The Prop Den

Edit: Issues with recent events on the forums.
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Author:  CSMacLaren [ Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What does Gino contribute to the hobby?

I think there are four aspects to GINO.

1. The look of his 1:1 scale setups.

2. His information source claims

3. His props' lineage claims

4. Attitude (already discussed)

So here are my thoughts:

1. The look of his 1:1 scale setups.

His 1:1 scale setups show dedication and passion. Over the years, I've seen a lot of misinformation and poor setups by costumers and 1:1 scale people who in turn misinform newcomers. Nobody knows better, so they base the validity on their eye and the "wow" factor, which is fine. GINO pays greater attention to detail than the average costumer and 1:1 scale collector so he achieves a better look that sets a good standard. I don't feel it's "the" standard, but it's a good standard nonetheless.

That's just about the only good thing I will say of GINO: his 1:1 scale Vaders are not bad (definitely well above average), his Maul is very darned impressive (but without Cyberman's Maul head sculpt, the setup would be just a headless body).

Are these contributions? Not per se, but they can serve to inspire.

Let's say self-made authority costumer raves about XYZ Vendor and diverts everyone to that vendor's site. He's not particularly accurate looking himself, but because he looks okay and because newcomers don't know any better, the newcomers all end up looking like him. I see that too often. GINO's 1:1 setups show people that such self-made authorities' advice do not necessarily result in the best or most accurate look.

Simply put, in this hobby, you have to do a lot of study yourself. Else you'll get suckered by "authorities".

GINO's 1:1 scale setups are not evidence of (2) and (3) but are evidence of a person with a certain degree of passion and a certain level of accuracy that most self-made authorities miss altogether.

2. His information source claims

His claims of information that has LFL ties is questionable. Most people in the public can't verify the claims because they have no LFL ties themselves. "If you don't believe me, just look at the look of my statues" is the fallacy of circular logic known as begging the question.

I notice that people who have fallen in love with his look have simultaneously bought into this cirucular logic. When someone points out inaccuracies, they act like GINO's attack dogs - assailing the viewpoints but without any actual logic or facts to their arguments. They've not done any personal study themselves; they just got mesmerized by a nice 1:1 scale setup.

Each to their own.

His claims do not contribute anything to the fandom other than trying to make the fandom think he has exclusive high level access that no-one else can disprove.

3. His props' lineage claims

Again, the same. Claiming his props come from production pieces is amusing, considering the fact that some of his pieces lack the details of the actual originals! I'm not going to say anything further because I've noticed GINO making tiny modifications and then not crediting the people who have pointed these errors and discrepancies out. Of course he can play the "jealousy" card all he wants, but I'm not going to have my observations plagiarized and for him to cement this "king of the hill" complex.

Again, the props' lineage claims dont' contribute anything to the fandom. The look of his ANH really isn't that accurate, and his ESB is slightly better, but his ROTJ is quite nice. All idealized. GINO should be commended for making the best out of what's available to him, but any claims or implications of being directly cast should be more carefully scrutinized and not so blindly accepted.

This is not jealousy speaking. What I have in my personal collection makes any jealousy completely unnecessary. "Well, how's YOUR mannequin, Mac?" as he has said before. It's doing just fine in my living room; I'm not comparing mine to yours. I'm comparing mine to the original. Something for the enjoyment of those who visit my home. You're not invited, so why am I bothering showing you a picture that you can plagiarize?

4. His attitude

His attitude contributes nothing to the fandom. Beating people over the head to acknoweldge his superiority because of (2) and (3). Evidence of (2) and (3) are his (1).

If you get cyberbullied by someone like that, you deserve it. If you stand up to it, good for you.

There are some who haven't spent time really studying the props and have taken it upon themselves to stand up to GINO. I admire the bravery but I'd still encourage prop study, otherwise you'd be making a fool of yourself arguing against another fool. Spend some time in a positive and encouraging environment frequented by people who don't make the atmosphere hostile and defensive. The Prop Den is a great place.

This "I have the best of the best of the best" really remains to be proven, which he won't. This "I am the best of the best of the best" adds some annoying amusement to the hobby.

And if you say anything bad about him, he'll just say "Well you're just jealous". It's the most worn card in his deck of snappy answers.


GINO occasionally contributes tiny tidbits of information that I can confirm are correct but that are already known by those who have been in the hobby a while. Newcomers who don't know can benefit from some of the things he says. Most who have not had access to accurate props can be inspired by his 1:1 scale stuff, and that's about how much GINO contributes.

These alone are positive, I think. Anything else is suspect.

Thoughts on the Stormtrooper side of the hobby

What I've written so far was based on my observations of GINO's behavior on the Vader side of the hobby.

