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  1. #1

    SSG's 2012 Year in Review

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    - OPENING REMARKS -
    Looking over the previous Year in Review, I closed with the sentence "May collecting in 2012 smite 2011 most heartily in the face!" - I don't have to tell you good folks that 2012 did nothing of the sort. Had Disney not bought Lucasfilm towards the end of this year and announced new movies, there'd not have been anything Star Wars to talk about at all. Hasbro's distribution issues continued to deteriorate. The 3D cinematic release of The Phantom Menace came and went without making much of an impact. Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG - considered to be the most expensive video game ever developed - despite its decent reviews didn't end up blowing minds, instead it struggled and eventually had to add a free-to-play option to keep it from folding on itself. Lucasfilm took the controversial step of bringing Darth Maul back to life in The Clone Wars as a junk-legged loony. The new comedic Star Wars cartoon, SW: Detours, was revealed to have a disturbing aesthetic and questionable sense of humor. Hasbro ate it on their TPM-themed focus letting their TVC 2012 wave 1 linger far too long on pegs, and the company continued the downward spiral of Star Wars collecting this year by releasing fewer figures at higher prices, changing the regular vehicles line for the significantly worse, choking the life out of The Clone Wars line, and canceling products. While I don't think ending The Vintage Collection is a bad thing, I do think relegating the line to just 5 retail releases (4 of which were difficult for much of the year) and a final online-exclusive wave was a painful way to go. To call 2012 a "challenging year for Star Wars collectors" would be an understatement as it seems as if this was the year that shed off more collectors than any prior.

    Yet there were some interesting events and developments in 2012 as well. Popular mobile game Angry Birds released a Star Wars title that in many ways was the most interesting game in that series, and licensees jumped on the Angry Birds Star Wars bandwagon with a deluge of products. Kotobukiya stepped up their line of Star Wars silicone ice cube trays considerably. Fans got to be put in carbonite at Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World. Hasbro finally delivered an all-new, vastly-more-accurate Speeder Bike on a clear stand, complete with an all-new Biker Scout figure, and at a price collectors could live with; and the Big H also released fan-demanded Jedi Librarian Jocasta Nu as an online exclusive after the original vendor dropped out on it. eFX showed off work on a Biker Scout helmet and a replica of Ray Park's own personal screen-used Darth Maul lightsaber hilt. Walt Disney World brought back the Build-a-Droid system in a new expression, and Hasbro announced that they would be bringing Build-a-Droid back to the mainline in 2013. Lucasfilm put spurs to the 3D releases, announcing that both remaining prequels would get released in 2013. Gentle Giant took on the Kenner Boba Fett and delivered a jumbo version of the original lost rocket-firing backpack design - a decades-old promise finally delivered. Celebration VI went off with another visit from George Lucas. And of course, the big surprise announcement late in the year that George Lucas had sold Lucasfilm entirely to Disney for $4 billion, was donating the entire take to educational charity, and that Disney was going to begin production immediately on new Star Wars films.


    - BEST ANIMATED 3.75" FIGURES -
    Were there any new animated figures this year? Could have fooled me. Almost every new release was a Clone Trooper with a new helmet, and there weren't even exciting ones in there. I guess by default I have to give it to Darth Maul robo-legs from the Target-exclusive 3-pack because it's the only animated figure I actually bought new to 2012, and it's not even that great a figure - the legs are missing a crucial rotation joint which makes them virtually useless to pose. I'd have preferred to give it to the Nightsister from that pack, it's a better figure, but it's not screen-accurate to Clone Wars because it's actually an existing unused realistic Sith Witch figure repurposed, so I merely think of it as that instead. I forgot, I also bought the realistic animated figures - TVC Clone Wars Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka - and they're fine but not "best" in any way... can't have winners without losers, right? (Oh, that's not right? Well, here it's right because that's how it is.)

