Author Topic: The Beginning of POTF2  (Read 5540 times)

Offline Brian

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The Beginning of POTF2
« on: August 13, 2004, 02:38 PM »
I was curious to hear some of your opinions, stories, etc. about when the POTF2 line first started out, and when Star Wars figures were back on the pegs.  I have to be honest, I wasn't really collecting right when it started, getting into it more so around 1999, about the time of Phantom Menace.  I was aware that the toys existed sometime before that, since my younger brother was receiving some things as b-day gifts at that time.  Anyways, just looking over the waves, figures, etc. online, I bet it was a pretty exciting time to see Star Wars on the pegs again.  Sure, they were big and buff, and most of them look pretty poor compared to today's figs, but I can still imagine it was pretty neat.

How did you first know they were back?  The internet community wasn't quite the same back then, was there another route (maybe commercials that I don't remember).  Did you know what was coming out next, in upcoming waves, or was there a time of "ta da, new figures" like it was in the vintage days?  Did you have any idea that Hasbro would continue on so far, or did it seem like it was a short limited series?  Were figures tough to find?  Anyways, just curious as to some of your personal stories for that period in Star Wars collecting.  I kind of missed out on it, and although I have some figures from that period now, it would have been neat to be a collector during that time.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2004, 05:21 PM »
It started as a joke for me.  Really. 

I was in grad school at the time and was (apparently) really aggravating to my supervisor.  He was/is an extremely intelligent man, with tastes far more advanced than mine.  He listens to Opera, reads classical literature, attends the symphony, ballet, etc.  Being a lifelong (thereabouts) star wars fan I thought I'd get him an Obi-wan figure as a joke and put a Vader figure on my desk.  I was pretty sure he wouldn't pick up on the analogy, but he did, which impressed the heck out of me.  To this day he still have the Obi figure on display in his office, which is entirely out of character. 

As mentioned in the vintage section, I never collected the old figures.  I did collect Marvel comic figures, Secret Wars or whatever teh current action figure series of the time was.  I only ever grabbed one or two sparingly, maybe that many in a year.  So I sort of knew that the figures had just appeared in the toy aisles fairly recently.  Didn't have much money in grad school, so my purchases were very limited to say the least.  Essentially, I just stumbled on them.  I'm not now, nor was I then as critical as many here, I was just happy to have the figures, heman or not. 

Initially there were about 12 figures and Leia, who was the original shortpack in this line, monkeyface and all, was one I had no difficulty finding.  I picked up those 12, thinking that was about it.  When more straggled out, I would pick those up as they came along, following the packaging as a guide for what was available.  Eventually it became an insanity, on the retailers part.  So many figures out: POTF2, cinema scenes, SOTE, vehicles, beasts, 12".  I resisted the whole time, only buying main characters and that was about it. I was not initially aware of the diversity of figures.  Being in Canada, in spite of all that crap on the shelves (which I own most of now) I had no idea how much I was missing.

I eventually started doing searches on the internet and found RS in its first year on the web and eventually found collectstarwars.com as well.  I was a ghost at those sites for a very long time, from around 97 onward.  The whole time, until late 2001 I only collected 3 3/4 figures. 

No idea about promotional stuff, but I do remember one thing.  I used to see more parents buying stuff at that time, probably owing to the re-release of the OT in theaters.  I remember scouring pegs with a woman that was a parent of two kids.  She was asking all sorts of questions about what the main characters were and whether her kids would like things like Ugnaughts.  It was a fun conversation that won't be repeated these days. 

I never really followed what was coming up that closely, just occasionally printed out a new check list so I could see what was missing.  At the time I was a carded only guy but eventually space issues drove that out of me too. 

So essentially in my case it was dumb luck, or fate, depending on your point of view. 
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Offline Muftak

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2004, 01:18 PM »
I remember seeing the Toy Fair image of the first bunch of POTF2 figures in a Wizard Magazine sometime in the spring or summer of 95 and feeling my heart skip a beat.

They were real...modern...Star Wars figures!!

At the time I was collecting odds and ends of toys: Aliens stuff and X-Men stuff are what I remember mostly. Sometime that September I was at the local TRU and saw a handful of the new Star Wars toys on the pegs. My first grab consisted of Luke, Han, Chewie, Ben, Artoo, and Vader. They were all that was there. A few weeks later I found a couple of Stormtroopers and a Leia. Then a Landspeeder and an AT-ST.

