So I found MOST of Wave 4 the other day at a local K-Mart... I'm really happy about that since, like I've mentioned before, I used their Rewards Perks card to get them cheaper. For the curious you simply sign up for the card and have it scanned on all purchases. You accumulate points which translates into money off future purchases. I had about $6 racked up, so when I found most of Wave 4, I got $6 off the total purchase... That's nice right?
The cool thing is you can accumulate it a long time. They hold for a full year I believe, so that's a long time to rack up stuff. You could walk out with free figures depending on how much you shop there. The only problem is K-Mart isn't as common (or even exists) in some areas, and some people have stigmas about shopping at K-Mart. In the N.East they're pretty common yet and sort of a shopping necessity, so I tend to rack up a bit there... not a lot, but I get little $5 to $6 discounts fairly frequently. Like I said in another thread, I'm doing my gf's oil change on her Jeep and so right after I'd used my rewards I will have more coming because I bought 5 quarts of Synthetic oil on sale and a filter.
Anyway, long story short and because I have a KM conveniently located to my house, and because KM generally gets each wave in at least once, I'm happy about that. Unfortunately KM may jack prices up higher now that everyone else has hit $8.99... For now they haven't. We'll see how long that lasts.
So some early thoughts on the figures, which I got to open only late last night...
-Padme... She's probably my biggest disappointment, especially at what figures are (Even $7.99). She's a salt-shaker, typical of Padme figures, with some nice (but ultimately pointless) softgoods. Her sculpt is decent, there's details that are really nice in her dress, and she comes with the two hats... I think the two hats are cool and slightly tempting to get a 2nd but I'm not willing to commit on extras of things I'm not overly thrilled with.
Suffice it to say, Padme fills a role, but I would've liked to have seen Hasbro try something different with her, and do more softgoods. It would've been tricky with the detail in the dress though so I'm not sure it's a realistic request. She's alirght for what she is but probably my least interesting of the wave, short of the SBD who I will not buy.
-Obi-Wan Kenobi... OK, I'm never one to profess I'm an expert on costume details. I really just like it if it's generally correct. So if Obi's inner-shirt isn't the right shade of tan or something, eh whatever... That said, I did notice Obi's "skirt" not matching his tunic in color with his Legacy figure, so I was hoping for an improvement there. And I got it. This figure's pretty great besides no saber hilt. He's pretty perfect actually aside from that, as he has all the things a Jedi should, and all the articulation a hero Jedi certainly should.
I like the likeness on him, the hair... The deco on mine is great, and there's some extra color there as the Robes are a variety of tans/white. In general I like him, and he's among my favorite Jedi figures because he even has the communicator on the belt, and sure he's mostly repacked (is anything different but the deco really?) but he just feels improved and better looking overall. I'll move my Legacy into his Jedi Fighter now.
-Mace Windu... Next in order of preference is Mace... I love this guy. This isn't a massive update, but it's enough that it makes a huge different compared to his previous incarnation. This is the Mace you want on your ROTS shelves, your AOTC Shelves, your TPM shelves... This is your ultimate Mace.
Hasbro didn't improve articulation, but they did a bangup Sam Jackson likeness like never before. Probably the biggest gripe of most Mace figures has been that face and it's much, much better. I like the scowl too. Like Obi-Wan, the headsculpt looks neutral but "serious". Together they look like they're about to make Geonosis eat its vegetables.
The next cool feature? They finally gave mace a Saber hilt he can clip on his belt! That only took what? 12 years? Better late than never, right? Unfortunately they forgot it on Obi! WTF!? Anyway though Windu's rocking the apprporiate gear, and a nicely distinctly colored softgoods robe.
Also Hasbro was sure to adjust his "skirt" now so that Mace's nice leg articulation can function. His 2007 figure was cool, an improvement for sure by leaps and bounds, but his movement was hindered by that solid plastic skirt. Now? Softgoods with a mix of plastic bits too, and he's really poseable as he should be.
The robe colors are great too. There's layers of creams, and tans. Like Obi-Wan the deco was nicer than has been in the past I thought.
