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View Full Version : End of an Era: Commtech OT Figures



jjreason
01-02-2005, 12:41 PM
Man, are these sweet. I've been orgainizing my colleciton lately by separating my larger groups of figures into smaller bins. The bin I'm working on right now is the 1999 Commtech line of OT figures, and there isn't a stinker in the lot. Let's look at the lineup:

Han Solo - so nice they've rereleased him twice, er I mean thrice... actually make that 4 times. For my money, the best Han Solo figure we've seen to date "pound for pound" (and by that I guess I mean dollar for dollar - the VOTC one doesn't light my fire for double the cost).

Luke Skywalker - here they reused some parts we'd seen before, and would see again but he's very nice. Like Han, the articulated knees were a very nice addition.

Motti - Imperial officers are routinely nice figures, he's no exception.

Leia - a nice use of the cloth/plastic combo. Not like the VOTC hack job.

R2 with Holo Leia - a very nice R2. The more matte silver finish on the dome works a lot better for me than the chrome we'd been seeing up to this point.

Jawas - you get a gonk droid. 'Nuff said.... well almost. These guys actually had legs! Hasbro outdid themselves with these Jawas, a huge improvement over the first POTF2 version.

Greedo - we've seen him twice since, a very nice figure.

Wuher - very good likeness, the droid scanner was a nice addition.

Darth Vader - another one of my "favorites by character". Interrogation droid included, hands on hips stance nicely portrayed. The dimmed down the buffness for this Vader and replaced it with a very accurately proportioned, slimmer build.

Stormtrooper - like Han and Vader, the "dollar by dollar" figure to beat in my opinion. Yes the VOTC is very nice, but wouldn't you rather have twice as many of these beauties?

Looking back on these, it would have been really nice had Hasbro kept up the line during their EpI push and had released 10 or so from Empire and ROJ. Go have a look at these guys if you haven't seen them for awhile, they're of POTJ quality in my opinion.

Slicker
01-03-2005, 02:17 PM
I personally always loved the commtech figs. Even the Episode I ones. They come with a stand that collectors have been complaining about not getting and they sound on them wasn't even all that bad. Except for Luke saying he's going in full throttle.

Devo
01-03-2005, 02:49 PM
My favourite is the Vader. One of very very few figures with cloth that I think looks great.

I don't have Motti, Wuher or R2 so I have no judgement they look good.

I have only one Stormie (any thread that allows me to complain about that is a good thread). He's anorexic and isn't great for holding a gun but the helmet remains fantastic and I love the belt and holster.

Bacta Beast
01-03-2005, 04:55 PM
I think the Stormtrooper was executed very poorly. I was looking forward to the expanded articulation, but when I finally was able to purchase one, I found that it's still difficult to put one in a cool action pose. I much more prefer the VOTC version.
Now if Hasbro would just give is troop builder sets based on the VOTC trooper and the SA Clonetrooper!
My biggest dissapointment with the commtech lines, was that we never got any with a Chewie. At least not here in the states. Once again the wookie gets shafted!

sith_killer_99
01-03-2005, 06:47 PM
I have to agree with jjreason, the POTF2 CT line rocked. There wasn't a single stinker in the bunch. To this day I have only found one other Han head sculpt that I liked as much as the CT Han and that was the POTJ Han Bespin Capture. CT R2-D@ with holo Leia is one of the best R2-D2's to date, plus he came with an excellent pack in!

Wow, I can't believe so many people prefer that VOTC Stormtrooper over the CT style Stormtrooper. The CT style Stormie is, IMO, the best one to date. They keep releasing him and I just keep buying them, over and over and over and over again! I love this figure!

I guess my problem with the VOTC Stormtrooper is

1. The color execution just sucks! The molded white plastic stands out in contrast to the painted white! It looks horrible!!!

2. The sculpt on the helmet appears inferior, again, because of the way it was painted.

3. The hip joints! These are terrible, the hanging armor on the belt interferes with movement and they just look funky, again there are paint problems with the black, several of the ones I found have white showing through.

4. Torso articulation!?!?! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot over!?!? The chest armor barely covers that terrible looking slot hole! I ask, was the tiny little bit of articulation here worth the hole in his belly. I say no, not even close!

