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  1. #1

    Why are we still waiting for good likenesses on Leia, Han, the Emperor, etc.?

    Here we are at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we have figures like Giran that appear to be nigh-perfect 1:18 scale miniatures, and yet we're STILL waiting for decent likenesses on any version of Han Solo, ANH Leia, the ROTJ Emperor, a quality soft goods cape for Vader, a C-3PO that can match the quality of the Clone Wars version or the BAD protocol droid mold.

    What is going on???

    Why is it that secondary characters we get tons of quality, yet on main characters like these - characters that have since become quite iconic with the passage of time - we're still suffering underwhelming designs that deliver at best only so-so results? Shouldn't these sorts of things get priority since they're so recognizable? Yet once in a while we get a new version and almost every time it's more of a flop than the previous, take the latest ANH Han Solo figure for example.
    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.

  2. #2
    That's one of the major reasons why I pretty much gave up on the figure line. There is no sensible reason other than greed as to why they keep pushing mediocrity when it comes to main characters. I know it sounds bitter and the usual cliched Hasbro-villainy fluff, but I honestly believe the sole motivation is greed. They don't want to make nigh-perfect figures, they want to keep peddling cost-effective, slightly improved mediocrity so they continue to be bought by new and existing customers.

    We know it's not a matter of the retail-end cost of the figure, considering the doubled-price "vintage" figures were rarely superior than what was available in the main line.
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  3. #3
    Right now, I'm attributing it to incompetence, "greed" sounds so Machiavellian and that requires a level of planning skill which Hasbro as a company hasn't shown much ability to deliver competently. And look at the DS2 Luke situation we just got, the prototypes showed something that looked like no better than the 2004 headsculpt, yet the actual production model was different and far better - they couldn't deliver intentional incompetence if they wanted to.

    I can't imagine giving up the whole figure line over a lack of main characters - although typing that out just now it does make a little more sense - when there are so many cool secondary character figures coming down the pike. I plan on avoiding the new Han figure for example, but that doesn't mean I won't get the Imperial Scanning Technician.

    I guess I can find that type of perspective on this after giving up completism AND collecting the Sideshow 12" line which has been a more selective for me.


    So, we have one vote for Incompetence and one for Greed. Let's turn this into an uproar.
    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
    I'm going with greed. If it were incompetence, we'd not have a good Giran. They do too many "slight" improvements that are still lacking. Like why release Grievous in the right size, but "conveniently" forget the cloak that is an important part of the character? Because people will buy it, since it's a little better, and buy one with a cloak in a year or so.

    Then again, they re-did Malakili, who was adequate, and not Evazan, who is more important and who still doesn't have a figure that looks like anything but a Goof Troop supporting character, so maybe it is incompetence.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  5. #5
    just to play devil's advocate (not that i believe it), but maybe it isn't hasbro's fault. the characters that they can get "just right" are mostly ones that rely on masks and make-up. maybe at that scale you just can't accurately copy a human face relying on nothing more than snapshots and celluloid.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Jax View Post
    just to play devil's advocate (not that i believe it), but maybe it isn't hasbro's fault. the characters that they can get "just right" are mostly ones that rely on masks and make-up. maybe at that scale you just can't accurately copy a human face relying on nothing more than snapshots and celluloid.
    Hasbro has shown time and again that they can do human character likenesses very well. Take any of the Rebel pilots from the last decade as an example -- Porkins, Biggs, Zev Senesca, "Good Shot" Jansen, Dutch Vander. Many of these have only fair detail to the body sculpts but have extremely well done heads.

    Hasbro's frequent bungling of main character likenesses is baffling and inexplicable. It's what helped kill their 12" line, I believe.

  7. #7
    JT, thanks for starting this thread.

    My vote is incompetence....to say greed is a motivator says less about Hasbro and more about us the collectors...."hello pot, this is kettle calling...you're black."

    Jax, you are correct that helmets and masks are easier to sculpt than actual faced...I think that observation is valid.

    This was my argument over the summer about the top 30 wish list...who needs Jocasta Newt when we need a definitive Solo/Leia/Emperor? Sure, the entire cast of SW deserves figuring, but what about the main characters?

    DS2 Luke is a promising start (not a great figure, but an upgrade). We've seen sucess with figures such as Obi Wan, the Fetts (helmets help!), Chewie (masks help), Lando, etc....so it's possible to get these figures correct--or better. I also think this forthcoming ANH Luke (Jedi revamp with Obi Wan/R2/3P0) is very promising....
    For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.

