Author Topic: What Makes a Good Figure?  (Read 1013 times)

Offline speedermike

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What Makes a Good Figure?
« on: December 23, 2005, 07:53 PM »
After reading many luke-warm responses to the three new beautifully sculpted, but non-important, figures in the Lucas Family set I started wondering about what people want as collectors.  To me, any charcter that is on screen is eligable to be made into a figure.  I don't care how dull the charcter's part is.  To me, a clone is no more "important" to a collection that a Mon Cal senator.  I also don't think that Jedi or Clones are "cooler" than other characters.  In fact, the reason I love SW figures, and have been collecting since the Early Bird kit in 1978, is that it is a collection that covers main characters, bit players, soldies, civilians, wildlife, bartenders, gangsters, musicians and chefs.  And I like them all.

So, what do you want in your SW collection?
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Offline Darby

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2005, 08:38 PM »
I've been wondering this myself, since I'm getting to the point where I feel like this is a new line; TSC is SW toys 3.0, and we're seeing the same figs we all went ga-ga over back in '96 and '97.  Granted, they're improved, but there's a little bit of fatigue now, a little lack of space (or a lot) and for me, the question of when is enough enough?

So what do I want?

I want a Wedge that does not suck.  Basically a Wedge that isn't a hand me down.  At this point, I'd be happy if Hasbro decided to use him to introduce a new SA Snowspeeder body.

I want Dorme, and as many variations on Padme as possible, including the Handmaiden one.

I want VOTC/Evolutions treatment of all the main characters, PT and OT; Obi Wan, Qui Gon, Mace, Yoda, Padme, Stormtrooper Luke & Han, Hoth Luke & Han, Endor Luke & Han, etc...

And of course the same for the troopers: Snowtroopers, Scout Troopers, Clone Troopers...

Really, not too much, which I think is the problem.  There isn't a lot I can't wait for, like I did back when the line started up again.  There's lots of stuff I want (Ratts Tyrell, Owen & Beru) but Hasbro has proven that everything is eventual, so it's hard to get too worked up about anything (except Dorme...)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2005, 01:43 AM »
I do tend to rate figures against each other, and some figures get a "pass" on certain criteria I hold in the utmost importance for other characters/figures.  I know I certainly don't hold "Senator" figures in the same class as Jedi and army builders...  I look for more out of one than the other and I expect Hasbro to deliver a quality toy with both, but one I just hold in higher regard...  I guess it's just a preference.

For my tastes, a "good" figure has a minimum articualtion of 12 points of articulation.  My "standard" I'd set for Hasbro if I could run the show is the Cantina wave's articulation...  IE:

-2 standard shoulder joints
-2 angle-cut elbow joints
-2 standard wrist joints
-2 standard hip joints
-2 ball/socket knee joints
-1 ball/socket neck joint
-1 standard waist joint

This articulation woudl apply to Cantina aliens, Imp./Reb. Officers, etc...  Basically third tier characters with less "action" sequences but who you still want poseability with them that goes beyond the old standard 6 points.

Improvements would be made here and there ABOVE the standard for Jedi, some main characters, and army builders.  Super Articulation (IE: Pilot Obi-Wan articulation duplicated) would be used sporatically...  A main character in one of his costumes here and there, an army builder here and there, and that figure would see subsequent rerelease till the line's death.  Other versions would get retired short of maybe re-use in battlepacks or some such.

The improvements to my "standard" would be like maybe ball/socket shoulders instead of standard shoulders, or ball/socket elbows instead of the angle-cut joints.  These would be generally reserved for figures where it makes sense though...  Like ball/socket elbows are better for a character with a rifle than angle-cut elbows are, so angle-cuts would go to Jedi characters mostly.

Articulated Ankles would ONLY come on super articulated figures...  A ball/socket ankle is not necessary on figures like the Neimoidian Warrior or Utapau Warrior who can't bend their knees...  Same with Bacarra.  The knees outweight the ankles, and those were dumbass (and costly) decisions on Hasbro's part.

Now...  That said, the characters in the Lucas pack are actually pretty cool to me...  I do believe them to be boring however.  They're not "action" packed characters, they're Senators...  And Senators are boring.  Mon Mothma is the only figure I can find right now and she's proof they're boring.  She's a good figure though...  And this is where the hypocrite in me comes out. :)

The Mothma figure rocks, I love it, but she's boring as watching paint dry.  She's as good as a "Senator-Ish" figure is capable of being though short of really cool accessories...  That's where I really hold the spotlight on these types of figures.  Their accessories make them...  Not their articulation.  Their robes inhibit poseability and honestly I like them being as poseable as they can be but I know leg articulation is generally out the window with Meena Tills or Mas Ameda.

I like Mas Ameda, he has some of the best arm articulation of any figure, but he's still boring overall.  Same with other Senators...  I'd put Bib Fortuna in this category, and I like how he looks and I love to get him and to me he can't be better really.  The same rule applies to the Lucas Collection (short of Zett who I believe is a weak figure due to the lack of knee articulation).  The other figures are GREAT...  They suck for their price, but they're really nice looking figures.

