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  1. #1

    Looking Back Over the 30th Anniversary Collection

    Yes, we've had the polls, the reviews, the individual discussions and all that, but since we're onto a new year and a new collection, let's share thoughts and observations about this past year...

    The Basic Figure Collection:
    With no new film to promote, this year was about the anniversary of ANH and celebrating the saga itself. Figures were drafted from all six films, from video games, animated series and comics...creating one of the most varied collections within a year yet.
    To add to the "special" feel, Hasbro included many "over-the-top" (but very welcome) accessories with many figures and harkened back to the original "Power of the Force" line by including commemorative coins with each figure.

    Another great tribute that met with overwhelming success was the "McQuarrie" signature series of figures based upon the conceptual artwork of the legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie. These figures were superbly executed, and an unexpected wonderful gift to collectors who've been fans for the 30 years as well as the young fans who had chance to tangibly experience the true roots of the saga. A wonderful idea that it would be great to see the Hasbro team expand upon with other artists throughout the saga.

    They (thankfully) limited "action" features on the figures, instead going for more detailed sculpts and paint apps, creating (for the most part) some really great additions to the overall collection. Some included cloth accents like capes and such with better success than ever before.
    Some older characters that saw release as figures in earlier years were re-done with great results, most especially the "Vintage" line which concluded it's handsome series of high-quality "updates". Unfortunately, the lead characters saw light action this time around in the basic line...with heavy hitters like Chewbacca and Leia MIA, Han Solo in a modified re-issue of a superior figure (at least the second figure in the line featuring everyone's favorite scoundrel was an interesting scene-specific one) and Luke faring worst of all. All three releases featuring the saga's central hero featured head sculpts that were severely lacking.
    The waves were (for the most part) evenly packed with new figures each time and even the continued "Galactic Hunt" figures, with it's gold-highlighted packaging, was more plentiful than the first time out.

    Hasbro also tried a new approach with basic figures this year with a concurrent line to the Anniversary Collection...the "Legends" line, consisting completely of re-issued figures from previous collections, some of which were selected by fans via an online poll. Never during their original release were army-building favorites like Clones (and others) so available in large numbers.

    Both figure lines looked attractive on the new packaging art that was created for the year, a special die-cut, angular card featuring bold graphics and stunning artist renditions of the characters under a sturdy, well-pressed bubble. The packaging actually managed to stay fresh and competitive looking throughout the course of the year and weathered well on the pegs and shelfs.

    If there was one snag in the basic figure line this year, it was once again (sadly) distribution. There were several months early in the year where pegs were bare with no new product after the first two waves. Rural area markets were hit especially hard by a void of product. Hasbro frankly offered explanations on Q&A sessions on fan sites as well as at convention appearances...there were coin production issues that held up production and the like. But once distribution did really kick in, another issue arose...many markets were seeing floods of "Legends" waves filling the pegs at the expense of the new figures, causing even more frustration in the collector market. Hasbro did their best by jump-starting waves towards the end of the year, with some markets seeing later waves before others. Unfortunately as the year ends, there are still some areas that only saw brief, if any, appearances of figures in anything after wave five.
    One strong suggestion to Hasbro if they ever opt to try this approach at duel figure lines again would be to schedule the release of the new figures first, giving them a head start on the year so that the re-issue line would land more heavily on the hoilday shopping season when folks would more apt to want basic hero/villain/armybuilder type characters, allowing the main (new) line to fully saturate the market.
    It wasn't a disaster this year, but acquiring these great new figures was more work than it needed to be....

    Multpacks:
    This past year saw the "Battle Pack" concept really take off....these themed packs were reminiscent of the classic "Cinema Scenes" from the early '90s, but in lieu of having new figures, instead featured re-issues, re-paints and re-works of characters from previous lines. The themes were imaginative, but geared towards the more gift-oriented and exclusive sets were assembled for various retailers, especially towards the end of the year when several exclusive sets featured previously released vehicles and beasts.

