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 Post subject: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:54 pm 
Forge Master
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Ten years ago customizers were at the mercy of X-acto knives, sculpy and paint pens. Brave souls like RedBean and Little Armory made life a bit easier and paved the way for 'other vendors' to flourish. Here is a look back on some BrickForge history.

2001- RedBean releases the first mold consisting of 8 weapons
Mold 1: Battle Axe, Dragon Sword, Elven Blade, Elven Spear, Hero Sword, Longbow, Military Sword, Warhammer

2003 - RedBean releases the second and third mold consisting of 4 helmets, 1 suit of armor, 2 beards, shield and other accessories
Mold 2: Battle Armor, Battle Helmet, Elven Helmet, Hoplite Helmet, Viking Helmet
Mold 3: Dwarf Beard, Sage Beard, Round (Battle) Shield, Javelin, Round Pauldron, Officer Plume

2005 - Armothe and RedBean partner up, collaborate on new accessories and are involved with the Minifig Customization Network.

2006 - Mold 4 & 5 are released featuring 11 new items.
Mold 4: Hero Hair, Great Helm, Neck Armor, Savage Mask
Mold 5: Falcata, Knight Shield, Military Helmet, Military Rifle, Vambraces, Wizard Staff, Round Pauldron (revisited)

2007 - BrickForge took it to the next level by releasing LEGO-like animals which utilized screen-printing technology.
Mold 6: Cow, Pig, Sheep, Udder, Horns

2008 - Thanks to the help of community favorite: Mark Sandlin the Forge pounded out another whopping 18 new items.
Mold 7: MegaGun, Powered Assault Commando Helmet, Powered Assault Commando Armor, Turban
Mold 8: Legionary Helmet, Centurion Helmet, Dwarven Helmet, Gladiator Helmet, Arabian Helmet
Mold 9: Gladius, Khopesh, Spiked Mace, Pilum, Trident, Military Shield, Gladiator Mask, Segmented Pauldron, Commander Crest, Visor

2009 - This monumental year saw the release of 36 new items including the ever-popular scooter designed by fan-favorite: Arealight as well as our innovative soft-plastic accessories.
Mold 10: Particle Pack, Particle Gun, Crowbar, Plasma Pistol, Microphone, Goblin Sword, Goblin Shield, Tribal Spear, Tribal Sword, Sorcerer Staff, Nightstick
Decal Project #1: Torso/Shield Decals, Roman Army Builder Decals
Mold 11: Mushroom, Beret, Scooter
Mold 12: Scourge, Pauldron, Bandolier, Gunbelt, Waist Armor, Headlamp, Goggles, Reins, Ribbed Tire, Zip Tire, Utility Belt
Mold 13: Power Sword, Sickle, Saw, Sovereign Sword, Phaser, Wizard Sword, Golf Club, Hook Sword, Sai, Raider Blade, Rogue Dagger, Cleaver

2010 - Another stellar year and growth brought forth a wider array of BF offerings, including a joint project with LifeLites for a total of 30 accessories.
Mold 14: Soldier Helmet, Brass Knuckles, Bayonet, Shovel, Canteen, Hatchet, Cutlass, Coilgun, Battle Rifle, Grease Gun, Arched Pauldrons
Mold 15: Backpack, Ammo Pouches, Musket, Flintlock Pistol, Tomahawk, Ranger Hat, Violin, Acoustic Guitar, Shepherd Crook, Recurve Bow, Centaur
Mold 17: Electric Guitar, Drumsticks, Maverick Hair, Mohawk, Ponytail, Double Plume, Lamppost

2011 - BrickForge opens up a local store (Blokhedz) and relocates packing/logistical operations to a new 2000 square foot space. Resellers from all over the globe join the BrickForge reseller program to sell pre-packaged 'accessory kits'. Mold 16 is finally wrapped up and an entire mold made up of translucent elements is released late Summer for a total of 18 new items.
Mold 16: Tactical Helmet, Tactical Vest, Officer Hat, Shock Trooper Helmet, Shock Trooper Armor
Mold 18: Round Bottle, Square Bottle, Potion Bottle, Broken Bottle, Sipping Glass, Flask, Test Tube, Lens Piece, Warning Light, Gemstone, Laser Beam, Pulse Ray, Splat/Spill

