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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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Feedback / Re: Master_Phruby's feedback
« on: September 18, 2015, 06:20 PM »
A big "thank you" to Paul for helping me out with the Droid Factory 4 pack. A nicer guy cannot be found and your generosity is greatly appreciated!  :)


I'm not saying this is the case regarding your friend, but I've encountered several people at TRU or Disney who have no clue about things coming into their store.  You'd think there'd be some staff training leading up to special events, otherwise when a customer asks a question regarding product that's supposed to be in their store s/he gets the deer in headlights look.

Oh yeah, that was definitely the case here. He's (the manager) not so much of a friend as just someone who has become familiar with me and my co-worker/fellow collector from us being in the store all the time and he knows we aren't the "eBay types" so he will be a little more forthcoming with us about what is going on. That said, even as one of the people in charge of the whole Force Friday thing, he was pretty in the dark as to what they would be getting, where it would be going, and how much they would get of it right up until about Thursday morning. He told us that the few boxes of stuff they got in prior to Wednesday/Thursday (which wasn't a lot) were kept in a cordoned off section in the backroom and he didn't even know what was in them. When I talked to him later on Friday, he said they weren't even allowed to really open the cases until they stocked the shelves, so it was very (and unnecessarily) cloak and dagger.

My eyes are seriously about to roll out of my head at how ludicrous all of this is. You'd think it was a state secret or something, but it's plastic toys. What have I done with my life?  :D


My hating is based on principle at this point.  I went to the TRU Force Friday event and waited two hours, and a big reason I went there was for their "Exclusive Blue Trooper" that had been rumored.  They obviously didn't have any on hand.  There was a press release stating the Snowtrooper Officer Exclusive would be available for pre-order on 9/6 (today).  Then the figure goes up for pre-order 2 days early and sells out well before 9/6...just crappy handling all the way around.  It should have been on hand for the Force Friday event or at the very least not up for pre-order until today.  I was one of the few who really didn't mind being in the dark about Force Friday for most of the offerings, but handling of this figure could not have been any worse IMO.

I'm with you there. I talked to a TRU assistant manager (who's gotten to know myself and a friend over the last few years) prior to the event and he said he didn't even know about the "blue trooper" and he was in charge of the event itself. So if not even the in-store personnel knew about a product they were supposed to be just boggles the mind at how haphazard the whole secrecy thing was done to begin with. It's one thing to keep the consumer in the dark to preserve the mystery a bit, but when your middle men don't even know what they are supposed to be doing?

Anyway, back to the point, my issue is that if you publicly state "This item will go up for preorder on 9/6" and then it goes up two days early and (pre) sells out, that's, to put it bluntly, bull****. Call it sour grapes for me not getting one if you want, but don't say something will be on sale Sunday and then sell it on Friday. I didn't even hear about the exclusive until later in the afternoon, and by the time I did, I went to the site to look at the figure and it was already gone. Not good.

But, like I said, hopefully it will show up at TRU in October and I will get one. If not, it's not the end of the world. It's just a pauldron after all.

LEGO / Re: Recent Acquisitions
« on: September 7, 2015, 05:19 PM »
I picked up Poe's X-Wing on Saturday and the Special Forces TIE Fighter today. Both are great sets and a lot of fun to build. Even though the wings on the TIE use a lot of the same techniques as the ANH TIE from a couple of years back, there are some new bits here and there to keep it interesting. The minifigure selection is great, too, with some good generic background support on both sides.

One thing is for sure: Lego is, as usual, having zero problems getting decent amounts of product into stores.

LEGO / Re: LEGO 2015
« on: September 6, 2015, 12:48 PM »
I mentioned this in the Recent Finds/Purchases thread over in the TFA forums, but I wanted to reiterate it here (because of its relevance). I picked up the General Grievous Constructible figure on Friday morning and it is easily the best toy I've gotten from the entire launch (note: I can't afford expensive BB-8s).

I've never been a fan of Lego's previous forays into the constructible figure realm (Bionicle, Hero Factory, DC/Marvel), so when they said they were doing SW, I kind of groaned. Still, with Grievous being mostly mechanical, I thought it might work. And it does. Boy, does it work. Not only is it the best example of a Constructible figure Lego has done, IMHO, it manages to be one of those rare toys in this day and age that is significantly larger than what you expect by looking at the box.

Grievous is at least 13" tall, and that's hunched over in his typical posture. The build is also much more interesting than past constructible figure builds (even though it's still all Technic and Bionicle/HF parts) but once he's built, the size and detail is just amazing. Words can't do it justice. If you're a fan of Lego, or Grievous, or looking for something different, I can't recommend this one highly enough. Sadly, with the past history of licensed constructible figures from Lego (not to mention prequel stigma and his being the most expensive of the range) I think a lot of folks might pass, but trust me when I say this one is a winner and one of my favorite purchases this year.

