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Messages - Jesse James

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: JD Book Club: What Are You Reading Now?
« on: April 16, 2005, 12:55 PM »
I agree that LOTR does surpass Star Wars based on the incredibly intricate background to the Middle-Earth realm...  Tolkien put a lot more effort into creating a world than Lucas did, and for that Lucas will always play second fiddle.  He's let everyone else have a hand in formulating Star Wars as a "real" place, and that's fine too, but Lucas's effort just wasn't as determined as Tolkien's was...  I dont' think Lucas loved his work any less though, but it's just impossible to me to say that Tolkien didn't create something just incredibly more "deep" than Lucas.

I'd disagree that Tolkien isn't on par with the likes of Dickens though...  Shakespeare I maybe give more credit, but still I look at Tolkien's work and I think it's easily as thought-out, and it instills better feelings in me personally than any work I read that Dickens wrote.  To me those were torture to read for the most part, actually.  I can honestly say only a Christmas Carol ever really meant anything to me...  We actually were comparing the two and our prof (the school's English Dept. Head) really loathes Dickens so I maybe have some lingering bias after the class discussion.

I think it's great that your kids will read The Hobbit, Scott.  I read it in 6th grade actually, then watched the toon...  My reading teacher at the time had the class read it, and I was hooked.  It was the first book I read that I didn't feel it was a chore to me, as a child.

You'd have been burned at the stake for praising the LOTR movies though...  The class I was in bitched about them at every turn.  Honestly I thought they helped me visualize Orcs, etc., but from the prof on down, there was a lot of criticism of the films.

Personally, I think the films did the book justice though as well.  I think you can't expect the films to really draw things out like the books, and that changes to characters were necessary to keep the story moving.  As it stands, ROTK was tough for even avid movie-goers to sit through, what with its multiple endings...  I can't fathom the scouring being in there too.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: JD Book Club: What Are You Reading Now?
« on: April 16, 2005, 11:00 AM »
I tore through The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings this past semester.  I finished ROTK just about a couple weeks ago over spring break, finishing my paper on the trilogy now...

Figure since this was bumped and I actually was reading something that wasn't a text, I'd chime in.

The Silmarillion was a rough book to start with I felt, and really kicked the semester off on a bad note.  I'm not fond of the style that Tolkien wrote it in, and I feel it's a little too close to reading the bible for my liking...  Other students were gung-ho on it, but not me.  I barely lagged through it, and really only found the final portion of it truly interesting.

The Hobbit's the easiest of the group of course, and one I already had read.  Still a great story, even if it's not the most complex, and a fun lead-in to a story riddled with themes and undertones... 

The Lord of the Rings is what it is...  Most in this thread have probably read it, and it's regarded by many as one of the modern-day classics.  I've gotten to see a lot of praise and criticism for this story though, and some interesting points of view.  I find often times critics are more offended at the thought of this story being compared to Shakespeare or Dickens rather than having objectively looked at the story for what it is.

It's a great read, difficult to pick everything up on the first go-through unless you have an inkling of the story, but not too difficult that the majority can't pick it up and get immersed in it.  Picking the story apart every week in analytical round-table discussion was a highlight while reading through all these books though.  Always great to sit aorund with fans and brain-storm.  The material's are involved so it's a lot of work, but it's been one of the more eye-opening experiences I've had in school (that didn't pertain to my dull major anyway).

Even Star Wars parallel's being drawn...  What a class. :)

I'm still looking for these but they're all gone in my neck of the woods I guess.

I'd like a couple more...  even one more.  They truly are like crack.  I wound up with a modest group, but if I could amass 100 of these, I gladly would.

Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC Sandcrawler
« on: April 16, 2005, 07:09 AM »
Oh man, two...

You are obsessive.  :)  Even with a new figure I couldn't bring myself to plunk that $$$ down on ONE of those things.  Every time I see the one that still sits at Suncoast here, I just roll my eyes.  That was one of the worse things Hasbro gouged everyone on.