I skipped out on the X-Wing and Falcon ,but eventually picked up a TIE. I liked the toys a lot...even the big EU extra weapons everyone came with. The lightsabers seemed a little long, but they were see-through colored plastic so I forgave them.

And those bios on the back of the cards...what an extra! I had been playing the RPG for a few years prior, and it was neat to see all the info from the Sourcebooks carried over to the new toys.

My Mom actually found C-3PO and Boba Fett for me not long after (half-circle Fett, that I proudly opened up and stuck on my shelf with all the others.) I had seen pictures of the New Fett on a Toy collecting magazine (no idea which one anymore) and thought--Wow!! It looks like a model or something! I had no idea it would be out so quickly. In the comic magazines they touted the return of Star Wars toys, and I learned what would be coming next.

It wasn't long before I had that next batch of figures,  Yoda, Lando, Luke Pilot, TIE Pilot (the hardest one for me to find back then!) Hoth Han and Dagobah Luke all hit here that same winter. Then it was a long wait, eight months or so, till Shadows toys hit.

I collected the entire POTF2 line steadily and displayed it all, until I moved into my own place in Summer '98 and had to pack everything away. Most of that old stuff still hasn't come back out. I "took off" from collecting for a couple years then, until 2001 or so when POTJ started to heat my enthusiasm back up. By then I was online alot of the time, and found the RS/CSW communities just before the big merge. And I've been with it ever since.
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2004, 09:22 AM »
I was not even aware that there was going to be a new SW action figure line until I happened to see a copy of a toy magazine (Lee's?) in a bookstore in July of 1995.  I was just looking around for a copy of a Giger art book and on my way out, I noticed the cover proclaiming "Star Wars is back!" or something along those lines.  I picked it up, flipped to the page with the photos and just about fainted.  I can't put into words how excited I was about new SW toys (especially since I had lost the vast majority of my vintage toys back in the day to the evils of a yard sale) and I counted the seconds until I could look for them at retail.

The first thing I saw from POTF2 was actually the X-Wing on a top shelf at a Wal-Mart in early August of 1995.  Strangely enough, it would be another three months before that Wal-Mart would get anything else from the line (and even then it was another vehicle, the AT-ST), and another month after that before they got any figures.  Believe it or not, I actually found Han, Luke, Chewie, and Ben at a Woolworth's a few days after the X-Wing, and the following day I went to another Woolworth's a few miles away and found Leia, Vader, R2, and the Stormie.  The fact that Threepio was missing was very confusing to me, as I still labored under the vintage-induced perception that everything came out all at once and I must have just missed him.

By the end of September, I had all nine figures (Threepio showed up at that Woolworth's about three weeks later), all five initial ships, and I was absolutely thrilled that there were new SW toys.  And everything went downhill from there.  ;D

As for INTERNET, I think the first time I ever visited a SW collecting site was in October of 1996.  I had just heard about the Special Editions coming out the following year and was looking for pictures of the new stuff when I stumbled across a small personal page of someone who also had photos of the upcoming toys (which at that point were the Sandtrooper, Greedo, and the DS Gunner).  I did some other websearches and ran across Yakface's Realm first, then stumbled into Wiseacres.com and the SW Collector's Archive.  A few weeks later I discovered Usenet and found RASSC, and the rest is history.  Nine years later, I have Jebus knows how many figures, vehicles, beasts, playsets, and dolls populating a room of my home and no matter how crappy some of the stuff may be in retrospect, I still think fondly of every single piece in my collection.

Offline bobafett14

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2004, 10:19 AM »
I actually was collecting the SW Bend-ems before the POTF2, and also the SW comics by Dark Horse.  I beleive the bend-ums came out around 1993 or 1994 (on vac. right now, can't remember) but I kept looking for the Fett and Luke X-wing (which I still need to complete that part of the collection)  they ran about $2.99 pretty cheap, but that's when I ran across the POTF2 in stores and the rest is pretty much history.

About that same time was when I first jumped online as well.  That's when I hit a few sites like collect sw, POTF2.com, and I think Gus's site were the early favs.  and I started grabbing the toy mags w/SW covers as well. 
(I think the first Lee's I grabbed back then had the black cover w/TIE Fighter on it)  I still to this day collect mags w/SW covers on them.


 
Star Wars and toy Collector since 1978(age 7).  currently over 6,500 SW items in my personal collection. Collect modern/vintage and everything in-between ;^)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2004, 06:07 PM »
I was similar to your story Bob.

