View Full Version : Army Building Guilt

Val Da Car
06-12-2004, 11:55 PM
Ok...I feel I need to come clean. I wanted to recreate the scene of the Imperial Shuttle coming into the Death with all of the troops awaiting the disembark of the VIP on the shuttle.

Except I never had enough (HOF or Commtech or Fan Club) Stormtroopers...until now. I bought 45 of them online and I now feel guilty about it since I denied someone else the opportunity to buy them.

Any comments or am I just a bastage!

06-13-2004, 12:44 AM
I think buying that quantity online is fine. Don't sweat it. But the "bastages" are the singular guys who feel completely fine wiping out a retail brick and mortar store of their army builders in the morning before real people have a chance to shop at lunch or after work.

Old Fossil
06-13-2004, 12:58 AM
Stillakid's right. Online sources are tailor made for army-builders such as yourself. I'd go further and say not to worry too much about relieving your local Wal-Mart or Target of its trooper-type figures, either; if you don't buy 'em, some other collector will, someone who is probably doing the same thing as you are. Now if you're a scalper, buying up army-builders to make a quick buck on EBay, then may your soul fester in Hades. ;)

Personally, if I find 4 Stormtroopers on the pegs at WM, I'll probably buy at least two, maybe three, but leave one for kids. Then again, I only bought 3 of the dozen or more SA Clones I happened upon at TRU a few months back; and I don't really regret leaving all those others. I'm not a big diorama builder, I just like small displays of individual loose figures against the backdrop of my small MOC collection.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-13-2004, 07:08 PM
The sad thing is that we have to worry about this at all. if someone in retail, or more likely, the person who decides on case assortments, were doing their job, there would be plenty of figures for all.

I remember back in the days of POTF2, when I bought three of every figure, I often would only buy one set at a time, leaving the others for someone else knowing that I'd have no problem getting the rest on my next visit. You could do this with vehicles back then as well; see that they were out, and come back on another date to buy them. Try doing that now. If you don't buy something the moment you see it, you can pretty much forget ever seeing it again.

Of course, during the vintage line, all the figures were available aplenty all of the time.

Val Da Car
06-13-2004, 07:29 PM

That the exact feeling I just could not put a finger on in my case.

On top of this some of the other "collectors" I know share figures they run across but I have one "friend" who I have essentially picked up also every figure since Summer 2002 for him since I have a better since of timing on getting SW stuff.

I can personally say that at the high point have contacted him 10 to 1 when I found stuff that I did not think he had.

In fact I got him J'Quille and still don't have one for me.

The reason I bring this up is because he asked me for like 3 or 4 of the stormtroopers (and he would reimburse me) but I am not sure I have them to sell once my dioramas are complete.

Do I seem bitter?

06-13-2004, 08:23 PM
No you are just bastage! BTW what is a bastage?

06-13-2004, 09:15 PM
The reason I bring this up is because he asked me for like 3 or 4 of the stormtroopers (and he would reimburse me) but I am not sure I have them to sell once my dioramas are complete.

Do I seem bitter?

I used to get figures for someone before he quit. I pretty bought everything and he paid me back. The way we saw it if one of us picked it up then it was ours and the other got the left overs. If you want all the stormtroopers then keep 'em. I'm sure he can find one of those army builder packs on ebay or something. It's nice to get hings for people but it's another to let them abuse you. Helping people shouldn't make you bitter.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-13-2004, 09:24 PM
Agreed. Are you sure he even looks anymore with you out there doing it for him? I knew someone who kept picking stuff up for a friend of his who lived a couple states away, then the friend would go out and pick some of the stuff up anyway, and call and say, "don't bother sending that one, I've got one" or "I actually decided I don't want that one," etc. My friend kept getting stuck with all these extra Bib Fortunas, etc. and stopped trying to return them since he felt like he was always bringing stuff back to the store while the customer service person looked at him like "why did you buy all of these in the first place."

He ended up stooping picking stuff up for his friend, who couldn't believe that he would do this to him.

I don't know what your situation is, but this guy was so incompletely ungrateful.

It's tough with picking up the extra figures. I used to try doing it to trade with, but I kept ending up with stuff that one week would be scarce, then the next week would be abundant. I don't do it so much anymore, since it means spending money of figures I'm not sure I can get rid of instead of spending the money on stuff I could use.

With that in mind, I still have an extra Tanus Speejak if anyone's looking. Pm me if you're interested. My trade list is pretty small since I'm mostly caught up. I'd also be happy with cost + shipping.

Val Da Car
06-13-2004, 09:25 PM
No you are just bastage! BTW what is a bastage?

dictionary.com define bastage as __________



Val Da Car
06-13-2004, 09:28 PM
ok...now that I am going to have 69 ( I am serious) any suggestions on which diorama I should do first?

06-14-2004, 07:52 AM
Its all good. DOnt sweat it Val. Buying that amount online is good. At least you arent scalping them. Then you wouldbe a bastage. :beard:

Val Da Car
06-14-2004, 09:09 AM
Scalping defined as:

selling them to another for them to markup or just selling them on eBay to other collectors.....that would then make me a HW Scalper.


My Diorama thoughts are either the Tantive IV hallway (which Vader shall I choose) or the Death Star Chase itself?

Dark Marble
06-14-2004, 09:21 AM
Yeah I have some guilt myself. I love to army build. It was always a dream of my brother and mine when we were kids to have the main good guys of a line and a ton of generic bad guys for them to fight. If it wasn't stormtroopers, it was B.A.T.S. or something for G.I. Joe.

