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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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The Vintage Collection / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: November 11, 2011, 07:47 PM »
Only one of the three local WMs in my area has gotten this wave (three times, actually), and each time, Bastilla has been the only figure gone when I show up.  Given how ****** distribution has been this year, I guess I'm going to have to go on Ebay or something to get one. 

The good news is that, aside from the Endor Capture Luke (Revenge card), all the figures sell pretty quickly.  The bad news is that, with mostly empty pegs, this WM just restocked this morning with 5 cases of wave 5.  So yes, more yellow helmet 212th Clones, yellow helmet Stormtroopers, Hans, DSE Lukes, and R5-D4s, not to mention even more Sandtroopers.  Ugh.

And let's not even talk about my local Target, which, after having its stock of Dengar, Cloud Car Pilots, Sandtroopers, and ROTS Clones cleared out by the Hasbro reps a few weeks back, still only has remnants of the one case of wave 5 they stocked in their place.  Toys R Us isn't much better, as they have a small glut of wave 6, and since it took them 6 months to get those cases in, I'm not holding out much hope for wave 9 at all.

(Not to mention the fact that, outside of Logray and the RFT reshipped in the w9 cases, I haven't seen hide nor hair of Han/ARC/Bom/Barriss from wave 7).

Discover the Force / Movie Heroes / Re: 2012 Movie Heroes Line
« on: November 11, 2011, 07:38 PM »
I know I've expressed similar sentiments before, but after seeing this latest batch of photos (the 2005 Quick-Drawn Clone?  The 2002 Deluxe Droid Factory Battle Droid?  REALLY?), I'm convinced that this is all some kind of expensive prank on the part of Hasbro, or the genius who was in charge of the 2002 line has been reappointed to head the SW brand.  It's as if Hasbro just threw up their hands and said "**** it."  I just can't figure out the logic in some of these figure choices. 

Even if we grant Hasbro the "fact" that yes, kids love their action features, I don't think anyone is going to say that kids also like horribly dated and substandard crap.  Combined with the almost total lack of new Clone Wars stuff next year and what will likely be yet another wonderful (sarcasm heavily implied) distribution year for Vintage, I think this is indicative of the worst year in SW action figure history during the modern era. 

Oh well, Lego will be getting even more of my money than previously planned.  :P

LEGO / Re: Lego 2012
« on: October 14, 2011, 10:01 PM »
Don't have links to the photos (as they tend to disappear quickly after I look at them), but it looks like there will be three more "mini-planet" sets: 

-Bespin with Cloud Car and Lobot
-Endor with AT-ST Driver and AT-ST
-Some Planet with either an X-Wing or ARC-170 (can't tell from the photo)

Oh, and the Anakin's Jedi Interceptor set also includes platforms for the duel on Mustafar! :)

The Vintage Collection / Re: 2011 "Vintage" Collection Wave 9
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:58 PM »
Wait, there's a wave 9?  Was there a wave 8?  What about a wave 7?  Hasbro is still making vintage figures past wave 5?  I did not know this.

(Insert "beating a dead horse" emoticon here)

The Vintage Collection / Re: New York Comic Con 2011
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:56 PM »
So, is it just me, or does it seem like the guy/gal who ran the SW line during 2002-2003's dark days is back in charge?  There is an assortment of crap that was trotted out today that makes me wonder if Hasbro even realizes what their market is anymore.  Sure, the basic vintage figures look great, but if Saga Legends was "The Human Centipede" of action figure line-ups, the Movie Heroes line is easily the sequel to that film: horrible, pointless, and destined to make people vomit after only seeing brief summaries of it, much less seeing the full thing in action.

A lot of redundancy (as Scott pointed out, six Mauls at one time; there weren't even that many when TPM was first released in 1999!), a lot of rehashes (95% of which are completely useless; who among the world actually wanted a version of the 2002 Sith Training Maul in movie colors?), and a whole lot of material to warm those shelves at Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us next year, while I trot over to the other side of the store and spend my money on Lego stuff, since Vintage will obviously be the red-headed-stepchild of the Hasbro SW lineup once again, and, as with this year, I won't be able to find anything new hanging around. 

The Vintage Collection / Re: Vintage Figures Being Pulled Off Shelves
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:07 PM »
Above and beyond the call of duty, Ryan.  Above and beyond.  ;D

Feedback / Re: roron corobb's feedback
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:07 PM »
Just completed a smooth and effortless transaction with Harley for some BAD parts.  Things couldn't have gone better.  Thanks Harley!

