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Messages - Pete_Fett

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2656
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Hasbro at San Diego Comic-Con 2005
« on: July 8, 2005, 06:03 PM »
A couple of observations:

1) Hasbro is now in the same position Playmates found themselves with the Star Trek 5" action figure line. There is SO MUCH past product, the chances of picking up new collectors is slim-to-none. This is why, just like Playmates, Hasbro is investigating the possibility of starting new lines at entirely new scales so they can bring in new/fresh blood to collect that new line from "the beginning".

The problem with this methodolgy as Playmates learned is that you (a) piss off your core fans who have been with you since the beginning and are responsible for the line making the sales it has for so long and (b) you still don't really bring in the "new" collectors, instead you make your existing fan base pick and choose what they want to buy so your sales stay the same, but you've brought more product to the market, which in turn means you spent more money to make the same profit.

The only thing Hasbro has going for it that Playmates didn't was that the Star Wars brand is MUCH stronger than the Star Trek one.

2) Hasbro and the retailers have once again screwed up with estimating demand all they way around. Here are some examples:

a) Unleashed - the Anakin and Obi-Wan wave was OVER-shipped. Sure the General Grievous sells, but that's it - they would be making A LOT more sales if they had stopped shipping Wave 1 two restocking cycles ago and started putting out Wave 2 - which IMHO is a FAR SUPERIOR wave, especially since the Unleashed collectors LOVE Unleashed Sith.

b) Attacktix - like Doctor Padawan mentions they can't get rid of these things. There is an entire Collection 2 already developed and many retailers probably aren't going to order them for a variety of reasons including (i) many retailers were victim to local collectors who opened packaging in the stores to cherry pick booster sets to finish off collections and now they are stuck with these ripped open booster sets and (ii) while being a great game to play they should have done more to promote the new line - like having a free one shipped to anyone who signed up at the website (or something) - let's face it - the amount of money spent at developing Collection 2 has a chance of going to waste so what would have been the harm in instead spending that money to get people into the line FIRST?

c) Basic Figures: Here in NJ the Basic Figure selection is DISMAL. With the exception of one or two stores the selection is either (i) empty pegs or (ii) pegs full of nothing but Nemoidian Warrior, Clone Pilot, Exploding Grievous, Tarfful, Luminara Unduli and Mas Amedda. Occasionally you might find a Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and Pollis Massan, but that's it. Main characters of ROTS are no where to be found. This is an artifact of two things: (i) the cases for Wave 1 of both collections were packed one to a case, which may have worked for product shipped specifically for April 2nd, but after that date, the ratios should have changed DRASTICALLY and (ii) TOO MUCH of those original Waves were purchased which means the stores that DO have stock in are sitting on the non-sellers from those initial waves and most buyers have moved beyond them and are looking for new figures and/or army builders and can't find either. Clones are not mixed in enough, neither are the heroes or villians. Tried to find a Vader or Obi-Wan lately?

3) Attacktix, Force Battlers, Jedi Force and the [du]MPire - ok - so compared to when you first launched the line in 1995 with only two different scales, in the past year you've introduced not one, not two, not three but FOUR different and distinct toy lines with their own unique packaging, scale, level of detail and style. I could see one new scale/style, but FOUR? Did we need M&M figures? Did we need both Force Battlers AND Jedi Force? The answers to these questions is a resounding: NO. Think about when you do something either at work or at home - do 10 things at once you end up with 10 half-a$$ed completed projects, do one thing at a time and you end up with something that is well done and was given the appropriate amount of attention (unless you're a complete moron, but I digress). I would even throw in the Animated Clone Wars figures into this mix as well - that line, as "neat" as it was now is incomplete and will never include figures that would have been instant fan favorites. Think about it - instead of developing an animated line which included animated versions of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Dooku, Durge, Asajj Ventress and Clones - wouldn't you have preferred that they just made a few more movie-style figures for the Clone Wars like Obi-Wan in Clone Armor, Snowbunny Padme and AquaTroopers? I know I would. The same can be said with these new lines.