    - BEST REALISTIC 3.75" FIGURES -
    A tough year for this expression as there simply weren't a lot of figures, and a lot of those were good but not knockouts as quality and number of paint apps went down all while prices went up yet again. To choose from, we have 6 waves of basic Vintage Collection - most of which were exceptionally difficult to find due to TPM pegwarmers overwhelming a majority of the year and the Lost Line wave pegwarming the last quarter - as well as some scattered new entries in the Movie Heroes line and the "Discover the Force in 3D" Walmart-exclusive line. My choices for top realistic figures start with a trio of video game figures: Darth Malgus from TOR with a strong Vader vibe but a unique sculpt and paint job as well as nice soft-goods; Shae Vizla also from TOR doesn't quite have a Star Wars look, but except for a small waist has a strong sculpt and deco; and Starkiller from The Force Unleashed II with the most accurate headsculpt yet and a lot of of accessories so as to convey a 2nd outfit from the game. Also on my list, Darth Vader ANH with an updated, more screen-accurate sculpt coupled with ball-hinged hips lead to a figure that looks like a dozen prior at first blush but upon closer inspection elevates the character to modern quality; the Battle Droid makes the list by being much more screen-accurate, having better articulation, and it can fold up; the Biker Scout from the Speeder Bike set is an all-new and vastly-improved sculpt with enhanced articulation, and although it's got deco misstep at the ankles and shoulders with black hinges on white armor, it's still impressive and will be getting a mainline release next year; and finally, I'm giving the aforementioned Sith Witch figure (aka CW Nightsister) a nod here as it's a pretty accurate realistic sculpt right down to the lightsaber hilt, even if it is based on a piece of TPM concept art.

    - WORST 3.75" FIGURES -
    While distribution proved far and away to be the line's biggest enemy, not a lot of figures were actively bad this year on their own merits, most just suffered from mere adequacy or not living up to the higher pricetag. But how many Ep 1 Qui-Gons and Obi-Wans did Hasbro really think folks wanted? Those 2 molds ended up on pegs in 3 different lines - TVC, Discover the Force, and Movie Heroes - in overwhelming volume for each, the TVC expressions still pegwarming today nearly a year after release, and then they released even more of those characters with light-up figures in Movie Heroes! They're not terrible molds, but Hasbro way overestimated the hype which the 3D releases would bring to these characters. Discover the Force and Movie Heroes repacks took lesser molds and shoved them down our throats at higher prices, gee thanks for clogging shelves but no. TVC Nom Anor just makes my list because of his somewhat simplistic body sculpt and articulation, it doesn't look like a modern figure to me. All 21 of the MTT figures - the old re-released Ep I Obi-Wan, the 4 low-articulation Battle Droids, and the 16 little-green-army-man-style Battle Droids all serve to underwhelm such a high-priced vehicle release. The TVC Royal Guard should have been amazing, but I find this figure frustrating to no end, the robes are too big, helmet too loose, figure underneath based on a CCG likeness for the face, and the body a bland interpretation of the Crucible training outfit except not impressively. Both new Movie Heroes "battle packs in name only" where $20 got you 3 hollow, cheaply-made new-sculpt figures that clearly nobody wanted as they're still warming shelves 3 seasons later - it's not a "battle" if there's only 3 guys, that is just a scuffle. And to round it out, 1 true easy choice: Blu-Ray deleted scene TVC Lightsaber Construction Luke Skywalker - the face isn't a bad sculpt, but the hair is parted on the wrong side, the robe is a prequel Jedi-type robe instead of Luke's ROTJ cloak and is even brown instead of black, a sculpted-on belt sash too large and a removable belt that's got too many boxes so it looks wrong too.

    - BEST 3.75" VEHICLE OF THE YEAR -
    Almost no new vehicle releases this year, although last year's lost Mandalorian Shuttle did get a brief release through the Toys R Us Black Friday 2-pack. So the choice is between the Naboo Fighter which is virtually unseen, the Trade Federation MTT nobody wanted that dedicated its resources too heavily around a single gimmick, a number of re-releases, a few new Class-I fleet molds that didn't get much pegtime, and the single vehicle that deserves this title head and shoulders above everything else. Unveiled at Comic-Con to notable fanfare, able to hold a figure firmly in place, finely sculpted with accuracy in mind, featuring an engine bay and snap-on parts to bolster alternate display interest, an un-wilting body and a clear hovering stand, it's the TRU-exclusive Imperial Speeder Bike with Biker Scout. How could anything else but this get the best vehicle award? At the Hasbro booth at Comic-Con, designer Brian Merten let fans hold the production model he brought and reposition the included new-sculpt Biker Scout figure, encouraged fans to shake it to prove the figure would stay on no matter what, and in exchange got the most spontaneous positive comments from passers-by since Hasbro revealed the BMF in 2008.

