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Messages - Brian

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The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Best of 2013?
« on: December 19, 2013, 09:05 PM »
I know there really hasn't been a ton to choose from this year for the Star Wars line(s), but I thought since we usually did a best of the year list it might be fun to see some people's favorites.  Really, the 3 3/4" line was pretty sparse, with most everything just now getting to stores or online.  I think more and more of us passed on parts (or all) of these waves as well, or were at least more selective.  We had the arrival of the 6" line, and some neato Vintage exclusives.  Oh, and the reintroduction of 5 POA figures into the line, so there's that.  What are some of your favorites of this year?

Black Series 3 3/4" - Padme, Luke Ceremonial, Pablo Jill, Vizam

Black Series 6" - Han Solo, Boba Fett, Sandtrooper (although all were pretty nifty)

Exclusives - Amazon Slave 1, K-Mart Vintage 2 Packs and Ewok Catapult

Overall, a very slow year for Star Wars stuff.  I know that out of the first three waves of the 3 3/4" Black Series, I've picked up 8 figures total.  I am really looking forward to the next wave up, but I'm curious to see where the line goes beyond that for 2014.  I personally really like the 6" figures so far, although they are a little bit pricey.  The vintage exclusives were some of the most exciting for me this year, I've been tempted to get a second Slave 1 for the prices they've dropped to lately on Amazon.  All in all, a slow year.  Good figures, but maybe not all that exciting overall.

The Bullpen / Re: 2011/2012 Marvel Legends
« on: December 19, 2013, 08:59 PM »
Not sure if anyone is looking for them, but Amazon has a number of the more recent Marvel Legends figures for $10 or less, with some (Constrictor) even down below $5 as an "add on" item.  Also under $10 are Drax, Fantomex, and Hope Summers.  Just thought I'd pass it along.

I really do wonder about the future of Star Wars action figures (and action figures in general).  Obviously, things will likely pick up a lot when new movies start to hit, but what will things look like at that point?  The example of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line was brought up, and as someone who follows that line pretty closely (our daughter is way into the show and toys - and has a complete lineup so far), plus working Black Friday this year I can definitely say - those toys move.  I couldn't believe how many Turtles figures (not to mention the larger stuff, role play, vehicles, etc.) sold throughout the weekend, and in general.  The Star Wars section was pretty much untouched even with all of the shoppers coming through.  Granted, there isn't current entertainment, which I think makes a pretty big difference with casual/gift buying people, but it was a big difference.

On the TMNT subject as well, that line just seems to be run pretty well.  Just keeping track and shopping for all of the different characters for our daughter, I've noticed that we've been able to find everything at retail (usually several times) - things are restocked consistently.  Plus, there is a nice variety to the line.  Sure, there are multiple versions of the Turtles, but she has at least a dozen villains/supporting characters as well in the first year+ of the line.  They come with a nice array of accessories and all that, most are well articulated, and usually run about $8.  Anyways, enough about Turtles, but it really is the model of an action figure line right now it seems.  I just wonder what the make-up of the Star Wars action figure line will be going forward.  I have a feeling 2014 will be a relatively slow year, much like this year (but hopefully without the 6-8 month break to start things off).  I know I'm really looking forward to that Yoda/Luke wave on the way, as well as the 6" stuff.  Toy Fair should be interesting.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Amazon Droid Factory Multi-Pack
« on: December 12, 2013, 05:06 PM »
Same here, I was never all that excited about this, but at $15 it is tough to pass up.

Seeing the Biker Scout from this wave as a $3.49 "add on" at Amazon makes me wonder why I was trying to army build these back in the VTSC days, still like that figure a lot.

12" Figures / Re: 1/6 Luke & Taun-Taun
« on: December 12, 2013, 05:01 PM »
I was checking these out because I've always been a fan of the Taun Taun, and Hoth Han and Luke, but holy moly I didn't know these were up that high now.  The only figures I have from this line are the Bespin Han and Tatooine Han (and the New Hope Leia I picked up for our daughter on discount at BBTS), but I don't think I paid more than $60 or $80 for any of them (and Leia was $40), prices have really gone up!

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: The Spider-Man Movie Series
« on: December 5, 2013, 11:57 AM »
First trailer is online for Amazing Spider-man 2, check it out here:

Looks pretty great to me.  Between this, Cap 2, X-men DOFP, and Guardians of the Galaxy, it's going to be an exciting year of comic book movies.  Those four alone cover some of my favorite properties, and I like what we've seen so far!

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 1
« on: December 1, 2013, 08:54 PM »
I see Amazon now has the entire first wave (including Sandtrooper) for $13 and change.  Just a heads up for anyone wanting more Sandies, not a bad price.