Do I need to make park runs for these?

I'd be interested in buying a set if you do end up making a run, Phurby.  Thanks!  :)

The Force Awakens / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: September 6, 2015, 09:43 AM »
Midnight Madness, for me, had some odd twists and turns but I wound up getting everything I had planned on before I made it home (before 1:30 AM, amazingly).

A friend and I decided we would hit Target at midnight, so we drove by around 11 to see there was no line and only a few cars. "Great," we thought, so to kill a few minutes, we went to the Walmart a block up the street to see what they had done. As it turns out, they had already stocked about four cases of basic 3.75" figures and two cases of the "armor" figures but not much else, leaving a ton of empty space. We didn't see anyone else around working on the area, and this particular WM doesn't have the best reputation for, well, anything, so we left to go back to Target.

Thankfully (or so we thought) there was still no line although there were more cars in the lot. One guy was seated on the big red ball on his phone, so we walked over to stand with him, only to discover the doors were open. As it turns out, the doors had been open the entire time and Target was allowing everyone to go inside. So, after my friend picked up some cat food (spoiler alert: all we wound up buying at Target that night), we walked to the back to find two separate mobs of about 40 people total in no semblance of a line. About 15 people were crowded around the action figure aisle, which was cordoned off and "guarded" by a Target employee, and the remainder were in the seasonal area for the Chewbacca raffle and other items. No line, just a crowd.

My friend finally asked where the line started and one of the guys in the group responded "Uh, here?" which wasn't helpful, but it did motivate the Target employees to organize things a bit. Two things happened the. Which soured my mood considerably, though. The first was that I got to look down the aisle itself and saw that Target had not gotten any 6" Black Series figures (my main, and my friend's only, reason for coming out). The second was a guy who came barreling down the aisle with a cart toward the Lego section and began asking, "Are those old or new?" Is that from the new movie? Is that going to be hot?"  At that point, knowing how this was shaping up, and knowing we'd be leaving with nothing anyway, we left the line, she paid for her cat food, and we made it to TRU at the stroke of midnight.

TRU had about 16 people in line (counting us) and had a pretty good supply of things, all things considered. Oddly, most people went straight for Funko Pops or lightsabers, so my friend and I were able to check out the 6" figures. Unfortunately TRU only got 1 case, and a girl in front got Kylo Ren, so we split the remaining 4 (I guess the other Kylo didn't make it to the floor). I also got the Hero Mashers Fett, just because it's Boba Fett, and we got our posters and Lego brick as we left.

As we were leaving, and since it was so close, we decided to circle back to the Walmart from the beginning of the story to see if they had done anything else. As it turns out, they had done more than anybody else had, and had fully stocked EVERYTHING. So, we were able to finish our sets of 6" Black Series, plus my friend got her Hero Mashers Jar Jar, plus I got my Lego Buildable Grievous (which, let me tell you folks, is the best thing I've gotten from this whole Force Friday blitz. It's truly amazing and a lot of fun, and if you enjoy Lego and Technic building, or just want something huge and cool and fun, BUY THIS GRIEVOUS TOY.)

Over the course of the last two days, I've gotten some other things here and there at other stores, the various retailers now look like wastelands for the most part, and my bank account cries like a baby, although not as badly as it did in 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008 thanks to the lack of SA stuff (especially in the latter). Could it have been handled better?  Absolutely. I think I had it luckier than a lot of folks due to living in a more rural area, so I'm thankful for that. Hopefully, though, the bare shelves will mean they get restocked soon, and hopefully it will be with new, wave 2 product, because I really want a 6" Phasma.  :)

So, that said, my haul since Thursday at midnight:

-6" Black Series Finn, Rey/BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Stormtrooper

-3.75" Rey's Speeder with Rey

-3.75" Desert Landspeeder with Finn

-Hero Mashers Boba Fett, Han Solo vs Boba Fett, Jar Jar Binks

-Funko Pop Vinyl Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, Rey (Hot Topic Exclusive Version)

-Lego Poe's X-Wing Fighter

-Lego General Grievous Buildable Figure (Seriously, guys and girls, BUY THIS!!!)

And, just like that, pre-sold out. Guess I'll be hoping for TRU to actually get these in stores.

The Force Awakens / Re: Force Friday: What are You Buying?
« on: August 21, 2015, 03:55 PM »
Based on what we "know" (i.e. what we have seen leak so far) is "confirmed" for "Mystery Box Friday":

-The five 6" Black Series figures (Finn, Rey/BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, FO Stormtrooper)
-6" First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter with TIE Pilot (if it actually is released for FF)
-6" TRU Exclusive Blue Trooper (whatever it turns out to be unless it's something ridiculous and not film-based)

-3.75" Mission Series Rebels Ahsoka Tano/Darth Vader two pack

-Lego General Grievous Constructable Figure

And that's pretty much it.  I plan on getting some of the 3.75" vehicles eventually (Rey's Speeder, Finn's Speeder, FO Snowspeeder, and maybe the TIE Fighter depending on how badly out of scale it is) and all of the Lego sets, not to mention any SA figures should they actually get released, but otherwise, it's going to be a light night for me, financially, compared to previous Midnight Madness events. 

