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View Full Version : Battle Packs - Duel on Naboo and Bespin Battle



Mr. JabbaJohnL
02-22-2012, 01:21 AM
POTF2.com (http://potf2.com/potj/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17088) posted an image from the Hasbro Toy Fair slideshow that shows the mentioned-but-previously-unseen battle packs, Duel on Naboo and Bespin Battle. And, uh . . . wow. "Wow" as in, "Wow, did they seriously sculpt and tool all-new versions of these characters, in vintage-style articulation?" And by "vintage-style articulation," I mean, "real 1978-1985 vintage-style articulation, with only five points each." I am pretty dumbfounded. The lower robes on the Naboo set are just horrible, with the robes actually being part of the legs. Wouldn't it cost more to tool these figures than to re-release older figures, especially older figures with this level of articulation? Kids can't really care if the figures are repackaged from the 90s, and I can't see many collectors jumping on these. I guess if you like modern sculpting but hate articulation, then these are for you. Even Luke's coloring looks like the vintage figure. This just . . . I don't even know.

mtriv73
02-22-2012, 10:02 AM
Well, I guess it's official now, Hasbro doesn't want to sell any of the battlepacks in the main line to anyone over the age of 8.

JEDIpartner
02-22-2012, 12:48 PM
I'm really confused by this turn of events.

mtriv73
02-22-2012, 02:32 PM
I'm really confused by this turn of events.

I'm not. They're trying to save money by going from as many as 5 figures all the way down to 3. They're trying to save even more money by including mainly repacks. This alienated collectors completely and we quit buying them. So now they're putting in the cheapest cr@p they can churn out (it may have been cheaper to create new molds of poorly articulated figures than to make more of an existing mold.) Besides, this way they're just different enough from what is already out there that parents may not balk at buying the same figure in a battlepack that they've already bought for their kids on vintage or movie heroes cards several times this year already. Clearly these aren't aimed at us at all. The big question is are kids going to want subpar figures. I really hope they bomb completely and Hasbro reevaluates the battle pack concept and goes back to putting in environmental pieces and maybe an exclusive figure that wouldn't otherwise be made now and then.

JediTricks
02-22-2012, 04:32 PM
This is a big waste of resources. I have to wonder if Jeff is trying to "make his mark" by switching gears with the brand to appeal to a play-oriented consumer. These look awful, the Naboo figures like they were designed outside the existing structure at Hasbro Star Wars, while the Bespin one has more articulation for Boba but middling sculpting and figures that nobody would want. These are, I might add, what Jeff was referring to when he said of these items at Toy Fair that he was "particularly excited about them, favorite sculpts we've done of these characters, gorgeous, they look exactly like what you see on the screen, it's amazing". Those are quotes from his Toy Fair presentation, calling out special attention to Maul, Fett, and Vader. Now, maybe he's seen something that looks considerably further along and better than what the slide shows, but I am not instilled with confidence.

JEDIpartner
02-23-2012, 02:13 PM
Jeff was [snip] "particularly excited about them, favorite sculpts we've done of these characters, gorgeous, they look exactly like what you see on the screen, it's amazing"

He is either completely blind or he's living in 1978 and had a peek into the future and saw The Phantom Menace, which is how he designed these figures for the line.

bigbarada
02-24-2012, 07:29 AM
POTF2 articulation on figures that have been made and remade several times over the last 15 years? Pass.

If they were going back to the 4-5 figure Battle Packs, then I could see the drop in articulation being partially justified, but I'm pretty sure these are going to cost exactly the same as if the figures were all super-articulated.

JediTricks
02-27-2012, 06:43 PM
He is either completely blind or he's living in 1978 and had a peek into the future and saw The Phantom Menace, which is how he designed these figures for the line.Yeah, I cannot fathom a reasonable reason anybody could make the claims he did either.



POTF2 articulation on figures that have been made and remade several times over the last 15 years? Pass.