Give me one bulky figure line I can buy for my step-grandson, don't start repainting figures after only two waves of Jedi Force!!!! Give me a Jedi Force Clonetrooper and Emperor to add to what we have so far. Oh - and if you're going to make the figures a bigger scale, put LOTS of articulation in them - yes, I'm talking to you Force Battlers - never have I seen such huge action figures that had SO FEW points of articulation!!!

With all of the things that have irked collectors regarding the regular 3.75" ROTS line, I would have preferred that they didn't make ANY of these other new scale/style lines and just focused on the core line. Again, what would you rather see - the Wave 1 and 2 Force Battlers or a AT-TE? Don't tell me the amount of $$$ spent on development, sculpting and tooling the first seven force battlers is less than what it would have cost them to make a 3.75" scaled AT-TE, it just isn't. Oh and don't start on me about how Force Battlers cost only $10 each and the AT-TE would be something like $50 - as far as I'm concerned there are probably only a handfull of people here who even bought Force Battlers, yet I would say 90% of us here would buy AT LEAST one AT-TE if given the opportunity. What would you estimate the percentage of us purchased the entire Force Battler line? My guess would be less than 10%

Ok - enough ranting from me for a while. Here's to hoping that Hasbro will start to actually listen to us instead of pushing us aside.


2657
Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: July 8, 2005, 11:22 AM »
TRU near where I work got in another case of 500th Vader figures. Picked up my MIB/MIP version to add to my collection.

Got in my order from Amazon.com of 2x Tarkin, 1x Ask Aak and 1x Meena Tills - three of these figures were to join my MOC collection, however they are all in really lousy shape so I'm returning the three figures that were intended to be added to the MOC collection.

Since I'm sick and tired of not finding anything in the stores, I broke down and made by first EE purchase since last year when I placed my pre-order for the SA AOTC Clone 4-pack case - I ordered Collection 2, Wave 5 which will get me one each of those figures above, plus two each of the remaining collection 2 figures, plus a Royal Guard and 2 more AT-TE gunners. To me this is a VERY well mixed case and nicely meets my needs. Since Collection 1 seems to be shipping both more frequently and more heavily, I figure I'll be able to score the last three figures at retail w/o any problem.

I also ordered a case of the Wave 2 Unleashed figures. Anakin and Obi-Wan clog the Unleashed pegs in my area, so my confidence in these hitting well in my area isn't exactly high - especially since store reports finding these things started back in June.

I'm tempted to just break down and buy that last all-white ROTS Deluxe Clones 3-pack from an eBay seller just to be done with looking for those.  Hitting three WalMarts, two Targets and a TRU EVERY morning is becoming a real drag - VERY spoiled by the huge in-flux of new product during April and May, the last three weeks have been VERY dry.

2658
Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: July 7, 2005, 10:37 AM »
Crap.  I just returned my all-white extra (MOMC) a couple days ago.  I'll keep an eye out for another one for ya' Pete.  Do you have the Red and Green 3-packs out there?  I've never seen those out this way.  Might come begging for some help soon if you do...

Double Crap. Last week around here was nothing but Blue and Green variants a plenty. I picked up a couple extra of the green sets but ended up giving them to local friends locally who needed them for their collections.

I will definitely keep my eyes out for Red and Green variants.

2659
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Battle Packs (5 figure sets)
« on: July 6, 2005, 08:02 PM »
Has anyone found one of these in the store yet? I've yet to see these things anywhere. I thought July was going to herald the release of the Evolutions 3-Packs, the 5-figure Battlepacks and the 500th Vader - NONE of these items has been around at all - only a handful of the Vaders.

2660
Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: July 6, 2005, 08:00 PM »
9 White clone 3pks
7 blue clone 3 pks
thinking of returning them though.  they kind of suck.

Before you return them, if you have an all-white 3-pack that is Mint-on-Mint-Card, I'd be happy to send you money for it plus money for shipping. I can't find the all white pack ANYWHERE in NJ - all I keep seeing is the color variant ones!

2661
Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Figure Sales (or price hikes)!
« on: July 1, 2005, 03:14 PM »
Our WalMarts are still at $5.24 - at least they were this morning.

That's what makes buying stuff anywhere OTHER than WM a bitter pill to swallow.

2662
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Chrome Clonetrooper Fig.
« on: July 1, 2005, 01:37 PM »
To me personally? It isn't worth anything.

