"randomsabers" First-hand experience/dissatisfaction

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Panzermk4, May 16, 2006.

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  1. Panzermk4 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    By word of mouth I find out about "randomsabers.com" and the work they do. Many people are probably familiar with them as well. I decided to design and order my own from their site. I post this to you not as a rant about randomsabers but as a warning to prospective customers. I'd like to save you the time and fustration, not to mention the potential loss of 100+ dollars. I finally submit the design and work out the details with a rep and now comes the waiting time. I end up waiting a year, yes folks you heard it right, A year for a piece of machined metal. After still not recieving it we write them through E-mail regarding my saber. After bugging them about it they agree to machine it in the next week. Very fustrating indeed. The time for them to machine it rolls around and we recieve another email back. It seems they can't machine the saber due to copy right infringment. A saber on master-replicas seems to come very close to design. I checked and could see no huge resemblance. I asked them about it and they wouldnt say what master-replicas item it resembles or how it violates the copy-right. Or what could be changed to keep everyone happy. So now i am in the throws of designing a new saber wich will most likely by rejected due to copy right infringment as well . Heres a pic of it, let me know what you think. [image=http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h126/panzermk4/saaber3.jpg]
  2. mr_Goodbomb Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2006
    star 1
    I'd just ask for your cash back, and take it to a private business that can machine you something locally.
  3. xwingband Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2001
    star 2
    I don't see how that's too close to any "official" design but I do applaud Ryan at Randomsabers for being cautious about what designs he makes. Lucas coming down on him would be no fun at all.

    Also about the wait... it's always been like that. Beggers can't be choosers. You could go local but what are the chances they would have the same experience in sabers and quote the same price, slim to none. The wait has always been long and it's not going to improve until he gets more help.
  4. Darth_Agony Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2003
    star 2
    I'm not sure which saber that would be "too close to" either, but I have done business with Ryan several times in the past and can't say enough good things about him. He is very easy to work with. I did notice a few times he had website troubles and had asked people to check to see if they were still on the waiting list and if they weren't to contact him. A good rule of thumb is to ask before paying what the turnaround time will be. Then if you don't want to wait the expected time, you can go elsewhere... and if you havent heard anything by the end of the expected time, you know its a good time to contact the costume/prop maker. I always check in every few weeks after the expected turnaround time has come to make sure I didn't get lost in the shuffle and to just get a status update. I can say with almost absolute certainty you'll be very pleased with the end result from randomsabers. I know I always have been and anyone I know who has done business with them has been as well.
  5. BroodMcEto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 4
    Yeah, ask for a refund and take it somewhere else. As far as copyright infringement, as long as it's 10% or more off the original design (my understanding), it doesn't qualify as an infringement. Sounds to me like a cop-out...
  6. Mrs_Darth_Agony Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    I know waiting for a product can be very frustrating. Ryan is a good guy and if he says he's going to do something, he will do it. I find it strange that whomever you spoke to regarding the inability to machine your saber wouldn't work with you to fix it up so it would be do-able. Just recently in time for the Pittsburgh Comicon he donated two really nice hilts to be raffled off as part of a charity basket that Pittsburgh Fan Force was doing. I have ordered several sabers from them, and have always been pleased with the outcome. The only thing I can suggest is when you finish the design that you want, submit it and be polite in asking that if it is unable to be done that they please help you design one that can be done. Also be patient. Ryan is the main person doing all the machining. He is a career and family man at the same time, so please be patient with him, because like every one of us he is only human and can only go so fast. You should also keep in mind that he has such a long waiting list is because of the quality of work he does.
  7. Panzermk4 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    I'm in no way trying to attack Ryan or discredit the works of randomsabers. I've seen his works and I agree it does look great. My thoughts immediatly turned to a cop-out as well, especially after he refused to help or change the saber it was simply not machinable due to copy-right infringment. I respect any reasons on his part to not do it though. I'm sure he isn't trying to commit foul play or whatever. I heard the wait was long but I thought a year was a bit much. I did see how many people already had orders so I wasn't really too surprised or angered. As for a follow-up design I'm leaning more towards getting my money back. I would have been happy with the product I'm sure, at this point though I'm kinda done struggling with it. I guess I kinda had it when my product was finally up to bat only to have it shoved aside for God knows what real reason. I think its safe to say copy-right infringment isn't the real issue. I just dont see any resemblance and from what I read neither do most of you. Surely it looks like a lightsaber, no one copy righted that though did they?
  8. mr_Goodbomb Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2006
    star 1
    I don't think he's being a "begger"...

    He's a paying customer.

