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View Full Version : Ball and socket head connection and when they fail...



JEDIpartner
06-11-2007, 09:36 AM
I know that generally more articulation is better. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be the case with the ball and socket head/neck joints.

I MEAN, REALLY, FOLKS!!!!! (http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/TAC/VTSCleiaheadrt.jpg)

While I like those types of joints on some figures. They just don't work on all of them. Maybe they could try putting the ball-end on the part where the neck connects into the body?

Qui-Long Gone
06-11-2007, 10:11 AM
For the record I have never like the ball and socket head feature on anything other than a trooper....as much as I love red piolot Obi Wan, even that figure is made less with the feature.

Lord Malakite
06-11-2007, 10:16 AM
Hehe, Leia has an E.T. thing going on in that picture. Maybe she wants to phone home.

bigbarada
06-11-2007, 11:01 AM
Like any piece of articulation, it can be done well and not so well. That Leia looks horrible and that problem exists on the VTSC Luke also. However, I don't think the VOTC Han Solo looks bad at all, the same with VOTC Leia and about 90% of the other human figures will balljoint heads.

I personally like the balljoints because it makes headswaps so much easier; but Hasbro seems to blow it every once in a while.

Plus, putting the balljoint at the bottom of the neck would not replicate natural human movement at all. When we move our heads, we tend to rotate them at the base of the skull and the rest of the neck just follows.

So, I don't think this is proof that all balljoint heads are bad, it's just proof that Hasbro's quality control must be sleeping on the job.

darthvyn
06-11-2007, 11:56 AM
Plus, putting the balljoint at the bottom of the neck would not replicate natural human movement at all. When we move our heads, we tend to rotate them at the base of the skull and the rest of the neck just follows.

while that's true, a swivel peg at the bottom of the neck can replicate the natural side-to-side turning of the head, and a hinge at the base of the skull can get the up and down motion well replicated, but a ball-joint is the most natural-looking head/neck joint for some of the more complex movements. in that essence, it's a question of when to do a peg/hinge and suffer a slight lack of mobility in lieu of a more natural sculpt, or to have the mobility and attempt to execute it in a well-conceived way. obviously in this case, they've made the wrong decision, or at least executed it badly.

darko666
06-11-2007, 12:24 PM
that is hideous looking. that poncho does more than just keep her hidden on Endor, it protects us from having to see her chicken neck.

El Chuxter
06-11-2007, 01:00 PM
That's what you get when you overpay by $3-5 for these stupid Vintage figures. :rolleyes:

bigbarada
06-11-2007, 01:35 PM
That's what you get when you overpay by $3-5 for these stupid Vintage figures. :rolleyes:

The problem exists in the regular line too.

I think the mistake Hasbro is making here is they are trying to retain the full range of motion of the balljoint neck while the helmet is on (both vintage Endor Leia and X-Wing Luke have removable helmets), thus they have to make the neck too thin.

Again, quality control should have caught this.

Devo
06-11-2007, 06:58 PM
I go on about this in virtually every post I ever type. And this Leia is the single most horrific example I can imagine seeing. Please Hasbro stop this and stop it now!! GO BACK TO SWIVEL NECKS FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SACRED IN 3 3"4 FIGURES!!! When they're good they're only alright (and barely operable I might add- ROTS Evolutions Anakin) but when balljointed heads are bad they destroy the entire figure. End it now.

Devo
06-11-2007, 07:22 PM
However, I don't think the VOTC Han Solo looks bad at all, the same with VOTC Leia and about 90% of the other human figures will balljoint heads.

I personally like the balljoints because it makes headswaps so much easier;.



Well I disagree about VOTC han and Leia. Theirs aren't the worst ball-joint heads but they still look inferior to head sculpts of the POTJ era such as Death star escape Han and Swing to Freedom Leia. VOTC Han's hair is made too short to facilitate the extra motion and is thus innaccurate to his appearance in the film. His head also seems to lean forward in a neanderthalesque fashion due to the angle of the neck stalk. Leia's neck stalk is too long, her hairline is affected badly at the back of her head and the face sculpt just winds up being poor (not directly as a result of the ball-joint I'll grant you). It just saddens me that as time goes on headsculpts are disimproving when we've had head sculpts in the past which are as good as they could possibly get in this scale. Quite how the 25th anniversary Leia headsculpt hasn't been used again continues to baffle me. It is the definitive ANH Leia headsculpt. It seems these superior old sculpts are now going to be ignored in favour of new and increasingly poorer sculpts with ill-advised attempts at articulation.