I am now looking to fill out my stormy ranks as well as my tie fighter pilots. In general my rules are 6 of every "army builder" type figure, but that seems to be a loose rule right now since very few in my collection have stayed at 6. However, I have 4 Tie Fighters, 4 Tie Interceptors, and 4 Tie Bombers which are all getting new fighter pilots. I have been able to find six pilots at large so far and that has been over several months. But when I find them I buy them and I open them. I hate to gobble them up like that, but I really love the new pilots!!!

Long story short (too late) don't feel to guilty about army building. Truth be told that is what the figures are there for. And a gang of stormtroopers looks good standing around waiting for some rebels to shoot. :evil:

Val Da Car
06-15-2004, 11:36 PM
The Imperial army grows more...

all 45 arrived...barely....the larger of the two boxes arrived opened!

the cheap tape used took a hit from a heavier box and broke open...bent cards..the box crushing them, etc.

all there though. now I do need more TIE pilots...and the local K Mart (that's right) just got in two waves of the Ozzel box with more TIE pilots....maybe I should replace the pack in figures for those ships also?

good idea

06-16-2004, 08:14 AM
Val I have an extra if you wanna trade. He is MOC. I need any Endor wave figure.

Val Da Car
06-16-2004, 01:09 PM
In my travels I have yet to actaully see any of the Endor wave but I will keep an eye out for you.

06-18-2004, 02:16 PM
Nothing wrong with what you did, Val. I mean, the army-builder sets have been available for some time now and if the stormies are readily available at a decent price, why not take advantage of it.

06-18-2004, 02:42 PM
Would I be a "bastage" if I bought several of one figure to sell or trade to friends who can't get them where they live??? Is that considered scalping?
Where did you get 45 at man???

06-18-2004, 02:45 PM
Not at all. Just today I bought some extra figures that people have been looking for. I offered themin trade or what not. Even trade is one thing, but if you want more for it then you would be a "bastge"" and a :beard:less one at that.

06-18-2004, 02:54 PM
Well I guess I'm not a "bastage" then. I give it to them for what I paid.

Val Da Car
06-18-2004, 04:16 PM
I did miss the fire sale that the Wizard of the Coast fan club had for the stormtroopers when they got dumped by Lucas.

I did find them at etoys.com (spinoff of kbtoys.com)

06-28-2004, 08:09 AM
They were selling the 4 packs at WOTC for $1...I don't think you denied anyone the pleasure.

I actually have that diarama, I picked up 99 cent stormtroopers back in 1999 at tru...about 200 of them.

06-28-2004, 08:17 AM
I hadn't heard about the 4/$1 before. Blasted my luck.

I thought I was doing good finding the comtech stormies for $2!

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
06-28-2004, 11:36 PM
Do you think we've missed the days of major clearance sales on Star Wars figures? The Summer of 2000 was an epic summer in terms of sales, with several of us getting figures for $2. Sales were cheap and numerous. Since then, I have seen only a few sparse sales, like Target's 4.77 figure sale (original 4.99 :sur: ) and clearances, no where near the $2 levels. It makes it much harder to build an army when you have to pay full price.

06-28-2004, 11:50 PM
Well, Target had the great 1.18 clearance at the beginning of the year. GOt R1 and Bar2 for 3 bucks total there

B'Omarr Monkey
06-29-2004, 12:02 AM
Except for the dump of early saga figures, I haven't seen a single figure marked down anywhere else since Ep. 1.

06-29-2004, 07:06 AM
I believe there are cases of Saga and CW figures collecting dust in warehouses somewhere. I never saw the second wave of CW figures at the Target I frequent the most (I stop in there 2 - 3 times a week, as well as friends I know who collect) and KB has not received the clone pilot wave of figures yet either.

So, yes, I believe there is a chance for us to get clearanced figures sometime before Ep. 3 hits full-force at some retail outlet.

Old Fossil
06-29-2004, 07:21 AM
Do you think we've missed the days of major clearance sales on Star Wars figures?

I almost hope not. It seems very good for collectors in the short run, but bad for the long-term health of the hobby.

06-29-2004, 07:30 AM
I would say it is heathier for the hobby not to have huge sales. It means everything is selling and there is no reason to mark it down to cost or less to get it to move. While it sucks for buying 10 troopers to put up a fight against your 20 Hans, the less retailers have to bite the bullet on figures the better.

06-29-2004, 07:43 AM
Well TRU has a ton of old Saga figures by me. They arent moving there, so expect those to be clearnaced.

Val Da Car
06-29-2004, 11:44 AM

TRU bites...I am sure everyone has a TRU that is still trying to sell the Ellors, Bespin figures at $4.99.

I told the Manager in the two near me to give them away for every DVD presell they do.

That will be the only way to get rid of 4 or 5 year old figures.

but I figure some scalper puke would try to return/exchange them for a new figure.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
06-29-2004, 10:36 PM
I almost hope not. It seems very good for collectors in the short run, but bad for the long-term health of the hobby.

I see your point. Clearances like many stores had in Episode I, were bad for the long run. The early waves of Episode II were almost as bad as well (just see Kay Bee). However, it seems that before a line is introduced a clearance is necessary, just to clear the pegs and make room for the line. I don't remember any clearances for POTJ so that was good news for Hasbro. The Clone Wars line seems profitable as well much of the latter Saga waves.

