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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.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    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.

  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.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    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
    I liked Evazan, but the weird skinny neck, the undersold facial scarring, and the non-removable vest kept it off my list. Those aren't damning issues, but for me they were enough to keep it from sending it soaring higher.

    I want to say nicer things about the Gungan Warrior, it's not a bad figure for being 50% recycled parts, but the paint is simpler than it should be, the atlatl is missing its boomer, and the farseein is assembled backwards, that's why it stayed off my list.

    Ironic entry, that's a hell of a burn. Don't forget we had the figure on shelves at that same point in the Discover The Force line and I think it had been on shelves recently before as well.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  8. #8
    The neck and vest really didn't bother me at all. I think the painted scar version is a little better since it highlights the scarred area more.

  9. #9
    I think my favourites of the year come down to the three podracers and three long-awaited vintage updates (Kithaba, Nikto and Nien Nunb). Never thought I'd say this, but if I had to choose just one it would have to be......... Ben Quadinaros!! Hes just so unique and funky looking!
    Big thanks to DarkJedi5, TheRealDubya, obi-dad, morpheus282, Tycho and Kidhuman for great deals/trades.

  10. #10
    I like all the ewoks we got. I'm very serious and Lumat comes to mind, and the Kmart 2 packs were great
    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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