Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

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Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby attackowl » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:21 pm

I know Mobilefra.me does this, but it doesn't always respond. I'm thinking we, as a community, create a site where we can sell frame/customization/weapon kits with laminated instructions in plastic bags, and squad kits in cardboard boxes. Anyone can submit new frame kit ideas to the site (Think Lockon frame, etc), and they may be made, provided they gain support (like Lego Ideas!)
Just an idea, but I think this could actually work.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby SamSam » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:38 pm

I want to know where to get sets too. I asked before an got a lot o suggestions but not how to buy premaid armies.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Atavism » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:25 pm

The main problem is that by the time you cost out parts and shipping and nice cardstock instructions, you end up with a product that isn't any cheaper than what anyone else can get on their own volition. Making a site (like Mobilefra.me) becomes a labor of love, because fair compensation for your time and effort would balloon the cost unreasonably (not to mention the risks, like unpopular kits not selling or lost mail).

I agree it'd be super helpful towards building the community, but paradoxically the community isn't big enough to support such a venture. We need a lotto winner or corporate sponsor.

If you really cannot Bricklink on your own for some reason, go to the Frame Trader thread. Figure out a budget and what kind of thing you're looking for in some detail, and be prepared to negotiate a commission. Maybe if you like a particular builder you could message them directly and cross your fingers. Either way, plan on paying a premium as though you are commissioning art rather than buying a premade kit.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Blorf » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:12 pm

I don't think it could be said any better. I'll add that every challenge that was just mentioned is not just theoretical, but something that people have actually come up against while trying to do exactly this. There's also the issue of supply: there's no good way to reliably buy parts that support this kind of venture. Inevitably you need to go to multiple suppliers, which means paying for shipping multiple times. You may also find certain parts impossible to get in certain quantities, limiting the abilities to consistently list kits.

Are you willing to pay at least double what you could get the bricks for separately on your own? If so, mention that in the frame trader thread and someone will probably build you something on commission.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby VitorFaria » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:17 am

There's other issue we discussed on the Discord channel:

Most people that say they want pre-made sets actually don't.

Sometimes we forget most people see brick toys as a silly kid's stuff, when they find out they would need to pay a considerable amount of money for it they lose interest.

War-gaming nerds can get really annoying and hypocritical about this, a guy that spends 20 USD or more on an unpainted traditional miniature without thinking twice can mock you for "wasting money" on a 5 USD Mixel...
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Artasid » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:16 pm

I cried when the site MobileFra.me went down.
Before it had, I did order one of their Chub core/Armor skin kits. I still use the Chub to this day when I take size comparision pics of my builds.

When I first started Mobile Frame Zero, I was interested in ordering MFZ sets too because I was not confident enough to make my own builds. Of course after a while, I realized how more and more difficult it was to order sets because of various reasons (Shipping/Handling prices, low stock, ordering methods ect). I grew accustomed to experimenting with my brick supply to come up with my own builds.

The point I'm trying to make is, not to limit yourself to prebuilt companies. Explore possibilities with your current brick collects.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Mrtyler603 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:00 pm

One potential way to buy premade sets is to look at the instructions of frames you want to build (there are at least two frame instruction compilations floating out around here), lie say viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3525 this one, or this one viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7751 and look at the parts list that most if not all of these instructions have. Once you know what parts you need and how much, you can order the bricks individually from a place like brick links https://www.bricklink.com/v2/main.page

This is not the best way, or even a good way to get premade sets, but it is a way to get the parts you need for a particular frame.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby mraichelson » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:13 pm

attackowl wrote:I know Mobilefra.me does this, but it doesn't always respond.

Resolutions 2018: Do a better job of monitoring that email account.

Artasid wrote:I cried when the site MobileFra.me went down.

:fistbump goes here:

Atavism wrote:The main problem is that by the time you cost out parts and shipping and nice cardstock instructions, you end up with a product that isn't any cheaper than what anyone else can get on their own volition. Making a site (like Mobilefra.me) becomes a labor of love, because fair compensation for your time and effort would balloon the cost unreasonably (not to mention the risks, like unpopular kits not selling or lost mail).

