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View Full Version : This year's "top figure" is going to be brutal to decide on



JediTricks
12-04-2012, 03:07 PM
It just dawned on me that we're in the last month of the year and nothing new is on the horizon, the final TVC wave has shipped to customers, there's no expectation of Clone Wars or Legacy Collection 2 to look for late-year releases on, the 2012 Star Wars line is essentially done... and looking back through the year, there's almost nothing exciting from it.

Let me explain what I mean: removing the issue of distribution entirely, there were very few figures released in the January to December 2012 period compared to other recent years, and of those while many were dutiful and didn't fail, very few were actually above and beyond the quality expected.

It's as if the line was just treading water, there weren't significant articulation coups, weren't many paint/deco jobs went above the bare minimum to get by, weren't figures with an overabundance of accessories included, that sort of thing.

In short, there weren't many "wow" figures.

Perhaps that is due to the stagnant nature of the line, or the higher expectations with the price hitting $10 a figure, but when looking at the figures from the last year, there are a lot more "oh yeah, that one was nice" figures than truly exceptional and thus memorable ones. There's also been a lot of missteps this year: missed paint opportunities, missing or sub-standard accessories, wonky soft-goods, questionable articulation choices. Sometimes those issues were major, but more often they were minor and just led a figure to being "ok, fine, good" instead of "great, impressive, totally worth ten bucks" territory.

Here's the list of figures I came up with as 2012 standouts, and it took real mental muscle just to get to these.

Darth Malgus
Starkiller
ANH Vader
Shae Vizla
Biker Scout (from the Speeder Bike set)
Sith Witch (the Sith Witch sculpt was released in the Clone Wars line as a generic Nightsister in a Target 3-pack)
Battle Droid

And of those, only Malgus and Starkiller feel enough like real wins to break out, the rest I can't yet foresee giving them the top honor. Malgus has the sculpting, intricate detail, quality paint, and soft goods to make a run; while Starkiller has an accurate sculpt, decent articulation, and great accessories to push back. Yet there are X-factors in the rest that could potentially sway my opinion - Shae for example has a lot of intricate sculpting and paint, yet she's held back by a few little things like her tiny waist and preposed torso.

I guess my frustration is as much about the limited nature of what we got: 6 waves of figures we actually saw from TVC, the Discover the Force wave at WM, a few odds and ends entries in Movie Heroes, and essentially no Clone Wars. It was not much, it was nearly all hard to find except the TPM wave, it came with a price increase and a light quality decrease, and just a feeling of a lack of inspiration for anything other than TPM's re-release.

What do you guys think, are you going to have an easy time pointing to a handful of figures and saying "I really liked these and think they represent the best of what Hasbro Star Wars has to offer to fans overall", or like me are you going to feel stymied?

El Chuxter
12-05-2012, 12:55 AM
My Renegades Cobra Commander said Ric Olie is the best Star Wars figure of 2012. I think Ric put him up to it, though. I didn't know an action figure could sweat. I asked around, and both Scarlett and Sandstorm Leia just smiled and said, "Mmm-hmm!"

Being totally serious, no fooling, if Jar Jar had either come with an alternate head with a less neutral expression (Joe does it, so why not?) or been able to look upward (or, better yet, both of those possibilities), I honestly think he'd have been a shoo-in.

bigbarada
12-05-2012, 02:44 AM
Let's see, top figure of 2012?

Kithaba, hands down. Weequay takes a close second. Easy enough. ;)

JediTricks
12-05-2012, 09:12 PM
My Renegades Cobra Commander said Ric Olie is the best Star Wars figure of 2012. I think Ric put him up to it, though. I didn't know an action figure could sweat. I asked around, and both Scarlett and Sandstorm Leia just smiled and said, "Mmm-hmm!"

Being totally serious, no fooling, if Jar Jar had either come with an alternate head with a less neutral expression (Joe does it, so why not?) or been able to look upward (or, better yet, both of those possibilities), I honestly think he'd have been a shoo-in.That Jar Jar has his paint inverted as well, and a few other issues that hold it back like the ugly and not that useful neck joints. Plus... Jar Jar as best of the year? Uhhhh, no.


Let's see, top figure of 2012?