I am just sick of seeing Hoth Troopers, Aalya Secura's and R3POs up the wazoo. Just when my local TRU seems to get rid of them after months of infestation, they come back in greater numbers. Now the only time people are going to buy them is if they can get them for cheap.

06-30-2004, 07:14 AM
Round here, the majority of peg-warmers are HOF figs -- snowtrooper, SC Anakin. The Yavin and Jabba wave are mixed in at variest levels at different stores.

Only TRU has Ayala, Barris and the younglings in abundance. Oh, and the POTJ Bespin guard.

07-06-2004, 03:32 PM
My greed for armies for my dioramas has always been greater than my guilt.

I have something like 70+ stormtroopers, 35 Naboo Royal Guards (the harder to find one with removeable helmet), and I army-built with other extremely hard to find figures - and I know I contributed to the problem because I shop at retail.

But the rationale that "if not me, than another army builder or worse: a scalper," holds.

However, since I collect in a group of 7 (counting me), I have to share my finds with the bunch, helping each other out and building proportionately.

That is:

If I want 20 and someone wants 5 - I get 3/5 of my finds until they are done. Conversely, the group shares with me the same way and we keep each other updated honestly. I got nearly 40 Gungan Warriors while they were only 1 per case this way.

How strong is my guilt? I won't discuss some army builders on this site because I'd make people extremely mad I'd suspect (but it's an accomplishment I'm itching to talk about, yet seeing as how I did share before with my collecting group, I'm not going to share now because I left myself only exactly what I needed).

Val Da Car
07-06-2004, 04:17 PM
Tycho has opinions on everything.

Tycho is always right.

Tycho is an authority. You should listen to him.


btw I was collecting in group of 4 but I contributed more in 3 months then they offered up in a year.

I even got one the full set of three Clone Wars Bonus Packs (when KBtoys had their 30% off everything sale) and I bearly got a thank you.

In FACT I have had Fantastic trades with other forum members in comparison to the group that I have worked with in the past.

not that I have 69 Storm troopers, 24 Snowtroopers, 4 Super ARTs, 30+ Red, 110 Battle droids, 12 Antilles, 7 Dodonna's it is just the beginning *Mu HAHAHA*.....whoops lost a little there

I will get the snow scene up in the Diorama forums and then rebuild the Geonosian Diorama soon.

jedi master sal
07-06-2004, 04:41 PM
I don't begrudge you of your Army building ways, Tycho. You know I've been an army builder since the begining as well.

I'm not an early riser shopper, so I don't get to stores until 6pm usually. For awhile it was the case that I couldn't find squat because of scalpers and early morning collectors. Now I have no guilt what so ever when I find 4 sets of the 3 pack of Green clone trooper for $8 each. It took me forever to get that one, no doubt because of the same overzealous scalpers and early morning collectors. Fine by me, they paid anywhere from $3-5 more for their sets and I got them a bit cheaper and in greater numbers.

I'm pushing 200 Clones in their various incarnations, around that in stormtroopers as well. And I'll keep building them as long as Hasbro produces them.

(Tycho, you lucky so and so, with the Naboo Royal Guard-NRG ha ha) I had the misfortune of finding three but not having the money back when they first came out. Though they were found at Wal*Mart and I should have had the sense to put them on layaway, back then. I haven't made that mistake ever again. I now have about 6 of those myself.

Thanks to eBay sometimes for the "lots" of figures. I've picked up alot of army builders cheap that way. Part of the good thing about being an army builder is that once you have your first as carded (if you collect that way) you don't care about the card after that. So when you see a fig with a messed up card that the carded collector wouldn't even consider, you buy it. It helps the stores and you get your fig. I do want to interject here though that at no time should anyone maliciously bend cards for the sake of hoping a carded collector won't buy them so you can get them later. For one that's borderline criminal as you are seeking to destroy or mangle store property. I've never done this even though it might have benifitted me. You should never be to that point in collecting where you want to screw over your fellow collector.
Anyway, you can get "lots" of figures loose for cheap. Some army builder some not, but they can go for a steal sometimes.

Now back to the guilt of being an army builder. I'd have to say that I really dont' have much at all. I'm of the mind that since I go out 4-5 times a week looking for stuff that I'll find ti eventually. Besides I troll on eBay enough for what I want. I buy for 2 people on a regular basis and at least 4 more on a somewhat regular basis. When I see new stuff, I get my one per figure first, then start making calls on my cell to those for whom I buy. If they want, I get them one each, if the don't of don't pick upi the phone then and only then after I've exhausted those calls do I buy extras. For the two I buy a bit for, one is great about giving me tips or buying for me. It also helps that he works for Target, so we get them first and he uses his discount so we get them cheaper.

He is the only person I do this with so please no flames. This guy was a friend and fellow collector, long before he worked for Target. His getting a job there was not for getting the drop on Star Wars toys, it's just a nice benefit.

Oh and Val, your not a bastage for getting those 45 online. Your one because I didn't get to them first and you didn't share the link.... J/K ;) ha ha


Val Da Car
07-06-2004, 04:48 PM

After I bought the 45 they were out of stormtroopers.....Image that...


07-06-2004, 05:40 PM
Well, I'd bought 20 straight army builders of one particular type from an online vendor myself.

I got 23 of my NRG's from a guy who ran an online store in the East Coast.

As far as working with collecting groups? Here's my story (if anyone cares):

Tony - met him when he came up to me in college at the cafeteria after having recognized me from haunting the isles at Toys R Us. Been my best friend since 1996. We first started feeding each other information only - and then meeting at stores when they were unloading cases, hanging out talking SW, and then splitting the goods. Later we split up, covering two stores instead of one, and then sharing later. We both made connections with store managers who liked us and found us polite and interesting to talk to.

