12.31.2008

Rock Band Bandmate Figures

If you're a fan of Rock Band and are a frequent visitor to RockBand.com, then you've certainly come across the custom Rock Band merchandise available for purchase. What better way to immortalize your virtual band self than by plastering your faces on posters, t-shirts, pins, and stickers? Though the system still has a few bugs, it was rather easy to customize your poster, etc - choose your background, the characters, your text/band logo, pose, and facial expression as you please. I couldn't be happier with the outcome of my purchase - the poster was definitely my favorite. However, when we come to the topic of the Bandmate figures, we're dealing with a whole different situation.

When I first learned about these custom bandmate figures, I was ecstatic. Sure I expected these lovelies would come with a hefty price tag, but I figured the quality of them would speak for itself. For those not in the know, these 6 inch bandmate figures are made using 3-D print technology. It is made out of a plaster composite material, similar to ceramic. The figures will be printed with the clothes, accessories, tattoos and instruments your character had when your game last connected to the internet.

So my first stop was checking out the forums since the cost wasn't obvious. About 70 bucks a piece and some hefty shipping costs (~$20). My next step was actually selecting what characters, instrument, and poses I wanted. Things started out shaky as it took a good long week until my preview images arrived. Apparently something was causing the delay, but with the help of one specific RockBand.com staff (HMXcj), who would later seem to be the only one trying to resolve issues, I eventually received my preview images and consequently put in my order.

More visits to the forums made me more nervous and an onslaught of problem cases were popping up left and right. Some with the familiar preview images delay, but others receiving the wrong bandmate in the mail. And even others receiving broken figures. One thing was consistent with all these inquiries, no one was getting ANY responses from "customer service." I also remember reading that the estimated arrival time for these bandmate figures was roughly 3 weeks. So there was nothing else I could do but wait. Three weeks passed, then four, then five, and then much to my surprise (and without any warning), I received a huge bundle in the mail -- 4 separate boxes taped together into one. Hoping for the best, I carefully opened the packages and was surprised with the outcome. (And I wanted to note, that 2 days after I received the packages, I received the email confirmation with the tracking number -- something's a little off...)

In each box was one smaller cylinder box glued firmly to the main box with a strong foam, to prevent any movement during shipping. Inside the cylinder box was the bandmate figure transfixed in a plastic cylinder case. From earlier reviews I read, the older figures came in a cardboard box and any movement probably caused some breaks. Obviously, RockBand.com have been listening and have made changes for the better. I am also happy to report that all 4 of my band members were correct, had the right pose, instrument, and were all in tact. The figures are a little more grainier than I would have liked, especially with the figure's cost. With the grainy texture aside and the fact that my drummer ended up with much darker hair color than her bright green, there is a lot of detail. Overall, I am happy with the outcome. Though there is some room for improvement, possibly taking the extra step to sand the figure and repaint, this is an awesome collectible for any Rock Band fan.




If anyone is interested in purchasing their own bandmate and have any questions with any part of the process, feel free to email me. And if you're a proud owner of your own figure, I'd love to see some pics.

2 comments:

Brian Wanamaker said...

I'm thinking about ordering a couple, and found your page googling for the delivery time from order placement. It appears to be about 2-3 weeks, according to rockband.com's own forum.

But it's hard to tell the level of detail; in the pics, the figures look like they have a rough textured finish, and the colors seem particularly washed out. Is that actually the case?

Sabira said...

Hi Brian,

From my experience, things are slowly improving, at least from the time these figures first came out to the time of my order. The wait may be a little longer than 2-3 weeks; it could be around 4-5 weeks. The finish is roughly textured and the color a little bit washed out. If you click on the individual images, you can see a bigger view, but what's the most obvious is that all the minute details of your bandmate are represented - just in grainy and for some colors, a bit "faded." Click on the first wallpaper pic at the beginning of the post to get a closer look at my bandmates and the actual color.

Like I mentioned in my post, I think if they went that extra step to sand/repaint, it would be perfect. Nevertheless, if you're a huge fan of RB like I am, I think you'll be happy. If you're still hesitant, and in case you were aiming to get figures of your entire band, I would try ordering one for now and see how you like it.

Let me know what you end up doing and if you do order one, I'd love to see pics. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any more questions or if more pics of my bandmate figures would help.

Hope this helps!

-Sabira