An honest review of StarFortressProduction

  1. #1

    An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    After my current dealings with the management of StarFortressProductions (hereafter I will term SFP) I have decided to do a write up review of my initial purchase in 2006 and my current dealings, which I will make known now that did not include recent purchase. I intend for this to be an honest review and I will abide by some rules which are...

    1. No profanity
    2. No descriptive terms intended to prey on emotion but rather fact based statements.
    3. All statements will be truthful and non-inflamatory.

    I will supply photographs of my purchase as worn direct from the box. I will also confess that it was my first time wearing a Boba Fett costume, or any costume of the like, and I was wearing some items wrong, if this caused a result in the appearance I will make it known. I'm hoping this thread can be stickied and used by new comers. Again I will make no statements of whether one should buy from them or not, I am simply relating and critiquing my own suit, based on the knowledge I have now of how the suit is supposed to look and comparing it with my initial suit. With that being said, let's move onward.

    The purchase I made from Boba Fett Costumes was the "Boba Fett Complete Costume" option in the ROTJ scheme. I will let it be known that this is the cheapest option. They describe it as follows...
    "Complete outfit, from head to toe, includes helmet, snorkel, chest plate set, backplate, groinplate set, gauntlets, knees, rocket pack, coveralls, vest, belts, boots with toe picks, ankle tools and gloves, all in BASIC form. (not the metal parts versions, does not include boot spikes or belt devices). Blasters not included. Deluxe version has better paint detailing and replaces resin details with machined aluminum ones, such as knee spikes, helmet ears, rocket details and basic forearm details, tools, and includes belt devices and boot spikes. Mechanical version includes all deluxe items mentioned and mechanical forearms with pop-out blades, pull-out dart on cable, and extending flame nozzle (ROTJ forearms), and rocket pack with multipart missile and grappling hook, and electronic helmet. NO ONE makes an outfit this nice, Except OUTWORLD! "

    This option cost $1450.00 USD with $225.00 USD for shipping and handling. I found out later that this was high due to customs fees etc... in that it was coming from the Philippians. I received my boxes ( 2 large boxes) roughly 6 months later. I opened the box, assembled the parts that needed assembly, and here's what I had.

    With no knowledge of the costume at first look it's not bad, and in truth is better than any store bought costume. However my complaint list began on that same day as the following happened...

    1. The tip of the forearm rocket (the black tip) broke off of the brass colored part, then the brass colored part broke off from the body.
    2. Upon attempting to wear the gauntlets, the front latch broke from the left and both latches broke off the right. I ended up solving the issue by riveting a belt/buckle system on the side and painting it the same color as the gauntlet.
    3. The jetpack rocket broke from the rod that went into the jetpack body, which I solved by using a connecting dowl that I drilled and expoxied in the middle of the rocket.
    4. The harness while in fact able to hold the jetpack, rode up during wear to the level of my throat, causing strangulation. In fact right after this photo was taken I had to quickly remove the jetpack as I was beginning to see spots due to lack of oxygen.

    Now a quick break to address the main issue. The option I bought does not use custom measurements, but only small (S), medium (M), large (L), etc... I used their measuring guide and ordered size Large. This being said upon wearing many soft parts did not fit, and did not fit uniformly (ie: all too large or all piece too small)

    1. The jumpsuit was tight and barely zipped.
    2. The boots were too big. I wear size 9 and had a ton of room left.
    3. The girth belt was snug.
    4. The flak vest was WAY too big, it is supposed to end about mid-abdomen, mine ended at the waist. I had to fold the bottom up underneath and pin it.

    That's the initial review.

    Now I will attempt to go part by part.

    First off in these photos I have had to change the wookiee braids on the second photo, as the ones they have sent had unravelled as they were made from pieces of short hair and was then braided together instead of woven from longer hair. Also the blaster and toe spikes are homemade and not SFP and as such should not be judged with the suit. Onwards....

    -One of the good points is the helmet is lined inside, keeping sweat to a minimum. It fit me nicely and it was one of the pieces that I enjoyed.
    1. The most obvious is the upper/lower cheeks are mispainted. They had the upper the lighter green and lower a darker green.
    2. The visor is flimsy upon attempting to remove to repaint, it broke easily.
    3. The visor was not tinted dark enough and upon wearing one could clearly see the wearer's face.

    Collar Plate
    1. Obviously made from fiberglass.
    2. Screen used the collor bent over the shoulder and connected with the backplate via collar studs. Obviously the studs are simply molded onto the plate and plate does not bend at all.
    3. The green color is wrong.

    Flak Vest
    1. Made from thin material with padding inside.
    2. Upon washing the padding crumbles leaving vest lumpy
    3. Neck Seal is not at all stiff and upon sweating falls down onto collar
    4. Due to size issues velcro is at odd places
    5. I Had to add velcro to vest in order to more securely hold armor onto vest
    6. Color was bluish grey instead of khaki color used on screen.

    Chest and Ab Plates
    1. Velcro came off almost immediately. Had to apply hot glue before every troop.
    2. The green color is wrong.
    3. The dents are not screen accurate.

