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Messages - Nicklab

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
« on: February 26, 2015, 02:08 PM »
Well, they have been promoting the hell out of the second half of this season of Agents of SHIELD.  I'm hoping that the show picks up in the second half like we saw last year.  And I'm especially hoping that we're going to see some sort of tie-in with Avengers - Age of Ultron.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
« on: February 26, 2015, 01:43 PM »
I was surprised to read that so far ABC has yet to renew Agent Carter for a second season.  But in the ratings it actually did slightly better than Agents of SHIELD.

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: February 26, 2015, 01:15 PM »
No, the Target exclusive AT-DP with the pack-in driver is not in circulation yet. The counts you are seeing are for the first wave of vehicles most likely. And yeah, the AT-DP seems to sell out fast.

I've seen indications that the AT-DP with Driver is actually in some of my area Target stores.  I was able to come by that info from the Target website and searched for the exclusive AT-DP in my area.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: February 26, 2015, 12:59 PM »
More craziness I'm finding out just now...

Gull Trayvis, the traitorous plant by the Empire to lure out cells of resistance, is voiced by none other than Lt. Commander Data, Brent Spiner!  Friggin' neat there.

I had to search back when I watched the Gull Trayvis episode to confirm that Brent Spiner did the voice acting there.  That was a pleasant surprise, even if the character was being used by the Empire to ferret out Rebel cells.

I had a sneaking suspicion that Hera was related in some way Cham Syndulla from the Ryloth story arc in CLONE WARS.  It just seems a little odd for the show to not explore that at all in the context of the storyline, and we got confirmation of that fact by watching a Q&A with Pablo Hidalgo on Rebels Recon.

I watched the Supply Lines episode with Cham and the little twi'lek, didn't really look like Hera. Skin color and head tail markings were different, but I suppose it could be explained away by the difference in animation or they retcon twi'lek physiology and say their colors and markings change as they age.

The young Twilek's name who Obi-Wan, Waxer and Boil dealt with on Ryloth was named Numa. 

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
« on: February 25, 2015, 01:30 PM »
Glad to see the way Agent Carter has wrapped up.  A short season like this really does play well.  I think the British have it right in keeping their television seasons short and sweet,  A 20+ episode season can get somewhat bloated.

Hayley Atwell is fantastic as Peggy Carter.  She reminds you of some of the best aspects of Captain America - The First Avenger and keeps things grounded in that world.  Dominic Cooper has also been great in expanding the realization of Howard Stark.  He was an interesting character in the first Cap film and we got to see some small snippets of him in the Iron Man films.  But here he seems like the Howard Hughes genius inventor/business tycoon sort of character that I think he was intended to be.  And Jarvis?  I think he's been very well realized.  I almost didn't recognize the actor until I IMDB'd him and found that he was also in Master & Commander.  But I think the character gives some great insight into the personality of Tony Stark's J.A.R.V.I.S. artificial intelligence.

The way the season has run it looks like we're building more and more towards the official founding of SHIELD.  The SSR seems like it was more of a classic government intel/law enforcement agency, and far less sophisticated than the SHIELD we came to know in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It also seems like we got some keen insight into some of the background of the Black Widow project with Dottie and her "classmates".  And now with her on the run and Doctor Faustus in custody?  And Zola as his cellmate?  That's another interesting tie-in to the Cap films and the eventual infiltration of Hydra into SHIELD.

I'm hopeful that another season of Agent Carter will be coming to spell us while Agents of SHIELD is on hiatus.  Because we're essentially getting a great look at two distinct eras of SHIELD.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series Wave 9 (2015 Wave 3)
« on: February 25, 2015, 01:08 PM »
IG-88 will be the highlight of this wave for me.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Black Series 3.75" - Wave 7
« on: February 25, 2015, 11:59 AM »
Well, with the CLONE WARS series over I don't think Dave Filoni is going to be able to cook up any more new Clone commanders in homage to Marvel Comics characters.  So it seems unlikely that we're going to get Clone Commander Stark or Clone Captain Merka any time soon.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series Wave 8 (2015 Wave 2)
« on: February 24, 2015, 11:04 PM »
I have to wonder how vigorously Hasbro is going to take on THE FORCE AWAKENS  before they start getting back to characters from the OT and PT again.  I can think of at least 10 really solid character choices from both trilogies that would make for excellent 6" figures.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series Wave 8 (2015 Wave 2)
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:28 PM »
Where is my Lando Hasbro???