BTW - my girlfriend got a digital camera. Look for pictures of my dioramas sooner than later. (Now it has to be delivered to her, and then we have to figure out how to work the darn thing! - so I suppose I'll spill it - I have 40 something Super Articulated Clone Troopers.... I know I'm evil or something, right?

Anyway - I got EVERYONE in my group the majority of their Clones.

James I met at a dealer-scalper store. We made an alliance - he'd been scalping to get $$ for his army builders. I'd buy them for him, and he'd trade me stuff I was looking for. Later James built my whole Gungan army - and also got me 3 Tatooine Skiff Vehicles which I'd never found in my stores. He started joining our group for movies - especially the Star Wars premiers, but Spiderman, X-men, etc. as well.

Darren - was James' trading partner and I became friends with him because we also both love all the comics and books for SW and he along with James are excellent customizers. Darren made all the Tales of the Jedi figures you see best rendered on the web, as well as Villie, Quinlan Vos, etc. Together James and Darren are sort of famous as the men behind Master-and-Apprentice Customs. James is the Master, Darren is the Apprentice (though Darren has his moments when he is definitely the Master). James made a whole Yuuzhan Vong army though! That looks awesome!

Dexter was first Tony's friend and a staple at Wal-Mart in the mornings. A great Philipino guy, I've since become friendly with his wife and family. He is one of the nicest guys I know. Unfortunately, he has Complete-is-itis and plans to buy all the OTC repacks for their packaging, so I have to find them for him. Dexter just delivered to me 5 Whipids and 7 Eloms when they are so hard to find out there. He too has made great connections at his stores. We hang out for lunch, go to movies together, and talk shop online as well.

Mike, the Webmaster of another very major SW site, is run by one of my best trading partners. A few SA Clones came from him, as well as certain things I have like Kitik Keed Kak who's been in my Mos Eisley Cantina diorama for 2 years almost. I met him at Wal-Mart when I was trying to buy the last 2 Darth Maul on SithSpeeder 12" Exclusives and slip out the door without another collector protesting. Mike caught me, but I didn't know who he was (and he didn't want Maul anyway) so he didn't stop me. In any case, I suggested that if he had the connections he said he did, we'd hook up if he could contribute to our group. We had our insiders by then, and didn't need to spread ourselves too thin. So if he coughed up stuff, we'd reciprocate. Like I said, he got my Kitik Keed Kak for only $15. I've gotten Mike his M-O-M-C stuff for a while now, but can't match what he usually is able to get.

Jose, a manager of a certain retail store giant, he became friends with his most-polite collectors, and also shared an interest. We helped him get other store exclusives, while he helped us land 30 R2D2 with Leia Holos and other fine pillage prizes. He went with us to Indianapolis for Celebration 2, and he's at most of the movie-premiers we do as a group.

Trust came quickly for all of us - sometimes because I (or others) took their chances that being nice to someone else would pay off. We've all been friends for at least 5 years or more now - and we have about every store in our county covered - one person per store except when we do stuff like known-shipments or Midnite Madness together.

We'll all be going to San Diego Comic Con as a group too.

So perhaps it depends on the people in your area, but SW collecting helped me make some of my best friends and achieve great things in my collection.

B'Omarr Monkey
07-06-2004, 06:26 PM
With that positive story about sharing in mind, Tycho, if you would like to help out with something I need from the San Diego Con, which in no way competes with your own collecting needs, PM me.

I was hoping to go, but a family obligation on the same weekend is preventing that.

Val Da Car
07-06-2004, 06:41 PM
Very cool indeed,

Once I have finish training and testing at my new roles at work, maybe I will (or my wife) get to open all of the Army building figures.

as for the 40 SA Clones.....AWESOME BABY!!!!

I only have 4 and I am happy with them...couple of Red ARC troopers (not counting the ones I painted,either) and 3 packs galore......

I don't feel guilty anymore.

the only thing that has me nervous is what will the clone/stormtroopers look like in Episode 3?

(this actually means how many will I have to get!!!!)


07-06-2004, 06:58 PM
The Clones in E3 are a cross between the Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers. I suppose that's not too big of spoiler:

1) the figures will be out before the movie
2) army builders need to know now, so they are not stockpiling and spending on Clones they can't use. Indeed I bought a lot of extra Clone 3-packs, but I am using them to recreate realistic scenes from the Animated Series. Perhaps old Clones will be seen in E3 as well. I could use them any way - for battles Clones are needed in remote deployment, before their armor can be updated or they are relieved by fresh troops in the new gear.
3) Apparently E3 clones will have different markings: desert, snow, urban warfare, jungle ops, etc. So don't overstock on any particular kind when they debut.

What did I need with 40 some SA Clones?

Believe it or not, they are all in the same pose: standing at attention.

I did not do the Emperor's Arrival scene since everyone else does it so well. (I have an abreviated scene that stops just in front of the shuttle with room for Palpatine, 2 dignitaries, 2 royal guards, that's it - if you were there on the DS, you'd be standing where Jerjerrod and Vader were, in front of all the troops who'd be behind you). I needed all my stormtroopers elsewhere.