Saga Collection '06 / Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« on: April 16, 2005, 07:05 AM »
I dunno, to me you need to mix OT stuff in to keep things fresh...  The prequals need figures too though, and I think leading into 2006 it should at least be a prequal focus, but OT stuff should be seeing a resurgence by then too...  A figure here, a figure there.

I'm hoping the future means VOTC (or at least Cantina Wave) kinds of quality overall.  The ROTS lineup has me hopeful that this kind of articulation is "standard" from here on out...  That army builders get the focus they deserve... 

And I have a resculpt list of POTF2 - E1 (at least) stuff I'd like to see done with this level of quality...

-Han Stormtrooper
-Han Endor
-Han Hoth
-Luke Stormtrooper
-Luke Ceremony
-Luke Endor
-Luke Death Star Duel
-Leia Hoth
-Leia Endor
-Nein Numb
-Endor Soldier
-Fleet Trooper
-Hoth Rebel Soldier
-Biggs Darklighter (I want an Academy Deleted Scene Biggs too)
-A-Wing Pilot (still no decent one of him)
-B-Wing Pilot (same as above)
-Imperial "Technician"
-Imperial "Officer" (Dude in a tunic, black and grey variants)
-Admiral Piett
-Grand Moff Tarkin
-Scout Trooper
-Imperial "Snow"Stormtrooper
-VOTC STormtrooper re-release & "Sandtrooper" version too
-Death Star Trooper
-Uncle Owen
-Bespin Guard (closed coat, multiple ethnicities)

And that's just resculpts of stuff already done...  There's a lotta vintage stuff I think still needs redone in the modern line, like the Rebel "Soldier" with the tan vest, Palace Klaatu, etc... 

I am all for EU too though...  Mixed in sporatically I think it has as much a chance at retail as any basic figure, so long as the Hasbro people keep their wits about them and don't jump into "Techno Yellow Luke!" or "Neon Camoflauge Han!" like the Batman line...  Keep it to known EU, don't go overboard with entire waves of it...  It could work.  I think past EU's proven itself enough, even if the SOTE line tanked some (I blame the basis for it more than the line itself, but I digress).

Prequals have lots to cover though too, and Episode One and Two both have LOTS of figures I'd like resculpted...  SA versions of Maul, Obi, and Qui-Gon from E1...  Outland Peasant Anakin could use a redo, a GOOD E2 Obi-Wan (sad there isn't one really definitive one of him in the entire line), a good Mace Windu...  There's lots of Prequal room left to explore.  And I think re-releasing the SA Clone into the line FOREVER would work.  Till the line dies, that figure should be mixed into cases every year.

Clone Wars '03-'05 / Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« on: April 16, 2005, 05:54 AM »
If I didn't know people going in on cases, I would've skipped this too I think, or been very selective anyway.  I lucked out with locals who were banding together on this one...  really it was the only way to go.

At $8 to $10-ish a figure if you bought them by them individually or by getting all 4 variants in a set, that just wasn't gonna happen for me...  :(

Clone Wars '03-'05 / Re: EE exclusive Clone Trooper 4-packs!
« on: April 15, 2005, 11:47 PM »
Technically, more parts doesn't cost more than a figure with less parts except the mold toolings...  For all intents and purposes, that cost was likely made up with the figure's initial run in Clone Wars.  While it seemed limited to most people, I know I saw tons of the remnants of his wave at stores around my area...  Most people seemed to find those figures easily enough, but the Clone was (of course) not so easy to find.

Construction's a minimal cost though, so really he doesn't cost more to produce now than before, and as more units are made, all the "fixed" costs of production will then decrease...  So technically for every time this guy's put back into circulation, the cost comes down a little bit more. 

I have it on pretty good authority that the packaging is a major reason for the cost increase...  It's at least a driving factor.  I think Violentfix's idea that it simply being an EE item doesn't bode well for it having a low price either.  They do tend to charge that little bit extra...  That puts it about right that they're still profiting when selling a full case, and the per-figure price comes to about $6.25/figure/case.  That's not much more than retail.  Where it stings is buying individual 4-packs and things.