Don't get me wrong, it's an all right figure, but not worth the $10.00 to army build, I lucked out and found a few on sale for $7.00...better.

The figure has some real highlights:

1. Head articulation, though again, the neck ball should be black. Poor paint planing. But, I really don't see how it improved anything over the CT Stomie neck articulation. They both have the same amount of movement, IMO.

2. Shoulder, elbow, wrist knee and ankle articulation all played well with this guy, no real complaints there.

Here is what I propose for Hasbro, to build the ultimate Stormtrooper:

1. Mold everything in the same color white plastic.

2. Use the head/helmet, torso (though, they could retool it so the chest armor is a bit bigger), hips and upper thighs from the CT Stormtrooper.

3. Use the belt (minus the hanging armor), arms and lower legs from the VOTC Stormtrooper.

Voila, the best Stormtrooper ever produced!

Kidhuman
01-03-2005, 08:36 PM
These were really good. The ones I got are awesome. I never got the Stormie, Vader, or Wuher. I however never bought the CT player either. I have all these chips and never listened to them.

Bacta Beast
01-03-2005, 08:50 PM
Man, I'm sorry Sithkiller. I tried to look at it your way but I still like the VOTC trooper much better. But hey, everyone has their own favorites, and it comes down to taste. I'm not knockin' ya'. I just don't see the commtech as being better, as far as articulation or sculpt.
I actually had to grab both of them to check. I thought hey, maybe he's right. But after looking, I just can't say the commtech version is better than the VOTC.
One thing I wanted to point out is the helmet sculpt. I feel like the VOTC stands out because the eye pieces are closer together on mine, and the silver thingies on the front of the mask, next to the moutpiece are more detailed. And all over the helmet the paint applications, on mine anyway) are just more precise. Not that the Commtech version doesn't have all the right parts, it's just that to me it looks like they fine tuned it a little more on the VOTC.
The armor on mine is great, and I really like that it has a certain amount of sheen to it. It actually looks like the pieces of storm trooper armor! I also like that he's significantly shorter than Vader. The Commtech one was just a little to tall for me.
I really, really, like the Commtech line. and at the time I agree this was the best trooper they made. But even than I remember being dissapointed that the articulation was to limited, and that his feet are so pigeon toed.
But than again, at least he has peg holes that actually allow him to be placed on a stand! :)

sith_killer_99
01-03-2005, 09:05 PM
I have to say, overall, by biggest disappointment was with the paint application and the ab articulation. The other stuff is minor in comparison. I just hate the way the white paint don't match the white plastic. Maybe if they had molded everything with that same white plastic it would have been more appealing to me, but at $10.00 that's pretty ugly.

Don't get me wrong, the VOTC Stormie kicks butt on articulation, especially the arms and legs all the way down to his ankles! :D

Devo
01-03-2005, 09:10 PM
I remember before Ireland changed currency from the IR£ to the Euro I saw and passed on commtech R2-D2 because it was 23.99. I couldn't understand why it cost so much particularly since I bought the Naboo royal starship, which included an R2 unit figure, for only twice that price. Now I wish I had just gone ahead and bought it. It is a fantastic looking R2 and good for 2 ANH scenes. Plus the fact that all figures cost a ridiculous amount now anyway. I'm used to being ripped off, so much so that I'm almost desensitised.

As to the stormie, I don't have a VOTC one. I think it would be preferable with its beefier torso armour and articulation that allows 2 handed gun-toting and aiming (though I suppose in the name of accuracy we shouldn't have our stormtroopers 'aiming'). However the different whites would bother me.

I'm with Bacta beast on the CT stormie. it can only hold a gun one-handed by its side. Thats poor when you consider that even the crap POTF2 original had superior gun-aiming ability. And the leg positioning wasn't completely neutral. I always hate when Hasbro for some reason makes one foot point off to the side like that. Still, the helmet is great and after 5 years he's still all white. In that amount of time my '95 troopers had yellow heads and limbs.

The Leia is good, presumably intended for the scene on the tantive IV when she sends R2 on his mission. She's tall by more recent Leia standards but the cloth is carried off fine. One thing about mine though is she has no white in her eyes and therefore looks a bit wierd.


