The Mesh Project (TMP for short) was among the first companies to offer mesh male and female bodies in Second Life, releasing their first products back in 2013. However, they were expensive, in part because they essentially had the mesh body market to themselves and could get away with charging high prices.
Also, their shopping experience was truly horrible, requiring the extensive use of HUDs both to purchase and style items (read this blogpost for an example). You also had to buy credits in blocks to make any purchases, instead of paying for things directly. And that meant you often had unspent credits left over, which was irritating. Although they were among the first to offer mesh avatar bodies, over time most people moved to other vendors, such as Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and Signature.
Many people were expecting The Mesh Project to eventually fold. Hence my surprise when they announced new mesh bodies for male and female avatars recently. I decided to visit their sim and take a look.
One thing that I did like about the TMP male body was that it was not overly-muscled, as you see on so many other male mesh bodies. Here is the old, freebie version of the male TMP body, paired with an Akeruka mesh head (this picture is tastefully blurred to keep my blog PG 😉 ):
I took this avatar to the new version of The Shops, just to see what the new Legacy body looks like. Here’s what the demo version looks like, with the included shape, from the front and the back:
Again, this is a very attractive, not overly-muscular male mesh body. The detail on the hands and feet is particularly well-done. The body comes with Bento hands, and you get a HUD with many different skin tones and a large number of alpha selections to make just about anything fit. Which is good, because none of the older TMP clothes are compatible with these new bodies at all.
I will not be buying either the new Legacy TMP mesh bodies or the refreshed original (so-called “Classic”) version. Why? Because they are L$5,000 (about US$20.00) each. Yes, that’s right. They are almost twice as expensive as most of the other, much more popular male and female mesh bodies on the market (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and Signature). If they are trying to break into the market again, they aren’t going to succeed a this price point.
While The Mesh Project may finally have gotten rid of their horrible shopping system (hallelujah!), their high prices make absolutely no sense when there are cheaper alternatives out there which have much, much more designer support. While charging high prices may have worked back when TMP were the only game in town, that strategy is not going to work in today’s competitive mesh body marketplace. Sorry, TMP. No sale.