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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re:
« on: September 18, 2004, 09:40 AM »
I used to preorder pretty much all the new DVDs online, either from Amazon or or (and showing my age here)  I quit using because they became incredibly slow in shipping things even when they were in stock, and were even more difficult to contact for information on an order in the first place, not to mention the fact that you could not cancel a preorder for any reason at the time (it may have changed since then). was the etailer that I was partial to, since they had great prices, a great interface, and a great selection, but as is the way of the internet, they faded away and I think even became a part of after a year or so away from the net.

Amazon has always been good about shipping things for me.  Even if I get something shipped at the slowest speed, it will still usually make it to me in three days since, relatively speaking, I live fairly close to one of their major distribution centers.  I've never had an package arrive later than they said it was going to, and in most cases, it arrives a day or so earlier than they said it would.  The only problem with ordering the Trilogy from them at this point would be that it would most likely not ship until Monday, and unless you got overnight shipping, it would probably not reach you until the day after it had been released at the absolute earliest.

Just to chime in here on two other etailers of choice, at least the ones that I use from time to time: Deep Discount DVD is a good place to use if you're not wanting something fast.  Their stock status is kind of ambiguous (many times have I ordered something from them or their sister site Deep Discount CD that is listed as "in stock" all the way through the order only to get the confirmation email where it states "backorder-ships in 7 to 10 days") at times, but it's free shipping and the lowest total online price guaranteed, so if you're in no hurry to get something, that would be the place to go if you're on a tight budget as I am.

My etailer of choice for everything (DVDs and CDs) is DVD Empire.  Great customer service, super fast shipping (same day in most cases on in-stock items), great prices, low shipping costs, plenty of shipping options, and preorders are shipped early enough, even with the standard media shipping rate that they will still reach you on the day of release.  I ordered THX-1138 through them on Monday two weeks ago, it was shipped that Friday morning, and was waiting on me in my mailbox on Tuesday when I arrived home from work.  I have never had a problem with them and recommend them very highly. 

Just to give an example of how cool DVD Empire is (even though I know this thread is about Amazon), I bought the two-disc Director's Edition of "Red Dragon" from them last summer.  I got the set in the mail only to find that disc one had a huge scratch on it that prevented it from being played.  I called them and they sent me a prepaid UPS label to send it back to them, no questions asked.  I got the replacement about a week later and the second disc didn't work (pixellation).  They again sent me a UPS sticker, no questions asked, and I got a perfect copy from them a week or so later.  And even though neither was their fault, they still apologized profusely, and that's why I continue to give them my business.

As for buying box sets through the internet, that's something I try to avoid when at all possible, especially with 20th Century Fox TV box sets that come in the digipaks.  There's too much of a chance of the hubs breaking and the discs sliding around and getting damaged these days, or finding out one disc of the four/six doesn't work to go through the hassle of sending the whole set back in order to find one working disc to replace one faulty disc.

Revenge of the Sith / Re: Episode III line....April 2nd, 2005
« on: September 18, 2004, 09:22 AM »
Keep in mind that there were only 21 figures (counting all four Battle Droids) on the launch of Episode I stuff and 27 figures for the Episode II launch.  I was overwhelmed with the Episode II stuff, and this is going to be the same situation.  We'll probably have another glut as well, so I'm not even going to bother with Midnight Madness again this time.  And don't worry, as Hasbro will no doubt release at least ten more new figures in the two weeks following the initial release like they did with the Saga line.

I'm all for a variety of characters on the launch of the line, and maybe I'm a little old fashioned, but I'd prefer a little mystery in the line from time to time.  Just the other day on another forum I frequent elsewhere, someone was discussing the fact that it would have been incredibly cool if the fact that Maul's double-bladed lightsaber was kept a secret until the opening of the film.  No Maul figures would be released with a double-bladed saber until after the film, that one shot would have never been shown in the teaser trailer, and so on and so forth.  Same thing with releasing the Deluxe "Darth Tyranus" on the same day as the Count Dooku basic figure (which they even put "Dark Lord" on as a subtitle) and the Yoda with a lightsaber before the film was released.  This time around, they'll probably end up releasing a Palpatine "revelation" figure before the film. 

