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Messages - Greg

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I noticed a drop in quality (paint, plastic, construction/assembly) on some Hasbro products back in 2012, mostly for Avengers movie figures and GI Joes. That drop seemed to spill over to Star Wars in 2013, starting with those "mini-rig" sets in the first half of the year and continuing with various Black Series, 5POA, and exclusive figures. I found the new wave of Mission Series last week, and all samples of all three sets I saw had paint issues. I can rationalize the poor paint on those figures since it's the "cheap" line, but if the Black Series "premium" lines get as bad I just won't buy.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Black Series Rumors
« on: January 27, 2014, 03:07 PM »
So out of the first ten or so OT 6" figures, we're looking at 3 Lukes?


Yeah... that has me re-thinking being a "completist" for the 6" scale. Too many Lukes for such a short time span.

I don't think anyone made a note of it but it looks like there is a "Sandtrooper Redeco" listed in the wave with Vader and Jedi Luke. It would be cool if there is different weathering and accessories (probe droid, dewback staff, rifle from TVC Sandtrooper) with the release, but I'm guessing it will just be a pauldron re-color.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:00 PM »
I got 4" Azog, Radagast, and Invisible Bilbo in the mail from the UK last week. Azog is a great looking figure, and it's a real shame it didn't get released with the white Warg as originally shown at Toy Fair last year.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Pacific Rim Toys
« on: January 27, 2014, 11:58 AM »
As for any more Jaegers?  Not sure.  Randy has hinted at wanting to re-do Gypsy Danger already...

Bleh, I hate the frequent repaints/rehashes/retools that Neca does for certain characters/figures. The helmeted/unhelmeted variations of Aliens Marines and Predators really soured me on those lines. I was alright with the Gipsy Danger repaint as it was significantly different and had the cool sword attachments, but if Neca just makes more releases along those lines (new attachments and/or deco) I'll lose interest in this line fast.

Modern Classifieds / Re: Star Wars Black Series FS
« on: January 27, 2014, 11:51 AM »

Other Toy Lines / Re: The Walking Dead
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:04 AM »
Maggie and Glenn are both part of the same wave - Series 5.  ;)

ToyWiz also has a new pre-listing up for Series 6, check this out:

Rick Grimes
Hershel Greene
Carol Peletier
Abraham Ford
Bungie Guts Zombie

Somewhat surpised to see Abraham on the list since he hasn't even been introduced on the show yet. Great to see Carol and Hershel on there though, was worried we might never see them.

They also mentioned a 10" Rick figure for October I believe.

 :) :) :)

That list for Series 6 sounds almost too good to be true. I wouldn't complain if it ends up being real though. Hershel and Abraham in the same wave would be killer.

As for 10" Rick... I might have to pass on that. I just opened the Daryl figure this evening, and I must say I am extremely disappointed. It was extremely difficult to get the crossbow and poncho into place on the figure, and I have trouble keeping it balanced (possibly due to the poncho). I expected easier display from an unarticulated figure.

I like the very faint grey highlights as well as the battle damage paint apps. I grabbed a few of the "incorrect" versions for dirt cheap, as they aren't bad figures, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for this accurate update.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Black Series 3.75" - Wave 5
« on: January 22, 2014, 08:44 PM »
It sounds too good to be true, but my fingers are crossed! If stores kept stocking as they have (1 or 2 cases per wave per store) I think distribution problems might be solved. Time will tell...

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Everything eBay! Scams, questions, etc...
« on: January 17, 2014, 08:15 PM »
Wow, that guy sounds annoying. He can't revise the feedback he left, so you don't have to worry about any repercussions by ignoring him. Sellers can't leave neutral feedbacks for buyers anymore, but you aren't forced to submit a positive feedback. Some sellers leave positive feedbacks with negative comments, but personally I don't like that practice. I recommend just continuing to ignore the buyer and also adding him to your blocked bidder list, which should block him from sending messages to you.

I'm diggin' that Snowtrooper. It seems to have an animated vibe. Perhaps the character will appear in Rebels and this sculpt repacked in the toy line?

Maul is definitely redundant. I already have the Movie Heroes version, so this new sculpt will have to be a significant improvement for me to even consider getting it.

Other Toy Lines / Re: 2014: What Are You Collecting?
« on: December 28, 2013, 12:13 AM »
Hmmm... I don't think the lines I'll be collecting in 2014 will be too different from the past couple years. I did get sucked into Pacific Rim this year, but that kind of replaced The Hobbit line from 2012. Anyway, here's what I plan to pick up:

Star Wars - I ended up getting just about everything released this year, which really wasn't that much. What I get next year really depends on what Hasbro releases. I also got on board with the 6" scale figures, but I might sell off that line.

G.I. Joe - Same deal as Star Wars pretty much... hopefully Hasbro releases some new items in 2014

Marvel - 6" Marvel Cinematic Universe figures. At the moment I am definitely set to get the movie Captain America, Winter Soldier, and Black Widow figures. If I enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy movie I'll pick up those figures as well.