    Shoulder Plates
    1. Velcro had to be continually hot glued on.
    2. Had to add velcro

    Back Plate
    1. Green color is wrong
    2. Does not attach to collar and tended to give appearance of "wings" when jetpack worn.

    1. The blue was too light
    2. The rocket attached to the jetpack body via dowel rod, which as stated broke easily.
    3. Jetpack is quite heavy and in combination with the harness caused strangualation when worn. To fix I had to sew the buckles from the harness onto my jumpsuit itself.

    Flightsuit (Coveralls)
    1. Fit snug regardless of ordering L size.

    1.Front clasp on left and both on right broke upon initial wearing.
    2. Color is off
    3. The top of the gauntlet rocket broke into two parts
    4. Only included two hoses on right gauntlet instead of screen used three
    5. Missing switches,lights, buttons
    6. Considerably smaller than screen used gauntlets.

    1. Grey/White pattern entirely wrong
    2. made incorrectly, if I held my hand flat the glove would take a ball shape as it did not fit like a glove. (pun not intended)

    Girth Belt
    1. Again tight fit regardless of L size.
    2. Was brown instead of ROTJ red
    3. Made from yarn like material, upon wearing would bunch up instead of remaining firm
    4. Did not fit over top of groin plate as screen accurate should.

    Ammunition Belt
    1. Black in color instead of screen used brown
    2. Green color is wrong
    3. Pouches gray not khaki

    Groin/Cod Plate
    1. Attached together via belt
    2. Green color wrong
    3. Because of fiberglass material sides did not conform to waist.
    4. Belt constructed twisted and as such adjustment made impossible, had to safety pin shorter as it was MUCH too big.

    1. darts bigger than screen used

    Ankle Spats
    1. Gray not khaki
    2. Made from flimsy material so has no appearance of thickness.

    1. Came with purple and green stripes instead of single black stripe
    2. Shape of boot forms shape that is way too wide at toes, almost like clown shoes.
    3. caused severe chaffing on legs when not worn with knee socks.
    4. caused severe blisters during long wear due to lack of padding and too much room

    I soon attempted to contact SFP about these issues and it took me quite a while as their website isn't very helpful, and the number goes to a vendor working with them instead of outworld/SFP themselves. During a conversation I was told that "they could not see how parts were broke because everything was securly packed upon shipping" They informed me that parts that were broken could be replaced but I would have to pay shipping both for the return to them, as well as for the return of the new part to myself. Upon looking at the shipping costs it occured to me that it would be cheaper to get parts from a local vendor than it was to pursue this option. After this contact all further attempts at communication were blocked and ignored on both their website and their ebay store. I was told that I was lying in order to get free stuff and they were blameless.

    Over time I have replaced almost 98% of my suit with other makers, and now have a much better, more screen accurate look. Here is the comparison....

    Attachment 60183

    In the current photo all I have left of my SFP suit is the following....

    1. Ankle Spats
    2. Knees.
    3. Cod/Ab Plate
    4. Back Plate

    Fast Forward to present.

    Upon coming across their Facebook page I noticed they used my photo ( the second one used here) which they obtained from the TDH forums and used it to make a "how not to wear a awesome costume" in which they pretty much made it seem that the entire issue was in the way that I was wearing the suit. No mention of the wrong paint details (ie: helmet) or the shades used. I contacted them, informing them that they were using my personal photo and image without my permission and requested that it be removed. I was then told that they would not, as it was a "warning" and contained no identifiable names etc... I was then told that my prior posts about them were defamation and libelous because I named them. At the time I decided to give them a chance, since they claimed to be "under new management" so I offered to remove my previous posts/photos in exchange for the same. Although they did so, as did I, they then turned and made a statement to the effect that I was another 501st/TDH member that had seen the light and had now come over to their side now that I was not brainwashed/following the SFP is bad bandwagon. They made no acknowledgement that I had in fact a legitimate complaint against them in both what I received as well as how I was treated. Upon a few days after I kept having an unsettling feeling, and decided to release all information and do a write up about my experience with them. In this I will include my FB conversation with them here...

    sfp convo1.pdf

    During this conversation they insist that the boots indeed have a green stripe, that Jeremy Bulloch personally approved their suits, as well as having contracts with Disney, etc... They also told me that they were in the process of legal action against 501st/TDH members that had made libelous remarks against them ( I now take this to mean any negative critique of their product.

    Again, I write this not with a vengeful heart, but in the hopes of having the truth come out. If you choose to buy from them then that is your choice, I neither condone nor condemn it. I simply believe people have the right to know what has gone on before so they can make an informed decision with information NOT supplied by the actual company.
    Last edited by mandosoldier; Apr 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    mandosoldier said: View Post

    This option cost $14450.00 USD with $225.00 USD for shipping and handling. I found out later that this was high due to customs fees etc... in that it was coming from the Philippians. I received my boxes ( 2 large boxes) roughly 6 months later. I opened the box, assembled the parts that needed assembly, and here's what I had.
    I hope that cost was a typo, otherwise OUCH!

