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  1. #1

    SSG's 2011 Year in Review

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    - OPENING REMARKS -

    Regarding SW collecting in 2011, I'm going to say what's on all our minds -- 2011 sucked. It was a complete flame-out, due almost exclusively to Hasbro, I'm sorry to say. I cannot think of a year more frustrating, this year had horrible distribution problems start to finish, canceled and moved waves, missing figures, endless reissues and repaints, and price increases, while also delivering less figures and vehicles. (Heck, the best vehicle was the Starspeeder 1000 from Disney which had no Hasbro work on it.) On top of that, a change in personel at Hasbro caused Q&A to flounder for the first time in 5 years, and the Blu-Rays came and went without a bump in interest from general consumers, they sold well but didn't really get folks talking again. The Clone Wars tv series chugged along, but minds were hardly blown. Celebration VI was announced as another hot summer visit to Florida in 2012. Rick McCallum confirmed that the live-action TV series has been put off for several more years and maybe dead altogether, and also said The Phantom Menace in 3D might be the only film in the saga to get 3D treatment if it doesn't do well. StarWars.com closed down their forums, their online shop abruptly shut down. The revelation that Lucas decided to bring back Darth Maul for the Clone Wars.

    Some interesting things did happen this year too though, TRU had a few really surprisingly good sales on basic figures; Disney Parks' Star Tours 3D sequel came out and has been extremely popular; Kotobukiya delivered Han Solo in Carbonite ice cube trays; LEGOland California opened its Star Wars miniland section; Robot Chicken Star Wars 3 was better than its predecessor; Family Guy wrapped up their parodies with an ROTJ episode; LEGO released a half-hour animated Star Wars special that was fresh and amusing; there was a lot of Star Wars-themed charitable contributions... um, I'm stretching here folks, because it's really difficult to find anything to crow about for 2011. It's like Star Wars collecting was already over for the entirety of 2011 and we've been stuck suffering through our hope that it'd get better, the powers that be kept saying maybe it would, and then each time a faint sign of hope before disappointment. So it didn't suck, it was just, er, "challenging" (that's obviously code for "sucked big time").

    - BEST ANIMATED 3.75" FIGURES -
    I barely remember what basic figures came out this year. Animated Chewie and shirtless Savage Opress, that's all I remember. Ok, I remember a little more. Space Captain Rex, Commander Jet (finally!), Castas, Cad Bane v2 with TODO-360, the Aqua Droid, Commander Colt, and probably Seripas and armored Savage though I still haven't found them. Shirtless Savage is a really cool figure, excellent paint and sculpting, great range of motion, a very expressive and dynamic figure. Unfortunately, I think I just named 4/5ths of the figures in CW, there weren't enough new figures this year, but at least most were pretty good.

    - BEST REALISTIC 3.75" FIGURES -
    Very little to choose from here, thanks to a whole wave getting shifted to 2012, and a lot of snorey recards instead of the exciting ones we should have gotten. I really have to give props to the new AOTC Clone Trooper with its all-new body that finally throws out the marshmallowy trooper armor we were stuck with from 2003, replacing it with film-accurate shapes and sharpness (yes, its helmet is too big, but if you raise it up a little it looks great). Captain Fordo was good too, even though he still doesn't get his own name. Bom Vimdin looked great, sharp sculpting and paint. Han Bespin was pretty good, Lando General was pretty good although his cape has huge elastic and he's why Han's boots are wrong (Hasbro shared the lower body). Ponda Baba I guess will round out my calls here, although as adequate as the figure is, somehow it doesn't feel special perhaps due to too many old Ponda releases, or maybe Hasbro just waited too long.

