Author Topic: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?  (Read 1131 times)

Offline Brian

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Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« on: August 6, 2010, 12:52 PM »
I wasn't sure where was the right place to post this, but as this is the most current "modern" line, I thought I'd try here.  This sort of branches off of something Adam Pawlus mentioned in his Q and A (I believe this past week).  He was sort of talking about his preference to the simpler articulation styles (and sturdier toys) of our youth, compared with stuff of today.  It got me to thinking, what are better "toys" vintage or modern?  Sure, the modern stuff looks a million times better - there's rarely a question of that - but from a "kid" standpoint of playing with toys, which is better?

I think both obviously have their strong points.  Like I said, the modern stuff - especially the current stuff - looks absolutely amazing for the most part.  The sculpt, paint, articulation, all adds up to some really nice figures lately - and in some cases (Gamorrean Guard as an example) - they look like they jumped off the movie screen.  On the vintage side of things, sure they weren't all that accurate (although I don't remember minding too much as a kid), I never remembered opening any of my vintage figures and having a body part fall off of it right away (which does happen sometimes today).

The vehicles is a little difficult to judge too.  I think the vintage stuff was great for its time, and obviously held up today as we continued to see the same molds used for quite some time (and sometimes still today).  But, after playing with some of the recent "new" vehicles (BMF Falcon, AT-AT, Snowspeeder, SAGA Landspeeder, AT-TE, Jedi Starfighers, etc.), I might say that the modern vehicles are the winner here.  The sculpts are better, the features are getting better (as we see lights/sounds included again as well), and I think they are even more durable.  I know that the new Falcon, AT-AT, AT-ST, Snowspeeder, etc. all feel a lot more sturdy than their POTF2 (or vintage) counterparts in my collection.  The figures, in some way is a toss up.  I love the figures of today, but there is always that nostalgia for the vintage line that won't go away either.  The vintage toys were probably sturdier, which may make them a winner there - but the modern ones look so nice.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #1 on: August 6, 2010, 03:07 PM »
If you're talking simply better "toys", you're talking about their ability to take a beating...  So with that said, I'd say the Galactic Heroes line is a superior toy line to the vintage one, and modern as well.  The vehicles are more sturdy, and durable.  The figures are more streamlined obvioiusly, and they can take more of a beating.

The Vintage line had its flaws comparable to today...  Paint wore off very easily, their weapons were lost before the car ride home...  Somewhere out there is a 1984 Caravelle Wagon that has a back seat cushion filled with Star Wars and GI Joe gear that I lost before I got home.  That car, even crushed into a cube, is probably worth a pile beyond scrap value. :)

Now, I'll go further and say that I personally abandoned Star Wars as a kid to collect GI Joe because they were, to me, as a child, superior in every way (including articulation).  They came with more stuff, you could pose them a lot better...  Contrary to popular belief, articulation does appear to be something that makes toys "fun" too, not just something to appease collectors.  Most of my figures fit fine in my vehicles...  Some don't because they're too large, but they're the minority.  I think today's quality is a pretty solid offering in both high quality (in terms of detail and such) and meeting the standards of being a "toy", and that's the ultimate balance.
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #2 on: August 6, 2010, 05:34 PM »
Just comparing the 3 3/4" lines I'd say Vintage made the better "toys" because starting from day one the figures fit into the ships!  It's only been in the last two years I've been able to get a modern Chewbacca into the Millennium Falcon cockpit.   :D

From a collecting standpoint, I think the modern figures are much better to display.  If you look at my collection, about 85% of what is displayed is modern.  It's much nicer to display the modern figures because because of the superior articulation and accuracy in sculpts, they make better scenes.

All my vintage figures displayed (which I have great fondness for since they are all my toys from childhood) Are displayed standing in one cabinet in my collection room as a museum piece.
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Offline Scockery

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #3 on: August 6, 2010, 07:28 PM »
Vintage was a better toy line. Because I liked to be able to put Chewie in the X-Wing. If you have to ask why I would want to, I wonder if you were ever really a kid. Most of the characters were designed to sit (something a supposed "super articulated clone trooper" has problems with.)

