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View Full Version : POTJ and Saga = Pro-Collector...thoughts?



Sith Lord 0498
04-10-2002, 07:24 AM
I was looking at my small collection of figures that I brought down to my college dorm from home, and a thought occurred to me last night. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts about this were...

I know many people claim Hasbro doesn't listen to collectors, and I agree with that to an extent. They seem to just go on doing whatever they feel like doing. But I don't think they're really ignoring us collectors, and here's why...

1) The poses: Many people complain about the new Saga poses because you really can't play with them like action figures should be played with. They look more like statues in these poses. Hmm...statues...that's something a collector would have...

2) Character variations and detail: Every little kids who knows "Star Wars" knows who Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, etc. are. Of course they'll buy the figure and play with it. But be honest...how many kids do you know will either know the difference between or really care if it's Emperor's Wrath Darth Vader, Dagobah Darth Vader, etc. etc. (for example). And all the minute detail that comes with them like those two Vaders have (for example again). Little kids would probably lose the removable hands, heads, and faceplates.

3) Exclusives: Granted, these vehicles are a pain in the a** to find at times, and the distribution on these items could use some improvement. However, by making these items exclusives, they've drastically cut down on availability. That makes them more valuable, harder-to-find, and thus collectible!!!

4) 25th Anniversary and Special Editions: Do you really think little kids (and throughout this post I'm speaking of little kids in general) are really anxious to get the 25th anniversary 2-packs or figures like the Boba Fett 300th figure? Probably not. And the packaging is designed to allow them to be displayed and visible without disturbing the packaging.

So what I'm saying is that while Hasbro has pulled a few blunders in its time (ok...more than a few :) ), maybe some of us are coming down a bit too hard on them. Like some people on these forum ask (paraphrased): "Don't they realize that it's us collectors who buy their stuff?"

I think the answer is "Yes, they do realize we buy their stuff." I know I'll probably catch heat from some on this issue, but I wanted to share this and see what everyone's feelings were on this issue.

JEDIpartner
04-10-2002, 10:48 AM
I suppose it really depends on your definition of a "collector". We seem to have a few groups here...

1) Those who like to find the figures (most or all) and take them off the card for display- to proudly show a "collection" (and to play with them from time to time)

2) Those who like to purchase enormous numbers of figures to build dioramas and such- again "off-card" collectors.

3) Those who buy at least TWO of every figure one to keep on card and another to open.

4) Those who like to buy at least one of every figure to keep them on card and in storage for who knows what unique purpose ("warehousers").

5) People who like to get every figure, vehicle, set, what have you... and fit into one of the above catagories as well.

I fit into category #1. I like to open my figures and display them. I collect TOYS and not STATUES. I look at it as a more "traditional" form of collecting. MY gripe about the poses is that it makes my collection very incosistent and lowers the playability. I feel that Hasbro, as a toy company, should create good TOYS. If they are able to provide good detail, that's perfect, but don't forget that the piece is first and foremost a toy. I think the more "posed" statuesque figures should be reserved for the "special" or "commemorative" editions. I understand what you are saying about Hasbro giving "collector" type figures/vehicles, but it is difficult for them to please everyone. We all have our specific needs. As we have said over and over... "if it doesn't suit your needs or tastes... don't buy it".

jedi master sal
04-10-2002, 11:32 AM
I couldn't agree with you more JEDIpartnr!

These are indeed toys. (BTW, I fit category 2)
While it is okay that they make these "statue" figs I think they would do the colleting community a greater service by providing figs with somewhat standard poses and articulation. Or at least articulation that is consistant with what the character would do. Static poses only make me want to buy less. Iwould rather have 100 "standing at attention" (pick your kind here) troopers, than the preview clonetroopers we got. (I have 19 of these guys but am preparing to customize some of them in the VERY NEAR future).

Like JEDIpartnr, I feel the static pose should be saved for special releases ie 25th anniversary and the like.

