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Messages - DoctorPadawan

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I'm sure Hasbro has learned from their mistakes over the last few years, and have definitely replaced Bootsy, their veteran wheel-powered internet hamster, with a newer, faster model of quadroped in order to handle the increased traffic on the HTS site for the SDCC exclusives.

Oh, the site is down completely?

It must be retail's fault, because Hasbro is surely doing everything they can to get those items into the right hands.



I got my Bacara a couple of weeks ago, and was kind of disappointed that one of his chest pauldron straps was attached to his belt far too low, leaving the pad itself aligned just above his navel.  The right side was adjustable, but the left strap was just way too short, and I was worried I would damage it if I tried to "operate."  Sideshow, showing outstanding customer service and standing behind the products they produce, offered to exchange a new one for my incorrectly pauldroned version, at their shipping expense.  That's the kind of thing that makes me want to support a company and their products.  So thank you, Sideshow, for being a great bunch of folks. :)

1:6 Scale Figures and Collectibles / Re: Sidshow 12" Boba Fett
« on: July 15, 2012, 02:38 PM »
My Fett arrived Friday and I'm absolutely thrilled.  Gorgeous piece, with tons of accessories.  I'm really digging the light-up base, too.  Now, if I could just get a nice curio cabinet for these things, I could actually display them. :)

Feedback / Re: Jesse James' feedback
« on: July 15, 2012, 02:31 PM »
Thanks for another wonderful transaction, Jesse, as always! :)

The Vintage Collection / Re: SDCC 2012
« on: July 13, 2012, 02:50 PM »
So, I was following GH's live tweeting of the Hasbro presentation/Q&A and, from the way it sounded, this year's dismal distribution issues weren't addressed at all.  Seriously?  People ask about the possibility of vintage-style prequel figures for the millionth time, but NOBODY addresses the elephant bantha in the room?

Feedback / Re: Darth_Anton's feedback
« on: July 13, 2012, 10:02 AM »
As always, Anthony went above and beyond to help me out with a Darth Malgus.  Thanks Ant! :)

The Vintage Collection / Re: SDCC 2012
« on: July 12, 2012, 04:29 PM »
Am I missing something?  I haven't seen hardly any new SW stuff yet.  A couple of 3 packs and a ton of product that we've already gotten is all I've seen so far.

It was more of a general statement about displaying supposedly upcoming product at these shows than referring to anything specifically "new" being shown. My point being that, while displays are nice, the point of making products like these is to actually sell them, which Hasbro seems to not be too interested in this year, going by the state of retail.

Although, Rob, since I haven't seen anything past the single case one local Walmart got back in February, everything in that case is new to me (and a lot of other people, I'm sure, would agree).

The Vintage Collection / Re: SDCC 2012
« on: July 12, 2012, 09:52 AM »
Showing all this great new stuff for the SW line is all well and good, but having it in a display case is one thing; actually, you know, sending it to stores so people can buy it is another.  The only way I'm going to be excited about them is if Hasbro says, "Yeah, we're fully aware of how badly we've ****** up this year and we're going to fix it starting now" but, you know, that'll never happen in a million years.  ::)

I think the simplest answer for me at this point is Lego or (for characters I really want) Sideshow.  Hasbro's made it completely cost-prohibitive to collect this line from a financial perspective, given the amount of money one devotes to either gas driving around in a futile attempt to actually find products in stores, or the amount of money one has to pay for shipping on their more-or-less internet exclusive Star Wars toys.  Quality-wise, Hasbro is going further and further downhill (more on that in a moment) and they're charging more and more for less and less with no real excuse other than "we can."  I'm really curious to see how the Q&As go at the summer conventions (starting this weekend at JoeCon) and how Hasbro responds to collector complaints (if they even do; I can honestly see them saying "NO QUESTIONS!" before the presentations of their PowerPoint).

As for the quality, I had an interesting situation a few weeks ago that I wanted to share, but didn't really know what forum to post it in, or if it was even relevant to Star Wars, as it doesn't involve SW but does involve two other Hasbro lines.  I bought two different Hasbro products on two consecutive days: the 6" Walmart exclusive Avengers Movie Hawkeye figure and a blue GI Joe Retaliation Cobra Commander (at Toys R Us).  When I opened Hawkeye, I noticed that one of the pins that connected his elbow joint to his forearm had not been assembled completely and any movement would cause the forearm to almost completely separate from the joint.  Luckily, having read many threads in JD's wonderful customs area, I was able to use some tweezers and the really hot water trick to soften the plastic and repair the joint.  Hawkeye still sits on my shelf aiming his bow and arrow and you'd never know that this had to be done.  But, alas, that is not the point.