Weren't the Episode 1 figures all 5 POS? We really didn't see articulated stuff until AOTC.

Pretty much.  There were some figures here and there (such as Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Maul in wave 1, as Nick mentioned, along with some others) at various points that had additional articulations, but most of the Episode I and 1999/2000 POTF2 stuff stayed pretty close to the 6 POA standard.  I think that the most highly articulated figure around that time was either the CommTech Han Solo or the CT Stormtrooper, actually, and both have some pretty wonky poses mixed in with said articulation.

The first real SA figure that I remember (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) was the AOTC/Phase II Clone Trooper, which was released on a 2003 Clone Wars card.  The Durge figure from the CW Deluxe Speeder Bike was basically an SA figure, too.  Even after that, SA wasn't even really a standard thing, and the next real SA figures were the ROTS #41 Clone Trooper and the ROTS Pilot Obi-Wan figure (both of which have been thoroughly milked ever since).  I don't think SA became the "standard" for the regular SW line until the 2007 30AC line, at least as far as I can remember. 

Personally, I'll be sad and/or saving a lot of money if things go back to 5 POA across the board for TFA, but it honestly wouldn't shock me at this point, and I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.  I'm still undecided on whether or not I'm going to go out to TRU at midnight on 9/4, more out of curiosity than anything else (he says right before he spends an unplanned 200 bucks on a 6" TIE Fighter).  :D

I kept HTS up in the background all morning and hit F5 when I was near my computer, only to have the Stormtrooper go up for preorder when I left for lunch, and wound up missing out completely.  Oh well, I've come to expect this from HTS to be honest.  Even in the rare cases that I actually get an SDCC exclusive (such as last year's Jabba's Throne Room set), the actual delivery turns out to be such an ordeal/cluster****, what with all the FedEx signature requirements and misroutings that you wonder if it was even worth the hassle to begin with. 

A coworker/fellow collector asked me if these were going to show up in stores and I answered "Yes" (complete with quotation marks in the text message).  She asked me why I used quotes, and I said it was because I haven't really trusted anything that has come out of Hasbro's mouths as it relates to the Star Wars line in the last three or four years, so I'll believe this will be in stores in any kind of box when I actually see it in stores with my own eyes.  I realize that there's a new movie coming and all, and that will/should change the dynamics of SW toys at retail, but given that I haven't purchased a single 3.75" or 6" SW figure at a brick and mortar retail location (outside of extras, the Speeder Bike/Scout, and Proto Fett) since wave 1 of the 6" Black Series, I'm not holding out a whole lot of hope for Hasbro getting anything past the initial blitz into a store this year.

So yeah, I'm not concerned about missing out on the exclusive version, but kind of dubious on when I'll actually find the non-exclusive version, too.  I suppose I'd feel better about the latter if we were actually allowed to know something about what to expect from this toy line, even in vague terms, but that would just be silly, crazy, nutso-talk.   ::)

Ironically enough, with all of this Jabba discussion, I just had an issue with my home's air conditioning system that may explain why Hasbro went back to the well on Jabba so quickly.

Long story short, my AC broke down about two weeks ago and was out for two days during some pretty hot and humid days with only fans for air circulation. Anyway, even with the AC back running, I checked Jabba out and he was (for lack of a better word) "sweating" on the bottom part of his body. It was as if life was imitating art, as Jabba was literally covered in a layer of slime, which has also covered the top of the dais where he sat.

I was able to clean him and the dais off with warm water, and there was no staining, discoloration, or deterioration noted, but there's no doubt that it was a combination of the rubbery material and the AC failure that led to this happening. 

Maybe Hasbro doing a new one was to get a more durable mold out there, but it sucks that it's in a 130 buck exclusive pack that I have no interest in buying. Oh well, if the past is any indication, they'll use the hell out of this ,old and we will be seeing it again soon enough. Until then, if the 2010 Jabba falls apart (or if my AC decides to be a PITA again), my 2004 Ultra Jabba will be a fine sit-in.

Okay, I have been reading the various tweets and complaints about the poll results with some bewilderment and, for what might be the first time ever, I'm choosing to view things with a little bit of optimism here and not see things as a massive conspiracy on Hasbro's part.  Before anyone who knows me does a huge spit-take all over their computer screens, I'm willing to concede that there was probably a huge lie told in the wording of "any character not from TFA" in the original instructions to arrive at this list, but if you look at it with rose-colored glasses (and no, I am not currently intoxicated nor on non-prescription drugs), it might make a little more sense.  Granted, it at least makes more sense than voting for Grievous given that he's showing up in computers as coming soon, but still.

