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Topics - Brian

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Saga '02-'04 / Visual Guides (formerly of ArtoosNews) Back Online
« on: March 15, 2004, 12:14 PM »
In case anyone hadn't seen them yet, the visual guides (in the style of, and from the same people I believe who did them at AN) are back online at the following site (Jedi Temple Archives):

Jedi Temple Archives Visual Guides

I always enjoyed their visual guide style, and it really allows for some good views of the figures.  Just thought I'd post if anyone was interested.

Saga '02-'04 / If You Had to Choose
« on: March 12, 2004, 04:03 PM »
Just something I was thinking about this afternoon....although this is a tough question for me, if you had to put away/sell, etc. your modern collection, and could only keep 12 figures, 1 beast/deluxe, 1 small-scale ship, and 1 large ship, which ones would you choose?  Would you go by which figures you think are the best done, your favorite characters, the most iconic characters?  Just curious which ones you would choose for yourself, from POTF2, POTJ, Episode I, or Saga.  I'll leave OTC and VOTC off for now, because I think many of us (including me) would choose some of those VOTC figures, but since they aren't out yet...we'll just leave it at the current releases (even if you don't have them yet, you can go by online pics if you like).  For me, I would probably go by the main characters, or favorites...just if I had to limit my display to this many only.  I'd also go with all OT characters I think, just because they are more appealing to me.

1.  POTJ Han Solo - Bespin Capture
2.  Saga Chewbacca - Cloud City Escape
3.  Saga Darth Vader - Masters of the Darkside Repack/Death Star Clash
4.  Saga R2-D2 - Jabba's Sail Barge
5.  Saga Luke Skywalker - Jabba's Palace
6.  POTJ Boba Fett - 300th
7.  POTF2 Commtech Stormtrooper
8.  Saga Yoda - Jedi Master (would rather take one of the upcoming OTC/VOTC versions though)
9.  POTJ Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi
10.  A version of C-3PO (I only have the shiny gold POTF2 version, and the Escape Pod one, neither is great...would rather, again, have VOTC version)
11.  POTJ Princess Leia - Bespin Escape
12.  Saga Lando Calrissian - Skiff Guard Disguise

1. Saga Ultra Jabba the Hutt or possibly Ultra Wampa

Small-scale Ship:
1. Saga Landspeeder

Large Ship:
1. POTF2 Millennium Falcon

Personally, I don't have all of these items (Lando, Jabba), but if I could only have a small, one shelf display...these are the ones I would choose.  Of course, if we're talking future figures, I'd take probably the entire VOTC collection for the figures, and leave the others the same.  Sorry if this is a stupid question, our servers at work are having troubles, so I've been just sitting and thinking :P.

Other Toy Lines / Other Lines That Have Tempted...
« on: March 12, 2004, 11:58 AM »
Although like the majority of the members here, I am primarily, first and foremost a Star Wars collector...I can honestly say that several lines have tempted me over the past months.  And also, what's funny to me, if it wasn't for the fact that I got into collecting Star Wars again I wouldn't even know about most of these lines ;).  Many come and go, and I end up being glad I didn't get into them too far (money, space, interest)...but a few continue to be tempting to pick up.  I was wondering which other lines have tempted you and why...and why you caved in and bought or gave up and moved on.

Personally, I have been back and forth on a number of lines (as many of you can probably see from my posts), but it pretty much just comes back to Star Wars only.  I think a lot of other lines are really great, and if I had unlimited funds and space, I'd be in for more.  However, the only line (so far) that I have ended up picking up with any regularity is Marvel Legends.  Here's a breakdown of any others that have been/or are tempting:

Marvel Legends: Maybe giving up....Only collect the Spidey/X-Men figures, and not sure if I will continue or not.  I have Beast, Colossus, Gambit, Wolvie, Magneto, as well as a Spidey 2 Spiderman.  I thought I would give up on this line, but I know once I see the likes of Juggernaut, Brown Wolvie, Iceman, etc. I might rethink it.

MOTU: Gave up on this...started waaay too late, and Mattel hasn't done a very good job of running the line anyways.  Only ended up with a He-Man and a Sy-Klone out of it, but would still like to get a Roboto if I ever see one for a decent price.  Otherwise, I'm glad that I ended up not buying into it too heavily.

