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LTBasker
05-22-2007, 04:30 AM
We have all heard time and time again that Hasbro is not interested/planning new playsets. I've been thinking about it though, what exactly qualifies as a playset?

Is it a big chunk of plastic that recreates a complete diorama? Or is it a bunch of pieces that make up a setting? Could any group of objects become a playset, or does it take an entire environment made in one piece?

This thought mainly stems from staring at my V-wing on my desk for so long set up with a couple figures interacting with the ship.

Seen here: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y106/Jedigreedo/BacaraVwing.jpg

Eventually it raised the question; can a ship qualify as a playset?

With an amount of figures interacting with it and some decent features, it would be the same as a playset. Especially, if you add multiple ships and create a "hanger bay" with pilots doing pre/post-flight checks, engineers conducting maintenance and random troops just walking around?

Sure, it could be limiting to just pose some figures "interacting" with the ship, so what else could be done? Hasbro is releasing a battle pack for the ARC-170 release, so what if they did the same for more ships? But instead of just figures, it was an accessory/battle pack.

Imagine the old canceled Yavin accessory pack that was to come with a Rebel technician mixed into a battle pack. Let's take the V-wing for example, what could a pack come with to basically turn it into a playset?

"Clone Wars battlefield landing zone attack!" Battlepack
Clone Trooper (combat engineer)
Clone Trooper (pilot)
Battle Droid (x2)
Ladder (clips onto the nose)
One or two damaged wing panels (since they're easily removeable from the ship itself)
Tools (recycled from the TPM Hyperdrive repair kit)
Cardboard landing pad cut-out
Mobile missile rack (with extra missiles?)

While not every ship could really become a "playset" even with such an expansion item, popular/iconic vehicles could definitely make use of them, especially the fighter craft.

It would be even better if they included more features to ships in the future, such as opening compartments (like the old battery compartment on the A-wing bottom or the hidden storage in the X-wing), easy clip-on/off parts and randomly placed attachment areas for accessories such as fuel hoses.

Your thoughts?

Lord Malakite
05-22-2007, 07:57 AM
A playset to me has always been a toy that on its own recreates a specific backdrop scene without the need of additonal props (though additional props for accuracy are welcomed). Could a vehicle classify as a playset? Yes, but I'd have to say it depends on what the vehicle can do and/or the size of it. Like say if it were a Super Star Destroyer for example and it opened up to reveal a bridge, Vader's chamber, etc. inside of it then I would count it as a playset. I'd probably count an accurately scaled Jabba's Sail Barge under this category (even if it couldn't open up) due to the size and extensive use made of the deck. I wouldn't count an X-Wing or A-Wing though. They are too small. If anything I would count those vehicles as major props for something like a hanger playset.

JON9000
05-22-2007, 12:40 PM
The only vehicle I can think of that bridged the gap and was something of a playset was the Millenium Falcon.

kool-aid killer
05-22-2007, 12:48 PM
I consider a playset to be a part or parts that can create an enviroment were a decent amount of figures can interact with one another. For instance the old POTF2 Hoth and Endor playsets enabled collectors to pose/play with figures around them in a manner that would be unavailable had those not been made. The only two ships that could be considered playsets are the Falcon, Royal Starship, Sandcrawler, and AT-AT because of how you can put a fair amount of figures around or in them.

bigbarada
05-22-2007, 01:37 PM
I'm in the "big chunks of plastic" crowd. To me the two ESB Hoth playsets (Imperial Attack Base and Turret & Probot) are still the best SW playsets ever. The plastic base is what really holds the entire scene together.

Even if you just have a collection of props and a vehicle, you still need a base to put everything on. Unless you just want to pretend that every planet in the Star Wars universe has a surface consisting solely of wood laminate.

TheRealDubya
08-21-2007, 01:24 PM
I'm going to resurrect this thread so that we can keep the vehicles and playsets discussions separate.

From the What vehicles do you actually still want? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=565755#post565755) thread:


They won't consider it because their market research says casual collectors aren't remotely interested, and sadly, they're right. Nobody's gotten away with doing a playset that wasn't a vehicle as well in quite some time...

I agree -- playsets are a dead concept. Even as a kid, I only had the Dagobah and Death Star, and after awhile they faded from my play pattern. Even back then, things like Boulder Hill (MASK), the Secret Wars base and so forth all sat rotting on toy shelves.

