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  1. #1

    Losing my infatuation with Sideshow...a quality and customer service issue thread

    I have been having more and more quality issues with Sideshow latley. When Luke Skywalker came out...I had to return the first one I got because of issues with the accessories. And I had problem with the upper elbow joints on the mannequin of the replacement figure.

    Then Came Anakin. And there was evidence that Sideshow was serious about getting a handle on quality solely based on not having any more mannequin joint issues. Anakin was not perfect with the arm-falling-off issue, but other than that...he was sweet, dreamy near-perfection.

    Kit Fisto was next in line with articulation so loose on the mannequin that the mannequin will not support the weight of Kit's head. This placed thumbtacks on my chair of comfort about Sideshow's taking quality seriously.

    After Kit came AniVader (Comic-Con Darth Vader: Sith Apprentice). He was fine other than the loose arm syndrome which was a by-product of Sideshow using the same mannequin as the first Anakin figure.

    Bespin Han Solo took the next turn with a blaster that was missing half of it's pistol-grip. Han was also packaged poorly having two of his regular edition figures thrown into a box with two Qui-Gon regular editions and the packaging material was shoved in so tight that it damaged the boxes. And there were none of the outer mailer boxes that the first few figures came with (my two regular Kit fistos came to me in the product boxes inside the mailer boxes inside the case box causing the product boxes to be in unscathed condition).

    Qui-Gon continued the accessory problems with bent lightsaber hilts and a crooked blade. And of course the box issue mentioned with Bespin Han Solo.

    Mace Windu was a devastating punch in the gut to me because his EIII lightsaber hilts are both bent quite a bit and the blade on the ignited one is even more crooked than Qui-Gon's (weapons are my own favorite accessories, I want the weapons to look great in the hands of the figure). It is so bad that Mace does not look good being posed with it. Even his EII lightsaber hilts are a little bent, but it can be hidden in his hand as he grips that one.

    Now add these problems to the fact that I buy 3 of each figure...and I have only opened one of each. And it equals a serious doubt about Sideshows quality program. I am planning to open the others to check them out as I have to have confidence that they are good. Maybe they should strive for an ISO certification. But even that only helps in a company that works to the certification. At this point I am using the benefit-of-the-doubt rationalization to say that I still believe Sideshow WANTS to have better quality, they just need the kind of guidance that the ISO 9000 series can give them (I am not sure which specific ISO would apply to their company, but I believe it would be ISO 9002).

    I have been too busy to sit down and compose a good review of a lot of the figures that have been released, but I intend to do a very thorough job and both post it in the reviews area AND send it to Sideshow.

    As a quality inspector (albiet in a completely different field) I know what a good quality program CAN do. And my experience tells me that the problem is Sideshow having to coordinate a quality program from across the oceans.

    The problems I have posted here are not ALL of the issues I had. Just an example from each of the figure as indicators of a general trend in the quality of the figures.

    I also have a serious issue with the costomer service at Sideshow. I understand the reason behind a 30 day return policy. But common sense should dictate a little lenience on that deadline if a serious enough problem is identified prior to that deadline such as the articulation on my Jedi Luke. But there is no give there. And when you hold the line that hard on a known issue...you have changed from good customer service to hiding behind a guideline in order to keep from having to correct a problem that has been identified.

    Another problem I have is the "30" day return policy. It is not actually 30 days from the point-of-view of the customer. It is 30 days according to the point-of-view of Sideshow as, according to a phone conversation that I had with Erin yesterday, they will not accept a return unless it is recieved by them within the 30 days. And with the U.S. Post Office the way it is, you could need as much as 10 days lead time to send it in (if you send it the cheapest way). You can't count on the USPS' overnight service to get there overnight.

    I am still excited about new figures being done by Sideshow, but I am starting to move into an evaluating mode for the time being to assess whether I even want to continue to pay $67.63 for a figure I will not want to display out of the box because there are parts that will detract from the look of the figure.
    My wife treats me like an ATM machine. She pushes my buttons until I give her money.

  2. #2
    I was going to return my Sideshow Luke because his face was made wrong...then I realized it was meant to look that way.

  3. #3
    I'm starting to grow less happy with SSC as well, their overall workmanship and accuracy is slipping, their sculpts always have weirdnesses, their prototypes outpace their production versions heavier and heavier with each new release, their quality control is slipping, the switch from Fed Ex to UPS has resulted in more damage to the boxes and slower ship times, and their prices seem to be getting higher across the board. I'm thinking the greater production requirements for the Star Wars line have caught them offguard and they are struggling to keep up, the factory doing them is pushed past capacity and the finished product suffers. I'm hoping they can pull out of this before it becomes a full-blown nosedive, but who knows.
    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.

  4. #4
    You guys should post these rants on Sideshow Freaks forums. They will love it! I happy with all the figures quality so far. My least favorite is Jedi Luke. He just looks stupid. My only gripe is the cost and figure selections. I'm so done with Jedi. I want Aliens and troopers.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  5. #5
    After everything that I've seen and haven't seen from this line, I doubt that I'll be pre-ordering anymore figures after Darth Maul. And who knows, if I think about it too much, I may cancel that order also.