Kithaba, hands down. Weequay takes a close second. Easy enough. ;)You don't surprise me sir. Not in the least. :p

I still think both of them are good but not outstanding.

Snowtrooper
12-07-2012, 12:08 PM
I think Dr. Evazan was the top figure of 2012, but thats because he's been on the top of my want list for some time. He was a long time coming and when they finally did make him, they did it right.

A few others I really liked were Kithaba, Bespin Han, Gungan Warrior, Nikto Skiff Guard, and Mon Cal Pilot Pilot. For the most part, the quality of the TVC line was good, but the distribution and price increases dampened my enthusiasm for the line.

mtriv73
12-07-2012, 01:34 PM
I agree that Dr. Evazan was the best of a pretty good (but not stellar) class.

For figure of the year though, I really think you need to go ironic and name Vintage Qui Gon Jinn. He was/is readily available (which you really can't say about many figures this year.) It's a good sculpt (so good that this is not he first time we've seen it.) He helped roll out the new price point which has been great for helping move figures (when a sale happens.) Um, he has a lightsaber. Did I mention he's easy to find?

JediTricks
12-07-2012, 04:55 PM
I liked Evazan, but the weird skinny neck, the undersold facial scarring, and the non-removable vest kept it off my list. Those aren't damning issues, but for me they were enough to keep it from sending it soaring higher.

I want to say nicer things about the Gungan Warrior, it's not a bad figure for being 50% recycled parts, but the paint is simpler than it should be, the atlatl is missing its boomer, and the farseein is assembled backwards, that's why it stayed off my list.

Ironic entry, that's a hell of a burn. Don't forget we had the figure on shelves at that same point in the Discover The Force line and I think it had been on shelves recently before as well.

Snowtrooper
12-07-2012, 05:23 PM
The neck and vest really didn't bother me at all. I think the painted scar version is a little better since it highlights the scarred area more.

sebillba
12-08-2012, 09:55 AM
I think my favourites of the year come down to the three podracers and three long-awaited vintage updates (Kithaba, Nikto and Nien Nunb). Never thought I'd say this, but if I had to choose just one it would have to be......... Ben Quadinaros!! Hes just so unique and funky looking! :)

Tycho
12-08-2012, 10:51 AM
I like all the ewoks we got. I'm very serious and Lumat comes to mind, and the Kmart 2 packs were great

El Chuxter
12-08-2012, 11:57 AM
Yeah, you've got them harnessed to something, pulling Rebels around.

I'm watching you. :mad:

:p

JediTricks
12-08-2012, 04:19 PM
Well, obviously there's a wide swath of choices from fans, lots of different voices, but I'm curious how many are judging their choices based on expectations rather than the figure itself. Kithaba for an example cited in this thread is a figure that has an unpainted neck, odd body proportions with a long skinny body that leads to a broader upper body, and an underperforming deco; it's not a bad figure, but is it really "figure of the year" territory or is that just a feeling for having it exist at all?

Snowtrooper
12-08-2012, 08:38 PM
I would say that applies to me. I can understand why Evazan would not be figure of the year to alot of people. After all, when it comes down to it, he's really just another boring human character. But I've been wanting him done for such a long time and he's so much better than the previous releases, that I was extremely pleased to finally have one.

Tycho
12-09-2012, 10:22 AM
Wait? We got figures this year?

Bel-Cam Jos
12-09-2012, 10:41 AM
Wait? We got figures this year?As JT mentioned in this thread and Tycho just seconded, I am in this category. I saw few new ones on pegs in 2012, bought even fewer (maybe 5?), and passed on ones I just didn't care for (because I never saw the ones I wanted; and I since don't really go out of my way to buy toys much anymore, online sales weren't a big search deal for me). So my opinions would be absed on others' reviews, or pictures seen here.

figrin bran
12-10-2012, 03:24 PM
I'd like to nominate Nien Nunb, Aayla Secura, Old Republic Trooper, ANH Vader, Starkiller, Sith Witch

JediTricks
12-10-2012, 05:40 PM
I would say that applies to me. I can understand why Evazan would not be figure of the year to alot of people. After all, when it comes down to it, he's really just another boring human character. But I've been wanting him done for such a long time and he's so much better than the previous releases, that I was extremely pleased to finally have one.I wanted Evazan and Nien Nunb redone for a long time as well, but their new releases waited so long that they merely feel dutiful to me, they're not so great that they wow me. Evazan is lacking dynamic pizazz, IMO, he should be more than just a normal guy with a gut and a light scar on the face that this figure is - one could see him that way, but in the movie there was more and I don't think it's coming through with the figure. A little shift to the expression, more scarring and disfiguring in the face, a broader neck, a removable vest for positioning and bulking up the upper body to make him seem more threatening, I think that would have been what he would have benefited from.


