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Messages - Jesse James

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Other Toy Lines / Re: Scale Figures: How Important is it to You?
« on: July 20, 2003, 05:17 PM »
Scale's BIG TIME important to me anymore...  Scale vehicles for Star Wars are few and far between...  Even near-scale is rare anymore.  It's an area I find Hasbro will likely never change completely.

What's sad is that, as Adam has said, 21st Century set a bar higher, and Hasbro could rise to meet that...  If they can sell a Stuka Divebomber for $45 and it's 100% accurate and to-scale then Hasbro could make an X-Wing or Y-Wing the same way.

On top of that, Hasbro's toys are almost always less detailed and "crisp" than 21st's are so they're saving some $.  Often they have fewer moving parts as well, which is a HUGE $ saver.

It's tough to buy the X-Treme Detail Huey from their Vietnam line, then buy the Republic Gunship, and not be critical.  The Huey's perfectly scaled, it has detail that you didn't even know was possible, it has a removeable helmet pack-in pilot as I recall, it has moving parts out the whazzoo...

The Gunship's claim to fame was it is one of the larger toys Hasbro's put out in recent years...  It's not to-scale though, it has no pack-in, etc...  It's nice for Hasbro's Star Wars line, it's not nice compared to Hasbro's competition within the toy industry.  So the comparison is gonna go hands down to 21st making the BETTER toy.

There's surprises though, like the TIE Bomber...  No the TIE Bomber's not as nice as a 21st Century vehicle, but it's to-scale, and that's my main gripe overall.

Figure scale is a different story...  21st does relatively well keeping an average scale across the board.  Some figures are noticeably taller than others...  Then again so are real human beings, and none of the figures are inches above or below each other.

Hasbro has made a more strong effort to keep scale uniform now, so I give them props for that.  POTF2 was all over the place, but since the E1 lline and into today, things are much better.

I will say that I wish more toy companies kept scales as "standards".  I dislike the jump to 6" scale because it makes collecting more expensive and difficult to display...  4"/1:18 would be a wonderful standard that I wish so many other toy lines made their figures in...

Lord of the Rings 1:18 would be great if you ask me. :)

Some great information on upcoming figures, and images to accompany some did indeed surface in the last couple days.

The Gen. Riekean figure is stellar...  A new Luke...  These things appeal to me.

A collector year is sorely needed, one that has steady sales as opposed to glutonous store purchases and product that's trying to appeal to a market with no interest in the franchise anymore...  Or a short-term interest at best.  

Could be some great things in 2004 and late 2003.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Jedi Points? Your Prediction
« on: July 20, 2003, 01:14 AM »
Might I reinforce this...

WRITE to Hasbro.  Pen & Paper, or print it out, but send a letter to them ASAP.  I plan to this week...  Let them know your opinions...

I think the whole JMP debacle is insulting that they think this would have gone over well with the collecting community.  

I'm curious also, who is going to save theirs now?  I have a TF Vader, a Sacul, and an R2-D2...  Why should I spend them?  I may hold them still...  I wish others would as well, and boycot this most assenine of maneuvers by the big H.  Getting on Hasbro, and not acknowledging these auctions would be a nice way to send a strong message  to them that if they have their finger on any pulse, it's that of a corpse, and not this collecting community.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Themed Waves: Let The Speculation Begin!
« on: July 20, 2003, 01:00 AM »
Some definitely nice things coming up it seems...  The themes could work well too, and keep a level of consistency, but I have a few reservations too...

Does this mean theme waves won't see subsequent re-release, incase items are difficult to find?  What about the seemingly scaled back product (Or is it not scaled back compared to a non-movie year like POTJ?  Maybe not...)

Anyway, some speculation...

-Endor...  New Han with jacket, new Luke, New Leia...  Much needed I think...  Of course I could list more figures for this series too.

-Battle of Endor...  New Lando Pilot, A-Wing Pilot, B-Wing Pilot...

-Battle of Yavin (It's being done differently, I know)...  Rebel Hangar tech, Ceremonial Guard, New Luke Ceremony or Han Ceremony (I'd take a new Fleet Trooper myself, of course).  By the way, anyone else notice that the "Battle of Yavin" set includes Captain Antilles who was nowhere near the Battle of Yavin?  What kinda theme is that? :)

I like the Death Star idea with a re-release Motti and a resculpt Grand Moff Tarkin...  Chuck in Chief Bast or a generic officer in a black tunic and I'd be one happy camper.

