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Messages - Muftak

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391
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Rebelscum.. is it just me??
« on: June 12, 2004, 06:45 PM »
I enjoy their diorama section. A lot of nice (not to mention talented) fellows in there.

Otherwise, meh...I like the atmosphere here.

392
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Passed on Court Denizens...
« on: June 12, 2004, 06:40 PM »
(I finally caved and bought this set at Target last night on clearance.)

393
Jocasta's Reading Room / Star Wars & Peace..?
« on: June 9, 2004, 03:48 PM »
I donít believe there can be any argument that the novelization of A New Hope is hopelessly out-of-date.

Iíd like to see a revamped novelization of the story, utilizing thirty years of hindsight and reams of backstory (EU or otherwise).

The kicker this time is to make it the exhaustive story of the ďfirstĒ movie. Interesting asides like Kyle Katarnís first stealing of the Death Star plans, to the Tantive IVís story, to Biggsís story (as touched upon in recent Empire comics) could be included to really develop the themes of war and rebellion and what these people were sacrificing. Give us sidestories for some characters from the EUóMara Jade as a prime example.  A truly galaxy-spanning story, over a thousand pages easily, with the movieís events only really occupying half of it.

The movie follows Lukeís story, but letís expand the new novel to multiple POVs that we can truly appreciate after the prequels. Letís have chapters told from Vaderís perspective, or Obi-WanísÖmaybe even Owen and Beru.

A New Hope ought to be your favorite Star Wars novel, but Iíll bet itís not. This could change that.

What do you think? What would you like an expanded version of the classic story to contain?

394
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Episode 3 Cardback
« on: June 9, 2004, 03:43 PM »
It sounds like everything I've wanted in an EPIII card.

Don't tell me I'm gonna have to start looking forward to "Midnight Madness" again!!

395
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Are Realistic Face Sculpts a Good Thing?
« on: June 9, 2004, 03:42 PM »
This is the first I've heard of someone yearning for the POTF2 facial sculpt days.  
 :P

Don't misunderstand. I have no desire to move backward. Some of those POTF2 Monkey-faced, He-Mannish heads are worse even than the simpler vintage style.

I guess I just prefer the more cartoony detour to the realism, especially for how it works at this scale. It's sort of like a manga comic, with hyper-realistic backgrounds and objects but alongside faces that are more glyph than human.

To illustrate, I prefer:


to



I wish I had a larger picture of Screen Scene Han's head, it really does look a million times cleaner than the images of Endor Han I've seen.

(In the meantime, I have seen images of a production VOTC Han, and I'm ready to take back my earlier comments. If quality control is maintained on these things, thet really might be the best versions ever.)

396
Saga '02-'04 / Are Realistic Face Sculpts a Good Thing?
« on: June 6, 2004, 12:05 PM »
In my opinion, no.

These last few Saga waves (Star Destroyer, Yavin, Tatooine) have had some impressive new humans in the mix of droids and aliens, with a definite "bump" in facial detailing.

But at what cost?

To me, these figures (Captain Antilles, Jan Dodonna, Admiral Ozzel, Jedi Luke, even Skiff Lando as prime examples) all look a little too much like corpses. Something has been lost in the "life" of the figure, something that too much detail seems to be causing. (Not to mention the fact that, while the sculpt may be more detailed, the painting has not gotten better, and with these new tiny details, the painting in fact looks worse than it did on larger, more defined areas.)

I haven't seen the Endor Generals in person yet, but I have doubts Lando and Madine will look any more life-like there.

Also on the horizon, the pics of VOTC Han Solo's head are just downright creepy to me. It just disturbs me. I don't know if I want to own that figure.

Anyone else disturbed?

397
Watto's Junk Yard / "I, Robot:" The Indignity...
« on: June 4, 2004, 08:33 PM »
I was at the bookstore today and happened to see a display  of the "novelization" of Will Smith's latest action/adventure flick, "I, Robot."

I was intrigued. I read the Asimov book (really a collection of robot-centered short stories) many years ago, and after having seen the movie's trailer last year (and snorting loudly in the theater, to my fiance's dismay) I figured the two were only marginally related.

But here was the new novelization, with the by-line of Issac Asimov himself. WTF? I thought. it's gotta be some one ghost-writing...

So I grabbed a copy and sat down with it for a few seconds. It's the stories from the 50's, alright, exactly as I remembered them. More importantly, nothing like the film I've seen advertised.

It brought to mind authors rolling in their graves and whatnot. Especially considering there was a very good script written by Harlan Ellison for a very faithful "I, Robot" movie that Asimov actually signed off on back in the 80's.

The mind, it truly boggles

398
"Boba Fett, who is hired by the evil Empire, is the most dangerous bounty hunter in the galaxy. He wears a helmet that completely hides his face. Boba Fett carries lots of weapons to capture whomever he is chasing, including a jetpack that fires missiles. He is a skilled pilot with a powerful ship, Slave 1,  which is packed with equipment to track down his prey and escape any attack."

Editor's note:
The use of the word "whomever" may be a little over the heads of our target audience. How about substituting "good guys?" Also, remove mention of his firing missile. Legal doesn't want to go down that road again.

399
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC DVD Sets
« on: June 2, 2004, 11:07 AM »
At this point, I barely even care. I've seen enough special repacks to know I don't want 'em. I do give them some credit for finally reusing the beautifully sculpted Bespin Capture Han Solo, but I guess I take the credit immediately away by seeing they're trying to reuse last year's horribly botched Emperor.

As for OTC repeating the mistakes of the FreezeFrame year, I've been worried about that since I first saw the line-up.

