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Old 10-28-2008, 12:44 PM   #1
Magnimus
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What is Mold Degradation?

I've heard the idea of mold degradation batted around lately, and while I understand the general concept, I don't quite understand how it is caused.

Anyone want to help me out with a definition?
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

thats where the mold that was used to "mold" parts has been used too many times or where its so old it starts to crumble and basically what comes out of the mold after that isnt "true"anymore compared to what came out of the mold in the first few runs.over use,carelessness,material mold is made of and time are some of the main factors that will cause "mold degradation".hope that helps a bit.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Molds are like everything else: they don't last forever, and the more you use them, the faster they wear out.

As was covered in the previous post, basically, mold degredation means the mold becomes damaged to the point where you won't get a good casting out of it anymore. Since molds are often expensive and time-consuming to create, this can be a very costly thing, and can determine how many of an object are created. Furthermore, the more detailed or complex a mold is, the more at risk it is of mold degradation.

How does it happen? Any number of ways, just like any other tool. The force of removing the plastic after it has been cast can, over time, ruin fine details in the mold. The continuous pouring of hot metal or plastic into the mold can warp, scorch, or crack it. And exposure to air, water, solvents, grime, or oils can cause corrosion on the surface, or any number of other chemical reactions that change the surface of the mold. This is especially bad if a certain surface texture is required for the casting to work (to prevent bubbles from remaining on the surface, for example). Molds that are left sitting around for years at a time, even in storage, are likely to corrode as well, which is another reason why reissues are often hard to make.

In short, molds are like any other industrial tool, they wear out, and they can eventually break. How fast depends on what conditions they're exposed to, their original design, and how well they're taken care of.

Does this help at all?
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Yeah, it's sort of like the bottom of a shoe. You can stamp it down to make an imprint but as you stamp over and over it starts to wear down and the edges become worn and less crisp.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Ah, so it's not necessarily the constant reproduction of the toy itself but when the mold itself begins to fall apart that produces problems in subsequent toys.

Gotcha!
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

And in addition, the life of a mold depends on what it's made of.

For instance, that BW Dinobot mold must have had at least 9 lives given how often they reused it.

And I'm betting Starscream's mold from Classics is well backed-up since they clearly know to milk it for all it's worth with obvious repaints.

Other molds, like the minicon ones, are smaller and thus I imagine more prone to degradation - the Armada minicons are all pretty much dead mold-wise. G1 Bruticus' mold is probably shot as well given how many times it got reused.

Same goes for Fun Pub's remolds. They don't use materials that are as durable given they do limited production runs.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Some of the molds that have been destroyed or lost by Hasbro/Takara include the original soundwave mold (they used the Japanese Soundblaster mold for the TRU reissue), the G1 Mirage and Wheeljack molds, and all the Dinobots.

However, am I right in assuming one can reverse-engineer a mold? Isn't that what companies do to make knockoffs? Take a casting of the parts of a toy and make a mold based on that?
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruticus82 View Post
Some of the molds that have been destroyed or lost by Hasbro/Takara include the original soundwave mold (they used the Japanese Soundblaster mold for the TRU reissue), the G1 Mirage and Wheeljack molds, and all the Dinobots.

However, am I right in assuming one can reverse-engineer a mold? Isn't that what companies do to make knockoffs? Take a casting of the parts of a toy and make a mold based on that?
Have you seen the quality of the G1 KOs? Cheap molds = cheap quality toy.

It isn't as easy for Takara, since they have standards to maintain, which makes reverse engineering so costly, if not impossible. I actually don't know if they've ever reverse-engineered any G1 item yet, other than pull it out from storage.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:22 PM   #9
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruticus82 View Post
Some of the molds that have been destroyed or lost by Hasbro/Takara include the original soundwave mold (they used the Japanese Soundblaster mold for the TRU reissue), the G1 Mirage and Wheeljack molds, and all the Dinobots.

However, am I right in assuming one can reverse-engineer a mold? Isn't that what companies do to make knockoffs? Take a casting of the parts of a toy and make a mold based on that?
It IS possible, but it is also VERY expensive.

And I think a lot of the good KOs you see today of figures where Takara has lost the mold (Sunstreaker and Mirage come to mind) are being done off of the molds that Takara "lost" (or rather, they lost track of the molds and someone else got their hands on them)
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #10
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Re: What is Mold Degradation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruticus82 View Post
Some of the molds that have been destroyed or lost by Hasbro/Takara include the original soundwave mold (they used the Japanese Soundblaster mold for the TRU reissue), the G1 Mirage and Wheeljack molds, and all the Dinobots.

However, am I right in assuming one can reverse-engineer a mold? Isn't that what companies do to make knockoffs? Take a casting of the parts of a toy and make a mold based on that?
Funny story. Hasbro stated at Botcon 2004 that it's not so much that G1 Mirage and Wheeljack's molds were destroyed, they think that they were misplaced. They have a warehouse with 1000s of molds they used over the years from different lines and they feel it's possible it became mis-placed with all of that. Imagine like G1 Mirage's mold placed in a box along side Army Ant molds or their early WWF stuff...... who knows.
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