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View Full Version : State of the the 12" line....



jedibear
02-10-2004, 09:37 PM
Since this subject comes up occasionally in other threads, i thought I'd throw one out there where we could discuss our thoughts on the state of the 12" line...

Here are some of the "issues"

Retreads of exclusives...the well really ran dry last year with two major successes being revisited for store exclusives. The Speeder Bike was novel the first time around, but on round two, with a recycled Luke as the "new" feature and finally last year with the Barbie-smile Leia attached, it wore out it's welcome. The Luke/Tauntaun fared slightly better, being better displayed in it's sharp wrap-around window, but it's original high price for rehased goods was hard to take too. Here's hoping Hasbro can get bold enough with retailers to offer something really unique for fans. Considering it's going to be a classic focus as '04 wears on, many suggestions have been offered about by us as ideas (eg; ESB Medic Droids two-pack, ROTJ Jabba's palace denizens set..can you imagine a 12" scale Skiff Guards? :), etc)
Offer a "shot in the arm" like accessory sets or play/posing enviroments(cardboard diorama backdrops would work well if nicely done)...I'd really like to see themed accessory sets for the 12" line. like a "Jedi" one that included some Jedi robes (in different shades of brown) for use with jedi figures that didn't come with any (EpII cough, cough) or "Rebel" sets with weapons...the possibilities are endless and it wouldn't be too expensive a proposition for Hasbro to consider...they already do it for other lines like GI JOE.
PLEASE Hasbro...don't go "cheap" on us! The latest Obi-Wan figure with it's lack of pants (!) and shoddy robes(and the parade of rehashs) show collecters that corners will be cut severely just to pump product out. NOT WITH THIS LINE PLEASE! It's not necessary...Hasbro has shown they can do new fiures reworking earlier releases(outfits & accessories) without it being so obvious (most Imps are a good example...as are the jedi) I'll buy the argument from Hasbro that the toys are primarily for kids (when discussing standard figures anyway) but the Action Collection has always been the more "Collector-friendly" of what Hasbro has offered for SW and folks have shown they will put down the bucks for something good. Look at the success of the earlier exclusives like the Han/Tauntaun, the FAO two-packs, even EpOne had a good hit with the Tarpals/Kaadu. Give us high quality, we'll support it!
It's come up before but here we go again....Hasbro, take the pulse of who collects this line...take a survey of what Action Collection fans DO want and WILL pay for. Suggestion: Put a survey in the next wave of Action Collection releases or have it availible online. Ask the serious questions of the audience...do you play with the figures? Do you open them? Is packaging important(Man I'd kill for those awesome flap-cover boxes with the detailed notes again!)? Are accessories? Posibility? The options are endless...and not that much effort really.
And again...do SOMETHING about the packaging....the "Unleashed" line is a stunning example of how a vibrant figure specific take on the packaging can really make a figure "pop" to consumers....compare the staid boring cards and bubbles with the new ones and wow! (Especially the new Chewie wave) What a difference! Imagine what a bolder package would have doen to Zam's 12" release...as it was because of her outfit and color scheme, she vanishes into the box she was released in...put her (and all the figures) it brassy, "Unleashed" style packages and POW!...You've probably heightened consumer interest...

I love this line....when it's great (Bossk...Han/Tauntaun) or merely good (any imperial or Trooper) it's worth the wait and money. But when it's bad (name your least favorite rehash) or not well thought out (The case/figure assortments), the line runs the risk of becoming irrelevent and I don't want to see that happen. Nothing beats my proud (ever-changing) display of SW Action Collection figures....from my proud jedi posed together to the Bounty Hunters overlooking the room...when the quality is there, these figures are "force" to be rekoned with for any collector...don't let it go down with a wimper Hasbro!

Share your views and force-musings, fellow Action Collection fans...

Exhaust Port
02-10-2004, 10:18 PM
I would like to see them do some theme waves like 2-3 waves of Jedi from AOTC. Kit Fisko? They gave us the Bounty Hunter figures so things were looking up but then they let me down. Come on, there are tons of great looking Jedi from the battle that are itching to be made. Or how about completing the Jedi Council? or the rumored Jabba's band?

