Diverse production processes are decided on different materials and characteristics.
The mass production process of the collectible toy is as follows: Design, Prototype, Tooling, Injection, Decoration, Assembly, Packing
The injection process is widely used in the production of everyday plastic products. For example, computers, telephones, fax machines, keyboards, cups and stereos. In the toy industry, the injection process is mainly used in various high-precision requirements of the assembled toys, such as GUNDAM and LEGO. The blind box series is also made mainly by the injection process.
The production of the injection process is rough as follows. The solid plastic raw material (PVC, ABS) are melted at a certain melting point and injected into the tooling at a certain speed through the pressure of the injection machine, and the tooling is cooled through the waterway, thus curing the liquid plastic and getting the same product as the designed from tooling cavity. The whole process of injection can be fully automated from putting in raw materials in tooling to products completed. They are suitable for mass production because the production speed is fast and efficient. And it is possible to make products with complex shapes with high precision and regardless of the size of the products.
The tooling is the core of the injection process. The tooling must be precise and stable because it is used at high temperatures and multiple frequencies. The injection process uses metal tooling and most of them are steel and copper tooling. The cost of simple structure and general material tooling is low. If the products are precise, the tooling cost will be higher.
A completed collectible toy figure is usually assembled with multiple plastic components (such as the head, torso, limbs and accessories). It needs many sets of metal tooling to produce them through the injection process. The cost of making and maintaining the tooling is higher and the time cycle is longer. It usually produces 3000 to 5000 sets because of the cost-sharing and production efficiency and the limitation of the injection process and the complexity of the steel tooling.
Except for the high cost of the tooling, the Achilles' heel of the injection process is the parting lines and the gates. The injection tooling is composed of two parts the injection side and the release side (also called the negative and positive tooling or the front and back tooling). There will inevitably be some gaps at the splice of the two parts of the tooling. The liquid plastic injected into tooling will leave a thin line on the surface of the finished product, which is the "parting line" and it is a common process defect. The gates are the residual marks in the connection between the runner (the channel through which the liquid plastic flows in the tooling) and the product body in the injection process.
The parting lines and gates are inescapable for the injection process. The quality and premium sense of the collectible toys is reflected in the treatment of the details.
The parting lines and gates of higher quality and more exquisite collectibles are not obvious. Either place them on the edge where they are not easy to be noticed, or they are treated with polish and repaired after demolding.