Now, as an adult, I love them and want them. The vintage Kenner stuff can had pretty reasonably (there are two collector's shops near me that have all of the playsets for very good prices -- Dagobah for $40? Not bad.) I cite the failure of the Pride Displays Star Wars diorama (http://www.rebelscum.com/PrideANH.asp) (which I bought and love) and the eventual bankrupture or shuttering down of that company as evidence of there being no sustainable market for these things. Pride Displays had plans to make a playset/diorama for each movie, but the market just didn't support them. We had a very recent oppurtunity to vote with our dollars and came up short.

Playsets are now the province of diorama builders and customizers. I think the future is pack-in "environment sections", like the cantina pieces, the drum, the torture rack, the view screen that came with the Deluxe Rieekan, etc. Hasbro has been super generous in this regard, to get us as far as they can financially without eating unsold product.

Someone had the idea (in another thread) of downloadable PDF's that could be printed out that would have Star Wars backgrounds (kind of like the backgrounds in the Battlepacks.) One of us could even make and distribute those (if Hasbro/Lucasfilm saw no gain in offering them), without ever invoking the Star Wars name. Ice Planet background, Swamp Planet background, Desert Planet background, etc. Make them 8.5x24, print them onto firm paper or cardstock, glue them to a wooden or metal base...all set.

But I am done waitng for a company to make my playsets for me. I am in the process of taking all of my straight cantina sections, my two curved endpieces, the background art that came with the Cantina Showdown sets and finding other toy furniture (http://www.goodstufftogo.net/html/catalog1.asp?ID=380) (or making it, when needed) and creating my cantina. I am customizing a Ponda Boba using the POTF2 head and the TAC Ceremonial Luke body (and some paint) and a Dr. Evazan (probably will use a TAC Han Solo Gunner body and a Death Star Trooper head with some sculpty and paint.) Hasbro has gotten me 95% of the way there, and I am liking the hobby part of making the playset. I have zero experience with this kind of stuff but I am enjoying learning it, and it's a good time filler in between new waves arriving.

Blue2th
08-21-2007, 01:41 PM
I'm going to resurrect this thread so that we can keep the vehicles and playsets discussions separate.

From the What vehicles do you actually still want? (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?p=565755#post565755) thread:


Someone had the idea (in another thread) of downloadable PDF's that could be printed out that would have Star Wars backgrounds (kind of like the backgrounds in the Battlepacks.) One of us could even make and distribute those (if Hasbro/Lucasfilm saw no gain in offering them), without ever invoking the Star Wars name. Ice Planet background, Swamp Planet background, Desert Planet background, etc. Make them 8.5x24, print them onto firm paper or cardstock, glue them to a wooden or metal base...all set.


I was just thinking about that. I have five shelves of the Walmart white type that I use to display all my loose figures. It would be great if Lucasfilm or someone offered printable scenes. Other than that I don't know how I'm going to make backgrounds other than kids constuction paper. The only one that looks right is my Hoth scene because of the white surroundings. I use styrofoam too as mentioned elswhere also.

Like you say though. Other than the pack-ins which at least is a cool thing, we are not going to get playsets. And the vintage ones are not that much money on the secondary market. Though I still need to get a Mustafar playset that I missed.

pbarnard
08-21-2007, 02:00 PM
Sounds like you're looking for our personal definitions of the line between vehicle and playset.

Playset:
I'd say anything over 3 feet long or tall once assembled, so it isn't easily portable and keeps your figures/accessories in one place while being knocked about.

It does recreate a scene or an environment. It maybe part of a vehicle or a specific location/building.

Vehicles:
Some sort of scaled compromise that doesn't include all the details. Minimally should include pilot and/or crew where appropriate and should sit in place of famous crew control positions. Should be easily carried and not awkward or overly bulky. Details on exterior appearance should be maximized, some of the more famous interior details should be included in area where crew is located.

And I gave up a long time ago waiting for any company to do it. Self taught carpentry here, and I still have all my fingers.

