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Messages - Nicklab

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: June 28, 2016, 11:28 PM »
I'm still wondering if the so-called "Pisswater Prince" will come to light in the show.  He's a significant player at the end of book 5.  And we can surmise that Jon's name came from Rhaegar's close friend, Jon Connington.  But we still haven't seen any sign of the lost Targaryen or his protector, Jon Connington.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: June 28, 2016, 10:27 AM »
Lots of the great house of Westeros are in a state of chaos.

HOUSE STARK -  Three legitimate heirs:  Bran (first in line, but paralyzed), Sansa & Arya.  Bran is currently MIA to the rest of the family, making the situation more murky.  Jon Snow is considered part of House Stark, but is currently regarded as a bastard.  At least until the rightful Lord or Lady of that house, or the King, legitimizes him.  And of course, he is more likely a claimant to House Targaryen, but nobody really knows that on the show except for Bran.

HOUSE ARRYN - The only heir at this time is Lord Robyn Arryn, and that boy is clearly quite troubled.  And we haven't seen any other Arryns ready to step into his place.  Will Petyr Baelish step in to become the Lord of the Vale should something happen to young Lord Robyn?

HOUSE LANNISTER - Three heirs to be the Lord or Lady of Casterly Rock:  Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister and Tyrion Lannister.  Tywin had disowned Jaime for remaining with the Kingsguard prior to his death.  And Kevan had distanced himself from Cersei.  Tyrion is regarded as a kinslayer for having killed his father, Tywin.  And now that Cersei's children, Kevan and Lancel Lannister are all dead, who is left?  In light of Cersei's coup d'état for the Iron Throne and Jaime having been dismissed from the Kingsguard, I suspect that he will become the Lord of Casterly Rock despite Tywin's proclamation.  And does Jaime potentially get with Brienne of Tarth?  That storyline has bubbled under the surface.  Unless of course some lesser Lannister rises up.

HOUSE TYRELL - Following the events of the Green Trial, only Lady Olenna is left alive.  Mace?  Dead.  Margaery?  Dead?  Loras?  Dead.  The Queen of Thorns is the only other Tyrell that we've seen on screen.  We never saw either Willis or Garlan Tyrell on the tv series.

HOUSE MARTELL - Between Oberyn's fight with the Mountain, and the treachery of the Sand Snakes having killed Prince Doran and Trystane Martell, there doesn't appear to be a true born Martell left to rule Dorne.  While the Dornish are much less judgemental about bastards, can they have a Sand rule Dorne?

HOUSE BARATHEON - No true born Baratheons remain:  Robert is dead, Renly is dead, Stannis and his family are dead.  Robert's bastard children were almost entirely eliminated except for Gendry.  And the children Robert believed to be his are all dead as well.  It seems that House Baratheon may be dead unless the monarch upon the Iron Throne recognizes Gendry and he is allowed to rebuild this house.  And you know that Cersei isn't going to do that.

HOUSE TARGARYEN - Danaerys lives, but the only child she bore was stillborn thanks to the Lazareen witch's magic.  Jon Snow seems likely to be a Targaryen as the son of Rhaegar, but has not been recognized as such.

As for some of the lesser houses?

HOUSE FREY - Thankfully, the late Lord Frey is finally LATE.  Thanks, Arya.  She also took out Black Walder and Lothar Frey in the process.  But there are lots of other Freys, and I suspect that they're going to be at each others throats for power over the Twins.

HOUSE TULLY - Riverrun is lost to the Freys and the Lannisters.  The Blackfish is dead.  And Lord Edmure was a captive of the Freys.  Will Arya have freed Edmure in the process of taking out Walder Frey?  Will the Tullys have any sort of future?

HOUSE GREYJOY - Euron Greyjoy reigns the Iron Islands.  It's not clear if Aeron and Victarion are in the mix as well.  Yara doesn't seem prepared to marry and Theon lost his favorite toy.  It's certainly complicated.

Danaerys has spoken of breaking the wheel of Westeros.  It looks like the infighting among the great houses has done most of that for her already!

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: June 27, 2016, 07:52 PM »
I was surprised to find the Vision, Gamora armored Spider Man today   First time I've seen this wave.

Nice find!  What store?


I also just found the TRU exclusive Cap & Iron Man 2-pack.  The back of the set also shows a Black Panther & Sharon Carter set. Has anyone found that yet?

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One Toy Rumors
« on: June 27, 2016, 03:35 PM »
What were those grey action figure displays that were stackable and space themed. IIRC, they had swappable foot pegs. Can't remember the name of them.

Those were the Ultarama...