    - BEST 12"-FORMAT FIGURE -
    This year had a few more clones - as jedibear pointed out - putting us into "complete" territory for ROTS Clones; the Tusken Raider; Battle Droid 2-pack; Battle Droid with STAP; IG-88; and of course, the big boy, Boba Fett. Each deserves positive marks, not a loser in the bunch, but each was also somewhat higher-priced compared to recent days so that tempers excitement and puts greater scrutiny onto each one. The Battle Droid for example is a fantastic sculpt yet somehow the backpack sits way too high, the set has no stands, and someone screwed up the scale of its gun so it doesn't fit correctly in its hand - how does that stuff happen at this level? The Tusken Raider looks pretty darn good using mixed media, yet it's quite expensive for a humanoid with so few accessories, so one notices the loose ankles and odd undersuit easily, and the Hasbro-quality material used for the outer robe (gauzy, thin, overly crinkled, translucent) plus the simplistic deco on the inner robe hold it back a little at its price. And then there's Boba Fett, a figure fans have been dying to see expressed correctly in this scale since Sideshow first got this license in 2005, and he finally shipped a few days before Comic-Con; yet he shipped with a helmet design from ROTJ instead of ESB and a color darker than the rest of his armor, as well as a boxy thick vest holding his armor plates, which set some collectors teeth on edge - all of which might have been forgivable at $90 to $125, but at a whopping $175 makes it a challenge for collectors to overlook even slight issues such as the wide stance of the crotch design; sure Fett came with a light-up carbonite chamber-inspired deluxe stand, but is that enough to justify such a large price jump? All that said, in weighing everything, Boba Fett still stands out as this year's best 12-inch figure; while true that it's not a perfect version of the ESB look of the character, it's a really darn good expression as an idealized entity. There's a sharpness to the Sideshow sculpt, a cleanness to the rangefinder's lines, more effort put into a scaled paint job, and a thoughtfulness put into the shin tools and even the non-removable helmet's liner which instantly tell an impressive tale to the naked eye. There are no other Boba Fett poseable figures at any scale that express this character even half as well.

    - 2012 STAR WARS FIGURE OF THE YEAR -
    At first I thought it was going to come down to Starkiller vs. Darth Malgus as both are some of the stronger figures to come out this year, yet upon reflecting on them for this article I see deco and sculpt things that keep them both from delivering that "best of the best" feeling. The next instinct is to go with the Biker Scout, but as good as it is, there's a bit of slop in every paint app I've seen so far, and those black shoulder hinges are a big problem even understanding the business decision behind the choice; the Biker Scout is a fine figure but it's more impressive as an experience with the Speeder Bike than on its own. This year there were a lot of adequate figures like that - Kithaba, the latest Sandtrooper, Nikto, Nien Nunb, Evazan, Weequay, TVC Darth Maul are all ok, but with reduced paint apps for some, reduced sculpt sharpness for others, they are not standouts, not home runs, they're fine but not "wow". When I look at 2012's collecting year, the only "wow" items are the Speeder Bike which is more about the set than the figure, and Sideshow's 12-inch Battle Droid 2-pack and Boba Fett... but I've never picked a Sideshow for figure of the year before. I know Fett has taken some licks from other Sideshow collectors for real issues; and the Battle Droids are lightweight, topple easily, and lack nuanced weathering along with the aforementioned accessory problems -- but in my eyes either could be justified here when there are no viable Hasbro choices, both look nice and deliver their Star Wars experience with sharp sculpting and expressive articulation. Ultimately, I'm giving 2012 Star Wars figure of the year to Sideshow 12-inch Boba Fett, who takes the win from the Battle Droids sheerly through coming with more stuff, more accessories means more Star Wars!

    Already, Star Wars in 2013 looks like it'll be enjoying an upswing in many crucial areas, so let's see 2013 break the downward spiral and deliver a fantastic year for Star Wars across all its expressions.
    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
    - 2012 Overview
    James Luceno's long-in-the-works Darth Plagueis hit bookstores and proved to be one of the most thrilling Star Wars novels in years, giving Palpatine an appropriately twisted backstory and putting an unexpected spin on the events of TPM.

    The focus on The Phantom Menace that coincided with the film's February 3D re-release had me feeling like it was 1999 all over again . . . at least for a while. Darth Maul glared at us from store shelves and popped up on everything from bus stop posters to Brisk Iced Tea to cheapo slap bracelets. The added depth afforded by the meticulous 3D conversion brought out new details that I hadn't noticed even after seeing the film countless times over the last 13 years and added a stunning new level of immersion to the viewing experience. Unfortunately, whether it was due to recently having bought the film on Blu-ray, not caring about the 3D element, or just plain not liking the film, audiences didn't exactly flock to the theaters for this one, which is a shame.