On the stormtrooper side, he's no better. I will say that he's studied the nuances of stormtroopers a bit more but not all his observations are 100% correct. He may be able to identify an obscure and tiny feature and then miss something blatantly obvious. In his correct observations (shared more to accuse someone of recasting rather than to really benevolently teach people) newcomers can still learn from that.

So GINO says he doesn't sell things. Right. Why are people selling their GINO brand stormtrooper helmets or Vader chest boxes? He doesn't have to sell in large volumes at lower prices. He's marketed himself as being so superior so that he only has to sell a few items at very high prices, allowing him to make money with less work than the competing vendors he's so against.

And so what if he's not selling Vader helmets? Building a reputation using his Vader helmets and using that reputation in selling other SW items at exhorbant prices still benefits him. Granted, if he can fetch such a high sum, I think he's to be congratulated because he did his marketing correctly.

Also, if he's using the molds of Matt / T*E then how he can say his helmets are more accurate than T*E's would be an interesting read. I'm not recommending people to T*E because a 2-week wait turned into a year long worried wait for me, but if T*E's helmet is worth, say, $400+ finished and GINO's (based on the same molds) is $1,400+ finished, if people believe they're getting $1,000 more value going with GINO, then GINO is again to be commended for excellent marketing, and people deserve to part with that much hard earned money.

Author:  Darthvaderv [ Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What does Gino contribute to the hobby?

To be fair, It must be very difficult for people that have been in the hobby some 15 years or so and have someone else come in and think they know more. It is highly irritating when that happens. Doesn't matter if you have 10, 8 years experience, it is still annoying. (I don't mean you BTW Mac, just general) even if experience isn't everything in some cases.

I have said to so many others in the past, if people have enough passion, dedication and luck to study their subjects properly, that is the way forward. Unless he gets banned from any more forums, I think Gino will be around, so it's a case of living with him so to speak if people don't get on with him.

Personally, I like to discuss and sometimes debate a point with Gino as do others. However, If anyone feel's the same as I do for a couple out there though and you can't be bothered to give someone the time of day, ignore them, blank them, it is your right not to post and if they rant, bait, they tend to make a fool of themselves anyway, it's much along the lines of what Pete mentioned about the people in the hobby not affecting your mind, or your spirit. If you think someone can push your buttons, say what you want originally and leave it be, if those people think you are intimidated by them then they are just naiive, as it has the reverse effect for the most part, they just don't know that at first. Much of this is a poker game. I take it seriously but an element of fun has to be present also.

Author:  No Humor Man [ Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What does Gino contribute to the hobby?

When did we turn into a pedagogical bunch of mellow hippies? :lol

Seems some of the animosity in the hobby has subsided a bit... and that's nice, 'cause then we can focus on what's really important and not on someone or something that gets us riled up for no reason. The PROPS are the real reason anyone of us are here. All this kicking and screaming and bitching and moaning... well... save that for bedtime exercises... :blah

Author:  Darthvaderv [ Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What does Gino contribute to the hobby?

NoHumorMan wrote:
When did we turn into a pedagogical bunch of mellow hippies? :lol

Oh I see, it's because I mentioned the word, spirit huh?

I like to call it a mature reflection on the community :lol

Author:  No Humor Man [ Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What does Gino contribute to the hobby?

Darthvaderv wrote:
NoHumorMan wrote:
When did we turn into a pedagogical bunch of mellow hippies? :lol

Oh I see, it's because I mentioned the word, spirit huh?
I like to call it a mature reflection on the community :lol

HIPPIE!!! :protest

Author:  SithLord [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Edit: Issues with recent events on the forums.

I don't think he meant in metaphysical terms, simply in how one views the the spirit of things... :cool:

Author:  T-VIRUS [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Edit: Issues with recent events on the forums.

I know for me..its the people that I enjoy the most. I joined the Den for that very reason. At the time it was a fairly small community and the people who were hear seemed very supportive and positive. Sure the boat gets rocked from time to time...people come and go but the Den always seems to settle back to a solid core of good people.

Since I'm really only an expert at my day job...I just avoid the confrontational threads and move on to something calmer and more informative. I take my responsibilities VERY serious...but try and take life pretty light. You only go around this one time. :cheers

Rock on dudes. :thumbsup

Author:  Lambotour [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Edit: Issues with recent events on the forums.

Enjoying the people as you say T is fine. Whatever it is that brings you the most joy, go for it, but obsessing over one person can be detrimental. I don't try to psycho-analyze anyone. People are the way they are and for some of us that have been involved in the hobby a while, you learn to go with the flow. Sure the waves get rocky every once in a while, but you learn to maneuver around them and not attempt to go through them. You have to learn to pick your battles.

Author:  T-VIRUS [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Edit: Issues with recent events on the forums.

I agree 100% DK...If you allow people to sapp the fun out of your enjoyment for the hobby what do you have left?

The reality of everyday life. Yuck. :lol

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