    - WORST 3.75" FIGURES -
    Can I pick on distribution and pricing problems? No? How about all the recarded Revenge of the Jedi figures that overflowed the pegs and pushed out the Evazan wave? Vintage didn't have too many bad figures because it didn't have many figures at all, I'll call out the AT-RT Driver for being bland and not special; Logray for being overpriced; AOTC Kit Fisto for being ROTS Kit Fisto; the AOTC Super Battle Droid for being a mediocre repaint rather than a new figure and then pegwarming super hard for it. For Clone Wars, I've got to hand it to El-Les, an overly-colorful, mopey-faced figure for an uninspiring, wishy-washy character; TRU's exclusive Stealth Ops Clone when almost the identical figure as a basic yet also with more accessories was hitting pegs; and Kit Fisto and Plo Koon in snow gear, Plo Koon's mask looks WAY weird, and because do we really need the B-team in a new hat?

    - BEST BATTLEPACK / MULTI-PACK -
    I'm giving this handily to the Disney Parks-exclusive Star Tours Travel Agency. It is a great pack to represent Star Tours, bringing together droids and an alien and some luggage, plus an all-new not-terrible stand for the WA-7 droid figure.

    - BEST 3.75" VEHICLE OF THE YEAR -
    Were there vehicles this year? Did I already use that gag? The Mandolorian Shuttle didn't make it to shelves that I saw, the walking cannon thing didn't inspire me, Class 1 fleet flopped on its face and canceled its better pieces. So that leaves me with... um... the repaint of the Saga Landspeeder, and the Republic Attack Shuttle, both were overpriced, but only 1 was new, so it wins by default. The 2 sweetest words in the English language: DE FAULT! DE FAULT! DE FAULT! Anyway, the Republic Attack Shuttle is an ok vehicle, underscaled compared to what I would have hoped and lacking external lights, but it has a nice build and sculpt, and its features are wildly numerous and fun. It was just too expensive for what it was, I didn't get it until Amazon discounted it heavily, that was a great surprise because without that, I wouldn't have bought it.

    - BEST 12"-FORMAT FIGURE -
    I'm going with Sideshow's Commander Bly, despite his color being not film-accurate and his straps being too high and his visor not raising high enough. I really think the paint weathering was well and above anything else I've seen from Sideshow previously, the care taken with the entire tone just comes alive so much better than previous Clones they've done. Cody was really cool and had more going on overall, but Bly's mixed-media stuff and weathered paint just makes him a stronger choice for me.

    - 2011 STAR WARS FIGURE OF THE YEAR -
    Which prize pig gets the award for best porker! That's how I feel on this one, no standouts, just best lipstick-applying pigs; the figures themselves weren't bad, but the lines they were in ruined them. Last year I was excited about numerous figures in the running for this title, this year Hasbro's lack of inspiration for the line is palpable and I can barely care about the figures I've named above. For me, it comes down to shirtless Savage Opress vs. AOTC Clone Trooper -- yes, another face-off between animated and realistic! I swear, totally unintentional. While TRU made it possible for me to actually army-build the Clone at a decent price, and I've had fun coming up with poses for them, Savage Opress is the most striking figure, it gets the most attention in my place of any new figure on display... if only they hadn't made him Darth Maul's brother, he could have been so much cooler without losing those dignity points! But Shirtless Savage Opress has an amazing facial expression, fantastic paint work, and cool axe weapons... and there's just something "Star Wars special" about the figure which the Clone doesn't have since there's so many white-armored troopers already. There you have it, Savage Opress my figure of the year for 2011, a totally wrong-headed choice for a totally wrong-headed collecting year. May collecting in 2012 smite 2011 most heartily in the face!
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #2
    Is this just toys (trading cards, books, comics, video games, etc.)? Last category should be 2011, right? Would you put as "Best/Worst [category]" instead of separate paragraphs for Best and Worst?

    Looks good!
    "That's what Sheev said."

  3. #3
    Target's fiasco with releasing both Tauntauns simultaneously and at the same price point when one was just a Tauntaun and the other had two figures bears mentioning. Wouldn't hurt to bring up their insane overcompensation of not releasing that variant Hoth Trooper when he was supposed to come out, instead having him in three separate Target exclusives in the span of a single year, while other "missing" figures never got a release.