Definitely some creativity can be used when creating this new idea of themed releases...  I'm glad it's a non-movie year, finally...  I just wonder what we're in store  for, and what the situation will be for the consumer.  It's not been a great one for the past year and then some...  And will the figures be improvements in quality (Some look to be pretty great from those Japanese pics).

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Scoop JediMAC at Comic Con...Hasbro Q&A
« on: July 20, 2003, 12:49 AM »
I find the Jedi Points deal to be disturbing...  My opinion is known.  It's an answer for a financially dying franchise really.  Check the cutbacks to product in a non-movie year...  Wal-Mart is NOT gonna carry Clone Wars product...  These are signs of the Star Wars Toy apocolyps...  Retail interest is low because retail sales were poor.  

Some of the new product is intriguing, and some of the accompanying pictures were great I think, but a lot of this smacks of "too little too late", and the Jedi Points deal is downright offensive to many.

Why release JMP's on Canadian and European packaging if you're going to exclude them immediately?  Not that the idea is good to begin with.

Toy Reviews / Re: Droid Factory R2 Review!!!
« on: July 18, 2003, 03:58 PM »

I'm even pondering a ceiling fan in my home now so I can turn it up to high with that little bugger on there and watch him fly right out the door...  

He was one of the hardest reviews I've ever done, mostly because I was so disgusted after buying him that I wanted to quit being a completist and get my $5 back.  Too bad I'm not much good at resealing cards so they look untampered with or I might have...  He'd warm the pegs either way anyhow.

I did find one use for him however, and you could even use mutliples...  

Tie him to the end of your blinds if you have the "pull down" sort, and he makes an interesting accessory to any home decor.  Of course, you'd have to be single to do this I think, and then accept that people will make fun of you for it...  Even your own collecting brethren who would berate you for owning multiples of this figure.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Jedi Points? Your Prediction
« on: July 18, 2003, 03:53 PM »
Not worth the wait...

That's the best way to describe this debacle with the Jedi Master Points.

Offer an exclusive figure...  A 3.75", never before made, mail-away promo...  Do something civil for your consumers instead of this.

I have a lot of JMP's to use on an auction, but I could've given a rat's behind about their idea...  I have Toy Fair Vader...  I have Silver R2...  I have Jorg Sacul.

What this boils down to is Hasbro didn't want to do much for this pomotion...  They realize we are getting impatient on using these and that they needed to do something that would remedy the situation with the points, but not cost them anything because the franchise is failing.

So what's the answer?  Oh we'll auction off crap for them...  

It's insulting really, and they should've done something that let everyone get something they didn't have...  I'm sorry, but after the years of "Don't throw those away, you'll need them!" rhetoric, this answer they've given is unacceptable.

Maybe had this been 1998, we'd have gotten some new figure, but alas it's for not...  I miss the days of Muftak/Kabe, Spirit of Ben Kenobi, or Bo'Omar Monks...  Where have those days gone?  

Bad bad bad idea...  

Here's one...  Why not just make the bonus pit droids in a baggie...  So many points gets you a set.  I'd have been happy personally, wouldn't you have?  Or a grey jumpsuited Imperial Officer (just redeco the POTJ one in grey instead of black)?  I'd have gone for that.  Hell, I'd have used every point I have on that.

Nah, too simple, logical, and too giving to the fans I guess.

They've devised a plan where they think many people will use their points up wastefully, and those who don't win will just be SOL on the situation and may as well chuck those JMP's in as packing material the next time they're shipping a Star Wars figure to a friend who can't find diddly squat in his area.

Toy Reviews / Droid Factory R2 Review!!!
« on: July 17, 2003, 09:18 PM »
And here it is, my 2nd review is up and running for in an official capacity...

Sorry for the delay...  Just a mix of bad timing with everyone enjoying their summers, and me starting right at that time, so no big deal and we're on track now. :)

R2 was something to behold...  Basically he's one of the reasons I'm questioning my "completist" behaviors...  The figure is hardly up to par with any other astromech in the line...  Yes, even the loathesome R5-D4 from POTF2 is at least superior enough to be a nice display piece.

This R2 just doesn't cut the mustard...  And ya know, he's the first 2003 figure I've noticed as a "pegwarmer" of any sort...  How's that for a kick between his non-poseable legs!?!?!  

Anyway, please read the review and share your thoughts on this...  "interesting" decision by Hasbro.

