First, great coverage. Thanks again.
I am not surprised that I am underwhelmed by the showing at the convention. I have gotten used to the rhythm of having things we have known about for a long time or things that should have come out this year coming out next year being accounced as a big deal. I have also gotten used to the fact that they always end the presentation with the tease that something really good is coming at the next convention.
I also know that the days of getting a wave of figures we never had before like Ackbar, Nien Nunb, Wicket, the Rancor Keeper, and Mon Mothma are long gone. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel.
But three things struck me at this convention.
First, that they did not announce one new complete wave of Vintage figures. The big thing for is that we will be getting Evazan and Kithaba in April. But still no carded examples in the booth? The fact that those figures keep getting pushed back really bothers me. I would be upset if The Phantom Menace really kills the line, but I could live with it if I can get those two figures first. I have wanted a new Evazan since the first and second Evazans were so terrible and the line would really feel incomplete for me now if I couldn't get them. And Kithaba would be a welcome addition too, as I love the cantina and Jabba's Palace. I only got Bom Vimdin on Ebay, so I really hope that this isn't a sign of things to come, that the distribution never gets fixed.
The other thing that amazes me is that they are not taking advantage of the Vintage line more. They could release figures who have had pretty good modern sculpts on vintage cards and get people to buy them again for the card. I am not into carded collecting, but a lot of collectors are. And the cards were supposed to be the main draw.
Finally, I am really worried the Phantom Menace lineup may be the end of the line. The Phantom Menace was a problem of over production over ten years ago. And the film is a lot less popular now. I think this seems like we are getting ready for a glut. And I think they are over-estimating how popular Darth Maul is just a little bit.
To me it would have made a lot of sense to get rid of Legends and not do this Movie Heroes business. THEN, they could have carefully chosen characters to put on Vintage cards.
But I would think with the Phantom Menace, they should have produced the main characters, maybe even rereleases of the main characters on vintage cards, in reasonable quantities. Kids who liked the movie might pick them up and collectors would pick them up for having those characters on the vintage cards. Have one Darth Maul available. One Qui-Gon available. Etc.
I think the light up lightsabers are kind of neat for kids, but just have that be its own deluxe subline for Obi-wan, Qui-Gon, and Maul.
The new Naboo starfighter is a good idea and I think that this is a good time to rerelease the Anakin and Sebulba pod racers.
But I continue to believe it confuses things a bit when there are several Qui-Gon options, several Darth Maul options, in different lines, on different cards, at different prices.
Then, I think they could have released a few collectors figures from the film. I'll buy Daltay Dofine, because I wanted him originally. But I could care less now. It is kind of a nostalgia purchase. I that they chose Daltay over Tey How is beyond me. I can't believe they're not doing a super articulated Jar Jar on vintage card. (I don't really want that either...) Kitster, Wald, Ann/Tan Gella (people might buy two). If this is not their time, when? I think this is probably a good time to make Quadrinaros.
Anyway, I know they have to honor the Phantom Menace, but I think 2012 would have been a good time to condense down to just Vintage and Clone Wars. Then to have each wave of Vintage be a few good sculpts of main characters, a few figures in lower numbers that play to collectors, and then a few rereleases it's neat to get on a vintage card (Hammerhead, Bespin Guard, Prune Face, etc.) Release a wave every two months or so like clockwork, and just let the line reset and catch its breath a bit.
I understand the way things have to go now. I know the days of waves of completely new sculpts of never before made figures is behind us. But even under the current rules I do not understand their decisions. And I worry we won't see any better distribution except for The Phantom Menace, which will be everywhere, burying the rest of the line in its coffin.