“How do you determine pricing on your work?”
Pricing for custom figures is always dependent on these factors:
- Cost of base figure parts: How much does it cost me to buy the material to work with? Figures purchased at retail or on eBay can cost between $12-$30 US each. Add in the cost of multiple figures or parts, and the price rises.
- Cost of supplies: Superglue, Aves Sculpting compound, model paints, and varnishes all cost money, and the amount used to sculpt a figure is factored into the projected cost.
- My time: Customizing a figure can take a few hours for a simple repaint, or stretch on for days and weeks if it’s an elaborate job. I typically charge $15 / hour.
Generally, I follow the pricing guidelines below:
6″ Regular Custom Figure
$150.00 US – $200.00 US + $X.00 parts cost + $X.00 Shipping Cost (example: Zombie Luigi, Zombie Yoshi, Cyborg Donkey Kong) This may include some accessories to complete the figure. This usually involves a single character without any kind of supporting scenery and a small base.
6″ Regular Custom Statue or Diorama:
$250.00 US – $350.00 US + $X.00 parts cost + $X.00 Shipping Cost (example: Zombie Princess Peach, Cave Story Figure, Zombie Hunter Toadette) This will include a base with scenery and other supporting items. This usually involves one or two characters posed in a certain position. I can also do articulated figures too.
If you’re placing an order of more than two figures, I can be flexible on the total price.
Repainting a figure You provide:
$100.00 + $X.00 Shipping cost back to you when finished (example: Painting The Hulk a different color)
“Wow! Why can’t I just buy one of your figures for $20? Toys in the store don’t cost much above that”.
Very true – action figures produced for the mass market are casted, assembled, and painted en-mass overseas (sometimes by machines, and other times by task-specific workers). This mass production lowers the cost to a level affordable for children and adult collectors at retail. This is the same reason you can buy a pair of pants at retail for $10, but it would cost a tailor much more than that to make.
Creating a custom figure takes a significant amount of effort, creativity and time – all of which cost money in one form or another. I aim to only charge an amount that’s fair, based on the amount of time/effort/costs that factored into a project.
How much would job X or Y cost to make?
When it comes to pricing out a custom figure commission, I work on a case-by-case basis. Most commissions run in the $200-$400 level if creating the figure involves a significant amount of part swapping and sculpting.
A lower costing custom would be one that requires less time and materials.
“Can I send you a figure to customize, instead of you buying the figure or parts?”
Absolutley. If you are providing some or all of the material to work with, it significantly lowers the projected cost.
“What if the figure I commissioned ends up costing you more to make than you thought?”
Then the cost of the figure parts and materials eats into what I charge for my labor, and not your wallet: I’m firm about quoted costs. This works both ways – once a project is completed, there is no room for haggling on the price. However, if you choose to revise what you want done mid-way through the development process, I’ll need to revise the total quoted price to reflect any changes made.
“How long will making figure X or Y take?”
Estimated turn around is 6-8 weeks on most projects. If parts are unavailable, or delays are expected, you will be informed ahead of time.
I’m limited to customizing at night, and on weekends as I do have a day job. Circumstances allowing, I can reduce that to a special 4-week rush job for an additional fee, but each commission is a case-by-case basis.
“Once the figure is finished, how do you get it to me?”
The buyer pays for trackable shipping USPS Priority mail with Signature confirmation in the United States. If it is an International order, it will be sent International Priority with tracking.
When I’m shipping a figure, the buyer pays actual shipping cost for a trackable mailed package. This is for both your protection and mine.
“Can you make a figure just like A or B?”
I usually prefer not to remake any of my older figures. I can make figures that are similar, but not the same. This is a personal preference, and I hope that you can respect that. I also do not remake other peoples figures. I have my own style that I like to stick with, so I prefer to do it my own way. I can use other works for reference, but I will not make an identical copy.
“Do you have any references or experience in online sales? “
Absolutley. Buy from me with confidence: View my eBay feedback listing, containing my 1000+, 100% positive online transactions since 1999.
“How can I pay you a deposit and/or the final price for a custom figure?”
Option 1.) Paypal.com an online money brokering system run by eBay to facilitate safe and private online commerce. Also, Paypal offers an additional level of buyer protection for both the seller and buyer. When paying online, US funds are the preferred currency of payment.
Option 2.) Bank Drafted money orders are also an acceptable form of payment if you live within the USA or Canada.
“Great! Where do I sign up for a one-of-a-kind figure from you?”
Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerts of this were taken from Blayne’s Custom Toys with his permission.