Author Topic: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?  (Read 2037 times)

Offline JediMAC

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Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« on: May 29, 2003, 06:45 PM »
I never used to give a rat's a$$ about analyzing the paint jobs on my figures before buying them.  That was up until the tail end of the POTJ line, when I noticed some wildly varying paint applications on figures like R4-M9, BoShek, etc...  A lot of really sloppy paint apps, with an occasional decent one here and there to be found.

I had also taken notice of the occasional posts here and there around the boards about people who actually took the time to pick out figures with nicely painted eyes, and whatnot.  Always found it a bit strange really, 'til I took a few minutes to do a little comparing at the pegs at some of my local stores.  Lo and behold, there were some figures that were just painted much better than others!  Some VERY noticeable differences within the same figure really...

So when the Saga line finally rolled out a little over a year ago, I suddenly found myself neck deep in a whole new area of OCCD (Obsessive Compulsive Collecting Disorder).  I was a paint app fanatic all of the sudden, and I couldn't control it.  This suddenly made my carded and loose completist ways a lot more challenging (which I didn't much care for)...  So now I not only obsess over finding a nice mint card for the carded collection, but also now obsess over having both the carded and loose figure I get have a very nice paint job to boot!  Oy.   :'(

But like everything else surrounding the collecting of SW, the various challenge makes it worth it IMO.  Might cause an extra headache or two hear and there, but it's fun to know you've managed to pick out the best of the best for your personal collection.  No more coloring outside of the lines on my figures!  And no more cross-eyed buggers either!   :P

As a result, I'm occasionally stuck with a new dilemna now though:  In respect to the carded collection, I'm sometimes stuck with the decision of whether to go with the better card, or the better paint job on the figure within it (I usually choose the card though, unless the paint app is really bad.  But with the loose collection, screw the card - I want the fanciest paint job in town!   :-*  I believe I was discussing this topic with Beth (Jadesfire) a couple weeks back, as she was wondering the same thing:  Nicer card, or better paint job (for the carded folks)?

My favorite paint job pickup so far has been of the Saga Chancellor Palpatine figure, you know - the one with the chicken pox...?!  I realize he's got some age spotting going on in the movies, but c'mon now!  Well, after looking through MANY Palpys back at that time, I managed to find several that had almost no spots on them whatsoever - looked real sharp, and therefore didn't detract from an otherwise incredible figure!  Picked a couple of 'em up, but kept a freaky chicken pox version just for nostalgia as well!   ;)

So regardless of whether you collect carded, loose, or both - which of you folks really spend the time analyzing a number of different figures at the store's pegs to see who has the nicest paint job before buying it?  I know I can't be the only nutcase that does this, so chime in!  I hope I'm not the only nutcase anyways...   :-\  If so, I suppose it won't be the first time...   :-*

EDIT:  Just a quick point of clarification here to avoid any confusion...  I should add that this doesn't have anything to do with trying to hunt down the odd "rare" paint variants that some people consider valuable.  I could care less about that stuff personally.  This is just about looking for the nicest paint jobs for your respective figures...   ;)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2003, 07:24 PM by JediMAC »

Offline JoshEEE

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 06:52 PM »
You know, this is just another weird sort of variation hunting that I've never gotten into. I usually don't even notice the differences in paint on two figures, unless it's something really obvious...but I so rarely see those anyway.

But I know there are guys that hunt for that stuff. It's like, because some factory worker dabbed some gray onto a belt instead of white, it's "Worth" more or something?

I hardly notice at all anyway, so I'll leave those for you or the next guy.  :)
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2003, 07:12 PM »
Well, that's a whole different ballgame you're mostly talking about there Josh.  I didn't mean to suggest anything about looking for those "valuable" paint variations like some people enjoy doing (and just edited my post a little to reflect that).  That ain't my thing at all (as I'm sure you know).

But like I said, I never even took notice of figures paint apps until I was looking at some of my R4's and BoSheks and just saw paint splattered every which way on most of them, which I found rather annoying...  But after a little searching around, I lucked upon several that had real nice, sharp paint jobs - so that when I looked at them I could enjoy the figure a lot more, rather than just noticing it's super messy paint job...

There's alse been several figures with varying degrees of "washed" paint jobs (Bespin Luke, Ephant Mon, etc.) - some real heavy washes, and some much lighter where there's a pretty noticeable difference.  Occasionally poorly painted teeth stick out as well - like on the Bespin Escape Chewie, or Teebo (or some Mace's)...  And I guess when it comes to wires, buttons, and such, I just prefer the paint to be put in the right spot, and not actually next to it's intended target.