I had some of those back in 2000! They weren't expensive, but  they were extremely generic. Still, I was glad to have something figure-specific in the days before I was brave enough to build my own...

I've got several Ultaramas.  And they were pretty good for what they were at the time.  They're definitely pretty durable.

I was shocked to come across both Hux and Atsy at a Gamestop, of all places.  And for $19.99 each.  I had pretty much written off Gamestop as a collecting stop, but I may have to rethink that.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: June 27, 2016, 03:22 PM »
Glad to see that the R+L=J plot point has been fleshed out as much as it has.  I had always thought that it would be Howland Reed who would make the big reveal, and not Bran's greensight.  And what Lyanna said to Ned was true:  if Robert had known about Jon's true parentage he would have killed the child.  That's undoubtedly why Ned was so short with Robert in season 1 when they were talking about Ned's supposed mistress, "Wylla" while they were riding south on the Kings Road.  I wonder if this is going to be the extent of the reveals on this front, or if some of Bran's visions may eventually show us both Lyanna and Rhaegar together.

As for Cersei?  She's gone full-on Mad King with her actions.  For the entire series she has been trying to be like her father, Tywin.  She knew that Jaime never could be, and always underestimated Tyrion.  She saw Tywin to be ruthless no matter the cost.  And I suspect that she saw the Green Trial as her own Red Wedding.  But Tywin always seemed to have a goal in mind:  the betterment of House Lannister.  Cersei's paranoia combined with not being half as smart as she thought she was meant that she could never truly live up to Tywin's example.  Tywin was ruthless, but practical, and not beyond making a deal.  Not the case at all with Cersei.  She just doesn't get that part of it.  I think that as soon as Tommen saw what had become of the Sept of Baelor, while being guarded by Ser Gregor, he knew that she was responsible.  And that despite his own best efforts to take control of the crown, it might only be a matter of time until Cersei's paranoia would be directed at him.  She's a monster.  And I think Jaime saw that as soon as he walked into the throne room and watched Qyburn give her the crown.  I think seeing the devastation in Kings Landing and that look were the turning point for Jaime Lannister.  I think he saw echoes of the Mad King who he killed in an attempt to save Kings Landing during Robert's Rebellion.  And come season 7, I could easily see Jaime trying to link up with Tyrion and by extension Danaerys.  I can also see the possibility for history repeating itself for Jaime Lannister.

One of the most heart wrenching scenes of the entire episode was between Jon Snow, Davos and Melisandre.  And OMG, Liam Cunningham knocked that scene out of the park!  I would have cheered him on as he executed Melisandre for burning Shireen Baratheon at the stake.  But this seems like one of those moments where Jon Snow has grown.  The old Jon Snow would have let Davos take Melisandre's head then and there.  But I think he recognizes how murky this world truly is.  After his encounter with the Night King at Hardhome, I think Jon Snow knows that he may need the Red Woman again in the true war.  And now that Jon has been championed as the King in the North?  By none other than that little spitfire, Lyanna Mormont?  She's amazing.  And she shamed all of those Northern Lords in the biggest way.  But now the Starks look like they have some legitimacy in holding the North...much to the chagrin of Littlefinger, who looked very much like someone who had been used.  And that's very out of character, since he's the one who is usually doing the using.

I was a little surprised to see that Benjen got Meera and Bran back to the Wall so fast.  But it was pretty clear from Benjen's words that the Wall isn't just a great construct of ice.  Some form of magic is keeping the White Walkers from getting through the Wall.  I have to wonder if it's the same kind of spell that kept the White Walkers from getting into the cave of the Three Eyed Raven.  Because once the Night King touched Bran during his vision he was able to get into the cave.

I hope that Sam is able to get his Maester's chains before too long.  The Citadel looks incredible, as does the library.  And that dangling chandelier (or whatever it was) seemed reminiscent of something that's been in the show open for the whole series.  But the Maester who received Sam did seem like a bit of a jackass.  Still, when Sam informed the "receptionist" of his being dispatched it was a little funny while being a bit frightening at the same time.  The bureaucracy of it all was clearly meant to come across as absurd, but it also highlighted how the Night's Watch is REALLY removed from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.  Jeor Mormont has been dead for some time, as has Maester Aemon, despite the records of the Maesters of the Citadel.  And it's easy to see how the real responsibilities of the Watch would seem outlandish and lead to crazy ideas like those that even Tyrion had when he visited the Wall in season 1.

Considering the presence Funko has at Target stores, I have to think these will turn up there.  And maybe at Barnes and Noble, too. 

I had less than a minute to look at these.  I have my daughter with me, and an impatient 3 year old will really dictate the way things go in a hurry.  So I couldn't take in the articulation in that brief window of time.