  3. #3

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Nope, that price straight from their website. It's not a lot, most people's Boba suits have MUCH more than that sunk in, but it was a lot to pay just to have the issues I had.

  4. #4

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    $14,450? I don't think so unless you have more money than you know what to do with.

    Just checked their site and it was $1, typo.

  5. #5
    DanzoFett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2009

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Always good to see this topic come up regardless how many times it does..I was caught for 1700 for a complete fett makes me sick when I look at ur photo makes me sick to think I bought the same **** and the money it cost to fix it...a dam lot thanks to the great guys here for there help.....and regarding there claims to sue they don't have a case in my own experience if it looks like **** and it smells like ****...there's a good chance it is ****!

  6. #6
    superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Newport News, VA

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    What proof is there that they are "under new management?" Is that just something that they claim?

    Even if the history of SFP wasn't. . . questionable. . . they don't have a very good attitude regarding SW fans.
    Calling fans things like "geeka-Fett" and "dweebs" sure don't make me want to throw my money at them.

  7. #7
    superjedi said: View Post
    What proof is there that they are "under new management?" Is that just something that they claim?

    Even if the history of SFP wasn't. . . questionable. . . they don't have a very good attitude regarding SW fans.
    Calling fans things like "geeka-Fett" and "dweebs" sure don't make me want to throw my money at them.
    Lol this^^^
    Quote Quote Posted from iOS app

  8. #8

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Typo fixed. Thanks for the heads up. I did this because I'm betting they troll this page looking for people making "inflamatory" remarks, and due to this I made sure I used no inflammatory language, nor stated an opinion either way, just a clear review based on fact with an added bonus of an example of how they conduct

    BTW: Moderators any way this can be made a sticky as there are often newcomers that are looking for info on SFP and don't/won't use the search option. It may avoid the multiple "has anyone heard of...." threads.

  9. #9
    ZOD's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2011

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    WOOOOOOOOW!! Great Thread!!

    Yeah, I can only hope they DO sticky this with a WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!!!
    Really though, hopefully people will see what one ACTUALLY receives from some vendors. It's truly amazing what they can get away with.
    With that being said, looks like you have certainly turned your suit around! Lookin' shweet now! As far as their " threats of litigation ", I'd love to know how that works out for them . I think juuuuuuust maybe they'd have to pass it all by Big George FIRST . He just MIGHT have something to say about THEIR business practices......NOT to mention I'm sure Mr Lucas's team of attorneys have....oh a few DOZEN questions for them as well.......

  10. #10

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Yesterday and today I left some comments on Starfortress productions Facebook page. I was subscribed, but am unable to get in now. I'm sure my comments were deleted. Took awhile for them to notice. Anyhow, that was my opening volley. I say bring it on Tom. Lets see what you got. Take me to court. I double dare you. LOL.

  11. #11
    TatooineTed's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2011
    Austin, Texas, United States

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    It's pretty amazing the stuff this guy posts on his FB page. He definitely does not like the 501st, at least I didn't see him call out TDH.

  12. #12
    RobaFett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2011
    Darwin River Northern Territory

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    has to be a sticky, to save people from the tragedy like poor Mando, that should not wished upon anyone, he saved me from buying that stuff, and the big kick in the nuts.

  13. #13
    w3tscout's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2012
    Borup, Denmark

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    very useful review.. too bad you got hustled by them. And very good you post this warning, so "noobs" like me don't end up in the same situation.

  14. #14

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    I've been a life-long Star Wars fan, and since Karen Traviss's RC books came out a hard core Clone Commando fan (which means ALL things Mandalorian!) as well. About 6 months ago I became interested in joining the 501st and/or the Mandalorian Mercs, so I did what most people with next to no costuming skills do: I google searched for costumes to buy, and came across Star Fortress. Thankfully for me, the prices were too steep for me to drop in one lump sum, or I might have made the mistake that so many other folks across numerous costuming boards have talked about. Instead, I've thrown myself into researching and preparing to make my own costumes and props, and found an entire community I never knew existed. In skulking around all these boards I found out about SFP's reputation and was shocked and appalled...for a whole host of reasons. Thank you, THANK YOU, Mandosoldier, for keeping information like this helped save me from making what could possibly have been a mistake that killed my passion for SW costuming before it even got off the ground. Kandosii, ner vod!

  15. #15
    Gray's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2013
    Cape Cod, Mass, U.S.

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Can we just go and add a warning list for starfortress and evolution props? It's to dangerous not having some kind of warning or at least an honest review to go by.

  16. #16
    syllander's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2013
    Douglasville, Ga.

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    Should be sticky.

  17. #17

    Member Since
    Sep 2014
    Buffalo, NY

    Re: An honest review of StarFortressProduction

    I"m brand new to this community, and I just want to say thank you. I've toyed with the idea of dropping the money on an SFP clone or boba outfit for a few years now, but I've never done it because the up-front, lump sum payment was prohibitive. After reading and seeing this, I'm firmly convinced it would be the worst decision I could make. Thank you.

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