Feedback / Re: Jesse James' feedback
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:06 PM »
Yet another wonderful transaction with Jesse for some Kenner/Hasbro 12" figures.  Everything arrived quickly, was well packed, and as I told him in a PM, I can neither confirm nor deny I immediately shouted "IT'S A TRAP!" when I opened the 12" Ackbar. :)

Thanks Jesse!

The Vintage Collection / Re: Vintage Figures Being Pulled Off Shelves
« on: September 27, 2011, 09:19 PM »
I'm just curious how long it will be before stores get huge shipments of Wave 5 that will clog up the system again.   ::)

Quoting myself here, for truth.  Walked into the Target that had totally empty pegs to find a fresh case of Wave 5 hanging there.  Which included a Sandtrooper, which was one of the figures that was pulled.  Oh, and the green helmeted 212th Clone Trooper and old helmet Stormtrooper.  Guess I won't be seeing anything new at that Target for a while.  AGAIN.   ::)

Where's that picture of Picard doing the facepalm when you need it?

The Vintage Collection / Re: Vintage Figures Being Pulled Off Shelves
« on: September 22, 2011, 04:09 PM »
I saw this personally at a local Target and Wal-Mart yesterday.  Wal-Mart's wasn't as noticeable, since there were still one or two each of ROTS Obi-Wan, ROTS Anakin, R5-D4, DSE Luke, Ceremonial Han, and a single Endor Trooper.  Target, however, had ZERO vintage figures on the pegs, since their entire stock consisted of ROTS Clones, Cloud Car Pilots, Sandtroopers, and Dengars.  TRU wasn't touched, as pretty much everything pre-FOS display disappeared during their last 2 for 11 dollar sale.

So far, from what I've seen, the figures that have been pulled are:

-Cloud Car Pilot
-Clone Trooper (ROTS)

I'm just curious how long it will be before stores get huge shipments of Wave 5 that will clog up the system again.   ::)

The Vintage Collection / Re: The 2011 Mail-In Prototype Armor Boba Fett
« on: September 20, 2011, 11:11 AM »
My check was cashed last week, so who knows what will actually wind up happening.  I haven't even seen anything from wave 7 show up (and none of that "You're just not looking frequently enough" as I'm in these places every day and there aren't even remnants of the case; stuff is just not shipping to retail PERIOD), so I don't know if the wave with the actual labels/forms will even show up before the offer expires.  Typical Hasbro, though, to change the requirements several times after people have placed their orders.  At this point, I fully expect them to say they will only accept payment in the form of seashells and you have to send 5 hands (one from each action figure) in order to get the Fett.

On a semi-related note, I was able to order a Sideshow exclusive edition 12" Boba Fett on Friday within three minutes of logging on to Sideshow's site.  No issues putting anything in my cart, no issues checking out, and no issues with late email confirmations or confusion.  And especially no issues with a slow site or "underestimated demand."  Not directly related to the mail-away Fett, but it bears repeating that some companies obviously know how to handle online transactions.

Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 18, 2011, 12:01 AM »
Okay, so the two day film marathon is now officially over, after having watched Empire and Jedi back to back earlier this evening.  As promised, here are my thoughts on the final two films as they are presented on BR:

-Empire looks and sounds AMAZING.  The sound during the Battle of Hoth is so full and immersive that it's almost like a totally new film.  And, mercifully, Empire is the one film of the six included in the set that has the absolute least done to it.  As in, "If I didn't know ahead of time that they'd fixed the Wampa puppeteer arm thing, I'd think they didn't do anything at all."  There is nothing noticeable in terms of alterations in Empire (that hasn't been in previous alterations; the new Wampa, Palpatine hologram, and silly "Alert my Star Destroyer" shuttle montage are still included).

-On the other hand, Jedi comes across as the film that LFL totally half-assed in this set.  The picture quality (and this may just be my perspective) is lower than any of the other five films in the set, and vacillates between pristine to cloudy.  It's almost like LFL made it through the restoration and upgrades on SW and ESB only to say, "That ****'ll do" on Jedi.  Disappointing.

-And, again, as the opposite of Empire's BR presentation, Jedi has the most alterations but, again, several of them seem really half-assed.  Everyone knows what most of them are already, but here's a rundown for those who missed them:

1.  Jabba's got a big(ger) ass door now.  The problem is that while it's big on the outside, it's the exact same size as before when the shot is looking out (as it does when Threepio and Artoo enter, and when Luke enters). 

