You are a necromancer man. Raising the dead. Good to be back.
Well.. back when we started this.. what is it.. 3-4 years ago now? I'd say not very many of the retail figures you saw in the shop were digital and 3d printed. I'd say less than 5% back then. Of the digital things you'd mostly saw robotic stuff (gundam) or a few of those designer Vinyl models that might have been made on CNC. Or stuff from Gentle Giant (they were really pushing the envelope back then and still are! ). Just naming a few. I know Adam and Joe and everyone did a lot of pioneering work with 3d printing in sculpture and toys as it relates to Zbrush.
And as zbrush got better and better, I'd say roughly 15% of the statue/toy retail products you see now are digitally made and 3d printed. With the trend fast moving towards more and more digital + 3d print. I'm guessing it'll hit 40% in the next 2-5 years. It's a little scary for the traditional guys because it means they have to learn new things, but its also exciting all the possibilities that ZBrush and digital sculpting opens up. The cool thing about digital sculpting and 3d printing is that it really lowers the barrier to entry for producers. It's not just the big guys putting stuff out now, but hundreds of smaller producers who all have new ideas and new visions. It's kinda cool. That's what innovation and technology does in this new age, it brings producers and consumers closer together. The super consumers themselves eventually becomes producers. I always use as an example how those street girls in Shibuya are super consumers of fashion.. but they're also producers in the sense they produce a look and set the new trend. Sites like kickstarter are pushing this new model of business forward even faster. It's pretty cool.. circle of life! haha..
Ok.. back to your question. Mm.. some of those in the shop are 3d printed, but only the first master copy. The rest are all moulded and cast in resin. No one would sell the 3d print in retail. Because the thing is worth it's weight in gold haha. You might see a painted 3d print in a museum or gallery though. Generally you make the 3d print, then cast copies from the 3d print to mock up the Paint Master (colored prototype). Then you give the thumbs up and more copies are made from the 3d print and painted as part of the limited/mass production. Although sometimes we are commissioned to do one-off painted 3d prints for a collector or movie studio. I generally don't recommend painting the 3d print because it closes a lot of doors for copies later. You'll likely mess up the paint job if you try to mould over it later.
Yah we do statue lines and toy lines (we don't say yes to everything tho, we're a lil' picky). Mm.. it really depends on what you want to do and what vision and skills you have. If you're a 3d artist.. then typically the concepting and sculpting phase is easy to get done without outside help (unless it involved articulation). The rest is the "business stuff." Can you move/sell X amount of product? How much is the 3d print, production, shipping going to cost you? How much will you have to sell the final product for? Who's going to buy it and how you plan on retailing? For smaller productions, Ownage does the worldwide individual shipping and customer service to your buyers for you. But for larger amounts, you'll have to think about large-scale distribution. Whether to go through a channel distributor like Sideshow, Diamond, PBM, DKE. Or through a distribution service like Shipwire, Amazon Fulfillments, and stuff like that. Or maybe just set up sales at your local comic shop. Sometimes thats all it takes X-D. Kinda like how Newbury Comics started small in the UK 20 years ago. Nowadays, more and more people get their stuff presold thru Kickstarter. This also helps to pay for the actual production~ You see what Josh Harker did with his Crania Anatomica thingee? $70-80k in sales, although that was entirely 3d printed and produced by Shapeways.. not us. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need consulting. Happy to chat with anyone. Haha, I should really update the website so you guys can help yourselves. But soo busy.... X-D. It's turned into this damned if we do, damned if we don't kinda thing. haha.. its gonna get updated. just want the update to be a functional update, not a marketing one. which means i have to do a lot of it. i know.. excuses!!!
Ok.. I guess I have to post a pic or something before running away. Since this post is about busts.. here's a cool bust!
Indie Print Blizzard Artist Dominic Qwek Cornelius Alien Bust He'll be selling a kit version of this soon.. for those interested you should hit him up about it (http://www.dominicqwek.com/)! Support your fellow 3d artists!