I used the SA Clones to hold their guns across their chests in perfect formation for 2 scenes:

Kamino "Magnificent, aren't they?" when Lama Su shows Obi-Wan all the Clones. There are 11 of the SA's in formation, led by a red Captain. To the side, 6 Deluxes are putting on their armor, some kids are being escorted by Taun We. Eventually I'd like to add a few in red jumpsuits, out of armor if Hasbro makes that figure. "They are totally obedient, taking any order."

The other scene is from the end of the movie, with Palpatine, Bail Organa, JarJar, Typho, Mas Amedas, 2 Royal Guards, Orm Free Taa, and hopefully a few other figures like a Gran, Ishi Tibb, Rodian dignitary, all on a balcony watching the Clones "parade-ground assemble." There are about 25-30 of my Clones lined up in that scene, interspersed with Red, Blue, and Yellow commanders at very small ratios so that about 40 Clones totally are assembled. (CW 2-packs contributed to the highly poseable ranked Clone figures). An Action Fleet Republic Star Destroyer (AOTC era) will hang above the whole group in the complete diorama. (I had to take this one down for space though - as I initially set it up on top of my refrigerator so I could measure the room it took up and how many clones I'd use. When a new figure debuts, I test-set the scene immediately, so that I can go out and buy all I'd need and then be done shopping for the figure).

I saved several extras in case they do appear in E3. I wanted to have them with Vader posing at attention, but now it looks like they might use different Clones in the movie (heck, maybe a different version of an earlier Vader even) So I will cautiously hang on to them. I'm sure I'll find a use for them, or I'll know only after I see E3 and what's in there.

In any case, my Kamino picture might debut soon. My girlfriend has to get her camera.

07-09-2004, 08:18 AM
Question: the at-attention clone troopers, are they the bootlegs from Asia or Hasbro released verisons?

07-11-2004, 03:35 PM
They are the Hasbro released versions - Super Articulated Clone Troopers.

I bought them because I could pose them at attention.

In fact I've never used as SA Clone for battle scenes:

I have 35 Sneak Preview Clones who double-handle a long rifle (Green POTJ card - well, when they were bough they were on a card - all loose now)

I have something like 15 or so Red Clone Captains - regular Saga figure. He can almost be posed at attention, but since he's an officer, he can be made to look like he's not perfectly in line because he's making sure his men are.

I bought probably 10 (maybe less) 3-packs of all-white Clones.

3-4 Green member 3-packs
2-3 Blue member 3-packs
1 Red member 3-pack (I think. I didn't want these because I had reds from Saga)
2-3 Yellow member 3-packs for my commanders

I also bought the 2-packs and got my ARC Troopers with regular Clones, sort of pretty articulate (didn't use them yet because I don't have room to set up my ARC Trooper scenes right now)

I got my Anakin CW figures with Blue Troopers - but didn't need more than 2-3 Anakins (like 1 to pilot his JediStarfighter and for other scenes I hadn't been expecting)

1 got like 1 Yoda with a yellow Clone - just to get the Clone. I'll have some scene where Yoda is posed w/o that silly poncho, but he usually wears his tan outer cloak, so...

I had no way to get regular standing at-attention Clones - and didn't need any SA's to pose fighting because of all of the above.

So I went to the stores EVERY evening and hung out for a while up to closing time and watched the pallets - and then I went home and slept and came back every morning to buy when I knew it would be hot. The manager saw I was dedicated, and on several occasions reasoned I'd get these anyway, so I was sold like 9 SA Clones at a time. The Kits and SaeSees I left behind sold as well, - they were new figures, so the cases sold through and more were automatically ordered. I stopped when I'd gotten like 55-60 SA Clones, distributing many of them (15-20 of them) to my collectors' group, and keeping the approximately 40 I wanted for myself.

It took 23 to line up, with room left for officers, for the scene at the end of AOTC with Palpatine watching his army from the balcony.

It took 11 of them to do the Kamino line-up scene (which I deliberately wanted smaller than "Palpatine's power" scene.

So that's where 34 of them went. As to whether I have 6 more...I might. One is on my wall in my office here - he's been opened and I'd tried to use him on a speederbike to replace the Removeable Armor Clones so I could have both (bikerscouts CW era and dudes putting on their armor, like when Obi-Wan observes them). The SA Clone does not ride the bike well because his hips don't separate wide enough (the opposite problem is true of the Leia General figure who they insisted on using a speederbike torso for). So luckily, I found Deluxe Clone Speederbikes at a Factory 2 You store for like $2 each, and I loaded up (probably 5 was all they had) to augment my Battle For Geonosis scene. The extra SA's (if I have 1-3 or more up to six) will be saved "just in case," and I hope some are scene in E3, as I love these Clones and could pose them at attention with Vader - but maybe not due to spoilers.

But the bootlegs were cracked down on, and slightly off next to Hasbro figures I'd have to mix them with, so I couldn't go that route because it would have been cheaper and I would have gotten more sleep too.

07-11-2004, 05:09 PM
That was very sweet of you to give up 20 of your 60 SA's. How did you come to terms to let them go.:Ponder:

07-11-2004, 06:24 PM
I sense your post dripping with sarcasm (maybe not) however, I'll answer our collector group proceedures:

There are 7 of us.

We e-mail our current "wants," such as I want 8 Cloud Car Pilots right now.

That's a good example, so I'll use it:

If I find 8 myself,

I keep 2 and distribute 1 to each member of the group.

When they find figures, they send some back my way.

This way, if there is a shortage of CCPs, everyone who wants to be a completist has one, and those who want pilots for at least one Cloud Car, will have that reasonably soon.