And also - how do ball-joint necks make headswaps easier? The Balls and sockets as well as the neck lengths differ from figure to figure - its rare to find 2 ball-joint head figures who are compatible in all these categories - exactly how are people swapping heads between these figures and having them look right?

bigbarada
06-11-2007, 08:55 PM
Well I disagree about VOTC han and Leia. Theirs aren't the worst ball-joint heads but they still look inferior to head sculpts of the POTJ era such as Death star escape Han and Swing to Freedom Leia. VOTC Han's hair is made too short to facilitate the extra motion and is thus innaccurate to his appearance in the film. His head also seems to lean forward in a neanderthalesque fashion due to the angle of the neck stalk. Leia's neck stalk is too long, her hairline is affected badly at the back of her head and the face sculpt just winds up being poor (not directly as a result of the ball-joint I'll grant you). It just saddens me that as time goes on headsculpts are disimproving when we've had head sculpts in the past which are as good as they could possibly get in this scale. Quite how the 25th anniversary Leia headsculpt hasn't been used again continues to baffle me. It is the definitive ANH Leia headsculpt. It seems these superior old sculpts are now going to be ignored in favour of new and increasingly poorer sculpts with ill-advised attempts at articulation.

And also - how do ball-joint necks make headswaps easier? The Balls and sockets as well as the neck lengths differ from figure to figure - its rare to find 2 ball-joint head figures who are compatible in all these categories - exactly how are people swapping heads between these figures and having them look right?

Well, I don't think it's as bad as all that. I think for the most part, they look good.

I've done headswaps between similar figures, for instance if you put the VOTC Han Solo's head onto the VTSC Endor Han's body, then it greatly improves that figure. Contrary to what everyone thinks, they are not the same head.

Plus I put the Galactic Marine's Clone head on the Airborne Trooper's body, since I like the Airborne Trooper better, but prefer the younger Clone face.

So, it's not the end of the world, they're just toys... take a deep breath and go for a walk or something to calm yourself down.:p

Devo
06-11-2007, 09:23 PM
Well its just about bedtime for me. That ought to calm me somewhat but I wouldn't expect that to last.

I actually tried the VOTC han head on the VTSC figure. Looked better alright but since I only have one VOTC Han I didn't want to make it permanent. And now I'm using the POTF2 head on my endor Han (glued on so theres no mobility but at least it looks better)- certainly wasn't going to stick with that pea-head.

Thats the other thing about balljointed heads - ever since they became a regular feature there has been no consistency in the sizes of heads. Many end up being ridiculously small not only in relation to other characters' figures but also relative to other figures of the same character (like VTSC Han compared with VOTC Han) and they can be too small for their own bodies - TAC Mace Windu/VTSC Han. When Hasbro used to use swivel heads we didn't have this issue. So this is another reason why I can't see how 'head swapping' is a supposed benefit of ball-jointed heads - most of the time you can't put one head on another figures body because its too big or too small - even if the ball&socket allowed the transplant in the first place.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-11-2007, 09:28 PM
Six vintage figures, four of which have ball joint heads. The only one that really looks bad is Leia, and it's not so much the head, it is the long neck. Given the cloak that she has, that extra space provided by the longer neck comes in handy.

I'm looking at all of the basic figures that I have from the TAC so far. The following all have the ball joint heads and they look fine:

Ceremony Luke
Han Solo
Rebel Honor Guard
Death Star Trooper
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Mace Windu
Galactic Marine
Airborne Trooper
Stormtrooper
Lava Miner
AOTC Clone (Saga Legends)

Some of those have other issues with the head (Luke's skin and hair, Obi-Wan's mouth), but the joints seem fine. The last two (Lava Miner and AOTC Clone) don't have human heads so they can easily avoid the Leia problem.

JediTricks
06-11-2007, 10:47 PM
Come on now, this isn't a normal example of this type of articulation, they obviously designed it to accommodate the fat cloth poncho.

Jargo
06-12-2007, 07:10 AM
I prefer the idea of a forward back tilt at the base of the neck and a side to side at the top of the neck. It doesn't even have to move that much. a few degrees. just enough to change the angle of the sight line. and unless it's a figure like Leia Endor where sitting on a speeder bike will mean she needs backwards tilt on her neck to face forward, i can't see a reason for ball jointing a head.

