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F3 V2 mask price hike?


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I got an email this morning saying take advantage of the $169.99 price at UA while you can, because the price is going up to $199.99 per F3 mandate on 10/1.

Oh, and F3 stock must be low too.  F3's website doesn't have any silver in stock for the V2.

Does this mean there's a V3 or something else coming? 

I mean why else would you keep raising the price on your masks (was $149, then $169 and soon to be $199) if you don't have a newer version coming out, unless of course Kevlar costs are increasing as a result of the COVID-19 virus.  I know that COVID has affected many things and supply chains are disrupted in about every store that I go in nowadays as indicated by empty shelves.  It isn't like an umpire company to take advantage though, so I'm guessing either A) something new coming soon or B) production costs (i.e. Kevlar material, shipping, etc.) have increased.

image.thumb.png.1157cf6e05d4e03ef65c5f6c61eb90c8.pngAnyone hear anything or know anything?

 

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F3 better be coming out with something mind-blowing, because there is no way a v2 is worth $200. I can get a MAG for another $25 and not have to worry about breaks/bends or the brackets busting my face open. I'm not an F3 hater, but this really rubs me the wrong way without any obvious mitigating factors.

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7 hours ago, BlueRanger said:

F3 better be coming out with something mind-blowing, because there is no way a v2 is worth $200. I can get a MAG for another $25 and not have to worry about breaks/bends or the brackets busting my face open. I'm not an F3 hater, but this really rubs me the wrong way without any obvious mitigating factors.

I'm thinking there's a V3 coming soon.  I know nothing, but that's my guess.  The last time a pay hike was put in place, the V2 followed soon after.

I'm with you though, there's no way a hollow steel mask is worth $200 - especially when you consider how fast their "silver" mask's powder-coat fades.

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8 minutes ago, kylejt said:

If they were coming out with a newer version, logic would say they'd be lowering the price to empty stock on hand of the current model. 

What is this logic you speak of? :HS

My scattered thoughts on this in no particular order:

  1. Notify people in advance of expected price increase to hope that people rush out to buy existing stock before the announced price increase hits?
  2. When existing stock sells off or enough units... then come out with a new model?  They have done this before to be fair.
  3. Or maybe there's no new model at all - just costs have gone up so F3 is passing them on to the consumer?

 

 

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I would also add this...

4. Raising price to conserve stock and avoid a gap out in product between versions. 

They may be selling through the v2 faster than forecasted and a potential v3 (I am not saying there is one, I work for a tech company not F3) is not ready for production yet. It is better to have the product on shelf and in front of the consumer that may pay for it than lose that potential customer to another mask because you have no product. You can always sell v2 at a discount (probably still margin positive) after a v3 launch. 

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10 hours ago, kylejt said:

Well, they sell last years Chevy's at a dicounted price when the new ones hit the showroom floor, right? 

 

Technically, yes they do.

But I’ll not argue with you about it. You’re welcome to your opinion. I stated mine, but we're obviously in different lines of thought.

Have a good night.

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16 hours ago, kylejt said:

If they were coming out with a newer version, logic would say they'd be lowering the price to empty stock on hand of the current model. 

I'm with you Kyle. Though now, if I end up selling my v2, I could get more for it. Silver lining and what not.

Though @ATXBluealso makes a really good point.

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Guys,

I wanted to chime in with some insights to ease some of your minds.

First of all, Jason Klein let us know in advance to the price increase of the V2 Defender masks to get everyone a chance to get one before the increase.

We had hoped to get notice out last week, but had some other things in the queue and were able to only give about 3 or 4 days notice. That is on me for not notifying all of you sooner.

What I do know is the Force3 Defender Mask is highly popular. We know that, obviously, on the umpire side with the numbers we see that have gone up each season.

As I understand it, on the catcher’s side, the popularity has soared. You see it at the MLB level and MiLB last year with several teams mandating it for its protection over traditional masks.

I hope that helps. No V3 coming. No (current) stock type issue.

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I'm disappointed to hear the F3 helmet is being discontinued, as I've been on the fence of trying out a HSM mask.  Does anyone have any objective idea as to whether the F3 mask is safer than the All-Star FM4000Mag?  If some MLB teams are mandating it's use it would seem to strongly hint that they know something we don't.  Of course it could also mean they just like it for some other, non-objective/substantiated reason.  

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11 hours ago, JimKirk said:

Guys,

I wanted to chime in with some insights to ease some of your minds.

First of all, Jason Klein let us know in advance to the price increase of the V2 Defender masks to get everyone a chance to get one before the increase.

We had hoped to get notice out last week, but had some other things in the queue and were able to only give about 3 or 4 days notice. That is on me for not notifying all of you sooner.

What I do know is the Force3 Defender Mask is highly popular. We know that, obviously, on the umpire side with the numbers we see that have gone up each season.

As I understand it, on the catcher’s side, the popularity has soared. You see it at the MLB level and MiLB last year with several teams mandating it for its protection over traditional masks.

I hope that helps. No V3 coming. No (current) stock type issue.

As always, appreciate the insight.  No one is upset at UA or you specifically, to the contrary we appreciate the advance notice of the price increase - you didn't have to tell us at all until it happened. We are just doing the ''umpires hot-stove'' by wondering if something else is coming.   All Star has us spoiled now and we keep looking for the thing to appear from F3 or someone else!

 

 

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On 9/30/2020 at 5:21 PM, Rock Bottom said:

I'm disappointed to hear the F3 helmet is being discontinued... 

Is it? Where did you read/hear that? 