Yes, everyone knows most of this stuff before the film is released anyway, thanks to the wonders of the internet, but I still remember the old days when the Ewoks were blacked out on the backs of the ROTJ cards before that movie was released.  If ESB were released today, Hasbro would release a Darth Vader figure with the caption "Luke Skywalker's Father" on it.  ::)

In my world, they'd release 18 figures for the launch of the line, with no action features:

-Anakin Skywalker
-Obi-Wan Kenobi
-Padme Amidala
-Mace Windu
-General Grevious
-Wookiee Warrior (generic)
-Clone Trooper
-Bail Organa
-Chancellor Palpatine
-and about six other background/Jedi/Separatist characters that had screen time but did nothing that could be construed as a spoiler.

About three weeks or so after the film opened, *then* they could release the Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Emperor Sidious, Count Dooku, Luke and Leia, Anakin Duel, Obi-Wan Duel, and whoever else.  Of course, I'm a complete nutjob, so what do I know? ;D

Looking around the net this morning and making visits to the local brick-and-mortar stores has made me practically give up on finding a lot of the VOTC figures from here on out.  Why?  Glad you asked, I'll be happy to tell you.  ;)

Hasbro had a great opportunity to do something logical for once with the VOTC stuff, and something that every other toy maker has been doing from before POTF2 existed: a new case number for every assortment of figures.  That way, there would be no need or use for strange case ratios or repacks from earlier waves of figures, or what have you because if they ran out of one case, they just reordered another case of those figures.  If they had too many of one case, they didn't order any more of that case.  Here's how I would have handled this in a perfect world:

-2 x Luke Skywalker
-2 x Han Solo
-2 x Obi-Wan Kenobi
-2 x Princess Leia

-2 x Darth Vader
-2 x Threepio
-2 x Yoda
-2 x Lando Calrissian

-2 x Stormtrooper
-2 x Boba Fett
-2 x Chewbacca
-2 x R2-D2

Each of these assortments would have their own case number (meaning they wouldn't all be part of one case number shipped in multiple ratios and could all be ordered separately).

But as we've all learned, logic has no place in Pawtucket, so they decide to pull the main character of the whole damned OT (regardless of what GL says about Anakin/Vader) out of the first assortment altogether, do multiple ratios of the ESB figures so two come out first and we have to wait on the other two, while the same cases continue to ship figures that are already in abundance from the overshipped first wave, and then they sit on the third wave (with the figure that most people would happily buy multiples of) and then ship even more of the first wave with those cases.

What makes it worse is the report on this morning that WMs will be getting another kiosk and it will be stocked to the brim with MORE of the first wave, plus Luke (finally).  Great move there, Hasbro.

I'm not Nostradamus (or even Negrodamus, even though I think Paul Mooney is hilarious), but I  can tell you exactly how things are going to go down with the VOTC this fall.

-The shelves will be clogged with Obi-Wans and Hans to such a degree that when the ESB figures do show up in slightly bigger numbers, they will come and go so quickly that most people won't even know they were there.  Even sites that sell individual figures for a decent price ( won't be able to carry the ESB figures for long because of the quick sellouts and the fact that they will still have a backlog of Hans and Bens.

-the ROTJ wave, once it hits, will hit in VERY small numbers as the stores will be so full of the first wave of Hans and Bens that they have no space for them and hence do not order any more cases.  People will be scooping them up like crazy when they do see them and Ebay profiteers will be the best (read: most unscrupulous) and only outlet for people who want these figures.

-when told about the difficulty people are having finding them, Hasbro will resort to their time-tested "retailers overordered the initial waves and even though we made a full run of the later  figures, retail just didn't seem interested in them" in order to once more pass the buck for their continuing ******* stupidity in being able to gauge demand and accept responsibility for their own mistakes.

(oh, and is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that retail is always at fault?  They never order just enough: if there is too much of something, well, retail overordered...if too little, well, retail underordered.  It's never Hasbro's fault.  Never mind the fact that their case assortment strategy is straight out of 1985 and that they can't figure out case packouts to save their lives)

-once again, as in the past with the "final" waves of figure assortments, we, the collectors who regardless of what the geniuses at Hasbro claim actually keep this line afloat in the first place, movie year or not, will be the ones who get the short end of the stick.  And Hasbro will, predictably, still not give a **** about us.