Devo
06-12-2007, 02:45 PM
Six vintage figures, four of which have ball joint heads. The only one that really looks bad is Leia, and it's not so much the head, it is the long neck. Given the cloak that she has, that extra space provided by the longer neck comes in handy.

I'm looking at all of the basic figures that I have from the TAC so far. The following all have the ball joint heads and they look fine:

Ceremony Luke
Han Solo
Rebel Honor Guard
Death Star Trooper
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Mace Windu
Galactic Marine
Airborne Trooper
Stormtrooper
Lava Miner
AOTC Clone (Saga Legends)

Some of those have other issues with the head (Luke's skin and hair, Obi-Wan's mouth), but the joints seem fine. The last two (Lava Miner and AOTC Clone) don't have human heads so they can easily avoid the Leia problem.


A few of the ones you mention wear helmets so the joints are hidden, and only one of the other new Vintage figures has a human head (no helmet) with a ball-joint and thats luke, admittedly not the worst example. Ceremony Luke has a high collar and thats the only reason why the ball-joint is mildly acceptable on that figure. And come on - you honestly think Mace Windu looks 'fine'??!! http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/TAC/TAC06maceheadrt.jpg

better than say this? http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/episodeI/e1macecloakrightnocloak.jpg


Or try this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/ROTS/swevol_AS-DVanakin2headlt.jpg - versus this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/swsaga/sw0243anakintasidelt.jpg

this pilot luke head - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/TSC/tscVlukexwingyavin.jpg&text=Take%20care%20of%20yourself,%20Han. - versus this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/potj/25thlukeright.jpg

this Leia headsculpt - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/potj/25thleiadraw.jpg - versus this cute kid - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleiaanatomy.jpg&text=Anatomy%20of%20an%20Articulated%20Senator

JEDIpartner
06-12-2007, 06:41 PM
LOL Leia looks like Katherine, the little 4-year old who lives next door. :D

bigbarada
06-12-2007, 07:02 PM
this Leia headsculpt - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/potj/25thleiadraw.jpg - versus this cute kid - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleiaanatomy.jpg&text=Anatomy%20of%20an%20Articulated%20Senator

I like that VOTC Leia way better than the 25th Anniversary one. To me, it's one of the few modern Leia figures we've gotten that looks really good.

That Mace does look terrible, but the Anakin and Luke aren't really THAT bad.

JediTricks
06-12-2007, 07:05 PM
I prefer the idea of a forward back tilt at the base of the neck and a side to side at the top of the neck. It doesn't even have to move that much. a few degrees. just enough to change the angle of the sight line. and unless it's a figure like Leia Endor where sitting on a speeder bike will mean she needs backwards tilt on her neck to face forward, i can't see a reason for ball jointing a head.Base of the neck articulation is worthless by itself, the range of motion is limited to a few degrees at best, after that it doesn't want to move and it shouldn't since it'd look bizarre.

There was a POTF2 Luke figure I believe that had a base-of-neck joint to look up and down, Flashback Floppy Hat Luke I believe, collectors didn't even know it was there because it was so unusable.

It also requires changing the way the torsos look and act at the top which can be detrimental to the look of the figure. The joint's best possible function is to accent the ball-jointed head.

The human head just doesn't work that way, the majority of head motion is found at the midpoint of the neck and above. The only figure that's tried to use this has been Ep 1 Ascension Gun Amidala and it looked like a frankenstein monster with that hinge in the middle of its neck.

I think the real fix is to redesign HOW the ball-jointed head is made, they don't have to look bad, the Asajj Ventress figure is an example of an adequate ball-jointed head. By designing thinner walls around the base of the head, shaping it further into the ball to avoid gapping, perhaps creating "jowls" to cover the chin issue (though the adam's apple design is working for some of them already) and maybe using rubberized materials could help. But I don't want to lose this kind of joint, it adds a lot of character to an otherwise static part of the figure, a part that's the most expressive no less.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-12-2007, 10:36 PM
And come on - you honestly think Mace Windu looks 'fine'??!! http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/TAC/TAC06maceheadrt.jpg

better than say this? http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/episodeI/e1macecloakrightnocloak.jpgThe picture of the TAC Mace is a few times bigger than the actual figure, so that makes it look worse than it actually is. When I looked at it before my previous post, I didn't really notice that. The cloak and hood cover it up anyway. My bigger complaint on this figure is the arms, but those are mostly covered up by the cloak as well.




