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View Full Version : Which was your favorite year for Star Wars collecting?



Tycho
01-08-2004, 07:02 PM
Many of us have been around since the 1995 modern Star Wars collecting revival. A large group of us were around since the '70's/'80's years that started it all.

As we look back at the end of nearly a decade of Star Wars collecting for the modern line, tell us which was your favorite year and why.

sith_killer_99
01-08-2004, 07:35 PM
What the heck, I went with 2003!

I didn't actually get ack in the SW collecting game 'till early 1999.

My all time favorite line is still, and probably always will be POTJ.

However 2003, while starting off slow ended with a bang! And we got a lot of great stuff along the way. Highlights include:

Clone Wars Animated figures
Clone Wars (the entire line is great as far as I am concerned)
SAGA OT Vehicles (A-Wing and TIE Fighter, even if they are re-hashes)
Imperial Shuttle!
Great new packaging re-design
Good picks for new figures
Ultra (General Reikeen!)
Scores of figures, more than in just about any other year.

2003 has been pretty good, despite the occassional let down. ;)

So, while POTJ will always be #1 in my heart, 2003 will be tough to beat in terms of overall enthusiasim for the line. Which is surprising, considering how they really disappointed me last year and early on this year.

2-1B
01-09-2004, 12:41 AM
1998

Tons of cool POTF freeze frame figures and I had a blast hunting them down (items were much better distributed back then in my experience).

I loved the ramp up to TPM with the mail away Mace Windu and the Flashback Figures. That Wal-Mart mail away poster was also cool as hell, I still have it displyed today.

It was just such a fun year for me and I'll always enjoy those memories.

(The EU stuff was garbage but I plenty of other stuff to enjoy)

1999 and 2002 get honorable mentions because of the Midnight Madness shenanigans as those were both very fun times.

Also, honorable mention goes to the year of the 2-1B and Bossk wave (I'm pretty sure it was 1997?)

James Boba Fettfield
01-09-2004, 12:54 AM
I'm going with 1995. First time I ever started collecting toys to keep on card. I remember first seeing all the orange cards at a biggs hypermart outside Cincinnati, and the feeling it gave me. Sure the figures weren't the greatest, but the way I felt hasn't been duplicated in any of the other years I've been collecting.

JediTricks
01-09-2004, 12:56 AM
Although I am probably representing a minority of geezers who remember back this far, modern SW collecting started in late '93 with the SW Micro Machines line which was pretty big before Hasbo-owned Kenner started POTF2 in '95. Look at '94 SW Insiders and you'll see a lot of coverage of the Micro Machines line, way more than those lame Kenner/Hasbro Action Masters or whatever they're called.

Anyway, '97 was a pretty awesome year for collecting IMO, not only was POTF2 really fun to collect simply by hanging out at the TRU with a few other local fans, but Action Fleet was also hitting its stride and MMs were going strong as well. This was before the dark times, before scalpers sunk their claws in and Hasbro's shortpacking misdeeds became so cruel. It was a good time really, trading was easier and things were more fun.

My second choice was 2001 POTJ-era. Half the line was designed by the recently-acquired Galoob division and that really showed as a lot of the line turned out much better than the Episode I line which came before. Also, though there were some bumps in the road, overall the POTJ line had better case assortments, it seemed like there was enough product to go around without flooding the pegs.

Kidhuman
01-09-2004, 10:54 AM
I went with this past year. EVen though alot of stuff I didnt see until late in the year, I still love the stuff. The figs seem better made, and a quality that hasnt been there since POTJ. If Hasbro keeps it up we will be all good for awhile.

bobafrett
01-09-2004, 01:33 PM
I went with 1995, since I really can't remember much of any particular year, and the items listed were rather vague. I actually enjoyed any year that I had enough disposable income to get most of what I wanted. I've got to admit my collection has really taken off since they started releasing the toys again way back in the 90's.

Turbowars
01-09-2004, 10:32 PM
1998 baby!!! I loved this year, some of the best figures and the best pack in and card ever!

