Midnight Chinese vs. Preprod


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  1. #1

    Midnight Chinese vs. Preprod

    I just have a quick question:

    I thought yojoe did not recognize midnight chinese figures??

    Why then, is the tigerforce steel brigade figure listed as preproduction in the archives? This figure is not "preproduction" to any figure, and just as stated in its description comes from "unknown chinese origins".

    I am not against the recognition of midnight chinese figures, just curious as to why yojoe chooses to pick and choose the ones that they allow into their archives.


    on the same token...the yellow techno viper is listed as a variant to the 1994 version of the figure. This figure certainly is not a variant. Even if a moc one DID turn up, it would definitely be a preproduction card job. I am also curious as to why the green gears is not recognized in the archives, as it is very similar in terms of rarity/production/variance/timeperiod as the techno viper.


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  3. #2
    I think you're not allowed to sell the "Midnight Chinese" figures here or post links to auctions for them

    Don't know about the archives though. I've posted pictures on the board of those from my collection
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  4. #3
    They haven't appeared in mass on ebay like midnight chinese. So its origins are less shady.

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  6. #4
    I'm sure they saw the same production numbers as some of the so called midnight chinese. Neither hasbro, nor anyone else running molds would produce a small run of figures. You just dont make up new molds with paint applications, run off a few figures and change your mind. Its just too expensive. If this figure was hand painted then i would buy that argument. But from the looks of it, it seems to be factory/mold paint apps.

    Last edited by cobrasaboteur; 02-26-2008 at 10:31 PM.

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AlternateUniverse Steeler
    They haven't appeared in mass on ebay like midnight chinese. So its origins are less shady.

    This is something that has bothered me for some time, but I've been told to keep my opinions to myself on matters like these.

    I can tell you though, they were released at the same time as the rest of the midnight run figures and they were sold by the same person. Personally I consider it another midnight run figure. Yes, not as many were sold, but it was at the same time, by the same person, so they are just as shady as the rest of them.

    As for selling, it depends on how to advertise the figures... I've seen a couple be sold here "under the radar" being called prototypes and such...

    Personally I wish we could just buy/trade/sell them here. They are figures hasbro has no plans of ever making and were about four years removed from them and they no longer are showing up on ebay on a weekly basis. So its rather old news.

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  8. #6
    YoJoe! Web Staff dryhawk37's Avatar
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    Actually the TF Steel Brigade figure is hand painted (his pants). He was available on ebay at the same time as the others but to my knowlede less than 10 were sold in total. There were rumors about him showing up as a mail in but Hasbro has never confirmed that. Still a very unique figure.

  9. #7
    the boots or straps may be handpainted, but the gi joe logo would have to be stamped. Plus, the whole upper body probably wouldnt be handpainted. I dont quite know but looking through the updated preproduction archives it looks as if MANY midnight chinese are now being recognized. Interesting.


  10. #8
    The whole "shadiness" of the Asian Preproduction figures is total garbage perpetuated by Hasbro's damage control regarding a slew of liability and financial issues, many of which stem from them just being angry the items were "escaping" the factory, coupled with some falsely high-minded members of the community that like to toe the Hasbro line and condemn them because they were stolen or trash-picked. They are just about ALL easily explainable as unreleased paint schemes, cancelled figures, or just plain mistakes. Many repesent different colors of plastic, missing or additonal paint apps that were used later, incorrectly shot colors, or vendor exclusives that didn't see the light of day. Even if Hasbro doesn't endorse them, they were made in hasbro-licensed factories, using Hasbro molds, and at one point or another, with some direction (or lack of) by Hasbro employees. There is a ton of evidence of items like this from the vintage era as well, but far less due to the lack of an available market at the time (the internet is just too enticing, and there wasn't much of a collectors market back then) and less international access and stricter control of the factories that supplied the product.

    YoJoe's dismissal of them was mainly a nod to Hasbro, who was much more interested in maintaining the integrity of forthcoming products, and halting the sale of items they deemed "pirated" to prevent potentional profit loss and liabilities, than in the actual existence of the products, information pertaining to them, or the sale of them among collectors once they were out. They wanted to plug the leak, not arrest the buyers. Yojoe was, at some point, asked to condemn the sales on the boards and kill links to the auctions while hasbro did whatever investigations and used methods to eventually curb the theft from factories. Early attempts resulted in disappearing Ebay IDs, short terms of silence online from asian sellers, and reports out of asia of people actually being arrested. Another method hasbro used was the marking of prototype and preproduction items in black, HFE (hasbro far east) and HM (not sure what that meant...). These marks were supposedly meant to help them see just where the items were leaking out of the factories. Have you noticed how small the number of prototypes for Sigma 6 and the 25th have shown up in the last few years? They were obviousy at least somewhat successful.

    Now, most of us on the staff agreed that we preferred information about these items be available rather than not, but for a long time, nothing was said or done about cataloging them. There are several collectors who have been at work on it, and YoJoe has added higher profile unreleased or preproduction pieces to the archive, like the Steel Brigade. It was NEVER meant to be Tiger force, that was the name given by the Asian seller that brought most of them to the market. It was meant to be our mail away figure from master collector, but due to some sort of administrative changes at hasbro around that time, we got the Storm Shadow unmasked figure instead. I have had that confirmed from several sources on 2 continents. That figure is a mix of old paint masks (I think it was wreckage and the con firefly), stamps (that logo was used on quite a few modern figures), and a new head sculpt that the money was put into, and then never used.

    I have never liked or agreed with the term "midnight Chinese" because it casts an extremely negative light on some pretty cool pieces of joe history. There are few to none that cannot be explained in some way as valid pre-production or unreleased items. But once a term catches on, regardless of the connotation, it stays (mickey mose cobra commander, pimp daddy destro, party scarlett, etc).

    Now the unpainted "test shots" that surfaced in quantity also fall under the hasbro piracy and liability banner, because there is some hasbro rule about a dozen test shots per mold, or something, with any extra to be destroyed or recycled. So, the abundant supply of test shots more than likely points to over-running and theft, and helps validate many of Hasbro's claims considering newer sculpt items may not have gone through final safety testing (I have several items that were changed prior to released for failure in some testing). However, the painted pieces, while probably just as "stolen", are valid unused, cancelled or preproduction items, not the product of sinister midnight chinese Factory workers that the nickname implies.
    Last edited by KrymsynGardImmoral; 02-27-2008 at 10:18 AM.
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  11. #9
    nice post...

    so then are test shots allowed for sale here??

    everything just seems REALLY ambiguous.


  12. #10
    There hasn't been any further clarification that I can remember regarding sales, it generally needs to be all or nothing due to the potential for board meltdown over any given issue at any given time. Generally most of the collectors that exchange in the preproduction and test shot figures don't hang out on YoJoe. While at this point, it might not be a big deal to sell or trade the Asian VSPs, it probably would not be the best place due to a lack of interested and informed parties.

    It is AO's or Terry's call, but with the addition of a lot of modern test shots and pre-production figures to the archive, I'd like to see them traded more freely.
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