30th Anniversary Collection / Re: How big is your army?
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:56 AM »

They're the SA Clone, but the problem with (myself) going in on buying a case with people again is that I've already got myself in on 2 cases, and now I'm just looking to get a caseload of the white sets for myself...  Unfortunately, nobody JUST wants officers (no surprise there of course), but I can dream I figure.

I doubt any case buying is gonna happen at this point though...

I'll deal with a squad rather than an army I guess. :)  And a lot more officers than my squad needs to have around bossing them.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: AT-TE
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:52 AM »
The Coeli TE is very cool...  I think it's possibly even a little over-scaled, though I don't have a ref handy to compare, but it's close either way, or dead-on.  I'm anxious to see the interior he tries though. 

I'm still reluctant to "ask" for this from Hasbro though.  Coeli's is just that much more inspiring for me to want one that's to-scale over one that's knocked down some pegs for the action figure line.  To me, that can be done properly if they wanted but I can't see them ever doing it...  I'd be first in line to buy a to-scale one though if it were done...  And if I had the $$$ to afford it.   ;)

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Clone Trooper #6 - Worth Army Building
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:47 AM »
I think I have to agree with earlier sentiments that I'm a LITTLE worried that the SA Clone coming out will be rare.  I've had a much higher opinion of the current Clone though and have bought a few...  Want some more but they're even drying up in this area at this point.

It's a much better figure than I was hoping, and really I'd say the one flaw I once attributed to him (the hips) really doesn't look bad at all.  Not awkward or anything, so that nixes that one.  Now I'm just bummed about the waist not turning at all...  Does tend to limit him more than I'd like.

Still, better than nothing...  better than any Saga Clone...  I'll gladly buy more.  May even go over your # there Justin, just because I am a little curious to see how "rare" the SA version turns out to be.

Other Collectibles / Re: Target SW Gift Card. You get one?
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:44 AM »
I did not get one and kind of regret not picking it up 4/2 now.  I saw one and it really is an interesting/neat little item, and a nice momento for the 4/2 experience...  I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for it I guess, but having seen one now I'd really like to pick it up.

I was so out of it at Target that morning, I didn't even think much about the card...  Didn't even look at one.  Too early in the morning for me that day.

After all the army-building goodness CHEWIE, I dunno. :)

Honestly though, the toys are only here because of the films, so the film takes priority, but every toy run I keep hoping to find those higher numbered figures right now.  Never thought I'd be really looking thoroughly for SW figures in a movie year.

I'm not making special trips to just save my car/gas right now, but I'm looking when I am out anyway, and enjoying it.  Pick up the odd Clonetrooper at the same time, or Wookiee Warriors, and just hope I find the stuff I really am looking for in the meantime.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Accessory Packs
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:39 AM »
I'd take accessory sets if the time and effort on them were both right...

I'd dig some sabers/hilts...  Multiple "EU" colors would be nice too.

I'd dig it if they tossed in some either new weapons...  Shoulder-launchers for Clones, grappling hooks, packs w/working straps, "cargo containers" like the Scanner tech's, the MicroMachines mousedroid, etc...  Lots of really ideal things they could tuck into those sets.

The thought of an interchangeble pauldron for Commtech and VOTC STormtroopers would be neat... 

If they packed an army builder in (a good one) I think the old Target concept of accessory sets would be superior to just putting a bunch of weapons in a package.  Pack a good battledroid, Clonetrooper, or Stormtrooper in and it's like gold to most people...  God knows they've got the GOOD figures around now to do that, what with the Clone Commander, C1 Clone, VOTC Stormtrooper and such.  Be interesting to see anyway... 

I could see those becoming annoying to even try and find really, if those were the figures being put in them.

Clone Wars '03-'05 / Re: Clone 3-pk ...does it suffice?
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:27 AM »
Actually, just picking up a 3-pack Clone I have nearby, it's 7 separate pices (I think they all vary though), which means 3 - 4 separate sculpts requires about (since the pieces do vary) 21 - 28 molds...  more or less, there's definitely multiple molds for the same sculpt, etc., but that's simplified for the sake of conversation...

