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  1. #1

    Your definition of a playset?

    We have all heard time and time again that Hasbro is not interested/planning new playsets. I've been thinking about it though, what exactly qualifies as a playset?

    Is it a big chunk of plastic that recreates a complete diorama? Or is it a bunch of pieces that make up a setting? Could any group of objects become a playset, or does it take an entire environment made in one piece?

    This thought mainly stems from staring at my V-wing on my desk for so long set up with a couple figures interacting with the ship.

    Seen here: http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y10...acaraVwing.jpg

    Eventually it raised the question; can a ship qualify as a playset?

    With an amount of figures interacting with it and some decent features, it would be the same as a playset. Especially, if you add multiple ships and create a "hanger bay" with pilots doing pre/post-flight checks, engineers conducting maintenance and random troops just walking around?

    Sure, it could be limiting to just pose some figures "interacting" with the ship, so what else could be done? Hasbro is releasing a battle pack for the ARC-170 release, so what if they did the same for more ships? But instead of just figures, it was an accessory/battle pack.

    Imagine the old canceled Yavin accessory pack that was to come with a Rebel technician mixed into a battle pack. Let's take the V-wing for example, what could a pack come with to basically turn it into a playset?

    "Clone Wars battlefield landing zone attack!" Battlepack
    Clone Trooper (combat engineer)
    Clone Trooper (pilot)
    Battle Droid (x2)
    Ladder (clips onto the nose)
    One or two damaged wing panels (since they're easily removeable from the ship itself)
    Tools (recycled from the TPM Hyperdrive repair kit)
    Cardboard landing pad cut-out
    Mobile missile rack (with extra missiles?)

    While not every ship could really become a "playset" even with such an expansion item, popular/iconic vehicles could definitely make use of them, especially the fighter craft.

    It would be even better if they included more features to ships in the future, such as opening compartments (like the old battery compartment on the A-wing bottom or the hidden storage in the X-wing), easy clip-on/off parts and randomly placed attachment areas for accessories such as fuel hoses.

    Your thoughts?
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  2. #2
    A playset to me has always been a toy that on its own recreates a specific backdrop scene without the need of additonal props (though additional props for accuracy are welcomed). Could a vehicle classify as a playset? Yes, but I'd have to say it depends on what the vehicle can do and/or the size of it. Like say if it were a Super Star Destroyer for example and it opened up to reveal a bridge, Vader's chamber, etc. inside of it then I would count it as a playset. I'd probably count an accurately scaled Jabba's Sail Barge under this category (even if it couldn't open up) due to the size and extensive use made of the deck. I wouldn't count an X-Wing or A-Wing though. They are too small. If anything I would count those vehicles as major props for something like a hanger playset.
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  3. #3
    The only vehicle I can think of that bridged the gap and was something of a playset was the Millenium Falcon.
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  4. #4
    I consider a playset to be a part or parts that can create an enviroment were a decent amount of figures can interact with one another. For instance the old POTF2 Hoth and Endor playsets enabled collectors to pose/play with figures around them in a manner that would be unavailable had those not been made. The only two ships that could be considered playsets are the Falcon, Royal Starship, Sandcrawler, and AT-AT because of how you can put a fair amount of figures around or in them.
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  5. #5
    I'm in the "big chunks of plastic" crowd. To me the two ESB Hoth playsets (Imperial Attack Base and Turret & Probot) are still the best SW playsets ever. The plastic base is what really holds the entire scene together.

    Even if you just have a collection of props and a vehicle, you still need a base to put everything on. Unless you just want to pretend that every planet in the Star Wars universe has a surface consisting solely of wood laminate.

  6. #6
    I'm going to resurrect this thread so that we can keep the vehicles and playsets discussions separate.

    From the What vehicles do you actually still want? thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    They won't consider it because their market research says casual collectors aren't remotely interested, and sadly, they're right. Nobody's gotten away with doing a playset that wasn't a vehicle as well in quite some time...
    I agree -- playsets are a dead concept. Even as a kid, I only had the Dagobah and Death Star, and after awhile they faded from my play pattern. Even back then, things like Boulder Hill (MASK), the Secret Wars base and so forth all sat rotting on toy shelves.

    Now, as an adult, I love them and want them. The vintage Kenner stuff can had pretty reasonably (there are two collector's shops near me that have all of the playsets for very good prices -- Dagobah for $40? Not bad.) I cite the failure of the Pride Displays Star Wars diorama (which I bought and love) and the eventual bankrupture or shuttering down of that company as evidence of there being no sustainable market for these things. Pride Displays had plans to make a playset/diorama for each movie, but the market just didn't support them. We had a very recent oppurtunity to vote with our dollars and came up short.

    Playsets are now the province of diorama builders and customizers. I think the future is pack-in "environment sections", like the cantina pieces, the drum, the torture rack, the view screen that came with the Deluxe Rieekan, etc. Hasbro has been super generous in this regard, to get us as far as they can financially without eating unsold product.