For me, to have a custom that is worth any amount of money, there are three factors:

1) Quality of workmanship both in the figure and packaging - sure this guy re-packed the figure, but all he did was give it a coat of chrome spray paint.

2) Source the Custom Figure is from - if its concept art, obscure character from one of the movies or cartoons or if it's a popular EU character contributes to a custom being considered worthwhile - last time I checked, there weren't any all-chrome Clones running around in ROTS

3) Probability of Hasbro eventually making the figure - if the character is one that may one day get made, then that takes the figure down a few pegs, however, if it seems so obscure that the chances of it getting made are slim and none, then that helps raise it's value in my eyes - for this item the chances of Hasbro making a Chrome/Silver ROTS Clone are in my humblest of opinions, VERY HIGH. They stated "no more silver/chrome figures" and yet we're getting the third Silver Vader released courtesy of a really lame KB Toys exclusive.

Anyway, to someone else, this might be a real treasure, your mileage may vary. I just thought I would chime in with my $0.02.

2663
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Concept Clone
« on: July 1, 2005, 12:26 PM »
Well - I threw my hat into the ring and I'm now the high bidder.

Wish me luck everyone.

2664
Revenge of the Sith / Re: "Evolutions" assortment...
« on: July 1, 2005, 11:12 AM »
Amazon says they can ship both the Anakin and Clone sets in 2 to 3 days. Is this for real or am I going to end up waiting?

Has anyone ordered from Amazon and had the stuff arrive in good shape? That's my biggest concern.

They also have Tarkin, Ask Aak and Meena Tills in stock and I need all three of them and I'm tempted to just suck it up and pay the $7.99 price tag since (a) it's cheaper than the going rate on eBay and (b) I have come up completely empty on finding these three figures locally - they supposedly hit in the middle of May, but I missed them completely...

They also say they have in the first two battle packs to ship in 2 to 3 days.

Any advice? Should I chance it with the figures and then wait to get the 3 and 5 figure multi-packs in store?

2665
Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: July 1, 2005, 10:28 AM »
Yeah, great review there Pete.  Feels like I've got one already, after reading that.  And I assume there's not a single mention on the packaging anywhere of exactly how Hasbro actually reached that magic 500 number, right? (forgive me if I missed that)

- M

The packaging itself merely has a statement on the bottom of how this figure commemorates the 500th action figure produced by Hasbro and how iconic Darth Vader is. Blah blah blah. No effort whatsoever is made to illustrate how they arrived at the number 500 and what 499 figures came before this one.

So we're just going to have to take this for what it is - a nice display piece, with a pretty decent figure inside.

2666
Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 30, 2005, 01:58 PM »
Pete, just another quick question about the loose presentation of Vader.  Does he sit well/steady in the seat of the chamber on his own, and how is he "held down" there, if at all?

The figure sits REALLY well in the seat of the chamber. In fact the chair "pad" itself as been sculpted with "butt" and "thigh" indents, like you would see if you sat in a really cushy chair and then got up - a "mold" of your butt would be left behind. There is nothing that physically restrains or holds the figure down unless you have the helmet armiture at the lowest level - it does "click" into place there and since that means the helmet is fully on the figures head, that does serve to hold the figure in place. I found that even with the armiture all the way up though, the figure still sits nicely in the chair, doesn't wobble, lean or fall out of the chair.

Oh, and is the figure easy to replace in the packaging once you've opened it up?  I'm definitely going to open it, but the way it looks in the package is cool too, so I was wondering if it could be "stored and displayed" without any weirdness with seams in the packaging or rips/tears/dents/etc.

If you discount the base cardboard this piece can definitely be pseudo re-packaged after you open it. The outer shell plastic that forms the "top" of the chamber is REALLY thick and sturdy. So don't go cutting into it or anything - not only will you kill your hands, but you'll also ruin a really nice display piece.

In fact, the plastic shell is covering the piece on the top of my monitor at home right now - I don't have any intention on throwing away that piece of the packaging. Also since the figure comes with a "try me" type packaging the knob to raise and lower the armiture for the dome of the helmet is still accessible with the shell in place - so there's no loss to the motion of the helmet being raised or lowered.