Cobra Commander had a similar problem right out of the package, but this involved the right shoulder joint.  The plastic had not been attached completely and, as a result, his upper arm was simply hanging on by the equivalent of a plastic thread.  I examined him closely and tried to do the hot water trick, but given his construction, it was impossible to do, as I am not that skilled and would likely have burnt myself in the process.  So, I returned the CC to TRU and got my money back (the CC was placed in the damaged bin, but just this past week I noticed they had put it back on the shelf with its scotch-taped on bubble; I found this both amusing and sad, moreso considering how much TRU marks everything up these days).  Again, second toy from a second Hasbro line in two days that was damaged BEFORE I EVEN OPENED IT.

I figured enough was enough and called Hasbro Consumer Affairs, not to yell and scream but to point out that they had some quality control issues that I, as a (more or less) adult was able to fix but one that children (their supposed target audience) would NOT be able to fix.  This decrease in quality along with an increase in pricing was likely to affect their public perception as what parent is going to buy a toy that is broken out of the package before the kid even plays with it and then actually consider buying more Hasbro products?  They're going to look at it and say, "No, Bobby, I remember how Hawkeye's arm fell off when we opened him so I'm not buying any more Avengers."  The woman I spoke with was very nice and I believe in treating people considerately, especially when she probably had no earthly idea what I was talking about in the first place.  She, doing what she was no doubt trained to do, told me she would send me two 3 dollars off coupons for my next Hasbro purchase and forward my comments to their Customer Affairs team.  I thanked her for her time and that was that.

I tell that story to make the point that not only can Hasbro not get product to stores so people can actually buy it, but the product they are getting to stores is of an inferior quality on a more regular basis.  Many of us have complained about saggy Battle Droids or rubbery guns, and it seems like everything is getting this slipshod treatment now.  They're charging twice the original retail price for a figure from 2002 that is made of inferior materials and expecting the market to be happy with it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: all employees see when they look at that wall of Vintage Qui-Gons and gobs of Movie Heroes is STAR WARS.  Hasbro has had years to work on case assortments and instead of learning, they seem to be regressing each and every day.  And yes, retail isn't ordering things from Hasbro, but the fault lies with Hasbro for putting out inferior products, time after time, charging a ridiculous premium for them, and then blaming everyone but themselves for their mistakes.  If nobody bought that Saga Darth Maul in 2002 because the action feature was horrible for 5 bucks, they're certainly not going to buy it now for 10, and definitely not if it's going to fall apart after you open the card. 

All this said, I would like to complete my "new" Vintage collection by the end of the year, because I feel that's going to be my jumping off point.  Hasbro has made collecting cost prohibitive (as I said before), they have made it a chore rather than an enjoyable hobby, and they have made it impossible to even collect because the figures aren't even being sent out in the real world to be purchased.  And that, to be quite blunt, is not cool.  When Lego releases their fall Star Wars sets, I'm going to be able to walk into Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Lego's retail stores, Barnes and Noble, and even K-Mart and buy that Jabba's Palace with its 10 mini figures and not have to worry about case ratios or scalpers or what have you and JUST BUY IT.  And I'm going to enjoy putting it together, and admiring it, and showing it off to people who will no doubt think I'm crazy for having a Lego Jabba's Palace to begin with, but it's going to be fun.  No "hunt" no fuss no muss.  No having to order it from Entertainment Earth or Big Bad Toy Store or whoever else (unless I want to do so and, you know what?  THEY'LL HAVE IT IN STOCK TOO) because Wal-Mart has a stack of old crap in the way.  When's the last time anybody here can honestly say they saw a figure online and thought "I'm going to go to Wal-Mart and pick that up" and actually was able to do it?

Even Sideshow, limited and high end though they may be, has their system set up so you know what to expect, what you're going to have to pay for it, and when you'll get it.  I knew the 12" Boba Fett was going on sale a certain day, I made accommodations to order mine, knew what it would cost, knew approximately when it would show up, and here we are about 10 months later and it will be here in about two weeks.  Hell, Commander Bacara came with one less gun than advertised due to a clerical error and Sideshow didn't ignore it: THEY SENT OUT AN EMAIL SAYING SO AND EVEN ALLOWED PEOPLE TO CANCEL IT WITHOUT PENALTY IF SOMEHOW HAVING ONE LESS GUN WAS A DEALBREAKER.  Hasbro just says, "Oh we had to cut costs" and doesn't bat an eye.  And you know what?  That's why I keep ordering stuff from Sideshow.  Because they care about the product they're selling and stand behind it.  It's people who seem to genuinely like Star Wars, who understand what it is to be a fan, and know that they're going to have loyal customers and get new ones because they treat people well and stand behind what they sell.  Ditto for Lego who, in the year since I've been out of my dark ages as an AFOL, have shown that they are the single-best company in terms of customer care and satisfaction that I've ever dealt with in ANY situation. 