We know they (Hasbro) doesn't really give a hoot. Just like the employees of all the stores that we look for these gobs of molded plastic, don't care that we want to purchase stuff now and not wait for 23rd or at least the non-AOTC toys. Sympathy is not any of their business just the almighty dollar. They'll (Hasbro) continue to put out figures the collecting world doesn't really desire and yet we'll still buy it because we don't like the idea of not having a "complete collection" (even for those non-completist, think about some of the figures you bout that you didn't really need or want but ended up buying it anyway). This happens to me alot when Hasbro doesn't put out new stuff for long periods of time. (AND THEY KNOW IT) Figures will go on sale from retailers and we'll finally buy them because they are on sale or we want to army build or whatever the reason. There really isn't anyway to MAKE them change. Only thing we can do is keep suggesting, complaining or again whatever you want to call it.

IcebergSlim
04-10-2002, 12:02 PM
But how many adult collecters who buy Star Wars toys actually play with them? I can pretty well bet that it's a small amount. Even for the people that take them out of the package, it's still probably a small few. That's why I always find these statue/action figure gripes useless.

Sith Lord 0498
04-10-2002, 12:51 PM
Given those categories, I fit into Category #1 although I mostly play with the lightsabers (how can you resist?!!) and occasionally the vehicles. The approach I use is to arrange them in my home theater room as if they were an "interactive" museum exhibit (albeit a crude one w/o any fancy cases). I like the idea of being able to touch them and look at them from any and all angles, but I'm really not that keen on playing with the action figures.

You do have a good point, JEDIpartnr. Hasbro is a toy company above all else, so that should factor into their decision. I think it does. I neglected to address this in my original post, so I will now.

It seems as if they gear the initial versions of the figures toward kids (e.g. - Anakin Peasant, Obi-Wan Chase, Padme Arena). These aren't geared toward detail. They're geared toward playability. That's where I think the gimmicks such as magnetic "Force action", quick-draw action, elaborate accessories etc. come into play. The only problem with them is the posability issue, and that's an unfortunate oversight on their part.

The lesser known characters and the extremely well-detailed figures are most likely for what Hasbro views or defines as a "collector": someone who either keeps them carded or merely displays them--someone not interested in playability. Luminara is probably the best example yet. Looks great sitting on a shelf, but it doesn't seem like a practical toy to play with. However, these observations are based on what I've seen and heard. I haven't found any of the Saga figures yet.

They seem to follow this "lesser known" idea with the exclusive vehicles. Look at the recent list: TIE Interceptor, AT-ST w/ Paploo and Speeder, B-Wing, TIE Bomber, and Crashed Snowspeeder. While huge Star Wars fans like most of us will argue that they are well-known vehicles in the films, most really aren't. Interceptors only surface predominantly in the Battle of Endor. TIE Bombers only see major action in one ESB scene. B-Wings aren't as popular as X-Wings. The TRU exclusive AT-ST is modeled after one scene in ROTJ (same with the crashed speeder in ESB). Thus, they're geared toward more mature "collectors" and not young kids. That could be a reason why they're the ones that are meant to be harder to find. There's a better chance their value will increase over time, making it a good investment in some circles.

As far as the figures go, jedi master sal has a good solution. Give the figures sufficient articulation that's character consistent. That way they could please more people. Those who want playability will have it, and people like myself who want to have dynamic, action-oriented displays will be able to create those too (and actually give us more flexibility in style we want).

Just to make sure I'm not misunderstood, I understand perfectly well that we all have different tastes, and I'm not trying to say everyone else is wrong and I'm right. That would just be an arrogant thing to do. I'm just saying that 1) the static poses don't really bother me personally and that's just my personal opinion; 2) giving a possible reason why Hasbro made these choices (although I'm sure you're right that money is their principal goal and they'll make what sells); and 3) that I think maybe some of the people who come down very hard on Hasbro and tear them apart without mercy might want to step back and consider other sides. Personally, I think the boycott that some have taken up might be a good idea. Historically, they've produced results. Maybe--just maybe--Hasbro will listen and address their requests too. Unfortunately, that's probably a pipe dream.

JEDIpartner
04-10-2002, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by IcebergSlim
...That's why I always find these statue/action figure gripes useless.

This thread is NOT about the statue/figure gripes. This is about collectors and how Hasbro responds to the market. Is it a good response or bad response...? To what "collector" market does Hasbro cater? This is what is being discussed here.

IcebergSlim
04-10-2002, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by JEDIpartnr


This thread is NOT about the statue/figure gripes

I didn't say it was

corporal AMF
04-10-2002, 03:57 PM
Anyone knows if Hasbro released some information on sales, like f/e, amount of POTJ sold in comparison with EP1? or something related to marketing, because I've never heard some corporation brief or something like that , that will give us the sight that Hasbro really 'listen' to their customers via sales.

