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  1. #1

    2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    Now it's another new year, the year of the final Star Wars film, the last (maybe?) giant merchandising onslaught, and the last big Star Wars-only convention. Before we get too far into 2005, let's have a look back at 2004, Star Wars-wise. Usually the head honchos here on SSG do this, but for some reason they haven't yet. Still, now we all can.

    This year started out with more figures on the gold-striped Saga card first seen in fall 2003. The figures came out in themed waves, such as Hoth and Tatooine. The figures featured great sculpts and articulation, and collectors were in the minds of the Hasbro workers. A few Ultra figures came out at the same time as each themed wave, to go with the basic figures. We were given a taste of things to come when Hasbro re-released 12 old figures with new bases and cards and called them the Hall of Fame collection. They also offered a second set of Clone Wars animated figures and promised a third (which are now available).

    To coincide with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD, Hasbro launched the Original Trilogy Collection, with both kids and collectors in mind. For new fans, they released 31 old figures along with 7 new ones for collectors and put them on beautiful new cards, based loosely on the vintage packaging. Many collectors who already had these also collected a set of OTC figures just for the cardbacks. A few of the old figures sported different accessories or all-new paintjobs, prompting owners to take a second look (or a second purchase). This was also the case with the vehicles, all of which used old or remodeled sculpts and (usually) new deco.

    Perhaps the biggest surprise of all (aside from the DVDs themselves) was a set of 12 all-new figures on reproductions of vintage packaging. With excellent detail and articulation, the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection offered some of the best figures of all time. However, with a price twice that of the basic figures, some people felt ripped-off, and a few figures undoubtedly warranted that.

    The first few 2005 figures crept onto the store shelves in November and December, just in time for Christmas. We were warned of a price hike of a dollar, but ended up getting a two dollar-increase instead. This marks the first time in three years that figures have been nearly $7.

    What are your thoughts on this past year in collecting? For reference, here's a list of all the brand-new figure items meant for 2004, with a few releases from late 2003 included and the 2005 figures excluded:

    Basic Figures
    Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation)
    R-3PO (Hoth Evacuation)
    Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack)
    Luke Skywalker (Jabba’s Palace)
    R2-D2 (Jabba’s Sail Barge)
    R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction)
    Lando Calrissian (Jabba’s Sail Barge)
    Rappertunie (Jabba’s Palace)
    J’Quille (Jabba’s Sail Barge)
    Tanus Spijek (Jabba’s Sail Barge)
    Holographic Luke Skywalker (Jabba’s Palace)
    General Jan Dodonna (Battle of Yavin)
    Dutch Vander Gold Leader (Battle of Yavin)
    TIE Fighter Pilot (Battle of Yavin)
    Captain Antilles (Tantive IV Invasion)
    Admiral Ozzel (Executor Assault)
    Dengar (Executor Meeting)
    Bossk (Executor Meeting)
    Han Solo (Endor Strike)
    General Madine (Imperial Shuttle Capture)
    Lando Calrissian (Death Star Attack)
    Luke Skywalker (OTC #1)
    Yoda (OTC #2)
    Spirit Obi-Wan (OTC #3)
    R2-D2 (OTC #4)
    Princess Leia (OTC #18)
    Cloud Car Pilot (OTC #19)
    Lobot (OTC #20)

    Ultra Figures
    Wampa (Hoth Attack)
    General Rieekan (Hoth Evacutaion)
    C-3PO with Escape Pod (Tatooine Escape)
    Jabba the Hutt (Jabba's Palace)
    Jabba's Court Denizens (Jabba's Palace)
    Ewok with Attack Glider (Assault on Endor)

    Animated Figures
    Count Dooku
    Yoda
    Durge
    Clone Trooper

    Vintage-style Figures
    Luke Skywalker
    Han Solo
    Princess Leia Organa
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
    Darth Vader
    Yoda
    Lando Calrissian
    See-Threepio (C-3PO)
    Chewbacca
    Boba Fett
    Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) with Extension Arm
    Stormtrooper

    Vehicles
    X-wing Fighter
    TIE Fighter
    Millennium Falcon
    Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
    Y-wing Fighter
    Slave I

    Screen Scenes
    Jedi Council 1 (Yoda, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Qui-Gon Jinn)
    Jedi Council 2 (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, Eeth Koth)
    Jedi Council 3 (Anakin Skywalker, Adi Gallia, Saesee Tiin)
    Jedi Council 4 (Stass Allie, Agen Kolar, Shaak Ti)
    Mos Eisley Cantina 1 (Dr. Evazan, Wuher, Kitik Keed'kak)
    Mos Eisley Cantina 2 (Ponda Baba, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Zutton)

    Four-packs
    Endor Battle
    Naboo Combat

    Wal-Mart DVD Multipacks
    A New Hope (Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, R2-D2, C-3PO)
    The Empire Strikes Back (Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Chewbacca)
    Return of the Jedi (Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Stormtrooper)

    Wal-Mart Carry Cases
    C-3PO with Han Solo and Chewbacca
    Darth Vader with Boba Fett and Stormtrooper

    I didn't include the 12-inch stuff, Galactic Heroes, or Jedi Force stuff because I don't know much about it and don't collect them. As for thoughts, I’ll post mine later.