For me, a set of 4 SA (or near) Hoth Rebel Soldiers, or Rebel FLeet Troopers, or Scouts, or some such would have been more of a "Wow" factor for me...  Army builders are what I love more in the line than anything, but I'm cool with background figures like the Lucas clan too.  But when I started playing with Obi-Wan Pilot or the VOTC Stormtrooper, I couldn't put them down really, so they're more "important" in my collection to me I guess is a good way to put it.  I'd rather get SA Rebel Troopers than anything...  Hell I'd probably take a set of all 3 Rebel Troops Super Articulated over anything else and I'd be content if the line died then and there after I got my fill of those.  The rest would just be icing on the cake in my eyes.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2005, 02:07 AM »
What a great topic Speedermike.  I haven't had this kind of discussion in a while, and I think with the launch of a new line, this is the perfect time for it.

To me, the standard on what makes a good figure was set in the VOTC line, and to a certain extent, the POTC figures as well as many of the ROTS figures.  Very detailed sculpts obviously, articulation that makes sense for a figure, and the proper use of materials such as soft goods where appropriate - like the ROTS Royal Guards are an example of them being used well, but if they had added to the new Bib Fortuna, I bet it would have looked like crapola.

What to do though with the older figures that you already have?  I think a lot of people come up with that as a problem.  Seriously though, aren't most of these old versions several years old?  Many of them are pre-Special Edition - almost 10 years!  So yes, new sculpts are in order to continue making the line more uniform.  For those old ones, customize the darn things (most are pieces of junk now anyway - might as well improve on them and make some of your own background aliens) or give them to a kid.

Really though, for anyone that doesn't support resculpts, would people still want those damn buff POTF2 Stormtroopers, or Lukes and Chewbaccas?  Of course not!  And we've gotten newer versions of them as time has progressed - main characters/army builders are the priority, but now we're finally getting back to some of the more obscure characters like Garindan and Hammerhead.  It's a welcome addition to me - the old Garindan was cool 7-8 years ago, but it doesn't hold a candle to how figures appear now. 

Upgrades are a vital part of the line - I remember back in the late 90s saying on the old yakface boards that they needed to do resculpts and even some rehashes - most people called me a fool and were rather rude about it.  They were very wrong in this case though. 

Anyways, I've drifted away from the point I was trying to make - what makes a good figure?  I guess I look at it more as "What makes a good line" instead.  And that's a wide variety of product, ranging from main characters to obscure background aliens, with resculpts where needed as well as some well placed rehashes - and rounding them out with the sculpts and articulation that we have come to become accustomed to.  If they don't continue to improve the line, then it's dead.  So I say keep improving it.

 :P

Offline Jon

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2005, 03:46 AM »
LOL...I dunno because I'm no expert but. . . .

What makes a good figure? I'll start with TSC leia boush! He  Heh

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2005, 12:15 PM »
You said it chewie, excellent topic! I like a well sculpted figure with the right amount of articulation for that figure. I'm in the camp that says not every figure needs SA.

I think main/core characters should have as much articulation as they can take without infringing on the look of the figure and BG characters should have at least good swivel elbows in addition to standard articulation. However, I think ball jointed shoulders should be standard. Army builders should be SA all the way. I think the could sell more unpopular armybuilders like the Utapau Warriors just because they're SA.

To address speedermike's Lucas Family comment, I think the Barron and the Blue daughter look fantastic and the face scuplts look very life-like. I just ask myself if these are exciting figures for me to have.
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Offline Jon

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2006, 11:42 AM »
I believe another facet that makes for a good fig is interchangeable options for the fig. Let's take the most current(recently released General Veers for example.
Here the manufacturer(Hasbro) decides to create a figure that can chage into 2 different scenes by the accessories included. This is great, it's like getting 2 figures in one. I can have the general speaking with Lord Vader on the star destroyer bridge then quick change hime with a few pieces into his ATAT uniform for the Hoth battle. I think factors such as this adds to the playability of the figure- To me this must be the most key feature to making a good figure is the playability factor.

Offline Emperor Bayleef

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 11:26 AM »
Super articulation and super posable, display stand, Excellant Movie-like detail, Correct scale, Correct Paint application.

Offline Ithorian Clergy

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 11:46 AM »
1.  Likeness!  We have far too many figures out there that don't look enough like what the character looks like in the film.  Just take a look at your EIII Emperor.  That figure is totally retarded.  It's too small, the likeness is off overall etc.

2.  Articulation - there's no reason why we can't have 14 points on every figure now.  Especially on troopers.  Just look at the last couple Hoth releases.  The new snowie could have been way better with arms like the new AT-AT driver.  And look at the last Hoth Rebel Soldier.  No effort there at all on Hasbro's part, terrible figure.

3.  Paint job - Too often I find a figure I want only to look closely and see a sloppy paint job.

4.  Accessories - At $6.99, we should get a couple things with the figure, and we usually do now.

5.  Availability - Can I go to the store and buy it?  That's a great quality in a Star Wars figure.

6.  Pricing - $5.99 or lower.
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Offline Emperor Bayleef

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 04:07 PM »
1.  Likeness!  We have far too many figures out there that don't look enough like what the character looks like in the film.  Just take a look at your EIII Emperor.  That figure is totally retarded.  It's too small, the likeness is off overall etc.

like the grievouses we have now.... look nothing like the real thing... needs *coughs* soft goods and *coughs* super articualtion.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: What Makes a Good Figure?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2006, 03:57 AM »
And height I guess...  Grievous has been a figure I've seen a lot say isn't tall enough.  I'm not totally sure on that but if everyone's saying it I tend to believe it must be true...  Till I can look and compare for myself anyway. :)
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