I was buying MicroMachines actually...  That was my thing.  I eventually started going online about the same time too and started looking at modern figures.

Before all that I bought some of the RPG books for just "good reading", some of the miniatures, and I collected/customized Vintage. 

I was a G.I. Joe brat though, not a Star Wars fan till proobably the later 80's.  I liked Star Wars as a kid, but didn't collect it because G.I. Joe was just a better toyline to me from a child's standpoint (more fun, more vehicles, etc.)...

Joe was my life though...  Had EVERY figure.  In fact the only things I didn't have were redeco exclusives, Sears Exclusives, etc...  Oh, and the FLAGG which wouldn't fit in my room.  :)  Had that all though, and hardly any Star Wars.  They were good for accessories for my Joes and for use as the helpless scientist or something.

Vinty caught my eye when I was watching Empire and Jedi on NBC one night, and I wanted to collect the old toys...  Before long talk of new films, re-released films, and then in 1995 a whole new action figure line.  And the rest is a sad pouring of $ into Hasbro.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2004, 06:15 PM »
I read a blurb in Star Wars Galaxy Magazine issue #2 (still have that same ish) and I about **** my pants. I was picking up vintage figures, collecting Micro Machines, Bend-Ems, X-Men, and Playmates Star Trek stuff. Now I had a chance to get brand-new Star Wars figures! Real ones!
I got the first nine figures and the Landspeeder for Christmas 1995 (couldn't drive on my own back then) and eventually located the next waves in the early months of 1996.
I'm only missing the Snowspeeder and AT-ST from that period. I was obsessed. I let my Playmates collection slide just before the 1701 Fiasco, and I'm glad I did then. Now I'm buying what I want for a song.

I got online about 1996, and the first SW site I hit was Gus Lopez's Collector's Archive. From there I found Yakface's Realm, CSW, POFToo! (great stuff, wish he'd continued) and eventually found RS.

I thought new Star Wars toys wouldn't last long, but 500-odd Star Wars toy purchases and nine years later, I'd say it's golden.
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Offline evenflow

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #7 on: November 5, 2004, 02:33 PM »
Well I remember seeing the pictures in Action fgure digest and all those magaiznes and was so pumped. It was awesome.

The cooler memory is when I first found them. I was on my way to PA to visit some family and I usually stop to look for toys, there is a TRU, a Walmart, and at the time a Service Merchandise all right next to each other. I went into S.M. and to my surprise they were all just hanging there. I was flipping out, I bought the complete set and it was amazing. I was literally the first person who had them because the next day i went to a toy show and when i wnet no one had even known they wer eout yet. So I had them in my car so i brought them out to show eveyrone.
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Offline Ranat

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #8 on: November 5, 2004, 03:08 PM »
I didn't find out about POTF2 like you guys did. My story is a little bit different:

It was Christmas of '96. I was in the mall looking for a christmas present for one of my friends. He had told me he wanted a Star Wars toy. I went into Kay-Bee toys and went to the action figure aisle. I was 11 or 12 at the time, and really had no collecting interests at the time. Looking through all the Star Wars figures, I picked up a Han Solo in Carbonite for him. While paying for the toy, I thought to myself "These things are stupid". Isn't it interesting how one can change his or her mind quickly?

Than night, I brought the figure up to my room and put it on my dresser. I was playing a video game, but the whole time, I just kept staring at the action figure. I paused the game, picked up the action figure, and just looked at it. I read the bio on the back, and looked at the other figures that were listed on the back too. The next day I brought the figure over to my friend's house. When I dropped it off, I asked if I could borrow the Trilogy. He lent it to me, and as soon as I got home, I started watching it (I had NEVER seen Star Wars). I immediately fell in love with it. The vast amounts of unique aliens, the technology, the fights, everything appealed to me.

That Easter, my mother brought me to Kay-Bee toys and told me to pick out two things I wanted. I went right to the Star Wars toys and picked out my very first Star Wars figures: Bossk and the Jawa 2 Pack. Ever since then, I've been buying all the Star Wars figures I can.

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Offline Raia

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 10:56 PM »
In June '95, on the last day of school, I was pleading with my mom to let me stay up later when ESB came on the TV.  Not knowing what it was at all, I tried to use it to help my cause.  I said that I really, really wanted to watch, that it was my favorite movie.  She saw right through that and sent me to bed, but not before I got my first glimpse at Chewie, all covered in snow shooting at the Probe Droid. 