If they were going back to the 4-5 figure Battle Packs, then I could see the drop in articulation being partially justified, but I'm pretty sure these are going to cost exactly the same as if the figures were all super-articulated.They're probably a little cheaper by having less articulation to assemble, but they're significantly worse than ANY recent versions of those characters, all of which didn't require making new tooling where these do.

bigbarada
07-04-2012, 01:02 AM
Well, I found the Bespin set and I thought the Boba Fett looked kind of cool so I should give this set the benefit of the doubt. Well, let's just say that I'm not reliving the glory days of the POTF2 line right now. I'm actually kind of perplexed by these figures that I see before me.

I do have to make a correction, these do NOT have POTF2 articulation. They have 5-points of articulation and POTF2 figures had 6-points. None of the figures have a swivel waist. The only reason I don't compare the articulation to vintage articulation is because Boba and Luke both have ball joint necks.

Luke feels very light and flimsy. In fact, the TVC Wicket figure feels like it has more heft than this Luke figure. The overall quality of the plastic makes Luke feel like a bootleg toy. Boba Fett is probably the best looking figure overall, but he's like a giant next to Luke. Not quite built like a POTF2 figure, but still pretty "muscular" and "heroic" looking.

Darth Vader is the loser of the bunch. He is sculpted with his elbows pressed up against his sides, so he looks like he's stuck inside a very narrow, invisible doorway. The lightsabers are more flexible than I remember, kind of like undercooked spaghetti noodles and Vader's left hand is sculpted to look like he's checking somebody for a hernia ("Turn your head and cough, Luke, I am your father!"). His helmet is very dull looking with not a hint of shine even though other parts of his body are shiny. His lightsaber also fits very loosely into his hand, so I don't see kids having a lot of fun recreating lightsaber battles with this Vader. It's held into his hand with one of those clear rubber bands in the package and you might want to hold onto that, if you don't want to constantly be searching for Vader's dropped saber.

Luke's lightsaber has a peg so that it can be attached to the figure's belt, but (you guessed it) there is no hole sculpted in Luke's belt for it. It's just as well, the lightsaber blade isn't even removable. Boba and Luke both have working holsters, but Boba's is so loose that his pistol practically hangs out of it. Only the barrel of Luke's pistol fits in his holster, so it's not the most secure fit either.

I never realized just how much I took for granted things like swivel wrists, ball-joint shoulders, waist articulation, and figures that don't suck. Still Boba Fett does look pretty cool in a statuesque, steroid-pumped kind of way.

One word to describe these figures: cheap

El Chuxter
07-04-2012, 02:04 AM
I hadn't thought of it until BigB bumped this thread, but it's interesting that this coincides with the new G.I. Joe vehicles having driver figures with similar articulation. They're highly-detailed figures, but they have only five points of articulation--almost a slap in the face, given that Joes have always been known for their articulation. Apparently, at JoeCon this past weekend, Hasbro reps answered the question of "WHY?!?" by saying that it was a cost-cutting measure, and they could either include limited-articulation figures with the vehicles or not include figures at all. (Which is odd--not all vehicles have included figures, and most that have included them have included repaints or kitbashes with limited new parts.)

Like JJL mentioned in the first post, none of this makes sense. These weird BattlePacks and the Joe drivers are both thrown out with the justification being that the limited-articulation figures cost less to produce. However, it seems obvious that it would cost more to tool these figures than to re-release existing figures (which most past BattlePacks and, again, Joe drivers) have been. :confused:

bigbarada
07-04-2012, 02:44 AM
I can't imagine what would happen if Hasbro tried making this the new standard for their action figure lines. Maybe if they dropped the prices back down to under $6 per figure, then I could go for it.

They are very well sculpted, I will give them credit for that. So I wouldn't totally abandon the Star Wars line if this is a hint of what the future holds.

JediTricks
07-04-2012, 01:52 PM
I hadn't thought of it until BigB bumped this thread, but it's interesting that this coincides with the new G.I. Joe vehicles having driver figures with similar articulation. They're highly-detailed figures, but they have only five points of articulation--almost a slap in the face, given that Joes have always been known for their articulation. Apparently, at JoeCon this past weekend, Hasbro reps answered the question of "WHY?!?" by saying that it was a cost-cutting measure, and they could either include limited-articulation figures with the vehicles or not include figures at all. (Which is odd--not all vehicles have included figures, and most that have included them have included repaints or kitbashes with limited new parts.)

