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Topics - Jesse James

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Toy Reviews / New JD Mini-Review: TBS 4" Wave 1 Anakin Skywalker
« on: October 30, 2013, 12:18 AM »
I didn't buy Ani yet because I was waiting for him in my Wave 2 case...  Wow, what a shock, and in a good way.


-Sculpt...  Hands down this is the finest in a LONG (far, far too long) line of AOTC Anakin Skywalker figures.  It's been since 2002, and while the Evolutions figure was sufficient to me, I can easily say now just how wrong I was in accepting that figure.

This new Anakin is sporting the most accurate poofy-haired portrait of Hayden Christansen I've ever seen, and I really think some of his ROTS sculpts are exquisite.  This one trumps them all.

The face is plain...  not really expressing anger or sadness or whiney punk bitchness...  It's just plain and neutral, and I dig it.

The hair, the braid, the facial features...  Someone should pat the guy who sculpted this on the back, and promptly get him working on Han, Luke, Leia, and all other main human hero figures from here on out.

The arms are sculpted at the joints JUST so perfectly, so they can hold a saber with 2 hands.  Simply perfect, and no corners cut on the robes to make it look awkward.

Speaking of the robes, there's a depth at the sides that is incredible...  It shows how large the outer tunic is and broadens Christensen's shoulders a good bit revealing his youthfully slight build.

Standing next to a Stormtrooper figure, it's clear to see they made him tall too...  A must, no?  Yes, a must.

-Paint Aps...  My sample is perfect.  The eyes, the hair, etc...  I'd have liked to have seen a LITTLE extra detail to the belt, and ANY detail to his Jedi braid (it's unpainted except for the hair color).  that said, the eyes, tunic colors, boots, belt details...  They're great.

Small details are going away...  I hate seeing that.  The small paint aps really highlighted sculpting details.

-Articulation...  This Jedi Wannabe sports a whopping 12 points of articulation, and most is ball/socket work...  I'm glad to see the torso does NOT sport ball joints though, as I feel Hasbro far overdoes the use of that articulation on that particular part of a figure.  It can look atrocious on a figure without armor, so I appreciate them scaling that back a bit.  Plus it adds cost...  It's a point I largely can live without.

The ankles were a huge surprise...  they're a ball joint that lets them pivot left right plus forward and backward, while turning.  It's a truly improved and amazing articulation point. 

You want your Jedi in wild "doing the splits" crouches, ready to spring out of the pose and pounce on his enemy?  Hasbro made it possible to achieve that level of extreme poseability.

-Mechano Arm Included...  It's small but Hasbro included his mechanical arm, and you have to have that.  It'd have been a major flaw not to include that.  I wish you could remove his arm all together for some war wound looks too.


-Accessories...  Annie comes with, basically, only one accessory...  a lightsaber, lit.  That's it.

How, in 2013, Hasbro doesn't include a saber hilt (unlit) with EVERY Jedi they ever make, I do not know.  But in the span of a week, I have seen 2 4-packs of Jedi, Darth Vader, and now AOTC Anakin, and ALLLLLLLL without a lighsaber hilt for their belt.

Almost all these figures have a hole for a hilt to plug into, but no hilt.

I'll give Ani a hilt for his belt, but it's a huge kick from Hasbro not to include one on their dime.  $10 figures deserve better.

-Price...  $9.99+ Sucks.  Again.

-Under-appreciation From Collectors...  Yes, this CON is all you...

You suck this time.  You haven't bought this figure, and oddly he's the pegwarmer of the Wave 1 so far.  He's warming because YOU won't buy him because YOU think you don't need him.  YOU need to suck it up though and buy, because this figure is really far superior to what you think it is.

This is a definitive figure...  They're rare when Hasbro gets them THIS right, so quit complaining they made him because deep down in places you don't realize and talk about at parties, this is a figure you want.  You're just too goofy to see it yet.


You're welcome...  That's said to the thank you you'll send my way after you buy it because I'm just that kinda influence on you.

But seriously, no, do buy this figure...  It's far superior to what you have.  You'll see it when you get this.  Much like the new Ceremony Luke, I'm amazed at how new this is, and how much better it is than what I had.  You will be as well, I think.

Toy Reviews / New JD Mini-Review: TBS 4" Wave 2 41st Elite Clone
« on: October 30, 2013, 12:00 AM »
Once again, I'm working my way up through this case, and the 41st Elite Clone was getting some negative vibes from the online community so I figured I'd open him earlier rather than later.

That said...  I was impressed with it.


