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  1. #1

    I don't think Sideshow has a very good bead on the collectors' attitude.

    Battle Droid posted a link to an interview with Sideshow people in the thread I started about the name of Sideshow's 12" line (Thanks BD!). Reading this interview has me wondering if Sideshow really has their finger on the pulse of Star Wars collectors. I don't want to step on any copyright toes so I will just ask anyone interested to follow the link as it is posted in the above mentioned thread.

    It seems to me that the Sideshow guys feel that adult collectors are largely kids that grew out of the action figures and moved on to statues. And that those same adult collectors only care about how much a given piece of their collection is worth.

    Now, I am not naive, I do realize that there are people who followed that path. But it seems to me, that is the small minority of collectors. So I would like to get an idea of what your reasons are for collecting, what you collect, and what you like about the type of objects you collect.

    And I'll start.

    I collect partially for nostalgia, partially for a strange wonder that I feel at miniaturized things that have detail...the more detail the better I like it, partially for the fun of "hunting" (as I refer to it) for new and hard to find items, and partially for the escape it provides me from the everyday grind.

    I do not collect to build my net worth. I do not collect to compete. And I do not collect to allow the items I collect to sit on a shelf and gather dust.

    When I collect, I like being able to find what I am after eventually. I don't mind having to look for a while, but I want to be sure to get what I am looking for.

    I like miniaturization, but I prefer detail. The smaller, the better, but not at the sacrifice of detail. I would rather have a 12" figure with a perfect likeness of the actual character and that characters accessories than a 4" with an unrecognizable face and a poorly crafted weapon. But, if I can have a 4" figure with perfect likeness of character and accessories, I want that one instead. I want articulation because I may want Anakin in a neutral pose to show off the detail of the costume one day, and the next have him in a battle stance of some type that may require a great deal of articulation (such as the super poseable Spider-Man and Hobgoblin that used to hang in my office with Spider-Man swinging on a a web made from the clear coated twist ties that have been holding the Star Wars vehicles in their boxes lately because it gave me a dual benefit of being strong enough to hold the Spidey figure in place AND still looked as much like webbing as anything Toybiz put in the packages to actually represent the webbing) and dodging the attack of the Hobgoblin on his Glider. (On another side note, those are my two favorite figures to dispaly as they have an unbelievable amount of poseability. One of my favorite poses was Hobgoblin standing triumphantly with one hand around Spidey's throat, and Spidey hanging limply from Hobgoblin's hand...It was cool. But I am rambling)

    What I would like to know, is how you all feel about collecting. Why do you do it and what do you look for in the items you collect?

  2. #2
    I collect for their personal value to me, not what I think I can get for them 5 years down the road. I come to this site to share collecting with others, so I would hope there would be enough of these to go around so I could share the collecting spirit with as many folks as want it. Sideshow's focus on limiting product may keep their company in business, but it takes away part of the meaning of collecting in my eyes.
    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.

  3. #3
    Well DarthCruel (how apropos) I think your opinion of Sideshow may be somewhat unfair. I just finished listening to the podcast and found it to be very insightful for what us collectors can expect to see coming from the new line of 12" figures and what to plan ahead for. I think Sideshow has a VERY good pulse on the collector market and what collectors and fans would like to see and expect.

    Some of the interesting points answered included:

    1. We can expect to see 8-10 figures per year with the possibility of 2 very limited exclusives (this screams ComicCon)

    2. Sideshow Exclusive Editions would only contain accessories that would not [ostensibly] detract from those wanting the Standard Version itself, meaning that the accessory pack-ins for the exclusive edition would be unique to the specific character (i.e. Skiff Guard Blaster, Holographic Darth Sidious).

    3. We can expect to see an assortment of aliens and characters of varying sizes and scales i.e. Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

    4. The amount of detail, costumes and accessories impact the production costs of individual figures. The $5 price increase on the Anakin figure reflects the increased amount of detail and fabric costs. Contrary to popular myth, they are not bilking the fans simply because they can. The prices can be justified accordingly.

    5. All of the figures represented in the fan's choice poll will probably be made at some point.

    6. Sideshow has the license for 12" Star Wars figures indefinitely. We can be relatively sure that they will be home to the Star Wars 12" license for a very long, long time.

