Ranger Still Evolving!

After the price hike on our 1/6 scale wooden products, there has been a significant decline in sales, which was an expected and welcome change of events (see my last video update).

But sales didn’t’ stop completely. Especially for Ranger.  The slow-down has allowed me to devote more time on each of these armatures and focus my efforts on making subtle refinements. But also giving me the luxury of being far more picky with pieces that get approved for assembly.

Here are some images showing what these latest refinements look like. For the most part it’s cosmetic, such as getting a much cleaner and flush alignment between the magnets on the foot and toe with the base of the foot piece.  Design-wise the socked at the top of the torso changed substantially. I was really happy with the socket design I came up with for the A10-Ballerina so I borrowed it from her and gave it to Ranger as well.    Something that is also really helping is the different contact finish from glossy to matte.  This was something that showed up on the trim pieces because they were printed on a glossy surface and I’ve switched to matte.  It’s more difficult to do and more prone to failures, but it’s something I can afford to do now given the change in price.

So yeah, all in all very subtle stuff but I wanted to put this together to let you know I’ve always got my antennae up for potential ways in which the armature can improve. And any time I have a little bit of resource (be it time or financial) I tend to devote it to making improvements.  All of this then trickles out to all the sibling products over time so I’ve included some photos of those below as well.

Finally, perhaps the biggest change is that A9-Kid and A9-Teen come with articulated wooden hands instead of the plastic fists. The size of hand is still too big for those age groups but I’m sure I’ll work on shrinking them down in months ahead especially as I work and learn to make articulated hands for Rider.

OH! And all 1/6 scale purchases come with a life-time warranty (which is pretty freakin’ amazing if you think about it). Platforms come included as well.  And all those armatures priced at $300 and above come with a year subscription to our online content from which you can score monthly 50% off sales.   So in a way, if you were intending to buy lots of our products, our new approach to pricing may have just saved you a TON of money.

 

This is Ranger (xx). She’s looking more beautiful than ever!

This is the new quadruped design. The way the storefront will work is you’ll be able to select whichever head and neck combination you want.

This is the latest A9-Teen which now comes with articulated magnetic hands.

 

But of all the things I’ve helped bring into this world nothing will ever compare or come close to my children.  And as a “daddy” of two beautiful bottles of sunshine I know all too well the important role we (fathers) play in the life of children and how we help shape the next generation through our example. Even my own Dad whom is now a proud grandpa continues to be a father figure and supporting me in his own way. This weekend him and my Mom stopped by to take the kids for a few days so me and the misses could get some quiet time.

So to all the men out there that strive each day for the well-being of their children I say to you, Happy Father’s Day! Keep being awesome.

 

Goodbye Ranger?

Hey all, I just wanted to give you the heads up that we’re considering abandoning the 1/6 scale product line and moving forward only with our 1/12 scale items.

Over the years, as improvements have been made to Ranger, those improvements have trickled down to Rider and its sibling products.   And now, aside from fingers, Rider has all the same range of motion as Ranger does.   Also given how light it is, it beats Ranger in terms of stability and ease of use.  Plus requires no hex key and carries with it no additional screws or fasteners.  So in many ways, Rider is a far more user-friendly product.

So I wanted to let you know this might be happening.  Not sure exactly when or how we’ll make this transition. It’s possible Ranger will just be priced out into oblivion.  Or perhaps reserved as a special perk available only to subscribers. Haven’t decided yet.  In essence, we plan on limiting its production down to as close to zero as possible.

The fundamental reason for this is that the investment in producing the 1/6 scale pieces is still rendering a financial loss for us.

This will allow me to focus on the 1/12 scale products and possibly create articulated hands for it.

Anyway, this isn’t happened just yet. But thought I’d let you know ahead of time.  Just a couple days ago our 1/12 scale pieces became available independently so you can customize your own armature just like you could with the 1/6 scale and already features almost the same content available to Ranger.  Click this image to go to that creator page:

A9 Rider

It’s been an amazing journey.

Your thoughts are welcome of course via comment or message.

cheers,

Paul

So much in the works!

Well, that’s the longest stretch of silence I think our blog has ever witnessed! Sorry about that guys. I’ve been tremendously busy.

First off, all sales from the big sale last month have shipped. Phew! That took longer than I thought it would so I appreciate everyone’s patience.

So we’re back to our 1-week turn-around normal and tomorrow order #41156 should be shipping.