JediTricks
08-21-2007, 06:50 PM
I agree -- playsets are a dead concept. Even as a kid, I only had the Dagobah and Death Star, and after awhile they faded from my play pattern. Even back then, things like Boulder Hill (MASK), the Secret Wars base and so forth all sat rotting on toy shelves. Oh man, you would hit me right below the belt with that one! Boulder Hill may have been among the best playsets of all time IMO, it transformed, it was huge, it accommodated vehicles, it had doors, and it had nifty play features. But keep in mind too that MASK was a line based around 2.5" figures which is a vastly smaller scale, and even it wasn't a particularly popular playset.

I think the only playsets that had any chance of really being great were the SW Micro Machines and Action Fleet ones because they could do so much thanks to the 1.5" minifig and smaller scale - look at their Yavin base, that sucker has so much going on! Their Death Star looked kinda like the Death Star! AND they folded up! Yet even they didn't sell particularly well.


But I am done waitng for a company to make my playsets for me. I am in the process of taking all of my straight cantina sections, my two curved endpieces, the background art that came with the Cantina Showdown sets and finding other toy furniture (http://www.goodstufftogo.net/html/catalog1.asp?ID=380) (or making it, when needed) and creating my cantina. I am customizing a Ponda Boba using the POTF2 head and the TAC Ceremonial Luke body (and some paint) and a Dr. Evazan (probably will use a TAC Han Solo Gunner body and a Death Star Trooper head with some sculpty and paint.) Hasbro has gotten me 95% of the way there, and I am liking the hobby part of making the playset. I have zero experience with this kind of stuff but I am enjoying learning it, and it's a good time filler in between new waves arriving.That's the way to do it. Even if Hasbro somehow pulled miracles out of their keisters on this matter, they're still going to be underwhelming junk judging by their past attempts, but when you do it yourself you know exactly what you want so there's no worries about pulling movie-accurate stuff for crummy play features or stuff like that.


So, I ask again, what playsets from any toy line in the last 25 years (1982 till now) haven't sucked?

bigbarada
08-21-2007, 10:22 PM
So, I ask again, what playsets from any toy line in the last 25 years (1982 till now) haven't sucked?

Well I for one have had hours of fun with the Bratz Adventure Girlz Camping Tent, I just love the....

...wait, does this fall into the "too much information" category?:o




:D:D:D

stillakid
08-21-2007, 11:08 PM
I think that a vehicle more or less makes an attempt to somehow recreate what the thing actually looked like on screen, even if it does have to be smaller or compromise on detail.

Playsets are "environments" that aren't vehicles, like Yoda's house, the Carbon Freezing Chamber, or any of the Hoth sets. One that stretched the definition a bit was the half-arsed Endor bunker, which was essentially just a couple of doors that you'd have to use in conjunction with whatever pile of dirt you could find on your own. Many playsets that have been made are fairly simple with just one "place" to play. Some others are a bit more elaborate, like the vintage Death Star, and offered multiple "rooms" in which to PLAY.

Some of the toys straddle the line between "vehicle" and "playset." The larger vehicles, like the Falcon (vintage and modern), and the Queens' big silver ship which had various rooms to stage action. It's easy to distinguish the difference between ship/playsets like these and simple vehicles like the Landspeeder or TIE Fighter where all you do is drop an action figure inside and move the thing around. I think to be considered a PLAYSET, the toy has to offer playability beyond that simplicity and allow the user to play with the toy while it sits on the floor, typically inside the toy somehow, but not always.

It's a pretty clear cut definition with only a couple of exceptions in the Star Wars line so far. Either way, Hasbro hasn't made nearly enough playsets in the modern line and my personal opinion is that action figures and ships alone aren't enough to sustain a toyline, particularly with the youth set. It's fine to have "guys" to play with, but without a "place" in which to have "action" in, they quickly become boring statues.

Blue2th
08-22-2007, 12:21 AM
The definition of a Playset is: something you can play with. Then again when I was a kid we didn't HAVE no fancy schmancy playsets! No we made our own playsets outa cardboard boxes! :grin:

Jargo
08-22-2007, 09:30 AM
Plain and simple fact that playsets don't sell is that they're poorly exucuted, don't look like the environment they represent and cost so darn much it's not worth spending on.

if however they were to be more akin to the ATTAKUS millenium falcon interior where accuracy is the selling point. a falcon hold playset without exterior but with some working parts would get me to buy it. Similarly a Tantive IV interior with working doors and furniture would sell to me. the cantina or jabba's throne room would too. even the sail barge interior deck.