Hasbro seems scared off by the Prequals. We got a good assortment from the TPM but later waves became hard to find. AOTC had a very poor showing in the 12" line. A few were basically reissues from the TPM line. Most of the figures are from the OT which is OK to an extent but we had so many new characters that were visually exciting in AOTC that need to be made. I consider the 12" to have peaked with the release of the Ultimate Jango. Everything was looking great. Some new, exciting figures were coming out (Jango and Dooku were the premiere figures) as well as the new bodies. Jango was unique in that it came with a great package and some cool extras. At that point, I figured the sky was the limit with the 12" line.

Then nothing happened. More and more figures came out but they sucked. Not even of the same quality as Dooku or Jango, they were worse. Yes, there were some good figures from the OT but they were the exception, not the rule.

You're right Jedibear. They need to poll the collectors here. Compared to the smaller figures, the 12" line is geared more towards the collector. They cost more to buy and I'm sure a lot more to develop so they need to make sure each one is a winner. Right now the prices are rising, they are harder and harder to find as less places carry them and the figures themselves aren't very exciting. None of those are a good combination.

The accesory packs are a good idea. I would like to see some props made for the SW figures. The large gun used by the Snowtroopers, Moisture Condenser or Throne for the Emperor. They could even do the clothing that you mentioned. There are plenty of great bodies that can be used already on the market. Sell just the clothes for the Jedi or Imperial Officers and we can buy the bodies and create our own. The Ultimate Soldier line does this and I've purchased a few German soldiers this way.

Hasbro, are you listening?!

Kidhuman
02-10-2004, 10:41 PM
As someone who hasnt collected much of the 12" line, I have to say part of it was because of the product. I had started getting into the line and then it seemed to stop. The figures that came out were top notch. Ipurchased about 6 of them and then found no more. Now Ihave seen the JediLuke wave, and the only one Ireally want is the Biker Scout. Part of the reason is the price hike. Idont know if it is hasbro or just Wal-Mart, but 25 bucks a piece is expensive for the line. Iknow its not a far cry from 20 bucks, but how can you afford all of that at once? Hasbro, please put the price back to20 bucksa each(or cheaper :D) if you want some of us to keep buying them.

Paul Heaberlin
02-11-2004, 04:48 PM
Now I really like the likeness on the new Ben, it's excellent but what the hell is this paint job of a flesh tone that doesnt match? The quick draw Han has that problem too(but with a bad likeness the flesh tone is a moot point.


QUALITY hasbro we all want QUALITY.

jedibear
02-11-2004, 08:44 PM
...with USA Toyfare just around the corner, hopefully the time is right to get some well-considered feedback to Hasbro on the state of this line.
Exhaustport...I actually thought the offerings for AOTC were ok. I enjoyed the Obi-Wan with it's excellent likeness to Ewan...the Anakin was decent and the Clonetrooper looked good. The next wave features the best...the Jango was superb (and what's stopping Hasbro from doing more "Ultimate" releases featuring core characters with loads of accessories?...I never saw Jango sitting around for long or for that matter the 100th Luke from the previous year was excellent too)...the Dooku was very good (just wish he were taller) and the SuperBattle Droid had it's limitations (odd coloring, no posability) and Zam...well, while she was a decent figure, she just didn't move well. While they were exclusives, the Ki Adi Mundi & (very hard to find) Plo Koon were both very good. Let's see some more Jedi figures please (with robes)!
The next offerings from EpII did start to decline in quality...The horrid starchy-pants Anakin and the worst of the year period Bobble-head Padme signaled what was becoming a decline in quality. I agree that there are many great characters from AOTC that if care were taken, could be very cool entries in the 12" line (I'm especially partial to Poggle the Lessor and the Kamonions). While I can appreciate the focus on the classic characters with the impending release of the DVDs, I hope Hasbro will revisit the other prequel films for more 12" figures...

