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View Full Version : Would you accept thicker limbs on Battle Droid figures?



JediTricks
01-26-2009, 04:52 PM
The Battle Droid, first shown 10 years ago in Episode I, has always been a challenge for toy designers. George Lucas was none too kind to the action figure crowd by insisting on an ultra-thin robot design that in the film enjoys massive range of motion and transforms. Almost every aspect of the Battle Droid design has proven difficult to translate into toys, starting with the head and neck joints, going all the way down to the feet.

Arms suffer limited articulation, just a simple hinge elbow if anything, and only with the Clone Wars line has Hasbro tried ball-jointed shoulders. Poses involving holding the blaster are either limited to straight-armed inaccuracies, or require preposed arm sculpts which lose their looks when posed in other angles. However, many collectors continue to ask: what's a Battle Droid when it can't even hold its weapon properly?

But nothing has crippled Battle Droid figures like their slim leg designs. Once Lucasfilm insisted on a more accurate design, the leg designs got too thin to employ knee articulation, and Hasbro feared that the parts are so thin that a harder plastic would easily break and cause danger to small children. This has led to the notorious bendy-legged Battle Droid figures which cannot stand on their own. Their small feet, narrow stances, and top-heavy bodies simply cannot stand on their own for very long no matter which figure is involved.

Hasbro has shown with their Super Battle Droid figure that they are willing to beef up droid limbs a little in the service of adding articulation, yet that figure's lack of articulated ankles ultimately suffered the same bending problems as the other Battle Droids and Super Battle Droids.

There may need to be significant thickening of the arms and legs to get us to a point where there's enough articulation to keep the figure upright and allowed to pose in a multitude of ways.

So the question becomes: how much beefing-up of the limbs are fans willing to endure to get a Battle Droid that does what fans want?

Maerj2000
01-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Hi, first post!

I voted yes, as all of the Battle Droids I have are slumping over. Even using display stands doesn't work, they eventually bend. I would love to get replacement legs in a harder plastic so they stand up. Maybe they can have collector grade Battle Droids?

Maybe they could make a chiropractor droid for them named Roger?

JediTricks
01-26-2009, 05:52 PM
Ha! "Roger", nicely done. Welcome to the forums! I totally agree. I started this poll when I looked down at my Clone Wars BD and noticed that it was on its back.

Maerj2000
01-26-2009, 05:58 PM
Thank you! I was looking at mine the other day and the ones on stands with one peg are slumped off to the side. Battle Droids on 2 peg stands seem to just cause them to bend over like they have a stomach virus.

I imagine kids are sort of dissapointed by this as well. Speaking of which, do the new Clone Wars Battle Droids suffer from this as well?

JediTricks
01-26-2009, 06:05 PM
My Clone Wars BD sure does, that's the figure I was referring to above which caused me to start this post. I had been hoping the CW BD wouldn't suffer from this, then I look over and it's all drooped down on the ground already, the limbs having bent out of position.

I don't know if kids will care, a lot of kids don't display their figures, and it's a really tough one to get standing anyway. But if I were a kid again, I know I would have been bothered by this.

The strange thing is, the wider stance of the Security BD figure from back in the day kept it from suffering as much droop, and they've completely avoided dynamic posing for the legs since then.

Darth Jax
01-26-2009, 06:15 PM
titanium series bd's seems the only logical fix to me. can have the look and the structural support to prevent collapsing.

otherwise, make those legs thicker - if it'll keep them upright, i'm willing to overlook the aesthetics of it.

Slicker
01-26-2009, 06:21 PM
There has to be some sort of thicker substance they could use. I'm quite sure that it's all in the material they use and not just how skinny the limbs are.

dr_evazan22
01-26-2009, 06:33 PM
Yeah, I'm all for thicker legs and or more durable plastic that doesn't wilt. I have a slew of BD's still in E1 packaging and the only reason I don't release them from the plastic prison is b/c they'd fall and droop.

When the BD's were released again, in whatever the last series was, I bought a 2Pac of the camo BD's. They're still imprisoned as well.

The only thing the droopy's are good for are the deactivated BD's in TPM.

JON9000
01-26-2009, 07:58 PM
This will never happen, but the could make clear stands that clasp them at the waist .

Kidhuman
01-26-2009, 11:27 PM
Heck Yeah I would

Mad Slanted Powers
01-27-2009, 01:31 AM
Yeah, I'm all for thicker legs and or more durable plastic that doesn't wilt. I have a slew of BD's still in E1 packaging and the only reason I don't release them from the plastic prison is b/c they'd fall and droop. Actually, I don't think the Episode I battle droids had this problem. They were made of thicker more durable material.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
01-27-2009, 02:54 AM
Actually, I don't think the Episode I battle droids had this problem. They were made of thicker more durable material.
But they're horribly chunky-looking.