The next day I couldn't get that "weird, fuzzy guy" out of my mind and decided to ask my mom to rent the tape for me.  She got  them one at a time, and had to have watched them five times each that week.

The day that ROTJ was due back my cousin came over.  I tried to get him to watch with me, but he said it stupid and boring.  I finally got him to watch the final fight between Vader and Luke, and converted him there on the spot.  When our grandmother (Nana :)) came to pick him up, she surprised us by taking us to Toy'r'Us.  He picked out Darth Vader while I searched in vain for Chewie.  After going through ever single figure and not finding a single one, I decided that I wanted Vader, too.  I picked one up, and he got upset because "we can't have Vader fight Vader!"  I wasn't going to budge, and was beggining to cry (I was only 7!) when Nana stepped in and made him get Luke in the X-Wing gear. 

We played with those figures everyday for 4 or 5 years, and of coarse we added several dozen more along the way.  Today, all I have left off my first figure is Vader's cape - with the dirt baked into it and all.  I can't remember exactly what happened to him, but my money is on him being half-buried somewhere in my old backyard.

Of coarse, finding Princess Leia in a huge bin of figures at KB is my favorite memory.  I was so excited, jumping up and down and screaming "I got Leia!  I got Leia!"  I had to return the R5-D4 I just bought to get her.  Of coarse, her hand fell off later that day  >:(

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Offline Darby

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #10 on: February 6, 2005, 05:42 AM »
At the time I was collecting Playmates Star Trek line, and I can't remember if I first saw a pic of the new SW in a toy magazine or on the web.  I do remember thinking they were going to be the same size as the Playmates stuff, and being surprised when I found they weren't.  Weird.  But they took me right back to when I was a kid, saving up ten quarters to buy one of these every month.   :)

Offline Vator

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2005, 02:45 PM »
So...10 years this summer is it? My first memories are from back in late '95 being in TRU and seeing the attractive red cards. My dad recognised them as Star Wars, and I really, really, really wanted 'the gold guy'. I never got him though, eventually along the way I'd opt for something else.
Everytime we'd go there (frequently...what can I say, I was spoiled) I'd always one of them. It wasn't until the Special Editions came out that I understood. The lines were too long at the theatre to go see them, so we went to Blockbuster and bought the Trilogy.
We also stopped at the same Toys R Us that afternoon and I got the 12inch Vader and the SOTE Xizor VS Vader 2 pack. Now if I recall, Carla and Michelle (mom and sister) went to go see Evita or something that night while we watch A New Hope. By the time they got back, my fate was sealed. And thus was born my love of Star Wars.

One problem of course, was our new puppy Riley. I lost sooo many figures to him, he really had a thing for X-Wing Lukes and Vaders. Luckly that ended befour '99 when Episode I came out.
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Offline John C

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2005, 05:00 PM »
The last 10 years have gone by so fast.  I remember seeing the pictures for the first time as many others did in Toyfare magazine.  I had picked up some of the Bend-Ems and die cast Action Masters, but they weren't the same.   Real Star Wars figures were coming out again.  I found the Falcon first at Target, so I picked it up.  The first figure I was able to find was Luke at a TRU.  I was able to find the rest of the first wave at a Target shortly afterwards.  They had a limit on them, but it was something like one of each per person, so I was happy with that.  I was a completist with the figures until the POTJ line. 

Offline Jagdohh_Fett

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2005, 02:41 AM »
When the modern line debuted, I wasn't really into Star Wars that much (I had a few vintage figures, but most of my childhood was spent with He-Man and TMNT figures). I was still collecting the X-Men, X-Force, etc. figures around '95, but I do remember buying a few of the orange-carded POTF2 figures sometime in early '96, I believe. I still have the Obi-Wan carded, which I think was my first modern SW figure bought.

It was sometime around when the Freeze Frames came into play that I ended up picking a few more up, but it wouldn't have been until the summer of '02 that I became a hardcore collector, sadly too late for most of the earlier stuff  :(.
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Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« Reply #14 on: June 2, 2005, 01:08 PM »
At the time I was collecting Playmates Star Trek line,

Same here. I was also working on Star Trek at the time. Strangely, this is where I heard my first rumor of the return of the Star Wars line.

I was frequenting a store called Puzzle Zoo in Santa Monica and got to know one of the store attendants. He turned out to work as an extra and happened to work one week as a stand-in/extra Klingon. While we were chatting on set he broke the news to me. After that, I was done. I found out everything I could abou the line and haven't stopped since.
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