Just anally picky about stuff, I am.  But that's nothing people here don't already know about me I suppose...   :P

Offline dustrho

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2003, 08:35 PM »
So when the Saga line finally rolled out a little over a year ago, I suddenly found myself neck deep in a whole new area of OCCD (Obsessive Compulsive Collecting Disorder).  I was a paint app fanatic all of the sudden, and I couldn't control it.  This suddenly made my carded and loose completist ways a lot more challenging (which I didn't much care for)...  So now I not only obsess over finding a nice mint card for the carded collection, but also now obsess over having both the carded and loose figure I get have a very nice paint job to boot!  Oy.   :'(

Matt, I'm in the same boat as you.  There are figures out there that have great paint jobs and some that don't.  One figure that's a good example are the POTJ Imperial Officers.  Some had perfect-looking faces, but then others had poorly painted faces.  So, ever since then I've been very anal about the quality of paint jobs on figures.

I definitely have OCCD.
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Offline Boba Binks

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2003, 09:08 PM »
If I notice a major flaw at first sight then I will look for another. But I do not give a rat's a$$ since I am just happy to have the toy.
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Offline jadesfire

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2003, 09:20 PM »
Hey, good topic Matt!

I have always looked at the figure inside the card as much as the card itself.  When my son was younger, I would buy two of each character-one for him to open and then a carded one for me (as I knew down the road I'd end up with all his stuff anyways  ;) ).   So I tried to find the best card but was so stunned at how awful many of the Leia's looked, I started picking my figures by how well they looked in the card as well.  Now it has gotten to the point that if the figures head is turned too much and I can't see it, someone forgot to paint eyeballs on (poor, blind Padme), or the paint is just slopped on, I'll take a better paint job over a nicer card.  
Well, too a point anyways.  I mean the card can't look like someone pulled it through the slots on the bottom of a shopping cart, but I'll tolerate a warp, bend, or crease to a certain degree.

I don't really look for the variations that I read about unless I see that it enhances the figure (and I can't think of one figure that any variation did that for).  

But all of this involves finding the new waves; so at this point I'd probably take a blind Padme!! :P

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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2003, 12:10 AM »
Actually, yeah.  I do look pretty hard at paintjobs.  Provided I've got a choice of figures.  I'll compare for a little while.  I spent quite a few minutes trying to pick out the Obi-Wan Kenobi-Acklay Battle I was going to get for myself, and the ones I was going to trade to my friends (sorry guys!).
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2003, 12:21 AM »
If I have a variety to choose from sure...

For instance I was at the mall today, and hit TRU looking for the impy 4-pack.  I got it, and there were like 7 there.  I checked all 7 and was narrowing it down one at a time...  I got one with a good AT-ST driver paint job whose helmet's slightly tilted.  Personally I liked the tilted helmet BTW, as it gives him a natural look.

Sometimes you don't have a choice though...  If that's the case I just buy what is available to me.

The Impy Officer I saw enough times (Not the new ones) to have a choice at first...  After I saw them a few times I didn't care what their faces looked like, I just wanted what they had.  ;D
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Offline MetalJedi

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2003, 02:53 AM »
I only started looking at paint jobs as of recent. Mostly the paint job on the eyes aka Yoda w/ Padawan 2 pack and the Imperial Force 4 pack.

Im glad I dont have it that bad. Im lucky too see many new figures as it is p here in the "wasteland".
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Offline aka DaBigKahuna

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2003, 03:03 AM »
I do not.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2003, 11:57 PM by FishEyedLouie »

Offline MisterPL

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2003, 10:33 AM »
Since we're both artists, even my wife looks at the paint apps on figures before purchasing them. Especially around the eyes. Gotta make sure the eyebrows look good and that the pupils are looking in the same direction.
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Offline Jedirhino

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2003, 10:42 AM »
I still look for the better paint jobs on all the figures that I purchase...what's the sense in getting a lousy looking figure!

Offline Scott

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2003, 10:55 AM »
I am asking seriously here, are action figure details hand painted at the factory or are they machine painted.  It would super awesome if someone ever got into a factory and did a story on the whole process (I'm guessing they are sweat shops though so Hasbro probably won't allow it)

Offline MisterPL

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2003, 11:40 AM »
Scott, as I understand it, it's a little bit of both.  Workers use templates to apply paint by either a spray or stamp process. Once upon a time, I had a link to some photos of a factory tour. I'll see if I can scrounge them up.

(And yes, by American standards, they're sweatshops.)
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Offline Scott

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Re: Do you compare figures paint jobs before buying?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2003, 11:52 AM »
I was just reading some not so great stuff put out by Hong Kong watchdog groups, nothing I didn't expect, underpaid uneducated workers getting screwed by the man with tons of middle men in between squeezing profits out of every figure

basically, profit is around 33% per figure for Hasbro...at $5 that means everything $3.35 is profit for Hasbro...don't forget the retailer takes and about 3 middle men take as well.  The workers are left with around $0.07 per figure between around 5 workers per figure on a line.  They are usually paid on a per figure basis and work 12-14 hours per day in July-Septemeber and then get laid off once the holiday rush is done

I am not against sweatshops per se because it is capatalism at work and everyone wants to make a buck...I think everyone should think though about how it all gets from point A at the initial extruder to Point ZZ on your shelf or wall