2012 - BrickForge, operating in its new space is able to deliver 52 new items to fans across the world including a round of masks/visors that specifically attach to the previously released Tactical Helmet. The number of retail accessory kits and character packs being distributed by wholesalers worldwide increase to 40.
Mold 19: Apoc Mask, Ballistic Mask, Chin Strap, Face Shield, Gas Mask, Night Vision Goggles, Tactical Goggles
Mold 20: Fighting Claw, Flamespitter, Flashlight, Handcuffs, Ice Skates, Kukri Machete, Kunai, Laser Sword (Evil Apprentice), Laser Sword (Space Knight), Lead Pipe, Lug Wrench, Ninjato, Outland Ripper, Raygun, Spike Grenade, Survival Knife, Throwing Star
Mold 21: Anti-Material Sniper, Arrow Pack, Automag, Battering Ram, Canister Gun, Compound Bow, Energy Meter, Intergalactic 8-Gauge, Pump-Action Shotgun, Shredder Gun, Sub-Orbital Machine Gun, Tactical Assault Rifle, Tactical Sidearm, TASE Gun, Walkie Talkie
Mold 22: Advanced Recon Striker, Clone Blaster, Clone Rifle, Command Carbine, Enforcer Gun, Headhunter Quickshot, Imperial Blaster, Ionizer, Robot Blaster, Scout Pistol, Smuggler Special

So, with almost ten years of customization (who paved the way for who here?) under our belt and over 175 accessories to boast, we continue to venture into the ever-changing world of miniature accessories. Some call what we do 'mundane' but we we are way more adventurous and ingenious than to just stick with the same 'ol thing. And if you haven't noticed, the big guys in Denmark have taken notice and well.....let's just say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And now to answer a few questions and concerns.

How long does it take from idea to final product?

Currently, it can take anywhere from 6-8 months. Multiple projects and complex items like headgear and armor take much longer. Once we commit to a set of items we simply can't change the lineup or turn back. Hopefully we can improve this process in the future to make it a bit more flexible.

Do you communicate with other vendors to prevent product overlap and treading on ideas?

As a matter of fact we do! We have worked with fellow artists like Mark Sandlin, Brickmodder and Arealight to help make their creative ideas a reality. We communicate our ideas and intentions with several other vendors (save one) to help retain harmony in the customizing world. Unfortunately, the last time we shared our ideas with (save one) they ended up making 'em themselves.

Why don't you post prototypes?
We would very much like to do so! But remain somewhat gun-shy since some people out there have rapid-prototyping capabilities and could easily take our idea and develop a prototype of their own, leaving opinions ambiguous as to who had the design first. At this point we prefer to keep things under wraps and surprise the community with awesomeness, rather than post an idea and leave customers hanging as to when it may or may not be produced. Who knows what the future holds though.

Can I has sum free prototypes?

Unfortunately the definition of a manufactured prototype has been somewhat perverted by some in the industry. Prototypes are used internally by companies to test proof-of-concept, dimensions, aesthetics, textures, materials, and marketing ideas prior to the final product. Prototypes are not leaked to the public and are never sold to customers via retail channels. When this occurs the object becomes a production item. BrickForge prototypes are for testing purposes only. Why would we want to sell a sub-par, untested item to you guys anyways? I suppose some vendors have to do this, or even give hundreds of their prototypes away just to see them in use. Rather, we simply rely on you - the distinguishing customer - to decide if what we provide meets your building needs. Tens of thousands of customers over the past few years speaks volumes. We thank you immensely for your support and are committed to serving you in the future.

Loyal fans
Brand loyalty is a key ingredient towards any company's success. We sincerely appreciate our customers which is why you will occasionally receive a handful of complimentary items with your BrickForge order. Customer service is key to building relationships in the community and BrickForge strives to correct any hiccup that may arise. We look forward to meeting you in person at conventions and exchanging words with you online. The result is a host of satisfied customers that speaks favorably towards our brand. This means we don't need to dangle carrots or bribe people with loads of free items to win them over. Nor need we recruit trolls to other message boards to bash the other guy. It's evident you are proud of BrickForge and frankly, we are proud of you guys too. We look forward to seeing more and more of your inspired creations over then next few years - here's to 2012!

