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Messages - Muftak

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436
Here are the level 4 pictures I promised. Once again, thanks to Chris Berry here at JediDefender for hosting these for me!

Up first is Tarkin's Control Room--



In this view, you can see a black tab sticking out of the wall by the row of lights. This is the end of the card that allows the image on the screen to change:



I made two cards, one printed front and back with Alderaan...



and the other with images from the Yavin attack (the last is my favorite--it's the final schematic displayed before the Death Star blew up):



The diorama itself is really small, the most out-of-scale room I've made yet, this time the console got shrunk from five pieces down to two to fit:


437
Saga '02-'04 / Palace Luke's Unorthodox Articulation
« on: January 19, 2004, 07:43 PM »
When the POTJ Rebel Fleet Trooper premiered, there was alot of talk about his innovative new knee articulation. The new Jabba's Palace Luke uses the same type of articulation in his elbows, a first for the line, if I'm not mistaken.

For my part, I think it's a pretty good compromise of looks and posability. I've been able to get him into all sorts of gesturing poses, and a couple nice action poses as well.

My only complaint is the open right hand that just can't grasp the lightsaber for a nice two-handed pose. I wouldn't mind seeing this figure sometime down the line (in a 4-pack or something) with a gripping hand, or ideally interchangeable hands (open/shot/gloved).

What do you all think of Luke's new elbows?

438
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Endor Wave Official
« on: January 12, 2004, 12:38 PM »
You're right Mosnab--probably quite a bit of parts-sharing going on between those two figures (notice Lando's shoulder holster looks removable, making the torsos identical as well.) I'm not sure how well they pulled off the holster, otherwise everyhting looks great.

(Now, who wants to lay odds Lando or Madine won't ship with the assortment initally, a la Dignitary #2 or Ack-Med Beq?)

439
Other Toy Lines / Transformers Alternators
« on: January 11, 2004, 03:01 PM »
I haven't bought a Transformer since the 80's and Generation One, but I grabbed Smokescreen last week and I'll get Optimus and Hound for sure (still on the fence about Sideswipe).

I really enjoy the scale of these Alternators--Smokescreen is mixed in among some Star Wars figures, and he looks about the right size towering over them just enough. I'm sure Optimus will be really impressive in just such a display. The articulation really impressed me as well. Poseable trigger-fingers? Outstanding!!!

I can see the Mazda being Jazz as far as the transformation is concerned, but why an almost identical transformation to the Subaru and the Jeep? It seems there ought to be more variety to these this early in the game. Why not a Wheeljack or Sunstreaker?

I've also heard rumors of at least one jet being in the works (I'm sure repaints could follow easily). Then all we would need is a portable stereo!

440
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Themed waves haven't helped me...
« on: January 11, 2004, 09:25 AM »
At least we don't have another POTJ Ellors Madak/Bespin Guard/Ketwol/Sabe ordeal on our hands (yet).

If I'm remembering correctly, the only reason for the Duros wave glut was because they shipped it in two consecutive waves, swapping in Shmi and Training Obi-Wan as the newest "wave." It wasn't unti lthen that the Duros wave started sitting, and I think that proves my point excellently.

My ideal system would have waves of 3-4 new figures, a new wave every month, and that wave available in that case only. Let this go on until they've put out 24 figures for the year.

In the fall, Hasbro would switch to 2 different cases of 1 each of the figures that had come out all year, destined to be hitting shelves for Christmas time. This would offer holiday shoppers the biggest variety, let collectors catch up on anything they missed throughout the year, and offer the perfect opportunity to throw in running changes (along the lines of Hoth Han's coat switch).

I'm just a guy who buys toys, but I've watched the system enough to know this would solve a lot of the distribution problems Star Wars toys seem to encounter.

441
Yes, Matt, I was worried your love had turned to hate. Glad to see that is not (entirely) the case. ;D

Level 4 pictures will be up soon--in fact they're already in the pipeline. And level 5 (the top!!) is progressing very well. I missed my goal of the end of the year, but not by much!

442
Saga '02-'04 / Themed waves haven't helped me...
« on: January 9, 2004, 11:02 PM »
When Hasbro announced the idea of themed waves, I hoped it meant a return to POTJ style case assortments. Obviously that hasn't happened, as I've chased Ach-Med Beqs and Kren Blista-Vanees around town trying to catch both the Hoth and Tatoonie waves.

This week, I finally started to see R-3POs and Hoth Troopers sitting around with their 2003 casemates, and tonight I finally found the whole Tatooine wave on the pegs. Unfortunately when I left, I left behind those same remnants I had been getting so frustrated at seeing.

I understand Hasbro is trying to keep a steady variety of figures out there, and I also feel the irony of being a big proponent of the "12 different figures per case" idea. But during POTJ, either the pegs were empty and I knew to check back, or the newest figures were there. There wasn't all the "hope those other figures sell soon" anxiety.

