The first installment in SSG's new weekly column that's a little editorial, a little Q&A, and a little too long.
Jedi Mind Tricks: Episode I - The Menacing Phantom- WELCOME: Welcome to the first volume of "Jedi Mind Tricks", SSG's Star Wars column that's going to be a bit of many things such as commentary, Q&A, collecting shout-out, responding to reader emails, stuff like that, it'll be a free-form column. The host and edtior of this column is yours truly, JediTricks - I collect most Hasbro figures and Titanium Series vehicles, plus also LEGO, Sideshow 12", and the lower-priced end of Master Replicas, and I open it all; I've been a contributor here on SSG for a decade, an editor here for 8 years, and a Star Wars fan for a lifetime. I'm opinionated, self-centered, and often wrong - is that not the perfect recipe for an editorial? Hopefully, other contributors will be joining the column in time.
- EDITORIAL: Why is it that Luke Skywalker is the only Force-user that doesn't wear a skirt? And that reminds me of something real: "soft goods" cloth elements on 3.75" figures. I used to be a proponent of their use, and in some circumstances they do still work such as Ep 1 Jedi Knight Obi-Wan, or the VTSC Tusken Raider. But for every use of fabric that works, there's a VTSC Greedo with his '70s shag vest, or ROTS Vader's see-through cape and skirt. Cloth just generally can't scale down to 1:18 that well, it doesn't have the weight or the folds and wrinkles that the movie costume is so dependent on. And since the first cloth Jedi robe back in '99, it seems like the Jedi robe has gotten worse and worse, getting big and poofy or slick and see-through, they just don't generally look very good. I'm not advocating banning the use altogether, but it should be used very sparingly and only when it looks top notch.
- COLLECTING LIGHTHOUSE: The TAC (30th Anniversary Collection) wave 1 figures are starting to hit harder at the major retailers, the street date was this weekend. The TAC V-wing and Sith Infiltrator vehicles have been sighted at Target. The "Treachery on Saleucami" Wal-mart exclusive battle pack (with the 2 new clone trooper figures and 2 BARC Speeders) has been spotted. The Order 66 Target-exclusive 2packs have been seen. And the Titanium Series '07 wave 2 vehicles are starting to hit (Jabba's Sail Barge, the Battlestar Galactica Pegasus, and Classic BSG Cylon Raider are the new entries, there are also some repaints), spotted at Targets and Wal-marts.
· I just picked up the ROTS Role Play Clone Trooper Blaster (not the new TAC Nerf-firing one) at Target, it was on clearance for $4.98. Why? Because this is the Stormtrooper blaster mold that's been around since the late '70s (originally the 3-position Electronic Laser Rifle), it's got decent detailing and is about 3/4ths full size which is decent. During Hasbro's run they turned it white and later green camo, but thanks to this version for the first time in the modern era, this mold's in matte black with a little silver weathering (and an orange safety cap at the barrel). The current "Stormtrooper Blaster" is also out, same mold, but it's clean gray and black, and sports a big Imperial logo on the back, not very accurate; the "Clone Trooper Blaster" ironically looks way more OT. The electronics are 2 alternating OT blaster sounds, the inside of the barrel has a clear light-up tube with rings to catch the light, and the tip as another LED light. Besides the orange safety cap permanently affixed to the front, the only negative is that it's missing the folding stock under the barrel, they've unfortunately been missing this since 1980.
· Sideshow 12" Leia went up for preorder on Friday, the 1,977 exclusives (great number by the way) were spoken for in 34 minutes, and Sideshow's server didn't seem to have any problems this time. The regular edition is still available right now. I really liked how this figure's headsculpt looked originally, but the full body photos deflated that feeling some, they just don't quite look right anymore - I still preordered though.
- YOUR QUESTIONS: Q) On the Tin Can Collection (TAC Commemorative Tin Collection) are the 2 Darth vaders from other collections? 1 is from the Vintage line but what about the Vader with the C-3PO which one was that from? Also the scout trooper was that the same one from the Endor AT-AT walker? - Randall M.
A) The ANH tin's Vader is based on the Evolutions figure, but with significant changes, he now sports a non-cloth vest torso, new hands, and his head is from the ROTS Deluxe Medical Table Vader figure and it doesn't fit right so there's a blank gap below his nose instead of his mouth. The ROTJ tin's Vader is the VOTC version, and that tin's Scout Trooper is different from the Endor AT-AT's Scout - even though they have the same head, the body in the AT-AT one is the POTJ while the tin is the VTSC body.
Q) I heard recently that if you leave the plastic figures in the acid-free bag all sealed up the plastic would like rot away. They say if you do not punch holes in the plastic then the gas from the plasic would like get trapped and eat away at the figure. I never have heard this and seen these bags sold from collectors but would love to know. - Randall M.
A) Hmm, I am not sure about this. It could be that they're talking about "outgassing", where the plastic releases some of its trapped fumes over long periods of time, so the figure itself or the packaging releases gases that could harm the figure and the bag keeps them sealed up. I don't polybag my figures so I haven't personally experienced, but the science says it's possible. If there are any readers with more input, please let us know. Maintaining action figures is a very rough balance, they aren't really made to stay on card for decades at a time since archival-quality materials for toy and package would greatly raise the costs.
- TYCHO'S MOUSE DROID REPORT: (Contributor Tycho has been a correspondent with the site since Al Gore invented the internet, and now he's sharing some of his Star Wars wisdom with us, whether we want it or not.)
We all know how Hasbro loves to make Hologram figures - the tooling is readily available and no paint application is required. Thus I propose we make some recommendations:
See more of Tycho's... um, "unique" perspective on this matter in the forums .
- R2-D2 Hologram - Artoo is always employed showing other people's holograms. I'm sure he's longed to be the star of his own Holoshow. Why not? This would be our first Astromech hologram.
- Jawa Holograms - OK, the Jawas infest Tatooine. What better way for them to get to places they cannot travel to in order to annoy sentient beings even far across the galaxy? I'm sure the Jawas have acquired holotechnology somewhere in their sandcrawler.
- 2-1B Hologram - Dr. Ruth got a television show, why can't 2-1B get a program on the Holonet? "Your Health and You!". Every afternoon, daily, 2-1B answers the medical questions of the viewing audience.
- Slave Leia Hologram - During her captivity by Jabba the Hutt, the crime lord launched a Holonet chatline service where folks could log on and buy time for private performances by the Princess. Rumor has it that Dengar was the most valuable client. After she escaped, Leia maintained the Holosite for some time until she made sure all of Han's gambling debts were paid off and the ships Luke lost for the Rebellion were all payed for. (ed's note: Disturbing! -JT)
- JarJarBinks Hologram - more than once, Palpatine who was less than enthusiastic about dealing with the Gungan, kept JarJar waiting in his office. The ever curious Gungan hit the "redial button" on the holocomm a few times, and for this reason, Nute Gunray believed Darth Sidious might have been a Gungan.
- FIN: Well, that's it for this week's Jedi Mind Tricks, if you have something you want to say, you can use the comments system below, or hit me up in this column's forums thread . Until next week, thanks for reading, and remember: the Death Star plans are not in the main computer!
note: the opinions stated in this article are not necessarily those of SirStevesGuide.com or its owner. JediTricks is not a trained professional, he knows nothing of whale taxedermy, and has had no experience using roofing tar.