Author Topic: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures  (Read 1608 times)

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« on: September 16, 2010, 12:43 PM »
MODs, this is a thread that will touch lightly on some political aspects but not does attack any specific party or "public servant", it's a blanket issue. I feel it's an important subject that over time will become more important to Star Wars collectors as this becomes more prevalent. It directly affects all toys and I will explain how it's currently affecting the Star Wars line. If this is the wrong place my apologies, but I truly think this is the right spot and should be discussed so this can be fought.

Have you noticed that all of the recent SW figures have numbers on them, many in non discreet places that kills the aesthetics? Have you noticed some of this:







I can shed some light on this now common occurrence. I think it's important to let the community know what's going on and what WILL/IS affecting the aesthetics/prices of our beloved action figure line. Overregulation and frivolous trial lawyer impacts are no longer a behind the scene aspect of what the industry deals with on a daily basis. I have worked in the toy industry for over 10 years I can tell you as a Designer my first priority was to always make sure the toy is safe. The worst nightmare of any Designer is to have a product you designed harm a child in any way. We have superb safety standards and toys go through a tremendous amount of testing to ensure safety. No company wants to harm a child.

That said, some unforeseen issues do get through. You will all remember a few years ago the lead paint recall at several companies, including Mattel, which had the biggest recall of all. No one was harmed during this recall but the paint used was unacceptable and the factories in China used materials that they should not have. To prevent this from happening again a new layer of third party checks and balances were put in place to ensure that the proper materials on the factory level meet safety standards. This has added a lot of cost to all products, including longer development time lines as it takes time to certify the product by the third party safety groups.

As I mentioned earlier, no one was harmed by the lead recall. It did not stop trial lawyers from filing frivolous lawsuits claiming kids were harmed anyway. After all of the settlements the extra layer of testing I mentioned above was implemented. While it added more cost and longer development lead times, it really is good to prevent factories from going around the system. It was a reasonable measure that no one fought against. The problem is that it did not stop there. Congress grandstanding and so called private Advocacy groups got in on the action too. They proposed even more regulations that had little clarity of what to implement in addition to the new safety rules. They want even more regulation that is getting to the point of insanity. It's becoming so cumbersome and so unrealistic that it's seriously affecting the industry.

In an effort to protect their businesses Toy Companies are taking proactive and preventative steps to shield themselves from law suits. Worst of all these bills have been passed BUT the rules in them have not been made clear or have been even finalized. So as usual they did not read them, passed them and will make it up as they go along.

No one is against strong safety standards, however we are now at a point where it's beyond reasonable. Prices, delays and aesthetics are being affected. Star Wars figures relies heavily on the aesthetics of the figure. The numbers that I showed above are the production batch numbers. So if a recall happens on a particular product you can know exactly if the product you have is part of the recall. Sounds great, but the problem is in most cases there is no room under the feet to hide this anymore.

When I was a kid I played with (the very dangerous) lawn darts, painted LEAD Ral Partha D&D figures that I handled for hours, did not sue when I fell off my bike because of my own clumsiness, and my parents actually parented watching what I played with. I turned out fine. I am all for safety We are getting to the point where it's getting so ridiculous. As a community I think we should push back because if we do not you will have more numbers on your figures on glaring places like Uncle Owens boot, more delays and cost.

Hopefully some of you found this insightful. I would love to hear your thoughts.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 01:51 PM by JACKOFTRADZE »
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 12:55 PM »
One of my Owen figures has numbers on his boots too - found it really annoying. 

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 01:16 PM »
One of my Owen figures has numbers on his boots too - found it really annoying. 

That's the main reason of my post, it's really annoying. Look at Cammie's leg, it's right on there in white. I have another other example:



Look at the mail away Fett's left calf. This will continue in the ROTJ wave and beyond...
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Offline iFett

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 01:31 PM »
That sure is annoying.  Good thing I don't open my figures, well most of them.   :P
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 02:58 PM »
Won't a quick little wipe with Goof-Off remove the numbers?

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 03:33 PM »
Won't a quick little wipe with Goof-Off remove the numbers?

On the ones that have tampoed numbers like Owen, yes. Figures like the Clone Trooper and Palps no because they are mold in. Sloppily I might add.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 03:48 PM »
I've wiped mine off with goof-off CHEWIE and it worked (just, of course, don't get too liberal with the wiping since you know how goof-off is on figure plastic).
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Offline McMetal

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 08:09 PM »
Well, based on the photo above, I actually think the new number looks a lot more unobtrusive than the wordy crap Kenner used to print all over their stuff.