    There was Hasbro's inexplicable refusal to learn from the pegwarming failure of re-released Vintage figures like 4-LOM and the Sandtrooper, releasing rehash Obi-Wans and such instead of the beloved, HTF, and often-requested Gamorrean Guard.

    Not releasing the cut scene figures at the same time as the Blu-Ray was a CF of epic proportions; those are going to rot this year (or they're going to be released in such small numbers that no one can find them).

    AOTC Kit Fisto was really ROTS Kit Fisto, a totally different costume, and they still haven't released a figure of what most of us nerds consider his iconic scene.

    The SDCC exclusive, after several years of awesome or at least cool exclusives, was a major letdown. And overpriced. Maybe not for what you got, I suppose, but heavily padded. Even worse when the Joe exclusives were a Starscream Skystriker and the highly-requested Zarana. (Wasn't the TF exclusive pretty cool, too? It was movie-related, I think, so I didn't pay too much attention.)

    Still, I guess it was better than Joe collecting. I've had to resort to friends in Canada to get a large number of Real AMERICAN Heroes.

    And Choices of One was the first Star Wars book I really wanted to read in years. And it was nice to get a Barriss Offee who isn't trying out for the opera.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  4. #4
    Goods:
    - mail-away Fett:Prototype Armor, as are most mail-aways
    - novels (Choices of One, Old Republic: Decieved)
    - Art of... books (comics, Old Repub.)
    - look of Vintage card backs
    - Star Wars Galaxy 6 card set
    - Star Tours relaunch
    - Family Guy ROTJ, Robot Chicken

    Okays:
    - Blu-Ray
    - Clone Wars Season 3 cartoon
    - novels (Riptide, Old Republic:Revan, FOTJ books, Knight Errant)
    - Origami Yoda/Darth Paper YA novels

    Bads:
    - glut of some SW figs (Vintage pegwarmers, most CW) and rarity of others (AOTC & SW waves)
    - STILL NO Star Wars music being released (all these other re-packs but none of old/unreleased tracks? )
    - store exclusive vehicles/creatures in Vintage line
    "That's what Sheev said."

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos View Post
    - STILL NO Star Wars music being released (all these other re-packs but none of old/unreleased tracks? )
    I've heard rumors of a prequel music boxed set for years. It'd be nice to get it. All of TPM music in full form (not hacked up in film order), the missing AOTC and ROTS music, and a non-exclusive version of "On the Conveyor Belt" would probably get a lot of people interested.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos View Post
    Is this just toys (trading cards, books, comics, video games, etc.)? Last category should be 2011, right? Would you put as "Best/Worst [category]" instead of separate paragraphs for Best and Worst?

    Looks good!
    We haven't done non-toy collectibles in these since Thrawn left the site and Tycho stopped being a reporter, I believe. But you can add them to the conversation with your post, if you like.

    I wouldn't want to put the best AND the worst in the same paragraph, it'd be confusing. Plus, I decided to take out more of the "worst", every category used to have a "worst" for a while and it's just not as much fun for most of the sections since they have less to offer.


    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    Target's fiasco with releasing both Tauntauns simultaneously and at the same price point when one was just a Tauntaun and the other had two figures bears mentioning. Wouldn't hurt to bring up their insane overcompensation of not releasing that variant Hoth Trooper when he was supposed to come out, instead having him in three separate Target exclusives in the span of a single year, while other "missing" figures never got a release.

    There was Hasbro's inexplicable refusal to learn from the pegwarming failure of re-released Vintage figures like 4-LOM and the Sandtrooper, releasing rehash Obi-Wans and such instead of the beloved, HTF, and often-requested Gamorrean Guard.

    Not releasing the cut scene figures at the same time as the Blu-Ray was a CF of epic proportions; those are going to rot this year (or they're going to be released in such small numbers that no one can find them).

    AOTC Kit Fisto was really ROTS Kit Fisto, a totally different costume, and they still haven't released a figure of what most of us nerds consider his iconic scene.