2.  A randomly wandering Dug apparently had to go to the bathroom while everyone else was asleep just before Luke walks down the stairs into the throne room.  I actually would have been okay with this had the Dug actually stuck around in the background, but it's literally him walking across the screen and then you never see him again. 

3.  The famous Ewok blinks.  The photos we've seen are all of Wicket, and for good reason, since (outside of a single shot of a Wokling blinking) he's the only Ewok that blinks.  Yes, tons of close-ups of Teebo, Paploo, even Wompus, and none of them blink at all.  But Wicket does.  Now, when Wicket (and Wokling) blink, it's done so well that you'd think it had been there since 1983; the problem is that (from my viewpoint) if you're going to make an Ewok blink, make ALL the Ewoks blink. 

4.  Darth Vader says "Nooo.  NOOOOOOOOOO!" prior to throwing Palpy down the reactor shaft, true, but in what is either a giant step forward in picture quality or another alteration that hasn't gotten much publicity due to the "DO NOT WANT" utterance, Vader's skull is MUCH more visible and defined during his electrocution than I recall it in earlier versions. 

5.  Little things that I had hoped would be fixed (Fett's flopped rangefinder, Lando's flopped holster) remain as they have always been: obvious and annoying.

6.  In the pinnacle of half-assedness, the much ballyhooed improvements to the lightsaber color corrections are totally random on Jedi, with Vader still having a pink saber with no white core in many shots.  It's like LFL saw people complain about the "crossed sabers" shot and corrected that, plus another few here and there, and said, "**** it, don't we have an episode of Clone Wars about poisoned school soda to work on?"

So yeah, out of all 6 films, here's my rating:

The Phantom Menace:  Video-4.5 (of 5); Audio-5 (of 5)
Attack of the Clones:  Video-5 (of 5); Audio-5 (of 5)
Revenge of the Sith:  Video-6 (of 5; best of the bunch); Audio-5 (of 5)
Star Wars:  Video-4.5 (of 5; mainly due to source material); Audio-5 (of 5)
The Empire Strikes Back:  Video-5 (of 5); Audio-6 (of 5; best of the bunch)
Return of the Jedi:  Video-4 (of 5); Audio-4.5 (of 5)

Will be cracking into the prequel bonus features tomorrow, although I did watch the Grievous/Obi-Wan chase animatic that Spielberg assembled/directed.  Really wish that was how it played in the film, as it was, to be quite blunt, pretty ******* awesome.

Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 17, 2011, 03:15 PM »
Okay, so I just finished watching Star Wars (or "A New Hope" as you young'uns like to call it), and wanted to give some quick thoughts and clarifications:

-The music has been restored to its original glory!  No more mixed channels, no more "deliberate creative decisions", and the fanfare as the X-Wings descend on the Death Star is BACK!  Great news for film music fans, John Williams fans, and fans of Ben Burtt having the reins pulled in on his ego a bit.

-SW is always going to look a little out of place among the other five films (given the technical limitations of the time and film stock used), but this is probably the best it has ever looked.  Aside from a few minor issues (Luke still has a white lightsaber at two points on the MF, although he thankfully no longer has a green one in that same scene), the whole film looks like it's been color corrected from top to bottom, and it just looks amazing. 

-The only obvious visual/auditory changes I noticed (aside from the aforementioned music correction/reinstatement) were R2's hidey-rocks (which seem to come and go depending on the angle) and Obi-Wan's Long-Duk-Dong-esque "Hello sexy Tusken!" wail, which is even more ridiculous than it sounded online.  Same noise, just hearing it in 6.1 DTS surround makes it even more fabulous!

-Sadly, the changes I would have liked to have seen (new holograms of the Death Star plans, R2 having blue panels in the space scenes at all times, the headstones at the Lars Homestead) weren't there.  Something for the eventual "Ultimate We Swear We're Done Milking This" box set of holograms and live performances somewhere down the line, I guess.

I still plan on watching ESB and ROTJ later tonight, so I'll check back in with further thoughts later.

Oh, and before I forget again, the subtitles (for example, when Greedo or Sebulba are speaking Huttese, or when Poggle is speaking Geonosian in their respective films) are the original font and are part of the print itself, not player generated.  Meaning, for the first time on DVD/BR, we're seeing the subtitles as they were originally included theatrically.  I find that very cool, personally.

Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 16, 2011, 09:03 PM »
Was planning on getting the set at Target anyways, but don't like the fact they put those "don't steal me" devices on there which damages the packaging..oh well.  I guess I should be more concerned with the movies instead.

