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  1. #1

    Whats with Anti-Background character sentiment from longterm adult collectors??

    As the thread title says. I see a lot of dismissiveness from presumably mature collectors about background characters like Willrow hood or certain cantina patrons saying that they are 'unnecessary'. I just don't understand it. What are you guys buying at this point if not those? If core characters are your only interest then would it not be a better idea to purchase the larger scale figures which are all more articulated and more detailed? At 1/6th scale its a rare thing to see a background character produced so it seems to me this is a more appropriate collecting area for those who laugh at the Willrow Hoods and Yarnas of the 3 3/4 line. And these are generally the best figures! Its the core characters Hasbro constantly screw up. What is the appeal of the 3 3/4" line for you guys if not its great diversity, its willingness to delve deep?

  2. #2
    The impression I get is that people feel that figures like that aren't good for the line. When figures like Yarna and Breha Organa pegwarm, it makes it harder for other figures to get put on the pegs, and makes Hasbro less likely to make other obscure characters. Thus we get the rabid anti Jocasta Nu sentiment. They seem to think that these figures will cause the line to end before they get the figures they really want. I don't think that will happen if they space them out and don't overproduce them.

  3. #3
    I've got mixed feelings on the topic. As a kid and to this day, some of my favorite Star Wars figures where background aliens. And more and more recently Hasbro has done a very good job on bringing these guys into the plastic fold. That said, I do occasionally question their selections. Brainiac and Leesub Sirln were not at the top of my cantina list and I never would have asked for a Yarna or Willrow Hood. The deal is that Hasbro can't just make the figures we want and work their way down a priority list. If they did that, after a few years the line would be nothing but dregs and would die. Now, all things must come to an end at some point but mixing in the less requested figures with the really good stuff we're more likely to see those figures that make everyone happy.

    And for the record, I have never skipped a single carded unique Star Wars figure and probably never will. Even stuff from EU sources that I don't like find a home in my collection because it allows for the stuff I do want to get made. Besides, I've got an idea for a Willrow Hood passing out ice cream in a Jabba's Palace dio with Yarna as his number one customer.
    Have: CW Yularen, CW Clone, everything from CW Slave I set except Slave I, TFU Shadow Stormtrooper x2, Evo Trooper, Saga AT-AT Driver, K-Mart Jodo Kast || Want: Vintage Fordo
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  4. #4
    I don't have any problem with background characters being produced at all. In fact, those obscure characters from the movies and Expanded Universe are the only things that really interest me and keep me collecting these days. After 30+ years of buying Star Wars stuff, I'm tired of core characters. It's the totally new, never-before-produced figures that keep me coming back.
    Weird War Tales: Featuring the Creature Commandos #105 November 1981 (DC Comics)

  5. #5
    I don't think anyone is against background characters altogether - has anyone had anything negative to say about the choices from the ROTJ wave (aside from strange choice Malakili, who actually turned out really well)? I just don't think too many people were clamoring for Leesub Sirln, who is hardly in the movie at all. Aside from the joke factor, Willrow Hood is frankly not all that interesting-looking. He's a fat guy in a tan jumpsuit carrying a white appliance. I think the sentiment is, with six movies chock full of interesting designs, why this guy?

    Since some people have mentioned the EU stuff, it could all go away right now and I wouldn't shed a tear. The material has led to some good figures but also some just damn weird things too (the Crimson Empire set and Rebel logo TIE immediately spring to mind).

    I get excited for any well-done figure. But to me, something like a great slave Leia is more interesting any day of the week than a great Leesub Sirln.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Devo View Post
    As the thread title says. I see a lot of dismissiveness from presumably mature collectors about background characters like Willrow hood or certain cantina patrons saying that they are 'unnecessary'. I just don't understand it. What are you guys buying at this point if not those? If core characters are your only interest then would it not be a better idea to purchase the larger scale figures which are all more articulated and more detailed? At 1/6th scale its a rare thing to see a background character produced so it seems to me this is a more appropriate collecting area for those who laugh at the Willrow Hoods and Yarnas of the 3 3/4 line. And these are generally the best figures! Its the core characters Hasbro constantly screw up. What is the appeal of the 3 3/4" line for you guys if not its great diversity, its willingness to delve deep?
    For one, the small scale allows for more vehicles, playsets, and shelf space. I really don't have room in my small apartment to display all my stuff and they are pocket sized wich makes it easier for my kids to bring their SW toys places.

    For two, who wants any SW figures if they can't have the main ones like Luke and Vader? That's like a PB&J sandwich with out the PB&J wich is just bread. There are certain characters that if I didn't have them it would be worthless to have any others. Some are iconic and would make great stand alone figures for the casual SW fan but many wouldn't even matter to them.

    For three, I would much rather have a character with major importance to the saga like say Jacen Solo rather than a charcter that was seen onscreen for 3 seconds and their entire biography is 1 or 2 paragraphs. Would you rather have a bunch of nobodys like Willrow running down a hall for your diorama or the battle of Hoth? I know people have there preferences and I have mine, but look at it from the point of veiw of someone who doesn't know every on screen characters story like my girlfriend. She knows Boba Fett but has no idea who Bossk or Wicket is or Wedge is. Even if I had all my "essential" characters I'd still by the minor ones like Nien Nunb or troop build before a cantina alien or some idiot running down the hallway on bespin. Lets just face the fact that most SW fans aren't even as big of nerds as we are.

