KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by shrubs » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:09 pm

reganomics813 wrote:
shrubs wrote:KR could probably cut down on 8" bootlegs if they just made blanks available to buy. I think making up coming artists and customisers pay full retail price for a production dunny only to be stripped down and painted over is kinda sucky


Why bend to bootleggers and potentially kill your product when they need to be dealt with anyways? In making DIY Dunnys available for purchase, it would flat-out ruin the specialness of the Dunny platform. You want to make your own Dunny? You gotta work for it.

Don't get me wrong, I love blanks but if KR made those available to their customers we'd see a sea of mediocre/bad customs that would kill the brand. Keeping control of who they give a Dunny to is their way of maintaining a quality product. Production Dunnys are something for customizers to shoot for as they love the design and is KR's way of showing it's appreciation for the talent and dedication of those chosen to have one. Guys like Rsin, Dril, Betso, Cris Rose, and others put in years of hard work and earned their pieces. You don't want to lose that.

I think Kidrobot deserves a lot of credit for seeing the demand for DIY, mainly through people stripping Dunnys, and have more than filled that need with their Munnyworld line. KR can't regulate who customizes figures and with people already upset at the rising Dunny blind box costs, imagine if they were asking that for something a child could buy and scribble on at the kitchen table. It would be the end of the Dunny.

Any way you shake it, Kidrobot still needs to protect their brand and deal with those infringing on their copyrights. Hell, a couple cease and desist letters would probably take care of 99% of the current eBay outbreak anyways.



All fair points. I'm all for artists in any field paying their dues to earn recognition. I just think if KR want to encourage people to get into creating art making it a bit cheaper makes it easier and making it easier gives more people a chance. How many 13-15 year old kids can afford to pay $55-$60 or £55-£70 if you live in the UK for a retail dunny to strip down and paint over?

Also restricting the availablity or maximising the price of any product in demand helps create the black market. I'm not condoning that but that's what happens
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by reganomics813 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:41 pm

shrubs wrote:All fair points. I'm all for artists in any field paying their dues to earn recognition. I just think if KR want to encourage people to get into creating art making it a bit cheaper makes it easier and making it easier gives more people a chance. How many 13-15 year old kids can afford to pay $55-$60 or £55-£70 if you live in the UK for a retail dunny to strip down and paint over?

Also restricting the availablity or maximising the price of any product in demand helps create the black market. I'm not condoning that but that's what happens


Again, I think they do encourage people to make art by having Munnyworld available for the prices they do. 13-15 year old kids can cut their teeth on those and if their skills/designs are strong enough and show consistency in their work, they could be considered by KR even without ever touching a Dunny.

I may be naive but I honestly don't think KR is inflating the prices with the sole intention of making a higher profit. I think in large part its because of rising cost factors in manufacturing and importing that we take for granted as consumers. Way back when, they offered the Eggy at a great price point when regular 8" releases were priced at $20-$45 more. Being the customer friendly company they are, I would not be surprised to see that happen again if the opportunity presents itself.

Lets be honest, if something is popular, there will always be bootlegs of some kind out there. Stopping those made in China is next to impossible but cracking down on those sold here in the US is doable and would be a pretty big win.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by fakeXsound » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:28 pm

Bootlegs of actual KR products like production Dunnys and blank Munnys, sure, those are clearly illegal.

A handful of artists (I'm not even going to list them, though I'm sure KR knows who's who) making a few extra bucks with highly customized resin Dunnys? I'd think that would be the least of Kidrobot's worries right now. I'm not a lawyer, but I'd think that anything beyond a straight-up resin replica of a Dunny or some super lazy customization work would qualify as a derivative work. I guess Neca's lawyers can figure that out.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by InfiniteRabbits » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:10 pm

I don't think KR has any obligations to customizers/artists. I don't really see anything wrong with their "no blank Dunny" policy, either. Besides, I've never seen the need to have a blank Dunny. The 3" are easily available & inexpensive. As far as the 8", if a collector really wants a custom from an artist, then the artist can pass on the expense to the collector -- I think that most of them understand the economics of how that works. Granted, that cuts down on the "speculative" customs. I know that I haven't done any 8" Dunnys because I'm not going to risk working on a legit 8" without knowing I've got a buyer, and I'm not going to buy a bootleg. (On the other hand, if someone wants to commission a custom on a legit 8", PM me... ;) ) But honestly, I don't feel like KR owes anything to me or any other customizer.