If when I find 8, Darren finds four or so, I'll keep "his" from my catch, and he won't give me one before any other member of our group.

With Clones, I think all of us wanted "armies of some extent."

Typically, the guys wanted 10-12 each.

Together we are:

2 of every kind
customizer plus loose completist
customizer plus loose completist
1 of every kind to open (now it's keep carded - he changes on us)
1 MOMC completist w. variation hunting
massive diorama builder with army needs
massive diorama builder with army needs

With the Clones those counts were:

2 (1 of each pose)

We all had our assigned stores and obviously the other guys found and completed their want lists. THIS MEANS THAT AT LEAST 93 SA CLONES WERE SHIPPED TO THE SAN DIEGO AREA! Actually, I found the most clones because I was the most dedicated to this particular figure. Some of the other guys went after Ephant Mon (back in the day) and J'Quille and the Elom with similar passion, althogh none of us really wanted more than 10 of any of those figures - and likely the guys used some stuff for trades or to help others they have limited online relationships with or whatever. But in any case, we operated like this:

If I found a bunch, like I was doing, I distributed them evenly, fulfilling each guy's wants, and keeping someone's "turn for a figure" when they reported finding their own and not needing one. We each visit each other in our homes etc. so we know what people have and we don't keep secrets from each other or double-cross each other. We've been doing this for 6-8 years now and we have great track records. I was the one finding the clones though because my Wal-Mart was either really hot, or I just put in the most effort - every night and every morning until the demand was filled.

So as 3 of the guys who only wanted 2 Clones' desires were fulfilled, they maintained their commitment to the group and went out and found at least 2 more Clones to contribute back into the pot.

We deal with those who participate and help the group first. Like I said, one of the major SW site webmasters is in our group and we basically made him prove himself to us (I don't recollect what he coughed up to the group now) but that way we are not taken advantage of.

In the case of Naboo Royal Guards, our system failed me (I wanted 35) and I eventually got all I needed from online. By buying online, I may have patronized scalpers who got them to the online dealers raiding retail stores, instead of upping retail sales so our stores ordered more SW as being seen as being profitable. However, all my 21 or so NRGs I got online were Tri-Logo that came from far away from here (California, USA). So perhaps I aided scalping in another country, but I think the guy I was dealing with had a Diamond Distributors account.

But, had I been lax on the Clones, I would have possibly been buying online from Scalpers now.

I WOULD still be after the Clones no matter what. You don't understand: if I say I wanted 40 of them, I WILL get 40 of them - so e-Bay etc is a last resort.

There are several reasons why YOU or others who wanted them didn't get as many as you want:

1. Your stores weren't shipped them in the first place.
2. You did not check night pallets and first-thing-as-the-doors open

2a. Your schedule made in impossible. You physically had to be at school or work when the store opened, or you couldn't wake up super-early and be ready to go to school or work immediately from Wal-Mart (in other words you can't leave Wal-Mart, already ready for work, at 7:05 am with 10-12 Clones, and make it to work on time for some commuter-difficulty reason

You would have gotten the figures if you did what I did. Yes, it was more important to me to have the figures than to get 8 hours of sleep. I averaged 4-5 and got a little sick while I was doing this. POINT: I had bought 60 SA Clones within 10-14 days and then I didn't SW shop the rest of the Christmas season - I mean who would want to? I caught up on my sleep instead.

2b. You didn't want to. In which case someone who did want to deserved the figures more than you did. They could have been bought by scalpers if they were left on the rack. I would share half the batch in hand (or 1/3 to each if there were 3 people there, etc.) if people who wanted my clones were standing right there in front of me. I wouldn't know if they were scalpers or not, but at least they were making the effort.

3. If your schedule made it impossible and you lived in my area where my syndicate operates, we were done in less than 2 weeks. If Hasbro and our retailers shipped more, you'd have had only to compete with others who do what I do when shopping, or the later crowd - including someone armybuilding at 10:30am etc. (if you can't go until after school or work or something). I don't know if more shipped. Even Kit Fisto and SaeSee quickly sold in my area (the rest of that case). I was done with it and out of people's ways.

4. If it is not worth it to play this "game" (and I had fun doing it - I was the Republic Clone Commander on the cell phone when I called our strike team each morning - depending upon how many Clones you found, you advanced in rank. I think Mike and Dexter both made Captain, while the other guys made Leiutenient, and our slow-pokes that round were a Sergeant and Trooper, he-he-he. - We gave the lower ranks orders to cover stores we didn't want to after we scored big hits! It was fun. Had someone else had the tenacity, they could have supplanted me as Supreme Clone Commander. We'd have to make them a Jedi General then ;) ) - well any way, if it was not worth it to you to play this game, you can trade with other people online who lessen the value of their efforts to get these figures, who army build less than someone like myself does, and therefore has extras, or you can buy them online for reasonable or unreasonable prices.

5. Sensitivity about Army Building ethics was polled on in the polls sections in 3-4 Collector Ethics series of polls I did right before Midnite Madness around Episode 2's time when I had plans to raid the first TRU for 30 Geonosian Warriors as soon as the doors opened, and I was like in the first 6 in line because I'd positioned myself like that, trading bathroom and food breaks with members of my striketeam who were in line with me. (we split the who force up and 3 of us went to another TRU to be the first in line at that one - fortunately too, because my TRU didn't get Luminara, Taun We, and the Royal Guards which I wanted a small pile of).

The clock turns



6:59:59 at Wal-Mart


7:59:59 at Target



In a blaze of glory the ultimate Mandalorian Commando Collector Unit has hit and faded before you could blink!

