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Messages - Darby

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Vintage Kenner / Re: Latest vintage acquisition
« on: December 10, 2013, 07:26 PM »
Had to share my latest acquisition - a MIB Jawa Bop Bag. This was the last of my major Jawa pieces and one that vexed me for years. I actually never imagined I would have a vinyl cape Jawa years before this guy, but he's very, very uncommon:

Forgot how heavy these bags were, all rolled up in that little box - a real treat to find and put up on the Jawa shelf.

That's a great point about the CommTech Reader. Way ahead of its time and shy of the mark of real interactivity. If they had integrated that technology into the vehicles/playsets, or beyond to any kind of gaming, then maybe. But that was 15 years ago (!!!). The more I think about it, it's the toy industry in general, rather than any particular brand, that is suffering right now.

We've talked about it before, but SW is actually proving to be somewhat bulletproof - very few if any brands could survive the (many) near death experiences it has had, and that includes right now, post TPM 3D. The line chugs along, hobbled, but alive. The toy industry is suffering from rising production costs, labor costs, loss of customers to video games/electronics, and I think the internet - Amazon and their batshit prices are a great example of the slow bleed online has had on retail toy shopping. Who out there right now on the fence on 6 inch is going to pick up those shelf warming Lukes or R2's when they can get them for $10 online? $9? Maybe it gets them into the game long term, but it also keeps the shelves nice and warm.

A gigantic part of collecting for most of us for a long time has been the hunt. That's slowly eroded, and with the state of things being what they are, we've reached a tipping point where ordering online is really your only option. That only escalates the situation at retail, and you have articles out there now about Toys R Us struggling quite a bit. If TRU shrank or went under, you're talking about the effective end of the retail collector. Wal-Mart may be the largest toy buyer in the world, but TRU supports such a broad range of lines unavailable anywhere else that the toy industry would be reduced to whatever kids play with right before they turn on their first iPad.

I think there will always be a place for action figures, and Star Wars toys, but what does that look like? No idea at this point.

The general health of the line is something I question, since NOTHING is moving at retail, outside of soemthing 'new.' But then here in Iowa anyhow, nothing moves outside of Turtles. So hard to say. I think SW will be fine, but thank God for HTS - I don't expect to see Wave 3, or 4, of anything at retail at this stage.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 2
« on: December 4, 2013, 07:36 PM »
Gone now.  :(

Wow on the Interceptor. That's just... wow. Those were crazy days. I waited on all the 2 pack figures for that reason, especially Maul. The Stormtrooper I went ahead and snagged at $6 since he'll be the one we're all looking for.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 2
« on: November 30, 2013, 11:14 AM »
Got my Han and Greedo from HTS yesterday. Very impressed with these two, especially Han. I'm still on the fence on Leia, and Fett of course is always sold out.

Found a ton of these today at my KMart in Iowa, so hopefully they're getting out to everyone else. I just bought one of the Scanning Crew sets for now, but happy with what you get even at regular price.

Got a pair of the new SL Stromtrooper from overseas yesterday, and I have to say this is my favorite modern Stormtrooper hands down:

He doesn't have the articulation, but I have ones that do, and it's the best sculpt they've ever done. Especially the helmet. Also got Luke, who also is my favorite Jedi Luke so far, sculpt wise. I love the approach on these figures. Hopefully the trend continues!

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Amazon Droid Factory Multi-Pack
« on: November 28, 2013, 02:38 PM »
I broke down and ordered a set. I hadn't planned on it, but at that price, hard to resist.

Han doesn't make a lot of sense. Boba, another trooper, Sandtrooper... but not Han. We'll see. Wave 1 is pegwarming here too.

Vintage Kenner / Re: Latest vintage acquisition
« on: November 24, 2013, 11:33 AM »
That's pretty cool. I have a small growing collection of cardbacks. I always get some at Quake in chicago for a buck or so, and always pick some up at shows too for cheap. You always find really interesting variations and it's a nice way of collecting carded without doing it.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:21 PM »
Reading around the webs I discovered some of the 4 inch scale figures are currently available in the UK:



Apparently Vivid, TBD's European counterpart, may be playing a different game with the line.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: 16 Most Useless SW Figures
« on: November 20, 2013, 11:18 PM »
Io9 itself is actually a really good site. The article was a little whatever but I thought it might prompt some discussion on what we thought were useless figures. Suppose it depends on your perspective. R5 definitely isn't useless. He's the quintessential I want that other droid gateway figure!

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / 16 Most Useless SW Figures
« on: November 19, 2013, 02:20 PM »
Interesting (and funny) article over at io9:

Be curious to see what we all consider the most 'useless.'

Star Wars is definitely singular and unique, in just about every way. And it's probably not fair to hold any other toy line against its past performance, even its modern incarnation. SW is an evergreen brand that maintains an aisle presence now going 20 years media support or no. These last few years have been unsuccessful perhaps in contrast to even 5 years ago, but compared to other toy lines? GI Joe for example? Hasbro owns GI Joe and they can't even make that work.

A good measure of what is working is TMNT. This is no doubt the hottest toy line out there right now. It has a weekly TV show, expansive product tie-ins, a legacy brand, and it moves. When Rebels shows up, and the new movies, SW will be fine. It won't be what it was, because it won't be for anyone. But whatever the future of toys is, SW will be a big part of it.

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