Or try this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/ROTS/swevol_AS-DVanakin2headlt.jpg - versus this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/swsaga/sw0243anakintasidelt.jpg

this pilot luke head - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/TSC/tscVlukexwingyavin.jpg&text=Take%20care%20of%20yourself,%20Han. - versus this - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/potj/25thlukeright.jpg

this Leia headsculpt - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/potj/25thleiadraw.jpg - versus this cute kid - http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleiaanatomy.jpg&text=Anatomy%20of%20an%20Articulated%20SenatorIf having swivel a head means that the rest of the figure is going to look as bad as those, then I'll accept the ball-jointed head as the weak part of an overall better figure. The head on that VOTC Leia is not a bad example of a ball-jointed head. The pilot Luke is too straight of a line from ear to jaw, so that doesn't look the best. Anakin has the same problem, but overall that is the best AOTC Anakin there is. All the previous versions had extreme poses or action features.

bigbarada
06-13-2007, 12:19 AM
Base of the neck articulation is worthless by itself, the range of motion is limited to a few degrees at best, after that it doesn't want to move and it shouldn't since it'd look bizarre.

There was a POTF2 Luke figure I believe that had a base-of-neck joint to look up and down, Flashback Floppy Hat Luke I believe, collectors didn't even know it was there because it was so unusable.

It also requires changing the way the torsos look and act at the top which can be detrimental to the look of the figure. The joint's best possible function is to accent the ball-jointed head.

The human head just doesn't work that way, the majority of head motion is found at the midpoint of the neck and above. The only figure that's tried to use this has been Ep 1 Ascension Gun Amidala and it looked like a frankenstein monster with that hinge in the middle of its neck.

I think the real fix is to redesign HOW the ball-jointed head is made, they don't have to look bad, the Asajj Ventress figure is an example of an adequate ball-jointed head. By designing thinner walls around the base of the head, shaping it further into the ball to avoid gapping, perhaps creating "jowls" to cover the chin issue (though the adam's apple design is working for some of them already) and maybe using rubberized materials could help. But I don't want to lose this kind of joint, it adds a lot of character to an otherwise static part of the figure, a part that's the most expressive no less.

I agree 110%!:thumbsup: I love the range of subtle expression that the balljoint neck allows.

I studied anatomy when we were creating 3D human characters in my computer animation class. All of the neck muscles run from the collarbone up to the base of the skull and the muscles pull down on the head, they don't pull up on the body. So all rotation in the neck actually starts out at the base of the skull and the rest of the neck just follows along.

You can move your head around from the base of the neck, but it usually requires a conscious effort to do so without rotating the base of your skull.

I remember the ARAH GI Joe figures had base of the neck rotation for a while and it wasn't really very useful. It never looked proper or natural at all and made the figures look more like robots.

figrin bran
06-13-2007, 01:33 AM
for those of you that have the TAC Jawa, do you think the ball jointed head was really necessary? usually i'm in favor of it but in this case it seems superfluous.

the 2 bandoliers restrict movement of the head and if you try to tilt it upwards slightly, you see the underside of the head where the joint goes in and it looks unnatural. and if you tilt it too much you just end up popping the head off.

Devo
06-13-2007, 06:47 PM
The picture of the TAC Mace is a few times bigger than the actual figure, so that makes it look worse than it actually is..

I really don't think the size of the image has anything to do with how bad the figure looks. My figure looks every bit has bad in my hand as in that picture.


If having swivel a head means that the rest of the figure is going to look as bad as those, then I'll accept the ball-jointed head as the weak part of an overall better figure. The head on that VOTC Leia is not a bad example of a ball-jointed head. The pilot Luke is too straight of a line from ear to jaw, so that doesn't look the best. Anakin has the same problem, but overall that is the best AOTC Anakin there is. All the previous versions had extreme poses or action features.


I wasn't pointing your attention to the rest of the sculpts of those figures only the heads. The preposed bodies have nothing to do with balljointed heads or the lack thereof. I was asking, objectively, which heads look better? Forget about the bodies. The 25th anniversary Leia quite clearly has a superior headsculpt and facial likeness. The Anakin from 2002 clearly has a better headsculpt, preposed body notwithstanding.

Headsculpts used to be more realistic, more accurate, consistently proportioned and ultimately better before they started complicating the whole process with ball-joints. I simply cannot see how a clear, works-for-all method of integrating ball-jointed heads can ever be achieved. The quality will always be variable and we'll be stuck with more abominations like endor Leia in times to come. Its not worth it just to get a tiny bit of extra motion.

bigbarada
06-13-2007, 07:30 PM
The 25th anniversary Leia quite clearly has a superior headsculpt and facial likeness.

