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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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1906
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: JediMAC goes absolutely postal!
« on: June 16, 2004, 10:37 AM »
First of all, on the Theater Luke front, part of the reason for the bubble drops or whatever probably has something to do with the quality of the packaging as a whole.  Mine (and I don't know if everyone else's is like this) came on a card that is about half as thick as a regular POTF2 card of that time period, and is about a third as glossy (at least on the back).  I would wager this is why it is so difficult to find one of these in perfect condition (out of the five that my friends and I got on opening night of the ROTJ: SE, and yes there were five of us, so it was only one each, only one had no creases in the cardback).  If Hasbro/Kenner put that little effort into the card, then it only stands to reason they cheaped out on the glue as well.

Okay, now on to the fun stuff...  ;D

When I read that thread yesterday (linked to from the now locked RS thread), I nearly fell off my chair laughing.  If it were possible to be funny and serious at the same time, you certainly achieved that, Matt.  The thing I found most surprising was that one of the RS forum mods even pretty much agreed with you about Greg(g)'s lack of thinking.  I'm curious to know if Wise-ass has already written to reprimand you or ban you for speaking the truth about his beloved GNT.

I wish I were banned at RS.  :-[ It'd be like a badge of honor for me at this point.

Also, if Greg(g) actually bought vintage Stormtroopers by the truckload when they were being clearanced out in 1986, then he would be the most powerful sperm in the universe.  Much stronger than Superman's "Krypton Super Sperm" that could completely destroy Lois Lane's fallopian tubes and uterus.  :)

1907
Quote
I didn't know Rydstrom was actually that involved with the mix. What a surprise. I guess I never noticed because Burtt is always hogging the limelight.

Yeah, he did the final sound mix on both TPM and AOTC.  On the second disc of the DVD of TPM, during "The Beginning", you can see him during the final mix manning the boards.  But, as I said earlier, Burtt and Lucas are literally standing right over top of him to make sure that pesky music can't be heard over the laser blasts. ::)

I'm actually really glad that Rydstrom got a full-time job with Pixar, as the work he's done on their films has been nothing short of incredible.  If you have the Toy Story "Ultimate Toy Box" 3 DVD set, listen to the isolated sound effects track on TS2 and tell me that he couldn't give Burtt a run for his money when it comes to sound design.  Actually, I'm wondering if Burtt does a lot of new sounds for the prequels or not these days, considering the documentary on the AOTC DVD about sound shows Matthew Wood as the guy going out and getting new sound effects.

I don't mean to sound as if I don't appreciate what Burtt has done, sound-wise, for the SW saga.  He's done some absolutely brilliant work and has been responsible for some of the most memorable sound work in film history.  My problem is that he seems to think that his sound effects are the most important thing in the film, and the work of others, particularly John Williams, should take a backseat to his ego.

Quote
It almost seems that if hes not emotionally invested in the characters and events of a movie, his score shows it.

Yeah, I've noticed that too.  At times, the score is great, particularly when it either involves characters that JW is familiar with from the old films (Sidious, Yoda, or Vader), or when it's a thunderous piece of music/fanfare (the TF march or DOTF).  When it is a new character theme (Jar Jar comes to mind), the music just falls flat.  

And speaking of recurring themes, where is Boba Fett's theme from TESB?  I realize it was just a low bassoon playing a few bars, but with all the importance based on leitmotiv in the SW scores, I figured it, and the Droid theme for that matter (R2 and Threepio) would make some kind of appearance.

The thing I find highly interesting about JW's work on the prequel scores thus far is that he has yet to really speak about them.  Even the videotapes of the SEs had some comments from him on the inclusion of the new end celebration themes in ROTJ, but so far, neither of the prequel DVDs have said much of anything.  They show a few snippets of the recording sessions, and that's it.

I wonder if they would wind up with a "F**king with the Film Score" documentary had they talked to him?

1908
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Rebelscum.. is it just me??
« on: June 13, 2004, 11:24 AM »
This pretty much sums up my feelings on the RS forums: I registered for the RS forums before the CSW absorption took place, and reregistered there when that occurred.  In the five years or so I was registered there, I made about 45-50 posts total.  By way of comparison, since I've been on JD's boards, I've made almost that many posts in the last six months.  I'm a veteran of the old Usenet rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting* newsgroups, and to say that Usenet was much more friendly and mature than RS's boards is really saying something.