I voted for the middle option, and am the first one to do so. There should be a mix - the droids should look as they do in the movie, but not be made of rubbery material that bends so easily. I love the Security Battle Droid since it came the closest to being a perfect battle droid, and it had slightly larger joints without being noticeable. And, as has been said, the materials were sturdier.

pbarnard
01-27-2009, 02:59 PM
I'm not sure how this would work with the joints, but I think they can keep using the same plastic if they'd only reinforce it with something internally like a wire that is slightly more rigid than a paper clip (and about the same diameter too). This would only need to be done for the legs. The arms aren't as big a problem imo as the legs. Something has to be done. I give credit for trying and if they don't execute properly, well try something else. The obvious answer is nothing has worked exactly right with these guys yet.

Maerj2000
01-27-2009, 04:42 PM
Maybe they could just make them diecast from the ankle down to the foot? It would be cheaper than making them all 100% diecast. You wouldn't be able to move them but they'd stand a lot better.

jediguy
01-27-2009, 09:43 PM
without question I want thicker legs so they can stand up

all of my Episode One Battle Droids have no problems standing up
all of my other Battle Droids do

it's a shame that they used the same plastic used for the weapons (like the staffs that came with the Sarlacc set) to make Battle Droids
but even the cape on the Luke/Emperor set has plastic that is more firm than the new Battle Droid legs
boooooo!!

JediTricks
01-27-2009, 10:13 PM
titanium series bd's seems the only logical fix to me. can have the look and the structural support to prevent collapsing.We asked, they said no.


There has to be some sort of thicker substance they could use. I'm quite sure that it's all in the material they use and not just how skinny the limbs are.In this case, it'd be denser, not thicker. We've been bugging them about this for years now, they keep saying they're trying to do something but they haven't cracked it yet.


This will never happen, but the could make clear stands that clasp them at the waist .They'd probably say those would break and pose a danger. :p


I'm not sure how this would work with the joints, but I think they can keep using the same plastic if they'd only reinforce it with something internally like a wire that is slightly more rigid than a paper clip (and about the same diameter too). This would only need to be done for the legs. The arms aren't as big a problem imo as the legs. Something has to be done. I give credit for trying and if they don't execute properly, well try something else. The obvious answer is nothing has worked exactly right with these guys yet.Unfortunately, not only would that be a massive safety hazard - kids poking themselves - but the thin nature of the limbs would make the part very brittle in order to be that thin and still rigid.

Obsession is Nute
01-28-2009, 12:17 AM
I guess I am in the super-minority in saying no. I would prefer staying true to scale, as a matter of principle. I will not argue many of the battle droids have posing issues. However, my episode II and III BD's seem to fair just fine. They are delicate, to be sure, but that is just the issue with character. It is the newer battle droids, the ones that often come in the 2-packs, that seem cheaper to me. I never bought them, never will.

I found Mini-mags work wonders on the BDs, that is what I use for the balancing issues.

plasticfetish
01-28-2009, 03:28 AM
I voted "perhaps," but I honestly think that the Episode I Battle Droids were just fine.

Sometimes I wonder how much input Hasbro (or any toy company) really has when it comes to the plastics used for something specific like a Battle Droid figure. I'd be curious to know if they put much effort into it beyond telling the factory how they want a thing to look; and then the guys in China decide that in order to pull a particular part, with a certain amount of detail from their mold, that they need to use a more pliable plastic vs. something rigid.

I'm also curious to know how the coming laws with regard to the plasticizers (phthalates) will effect how something like a Battle Droid figure can be made. I kind of wonder if increased prices aren't a result of most toy companies going with less toxic and more expensive options.

pbarnard
01-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Unfortunately, not only would that be a massive safety hazard - kids poking themselves - but the thin nature of the limbs would make the part very brittle in order to be that thin and still rigid.

I'm sorry, but the advances in materials science, specifically in polymers and polymer coating on metals make this more and more the direction they should go. You can use a certain cross linked PVC that is bascially can only be torn by a knife, and you skirt around that issue.

If you don't like metals, well than than lets go the nano-tube route where essentially you make a cable of billions of nano-tubes so that you have a stiffer stronger non metalic core inside of the plastic. Either way, same effect.