Like JJL mentioned in the first post, none of this makes sense. These weird BattlePacks and the Joe drivers are both thrown out with the justification being that the limited-articulation figures cost less to produce. However, it seems obvious that it would cost more to tool these figures than to re-release existing figures (which most past BattlePacks and, again, Joe drivers) have been. :confused:Basically, I think Hasbro doesn't believe that modern kids will buy a vehicle without a figure unless it's super exciting, and since they deliver a lot of vehicles that are cool only when you already know about them, a figure helps seal the deal. That said, making sub-par figures only undermines the whole line.

GI Joe has a significant existing tooling library out the wing-wang and could easily call to that library for figures, but I suspect either the factories that do the vehicles don't have access to the figure molds so it'd be complex to get it all packaged, or that Hasbro doesn't have faith in their existing tooling library even for pack-ins.

These Battle Pack figures, I understand the concept - kids are stymied by too much articulation, it detracts from the fun instead of adding to it sometimes. But there is a thing of taking that too far into worthless territory, and judging by BB's comments, it sounds like they marched deep into there and planted a fail-flag.


I can't imagine what would happen if Hasbro tried making this the new standard for their action figure lines. Maybe if they dropped the prices back down to under $6 per figure, then I could go for it.

They are very well sculpted, I will give them credit for that. So I wouldn't totally abandon the Star Wars line if this is a hint of what the future holds.I cannot see this line backsliding to that level of quality at that price, not when it's so collector-driven and they have such a successful SW tooling library to call from for lines like Movie Heroes. IMO, that'd just alienate collectors and leave kids feeling like they got a low-quality product that their peers wouldn't accept (let's face it, that's how it works sometimes).

bigbarada
07-04-2012, 08:36 PM
I will say that the helmet sculpt on this new BP Vader is actually better than the one for the new TVC Vader, IMO. If it weren't for the dullness issue, I might consider attempting a head swap.

The sculpting of these figures is what keeps them from being a complete waste. I think Boba Fett might have the best Fett helmet sculpt in the entire line. At least the best sculpt since the 300th Boba from 2000.

Overall this BP feels like a completely separate line of SW figures that are NOT made by Hasbro. Almost like the line's been rebooted by a company like Mattel or someone else and these are the first figures out of the gate. That's how radical a departure, from what we have become accustomed to, these figures seem to be.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
07-05-2012, 02:37 AM
I picked up the Duel on Naboo set today at Target; it was the only one, and the Bespin Battle was nowhere to be found.

Obi-Wan is the best figure in the set. The head is very similar (if not identical, I didn't compare) to the Movie Heroes light-up lightsaber figure. It's the best TPM Obi-Wan head by a mile, and they should have used it instead of the 2009 TLC head that they were content to re-release everywhere this year (or they should at least use it going forward). He has a ball-joint head, plus swivel arms and legs - the same as the other figures here. Due to the limited movement, he doesn't have many poses that look any good, but he looks pretty good in a ready-for-battle stance, as if he's waiting for his chance to whoop on Maul. His T-crotch looks pretty crappy, and while he can sit, I'm not sure it's any better than any of the "normal" skirt-and-leg combos they've used over the years.

Darth Maul is okay. It's the third all-new sculpt of him this year (in addition to several re-releases and repaints); again, though, the head might be a Movie Heroes reuse, but I didn't compare them and it just seems a little bigger. His best pose is with his saber in his left hand, as he looks like he's holding it out similar to how he did the first time he ignites both blades (but he's baring his teeth, so it doesn't quite work). When he holds it in his right hand, it's pretty much vertical, and he looks more like he's just showing it to someone than using it to fight. His crotch isn't as bad as the others since it's darker, but the split down the front of his robes is distracting. I thought the legs would be a solid, chunky piece, but they feel look somewhat hollow if you separate them or "look up his dress," so to speak, meaning that they didn't fill out the empty space where his robes wouldn't normally go. I guess that's fine, it's just not what I expected, and it looks strange when the legs are separated.