    With that information I now have complete confidence in Sideshow's ability to deliver the highest quality figures to satisfy the expectations of collectors. While Exclusive Editions will continue to remain limited and difficult to obtain, Standard Editions will remain somewhat open-ended for the casual collector/fan to obtain to meet demands.

  4. #4
    I think the true test will be in what Sideshow decides to create and at what price. For every success Hasbro had (Ultimate Jango) they had 10 awful releases. "Hey look kids, another version of Luke." Meanwhile we were still waiting for other characters to see the production line.

    I do think that Sideshow needs to be careful of really gearing this line towards "the collector". How many times did we see characters/packaging released in the name of "the collector" by Hasbro only to see the release selling for $5-10 in a matter of months. A few of those FAO Schwartz releases were stacked waist deep even 1 year later.

    I see the 12" line as a big action figure. I believe it was mentioned in the Q&A that the Sideshow releases won't be action figures in their eyes. That's good in one respect as it'll mean a more realistic likeness of each character as well as more details. But I think we could lose a lot in that they will be more of a statue than anything else. There are a lot military themed 12" figures that are not only action figures but also very detailed. I hope that Sideshow finds a good blend of the too. Too much of either and "the collectors" will shy away.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by decadentdave
    Well DarthCruel (how apropos) I think your opinion of Sideshow may be somewhat unfair. I just finished listening to the podcast and found it to be very insightful for what us collectors can expect to see coming from the new line of 12" figures and what to plan ahead for..
    I Hope you are joking. Other than stating how many were coming out in the upcoming year the rest of the info was easily assumed.

    I don't think they do have a good bead on the collector's attitude. Most collectors would like to be able to get their products ordered. I wasn't even able to get an order in for the 12" line despite being signed in 30 minutes early. Website was down for me. Plus I thought if you were a newsletter member you were suppose to receive some early link for ordering (I'm still waiting).. As for their larger size line - great detail but rotten timing for collectors with how they are shipped. At one point I had orders in for premiums Luke, Vader, Greivous, Han Solo, Obi Wan (over $1,500) and still hadn't received the first one which was Luke. Those orders for the most part have been in for months. I now have orders in for Vader/Greivous, Han, Obi, and Leia - just heard that Han is shipping soon.


    My other complaint is despite ordering the first two larger scale SW premiums I never received a email from Sideshow telling me when the others were going to be for sale. In fact I found out the last two including the most recent Leia premium edition was available through Rebelscum and not from Sideshow despite my order history with them. Otherwise the edition would have been sold out and I wouldn't have been able to order them at the time. I even emailed them twice asking why they don't notify customers who are buying this series when the next one is going to be available for sale - It's been months and I'm still waiting for an answer.

    The orders take forever to get shipped. I'm about ready to cancel most of the remaining as I'm tired of waiting on their pre-ordering system.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by decadentdave
    6. Sideshow has the license for 12" Star Wars figures indefinitely. We can be relatively sure that they will be home to the Star Wars 12" license for a very long, long time.

    With that information I now have complete confidence in Sideshow's ability to deliver the highest quality figures to satisfy the expectations of collectors. .
    For a very long, long time....How disappointing. I was hoping a company would get them who could actually handle the amount of orders they received. Now I can look forward to a jammed website on pre-order day and the words "Sold out" before I can even get the page to load for a very long, long time.

    I'm glad you have the confidence in them. I no longer do when it comes to taking the orders.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by decadentdave
    Well DarthCruel (how apropos) I think your opinion of Sideshow may be somewhat unfair. I just finished listening to the podcast and found it to be very insightful for what us collectors can expect to see coming from the new line of 12" figures and what to plan ahead for. I think Sideshow has a VERY good pulse on the collector market and what collectors and fans would like to see and expect.

    Some of the interesting points answered included:

    1. We can expect to see 8-10 figures per year with the possibility of 2 very limited exclusives (this screams ComicCon)

    2. Sideshow Exclusive Editions would only contain accessories that would not [ostensibly] detract from those wanting the Standard Version itself, meaning that the accessory pack-ins for the exclusive edition would be unique to the specific character (i.e. Skiff Guard Blaster, Holographic Darth Sidious).