-Sculpt...  At this point, collectors seem to have accepted this new Clone Mega Articulated sculpt as the pinnacle of Clone sculpts.  I'm fine with that too.  I find him too tall, and slightly lanky for my liking.  I find the old "SA Clone" sculpt sufficient for a variety of reasons and will never shelve them.  But this sculpt is solid.

There's a crispness to it you can't deny, and the hidden shoulder joints are a thing of beauty.  Hasbro used that on many a figure since then, and it's really a nice way to hide joints on figures who are armored up.

The style of sculpting at all the joints gives them a greater range of motion too.  You can't argue that as a major positive to the sculpt.

This Trooper rocks a basic Clone mug, and I appreciate that, and that they're trying to give us a couple age/hair styles for Clone sculpts as well, and all seem to swap nicely, so you can have a little mix/match thing going on.  As much an oxymoron as it is, you can have diversity among your Clone Troopers.

Likewise, he rocks a bucket for over his mug, and the helmet is fine to me...  Some will tell you children weep at seeing it in the toy aisles, and I'll tell you I don't believe them.  No kid's caring because a helmet's slightly too big, or looks warped to a collector's eye.

Is it flawless?  No.  Is it sufficient for intended purpose?  To me, yes.  I have no problem displaying this figure with helmet on or off, and I like having that choice.

It's not perfect, but it's not the horror some say it is.  Sorry.  It's adequate.

-Paint Aps...  Not to be confused with paint ap accuracy, the aps are pretty solid.  Far superior to the Stormtrooper I just looked at from the same wave.

The eyes, the hair line, and the black body glove details are all crisp.  The grey lines of the 41st Elite Trooper's armor appears pretty perfect and even too. 

Some will say why aren't there any markings of battle damage?  To them I say, it's because Hasbro's cheap and it's only going to happen on commanders if we're lucky I'd guess.

-Accessories...  The Trooper rocks a removable bucket and a blaster rifle...  I'm a little disappointed we only get one blaster with this trooper, but I'm happy we get a removable brain bucket and a gun.  I have so many extras, I'm not even caring right now that I didn't get the big rifle most Clones come with.  Slight cheap-out on Hasbro's part though, yes.

-Articulation...  It's flawless.  If you complain about this articulation, feel free to hang up your cool card at the door on the way out.


-Paint Accuracy...  Now, I'm not a 41st Elite Clone expert...  I just noticed these douchebags in the background for the most part on a landing platform in the background.  I don't know what is/isn't 100% accurate about the grey stripes on this Clone, but I do know that the paintjob isn't accurate.

So that makes this a negative...  I can't say I care though.  Actually, I can 100% say I don't care at this point because these Clones did nothing in this armor, and it was really unimportant.  This figure was filler to flesh out a case.  I'm happy with him.  He'll stand next to other versions of the same guy I already have.  :-\

If this were a 212th, or a Clone Commander, or a 501st, or some other much more important and prominent Clone, I think it's a far more important issue.

-Price...  $9.99+ sucks.


So again, I say if you're a kid wanting a Clone, this is ideal.  It's superior to the $6 Clones out there in every way.  It's a much more "fun" toy.  As a child, I posed figures...  GI Joe overtook Star Wars quickly in my life, and so as a child today I'm sure I'd rather have 2 of this Clone in my life than 4 or 5 of the unarticulated Clones.

Hasbro sold 3-packs of unposeable clones in dynamic poses...  Visually appealing.  They sold for a brief time but ultimately failed and were overtaken by articulated figures.  To me, if I were a kid now, I'd just save up and get these nicer ones I guess.

That said, do you really care about THIS Clone?  Like the Stormtrooper, if you don't have a Clone or this particular Clone's legion at all in your collection, you probably will want to pick one of these Troopers up...  If not, look for one of the older and less expensive ones on the secondary market because they're about the same.

Is it worth $10?  I'd say no, and if I hadn't bought a case, I'd likely not have bought this figure.  Since he came in my case though, he's going into the collection.  At least he's an army builder and will blend into the background nicely.

Toy Reviews / New JD Mini-Review: TBS 4" Wave 2 Stormtrooper
« on: October 29, 2013, 11:41 PM »
He's not new, he's not really been asked for, and he really came with less than past figures who used the same sculpt.  How could he be good?  Well, he's ok, but good is stretching it.  Here is why.

So I got my case of Wave 2 TBS 4" figures yesterday, and just am now getting around to opening what I can...  I figured I'd start with the crummiest first since I like to have my mood improve as I go through a case of figures that cost me $120...  And since I know some of these are meh, I knew where to start that I wouldn't be too shocked.

The Stormtrooper actually surprised me at how bad it is though...  Perhaps it's my sample, but it's really underwhelming. 