Keep on 'mizin'

-Armothe

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:58 pm 
Crucible King
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Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:26 pm
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This is really cool! It looks like I've been watching the forge since '07! X)
Also, I really look forward to the new molds, as I always do!

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:16 pm 
Chief Smithy
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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:25 am
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Location: hicks hut - PNW
The history and other info is fantastic! Thanks.

I especially appreciate knowing and seeing how you all work together, creating even more depth and variety in the Forge.
I also appreciate your dedication to quality -

Proud to be a BF fan!

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:19 pm 
Hammer Ace
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:09 pm
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Wow. I never noticed how many BF products there actually are. Pretty amazing. I appreciate everything you do for your community. You have my eternal thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:33 pm 
Chief Smithy
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:09 pm
Posts: 506
Location: Long Island
While not incredibly vocal, I've been around to see a lot of this evolution, but when you sit back and look at how long you've been making custom accessories...it definitely helps to put things in perspective.

Quote:
Mold 16 is being completed and work on 18 & 19 is halfway done.


Hell yeah :D With the introduction of items like the centaur bodies and ammo packs, this year has been amazing for AFOLs and TFOLs from pretty much every theme, and I can just wait for what's coming up next. While we don't know what's coming up...I kind've prefer it that way. This way we get the nice surprise of finished perfected items. There hasn't been a single release that hasn't had me ordering the first day, and I can't imagine any of these new ones would change that!

But three new molds nearing completion...whoa. I can't imagine how long you've been working on these for.

Also it was Mark who helped with those accessories? All this time I thought it was Chris. Whoops!


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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:27 pm 
Beheaded
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Well I'm proud to say I've been buying From Isaac since 2005 before he merged with Armothe, in fact heres a run down of my payments to him for his awesome items, sadly most of them were lost and/or damaged during a robbery a couple of years ago so they will be sadly missed:(mind you this was when he didn't have much of a selection like BrickForge does now {:D )

Jan 22, 2005 Payment To Isaac Yue -$49.58 $0.00 -$49.58 USD
Feb 11, 2005 Payment To Isaac Yue -$71.34 $0.00 -$71.34 USD
Mar 17, 2005 Payment To Isaac Yue -$240.00 $0.00 -$240.00 USD
Mar 18, 2005 Payment To Isaac Yue -$45.00 $0.00 -$45.00 USD

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:15 am 
Grind Guru
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I remember first discovering this when it was still only Redbean. Sometime around '03. My memory may be confused though cause I think I remember some of the animals the first time I saw this stuff. So maybe it was like '05. I can't tell for sure. But thank you for 10 years of dedication to your fans and customers, and here's to many many more to come. :D

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:40 am 
Mould Mason
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10 years, wow! I only discovered Brickforge a few years ago, but I feel like this is my online family now. This site and this company have helped me bring my craft to a new level, and I cannot wait for what is in store for the future.

As someone who has seen the product list of upcoming items(I am looking at it right now!), I am really excited about what is on the horizon. The next few molds should bring items that expand BF's reach to more fans of more themes. From the work I have done at the conventions with Armothe, the public knows a good thing when they see it, and the response to the new stuff has been amazing!

There is not a better, more kind person in this business than Armothe, and I thank you all for making BF what it is today!

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:35 pm 
Smelt Sire
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No free prototypes?? AW MAN. :(

I remember BrickForge back in 2006. Was at BrickFest and came across this guy selling some custom stuff and I was like "for reals??".

And loving them ever since.

-Omi

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 Post subject: Re: BrickForge - Past, Present & Future
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:44 pm 
Chief Smithy
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Location: New Castle, PA and From wherever he darn well pleases.
Awesome!! I have been anticipating this post for a long time now where we got to see the date and name of items. Now we need a list for the color palette ;9 When I first discovered decent looking custom items I was super skeptical about the quality and how well they'd mesh with my official Lego pieces. One purchase and I was hooked. It's great to see things like the BrickForge pig show up in official Lego video games, and I think the centaur in the Harry Potter game is a similar nod. BrickForge has a very bright future, so get out your sun glasses B)

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