what hasbro does is to take one wall of a setting and the littler it with non accurate weapons and features that actively ruin the set such as the floor weakening rod and slot thing on the theed hangar playset. the big guns on the detention block playset. or the pure cruddiness of the death star chasm playset. then there's the geonosian arena and mustafar playsets where way too many aspects of the planet setting are crammed into the set and because of rescaling the whole thing just looks messy and goofy.

printed backdrops annoy because i hate mixing live action material with toy stuff. i think printed backdrops should be styled to match the plastic toys. besides 2D material backing 3D toys doesn't gel for obvious reasons.

if there's a market for scene settings it's with collectors. and i reckon at most a 3D backdrop that's accurately detailed and painted would be the best way. it's too costly to produce room sets, but a one wall backing that contextualises figures seems a good option. cast in plastic, few pieces much like the bunker playset. just a visual clue. I don't think they need play features besides working doors. sell each backdrop with an environment specific figure and bob's your lobster.

Gothiczartan
08-22-2007, 11:39 AM
small playsets like the sarlaac, dagobah and rebel breifing room ROTJ would be great!

TheRealDubya
08-22-2007, 12:09 PM
Oh man, you would hit me right below the belt with that one! Boulder Hill may have been among the best playsets of all time IMO, it transformed, it was huge, it accommodated vehicles, it had doors, and it had nifty play features. But keep in mind too that MASK was a line based around 2.5" figures which is a vastly smaller scale, and even it wasn't a particularly popular playset.

So, I ask again, what playsets from any toy line in the last 25 years (1982 till now) haven't sucked?

Well, my younger brother got a TON of mileage out of the Boulder Hill and Grayskull playsets...I just remember the MASK playset sitting on shelves back in the day.

Playsets that didn't suck? GI Joe. They had it nailed. The Sea Platform, the Headquarters, the Terrordrome, the Mobile Command Center all ruled. And all of the little enivronments they put out were excellent as well -- the guard tower, checkpoint, bivouac and so forth. That line had it covered.

jedi master sal
08-22-2007, 12:17 PM
Plain and simple fact that playsets don't sell is that they're poorly exucuted, don't look like the environment they represent and cost so darn much it's not worth spending on.

if however they were to be more akin to the ATTAKUS millenium falcon interior where accuracy is the selling point. a falcon hold playset without exterior but with some working parts would get me to buy it. Similarly a Tantive IV interior with working doors and furniture would sell to me. the cantina or jabba's throne room would too. even the sail barge interior deck.

what hasbro does is to take one wall of a setting and the littler it with non accurate weapons and features that actively ruin the set such as the floor weakening rod and slot thing on the theed hangar playset. the big guns on the detention block playset. or the pure cruddiness of the death star chasm playset. then there's the geonosian arena and mustafar playsets where way too many aspects of the planet setting are crammed into the set and because of rescaling the whole thing just looks messy and goofy.

printed backdrops annoy because i hate mixing live action material with toy stuff. i think printed backdrops should be styled to match the plastic toys. besides 2D material backing 3D toys doesn't gel for obvious reasons.

if there's a market for scene settings it's with collectors. and i reckon at most a 3D backdrop that's accurately detailed and painted would be the best way. it's too costly to produce room sets, but a one wall backing that contextualises figures seems a good option. cast in plastic, few pieces much like the bunker playset. just a visual clue. I don't think they need play features besides working doors. sell each backdrop with an environment specific figure and bob's your lobster.

Ah we agree on so many points there. I think much of the blame for past SW playsets not doing well was indeed the execution of the set itself. Plain and simple they sucked. As you point out MrDP, they need to be 3-D, with minimal gimmicks, accurate accessories, and the like.

I will again offer that modular playsets can work but need to be given a chance to work instead of just shot down based on previous POOR quality merits.