  2. #2

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    It was a great year for collectors. Of course we all wanted more new figures and not rehashes, but Hasbro did a pretty good job on the new paint apps and a few new figures. The cards are outstanding as well, a huge selling point with me. Some of the choices were not very popular and we all would have liked R2-R9 (red R2 unit), Motti and other hard to find figures from the past.

    When I look back to figures like Hoth Luke, R1-G4, Bar2-D2, Dutch and Dengar, I can really appreciate Hasbro's efforts. I mean really I never thought we would get R1 and Bar2! They really blew my mind.
    Last edited by Turbowars; 01-02-2005 at 01:06 PM.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  3. #3

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    I think this was a good year for myself. With the exception of about three or four things, i was able to find everything i wanted at retail. I liked the most of the product we got too. I was pleased to get so many of Jabbas hooligans this year, a cloud car pilot, and some vehicles i had missed out on the first time around. Lots of good sculpts IMO and just the sheer amount of figures released made the year of 2004 a good one Star Wars toys wise.
    Good Traders/Sellers: Cameo, Darth Cruel, Sith Killer 99, JJReason, icatch9, ChasingJediDogma, AT-AT Man, JediMasterGuyute, Brainiak76, JangoFett96, njscollectibles, Vulcantouch, AC Pin, TheDarthVader, msjedi, DarthQuack, Roojay

  4. #4

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    In terms of the quality and variety of merchandise offered, 2004 was an exceptional year for Star Wars. Articulation, sculpts, paint apps were all greatly improved. The assortment of characters was much more diverse especially with the inclusion of many lesser-known characters (Jabba Court Denziens, Cloud Car Pilot, etc.).

    Unfortunately, 2004 was also a year (at least for myself and fellow Northeastern Pennsylvanian collectors) in which poor distribution truly reared its ugly head. I did find most of the items I sought out, but they were generally the result of either dumb luck or frequent communication with fellow forumite Darth Alex. For the most part, pegwarmers clogged the shelves, and it always seemed as though the stores were three months behind everyone else.

    Just as a good example, my local Wal-Mart just put its remaining OTC figures on clearance for $3.00 each. They are the same figures that clogged the pegs for the past 3 months, and they are all Madine, Lando General, and Leia Bespin--at least 15 of each.
    "The boy you trained, gone he is...consumed by Darth Vader." - Yoda, Revenge of the Sith

    Yodasnews Review Archive: http://www.kid4life.com/yoda2/figurereviews06.htm

  5. #5

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    This was a great year for all SW fans and collectors. It gave us never before seen figures and a great tribute to the old days of collectiing as a kid.


    Basic Figures
    Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) - probably near the bottom of every list.
    R-3PO (Hoth Evacuation) - a great add on extra. Loved it
    Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) - Awesome sculpt. Loved the battle wounds and attatch to the Wampa feature
    Luke Skywalker (Jabba’s Palace) - A decent sculpt and a much needed figure
    R2-D2 (Jabba’s Sail Barge) - could have been better IMO
    R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction) - Great job, a throw back to ANH
    Lando Calrissian (Jabba’s Sail Barge) - Thought it was impossible to improve on the POTF2, but they did it.
    Rappertunie (Jabba’s Palace) - Great, great figure. Loved it
    J’Quille (Jabba’s Sail Barge) - Again, awesome sculpt, loved it
    Tanus Spijek (Jabba’s Sail Barge) - J'Quille part deux, loved it
    Holographic Luke Skywalker (Jabba’s Palace) - thought it would be worse, but it was good
    General Jan Dodonna (Battle of Yavin) - not worhth the fans choice designation, but happy we got him none the less
    Dutch Vander Gold Leader (Battle of Yavin) - Awesome, if they made all Pilots this good
    TIE Fighter Pilot (Battle of Yavin) - a decent sculpt, much needed improvement
    Captain Antilles (Tantive IV Invasion) - see Dodonna
    Admiral Ozzel (Executor Assault) - About time we got him.
    Dengar (Executor Meeting) - Any Dengar is a welcome to my collection
    Bossk (Executor Meeting) - A nice improvement.
    Han Solo (Endor Strike) - HTF, got them through trades. Han is OK at best
    General Madine (Imperial Shuttle Capture) - About time!!!
    Lando Calrissian (Death Star Attack) - Loved it
    Luke Skywalker (OTC #1) - Love the variant packaging and a neat idea for this figure
    Yoda (OTC #2) - Loved the interaction on him with Luke
    Spirit Obi-Wan (OTC #3) - Very nicely done.
    R2-D2 (OTC #4) - I liked it
    Princess Leia (OTC #18) - Bespin Leia, very cool to have
    Cloud Car Pilot (OTC #19) - Well, where is the Twin Pod now that we have a pilot??
    Lobot (OTC #20) - NOt much as far as excitement, but better than Lobot Terrio