Qui-Gon is also just all right. The face looks really good in profile, but straight-on it seems too skinny and the beard looks too long. I think it's a new sculpt, and the skin is painted. The hair looks a little thick, like they didn't want to sculpt more of it or something, which looks cheap from the back. He's just kind of "standing there" more than the other two, with straightish arms and legs. His right hand has the first two fingers extended, but the saber looks better in that hand anyway. His legs can't move as much as Obi-Wan's, so I don't know how good he'd be at sitting in vehicles.

All the figures are also pretty lacking in paint, but it kind of works on these figures. The hair on the Jedi is flat brown with no highlights, and the costumes are all one flat color (broken up by the belts and other small details). It could look better (and has on previous versions), but it's really not that bad. It's preferable to the weirdly gray Maul from the Evolutions set, or Obi-Wan's inaccurately brown pants from a couple releases. Maul's tattoos all look good, and the eyes are fine. I guess when there's less to do, there's less to mess up, so everything looks fine.

The accessories are all old news. Obi-Wan's saber is the same as the TLC version, with only one bit of black detail. Maul and Qui-Gon get old molds without the post-2002 flare that we're all used to by now.

Even after having the set in-hand, I still don't fully "get" this line. As JT said, it seems to be about young kids being unable to deal with too much articulation (but I'm not sure at which point kids are fine with more articulation, and never considered that to be an issue until Hasbro brought it up - I grew up in the limited-articulation period). If that's the case, then they could have easily gone back to the 1999 figures for that - the early 2000 versions had even less articulation than the 1999 ones (having removed the elbow joints), plus soft goods so that they could sit just fine. Boom, the kids are happy, the collectors can ignore them, the set doesn't look too bad, and Hasbro saves money on tooling.

But then they also put work into these new sculpts to seemingly appeal to collectors, but only took it so far - the head sculpts look great, the torsos look fine, but the legs are just ridiculous in 2012 (at least on the Naboo set). Completists and curious collectors (I fit into both categories) will get this set, so that guarantees their purchase in addition to the kid audience (unlike the Rebel Heroes and Geonosis battle packs, as collectors already have everything in there). But then collectors will get them and see them as inferior to the many versions of these characters they already have.

The artwork on the back shows the figures in dynamic poses, bending their knees and holding their sabers with both hands. If only there was some magical way to make action figures able to do such wonderful things like move their limbs and properly hold their accessories . . . alas . . . :rolleyes:

Bel-Cam Jos
07-06-2012, 11:14 AM
I wonder if an actual Kenner vintage style would work: only neck/shoulders/legs articulation, simple accessories, cloth goods, similar paint. But only for figures NEVER made (any Prequel, certain OT ones). Now I'd consider that. Then you'd know why they were sculpting them like that.

JediTricks
07-08-2012, 12:44 PM
Overall this BP feels like a completely separate line of SW figures that are NOT made by Hasbro. Almost like the line's been rebooted by a company like Mattel or someone else and these are the first figures out of the gate. That's how radical a departure, from what we have become accustomed to, these figures seem to be.I would not be surprised if Hasbro was using a new vendor factory for these (they don't own factories in China, they contract to several different ones), but if the sculpting is that good, it means they were able to translate the prototype sculpting (that part is done by Hasbro) into an articulated figure's tooling, which seems like a harder thing to do than just shoot the right plastic into them.


I wonder if an actual Kenner vintage style would work: only neck/shoulders/legs articulation, simple accessories, cloth goods, similar paint. But only for figures NEVER made (any Prequel, certain OT ones). Now I'd consider that. Then you'd know why they were sculpting them like that.I think kids cannot look at those old styles of sculpting and see it as a viable toy for them.


Thanks for posting your thoughts JJL. I don't really understand why they'd release another Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon with so many other iterations hitting this half of the year. They're $20 sets for 3 figures, or more? The funny thing is, I am not even remotely tempted by these, so if they wanted the collector dollar they didn't really work too hard at it. If I had to choose an approximately $10 Hasbro statue or a $40 Kotobukiya statue, I'd go with the latter because they won't have these levels of compromises.