As an example again:
Death Star modular playsets:
Red Control room: A three walled set with a working "blast" door as one side. Also a little comparmtn room in the corner where the droids hid. Accessories would include the control stations which attach to the walls, as well as some of the canisters seen on the floor (2 or 3)
Long hallway: Basically a floor and one wall, with support struts/connecting pieces to connect to other sets. Both the floor and wall are molded pieces not cardboard. This can be a very inexpensive set that would be bought several times by one consumer who is interested in fleshing out their DS diorama. This set would also include one of the half circle "bumps" that protrude from the walls as seen in some seens-this can attach to the wall in one of two places as the consumer sees fit or not at all. The holes left showing would be small slits that would not detract from the overall look of the set.
Small hallway: same as the large, just smaller and less expensive and no half circle "bump"
Curved Hallway: great for connecting hallways, this set has minimal wall coverage as it's only the small inside wall. Very inexpensive set to make which works as we wouldn't have as much need for it as the regular hallways
Trash compactor set: This set would be twice as tall as the other regular sets for obvious reasons. This set would have four walls, the entrance wall would have a working door. The side walls would indeed close in using a small crank. One of these walls can be removable so we can display it sideways. Since it would have those options, this set would be a little more expensive.
Detention sets A, B: Set A is the Foyer section with the elevators. The doors would work on this and the whole set could connect to the elevator set (see below). This set would include the officer's station and detailing on the walls (the little areas that the guys soot out). Set B is the detention hallway. It's only one side of the hallway though, but you can buy two sets to make both sides and then you'd have an extra floor set as that can be removed from the set so that you can attach the cell "pods" to the flooring. So you can display it sideways showing only the one side of the dention block, or looking at it from the foyer section on down as we saw it in the movie. One of the cell pods opens so you can put Leia in there (opens from the top to do this easily). Both of these sets would be premium sets like the trash compactor. Set B would see a little more production as we might want to add another section on to the end of the cell block to denote a longer hallway.
Hanger Bay: This would be a huge set and be able to house the Falcon. You would be able to connect hallways sets to it from two sides. The hangar set would be four times the height as the others. There would be a "pit" to denote the lift that brought troopers up on it. Again, all walls would be molds NOT cardboard. Some assembly required for these, however since the set is mostly flat walls, this can be put into a much thinner box. The set would also include plastic molded panels for the droid station where C-3PO talked to Luke and R2 shut down the garbage mashers.
Elevator set: this would be a 4 level high set (some assembly required). We would have the option to make it as high as we want (up to the 4 levels). So if we only want to make it 3 level, we can do thatraand have an extra level to use elsewheres. These would optimally connect to hallways, however can connect to all other sets, notably the detention block set A.
Breifing room. While only one level high, it would be a larger room than some of the other rooms and would be more expensive because of it. This set would include working blast doors, round table, chairs and be walled on three sides. (one of those sides beign the blast doors that you can connect hallways to.
Empror's throne room. This would be another huge set like the hangar. Would include the stairs, officer's stations, Emperor's throne, etc. Basically all the detailing on the walls as you see it in the movie. Now this would be the only place that cardboard panels would be included. At that ONLY behind the viewports to denote the Battle fo Endor.

Again, all of these sets would be able to connect to one another in some fashion, amking it truly modular and allow us to display as WE see fit. We would decide how much we wanted to buy and having sets like the hallways, give us the opportunity to make the set as big or small as we want instead of having size limitations trust upon us from the manufacturer.

I have similar examples for the Jedi Temple, Bespin, Hoth, etc., but you get the point from the Death Star sets.

Each of the smaller sets can be sold for $20. The mid level sets (liek the red control room and trash compactor for $30-40 and the large sets for $60. Basically a fully decked out Death Star with minimal hallways would cost about $200. However since we wouldn't be forced to by it all at once, we could absorb that cost much easier, plus it builds the excitment for the next set to come out so we can make the whole diorama.

Release schedules for the sets would be something like a room set then a hallway set, alternating like that, every other month. So cost would go something like this $30 room set, $20 hallway, $60 large set, $20 hallway, $30 room, $20 hallway, etc., until it's done.

Okay, I'm done. Awaiting JT's inevitable thrashing of the idea...

bigbarada
08-22-2007, 01:17 PM
Did Hasbro consider those cardboard fold-out pieces of crap they released in the POTF2 line to be playsets? Those things were terrible, the cardboard was always warping (especially if you lived in a humid environment) and knocking the figures over. And they looked cheesy too, I was actually embarrased to display my figures on them.

What I think Hasbro should do is just go all out and make one more big playset. Something iconic that's never been done before, like the Sarlacc Pit. This way, if it fails, then Hasbro can say, "Well we gave it a try" and collectors will still end up with one more nice playset.