-Articulation...  Hasbro's got this formula down, when they want to.  For the most part this is indisputable.  The "new" Stormtrooper sports 14 points of articulation and only 2 of those aren't ball/socket joints.

That's poseability folks.  Short of ball-jointed wrists what more can you ask for?  It's great.

-Weapons...  Not that you get a lot, but you get two you probably don't have a ton of.  The 3-piece fold-out-stock Stormtrooper pistol is here, and appreciated.  Hasbro put out enough of the old single piece blaster that I think we all have plenty of extras.  This new multi-piece one is maybe a little too chunky but it's cool and different.

You get the Stormtrooper/Sandtrooper rifle too...  I don't have many of these, so I take more.  Yay.

-Sculpt...  For my money, this figure is fine.  It has the slot in the back for the Sandtrooper backpack, as it uses the Sandtrooper's sculpt, but that's fine by me.

You'll have some gripes about helmet detailing...  Some are better than others as Hasbro goes, and this helmet doesn't seem like the worst Stormtrooper bucket they've done, and not the best.  I'm fine with it as it is.


-Paint Aps...  I can't tell if it's mine, or they're all like this, but mine may have some of the worst paint aps I've ever seen on a figure.  The one armpit, a solid 1/4 of the paint is missing and looks as though it made its way to the back side of the armor.

The helmet's details seem off with more paint bleeding than usual.

His feet are painted black though, that's nice...  Hasbro skips that sole deco on the shoes a lot anymore.

-Fewer accessories than Sandtroopers...  OK, so I hate when you get less than you did with the same figure.  That's the case here.  Hasbro should still include the Pauldron and pack because, well, why can't you just give us the same stuff you gave us before or at least replace it.

Don't want to make it "inaccurate"?  Fine.  Give us the TVC Tarkin figure's Mousedroid then!  Great idea right?  Right.  I'd take that.  But don't just cut accessories out.

I appreciate the rifles I got, but that Pauldron and Backpack needed included or replaced with something more Death Star centric.

-Price...  $10 sucks for figures, and for one like this it really sucks.  It's the killing force in people NOT wanting to buy more Stormtroopers.  Who can afford extras of figures they already have at this point?  Blah.

-Holster on the belt (mine's horribly warped to the point I laughed about it...  I can fix that though, no biggie) doesn't fit either gun included.  Why then include a holster at all?  Just give a plain belt.  Or a new/different belt.  Or just the Sandtrooper belt.


I appreciate Hasbro trying to keep the ubiquitous Imperial Soldier on the pegs.  There was a time collectors were irate they didn't make a better effort to feed army builders.

Unfortunately, Stormtroopers have steadily been hitting the beaches of retail since 2007 in various forms/incarnations, and the formula is slightly tired now...  Not only is it slightly tired, but at $9.99 or more a piece, army building isn't dead...  Hasbro killed it.  You can't ask people to squad build, much less army build, at these prices.

As a figure in general it's adequate.  If you didn't have a Stormtrooper because you lived a hermit lifestyle till now, you now can get one.  But it'll cost you, and if the paint's as bad as mine then you got hosed and should look for an older one for less.

The Original Trilogy / ANH Blooper Reel
« on: October 28, 2013, 09:20 PM »

Clicky, and Enjoy.

The Cushing bit was my favorite, though the Death Star Door...  Holy cow!  Seemed a tad overdone.  Ford's goofy.  It was very funny to watch though. :)

My idea?

$20.99 new E-Web Cannon set...  Completely foldable legs, otherwise pretty simple snap-together pieces to make a new to-scale gun.  Include a general Veers update (use the TVC AT-AT Commander with a new head and I'm happy), and a Snowtrooper...  A new head would be neat, but whatever.  The gun needs a gunner is all.

$15.99 2-packs...  Battle of Hoth themed sets, to be specific.  One set, a Hoth Rebel Trooper head variation (new head and hat), with a new weapon.  And a Repacked TVC Echo Base Trooper.

Second set is a different Hoth Rebel Trooper Head variation (again, new head/hat, new gun or the basic rifle with this one perhaps), and a kitbashed Hoth Rebel Technician/Taun Taun Wrangler (mostly just the Echo trooper with a new head/hat).  Each set includes one piece of a Hoth Computer Station (which nicely compliments Torryn Farr!).

Just thinking about the quality of the K-Mart sets...  I'd be happy seeing them carry forward with the $21 and $16 format...  One nice big accessory update, and 2 nice 2-packs of army building fun that's quasi-new but not really.

I could see this expanding to other larger accessories too...  A new, better curved bar section, perhaps?  Or a Vehicle Maintenance Energizer?  Possibly an update of some other mini-rigs like the MLC-3 or CAP-4?  Small things, very OT-centric...  I think these would be awesome if they kept rolling out once a year.

