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Messages - Muftak

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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.

Back in the day, I put the VOTC Chewbacca in a one footed pose, with his other foot kicking straight up over his head. He stood all by himself, and mind you he doesn't have foot holes to cheat. That pose merited the "Honey, come in here, you gotta see this!!"

Prior to that, circa 2002, I had an office space with this long twelve-foot shelf on it. I set up an epic war scene, combining OT and PT figures, Luke and Leia side by side with Obi-Wan and Anakin. Highlights of that one were an Imperial Sentinel/Atha-Prime commanding a squad of clone troopers, and POTJ Bespin Han with his blaster pressed to the bucket of a kneeling, arms-splayed CT Stormtrooper. When my then 6-year old nephew saw that set up, it made him want a Star Wars collection of his own.

So yeah, I'm in the pose them camp.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« on: September 13, 2013, 05:31 PM »
My predictions for the next two years:

We see some new well sculpted figures (exclusively from the OT), all 5POA, in the movie heroes line.

TBS continues in 6" format with three more waves, including a cool ROTJ biker scout. Still no Vader.

TBS 3 3/4 stalls out with several waves planned but none show at retail. No one cares, because the figures are all clone repaints and slight upgrades of existing figures.

For the holidays target gets a gift set of repacked movie heroes from 2013. TRU gets a TBS 6" speeder bike/biker scout set that they sell for $45. Kmart gets a couple sweet TBS 3 3/4 sets including several Jabba's Palace characters and a scaled-up skiff from out of nowhere. Amazon gets a set of "retro-packaged" 5POA Prequel figures that were developed for the movie heroes line but pulled in favor of OT figures. Walmart passes on selling any gift sets.

The year starts off with a wave of three preview figures from the new Ep7 line. One droid, one alien, one trooper. It will eventually turn out that none of these characters even have a line in the movie.

Ep7 line (3 3/4, 5POA) hits in May with a "double wave" of 14 figures, made up of: 2 versions of main hero, 2 versions of his sidekick, 2 versions of cool villain ( who is not main villain but is the visually more interesting one.), 2 versions of R2D2 (both of which are old sculpts,) and 6 versions of troopers resculpted from the preview wave in various color schemes (some never appearing in the movie.)

Two more waves are announced. Wave 2 (containing the main villain) shows up sporadically late in the summer. Wave 3 (containing the cameo versions of Han Luke and Leia) fails to make it to retail.

TBS 6" continues with Vader announced at toy fair for wave 4! The line shifts to a mix of two Ep7 figures and 2 classic figures per case. Surprising no one, the classic figures sell while the new movie ones fill the shelves. The third and fourth wave never reach retail, blocked by new movie stuff.

We get two terribly under-scaled versions of the main vehicles in the movie in May. By August they are joined on the shelf by an equally under-scaled big vehicle and a cheaply made (not cheaply priced) cardboard playset.
Five below and other discounters get the 2014 TBS 3 3/4 figures. Collectors shrug and go out to dutifully clear them out.

For the holidays/DVD release, Target gets a gift set of the main characters from wave 1. TRU gets a boxed set of troopers. KMart gets the cameo OT character gift set. Amazon gets a huge box with all the popular characters no one could find from wave 2, and charges twice the price of the other stores for it. Walmart passes on selling any gift sets.

I find myself agreeing a lot with what Dan says. I'm 39 and I've been collecting these guys since 1978. I remember looking forward to finding the holdouts of the'82 line (Tie pilot was really hard to find.) all the way through stuff like the anticipation of the Shadows of the Empire line in '96 as golden times.

In my old age, I really look back fondly on that Potf2 era as the best we've ever had it as far as line consistency, depth, and availability. I no longer have most of those toys, but I could see that set being a collection I would put back together if everything OT comes to an end someday and the collecting bug starts biting. But right now it jut isn't biting, and from all I read I feel fortunate because lately things would be maddening. There are plenty of figures from the past 3 years I would buy if I ever saw them, but I'm not going out of my way to look.

2007 was definitely a turning point in the line and how I collect. I set myself a master list of everything I might ever want, rather than feel obliged to buy stuff just because it got made. I have since only been suprised a couple of times by hasbro's selections to the point that I needed to add a figure to my list ( I think Jacen and Jaina were the biggest nice suprise I've had since then.) That being said, in 2007 I was able to go to the store once a week and buy one figure or so with very little stress in finding what I wanted. 2008-9 stuff was not as easy to find, and by the time vintage rolled in and the price hit 10 bucks I pretty much lost the compulsion. It may not be a coincidence that I lost that drive just after my first son was born in late '09. Now we look at toys for the boys and even though I still look in the Star Wars section, I haven't seen anything to interest me in quite some time.

The Original Trilogy / Re: Does the Emperor Get Haircuts?
« on: August 5, 2013, 09:48 PM »
I wrote a short fan-fic story about the subject of the empire's anti-alien bias a few years back. You can read it here if you're interested in a different perspective on the possibility.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Coming Fall 2014
« on: July 29, 2013, 11:04 PM »
This is still not what I want* but, meh, I'll certainly watch it. I was not excited about CW either but the first season and a half were a lot of fun.

The designs they showed look great but none of that means much if we wind up with stories about one-dimensional senators or school lunches. Keep it action-focused, give us a (very) few main characters we can get emotionally involved with, and give them a real character arc that doesn't have all the growth loaded into the final episodes.

...oh, and don't rely on Vader, that's a cop-out. He can appear, but give us a bad guy that can have just as much growth and revelation as the good guys.