I just didn't get any feeling of community with RS's boards.  It all seemed like one big pissing contest with nobody being all that willing to help others out.  On RASSC, we pretty much all knew each other on some level (or at least knew of each other), it was very communal, and even if we didn't care for a particular person, there was still a mutual respect.  I made some lasting friendships from RASSC, but when the great newsgroup split proposal failed in 1999, I made my exit.  I still keep in touch with many of those people, but the newsgroup as a community pretty much died.

With RS, as I said, it's more about "my dad can beat up your dad", if that makes any sense.  It's all about "RS just put up photos of something a guy in Timbuktu found in a yard sale...f**k you, other SW toy sites!"  Or, in more recent cases, and not a direct quote, "JD has had a report about who an exclusive figure is for the last week, but since they're not a 'reputable' website, we're going to ignore it and act like it's news only when *we* post about it!"  As someone else in the thread said earlier, it does have the feel of a cafeteria in high school, with people doing everything in the world to undercut everyone else. To quote the films, and cement my nerd status, "there is no civility, only politics."

(at this point I made some rather inflammatory comments about certain moderators whose name ends in one or two "G"'s, but to avoid any problems, I have deleted that portion of the original post)

As for moderators and site admins, that's another reason I don't go to RS anymore.  After the mess with the TFN boards (how did that work out, by the way?), I'm done patronizing Philip Wise's sites at all.  I went over a few minutes ago to see what had happened to the RS forums (I hadn't seen the changes that had been made) and just started laughing.  I still remember Wiseacres.com, Philip; way to sell out the entire fan community you claimed to love so much.   :P

As for other sites, I take my hat off to the fine folks at JD, Yakface, and GH.com.  You're all doing fine work, and you should be proud.  RS, may you fade into obscurity and be forgotten completely.



1909
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC Floor Display
« on: June 7, 2004, 09:40 PM »
Am I the only one that finds it highly amusing (yet highly saddening at the same time) that the figure that is shown in the shots, taking up all the display space, is Han?  

After all, I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a LOT of this figure for the rest of the year, so maybe Hasbro's clairvoyant or something. ;)

1910
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: SWS.com Exclusive Figure
« on: June 7, 2004, 09:37 PM »
I'll bet my lease on the London Bridge that it's a silver Ugnaught.   ;D

All kidding aside, this has disaster written all over it, as the rest of you have already said.  Did the Fan Club (of which I am aware this is not technically an offshoot of as in the past) ever have an exclusive Hasbro figure that wasn't a complete pain to get ahold of?  

For the record, here is the list of the non-silver exclusive figures over the POTF2/POTJ/E1/Saga era (not counting the Animated Clone Wars figures):

-Mace Windu (1998; Hasbro mail away)
-Muftak and Kabe (1998; Hasbro internet)
-Oola and Salacious Crumb (1998; Fan Club)
-B'Omarr Monk (1997; Hasbro internet)
-Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi (1997; Lays mail away)
-Cantina Band Member (1997; Fan Club)
-Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise (1995; Froot Loops mailaway)

Did I leave anyone out?  So, as you said, Mr. Bryant ;) the last non-silver exclusive figure was Mace Windu from the end of the 1998 line.  It's been almost six years since then.  Apparently it's not as cost-prohibitive to do a newly sculpted figure as a premium after all; it just has to be done when it benefits you, and with all the bad collector karma from the OTC disaster in the making, Hasbro needs all the benefits it can get.

1911
Quote
Not only have perfectly good cues been cut (in AOTC) but the reuse of TPM score in certain areas is completely inappropriate witness the Trade Federation March slapped over the Clones reveal.

Yeah, that was one of the cues that really bothered me when I saw it in the film.  With the way it goes from the Obi-Wan/Jango asteroid chase into that piece of music, I assumed that the TF March was going to be in a scene with Obi-Wan looking through his binoculars at a ridiculously large amount of Battle Droids being loaded onto waiting ships.  The theme had already been established as representing the TF/Separatists and to stick it in a scene with the reveal of the Clone Army on Kamino made no sense to me whatsoever.

You know, as much as I admire Ben Burtt's work on the sound design of the six films, he doesn't respect John Williams' work at all, given, as you pointed out Tydirium, the burying of what remains of JW's score in the prequels thus far.  It's like he's saying "I rule and you suck" to JW by making his own work more audible.  The only person there that seemed to have any sense when it came to sound design/mixing was Gary Rydstrom (who actually did mix TPM and AOTC with Burtt and Lucas standing over him) and he's just left Skywalker Sound to work full-time with Pixar.