Why the Sarlacc?
1. It's the location of a major onscreen land battle, not just a room where aliens sat around and drank cocktails.
2. It's easily recognized by anyone who has seen ROTJ
3. Has a built in creature to gobble up your action figures
4. Offers direct interaction with figures AND vehicles
5. Is a unique location, not just a vague planetary environment
6. Has the added bonus of having never been made before

It could be a simple execution, like a raised, bowl-shaped, plastic platform. The steepness of the pit will have to be fudged a little to keep the playset from standing two feet tall; but it should be steep enough that figures will naturally roll towards the Sarlacc. The outside edge should be sculpted like canyon walls to make the playset fully enclosed (so no visible "scaffolding" or supports).

Rough dimensions:
Length: 24-30" (60-75cm)
Width: 18-20" (45-50cm)
Height: 7-8" (17-20cm)

The Sarlacc would ideally be a remote-controlled robot (look at your average cheap remote-controlled toy these days, it shouldn't be outside the realm of possibility - and I did say we were going all out), or a simple vinyl hand puppet that can be operated from below, with a cloth sack to store the "eaten" action figures (with an open bottom to get the figures out easily). Bendy plastic tentacles on top. The SE version of the Sarlacc presents the most play value and interactivity with figures, so they should go with that one (but make the beak parts removable to keep OT purists from trying to boycott it:D ).

It should be large enough to accomodate two Skiff vehicles and could even come with a Skiff vehicle as a pack-in. Either design it with slots for the Skiff Vehicles' landing gear to lock in place or fashion some clear plastic stands to hold the toys up and simulate the hovering action (maybe even include some kind of action feature that will cause each Skiff to dump all of it's occupants into the Sarlacc - the "everybody dies/Sarlacc wins" scenario was always my favorite as a kid:D but I had to use a plastic cup to stand in for the Sarlacc:cry: ).

If they wanted to pack in a figure, use Skiff Lando, he doesn't need a resculpt any time in the near future and he can be packaged with one of the tentacles dragging him into the pit for added interest and to advertise one of the key play features (the bendy tentacles).

If Hasbro ever intended to make a Sail Barge, then just include two clear plastic stands to raise it up off the ground, so that the vehicle will sit at the proper level with everything else.

It would be packaged in a large flat window-box similar in proportions to the higher-end LEGO sets. So it should be easy to stack 3 or 4 deep on the top shelf of any toy aisle.

I don't know enough about how Hasbro chooses prices for their toys to accurately estimate an MSRP. However, the only really intricate part of this playset if the Sarlacc itself. Everything thing else is really just a giant plastic base. So, if they could pull off the "robot" Sarlacc idea, then I forsee the price being close to the $100 range. However, with a vinyl and cloth puppet for the Sarlacc, I don't see any reason that this should cost any more than $50-60 with the Skiff pack-in vehicle, $30-40 without.

mark2d2
08-22-2007, 03:49 PM
I think the assembled cantina bar pieces make a playset of sorts. I'd sure love it if they would go on to release couple of Cinema Scene packs in the future that have booths. And then, maybe an updated Wuhur with the pipe/drink dispenser portion of the bar. . . For we would be off to a great start.

I am a firm believer that separate pieces can easily be combined to create fun and truly remarkable playsets. In fact, I have been creating a modern version of the iconic LAND OF THE JAWAS playset for myself. Here is the recipe:

PLAYSET COMPONENTS

1 OTC Sandcrawler
1 Escape Pod (from the Deluxe Threepio)
1 Moisture Vaporator (from TAC Luke Skywalker)

FIGURES

1 Wed-15 (Beru pack-in)
1 Gonk Droid (Jawa pack-in)
1 R1-G4 (Saga)
1 RA-7 (Sandcrawler pack-in)
1 R2-D2 (VOTC)
1 R5-D4 (Saga 2)
1 C-3PO (Saga 2)
2 JAWAS (TAC)
1 LIN-V8K (Jawa pack-in)
1 CZ-4 (TAC)

stillakid
08-22-2007, 06:45 PM
Okay, I'm done. Awaiting JT's inevitable thrashing of the idea...

Why wait. I'll do it. :D


Modular pieces, while fine IF you have them all, just aren't an attractive purchase except for the relatively few die hard collectors out there.