So yes, that is why the future of Star Wars collecting, for me, is with Lego and Sideshow.  Because they have fun, interesting products that are of a high quality and that bring a smile to my face without me having to search like Indiana Jones for the Holy Grail in the desert to find it, only to have its arm fall off when I open it.  So keep on doing what you're doing Hasbro, and Battleship won't be the only disaster that you're known for.

The Vintage Collection / Re: Defender Wishlists 2012: A New Hope
« on: June 28, 2012, 06:28 PM »
Sadly, given Hasbro's penchant for doing basic articulation again, I'm going to have to do a blanket qualifier of "super articulated" for all 10 figures on my list.  That said...

01.  Uncle Owen Lars
02.  Aunt Beru Lars
03.  Princess Leia Organa (Tantive IV/Death Star Gown)
04.  Admiral Motti
05.  Mosep
06.  Figrin D'an/Cantina Band (one super articulated figure with all the instruments)
07.  Bannis Keeg
08.  Solomahal
09.  Ceremonial Han Solo (a real one this time)
10.  Princess Leia Organa (Ceremonial Gown)

So, if the dollar price hike is due to the "rising costs of shipping to retailers", doesn't that imply that Hasbro should actually be, you know, shipping things to retailers?  I mean, I'm no economic expert, but unless there's continuing shipments of dust-covered Movie Heroes from some Hasbro factory somewhere, none of the retailers near me have gotten any new Hasbro product that doesn't say "Avengers" or "Delayed GI Joe Movie" on it since the beginning of February.

The Clone Wars '08-'13 / Re: Recent Clone Wars Finds/Purchases
« on: June 17, 2012, 06:28 PM »
Holy crap, I found a new Clone Wars figure at actual retail for the first time since January!  Of course, it was the new Obi-Wan Kenobi, and it was 2 hours away from where I live, but hey!  New figure!  Maybe at this rate I'll find Boss and Rex by this time next year!

On another note, despite this being the first new Star Wars action figure I've found at retail AT ALL since the Vintage Deleted Scenes wave in February (which, by the way, is the last time ANY stores near me got ANY new SW figures), I almost put Obi-Wan back.  Even now I feel like I bought him out of obligation more than actual desire to have him, if that makes any sense (it probably doesn't).  Kind of sad, really, but hey, the Lego Monster Fighters "Crazy Scientist and his Monster" set I bought at the same time was well worth the money I paid.

Count me amongst the many who are passing on this until clearance.  I've gotten every "big" vehicle since they pretty much relaunched them with the AT-TE and Falcon at normal price upon release, but the MTT is just a case of asking too much for far too little.  I'd just assume they drop all the figures they currently have planned to include, include two repainted Vintage Battle Droids in the blue Pilot scheme, and drop the price by about 50 bucks, at least.  Sadly, I think that if this thing actually does make it to retail, it's going to be DOA in a way that Star Wars toys haven't been in a long time, if ever. 

Of course, since pretty much everything past the TPM wave of vintage this year has been an online exclusive, the MTT being online-only wouldn't be much of a shock at all.  Even if it does get technically released at mass retail, there's no guarantee that it'll actually even show up anywhere. 

The Vintage Collection / Re: Star Wars: 1313 - The Figures
« on: June 2, 2012, 02:29 PM »
While this does, indeed, seem like a really cool concept for a game/tv show/whatever, I've pretty much lost any and all hope that Hasbro can and will pull off a quality toy line to support it.  We'll either get figures two years after the game is released or (more likely) game inaccurate figures with decreased articulation and action features.  Sorry to be so negative, but Hasbro hasn't really given me much reason to be positive toward any of their lines lately, not the least of which is Star Wars.

I was just at Target and they had GI Joe figures for like $7 on clearance.  I was a little surprised at the cost - I thought they were only $7-8 to begin with.

I noticed that too... Spider-Man figures were "marked down" to $7, "originally $10". I'm pretty sure they were pricing that Spidey line at like $8.50 a figure, so not much of a deal. But then again I've found that outside of the odd exclusive, Target doesn't really like getting money from collectors anyway, so no big deal.

I've noticed that, in recent months, Target will mark up things to a ridiculous amount a few weeks before they put it on clearance.  Saw this most recently back in January when they jacked the prices of the Mattel DC Batman Legacy two packs (you know, the one with Gordon and Wayne that every store had tons of?) up to 40 bucks before marking it down to 20 2 weeks later.  I don't know if they've got someone else in charge of things these days on the corporate level, but between that, the 17 dollar TF:DOTM deluxes, and the 10 dollar Joes, it seems to be standard policy now.  I guess that way, when the first clearance is back to original retail price, they can pretend like you're getting a deal by saying "WAS 10 DOLLARS, NOW 7!"

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