I remember reading on a message board a year or so back that there was going to be a featurette on the AOTC DVD called "F**king with the Film Score" which would consist of ten minutes of John Williams cursing like a sailor about the hack job perpetrated on his work in the prequels thus far.  It was a joke, but it was really funny to even think about.

The man is a musical genius (who can't remember all the wonderful music he's done over the years; Indy, SW, Jaws, E.T., Superman, etc) and the way his work is being treated in the prequels is an unadulterated shame.

Oh, and love your avatar Tydirium.  "I see you rolled your way into the semis...dios mio, mahn."  (I would quote some things a lot funnier but you know how that goes). :)

1912
First of all, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, I love John Williams' musical scores in the SW films, and in the majority of his non-SW work.  Even his low-key scores, such as the one for "A.I.", are absolutely incredible and carry as much emotion as the on-screen action, and any fan of SW (or movie music in general) should have his scores in their CD collection.

I absolutely adore the RCA Victor releases of the Special Edition soundtracks: two discs for each film, in sequential order, with all kinds of bonus tracks, unreleased cues, and unsurpassed liner notes.  Those three double-disc sets are among my most loved SW items in my collection and I listen to them on a regular basis.  Sure, they weren't as complete as they could have been ("Lapti Nek", the Yub Yub song, and the Rebo Band source music from just after the Boussh thermal detonator scene aren't included), but they are an absolute treasure to fans of the films.

That said, I have been less than thrilled with the presentations of TPM and AOTC on CD thus far.  Not only have tracks been slapped together that have little or no relation, not even thematically, some of the most memorable cues from the films have been ignored completely (such as Anakin's breakdown in AOTC with the soaring Sith theme blending into the Imperial March).  I do enjoy the soundtracks a good bit, as there are some incredible pieces of music on there, but compared to the RCA Victor releases of the OT:SE, they come up way short.

(I will say that one thing I love about the AOTC CD is that it does include a lot of music that wasn't in the film, mainly during the Speeder Chase and the Arena Monster Battle.)

Sony tried very poorly to follow up on the OT:SE work with a TPM "Ultimate Edition" that was marketed to make people believe it was along the lines of the SE soundtracks.  When it was released, people quickly realized that it was nothing more than an isolated score, and still featured the choppy editing and abrupt transitions that plagued Williams' score in the film.  People, myself included, were outraged, as Sony had led people to believe it would be one thing, were intentionally vague when asked questions about specifics, and once it was released, tried to cover up by saying "we never said it was all that was recorded, just that it was "every note from the film."  Thank goodness they didn't give AOTC a similar treatment, as the music editing in that film was 10 times as worse as TPM's.

Now, I know the reasons for the score in TPM, particularly during the four-prong final battle, being as choppy as it is due to Lucas reediting the final reel after JW had done the score.  And I know that in AOTC, Williams didn't even score a lot of the Clone War because he knew it was not finished and his work would probably wind up like TPM's.  But what I don't get, with all the money Lucas has at his disposal, is why Williams isn't given the chance to rescore both TPM and AOTC's endings so the music won't sound like a temp track.  Give him and the LSO some extra money to stay around for a week after the recording session for Episode III (or come in for another session ala Howard Shore for the LOTR:EE DVDs) and let things be set right.

After that, let RCA Victor have the rights to all the soundtracks and let them release two-CD complete scores of all three prequels the right way.  For all Lucas goes on about sound being so important and how much he loves John Williams' work, he has really torn it apart with the prequels and it'd be great to hear things as JW intended them to sound.

1913
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: 2004 NEW NEWS ON SANDCRAWLER
« on: June 5, 2004, 01:52 PM »
Just thought I'd let everyone know (unless this has been mentioned elsewhere; I have yet to see it on any other site) that the Sandcrawler is now up for preorder at StarWarsShop.com for $59.99, expected delivery in November of this year.

Jawa Sandcrawler

So now I get to be a partial hypocrite: I'm going to go ahead and preorder it, even after I said I wasn't going to buy it in the first place.  Why?  The fifty dollar GC I got from SSW.com a few months back that I never ended up using.  I figure I'll end up paying about 25 bucks for the Sandcrawler which is about what I think it's worth at most, so it seems like a good deal to me.  Especially considering I'm too poor to pay the prices for anything else on the site and this is the first thing I've seen that I would be interested in getting from them.

1914
Reading in other threads about how people would have liked to have seen the OTC "officially" start in January of this year instead of the fall, and so on, got me to thinking about how I would have done things differently.  So, in my own little fantasy world, where I am a viking, I began to formulate how I would have handled the year of 2004 from a product perspective.  Keep in mind this is just my own opinion and is based on pure fantasy (although many of the products I mention are/have actually being/been released).  I'm curious to hear what others would have done in their own fantasy world.