With mold toolings being the highest fixed cost in a figure's development, I think these variances in numbers are important.  That's thousands of dollars difference between doing 3 - 4 pre-posed sculpts compared to one sculpt with many points of articulation...  That's not to say that there's not profit being made on both though of course, just really semantics that the reality is that the 3 - 4 pre-posed figures did cost more to produce than a single SA styled body. 

Whether Hasbro intended these variants and all with the thought of profit in mind, I think profit's always their motivator but I don't think people would've NOT bought a SA 3-pack over a pre-posed 3-pack, and potentially they could've made a scant bit more per unit had they gone the SA 3-pack route in the first place.  Not sure what their motivation is to go either way though because I don't see them making LESS if they'd gone the other way than they did.

I think articulation, since it is an added cost, is indeed something they've been slowly forced into.  It's a competitive issue in the toy industry in general where one company's outdoing the other...  It's rampant in the 1:6 market which has seen revolutional leaps made by one company's attempt to outdo another, right down to the patenting of some of the innovations being made by some of their creators.  I think Star Wars has moved the level of articulation in an effort to be more competitive on the shelf to comparable toy lines...  Whether that's the case or not though, who knows, but it's definitely been a gradual thing that Hasbro's been questioned on and seemingly reacted to.  I guess I maybe don't give them enough credit for being "devious" enough to plot out an articulation scheme that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't benefit them all that much to play it out to its supposed end. 

Revenge of the Sith / Re: When will the clearances begin?
« on: April 15, 2005, 04:08 AM »
I think confusion between "Sale" and "Clearance" is important to address too.  I think we'll see multiple sales...  "BOGO", "2-for's", and the like...  I think that'll be a common thing up until a clearance.

To address why there wasn't a Saga Clearance, technically there was...  First though, there was a "buy-back" situation though, and then there was actually a 2nd "buy-back" situation.  Hasbro did that once I believe with Episode One though, and later in the line's life. 

After the buy-back the figures wound up at KB in droves...  Or so the story goes.  Hasbro did a lot to make TRU  and WM happy during the Saga glut though...  I remember people boxing those figs up in droves at WM.  One day they had a wall of useless stuff, the next they had nothing, or even had semi-new stuff out.  Some of that though, as I recall, was even "old" by the time it got out to the shelves.  Target was more conservative, as always, and avoided that situation.

With this movie, it's tough to say if Hasbro will bite on taking any of it back again...  The line is theirs to sell after this film, not the other way around, so I'm not sure how they'd handle appeasing retail shoudl ROTS see massive gluts.

I wouldn't say things are flying off shelves here though, by any means, they just are doing better than Saga did...  In my neck, people werne't in aisles, kids weren't interested, and Saga tanked...  ROTS I'm seeing different things, but that doesn't mean I'm not seeing lots of figures on the pegs, or that I'm seeing stores restocking constantly.  If I was, I'd be able to find those later #'d figures that are aggrevating the **** out of me.   :-\

I will say though, that for an initial push, this line's doing better than Saga did I think.  I've seen stores restock since 4/2...  I didn't see that with Saga in its first week or so...  Hell, the WM I frequent most restocked once since 4/2, but with Saga the only thing they restocked was the TIE Bomber they held off on putting on the shelf till MM...  The rest just clogged the pegs for months.  It was really quite sad. 

They're stuck now though with the typical stuff every other store has.

I will say if you're wanting to army build, don't wait.  Clones, RG's, and even the basic battledroid are moving.  I find C1 Clones sporatically with BD's, but that's about it.  All that other stuff is hot property at the moment.  Toy Show had Pilots, Commanders, etc., for $15 - $20 each.  Pissed me off to see all the scalping sacks of dung selling what I think I can rightly assume is my area's supply of the figures I wanted the most...  And lying through their sporatic, yellow, gnarled chicklets they call teeth about these being "limited run" items, "variations", and "rare"...  Buncha dickheads.

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