Vintage figures hold up better, less parts to loose. I knew when ball joint heads and swivel wrists became common, we'd see loose, kid-owned figures with those parts missing. And I have seen them, at yard sales and on ebay.

They had vehicles and playsets that will never be remade in modern: Dagobah, Star Destroyer, Death Star, Ewok village, Rebel Transport, Imperial attack base, droid factory, the real dewback  :P, Jabba's Dungeon, Bespin Cloud City, Hoth Rebel Command Base, Land of the Jawas, Hoth Ice Planet (okay, those last 5 sucked... ;) )

Modern has better action figures (finally, it was touch and go with POTF2).

Looking back on the 70's-80's Kenner line, it seems ridiculous that there was only one Vader, one Obi-Wan and one Tattooine Luke, all with permanent retractable lightsaber arms. Luke couldn't even hold a blaster...or not well, anyway!

And the later lightsabers were pathetic looking, even for the era, colored sticks that were too short.



« Last Edit: August 6, 2010, 07:45 PM by scockery »

Offline Darby

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #4 on: August 6, 2010, 07:30 PM »
Vintage figures are the better 'toys' hands down.  From a pure utility/imagination standpoint, hands down.  Nostalgia plays a part, but those were toys first last and always.  The modern line is a work of art.  The CW line is the most toy like now - and maybe why it's the most fun sometimes - but I'd be curious to hear opinions of kids.

Offline ruiner

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #5 on: August 6, 2010, 08:38 PM »
Vintage toys stood up to abuse.  The figures nowadays fall apart with basic play.  Trust me, my boy has a box of troopers missing legs, hands, etc.

But on the flipside, the modern figures look a whole lot better!

Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #6 on: August 6, 2010, 09:01 PM »
Vintage toys stood up to abuse.  The figures nowadays fall apart with basic play.  Trust me, my boy has a box of troopers missing legs, hands, etc.

But on the flipside, the modern figures look a whole lot better!

I agree - Vintage line - better TOYS

Modern line - better looking, better articulation
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Offline Greedo The Green Menace

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #7 on: August 6, 2010, 09:03 PM »
I wasn't born till later in the game so I missed the Star Wars vintage bandwagon growing up, but the figures I did have were things like Ninja Turtles and He-Man. Articulation never even came into play with me, it was always about imagination , so with me and my group of friends I'd say articulation wasn't important at all. I don't think it matters that much to my kid brothers either, a toy is a toy with them, they're just happy to have something. They can have just as much fun playing with a static happy meal toy as a fully articulated one.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #8 on: August 7, 2010, 02:51 AM »
An interesting thing people are bringing up is durability...  Something vintage figures had, but modern do not generally, are things like loose floppy limbs, and heavy paint wear...  Also the plastic of that time is noticeably inferior.  It showed signs of becoming more brittle, and generally discolored easier (though some modern figures had the same problems, but not nearly as frequent in relative terms).

I really look at the vintage line as being LESS durable really.  Though some modern figures definitely have flaws.  Limbs stick and break at the peg and whatnot.  That wasn't common on vintage figures, not by comparison anyway.

People are also overlooking the vast improvements in detail and decoration, as well as accessories...  There's more than just articulation there that's a vast improvement.  :)

As a toy line, the vintage line was definitely made to interact with EVERYTHING though.  It was all made with only the play pattern in mind, while modern stuff can be made with just that one specific figure's "purpose" in mind, or the vehicle being designed for just one thing. 

The new AT-ST is a prime example of something I consider less toy, and more collectible...  It's VERY fragile at every joint.  These won't hold up over time IMO, especially in the hands of a child.
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Offline Scockery

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #9 on: August 8, 2010, 12:15 AM »
Of course, 20 years from now, who knows how current stuff will age? Might be puddles of goo. And lots of discoloration, as flourescent light bulbs become standard in households.

IMHO, it's "apples and oranges" on detail and decoration. 30 years later, everything should be better in those departments.