JediTricks
01-10-2004, 05:02 AM
Turbo, the only reason I didn't choose '98 was because so much was scalper-bait that year, especially in our neck of the woods. After they opened Los Feliz TRU, it seemed to cause a big spike in scalpering. (is that a word? ;)) Great year for figures, just not for finding 'em IMO, but I did think about it for a minute before voting.

browndroid
01-11-2004, 11:43 PM
well i went with 2001, cuz that was the year that my collection gained big time. i do like the 2003 line better as far as the figures go, but as far as collecting goes, 2001 was the best

Lazer Brain
01-12-2004, 12:42 PM
the red cards iz when i started to collect, it was just for fun then i had had about 4 figs that i kept on there cards just becuz. after a year or so i went back and got the first seris on card and havn't stopped since. my wife still doesn't quite understand ,but lets me get them still, i have more fun playing with sw and my kids then when it was just me.
later

skeeziks22
01-12-2004, 12:48 PM
it seemed to cause a big spike in scalpering. (is that a word? ;))
I think "scalping" is mo' better... kind of like what Europeans taught the native Americans to do with there "prizes."

I voted for '95... simply because I had anticipated new figures coming out before they were announced. I had noticed the MM and the Bend 'Ems, and felt this was testing the market for new figures. When they hit the shelves, I couldn't care less that Chewie looked like something from the new Planet of the Apes movie (which wasn't out to draw comparisons to yet), or that Luke looked more like he did in the famous poster art than he did in the movies... none of that mattered... I had Star Wars again, and I certainly wasn't going to screw up again like I did when I passed up buying the Droids and Ewoks lines back when I was ten.

However, variants ran amock early on and that sort of annoys me. How many Boba Fett variants are there on the first version of him? Variants tend to annoy me unless it is an intended change such as a new head, or the brown/blue coat Han. I like my "complete" collection, but only the most capable of us (ie biggest pocketbook) will ever have a complete collection of these early variants... and many of those that followed.

Dark Marble
01-12-2004, 02:32 PM
I went with 1998. That was the year I quit stalling and really started my Star Wars collection. Up until 98 I collected bits and pieces (like the Falcon) that meant a lot to me as a kid. But, after I picked up 2 tie fighters and Darth's tie on sale at Toys R Us, I was hooked. A little collection has turned into a huge one thanks to 1998 and all the endless possibilities for toys it held.

Mandalorian Candidat
01-12-2004, 06:59 PM
A tough choice, but I took 1999 due to my prejudice toward the end of the FF line, the beginning of the EP1 line, and extension of POTF2 into CTs. I still think the EP1/POTF2 CT lines are the best due to those chips and for the most part lack the lame flimsiness of many of the POTJ and all of the Saga figures.

JediTricks
01-12-2004, 08:04 PM
I think "scalping" is mo' better... kind of like what Europeans taught the native Americans to do with there "prizes."Scalping is just the selling end of their misdeeds, but I was as much referring to their tampering with the local collecting market by buying up all the new figures so nobody could get 'em, or paying off stock boys to hold cases back for them and allowing big returns of older, unsold product when it became no longer profitable to scalp. Another one, not one so much that bothered me but is a good example of their "scalpering", is to go into stores that aren't friendly to them and mangle the packaging or even the figures if possible. All that was (and still is) sadly quite big in this area.

Jaff
01-12-2004, 10:00 PM
There is no way I was going to pick the past two years because of distribution and quality control, although on a positive note the late end of last year turned out nice.

In the end I was torn on POTJ, and the slide figs. POTJ had allot of really awesome figs and the quality of sculpts, packaging, and never before made figures were just incredible. I would have voted on this group but I had to vote for the slide figs. I know that scalping was a big thing back then, but it was really nostalgic. For those of us collecting back then it was concreted by the slide wave that Star Wars was back. It was really exciting, and although 1997 had some great figs like Tarkin, Garindan and Bossk there was a sense of how long will they keep making new stuff. Then in 1998 Hasbro surpassed that year with Darth (removable helmet), Pote Snitkin, Owen Lars, Lak Sivrak, etc. They were making everything we dreamed of that year, and need I mention the wonderful Bantha. Wow, I was blown away, and I felt like a kid again. When POTJ came out I was in my 5th year of POTF2 collecting, and after all the scalping issues, the TC-14 wave, countless exclusives, and the sheer quantity of items being released (hasbro was now releasing on average 4 to 10 items every month) my collecting now turned into just trying to get everything rather than enjoying the hunt. Don't get me wrong I want them to keep making lots of stuff at once, but in 1998 it was an adventure, today the magic of hunting is gone because who has time (who have full jobs and families to care for) to hunt for the ammount of stuff they release 2000 and up.

