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  1. #1

    State of the "Saga" line....and hopes for the future

    Well, we're coming up on the last quarter for the year....the last of the single-carded figures should be here by the holiday season, all the retailers who are getting exclusives either have them or they soon will, and the last of the big-ticket items are arriving.

    Looking back over the year, we had the expected push for a new film, the introduction of the "unified" line, and more endless debates as to the direction the line took this year....

    My thoughts:

    While I like the idea of a unified line, it would have been nice to see more classic characters get good new highly-detailed versions. While the Bespin Luke & Vader were great (& the new Chewie was alright), sadly MIA were Leia, the droids & more cantina or Jabba denizens. One thing we DON'T need soon (and it looks like we're getting it anyway) is ANOTHER Han Solo! Gack! We've got enough already! The ole smuggler is the biggest pegwarmer around here since Porkins....

    The "extreme"pose debate sure raged over the summer....my feelings are still the same....it works for some characters but not for others. It's still aggravating that we haven't seen cloaked versions of the lead characters yet, but perhaps next year....

    The "action" features.....ugh! I know Hasbro wants to keep these "kid-friendly" (they are toys after all), but I'm with those who think the gimmicks should stick with just the deluxe figures...the regular assortments should stick to the highly-detailed, well-accessorized basics. We STILL have yet to see a basic, decently sculpted gimmick-free version of Anakin yet...and considering he's the lead character, that's kinda sad.

    On the news of including stands with the figures.....I say an emphatic "YES!" I don't care if they are scene specific or not (although I like those better)....some of the more extreme-posed figures (and even some of the more casual-stanced ones) have a hard time standing. I'd rather see stands than some of these over-sized accessories that the figures have been sporting of late.

    I will give Hasbro a nod for trying to kick up the variety in the assortments with this line....they seem to be pulling older figures out a little quicker than they did with Epsiode One...until lately, it hasn't been that hard keeping up with the releases.

    The Action Collection....
    I already stated my beefs in a thread over in the 12" section so I'll be brief: Loose the limp too-much-window packaging for something sturdy and give the Jedi figures their cloaks! The RealScan is a great success for accuracy, but don't skimp on the basics here.....the "Ultimate" Jango was nice (if not overpriced), but give us the value with the regular figures too.

    Okay....I'll catch my breath here & see if anyone else wants to add some end-of-the-season viewpoints on the saga collection...

  2. #2
    Well, if anything, 2002 has seen the return of the Star Wars vehicle toy. We got 6 all-new vehicles this year and they are easily some of the best Star Wars vehicles ever made.

    There is the matter of not having figures that fit into the vehicles, namely the Coruscant speeders; but I have covered that enough.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
    Leia needs some attention in 2003, but I don't mind her absense in 2002. Having both her and Padme in the line, would have put to many female figures out there. Boys aren't all that intrested in female figures, best to save her for 2003. I'm sure we'll get some version of her next year.

    The droids I can understand skipping, because we got AOTC's versions of C-3PO and R2-D2. We have the holiday droids 2-pack, and we have another AOTC's R2-D2 on the way for 2003, and then I want to see a classic C-3PO and R2-D2. Ewok Diety C-3PO and Jabba's Bartender R2-D2 are sorely needed. Hopefully in late 2003 or early 2004.

    The 2003 Han Solo is going to be a Hoth version, a version that is sorely needed in the re-sculpt arena. The problem with the Saga Han, was he wasn't different enough from those that came before him. The Hoth Chewie should be a nice re-sculpt as well, since the POTF2 version is to short. Re-sculpts are rumored for the Luke: Jedi and Darth Vader: Removable Helmet. Both those figures also need a new more correct version. Especially the Vader, since the POTF2 figure is way to short.

    I agree, the posed figures work for some and not for others. Good posted figures are like Luminara, a really bad example is the Jar Jar Binks. That needs rectified in a re-sculpt so that he doesn't look like he's going to pummle Palpy and Orn Free Taa.

    I'm the part of the minority that likes the gimmicks. There are some that I want to smack Hasbro in the head for implementing wrong though. Padme: Arena and Anakin: Outland Peasent are examples of bad gimmicks im my eyes. The saber swinging and quickdraws as long as they are done like Zam's or Han's, then they are pretty cool.