    The SDCC exclusive, after several years of awesome or at least cool exclusives, was a major letdown. And overpriced. Maybe not for what you got, I suppose, but heavily padded. Even worse when the Joe exclusives were a Starscream Skystriker and the highly-requested Zarana. (Wasn't the TF exclusive pretty cool, too? It was movie-related, I think, so I didn't pay too much attention.)

    Still, I guess it was better than Joe collecting. I've had to resort to friends in Canada to get a large number of Real AMERICAN Heroes.

    And Choices of One was the first Star Wars book I really wanted to read in years. And it was nice to get a Barriss Offee who isn't trying out for the opera.
    The amount of stupid SW collecting crap I could mention from 2011 could fill a book. The Target thing is embarrassing, but at least they supported the product, even if the timing was plain ol' stupid.

    I think the cut-scene figure thing would go on the 2012 YIR.

    I called out Kit Fisto in my YIR, thief!

    SDCC exclusive may have sucked, but it did sell surprisingly well for a bunch of pointless recards. Totally less cool than their previous works though. And I just realized, SWshop didn't exist so they didn't have their own Hasbro piece to sell at the show where they usually have.

    The TF exclusives at SDCC were: exclusive-packaged first available ultimate movie 3 Optimus Prime, exclusive-packaged first available deluxe TF:Prime Optimus Prime, and a TF-themed Nerf blaster (aka: WTF?).


    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos View Post
    Goods:
    ...
    - Family Guy ROTJ, Robot Chicken
    I know I included those, but they actually both came out at the end of 2010. I was stretching to fill non-negative space. Next YIR I suppose will have SW:TOR in it.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    Well, we've gone live with our 2011 Year in Review. Steve's schedule has been backed up with other stuff, so he's intending to participate but feels it's been long enough to wait since his plan is that this YIR will have you forumites involved just as much as the staff.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  8. #8
    Looking back, 2011 was a very mixed year, mostly looking forward to 2012 and things I couldn't attend.

    The biggest SW thing was probably the Blu-ray release. The set is fantastic - the image and sound quality is amazing and the special features are impressive even to someone like me who has seen and read a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff before. The hullabaloo over the changes reached a fever pitch - I love some, like others, don't mind some, and scratch my head on a few - but the set still sold very well, so there's that.

    The hubbub surrounding the Star Tours update was really quite exciting, as I really loved the old one (it was one of my earliest SW memories, having visited Disneyland for the first time the summer after the Special Editions, which were my introduction to SW) but have been ready for a new version for a while. I won't be able to go until visiting Orlando for CVI, but that will just make it even more Star Warsy.

    As for The Clone Wars, my appraisal is more positive than yours, JT (surprise, surprise ). The back half of Season Three was one fantastic arc after another - Nightsisters, Mortis, Citadel, and Trandoshans. The Citadel and Trandoshan stories weren't mind-blowing, just exceptionally well done stories. The Nightsisters and Mortis stories, though, gave lots of surprises and plenty to think about, whether you agree with the direction they took or not. The first half of Season Four was more mixed, with a fine but not outstanding Mon Cala battle, bizarre, pointless droid misadventures, and a pretty-good slaver arc (well, 2011 had the first two episodes, anyway). The Umbara episodes were damn good, though - along with the second half of Season Three, definitely some of the best the show has done so far.

    Some of the only Hasbro (or at least Hasbro-scale) items I didn't get in 2011 were the Star Tours sets and Starspeeder, since I was debating whether to get them in person or pay for shipping. Now that the Starspeeder has jumped from $55 to $70, perhaps I should have gotten them already.

    Aside from that, I still haven't found Bastila Shan or the Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear), firsts for the Vintage Collection. I stupidly passed on Seripas the one and only time I found him, having hid him in the hope my family would get him for me for Christmas, but unfortunately he was picked up by someone else and is now highly sought-after. That's the last time I do that.

    There were 26 new figures in The Clone Wars line in 2011, which is not many, but certainly far better than the pitiful "just over half of 19" we're getting this year. A lot of cool choices, a lot of nice repaints, and some same-old, same-old here and there. Armored Savage Opress is probably my favorite basic figure of the year; if there has to be a worst, I suppose it's the umpteenth ARF Trooper, which is cool but a little samey at this point.

