Y'know what, dude? I appreciate that a ton; thanks for being here and being down to discuss!
Ah yeah, I can get that. Yeah, this is true. I can't find the source that I'm looking for at the moment, but folks at TLG have pretty strongly that CCBS parts do unequivocally use more plastic relative to their retail price; by association, this implies that the company is actually losing money at the so-called "overpriced" (though I do agree, honestly) CCBS kit price points. Additionally, the inclusion of any kind of plastic into the packaging made these appreciably more expensive to produce - G1 could only pull it off because it was so wildly popular.
See, that's the thing; it was worse back in those days due to the packaging and the inclusion of less versatile parts. Also, almolst every year through 2009 saw some sort of part that wasn't just ABS plastic; it was made of a different material, or had electronics or springs or something that increased its value, and thus its price, dramatically. All of these were produced en masse, appearing in thousands, if not tens of thousands, of units. Some years, we saw two new parts produced with non-ABS.
- 2001: The Manas (Electronic)
- 2002: The Krana
- 2003: The Kraata
- 2006: The Piraka Spines and The Light-Up Swords
- 2007: The Squid, Squid Launchers, Kalmah's Tentacle, The Cordak Blasters, Kalmah's Head... Kinda crazy, huh?
- 2008: The Midak Blasters, Shadow Leeches, and Nynrah Ghost Blasters
- 2009: The Thornax
Toward the end, they started to rely on dual-injected parts a ton, as well; you don't really see that in LEGO system. So, as a rule, G1 was insanely expensive to produce.
This isn't always true; as a rule, you'll see it in effect in small sets that include many new molds and/or recolors, or massive D2C sets that necessitate a ton of small parts. TLG has the capacity to easily pump out some sets that don't initially utilize a ton of new parts, such as large technic sets and those classic buckets that you see in yellow tubs, because said kits are essentially repackaging old, easily used parts. Once TLG has constructed a mold, they'll typically use it for at least five years, so they'd prefer to keep certain elements in use for significantly longer than G1 would typically have done.
The thing is (and I'm simply speaking as an observer here) in an effort to move away from some of those sorts of design chain flaws, CCBS seems to be tilting just a little closer toward the versatility of LEGO system as each year comes and goes. If you look at the 2011 and 2012 Hero Factory sets, you'd be greeted by a system that looked a lot more like G1's Technic sets from an aesthetic perspective; lots of large, jagged parts with small connection points and an enourmous number of faux connection points - anyone remember trying to attach minifig-scale clips to pistons on G1 parts? Back then, there weren't as many distinct colors or lengths fro either shells or bones, so TLG had to make do in the short term with less sustainable details. Sure, G2 represented a major break from that trend, but IMO we've gone right back to it with Star Wars; we see new ort specialized add-ons very rarely because we have plenty of colors and lengths now.
And tha's the issue; it only adds value to the figure if the apparent detail isn't present, or literally cannot be present, elsewhere. Y'know, the word apparent here is super crucial, because folks have wildly differnt definitions of what looks "great" on an action figure; some want Hot Toys, and some want Funko Pop. Right? If you're okay with a very stylized Tahu, then sure, you're right; however, if you want pistons or faux gears or faux tattoos or whatever the hell Master Tahu had on his chest, you'lkl need add-ons, or "armor". There's no way to add that without utilizing those types of pieces. CCBS, however, struggles to remain balanced on this front, because its a young system that has a tough time avoiding the re-use of certain add-ons to optimize cost. And, uh, if you don't believe me, just take a glance for yourself.
Not trying to be a nuisance over here, but a Piraka bone piece is shorter than the average bone length used in CCBS nowadays, since SWC is the order of the day. Just an important semantic distinction to make.
I don't know if this is true. Without any shred of doubt in my mind, I can say that TLG would agree with you. But I honestly think that Vezon looked pretty awful with a shin that was hollow in the back and had two exposed technic holes below the knee. Ostensibly, that's a silly opinion, because TLG couldn't do much better for the budget that they had. That said, I can still hold it if I want to.