Also, to celebrate reaching 1,000 subscribers on youtube.com/armaturenine I’ve been upgrading to a more pro studio setup

Having all this extra room, a full length green screen, white and black backdrops is going to really expand what I can do with product photography and video.  Until now I was using a 2×2′ corner in my office and it was getting really crammed. Especially with the dragon.  Now I can actually take pictures of the wings fully open (stay tune for that).

There are a number of other things I need to update you guys on and hope to do so throughout the month of May.

Oh, and we opened a Minds account:

https://www.minds.com/armaturenine

 

cheers

Paul

New generation of Rangers

Hello everyone, just wanted to let you know that tomorrow all remaining orders from the sale that took place on the 15th will be shipping.

All that is left is to attach the new injection molded elbows and laser engrave their birthdays.  Thank you so much for your patience.

These Rangers will be the first to have injection molded elbows AND metal nested inside the shoulders (as was done earlier this month for the hips).

Last of a generation

Tomorrow these beauties will be heading out to their rightful owners from yesterday’s GRAND sale. And they happen to also be the very last in a generation of Rangers because after these, the elbows will no longer be 3d printed. More on this later.

This is a photo of the armatures that we repurchased at their same original value.    If you want to learn more about this see our last post about the buy-back program.

Very LAST Epic SALE

Well, the time that many have been waiting for has finally come. We’ve been known to put on epic sales every once in a while for our A9-RIGS and last I communicated with customers, the next milestone would be when we hit another 1,000 subscribers.  Unfortunately, the subscription number has hardly budged.  And many have been waiting close to a year for this.  So I’ve decided it would be unfair to keep people waiting.

So we’re going to go ahead and conduct the sale once and for all.

So tomorrow an email will be sent to all of our mailing list subscribers with a coupon code that will last for 24 hours so you can get A9-Ranger for $90 (50%OFF).

Here is a link if you haven’t subscribed already. It’s the only way you’ll get the discount code.

http://digitaldouble.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a1125de447bb0e23e42258dd7&id=cd11f668be

 

Once this sale is over, it will be our LAST major sale.

Every single Ranger requires 11 hours of machine time to produce the wooden and plastic parts and an hour of labor to post-process and assemble each one. That’s 12 hours to birth one of these beauties. So $90 is a smoking deal.

And to get people extra excited, I’ve been  preparing in advance and already have these twenty Rangers lined up, just waiting for their left arm to be engraved with a birth date and then attached.  That means that the first twenty individuals to place their order will get it in the mail within a few days of placing it.  Despite the reduced price, each Ranger still comes with a 12 month warranty and comes with a spare set of universal peanut joints. Platforms are still sold separately.

 

And remember, we also have a great deal going on Etsy for those limited edition brown 2016-Riders. There’s only about 20 left and only a total of approximately 50 will ever exist in circulation.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArmatureNine

Please let others know. The code will be emailed tomorrow to the mailing list and sale will take place on Saturday starting at 12:01 am (PST)

Version 2017 – What has been learned

Hello everyone, sorry for my sudden lack of postings. I’ve been busy with an upcoming dragon armature design, the ballerina project (3d scanning my ten year old daughter), and a verity of other little things.

But I wanted to take a moment to remind you all that much has been learned from the recent 2017 release of Ranger. In particular with the springs in the feet.  If anyone has been experiencing any problems, please don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing store-at-armaturenine-com. I’m happy to send out replacements.   It’s important to me that everyone be having a positive experience with their armatures.  The new and smaller hands are also getting better.  In fact, despite the addition of the magnets, they’re now easier to make than the older larger hands so Ranger has come down in price another $5 today.  Fundamentally what used to happen is there was a massive failure rate and I’d build three pairs of hands before I’d get one that worked. Now my failure rate is close to zero which feels amazing.     Now that the design has stabilized I intend to start offering hand customization soon.  But first I’m going to be releasing the claws again in anticipation of the upcoming dragon/beast release.

In other news, the buy-back program we had in February went really well.   And I want you all to know that this offer will remain open for anyone wishing to return either a Rider or Ranger armature from 2012 or 2013.  This is back when they only cost $15-$30 per armature.  You’d get a 100% refund in the form of a store credit for the same product. Just email a photo of your armature and your mailing address and I can send you a return stamp.

Oh and finally, remember each month we have an art contest for a chance to win a free Ranger and Rider (we give out 3-4 armatures each month).  Contest details are here: http://armaturenine.com/contest.html

And again, sorry for the absence. I suspect I’ll be bombarding you guys with updates soon once all these things I’m working on are ready to be shown.

stay in touch 🙂

Paul