    The figure-and-vehicle sets (now called Class I) had some nice items in the summer, but eventually suffered the same delays and shifts seen in the rest of the line. At least Obi-Wan's mini Attack Shuttle is coming out with Anakin (albeit in different colors), and Boba's speeder bike was just a repaint of Castas', but I was really looking forward to Boba's poncho. The move to three figures in Battle Packs brought some cool new redecos, but sadly it looks like the line will be crappy repacks from now on (with Republic Troopers being the only CW offering of the year).

    Distribution-wise, The Vintage Collection started out 2011 as a mess and ended as a debacle. We had to deal with 2010's leftovers - 4-LOM, Dengar, Sandtrooper, ROTS Clone Trooper, Obi-Wan, and Anakin - for much of the year. Going the complete other way, let's not even get too much into Wedge - released in tiny, tiny numbers with an apparent wave 3 re-release - though thankfully he's coming this year, supposedly. We all saw the folly of releasing the same characters in multiple lines, especially when releasing inferior versions for more money. I'm really not going to miss 3,689 ROTS Obi-Wans (or ROTS-styled TCW Obi-Wans) in every store this year.

    When wave 4 (AOTC) was supposed to come out early in the year, I found only tiny amounts of it at a Walmart at midnight, only since I happened to be there shortly after they stocked. The fact that it took nine or ten more months to reach a wide audience, only to be dumped at closeout stores simultaneously, was just crappy. It's a shame, too, as there are some fantastic figures in the wave. Mace is a perfect Samuel L. Jackson likeness, Zam is really well done, and I even like Kit Fisto for what he is (he looks great on my ROTS shelf, so no big deal). Obi-Wan is a fine figure, but its repack nature, fake-beard card image, constant shipping, and the fact that there were like 97 other Obi-Wans already on the pegs meant it was not going to do too well. Still, I got eight awesome Senate Guards from this wave, thanks to TRU's sales.

    I could have lived without wave 5, and I definitely could have lived without it shipping nonstop from February to October. The yellow helmets struck back hard in this wave, killing already-goofy-looking stormtroopers and Utapau clones. R5-D4 is fine but unnecessary so soon after the fine 2006 version (and they at least could have given him his red panels on the back for the first time since 1979). Han's shirt was wrong, and Luke . . . well, Luke was pretty good, I guess. Still, I have a carded Gree, and he looks great in my carded collection.

    Wave 6 was a significant improvement, even in terms of distribution (though the Weequay still sits at a few Walmarts here). The AOTC clone is magnificent, and I got eight of those as well. (He'd be even better with the shorter legs from Captain Fordo, but it's still awesome anyway.) AT-RT Driver, General Lando, and Fi-Ek-Sirch were all ones that I didn't feel were screaming for an upgrade, but the figures are all great regardless. With its lack of a cohesive movie-based theme (started in wave 5, to a point), I feel like the waves have lost some of the focus they've had since 2004. Themes are back in the first two 2012 waves, and I've liked this idea, but I'm willing to try the mixed waves for a while again, I suppose.

    Wave 7 was too scarce, aside from later repacks of Bom Vimdin and, to a lesser extent, Logray. When they repack the wave this year, I hope they leave Bom out, but I know they won't. Anyway, the figures are all awesome. I would have preferred Fordo to have a realistic Neyo-style helmet instead of the half-cartoony one he has, but it's not horrible. Han, Barriss, and the RFT were all sorely needed updates, and Bom was a long-needed cantina character (he's iconic despite barely appearing in the film at all).

    Wave 8 threw everything off again. While I'm sure some people loved the Revenge of the Jedi idea, they should have done that along with offering actual new figures to entice everyone instead of just carded collectors. Han in a (slightly different) trenchcoat and the black Rebel Commando were the only ones I got.

