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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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1876
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« on: August 13, 2004, 05:34 PM »
TRU never appealed to me in the same way that two other toy chains did: Children's Palace and Lionel Toy World (the latter of which I only ever went to in North Carolina back in the mid to late 1980's).  Now, although I was a kid back then, the general atmosphere of CP or LTW was just a lot nicer than TRU.  TRU felt cramped and (dare I say it) didn't have all that great a selection.  CP was amazing and if I went in there looking for something, I found it, no problem.  GI Joe figures I could never find at a department store or TRU were at CP or LTW in abundance.  When the CP near the Ohio/Kentucky border closed down, it kind of broke my heart.

TRU closing down would not bother me a bit.  Every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has been populated by rude and dismissive employees who look at me with nothing but spite.  I am always polite and I always ask nicely, but they could care less.  Since I am no longer six years old and running around like a chicken with my head cut off (even though I never did that as a kid, personally), I don't matter to them.  Pay no attention to the sizeable amount of money he's going to potentially drop in our store; we'd rather have kids come in here and mess up our aisles, buying nothing but causing us to have to spend more on our upkeep.

(Not to mention the fact that every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has really old stuff on the shelves and doesn't get new stuff until it's been out everywhere else for six months.  I often joke with a friend of mine that I am expecting to find a vinyl cape Jawa hanging on the pegs on any given day since retail is so far behind). :)

Not that WM is any better (I absolutely loathe them and do as little business with them as I can; unfortunately, when they're the only game in town, you have to occassionally deal with the devil), but TRU is using an outdated business strategy (as Tydirium so eloquently stated) and it has finally caught up with them.  I won't be shedding any tears when they go away.  My only fear is that Hasbro will have to find someone else to take all their crappy exclusive items that nobody cares about. 

Speaking of, I don't think we'll see WM with any exclusive SW stuff any time soon.  Everything that they got from Hasbro as a retailer exclusive flopped bigger than a shark in the Sahara, and if you notice, they're the only retailer that hasn't gotten an actual exclusive (DVD sets don't count for this) since the summer of 2002.  Target's had a couple of ships, KB's had the Guard and the TIE, TRU's had crap after crap, and even K-Mart is getting exclusive stuff now.  The last thing that WM had as an exclusive was the Cantina Bar figures, and we all know how that worked out.

Fare thee well, TRU, fare thee well...may you choke on your inability to move out of the 1980's.


1877
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Operation Mindcrime 2 is Coming!
« on: August 6, 2004, 09:37 AM »
I'm going to be the dissenting voice here and say that the idea of a sequel to the original "Mindcrime" really disappoints me for various reasons.  Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely adore O:M; it's easily one of my top five albums of all time and is perfect from beginning to end.  And if you don't have the "Operation: LiveCrime" box set (which is now a DVD and CD sold separately, apparently), do yourself a favor and track it down, because it's simply amazing.  Back then, QR were one of the most amazing bands on the planet.  The problem is that they don't seem to have the passion for what they do anymore.

That's one of the main reasons I'm not thrilled about an O:M sequel being done.  "Who Killed Mary?" aside, there isn't anywhere left for the story to go.  Nikki is in a mental hospital, Dr. X has been arrested, Mary is dead, and the story has gone as far as it can go.  QR doesn't have the passion they did when they wrote and recorded the original "Mindcrime" (I have yet to see a review of the "Tribe" tour that does not refer to the listless and lackadaisical performance by Tate), and I have a feeling that given the decrease in album sales since EMI went out of business after HITNF and they lost their long-time label, this is being done less about artistic concerns and more about making an attempt to get the money while the gettin's good.