 :( :'( :(

(Don't mind me, just venting.)

443
Toy Reviews / Re: Luke Skywalker Hoth Attack
« on: January 9, 2004, 10:44 PM »
The lightsaber looks real nice, as I pulled it out I couldn't help noticing a largish knob on the hilt, obviously put there to plug into Luke's belt in deactivated mode. Except...there's no hole on Luke's belt, or on Luke anywhere so far as I can see. Guess there was a miscommunication at the design phase.

At long last I now have the Wampa set that goes with Luke, and the "lightsaber knob" mystery may be solved--the slot where the saber fits on the Wampa base grips the knob, I guess so that the lightsaber sticks out just right.

It's kinda a clunky design (why not just make the hole only so deep?) but at least it explains the knob. (And they still could've put a hole in Luke's waist.)

444
Toy Reviews / Re: Wampa Review
« on: January 9, 2004, 10:38 PM »
Speaking of the Wampa's waist, I just got one and discovered mine "pops" apart quite easily at the top waist section. At first I thought I broke it, but it pops back together just as easily. If it's an accident, it's a welcome one--now Luke has the choice of just cutting off his arm or slicing him in half.

My only complaint with the purchase is sloppy gluing of the base piece--I've got some drippy gobs showing at the joint. Other than that, this figure gets a solid A.

445
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Burger King Glasses Figures!!!!!!
« on: January 4, 2004, 11:10 PM »
I'm disappointed that most of these figures are identical to ones we've been sold before.

Of all of them, I'm indifferent on the glasses, and only mildly interested in the Luke figure--the only new variation here. I won't hunt for it, but if I see it and like it in person, I'll buy the ESB glass.

They could've expended a little more effort to make these more intereseting to me. A cloak for Obi-Wan (even rehashing the Pilot Obi one from '02) a cloak for Anakin...I don't think anything could be done to make Maul appealing, but why not reissue someone rare, like Swimming Jar Jar or Battle Padme (or, much more farfetched, Sio Bibble)?

That Slave Leia keeps getting the 10-dollar treatment, wonder what the marketing research behind that is?

446
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Ice Cream Maker Guy
« on: January 4, 2004, 10:58 PM »
It's not inconceivable that Hasbro could make a Cloud Car Pilot wearing the ICMG jumpsuit. Give him variant heads (since we'd need 2 cloud car pilots per one cloud car anyway) with removable (but vintage-style) helmets, and I could see ICMG realistically show up in a future assortment.

Call the ice cream maker a "fuel pod" or some such, and we could even get the correct accessory.

(CHEWIE, cool idea on the 4-pack.)

447
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Best/Worst of 2003?
« on: January 4, 2004, 12:14 PM »
This thread deserves a little more attention. I'll try to spice things up with my Annual Muftak Awards for 2003.

Winners are highlighted.

Best Accessory 2003: A category I love, this year had a great new wrinkle with the inclusion of bases. This year's contenders are:

  • Clone Wars Yoda's hoverdisk
  • Mynock Hunt Chewie's Mynock
  • Carkoon Boba's flames
  • Wat Tambor's console
  • Obi Wan's Outlander Bar
Best Vehicle 2003: A category usually dominated by rehashes, this year there were quite a few brand-new standouts. The nominees are:

  • Anakin's Swoop Bike
  • TIE Bomber
  • Anakin's Jedi Starfighter
  • Hailfire Droid
  • A-Wing
Best Multipack 2003:A new category, as the deluxe line was dropped in favor of multipacks. I'm including all multipacks to heighten the competition:

  • Battle of Hoth giftset
  • Jedi Council I (Mace Windu , Oppo Rancissis and Even Piel)
  • Imperial Forces giftset
  • Clone Army Builders (any color)
  • Geonosian Warroom I (Poggle the Lesser, San Hill, and Count Dooku)
Best EU Figure 2003: another pet category of mine. With the Clone Wars, things really broke open here this year:

  • SP-4 & JN-66
  • Concept Stormtrooper
  • Durge
  • ARC Trooper
  • Asajj Ventress
Best Basic Figure--Resculpt: I break the Best Figure category down some to highlight the updated figures, as opposed to those we've never seen before. A very tough field this year:

  • Super Articulated Clone Trooper
  • Boba Fett--Pit of Carkoon
  • Hoth Han Solo
  • Droid Factory Chase Padme
  • Camp Ambush Tusken Radier
Best New Basic Figure: The prize of the Muftak Awards. This year's nominees are:

  • Aayla Secura
  • Ashla & Jempa
  • Bail Organa
  • Wat Tambor
  • Janus Greejatus
And there you have it!!