The only way to effectively sell something like a Death Star playset is to make it all-in-one one-time purchase in a package that looks something at least vaguely looking like the Death Star from the movies. I truly think that you'd be hard pressed to convince a parent today to drop $20 bucks a pop on ??? number of "modular" plastic boxes slapped with the Star Wars logo with just their kid trying to convince them that it'll all be worth it in a few months when they get them all. Even then, you'd still have something that looks like a block of apartments rather than a "Death Star." How f'ing boring is that?

I would be, and I'd bet that most people would be, far more willing to drop $150 bucks in one visit to Toys R Us on an all-in-one playset (of anything in the Star Wars universe) than drop $20 bucks at a time over a long period of time for ... little plastic boxes (yawn :sleeping: )...that there is no guarantee of ever finding all of them.

I say, gimme a ship that looks like a ship from the movie. Gimme a playset that looks like the thing from the movie. :whip:

Gothiczartan
08-22-2007, 07:17 PM
15947

this would be cool to display all the star wars figures like the new a wing pilot and other x wing pilots too!

jedi master sal
08-22-2007, 10:05 PM
Why wait. I'll do it. :D


Modular pieces, while fine IF you have them all, just aren't an attractive purchase except for the relatively few die hard collectors out there.

The only way to effectively sell something like a Death Star playset is to make it all-in-one one-time purchase in a package that looks something at least vaguely looking like the Death Star from the movies. I truly think that you'd be hard pressed to convince a parent today to drop $20 bucks a pop on ??? number of "modular" plastic boxes slapped with the Star Wars logo with just their kid trying to convince them that it'll all be worth it in a few months when they get them all. Even then, you'd still have something that looks like a block of apartments rather than a "Death Star." How f'ing boring is that?

I would be, and I'd bet that most people would be, far more willing to drop $150 bucks in one visit to Toys R Us on an all-in-one playset (of anything in the Star Wars universe) than drop $20 bucks at a time over a long period of time for ... little plastic boxes (yawn :sleeping: )...that there is no guarantee of ever finding all of them.

I say, gimme a ship that looks like a ship from the movie. Gimme a playset that looks like the thing from the movie. :whip:

Well that was a very JT like answer.

So let me give a rebuttal.

I really don't think kids would be for the hallway pieces so much, that's why they are the cheap sets. They however would go for the medium and large room sets. Parent can more readily absorb $40-60 than $150-200 for one set.

In fact I think there is so many of us collectors who just don't have it in us to purchse $150 items anymore that while convenient to some so that can "have it all now," it's just not a practical purchase for the rest of us, collectors and kids/parents alike. Smaller sets that connect won't ding the wallet as hard every few months. Besides, if a $150 set tanks at retail, Hasbro is out big time, at least with these relatively easy small sets, if they prove to not sell, then Hasbro can stop manufacturing them and take much less of a hit on them and still say they tried. Besides, how big would one DS set be? Huge. Sure enough the modular sets "COULD" be. This again depends on our OWN desire, rather than one set size that many might not have the room for. Besides, modular sets can be positioned in such a way as to cover more space by going UP, around, over, etc. An all-in-one set won't do this.

Sorry but I just can't be convinced that one huge set will do it for all of us. Granted the same can be said for my idea of modular sets. But with modular sets we have more choice and Hasbro has less risk. More win-win IMO than a potential lose on one huge set.

We collectors are fickle, so even if there is only one or two things wrong in a set, we probably won't buy it. That's huge for the all-in-one set. With modular pieces, there would be at least some sets we'd like, so there are sales opportunities with each set, rather than putting one's eggs all-in-one basket.

Oh and I do like your line about "...that there is no guarantee of ever finding all of them. " heck that's an endorement for my idea whether you meant it or not. That means people would be BUYING these sets making it hard to find. Though I can't really see this being a problem as these would naturally be mass market, however I can see the big box stores asking for an exclusive room. Makes sense to me. Still, I don't see us having a problem trackign them down, with the help of our fellow forumites.

stillakid
08-22-2007, 10:38 PM
Oh and I do like your line about "...that there is no guarantee of ever finding all of them. " heck that's an endorement for my idea whether you meant it or not.