I don't agree with that at all, I think the VOTC Leia is the better sculpt.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-13-2007, 08:58 PM
I guess I agree with what JT said. I don't think they should do away with ball-jointed heads, just improve how some of them are done. For the most part, they add more to the figure then detract from it. Those that do look bad are usually on figures that are otherwise improved figures. Evolutions AOTC Anakin, VTSC X-Wing Luke, and VTAC Leia all fall in that category for me. With the Leia, I don't have to look at the neck because the cloak and helmet hide it. With the others, I'm usually looking at them head on, so I don't see the back part of the jaw, or lack thereof.

Devo
06-13-2007, 09:12 PM
I don't agree with that at all, I think the VOTC Leia is the better sculpt.

It looks like a 3 3/4 figure of a barbie doll not a 3 3/4 figure of carrie fisher in ANH!! Thats with the overlong neck aside.

Devo
06-13-2007, 09:14 PM
Those that do look bad are usually on figures that are otherwise improved figures. Evolutions AOTC Anakin, VTSC X-Wing Luke, and VTAC Leia all fall in that category for me.


What annoys me is precisely that these are otherwise good figures held back from being definitive because of these ugly heads.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-13-2007, 10:00 PM
It looks like a 3 3/4 figure of a barbie doll not a 3 3/4 figure of carrie fisher in ANH!! Thats with the overlong neck aside.

I can agree with the dollish/cartoony look of that figure, but the ball-joint on it looks all right to me.

bigbarada
06-13-2007, 10:36 PM
It looks like a 3 3/4 figure of a barbie doll not a 3 3/4 figure of carrie fisher in ANH!! Thats with the overlong neck aside.

So what? I've already stated that I could care less about actor likenesses. The figure is great and probably my all-time favorite Leia action figure.

I had that 25th Anniversary Leia figure and I never thought it looked all that good. Definitely not a great Carrie Fisher likeness either, the head is too small and a little masculine looking.

You're going on and on about something subjective. You're not stating facts, you're only stating your opinions and personal preferences. Not all of us see this as the great human tragedy that you are making it out to be. In fact, some of us are just the opposite and think it would be really unfortunate for Hasbro to abandon this type of neck articulation and step backwards to something that is less expressive and just plain inferior.

JediTricks
06-14-2007, 01:41 AM
I remember the ARAH GI Joe figures had base of the neck rotation for a while and it wasn't really very useful. It never looked proper or natural at all and made the figures look more like robots.YES! For a good number of years in the original RAH line, they had those ball-jointed necks and it made the torso look weird, made the neck bulge out, and was nearly useless. I had forgotten all about those entries, but good call!


Its not worth it just to get a tiny bit of extra motion.First off, it's not a "tiny bit of extra motion", it's a significant amount, of extra motion - up, down, and tilting for expression is a lot. You can't do anything remotely like this with old-school neck articulation:
http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleiaup.jpg

So for me, it absolutely is worth it when they don't screw up too badly. Heck, even the TAC Death Star Trooper has a ball-jointed head that works well, and that head's messed up so it's not even symmetrical!



The head on that VOTC Leia is not a bad example of a ball-jointed head.
The 25th anniversary Leia quite clearly has a superior headsculpt and facial likeness.
I don't agree with that at all, I think the VOTC Leia is the better sculpt.The picture included for VOTC Leia wasn't a fair one, these make it look far better:
http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleialeft.jpg
http://www.rebelscum.com/photo.asp?image=/OTC/VOTCleiaright.jpg
And in that second shot, the figure isn't suffering heavily from its ball-jointed head even though it's showing off the articulation.


I can agree with the dollish/cartoony look of that figure, but the ball-joint on it looks all right to me.It does look dollish, but that's because of the paint, not the sculpt.



for those of you that have the TAC Jawa, do you think the ball jointed head was really necessary? usually i'm in favor of it but in this case it seems superfluous.

the 2 bandoliers restrict movement of the head and if you try to tilt it upwards slightly, you see the underside of the head where the joint goes in and it looks unnatural. and if you tilt it too much you just end up popping the head off.Yeah, it's superfluous in terms of articulation, but I believe it's not meant for articulation's sake, it's meant for assembly's sake. You can tell because of how high into the head it goes.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-14-2007, 02:42 AM
You know, I think my bigger complaint now is ball-jointed ankles. They seem to be at least partly responsible for shallow peg-holes. I was trying to put VOTC Lando on one of the new stands, and I could only get it on half-way. VOTC Luke is the same or worse. Maybe it's not the fault of the ankle joint, because not all seem to have that problem.