Also, in this fantasy world, I am happily married to Rachael Leigh Cook, but I digress...

HOW I WOULD HAVE HANDLED THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY COLLECTION:

Basic Figures: there would be nine waves throughout the year, consisting of the following:

JANUARY: HOTH WAVE
-Luke Skywalker in Hoth Gear
-R-3P0
-Hoth Rebel Soldier

FEBRUARY: TATOOINE WAVE
-Luke Skywalker-Jabba's Palace
-R1-G4
-R2-D2-Jabba's Sail Barge

APRIL: JABBA'S PALACE WAVE
-Lando Calrissian-Skiff Guard
-Rappertunie
-Holographic Luke Skywalker
-Tanus Spijek
-J'Quille

MAY: BATTLE OF YAVIN WAVE
-General Dodonna
-Gold Leader
-TIE Fighter Pilot
-Captain Antilles

JULY: STAR DESTROYER WAVE
-Bossk
-Dengar
-Admiral Ozzel

AUGUST: ENDOR WAVE
-Han Solo in Endor Gear (soft goods coat with helmet)
-General Madine
-General Lando Calrissian

SEPTEMBER: DAGOBAH WAVE
-Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi
-Dagobah Luke Skywalker
-Yoda
-R2-D2 Dagobah Damage

NOVEMBER: CLOUD CITY WAVE
-Cloud Car Pilot
-Lobot
-Princess Leia in Bespin Gown

DECEMBER: EPISODE III SNEAK PREVIEW WAVE
-General Grevious
-Second Gen Clone Trooper
-Wookiee Warrior

This would give a grand total of 31 regular carded figures, all on the OTC cards with backgrounds (even the EIII figures would have a corresponding background).

VINTAGE STYLE FIGURES: would be released in waves just like they are being this fall, in the months between basic figure waves.  Same assortments:

MARCH: A NEW HOPE
-Luke Skywalker
-Han Solo
-Princess Leia
-Obi-Wan Kenobi

JUNE: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
-Darth Vader
-C-3P0
-Lando Calrissian
-Yoda

OCTOBER: RETURN OF THE JEDI
-Boba Fett
-R2-D2
-Stormtrooper
-Chewbacca

DVD SETS:  if they had to do this, the four packs would include the four figures from each VOTC wave in a box (uncarded, for people who weren't all that concerned about the packaging, as nice as it is to look at, or for people who wanted to keep one VOTC in the package but still have a loose one as well).  For the sake of completion:

A NEW HOPE BOX SET: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK BOX SET: Darth Vader, Threepio, Lando Calrissian, and Yoda

RETURN OF THE JEDI BOX SET: Chewbacca, Boba Fett, R2-D2, and Stormtrooper

ULTRA FIGURE ASSORTMENTS:  these would be the same figures already released this year (Rieekan, Threepio, Wampa, Jabba, Denizens, and Ewok) using the same strategy already used.  In addition, a new Han Solo in Carbonite with pack-in Ugnaught would have been released for the Cloud City wave and a new Biker Scout with Speeder Bike would have been released for the Endor wave.  Just my dream you know.

VEHICLES: I don't know about these, but I would have definitely released a new Cloud Car with a head-swapped CC Pilot at some point.  

Note: There would be no Hall of Fame series at all released.  There would be no need for them (and there is no need for them) given the presence of the "Ultimate" VOTC series.  Also, the old X-Wing, TIE, and Falcon would not be released as they are now because the sculpts for all three are outdated and pitiful given today's standards.  If they wanted to release something nice, stick with the Red Leader X-Wing at TRU, a TIE with accurate solar panels at WM, and a totally new Falcon from the ground up at another retailer (I can't imagine who would take it on though).

So that's my dream world.  The land of no repacks, no useless resculpts, and no insulting of the consumer intelligence.  Anyone else living in a dream world? :)

1915
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Vintage OTC Figures
« on: June 4, 2004, 11:23 AM »
The Vader looks really nice.  I would have liked to have had the ball-jointed elbows, but three out of four isn't that bad. :)

The only thing that has bothered me about the soft goods Jedi cloaks over the years has been the hoods.  The bulk of the thicker material never really bothered me as much as the fact that none of the hoods look good when they're pulled over the figure's head.  This was especially noticeable on the Episode I accessory pack cloaks in 1999, but even the Saga Pilot Obi-Wan has the same problem.

