JULY 23, 2020

Brands commission limited editions for a number of reasons.

They can attract column inches from the press, start social conversations and can provide other returns beyond the financial.

More than anything, they’re a love letter to a dedicated fan base that has invested so much time and energy into supporting the brand and its IPs.

Our limited editions look incredible when they roll off the production line and are properly packaged. 

The finish, though, is only part of the story, and is actually the culmination of a process that generally takes a year to complete.


An extreme level of detailed planning – from design to delivery – goes into each and every limited edition.

We go over these steps and detail more about the manufacturing process with clients when they come on-board. We’ll also provide them with documentation outlining each step alongside time frames, who is in charge of each stage and more.

Here, though, we want to give you a brief snapshot of the printing, packaging and delivery chain we typically use for every limited edition, and what clients can expect from us.

The figurine 3D printing stage – approx. 19 weeks

The 3D printing stage is key to the creation of figurines which feature in the majority of our limited editions, whether it’s a 17-inch Tar-Goroth Balrog and Carnan Drake clawing each other to death, or a highly-detailed Fane figurine with interchangeable skeleton head.

It’s, in part, the culmination of approximately three months’ worth of pre-production planning. 

First, we need a prototype; a 3D printed model of the figurine we want to create. That takes a lot of planning and 3D modelling know-how; preparing a 3D model for printing includes reducing the polygon counts to make it compatible with the 3D printer. 

Retaining the maximum polygon count the printer can accept helps maximise the model’s detail when 3D printing. This process is also used to print the ‘tooling model’, which is the model used to create the steel injection moulds for mass manufacturing. 

A final prototype is eventually developed, represented as a blank 3D resin print made up of many parts. It’s made from the factory’s special steel injection moulds; we can then tweak and reprint prototypes, with the designs eventually ready for mass production and painting.

The packaging stage – approx. 4 – 8 weeks

As the models are being produced, we design packaging for the figurine and other limited-edition components, including its box.

Box production will be specifically timed to run alongside the fulfilment, with contents added as the boxes are folded and glued. 

Most importantly, the design and packaging of the limited edition has to be built to ensure as exciting an opening experience as possible for the recipient.

We also want to help entertainment brands reduce their carbon footprint, and will design eco-friendly packaging solutions that also protect the contents in transit.

The delivery stage – approx. 8 – 12 weeks

Parts of our limited editions are manufactured and shipped from China, and a lot of careful logistical planning has to be put in place to ensure the delivery stage aligns with the manufacturing cycle to guarantee as little disruption as possible.

We try to work with as many EU suppliers as possible for key components, such as box manufacture and other parts of the project. It all has to be planned to come together at once to create the perfect limited edition.

We’ve previously written, for instance, how events like national holidays in China and other disruptions have to be factored into each project to make sure it runs smoothly from start to finish, and is delivered on time and within budget.

Other factors such as customs clearances also have to be considered in each limited edition, and how long it will take for them to be safely delivered to warehouses in the EU or in the US. 

Once there, they can finally be delivered to the recipient via a distribution partner – the final stage in the limited edition’s year-long journey.

Find out more about the steps needed to create an amazing limited edition and the potential returns they can provide by speaking to the TAKEOFF team today!