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  1. #11
    I can't imagine what would happen if Hasbro tried making this the new standard for their action figure lines. Maybe if they dropped the prices back down to under $6 per figure, then I could go for it.

    They are very well sculpted, I will give them credit for that. So I wouldn't totally abandon the Star Wars line if this is a hint of what the future holds.
    "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

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    I hadn't thought of it until BigB bumped this thread, but it's interesting that this coincides with the new G.I. Joe vehicles having driver figures with similar articulation. They're highly-detailed figures, but they have only five points of articulation--almost a slap in the face, given that Joes have always been known for their articulation. Apparently, at JoeCon this past weekend, Hasbro reps answered the question of "WHY?!?" by saying that it was a cost-cutting measure, and they could either include limited-articulation figures with the vehicles or not include figures at all. (Which is odd--not all vehicles have included figures, and most that have included them have included repaints or kitbashes with limited new parts.)

    Like JJL mentioned in the first post, none of this makes sense. These weird BattlePacks and the Joe drivers are both thrown out with the justification being that the limited-articulation figures cost less to produce. However, it seems obvious that it would cost more to tool these figures than to re-release existing figures (which most past BattlePacks and, again, Joe drivers) have been.
    Basically, I think Hasbro doesn't believe that modern kids will buy a vehicle without a figure unless it's super exciting, and since they deliver a lot of vehicles that are cool only when you already know about them, a figure helps seal the deal. That said, making sub-par figures only undermines the whole line.

    GI Joe has a significant existing tooling library out the wing-wang and could easily call to that library for figures, but I suspect either the factories that do the vehicles don't have access to the figure molds so it'd be complex to get it all packaged, or that Hasbro doesn't have faith in their existing tooling library even for pack-ins.

    These Battle Pack figures, I understand the concept - kids are stymied by too much articulation, it detracts from the fun instead of adding to it sometimes. But there is a thing of taking that too far into worthless territory, and judging by BB's comments, it sounds like they marched deep into there and planted a fail-flag.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    I can't imagine what would happen if Hasbro tried making this the new standard for their action figure lines. Maybe if they dropped the prices back down to under $6 per figure, then I could go for it.

    They are very well sculpted, I will give them credit for that. So I wouldn't totally abandon the Star Wars line if this is a hint of what the future holds.
    I cannot see this line backsliding to that level of quality at that price, not when it's so collector-driven and they have such a successful SW tooling library to call from for lines like Movie Heroes. IMO, that'd just alienate collectors and leave kids feeling like they got a low-quality product that their peers wouldn't accept (let's face it, that's how it works sometimes).
    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.

  3. #13
    I will say that the helmet sculpt on this new BP Vader is actually better than the one for the new TVC Vader, IMO. If it weren't for the dullness issue, I might consider attempting a head swap.

    The sculpting of these figures is what keeps them from being a complete waste. I think Boba Fett might have the best Fett helmet sculpt in the entire line. At least the best sculpt since the 300th Boba from 2000.

    Overall this BP feels like a completely separate line of SW figures that are NOT made by Hasbro. Almost like the line's been rebooted by a company like Mattel or someone else and these are the first figures out of the gate. That's how radical a departure, from what we have become accustomed to, these figures seem to be.
    "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

  4. #14
    I picked up the Duel on Naboo set today at Target; it was the only one, and the Bespin Battle was nowhere to be found.

    Obi-Wan is the best figure in the set. The head is very similar (if not identical, I didn't compare) to the Movie Heroes light-up lightsaber figure. It's the best TPM Obi-Wan head by a mile, and they should have used it instead of the 2009 TLC head that they were content to re-release everywhere this year (or they should at least use it going forward). He has a ball-joint head, plus swivel arms and legs - the same as the other figures here. Due to the limited movement, he doesn't have many poses that look any good, but he looks pretty good in a ready-for-battle stance, as if he's waiting for his chance to whoop on Maul. His T-crotch looks pretty crappy, and while he can sit, I'm not sure it's any better than any of the "normal" skirt-and-leg combos they've used over the years.

    Darth Maul is okay. It's the third all-new sculpt of him this year (in addition to several re-releases and repaints); again, though, the head might be a Movie Heroes reuse, but I didn't compare them and it just seems a little bigger. His best pose is with his saber in his left hand, as he looks like he's holding it out similar to how he did the first time he ignites both blades (but he's baring his teeth, so it doesn't quite work). When he holds it in his right hand, it's pretty much vertical, and he looks more like he's just showing it to someone than using it to fight. His crotch isn't as bad as the others since it's darker, but the split down the front of his robes is distracting. I thought the legs would be a solid, chunky piece, but they feel look somewhat hollow if you separate them or "look up his dress," so to speak, meaning that they didn't fill out the empty space where his robes wouldn't normally go. I guess that's fine, it's just not what I expected, and it looks strange when the legs are separated.

