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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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1936
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? :)

1937
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?  

1938
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.  

1939
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.

1940
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?

1941
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.


1942
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. :)

1943
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC DVD Sets
« on: June 2, 2004, 09:49 AM »
The one phrase that keeps coming back to my mind these last few days is "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."  How this applies to this situation is that Hasbro has simply not learned from its mistakes.  They have done this endless recarding before, and it ended up very badly and killed any momentum the line had at that time with retailers.  Only Episode I, believe it or not, saved the SW line.  

What I'm referring to is the Freeze Frame line.  Very nice concept, but executed badly.  Yes, they released a wave of new figures on a regular basis, but mixed in with these new figures were a veritable truckload of older figures who hadn't been all that difficult to find in the first place, on new cards.  It had nothing to do with keeping popular characters out there for fans or newcomers; it had more to do with milking the completist carded collectors for all they were worth.  And it backfired.

Probably the best/worst shining example of this was the rerelease of a Collection 3 case with nothing but older figures.  Never mind the fact that they had just released the first Removable Helmet Vader in an earlier case assortment not more than a month earlier; they had to release a whole case of figures nobody had any trouble finding at all in their previous incarnations (Tarkin, TIE Pilot, Stormie), ignoring the previous wave with the RH Vader, and when it came time for the second wave of Collection 3 figures that were new, they were impossible to find (Ree Yees and DST).  All because of Hasbro's desire to cut corners and "maximize their profits."

The fact that they were releasing waves of figures with one new figure (usually packed at 2 per case) like the Ugnaughts or 8D8 wasn't helping either, because it was getting 2 new figures and 14 old figures on the shelf.  I don't think I need to explain which ones didn't sell.  It was also the FF line that necessitated the ridiculous clearance sales that fall (2 dollars a figure with those little stickers).  I have never seen a Wal*Mart so overrun with figures as I did that fall, and it was all the same figures.  Nothing new.

And then that winter, after a whole load of relative hype, Hasbro released the Expanded Universe line at the tail end of the FF series.  Was there anyone here who had an easy time finding any of these, particularly the Darktrooper and Spacetrooper?  Then the last wave (the Hoth Leia wave) wasn't even released to retail because after the clearance disaster, retailers pretty much told Hasbro "NO MORE."  They had to seek out alternative outlets because they had burned the retailers so badly with endless repacks.

This is all going to happen again.  Out of 38 regular carded figures, there are arguably 7 new figures, two repaints (Hoth Vader and Bespin Luke), and 29 repacks.  I don't care what Hasbro says: this line is NOT going to get new people to start buying figures because of the DVDs.  People are going to buy the DVDs and that is it.  Given the fact that the electronics section and the toy section are a good distance away from each other in most retailers, people are going to buy the DVDs and that's all, not even giving the toy section a second thought.  They're  basing their entire product offering (and a vast amount of their products themselves) on the assumption that new people will buy things, when in reality, this will be a very small portion of the buying population.  They should know this by now, but they obviously prefer to live in their ivory tower and develop new ways to package POTJ Obi-Wan and CTC Han than put money into developing toys that people actually want to buy.

Get ready folks, it's going to be 1998 all over again, if not worse.

1944
Just a rather humorous way of looking at things: I've been of the opinion that all the Stormtroopers were clones (at least since we found that out in AOTC) but that their rather, ummm, questionable military skills in the OT compared to their effectiveness in the PT can be attributed to Jango's death and bad cloning techniques.

It's like that Michael Keaton movie where he keeps cloning himself in a way, or on a more basic level, a photocopier.  Generation 1 were made directly from Jango and thus were the closest to his skill level.  Well, Jango dies and they no longer have the host body they need (I'd assume they still had some Jango-DNA on file they could use for a few years).  So what happens when they run out of Jango?  

In my mind they either: A-take DNA from Boba Fett, since he's a pure genetic replication of Jango in the first place or B-take DNA from a first generation Clone Trooper.  Since I don't think Boba would be going along with option A, B is their only option if they want to keep the same host.

The analogy of the Keaton movie and the photocopier comes into this because as everyone knows, when you make a copy of a copy, the new copy isn't exactly all that great.  In the Keaton movie, by the time they get to number 3 or 4, that clone is completely batsh!t insane and is not functioning on a normal level.  