So, yeah, this. Running MF.me (hosting/domain registrations) + misc ecommerce overhead + buying parts + sorting parts into bags with count lists to make sure I wasn't leaving things out = a lot of time/effort/money. I couldn't find a way to offer starter kits at a price that anyone would want to pay to get into the game in a real sustainable way. I still toy around with the idea of doing periodic bundles for a one-shot sale thing, but I'd really need to do pre-sales to cover the expenses of doing that and then I'd still be at the mercy of whatever random Bricklink seller decides not to package and ship an order for 3 weeks* (and deadlines from my day job).

The practical upshot here is: The only thing that anyone ever purchased on a frequent basis was chubs. For the most part only when such a kit would run about a 70%+ loss overall (and that's without factoring in the cost of the time spent sorting claws and taps into little plastic bags). Also: International shipping was a bear to try to figure out.

There is still a mailing list (and I feel a little guilty when I see people join it) and if I were to do a thing, that's who I'd tell. If someone else wants to do a thing, I'm glad to offer whatever feedback or advice I can. The top chunk of the list being this: Chubs will sell (but, margins). Scramblers will sell slowly (with even worse margins). Nothing else ever sold in appreciable numbers. Complete custom companies that are already built will sell very very infrequently.

* This happened with someone who literally lives in the same town that I do. I was about to offer to come to their house to pick stuff up when they finally shipped stuff.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby KungFujiApple » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:28 am

I am just spitballing here, but could it be possible to contact Lego directly and work out a fixed or reduced rate to purchase in bulk specific parts, parts that are used for the Chub for example?
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby spacemonkey » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:28 am

I suspect for a company that produces 2 million LEGO pieces an hour their scale for bulk might be a bit beyond what is feasible for the average purchaser; that said LEGO's Pick A Brick online shop limits you to 999 of an individual piece so I suppose there might be a channel if you were willing to buy more than a 1000 of something at a time.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Mantisking » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:34 pm

KungFujiApple wrote:I am just spitballing here, but could it be possible to contact Lego directly and work out a fixed or reduced rate to purchase in bulk specific parts, parts that are used for the Chub for example?
spacemonkey wrote:I suspect for a company that produces 2 million LEGO pieces an hour their scale for bulk might be a bit beyond what is feasible for the average purchaser; that said LEGO's Pick A Brick online shop limits you to 999 of an individual piece so I suppose there might be a channel if you were willing to buy more than a 1000 of something at a time.

Right now you can't put together a Chub via Pick-A-Brick. There are no Headlight Bricks available.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby VitorFaria » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:31 pm

It amuses me how they can lack one of the most useful and appreciated parts of all time.
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Artasid » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:53 pm

Mantisking wrote:
KungFujiApple wrote:I am just spitballing here, but could it be possible to contact Lego directly and work out a fixed or reduced rate to purchase in bulk specific parts, parts that are used for the Chub for example?
spacemonkey wrote:I suspect for a company that produces 2 million LEGO pieces an hour their scale for bulk might be a bit beyond what is feasible for the average purchaser; that said LEGO's Pick A Brick online shop limits you to 999 of an individual piece so I suppose there might be a channel if you were willing to buy more than a 1000 of something at a time.

Right now you can't put together a Chub via Pick-A-Brick. There are no Headlight Bricks available.


They have the new headlights in various colors, just not the old original ones (the ones with the anti-stud in the back) However if you want to get creative, and spend a few more, you could use Travis' as a substitute... just saying...
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby KungFujiApple » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:09 am

Again just throwing some ideas around:

Could it be possible to put together an agreement with certain vendors on bricklink or brickowl to provide a steady supply of a certain piece /pieces at a fixed rate?


Artasid wrote:They have the new headlights in various colors, just not the old original ones (the ones with the anti-stud in the back) However if you want to get creative, and spend a few more, you could use Travis' as a substitute... just saying...


What if we put together an updated version of the Chub, not too updated because it's a rocking frame as is, but perhaps more pieces friendly.

Or what if perhaps the community put together a "new" frame or lineup of frames that are made up of pieces that can be easily purchased?
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby Aardvark17 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:45 pm

KungFujiApple wrote:Or what if perhaps the community put together a "new" frame or lineup of frames that are made up of pieces that can be easily purchased?

Sounds like time to start a new challenge...
(Though I do believe there PaB frame challenges before, maybe the requirements here would be different)
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Re: Possible method to buy MFZ sets?

Postby VitorFaria » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:53 pm

There are plenty of frames that are very parts friendly already, you don't even need to dig that deep to find them.

Many builders here make a point about making beginner friendly frames, I'm one of them and I'm anything but alone.
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