I've never been fond of "cashing in" when it comes to artistic work.  The whole "selling out" argument has been done to death, and I'm not fond of that side of things anyway, especially when it comes to the definition a lot of people have for bands that do so.  Like I said, the sales for QR's records since HITNF (which went platinum, but still didn't sell nearly as much as "Empire" or "Promised Land") have gotten consistently worse, and arguably, so has the quality of the music.  "Q2K" was simply horrid, and "Tribe" wasn't all that great either (but it did have its moments).  My fear is that a sequel to "Mindcrime" isn't being done because they want to do it, it's that they are doing it because they think it may be the only way to get back to a higher plateau of record sales and popularity.

My other reason for not being interested/thrilled about a sequel to "Mindcrime" is that Chris DeGarmo (yes, I'm one of the die-hard DeGarmo era fans) will more than likely not be involved at all.  If you look at the credits for the original Mindcrime, Chris is involved in the writing of about 70% of the material; if you watch the video of "Livecrime", he's one of the most energetic members of the group in performing the material.  Although many would say that a lot of HITNF suffered from poor quality (I am not one of those people), the stuff they've done since DeGarmo left has been of a significantly lower quality than the stuff before his departure.  Listen to "Promised Land" and then listen to "Q2K" and then tell me that they haven't suffered for his absence.  Sure, he was on "Tribe", and while the majority of the "good" songs (purely subjective opinion, mind you) involved him, Tate and Co. continue to downplay his involvement.  It started with "Chris is working with us on the entire album", went to "he came in for a few days and worked on a few songs", and then is now at "he had very little involvement."  It's only a matter of time before Tate starts denying Chris DeGarmo exists.

The best analogy I can give for my QR fandom of 16 years is this: they're like the "Alien" films in a lot of ways.  I loved the first two "Alien" films very much; "Alien 3" was okay (made much better on the recent DVD Working Print) and I wish I could forget "Alien: Resurrection" even existed; I dread the "Alien Vs. Predator" movie because I am afraid it's going to be mindless sci-fi violence.

QR has been the same way with me: I loved everything up to "Promised Land" (dare I say their best work), HITNF was okay and was unfairly maligned, but I loathed Q2K and I dread an O:M sequel because it seems like a cash-in with no artistic motivation.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm kind of decompressing from work and when I heard about a sequel to "Mindcrime" I couldn't believe my ears.  Maybe I'm just too cynical, who knows.  

But hey, if the sequel sucks, I can start posting on AICN about how "Queensryche Raped my Childhood" or something.  ;)

1878
Feedback / Re: Talon_Karrde's feedback
« on: August 3, 2004, 08:47 AM »
I just completed a wonderful transaction with Tony.  Payment arrived very quickly, and communication was great.  I would recommend trading with him to anyone, and I look forward to doing so again myself in the future.  Thanks Tony! :)

1879
The Original Trilogy / Re: Boba Fett..... Voiced by Jango Fett?
« on: July 31, 2004, 03:17 PM »
I would be fine with all the changes he is making for the DVD editions if he would actually release the original 1977/1980/1983 versions of the OT on DVD so they will at least be around.  Those are the versions of the films that people fell in love with, long before Greedo proved himself as the worst shot in the galaxy, before Han was sweet and fuzzy from the beginning, and before Jabba looked more like Pizza the Hutt.  If you want to change things, that's fine George, but at least give us the option of seeing the films the way we loved them in the first place.  I think people would be much more accepting of these new versions if they could see the old ones from time to time.

That being said, I think that instead of modifying the OT to fit with the PT, it should have been the other way around.  He could have actually paid attention to continuity when writing the PT ("I had an outline all along" my ass) in the first place and we'd never have to take out Leia's line about remembering her mother or sticking Hayden's "Uncle Pervy" leer on Shaw's body, or any of this other stuff.  Jeez...

That said, aside from the totally mistimed reading of the line, I didn't think Tem's Boba was horrible at all.  