As far as the casting, that's really a mixed bag.... I really like some of the cast, heavily sculpted customs that some artists have done. I may even own one or two. It's a great way for someone to make more than one of a complex sculpt, and a good way for them to supply a larger quantity of them, usually at a lesser cost than if they were doing just one-of-a-kind. Its a great bridge between full on KR production Dunnys and one of a kind customs.

I get it if KR isn't completely OK with this, though. It's their IP, even if a heavily modified Dunny (or whatever) seems like a legal grey area. Probably not helped by the fact that they are apparently OK with some artists doing it, but not others. But whatever their deal is, I think they should make a more specific statement as to their stance on the subject than what they said in the OP. Don't leave anyone questioning what's OK with them and what's not. Granted, some people will still do what they want (and/or what they see as being ethical based on their own interpretation of the subject), but at least make it clear enough so that artists can make an educated judgement.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by sgr1000 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:45 am

If you are a collector like me of the 3" platform then they can sell all the fake dunnys they want on eBay, Non of the collectors will touch them because they are not on the "list" . However for the designer/creator out there it is a nightmare to know what is real and what is fake, and how to get started if you are new to customising.

I purchased the original bootleg pieces for my own collection because I feel they show how great the platform is and they make a good talking point about the platform, but I wouldn't say I needed them as a completest.

Art should be appreciated not copied.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by drilone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:13 pm

I cast heads for actual Dunny bodies, so I am purchasing dunnys for each piece. Also I ask KR when the lines are blurry. Best thing to do if your not sure is ask KR. Much better than spending time and money to not be able to sell them.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Kidrobot Guru » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:09 pm

Indeed, some grey area there, but best bet is to hit up KR directly, or message me.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Ath » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:17 pm

Sorry if this has already been asked (most of the posts are quite lengthy), but where does something like a Chaus Pawnny fall in regards to KR's position?
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Nikejerk » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:55 pm

From what I understand from speaking to some people about this, casting ANYTHING in the Dunny form is considered bootlegging and is illegal. Whether or not KR knows about what someone might be doing or whether or not they're willing to spend the time to seek that person out is another story. SOOO to answer your question yes, the Pawnny is technically a bootleg, Cris Rose's original Camera head Dunny's were bootlegs and some of the things I have made would be considered bootlegs. Some of these things are so small in number to really care about and others end up becoming actual production pieces so where's the harm in that?

I think there is a slight difference between counterfeit and bootleg. None of these examples are trying to pass things off as a real genuine production piece. Counterfeits that are for sale as legit products, that is DEFINITE infringement.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by razor » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:14 pm

TO_designs wrote:good write up but still doesnt touch base on the people who sculpt something onto a KR platform, and then mold and cast that to make multiple copies for a small series or something ....is that not allowed? would that be considered bootlegging since its not actually a factory produced toy underneath? or is the bootlegging more in regards to people who straight up mold and cast a plain dunny? but then that brings clear pieces to mind, how would artists be able to create a clear piece without casting it in resin? i dont think anyone would want to or could recreate the exact same design over and over if something for example was sculpted onto a dunny, munny, or whatever other toy of their choosing

thanks! :)


Please more information on this.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by paul » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:43 pm

It's bootlegging. If there's not a dunny underneath it, then you've paid Kidrobot nothing for any of the copies you've created.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by aznalan15 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:57 pm