    Qui-Gon is also just all right. The face looks really good in profile, but straight-on it seems too skinny and the beard looks too long. I think it's a new sculpt, and the skin is painted. The hair looks a little thick, like they didn't want to sculpt more of it or something, which looks cheap from the back. He's just kind of "standing there" more than the other two, with straightish arms and legs. His right hand has the first two fingers extended, but the saber looks better in that hand anyway. His legs can't move as much as Obi-Wan's, so I don't know how good he'd be at sitting in vehicles.

    All the figures are also pretty lacking in paint, but it kind of works on these figures. The hair on the Jedi is flat brown with no highlights, and the costumes are all one flat color (broken up by the belts and other small details). It could look better (and has on previous versions), but it's really not that bad. It's preferable to the weirdly gray Maul from the Evolutions set, or Obi-Wan's inaccurately brown pants from a couple releases. Maul's tattoos all look good, and the eyes are fine. I guess when there's less to do, there's less to mess up, so everything looks fine.

    The accessories are all old news. Obi-Wan's saber is the same as the TLC version, with only one bit of black detail. Maul and Qui-Gon get old molds without the post-2002 flare that we're all used to by now.

    Even after having the set in-hand, I still don't fully "get" this line. As JT said, it seems to be about young kids being unable to deal with too much articulation (but I'm not sure at which point kids are fine with more articulation, and never considered that to be an issue until Hasbro brought it up - I grew up in the limited-articulation period). If that's the case, then they could have easily gone back to the 1999 figures for that - the early 2000 versions had even less articulation than the 1999 ones (having removed the elbow joints), plus soft goods so that they could sit just fine. Boom, the kids are happy, the collectors can ignore them, the set doesn't look too bad, and Hasbro saves money on tooling.

    But then they also put work into these new sculpts to seemingly appeal to collectors, but only took it so far - the head sculpts look great, the torsos look fine, but the legs are just ridiculous in 2012 (at least on the Naboo set). Completists and curious collectors (I fit into both categories) will get this set, so that guarantees their purchase in addition to the kid audience (unlike the Rebel Heroes and Geonosis battle packs, as collectors already have everything in there). But then collectors will get them and see them as inferior to the many versions of these characters they already have.

    The artwork on the back shows the figures in dynamic poses, bending their knees and holding their sabers with both hands. If only there was some magical way to make action figures able to do such wonderful things like move their limbs and properly hold their accessories . . . alas . . .
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
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  5. #15
    I wonder if an actual Kenner vintage style would work: only neck/shoulders/legs articulation, simple accessories, cloth goods, similar paint. But only for figures NEVER made (any Prequel, certain OT ones). Now I'd consider that. Then you'd know why they were sculpting them like that.
    CU Later. Contracted Universe? Later. :(

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Overall this BP feels like a completely separate line of SW figures that are NOT made by Hasbro. Almost like the line's been rebooted by a company like Mattel or someone else and these are the first figures out of the gate. That's how radical a departure, from what we have become accustomed to, these figures seem to be.
    I would not be surprised if Hasbro was using a new vendor factory for these (they don't own factories in China, they contract to several different ones), but if the sculpting is that good, it means they were able to translate the prototype sculpting (that part is done by Hasbro) into an articulated figure's tooling, which seems like a harder thing to do than just shoot the right plastic into them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Cam Jos View Post
    I wonder if an actual Kenner vintage style would work: only neck/shoulders/legs articulation, simple accessories, cloth goods, similar paint. But only for figures NEVER made (any Prequel, certain OT ones). Now I'd consider that. Then you'd know why they were sculpting them like that.
    I think kids cannot look at those old styles of sculpting and see it as a viable toy for them.


    Thanks for posting your thoughts JJL. I don't really understand why they'd release another Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon with so many other iterations hitting this half of the year. They're $20 sets for 3 figures, or more? The funny thing is, I am not even remotely tempted by these, so if they wanted the collector dollar they didn't really work too hard at it. If I had to choose an approximately $10 Hasbro statue or a $40 Kotobukiya statue, I'd go with the latter because they won't have these levels of compromises.
    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.

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