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Messages - Pete_Fett

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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.

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!

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.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: TRU Exclusive Clones!
« on: June 29, 2005, 02:08 PM »
I still don't understand why these are exclusives.  Ok, I get that Hasbro/TRU can crank the price, knowing we'll buy these, but they also know that any clone, whatever the color, is like money in the bank.  Would you want 50,000 of them out there, or 100,000?  More?  These colors would sell forever as part of any future assortment.

This confuses me as well. There four key designs that were in the movie that could easily be applied to the SA Clone (#41) and those variations could be shipped from now until the end of time and they would STILL sell. If the line is indeed going back to a unified Saga banner, just keep shipping the ROTS SA Clone in every other assortment and then vary the paint op, make full count production runs of each variant and just ship the **** out of it. Why pull punches like this on something that is truly "money in the bank"?

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 29, 2005, 02:05 PM »
I have a friend that use to work at TRU and he informed me that TRU's official policy is that the toy has to be on the floor 24 hours prior to a TRU employee purchasing it. Obviously we all know that is crock of ****. This just proves it.

At least the District Manager, and the other store manager did the right thing. Personally if I was that stores direct supervisor I would have fired his ass on the spot.

The Assistant District Manager kept stressing things to me like "we can't/won't hold a toy for anyone" and "we can't personally prevent EVERY employee from buying stuff when the store opens at 10AM"

He said that to me like five to six times. I kept responding to him "Yes, I understand that, but the difference between what you're stating and what ACTUALLY happened is that at 10AM when the doors opened there wasn't even a CHANCE for customers to buy this item, the employees didn't even STOCK IT - they just hid all three of them to buy later on."

I also told him, "Look, if they actually PAID for the item, I don't want you to take it away from anyone, just STOP that practice from happening." - the one he got for me was the one put aside by the manager of the store who hadn't plunked down his money yet, he was planning on doing it later in the day when he got off shift.

When they do things like that it tells me that TRU does indeed have a policy and that policy is that they don't want employees buying toys when they are on the clock. If I ran a retail chain, I wouldn't want to allow my employees to be "shopping" when they should be "working" either. So a policy like that would make sense.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 29, 2005, 01:20 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...

I can dig out my VOTC Vader when I get home tonight and make a post about the two tomorrow - fair enough?

I'd post from home tonight except that the new house still doesn't have cable so my cable modem is down for the count at the moment.

But I will definitely be comparing the two. In setting up my office I've decided to decorate my desk with Vader, Clones and Wookies - so I've been wanting to drag out the VOTC Vader anyway.

- Peter

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:58 PM »
I usd to work TRU in the late 80s and that's true, we put stuff aside to buy all the time. though back then, there wasn't an 'ebay' to sell stuff one.

You know what - I know that is done and I know that is just part of collecting. It's sort of like a dirty little secret. It's done, TRU management knows it's done, they know they really can't do much about it, but if the employees are going to do it:

(a) you don't make it obvious

and more importantly

(b) you don't BRAG about being able to do it to customers and claim it is a perk advocated by the company you work for

In retail you just don't do that - you treat the customers with respect, even if you are telling them a lie, you do it with a smile on your face and with a plesant tone so the customer leaves the store happy. You don't infuriate them even more because you have a pre-conceived notion of what type of person I am.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:50 PM »
That is an awsome story Pete!

Thanks - I just got done opening up the figure and I absolutely LOVE this thing.

I'm pleased that the plastic dome that goes over the figure for the packaging is so sturdy, I was planing on throwing it out, but I've decided I'm going to keep it with the dome cover over it. Kudos on Hasbro for giving us a piece that even after you open it, it can still have some of that "MIB" display-ability.

I think it's also great that they gave us a spare right hand/glove and the lightsaber. They really didn't need to give us either, but the fact that they did makes all the difference - since it means you can display the figure in the chamber or out, whichever your preference is.

Since we're getting the Evolutions Vader soon as we already have the VOTC Vader from late last year - this Vader will spend most of his life sitting comfortably in his chair!  :)

Definitely worth the $17 IMHO!

Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS Recent Purchases
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:17 PM »
Picked up my first 500th Vader today - the packaging is beat up so it'll be my opener. Check out the thread on the 500th Vader for my tale on how I got it!

Revenge of the Sith / Re: RotS Wookiee Helicopter with Wookiee
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:16 PM »
I thought the same thing but the wookie on the back has to sit with the legs straight out.  I used a preview wookie thinking the legs would hang out but they don't.

I guess what I mean is that even if the legs are straight out sorta like driving a go-cart - you never are completely "Straight Legged" - understand what I mean? There's still a slight bend in your knees - while my Preview Wookie's legs are straight out, I did bend the knees a little to give it a slightly more "realistic" look to the rear gunner at his post.

It's a minor thing, but for me my loose collection is display pieces and I like them to look as good as possible. So I'm big on figures fitting PERFECTLY in vehicles and actually looking like they're at the controls.

I know - I'm nuts.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: TOMY Remote Control R2-D2 at
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:13 PM »
Since the R2 is scaled to match the Hasbro action figure line - I could NOT pass this one up! I'm really happy that the has offered this up so you can easily obtain one in the US.

I ordered two of them since I'll definitely want to open one up and play with it, my two little kitties will be driven nuts by the thing!

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 29, 2005, 12:10 PM »
Well - I had quite an adventure this morning when the TRU near where I work opened up at 10 AM....

