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  1. #1

    This year's "top figure" is going to be brutal to decide on

    It just dawned on me that we're in the last month of the year and nothing new is on the horizon, the final TVC wave has shipped to customers, there's no expectation of Clone Wars or Legacy Collection 2 to look for late-year releases on, the 2012 Star Wars line is essentially done... and looking back through the year, there's almost nothing exciting from it.

    Let me explain what I mean: removing the issue of distribution entirely, there were very few figures released in the January to December 2012 period compared to other recent years, and of those while many were dutiful and didn't fail, very few were actually above and beyond the quality expected.

    It's as if the line was just treading water, there weren't significant articulation coups, weren't many paint/deco jobs went above the bare minimum to get by, weren't figures with an overabundance of accessories included, that sort of thing.

    In short, there weren't many "wow" figures.

    Perhaps that is due to the stagnant nature of the line, or the higher expectations with the price hitting $10 a figure, but when looking at the figures from the last year, there are a lot more "oh yeah, that one was nice" figures than truly exceptional and thus memorable ones. There's also been a lot of missteps this year: missed paint opportunities, missing or sub-standard accessories, wonky soft-goods, questionable articulation choices. Sometimes those issues were major, but more often they were minor and just led a figure to being "ok, fine, good" instead of "great, impressive, totally worth ten bucks" territory.

    Here's the list of figures I came up with as 2012 standouts, and it took real mental muscle just to get to these.
    • Darth Malgus
    • Starkiller
    • ANH Vader
    • Shae Vizla
    • Biker Scout (from the Speeder Bike set)
    • Sith Witch (the Sith Witch sculpt was released in the Clone Wars line as a generic Nightsister in a Target 3-pack)
    • Battle Droid

    And of those, only Malgus and Starkiller feel enough like real wins to break out, the rest I can't yet foresee giving them the top honor. Malgus has the sculpting, intricate detail, quality paint, and soft goods to make a run; while Starkiller has an accurate sculpt, decent articulation, and great accessories to push back. Yet there are X-factors in the rest that could potentially sway my opinion - Shae for example has a lot of intricate sculpting and paint, yet she's held back by a few little things like her tiny waist and preposed torso.

    I guess my frustration is as much about the limited nature of what we got: 6 waves of figures we actually saw from TVC, the Discover the Force wave at WM, a few odds and ends entries in Movie Heroes, and essentially no Clone Wars. It was not much, it was nearly all hard to find except the TPM wave, it came with a price increase and a light quality decrease, and just a feeling of a lack of inspiration for anything other than TPM's re-release.

    What do you guys think, are you going to have an easy time pointing to a handful of figures and saying "I really liked these and think they represent the best of what Hasbro Star Wars has to offer to fans overall", or like me are you going to feel stymied?
    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
    My Renegades Cobra Commander said Ric Olie is the best Star Wars figure of 2012. I think Ric put him up to it, though. I didn't know an action figure could sweat. I asked around, and both Scarlett and Sandstorm Leia just smiled and said, "Mmm-hmm!"

    Being totally serious, no fooling, if Jar Jar had either come with an alternate head with a less neutral expression (Joe does it, so why not?) or been able to look upward (or, better yet, both of those possibilities), I honestly think he'd have been a shoo-in.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  3. #3
    Let's see, top figure of 2012?

    Kithaba, hands down. Weequay takes a close second. Easy enough.
    "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. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    My Renegades Cobra Commander said Ric Olie is the best Star Wars figure of 2012. I think Ric put him up to it, though. I didn't know an action figure could sweat. I asked around, and both Scarlett and Sandstorm Leia just smiled and said, "Mmm-hmm!"

    Being totally serious, no fooling, if Jar Jar had either come with an alternate head with a less neutral expression (Joe does it, so why not?) or been able to look upward (or, better yet, both of those possibilities), I honestly think he'd have been a shoo-in.
    That Jar Jar has his paint inverted as well, and a few other issues that hold it back like the ugly and not that useful neck joints. Plus... Jar Jar as best of the year? Uhhhh, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    Let's see, top figure of 2012?

    Kithaba, hands down. Weequay takes a close second. Easy enough.
    You don't surprise me sir. Not in the least.

    I still think both of them are good but not outstanding.
    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.

  5. #5
    I think Dr. Evazan was the top figure of 2012, but thats because he's been on the top of my want list for some time. He was a long time coming and when they finally did make him, they did it right.

    A few others I really liked were Kithaba, Bespin Han, Gungan Warrior, Nikto Skiff Guard, and Mon Cal Pilot Pilot. For the most part, the quality of the TVC line was good, but the distribution and price increases dampened my enthusiasm for the line.

  6. #6
    I agree that Dr. Evazan was the best of a pretty good (but not stellar) class.

    For figure of the year though, I really think you need to go ironic and name Vintage Qui Gon Jinn. He was/is readily available (which you really can't say about many figures this year.) It's a good sculpt (so good that this is not he first time we've seen it.) He helped roll out the new price point which has been great for helping move figures (when a sale happens.) Um, he has a lightsaber. Did I mention he's easy to find?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jedibear
    TPM:
    Anakin Skywalker - yeah, we got the little Jedi Padawan version, but what about the "Tatooine" version? He spent most of the movie in that get-up and there was the chance to include some great accesories...most (if not all) that could have been recycled from previous versions....

    AOTC:
    Count Dooku - this one is a stunning omission to me. He's a major player in AOTC and there is no representation of him in the VC?

    Padme Amidala - in the white "action" outfit, again..a missed chance to re-visit this version of the female lead and load it up with some good accessories....

    ROTS:
    Tarfful - another wookiee other than Chewie, and the figure could have benefited from an update...the ROTS one was pretty bad. Hasbro has done some really great upgrades with Chewie and it would've been cool to see that happen with Tarfful too...

    ANH:
    Death Star Droid an upgrade would be cool
    Jawas

    ESB:
    General Veers - a new "bells-n-whistles" version
    Snowtrooper - same

    ROTJ:
    Oola - an update on the par with "Slave Leia" would have been cool.

    Anyway...I know I ended up way off topic here, but....well. I still don't have a "best of 2012" pick for the Vintage Collection....
    Most of these are pretty good choices. We're getting an arena Padmé soon that looks great, and Dooku was sorely missing. But we did get a few new Death Star Droids in the build-a-droid line, we already got a vintage Snowtrooper in 2007, and the Oola from the 2010 Jabba set fits that bill for me. I'm a little wary of repacks in this line, since every single one of them pegwarmed in my area. I do wonder how they'll deal with TVC's return, especially with the new films.

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