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Messages - Darby

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TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: March 3, 2015, 01:40 AM »
I had been overseas for most of the fall so I've been catching up on the show lately. I was very unsure about the early episodes. Very wobbly on its new legs. But these last three episodes have really found their stride and tonight was excellent. I actually did three total fanboy 'Yeah's!' in a row - the arrival of the Rebel ships, Ahsoka and Vader. I knew about Vader, but it's Vader. Seeing Ahsoka again was fantastic, and reading the little bit in USA Today gives me a lot of optimism that the character will be well served and that we won't actually see what I think a lot of people expect, which is her demise by Vader. I have a feeling we'll see Ahsoka well into her old age, and these sequel movies they're making. I have tons of thoughts on why that's a great idea, but for now, I'm very excited about the future of Rebels, which I initially viewed as something of a stop gap to get people over until the movie. I never expected them to get into Ahsoka or any CW characters, at least so early, or apparently transition to Vader as a semi-regular antagonist. Couple thoughts on the episode:

* I love the white sabers reflecting her non-allegiance as well. Ahsoka is no longer a Jedi and that's another reason I think her story will and should continue into the ST era, where the restoration of the Jedi Order would seem to be a pivotal plot point.

* I enjoy the little heists and 'distractions' the team pulls off but the ineffectiveness of the Stormtroopers becomes increasingly a liability to the idea of the Empire being any sort of competent threat. I like they've made the troopers a little human ('not again') but it drifts towards the Battle Droid hokeyness that destroyed them as credible antagonists. I get troopers are classically challenged when it comes to their aim, but c'mon man.

* What did Tarkin take Kanan to Mustafar for?

* Hopefully they stick to the Inquisitor being dead. I expect they will (why have one when you can have more). Also like that absolutely ridiculous saber of his got him killed in the end. Bottom line, he needed to die; he couldn't even kill a kid who stood there not knowing what to do with a lightsaber.

* Man, those TIE cockpits sure got smaller by the time we got to ANH, right?

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels "Mission Series" 2-Packs
« on: March 3, 2015, 01:10 AM »
Can't wait. These look great. First thing I said when I saw both Ahsoka and Vader tonight was it will be great buying their figures on 9/4 and yes it will be.  ;D

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: March 2, 2015, 05:12 PM »
Still haven't seen the AT-DP myself, but haven't seen any figures outside the Temple Guard and AT-AT Driver. Which is fine because I figured the Temple Guard would be the problem with this wave.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Black Series 3.75" - Wave 8
« on: February 27, 2015, 02:51 PM »
I'm a Jawa guy so those I look forward to but the rest... Mosep for sure. It will be case by case as its been for a long while on these. Bannis Keeg is really the only major cantina alien I think would be cause for real excitement for me.

RIP Leonard Nimoy. Thanks for everything!

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: February 18, 2015, 06:57 PM »
+1 on seeing Bo-Katan and Sabine someday. Everything is eventual with this line, so hope springs eternal. So many CW figures left to do. But I digress.

Great points all around. Nobody looks good in this. Not the question, the answer, the revision, or the pot-stirring afterwards. To the last point - even in the SSG Q&A there was some corporate speak and non-answers. On the question of why Hera or Sabine are paired with troopers, and not single carded, the answer was 'it could have been anybody paired with a trooper.' But it wasn't. Fair enough - we got Zeb with a trooper. But you paired them up deliberately because of your (Hasbro's) self-stated belief female figures don't sell. I personally don't mind getting another trooper along with them, and love the concept of them pairing figures with troops like this, but with these two figures, you did it to insulate yourself against potential peg warmers. Fair enough. Just be upfront about it.

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: February 18, 2015, 04:37 PM »
To Jesse's point, I'd be very curious to on the exact nature of Hasbro's original comment given the storm brewing over this now. Was the original response paraphrased? Out of context? Did Hasbro really blow off the question and are now back peddling? Are the people making hay over this conscious of what has and hasn't happened in the brand relative to female figures in even the last 2 years? Or what's about to happen? Numerous Leia's are coming here in just the next few months. I've always been a huge proponent of female characters and their representations in toys, but this whole argument needs some perspective.

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: February 18, 2015, 03:51 PM »
I imagine there's a bit of damage control in Hasbro's revised statement. It was a glib answer to a somewhat glib question. In fairness to Hasbro, the SW line has been historically representative of female characters. Especially in contrast to other traditionally boy centric toy lines. Absolutely there's a valid critique in the number of female characters in SW in general, but that's a problem at the source of the material. The 'late' releases of Sabine and Hera is a fair question but it's clear this isn't a case where Hasbro suddenly remembered to do them. They were in the cards from the start and if not for some of the distribution issues I think we might have seen them in stores sooner. In any case we're due to see them both here together fast.

This next bit goes to my comments in the Toy Fair thread about reactions to the show in general. Since the JTA Q&A was referenced in the blog post specifically, it's fair to mention that some of what concerned me originated there. Paul by his own admission in the comments mentioned the rapid-fire nature of his interview, which was stressful for him (it doesn't need to be! This is supposed to be fun!) yielded little info and cranky responses from a Hasbro rep who I felt clearly bristled at a long, long line of negative questioning. As I said before, the basic tenor of some comments I've seen - not just about Toy Fair and absolutely not just from the commenters on JTA - goes like this: I can't stand Hasbro, everything Hasbro is doing is wrong, but what is Hasbro doing next?

