2017 is on the horizon and we're putting some long-overdue time into the ModiBot Custom Shop. Its where to buy essential upgrades and accessories for your standard Mo figures, as well as some alternate body styles like a full Moli (female) figure, Myke (minifig), ModiRaptor, or Mo Blanco (no hex holes) figure.
If you haven't stopped by in a while, some of Shapeways' more recent improvements to the shop area have wreaked chaos on many of the product listings. After a bit of noodling, we've improved many of the listings to increase the amount of custom options from many of the parts and set. Here's what's new-
Increased color selection
Several years back, Shapeways added 3 new colors to their Nylon color pallet. The originals were white, black, white polished, red, blue, pink, and purple. Many of the models hadn't been updated to allow the ordering of the 3 new colors- yellow, orange and green.
After some testing, I've also added the black option to many of the sets. Historically, the sizing was a bit inconsistent with the black prints, but they seem to have brought the print quality of black to a similar level as white.
Full metal weapons
Shapeways supports a pretty wide variety of metal options, including bronze, gold, and natural colored, stainless steel. They are real metal created from 3d printed forms and cast in metal. Quite tough and durable.
The thing to understand is that ball sockets need to flex for assembly. If the sockets don't flex, there's no way to insert the ball. Sooo, this means that while we can offer metal weapons and accessories, we can't offer any parts that include sockets or tight fittings like helmets. We'll keep working on this, but for now its mostly hand-held weapons that will be offered in metal.
Long term transition to 'sprued' parts sets
Two years ago, Shapeways changed its pricing options. To many of the creators using the service this made many of their products cheaper. However, any shop owners that deal in multi-part prints, like ModiBot, suffered a price increase of 2-3 times the original kit cost. This wasn't terrible on items with 2-5 parts, but for large kits like the ModiRaptor, it increased the price from around $38 to the current offering which is around $140. Ouch.
Over time, I have been testing many of the top selling items 'sprued' together to become one part (like on a model kit). This can bring the price down, but it requires a lot of time and cost to string all the parts together and test them to be sure they survive all of Shapeways printing, sorting, coloring, and shipping processes. I've got a few sets that are using this approach, but we'll be working out the kinks on the process over the next few months to start getting the cost down across more of the kits. If you have any requests, please let me know in the contact form below.
As you can see from the new sprue option, the cost has come down on colored prints to around $18 vs. $36-ish for the non-sprued option. Still not as cheap as our molded Mo, but still a viable option if you want your figure to match some of the printed accessories.
Lastly, peppered throughout the shop are several new accessories, including the scythe, spiked war hammer and night vision goggles.
So, there you have it. Plenty of reason to drop by the shop and check out the changes. Anyone who has followed for a while might know that we use the New Year holiday to ramp up for the coming year. We're looking forward to lots of fun and surprises in 2017.
Here's to you and your next creative project! Happy New Year!!!