07-11-2004, 07:14 PM
Here is what a majority of SirSteve's Guide's readers said.

Note: the old polls should be a fun read - some people got really mad at me and said I behaved abhorently or that I only wrote the polls to alleviate the last twinges of guilt I had in my collecting practices.

Well, that's what some said. Here is how most voted:

In the last few waves of figures, how many did you ultimately want to buy? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=5578)

235 people voted

37% buy small multiples of army builders (troops or aliens useful in several scenes)
25% want just 1 of each
22% buy huge armies or groups of useful aliens, etc.
14% are the 2 of each (one carded, one loose bunch)

Well, now that's what they WANTED TO HAVE.

Why don't you go out and get your figures at 7 or 8 in the morning? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=4965)

A whopping 659 people responded to this!

38% said they can't stop on their way to work or school. I'm sorry for them that the hobby is ruthless like that, but things do give me hope for them.

23.7% said they'd like to sleep instead. I feel no pity for them! I'd like to sleep as well. I don't go out every morning, but there are times when it's very intelligent to do so and the word is out in the Just Found Forums on the web - so hey, you gotta make the sacrafice or don't complain about people who do.

So that accounts for why 61% of people who don't find all they want, don't get it.

16% of the respondents here (106 people from all over the nation and international community) actually say they DO go out and shop like I do - when the stores first open - and THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM FINDING ANYTHING!

That's 87% of everyone collecting responding now. A smaller group divided their answers between some other unusual reason they couldn't go out and get items, and the reason that they didn't know when to bother going (Hello: JUST FOUND FORUMS! East Coast gets stuff first for us Westerners - except Target - they ship West to East it seems).

So only 16% of us are actually there when we should definitely get figures, but nearly 34% of us could be versus posting here complaining about distribution.

So now what does the majority think about hoarders?

When someone first finds new figures, do they deserve armies of their favorites? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=5237)

436 people responded.

42% of the people said "Yes. Army Build all you want! You were there first!" - and not even 34% of the people who can make the effort to be there first actually bother to do so. Therefore, first-come-first-serve army building is accepted in the Star Wars collecting community.

29% of the respondents said "No they shouldn't walk out with stacks of these figures" because they thought "they must be scalping them if they buy that many." Apparently, some collectors still don't know that others want to have armies up to the numbers of legions - though in a store, how do you tell them and a scalper apart? I guess you have to confront them and ask them.

I believe they should share with you however many you want (up to half their stash) but if you plan to re-stock the other figures (because you only collect 1 of each kind or whatever) then you should take your 1 figure and leave the army builder alone. He shared with you afterall and you don't know if he is a scalper anyway. I buy piles and I never scalp. So there.

Here's what people said about in store ethics:

If more than 1 collector shows up at your store at the same time as you, what do you do with new figures you've found? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=5921)

578 people responded to this question. Geeze. Remember back in the days when we had that many people posting here? It won't be until April or May 2005 until it's not just us die-hards in the club...

Anyway, 578 people:

39% said they should share everything equally until the new stock is fairly distributed. - That's funny. 34% of us could be there. It looks like if we were, we'd have no trouble sharing with other SW collectors. This defeats the argument that people are a-holes and you don't want to be in that kind of environment. It would seem you'd have to be really shy then to not want to personally meet other people you'd probably get along with really well and develop new trade partnerships like my syndicate with.

30% said they'd hoard everything first, but then divide things up and share what they didn't need or thought was considerate. Hey - that's still nice. You still would get what you went there for - and that's from a combined total of 69% of the SW community. That means you only have less than a 1/3 chance of meeting an a-hole.

22% said they are total jerks and behave badly.

How does that hold up in practice?

How are people behaving in the toy isles? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=7180)

62% of the people say there is no problem and everyone gets along fine.

24% say there are a few trouble makers. That means you have a 1/3 chance of meeting a jerk who's has only a 1/4 chance of being representative of Star Wars collectors in your area.

Only 7% have witnessed serious running or pushing.

I'll tell you: when I went out after the SA Clones, there were maybe 3-5 people there for toys at my store - all HotWheels collectors who'd possibly have scalped any hot SW figures I'd have left behind. They were by the cars, I had no competition in the action figure isle.

So any way, enjoy these poll threads and read the old discussion and see what opinions you agree with. I'll be doing that. It's kind of fun looking back on what we all used to think. Especially at a time close to all the AOTC movie hype.

07-11-2004, 07:19 PM
Me be sarcastic? Never.;)

07-12-2004, 07:20 AM
I purchased over 100 stormtrooper in desert gear troop builders. Do not feel bad. It is worth it.

07-12-2004, 07:23 AM
I just picked up my first SA clone trooper over the weekend, so I'm happy.

Val Da Car
10-30-2004, 05:16 PM
Tycho...in this time of daily poll updates I think the above polls should be dusted off for old times sake and relisted to get the responses from everyone after a few years and different figures available out there.


Thanks again


10-30-2004, 08:55 PM
Thanks for your interest in my old polls Val Da Car.

JediTricks is the poll editor now while I pursue my professional responsibilities.

He might want to use the "Collector Ethics" series of polls again, and I'd be happy to point out to him "which ones."

However, I'd wait:

1) To see how Hasbro will release Storm-Cloners for ROTS (3-packs, SA's, etc) and then have something concrete to discuss, such as how their release plan will be affected by rarity or army building and case assortments.

Then it'd be a great time to discuss the issue.

