ve spent lots of money on and these critics would most likely flip out over. Fortunately my fella is buying it, so I still get to geek out over it. Maybe all those people with partners who won’t allow them to get it made a wrong life decision outside of geekdom…. 😉

Is it a waste of money? If you need the money for necessities, then yes. If not, then why not? Why buy a fancy sports car? You can’t let the sports car do what it’s engine is capable of outside of a race track, and the chances are it’ll be impractical for your life and all the speed bumps in your town are going to wreck it anyway–but plenty of people aspire to flash millionaire cars when you can get a nice shapely car for less money. We could all have budget cars that do what we need them to, but not many of us do. Why? Because the person who wants it, wants it.

You can’t get this model any other way. Yeah, you can get Lego, the Hasbro toy, the Revell model, if you’re not fussed about accuracy and detail. If you are, you could track down the out of production Fine Molds kit or the Master Replica version, but you’ll pay around £150 for the former (and have to build it and paint it or buy it made for about £500-£600 by a professional builder) and you’ll pay anything upward of £1500 for the latter, but both of these are smaller than the DeAgostini Falcon and are unlikely to be as detailed.

As for resale value? If you’re buying anything for resale value these days then good luck to you. In my mind, and experience, what’s going to be of value in years to come is a gamble and can depend on so many variables. We live in a world of merchandise these days. Remember, when the original Star Wars toys were released film merchandising wasn’t really a thing, and the success and appeal of Star Wars was, and is still unparalleled. People know this now, so chances are people will buy merchandise as investments, but the market knows the demand and mass produces in response. Geeks and merchandise are  big business after all. The internet and conventions makes it so much easier to get your geek fix, even rare and vintage items, so that can stop prices rising too high. Just how much of a take up on this could determine how collectible it is, but as for how much demand there will be for this Millennium Falcon, in 10-20 years? Who knows. I wouldn’t suggest anyone buys merchandise solely to sell on. Chances are you aren’t sitting on the next big retrospective ‘must have’.

As to the ‘hidden’ costs and being conned by the ‘small print’ of this being a part work that they are being forced into a buying practice they feel uncomfortable with–these are just bizarre things to claim. The cost is not hidden. It’s maths. It costs £9 an issue and even if the company didn’t state implicitly that it was a part work it’s kind of obvious it’s gonna cost a lot. Part works have been around for 400 years, and DeAgostini have been doing this for over 60 years, and I believe there’s even legislation to protect people from bad part work practices.

Beyond a poor quality Subaru car series, Google searches didn’t bring up any issues with DeAgostini products that weren’t unanswered on forums, in fact people are saying that replacement parts are issued freely, and I can’t see any lines that were stopped other than the trial runs of new series–even then it seems like you can get refunds on the trial issues you bought providing you return them. It’s more likely that newsagents stopped stocking them, and it would seem they cause newsagents hassle due to their size and the fragility of the parts that come with them, and the unpredictability of demand with people starting their collections through the shop and continuing through subscription.

I’ve been collecting 5″ Doctor Who toys by Character Options, but that’s over now as they’ve just changed the scale to 3¾ which look less substantial and don’t fit with what I have already. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I being conned into starting all over again? Er, no. I’m deciding I’m done. The BBC re released some Doctor Who titles on DVD with additional remastering and additional features. Are they conning me into buying them again? No, I’m choosing to buy them–when they are reduced in sale. It’s bizarre that people think there is a deception, that they are being made to do something against their will, that longstanding companies like this would be out to screw you over–especially when we are in control of our money and our choices.

I think the main issue for DeAgostini, and all those in the media and Internet s*** storm that has surrounded this series, is that DeAgostini have produced a product that has a wide appeal. This isn’t a wooden galleon or racing car or plane. It’s Star Wars. It’s the f*****g Millennium Falcon FFS. So lots of people are actually tempted by this. They want it, and you know what? Lots of people can’t afford it. And they need to get over it and not try and make themselves feel better by venting their sour grapes of wrath with those that consider they can afford it and are going for it.

I’m looking forward to watching my other half build this bad boy up. Thankfully we have two years to decide where this beast is going to live in our home… Review to come…

What do you think about all this? Will you be buying?

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