Devo
06-14-2007, 12:05 PM
Sorry for coming across kind of aggressively dogmatic with my opinion. As much as it feels like fact to me the very existence of opposing viewpoints dictates that it isn't fact.

I do however have difficulty understanding how people complain about things like the Death Star troopers shoulder and knee joints being 'ugly' and yet sing the praises of a ball-joint neck such as TAC Mace Windu (no boarder in particular in mind here, I see it over on rebelscum aswell). To me its a contradiction. I happen to agree that the DStrooper has unattractively bulky shoulder and knee joints however I can put that down in my mind as bulking&creasing of clothing. Big gaps between the neck&jaw, bizarrely jutting out parts of the head&face (endor Leia looks to have about a centimetre distance between her neck and the tip of her chin, VTSC pilot Luke's hair sticks out a mile at the back), entire omissions of parts of the facial anatomy (Evolutions AOTC anakin's lower jaw) are a bit much for me to accept for the sake of any amount of up/down/tilting motion. It just doesn't look natural, never mind about the movement being more natural than balljointing at the base of the neck.

And one thing that surely is fact is the now ever changing sizes of heads. If anyone can prove me wrong and point to figures of the old days where there were discrepancies in head proportions between human figures, feel free to do so.

JediTricks
06-18-2007, 10:15 PM
You know, I think my bigger complaint now is ball-jointed ankles. They seem to be at least partly responsible for shallow peg-holes. I was trying to put VOTC Lando on one of the new stands, and I could only get it on half-way. VOTC Luke is the same or worse. Maybe it's not the fault of the ankle joint, because not all seem to have that problem.No, it generally is the fault of that joint, the joint requires the thickest part of the foot to anchor into which would normally be where the footpeg hole would go and now cannot. I don't use stands all that much so it's not a huge loss for me, and the gains I get in return far outweigh having to cut down a stand's peg. Figures like Cmdr Cody who have no articulated ankles but are in action poses annoy the hell out of me because their legs won't let them take almost any pose beyond the one Hasbro intends for it.


I do however have difficulty understanding how people complain about things like the Death Star troopers shoulder and knee joints being 'ugly' and yet sing the praises of a ball-joint neck such as TAC Mace Windu (no boarder in particular in mind here, I see it over on rebelscum aswell). To me its a contradiction.To be fair, the universal-jointed knees and elbow designs are starting to get sloppier, and the DST is an example of this - the puffy knees shouldn't be an issue, but the design of the upper leg doesn't flow into the wider knee joint and makes that joint seem like it's the problem when in fact it's the limbs above it at fault.

A similar statement could be made on ball-jointed heads, some of the designs are not up to snuff, and I've complained when ball-jointed heads are done poorly too even though I feel they're the superior joint in general.


It just doesn't look natural, never mind about the movement being more natural than balljointing at the base of the neck.It isn't natural, these are plastic action figures, the question is what gains vs losses the joint brings, and obviously there's no consensus in here on that issue. There can be no question however that the ball-jointed head is vastly superior in range of motion to that of any prior design.


And one thing that surely is fact is the now ever changing sizes of heads. If anyone can prove me wrong and point to figures of the old days where there were discrepancies in head proportions between human figures, feel free to do so.Big-head/small-head Han (http://www.rebelscum.com/VINtHan.asp) is one of the most classic vintage variations of all time. And back in those days, Kenner wasn't too particular about scale so everybody got pretty much the same sized head which made it a lot easier.

bigbarada
06-18-2007, 11:27 PM
I think the small heads are a conscious design choice, since they are showing up in different Hasbro toy lines. Maybe another attempt to make the figures look "heroic." I don't believe it is related to the ball-socket necks any more than the swivel-waist articulation of the first POTF2 figures was responsible for the overly muscular physiques.

For the first couple of years of Hasbro using the ball-socket neck there was no small head issue at all. I believe it was the 2004 Saga Skiff Guard Lando and Captain Antilles when they first started showing up in the standard figure line. However, it wasn't until last year that the heads really started to get ridiculously small. So they are two separate complaints.