Not really an endorsement at all. What I meant was that due to the relative boredom factor of the modular sets, retail outlets aren't likely to order a lot of them. Enter the "collectors" who will buy anything Star Wars. The sets are gone. In comes another shipment which sits (pegwarms). Retailer gets tired of dusting the stock and stops ordering replacements and new sets. You might get two or five different modular sets before the retailer gives up, but it will happen. You won't get a "complete" Death Star (or whatever) because either A) Hasbro gives up and/or B)retailers don't stock all of the available sets either at all or til the end of the run.

Either way, modular sets would only work for a few and for a very short time resulting in nobody ever having a "complete" environment and wondering why Hasbro is filled with a bunch of shortsighted nitwits.

Jargo
08-23-2007, 07:14 AM
that's why I suggested singular backdrops akin to the cinema scene backdrop idea but 3D instead. as much as I love the idea of modular, it couldn't work. the potential for pegwarming sets is massive which would lead to bad sales reports and cancellation.

a lot of the settings in star wars are really boring. it's the characters and vehicles that bring them alive. so trying to sell playset environments means having to do something with the setting to increase the appeal to kids and casual purchasers. but that means screwing with the setting. which defeats the object.

if you take the cinma scene idea and then make the backdrops 3D it does a couple of things, makes the packaged sets look a darn sight better, looks niftier on your display shelves and gives kids a real setting for play. I don't think they need a full playset, just a bit to start their imaginations going. a context within which to begin play. in the same was as a vehicle is a catalyst to play.
frankly I'm of the opinion that if collectors want a huge environment they should get off their butts and make it themselves. As far as I'm concerned i don't need huge chunks of plastic to visualise the scene my figures are from. i'd be happy with just the blast doors from the death star docking bay in ANH. preferably working doors but if not then just some 3D sculpted door frame. I'd be happy to get a wall from the lars garage with the oil bath and doorway through to the rest of the homestead. just something to set off a collection of figures. in the same way as the geonosian war chamber holographic war console or the cantina bar pieces.

less is more.

DarkArtist
08-23-2007, 05:06 PM
for me a playset is like the old days for instance:

GI JOE Headquaters
Cobra Terrordome
Ghostbusters Firehouse
some of the smaller playsets from GI Joe like Checkpoint Alpha, Ammo Dump, etc.

If Hasbro were to dive back into the flow of playsets they should go with the modular playset ideas from some of the forum posters on this site. For instance a modular Death Star would be awesome and a great way to give us an exclusive figure that perhaps would never be single carded. Also a Jabba's Palace is a great way to release a Yarna figure and so on.

Sinscia Fat'o
08-23-2007, 06:17 PM
As much fun as i had with playsets as a kid, i gotta say now everything has changed. Kids don't really care whether everything is accurate, actually most kids just set up the figures on a table, or other surface with other props they like and play. And i've never heard a kid whine about why there aren't any playsets, though collectors on the other hand have cried many of rivers in the change of marketing from kenner to hasbro, vintage to modern...myself included.

Though if playsets where going to come back, and stay around things are going to have to change.
1.) Price, for Hasbro's sakes and the consumer.
2.) Features...
3.) Size
4.) Insentive to buy.

1.) Price, theres always a chance these things are going to bomb, so hasbro has to start small. The conumer being kids or collectors aren't going to trust hasbro at first so modulers are out of the question, so what i propose here would be something small like Jabba's throne pack, comes with throne, couple little creatures, Jabba himself, and a plastic base to set all of this on. It would also be nice to have the base have peg holes to have figures stand up properly.

2.)Features, in the begining this isn't needed, but if the smaller sets take off when we go to the 50 buck scale you're going to need some sort of features...A good example, Cantaina bar playset. Tables, and chairs, booths, and a bar. Comes with Wuhler. A few rooms, and store rooms, maybe has electronic noises such as han's blaster shot on greedo, chewie's roar, lightsaber hum, and the iconic cantania song. Something like this kids will like and collectors will get a kick out of of.

3. In the 80's bigger was better Gi Joe USS flagg...6 feet long air craft carrier awesome back then but now...never going to work in retail because of shelf room in stores. So we're going to have to keep it between 15-50 bucks...and not be larger than a human being. :)

4. We need insintive to buy thesse things, so they need to be diorama worthy for collectors and cool for kids. Kids are fickle as well as collectors, so exclusive figures, peg holes, ETC are needed.