FAN POLL: What's The Biggest Influence On Rising Masterpiece Prices?

We want some input from our fellow Transformers fans! We've been asking ourselves and our friends at Radio Free Cybertron a question that has been on a lot of minds lately, especially due to the impending release of MP-44 Optimus Prime and his approximate pricetag of $500 USD: What is up with Masterpiece pricing anymore?

There's a lot of factors that could be at work here, as we've spoken to a lot of people with a lot of different opinions on the matter. But we want to know which one you think has had the most effect on MP pricing. Have an idea we didn't cover in the responses? Be sure to leave it in the comment section!

News Poll

What's The Biggest Influence On The Rising Cost Of The Masterpiece Series?
More Complex Design
Increased Production Costs
Vehicle Licensing Fees
High-End Licensed Figures
Unlicensed Third-Party Figures
Knockoffs (Unoffiical Use Of Official MP Molds)
Other - See Comment



Votes: 477

Poll Results

News Story Comments

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
MxBxM - 2019-06-12 @ 2:47 pm

I think the ones who voted other like myself, are implying greed.

I pre-ordered it because I collect all MPs and Optimus transforming figures, but that price is just greed.

Though I will immediately cancel my Preorder if there is any type of issue with it.

Greenboy35 - 2019-06-12 @ 1:46 pm

Takara identified their market, made a quality product at a high-but-reasonable cost. We collectors got hooked with the goal of completing our G1 collections. To increase profits, they increased part counts to justify in our minds a huge price increase. Takara realized that the loss of any customers they alienated would be more than compensated by the increased price and new customers. This is very smart business planning.

Firefoxes - 2019-06-12 @ 11:15 am

Agreed with Thomas Woods. They charge what people are willing to pay. You just have to look at Macross (aka Robotech). RRP for VF-31A is a around $200+ and pushed way over $500+. The VF-1 which had an RRP of $180 that pushed over $300+

Sometimes, I can't blame the manufacturer or retailers, after all there are so many willing to pay the ridiculous price.

Thomas Woods - 2019-06-12 @ 1:02 am

It is not rise in production cost. Check out global inflation facts, most countries have problems pushing inflation up. Think about the easing of monetary policies world wide in the past decade. Its not because of 3rd parties, if anything these will push prices down due to competition.

Its simply because the producers know there are increasingly people who will pay that price. GREED.

I am very sure I paid less than USD 200 (more like 150) for MP1 in mid 2000s, in retail shop. Same plastics, same products. Basically same designs and technology. And today USD 500 for an optimus prime figure? WTF.

The Transformers industry has grown tremendously since the first MP optimus prime, first with Takara MPs and then 3rd party etc. Producers simply exploit people's desires. This MP 44 maybe sort of turning point. One chinese producer coming up with a god ginrai that will cost near USD 1000 all up. If you want to make them rich at your own expense by all means.

I hope fans say no thanks. Love the robots, the memories, but not the exploitation, thanks very much.

jco83 - 2019-06-11 @ 10:03 pm

I remember hearing maybe last year that TAKARA TOMY lost the rights to something or other else meaning they have to make more money from Transformers Masterpiece now

*the Pokmon toy licence (#1 selling toy in the world)

BaCon - 2019-06-11 @ 4:25 pm
2 hours ago, RAC said:

As for whether the price tracks, I'm having a hard time tracking down what MP-1 actually cost at the time in Japan, and since the US release left out the trailer and all I don't think it's an especially good point of comparison, so I dunno. But also there's just the fact that pricing is varied right now in ways that make it hard for me to draw comparisons. Deluxes are 2x what they cost then, Voyagers are up 50% from when that price point was created... and then you have things like the RID Prime where the price has effectively tripled from its initial release. (Which makes Soundwave even more of an anomaly, even though his mold isn't as old as that...)

The underlying math probably works out, where inflation-adjusted engineering costs Plus licensing Plus the added complexity equal this being a reasonable price. Maybe. I suspect production run size factors in too - you're going to sell fewer $300 God Fire Convoy sets than you are $20 Deluxes and smaller batches cost more per unit.

That's a good point, the price of other classes at the time are a good measure as well. I am just guessing that the MP-1 came out for around $100 when deluxe and voyager were still about $10 and $20 or so. The mass of the classes have changed too. I think you can look at SIEGE and see the Leader Galaxy Prime at $50 and see its not much more than a Voyager was, and deluxes are smaller and lighter too.

BaCon - 2019-06-11 @ 3:33 pm
16 hours ago, SerpentSociety11 said:

The only other one I think is possible is the presence of other high-price licensed figures that you mention. Those non-transforming ones that are pricey and the statues maybe. Honestly, I am not sure. Inflation? Or a combination of these.

Look at everything from cars to food to travel and you'll find high-end options. But is this anything new? Seems to me Transformers and most toy lines have always put a few things out of reach to increase engagement in all the lines. We have seen Fort Max, Metroplex and the many baseformers aimed at the high-rollers and or the coveted Xmas buy.

RAC - 2019-06-11 @ 3:29 pm

I think the presence of older MPs is a lot of it, yeah. To re-release MP Soundwave at the same basic price he always was just as this hideously expensive Prime hits does make you wonder.

As for whether the price tracks, I'm having a hard time tracking down what MP-1 actually cost at the time in Japan, and since the US release left out the trailer and all I don't think it's an especially good point of comparison, so I dunno. But also there's just the fact that pricing is varied right now in ways that make it hard for me to draw comparisons. Deluxes are 2x what they cost then, Voyagers are up 50% from when that price point was created... and then you have things like the RID Prime where the price has effectively tripled from its initial release. (Which makes Soundwave even more of an anomaly, even though his mold isn't as old as that...)

The underlying math probably works out, where inflation-adjusted engineering costs Plus licensing Plus the added complexity equal this being a reasonable price. Maybe. I suspect production run size factors in too - you're going to sell fewer $300 God Fire Convoy sets than you are $20 Deluxes and smaller batches cost more per unit.

Even if so, I think a lot of it comes back to the old problem that costs may have doubled or tripled since 2003 but collecting budgets sure haven't. ?

BaCon - 2019-06-11 @ 3:17 pm

I have to wonder if the perception is skewed because older MP toys are still available for the same or less price than when they were released?

SerpentSociety11 - 2019-06-10 @ 11:36 pm

So I study production and industry and I don't think rising productions cost can explain all of it but it is on of the options that makes sense. Presence of competing options should not drive the price up but down.

The only other one I think is possible is the presence of other high-price licensed figures that you mention. Those non-transforming ones that are pricey and the statues maybe. Honestly, I am not sure. Inflation? Or a combination of these.

Also, 55 votes of other and only 2 comments...lol!

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