Oh and whats the story behind Dejarik Chewbacca? Why does he appear on CT cardbacks? Was he originally intended for this series?

sith_killer_99
01-03-2005, 09:17 PM
Oh and whats the story behind Dejarik Chewbacca? Why does he appear on CT cardbacks? Was he originally intended for this series?

Yes, he was, in fact the entire fist wave or so of the Power of the Jedi line was originally intended for POTF2's CommTech line, along with Coruscant Guard and a few others.

They were going to be part of the CommTech 2 line, with improved speach. The line died and Hasbro started the POTJ line. Several of the CommTech 2 chips made it to the secondary market, some can be had at a reasonable price, others go for hundreds of dollars.

Slicker
01-03-2005, 10:07 PM
These were really good. The ones I got are awesome. I never got the Stormie, Vader, or Wuher. I however never bought the CT player either. I have all these chips and never listened to them.
I personally think you're missing out KH. The sound on these was really quite good with the aformentioned Luke being one of the exceptions. I thought it was quite a good gimmick. Better than those stupid force files.

Ji'dai
01-05-2005, 11:26 PM
They were a good group of figures, although I don't think the CommTech chips were worth the price increase. I do use them as stands though. I found all but Motti and Leia at retail; grabbed the R2 with Holo Leia on clearance at TRU for $2. That hooded Leia is still missing from my collection though. I really liked the CTC Stormtroopers though, I bought 20 more when they were released as army builders sans the blaster damage effect.

sith_killer_99
01-06-2005, 05:43 AM
WOW, R2-D2 with holo Leia for $2.00!

I did manage to find a bunch of CTC Stormies one weekend in January when TRU had a huge sale 2 CTC figures for $3.00. I walked in and they had 2 kiddie pools filled with CTC figures, one had nothing but Stormtroopers. I bought a couple dozen. :D I have also bought several of the re-carded Stormies, but never for that price...lol.

vader121
01-06-2005, 08:12 AM
I was able to get all but Motti and Leia. I think all the figures are very good and are superior to many other attempts.

My favorite Star Wars character is the Stormtrooper. This version has a good sculpt but the manueverability of the figure is not that great. Even if you give it a regular blaster (why they didn't include it in these I will never know) you can't get it to hold it with both hands like the VOTC version. I absolutely have been waiting for a Stormtrooper that you could pose like in the movies with both hands on the blaster laying across the belly or chest. I didn't think the gun rack was anythign special and the long gun is ok but is out of place with Stormtroopers because none of them used them in the movies except Sandtroopers. Incidentally all Sandtroopers except for the first comes with the regular blaster. Interesting.

Have a neat little story regarding how I got the R2 with holo Leia. It was during the clearance days after Xmas when these were mainstream. I was unable to find any at TRU (only saw Vaders, Lukes, Hans, Greedos, Jawas, & C3POS in the bins). I was perusing the clearance aisle at Walmart when, what is this, I found an R2 loosely hidden behind some bigger boxes. I quickly grabbed it and bought it. I think it was clearanced but don't remember. The cool thing is that I went to another Walmart store in the area and found another one the exact same way. Must have stumbled on someone's method for hiding and buying later.

Slicker
01-06-2005, 01:06 PM
WOW, R2-D2 with holo Leia for $2.00!
I too was able to pick up 3 of them at that price about 2 years ago. I gave one to Rocketboy and still have an extra somewhere in my storage garage.

Lazer Brain
01-13-2005, 10:03 AM
well, let me you, these Commtech OT Figures and all the epI commtechs are still some of my favorite figures to play with , my kids and I are still getting these out and playing. I have about 3 readers and we each get one and our favorite ship and as many figures and chips we can get and sit in front of the tv and play for hours... oh if they would just embed the chip right into the figure there would be no end. i do not know why hasblah would abandon such a great concept!

later

Slicker
01-16-2005, 01:03 AM
Unfortunately I'm sure Hasbro wasn't making much money on these because they were a new type of technology and probably had a high cost to return ratio. Like I've said it's too bad they had to abandon them especially for those lame ***** Force Files.

Now we have to contend with the ROTS packaging which is all frills and nothing extra to go with the figures except for action features.

sith_killer_99
01-16-2005, 08:48 AM
Grrrrr..............action features. :Pirate: