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View Full Version : Happy 15th Anniversary POTF2!



bigbarada
05-29-2010, 01:03 PM
Seriously, I have trouble believing that the Star Wars line has been going for 1.5 decades now. Especially considering that the original Kenner line only lasted for 8 years.

To put the numbers in perspective, in 1995, the POTF figures were only 10 years old, the oldest ROTJ figures were 12 years old. ESB figures were 15 years old and the entire Star Wars toy line was only 18 years old. Going by age alone, those first POTF2 figures are more "vintage" now than the majority of the vintage line back in 1995.

So is anyone getting a bit nostalgic for those early POTF2 figures? I am a little bit, until I start really looking at the toys again and realizing just how bad they really were. It's amazing that the line survived those first two years, especially without any media support whatsoever (unless you count the THX VHS releases and the SOTE "multimedia event").

What amazes me most is that if you were to take the worst figure released in 2009 and compare that up side-by-side with the best figure released in 1995, then the 2009 figure would still look 10 times better. The overall quality of the line has progressed that much. And yet it seems that fans complain and nitpick now more than ever.

Anyways, I just thought it was interesting to note another easily overlooked Star Wars anniversary this year.

Mad Slanted Powers
05-29-2010, 02:46 PM
I just ordered the last three ROTS wave figures I couldn't find from Brian's Toys, and I went ahead and added POTF2 Greedo to the order since I had somehow missed him when trying to get caught up on that line. I didn't really need it since the Greedos I have are much better, but I figured I would get it for completeness.

I'm not sure what I would have thought of the figures if I had tried collecting them when they were new. I noticed them on the pegs in 1996 after I started working at Wal-Mart, but didn't really notice the quality of the figures. I was just fascinated by all the characters that I never had figures of when I was a kid. I had stopped collecting early in the ESB line. I really felt like grabbing one of everything, but realized that would easily put me over $100, and I couldn't really bring myself to start collecting at that point. It wasn't until TPM that I finally started collecting.

One other difference now is the sheer number of figures. The original vintage line had just over 100 figures. We had a bit more than that in the 4 or 5 years of the POTF2 line, including the EU, SOTE, Flashback and Commtech figures. With the Saga 2002 line, things really started to increase to where we started getting 50-60 figures a year or more. Nearly 70 were in the ROTS line. So, it is kind of nice to see them reduce the number of figures, at least if it allows them to keep the quality high and if the distribution and availability is better.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-29-2010, 04:17 PM
That's kind of crazy to believe. I first saw the films and started buying the figures in 1997, but I was able to catch up on the earlier stuff thanks to repacks and comic stores and so on (with eBay playing a larger part later).

Your point about nitpicking is dead-on. I wasn't on the forums until 1999 or so, but lately (especially on otheR Sites) people seem to feel entitled to perfect little representations of the characters and complain when every single background character doesn't have 14 points of articulation (not that I haven't raised a few issues myself, but it's usually in the interest of nailing something when I know there's going to be a re-release). I'll also never understand why people complain about repacks. I can see people getting worried about certain repacks (Plo, Saesee) causing pegwarming, but they've been repacking figures since the vintage line, on through POTF2 with its red card/green card/Flashback Photo etc. days. As I said, it worked great for me when I was starting out so that I could get all the main characters. Maybe it's the rise of the Internet that has bred all this short-sightedness and complaining? I don't know.

Some of my earliest POTF2 memories involve going to stores and constantly seeing cool new figures. This would often happen at KB Toys or Kmart, both of which have closed down in my area since then. I can remember getting the Han and Jabba set and still wanting the single-carded Han because it was different - that was very likely the start of my obsession. :D

bigbarada
05-29-2010, 10:00 PM
Some of my earliest POTF2 memories involve going to stores and constantly seeing cool new figures. This would often happen at KB Toys or Kmart, both of which have closed down in my area since then. I can remember getting the Han and Jabba set and still wanting the single-carded Han because it was different - that was very likely the start of my obsession. :D

I had heard about the new Star Wars line way back in 1994 in an issue of Wizard magazine, I think. This would have been about a year before they started hitting stores in fall of 1995, so it was most likely around summertime of 1994.

So it was probably around late July or early August of '95 when I started going to stores for the sole purpose of looking for the new Star Wars figures. Eventually I found a giant empty spot at a Target with shelf labels for all the figures and toys; but the only thing there was a lone AT-ST. So I bought that and kept going back to that Target every weekend (I was stationed in Ft. Hood at the time with no car, so I had to keep taking a taxi out there). I was mainly looking for the Stormtrooper (since the idea of a Stormtrooper action figure who could actually turn his head was totally mind-boggling to me) and Darth Vader. Soon enough, I found Luke, Ben, Han, Chewie and R2, but no one else. I hadn't planned to buy them but I went ahead and picked up those five figures because I was worried I would regret it later if I passed them up. That was probably when the obsession really started for me.

I eventually found Vader and the Stormtrooper a month or two later and I went crazy buying Stormtroopers. I would buy every one I could find for about a year.

I remember Leia and Threepio had been pushed back into wave 2 and I wouldn't see a Threepio figure until early 1996; but Monkey-Leia was the one everyone was clamoring for back then.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-29-2010, 10:23 PM
I lucked out and found a toy store (which sadly, no longer exists here :cry: ) just opening a box, and snagged Leia, Threepio, and a Stormtrooper all at once. My first POTF2 was Obi-Wan (the only figure there), and I bought the TIE Fighter at the same time; he didn't even fit inside. In fact, I have very good memories about buying the first wave of this line:

Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi: at K-mart
Artoo-Deetoo and Chewbacca: at Best Products :dead:
Princess Leia, Stormtrooper, and See-Threepio: at Play Co. Toys :dead:
Luke Skywalker: at Toys R Us
Han Solo: at Toys R Us
Darth Vader: at ??

All were "long sabers" before I even knew what that meant, and all were opened soon after arriving home.

RoonStones
05-30-2010, 02:01 AM
So is anyone getting a bit nostalgic for those early POTF2 figures?

My goodness. Has it been 15 years? The "muscle" Luke, the "shemale" Leia, the awkward standing Stormtrooper, the circle/half circle Boba Fett :laugh:

I guess my most vivid memory back then was trying to be the biggest completist out there since vintage Kenner stuff was selling for top dollar. I remember all the technical variations of cards (short tray long saber, long saber long tray, short tray no saber [???]) and thinking which ones would sell the most at the Flea Market.

I also remember the scarcity of these figures as flea market dealers would get this figures long before Toys R Us would, selling some of these figs for upwards of $40, and me being silly enough to shell out what little money I had.

Multiple variations and years of market oversaturation later I can still look back on that as a great time knowing the SW market was starting up again. What I liked the most was that after nearly 10 years between Kenner's POTF line and this, I could look forward to going back to the same Toys R Us I shopped at as a kid and look for new SW figures again :D

bigbarada
05-31-2010, 12:25 AM
I remember lots of speculation back in the early days; but this was when the hobby was fed mostly by rumors.

I went to a local comic book show and they had the new Lando, Boba Fett and Luke X-Wing figures. The guy was charging $40 for Lando because, according to him, he was being produced in smaller numbers since Kenner didn't like the final result. So Lando was supposed to be extra rare. Anyways, I didn't like the final result either, so I just walked away with the Boba Fett and Luke X-Wing.... at $25 each. :cross-eye

At another local show, a guy was selling the Speeder Bike with the Biker Scout with a note next to it saying that it was being recalled by Kenner because of faulty springs, so these would be the last ones that anyone ever saw. $30 later, that was mine as well. :cross-eye :cross-eye

Looking back, I don't really regret much. Star Wars was back after a ten year absence so I think the excitement of that just overwhelmed my common sense on more than one occasion.

Bel-Cam Jos
05-31-2010, 10:38 AM
I learned a valuable lesson back then, with these simple words:


A not-quite MOC POTF2 orange card Lando
For $35.
:upset:After that debacle, I decided never to settle for a collectible, if I did not feel comfortable with the deal.

bigbarada
05-31-2010, 12:27 PM
I learned a valuable lesson back then, with these simple words:

After that debacle, I decided never to settle for a collectible, if I did not feel comfortable with the deal.

Ouch, yep, been there. I also remember having to pay $25 for the Kellogg's Han Stormtrooper in late 1996 after I had already eaten the requisite number of Froot Loops boxes (the cereal inside the boxes, not the boxes themselves), sent in all of my proofs of purchase and received absolutely nothing in return from Kenner. :upset:

Then there was the AT-AT that I bought, in which the General Veers figure had giant black blobs of paint all over his face. I actually called customer service on that one and they sent me a mailing label to send him back and they eventually mailed me a second AT-AT Driver in exchange. To this day, I've never actually seen a non-defective POTF2 General Veers figure in person.

DarkArtist
06-02-2010, 02:33 PM
i remember reading that article in Wizard magazine way back when and saying that Luke looked like He-Man with a lightsaber... in '95 i was lucky t find Obi Wan, Vader and R2 in a Spencers store at the mall and then the next weekend was able to get the Stormtrooper, Luke and Han at TRU. loved the fact that Star Wars was coming back and looked forward to seeing all the new product.

in '96 i worked in Disney World and at the Star Tours ride so it was always cool to get new figures and put them out for the fans... remember getting Han Hoth, Luke Hoth, TIE Pilot, Luke Dagobah, Lando & Yoda that year.

back then these figures were awesome do to the fact that they were available at retail and not as expensive as some of the vintage Kenner figures.

while working for a local comic book shop after Disney I couldn't wait for the next issue of Lee's Toy Review or Tomarts to come out so that I could see what new figures were planned. My mind was blown away when i saw the ROTJ Cinema Scene of Final Jedi Duel (thought that was by far the most exciting offering ever for SW).

now looking back on it the line i realize that while the figures of 95-96 were not the greatest of toys they did pave the way for some exciting new product that is still be sold today. I wonder if the line tanked back in 96 if we would not be seeing the figures on the pegs today.

POTF was a welcome beginning back in 1995. Happy Birthday to the rebirth of the Star Wars toy line.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-04-2010, 08:25 PM
Walking in W*M next to their discount DVD bins, it reminded me of those baskets full of POTF2 figures, where you couldn't find ANY figures you wanted, but still looked anyway. Those cards were majorly thrashed after a few months of handling!