Batman and/or Justice League:  Gave up... Just because I've always been a Batman fan, I was interested.  Again, run poorly by Mattel it seems, too many variants for my tastes, and I ended up with just a Zipline Batman.  Considering the new animated line when it comes out, have to see what it will offer.  Justice League I am just too far behind on, and think that I would regret it if I ended up buying them all off of ebay or something.

Lord of the Rings: Still interested....these movies are so great, and is really second to only the Original Star Wars with me.  I only have two figures thus far, and would be really far behind, but Toy Biz likes them some re-releases, so I guess I can pretty much pick up at any time.  I wouldn't want anywhere near a complete set, just a handful of my favorites, probably 10 figures or so at most.

Muppets: Still interested...always have been to some extent.  This is another line I probably won't end up getting, because I'm just way far behind.  Plus, I wouldn't want all of them anyways...just ones from the actual "Muppet Show" for the most part.  That was one of my favorite shows as a kid, so I guess nostalgia has a lot to do with it.  Plus, Palisades seems to do a great job with this line.  I'm getting an Indy Kermit for sure (if there are any left), and after that we'll see.  They really put out some amazing product in this line though it seems.

A lot of other lines are pretty cool too, like the Kubrick/Minimate side of things.  Those are still tempting (particularly Star Wars and LOTR), but I don't know if I will end up going for it or not.  The LOTR ones will be hard to pass up once they show up in the stores, but I know if I get them, I will want to pick up the Star Wars Kubricks as well...which would be both difficult and expensive for me.  The main reason I stay away from most of these is the money aspect, although some I end up glad I didn't buy into.  Plus, I don't have a completist attitude with any of the other lines, just what I like.  For now, its just Star Wars first and foremost...and always will be really...but I think I'll be checking out the LOTR stock on this weekend's shopping trip as well....and I still look through the Muppet listings on ebay from time to time (Rowlf was my favorite, but that Tuxedo one is too expensive...and I also like Fozzie).  Again, that Indy Kermit is too cool though :).  Sorry for the long post, down time at work...but I look forward to seeing any of your opinions.

Original Trilogy Collection / Jedi Council sets 3 & 4
« on: March 9, 2004, 03:28 PM »
Galactic Hunter has a sneak peek up of the TRU-exclusive Jedi Council set featuring Obi-Wan, Plo Koon and Eeth Koth.  You can check out a pic of this set here:

Jedi Council Sneak Peek

Collector's Tips / Online Retailer Opinions and Experiences
« on: March 9, 2004, 03:12 PM »
Just thought it might be nice to have a thread dedicated to the different online retail options that are out there, so anyone who might be curious about a particular e-store can check out how their business is.  I haven't ordered from a ton a different places, but here's some of my opinions:

Kebco I did some preordering through them starting last year, around May, during a major drought in figures in my area.  I ordered some 2003 basic figures, as well as the Han/Boba/Yoda and the Chewie/Luke Unleashed waves through them.  As of today, I have received each and every item that I ordered from them...although I will say that some took quite awhile.  The Unleashed I all got reasonable quick, and well before I found them in stores...but the basic figures that I preordered in May of last year I didn't receive until November/December-ish.  I am understanding that this was a shipment from Hasbro problem, and not their own though.  Overall, I'll say that I have always gotten what I have ordered...but sometimes a little slow.

Brians ToysI haven't ordered from here in quite some time now, but I did when I first got into collecting Star Wars.  I used them to pick up a bunch of loose POTF2 figs that I missed out on, as well as some loose vintage stuff.  At the times I ordered, I always received things very quickly (within a few days usually), and for loose vintage and POTF2, I think the prices are not too bad.  However, if you want anything new, be prepared to pay a TON for it, from what I can see.  I will say, good service whenever I have dealt with them (even replaced a vintage loose figure that I didn't think was C-9), but I haven't used them in quite some time.  Wouldn't recommend for newer stuff though.

Amazon I have used Amazon from time to time, with some TRU exclusive stuff and/or when they have figs in stock.  I've always had pretty good luck with them, however I am an opener, so I'm not sure how good card condition is with them most of the time.  I haven't ordered figures for awhile now because they charge $7.99 for the newer ones (but I think eventually come down).  Overall though, I'm pretty happy with their service.