    The Clone Wars finished its fourth season with a bang - the slaver arc, Death Watch, Obi-Wan undercover among bounty hunters, and the entire setup was all a ruse by Palpatine to test Anakin's readiness to become a Sith apprentice, marking a new level of storytelling prowess for the series. The headline this season, of course, was the revival of Darth Maul, who reappeared in the final arc to seek his revenge; perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story was the growth of Asajj Ventress, who went from a sneering assassin to an independent bounty hunter. The first half of season five has included Darth Maul and Savage Opress recruiting a pirate army, the military origins of the Rebel Alliance, an exceedingly fun adventure with younglings attempting to build their lightsabers, and a bizarre excursion with R2-D2. Notably, Hondo Ohnaka has emerged throughout three of the four arcs as a hilarious breakout character with allegiances that match his ever-shifting moods. Previews of the rest of the season show a Republic Commando in action, Obi-Wan finally confronting Anakin about his relationship with Padmé, all kinds of craziness going down on Mandalore, and Darth Sidious teaching those Sith pretenders a lesson about the rule of two, so I'm enormously optimistic for what 2013 has in store for this series.

    Celebration VI returned the party to swampy Orlando, though you wouldn't know it with the convention center's nonstop air conditioning. Ian McDiarmid's first American convention appearance; hilarious and informative panels with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels; plus a few surprise appearances from George Lucas. Oh, and who was that strapping young man who won the first round of the trivia championship? The only big news items out of the convention were first previews of the sometimes-funny, sometimes-cringe-worthy Star Wars: Detours; and Attack of the Clones 3D would be coming a few months late while Revenge of the Sith 3D would be coming a few months early. The nearby Disney Hollywood Studios offered up their new Droid Factory station, with its 71 different parts having me attempt to create 25 droids; and even though it premiered in 2011, this was my first opportunity to ride Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, and as a big fan of the original I have to say the updated version is absolutely amazing.

    On the Hasbro front, things were a heavily mixed bag. In The Vintage Collection, the new items were mostly all great, but they were nearly impossible to find among the overpriced, repacked, poorly-chosen junk that is still rotting on the pegs everywhere. After a hit-or-miss 2011, the first 2012 wave of The Vintage Collection brought us ten fantastic new sculpts that included the final TPM Queen Amidala outfit, some long-awaited podracers, a gorgeous new Battle Droid, and a super-articulated Darth Maul, plus repacks of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon (that could have used some freshening up, but nevertheless looked cool on vintage cards). They showed up everywhere, proving easy to find after a year of bad distribution... and then stayed there. Hasbro then made the dubious decision to carry most of these figures forward in the majority of two subsequent case assortments, so even if the new waves did make it to stores near you, the new figures would move quickly and leave their TPM casemates behind to completely block the flow of new product.

    Movie Heroes replaced Saga Legends (RIP, 2007-2011) to bring us a first wave that was, truly and purely, crap. Unsurprisingly, nobody wanted to buy stuff they had bought at half the price years earlier, so this line clogged the pegs as well, making the next two waves - which actually included some fun action features and nice head sculpts - impossible to locate, and the fact that Walmart sold many lookalike or identical figures in similar packaging certainly didn't help matters. The Battle Packs line deserves a special slap on the wrist for starting out the year by selling three-packs of decade-old garbage before devoting resources to baffling all-new figures with only five points of articulation each, firmly planted in the no-man's land between kid and collector and making nobody happy in the process. Even vehicles followed suit, pushing out seven old Class II molds for $5 to $10 more than they were worth and only updating the interior to the AAT. This prevented the in-store sale of the extraordinary new Naboo Fighter, which deserves another release. A similar fate befell the Class I line, though somehow the three new releases did actually make it out after the four repacks. Oddly enough, pretty much all of this year's exclusive items were significantly easier to find than most "mainstream" releases, which I'm pretty sure isn't how it's supposed to be.

    Hasbro's The Clone Wars line didn't fare much better, only churning out 10 new figures out of 18 carded releases. Aside from that, there were two TCW battle packs, three Class I vehicles, one "Ultimate Gift Set" four-pack, and one repacked Anakin's Jedi Starfighter that you had to buy if you wanted to get the Naboo Fighter and green Republic Fighter Tank. That's a whopping total of 20 new figures, which sucks. It's even worse when you realize that the only previously unmade, non-clone character was the Nightsister, which wasn't really an animated figure, and wasn't really a Nightsister. The feeling that this line is on its last legs isn't helped by the realistic line continuing to bring in animated characters and designs, or the fact that next year's CW offerings include more Anakin and Obi-Wan redos and not much else. The show is still bringing out interesting designs that would make great figures for kids and collectors alike - Pong Krell, Rako Hardeen, spider-legs Maul, Gungi the Wookiee youngling, Huyang, new outfits for Asajj Ventress and Boba Fett, and so many easy clone repaints - and yet Hasbro insists that figures like these wouldn't sell.