    3. We can expect to see an assortment of aliens and characters of varying sizes and scales i.e. Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

    4. The amount of detail, costumes and accessories impact the production costs of individual figures. The $5 price increase on the Anakin figure reflects the increased amount of detail and fabric costs. Contrary to popular myth, they are not bilking the fans simply because they can. The prices can be justified accordingly.

    5. All of the figures represented in the fan's choice poll will probably be made at some point.

    6. Sideshow has the license for 12" Star Wars figures indefinitely. We can be relatively sure that they will be home to the Star Wars 12" license for a very long, long time.

    With that information I now have complete confidence in Sideshow's ability to deliver the highest quality figures to satisfy the expectations of collectors. While Exclusive Editions will continue to remain limited and difficult to obtain, Standard Editions will remain somewhat open-ended for the casual collector/fan to obtain to meet demands.
    This rebuttal may come off a bit coursely, but I seriously do not intent any angst at all despite my user name. It was chosen because at the time, I thought it sounded cool, not because it fits my personality.

    I just listened to your podcast (if you are talking about the one with Tom Gilliland). And I didn't hear much in there to support your side of the discussion. I'll run down the list:

    1. This one you seem to have gotten close to accurate. What I heard was a little more exact as he specifically stated "event" exclusives. But that only goes to further make my point about availability.

    2. You fail to point out that they specifically stated that an exclusive item will never end up with any other figure. So unless you have an exclusive Jedi Luke with the skiff blaster, your Lando, Gammorean Guard, or any other character that requires one will not have one. And the question was posed to him exactly like that using a Lando Skiff Guard as an example. Now it could be that they misspoke and meant "as an exclusive item", but that is not how it sounded to me.

    3. He never directly addressed Chewbacca in this answer. And the interview I read with the other two Sideshow guys seemed to point to him being so much trouble that they would not commit either way as to whether he would be made. On the plus side, he did make it sound like they are at least trying to make an exception to the general "no removeable helmets" rule to accomodate Darth Vader.

    4. Doesn't everybody know this? That is even more reason to up the production numbers to recoup those costs and at the same time take a little of the responsibility of those costs off of the shoulders of the customers by dropping the price a couple of dollars. AND, once again, making the figures more available.

    5. He most certainly did not say or imply this. He did say that MOST of them would be. But he also implied that the ones that followed up with a lot fewer votes may not be.

    6. Was never an issue. There has never been any doubt that Sideshow can make a great figure. And I have stated that before as when some of the other members of the site were concerned about pre-ordering a figure they have never seen in person.

    7. You didn't number this one, but as far as the "open ended runs", this only applied to the basic troop builders. He did say that if someone wanted 15 Stormtroopers, they are going to try to make that happen. But he added that that would not apply to variations. Now he didn't say what he meant by variations, but I think "Shock Trooper", "Special Ops Trooper (501st)", "Sand/Snowtroopers", etc. may well fall into that catagory. And it does not address the 1250 unit limited run of the Jedi Luke nor the 6500 unit limited run of the regular edition Luke which goes further toward emphasizing my concern.

    Now, even though he gave some great info on what to expect and hope for in the lines (including comfirming that EIII Obi-Wan is next), that interview just reinforced my concern about Sideshow not being in step with collectors. Because to me, half-way don't getcha there. I think that'll be my new signature. It's not flambouant, but like me, it cuts away all of the bs and gets down to the simple basic facts.

    The bottom line is: My opinion based on the experience I have is that availability and price have always been as important to Star Wars action figure collectors as articulation, sculpt and accessories have been. And although they reiterate the great detail, articulation, and accessories we can expect, neither of those two interviews goes anywhere near alleviating the concrens about pricing (which really is not one of my own concerns as I have a job that allows be to by anything Star Wars I want and still exceed the expectations I have set for my family's lifestyle) or availability. So my opinion of Sideshow is not only fair, but it is accurate based on words from the mouths of the horses and takes both pros AND cons into consideration. These guys come just shy of flaunting the fact that they base their production numbers on how they will help to keep the secondary market prices up. And not only that, but they come out and say that is what they think the collectors want. And they stated that they don't see the 12" artculated figures as action figures as stated in the above post byC5Jedi. And that, Sir, is decidedly NOT in step with the Star Wars collectors that I am familiar with.