Turambar
02-11-2004, 10:33 PM
I touched on this subject in my last thread, so I will try not to repeat myself here.
But you're right, JediBear, how does hasbro make its decisions about what figures to produce and overall what direction to take the 12" line in? They certainly haven't considered the collector's desires. I will never believe there are any children collecting this line. I furthermore don't believe there are any new collectors in need of cheap rehashes when they can get superior figures off of ebay for less than retail.
Although the figure articulation may have been subpar for some of you, I still consider the Collector's Series to be the peak of the 12" line. That beautiful packaging could stand alone. Plus, all the accessories were there from jedi robes to lando's wrist watch to the little black leather belt around han's waist. Someone was really putting a lot of care into those figures, and it was the cloth outfits that really made them magical to me.
I'm almost afraid to see what abominations hasbro will be offering up for toyfair at this point. Many of us have offered great ideas for figures that we would snatch up in a heartbeat, but instead we get rehash after rehash & a price jack-up to boot!
At this point, it is obvious that hasbro doesn't care about the 12" line, but I still look forward to those gems (like garindan) that we see every year.

JediTricks
02-12-2004, 09:19 PM
I'm afraid it's too late for me, I've given up on the line completely. I spotted 12" Ben & Jawas last night, that was more insulting than exciting. The only thing that could pique my interest at this point would be to release great new sculpts on fantastic new bodies with tons of incredible new accessories and supreme paint jobs... and well-done droids.

jedibear
02-12-2004, 10:52 PM
Went to NY today and finally saw the new Obi-Wan wave. Everyone is right! The head sculpt is gaudy and strange, the robes look cheap and...I just couldn't bring myself to buy it (especially for $25. at WM). The Jawas looked a little better in person but the ones from '95 still outshine them (literally). The only one worth getting was Garindan....and even he had a bit of rehash to him....a slightly redone Imp outfit, the now-standard shiny boots.
I just hope hasbro has something significant to offer in this line at Toyfair or JT's right...this line is done.

jonthejedi
02-13-2004, 04:44 AM
I look back at the old line from '95 or '96...my gosh, what happened. The newer sculpts are horrid, the heads out of proportion, etc. Who's sculpting these? I miss the old book-flap type packageing that had a real collectible feel to it. I think things bottomed out after Plo Koon & Ki.Plastic jawas...and my orig. had cloth robes & light-up eyes. What can they be thinking?

Kidhuman
02-13-2004, 10:59 AM
Well with three new releases coming out later this year, Luke , Boba, and Stormy, all I can say is I hope they dont short these on shipping. They are gonna fly out of the stores. Especially Boba. That is the one I want the most.

Turambar
02-15-2004, 11:41 PM
Just for fun, let's rewind a year and pretend someone who actually cared was calling the shots for the 12" line. The aotc yoda would have been released with one of the aotc waves long before the demand for this figure died down.
The upcoming rehashed boba fett could have been released with wave 2 of the bounty hunters.
We get to the lando skiff wave, now. This is a great time for a jabba's palace themed wave with the exclusive gam guard coming out. We think lando is a core character so there's no point in rehashing a tired and disgusting han solo. Instead, using many similar pieces from the lando skiff, include an ultra cool weequay in the wave. Then, maybe the once rumored oola figure to round it out. Also good time to announce a coming rebo band in the future.

Next, the endor wave. We've got the Leia & speeder out now, and Yoda was released back when aotc fever was raging. Rehash the biker scout which there is demand for from those that want to army build without bying the overpriced speeder. Let's do something logical, and put the AT-ST driver in this wave, too. Now since we must rehash a core character, why not endor luke for anyone who didn't want to pay for the speeder. And finally the ewok 2 pack. Except, this time, with logray why not include an ewok that is conclusively in the movie -- or even better -- one that is popular -- like teebo! Ahh, much better.

Now onto the tattooine disappointment at the start of 04. This will really generate some excitement. Another 4 figure wave including Garindan, and to round out the original vintage 21 figures: hammerhead, snaggletooth, and the gonk droid!

Coming into toyfair, the 12 line is doing great, collectors are satisfied and excited about the upcoming rebo band eager to see what else is on the platter for 04.
Sorry, I was just dreaming.

jedibear
02-17-2004, 04:12 PM
....you sum up a good plan that would appeal to the collectors that actually BUY this line instead of the kids who don't.

Oh...seen the pics for the forthcoming classic wave (with the retro packaging) and other than the packaging...these look more "doll-like" than ever (with the exception of the Stormtrooper). Sigh. I guess this collection's on the backburner til EpIII...