KB Toys Another one I haven't used for awhile, although I have had decent luck with them as well.  Again, being a loose collector, card condition might be a concern for others.  They do use big stickers here across the front if I remember correctly (but they come off).  They don't usually have a lot of Star Wars stuff in stock (at least recently), but I have ordered a couple of SW things, as well as some LOTR stuff there.  Delivery is quick, prices are so-so for what I have bought.

I haven't used Entertainment Earth, Newforce, Big Bad Toy Store, etc., but have heard good things about all of them from time to time.  I am sure many others can give more details experiences of them though.  Thanks for any opinions everyone!

Other Toy Lines / Toy Companies: Who Does the Best Job?
« on: March 9, 2004, 12:55 PM »
After reading the MOTU news this morning, it got me to thinking about Mattel and toy companies in general?  What are some of your opinions on the companies that you collect from, and the job they do?  I don't know that any company is perfect (at least from what I have read), but who is "on the right track" in your opinion?  I don't really buy from many other than Hasbro (Star Wars), but here's a few opinions to start things off:

Hasbro (Star Wars):  Although they have had their problems in the past, and still have their issues now, I think they have been much better as of late (particularly 2004).  It seems they have done a much better job of listening to collectors and fans, and really (aside from the re-releases), I don't know if there is much to complain about this year.  In 2004, they have done a lot of requested characters, much wanted resculpts, made the packaging more vintage-like for OTC (or exact for VOTC), and are making "ultimate" versions of main characters that we have wanted for years.  Like I said, not perfect, but I think they have done a very good job this year.

Toy Biz (Marvel Legends/Lord of the Rings): I am not nearly as knowledgeable on these lines as many of you, but have dabbled in both.  I'm thinking about stopping the ML for now, just because I don't have room and I'm leaning more towards Lord of the Rings if I do buy figures from another line.  It seems, especially now that they have the chase figure thing figured out a little better it sounds, that they do a pretty good job too.  I don't see quite as many complaints about not being able to find certain things...and if they do, later on they seem to be more readily available.  They keep their prices pretty low, especially with the "Trilogy" assortment of LOTR.  Marvel Legends seem to be a good value for the price as well.  And, overall, from what I have seen, they do an amazing job on both of these lines...and I don't see too many complaints about their product for the most part.

Mattel:  Wow, these guys stink it seems.  I have been interested in a few of their lines (Batman, Justice League, and MOTU)...but they seem to be driving all of them into the ground.  We all know to well the trials of the MOTU line, and even though they had tremendous figures (courtesy of the 4 Horsemen)...they found away...with endless variants and HTF secondary characters to basically kill this line.  I'd like to collect a Batman line, but it seems that they do the same type of thing to this line.  I have a Zipline Batman, and that might be all I ever have because of all of the variants (and I wonder if this line will last much longer, with another one coming in the fall).  I really enjoy the Justice League show, but the figures are almost too simplistic (for what they cost)...although they are very true to the show designs, and I guess animated figures aren't usually too articulated.  But, again, just like the Batman line...endless variants and a complete lack of villains (2 in the whole line now, 3 with the Ultra-Humanite later this year).  I really wish they could get a good Batman line off the ground (or improve Justice League for that matter).  When I was a kid, I know I always wanted bad guys for Batman (or whoever) to fight, not just endless versions of him.

Anyways, what are some of your opinions on the toy companies (these or others)?  I hear good things about Palisades Toys with their Muppet Line too, but I don't collect it so I don't know how easy it is to find things.

Watto's Junk Yard / Shoes, Sneaks, Kicks - What Do You Wear?
« on: March 8, 2004, 02:46 PM »
Just curious as to what types of shoes you wear, or you prefer.  To be honest, I have pretty much been brand-loyal to Nike since I was in junior high, just because they have always felt good on my feet (I have very flat feet), I've always liked them, and they were always our team shoes for athletics in high school.  For some reason, I have a lot of troubles finding shoes in stores (I wear anywhere from a 13 to a 14), and usually end up ordering them online.  My current sneaks are a pair of Jordan Trunners from a year or two ago that my wife got me as a gift.  I also got a pair of K-Swiss shoes from my in-laws for Christmas, although I haven't worn them much.  I also keep quite a few of my older shoes to wear when working outside, walking the dog, etc.  I have some Nike Metal Max shoes that I got from an Eastbay clearance catalog, along with some other Nike running shoes.  I also have some "flip flops" that get a lot of use, and some boots and loafers for dressier occasions.  I haven't ever been one to be able to spend $100-plus on shoes, and anymore I usually look for $70 or less if possible.  Anyways, what kind of shoes do you have, or would you like to have?