-Senate Guard... I really like him but have one major gripe. Non-removable helmet. In this day and age, and when a figure's helmet is already a separate sculpted piece, and when figures cost this much, it's sort of a punch in the gut to have a helmet glued to a figure's head. Sadly that's the case here though, and they could've done better.
That said, The softgoods are a vast improvement, and a cool feel for sure. he also sports 3 accessories which are neat. i like seeing the pike/staff, the rifle's ok, and the pistol's nice that they kept it and the old sculpt of the legs/armor underneath so it has a holster and all.
I liked that there wasn't much adapting the ROTS sculpt too, like I said. The armor's neat, so I'm glad they kept it, and I don't feel ankle joints are a necessity by any stretch if they are sculpted neutrally as this figure's are. I like that they did update the arm articulation too, it helps with posing, however I wouldn't have whined if they weren't updated actually. To me, they allowed good poses with the ROTS Angle-Cut joints. This is obviously better though so thanks!
The helmet thing is my gripe really... And it lends itself to customizing without an excessive ammount of work, so I'm not even that upset by it. It's just annoying. It feels like POTJ Fleet Trooper. If the helmet and head are separate sculpts, just make them removable from one another and give the guy a full generic headsculpt. *shrugs*
-Zam Wessel... For me I kinda thought this would be my favorite of the wave, and she sure didn't let me down. Zam's a really impressive resculpt of two previous figures that flat out sucked. What's funny is her 2002 figure had such impressive articulation but it was almost entirely rendered useless by the awkward posing of the individual parts. Her preview figure was somehow more stable and useful despite itself being pre-posed and lacking anything but a basic 6 points.
Today, Zam has been given her due... mostly. She's rocking a lot of separate pieces/parts, she's got a working holster for her sidearm, she's got her sniper rifle, 2 veils (covering and not covering her face), a removable helmet, moving binoculars ON her removable helmet, and two heads (clawdite and human)... Wow. I mean, just wow. It's all small stuff, but it's neat little small stuff that is appropriate to Zam.
The veils work, but they're a little tricky to get them snapped to the helmet and really working well. I like them though, but part of me would have dug a softgoods one if it could've been done. Regardless though, what they did was neat and with work they both fit well enough.
I love the binocs... They move, they're cool, they pop off easily... They make me wish Mandalorians still had movable range-finders on their helmets that much more, haha.
Zam's sporting one of the best decoes in a while too, on any Vintage figure... Lots of silver, lots of washes, very fine face details, costume details, and even accessory paint aps... one gripe, her hair seems off. She seemed more blonde in AOTC than brunette, but I'm ok with it... Her hair seemed kind of slicked or gelled back anyway, what you could see of it.
Also if I had one major gripe, it'd be her "skirt" thing. It's plastic, which is ok as it doesn't inhibit her articulation. However it does inhibit her ability to sit... Since some people are still hoping she'llf it in her 2002 Speeder, it'll be tough with this skirt bit hanging down. I think she still could as it's flexible at least, but it might be a little snug, and cloth would've worked a lot better. Plus the texture of it would've been really cool to see what they could've come up with.
In another detail though, her likeness is REALLY impressively accurate. Whoever sculpted her got the chubbier cheeks of the acrtress' face really well. I was really impressed with it. She's such a secondary human character I was surprised it was this well done. It's a shame there aren't at least some blonde highlights in the hair or something.
Either way, she's my favorite...
I couldn't find Jango, SBD, or Anakin. Anakin I understand, Jango too somewhat, but the SBD? Weird. I am going to pass on Jango, he's worse than Padme and almost as bad as the SBD to me (forgot him earlier). Anakin I was hoping to get though, so hopefully I'll see him here eventually. I've wanted that resculpt as much as Zam from AOTC now for a while. They were my top 2, easily, from this film. And he looks really fantastic.
Good wave though. I wish I could've found them a month ago.
Unfortunately Pittsburgh's overloaded with Clones/Stormtroopers, or Wave 1 remnants (Dengar, CC Pilot, 4-LOM). Not much else to be found here at all.