    Someone had the idea (in another thread) of downloadable PDF's that could be printed out that would have Star Wars backgrounds (kind of like the backgrounds in the Battlepacks.) One of us could even make and distribute those (if Hasbro/Lucasfilm saw no gain in offering them), without ever invoking the Star Wars name. Ice Planet background, Swamp Planet background, Desert Planet background, etc. Make them 8.5x24, print them onto firm paper or cardstock, glue them to a wooden or metal base...all set.

    But I am done waitng for a company to make my playsets for me. I am in the process of taking all of my straight cantina sections, my two curved endpieces, the background art that came with the Cantina Showdown sets and finding other toy furniture (or making it, when needed) and creating my cantina. I am customizing a Ponda Boba using the POTF2 head and the TAC Ceremonial Luke body (and some paint) and a Dr. Evazan (probably will use a TAC Han Solo Gunner body and a Death Star Trooper head with some sculpty and paint.) Hasbro has gotten me 95% of the way there, and I am liking the hobby part of making the playset. I have zero experience with this kind of stuff but I am enjoying learning it, and it's a good time filler in between new waves arriving.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealDubya View Post
    I'm going to resurrect this thread so that we can keep the vehicles and playsets discussions separate.

    From the What vehicles do you actually still want? thread:


    Someone had the idea (in another thread) of downloadable PDF's that could be printed out that would have Star Wars backgrounds (kind of like the backgrounds in the Battlepacks.) One of us could even make and distribute those (if Hasbro/Lucasfilm saw no gain in offering them), without ever invoking the Star Wars name. Ice Planet background, Swamp Planet background, Desert Planet background, etc. Make them 8.5x24, print them onto firm paper or cardstock, glue them to a wooden or metal base...all set.
    I was just thinking about that. I have five shelves of the Walmart white type that I use to display all my loose figures. It would be great if Lucasfilm or someone offered printable scenes. Other than that I don't know how I'm going to make backgrounds other than kids constuction paper. The only one that looks right is my Hoth scene because of the white surroundings. I use styrofoam too as mentioned elswhere also.

    Like you say though. Other than the pack-ins which at least is a cool thing, we are not going to get playsets. And the vintage ones are not that much money on the secondary market. Though I still need to get a Mustafar playset that I missed.

  8. #8
    Sounds like you're looking for our personal definitions of the line between vehicle and playset.

    Playset:
    I'd say anything over 3 feet long or tall once assembled, so it isn't easily portable and keeps your figures/accessories in one place while being knocked about.

    It does recreate a scene or an environment. It maybe part of a vehicle or a specific location/building.

    Vehicles:
    Some sort of scaled compromise that doesn't include all the details. Minimally should include pilot and/or crew where appropriate and should sit in place of famous crew control positions. Should be easily carried and not awkward or overly bulky. Details on exterior appearance should be maximized, some of the more famous interior details should be included in area where crew is located.

    And I gave up a long time ago waiting for any company to do it. Self taught carpentry here, and I still have all my fingers.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealDubya View Post
    I agree -- playsets are a dead concept. Even as a kid, I only had the Dagobah and Death Star, and after awhile they faded from my play pattern. Even back then, things like Boulder Hill (MASK), the Secret Wars base and so forth all sat rotting on toy shelves.
    Oh man, you would hit me right below the belt with that one! Boulder Hill may have been among the best playsets of all time IMO, it transformed, it was huge, it accommodated vehicles, it had doors, and it had nifty play features. But keep in mind too that MASK was a line based around 2.5" figures which is a vastly smaller scale, and even it wasn't a particularly popular playset.

    I think the only playsets that had any chance of really being great were the SW Micro Machines and Action Fleet ones because they could do so much thanks to the 1.5" minifig and smaller scale - look at their Yavin base, that sucker has so much going on! Their Death Star looked kinda like the Death Star! AND they folded up! Yet even they didn't sell particularly well.

    But I am done waitng for a company to make my playsets for me. I am in the process of taking all of my straight cantina sections, my two curved endpieces, the background art that came with the Cantina Showdown sets and finding other toy furniture (or making it, when needed) and creating my cantina. I am customizing a Ponda Boba using the POTF2 head and the TAC Ceremonial Luke body (and some paint) and a Dr. Evazan (probably will use a TAC Han Solo Gunner body and a Death Star Trooper head with some sculpty and paint.) Hasbro has gotten me 95% of the way there, and I am liking the hobby part of making the playset. I have zero experience with this kind of stuff but I am enjoying learning it, and it's a good time filler in between new waves arriving.
    That's the way to do it. Even if Hasbro somehow pulled miracles out of their keisters on this matter, they're still going to be underwhelming junk judging by their past attempts, but when you do it yourself you know exactly what you want so there's no worries about pulling movie-accurate stuff for crummy play features or stuff like that.


    So, I ask again, what playsets from any toy line in the last 25 years (1982 till now) haven't sucked?
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    So, I ask again, what playsets from any toy line in the last 25 years (1982 till now) haven't sucked?
    Well I for one have had hours of fun with the Bratz Adventure Girlz Camping Tent, I just love the....

    ...wait, does this fall into the "too much information" category?





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