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Messages - Nicklab

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Saga Collection '06 / Re: Target Exclusive Imperial Shuttle
« on: December 26, 2006, 01:35 PM »
I'm really glad to see that the Shuttle sold so well.  I think it bodes well for any fan of the vehicle line and the large vehicles that we've been asking for on the various message boards.  And with Darryl DePriest mentioning on the Forcecast that the AT-TE is something that Hasbro has seriously looked at doing along with mention of the Clone Turbo Tank in the Q&A sessions, I think that vehicle fans can be genuinely optimistic about vehicles.

Saga Collection '06 / Re: The "Final 22"
« on: December 26, 2006, 01:32 PM »
The next seven have been found in Hong Kong. That means that they could be here within the week.

Possibly, but I wouldn't count on it.  Shipments tend to really slow down right after Christmas, and in the case of TRU, they conduct inventory in January, so they don't get in much of anything until almost February.  With those things in mind it could be a little while until wave 9 starts showing up at retail in force.  However some e-tailers do have wave 9 in hand (Andrewztoyz from one article I saw), so it might not be too long before they show up at most brick and mortar stores.

What I mean is have those Endor Luke accessories:  blaster, holster, helmet, poncho, etc and add those to a good, *NEW* sculpt of Leia in Endor Rebel gear.  That's honestly what I think is going to happen, especially since there haven't been any reissues put on a Vintage style card.  Every figure that's been part of the vintage line has been a totally new sculpt even though some have been reissued afterwards.

I'm kinda disappointed that Hoth Leia isn't happening. That's a figure we really need a resculpt of, IMO, since we haven't had one since that POTJ statue version came out.

It sounds like Lee's had some bad info about the vintage Leia.  The rumors that have been swirling around about that figure say that it's actually an Endor Leia, not a Hoth version.  So I did some digging to see what the vintage Endor Leia was like, and that piece had a sg poncho, removable helmet and blaster.  So it seems as though Hasbro may copy what they did with TSC Endor Luke and apply it to a good sculpt of Leia in Endor gear.  Hopefully this version will be articulated well enough in the hips that it can ride a speeder bike!

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: December 21, 2006, 10:12 PM »
Same here.  It's been a tremendous help in both the NFL and MLB lines for me.  I'm hoping that McFarlane will do regional NHL cases at some point, because for the life of me I cannot get a Henrik Lundquist.  But I guess I would be pretty surprised if they were to ship a solid case of a goalie.

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: December 21, 2006, 07:36 PM »
Word is that the Drew Brees Saints figure is showing up nationally, but only in those full case assortments down in Louisiana.  Hell, here in the NY/NJ area we got full cases of Gary Sheffield, Walt Frazier and Eli Manning.  It's just a regional distribution scheme that McFarlane has taken to so that local fans can have an easier time getting the local players.

Gentle Giant / Re: Gentle Giant Busts
« on: December 21, 2006, 02:00 PM »
Pretty much.  These things have been all about generating buzz and not about addressing the desires of collectors.

The thing that I'm wondering about Max Rebo is this:  I'd like to see one compared side-by-side with a mini-bust.  Is it a mini-bust or a maquette?  Because it seems a little too large to be a minibust, even though it's got the circular base that's indicative of most mini-busts.

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:35 PM »
Yes, I do.  Jedi mind tricks only work on the weak minded.  ;D

The Vintage Collection / Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:30 PM »
I think if anything, the responsibility has to fall upon the sites that are submitting the questions.  There has been a lot of redundancy in the Q&A sessions.  And it is the sites that are submitting the questions that are responsible for going through all of the questions in an effort to see what's a valid question and what has already been asked and answered.  Obviously some sites are run with less of a focus on the nature of the questions asked, whereas other sites are progressing through the Q&A sessions, building upon previous responses.  It would certainly be constructive if the webmasters of these sites got together in a chat and coordinated their efforts in the Q&A process, but that's pretty unlikely at this point.

Other Toy Lines / Re: McFarlane Sportspicks
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:37 AM »
I got to crack open another case of NFL 14 tonight.  What did I find?  Well, a whole bunch of regulars, but I also came across a snow base Troy Polamalu and a throwback Bucs jersey Derrick Brooks.  I didn't even know that the Brooks figure was being done until I saw it in the case.  Now if I can only find a Saints Brees and Colts Vinatieri!  ;D

Gentle Giant / Re: Clone Wars Maquettes Yoda
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:35 AM »
I picked up my Darth Vader this afternoon.  It looks great.  Too bad it's going to go into storage because my shelves are just maxed out for the time being.