Saga '02-'04 / Re: Jedi Points? Your Prediction
« on: July 17, 2003, 01:35 PM »
If you turn in so many million, or even billion points, you get a signed letter of thanks from every executive at Hasbro, and George Lucas personally writes you a letter stating how he loves the funding you've provided for him to live in his own community, make his own movies, and basically do what he wants.

Or you get a solid gold Jedi Master Point that's like the size of a coffee table...

Oh, and Hasbro did say last year that the points wouldn't require receipts...  Whether they remain true to that word is up in the air.

If this redemption is lame, and they forced us to wait ALL this time, I'm gonna be one PO'd consumer...  

Other Toy Lines / Re: The Official 21st Century Toys Thread
« on: July 17, 2003, 06:09 AM »
Nice to see this made the transition over to the new forum section.

Not much new info out on the line, but I did get the white Stuka the other day (Was waiting for the winter paint ap) and it's freaking amazing.

2 figures, with 18 points of articulation each...  A gunner AND pilot, and to boot they're different sculpts for the most part.  The Pilot has flares and leg straps like an X-Wing pilot has, and the gunner doesn't.  Both have a unique head as well...  The one guy is sort of showing his teeth looking PO'd and the other guy has no expression but his goggles are covering his eyes.

Not bad considering I paid only $45 for the thing, and the plane is HUGE...  both canopies slide open for the pilot and gunner, there's full interior and it's painted...  The seats are even weathered...

The winter white is a striking paintjob, and the plane was likely only seen on the Eastern Front doing in T-34's...  The main tank buster bomb has eyes and teeth painted on it, and I believe the nose logo says "Moshaisk", but I can't see it from here to be sure on that now...

It's all white, and that's really kinda creepy looking actually...  The Deutch Afrika Korps version with the big red and white snake down the fuselage is damned scary looking too though, if you want a desert camo Stuka, and the regular green/grey one is nice as well with the flying swine emblem.

The plane comes with 3 smaller bombs for each wing as well, and the machine gunners MG-34 (Which this exact gun was used in ANH by Sandtroopers, but it's the rarer version which is VERY difficult to see which had no stock and drum clips on both sides) is mounted into the cockpit window on a ball/socket mount and it DOES pivot like the real gun would've...

The level of detail and moving parts literally puts every toy Hasbro has ever made to shame.  These things are unsurpassed...  And people who know my love of the TIE Bomber from POTJ know that I think that ship was absolutely flawless.  It still doesn't hold a candle, or even a match, to this Stuka though...  I just had to buy it, and I don't collect the planes that much because of space issues.

Anyway, pick it up because the last thing you'd be is disappointed.  The pilots come with gas masks, and luger holsters which fit on them as well, oh, and stands too...  You at least get what you pay $45 for, that's for sure.

Man, that Sith woman is something else...  Hasbro went all out on t hat one...  Almost all out anyway...  As all out as they go I guess.

The connecting sabres makes one unique look, and she's got decent articulation, and a damn nice sculpt...

Now, Mace...  Well, he's the only Jedi I've honestly seen and not liked from the Clone Wars...  I dig Yoda...  Obi's freaking the best Obi Wan ever, from any of the films or lines, and Anakin looked to be a great figure...

Mace is ok, he's got good qualities and all, but the flowing cloak and the neck...  I mean, Sam Jackson's not huge by any means, but he's got a neck like I did before I started playing hockey around 7th grade...  Come on man, bulk the guy up.  One can hope it's a bit early of a picture, but I'm not so sure.

Mace DOES appear to be decent custom fodder though, and I'm gonna go on a limb and bet those armor doohickeys are removeable...  Just a guess, but they are large, and sculpted ones I'd think would rest more to the body and look more natural...  Like Anakin's pilot headgear being oversized on his figure, and we KNOW that's removeable.

Mace's headsculpt looked semi-decent, so that's sort of a shame...  The only nice thing to remember is that the 3-pack Mace looks FREAKING AWESOME, so there's a nice poseable mace for you, and then his E1 versions weren't bad...  Hasbro can't do him right in the basic carded lines anymore though it seems.  

A shame...

Man, I'm gonna miss removeable blades from Sabre hilts...  It's too bad people complained about that. :(  I loved that feature, and every new figure I see with a sabre isn't gonna have that, and it bums me out...