The Bullpen / Re: 2011/2012 Marvel Legends
« on: December 1, 2013, 08:50 PM »
I noticed that BBTS put preorders up for both the Spider-Man and Cap Legends lines (shipping in January apparently).  Both have two waves (with variants subbed in the second time around), and in the notes it also says that Hasbro has raised the MSRP on these to $20 a figure, like the Black Series.  So I guess those are the new price levels for lines now, 6" collector figures $20, 3 3/4" collector figures $10, and kid figures $6.  I do wonder how long the $10 collector segment will last in some of these lines though.

Yeah, it is hard to say about Wave 1.  It doesn't seem like any of them are particularly tough to find - at all really - but I will say that our local Target was stuffed with Wave 1 (two full rows on the shelf), and they slowly sold down a bit and then our store got a case of Wave 2 in - and those disappeared quickly and took most of the Wave 1 figures along with them (just a Sandtrooper and Luke remained).  I don't know if it was someone holding off and decided to buy in when Wave 2 hit, or what, but our store is down to just two figures now.  Wal-Mart here doesn't carry them, and TRU has had the same one case on the pegs for a bit now.

It will be interesting to see how the one carry forward figure is managed for each wave from now on.  I love the Han figure, so I don't mind seeing it out there again, but I could also see choosing Boba since he seems to be the one tougher for most to get.  As far as this wave, it seems obvious the Stormtrooper should be the carry forward into whatever Wave 4 is.  Looking at the rumor lists, we could probably figure out the best choice for each wave going forward.  I do have the suspicion we'll be seeing plenty of ROTS Obi-Wan on the shelves/pegs in 2014.

The Black Series 6" Figures / Re: 6" Black Series - 2013 Wave 1
« on: November 24, 2013, 02:47 PM »
If anyone is still thinking about checking these out, or were holding out on wave 1, Amazon has Luke, Maul, and R2 for $10 each right now.

Middle Earth / Re: The Hobbit - Toy Line
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:57 PM »
I stopped in at TRU today and noticed a full shelf of the 5 packs, and a full peg of the 6" stuff as well.  I also noticed that the 3 3/4" had been restocked fully, with last year's product, so we'll see how that does.

I'm still holding out hope that we'll see the rest of that stuff shown at SDCC eventually, but you just never know.  If not, I'm happy with what I have as well, just wish we could have finished out the dwarves.  Honestly, if anything, I was hoping it would do well enough to justify a LOTR line in this scale :).

LEGO / Re: Lego 2013
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:53 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on the TRU sale.  I've sort of been eyeing that Hoth set for awhile now, and for $30 I was able to pull the trigger.  Between this and some clearanced LOTR sets, I'm getting a nice stockpile of stuff to build with our daughter in the winter months ahead :).

It really is an interesting time for movie tie-in lines.  Like it has been mentioned, Star Wars really has been the exception to the rule.  Maybe we just aren't judging it right, but it sure seems like the majority of these lines sit - a lot - no matter how well their movies do.  It did seem like Avengers did a little better than most, but even those weren't flying away after a bit either.

A lot of it has to do with having so much of this stuff hitting in any given year, whereas Star Wars basically had the aisle to itself and was such a phenomenon that we just won't really experience again with all the competition in the theaters these days.  Plus, as we've talked about before, kids just aren't as engaged with action figures (or at least not as long) as we were as kids.  I think in the 70s/80s, you maybe started in by age 3 and that carried through maybe to 12, 13, 14 (or even into adulthood like many of us).  That doesn't really happen anymore, at least for the most part.

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.

Darby makes a good point about TMNT as well.  Our daughter has been way into the new show (which is really pretty good), and toys (also good), so I can tell you - at least in our area - these things move off the pegs pretty consistently.  They are good toys, with some nice variety with villains, etc. - a big playset, vehicles of various sizes, not to mention the role play stuff.  I was reading some info from the presentation at SDCC from Playmates, and they mentioned that in the 1988-1990 timeframe when Turtles began and started airing the cartoon that the toys represented 50% of the action figure market.  Crazy.

I wonder if we'll continue to see more conservative approaches with some movie tie ins.  I look at the new Thor movie, and there are only five figures and they've only been at TRU (at least locally).  It seems possible that will be all there is for that line.  Now I'm sure Star Wars will be way more expansive a line, but it will be interesting to see what kind of line it will be by then.  2015 (if the release holds) will be another huge action figure tie-in year with Avengers 2, Batman/Superman, Jurassic Park (I think?), Fantastic Four reboot, Ant Man, and probably others I'm forgetting off hand.

The Bullpen / Re: Marvel Universe
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:55 PM »
I saw part of this wave at Target today (Aurora, X-Force Nightcrawler, and some repacks).  Not sure how much I want from this wave, if any, but I'm still on the lookout for Dagger from the previous one.  Hopefully those won't be too tough to find, because I don't want to pay $20 or more for it that we're seeing on ebay, etc.

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