1880
The updated figures don't bother me, space-wise, as I have it all in Plano cases, arranged sequentially by wave from the first POTF2 wave all the way up to the Dagobah OTC wave.  What bugs me is the "misfit vehicles."  By that I mean the POTF2 TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Landspeeder, Slave I, and Snowspeeder; all of whom have had significant improvements or altogether new versions made (or coming) that make the originals look like crap.  The vehicles take up a lot more space than figures do, and since I'm always on the verge of running out of space anyway, the space those POTF2 versions take up is valuable real estate.

Basically, the last time I was in the SW room, I set aside those five vehicles listed above and they're probably going to wind up going to Goodwill or something by the end of the year unless the folks put them in a yard sale or something.  The OTC Falcon isn't different enough (although the lightup engines make me drool) for me to buy one of those (especially since, if Hasbro continues to remake things, we will probably end up with an Ultimate version by the time the line fizzles anyway), but those POTF2 ships have become obsolete with the improvements in scale.

1881
Being the frugal (read: cheap) person I am, I'm just buying one of each.  The thing that I struggled with before actually buying any of the VOTC (I only have Ben, Han, and Leia as it stands right now) was that I really liked the packaging, but I also really wanted to see the figures loose.  They were too nice to keep carded, but too nice to destroy the packaging.  

What I ended up doing was carefully slicing between the four pieces of tape holding the clamshell halves together.  I then removed the actual carded figure from the clamshell and then slowly removed the tape and residue from the clamshell.  I used an Exacto knife to slice along the top, right, and bottom of the figure bubble; thankfully the coffin blister does not have the little tabs that sit under the bubble lip like regular carded figures have since POTF2.  The bubble side that hasn't been cut acts as a hinge and allows you to easily remove the coffin the figure is in.  The best part is that once you're through, you can just slide the coffin back into the bubble, close it, and replace it in the clamshell.  The clamshell is so close to the bubble that it keeps it from flying open, and unless you're right on top of it, you don't even notice that it was ever opened in the first place.  And plus you can get rid of that awful "CHOKING HAZARD" sticker affixed to the inside of the bubble that blocks most of the upper left side of the card.

So yeah, I will (hopefully) have a set of the 12 loose, but still carded and shelled to hang on the wall of my SW room.  Being the cheap bastard I am, this enables me to have my cake and eat it too. :)

1882
Modern Classifieds / Anybody want a mint loose Unleashed Leia?
« on: July 28, 2004, 02:30 PM »
UPDATE:  Just wanted to note that the transaction is complete and the Leia is on its way to Talon.  Thanks to everyone for looking!

I picked an Unleashed Leia up on a whim a month or so ago, and after opening it and displaying it on my desk, I found myself asking why I bought it in the first place.  It's not that it's a bad figure (it's actually really well sculpted), just that it looks out of place next to the other Unleashed figures on my limited desk space (plus I need to make room for Vader).

So, basically, I was thinking 10 dollars shipped to anywhere in the continental USA.  The figure and all accessories are in absolutely perfect condition (like I said, it went straight from the package onto the desk shelf and has only been moved so I could dust the desk) and I'll pack it all up with as much bubble wrap and cushioning as I can so it won't be damaged.  The shipping cost is for Priority Mail with delivery confirmation.

So, if anybody is interested, just shoot me a PM (email is still acting wonky) and we can go from there.  Thanks for looking! :)

1883
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Top 5 Hotties
« on: July 24, 2004, 10:06 AM »
Quote
Why couldn't Ms. Portman wear shirts like these in Star Wars?

Because, in every theater, millions of pre-teen boys would go into puberty all at the same time.  It would be like the episode of "Family Guy" where all the teen girls go into puberty at once, but obviously different.  ;D

1884
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: What a loser...
« on: July 24, 2004, 10:02 AM »
Whenever I run into people who want to get into the SW vs. ST debate in real life, I just turn around and walk away.  It is the most pointless activity I can think of.

Debating about political issues in a calm and respectful manner: okay.