Other Toy Lines / Videos from Toy Fair
« on: March 5, 2004, 01:19 PM »
I noticed this morning that UndergroundOnline (UGO) has several videos from Toy Fair that are kind of fun to watch.  I just thought I'd post it in here if anyone was interested.  The consist of the rep(s) from each company explaining their toy line for the year.  They have Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Marvel Legends, Justice League, The Batman, and others.  It is kind of fun to hear how they describe/talk about their respective lines.  The particular page here is Lord of the Rings, but when you click to view the video, it will bring up a viewer that lets you choose other videos as well.  Here's the linky:

UGO's Toy Fair Videos

The Prequel Trilogy / Originals vs. Prequels
« on: March 4, 2004, 03:14 PM »
I know there gets to be a lot of OT vs. PT debate, and this topic has been discussed before, but I was just thinking about this a little bit today.  I too am one of many of you who believe the OT is infinitely better than the PT, although I do enjoy the PT movies for the most part as well (especially looking forward to III).  I'm not a big fan of Phantom Menace, and honestly, if it wasn't Star Wars...I probably wouldn't ever watch it really (I rarely do anyways).  I enjoyed Attack of the Clones a lot when it first came out, and do think it is a good Star Wars movie...its just not quite the same for some reason.  Nostalgia might be a big part of that, but for many of us there is more.  What do you think the Original Trilogy had, that the Prequels are missing (for you personally)?

There are many things that we can point to probably, the "magic" and story being two main ones.  We'll cover a lot of them I'm sure, but I thought I'd bring up something I have been thinking about...characters.  I was thinking today how so many characters from the OT are iconic.  Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, R2, 3PO, Vader, Yoda, Fett, Lando....these characters are all, for the most part, common knowledge in the world today.  Plus, one thing that might have helped this is that...with the exception of different clothing, they were the same character...age wise, etc.  With the prequels, we have Anakin as a boy, then ten years later (with a different actor), and now leading into Episode III (which will probably be our favorite version of Anakin from the prequels).  It seems that with many of the characters, there is too much jumping around (Maul..Jango...Dooku...Sidious).

Another thing about characters is the fact that in the prequels, many come and go.  We had Darth Maul (who many really liked), but then at the end of the movie, he's gone.  Next we have Jango, then he's gone.  Dooku appears, and by his absence in the OT...he's most likely gone as well.  We'll also have another baddie in Episode III, that I'll leave out of the discussion because of spoilers.  In the OT, you associated "evil" and "bad" with Darth Vader.  The character, the costume, the music, etc.  I think it is hard to build that association with some of the prequel villains, for the main fact that they aren't around long enough too.  Much can be said of the "good guys" too, although I do think they (and Ewan McGregor) have done a nice job with Obi-Wan Kenobi in these movies.

I guess maybe it is unfair to compare them, because in a way...they are different trilogies.  The OT seemed a little clearer-cut "good vs. evil" movie, while the PT becomes more blurred with Anakin's transition, much of the behind the scenes "secretive" stuff (Palpatine), and maybe isn't quite as cut and dry.  Although I enjoy the entire saga, and really look forward to Episode III.....something just isn't the same with these prequel trilogies.  Since I'm an NBA fan, I often use this analogy to my friends who ask me what I think of the movies:  To me it is like Michael Jordan...I was a huge Jordan fan when he was with the Bulls...he was just the greatest to ever play....then when he came back with the Wizards, I followed him again...and still liked him, he was still good (but older), but it just wasn't the same.  Sorry for my extended ramblings, one of our servers is down at work so I don't have much to do right now...and this is just something that I've been thinking about.  I'd be anxious to read any of your opinions/suggestions.