2667
Revenge of the Sith / Re: New Clone 5 Pack!
« on: June 30, 2005, 01:51 PM »
If anyone still has a Star Wars aisle in their Target, take a good look at the running (at you) clonetrooper that is in the graphics. You'll see that the clone is mostly white except for the gray shoulder pads.

My guess is that a Target exec somewhere said "hey, where are the clones that look like the artwork we have in the store?!?"

Thus this set was born...

Just another wacky theory of mine!

2668
Revenge of the Sith / Re: Concept Clone
« on: June 30, 2005, 01:25 PM »
I really like this custom A LOT and I love it even more when a talented customizer goes the full distance and cards the figure up.

I am really fighting the temptation to try and win this thing.

2669
Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 30, 2005, 01:23 PM »
Nice story, Pete. Stick it to the man!

Anychance you have the VOTC Vader? If so, could you compare it with the Chamber Vader? They look almost the same to me in pics...

Ok Diddly - here you go...

Accessory Differences:
The VOTC Vader came with a cape, lit lightsaber, and unlit lightsaber.

The 500th Vader comes with a cape, lit lightsaber and an interchangeable set of right hands - one right hand holds the saber, the other is the one the figure is shipped with - an open, relaxed hand that "rests" on his right knee when sitting in the chamber.

Articulation Differences:
The VOTC Vader features a ball joint neck, shoulders, and knees. Rotating joints for the elbows, articulation at the wrists, hips, wrists and waist.

The 500th Vader features ONLY ball joined knees. The neck and shoulders have reverted back to SW Standard rotation only joints. The elbows, hips and waist are all articulated the same.

Sculpting/Design Differences:
The two figures themselves are completely different pieces. I really couldn't tell that any VOTC parts had been reused on the 500th Vader figure. The closest items are his legs, which have been modified/re-tooled to offer Vader a wider stance in the 500th figure.

The torso, arms and head are all new, particularly because the head of course now features a partially removeable helmet and because how all of these pieces come together now with rotating joints instead of wide range of motion ball-like joints.

The belt looks the same, but is new, it does not feature a hole to insert an unlit lightsaber, probably because the figure doesn't come with one. This IMHO was a mistake, his lightsaber should be holstered while he is sitting in the chair.

The cape of the VOTC is supposedly removeable, but I have never tried to remove it. The cape of the 500th figure looks to be identical, but you can remove it - in fact it is not in the figure in the packaging, but folded into a square in a plastic bag underneath. The cape still suffers from the awkwardness of the silver cloth "chain" that doesn't hang right on the figure no matter what you do.

The shape and sculpt of the helmet on both figures differs - the 500th Vader head is wider and the removeable dome piece is shaped differently than with the VOTC version.

Both figures, as I mentioned, have that lousy rotating elbow joint which should have been replaced by the same type of joint used in the elbows of the SA Clonetrooper.

Final Thoughts:
For being the 500th figure, Hasbro presents a nice display piece. A piece that will display well either in or out of the packaging and they provide a protective shell for the packaging that even openers of their toys may want to keep simply because the plastic it's made out of is so sturdy.

If they were going to have this figure stand out from the VOTC version instead of decreasing the level of articulation they should have increased it. I would have started with the VOTC figure as a base, changed the head and then added ball jointed elbows and hips to provide the ultimately articulated Vader. The ball joint elbows on my SA Clonetroopers and ball joint hips on my AT-TE Gunner are sturdy and while they may cost a bit more since this figure wasn't going to be at the $5.99 price tag, if it means another $1, they should have taken this opportunity to add to the articulation.

Do I like the piece? Yep. I know it seems like I said more negative comments then positive ones, but as a stand-alone piece, not comparing it to the VOTC version, it's nice. It really only starts to loose it's appeal when you compare it to previously released items and then you start to wish they had done a bit more.

That's my thoughts on it. Now I just need to find a MIB one for my packaged collection!

2670
Revenge of the Sith / Re: New Clone 5 Pack!
« on: June 29, 2005, 02:48 PM »
So - now why if they can make a five pack with four troops and a commander. Why can't the TRU packs be the EXACT SAME concept? Four SA Troops painted with the grunt markings and figure #5 is that unit's commander. Exclusives this time 'round are just bizarre.

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