Debating about who would win in a fight between Chewbacca and the Borg: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would like to have a word with you.  ;D

1885
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: TRU Naboo 4-pack
« on: July 24, 2004, 09:57 AM »
I couldn't tell from any of the photos of this set, but will the Battle Droid come with a backpack?  I know there was no space for one on the Security Droid from POTJ, but if they're going with a neutral color scheme, I would hope they would include one with this version.

That Kaadu looks nice and is probably going to get me to buy this set.  The strange thing is that (barring an unforseen price increase on this set) the original Jar Jar and Kaadu was first priced at 20 bucks (although it eventually came down to about two dollars six months later), so this is almost like buying a toy in 1999 and getting three free figures.  Yes, I am trying to rationalize this, but I do like the Kaadu. :)

1886
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Hasbro's SDCC Q&A Session
« on: July 24, 2004, 09:53 AM »
First of all, I'd just like to say thank you to Matt for asking all the important questions.  One of the main reasons why I prefer JD.com over the other sites is that everyone here has a "credit where credit is due" mentality with Hasbro, not being afraid to tell them when they're screwing up.  Every other site out there kisses Hasbro's ass to such a degree that it makes you wonder if they're getting a monthly kickback for toeing the company line.  So thanks to Matt and the JD.com staff for not being shills for the big H.

I still don't get Hasbro's approach where toy information is treated like national security intel.  They act like the world will end if someone finds out what their plans are for six months from now, and they avoid answering any specific question about anything not currently in release like the plague.  And don't get me started on their constant backpedalling.  Wasn't it less than a month ago now when they said the blue jumpsuit VOTC 12" Fett was a "prototype" and would not be a mass release?  Yeah, I really trust them to answer anything honestly.

Other comments:

-They wouldn't have such a defeated attitude with the 12" line if they didn't keep redoing the same things over and over again, and even then doing them shoddily.  Even if it is a minor character like Poggle the Lesser or Lama Su, it would sell a lot better than the 100th version of Tatooine Luke, in my opinion.  Then they release this last Obi-Wan and don't even give him pants, opting to just paint his legs brown.   "We don't understand why the 12 inch line isn't selling well.  People must not want them."  No, it's just that they don't want what you're giving them.  Do something unique for once, Hasbro.

-It sounds as if they're taking that "screw you" attitude with the VOTC Stormtrooper.  I think we all know by this point that it is going to be a bitch to find even one of those when they're released (and I'd be willing to bet Hasbro won't even make it that easy with their asinine case pack ratios), and now they're basically saying "it's not our fault if you can't camp out at Target or Wal-Mart for eight days straight."  That kind of snotty attitude, combined with the endless repacks and half-assed quality is going to cause a lot of people to leave this line completely if they don't watch it.  People are already at their limit with Hasbro and you'd think they'd do something to try and repair this breach; unfortunately, they don't seem to give a crap, but after 9 years of this, I wouldn't expect them to.

-I'm honestly surprised they didn't get up and walk off when you told them the Cantina sets were crap.  This is the same company that once said "we don't care what collectors think" in a Q&A a few years back (although I don't think any of those people are in charge of the line anymore, so caveat emptor).  If I have learned anything from other sites coughrebelscumcoughhack, it is that you should never question the Hasbro.  The Hasbro is our god.  We should worship at the Hasbro's feet.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Okay, that being said, I really liked the animated Grevious, and the Ceremonial Amidala looks amazing.  Cannot wait for those.  Will the animated figures once again be Target exclusives, or will they go to another outlet?  If you get a chance to ask them, please do Matt.

And again, thanks to the JD.com staff for being such great reporters and giving us all this news from SDCC.

1887
Collector's Tips / Re: Storing Loose Figs
« on: July 21, 2004, 07:04 PM »
Just thought I'd post with some interesting news for those of us who use the Plano 3700 tackle boxes.  I was in a K-Mart the other day and noticed that they have stopped carrying the regular 3700 box in favor of the 3700-2.  The difference doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's actually going to make things a bit more cramped.