However, I did find these individually listed on Amazon, and the images on those listings give you some indication that these are a step up from Funko Reaction figures.  Just from looking at a couple of them on Amazon, they look like they've got about 7 or 8 POA at least.

White Walker

Night King

Jon Snow



Tormund Giantsbane

Samwell Tarly


Styr (Magnar of Thenn)

The Wall playset with Tyrion Lannister

I just saw the entire first wave of figures at this store called Couch Potato.  The store totally reminds me of Suncoast back in the day.  But this place has the most Funk Pop figures I've ever seen in one place.  Anyhow, the GoT figures look cool. I don't know if I want to pay $11 per figure like they are at this store, but it's the only place I've ever seen them.  I also saw most of them listed on Amazon, so I might go that route.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: June 24, 2016, 08:41 AM »
That may just be what happens to Kings Landing this Sunday. 

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One Toy Rumors
« on: June 23, 2016, 05:17 PM »
I know there have been a few marginal attempts at this over the years, but as I recall the price points were crazy high (someone refresh my memory on the company and price point - I think they were $100+ and not modular - sort of like nice reproductions of some of the classic mail away displays).

There were Action Figure Display Dioramas made by a company called Pride displays back in 2006...

They were officially licensed and sold for $60. They made 3000 in their initial run and couldn't sell through.

They didn't market them well IMHO. Clearly these were designed to hold the two waves of vintage ANH figures, but they didn't want to spell that out and alienate modern figure collectors. People poo-pooed them (myself included at the time) as too retro and too pricey for being "just a stand."

The company went out of business before they could release designs intended for ESB and ROTJ vintage lines... well as planning to finally throw modern collectors a genuine bone with a ROTS themed display...

Definitely not playsets. Nor marketed as such.

Definitely a failure, business-wise. And the last thing tried in the Star Wars realm that was a display or a playset.

I really, REALLY wanted that ROTS set.  It would have made for a fantastic Palpatine's office diorama.  But I take it the only one that got released was the Tatooine set.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: June 23, 2016, 10:33 AM »
Same here. The article I read said two more seasons, but running about 7 or 8 episodes each.

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One Toy Rumors
« on: June 22, 2016, 10:16 AM »
The part of this playset equation that really needs more attention is what do the retailers want?  Because the retailers are on the front lines here and they've got the sales data.  Very likely they're seeing things like Force FX lightsabers or vehicles selling in higher volume than the playsets.  Those are the sorts of offerings that would occupy the shelf space where you would probably find a playset.  And those tend to sell in fairly high volume.

Likewise, look at a line like GI Joe.  Hasbro owns that IP, which means no licensing royalties, which translates to lower costs/higher profit margins.  Well, when is the last time that GI Joe offered a really large vehicle or playset?  And what about the Marvel licenses?  The last really big item they offered was the Helicarrier.  The trend across these licenses seems to be a smaller retail shelfspace footprint and only rarely going into that $100+ price range.

The Force Awakens / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: June 21, 2016, 04:35 PM »
What are people's general experiences buying from "tunghori" on eBay?  I'm tempted to buy the latest wave of WM figures from him, but not sure what the paint quality is likely to be considering how crappy the factory accepted versions of this line have been.  Does he do a fairly good job of screening for quality?

I bought the Walmart exclusive Black Series TFA Han Solo & Leia from Tunghori and received them last week.  I also got a couple of other figures in the order which averaged the shipping costs down a little bit.  Overall, I thought the paint apps were okay.  And I was actually pleasantly surprised with the face paint apps on the Leia.  I have seen some positively awful samples of that Leia surface online, but mine wound up being okay.

Normally I wouldn't go this route.  But I only saw a lone Captain Phasma from this wave in the wild, and I was really getting tired of driving to every WalMart store in the North Jersey area with nothing to show for it.

Rogue One / Re: Rogue One Toy Rumors
« on: June 20, 2016, 03:24 PM »
Third tier characters like Goss Toowers, PZ-4CO, Zuvio, etc seem like they might get a little less love from Hasbro this time around.

I just hope that Hasbro doesn't take this as, "Why should we release the Tonnika Sisters or Sim Aloo.  Background characters don't sell."  I believe fans would prefer those characters from the OT and PT than the NT.

I just think their character mix was off.  Too many background characters packed with not enough heroes. 

This is probably spot on.  But the lack of scarcity of the core characters was definitely an issue after a while.  Poe and Kylo Ren were probably the more plentiful of the core characters.  But Rey, Finn and Han Solo all became a bit tougher to track down in the basic figure line.  Especially after the movie had been released.

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