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Messages - Nicklab

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: Today at 06:00 PM »
I don't know if many show fans are all that aware of the Targaryen history.  But then the whole theme has been ongoing throughout the series when you consider Jaime and Cersei Lannister.  But considering the personalities of both Dany and Jon?  And the desire for the Iron Throne?  Those things will complicate matters.

It was brought up in an episode in Season 5.  Ellearia Sand was talking with Jamie Lannister about his relationship with Cersei.  She said it wouldn't be an issue if their last name was Targaryen.

I don't doubt that it was brought up.  But the prose of the novels and the extended passages of exposition really gave the readers a lot more insight into the inter-marriage of the Targaryens than we've seen in the show.  Because if the show got into the details the way the books did, everything would come to a screeching halt.

The historical parallels are worth noting.  Even in the inter-marriages of the royal houses of Europe in the 19th and early 20th century.  People may not realize that Britain's King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Czar Nicholas Romanov were all cousins.  And more recently in the UK?  Prince Charles and Princess Diana were actually distant cousins (7th or so).  It's not something that's foreign to people, but it's still considered to be generally taboo.

For the purposes of the show?  It further complicates the relationship between the twin siblings, Jaime and Cersei, as well as between the aunt and nephew in Dany and Jon.

As for next week's episode?  It looks like it's going to be epic.  But can anyone else see a key feature of Winterfell that goes all the way back to the pilot coming into play in a way that the alliance may not have foreseen?  One particular place in Winterfell might not be the best place to hide...

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: Today at 02:42 PM »
I don't know if many show fans are all that aware of the Targaryen history.  But then the whole theme has been ongoing throughout the series when you consider Jaime and Cersei Lannister.  But considering the personalities of both Dany and Jon?  And the desire for the Iron Throne?  Those things will complicate matters.

I saw that too.  I know that sometimes sellers will de-list everything if they go on vacation.  But with sellers who deal in volume they very often have the option of a vacation setting.

Is it possible that either Hasbro or Disney finally caught up with him?  The running theory seemed to be that he had factory seconds for sale that weren't authorized.  Or did the shift from HK manufacturing to Vietnam finally dry up his supply?  From what I could find the last sales took place on April 14th and everything seems to have been pulled.

EDIT - I did a little searching, and it seems like Tunghori has had some periods where the Star Wars Army Store has gone dark before.  This might be one of those instances again.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: Today at 10:16 AM »
These two episodes have just been loaded down with a lot of place setting.  And I get that a lot of that needs to be done, but there needed to be some action.

The season premiere came across in an unexpected way.  The new intro graphics were a surprise.  Why only change them significantly for the final season?  But then there were significant callbacks to the series pilot - Dany arriving at Winterfell with her army to the exact same music as when Robert Baratheon rode into Winterfell.  And it was complete with Arya checking things out from along the route, just like in the pilot.  There was also the creepy White Walker body part art, again, just like the first episode, and complete with a dead kid who has become a Wight.

Last week it was interesting to see Theon beginning to turn the tide by freeing Yara, and then setting off for Winterfell.  And Jon riding Rhaegal for the first time was a major step forward.  The whole scene at Last Hearth was pretty creepy.  It was like a horror movie where you're expecting the jump scare that only comes well after you've had a chance to relax.  I have to re-watch last night's episode because I had to step out of the room during some of it.  But there was some genuine heart to the episode - especially when Jaime Lannister knighted Brienne.

The Vintage Collection / Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« on: April 19, 2019, 11:40 PM »
I think Star Wars in the 3.75" scale is going to stay around as long as there's a toy line.  The legacy of the Kenner line is strong and it kept going for 20 years since the PT era.  It will probably have some sort of presence moving forward.

The Vintage Collection / Re: The Future of Star Wars Collecting?
« on: April 19, 2019, 10:55 AM »
Jayson's rumors tend to be better than some people's "facts" or "scoops".  Frankly, when it comes to reporting and a lot of the other collecting sites, Jayson has been eating their lunch.