As Jesse James said, the cloak on the Total Control Mace (a figure I wanted to hate but ended up enjoying a great deal as a toy) was really well done and didn't have the same problems the Pilot Obi-Wan did in terms of bulk.  Even the cloak on the new Jedi Luke from this year was done really well, aside from my gripe with the hood, as it was done in a similar material.  

That said, and lack of knee articulation aside, I really do like the VOTC Obi-Wan.  It looks nice, and they put a lot of effort into it and the other figures.   Believe it or not, the one figure I've seen so far that I'm not totally sold on is the Han.  It just doesn't look right to me, but I'm reserving judgment until I actually have it in my hands.

As for Hasbro "not knowing" about the DVDs, they knew.  They've never been straightforward and honest with the people who buy their products and they'll do anything they can to pass the buck and feign ignorance to make someone else look like the bad guy.  They probably knew before anyone else knew, save LFL.  Why else would every product released in early 2004's Saga offerings be completely OT-focused?  

1916
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Who's getting bored?
« on: June 4, 2004, 11:12 AM »
Boredom isn't the right word for my feelings toward the SW line; the correct word would be frustration.  I'm just getting really tired of all these endless repacks, reissues of now subpar toys (the OTC X-Wing after the excellent FX/Saga sculpt), and the apparent unwillingness of the company behind making said toys to recognize and learn from their mistakes.  

A few years ago, I was actually excited about SW toys and I would often wonder what Hasbro was going to put out next.  Now, I find myself wishing that they get all the decent characters for Episode III put out in a year or two tops so this line can die, which is really sad.  

1917
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC DVD Sets
« on: June 4, 2004, 11:07 AM »
Well, I guess the only logical idea about these (the one that said they would be sold to non-toy focused retailers like Suncoast or Best Buy to sell alongside the DVDs) has now been blown out of the water.  How fitting that they are exclusive to Wal*Mart, who has done more to destroy the American shopping economy than any other department store in the history of civilization.  

Nice job, Hasbro.  By that I mean "nice job helping to totally destroy retail interest in the Star Wars line."  I really hope that they don't release any new figures after the 38 OTC figures before the Episode III line hits, because it's going to be near impossible to find any of them with the glut of OTC hanging around on the pegs.

1918
Yeah, that's definitely the Gunner Station Vader.  I guess my seeing the cloth waist cape was merely a trick of light in the first picture, since it now looks like it's just the neck cape being held tight due to the twist-tie around Vader's waist.  

That being said, this is really one of the best Vaders they could have included in the set.  The cape is removable (at least on the GS one) so I don't think it would be as prone to ripping as the CTC version, and the figure was made to sit in a TIE cockpit anyway, so I think they went the right route with this one.  

I'm curious to see what they end up doing with the packin figures for the ESB Slave I and the new Y-Wing.  Is there going to be a Fett included (I haven't seen pictures; and if so which one?), and who is included with the Y-Wing?  A Gold Leader from the Saga line?

1919
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: 2004 NEW NEWS ON SANDCRAWLER
« on: June 2, 2004, 07:43 PM »
This is absolutely hilarious.  $60 (minimum) for a vehicle that is horrendously out of scale, comes with two figures (Jawas) that sell for about five dollars tops on the secondary market (and soon to be primary market, since they're part of the OTC recard disaster-in-the-making) and another figure that, given Hasbro's track record with packins in the past, will probably be really poorly painted?  I think I'll pass.

Let's not forget too that $60 is Diamond's price.  When it gets to comic and hobby shops, it will probably increase by a few dollars as well so they can make a profit on the item beyond what Diamond charges them to order it.

I'm thinking that this would have been 40 dollars at most if it went to Target.  I could be wrong, but given the size and the use of an old mold, I just can't see how they can justify 60 bucks for that...thing.


1920
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC = Freeze Frame Waves
« on: June 2, 2004, 07:37 PM »
Quote
While I'm not sure it was the Freeze Frame line that killed the modern line's momentum (that was probably due more to the glut of Ep1),

Well, my reason for the FF line killing the modern line's momentum (which I mentioned in a prior post in another thread which Muftak has quoted above) was this:

In 1998, the appeal of the Special Edition theatrical rerelease in 1997 had cooled down considerably.  1998 was what Hasbro/Kenner calls a "non-movie year."  The problem was that they had not figured out how to do case assortments at that point in time and focus on the people who were actually buying the products in a non-movie year: the collector.  They did this very well with the POTJ line in the years between TPM and AOTC, but the FF line stunk of their oft-quoted "kids buy more SW figures than collectors do" philosophy.