The best analogy I can give as far as the VOTC scenario I have put forth above, overreacting as it may be, is this:

WAVE ONE (Han, Leia, Ben):  May 3rd Episode I Collection 1 assortment

WAVE TWO (Luke, ESB figures):  Battle Damaged Droideka/Qui-Gon soft goods/Swimming Jar Jar assortment

WAVE THREE (ROTJ figures): Sio Bibble, TC-14, R2-B1

Way to go Hasbro.  You've proven yet again why you're a bunch of morons. >:(

Like Nataku, I hate to have to do this, but my rampant paranoia that this will be yet another case of completely ignoring the non-pay side of their web ventures forces me to throw myself on the mercy of you Hyperspace subscribers.   :'(

So could anyone out there help me out with one Holo Emperor as well?  I'd even go so far as to say that if does manage to damage the figure's card in shipment, I'll take the one that is most damaged (as long as the figure's okay, I'll be fine). 

Power of the Force 2 / Re: The Beginning of POTF2
« 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 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.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« on: August 13, 2004, 05:34 PM »
TRU never appealed to me in the same way that two other toy chains did: Children's Palace and Lionel Toy World (the latter of which I only ever went to in North Carolina back in the mid to late 1980's).  Now, although I was a kid back then, the general atmosphere of CP or LTW was just a lot nicer than TRU.  TRU felt cramped and (dare I say it) didn't have all that great a selection.  CP was amazing and if I went in there looking for something, I found it, no problem.  GI Joe figures I could never find at a department store or TRU were at CP or LTW in abundance.  When the CP near the Ohio/Kentucky border closed down, it kind of broke my heart.

TRU closing down would not bother me a bit.  Every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has been populated by rude and dismissive employees who look at me with nothing but spite.  I am always polite and I always ask nicely, but they could care less.  Since I am no longer six years old and running around like a chicken with my head cut off (even though I never did that as a kid, personally), I don't matter to them.  Pay no attention to the sizeable amount of money he's going to potentially drop in our store; we'd rather have kids come in here and mess up our aisles, buying nothing but causing us to have to spend more on our upkeep.

(Not to mention the fact that every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has really old stuff on the shelves and doesn't get new stuff until it's been out everywhere else for six months.  I often joke with a friend of mine that I am expecting to find a vinyl cape Jawa hanging on the pegs on any given day since retail is so far behind). :)

Not that WM is any better (I absolutely loathe them and do as little business with them as I can; unfortunately, when they're the only game in town, you have to occassionally deal with the devil), but TRU is using an outdated business strategy (as Tydirium so eloquently stated) and it has finally caught up with them.  I won't be shedding any tears when they go away.  My only fear is that Hasbro will have to find someone else to take all their crappy exclusive items that nobody cares about. 

Speaking of, I don't think we'll see WM with any exclusive SW stuff any time soon.  Everything that they got from Hasbro as a retailer exclusive flopped bigger than a shark in the Sahara, and if you notice, they're the only retailer that hasn't gotten an actual exclusive (DVD sets don't count for this) since the summer of 2002.  Target's had a couple of ships, KB's had the Guard and the TIE, TRU's had crap after crap, and even K-Mart is getting exclusive stuff now.  The last thing that WM had as an exclusive was the Cantina Bar figures, and we all know how that worked out.

Fare thee well, TRU, fare thee well...may you choke on your inability to move out of the 1980's.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Operation Mindcrime 2 is Coming!
« on: August 6, 2004, 09:37 AM »
I'm going to be the dissenting voice here and say that the idea of a sequel to the original "Mindcrime" really disappoints me for various reasons.  Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely adore O:M; it's easily one of my top five albums of all time and is perfect from beginning to end.  And if you don't have the "Operation: LiveCrime" box set (which is now a DVD and CD sold separately, apparently), do yourself a favor and track it down, because it's simply amazing.  Back then, QR were one of the most amazing bands on the planet.  The problem is that they don't seem to have the passion for what they do anymore.

That's one of the main reasons I'm not thrilled about an O:M sequel being done.  "Who Killed Mary?" aside, there isn't anywhere left for the story to go.  Nikki is in a mental hospital, Dr. X has been arrested, Mary is dead, and the story has gone as far as it can go.  QR doesn't have the passion they did when they wrote and recorded the original "Mindcrime" (I have yet to see a review of the "Tribe" tour that does not refer to the listless and lackadaisical performance by Tate), and I have a feeling that given the decrease in album sales since EMI went out of business after HITNF and they lost their long-time label, this is being done less about artistic concerns and more about making an attempt to get the money while the gettin's good.