Gentle Giant / Re: Gentle Giant Busts
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:34 AM »
Picked up the Darth Maul bust at my local comic shop today.  It looks amazing in person.  :o

Crap I should of ordered my Maul without Greivous now Im gonna have to wait till he comes out.  :-\

Sorry, but this is one of my biggest message board pet peeves..."should of"?  This is not gramatically correct.  The proper usage is SHOULD HAVE.  The reason this seems to be typed out more and more on message boards is because many American speakers of the English language don't properly enunciate the word have.  End of grammatical rant.  ;D

Gentle Giant / Re: Gentle Giant Busts
« on: December 20, 2006, 08:48 PM »
Picked up the Darth Maul bust at my local comic shop today.  It looks amazing in person.  :o

The Vintage Collection / Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« on: December 19, 2006, 10:27 PM »
Dumb as I think it sounds, because to me it shows an inferior quality in the product offered, Hasbro have simply said they won't do SA across the board because they don't want to...  No real major cost issues involved and whatnot that dominated their decision, no major aesthetic issues...  Simply their choice.

Actually I think they have addressed this sufficiently.  They've said that a higher level of articulation leads to increased tooling.  That in turn leads to a higher cost.  Figure costs get averaged across the line, and bringing up costs across the whole line would probably lead to a price hike.

And with the figures that they tend to give minimal articulation I have seen them cite the aesthetic of the figure and whether or not increased articulation is character appropriate.  If it wasn't in the online Q&A's, then it has certainly been at shows where Hasbro has been exhibiting.  Certainly a Padme figure in some ornate gown isn't going to be very action oriented by virtue of the scenes that the costumes were derived from.

The Vintage Collection / Re: Hasbro Weekly Q and A
« on: December 19, 2006, 09:56 PM »
I see that Playmates/Simpsons and Zizzle/POTC are brought up at Yak....

I saw the CEO of Zizzle on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch on CNBC last night.  As you mentioned they have the POTC license.  Prior to them getting that license they had only ONE product on the market.  It's been profitable, but Zizzle is still very much in the startup phase and is depending on POTC to succeed in a big way.  Their CEO has a good history in the toy business, but the POTC license is still a gamble for them.  They no doubt have a direct percentage of their sales going back to Disney to pay for this license, or have some major financing set up to do so.  But there should be no doubt that POTC could make or break Zizzle financially in the blink of an eye.

But if you look at Zizzle and their product line, they don't have a lot of big ticket items on the shelves.  And they also *NEED* to have a pirate ship as part of their line.  It's inherent to the story to have a pirate ship.  There also aren't a lot of other vehicles in the line, so that's going to bring their tooling costs down.

Hasbro originally paid $600 million dollars to Lucasland for the rights to produce toys...I can guarantee Playmates or Zizzle did not pay anywhere near even $100 million for the rights to make toys.  As Nick pointed out, that is a huge reason why stuff is not getting made (see new Unleashed, 12" figures etc)  Things like Choppers and Transformers are cross promotional across all Hasbro lines, Transformer and SW Attacktix, Star Wars Transformers, Marvel Galactic Heroes etc are all part of a grand Hasbro scheme to dominate the toy shelves.  Large Boxed dioramas with low profit margins due to high license, tooling and plastic costs just do not make business sense.  Its pretty black and white to me and has been stated as such by Hasbro ad naseum.  Plus the track record of playsets at retail is pretty horrible.  The Queen's Starship, the Arena and the Mustafar Volcano all saw clearance...the Carbon Freeze Chamber didn't even get to retail because nobody wanted it and then was clearanced out on line as well.

I think that those of us who have some understanding of the business end of the toy industry are probably going to be more accepting of these facts.  But I think that even if Hasbro were to communicate these facts to the fan sites via the Q&A's, there is still going to be this group that is outraged at the situation and will continue to complain.  I don't think it's a knock on fans or collectors, but on people who will continue to disregard the facts on any range of issues because they don't look into the facts at hand.  And it is that ignorance that is continuing to drive this line of questioning in Hasbro's Q&A's. 

I can only imagine the level of frustration at Hasbro regarding this topic.  How many times can they answer the same question?  And while we know from the press clippings that Hasbro paid over half a billion dollars to Lucasfilm for the license, it's not a good PR move on Hasbro's part to outwardly say "We paid over half a billion dollars for the Star Wars license.  As a result we have to maximize the profitability in the line, and that means we have to cut some items that have been loss leaders.  Unfortunately that means playsets.  Sorry."

Me, I'd love a Attackus style Millenium Falcon or Dagobah playset made of plastic in the $20-$50 range but I'm not going to hold my breath

Same here.  I think those pieces look fantastic, but they remain out of my price range.  However I think it's entirely possible for some ingenious collectors/customizers to get take Attakus' cue and find some materials that are similar to what's in the Attakus set and get to work.  I think some kind of grey and/or black linoleum of some kind might make a good source of material for your own Death Star display.

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