plasticfetish
01-13-2004, 03:41 AM
I had to say 1998. My collecting really got to be more than just casual then. It was a fun time. I could still find a lot of the earlier stuff that I'd passed on but had maybe changed my mind about. It was great wandering into stores and finding something new all of the time. Then, there was the excitement of anticipating the Episode 1 stuff that was going to come. Toy quality only seemed to be getting better and better.

skeeziks22
01-13-2004, 11:52 AM
Another one, not one so much that bothered me but is a good example of their "scalpering", is to go into stores that aren't friendly to them and mangle the packaging or even the figures if possible. All that was (and still is) sadly quite big in this area.


So "scalpering" is an all-encompassing term that covers not only selling for profit (scalping), but damaging goods so they cannot be sold for profit... thus increasing the value of what you already have. I'll have to check Webster's.

That is not a situation I can recall running into... my areas of residence were either so cluttered with available retail (Chicago, Akron/Cleveland/Canton) or very devoid of any (Anchorage) that I either had no problem finding good condition toys (the former locations), or just never seem to see many at all on the shelves (the latter).

jedi master sal
01-13-2004, 04:41 PM
Here's how I voted and why.

I voted for 1997 first then would have chosen 2000 second then 2003 third.

I have to agree with everything JT said about '97. It was so much fun back then and you could just walk in and find the figure you wanted/needed.

I think also this was easier becaue we didn't have the prequels to look forward to and so there would be a finite (not infinite) amount of figures made. It was easy for the nostalgic fan to collect these and get every figure. with the advent of EPI, SW became a mass market item and scalpers abound, making the hobby what it is today...(Que your own thought in here)

2000-By far the POTJ line (for which I moderate btw...anyway) was one of the best lines because of scupting and choice of characters to be produced. Updated packaging help slightly.

2003-while MOST fans/collectors never got to see new figures (especially in mass quantities) until mid August, I was one of the lucky ones. I say lucky but really it was putting my nose to the grindstone and goin on the hunt 5 times or more a week that garnered me some of the hardest to find figures from the begining (which of course became easy to find six months later, with Epahnt Mon as the exception). 2003 saw alot of army builders which made many of us happy even though the 3 packs were less artculated. Great modern figures finally made it to light in the last quarter and no longer will be the days of "Give us an Imperial Dignitary!" We got TWO of them. Also the long awaited General Reikaan. He should have been a regular carded figure, but our (collectors) demand caused this to become the pricepoint that it did and we graciously accepted it (well most of us anyway). I probably spent the most this year more than any for SW toys, mostly because of army building and it started to get fun again. Mostly because I could find stuff at regular intervals and was even able to cut back on "hunting" for toys. Now instead of 5 days a week I go 4 1/2...okay now it's more like 3 days. (Much to the delight of my fiancee).

Well, there you have it a very indept look at my personal favorite years in collecting the modern era of SW toys. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

-Sal

stillakid
01-13-2004, 04:52 PM
I went with '95. Just the thrill of being able to collect Star Wars toys again was cool. There was no clue how many would come out at that point nor how they might evolve. It was pure fun to go into a store and see something brand new on the pegs, just like the old days.

Not to be too morbid about it because, well, I'm still in it afterall, but soon after that everything started to change. I knew I wanted to get my hands on whatever came out and the scalpers took advantage of that general feeling. Suddenly this collecting hobby began to feel more like work. Hasbro didn't help collectors much by not letting us know what was coming or when (accurately). Obtaining the new items meant daily or semi-dialy "runs" to Target, TRU, or KBToys in hopes of defying the scalpers or other "gotta have two of each" collectors or the army builders. Getting just one of anything since around 1996 means diligently staying on top of the releases (thanks to SSG!) and either buying online (thanks KEBco!) or hitting the pavement for exclusives (F.O. Hasbro/Target/TRU/KB/FAO).

Like anything, collecting has had it's ups, it's downs, and it's moments of content pleasure. But at no time has it been better than when it first began (again) and brought back memories of when I was still a kid. :)

macca_rocks2003
01-14-2004, 01:58 PM
My fave year would have to '95 since thats when i got my first ever star wars figure :D I was only 5 then and my parents wouldn't buy me much so i missed out on a lot of cool things (like the falcon). Then other toys came and i went off star wars for a while, But the last few years i've started up my collection again and its been really cool trying to find all the POTF2 stuff that i missed out on, I got a falcon last weekend and it was sooo awesome! I also bought a Y-wing and an A-wing recently n they look pretty sweet.