The SSG Q&A stands in stark contrast. Here's a fairly positive interview that still asks some tough questions and yielded what is probably the only real news out of Toy Fair - the possibility we may see the Ghost. After I shot down the idea of it like five minutes before I saw the Q&A, I'm pretty convinced now we'll see it. The nature of the discussion on the Ghost Steve had with Jeff Labovitz is basically the same as when Daryl DePriest 'confirmed' the MTT to me at NYCC 2011. I was glad to see in the JTA comments that Paul is thinking he won't go with reader questions in the future. Not because reader questions aren't important, but because there didn't seem to be a great deal of filtering. There were numerous questions he didn't relay to Hasbro and for very good reason. I enjoy my hobby. I'm tired of the negativity and the shade throwing and snark. Collectors in general should all have the enthusiasm people like Paul Harrison has for our hobby. Be passionate. Don't be hateful though. If you don't like it, don't buy it. They'll figure it out quick and if they don't, then someone else someday will get a shot at it. They're toys. Have fun!

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:07 AM »
This is an excellent point:

EP VII will never have another Christmas to support it, the attitude there has to be "now or never."

I agree wholeheartedly. I think we'll see strong support for the film and the saga into 2016, but come September 2016, it's on to the next movie. I think this fall and winter will be staggering in terms of offerings.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 17, 2015, 07:42 PM »
Very interesting questions. Maybe they just go for it and like 2008 try and pair two big ships. Maybe we see the Falcon again - we will either in general or as an exclusive, for sure - and the Ghost together, or the Ghost and some big TFA ship we're unaware of. Like you said Jesse, this makes more sense if the Ghost / Rebels characters have some crossover with the film, which isn't unreasonable...

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 17, 2015, 07:31 PM »
Actually maybe some vague hope for the Ghost right in the SSG Toy Fair Q&A:

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 17, 2015, 06:13 PM »
Just to be clear McMetal on the Ghost - I didn't mean to conflate some of the reactions to Toy Fair with expectations on the Ghost. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that ship, though like Jesse I think there was a window for it and it's passed.

I agree there seems to be a general hesitation on the line but yet Target has a fairly massive part of the aisle devoted to SW/Rebels; bigger TRU's have an entire aisle dedicated to them. The last time I saw that around here was 1999. So it's not a lack of will, I think, from retail. It has to be some mix of the distribution issue and something inherent to Hasbro, because bottom line, the distribution issue does not seem to impact lines like TMNT. I could be very wrong as that is not my interest but that line motors through stock and never seems to be wanting for replenishment. Lego I would characterize the same way. So where's the gap? We want Rebels. Retail wants Rebels. There's no Rebels. That's a legit gripe. I want a dozen SL Snowtroopers. I wanted a dozen when he was supposed to have come on the previous lava card thing. I can live without him, because I have dozens of previous ones, but absolutely it's a missed opportunity all around.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 17, 2015, 02:23 PM »
Unless I missed it, the Ghost has never been more than wishful thinking. I don't expect it now with the movies. Hasbro has been conservative with Rebels and the line in general for a long time, understandably. I expect that changes in the fall. It's a movie year. We've been through this before. We get nothing, and then everything all at once. I know people wanted to see new stuff here at Toy Fair - I always want to see new stuff - but my shock has been more in reaction to the reaction of some of the comments I've seen. There seems to be little to no objective understanding of the circumstances the line is in. Can Hasbro's communication be better? Always. Is some of their communication a reaction to the communication they're getting from some circles of fandom? I have to think so. If I was Hasbro, I'd be reluctant to engage in a dialogue with anyone, especially in a movie year - there's that phrase again - if what I was confronted with at every single show was demands for apologies, for the line to be exactly to the specifications of a fan base which is already the most rewarded, coddled and coveted in the hobby, for constant information on what's coming next in a line that apparently this same base has no interest in. The message to Hasbro has to be everything you do is ****, I can't stand you or your company but for the love of God, what are you doing next? TELL ME! If Hasbro sounds indignant in some responds, can you blame them? What is there honestly we want that we don't have? Some obscure characters? Some obscure vehicles? Playsets? The line is exhaustive.

My feeling is, enjoy the hobby. If you don't, and there's plenty reason not to depending on your perspective on it, don't collect. Don't buy. Vote with your dollars. Hasbro will get it. They always do. They've been good to us. We've been very good to them. We're going to be good to each other for a lot longer than we ever expected, if that's what people want. If you don't, it's been good. It's been fun, hasn't it?

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 15, 2015, 05:49 PM »
I agree, there's not really time in the schedule for anything new. The summer will be focused on Marvel and clearing the decks on SW for the fall. For the best really. I figured any teases TFA wise will come at Celebration and then SDCC will be where we get our first real look at stuff. Some of the comments I've seen around the web... one example that stood out was speculation Hasbro had somehow lost the license. I mean, what? This fall we'll be complaining about all the stuff they want us to buy.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:44 PM »
2007 remains the best year in modern collecting. The range in offerings, the quality, the gonzo nature of some of the figures and the card design all really fell together to create a really fun year. It's crazy to think that was over 7 years ago; that it came a couple years after the last movie (so we thought) or that the line has survived to now limping along as it has. It speaks to the power of the brand (not even TPM could kill it, twice!) but also frankly the management of it. The brand survived and persisted because of good management. Not everything was great, but then nothing is.

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