  8. #8
    The unfortunate reality of Star Wars collecting at this time is that there are two main groups of people. There are those like JT or me, who collect for pleasure. I like opening the figures becuase I know the current production will never increase in the value the second group percieves. That group keeps things in boxes and assumes that in 10 years time, this piece can be sold off for 3-5 times the amount of the original purchase.

    So... it depends on who you are. For me, I'm just going to buy the ones that interest me. I have no huge interest in 12" EU characters or even background characters. I don't have that kind of money or space to house such a collection.
    OK... I BLOG. YOU READ. at http://jedipartner1967.livejournal.com
    **Steven Sterlekar (1969-2001)**

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JEDIpartnr
    The unfortunate reality of Star Wars collecting at this time is that there are two main groups of people. There are those like JT or me, who collect for pleasure. I like opening the figures becuase I know the current production will never increase in the value the second group percieves. That group keeps things in boxes and assumes that in 10 years time, this piece can be sold off for 3-5 times the amount of the original purchase.

    So... it depends on who you are. For me, I'm just going to buy the ones that interest me. I have no huge interest in 12" EU characters or even background characters. I don't have that kind of money or space to house such a collection.
    There is a third group of collector to which I belong. Those of us that don't remove our figures from the cards or boxes and still don't care how much they are worth in the future. I like to have them to display in the package. If I want to open one, I buy a spare.

  10. #10
    Darth Cruel, C5Jedi,

    I have to disagree with both you on this. First of all, I have had no problems obtaining both of the Sideshow Exclusives so far. I was well informed before hand when to expect these to go on sale and made arrangements accordingly. If you had problems receiving the newsletter, all you had to do was simply log into your account during the "window" period between 10 am-12 pm PST and a link was immediately posted to your personal account when pre-ordering was opened up.

    I have been collecting numerous figures from Sideshow and I am quite pleased with the quality. There are the occassional sculpts that don't quite meet the likeness of a particular character i.e. Evil Dead Ash, but the quality is a quantum leap above even the best Hasbro 12" (Ultimate Jango Fett). I am very happy and excited that Sideshow is the new home of Star Wars 12" figures.

    I think you guys are nitpicking here. As a collector, I understand the limited nature of collectors items in this business so exclusives are always a bane of collecting, something that I have accepted with indifference for years now. There will always be chase figures and "event exclusives" that collectors and scalpers will seize to capitalize on. It is the decision of the individual collector how far they are willing to go to acquire them and how much they are willing to pay. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Even I have accepted the fact that I cannot have everything so I must therefore be selective about how much I am willing to spend and to what lengths I must go to get the ones I really want. That is part of the thrill of the hunt.

    It was my understanding that Sideshow Exclusive figures that contain accessories such as the Skiff Guard blaster would be specific to that particular character but not necessarily mean that we wouldn't see a Skiff Guard Lando or a Gammorrean Guard not have that particular accessory. How could you NOT include a Skiff Guard Blaster with Lando Skiff??? It is an absolute essential detail to a particular figure like that. I think what Sideshow is saying is that the exclusive accessory will be something specific to that particular character and will not be included with the standard version of the same character. Obviously the standard Luke does not include one. Something like the Holographic Darth Sidious will not be available in the Anakin standard edition. I can foresee Episode III Obi Wan will likely include Anakin's lightsaber hilt as an exclusive accessory. Of course, Anakin's lightsaber is already included with the Anakin figure but the standard Obi-Wan will not include that particular accessory. It's just something to differentiate the exclusive edition from the standard edition and not something imperrative for the casual collector but something "extra" that will give serious collectors like myself incentive to purchase exclusive editions and that means always racing to buy them fast before they sell out, something I am well accustomed to after collecting for as long as I have. I do not see that changing, in spite of the "inconvenience" this may cause other collectors. It is exclusive for a specific reason: so that the limited availability insures investment value for the serious collectors. Casual collectors who only care about opening their figures and who collect for fun can stick with the standard editions.

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