Other Toy Lines / 2017: What Are You Collecting?
« on: March 3, 2004, 03:13 PM »
For those who also visit GH, forgive me because there is a thread going over there on this same topic.  I think we had a thread going here about what everyone collected, but I think it is buried in Watto's I thought I'd start one here in the "Other Toy Lines" forum.  If I shouldn't have done that, feel free to delete :).

I was just curious, since it is a new year and there have been changes to many lines (or some disappearing), what you are collecting (or would like to collect).  Although I have been tempted by a number of lines, for the most part it all comes back to Star Wars for me.  With the focus on the OT this year, and with some great OTC and Vintage OTC stuff coming up later on...I haven't had the budget for much else (and I'm not sure if I will).  Plus, my wife isn't too keen on the idea of me collecting another line besides Star Wars.  That said....

Collecting For Sure

Star Wars 3 3/4" - Basic, Ultra, possibly ships (maybe the retooled Falcon later this year)
Star Wars Unleashed - OT characters only for now, these things take up a lot of space so I can't have so many anyways.
Star Wars Playskool - If they ever bring it back  ::)

Lines I'm Interested In, but Not Sure About Yet

I like these lines, but mainly because of budget, I'm not sure if I will be able to collect

Lord of the Rings - I have always been interested in this line, but haven't been able to collect it the way I had hoped.  I only have a couple of figures, but I would like to pick up some of the upcoming (or current) versions of some of the main characters.  It depends on a few things I guess.

Marvel Legends - I have just been collecting the X-figures...but again because of my toy budget, I may have to give them up.  I'd really like to pick up figures such as Juggernaut, Brown Wolvie, Iceman, Phoenix, Apocalypse, and Storm if I was able to though.

Batman/Justice League - I've always been a big Batman fan, and I really liked the Super Friends growing well as the current Justice League show on Cartoon Network.  I'm probably a little late on the Justice League figures, because I'd only want the main, non-variant versions...and those are a little past now I think.  I picked up the 6" Mattel Zipline Batman a couple of weeks ago, and thought about getting more from this line...but Mattel isn't the best with lines (obviously), and I'm not sure where this line will be headed once the animated "The Batman" line hits.  I might take a look at that one too.

Lines That Are Gone....or Close

Simpsons - I've always liked this line, but again (broken record) just never got into it.  Now it sounds like it might be on the way out?

Masters of the Universe - The figures in this line were/are great, but the packing ratios and Mattel's practices in general look to have killed the line.  The only figure I really wanted to get was Roboto, and that wave never showed anywhere near me.

Other "Cool" Lines

I think these lines are great, but know that I either can't afford or just won't be able to collect them (too far behind in some cases):

The Muppets
Kubricks/MiniMates (these are great little toys though, wish I could afford to collect them)
DC Direct Stuff
upcoming Sesame Street
McFarlane SportsPicks (although I'd like to pick up a Kevin Garnett somewhere maybe...probably ebay I guess since it is older)

Anyways, sorry it got so long...what are your collecting plans (or hopes) for 2004?  Best of luck to all of you that you are able to collect (and find) everything you are looking for!

Other Toy Lines / How Much of Your Collection(s) Do You Display?
« on: March 1, 2004, 01:03 PM »
This encompasses both Star Wars and any other lines/props, etc. that anyone might collect, so I hope that this is the right place for this.  For awhile, i was finally able to have the majority of my stuff displayed (thanks to some new shelving), although my vintage Star Wars stuff is still packed away.  However, space is becoming an issue again, so I have started to look at stuff that might be able to be packed away for now.  Anyways, I was curious how much of your collection(s) you are able to display, and if you can't display it all, how you decide on what gets put away.  I guess one example of things I have been doing, if there has been a superior sculpt/figure offered in the modern lines (POTJ/Saga), I have packed away the same figure's POTF2 counterpart (mostly the buff versions).  I am also considering packing away my small (6 figure) Marvel Legends collection, as well as possibly some Episode I stuff.  I finally this weekend got around to pitching a little bit of my boxes from Star Wars stuff, and flattening out all the rest that I could, to free up some space in our storage tubs for anything I might need to pack away.  The space I have to display stuff just isn't large enough I guess.  I was just wondering what some of you do, or have done.