Kinda surprised by that...  there are a few figures they haven't gotten to yet that I thought were sure things in the first few waves -
- ANH Ben
- ANH Luke
- ANH Leia
- C-3PO
- ESB Lando

I'm not surprised.  I think Hasbro is holding back... to a degree.  They probably want to keep people coming back for iconic characters just like these.  Especially when they've already rattled off three versions of Luke with another two on the way, and almost as many versions of Han Solo.  Keeping core characters like that in reserve for later releases is probably being done to prolong the life of the line.

The Bullpen / Re: The Avengers: The Toys
« on: February 24, 2015, 10:23 AM »
I saw some of the new Avengers - Age of Ultron line at a TRU store a couple of days ago. 

The 2.75" figures look thoroughly disappointing.  The only possible interest I have in these is the playset components that can be combined into a larger Avengers playset.  It's cool that there's another Quinjet and the cycle, but otherwise?  It's kind of a letdown.

There actually IS a line of 3.75" figures for this line.  But they're the *REALLY* dumbed down type of sculpts that we saw in the Avengers Assemble line in the past couple of years.  To quote Scott, "They look like cake toppers".  Personally, I'm hoping that we get some Age of Ultron sculpts of the new characters like the twins, Strucker, Ultron plus the new looks for Cap and Iron Man in the Avengers Infinite line.

The one really semi-impressive piece that I've seen so far?  The Titan Tech Hulkbuster Iron Man.  It looks cool, but it's horribly underarticulated.  I think the Marvel Legends B-A-F version might be infinitely better.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Black Series 3.75" - Wave 7
« on: February 22, 2015, 09:21 AM »
I don't know what it is, but I'm just not all that crazy about the lineup for this particular wave.  I'm definitely far more into TBS wave 8 than this wave.

I usually love any and all new Chewbacca figures.  He's always been a favorite of mine.  But something about that carded pic from Peter Mayhew's FB page just isn't doing it for me.

Medal Ceremony Leia?  Meh.  I see this figure and it reminds me of that pegwarming POTF2 Flashback Leia from 1999.

A revised Gold Leader is kind of a question mark to me because he's been done before.  Sure, he was one of the most important Rebel Pilots from the Battle of Yavin.  But there's still another pilot from the Battle of Yavin who had comparable amounts of dialogue that hasn't been made before:  Theron Nett, call sign Red 10.  What gives?

As for the Clones?  I'm glad to see the realistic Rex get done.  That figure will fit in well with those realistic versions of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka from the TVC line.

The alternate version of Commander Wolffe is actually pretty cool.  I actually needed a refresher to realize that this version of Wolffe was from the lost season of CLONE WARS.  But Commander Doom?  I saw the Clone Wars episode featuring Doom.  At the time I didn't get the connection with his armor design, and that's probably because I didn't catch his name during the show.  But now?  The armor design and name combined actually look a little silly to me.  I get the whole Doctor Doom homage, but this seems to have gone overboard.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:41 PM »
If it's true it could also be related to some concept art of a particular character's partner in crime / smuggling.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:37 AM »
Loving the term "TRU Tax".  Never really loved it when it came to actually PAYING it, and as a result there are some big ticket TRU exclusives that I never bought.  TRU can keep those nice looking TVC boxes for the BMF Falcon and BMF AT-AT.

I think I might be in the same boat with Jeff about a TFA version of the BMF Falcon.  Change it *ENOUGH* from the TLC Blue version and I might be persuaded to buy it.  That means the correct sensor dish, updated electronics, or SOME feature that really distinguishes the 2015 release from the original offering from back in 2008.