I think the Stormtroopers in the OT reflect this.  They were once really good, but when you copy something over and over at numbers that are more than likely quite high given Palpatine's ego and need to subvert everyone to his will, they're just not going to live up to the original versions.  Thus, the Clones in the OT are the equivalent of that sixth generation bootleg of Prince's "Black Album" or The Beach Boys' "Shine" you have sitting in your tape collection; the one that you can make do with but you'd rather have a fully-mastered digital version of to get the full effect.

Personally, I'd love to see an EU short story about a Clone/Stormtrooper who functions on a mental and emotional level akin to the "strange" clone in the Keaton movie, but that's just me. ;D

1945
Looks to me like the figure has the waist cape but not the full "neck" cape.  If it is the Gunner Station version, they've modified it since the original had no waist cape.  Of course, as Tydirium said, it's hard to tell exactly what figure it is at this point, considering the link is incorrect on 4-inches' website.

On the topic of other vehicles, does anyone know if the side guns and the missle launcher attached to the "new" ESB decoed Slave I are removable or if they are permanently attached to the outside of the hull?  At this point, I'm considering buying it, but if they're a permanent part of the ship's hull, I might have to reconsider.


1946
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Jedi Council sets 3 & 4
« on: May 31, 2004, 10:31 AM »
I guess I should be thanking Hasbro for saving me so much money this fall.  I'd already decided to pass on the first two TRU Council sets and after seeing these new sets (how strange that the backs of the unseen-to-this-point sets are all you can see in the photo, huh?), I'm going to be passing on them as well.  Hasbro could have really done something special with these four sets, but they instead decided to once again take the cheap and easy way out, hoping that people would go along with the endless rehashes just to get the entire chamber.

Let's just look at this for a second....

SET 1: Eeth Koth (POTJ head on a Mace body)-looks totally ridiculous, even if they did give him "new" arms; Obi-Wan (Episode I Jedi Duel)-he never appeared in this costume in that scene; Plo Koon (Saga)-same action oriented pose but with "new" legs.  Great.

SET 2: Yoda (Episode I/Saga)-laziness, pure and simple; Qui-Gon (Episode I Naboo)-doesn't even have his saber on his belt anymore; Ki-Adi Mundi (Episode I/Saga)-the only one I can forgive since the lower body and legs were all that really needed to be changed

SET 3: Saesee Tiiin (seemingly the Saga version)-action pose with new legs, ala Koon; Anakin (seemingly the POTJ version)-ugh; Stass Allie (probably Adi Gallia with new legs and lower body)-knowing Hasbro they'll just give the head a new paint job

SET 4: Shaak Ti (the Saga upper torso with new lower torso)-the biggest cop out of the entire series; Coleman Trebor (we can't even see him clearly); Adi Gallia (more than likely just a straight rehash of the Episode I figure)

Out of that entire list, there is not one single new figure in the bunch.  Most of them are either from a time when the sculpts weren't as good as they are now (Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Yoda), or they are really inappropriately posed for characters who are supposed to be pensive.  

Kudos Hasbro, you never fail to disappoint me, and you'd think I would know better by this point.

1947
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: OTC DVD Sets
« on: May 31, 2004, 10:21 AM »
Aside from the very idea of these being done in the first place, which I find completely and utterly asinine, the main thing that bugs me about this is the figure selection.  I mean, once again, we're getting the same Obi-Wan, the same Luke, and the same Stormtrooper we're getting on regular cards.  This is the third different assortment that the Obi-Wan has been part of this year so far (Target Cup, OTC regular carded, OTC three pack).  

And I don't know if anyone else has noticed it or not, but the R2 in the ANH set is apparently the same one that came out in the very first wave of POTF2 back in 1995.  

I've gotten to the point where I've stopped asking myself "What are they thinking?"  I've simply realized that Hasbro doesn't think.