I've never been fond of "cashing in" when it comes to artistic work.  The whole "selling out" argument has been done to death, and I'm not fond of that side of things anyway, especially when it comes to the definition a lot of people have for bands that do so.  Like I said, the sales for QR's records since HITNF (which went platinum, but still didn't sell nearly as much as "Empire" or "Promised Land") have gotten consistently worse, and arguably, so has the quality of the music.  "Q2K" was simply horrid, and "Tribe" wasn't all that great either (but it did have its moments).  My fear is that a sequel to "Mindcrime" isn't being done because they want to do it, it's that they are doing it because they think it may be the only way to get back to a higher plateau of record sales and popularity.

My other reason for not being interested/thrilled about a sequel to "Mindcrime" is that Chris DeGarmo (yes, I'm one of the die-hard DeGarmo era fans) will more than likely not be involved at all.  If you look at the credits for the original Mindcrime, Chris is involved in the writing of about 70% of the material; if you watch the video of "Livecrime", he's one of the most energetic members of the group in performing the material.  Although many would say that a lot of HITNF suffered from poor quality (I am not one of those people), the stuff they've done since DeGarmo left has been of a significantly lower quality than the stuff before his departure.  Listen to "Promised Land" and then listen to "Q2K" and then tell me that they haven't suffered for his absence.  Sure, he was on "Tribe", and while the majority of the "good" songs (purely subjective opinion, mind you) involved him, Tate and Co. continue to downplay his involvement.  It started with "Chris is working with us on the entire album", went to "he came in for a few days and worked on a few songs", and then is now at "he had very little involvement."  It's only a matter of time before Tate starts denying Chris DeGarmo exists.

The best analogy I can give for my QR fandom of 16 years is this: they're like the "Alien" films in a lot of ways.  I loved the first two "Alien" films very much; "Alien 3" was okay (made much better on the recent DVD Working Print) and I wish I could forget "Alien: Resurrection" even existed; I dread the "Alien Vs. Predator" movie because I am afraid it's going to be mindless sci-fi violence.

QR has been the same way with me: I loved everything up to "Promised Land" (dare I say their best work), HITNF was okay and was unfairly maligned, but I loathed Q2K and I dread an O:M sequel because it seems like a cash-in with no artistic motivation.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm kind of decompressing from work and when I heard about a sequel to "Mindcrime" I couldn't believe my ears.  Maybe I'm just too cynical, who knows.  

But hey, if the sequel sucks, I can start posting on AICN about how "Queensryche Raped my Childhood" or something.  ;)

Feedback / Re: Talon_Karrde's feedback
« on: August 3, 2004, 08:47 AM »
I just completed a wonderful transaction with Tony.  Payment arrived very quickly, and communication was great.  I would recommend trading with him to anyone, and I look forward to doing so again myself in the future.  Thanks Tony! :)

The Original Trilogy / Re: Boba Fett..... Voiced by Jango Fett?
« on: July 31, 2004, 03:17 PM »
I would be fine with all the changes he is making for the DVD editions if he would actually release the original 1977/1980/1983 versions of the OT on DVD so they will at least be around.  Those are the versions of the films that people fell in love with, long before Greedo proved himself as the worst shot in the galaxy, before Han was sweet and fuzzy from the beginning, and before Jabba looked more like Pizza the Hutt.  If you want to change things, that's fine George, but at least give us the option of seeing the films the way we loved them in the first place.  I think people would be much more accepting of these new versions if they could see the old ones from time to time.

That being said, I think that instead of modifying the OT to fit with the PT, it should have been the other way around.  He could have actually paid attention to continuity when writing the PT ("I had an outline all along" my ass) in the first place and we'd never have to take out Leia's line about remembering her mother or sticking Hayden's "Uncle Pervy" leer on Shaw's body, or any of this other stuff.  Jeez...

That said, aside from the totally mistimed reading of the line, I didn't think Tem's Boba was horrible at all.  

The updated figures don't bother me, space-wise, as I have it all in Plano cases, arranged sequentially by wave from the first POTF2 wave all the way up to the Dagobah OTC wave.  What bugs me is the "misfit vehicles."  By that I mean the POTF2 TIE Fighter, X-Wing, Landspeeder, Slave I, and Snowspeeder; all of whom have had significant improvements or altogether new versions made (or coming) that make the originals look like crap.  The vehicles take up a lot more space than figures do, and since I'm always on the verge of running out of space anyway, the space those POTF2 versions take up is valuable real estate.