I'm thinking that Jeff's estimate of the situation is probably on point.  But I'm also thinking that it's possible that the rumored 5.5" line might roll out for Triple Force Friday.  I've been seeing more of the toy line for Avengers - End Game in stores, and I'm seeing more of the 5.5" figures than the standard Marvel Legends scale 6" figures.  Considering how both the MCU and LFL fall under the whole Disney Licensing umbrella, I think it's a strong possibility that the Licensing group might take similar approaches for both franchises in an effort to reach all of the potential customer demographics.  That 5.5" scale is totally geared towards kids.

I also agree that distribution is still problematic.  And that has to do with the decline in brick & mortar retail.  Malls are quickly turning into shells of their former selves.  The main players right now are Target and Walmart, but both seem hesitant to take big inventory positions on Hasbro Star Wars.  And the secondary players are chains like GameStop, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Walgreens, etc.  I think we had better get more comfortable with online shopping at Amazon and the "Fan Channel" concept because that's the way the business seems to be shifting.

As for toy chains?  Toy City looks like it was a seasonal experiment and not much more.  The locations I had spotted already closed following Christmas.  The whole big KB Toys is coming back thing seems to have passed like a fart in the wind.  And TRU Kids seems like they have a significant international business, but they're taking their time in formulating if or how they might re-establish Toys R Us as a brand in the United States.

Personally, I'm wondering how the Hasbro line is going to proceed with so many different entertainment avenues:  The Rise of Skywalker, the second season of Resistance, The Mandalorian premiering on Disney+, and the return of Clone Wars.  It could make for a somewhat schizophrenic line, and that's not even touching upon a toy line that might revisit characters from across the Star Wars saga.

In this regard I understand why Star Wars movies are taking a break:  because there are at least 3 tv projects currently in production with another in development.  And having that much Star Wars entertainment in the pipeline gives the Benioff & Weiss series as well as the Rian Johnson films time to develop.


Why can't we get a proper colored Luke Jedi cape? ???

And here I thought that was a good point.  To me it seems more representative of Luke when he went to Jabba's palace than the TVC deleted scene Luke we got.  Even though Luke dressed almost entirely in black in ROTJ, the cloak he wore going into Jabba's palace was like a grey/brown.

-A holocron.  They can be imbued with the spirits and thoughts of the Force users that create them.  Could a Sith holocron made by Palpatine be among Kylo Ren's most valued artifacts?

This is interesting.

I’ve been thinking about the crashed Death Star and its (fake out?) link to Palpatine?

If Palpatine is alive, or even a force ghost, why would he stay on the crashed Death Star on the forest moon of Endor?  And if he is alive I could understand Rey going to battle him, but not necessarily the whole rebel crew.  I too was thinking there must be something on the Death Star - tech, relic, etc., that was drawing the rebel team there. 

Kylo Ren has been drawn to artifacts, although the movies haven't really beaten us over the head with that concept.  The Vader helmet is a clear manisfestation of that.  And his desire to have the Skywalker lightsaber in both TFA and TLJ is very evident.  A holocron would potentially be one of the most significant artifacts he could desire, especially one made by Palpatine.

The thought of Palpatine surviving being thrown down the tower shaft still comes across as less than plausible, despite the scenarios I spelled out.  But there has also been this ongoing story point about how the First Order emerged from the Unknown Regions of the galaxy.  It's been something of a mystery that has been delved into slightly in the movies and literature.  If Palpatine did survive, is that where he went?  And could it have been to connect with some kind of secret Sith homeworld like Korriban?

I loved that they used Leiaís Theme - made my eyes water. Iíve been sort of dreaded the end of the Saga and Leia. Read somewhere that Ep. IX was originally going to be Leia-centric - makes me sad that story is not going to get told.  :'(

+1!  That Leia theme gives you all the feels.  And as much as some people criticize a certain scene in TLJ, when that music kicked in it left me a mess in the theater.  I couldn't help but think about Carrie Fisher in that moment, and that music did it to me again here in this trailer.

I'm with you there about wanting to see how this story might have played out had Carrie still been with us and was able to see it through to the end.  But I'm also glad that the filmmakers were sensitive and respectful enough to not try to force something on us with a completely artificial performance.  Tarkin was one thing in Rogue One.  Leia is at the emotional center of the Star Wars Saga, and a level of authenticity to the performance is important.