    One multi pack concept that really took off in a very positive way this year were the 2 figure "Comic Packs" featuring a comic along with the figures. This line changed from it's ealry look of garish repaints to well-crafted original figures of comic characters many fans never expected to see the light of day.
    It's a collection that if handled with the same high quality as this past year, should flourish in '08.

    Vehicles:
    It was a nice surprise to see two new vehicles amidst the huge collection of Jedi Starfighter repaints and other vehicle re-issues. The Sith Inflitrator was long-awaited by collectors, and while many were disappointed in it's lack of scale, considering the price point and availability Hasbro was aiming for, it was fairly well-executed. While it's "action feature" of (non-movie related) expanding nose did keep the ship from being a perfect display piece, it moved off the shelfs well. The V-Wing was an unexpected surprise. very well done.

    Galactic Heroes:
    This "novelty" line showed surprising strength with both adult and kid collectors...resulting in a year long flood of new cute versions of all the familiar characters. By the years end though, pegs were awash with the little guys and it will be interesting to see where this one goes next year...


    Coda:
    Having had the pleasure of meeting and talking with many of the fine folks on Hasbro's team at ClV this year, I see a line being created by a team that truly has genuine enthusiasm and love for Star Wars, not to mention the chops to pull off some amazing concepts and collectibles. Despite the distribution mis-steps early in the year, Hasbro's efforts for the Star Wars 30th Anniversary were stellar....an amazing collection that answered the call of collectors by including many characters never before featured as a figure and keeping it all fresh to further engage new fans...congratulations on a great year Hasbro!
    Here's to more playtime in that galaxy far, far away....

  2. #2
    My thoughts on 2007 can be summed up in two words: "too much"

    We got over 100 figures this year counting Saga Legends, that's more than the entire 8 year run of the vintage line.

    I know it's great to get lots of new figures, but not when the figures feel rushed near the end of the year. Wave 6 is a great example of a wave that had some amazing potential but suffered from Hasbro just cutting too many corners. I can't help but think that it was because they simply had too much on their plate and they just didn't have the time to develop the figures properly.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  3. #3
    This was a great collection of figures this year. After skipping some reissues last year, I was kind of hoping I would be able to spend less this year. However, the main line of figures was virtually devoid of repacks. Even the repaint wave figures were different enough from the originals. Also, most of the core figures had something different about them or a cool pack-in that made them worth getting. I had heard about the old POTF coin figures, and thought that was kind of a stupid idea. However, once I heard about the coin album for this line, I started to reconsider. It made it a little easier to be a completist. There were only a couple figures I might have skipped anyway if there had been no coins.

    Having a great interest in EU figures, this was another reason for me to be excited this year. The comic packs, the EU wave and the concept figures were the ones I was most excited about this year.

    To cap off the year, we had the Ultimate Battle Packs. Even though they were mostly repacks/repaints/kitbashes, they were a great value and well presented. Definitely something I didn't mind spending the money on.

    2008 looks to be pretty good as well with the Force Unleashed, more comic packs, Evolutions sets with a mix of movie and EU figures. The first wave of basic figures also has some never done before figures. I look forward to seeing what else they have in store for us in 2008.

  4. #4
    Too much indeed. I managed to NOT buy all of it this year but am still well over 100 figures added in 2007, and a fair chunk over what I had imagined my budget would be. I'm happy with a lot of what I bought, but I'll be even happier when they slow things down.

    It feels like they're milking it right now, knowing that the grass ain't gonna be green for much longer. I think they could make things last by giving us less stuff & better stuff.... but what I think don't matter. They'll take as much money NOW as they can, even if it comes back to kick them later.
    GOLDEN DEUCE AWARD WINNER & MABUCON ATTENDEE 2008

  5. #5
    The Vintage and Mcquarrie lines were the real high for me.... the 30th Basic line was extremely hit and miss...people kept saying the basic line caught up with Vintage quality - and with few exceptions, I totally disagree. We got many fugly figs in the basic line this year.
    Real men buy Willrow

  6. #6
    I'm going to have to agree with Matt, espcially regarding the vintage vs basic figure quality. The basic line HAS NOT caught up to the vintage line. I enjoyed all 6 vintage figures this year; very nicely executed.