    Lastly, I do get sick of all the ROTJ lukes. I can't keep up with them. It's like a new one pops out every year and it's not always an improvement. Same with other characters like Kenobi and Anakin. So I try to be more selective and get the definitive versions.

    So in a nutshell I am not buying much at all at this point. I am protesting because I refuse to be a consumer *****. If Hasbro can really tell what people are buying then they will know I want my damn comic packs and EU! As far as core characters, I think I have the best versions of most characters already because as you say they constantly screw them up and as I stated, it's rarely an improvement.
    Last edited by RENDAR LIVES; 12-05-2009 at 04:14 PM. Reason: to add more
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    I don't think anyone is against background characters altogether - has anyone had anything negative to say about the choices from the ROTJ wave (aside from strange choice Malakili, who actually turned out really well)? I just don't think too many people were clamoring for Leesub Sirln, who is hardly in the movie at all. Aside from the joke factor, Willrow Hood is frankly not all that interesting-looking. He's a fat guy in a tan jumpsuit carrying a white appliance. I think the sentiment is, with six movies chock full of interesting designs, why this guy?

    Since some people have mentioned the EU stuff, it could all go away right now and I wouldn't shed a tear. The material has led to some good figures but also some just damn weird things too (the Crimson Empire set and Rebel logo TIE immediately spring to mind).

    I get excited for any well-done figure. But to me, something like a great slave Leia is more interesting any day of the week than a great Leesub Sirln.
    That's a good point. I have nothing against the background characters, they just aren't a priority to me.

    The new Leia figure is far better than I expected. I got one for my daughter and now want one for myself. I just hate how R2-D2 is almost as tall as her and the OTC Boush version.
    [FONT='Times New Roman'][/FONT]

  8. #8
    Well if you want EU fair enough. That kind of answers my question of 'what would you/do you buy instead of the background characters. Thats what you're still in the hobby for. I wasn't even thinking of EU actually. I've sometimes got the impression on this and the otheR Site (is that what we officially call RS here or am I stealing someone's patent?) that some collectors want to see nothing but core characters so they can be done with it.

    However, to me, a collection comprising only core characters would be a tad boring. Theres no real diorama potential, you're just lining figures up on a shelf. If I wanted to just do that I'd be buying higher end figures not these little things with oftentimes ugly articulation, poor paintjobs and no resemblance to the actors.

  9. #9
    Well if I can put my two credits in....

    Background characters have been part of the Star Wars figure line since the Kenner days. Hammerhead, Walrus Man, Snaggletooth, Power Droid anyone? It took us almost 20 years to get a Tarkin figure, but Snaggletooth is released in the second wave in 1978 and you don't even really see him outside the Holiday Special. Even the bounty hunters from ESB were "background characters", though they tend to be the most sought after figures.

    With that said, I also agree with the sentiment that background characters help stimulate continued interest in a line that dedicated collectors would have ceased buying a long time ago if it were just remakes of Lukes and Vaders. There's only so many variants of a Malibu Stacy with a new Hat that can be released to a consuming public. These figures, particularly Cantina and Jabba Palace aliens are great for dioramas and playsets and I've almost always found myself purchasing characters from any of them. However, I do think that releasing background characters for the prequels has a number of drawbacks.

    First, these characters don't have, in my opinion, the same type of nostalgic pull that OT chraracters have. I have little to no interest in Renaussance Faire-looking no names from Naboo, nor do I have any attachment to the 8 million varieties of Padme outfits. To me, that smacks of milking the market, especially if these characters are humans. I don't know, but background aliens can be used anywhere. Background humans, particularly in ostentatious outfits, are limited in usage.

    Second, EU figures are usually hit or miss. Unless one has read the (comic) books, or played the video games, these figures remain obscure, though they tend to be released in limited numbers. The Clone Wars line on the other hand is, in my opinion, a complete waste of space, and I've had more of my share of disappointing encounters of reaching the toy section of Walmart, Toys R Us or Target, only to find the CW line is a complete series of peg warmers.

    Third, at some point, the figure line is going to be saturated. There's basically two types of SW customers. Those who have been buying the line for decades but have finally come to realize they're running out of room, don't need repeat figures, or have lost interest in a line that's releasng figures of Star Destroyer Controller #2 and Cantina Thug #4. The other type are those temporary kids who want a few figures like Anakin, Obi Wan, Luke, and Vader and that's about it.

    Whatever the case, I'm personally a fan of particular types of background characters, and while I'll pick up a Willrow Hood (OT), I'm going to pass on Jocasta Nu (NT). Obviously there's only so far Hasbro can go before the market is completely saturated - there's Lobot the background character, and there's Willrow Hood the background character. It took us nearly 30 years to get a Captain Needa, but we haven't seen a re-release of Sim Aloo or Classic Klaatu.

  10. #10
    Nothing here. I just think they need to base production on what the background character is. A cool-looking alien with a laser rifle? Heavy numbers. A fat woman in a bikini with a glass? Much smaller numbers.

    I also think they should stop re-doing the core characters. I'd rather there be one Vader who's perfect and gets re-released every six months or so than have two new, not-quite-there Vaders per year. I can see costume changes, but, really, how many basic Hans can you release when the Cantina one from 1999 was pretty bloody close to perfect? "This time he comes with just the chestplate and helmet from the Stormtrooper armor, so you can re-create that off-screen split second when he was removing the armor!" Sorry, not going to bite.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

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