    I bought Anakin, and though I was impressed with it for the most part, the figure still has a few problems. There's the arm problem that Darth Cruel mentioned, and some minor (minor) issues with how the belt was assembled. But again, on the whole I think it's a cool thing. Based on that, I went ahead and pre-ordered Obi-Wan and Han.

    When Han turned up, his box had dented corners, and he was poorly placed in the box. After removing him to adjust his costume, and to set him in a little more neatly, I discovered that his clothes were a mess. They were poorly cut and sewn, and as a result, are simply too small. That's a big quality issue right there, and was enough to convince me that I didn't want to take any chances on future figures, so I canceled my Obi-Wan order.

    I'm a little sad that I did, but from what I've heard, there are a some issues with Obi-Wan, and frankly, I'm not wowed by how the head paint turned out. Having the final version be just a little different from the prototype is one thing, but the differences are drastic, and it makes me question the entire concept of pre-ordering something like this -- just as I have from the very beginning.

    I've been critical of this line in a lot of ways from the start, but just the same, I've also tried to be very optimistic. I have a lot of respect for Sideshow, but I'm not a big fan of the "pre-order" idea, and have never been comfortable with committing to something that I can't see in person before I buy it. But hey, it's Star Wars, and they seem to have had a great deal of enthusiasm for this line, so I've hoped that their enthusiasm would amount to being more than just hype.

    I'm not so sure at this point.

    I don't think that Sideshow has purposely tried to sell us on an inferior product line, but I've also been wondering if maybe they've gotten themselves in over their heads, and have been far to ambitious with the number of figures that they've churned out during this first year.
    plasticfetish.net

  6. #6
    You should had bought Obi. He's awesome and the only issue in the paint, but it really isn't a big deal.
    [FONT=Tahoma]I was born at night, but not last night.[/FONT]
    You Shouldn't believe everything that you read.
    (Like my posts)

  7. #7
    I know. Part of me wishes that I'd canceled Han instead... but heck, it's friggin' Han Solo. (And I did get the "exclusive" version w/ Mynock.)

    I'll look to see if a local shop has Obi-Wan in stock. I need to see it up close... same goes for all of these from now on.

    This whole thing bugs me so much, because I've never felt that Sideshow was "blowing it" with any of their other lines. Their horror stuff has alway been great, and the same goes for all of the James Bond figures that I've looked at.

    I dunno, like JT said, maybe they can fix things. At this point I'm still really excited about Darth Maul, and like you mentioned Turbowars, I'd really love to see what they do with alien figures. That 12" Hammerhead has been a long time dream.
    plasticfetish.net

  8. #8
    Yeah, Obi and Kit are the best IMO (w/Qui Gon trailing close behind). If I had to pick one out of what's been released, it would be Obi-Wan.

    I guess I've been lucky so far. The only issues I've had are Luke's elbows, Anakins arm, and a slightly loose joint here and there. I've had one crushed corner, but it doesn't bother me because I throw the boxes away.

    Damn DC, you buy 3 of each?? Are you getting three Jabba's? Holy cow, you might as well get the Medicoms if you're spending that kind of cash. You won't have any of these QC issues with those.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Reefer Shark View Post
    Yeah, Obi and Kit are the best IMO (w/Qui Gon trailing close behind). If I had to pick one out of what's been released, it would be Obi-Wan.

    I guess I've been lucky so far. The only issues I've had are Luke's elbows, Anakins arm, and a slightly loose joint here and there. I've had one crushed corner, but it doesn't bother me because I throw the boxes away.

    Damn DC, you buy 3 of each?? Are you getting three Jabba's? Holy cow, you might as well get the Medicoms if you're spending that kind of cash. You won't have any of these QC issues with those.
    Yes...three Jabbas as well. But I may have to cancel one because I can't get a third Throne. They only let you get one, and I only have one buddy that trusts me enough to order one for me.

    I actually got Obi-Wan as well. But I didn't open him until after I posted this thread. Although he is great...and I do mean GREAT...I do have a few issues with him as well. Brand new and the articulation in the shoulders is so loose that it will not hold up the blaster, the leather belt is too big, and the blade on the ignited lightsaber is crooked. On the other hand...the lightsaber is just a little crooked and will be un-noticeable when turned slightly in Obi-Wan's hand, the belt issue will be offset by bunching his undershirt a little and the shoulder articulation won't be noticed as I do not intend to display him with the blaster.

    But I still can't help but think that even though I would expect issues like these occasionally...they should not happen THIS OFTEN on a 70.00 action figure.
    My wife treats me like an ATM machine. She pushes my buttons until I give her money.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Cruel View Post
    Now add these problems to the fact that I buy 3 of each figure...and I have only opened one of each. And it equals a serious doubt about Sideshows quality program. .
    Well, there's one of your problems. You're spending good dough buying 3 of each of these so you're going to get triple the p****d off when you have issues with them. (Man, you're going to be super, duper p****d off if you're not happy with the set of 3 Endor soldiers. That's 9 of those fools right there)

    I'm very picky about which of these figures I buy. ONly 2 so far, Sith Ani and Obi Wan and Darth Maul. I'm happy with them, though Sith Anakin's loose arm is a pain in the arse.
    Galactic Barn Burner

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