Yesterday I went there at lunch and asked if they had any in stock. They said that they didn't but the computer system indicated that they were coming in on that day's truck and to come back or call back around 6PM. I did come back at 6PM and I was told that they were behind on un-loading the truck and to check back in the morning.

At this point, this really isn't a problem, I'm very appreciative of their assistance since hitting this TRU isn't a big deal at either lunch time or after work.

Fast forward to this morning, I am the first person in the door and to my surprise, there are no 500th Vader figures on the shelf. In fact the shelf tag that had been there was now gone.

The Hasbro rep is in the store on Wednesdays so I went up to her and with a smile said "Hey Kathy, where are the 500th Vaders? They got a truck in last night with them on it" - to which she replied "I know, but all I found this morning was an empty box - the same thing happened last week."

So I go to the front desk and ask what's up and where they are. The manager of the store is there and says "We only got one case which has three pieces in it and they were purchased by the employees, that is one of the perks of working at TRU" - this infuriated me - I have always known that the employees grabbed stuff, but here is a manager advocating the practice.

So I asked him - "what's the name and number of your district manager, I would like to speak with them and have them tell me that TRU advocates that practice" - he refused to give me the name or a number explaining that TRU did advocate this practice and there was no need for me to bother a district manager.

So I headed back to over where the Hasbro rep was to tell her what happened and while I was telling her an elderly gentleman who has seen me come into that TRU regularly for over five years now came up to me and said "The district manager and her assistant district manager are having a meeting in the break room in the back, if you want to talk to her wait for the meeting to be over"

So I did.

While I was waiting, a manager from another store who was coming into this store for the meeting came past me and asked if I needed assistance. I told him what happened, what the store manager had told me about the policy and I told him I was waiting to speak with the district manager. He then told me that the store manager had lied to me, that TRU does not advocate the policy and that he would go get the district manager.

A few minutes later she came out and she allowed me to tell the story. Shortly after we were joined by her assistant who had investigated whether or not the store actually got them in and had found out they did and confirmed that all three were "purchased" by employees.

While I was standing there talking with the two district managers, who both told me that the store manager should have never told me that they were sold to employees and that was a perk of working for TRU, the manager came up and decided to chime in, his comment was "what is the difference between you (referring to me) and I (referring to himself) buying the item? you're just going to resell it on the internet" - this made both myself AND the district manager mad.

I raised my voice really loud and pointed my finger at him and said "That is where you are wrong, this toy is going to become part of a large collection that my step-son and I have been building since 1995, I don't know what YOU are going to do with it, but since you think everyone who buys stuff re-sells it on the internet, that must be your motives"

Needless to say, one of the three Vaders was put in the store manager's office for him to purchase later. The district manager got it out and gave it to me for purchase, so I was able to walk in and buy at least one. I'm of the mindset that employees should come LAST, not FIRST. I told the district manager "Make me a TRU employee, so I can come in the building at 8AM - I'll help stock the shelves and I'll buy the stuff before the door opens at 10AM and you won't even have to give me a salary - how's that for a perk?"

Some employees were smiling at me, 'cause obviously this is what this manager does - grab all of the hot toys to resell on eBay or wherever, but there was two younger guys who must have been the other two who bought the rest of the case who were giving me nasty looks. I really don't care, if I get hassled from employees at that store, I'll definitely be giving the district manager a call, she gave me her card.

I also said to the district managers - "If the store manager had said to me, 'We didn't get them in, even though the manifest said they were on the truck' - even though that's a lie, I would have believed him, thanked him for his assistance and left the building. It was the fact that he had the stones to BRAG that he and two other employees snatched them up before the store opened 'cause it was a perk of being an employee." To which the district manager replied to me, "I will be having a conversation with him with regards to how he communicates with customers in the future."

Whether or not that's a scolding or just a remark to "lie" in the future, I don't know - but I hope he gets his ass handed to him.

Jocasta's Reading Room / Re: This week in SW Comics.....
« on: June 28, 2005, 03:49 PM »
The General Grievous series artwork could be A LOT better. I just picked up #3 (along with Republic #76) at lunch time and I'll be reading them tonight.

I did thumb through the GG #3 and to be honest, what I was looking forward to more than anything else was that Grievous' "experiment" actually came to fruition. While I know to some people that may seem cruel, but a month or so later from the time period of this book, all of the Jedi children are slaughtered anyway, so to see the technology of GG's body wedded to one of those younglings would have been a dark and interesting look into how truly perverted and evil Grievous is.  I think the series in general would have been better served with (a) better art and (b) a more adult storyline as opposed to (a) kindergarten level art and (b) a kid-friendly story.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: TRU Exclusive Clones!
« on: June 28, 2005, 03:13 PM »
My guess will be that these are going to be specially painted Deluxe Three-Packs. My guess is that TRU will get cases of six (2 of each color) sets.

The more sensible way to go (since they could still get mileage out of the #41 clone) would be to use the dye-cut for the evolutions packaging, develop generic clone artwork (like they did for the four EE SA clone packs) and then have the three sets packaged EXACTLY like the Evolutions sets.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: 500th commemorative figure... Vader?
« on: June 28, 2005, 10:52 AM »
The TRU near where I work has the shelf tag but alas NONE of them in stock.   :-[

This is a piece I will proudly display on my desk for quite a while so I am seriously chomping at the bit to get two of 'em so I can open one of them up!

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