The good news is that it has even more slots for the dividers, so it can practically be used a loose weapon case there are so many individual compartments.  It also has a new latch system (the reason for the -2, I suppose) that is supposedly much more secure than the regular 3700.  

The bad news is that the new latch, while not sticking out much further on the outside, requires a greater amount of space on the inside.  I don't know how to explain it, but the indentation in the actual compartments is about twice as deep as the 3700, making any figure that is stored in either of those two spots very cramped.  I'm hoping the 3700 hasn't been discontinued, as I really like them and I never had a problem with the latches, but if it has been, I guess I've found a nice and slim compartment for San Hill at the very least.

Just wanted to give my fellow Plano fans a heads-up in case they hadn't heard about this.

1888
Quote
I want to see and hear about figures that are coming out after the original 38 OTC figures.

I want to know about Hasbro's plans for the 1st quarter of next year (before Ep.3).

Sorry to derail the thread, but here's my best guess as to what they will answer this with and what they will actually wind up doing.

ANSWER THEY WILL GIVE YOU:  "We understand that the buzz will be building around Episode III, so we are going to offer products that tie the entire six film saga together with figures from both the Original and Prequel Trilogies.  We know that the fans are looking forward to getting new characters and although we cannot tell you what we will be releasing for the new film, we can tell you that we have a lot of amazing products coming up in 2005."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE REAL DIRT:  "Since we've already blown our creative load on Episode III stuff, which you will not even see until April, we're just going to shove out four figures or so, maybe a beast or some little overpriced speeder bike, from the first group of things we have done for Episode III about two months before the big launch of E3 stuff.  

As for the rest of the line, we're going to repackage some of the prequel stuff on OTC style cards just to keep stuff on the shelves, which will no doubt be clogged with OTC recards by the beginning of the year.  None of this will be our fault, however; retail just overordered.  We didn't do anything resembling marketing suicide, and you should pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

We might put out that rumored Coruscant wave of figures, but if we do, we'll put it out at the very tail end of the pre-E3 stuff so it will only make it out in short supply, nobody will be able to find it and we'll refuse to rerelease them so we can put that Cantina Han on another card to milk the completists.  

We think we'll recard Bail Organa, and probably the Council version of Yoda, but not the SA Clone Trooper, since it would cost more money to remold since there are more parts.  We could have continued to keep that SA Clone in circulation in some form, but then we wouldn't have had the energy to devote to our superior newly sculpted figures like 2004's Hoth Trooper or AT-ST Han Solo!

Oh, and we're going to do a TRU exclusive box set with six Stormtroopers!  The thing is though that they will all be POTF2 version Stormtroopers, since like we said, the more parts, the more costly it is for us to do them.  We think we'll throw a grey suited Imperial Controller in there, just to get the collectors to buy it so when they complain later, we can just say that we released that figure and it's not our faults if you didn't want to buy six crappy Stormtroopers to get it!

We're also going to do something to pacify you fanboys and finally release an AOTC three pack of Owen, Beru and Cliegg Lars!  It will be exclusive to a Texaco convenient store on the coast of Maine that my brother-in-law works in the deli of, and you can only buy one if you buy 40 gallons of gas on one visit.  It will be 50 dollars, since it is a small market item, but our contracts prevent us from selling it online through SWS.com or any other etailer, so I guess you can make friends in Maine or suck it up and go to Ebay, losers.

As for the Episode III stuff, we're going to release 50 figures on the first release, and another 50 by the end of the year.  After all, we've been working our asses off since January of 2004 on this crap, and even though most of the later stuff will never show up, we're going to keep shoving the initial waves into the later cases since those kids just go apesh!t over stuff that has been hanging on the pegs for six months and has a fine layer of dust on the packaging.  Look how well the Spider-Man stuff is selling these days!  Stores will be clogged with Episode III stuff by the end of 2005, but it will be all their faults since they didn't order enough of the products we offered them.  