    I was so happy to get Hermi this year. Also, all of the droids that were released (still working on getting a couple more that I don't have yet) were a welcome sight for me.
    One way to out think people is to make them think you think they'll think what you are not really trying to get them to think what you think.

  7. #7
    The worst of the vintage figures this year were still superior in quality to about 95% of the TAC line. As for the best of the line, if you really look at this year's Bossk and IG-88 figures, then you will see that the standard line is still way behind in terms of quality.
    Last edited by bigbarada; 01-01-2008 at 07:47 PM. Reason: clarity
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #8
    2007 was a pretty solid year for Star Wars collectors. TAC gave us some great figures and also some CARP. I ended up buying around 80 figures(alot of army builders and some multiples). The Legends line was a pretty nice fill in when we had a mini drought over the summer.

    TAC 3.75 line

    McQuarrie Figures - Great subline. I did not want to collect these at first and actually skipped over the Stormtrooper. I did want to get the Fett and Starkiller. The First one I found was Chewie and to me that figure was so horrid it was awesome. I then found Fett and got a Stormie in a trade. I then started finding extras and ended up getting one carded and one loose. I did get multiple McSnowtroopers and 2 of the Fetts and Vader for loose display.

    TAC Regular Line - Alot of the newer figures in this years line were nice. Tycho, the Ewoks, Ralph McQuarrie, the Jawa and LIN Droid, Lava Miner and Galactic Marine were all stand outs. I also enjoyed getting the final 2 pieces of the Cantina bar, Torture Rack, Moisture Vaparator.

    Some of the TAC line were horrid figures, granted most of them came with accessories, like Han, yoda(w/Kybuck) and Luke.

    It also had some army builders in it. The Stormtrooper(bought about 10 of them) Galactic Marine(4-5) Airborne Trooper(4-5), McSnowtrooper(6-7)

    Comic 2-Packs

    This was a line I did not want to get. I passed on the first wave and then came Obi-Wan and Alpha. I bought that pack because I liked Alpha. I then Bought Quinlan Vos pack and then it started me getting alot of them. My favorite has to be the Assassin Droid from the Anakin Pack. I do pick and choose from this line and think it is a good way to get some EU figs that I want.

    VATC

    These line had 3 really great figs and 3 meh figures. The Snowtrooper was the best of the line, I ended up with about 6 of them. IG-88 was a great resculpt. It blew my mind how great it was. Alot of people didnt like her, but I thought Leia was a really solid figure.

    Han and Luke were ok at best. Bossk, for all the praise he got from some forumites was alright. I think a Dengar would have been a better choice

    Vehicles

    I ended up getting a few vehicles. The Hailfire Droid, V-Wing and the TIE fighter. I love Hailfire Droids and would buy it again if I ever saw them on clearance. The V-Wing was really nice. The TIE fighter I got because of the pop off wings. I had one as a kid and loved it, so it was a nostalgic purchase

    I still dont own any JSF. I passed on the Sith Infiltraitor because of all the scale issues. I still want to grab an AAT wen I et around to it.

    Galactic Heroes

    I love the 2 packs and am a completest with those. As for the exclusives, I still have not seen the WM sets and want them. I was excited about the Jabba set, but Jabba was so small it disappointed me and I passed.

    Titaniums

    Well, I did get all of the newer sculpts and passed on some of the repaints.

    Battle Packs

    I did get the early releases such as Ilum, Felucia, Tantive IV(got on clearance for 5 bucks each, so I got the 2 that were left). The later releases I passed on them. The Bespin set was all repacks and I didnt need them, as were the Geo sets, Jedi vs Sith and the others.