    The stands included with some of next years figures are cool. I really wish that Hasbro would include any kind of stand with the new figures. I hate trying to track down someplace that has figure stands in stock. The fan club gets a few in and are sold out for ages. So I'm all for stands.

    I'm hoping that we do get more Classic figures next year, but I want to see quite a few more E2 figures be the feature for next year. As I said before, Classic has been churning out figures since 1995, and there are a heck of alot more figures for Classic then there is for E2 and even E1. Focus on the prequels, and then secondarily focus on Jabba's Palace especially for new figures. A couple ESB re-sculpts are in order as well. Like Lobot, Dengar, and a new Princess Leia: Bespin Gown.

    Not much to say about the 12" Line. It's good sometimes and I feel the need to collect them. Then other times they are horrible. The 12" line seems to have more hits and misses then the 4" line ever did. I would like seeing some of the 4" sculptors maybe working with the people that do 12". Maybe they can get the sculpts and scale a little more accurate. I need a 12" Jar Jar: Senator figure as well.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    Last edited by Beast; 09-22-2002 at 03:33 AM.
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  4. #4
    In short, The extreme and limiting poses work fine for something like the unleashed line but not for action figures. They should be articulated in such a way that they can be poesed by the consumer the way hasbro releases them or not. It's the choice that is missing from the equation here.

    The gimmicks, magnets in hands are ok, quickdraw features don't really work too well and neither do leg kicking actions. If the gimmick means a loss of articulation in the figure then I say lose the gimmick.

    Cloth sculpted as blowing around in a gale is bad because it means a figure won't be useful in other areas of play or fit in vehicles. Cloth sculpting is getting really good and nicely detailed but stilll and hanging is preferable to winwhipped in my eyes.

    Accessories I love. This year has churned out some really nice accessories. Large items. Hasbro shouldn't stop now, they should go nuts on the accessories so we get more stuff from the entire SAGA to help flesh out the scenmes we might want to recreate, more cargo crates, big guns, some larger stuff like the vehicle maintenance energiser redone would be nice to see.

    Deluxe figures have been very hit and miss and sometimes I've wondered if hasbro actually knows the meaning of the word deluxe . The Nexu was the pinnacle of the deluxe figures for me. The worst was the removable armour Jango and the force flipping figures. Stick with larger accessories with better detail and really make them deluxe. Make the figures worth buying not just some rehash Hasbro 'think' kids will buy. It's the lack of detail and authenticity in these packs so far that means they've been pegwarming badly. Not even the kids want the force flipping stuff.

    The vehicles are the shining glory of the SAGA line but I'd like to see more small speeders in the whole line not just from AOTC. There are literally tons of speeders in star wars and many are just begging to be made and sold in just the same way as the coruscant speeders. But there's speeders small enough to pack in with a figure as a deluxe like the Yavin base rebel troop transport, or the Tatooine swoop from ANH.
    Vehicles are great but they don't necessarily need so many missiles, plenty of detail and a large enough cockpit are mostly what is required.

    Playsets still look bad. I really think it's time hasbro got with the programme and went the sectional route. make better detailed environments in several pieces that can be put together to form a larger one. release these pieces in waves over the course of the year so everyone gets a chance to find them. Over one year it would be possible to build a large Death star playset without it crippling us financially as one large outlay on one large item. Spread the cost over the year and it's more achievable. By releasing in small sections it means each section can have more detail and attention lavished on the creation.
    That's what i hope for the future.

    Out of all the stuff released this year I don't think there's much I've had difficulty finding apart from the exclusive to America stuff. My other hope for the future is that these exclusives are also made available across the globe somehow. America only exclusives coupled with that taunt on the packaging 'collect them all' makes Hasbro sound vindictive and sadistic. get the stuff overseas too because the market here is bigger than you think.

    Stands with all figures is a great idea so why not take the one that packed with Watto, remove the post hole and replace it with two pegs. Pack that in with every figure and the problem is solved. That can't even cost a fraction of a penny to produce so it is commercially viable to ppack it in. Plus it makes perfect sense to do so.
    That's another hope for the future.