2) To follow it up in Mid-May to see after April's madness and May's release has had time to affect the toy isles and if people still aren't getting everything they want, or if Hasbro did well in light of this.

CAN I ASK: if you are particularly having difficulty finding something or if you are troop building currently, and what prompted this?

VOTC Stormtroopers come to mind and I'll say the same thing I always say: go out before the stores open or swing by right before Wal-Mart closes if they've pulled the pallets out. As long as one person won't play fair, no one else should.

-Advice from a really experienced SW army builder.

10-30-2004, 09:24 PM
VOTC Stormtroopers come to mind and I'll say the same thing I always say: go out before the stores open or swing by right before Wal-Mart closes if they've pulled the pallets out. As long as one person won't play fair, no one else should.

-Advice from a really experienced SW army builder.

That is advice from a true hearted collector, not just an army builder. I try to frequent Wally World between 10pm and 2am(if 24 hours). This way you can get first crack and they come right off the pallet. I totally agree Tycho about playing fair. Just remember that old cliche....the early collector gets the figures. :D

Val Da Car
10-30-2004, 10:36 PM
KH...as to your advice....I am between 2 WM's...one is a super center 24hr store...and the overnight stockers are nice when I can find them to ask for the lastest figs that are accessable on the pallet but the SC does not sell many figs compared to the std WM open 6a to 11p that sells about a case every 4-5 days and gets plenty of figures....

I came back to review this forums since I have just recently passed 100 Storm troopers and was motivation to get some slightly different figures after playing Battlefront for a while (Scout/Sniper Trooper).

I recently traded with an online seller 16 stormtroopers for 16 snowtroopers......why not...so now I am at 50 snow troopers and 85-90 Stromies..... for my current Hoth scene

Which brings me to my next project......the Emperor's arrival on the Death Star.....(thanks to WM for the ROTJ exclusive set for the extra emperor I needed)


Val Da Car
11-11-2004, 11:06 PM
I am sounding off....8 VOTC Stormies....but I need to install a shelf to complete my staging area to open my first one....and with EP3 I might need a couple of VOTC Chewies...since he looks so different compared to the other Chewbaccas over the past couple of years....

I would of have 2 more Chewies but my wife went with me to Wizard World Chicago 2k3 and met Peter Mayhew first thing in the morning at the autograph booth that she used a couple of Chewbacca figs I had with me for Peter to sign......now they are forever destined to stay in a star cases on her desk

oh well

11-12-2004, 07:32 AM
I plan to get a second VOTC Fett for a display I'm working on.

I'd like to get several of the stormies but it's just too cost prohibited to me at this time.

11-12-2004, 12:06 PM
There were like 5 VOTC Stormtroopers on the racks today at Wal-Mart. I left them where they were.

But my assumption is that they are shipping for those that need them.

Chewie looks good as well. Still, I'm not collecting this line.

jedi master sal
11-13-2004, 08:53 AM
WHAT! Tycho, shame on you, heh heh. VOTC is a great line, IMHO. Sur ethe price is high, but there are some notables, Stormie, Chewie, Boba, Darth and Han. Even if you don't collect the whole line, those again IMO, are the ones to get from that line.

On an army building note, I found the Naboo 4-pack set and got three of them. Bought them seperate so I could get a silver Vader with each one.

I also picked up 4 VOTC stormie last week (bought 2 each seperately, again to get more silver Vaders)

Also, got 4 sets of the 2-pack og Galactic Heroes Stormies, with yep you guessed it another silver vader.

With some other misc. purchases over the last week, I now have 9 silver Vaders. I don't need them all, so I'm giving some of them out as gifts to fellow local SW club members of mine.

Val Da Car
11-13-2004, 01:54 PM

can I ask (briefly) why?

Cost, anger with Hasbro or just no more sublines!

11-13-2004, 05:26 PM
I don't "collect" Star Wars in the traditional sense. I'm not out to get every peice.

I build scenes to recreate the movies with toys, often scene by scene.

I need Hem Dazon (the Arcona), Padme in her Queen Pre-Senate gown, Queen Jamilla, a Kaminoan civilian, Jango Fett out of all his armor, a good Luke Skywalker Endor Gear, more Ewoks, etc.

I've made all the scenes I want to make with Han Solo, older Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, Lando (Bespin outfit) etc. in them. I don't need these figures or their cardbacks. And there's nothing I plan on doing with their added articulation for my scenes that I couldn't get out of the figures I have now.

But if I want a hundred of the new Clone-Troopers from E3, and multiple scenes with General Greivous, I'd rather save up my money for that.

I hope that is as clear and simple and short of explaination as you desired.

Val Da Car
11-13-2004, 07:12 PM
That is what I figured....and for the price of one VOTC stromie...you can get 2 Clone troopers at retail...

makes perfect sense....

11-13-2004, 10:30 PM
Hey Tyhco- Did your friend that made the vong army have a website with pics? I really want to see it becuase I am a fellow customizer, and I have yet to see a decent Vong (No offense to anyone). If not, do you know what he used to make them?

11-14-2004, 01:05 AM
I don't know the answers to your questions MasterMatt. I could find out soon, though.

11-14-2004, 01:48 PM
Sounds good, thanks.

Val Da Car
12-13-2004, 01:55 PM
I am over my guilt....I have 30 more storm/sand troopers on order from HK

12-13-2004, 04:06 PM
I piclked up another 2 VOTC Stormies today. I left 5 there, I was tempted to get them all and shove em on Layaway.