Oh, and tell that DoctorPadawan fellow on JD.com that he can eat my ass.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go run the Transformers line into the ground.  Live long and prosper!"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...um...yeah....ask them if they are ever going to make the rest of the Padme/Amidala gown figures from either of the first two prequels.  I'm going to go put my tin foil hat on and pretend I never posted this.  ;D

1889
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Vintage OTC Figures
« on: July 21, 2004, 06:21 PM »
You know, I'm really disappointed in the Threepio now that it is known he only has less than standard articulation.  I was under the impression that the VOTC figures were supposed to represent the "ultimate" versions of these characters, and so far, it looks as if Han and Leia are the only ones that truly fit this bill.

The fact that Obi-Wan does not have the same type of elbow articulation as Han and Leia (considering he should need it more than either of those two since he holds his weapon with both hands) was upsetting and the lack of knee articulation just made it worse.  It looks as if Vader has the standard cut biceps (as does Lando for that matter) and that kind of disappoints me too.  But for a Threepio figure to have less than standard articulation is really ticking me off at the moment.  If they were going to pull this, they should have made it a removable limbs version (with a decent backpack for Chewbacca to carry him in) and put it on a real ESB card (not that the one they are using isn't real, but you know what I mean).  But no, Hasbro proves that they will cut every corner they possibly can, even when it is on a product being pushed as the high-end of the action figure spectrum.

At this point (and some of you can confirm or deny this, as I don't and will not ever pay LFL for access to a website), I am fully expecting the VOTC R2 to have a crappy metalized dome and a third leg that doesn't even retract.  After seeing the "new" Cantina three pack today, I really hope this line dies within a year after Episode III.  Give me the main characters and vehicles, a good assortment of background characters and aliens, and let it die Hasbro.  You obviously don't care enough to put any effort into the stuff anymore, so give it up already.  

Oh, and yes, I'm in a really bad mood today, none of which has to do with SW toys.  They are just a safe and convenient outlet for my hostility. >:(

1890
The thing about K-Mart (at least the ones that I have been to) is that when a line starts, they actually get the stuff fairly quickly.  After the initial wave, however, things start to really go downhill.  The first batch of Episode I stuff and the first wave of Saga stuff was at K-Mart on the day of release in great abundance (and in some cases, even before they were supposed to be there); after that, for the most part, they didn't get a whole lot else.  

I honestly think that will probably happen again with the OTC, since I've seen the first waves of the VOTC, Galactic Heroes, and 12" VOTC in the K-Mart toy department (the latter of the three was still in a sealed case and buried at the bottom of a stack of boxes).  If K-Mart gets any OTC carded figures at all (which I am doubtful of), it will be of the Dagobah wave and nothing past that, and we'll be seeing either 50 X-Wing Lukes or empty pegs until the Episode III stuff hits in the spring.  Come to think of it, with all the endless repacks, I don't know if this is such a bad thing.  ;)

My main complaint with K-Mart stores in general is that they're so horribly maintained.  I have yet to be in a KM that doesn't feel as if it is in a constant state of disrepair and disorganization.  It doesn't piss me off nearly as much as going into a Wal-Mart, since the aisles aren't three feet wide like the Church O'Sam's, but it's close.

As for the Cantina three pack, I would venture a guess that it will be around 25 bucks.  K-Mart typically (not always) charges a little more than WM and Target and TRU, so while 20 would be nice, 25 seems more likely to me.

Oh, and given the current state of things, if they do another Cantina three pack, it'll probably have Cantina Han (again), Cantina Greedo (again), and it wouldn't surprise me to see them throw the Obi-Wan figure from the Cantina Showdown three pack in 1997 in there just to save a buck.  Either that or it would be a straight rebox of the three WM Cantina sets from 2002 that nearly everyone who wanted one (I was not one of those who wanted them to begin with) was able to find on clearance for as low as 25 cents in some areas.

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