    Wave 9 was pretty much a no-show, thanks to shipping with slow-moving wave 8 figures in the same case. The only one I got was Ponda, and only because my parents found him while on vacation in another state. That's incredibly bad distribution.

    Then again, I have almost nothing but good things to say about the TPM wave, though you'll have to wait until next year to read them.

    The realistic vehicles for the year were fine, mostly a lot of updates to OT ships - some better than others, but none jumping out at me at the moment.

    Damn, I wrote a lot. So yeah, distribution and poor figure choices choked a lot of the fun out of hunting for figures in 2011, but I'm excited for the TPM release, focusing on the great new stuff that's coming out and trying to ignore the many repacks. Hopefully things get back on track soon, and fast.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi
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  9. #9
    Never before have I been less interested in Star Wars figures. I work a block away from my Toys R Us and never before have I visited it less, and when I did, there was nothing new outside of the vintage 2010 waves.

    Best figure: I bought 7 figures this year. So I will list those as the best. The first Wave of the Vintage ROTJ figures was in my opinion the lone bright spot (and it was probably a 2010 wave that I never saw). Gammorian Guard, R2-D2, Wicket, and Ackbar were all great figures that I picked up. I picked up a Vintage Stormtrooper because I liked the card. Sometime in November/December I found Slave Leia and Bastila Shan.

    Worst figure: This award goes to Hasbro and their distribution (or lack there of). I actually wanted a few more figures that I never saw. I'm almost positive my area missed the Vintage waves between ROTJ and the Slave Leia wave.

    Best vehicle: I bought the AT-AT in 2011, does that count? I've never been in favor of any vehicle that transforms into a playset because it usually fails on both accounts. I did see the Y-Wing during the Christmas season.

    Worst vehicle: The remote controlled clone tank. Terrible idea, terrible price. Okay, it's actually a great idea, just a terrible concept. The tank looked to small in the box compared to the non remote controlled one.

    Best 12" figure: This year I came to the realization that Sideshow was way too expensive. While that settled in my mind, I never got around to open any of the figures I purchased. What constitutes 2011 Sideshow anyways? I ordered Fett, Battle Droids, and IG-88 last year, all whom I believe would have been on this list had I received them. Has Grevious even been offered yet? Anyways, after looking at the figures, Commander Cody really impresses me.

    Worst 12" figure: I'm not sure there really is a worst figure, but the overload of clone troopers, both common and named, ruined the line for me. So many key characters have been overlooked in the design process and rehashed clones are perfect for filler figures, not carry the line.

    Best exclusive: I don't remember if the prototype rocket firing Boba Fett was 2010 or 2011 but I received it in 2011 so I guess I'll count it. Ironic story; I just purchased the White Boba Fett figure on ebay for 20 dollars because it was cheeper than spending 45 dollars on five figures I didn't want.

    Best Star Wars Moment: The trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic was so good, I almost bought the game.

    Worst Star Wars Moment: Noooooooooooooooo!

    Overall 2011 was forgettable at best. It was so bad, I lost interest and fell behind on the novels by almost an entire series. But the good news is 2012 looks to be great. The re-release of TPM in 3D is exciting, I saw the new figures 2000 miles away from home and they look great, the new Maul packaging is the best non-vintage packaging Hasbro has done, and I've read three SW novels so far this year.
    Nowhere in your incoherent ramblings did you come anywhere close to the answer. Thanks to you, everyone in this room is now stupider having heard you. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul. -Billy Madison-

  10. #10
    Opening response:

    The Disney Starspeeder 1000 is incredible and very much worth it’s MSRP value and then some. I saw JediTricks’ Starspeeder and was very impressed. I’m considering buying it for a substitute for the Twilight as a matter of fact. (The two ships look nothing alike, but I could get the same support crew in either as long as the Twilight was made at about that scale – if it ever will be made at all.) It is amazing that Hasbro did not make the Starspeeder as well. It is of great quality.