    My last one is that I really hope to see more beasts next year, Dianoga, Aiwha, Orray, Wampa, Jerba, Dewback resculpt, Bantha w/calf... If hasbro make them and I'll buy them in bucketloads. The beasts from AOTC have so far been great. I love the Reek and the Acklay looks most impressive despite his articulation problems and weight. Just Hope big H don't get lazy and really go hell for leather with the beasts. The dianoga and Wampa can continue the attack beast line. Others are beasts of burden but also, there's a place for smaller critters as pack-ins. I'm still hoping for a scurrier rodent pack in somewhere down the line. Not to mention the dwarf Nuna.
    Last edited by Jargo; 09-22-2002 at 07:17 AM.

  5. #5
    There are basically three main things that bug me about the Saga line.

    First is all the RESCULPTS.... this is the worst situation right now, the utter redundancy of having so many versions of the same characters, with very little variation between them. They should be doing more new characters and vehicles, not rehashing the same old thing over and over again.

    Next is the size of the bubble on the package... I hate it, it's just too big and it makes storage a problem if you buy a lot of figures and keep them in the packages. In my opinion, they should return to a smaller bubble design.

    Last is the issue of the 12" females... terrible, terrible, terrible. Hasbro is messing these up big time. They are glorified Barbie dolls, not action figures. They should be using the Hasbro "GI Jane" body for these, and get the scale on the head right. Star Wars toys are primarily made for boys, not girls. Having good head sculpts, more articulation and hands that grip are important factors that need to be addressed. This is a problem that had been around even before the Saga line, and it still needs to be dealt with.

    This is just my opinion, but if Hasbro fixed these three things alone, I think the Saga line would be a triumph, instead of a mediocrity.
    Last edited by Sinister Lord; 09-22-2002 at 08:07 PM.

  6. #6
    I'll surely agree that the heads on the female 12 inchers are just horrible. They look like pumpkins on toothpicks! However, these are the exceptions and, thankfully, not the rule.

    All and all, I think the Saga line has been fantastic! The detail and, mostly, proportion have been right on the money. The Deluxes have, for the most part, been lame IMO. I dig the Yoda and the 3PO, but the flipping dudes look horrible and they couldn't have made a worse deluxe Jango if their blueprints were titled "The Worst Deluxe Jango We Can Make".

    I like that we were treated with 2 versions of the Endor Rebel - as we were with the POTJ Scouts. That was a nice bonus.

    My MAIN gripe in the whole Hasbro Star Wars scene - distribution! Hasbro learned nothing from the marketing disaster known as Episode 1. They FLOODED the stores with TONS of Jar Jar's (no offense, Binks) and 3PO's and you couldn't find a Yoda or a Dooku to save you life. Since these stores are now loaded with tons of pegwarmers, they are hesitant to buy the necessary quanity of newer releases for fear the same nobodys who are lining up to buy the existing pegwarmers will line up to buy the new figures. I have yet to see a Maul or Anakin TA on the pegs - let alone a Padme or Clone Pilot.

    So, overall I'd say it was a great year to be a SW nerd! However, Hasbro needs to learn from their own mistakes and make this hobby one that can be fulfilling without having to resort to folks like Brian's Toys or other scalpers.

    J

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Without writing short story, my only hopes are to receive more Classics and for the line to get back to the basics.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  9. #9
    The lack of Yoda and Dooku in the stores isn't Hasbro's fault though, since they are still shipping both figures even now. The latest case had another 2 Yoda's and 1 Dooku. Hasbro is trying to meet the need, but the problem is that Yoda is still a hot figure with scalpers. I would suggest that if your missing either figure to try and order online. I'm sure they are avaliable for a decent price somewhere online, like YesterToys, PAF, or even TRU.com.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks
    THE SPY. THE SPACEMAN. THE GODDESS. THE ROBOT. THE GORILLA.

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  10. #10
    I would overall have to say the Saga line is better than good, but not really great. They have made some cool figures like Orn Free Taa, Taun We, the Bespin figures, and most of the female Jedi are awesome. But I don't want to see another Jango Fett ever again. Making 3 before making 1 kinda of bothers me. Any 1 will do, just look at all the petition threads. Second, stop with the gimmicks on the standard 3-3/4 line. Someone earlier said it best, stick these gimmicks on the deluxe figures and keep the bread and butter of this line with normal features and great accessories. The new Mace figure is an absolute joke. Who is going to want to display that anywhere with what looks to be a dagger sticking out of his back. Brutal. Thirdly and lastly, I don't really like the big bubble packaging, although I think it is too late to switch, I prefer the smaller bubble like on the previous lines. Overall I'm satisfied, but not completely.

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