As for the practicality of the Ghost as a vehicle/playset?  I think it's a foregone conclusion that if Hasbro does produce a Ghost vehicle it's probably not going to be to scale with the BMF Falcon.  Perhaps it would measure up size wise with the vintage Falcon mold in order to be able to dock with the Phantom.  I just don't know if parents of kids who like the REBELS series would be willing to plunk down $150 for a Ghost vehicle.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 19, 2015, 07:22 PM »
Speaking of the Falcon, does everyone think that Hasbro is just going to reissue the BMF Falcon for the TFA line?  Albeit with a different sensor dish?

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: February 19, 2015, 07:15 AM »
Overall, I find it REALLY funny that this whole affair was the result of the nonsensical way that things are running over at JTA these days.  Hasbro's response to that particular question was certainly glib, but JTA should have pressed for more than a yes or no response.  As for the slew of ridiculous questions from the sites readers?  Well, it's the result of this mindset over there that all ideas/questions/comments are equal.  If you're running a collecting site and are interacting with a Star Wars licensee, it's incumbent on that news outlet to act like the adults in the room.  And from what I've seen since my departure there is no sense of sound editorial judgement at work, and little effort to weed out questions from the JTA readership that are pointless, unrealistic or perhaps even insulting to the people at Hasbro.  Personally, I'm very glad that I left the site because my own philosophy about running a site was in contradiction with Paul Mancil's (not his pen name of Harrison) ethos of entertaining the whiny contingent of fandom in an effort to drum up traffic.  I've conducted this Hasbro Toy Fair Q&A for JTA in the past.  And had I done so again this year it would have yielded actual news instead of just stirring up ****.

As for the whole female characters issue?  The long standing trend in the action figure business has been that female characters do not sell as well as their male counterparts.  Hasbro has confirmed that in the past, and like Jesse said, Hasbro has the sales figures but will not release them.  They never will, and consistently cite trade secrets as the reason why.  I'm sure if you checked with other manufacturers you could probably find comparable stats.... provided that they would release similar data.  But they won't.

Does it come down to character selection?  That's probably a major part of the equation.  Ahsoka sold VERY well in pretty much every offering:  the initial TCW figure was popular, the second version with the two lightsabers was one of the most HTF figures in the CW figure line, and the TVC version is pretty sought after, too.  But was she the exception to the rule?  Looking at The Black Series of 3.75" figures, female characters made up about 20% of that basic figure line.  The TBS Padme figure seem to have sold through reasonably well.  As did Mara Jade and Bastila.  But Luminara?  She sold pretty slowly, despite being a Jedi.  And Toryn Farr lingered the longest out of her wave.  So this could come down more to character selection.

As for the REBELS figures?  I maintain the fact that Kanan and Ezra are the central protagonists in the show.  You could even go so far to say that Ezra is the protagonist, with Kanan in the role of spirit guide, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi was a guide to Luke in ANH.  Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor are the chief antagonists. That means that those 4 characters have greater importance in the scope of the story than anyone else.  Zeb, Hera, Sabine and Chopper?  They're interesting, but they're also all supporting characters.  Hasbro, Lucasfilm Animation and Lucasfilm Licensing all know this.  And that's what steers their choices in terms of filling out the action figure line.

So then the question is how do you roll out those supporting characters in the action figure line?  If you approach this from the standpoint of sales demographics for a boys toy line, you're probably going to find that characters like Chopper and Zeb have greater appeal with the core audience for this toy line.  And I don't mean to demean girls who are into the REBELS show.  My daughter has watched the show with me a little bit.  She actually likes Chopper, truth be told.  Do I want positive depictions of female characters in Star Wars for her to enjoy?  Sure.  And I think characters like Sabine and Hera do that for her.  Is she into the toys?  No, not at her age.  Be that as it may, if you look at this from a sales perspective like Hasbro has, I think they're trying to put the potential best sellers out there first.  I think this backlash has caught Hasbro somewhat by surprise, and perhaps they'll change their thought process on this going forward.  Case in point, the Target exclusive version of the Phantom.  That might have been a good way to get Hera out there instead of Kanan.  It would have made sense and I would have sought out that version of the ship myself.

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