  8. #8
    I think it is more they know they have only 1 shot at minor characters every 10 years (should the license be renewed again). They go all out. They'll get several shots at mains, and just try to tweak till they do get it right and than bash us with it ad nauseum. So the moment they do get one right, be prepared to see it forever in Saga Legends, battle packs, vehicle pack ins etc. The reason why the aren't as careful is because in their business model they have to release main characters. So it leans towards greed.
    Star Wars & GI Joe Customs
    HAVES: HK-50 Head, Capt Typho & GI Joe fodder available still
    Wants:L8-L9 Head, YVH-1 Complete (as possible),R7-T1 Complete (as possible),R7-Z0 Complete (as possible)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by pbarnard View Post
    I think it is more they know they have only 1 shot at minor characters every 10 years (should the license be renewed again). They go all out. They'll get several shots at mains, and just try to tweak till they do get it right and than bash us with it ad nauseum. So the moment they do get one right, be prepared to see it forever in Saga Legends, battle packs, vehicle pack ins etc. The reason why the aren't as careful is because in their business model they have to release main characters. So it leans towards greed.
    [FONT=Courier New]This is pretty much what I would have said. I'm going to be cynical here and say it's called job security. Without having insider connections or knowledge, it would make sense to me to continue to make core characters in new and different ways and continue to improve upon them (It's why I would guess they made us a Han with a stormtrooper helmet and what looks to be a clone trooper breast plate piece from the clone trooper trainee/recruit figure from the 30th Anniversary Collection in 2007). More of Hasbro rattling the cup.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New][/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]Without the core characters continuing to be redone and re-released, Hasbro would have to dig a little deeper into the license and make more obscure stuff that they can't or don't want to do. Eventually they will run out of altogether new characters to make into figures and as people here and on other sites have said it's those core characters that kids+parents need to see on the shelves to keep them buying toys.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New][/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]"First of all, never bad mouth synergy..."[/FONT]

  10. #10
    I don't think that they honestly are putting flaws into figures just so they can go back and do them again. Some characters are pretty much perfect now - Darth Vader, Chewbacca, the stormtrooper, R2-D2 (from the upcoming battle pack), Obi-Wan in most of his incarnations, Qui-Gon, Boba Fett, and so on. If they wanted to, they could just keep cranking out figures based on the same molds, and they do exactly that. I mean, they can add things like the headset to Chewbacca, or the restraining bolt to R2-D2, to add a little bit of variety. Casual collectors and fans are going to get these figures whether they're all-new molds or whether they're from five years ago, but by doing these changes, they get more collector attention as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    Here we are at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we have figures like Giran that appear to be nigh-perfect 1:18 scale miniatures, and yet we're STILL waiting for decent likenesses on any version of Han Solo, ANH Leia, the ROTJ Emperor, a quality soft goods cape for Vader, a C-3PO that can match the quality of the Clone Wars version or the BAD protocol droid mold.
    If we're just talking likenesses, then I think the Endor shield generator battle pack has a damn good Han. On Leia, I think most of the figures made in recent years are pretty good. The VOTC Leia is indeed too doll-like, but figures like the new slave Leia show that they are indeed capable of doing right by these characters. With C-3PO, isn't it Lucasfilm who always wants him to be shiny? I mean, I want one in the BAD mold, but the ROTS and TSC ones are still pretty damn great even with their somewhat limited articulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Jax
    just to play devil's advocate (not that i believe it), but maybe it isn't hasbro's fault. the characters that they can get "just right" are mostly ones that rely on masks and make-up. maybe at that scale you just can't accurately copy a human face relying on nothing more than snapshots and celluloid.
    Well, I believe it, to a point. If you really get down to it, Giran's face is off - the mouth is too wide, the grooves are too well-defined, and the nose should be farther down from the eyes, but everyone is claiming it to be a masterpiece. Yet if a Luke or Han figure has similar problems, it's considered to be a complete waste of space. We hold the main characters to a much higher standard of quality, particularly the humans. I'm willing to bet that, in our lifetimes, we've seen Harrison Ford's image a thousand times more frequently than we've seen Giran's. We see humans every day, all the time, so when something is a little "off" on a figure, it's really obvious; with the aliens figures, then, "good enough" often passes for "perfect".

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter
    I'm going with greed. If it were incompetence, we'd not have a good Giran. They do too many "slight" improvements that are still lacking. Like why release Grievous in the right size, but "conveniently" forget the cloak that is an important part of the character? Because people will buy it, since it's a little better, and buy one with a cloak in a year or so.
    Yeah, but you think there's an agenda behind everything - they stopped selling a five-year-old Clone Wars DVD since there's a new show on TV and people don't need to get confused, and to you, it's a conspiracy.

    I think, on Grievous, they legitimately couldn't cost out a cape for him. I'm pretty sure you don't have this figure, but if you check it out you'll see it's made up of a ton of intricate parts, and it's pretty huge, so it's not a stretch to imagine that it was a costly figure to produce.

    So, I dunno. I disagree with the "Hasbro is teh evil haha" line of thought since it always strikes me as extremely childish and I don't honestly believe that they're intentionally making bad product just so they can later correct it. We can complain that they're not doing things 100% great all the time, but that ignores what they are doing right, which is quite a lot.

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