That's just an "aside" on a whole other topic...  All brought on by these Jedi with rocking sabre hilts, but I know those blades aren't going anywhere...  :(  

It's been a substantial ammount of time since I've had any reason to chime in under a Saga topic for some time so I figure I will here...

These are a couple of the most intensely boring characters I've seen, but I gotta say that they look nice.  Senators, Amidala figures, etc. just don't cut the mustard with me as far as excitement, but I always appreciate them in my collection...  More than rehashed main characters, but less than a freaky alien, droid, or army builder.

The McQuarrie Trooper is really top-notch looking compared to those early shots in the Insider...  Much like was predicted, he changed slightly in the overall quality of a final photo.  I'm looking forward to him somewhat, but I still would've rather seen the Rebel Soldier in Scout disguise...  I just wanted that guy for some odd reason...  Maybe because of the customizing potential of the scout body or whatever...  Hey, he could've been very well articulated for all we know, and an excellent figure all around...  This trooper is ok though, and at least it's unique.

The Amidala...  Well, I'm not a Natalie Portman "fan" really...  I think she's a poor actress and I honestly don't think she's as hot as people make her out to be, but she's translated into a stellar (all be it a statue) figure here...  The Tatooine outfit's a nice choice, and it's good to see a base (Makes ya wonder if that Lars Homestead set IS on the way doesn't it?) and a removeable cloak...  She looks as good as possible without giving her some elaborate soft-goods outfit so she would be more poseable.  I've never been one to gripe about unposeable Padmes though, so I'm cool with her.  A lil diversity, and one of her never made before outfits...

The Bail Organa is possibly my favorite...  Notice the subtle, yet important right hand with "deep thought" sculpting...  I bet his right hand's poseable so it can be turned like he's gnashing his knuckles on the balcony with Palpatines doofus cabinet officials.  Gotta love that...  Plus, that headsculpt is one of the best likenesses I've seen Hasbro ever do.  I hope it turns out that nice...  Not to mention that intricate sculpt in his overall outfit!?  Hell yeah, bring that dude on.  He's as boring as it gets, as far as "character choice" would go anyway, but he's a really nice looking basic figure.

And lastly...  The Imperial Dignitary is neat...  Never before made is welcome.  I really wonder if we're going to see the vintage figure remade...  If not, watch the vintage guy's value skyrocket as people buy him to help fill out a diorama or whatnot...  I think he'll be the 2nd Dignitary, ultimately, but I'm surprised he wasn't the first one to be shown IF he is a choice.  The one we see though is nice I think though, and while his base sorta sucks the sweat off a dead man, he's translating into a NICE figure.  The question now is, will his hat come off?  I'd like it to personally...  Makes him better for possible customs, and it's something I think all figures with hats should have as a "standard" feature.  Either way, he's looking great I think...  I can see him now leading a remnant force for some reason...  crushed velvet and all.

So we've got SOMETHING we could be hopeful for...

I honestly have had a 100% decline in my interest in Star Wars, Hasbro, and their generally poor practices and mutilation of the Star Wars franchise...  I've not been actively, nor anxiously hunting Star Wars like I once did...  My car and my life have taken priorities to me...  I just don't have that "urge"...  Maybe with the last of the craptastic figures leaking out, I will start to see some of the superior product...  This ugly Luke and Vader they've got churning our are supposedly the last of the worst series of figures I've seen since the line's inception, so here's to hoping it's all up hill from here, at least for a little while.

God knows I've had little good to say lately, so we'll see how things start shaping up.  

I'm itching to grab a couple new things that, for some, are out now even, or are gonna be on their way...  We shall see.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Dream Toylines
« on: July 12, 2003, 05:12 AM »
Awww crap how did I forget LOTR!?!?!

You're right, I want a 3.75" LOTR line...  EVERY character made, and made to perfection...  Uruk-Hai sold by the 10-pack...  Same with Rohan soldiers, Gondor soldiers and rangers, Moria Orcs, and they could go further into Middle-Earth lore beyond the films and the trilogy and do various "EU" Dwarves, elves, etc...

I mean THIS would be a huge line I think...   Figures and monsters out the whazzoo...  Oh the diorama's I would create!

Functiioning sheathes for swords and daggers...  Bows with quivers of arrows...  Cloth cloaks for super poseability...  NO action features what-so-ever...  Immensely detailed inter-connecting playsets...  Every character done in every outfit with the best detail and articulation imagineable...  