Original Trilogy Collection / Hasbro Toy Fair Questions and Answers
« on: February 27, 2004, 12:04 PM »
I posted this with a comment about the vintage figures in another thread, but thought more people might see it here.  Hasbro has posted a "Q and A" at their site, although it is somewhat brief.  You can check it out here:

Hasbro Toy Fair Q and A

Saga '02-'04 / 2004 Exclusives
« on: February 25, 2004, 12:38 PM »
Not sure where this should be posted, since some of this will be Saga product and some might be OTC.  Anyways, this list was just posted over at Rebelscum, and since it included the Sandcrawler, I figured I would post it here:

New Hasbro Stock List
Posted by Jeremy on February 25, 2004:

Thanks to Sprout we now have an inkling of what Hasbro will be bringing us this year. The list was good and long, and aside from the figures, multipacks and vehicles Rebelscum has already posted (see Related Stories at the bottom of this post) the following items are new and unannounced:

Basic Figures 4-pack Assortment

3-3/4" Naboo Final Conflict (June 2004)

3-3/4" Jedi Council Scene Packs

3-3/4" Jedi Council Scene I Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, Adi Mundi (March 2004)
3-3/4" Jedi Council Scene II Obi Wan, Plo Kloon, Ickath (May 2004)
3-3/4" Jedi Council Scene III Shaak Ti, Chema, Sta Sta (July 2004)
3-3/4" Jedi Council Scene IV Anakin, Sae Sae, Adegalia (September 2004)
3-3/4" Convention / Toy Fair Figure (July 2004)

Classic Vehicle Assortment

3-3/4" Y Wing (August 2004)
3-3/4" Tie Fighter w/New Wings & Pilot (July 2004)
3-3/4" Sandcrawler (June 2004)
3-3/4" ESB Slave I with Boba Fett (July 2004)

So, it looks to be there will be another 4 Jedi council sets (thus allowing us to utter the immortal phrase "the circle is complete"!), a mystery promotional figure, another Y-wing (rehashed or remodelled we do not know), a TIE Fighter with NEW wings and a re-released Slave I (which has been rumoured for some months now - but will it be the SOTE/POTF2 or Saga one?). The scale of the Sandcrawler has now been answered as well, calming fears that rumoured pricepoints would not have allowed it to be 3-3/4" scale.

All of the above items are FOB, meaning that retailers must order them in bulk direct from Hong Kong so remember that release dates are when they will be available for shipping from the Far East and NOT when they will be available on shelves. You should add 4 to 8 weeks to get a better estimate when you will actually see these toys arriving.

Although I think most of us wish Hasbro would just release new figures, it seems like they have been having a little bit of recarding fever over there lately.  I don't really mind some figures being re-released, especially if they are on those new, spiffy, OTC cards.  That being said, I'm not sure why they even had that Hall of Fame wave, since we're getting many of those again on OTC cards.  They should have maybe started the cardbacks sooner, or held off until later.  I will say though, the repacks don't really sit around here very long either, so that is a good sign I suppose.  If the recarding is a necessary evil to us, are there any figures you wouldn't mind seeing re-released (either for you, or for others).  Maybe some figures that would hold up well, comparable to current sculpting/quality?  I don't really understand why they haven't recarded the POTJ Bespin Capture Han Solo, since they like to have a Han out at all times, and they have done the Commtech one to death now.  Also, many other POTJ and Saga figures (Sandtrooper, FX-7, Ephant Mon, Cloud City Chewie, Bespin Luke, etc.) are quite well done, and wouldn't be terrible recarded figures either.  Any suggestions you might have?

Power of the Force 2 / Opinions on Rebo Band and Rancor
« on: February 24, 2004, 11:28 AM »
I was curious as to what some of your opinions were on the POTF2 Rebo Band pairs, as well as the Rancor.  These are two things/characters that I have always wanted to have in my collection, and I have been considering trying to pick them up on ebay (eventually).  I kind of held out in case they were "re-done" like many other figures are these days, but I don't think that they (particularly the Rancor, due to size) will be.  Anyways, I was wondering if many of you think the sculpts, etc. hold up well compared to the current-day offerings from Hasbro.  If you can offer any of your opinions on these pieces, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

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