I keep thinking hopefully Wal*Mart/Target/TRU will set up large sections for the figures again this fall (they'd almost have to, what with the vehicles.) I also keep hoping the figure space gets divided equally between the vOTC  and OTC figures. At least then we'll have a sporting chance to find the 15 or so hits among the 50 or so clunkers. If not, well, history tells me I can always wait till 2006 when these all float back out at a dollar each clearance.

In the end, do I buy the premise that more kids will be looking for the toys based on the DVDs? No, I think the only time that has panned out was the original 1995 figures coming out at the time of the "new" VHS versions, and then it only worked because no one had sold Star Wars toys for ten years prior.

400
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« on: June 2, 2004, 10:56 AM »
DoctorPadawan posted this in the OTC DVD sets thread, and it's exactly what I was trying to articulate with this thread:

The one phrase that keeps coming back to my mind these last few days is "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."  How this applies to this situation is that Hasbro has simply not learned from its mistakes.  They have done this endless recarding before, and it ended up very badly and killed any momentum the line had at that time with retailers.  Only Episode I, believe it or not, saved the SW line.  

What I'm referring to is the Freeze Frame line.  Very nice concept, but executed badly.  Yes, they released a wave of new figures on a regular basis, but mixed in with these new figures were a veritable truckload of older figures who hadn't been all that difficult to find in the first place, on new cards.  It had nothing to do with keeping popular characters out there for fans or newcomers; it had more to do with milking the completist carded collectors for all they were worth.  And it backfired.

Probably the best/worst shining example of this was the rerelease of a Collection 3 case with nothing but older figures.  Never mind the fact that they had just released the first Removable Helmet Vader in an earlier case assortment not more than a month earlier; they had to release a whole case of figures nobody had any trouble finding at all in their previous incarnations (Tarkin, TIE Pilot, Stormie), ignoring the previous wave with the RH Vader, and when it came time for the second wave of Collection 3 figures that were new, they were impossible to find (Ree Yees and DST).  All because of Hasbro's desire to cut corners and "maximize their profits."

The fact that they were releasing waves of figures with one new figure (usually packed at 2 per case) like the Ugnaughts or 8D8 wasn't helping either, because it was getting 2 new figures and 14 old figures on the shelf.  I don't think I need to explain which ones didn't sell.  It was also the FF line that necessitated the ridiculous clearance sales that fall (2 dollars a figure with those little stickers).  I have never seen a Wal*Mart so overrun with figures as I did that fall, and it was all the same figures.  Nothing new.

And then that winter, after a whole load of relative hype, Hasbro released the Expanded Universe line at the tail end of the FF series.  Was there anyone here who had an easy time finding any of these, particularly the Darktrooper and Spacetrooper?  Then the last wave (the Hoth Leia wave) wasn't even released to retail because after the clearance disaster, retailers pretty much told Hasbro "NO MORE."  They had to seek out alternative outlets because they had burned the retailers so badly with endless repacks.

This is all going to happen again.  Out of 38 regular carded figures, there are arguably 7 new figures, two repaints (Hoth Vader and Bespin Luke), and 29 repacks.  I don't care what Hasbro says: this line is NOT going to get new people to start buying figures because of the DVDs.  People are going to buy the DVDs and that is it.  Given the fact that the electronics section and the toy section are a good distance away from each other in most retailers, people are going to buy the DVDs and that's all, not even giving the toy section a second thought.  They're  basing their entire product offering (and a vast amount of their products themselves) on the assumption that new people will buy things, when in reality, this will be a very small portion of the buying population.  They should know this by now, but they obviously prefer to live in their ivory tower and develop new ways to package POTJ Obi-Wan and CTC Han than put money into developing toys that people actually want to buy.

Get ready folks, it's going to be 1998 all over again, if not worse.

Thanks, Doc, you took the words right outta my mouth!

401
Star Wars Dioramas and Displays / Re: Modular Cloud City
« on: June 2, 2004, 10:44 AM »
Thanks, Matt (that is you, right? :)). Cloud City has been on hold for about a month or so...I moved in May, and I've had to spend the time concentrating on real floorplans and furniture.

I hope to get back to Bespin soon...  

402
The Prequel Trilogy / Re: The Phantom 5-Year Old
« on: June 2, 2004, 10:42 AM »
Glad to see I could stir up some memories. I hadn't really given TPM much thought for a while, but after writing about seeing it, I had the desire to watch it one more time. I popped it in this weekend, and was pleasantly surprised by my warm reaction. Yeah, the "whoopees" and the farts will always annoy, and I cringe when I hear "ex-squeeze me."

But the podrace is just great. I'll never get over the brilliance of the Tusken snipers there.

And Watto...I don't think I've seen a better "b" character in any Star Wars film. Greedy, but not evil. An obstacle, but not uncompassionate. When he loses the race, and everything is going right for our heroes, how can you not feel kinda sorry for Watto (who's in big trouble and he knows it...)?

And the Duel at the end. The laser doors, the tension, pure cinema.

I guess I never hated TPM. I'm just surprised how much there is to like that I'd neglected the past couple of years.

403
Thanks everyone (and sorry I'm so late to my own party...)

Oh, and happy birthday to Diddly Squat as well. The more the merrier.

(special thanks to DSJ and AE for bringing my favorite bands to the party)

404
I actually really enjoyed the GIJoe-styled character bios form the very first sets of POTF2 more than the super-collection from the Vintage cards. I think if I were in charge, I'd return to that style.

Either is better than "Vader was a bad man. Very, very bad. Shame on Vader!"

Ah, to see how far it's fallen...

405
Well, I retract my earlier speculation that it could be the non-handstand Dagobah Luke's head on the "new" Bespin Luke. I've seen some much clearer pics and that hair's even more unkemp than the Saga Luke's.

Curious...

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