As for Palpatine laughing?  Where does that go?  There seem to be a number of paths that are open based on plot points from other moments in the saga.

-Does it tie in to Palpatine's conversation with Anakin at the opera in ROTS?  Has he found the way to cheat death?  He even said it in ROTS as he spoke to Anakin following his turn against Mace Windu - "To cheat death is a power only one has achieved.  But if we work together I know we can discover the secret".  Is this real or an allusion to the Force spirit phenomenon?
-What about the world between worlds as seen in Star Wars Rebels?  Ezra use the portals to rescue Ahsoka from her confrontation with Darth Vader.  And he encountered Palpatine trying to use the portals as well.
-In ROTJ we see Palpatine fall and the explosion, but that's all.  Could Palpatine have escaped in some way using the Force?  The one point where that might not work from a story standpoint is why would he then abandon his Empire?  But we can also keep in mind his line from ROTS to the Shocktroopers after Yoda fell but they were unable to locate the Jedi Master.  Palpatine said "Then he isn't dead".
-A holocron.  They can be imbued with the spirits and thoughts of the Force users that create them.  Could a Sith holocron made by Palpatine be among Kylo Ren's most valued artifacts?

The cackle at the end of the trailer was enough for me to preorder this right away.  I've been hoping for a piece like this in the 6" Black Series pretty much from the time that the line launched (it would be nice to get it in the TVC line, too).

Glad to see the official reveal on this.  And it would have been even nicer if Kylo Ren's helmet had the new look as seen in the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker.  The dates on the slides in Hasbro's panel indicate that this may be in Disney Park stores some time this spring.

Are you saying we might get a trash compactor playset, Jeff?  Or hoping?  Or can’t say?

I positively LOVED the Saga Trash Compactor screen scene that came out around 2002 / 2003.  But even something like that could use an update.  Especially in light of the Jabba's Palace playset they recently announced.

As for the Luke Skywalker Jedi Destiny 3-pack?  It's pretty cool.  I like the Stormtrooper disguise and Jedi Knight versions.  The one head scratcher is the X-wing pilot version.  If the 3-pack is supposed to be a progression of Luke through the OT that isn't even representative of Luke from TESB. 

The opening scene looks like it was shot in Jordan at Wadi Rum.  It's a pretty famous film location (Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian shot there), and so was some of Rogue One.  I can definitely see the potential for anyone to think that might be Jedha.  And there was a still that I saw of Kylo in the cockpit of a TIE Fighter from the presentation.  I'm pretty sure it's him in the TIE that's flying towards Rey.

-The snowy mountaintop village with the A-wing flying in looked pretty cool.  Looking at it, I kind of wonder if that might be Battu.

-The burned forest with Kylo Ren and the Stormtroopers has some kind of an odd red sky.  Could that actually be Yavin IV with the gas giant planet making the sky so red?

-I'm also kind of curious about who is repairing Kylo Ren's helmet.

-BB-8 and D-O seem like an interesting pair, but they're together so briefly you can't really surmise much from the shot.

-Good to see Lando at the helm of the Falcon with Chewie.  And it looks like they've got the large sensor dish replaced at long last!

-The speeder chase looks pretty intense, and it looks like that same environment that might be Jedha.  Is C-3PO central to this story as an Anakin Skywalker relic?  Hmmm...

-The medal from Yavin definitely got me.  And that forest reminded me a little of Endor.

-The wreckage of the Death Star?  That elicited a significant "WHOA" from me.  And it left me thinking that was Endor and wreckage from the second Death Star.  Especially with the cackle that followed.

That music kicks in at about 1:07 and it gets me.  EVERY TIME.

So much to take in there.  And plenty to speculate about.  Where do you even begin?

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« on: April 11, 2019, 08:41 PM »
Of the three former locations that I pass by on a regular basis, only one space has been taken over and operating as a new chain.  And it's a Raymour & Flannigan furniture outlet.  Another location is set to become a Big Lots, and I'm not sure about the third.

I'm still wondering how things are going to play out with this so-called relaunch of the brand.  I thought we might hear something following Toy Fair in February, but there really hasn't been anything substantial.

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