    I did not really experience distribution problems at all however. “I am a stocking hour stalker and a first in the isle morning-walker.” I’m also thinking about reworking these lyrics into a parody song to the tune of one of the Steve Miller Band’s.

    Now the cancelled and moved waves of figures really bothered me. I’m not sure which year the Noghri was cancelled from. It was part of the comic 2-pack waves that Darryl DePriest so effectively championed – save for the fact that I believe the line should have been strictly based on Dark Horse material and the Marvel stuff could have been issued as exclusives so it wouldn’t back up the momentum of the line. That Nom Anor was pushed back into Spring 2012 and should have been out last year also irritates me, but I keep my fingers crossed that he is still coming and that there will be opportunities to buy other single-carded Yuuzhan Vong in the future, as well as other characters from New Jedi Order. I was not pursuing Wedge in any flight outfit of his, so that didn’t bother me, though I like to see this important character get his fair due. The price increases did not irritate me that much as I was buying so much less Star Wars, that it really didn’t affect me. The new vintage cards are beautiful, but I am a diorama builder and not a carded collector – so I just like to look at them in the store. I saw all I wanted to see so far.

    From the vehicles, I really appreciated getting some of the new releases for 2011 – ships I really wanted made. I suspect we’ll cover that further later in this review, however.

    I do not like how Star Wars is functioning without Darryl DePriest on top of every day-to-day thing. I am happy for him for his promotion, but wonder, “if he’s the boss, can’t he micro-manage Star Wars, as long as he is in control of the brand’s situation?” It’s not like he doesn’t have fun doing it. Somehow, I think the latest cool things we are seeing are remnants from Darryl’s influence. I keep meaning to write a letter – as a Hasbro stockholder – requesting that Darryl return to a hands-on role with the Star Wars brand. (But for sure, let him keep any increase in salary that came with his new position – the man does a great job!) I sure hope Darryl comes out to Comic Con.

    I think season 2 of the Clone Wars remains my favorite, in so far as the cartoon series is concerned.

    I’m not planning on going to Florida for a Star Wars Celebration. I may at some point in the future, but not this time. I went to Celebrations 1-2-3, as there were new movies and Star Wars was cresting. I’m not sure I feel the attraction right now.

    The delay or cancellation of the live-action TV series has very much cooled the fire.

    I don’t know if I can go to see ANY Star Wars movie in 3-D. All these movies are old now. I am a fan of getting obscure characters to complete my dioramas, new comics and books like Dawn of the Jedi and Darth Plagueis, and the cartoon series as it chugs along.

    Star Wars is not quite experiencing a Dark Age such as during the years from 1985 to 1991, but obviously the movie projects is where its strength lay. The Fan Club stopped publishing the Insider (it’s still going with a pretty big fanzine press company though) and I didn’t use their forums. One here is enough to keep up with, though I’m registered at a handful of other sites. Also I think Hyperspace subscriptions are long gone as well. Now it’s time to move on. Might I suggest “Buried Values?”

    Oh –but Darth Maul should have never been brought back. If it were up to me, Obi-Wan killed him at the end of TPM. We’ll see how Clone Wars handles it. But I like the idea that it was a revenge killing for the death of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan accessed the Force to let him do it – actually acting as an agent of justice (on Qui-Gon’s behalf).


    - BEST ANIMATED 3.75" FIGURES -

    Now I really liked how both the figures of Savage Opress came out – especially the shirtless one. Chewbacca was fun, too. And I like the new Ahsoka. Yup, I liked getting Castas, too. I have a few extra speederbikes – but that’s OK as Boba Fett can ride them as I won’t need to buy him on his speederbike this way. Commander Jet and Commander Colt were cool figures. So was the Stealth Ops Clone and the Aqua Droid. Seripas takes the cake however. That figure is a lot of fun and nice detail!

    The Clone Wars line was really what I got most excited about in 2011 – the figures and vehicles.


