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Messages - Greg

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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.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Everything Rebelscum
« on: December 18, 2013, 10:15 PM »
Holy crap... glad I just collect modern figures. :P I truly feel terrible for anyone who has invested in these figures. Surely this will decimate interest and values in this aspect of the hobby.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 2
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:49 PM »
Fett is back on Amazon at the moment for $23, which isn't terrible if you can get the free shipping.

Aaaaaand it's gone

Modern Classifieds / Re: Star Wars Black Series FS
« on: December 12, 2013, 09:57 AM »
Added split-up Amazon Droid Factory figures/sets if anyone wants individuals, as well as some Star Tours and Black Series figures.

Other Toy Lines / Re: The Walking Dead
« on: December 10, 2013, 02:25 PM »
I got my Negans yesterday, and they ROCK! What a great figure!

Also, I have to say this was the most well-packed online order I have ever received. Each figure was wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and taped shut, and then both were surrounded by an outer layer of heavy duty bubble wrap to secure them in place inside a perfectly sized box that did not allow for excess movement.

Kudos to Skybound for the great job!

I got my Negans yesterday as well with the same great packing job. Almost a shame I'm an opener. The figure itself is great, and fairly bulky. The only thing I don't like is the gummy plastic used for Lucille.

Today I got the 10-inch Daryl Dixon in the mail. The figure looks fantastic, but the lack of articulation kills it for me. I'm not 100% sure if I'll be keeping Daryl, but I may still pick up other figures in this size/format. Zombies would definitely benefit from the extra detail allowed by the increased size.

I ordered Wave 2 (Boba, Rex, Cody, and two Stormies) online for $6 apiece. While I'm not in love with this line, I do like them, but I also didn't feel like wasting time hunting for these new figures. The Stormies look great in pics online, so I'm curious to see if that holds up in person. And finally, a realistic Rex at long last!  ::)

This Mace Windu figure... what shelf is he supposed to go on?  He's got Jango's helmet which made me think Episode II, but it's hollow (which I assume is Hasbro not putting a noggin' in there because it's violent) - but then he's got the clone arm guards on, which made me think Clone Wars or did he wear those in EII?.

What is this Mace?

It's Clone Wars. There was an episode in the series where Boba rigged his dad's helmet with a bomb, in order to kill Mace. Hasbro did a cool version of that in the animated line, with a break apart helmet and sculpted bomb inside. Shame they used a normal Jango helmet with this figure.

Re: Amazon's crazy pricing

In the last few weeks, Amazon's had 40-60% off deals on various Black Series figures (3.75" and 6"), all the Mission Series 2-packs, and the exclusives - Droid Factory 6-pack, TIE Interceptor, Slave I.  I've seen some twitter comments damning the whole line because Amazon is "blowing out all it's Star Wars stuff", but others just seem to think that it's Amazon trying to spur holiday sales with popular items. 

So, what do you guys think?  Is this a sign that Star Wars isn't selling or just a sign that Amazon loves to have crazy prices on stuff during the holidays?

I think it's just Amazon's crazy pricing. They have had similar deals on Lego over the past couple of weeks, and similar deals on Hasbro over the years. I think I got the Republic Shuttle for $17 back in 2011, and I picked up WAAAAAAAAYYYYY too many final TVC wave repack figures for a couple bucks apiece last year. Frankly I'm happy Amazon is offering these great sales, and I hope they continue stocking such a broad range of Star Wars going forward.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Amazon Droid Factory Multi-Pack
« on: December 5, 2013, 11:58 PM »
Wow.  They must not be selling, at all.

I'm pretty happy with the $26 I got back... but that price is ridiculous.

Can't imagine why. Throw one A, B or even C level character in there and they wouldn't be doing this I think. As it stands, it's an abortion in a to-go box that no one gives two ***** about. I wouldn't be the least surprised if this craters at $19.99 at some point.

I think multipack sets either need a strong theme or to be comprised entirely of "A" characters to do well. This Droid Factory lineup wasn't compelling enough for collectors or casual buyers. Imagine an entirely Clone Wars or Tatooine/Mos Eisley themed set though...

Also, the initial pricing might have killed this set as well. Collectors have come to expect large figure sets to be better values, but the $60 price point wasn't a deal. Like TRU's Jedi Knight set (now marked down to $22.50 BTW), this was initially overpriced and is now at deep discount. Maybe if it was priced at $40 from the start it would have sold better.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Amazon Droid Factory Multi-Pack
« on: December 5, 2013, 11:46 PM »
I had ordered five sets to part out when they dropped to $30 (well, $40, but I got the price adjusted), but I couldn't resist grabbing another two sets at this lower price. I may grab a few more sets, since $4 a figure is a terrific deal.

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