12-19-2003, 05:11 AM
It has been almost 9 years since the reintroduction of the Star Wars line and we only have one cool playset. The arena playset is the only playset as of yet to have any kind of real movie look to it. Now I know these sets can be expensive so here is my thought. We could have a main frame of a death star or Hoth rebel base which would be the big piece and then seperate pieces that can be attached to differant parts of the frame.
The Death star could be a half circle kind of like the micro machine playset. Only you could by $10-20 sets that would attach inside. Now the major part doesn't have to be completly plain. It could be used as a carry case or something to that matter.
Here is how I would break it down:
*Death Star Frame w/hangar bay $30-40 range
*Trash compactor add in playset $10-20 range
*Control room add in playset $10-20 range
*Prison cell block add in playset $10 range (you could buy extra cells to conect the block)
*tractor beam/swing to freedom add in playset $20-30 range
*final duel w/blast door add in playset $10-20 range
and so on and so...
You could do the same with the Hoth set, maybe add in an exclusive figure or just keep on packing pieces with the figures or deluxe figures. Much like the new Obi-Wan nightclub figures.
Any suggestion anyone? What do you think?
12-19-2003, 10:56 AM
I always thought the idea of doing modular playsets was a good one. Even basing a new death star playset on the old one would work, with stacked levels radiating out from a central elevator core.
On level could be the trash compacter, another the command center, the Emperor's throne room, etc.
You could stack them any way you wanted to, and have a big open area on one side for the docking bay. The elevator core could come with a basic module, then all the others could be sold seperately for abou $25.00 a piece.
I'd love to have a Hoth Ion gun, but there wasn't much more to the base itself beyond corridors, the command center and the huge hangar, so I'm not sure how it could be done.
Beyond the cloud city structures from the lightsaber battle, Jabba's Palace, and the Cantina, and the droid factory from AOTC, many of the Star Wars settings don't really lend themselves well to playsets.
I'd love to have the Lars Homestead, or Watto's junk shop,but can't imagine they would sell well, but am even harder pressed to see Hasbro releasing the Senate Chamber, Palpatine's Office, the Clone Army Cafeteria, or any of the Rebel conference rooms as playsets.
12-19-2003, 02:58 PM
I'll still campaign for my all-in-one Death Star playset.
Roughly, the same height as the vintage Death Star playset. When closed up, it's a globe with detailing that makes it a fine display Death Star like has never before been created. It opens into 4 wedges, each with interconnected play areas.
With a playset this size, all of the attributes of the ANH battlestation as well as the ROTJ additions could easily be included adding tremendous value, both for play and economy.
It would be slightly more expensive than than the typical cardboard cutout playsets that we've been offered, but the cache and originality of it would attract young and old alike.
While the above ideas of having Hasbro release separate interlocking pieces isn't a bad idea, I don't think that they would be nearly as marketable as one giant kick-*** looking Death Star sitting on a toy shelf. If you build it, they will come.
For clarification, this is a whole globe with a slightly flattened bottom. Imagine taking the vintage Death Star playset and adding a curved "shell" to it. That would be one of the wedges.
I think that it would work out best to have one half be one of the pieces then split the other half into two wedges. The side that is an entire half could have longer areas in it, like hallways with blastdoors or even a hangar bay. The wedges could have the Emperor's chamber at the top and the trash compactor at the bottom. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of room to integrate many of the favorite Death Star attributes. The vintage playset had a 21" tall elevator which could be used as a central "core" to connect the pieces together. The entire playset would likely top out around 2' tall (and around) once you put the curved shell on it.
They charge whatever they want to...whatever they think they can get. A 3" action figure doesn't cost anywhere near $7 bucks to design, manufacture, and distribute when they make a lot of them. They charge that money because they know they can get it. Look at the price drops in the Queen's ship, the 12" Dewback, the 12" "pegwarmers", pegwarmer's in general. Somebody is still making a little profit at those enormous price cuts. That's why they stop dropping the price tag at a certain point, otherwise they'd just give them away for free. So this playset might have a real cost of $50 to $75 to produce and distribute, which they would inflate to around $150 retail. That is a lot of money, but people are generally willing to accept the cost if they perceive the value in the product. I of course guessed at those costs, but I averaged out what I think is the real cost (lower) and what I think they'd ask for (higher). My honest opinion is that it would cost less per unit to make and distribute and a fair retail price would be around $100. I factored in the greed-profit motive.
I'd buy it and I believe that a lot of other people would too. The Queen's ship sat on clearance shelves (I believe) due to a poor lead-in (TPM wasn't as good as the classic trilogy). A really cool looking classic trilogy toy will get the parent's attention (late 20's to late 30's) (nearly everybody liked the classic trilogy) and no kid could resist a toy that huge. It would sell out. Almost guaranteed.
Just like an actual movie set, so much more could be done with independent playsets as some people have suggested, so naturally there would some compromise within each "scene" for an all-in-one playset idea.