As to the phtalates, the testing doesn't add to the cost signficantly because it can already be detected using other material QC tests. (I called some old collegues to find out what a test ran/insturmentation/etc, it was cheaper than most). Hasbro buys bulk lots of raw materials. To make production runs with enough lead (long e pronuciation) time, most of what is hitting the shelves today was bought when oil was spiking. This is essentially Hasbro passing along the cost of high oil/petroleum by-products.

Jaff
01-28-2009, 10:19 AM
My vote is yes, if the figures can't stand they are not that useful. They just need to use stronger material, but if they can't do that I'll take a little bigger limbs.

plasticfetish
01-28-2009, 06:37 PM
As to the phtalates, the testing doesn't add to the cost signficantly...I wasn't talking about testing, though that will become more of an issue in the next year or so. I was talking about the costs that (will) come with using more expensive phthalate free plastics.

...and I'd be surprised to find out that "Hasbro" buys the raw materials used to make their toys. I'd assume that it was whatever Chinese factory paying the current prices, and then passing it on to Hasbro in the form of higher production costs.

Hasbro can then decide if they want to offset those costs by raising prices, or just eat the increase in order to keep from scaring off their customers.

Same thing applies to how they design their toys. Do you put a little extra effort and money into producing a great looking and durable figure, or do you pinch pennies by reducing detail, articulation, and amount/quality of the plastics used?

Me? I'd vote for spending the money to make the best toy possible, because that's what keeps your customers happy, and builds brand loyalty; which is just about the only real form of insurance that you've got when the economy takes a dive.

JediTricks
01-30-2009, 03:22 PM
I voted "perhaps," but I honestly think that the Episode I Battle Droids were just fine.Hmm, I don't care for that sculpt at all anymore. It's very thick and inaccurate, and it can't hold its weapon except straight-armed like a 1978 Stormtrooper figure.


Sometimes I wonder how much input Hasbro (or any toy company) really has when it comes to the plastics used for something specific like a Battle Droid figure. I'd be curious to know if they put much effort into it beyond telling the factory how they want a thing to look; and then the guys in China decide that in order to pull a particular part, with a certain amount of detail from their mold, that they need to use a more pliable plastic vs. something rigid.The answer is "some". They've admitted in Q&A that they're working with their factories to get this better, so the factories have the final say. The problem is no overseers from Hasbro to deal with this.


I'm also curious to know how the coming laws with regard to the plasticizers (phthalates) will effect how something like a Battle Droid figure can be made. I kind of wonder if increased prices aren't a result of most toy companies going with less toxic and more expensive options.Hasbro's not had problems in that department, they've tested clean already with past toys, so I don't think it'll affect them.



I'm sorry, but the advances in materials science, specifically in polymers and polymer coating on metals make this more and more the direction they should go. You can use a certain cross linked PVC that is bascially can only be torn by a knife, and you skirt around that issue.

If you don't like metals, well than than lets go the nano-tube route where essentially you make a cable of billions of nano-tubes so that you have a stiffer stronger non metalic core inside of the plastic. Either way, same effect. Yes... that's totally realistic for a children's toy within this pricepoint. :crazed:

Not to mention, use of PVC is going the way of the dodo in toys. Plus, wouldn't using PVC that can only be cut means it's going to be more work to get it less pliable? Pliability is one of the strong points for anti-tear plastics, but they don't stand up in thin-walled construction.



...and I'd be surprised to find out that "Hasbro" buys the raw materials used to make their toys. I'd assume that it was whatever Chinese factory paying the current prices, and then passing it on to Hasbro in the form of higher production costs.Hasbro has a division called "Hasbro Far East" which buys the materials, they don't leave it up to the factories, though the factories often will end up using excess materials in other products.

pbarnard
01-30-2009, 03:57 PM
Yes... that's totally realistic for a children's toy within this pricepoint. :crazed:

Do you know what it costs? If it can be used to make wrinkle free garments, "microfiber" fleece, reproducible circuit boards with reduced failure occurances, microcameras used in medical diagnosis, and drug delivery of gene therapy vectors and not hitting oncogenes like previous gene therapies, and cut the cost of each 10-15% than why isn't it being used here? Since they wouldn't have a sizeable surface area to creat a jagged edge, there really isn't much chance of tear on top of that.

Eventually, the molds and surfaces will have some aspect of nano-surface chemistry/physics to them. The sooner Hasbro makes the capital investment, the sooner it can move on to what comes next, because this change will be coming.

TheDarthVader
02-02-2009, 01:19 PM
I voted yes. Articulation and standing up are more important that 100% movie accurate.