* = What I really want is cartoons that follow young Luke Han and Leia in the years between ANH and ESB. I don't care what EU we've gotten from that era in the past, there will never be enough and I don't care if it all jibes with each other. Scratch that, it already doesn't so its a non-issue. I really scratch my head when some other non-movie series project is announced and its not set in this ripe area. [/end rant]

The Littlefinger / Varys exchange about the Iron Throne had me laughing harder than anything yet this season.

V: "It's an ugly old thing."

LF: "But it has its uses..."

V: "The Lysa Arryn of chairs!"

I'll be sad to see these two split up.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars Movie Spin-Offs?
« on: April 25, 2013, 12:10 AM »
There could be some really off the wall stuff that could be mined to great effect in the Star Wars universe. How about that old episode zero storyline? I'd watch a young Qui-Gon movie showing how he became so independent of the Jedi Order. A full-on Shadows of the Empire movie? I could even see something like a Nien Nunb movie that makes a fun story out of how he found himself as Lando's copilot out of seemingly nowhere (something I've wondered since I was a kid.)

Beyond the obvious onslaught of Marvel movies since 09, is there any precedent for a movie series like they've proposed? I can't think of anything that comes close. Thomas the Train maybe, he has a new movie (on video anyway) every year.

But of course there is an economy of scale to consider. If we get a new movie every summer, the chances that anybody would want an exhaustive collection of figures from any one movie is pretty nil. There's simply no time to gain an attachment to the background characters from last year's movie when you're poring over behind the scenes photos of next year's big event. At the same time I would expect some of these movies we've all cherished for 30 years to continue to have some support, albeit scaled waaaaaaaay back. We may never see prequel figures again.

Gauging by what was done for ROTS in its one year, we could see quite a depth to any single movie's line...with the caveat that Hasbro basically took a year off to prepare for that one.

Hasbro could give us a solid fifty 5POA figures a year for as long as the movies last, timing big pushes to spring/summer for the theater release and the holidays for the home movie purchase. That would leave room for some classic figures to take up some slots, maybe in waves that hit in the fall or new year.

...or we could see 20 different versions of Boba Fett (a la Iron Man) when his movie comes out. And, y'know, somebody here is gonna be thrilled by that prospect.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Disney Buys LFL
« on: April 23, 2013, 01:12 PM »
So if Dreamworks could do it, I don't see any reason why the Clone Wars couldn't have been better looking.
Lucasfilm Animation was laughed at for the Clone Wars because of their wooden looking characters. Just look at Obiwan's hair!

I thought the ugly appearance of the show was supposedly on purpose because Lucas wanted it to look like the puppets from Thunderbirds.

TV-9D9 / Re: Sequel Prequel?
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:23 AM »
Reading the treatment left me pretty underwhelmed and I hope it doesn't come to pass. An entire Jedi monastery that escaped the Emperor's notice...and Luke choosing to stand as a solitary vigilante? And Muffie!? I'd have to ditch my identity in shame!!

I'd guess Lando's 15 year old daughter would have been conceived right around the time he was infiltrating Jabba's palace...maybe her mom was a slave dancer? Or maybe that's the indiscretion Leia is worried will be discovered? Naw, not obvious enough.

Droids as bad guys is just too prequely to me...why not droids fighting their slave status (and the Jedi taking their side) if we need human vs droid conflict? And a mandalorian with an arm that transforms into a gun or a saber. Ugh.

I was gung-ho for the sequels, but if this is the direction we are heading...less so.

I have to say the TRU sale has really gotten me back in the game. Randomly went last Sunday and found 2 Dr Evazans on the shelf. Tuesday netted a Wedge amongst random TPM dregs. Thursday there was more TPM and a (ripped card) Barada. Today stopped in on a whim around 2 PM and as I entered the aisle a TRU employee was putting a case on the pegs. Turned out it was the "blu ray" wave so I picked up Cracken and the Mon Cal, two figures I had passed up a year ago due to the price.

They really seem to be moving through some cases out there. I might need to stop in even more often and finally plug those last few gaps in what I've wanted.

At the end of the day, I am buying these things now to complete my collection OCD and put 'em on display on a shelf. Articulation is barely a factor to me, but price matters A LOT if we are going above ten bucks each. I was happy to get hyper-articulated figures at a premium price as far back as VOTC if it was a mainstay iconic character that needed it. But then I collected the entire POTF2 line happily before that.

Cantina Alien #15 (let it be Ranat, please) can be 5 POA for all I'm worried, as long as I can afford it and find it at the store.

Now, do I understand this right--The figures that look like bootlegs come in the pretty packages, while the pretty figures come in the bootleg packaging?

What constitutes the "wow factor" 3000 figures into the line? What can they give us that we haven't seen before?

My greatest hope would be an all-inclusive line that very quickly covers the basic characters (Luke, Han, Anakin in iconic outfits) and brings in those last few remaining hold outs that have yet to be made. (15thCA, Cliegg Lars, etc) Something to get the toys set up to lead into the all new movie stuff.

I guess what I would like to see is a return to the OTC model, get a definitive line out there that can stand by itself as a collection of Star Wars figures with no need to borrow main hero figures from previous lines to make the collection feel complete. I don't mind having to borrow a Yarna from Legacy or Ben Quadrinaros from last year to bulk up the "one of everybody" loose collection. It would be nice and long overdue to have another line that could stand by itself, especially since this line is being put out as "for the collector."

I wouldn't balk at reissues of previous sculpts as long as they met the above criteria. I would want waves made up of twelve "new to the line" figures each. I would be happy with 4-5 waves a year, and maybe 10-20 of those figures being brand new, non-reissues.

I fear we will get the same old case ratios and the line will be difficult/impossible to collect like it has been these last five years.

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