Heaven would be carded if this were the case. :)

And then Lego would get a license to do LOTR as well...  Talk about some great medeival lego sets.  ;D  Helm's Deep Lego style?  Oh yeah....  Mini-figure Orcs?  Yup.  It was an obvious license Lego just shoulda gone for.

Other Toy Lines / Re: Dream Toylines
« on: July 11, 2003, 09:39 PM »
Star Wars:  Yeah, a GOOD (And by good I mean competitive and near flawless) toy line completely in-scale with each other (3.75"/1:18)...  The ultimate toy line in honor of the greatest series of films ever.  No corners cut, no holds barred, and no thoughts to varying demographics...  Just the collectors.

Star Trek:  A great and expansive 3.75" line for the modern Star Trek Series and movies would be so wonderful...  Something akin to my Star Wars ideas, but just set in the continuing missions of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her various spin-off series like DS9, and the films like First Contact and Nemesis...  Great series deserving of great toys.

Indiana Jones:  I'm predicting this will be the most mentioned series here...  And rightfully so...  IJ is a long overdue series of great toys.  Again in 3.75" and done as flawless as a toy line could be done.  

IE:  Hasbro can't do it.

Starcom:  The U.S. Spaceforce would be great if it was brought back, and given updates...  I'd keep the small scale it was in before, but build on it with things like removeable helmets, maybe extra articulation (Possible now), and such...  Starcom rocked, and was ahead of its time when it came out way back when.  I've often considered selling my collection only to realize I have to keep it...  Too bad it's so underappreciated as a toy line.

G.I. Joe:  When I was a kid, Joe was THE toy line...  Today, it's got a broad appeal and is really the flagship license for Hasbro anymore, but it's not what I'd like it to be personally...  I'd take the possibilities of todays articulation/features/sculpting, and give Joe a make over in the 3.75" scale...  The feel of the original 1982 line would be there (The "realistic" feel/look) while the figures would be 10x as detailed, poseable, and accessories galore.

Joe still captures my attention, even if it's not my "thing" anymore, and I think it's the greatest toy line ever...  No other toy line but Barbie and Lego can possibly even hope to acheive the longevity in the industry, nor the massive ammounts of success.

Nothing but the absolute best could compete with my childhood memories of playing with the best toys I ever had.  Yo Joe!

Star Wars gets the most attention from me in the past...

Honestly, my disenchantment with Star Wars grows every week though...  The line's just not inspiring anymore.  It's nowhere near capable of competing with other toy lines, and Hasbro's truly running it into the ground much like the Batman line got from them, or how Playmates killed Star Trek.

Of course, the new films not living up to the hype or expectations of many also haven't helped the SW license keep momentum either, so let's give credit where it's due all around...

Star Wars just isn't a powerhouse on any level anymore, no matter how much we wish it to be.  What's sad is Hasbro's capable of so much more, but just unwilling to go boys to the wall on the line.  

Couple that lacking attention to their consumer's wants, and the inability to motivate retail to get product out there, and you have a recipe for disaster.  

I've easily put more money into Star Wars than any other toy line though, that's for sure...  Though I do not collect many toy lines either.

I continue, as 21st Century puts out new product, to buy a new vehicle here and there, and if I could find new 21st Century figures on the pegs I'd be buying a Battle of the Bulge G.I. every time I walked in a TRU I think.  Unfortunately 21st is slow to get product out...  We'll see what new shows up, as 21st is definately ABLE to get my $ if they just put out some n ew things in good quantities...

The upcoming WW2 USMC figures are amazing looking, and while a biznitch to find, the Battle of the Bulge figures are easily the best they've done so far in terms of detail and playability.  Picking up the pilots on their own cards through the 21st Website was nice too though.   ;D

G.I. Joe beckons me to collect it...  Joe was THE Toyline back in the day, and while the new stuff leaves something to be desired I could see myself trying to army build some of the old figures, and amassing a good Joe collection built off what I have from my childhood.  

beyond that, my collecting habits are passing...  LOTR is nice, but too expensive to suit me, and too difficult to bother tracking down for my brother who loves LOTR, much less myself.  I've given up on it.

21st Century and Star Wars are all I'm focusing on now, and let me say that Hasbro is making it too frustrating to bother all the time anymore...  Maybe when some superior product starts to come out I'll rethink this...  But when I get almost an entire year's product line-up on sale/clearance, well that doesn't bode well for the future.

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