    - BEST REALISTIC 3.75" FIGURES -

    I really appreciated getting Padme Peasant Disguise – a very useful figure to me for my dioramas even though I’m no great fan of this outfit. The fact that all her other AOTC costumes were better leaves me with great hope we’ll see some of them produced. The Weequay Skiff Master and Bom Vimdim were great. Jabba’s Palace and the Cantina usually produce winners. And we finally got the Echo Base Trooper – who though he’s really plain – helps to complete the modernization of the entire 80’s vintage line. (We’re almost done after 17 years, what Kenner made in 7 years – but there were the huge prequels and tons of never-made-before-characters I must give Hasbro credit for.) And the MOUSE DROID was carded in all its glory. But I think the Padme Peasant Disguise figure was ultimately most useful to me (for 2 dioramas - the freighter scene where I could display other aliens as she eats with Anakin and R2 – and her meeting with the yet-to-be-made Queen Jamilla and Naboo personnel, for which we at least have new guard figures). So a none-too-flashy, rather dull but necessary figure gets the nod from me. Good job, Padme.

    JediTricks, except for Bom Vimdim, I did not buy many of the vintage figures that you bought.


    - WORST 3.75" FIGURES -

    Nothing really bothered me.

    - BEST BATTLEPACK / MULTI-PACK -

    There was nothing useful in 2011 that I recall.

    - BEST 3.75" VEHICLE OF THE YEAR -

    I loved the Walking Cannon. I wanted this to build Christophis. And I saw JediTricks’ Republic Assault Shuttle and greatly appreciated it (I own one but haven’t opened it yet – I just needed the wingspan measurements on it so I could buy an appropriately sized case to display it in with the wings open).
    If the Droid Gunship counts for this year, it gets another accolade. I have to take the Republic Assault Shuttle as my favorite though.


    - BEST 12"-FORMAT FIGURE -

    Did Commander Gree ship in 2011? For whatever reason, I like him better than Commander Bly, even though Gree includes less gear. I think I just like his look and paint scheme. Otherwise Bly gets my vote. I ordered quite a bit of SideShow, but most of their products like my Battle Droids came this year 2012 and therefore don’t count for the year we are reviewing).

    - 2011 STAR WARS FIGURE OF THE YEAR -

    I guess I have to choose Seripas.

    MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2012

    We used to have this category.

    Well, I’ll create it:

    1. Vintage line 3 ” – Nom Anor. Should be a great figure. I know I’m not buying much else.
    2. Clone Wars 3 ” - - Scuba Ahsoka – though we need Padme, Anakin, the Prince, and Riff Tamsen!
    3. Vehicle – the MTT. I can’t wait to get this one!!!
    4. SideShow 12” – Commander Bacara looks good so far.

    MOST WANTED IN THE FUTURE

    1. Vintage 3 ” – AOTC Padme figures, ROTS Padme figures, Queen Jamilla, Bail Organa in other ROTS outfits, Rakghoul, Zayne Carrick, Noghri, Anakin Solo, Jaina Solo training suit (like Jacen’s), Jacen Solo / Darth Caedus, Yuuzhan Vong single-carded, Nomi Sunrider, Mandalorian Soldier (Sith War era), Emperor Fel, Princess Marisiah Fel
    2. Clone Wars 3 ” – Mon Calamari Prince, Riff Tamsen, Echo in Training Gear, Senator Farr of Rodia, Bail Organa, Padme as Senator, Chancellor Palpatine, WagToo, Nute Gunray, Dutchess Satine, Trandoshan Hunter father & Son
    3. Vehicle – Jabba’s Sailbarge, The Twilight, Wookiee Catamaran, Republic Cruiser (Radiant VII from TPM-style), Dooku’s solar sailor, Hondo Ohnaka’s flying saucer Rapier-One, Hondo Ohnaka’s assault tank, Jedi transport ship (angelfish style)
    4. SideShow 12” –Weequay, Princess Leia red Bespin dress, Princess Leia Green Endor Poncho, Destroyer Droid, General Grievous’ Magna Body Guard Droid, Yuuzhan Vong, Mara Jade, Nute Gunray, Lando General, Nikto, Ahsoka Tano
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

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