Offline Jesse James

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #10 on: August 9, 2010, 03:32 AM »
Sort of, but since the thread's a comparison thread, I don't think it can be overlooked either...  Articulation counts, and the ease of manufacturing figures with modern articulation (or if it was even possible in some cases) was vastly different then too...  Especially the styles Hasbro uses on the Star Wars line.

So in that sense, comparing articulation has big differences too...  If SW figures in 1980 had high articulation counts, we would've likely seen SW figures designed almost exactly like GI Joes of the 1980's, using the same plastics they used (broken thumbs and all), and such.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #11 on: August 9, 2010, 08:20 PM »
For figures, I put my vote in for vintage.

I like simple styles, lines, paint, and less articulation. My vintage toys were durable, versatile, and used for play. I love the look of the newer figures on a card- they really are modern works of mass produced art. But when I opened up my legacy cody, and his backpack hit the ground, along with his hand and blaster, I just had to shake my head. And the # of very scene specific characters and outfits has really grown of late- how much play value can a medical frigate luke have?

The modern ships on the other hand, are really putting their vintage counterparts to shame. The new snowspeeder looks great, and the AT-AT is a freaking amazing piece of plastic. A lot of the prequel ships look super, and seem durable enough. The giant TIEs and X wings look great, even if I struggle with how to get them displayed.

In the beast department, it is a mix. That new Rancor is art you can play with. The wal mart exclusive $30 dewback still left me liking the vintage more-a mobile head/tail is a lot better feature than cankles. The modern tauntaun needs work, along with the wampa. I haven't held the new Jabba yet, but soft skin makes me nervous.

And finally, I like playsets and props. The POTF2 Endor bunker and hoth trench are still in my display. Simple, usable pieces of background add to both display and play options. The vaporators from TAC luke line my tatooine background for the kubrick tusken raiders and jawas. A couple of cantina booths would be a welcome sight. A death star gunner station would also provide a centerpiece for a lot of figures and action. Yoda's hut with some cool swamp and tree roots would be nice too. The vintage line simply had more guts in creating environments to use for the figures to interact.

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #12 on: August 9, 2010, 08:56 PM »
I've got to admit that vintage toys are studier than modern ones. I just look around at my kid's rooms and see all of the modern toys they play with are in about a million pieces. No matter how much I try to get them to take care of their toys, they never last more than six months. I don't think today's toys could last a child from childhood to college like Buzz and Woody did in Toy Story 3. Maybe my kids are more like Sid from the original Toy Story.

However the new modern toys are better looking and always seem to need batteries to make sounds and light up. New toys seem to demand a certain type of play pattern from kids. Vintage toys made us use our imagination to fill in the missing details and sounds. For example my mom bought my daughter an easel to draw on. This wasn't an ordinary easel that you tack a piece of paper to that I would have had as a kid but this one talked and made sounds as you draw over certain areas of the board. Where is the imagination in that?
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2010, 12:44 AM »
Vintage toys are always better toys, without question. It's not Star Wars, but I just received my Orko and Prince Adam set from the new Masters of the Universe line, and Adam has some appallingly loose ankle joints. It's so bad that figure stands won't help him at all, so I'm going to have to go to Hobby Lobby and get a ******* doll stand if I want to display this figure. Meanwhile, I have a vintage Prince Adam that I bought from ebay a few months ago for $15 (half what this new set cost me) and it stands just fine, even though the rubber band inside is at least 25 years old.

Not that any kid will ever get their hands on any of these new MOTU figures, but it's still bull**** to spend $33 on two figures and get one that can't even stand up.
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Offline Blaster under the pillow

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Re: Better "Toys" Vintage or Modern?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 04:59 AM »
Vintage was a better toy line. Because I liked to be able to put Chewie in the X-Wing. If you have to ask why I would want to, I wonder if you were ever really a kid.


I guess I'm still a kid, one of the first things I seem to do when I get a vehicle is the Chewie test... usually the results are disappointing but occasionally...  in the case of Grievous's fighter...