    Ultra Figures
    Wampa (Hoth Attack) - Great, Great sculpt. Top Notch
    General Rieekan (Hoth Evacutaion) - should have been a basic figure
    C-3PO with Escape Pod (Tatooine Escape) - passed on it. 3PO looked funky
    Jabba the Hutt (Jabba's Palace) - Great Jabba Sculpt....where is the Thorne?
    Jabba's Court Denizens (Jabba's Palace) - great addition to any collection
    Ewok with Attack Glider (Assault on Endor) - Got two, great job.

    Animated Figures - passed on these
    Count Dooku
    Yoda
    Durge
    Clone Trooper

    Vintage-style Figures
    Luke Skywalker - Good figure, nothing special
    Han Solo - great to get a non cantina Han
    Princess Leia Organa - see Luke
    Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi - Loved the cloak, old man Ben is always welcome
    Darth Vader - The Dark Lord of the Sith is always welcome with open arms t omy collection. Bought 2 of them
    Yoda - meh
    Lando Calrissian - See Luke
    See-Threepio (C-3PO) - waste of money, bought only to have the set
    Chewbacca - Great job on this Wookie. Bought two of them
    Boba Fett - See Chewie
    Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) with Extension Arm - A nice addtion, could have been a basic figure
    Stormtrooper - Bought 4 of them. Great army Builder

    Vehicles - didnt get any
    X-wing Fighter
    TIE Fighter
    Millennium Falcon
    Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
    Y-wing Fighter
    Slave I

    Screen Scenes - passed
    Jedi Council 1 (Yoda, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Qui-Gon Jinn)
    Jedi Council 2 (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, Eeth Koth)
    Jedi Council 3 (Anakin Skywalker, Adi Gallia, Saesee Tiin)
    Jedi Council 4 (Stass Allie, Agen Kolar, Shaak Ti)
    Mos Eisley Cantina 1 (Dr. Evazan, Wuher, Kitik Keed'kak)
    Mos Eisley Cantina 2 (Ponda Baba, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Zutton)

    Four-packs - passed
    Endor Battle
    Naboo Combat

    Wal-Mart DVD Multipacks
    A New Hope (Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, R2-D2, C-3PO) - passed
    The Empire Strikes Back (Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Chewbacca) - passed
    Return of the Jedi (Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Stormtrooper) - Never got the Emperor in the Saga line, so I snabbed it for ten bucks. The best of all three packs, an army builder, Darth Vader and the Emperor for 10 bucks. How can you say no???

    Wal-Mart Carry Cases
    C-3PO with Han Solo and Chewbacca
    Darth Vader with Boba Fett and Stormtrooper
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

  6. #6

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    Overall, I was impressed with this year's offerings. With plethora of ancilliary characters from the Original Trilogy being produced it was fun year to collect. I could never tire of more aliens and droids; so Hasbro, keep 'em coming.

    Bought all the Utra/Deluxe figures that were from the Original Trilogy; great stuff.

    I liked the Animated Clone Wars line, bought all of them.

    I planned on putting together a set of OTC, but in the end, I passed on the repacks. I also passed on the Holographic Emperor. Loved the new figures from the OTC and was happy to see Gamorreans and Jawas again. I put together two sets of VOTC. After opening the VOTC and playing with them, most of the figures actually look better in the packaging. Hasbro, hokey exclusives and ancient packaging are no match for good new figures at your retail side, kid.

    Bought a 12" VOTC Stormtrooper since I didn't have one. I have no interest in the Luke, but may buy a Fett and more Stormtroopers on clearance.

    Only bought the ROTJ DVD Commemorative Figure set since I needed that Emperor. Got a nice Vader and Stormtrooper too.

    Passed on the vehicles. I did buy a OTC Vader TIE, but eventually returned it.
    Passed on the Jedi Council scenes until they go on sale.
    Passed on the role play stuff and carry cases as usual.
    Passed on the multi-packs as usual.

  7. #7

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    Great year.