Not sure why they just couldn't make it smaller though, like the microline printing on checks.
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Offline Ook

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2010, 03:55 AM »
I agree of course that safety is important. I don't want children getting sick from lead paint or my dog dying from food tainted (deliberately by Chinese factories) with melamine. But as an adult who collects this junk this is just about the worst news since Hasbro started using crappy, gummy materials on items that should be rigid and retain their shape! >:(

I spotted TVC Cody at Walmart right when they started hitting. There was only one and because one of the first things I noticed was the stupid number stamped into his leg, I put it back hoping I could find one later that didn't have it. It didn't help that the leg was rotated slightly in the package making it appear that they went and did something inexplicable like putting in right on the FRONT on his leg. I waited to find out that everyone was finding the number stamp in the same spot before deciding to go and get the fig. Fortunately it's not right in front, but it's still damned ugly.

The black ones are much, much worse! WTF are they thinking? ??? The one on the back of "Rocket Firing Fett" isn't a deal-breaker for me because it's a novelty toy as far as I'm concerned. I'm just going to keep it on my desk and shoot the rocket for ***** and giggles. But I imagine some from our generation have been wanting this thing fiercely for decades, and probably find it a hell of a letdown. I would too if it were on any realistic style figure. I'm glad I don't want young Uncle Owen because that bull**** is a definite deal-breaker for me. Is it on Camie & Fixer too? ??? Because I was considering getting them. But not with black numbers in an conspicuous location, that's for damned sure.

This is terribly unacceptable to me. What the hell could possibly be preferable about a hideous black ink stamp on the OUTSIDE of a foot rather than a colorless stamped-in number someplace less conspicuous??? I hope this is a trend that does not continue. And thank you very much, JACKOFTRADZE, for brining it up. This **** is a real buzzkill. >:(

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 06:08 PM »
This is terribly unacceptable to me. What the hell could possibly be preferable about a hideous black ink stamp on the OUTSIDE of a foot rather than a colorless stamped-in number someplace less conspicuous??? I hope this is a trend that does not continue. And thank you very much, JACKOFTRADZE, for brining it up. This **** is a real buzzkill. >:(

Thanks for taking the time to reply. More collectors will catch on to this and will share your (our) view. This is going to really put a kink in the looks of our figures and it's not going away any time soon. I cannot wait to see the placement on the ROTJ wave...

This is a clear case of over regulation - PERIOD. This is political and the result of pointy headed morons trying to score points by going overboard. The lead paint issue should not have happened but was blown way out of proportion, no one was injured and the extra level of safety was added after the fact to the already high safety standards to prevent it from every happening again. Adding this serial number on a product this small is pure overkill. In the grand scheme of things is this the biggest deal in the world? No, not at all, I can keep this in perspective. However, this kind of thing is affecting many aspects of our lives and is getting worse. Once this takes affect on more SW figures we should let Hasbro know and push back on it. I hope and expect this thread will pop up a few times and gain steam. Hopefully a Q&A question can shed their outlook on it and hopefully, at the very least, improve its execution.

You can tell Hasbro is struggling with this because of the inconsistent placement, it is all over the place on every figure even the same characters. You can see they are trying to figure out the best execution. Let's help them by letting them know the best execution is not to put it on there at all.
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Offline Ook

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 08:21 PM »
You can tell Hasbro is struggling with this because of the inconsistent placement, it is all over the place on every figure even the same characters.

Really? Example? ???

Offline speedermike

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2010, 10:36 PM »
I think that they are all over the place at this moment because maybe these figures were already in production when this requirement started, and Hasbro was playing catch-up.
I just got a ROTS clone tonight, and he has no number in his legs.  No where. But the Nikto Guard from the CW line has printed white numbers on the back of his left leg, just sticking out from the skirt.  Oddly enough, these don't bother me at all.  They're toys, not collectables for adults.  I think with proper planning, they will be able to hide them better, such as on the Darth Sideous.  I can hardy see his...

Looking at other current figures...nothing on Flame Thrower Clone or Ki-Adi Mundi...
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Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #12 on: October 1, 2010, 02:26 PM »
I hope they improve this. The Cody I picked up today had it on his thigh, it looks horrible! I prefer the tampo because you can wipe it off with nail polish remover.

You can tell Hasbro is struggling with this because of the inconsistent placement, it is all over the place on every figure even the same characters.

Really? Example? ???

The Clonetrooper. Some have it on the feet, some on the thigh and on the calf. It's never the same.
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Offline Ook

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #13 on: October 1, 2010, 03:00 PM »
The Clonetrooper. Some have it on the feet, some on the thigh and on the calf. It's never the same.

That's retarded. But I hope it at least indicates they're trying to find the least obtrusive spot. Is the clone's number stamped into the plastic like Cody's or is it black ink??

Offline JACKOFTRADZE

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Re: Production Numbers on your Star Wars figures
« Reply #14 on: October 2, 2010, 01:21 AM »
Is the clone's number stamped into the plastic like Cody's or is it black ink??

Etched into the plastic like Cody.
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