448
Toy Reviews / Luke Skywalker Hoth Attack
« on: December 12, 2003, 10:54 PM »
I bought this figure today, the only Hoth wave figure to be found at the store, and I have to say I'm pleased with this Luke. Here's the rundown of his vital stats:

Articulation: Waist, Hips, Ball Jointed-Shoulders, Neck (turns at shoulders and pivots at jawline)

I was very surprised to see the extra neck articulation (guess I missed it in the previews) The scarf pivots, too, so that's a little bit of "bonus" articulation as well. The neck looks a little bit goofy, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to accept for the extra posability. The shoulders are very well done--Hasbro is getting really good at these.

On the negative side, there really could've been some articulation on the wrists or forearms, there's plenty of leeway for it in the sculpt.

Accessories: Plastic-hilt lightsaber with removable blade, Goggles, Scarf (well, sort of), Ice Chunk Base.

The accessories are a bit of a grey area for me. The goggles looked nice in the package, but once I got 'em out it was too apparent they were just the Mechanic Chewie goggles in new colors, and therefore a little too large to look good anywhere near Luke's face. Still, it's a cool bonus and something they didn't have to give us at all.

The lightsaber looks real nice, as I pulled it out I couldn't help noticing a largish knob on the hilt, obviously put there to plug into Luke's belt in deactivated mode. Except...there's no hole on Luke's belt, or on Luke anywhere so far as I can see. Guess there was a miscommunication at the design phase.

The scarf isn't really an accessory, but it does pop out of his head (and leaves a large hole in Luke's head).

The ice chunk base is the standout accessory, I knew it was meant to attatch Luke to the Wampa's base, but it works just fine as a stand-alone--Luke's feet "clip" in rather than plug into pegs, so it gives a nice feeling of being sunk in the snow. Upside down, it looks like the "frozen into the ceiling" scene from the movie.

Sculpt: There's nothing here not to love. The neck is a bit off to accomodate the extra joint, otherwise there's nothing even to nitpick. The bulk of the outfit is conveyed beautifully at the belt area. He has a wonderfully detailed holster, and the face is dead-on, scarred in the sculpt even!The buttons and badges are right on, as is the wrist commlink. I can't praise this sculpt enough.

Paint: On top of the beautiful sculpt, the paint job is fantastic. The blood on the face is the first thing that jumped out at me, and though it looks like it could be easily screwed up, mine is flawless. The rank badges,  buttons, belt snaps, boot cinches, and wrist commlink are all clean and crisp. The lightsaber hilt is two-toned correctly, and the ice base has a light white applied over the translucent blue.

Overall: I like this figure, I like him a lot. I would be happy if Hasbro slightly retooled the face to eliminate the scars and release a "clean" version somewhere down the road. It's a solid, well done piece.

449
Saga '02-'04 / Re: BAIL ORGANA WAVE = A+ rating!
« on: November 25, 2003, 05:58 AM »
I've seen this wave a few times, I was searching madly for Concept Troopers, so of course I saw most of them around except for that. I picked up the Dignitary and (eventually) three Troopers. I'm pretty happy with my purchases--the Concept Stormies are about as good as I'd hoped.

I came very close numerous times to picking up Bail--he just seems so "key" to the saga even if he hasn't done much yet, plus the Obi-Wan hologram looked very nice. None of the other figures moved me much.

Is the Obi-Wan really that good of a figure, or is this just a case of lowered expectations after Acklay, Pilot, and CC Obi? Maybe the few that I saw had really bad paint applications, but he looked just as "off" as the previous Ep 2 versions to me, so I never considered picking him up...interesting...

450
Thanks everyone.

Corran, the images are indeed on a circular piece of posterboard connected to a knob that turns. My original idea was to use a push-pin thru the front of the console, just above the screen itself to both hold the wheel together and act as the knob, but during construction I found out the friction was causing the push-pin to become separated from the circular piece every time, it would come loose after a few turns and stop working.

After a bit of tinkering, I came up with an alternate mechanism--there is now a much larger knob connected to the back of the wheel, firmly glued into place. The angled section of the computer fits flush to the angled back corner, and the knob connected to the back of the computer sticks out a hole in the outer wall of the playset. The "pin" that holds the wheel in place (and that you can see in the lower part of this picture: )

is now made from an earring I found at the dollar store that looked vaguely like the controls on the computer. I attatched the other earring to the computer too, to make this one look less funky.

No plans on making the elevators work, though I did figure out a way they could be made to work and retain the ability to come apart level by level (if, say, Hasbro were to devise a real toy based on the design.) For my taste, the tubes were too shallow to try sticking figures in them and making opening doors.

This thing is holding together like a rock--each level simply sits on top of the one below it, but they're so wide it's pretty easy to pick it up by the base and carry it like an enormous birthday cake. The next level should be interesting in that regard, because I'm splitting it down the middle and building it as two dioramas that fit together. The column that will hold the Tractor Beam controls will sit atop the seam, essentially making level four a three-piece construction.

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