So the AMM resin molds are those considered illegal?
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Nikejerk » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:42 am

Technically yes. It is very unlikely any legal action will be taken or even any kind of notice will be made to them, but any mold made from their IP is considered illegal. I agree that when you're making multiples of a single design that creating a mold is the best way to be consistent and the most efficient. I have done it and still do. But if I or another artist did that and made a series of 500 then I think KR would have much more of an issue with it.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Kidrobot Guru » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:07 pm

Regardless i would perhaps touch base with KR if you do indeed plan on mass producing 'em. KR is indeed being a bit more attentive to these types of things.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by fakeXsound » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:09 pm

Judging by the toyfair video with KR's CMO it sounds like high profile artists that make resin Dunnys check with KR, get cleared, and then have an agreement to pay KR a cut of the profits. If is this case, I wonder if something like the following would work...

1. Artist goes through approval process with KR
2. Artist and KR sign a contract saying KR gets X% of the money earned from sales
3. KR adds the custom to a sort of "Approved by Kidrobot" or "Licensed by Kidrobot" program
4. KR and the artist promote the custom
5. Everybody gets some money

The possible problems with this would be awesome customs getting shot down by KR and customs that were once affordable ($150ish) seeing an increase in price since KR would be taking a cut. Just at a glance, though, I think the above would help both the company and the artists.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Jfactor » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:00 pm

So Sket-one's new 8" half filled ketchup resin Dunny isnt a bootleg? Im only assuming this since Kidrobot advertised it on their Instagram today... :roll:

At least practice what you preach KR...

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by Kidrobot Guru » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:14 pm

He has got somethin' worked out with KR, as did zombiemonkie.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by EdwardElric86 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:40 pm

Kidrobot Guru wrote:He has got somethin' worked out with KR, as did zombiemonkie.


While its KR's right to do as they please, that stance seems a bit . . . uhm, hypocritical.

Conversely, I think artist should either sculpt a dunny or sculpt something completely original and make a run of that. I know why they do the dunny design, given its popularity, but how then can people consider your art original? Commercial, yes. Popular, perhaps. But then how can you be taken seriously as an artist?

Of course that's how I feel about pieces made as homages to Star Wars . . . its been done, and its kind of tired. Yes, I know its a cultural force but so are political issues and no one in toys seems to be interested in tackling anything serious thus justifying some's relegation of toy art to gutter art.

In the end its all on your viewpoint, KR and the artists . . . and everyone knows what they like and what they consider art.

Its all very philosophical really. :lol:
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by reganomics813 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:28 pm

EdwardElric86 wrote:
Kidrobot Guru wrote:He has got somethin' worked out with KR, as did zombiemonkie.

While its KR's right to do as they please, that stance seems a bit . . . uhm, hypocritical.

Conversely, I think artist should either sculpt a dunny or sculpt something completely original and make a run of that. I know why they do the dunny design, given its popularity, but how then can people consider your art original? Commercial, yes. Popular, perhaps. But then how can you be taken seriously as an artist?

I don't quite get how it's hypocritical. At the end of their blog post, Kidrobot plainly says to ask permission before you start pumping out customs that fall in their gray area. Sket and Mikie, both established guys that have a history with KR, asked and were given the OK. What's wrong with that?

People customize Dunnys because they love the design, period. The bonus is that KR is one of the few companies that rewards hard work by continuously giving opportunities to new talent. Like 'em or not, Dunnys bring art collectors to the table and as an artist, those original sculpts and paintings sell a lot quicker when people know who you are. If you're worried about being taken seriously as an artist, put time and passion into your work, no matter what the project may be, and you'll never have to ask that question again.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by sgr1000 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:39 pm

If I take a piece of A4 and paint a picture on it, is it an original or an original picture on someone else's design (A4 piece of paper)? Likewise if I change the picture on a dunny, is it not an original piece of art on some other persons design? What have I painted the picture over? KR's design or the commissioned artists design. Likewise If I make a dunny from some other material like glass or metal but it looks like a dunny is this copyright infringement? Sooo if I paint a picture and "frame it" am I not using an original design of someone else's (the frame) to show off my picture?