LTBasker
04-10-2002, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by JEDIpartnr

2) Those who like to purchase enormous numbers of figures to build dioramas and such- again "off-card" collectors.

3) Those who buy at least TWO of every figure one to keep on card and another to open.

I fit those two, I don't buy enormous amounts of figures, sometimes some multiples of army-builders, but I usually just pick a scene and display it as I like. If I can...

I know I'm collecting toys, or as Woody puts it so kindly; "A Child's PLAY THING!" :D

See the thing about the AOTC figures is the chidl gimmicks, while it's understandable they're trying to point this line towards kids and collectors at once, they need to learn that when you put a decade old gimmick into an action figure, make sure you can play with the action FIGURE also and not just the gimmick. Just like Padme, bad sculpt, bad stance, and bad gimmick. You turn her waist and her arm pops up, yeah I'm sure alot of kids are gonna love that over those new Spider-Man figures with 30 points of articulation. I'm not saying SW figures should be overdosed with articulation, but instead of them making the poses for me for dioramas I want to do, I'd like to be able to pose the figure myself for various dioramas.

IcebergSlim
04-10-2002, 05:24 PM
Spiderman figures are a different scale, so the comparisons are invalid.

Wolfwood319
04-10-2002, 05:30 PM
I fit into category numero 2, but I don't buy dozens of Stormtroopers, I buy a few to display in scenes I create on shelves. If you look at the figures in Collection 1, you can definately tell that these were the ones geared towards kids. Everyone has an action gimmick, and the sculpt is a little lacking on all of them. Then in Collection 2, you see what is more geared towards "collectors."

I think Hasbro takes a look not only at what ''collectors'' ask for, but also what other "Toy" companies make that is geared towards collectors. Take a look at McFarlane, for example. McFarlane figures have alway been for collectors, and it got to the point where they were all statues with no articulation at all. Hasbro sees this as what the "collectors" want. So they give us a figure like Luminara.

Now I don't want every single figure to be stuck in an "action pose," but I also don't want every figure to just have a basic look either. I think after we get past Collection 1, it for the most part evens out between basic posed figures, and action posed figures. Most of the Jedi seem "action posed'' which I like because I plan on doing a Arena Battle scene. Then we also get figures like Dexter who are really good looking, but aren't in any sort of action pose.

Hasbro, I think, definately sees the collector market and its importance. Heck, all of POTJ was mostly geared towards "Collectors." But with the new movie coming out, Hasbro is betting on kids wanting AOTC figures as well. So the first set of figures released are for the kids, and when the kid element dies down, Hasbro re-focus the line towards the collector aspect.

CrossWizard
04-10-2002, 05:38 PM
Yet Hasbro can make an awesome figure with tons of articulation when they want too. Just look at the Commtech Stormie and the upcoming Bespin Luke. I wish all of the figures had atleast knee and ball jointed shoulder articulation, so I could either pose them standing or in a battle stance. I remember when I heard back in 94' that Kenner/Hasbro was reviving the Star Wars franchise I was excited, I thought to myself, "well now were gonna see some damn good articulated figures that show off the advances in action figure technology" but no, we got steroid vintage-style quality. I only wish that Hasbro would keep some articulation consistency.

LTBasker
04-10-2002, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by IcebergSlim
Spiderman figures are a different scale, so the comparisons are invalid.

No no no, the comparisons ARE valid, because Hasbro did also try a 6" line but they even screwed that up. The comparison between SW toys and the Spiderman toys is that you can play with the Spiderman toys, they're appearantly designed for both collectors and kids, as they have wonderful detail but great playability. That's the thing right there, Hasbro's not comprehending the Detail + Playabilty stuff here.

They could very much improve the SW figures with more articulation which couldn't interrupt detail too, I mean look at how they did the knee articulation for the POTJ Rebel Trooper. Granted it's not perfect but it doesn't interrupt the detail of the figure and you can stand him, kneel him on either knee (with a little work), put him down on both knees or just pose a few of'em in a group and give them different foot posistions. :D More articulation on the Preview Clone Trooper wouldn't of hurt either, I mean just even a waist joint would've made the figure better than it already is.