Star Wars Rebels / Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:12 PM »
What's your take?  Where do you stand?

Star Wars Rebels / Star Wars Rebels - Class II Vehicles
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:10 PM »
A smaller line of ships isn't my cup of tea but could a Stormtrooper transport make this line?  What else?

Star Wars Rebels / Star Wars Rebels - Class I Vehicles
« on: October 12, 2013, 07:08 PM »
The Rebels Teaser video has me giddy...  I need that ATPT!

What's the most awesome pose you've gotten a figure into?  The one you called your wife in to see, and she rolls her eyes.  The one the kids went, "That's awesome!", when they saw it.

I put the Clone Sgt. on my desk in a simple "at attention" pose...  It's calm, passive, but that menacing helmet and the clean armor.  It just screams that scene where the Empire's military might is basically born.  The rifle's resting against his shoulder delicately...  I love it.  Never really put a Clone in this pose, but I could imagine a hundred of them with appropriate officer colors mixed in would look pretty damn cool this way.

Not dynamic by any means...  but it inspired me.

You know you've done this too...  You know you've achieved some pretty cool looks with your figures, and you don't want to admit you were playing with your dolls posing your action figures for display.

The Vintage Collection / Vintage Figures That Need Redone
« on: August 19, 2013, 07:15 PM »
There probably won't be massive lists for most here, but am I the only one who would rebuy a number of TVC figures if they did them better?

Hoth Luke comes to mind...  He's too tall, lacks the thigh-strap sculpted to the holster (I HATE it sculpted to the figure's leg), and I really thought the non-removable helmet and half-assed mask look was really bad, bad, bad.

This figure, to my eye, stands out like a sore thumb...  The height is my #1 gripe though.

Is there a TVC figure you look at, and really wish they'd redo him already?

Jocasta's Reading Room / The Star Wars Thread
« on: August 8, 2013, 05:59 PM »
Trailer posted for a comic, which is cool unto itself.

This will be the first comic series I've been excited about for Star Wars in quite a while and it won't even be part of the EU.  Go figure.

I plan to wait for a complete bound set of this though.

The Original Trilogy / Does the Emperor Get Haircuts?
« on: August 2, 2013, 07:07 PM »
Like, seriously, I know we're to just accept that Han never changes clothes from Hoth to Jabba's Palace basically, but what about simple things like haircuts.  Who cuts the Emperor's hair?  Does he have a barber like on the Enterprise?  Is it awkward?

It seems like a really petty use of the force to just stop your hair from growing and keeping it perfect.

Is he particular, or picky?  Does he have a supercuts?

There are so many mundane questions for the Star Wars universe that haven't been answered.

1:6 Scale Figures and Collectibles / 1/6 General Grievous
« on: July 31, 2013, 03:42 PM »
Previewed a while back, the 1/6 General Grievous is up for pre-order out of the blue today!  A behemoth of a figure, I'm not quite sure where to place him in a collection...  He's a military guy, so I'd lean towards that side of things I guess but SS has him listed under Scum & Villainy...  that's odd.

I dig him, but $249.99 is a lotta moola.

The exclusive version has a damaged mask portrait with it.

TV-9D9 / Is Yularren's Perspective Now Radically Different...
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:38 PM »
Curious, but as I was opening a CW Yularren figure for his spiffy table, I was wondering to myself...  He's supposedly the ISB Officer at the briefing on the Death Star in Star Wars.  What his role is there, who knows, but he's there...  He's gone from a Naval Admiral to a whole new direction in the ISB over time.

He's also supposedly taken a demotion because he's a Colonel in that role, according to EU materials...

So what's Yularren's POV?  He doesn't seem like a horrible person in The Clone Wars...  Annoyed by the Jedi's methods at times, he still supports them, fights with them, fights for them, and obeys his commands.  He doesn't seem to hold the anymosity Tarkin does, for instance.

Does that mean his POV come ANH is completely 180'd and he is drinking the Impy kool-aid?  Or is Yularren's demotion possibly a sign of some objection to the post-ROTS purge of the Jedi?  Does Vader maybe keep him close for a reason?  Does he know Vader, much as Tarkin knows Vader and considers him a friend?

Never really thought much, till tonight, on the character's changes from 77 to now.

Original Trilogy Collection / Recent Purchases
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:17 PM »
Wow, OTC no recent purchases thread?

Saw lots for sale at the Steel City Con this weekend...  Some, very cheap.  Got a loose incomplete Hammerhead for fun/customs bits.

I'm always looking for Combat Engineers, Fleet Security, Bren Derlin, and Power Droid and other figures from this series.  One of my favs. 

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