As JT mentioned in this thread and Tycho just seconded, I am in this category. I saw few new ones on pegs in 2012, bought even fewer (maybe 5?), and passed on ones I just didn't care for (because I never saw the ones I wanted; and I since don't really go out of my way to buy toys much anymore, online sales weren't a big search deal for me). So my opinions would be absed on others' reviews, or pictures seen here.I try not to go on opinion when I don't have a figure, usually if a figure looks like it's going to be very good I'll buy it to see if it lives up rather than wait, but this year A) figures were indeed hard to come by; and B) figures weren't looking like they were going to be that impressive (see my reply to Bran below).


I'd like to nominate Nien Nunb, Aayla Secura, Old Republic Trooper, ANH Vader, Starkiller, Sith WitchAayla is the one figure on this list I wonder if I did a disservice to by not buying when I had the chance. I'm just prequeled out and I don't really care about her at all, so I passed and now am hearing a lot of folks say she's above the cut. The Old Republic trooper was never going to make my list, I didn't buy him because I think the Hasbro sculpt looks lanky and off, but again this is one of those things where my collecting path did limit me a bit.

figrin bran
12-10-2012, 06:45 PM
Hasbro did TVC Aayla a disservice by obscuring the sculpt with the soft goods cloak so I can see how it may not seem too appealing a purchase at retail.

TVC CW Obi Wan arrived today so perhaps he might make it on my list though I'm not expecting it.

Seems we all forgot to list Hoth Luke!!! Ha! If you ask me, he's the TVC loser equivalent of Transformers Prime deluxe Airachnid and Avengers 3.75" Chitauri.

Tycho
12-10-2012, 11:19 PM
Though I don't need a Hoth Luke (probably only Torryn Farr from Hoth would fit my want list from that particular scene) - I ran into 2 of them in a Wal-Mart the other day.

Luke looks much improved and I was happily impressed with what I saw. Now as I didn't want a Hoth Luke for my displays I'd like to build, I didn't buy him.

JediTricks
12-12-2012, 04:34 PM
Hasbro did TVC Aayla a disservice by obscuring the sculpt with the soft goods cloak so I can see how it may not seem too appealing a purchase at retail.

TVC CW Obi Wan arrived today so perhaps he might make it on my list though I'm not expecting it.

Aayla looked ok when I saw her in person, the problem isn't the robe, it's the overexposure of such a minor character... "overexposure" in both senses of the term. ;)

Yeah, CW Obi-Wan ain't horrible but he ain't great either, the simplistic arm armor sculpt really holds it back, and the cut-n-sew on the kama skirt is off.


Seems we all forgot to list Hoth Luke!!! Ha! If you ask me, he's the TVC loser equivalent of Transformers Prime deluxe Airachnid and Avengers 3.75" Chitauri.
Though I don't need a Hoth Luke (probably only Torryn Farr from Hoth would fit my want list from that particular scene) - I ran into 2 of them in a Wal-Mart the other day.

Luke looks much improved and I was happily impressed with what I saw. Now as I didn't want a Hoth Luke for my displays I'd like to build, I didn't buy him.Luke Hoth is neither great nor terrible. Luke Hoth has big ugly shoulder joints and too much focus on a pattern in the costume's shoulder design so the shoulder stands out in two ways. He's also got that mask that is only on-screen for the very first moment of the film, and his regular helmet sculpt lacks both goggles and the remaining scarf that is seen throughout his scenes. But it has a decent sculpt overall and good articulation, paint is ok if you don't mind the utter lack of weathering. So it's not the worst and not the best, but the hat situation holds it back from being particularly useful so it's closer to bad than good.

jedibear
12-29-2012, 08:32 PM
Wait? We got figures this year?