If it hadn't been for the fact that Target put the only two copies of the Complete Saga they had in those oversized boxes instead of the Iron Man chest reactor thing with wires, I wouldn't have gotten it there either.  When the last two Harry Potter Ultimate Edition BRs came out, I made the Target electronics woman go into the back storeroom to get me two non-reactorfied boxes, as the ones on the shelf had huge divots dug into them on each of the four edges.  I also don't buy any BRs with those cardboard outer sleeves at Target, as the security boxes are too small for them and Target just crams them in and/or pulls them out indiscriminately, ripping the sleeve in the process.  If I'm going to pay for something, I'd prefer it not to be damaged before it even gets in my hands.

Okay, back to the BRs:  I have now watched AOTC and ROTS (in addition to TPM; yes, I watched all three prequels in one day because I had a day off from work; no, I do not live in my parents' basement; and yes, I have known the touch of a woman), and here's the rundown on what I could notice different in those:

AOTC:  Audio of Shmi screaming for Anakin to help her has been added to Anakin's dream on Naboo.  I would assume this is to tone down the Oedipal creepiness of the original version, when he's laying there with his hands under the sheets saying, "Mom, no" over and over.  It works.

AOTC:  A major change that is extremely jarring and pretty much leaves you thinking your BR/DVD player is ****** up occurs near the end of the film.  An entire 30-second time period has been reedited from the point that Dooku topples the tower over on Obi-Wan and Anakin and Yoda catches it, and the point where Padme and the Clones come in the hangar. 

ORIGINALLY:  Tower topples, Yoda catches it, Dooku runs onto Solar Sailer, Yoda moves tower away, Solar Sailer takes off, Padme and Clones shoot at Solar Sailer, Dooku goes into space, Anakin gasps, Yoda looks concerned, Anakin and Obi-Wan get up, Padme and Clones run in, Solar Sailer approaches Coruscant

BLU RAY:  Tower topples, Yoda catches it, Dooku runs onto Solar Sailer, Yoda moves tower away, Anakin gasps, Yoda looks concerned, Solar Sailer takes off, Padme and Clones shoot at Solar Sailer, Dooku goes into space, quick shot of Yoda looking concerned again, Anakin and Obi-Wan get up, Padme and Clones run in, Solar Sailer approaches Coruscant

This might not seem like much on paper, but IT SUCKS.  And what makes it worse?  The music isn't even reedited to match the transitions, meaning the scenes themselves have just been reassembled with the audio intact, which makes it extremely jarring to hear and see.  It's like turning an FM radio dial from one side to the other really fast, but with Yoda and Natalie Portman and you can imagine John Williams punching the wall.

ROTS has no really obvious changes, although I did notice that there is a great deal more Clone chatter when they first arrive on Utapau (during Obi-Wan and Grievous' duel).  This may have always been there and was just buried in the mix, but either way, it was much more noticeable this time around.

Tomorrow is OT day.  Will update with whatever changes I see when I finish watching them.

Star Wars Universe / Re: Star Wars on Blu-Ray
« on: September 16, 2011, 12:41 PM »
I'm doing the nerdy thing and watching the six films in order, then the bonus features.  I just finished watching TPM, and I'm thrilled with how good it looks.  I don't remember it looking this good in the theater, and certainly not on VHS/DVD.  I'm not talking about the uptick in quality that Blu Ray has over other format, per se, but the attention and care given to the look really improves the visual presentation.  The DVD looked like crap to me and it really stuck out like a sore thumb, quality-wise, alongside the other two PT films and the OT DVDs.  That has now been fixed.  There is a slight dip in visual quality during the "extended" pod race scenes (i.e. the additions made to the DVD release are of lower quality than the theatrical material), but overall, TPM looks incredible.

(Cue the comments about "Well, The Phantom Menace sucked anyway!"  I'm not talking about the content of the film itself; just the visual presentation.)

The only real noticeable change is the CG Yoda (which looks great, again), although I did notice two other changes: the first is that the Neimoidian viewscreen looks redone (I just confirmed that this was altered on when Nute and Rune are watching Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape the Droidekas, and the Senate no longer chants "VOTE NOW!" after Amidala makes her motion for a vote of no confidence in Valorum.  Weird.

I bought my set at Target, btw, and got my set of lithographs, although I had to ask for them, as they hadn't put them out.  They were part of some display drop, and the guy working electronics said that they only got 10 sets for the whole store.  Something tells me they won't last.  I just couldn't get excited about that ridiculous poster of Boba Fett riding a Varactyl at Wal-Mart; if it had been Han Solo fighting that Otter thing, maybe. :)

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