Basically, the last time I was in the SW room, I set aside those five vehicles listed above and they're probably going to wind up going to Goodwill or something by the end of the year unless the folks put them in a yard sale or something.  The OTC Falcon isn't different enough (although the lightup engines make me drool) for me to buy one of those (especially since, if Hasbro continues to remake things, we will probably end up with an Ultimate version by the time the line fizzles anyway), but those POTF2 ships have become obsolete with the improvements in scale.

Being the frugal (read: cheap) person I am, I'm just buying one of each.  The thing that I struggled with before actually buying any of the VOTC (I only have Ben, Han, and Leia as it stands right now) was that I really liked the packaging, but I also really wanted to see the figures loose.  They were too nice to keep carded, but too nice to destroy the packaging.  

What I ended up doing was carefully slicing between the four pieces of tape holding the clamshell halves together.  I then removed the actual carded figure from the clamshell and then slowly removed the tape and residue from the clamshell.  I used an Exacto knife to slice along the top, right, and bottom of the figure bubble; thankfully the coffin blister does not have the little tabs that sit under the bubble lip like regular carded figures have since POTF2.  The bubble side that hasn't been cut acts as a hinge and allows you to easily remove the coffin the figure is in.  The best part is that once you're through, you can just slide the coffin back into the bubble, close it, and replace it in the clamshell.  The clamshell is so close to the bubble that it keeps it from flying open, and unless you're right on top of it, you don't even notice that it was ever opened in the first place.  And plus you can get rid of that awful "CHOKING HAZARD" sticker affixed to the inside of the bubble that blocks most of the upper left side of the card.

So yeah, I will (hopefully) have a set of the 12 loose, but still carded and shelled to hang on the wall of my SW room.  Being the cheap bastard I am, this enables me to have my cake and eat it too. :)

Modern Classifieds / Anybody want a mint loose Unleashed Leia?
« on: July 28, 2004, 02:30 PM »
UPDATE:  Just wanted to note that the transaction is complete and the Leia is on its way to Talon.  Thanks to everyone for looking!

I picked an Unleashed Leia up on a whim a month or so ago, and after opening it and displaying it on my desk, I found myself asking why I bought it in the first place.  It's not that it's a bad figure (it's actually really well sculpted), just that it looks out of place next to the other Unleashed figures on my limited desk space (plus I need to make room for Vader).

So, basically, I was thinking 10 dollars shipped to anywhere in the continental USA.  The figure and all accessories are in absolutely perfect condition (like I said, it went straight from the package onto the desk shelf and has only been moved so I could dust the desk) and I'll pack it all up with as much bubble wrap and cushioning as I can so it won't be damaged.  The shipping cost is for Priority Mail with delivery confirmation.

So, if anybody is interested, just shoot me a PM (email is still acting wonky) and we can go from there.  Thanks for looking! :)

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Top 5 Hotties
« on: July 24, 2004, 10:06 AM »
Why couldn't Ms. Portman wear shirts like these in Star Wars?

Because, in every theater, millions of pre-teen boys would go into puberty all at the same time.  It would be like the episode of "Family Guy" where all the teen girls go into puberty at once, but obviously different.  ;D

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: What a loser...
« on: July 24, 2004, 10:02 AM »
Whenever I run into people who want to get into the SW vs. ST debate in real life, I just turn around and walk away.  It is the most pointless activity I can think of.

Debating about political issues in a calm and respectful manner: okay.

Debating about who would win in a fight between Chewbacca and the Borg: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would like to have a word with you.  ;D

Original Trilogy Collection / Re: TRU Naboo 4-pack
« on: July 24, 2004, 09:57 AM »
I couldn't tell from any of the photos of this set, but will the Battle Droid come with a backpack?  I know there was no space for one on the Security Droid from POTJ, but if they're going with a neutral color scheme, I would hope they would include one with this version.

That Kaadu looks nice and is probably going to get me to buy this set.  The strange thing is that (barring an unforseen price increase on this set) the original Jar Jar and Kaadu was first priced at 20 bucks (although it eventually came down to about two dollars six months later), so this is almost like buying a toy in 1999 and getting three free figures.  Yes, I am trying to rationalize this, but I do like the Kaadu. :)

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