If it is being discontinued, it's not for lack of quality or protection, but instead due to weight + cost. As soundly as it is designed and executed, it's kind of at a development cul-de-sac. A significant part of the problem is that kids are still coached – incorrectly – to jettison the (entire) HSM should any action of the ball occur (errant pitch, batted ball, etc.). I mean, how many times have we (as umpires) had to duck, avoid, or catch a wayward HSM headed for us? The point is, a HSM for catchers has reached a design zenith. It can't get much lighter, and you really can't change the geometry any more than what it is. It has to allow two primary functions, both dictating its shape. The Force3 Defender HSM presses the envelope, simply by adding the spring assemblies and the incurred weight and costs. 

On 9/30/2020 at 5:21 PM, Rock Bottom said:

Does anyone have any objective idea as to whether the F3 mask is safer than the All-Star FM4000Mag?  If some MLB teams are mandating it's use it would seem to strongly hint that they know something we don't.

We genuinely cannot measure "safety" or "safer" quantitatively. If we limit our discussion to baseball catchers / umpires masks only, there still is a variable involved – the wearer. Even with the best safeguards in place, there is no way to project how each individual user / wearer will react in a given situation or event. A 95 MPH foul ball colliding with a mask worn by a catcher is an Event. You could even recreate the exact angle, speed, and impact location of that collision, but you will get entirely different reactions from the two test wearers.

This is further compounded when you consider that umpires and catchers hold their head differently as the pitch arrives! 

MLB teams are not mandating anything to their catchers; these players are professionals, and are at liberty to make their own decisions. No, it's the MiLB catchers within the franchise clubs who are being directed to wear a particular piece of equipment. The All-Star FM5000 (FM4000-Mag) is the current pinnacle of geometric protection and lightweight-ness. Conversely, the Force3 Defender V2 is the current pinnacle of mechanical protection... and what I'll call "reliable repetition". So long as the mask is functionally intact, the energy is physically going someplace (in this case, kinetically engaging the springs and rubber shock cylinders), not ambiguously going into "some pads" that may or may not be optimized to the task. What's the usual gauge as to a mask's integrity? Whether or not the bars are bent (or broken). Surely, if a Nike Icon Titanium has a bent bar, then it took a helluva whallop. The Force3 Defender, because of its springs, mitigates that impact by kinetics. Then, it goes even a step further and has a 3-ply laminate of Kevlar, EVA, and memory foam within its pads. 

As cruel as it sounds, Minor League clubs treat their catchers (and other players, surely) as assets. An asset is only valuable if it's performing. Therefore, the only mask that has demonstrated* its mitigation of impact energy is the Force3 Defender. If this is going to keep your catcher assets functioning, instead of reserved to the sidelines nursing concussion effects, you're probably going to impress for its use.

*- This doesn't mean that All-Star isn't testing, developing, and subsequently demonstrating the FM4000 mask. Explaining and detailing the testing process sheds almost blinding light on how certain companies do proactively improve their gear, while others... <grrrrrrr>... can't seem to be bothered to, or only do so retroactively once their contemporaries pass them by.

On 10/1/2020 at 4:49 AM, wolfe_man said:

All Star has us spoiled now and we keep looking for the thing to appear from F3 or someone else!

I think All-Star and Force3 have done exemplary work! Force3 is in a little bit of a juggling match (at least from my perspective) with All-Star, because while the Force3 Defender TM is mechanically so sound, we all know it could be improved. I, for one, would look right at reducing the weight by changing the outer mask frame to aluminum, titanium, or magnesium. The inner mask frame likely needs to stay steel so as to ensure the welds between bars and spring housings. Or – here's a novel idea – try this funny alloy called... duh-duh-dih-duuuuh... Titanal!! The problem is, they're not getting that big capital tidal wave of cash flow (sales, that would allow them to invest in development of better things) on the Defender TM because A) it's a victim of its own success (don't need to replace it), and B) High School prohibits TM use!! (except Colorado, God bless them). That's where All-Star really makes bank, since its MVP -series HSM is so recognizable and desired. The Defender HSM presents a challenge because of its weight and complexity. Force3 could really find an injection of inspiration if they were to focus on the umpire's needs, specifically (my email address is on my profile page).

No, the company that we umpires should be getting served by is still sittin' there... twiddling their thumbs.

 

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Where is the live of Force3 and Ump-Attire. The game is already in the second inning and nowhere to be found. Someone point me in the right direction.

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

I read the post again and is tomorrow.

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On 9/30/2020 at 7:21 PM, Rock Bottom said:

Does anyone have any objective idea as to whether the F3 mask is safer than the All-Star FM4000Mag? 

I cannot intelligently speak to the safety, although I know a guy that had several concussions prior and swears by the mask, he loves it.

What I can tell you is I ordered one and returned it immediately.  It is huge and sticks out from my face in a manner that made it hard to see the ball and also made it VERY front heavy, just wearing it around the house I felt like I needed to tilt my head back just to keep it on.  They claim it comes in at 27 oz. but I have to believe thats without the pads--its heavy.

Again, some people love it and I have no problem with that--it may be perfect for you. It's just not for me.

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On 10/6/2020 at 11:29 AM, gnhbua93 said:

Where is the live of Force3 and Ump-Attire. The game is already in the second inning and nowhere to be found. Someone point me in the right direction.

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

I read the post again and is tomorrow.

Though entertaining, I found it to be no where near as fun and informative as the All Star one. As a self professed "gear head". I wanted more of a look in to that. As well as anything coming down the road. I didn't feel like I got that. Maybe ill go back and watch again.

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