Boy, no kidding. Up here where I'm at, we spent the year staring at sagging pegs full of the Episode One wave...and as the year went by, this was only interrupted briefly by a single case here and there of the subsequent waves for the year. The "deleted scenes" wave hung around a little bit, but anything after that was pretty much a no-show up here.

Never have seen Malgus or Starkiller on the pegs here. Only at the end of the year did our local TRU get anything other than more of the Episode One wave....that's when I finally lucked out and snagged a Nom Anor (why I don't know...the figure is kinda dumb looking...I think it was more an instance of "Wow! Something new! Grab it!!" than anything else), a Wedge (nice figure), the oft-mentioned Aayla Secura, Evazan and Kibatha (no red scarf one though).

Finally relented and got a few of that "online only" wave through Amazon (not the Royal Guard though...too pricey for me).

While I've liked the "Vintage Collection" offerings I did get...I'm also hard-pressed to pick one for 2012 that was just a hands-down stunner....

If I'm hard-pressed to pick a figure for a vintage "...of the year"...well, get ready to laugh folks but....it would have to be these two....the Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi with light-up sabers. I know they are not "vintage" figures, but...they're still on my desk, I still play with them and once I threw on a couple robes, well...I think they look pretty good!

As for the "Vintage" collection? I'm sorry to see it "end" (for now anyway) because I do like the retro-inspired cards and the figures have been pretty decent for the most part. But...the most surprising thing to me in the line as it stands now is...what's missing.

I'm gonna pull a "Tycho" here and end this meandering post with a list...the "MIA's" of the Vintage Collection....

TPM:
Anakin Skywalker - yeah, we got the little Jedi Padawan version, but what about the "Tatooine" version? He spent most of the movie in that get-up and there was the chance to include some great accesories...most (if not all) that could have been recycled from previous versions....

AOTC:
Count Dooku - this one is a stunning omission to me. He's a major player in AOTC and there is no representation of him in the VC?

Padme Amidala - in the white "action" outfit, again..a missed chance to re-visit this version of the female lead and load it up with some good accessories....

ROTS:
Tarfful - another wookiee other than Chewie, and the figure could have benefited from an update...the ROTS one was pretty bad. Hasbro has done some really great upgrades with Chewie and it would've been cool to see that happen with Tarfful too...

ANH:
Death Star Droid an upgrade would be cool
Jawas

ESB:
General Veers - a new "bells-n-whistles" version
Snowtrooper - same

ROTJ:
Oola - an update on the par with "Slave Leia" would have been cool.

Anyway...I know I ended up way off topic here, but....well. I still don't have a "best of 2012" pick for the Vintage Collection....

Mr. JabbaJohnL
12-30-2012, 03:09 PM
TPM:
Anakin Skywalker - yeah, we got the little Jedi Padawan version, but what about the "Tatooine" version? He spent most of the movie in that get-up and there was the chance to include some great accesories...most (if not all) that could have been recycled from previous versions....

AOTC:
Count Dooku - this one is a stunning omission to me. He's a major player in AOTC and there is no representation of him in the VC?

Padme Amidala - in the white "action" outfit, again..a missed chance to re-visit this version of the female lead and load it up with some good accessories....

ROTS:
Tarfful - another wookiee other than Chewie, and the figure could have benefited from an update...the ROTS one was pretty bad. Hasbro has done some really great upgrades with Chewie and it would've been cool to see that happen with Tarfful too...

ANH:
Death Star Droid an upgrade would be cool
Jawas

ESB:
General Veers - a new "bells-n-whistles" version
Snowtrooper - same

ROTJ:
Oola - an update on the par with "Slave Leia" would have been cool.

Anyway...I know I ended up way off topic here, but....well. I still don't have a "best of 2012" pick for the Vintage Collection....
Most of these are pretty good choices. We're getting an arena Padmé soon that looks great, and Dooku was sorely missing. But we did get a few new Death Star Droids in the build-a-droid line, we already got a vintage Snowtrooper in 2007, and the Oola from the 2010 Jabba set fits that bill for me. I'm a little wary of repacks in this line, since every single one of them pegwarmed in my area. I do wonder how they'll deal with TVC's return, especially with the new films.