I haven't drawn plans up yet (but maybe soon!), but I'll try to give some written clues as to this hypothetical dream.
Docking Bay 327 (the big problem): This would be located on the lower portion of the complete "half." Like so many playsets before this, sadly because of size restrictions, the Falcon would have to be represented by a photo backdrop, but there really is no way to squeeze the Falcon Toy or the Shuttle Tyderium (sp?) into a hangar-type playset that isn't absolutely gargantuan. The good news is that the "room" could have blast doors off to one side for recreation of the duel. If Hasbro went all out, they could include a floor panel that slid out from the "half" to give more floor space to line up Stormtroopers on.
DB327 control room (the red room): Right above the Hangar space, in the mid-section of the "half."
The Elevator Bank: The central core of the entire playset, constructed in the same way as the vintage model. It integrates the elevator action as well as the tractor beam control walkway.
The Outer Detention area: Just above the Garbage Compactor.
The Detention Block hallway: In the next wedge over and on the same level as the Outer Detention Area.
Garbage Chute: In the wedge opposite and just above the one with the Compactor as part of the Outer Detention Area.
The Tractor Beam Controls: As above, integrated into the cental elevator column.
The Rope Swing: An abitrary placement of an extended bridge from one wedge to another or to the central column, ala vintage version.
The Vader/Ben Duel: Lower level of the "half," off to the side of the hangar bay area.
The Blast Doors: Integrated into hangar Bay.
Plus various hallways that Ben sneaks through or Han howls through: N/A
Add to that the Throne room, which from the post above is a giant playset unto itself: The entire upper level of all three pieces (one half, two wedges)
And finally, the nature of the design excludes 50% of the play space because it has to represent the "Outside" of the Death Star: Some of the "rooms" would need straight walls, so indeed some of that trapped curved space would be lost to outright play, however it could be utilized as storage and/or use breakaway panels for guntowers to pop out of or something.
I've been playing around with the vintage Death Star and trying to "connect" the playset pieces that we got a couple years ago with some success. It takes a little reconfiguration and some extra supports but I've managed to rig up the Detention Hallway so that the heroes can really fall into the bright orange compactor. The Rope Swing is a little tougher to integrate into the old design, but it can go just about anywhere so long as it gets supported so that it is on "level 2." I'm still trying to figure out the best way to remove the gun emplacement on the top level and replace it with the Emperor's throne. Doing all that stuff got me thinking about a well-designed playset like the one I'm suggesting. I think that it is possible and for a reasonable cost. But with the way Hasbro feels about releasing the Shuttle, I don't forsee any realistic hope of it ever happening from them. Looks like a custom job!
Originally posted by Rollo Tomassi
I was thinking insteads of a "slide out" docking bay floor, how about a "panel" that separates the two wedge quarters from the wedge half. When you open up the DS, the panel folds down to reveal a docking bay floor. Hinged on the edge of this is a "hangar bay entrance" that folds up and locks in between the two quarters. Two feet x Two feet might almost be big enough for a shuttle or a Falcon to stand in. just an idea.
It's lookin' good, though. I can sort of see it in my mind.
Originally posted by stillakid
That's a good idea! There's probably a way to work in a flourescent "magnetic hangar bay" frame as well to complete the look.
Based on the idea for the Death Star playset, a redesigned Star Destroyer is a must. It could easily be the size of the Queen's ship and look pretty authentic on the outside...
...and when you remove the exterior panels, you've got maximum playability inside. With a slightly shorter profile than the vintage edition, Vader's meditation chamber could easily be fit in near the back where the tower is. Add in a main bridge area and we're good to go.
The underside "docking area" obviously wouldn't be big enough to fit a 3 3/4" scale vehicle, but then again there aren't any! Instead, Micromachines could slide in to fulfill the need for flight play.
The engines could house blue lights.
There could be a hatch coming from the tower which "releases" garbage and is big enough for the Micromachines Slave I.
Skip the ridiculous big dart firing guns and integrate that technology into the front end or sides of the ship if necessary.
Reactor balls on the towers could be "explodable" to recreate ROTJ fun!
Who wouldn't buy this ship? The only reason I can imagine being hit with is that the Queen's ship didn't sell that well. First off, the movie wasn't as well received as the original trilogy so that might have something to do with it. Secondly, practically everybody alive (allow slight exaggeration) knows what a Star Destroyer is. Reluctant parents on the Queen's ship would probably cave in to Jr's wishes on this one.
My overall mission would be to bring a re-creation of the exteriors of these ships and playsets to the play portion of the set itself. If you remember the vintage Death Star and vintage Star Destroyer, both were short on the asthetics dept. They just didn't look like the things from the movies. I truly believe that the more a toy looks recognizable from the outside, the more likely consumers will buy it, no matter what the cost, especially if it is from the original trilogy, which everyone loved. (Not the prequels, which many people didn't.)
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