The Vintage OTC (VOTC) line started off with lots of hope, skepticism, love/hate relationship feelings, and other mixes of emotions. Basically Hasbro was laying down the gauntlet and saying, "If you want the best, you have to pay for it", and of course that's a debate that rages on to this very day...
Are these $10 figures? Are they $5-$7 figures in nice packaging? Who knows... What Hasbro knows is we fell for the line, pretty hard, and they've returned with smaller assortments ever since the "deluxe" $10 pricepoint took off in 2004.
And with that, we're wrapping up the 2004 figures by reviewing all 4 of the final wave... The famous "VOTC Return of the Jedi Wave" as it became known.Clicky Button To Read Review!
It's no shock that one of the most demanded re-releases of the original vintage assortment is Boba Fett
. And he's re-released in 2007's Legends Assortment, go figure.
With super articulation, a cloth cape, removable backpack and rifle, and paint detailing that really is unmatched by any Fett before or since, is he worth it? Well the super articulation had me sold but others had some "height" issues with him, and ALL the Wave 3 figures were scarce in many areas, so he's not without flaw.
If there was a "stink" in the wave, I guess it was R2-D2
, but that's not to say this figure left you wanting either. He's a pretty good incarnation of a pristine white R2, and his "removable tools" panel was at the very least a novel idea and attempt at updating the R2 w/tools figure. He didn't quite reach perfection to myself and others. I personally find the chromed dome distracting, and the panel lines are slightly annoying, as is the lack of a completely retractable 3rd leg (it's instead removable). He is the black sheep of Wave 3, but if this is the worst, he is still leaps and bounds ahead of the worst in both prior waves.
The surprise hit of Wave 3 was easily Chewbacca
. Everyone's eyes were glued to Boba Fett and the Stormtrooper, and quietly snuck in old Whewbacca The Cookiee... Chewie became the most articulated Hasbro Star Wars figure ever, and just recently got unseated by another vintage-modern figure. Still, the sculpting of the fur, the paint applications, and really just every detail came to life perfectly in this figure, so who wouldn't want this one re-released? Short of an intentionally removable bandoleer, this was Hasbro's closest work to perfection till that time, and deserves much acclaim!
And lastly, Hasbro shocked the world by making the ultimate Stormtrooper
, then limiting his distribution and making sure he cost you a whopping $10! Super articulated as can be, and getting a pseudo-re-release in 2007's basic line, how can you go wrong with this figure? The Stormtrooper was the HOTTEST of the vintage figures, any wave, and still commands attention from collectors. Some lucked into droves of the figure on clearance, those were very few people though it seems, and many were left to look high and low. Yours truly even found several for a low $7 and 1 for $5, but I definitely was the exception and not the rule, even in my area.
Hasbro's come a long way with the vintage line too since these figures were out. They try for a more uniform quality, they try for better distribution, and they don't push 3 waves of 4 figures each onto you, and instead just push 1 wave of 6 figures your way every year. While the scaling back is appreciated, the price point is still a horrid $10 (or more depending on where you're looking, as Target, Kay-Bee, and K-Mart all charge about $2 above the SRP). And when one looks around the modern line, he/she can easily see that the line's basic figures can (and often are) made to every level of quality the "Vintage" line figures are.
The only discernable difference in quality is, and only sometimes is, the paint applications. Sometimes the "Vintage" get a healthier dose of detail, yet some basic figures don't get skimped on the paint either.
And with Hasbro saying there may be "Prequal-Vintage", or "Unmade-Vintage" in the future of this expensive sub-line, fans are still mixed in how they feel about this line. You love the figures, you know you do (well most anyway... Obi-Wan and 3po still suck), but at what point do Star Wars figures become seriously too expensive? Toy lines haven't all skyrocketed in price, yet Star Wars does, and the "Vintage" line is a sign of those times, no doubt, so many are weighing how they feel about the sub-line's future as we speak.