    I did want to get the UBP's but my damn car broke down and I had to get it fixed and ended up missing these sets. I hope to get the Endor on a secondary Market soon, but will wait for price to drop. I hope Hasbro keeps doing these.

    Legends Line

    Well, alot of repacks here. I did get about 10 AOTC clones and 6-7 biker scouts. I picked up some clone officers and pit droids and BD 2 packs. MAde for great army builders, but I left all the main figures sans Fett.

    Overall I am pretty please with the year of 2007. Like any year it had its ups and downs, mostly ups IMO. If 2008 is anything like this year, we will get alot of surprises and hopefully it is.
    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

  9. #9
    TAC 3.75 line

    McQuarrie Figures - What a great subline. This really wasn't a "needed" line, but became apparent very early on that it was going to be a success. The rerelease of the McTrooper was applauded by many as it was a tough figure to get the first time around. The McFett was a huge success with excellent articulation and TWO helmets. Those two figures kicked off the subline in what has to be the most successful subline of the 3 3/4in series of figures to date.

    TAC Regular Line - Lots of really good figures in this line and just a few outright stinkers. Tons of background characters as well as army builders helped fill the void that many of us had been asking for for years. Hasbro really did deliver this past year and I look forward tot he offerings for 2008.

    Comic 2-Packs

    I wasn't impressed with the Marvel packs. Once those were passed, I started getting interested and ended up buying at least one of each non-marvel set, while buying no less than 6 of the Anakin/Assassin droid set. The figures overall were good. Some lacked articulation, but most of the sculpts were above average. All and all this was a successful line for Hasbro and promises to be so in 2008.

    VATC

    Some really decent figures here. By far the Snowtrooper was the best for me. I ended up getting around a dozen of them. IG-88 was impressive and Bossk wasn't half bad. The others were okay. I'm just surprised we saw a couple of them again in the Hoth Ultra battle pack. So that miffed some collectors as they went for $10 originally and here we had three of them in a $50 set that included 5 other figures, and AT-ST and a NEW Golan Arms turret. Still great figures and the price was close to reasonable for them.

    Vehicles

    Not a banner year as hoped. The Sith Infiltrator was a big disappointment. Had I not been given it as a gift, I still would not own it. The size issue and action features were a huge drawback. Not just for me, but many a collector. The V-wing however was an excellent vehicle. I bought 3 of them.

    Galactic Heroes

    While a fun line, I was increasingly miffed that in order to get some new figures I'd have to shell out $30 for the set they were in. So I passed on all of the large sets so far. With possible exception to the Jabba set if I see it again. Overall though, the new figures were excellent and in keeping with the standard of the line. It's a relatively inexpensive line to collect and doesn't take up huge amounts of space.

    Titaniums

    This year saw me finally breaking with not only buying two of each (carded/loose), but being a completist at all. There were several that I outright passed up or only bought one of. I'm not liking the ridiculous repaints that have no basis.

    Battle Packs

    I only bought a few of these this year, since many were straight reissues of repacks of rereleased figures. From the standpoint of saving money that was a good thing.

    Legends Line
    While I didn't buy each one, there were some good ones to get from this subline. For me, I finally was able to satiate my need for AOTC SA clones, buying over 60 of them from the Legends line. I'd have bought more too, had they been $4 or less....still hoping for a big sale here.


    All in all this was a good year for collecting. Some long awaited characters were made. Some much needed army builders were made or rereleased. EU had a small impact and a great subline caught the eye of most people in the McQuarrie line.

    I'm glad to see 2007 go however as it was an expensive year. While I hold hope for 2008, I'm also drawing down my budget for SW stuff.

    My final tally for 2007 was $6158.56 (give or take a little). I'm cutting that in half and making that my budget for 2008. So, Hasbro, you've got $3080 of my money to spend....do it wisely, .

    -Sal
    Move along, move along

  10. #10
    Overall: A few gems, a lot of butt. Though there was a lot more stuff, there was actually less worth buying than in the past few years.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

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