1948
Original Trilogy Collection / Re: Most Overdue
« on: May 28, 2004, 09:52 AM »
TPM Figure-Handmaiden Padme
TPM Vehicle/Playset-Sith Infiltrator

AOTC Figure-Obi-Wan in Jedi Robes
AOTC Vehicle-AT-TE

ANH Figure-Owen Lars (resculpted)
ANH Playset-Death Star (duh; include the Emperor's throne room as part of this just to be sure)

TESB Figure-General Veers (with removable armor and interchangeable hat/helmet)
TESB Vehicle-Twin Pod Cloud Car

ROTJ Figure-Ewoks, and lots of them
ROTJ Vehicle-a decent Speeder Bike (using Clone mold?) with a super articulated Biker Scout

1949
Saga '02-'04 / Re: Are you all caught up?
« on: May 28, 2004, 09:44 AM »
I'm only one figure behind: that crappy AT-ST Han, which I'm not particularly worried about, considering he's going to be reissued in the OTC line and he's not all that interesting in the first place.  

I've been extremely lucky with this year's figures, finding the majority at retail (although usually only once) and by an online friend helping me out with the ones I never saw at retail (J'Quille, Jedi Luke, R1-G4, Bar-2).  I only hope that the OTC disaster...I mean line goes as well.

1950
Saga Collection '06 / Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting
« on: May 14, 2004, 04:52 PM »
Just a general statement which I don't know if anyone saw yesterday or not...both CNN and Fox News reported (on their little tickertape thing) that a recent study found children prefer video games to action figures by a 2:1 margin, and that children spend an average of 6 hours a week playing video games.  The former I agree with, as I see fewer and fewer children in the toy aisles these days; the latter I disagree with because the majority of kids I know spend a lot more than six hours a week in front of the X-Box/NES/Sega/PS/whatever.  I have my own theory on videogames being a parent's dream babysitter, but I'm overly paranoid and conspiratorial in my thought processes, so I will refrain from that here. :)

The point to this, and how it relates to SW collecting, the OTC line, and toys in general is this: if kids are more and more turning away from the "archaic" action figures for more interactive things such as video games, are toys in general headed for a collapse?  Not so much from an investment standpoint (although I'd laugh my ass off if all these speculators and their half-circle, short-saber, bent finger MOCs they bought to send little Johnny through college suddenly became worthless), but more from a conceptual standpoint.  Is the entire concept of an action figure outdated?  

As popular as "The Simpsons" is, the figures came out too many and too fast to sustain an ongoing line.  Yes, there are plenty of characters in Springfield, but the availability was what kept me from buying more of them.  I would have gotten an Apu, Sideshow Bob, Jasper, Marge, or Mayor Quimby in a second, but I wasn't about to shell out 25 dollars for a playset to get them.  Even the characters who were released as individually carded figures were pretty hard to find at times: I never saw a Barney and I only saw Groundskeeper Willie once (thank goodness I bought him when I did).  The point is this: they could have put out about 15 figures a year (along the lines of what the 1980's Joe line did) and released them year-round so people could actually go out and find them instead of releasing one wave of six figures every other month and having so many of them be like finding a needle in a haystack.  I commend Playmates for rereleasing those two packs with miniscenes, but it was a last gasp in an already dying line from where I stood.

As for He-Man, it was nobody's fault but Mattel's that the line failed.  If you ship a case of 18 Skeletors and 18 He-Mans with one each of the supporting characters and only one of a particular figure in every 20 cases, then it's not retail's fault that certain figures aren't being ordered.  I feel sorry for the collectors of the Eternia stuff, but it's totally and completely Mattel's fault that things ended for that line.  I only hope the Batman collectors don't have to go through this same type of thing (although according to a friend, Mattel's already mishandling that line as well).

It's because of this that I'm actually hoping that the SW line ends by 2007 at the earliest.  Spend 2005 working on the Episode III figures and vehicles, and use 2006 to do all the stuff people have been requesting for years (more Ewoks, Padme in her various gowns, new Piett-okay, that's just me) and the remainder of Episode III stuff to finish off the line in a definitive manner.  In other words, end the line before retailers end it for them.  

I have a bad feeling that after Episode III, retailers are not going to want to see SW ever again, and with no new movies coming out, there will be no reason in their eyes to continue to order the line.  With more and more kids going to the electronics aisle instead of the toy department anyway, I fear the action figure is a dying breed.  I'll miss the line if it goes, but I'd much rather see it die gracefully than have it go out the way the vintage line did with a choke and a sputter.

I could go on longer, but I'll spare you all.  ;D

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