TheDarthVader
01-14-2004, 06:46 PM
Look...when it comes down to it we could not have had 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2003 without 1995! If they had decided not to start Star Wars figures in 1995, the figures may not have ever been reintroduced! So I have to vote for 1995 for the fact that I found my first figures in 1995 and have been hooked ever since.

Darth Alex
01-16-2004, 11:20 AM
I picked 1997 as my favorite year. I got into the hobby in the beginning of summer with a Boba Fett basic figure. It's been a wild ride since then; some years have been horrible for finds, others like 1999 and 2002 have had too much of the same product everywhere. I still think the POTJ line was very,very impressive. It's just that 1997 had a lot of new stuff. The AT-AT was a particular favorite to get again for the first time since the Kenner days.

skeeziks22
01-16-2004, 12:32 PM
The AT-AT was a particular favorite to get again for the first time since the Kenner days.

I wish they would't have re-hashed the old molds of these toys so much in the earlier years (95-98). With the new movies they can't do that, but with the classic line they did a lot of this early on. I had most of these as a kid and saw no reason to buy an updated paint version of the same thing... but I did get the AT-AT at half price so I could get the exc. figs in the box... they always suckered me in when they packed a figure with a re-hashed ship (a-wing for example)

Darth Alex
01-16-2004, 12:50 PM
I wish they would't have re-hashed the old molds of these toys so much in the earlier years (95-98). With the new movies they can't do that, but with the classic line they did a lot of this early on. I had most of these as a kid and saw no reason to buy an updated paint version of the same thing... but I did get the AT-AT at half price so I could get the exc. figs in the box... they always suckered me in when they packed a figure with a re-hashed ship (a-wing for example)
You know, that's a very good point. I liked the fact that with the multiple sound effects, the Vader hologram image, and the overall features the AT-AT could basically renact a whole Hoth sequence. Looking back, 1997 wasn't perfect and the re-hashed molds DID make for some really poor figures. When the AT-AT came out, I was just happy to get one. Looking at the figures now, the commander figure could have been so much more-movie likeness, maybe a removeable helmet. I think my fondness for 1997 is due to the WAY things were released. If you wanted 9 of a particular army builder-stormtroopers, imperial speeder bikes, Jabba's pig-guards,etc, you could buy 'em. Now, I can't even find Wave 3 for the Clone Wars single-cards or even a new Jedi Luke/Jabba's palace smackdown. The old days(and let's face it, 97 is not ANCIENT history) were much better for offerings to find, even if some of the re-molds had bizzare accessories. I love how Bespin 97 Han had his trusty rifle and bow-legged stance. "Drunk and wobbly, Han can now shoot Cloud City deer with his mock-AK rebel rifle!"

Darth Alex
01-16-2004, 12:54 PM
I forgot the A-wing note!...yeah, that was bad. I never got an A-wing back in the day and to get a new-fangled one....well, WHY rip out the cool electronics? And the figure, I've seen a better likeness on some of the Family Dollar rip-off solider figures. I bought 2 A-wings and for $20 a pop, some sound effect or lights weren't too much to ask. I know, I know Hasbro's gotta make a profit, but still, if you're gonna re-use and re-mold, then re-make to specs...I still think that pilot is one of the worst pack in figures. It looks like a bad astronaut likeness from a toy made in 1968....

JediTricks
01-16-2004, 05:08 PM
Wow, I always liked the POTF2 A-wing, it's a fun toy even though the cockpit gearing isn't as good as it should be. The figure isn't as bad as all that either IMO, I just looked, he's certainly not as good as Biggs, but he's not as bad as Veers or the Carbonite playset guard or the Falcon Carrying Case scanning tech. And then there were even some A-wings on clearance at TRU the next year for $10.

sith_killer_99
01-16-2004, 07:19 PM
And then there were even some A-wings on clearance at TRU the next year for $10.

$10?!?!

I found them at TRU for $5.00 along with Luke's T-16 and Vader's TIE...that was in 2000!

JediTricks
01-16-2004, 08:29 PM
Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot they were that low during the Hasbro final warehouse clearance days of 2000.