So, first wave of figures hits, that being the first Collection 1 case.  Out of that case were seven new figures (two each of the Endor Rebel Soldier, Lando General, Ewok Gown Leia, and one Bespin Luke).  The remaining 9 figures (this was back when there were 16 figure cases, as opposed to the current norm of 12) were all recards of older figures.  The first Collection 2 case was a similar situation with two each of Biggs, Lak Sivrak, and the Ewoks, along with nine more repacks of older figures.  Collection 3 was a little luckier, with eight new figures (2 each of RH Vader, Ishi Tib, Zuckuss, and Piett), but there were also eight repacks.  I thought this would be the worst of it.  I was very mistaken.

As I mentioned before in that prior post, around this time Hasbro/Kenner decided to do a case assortment for Collection 3 that was solely made up of repacks.  This is where some of the harder to find FF repack figures from Collection 3 came from (TIE Pilot, Fett, and in rare cases, Weequay).  The problem was that these (in most cases) did not move because the shelves were still packed with tons of these figures in their 1997 holograph card iterations.  So in addition to old figures on new cards, there was still a glut of old figures on old cards.  It did not get better.

The Blast Shield Luke wave comes out; again, eight new figures, eight repacks.  Collection 2 was even more ridiculous: 2 Ugnaughts and 14 repacks.  Collection 3's second new case assortment was two each of the DST and Ree Yees with 12 repacks, and I don't think I need to remind anyone of what a disaster that was.

Over the rest of the year, Hasbro released another Collection 1 assortment (Lobot, Chewie in Chains, Mothma and Prune Face), another Collection 2 assortment (with 8D8 as the only new figure), and no more Collection 3 figures (except for the Hoth Leia wave I'll address in a minute).  The entire year, Hasbro had been printing ads with photos and checklists focused on their upcoming Expanded Universe line, so people were actually really excited (at least in the collector community) about these figures being released.  

The problem was that due to the horrendous case packouts in Collection 2, where the EU figures would be released, stores were stocked to the gills with Rancor Keepers, Admiral Ackbars, and Nien Nunbs and because of this, everyone's ordering systems showed no need for any Collection 2 orders to be replenished.  Thus, many areas only saw the first three EU figures if they saw any at all (I was actually one who only saw the second wave minus Katarn and had to get the others elsewhere) and by the time the last wave, the one that arguably everyone was the most excited about, came out, they were impossible to find at all.  All because of that glut of older figures.

The stores took a big loss on those figures they couldn't sell, even with the 2 dollar off coupons.  The thing was that stores were able to sell Stormtroopers and other Imperial army builders fairly quickly, but who in their right mind needs those 50 Rancor Keepers and Ackbars hanging around with an inch of dust on them?  A local WM had a larger display area for those old dust collectors than they had for either TPM or AOTC.  It was one complete aisle, with almost 80 pegs, filled with all this old crap that nobody wanted.  They knew that Episode I was coming up in the spring and they wanted to allocate shelf space to it and not be stuck with all this old crap since (in their minds at the time) TPM would have a film to coincide with the toy release, and that would help sell things.

That's why when Hasbro/Kenner decided to release that last Collection 3 wave of Hoth Leia/AT-AT Driver/Pote Snitkin/and the DS Droid in November of 1998, the retailers basically told them "no thank you."  (for those of you who weren't around back then, it was the equivalent of Mattel's He-Man case assortments in a lot of ways, but not specifically; a case of the manufacturer sending out loads of the same old crap that won't sell and expecting the retailer to buy every last one of them anyway because "it's Star Wars").  Hasbro/Kenner had to then sell those figures as Fan Club exclusives (and I think anyone who was around back then remembers how much they were charging for those figures-$24.00 for two of them plus shipping on top of it, so $48.00 plus shipping for the set of four; thankfully I eventually got them for just under retail from the FC when they were still swamped in them six months later and had to mark them down) because retail pretty much told Hasbro/Kenner "NO MORE."  

So there's my reasons why the Freeze Frame figures destroyed any momentum the POTF2 line had at the end of 1998.  Yes, Episode I was, for all intents and purposes, a disaster at retail, but that disaster was shared by retail and Hasbro; the FF fiasco was all Hasbro's fault and I had thought they'd learned their lesson by now.  

I could ramble on and on but I'm sure that nobody wants to hear it after reading my conspiratorial nonsense. :)

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