    Waiting a year when it obviously only takes them a week to simply tell him "we can't do it" but keeping his money all that time is particularly sleazy.

    I think there are enough people making homemade lightsabers around the world and selling them on Ebay that the worry about copyright infringement seems like a cop-out. How many websites can you name with the word "saber" in their title or description?

    Infact, LucasFilm sued a company years ago for using the title, and the court dropped the case; said it was such a big thing in pop culture, it was alright to use as public domain. Now, this doesn't apply to saber DESIGN, of course, but I still believe a company that MAKES lightsabers for a living holding someone's money for a year, and then, when pressed about it, up and says "we can't do it, copyright issues" is a total cop-out.

    The price of graflex flashes is going down, and there are several sites I can name you that show you very interesting ways of making home-made saber hilts from hardware store products. I say just make your own; it'll be more of a point of pride to have something you made yourself rather than something you commissioned someone else to make.
  9. Panzermk4 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    Thank you for understanding. I can say I agree with you. Your idea is interesting. Could you PM me with some details or suggestions? Thanks Goodbomb
  10. Minder Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    star 3
    I also have a saber ordered from Random Sabers, and I have waited about 8 Months so far.

    But here is the trick.

    He has a page on his website with the waiting list on it. He has every order listed in the order he received them, and approximately how long each order will take to make. Account for the weekends, and you can figure out approximately how long your wait is. You can also watch him chewing through the waiting list (Which is considerable)

    Yes its a long wait, but its a specialty item, and he has been upfront about the wait from the beginning.


    Check it out here. http://randomsabers.com/status.htm
  11. xwingband Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2001
    star 2
    He's a begger in the sense that he's not taking it upon himself to make his design and there aren't many others out there that do custom sabers to order. The trade off with Random is it's a wait, but it's generally cheaper than a normal machinist that may charge you $40-60 per hour not including materials.

    You miss the point though. Lucas does own the rights to the design of the movie sabers, just as much as a car company can own the shape of their cars. Lucas also can and does sue people that use the word "lightsaber" for profit because they own that trademark. Do they own "saber"? NO, because that's a common word.

    I do think saying it is too close is a cop-out but I can see which one he means it's "too close" to. I don't see any indication he took his money outright though. He's still in the design process. He can ask for a refund at any point.

    I do agree with making one though. It's satisfying. The graflex point is off though. Just about anyone can grab a replica of that though since it's so old and esentially has fallen into public domain. It's all a fine line on what Lucas can and can't to do.:oops:
  12. FETT-MAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2005
    star 4
    I've visited the site, but not ordered anything. I looked through some of his examples and like his work. Things like this take time. The "copyright issues" is kind of sleazy, I'll agree. But we all make mistakes.
  13. sal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 4
    Looks kind of, just alittle bit, like Windu's.
  14. RandomSabers Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Now, I dont pretend to know everything, nor do I care if LFL sues the teeming millions that make sabers and sell them on eBay...I do care if my company gets sued though. So, if its deemed to close to a design that is held in copyright, we will refuse to machine it. End of line...there isnt any waffling on the issue because while you can machine a saber that looks "kinda like Obi-Wans"- you dont just get "kinda" sued.

    Having said that: without a name or any distinguishing email to go off of, I will be honest and say that I have no idea who the poster really is. I can tell you that I have that very picture, hand drawn on paper sitting, waiting to be machined, and everyone is correct: as far as I can tell, it doesnt look like any other saber before, so there is no reason it cant be machined.
    At a best guess this poster is Steve (or his father Scott) - I can say this because of the last two weeks, I dont think I have had to send an email like this to any other customer besides him(them). In my defense, it looks like I may have mixed up Steves design with another Steve, who had a saber design that looked far too much like the ANI3 saber...which couldnt be machined.

    If this is the case, and this is Steve in TX, or his father Scott - email me, and we'll get this worked out.

    IF you would rather just have your money back, we are happy to oblige.


    As for those wondering how someone with 150 orders could possibly mixup someones saber design...I have no excuses. We keep a copy of every email we receive and a copy of each drawing that people email to us. Without making excuses, this particular design shown in the first post was actually mailed to us, so there is no virtual record of it in our computer.
    Again, I wont use that as an excuse, but simply offer it as evidence, and I will be sad to see a customer leave because of a mixup like this, but if its the will of the customer and his supporters here, so be it.

    For the other members here who offered support, I thank you.

    Ryan @ Random
  15. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    I think everyone's had a chance to have their say, thanks for keeping it mature folks. :)

    I'm going to lock this now.
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