Walking Dead - I really love the comic, show, and toys. I'll keep collecting the figures as long as McFarlane keeps making them. I appreciate getting significantly better toys with each new wave/series.

Pacific Rim - At the moment I am collecting the 7" and 18" scale figures. I will definitely keep going with the 7" line, but I might jump ship on the 18" figures. Space is a huge issue with the larger figures.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: 'The Hobbit' movie
« on: December 20, 2013, 10:06 AM »
No, it actually was an honest question, but I think Greg answered it nicely in his post (thanks). I do recall there being some modification of the Azog character but I didn't pick up on how Bolg related to that. I won't even get into Fimbul and Yazneg.

Ah, I didn't see Greg's earlier answer too...  but yep, that's what's been speculated.  I think once the PJ decided that he needed a more intimidating Azog and went the CGI route then the design for Bolg (his son) needed to change as well.  Also in the original two part story, Azog wasn't even going to be the main Orc bad guy - this was supposed to be Bolg.  If fact, originally Bolg was the orc stationed at Dol Guldor with the "Legions"... this all go turned around when PJ decided to expand to 3 movies and inserted Azog as the main baddy. So Azog ends up in Dul Guldor and Bolg is sent out to do the dirty work.

Since Azog was added about 5 weeks before the movie was released (or so the says the internet speculation) then all the merchandisers were left with a toy (old Bolg) that was actually only added in a flashback scene to the Battle of Azanulbizar.  Look closely and you can see young Dwalin killing this character.

There was also a change to the Smaug design... originally he was a four legged / two winged dragon and then was later changed to be the "integrated" wing/leg design we have now.  I believe this even changed from the Theatrical release of AUJ and the Extended Edition DVD/Blu release.

What's interesting about Azog is that the digital model actually matched pretty closely to a very early concept sculpture that they made. The EE DVD feature highlights the process where they go thru a bunch of costumes and finally land on a digital version that wasn't far off from what they originally made.

Regarding the old Bolg at Azanulbizar, I think they actually filmed with the character versus adding him in later. The old Azog design was definitely filmed in the sequence, with the final digital version I guess being composited over the live-action version. Pretty crazy how many changes they made during production, and how close those changes were made to release.

I hadn't heard anything about Smaug being changed, but that doesn't surprise me. I plan to look up info on that as it has me curious to see the changes.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: 'The Hobbit' movie
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:35 PM »
Interesting that Cumberbatch did the voice of the Necromancer as well.

I recall reading or watching an interview (probably with Cumberbatch) where it was stated they wanted to link the evil forces of the Necromancer and Smaug together with a similar, yet different, voice. I liked the final result.

Why does my Bolg action figure look nothing like the guy in the movie?

Things changed A LOT during production. There is an interesting behind-the-scenes featurette on the Extended Edition Unexpected Jorney DVD, which details the evolution of Azog. The design of the Bolg action figure was actually one of maybe four or five different live-action/non-CG incarnations of Azog. I guess during production that design was re-used as Bolg (hence the action figure), then eventually scrapped in favor of a CG model. The "action figure Bolg" can be seen fighting in the Moria flashback in Unexpected Journey, which is kind of cool.

Personally I like the CG Azog a lot more than some of the original designs. CG Bolg, on the other hand, sucked in comparison to the live-action design.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Best of 2013?
« on: December 19, 2013, 11:22 PM »
Bleh, tough to pick stuff this year. Few items really stand out as great additions to my collection.

My top picks would have to be the following:

Ewok Catapult
Black Series 6" Sandtrooper, Fett, and Maul
Black Series 4" Wave 3 (Neyo, Vizam, and Merumeru in particular)
Droid Factory (especially at the $30 and lower price point)

The above items seemed to deliver the most bang for the buck this year, along with very few quality issues. Below are my runners-up, which were all above-average but had "issues" that held them back from being what I deemed the "best":

Endor AT-AT - great paint but the price was killer
Republic Gunship - once again a topnotch repaint, but the price was awful
Black Series 4" Mara Jade and Stormtrooper - solid figures but hair and paint issues made me sad
K-Mart Scanning Crews - good sets overall, but seemed to have more paint and plastic quality problems than normal
Fett's Slave 1 - Great repaint, but the quality-wise seems like a step-down compared to the 2010 Jango version

Overall I agree with Brian that this was a slow year. There was a decent amount of product, but the releases were mostly repetitive and/or very spaced out. I doubt we will get more items next year, but hopefully we get more "new" and less "repeats".

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Everything Rebelscum
« on: December 18, 2013, 11:56 PM »
Given the $ involved I wonder if a suit could be opened up on AFA?

I know next-to-nothing about legal stuff, but I would think that for AFA to be liable it would have to be proven that they knew the figures were fakes and graded them anyway. If they were genuinely deceived (and incompetent), I personally wouldn't hold them to be responsible. Same deal if any buyers re-sold these fake figures as real while thinking they were genuine. IMO the original seller is the one who really needs to be held liable and punished.

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