It's like cars, the design of a car will always be a "Car" but lots of manufacturers still use the blueprint of the "car" to make changes to the look and slap their badge on it.

My point is you could take it to the furthest extremes possible like the examples above but all in all, art is art, no matter what material, design or likeness is used. Be grateful that there are company's like KR out there making things happen for us all. Don't disrespect them because one day that empty space on your shelf might stay empty.

When I look at a dunny I don't see a vinyl shape sitting there to be manipulated and exploited I see a piece of art that brings a smile to my face.

I buy dunnys because it annoys so many people ;)

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by ricksans » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:24 am

sgr1000 wrote:If I take a piece of A4 and paint a picture on it, is it an original or an original picture on someone else's design (A4 piece of paper)? Likewise if I change the picture on a dunny, is it not an original piece of art on some other persons design? What have I painted the picture over? KR's design or the commissioned artists design. Likewise If I make a dunny from some other material like glass or metal but it looks like a dunny is this copyright infringement? Sooo if I paint a picture and "frame it" am I not using an original design of someone else's (the frame) to show off my picture?

It's like cars, the design of a car will always be a "Car" but lots of manufacturers still use the blueprint of the "car" to make changes to the look and slap their badge on it.

My point is you could take it to the furthest extremes possible like the examples above but all in all, art is art, no matter what material, design or likeness is used. Be grateful that there are company's like KR out there making things happen for us all. Don't disrespect them because one day that empty space on your shelf might stay empty.

When I look at a dunny I don't see a vinyl shape sitting there to be manipulated and exploited I see a piece of art that brings a smile to my face.

I buy dunnys because it annoys so many people ;)



Sidenote... I agree with a lot of what you said, but you should buy things because you like them vs other people's reaction. I've had a number of people not understand the whole designer toy thing be like oh great, you're a dude in his 30s that has 400+ toys in his living room. Some people have a hard time getting past the platform. I've always explained vinyl as a 3d art and the future of sculpture. I've been interviewed by newspapers for art openings and they were more intrigued by the medium of the vinyl toy than whatever the shows were about. I have numerous prints and whatnot too, but vinyl holds a special place to me.

On topic though, I think what the issue is some artists see this as picking a battle with the little guys, people who aren't really gaining a lot by their customs of their fav platform vs others who see KR needing to crack down on their brand being misrepresented. The direction of if it seems like the line is being crossed, just ask and see what's up seems pretty straight forward to me.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by doao » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:16 pm

Fantastic write up. Glad to see this thread finally created.
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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by zombiemonkie » Fri May 01, 2015 4:17 pm

Hay guys,
just stumbled upon this thread after a little hiatus from the boards
its good to see this info out there for artists, and awesome to see my name thrown into the mix :)

Just to clarify things further.
I did a series of monster Dunnys last Halloween that were rotocast resin
I worked with Steve / KR and they were kind enough to give me permission to sell my creations
the entire process was simple, friendly, and totally reasonable.
KR isnt looking to make big money off starving artists, they would just prefer you to talk to them first before bootlegging their product.... which i feel is entirely fair.
After seeing how simple the process was i see no reason any artist should hesitate to contact KR

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by sgr1000 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:50 pm

ricksans wrote:
sgr1000 wrote:I buy dunnys because it annoys so many people ;)
I was just being sarcastic about <Steve whispers "WIFE">

So long as permission is granted by the original artist I see no problems with creating anything out of the Dunny or any other platform.

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Re: KIDROBOT’S POSITION ON “CUSTOMIZING” VS. “BOOTLEGGING”

Post by ilegales » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:48 pm

zombiemonkie

sums it all up really well

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