I swung by my local neighborhood Target today and managed to find a few more figures that I'd been looking for (Biggs, Luke, and Anakin seem to be peg warming pretty hard around here but I can't find a Padme to save my life!). Anyway, I was about to open my newest acquisitions at home when I noticed something interesting; both of the figures I bought had a clear piece of tape across the top of the bubble where it meets the card back. I'm not sure whether this is a precaution that Target is taking (I hadn't seen this anywhere else) or if this is being done on the Hasbro side of things but it seems to be a new chapter in the saga of the crappy glue/bubble/card backs. Frankly, the tape is pretty useless since it only holds the bubble to the card on one of the four sides so whoever's idea it was it's pretty half baked and is only going to make life even more difficult for those people who must have MOMC.
I have seen the tape thing done in several stores now. One side, two side, and/or top. I'm pretty sure the stores are doing this.
The store employees must understand harder-to-find toys: when I brought the only-one-on-the-pegs Padme I'd found (the very cheap glue variant) to the cash register, he asked if there were any left. I love the Rattling Blaster feature, as it wasn't attached to her hand and somehow didn't fall out of the loose blister. I left most of the rest of the first wave (minus Vader) there.
The tape is smart, the top of the blister is where the most flex will be and where gravity will pull hardest, and yet it'll still allow access to the figure later without excess frustration. My guess is it's Hasbro's move.
Saw first hand the bubble coming unglued from the cardback at a WM recently. If there's anything positive to say about it, at least it was neat and clean.
Picked up Padme and Anakin at TRU using the 25% off coupon. Both figures had their bubbles taped at the top, Anakin needed it as his bubble wasn't glued at the lower right at all.
The Padme that I got has a wonky eye, it's not as bad in person as it looked in the store thankfully. It also has a manufacturing defect in the left hand, a void behind the thumb which is worrisome. The figure is pretty adequate from design and paint, minus the right elbow being white at its joint. The sculpt and paint on the face are decent, from either side it's a fairly good likeness and not bad from the front, which is where most falter. The scratches on the back are good. I don't love the mid-torso articulation, it's not a lot of range of movement, but it's well-integrated. The droid blaster fits only in her left hand, but it looks decent, and her right hand holds her Naboo pistol nicely. All in all, adequate, not worth $10 by any stretch of the imagination.
Anakin doesn't look like Hayden much, and his right arm can't be removed at the elbow. He can however replace his right hand with an included robot hand, and his outfit isn't soft goods so it stays on well and looks good. The likeness is slightly better from its left, but Hayden's features are very specific and seem to defy being turned into a toy, the head is short and the eyes sleepy-yet-dark in real life where on the figure even a millimeter causes a miss by a mile, the nose and brow on the figure come off too old. Articulation is decent, the lack of mid-torso jointing beyond the swivel waist is a disappointment but otherwise it holds up, although I still find the foot joint bizarre (it's the same one found on the 6" figures, lateral rotation on hinge integrated into the shoe's ankle). For $10, you get a lit lightsaber but not an unlit hilt to plug into the belt hole, nor the Geonosian arena sabers he wielded. All in all, the price pushes it to slightly below adequate, it's not as enticing as the Padme figure due to the lack of likeness recognizability.
I've been photographing figures from this wave for long-overdue reviews. I'm still getting used to the new camera, and the setup is pretty simple, but I hope the photos will give a good idea of the figures and show how they fit in the collection. I prefer to set my figures up in dioramas, and since I have just about everything, I will be leaning away from clinical neutral poses and more towards showcasing what the figure can do and recreating scenes from the films and EU. Here are some raw shots for Padmé and Anakin.
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