Going by Jeff's list of the top vote getters from the various sites on the previous page, we have the following:

Darth Revan

He made the top 7 on  Currently in an awkward state of canonicty due to his inclusion in the ongoing TOR game, so he doesn't technically fall into the "Legends" universe, which would make him off-limits to Disney suits.

Gamorrean Guard

Film-based characters.  Acceptable and no issues with any of these being on the list.


Here's where it gets tricky.  While the original instructions said "ANY" character not from TFA, I'm suspecting it meant "ANY POST-DISNEY TAKEOVER CHARACTER" instead, meaning no "Legends" character.  With that said, it probably disqualified Mr. Marek from being included on the list.  If true, the fault for that lies purely with Hasbro for not making the rules clearer to begin with.

General Grievous

Film-based character, and inclusion isn't a problem, if you can get past the fact that we are all about 90% certain he's coming anyway thanks to leaked lists all over the interwebs.  Either way, I'm sure we won't get official word on that until after the announcement of who won the Fan Choice poll at SDCC, or we'll get word at NYCC that he had such huge support that Hasbro decided to make him anyway.  See, I can still be cynical!

Asajj Ventress

This is the one that confuses me a little bit, to be honest.  Personally, I'd love a Ventress 6" figure, and she still qualifies given that the majority of her appearances are canon (Clone Wars, Dark Disciple).  While I don't think she was left off intentionally (and I hope that wasn't the case, especially given George Lucas and his daughter's vocal love for that character), I'm wondering if this wasn't a case of Sabine's current visibility in Rebels being given precedent.  If any one character being passed over indicates some fudging of the data, this would be the one that does so in my eyes.

Ben Kenobi (ANH)
Lando Calrissian (ESB)

Both film-based characters, and both made the final list (deservedly so). 

Mara Jade

Another "victim" (and I use that term VERY loosely) of the unspoken "Legends" rule invocation.  Plus I find the constant cries of Mara Jade conspiracy theorists to be hilarious, especially since I find the character to be annoying and awful.  Personal opinion, yes, but she's no longer canon, and that was probably why she was left off the final list.  That and she didn't get enough votes to make it to the finals.  :)

You're damned right I'm petty.   :P

Emperor's Royal Guard

As much requested as the above three characters are (due to the ERGs being awesome, and the remaining three bounty hunters being both awesome and necessary to complete the "set" of ESB bounty hunters), I can't imagine Hasbro isn't already working on all three.  Including Zuckuss or 4-LOM on a list by themselves would have everyone asking why one is on the list without the other, so it was probably easier to leave both off.  I'm wishing/hoping they're working on both as a box set (akin to the 2010 Vintage exclusive 3.75" set from a few years ago) right now, with a single-boxed Dengar right now.  Regardless, I'm deluding myself into thinking their omission was intentional due to them already being far enough along to be a foregone conclusion.

Ahsoka Tano (CW)

I'm guessing (again) that this was not included because an Ahsoka was already planned (the Rebels version) and they didn't want to do two in a short period of time.  That said, I'd buy either a young or late teens CW Ahsoka, and Hasbro would be crazy not to make one eventually. 

Sabine Wren

Last but not least, the seventh inclusion.  Maybe she had a sudden influx of votes, maybe she didn't, but she's on the list, and she'd make a great figure.  If she wins, her being a Fan's Choice means that (hopefully) Hasbro will go all-out and include tons of accessories (removable helmet, blasters) and detail that they failed to give to the 5 POA 3.75" figure.  In all honesty, they really should have dropped Grievous from the list and made it the original six they mentioned.

So yeah, maybe I'm stretching, and maybe I'm petty (I do hate Mara Jade with a passion), but that's the best rationale I can come up with.  Feel free to agree or disagree.  I'll be over here in my corner building Lego houses.   :D

DISCLAIMER:  I voted for Sabine in the actual poll, so yeah.  :)

In-Stock at BBTS.  $70 for the three figures isn't a terrible price.

Hmm.  I've had a case of four on preorder since around February or March (and it's still showing up in my preorders), but it still hasn't entered the shipping process.  Individual figures and sets of three are already up for sale as in stock, though?  What gives?  [/whining]  :)

01. Obi-Wan 'Ben' Kenobi (Episode IV) with cloak and lightsaber
02. Lando Calrissian (Episode V)
03. Zuckuss (Episode V)
04. Dengar (Episode V)
05. 4-LOM (Episode V)
06. Sabine Wren (Rebels)
07. Count Dooku (Episodes II-III)
08. Grand Moff Tarkin (Episode IV)
09. Admiral Ackbar (Episode VI)
10. Max Rebo (Episode VI) with Red Ball Jett Organ

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