    Highlights for me were all the background and non-core characters:

    Gen.Dodonna
    Cpt.Antilles
    Gold leader Vandar
    Gen.Madine
    Gen.Rieekan (don't like his stance though)
    Admiral Ozzel (ball-joint neck is a bit awkward but acceptable)
    Jabba's court denizens
    J'quille
    Tanus spijek
    Cloud car pilot
    R-3P0
    R1-G4

    Good resculpts that I considered worth buying:

    Luke Jabba's palace (best likeness so far though its a pity his lightsabre holding is weak)
    Lando skiff guard (good likeness as well as overall more realistic sculpt)
    Hoth Luke (would have liked wrist articulation though)
    TIE pilot (didn't like it at first but now I wish I'd bought two)
    Dengar (an ESB version was needed and it was done well)
    Lando General (don't like the head, but the rest is good)
    Wampa (no complaints)
    Lobot (still far too tall, pity because its otherwise great)
    Yoda (well I thought the head was a bit off but he's more realistic and can do good X-wing lifting poses)
    spirit of Ben (good idea introducing colour, acceptable execution)
    Dagobah R2 (I was hoping for this to be done, very realistic)
    Leia Bespin gown (don't like the face as much as Bespin escape Leia but this is better than the cloth robe version)



    worst figure:

    Hoth trooper (hardly redeemable at all, totally missed opportunity)



    Not quite necessary figures:

    Bossk (unless people wanted an open mouth variant and a resculpted gun I don't see much of a difference)
    Han endor strike (another opportunity to buy an AT-ST pilot for your landing bay scenes but as a Han figure it wasn't on my wishlist)



    Vehicles:

    Sancrawler was a disappointment, being a simple repaint of the old mold - a good repaint at that but this thing was scaled down even more than it needed to be. I was appalled at how small it is.

    Y-wing - I have the 1999 version and ordered this before christmas (haven't yet received it, might come tomorrow). I love the packaging and another Y-wing is a good Yavin 4 hangar diorama filler which has also made me think about buying the Red leader X-wing.

    X-wing - for completists or kids only - I understand why they reissued the crappy old mold but I wouldn't touch it even if I could get it free.

    TIE fighter - our 'make-do' TIE until they eventually please god resculpt the damned thing. Don't need another one of these but there can be no harm in having TIE fighters on store shelves

    Falcon - I do hope to get this eventually - the light-up engines sell it for me. I might not even give away my old one as I had planned - provided I make the space I could have 2 Falcons is seperate set-ups. A worthy reissue.

    Slave I - I passed on this at retail (mainly because I couldn't afford both this and the sandcrawler which I saw at the same time) and now its gone. I may yet get it online. It was requested and was thus a good move by Hasbro. A bit small though and it lacks the ability to take on board Han Carbonite like the old one does.

  8. #8

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    I thought 2004 was a big improvement over actually finding stuff than 2003. I was able to get pretty much everything I was after with only a small number of figures being sighted only once or twice (Imperial Trooper, OTC Stormie, OTC IG-88).

    The OTC stuff for the most part was great (loved the packaging), but I was pretty sick of the rehashes, especially many of those who were already released once in 2004 (Bossk, Han, JP Lando).

    The big turn off was the promise of the slick VOTC line, which turned out to be high-priced vintage-lite. At a lower price the line would have been better, but $10 for a slightly better figure in a star case wasn't attractive to me.

    While I won't be happy about the price increase, because we will no doubt get the same quality of figures that we were getting, I was glad to get many of the 2005 figures at 2004 prices due to poor on-peg pricing by WM and TRU.

    As far as retailers go, TRU was the biggest disappointment with WM close behing. Very poor selection (trillions of Madines, Landos, and AT-ST Hans) and stocking hasbeens made it easy to make a choice of where to find stuff: Target. I'd say I bought close to 75% of my stuff from Target and only the 2005 figures at TRU with WM being used to fill in the gaps here and there. The clearances werern't as good as 2003, IMO. Last year I found tons of cool stuff at Target for $2.50 like the McQuarrie Stormie and the SA Cloney. This year you can get all the Madines and Bespin Leias you want for $3.
    "I'm just a YES man trying to make my way in the universe." - Jango McCallum

    "Good dialogue and smooth editing are no match for a good YES man by your side, kid." - George Lucas

  9. #9

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    Usually the head honchos here on SSG do this, but for some reason they haven't yet.
    We always do ours in January, last year it was late January but this year should be sooner as we've already got at least half of it done. Once the article gets its final edit from me and then Steve, it'll get put up and I'll post in here with some of my personal thoughts.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #10

    Re: 2004: The Year in Star Wars Collecting

    Darn JT, I was looking foward to your thoughts now. I guess I can wait. though.
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

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