    - Best Animated Figure
    Captain Rex and Commander Wolffe look great, but it seems that all the budget was put into their deco since they have frustratingly limited articulation and irremovable helmets. Scuba Ahsoka and the Scuba Clone Trooper are both pretty fun, and it's nice to get different figures from specific arcs like these. Nothing really knocked it out of the park this year, but I agree that Darth Maul from the Darth Maul Returns battle pack is the best animated figure in a bad year for animated figures. I would have liked a "knee" joint as well, but the figure is otherwise quite good and looks very cool. This figure will be repacked on a single card in the Yoda line look next year, but the battle pack will probably go on extreme clearance at Target here shortly, so the figure is definitely worth a look one way or another.

    - Best Realistic Figure
    There were quite a few figures that came close to being the best this year. The Battle Droid is certainly the figure I bought the most this year, or maybe any year - I got 28 of the bugger - and it does a lot of things really well, but I can't help but wish it could hold the blaster as seen in the film. (Having a more secure backpack or the ability to not topple over on a shelf would certainly help, too.) Take away all of his junky accessories and Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction) is an amazing version of the character as seen during the skiff battle (you can say the wind was blowing his hair that way, or something). Jar Jar Binks has a lovely sculpt with useful articulation, but falls short due to weirdly inverse deco on his face and unsightly knee joints cast in his skin tone. Even the Sandtrooper repaint deserves a mention for taking a figure nobody wanted to see again and making it worth another look, thanks to its spot-on deco and unique fold-out blaster. (Special shout-outs to Aurra Sing, the Biker Scout from the Speeder Bike, Ahsoka, and all eight Ewoks just because.) I don't want to make it seem like I'm nitpicking just to do so - these are all amazingly great figures and would have knocked us off our feet just a few years ago; that's a testament to how good Hasbro has gotten at making figures. But the two that made me really go "damn, now THAT is a figure" are Darth Vader (A New Hope) and Aayla Secura. Maybe it's the ball-joint hips. Maybe it's the gorgeous sculpts. Maybe it's the fact that I didn't think these were figures worth upgrading and they turned out better than I could have expected. Somehow, there is room for improvement on Vader - a ball-joint neck would add so much more personality - so I think I have to give the title to the astounding Aayla Secura, who is pretty much flawless. (Sorry, Darth. Too bad she didn't come out in 2011 as originally planned.)

    - Worst Realistic Figure
    You mentioned TVC's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, so I'll honor Hasbro's intent of having them everywhere all the time by mentioning them here as well. Had the figures just included updated ball-joint hips and/or new head sculpts - of which there were a few elsewhere this year - they could have freshened things up and not made us all so sick of them, but I guess they're not awful figures in and of themselves. Ignoring all the other repacks, those new battle pack figures really stunk up the joint. While Darth Vader actually looks pretty good on a shelf as scene filler and Luke could do the same if his hair weren't so cheeselike (I'm undecided on bulky Boba), Qui-Gon Jinn gets another mention here since he features the most boring stance and least effective head sculpt of his Naboo pack pals, all of whom have ridiculously bad, retro-looking articulation that cuts their robes in half like some kind of misguided vintage nightmare. But sadly, I might have to give the, er, honor to Grand Moff Tarkin. The sculpt is more or less adequate (if a little skinny in the face), and the cloth skirt is a good idea in theory. But holy crap is he green. Even Derryl DePriest expressed displeasure with how green this figure turned out, noting to me that it had to have been a conscious decision since the paint and fabric were sourced separately. This is a character that deserves a great figure on a great vintage card, and this release blew it so hard and makes me so sick it turns me . . . well, green.

    - Best Vehicle
    I'm one of the 15 people on the planet who own a Naboo Fighter, and immediately upon getting it I wanted more of them. The sliding cockpit is sweet, the droid socket rocks, the detail is spot-on, and the missile launchers and landing gear are nice additions. I'm also one of the five people who own an MTT Droid Transport, though I suspect that might change now that they're hitting post-holiday clearance. Yes, it's based around a single feature, but it's an awesome feature that's made even better when the transport is loaded up with TVC Battle Droids instead. Finally the droid army can actually take on the Republic and not look like a bunch of chumps! It might have come too late after the TPM 3D release and it might have been too expensive, but it's a ton of fun. In repaint land, the Kmart exclusive AT-ST Scout Walker took the great 2009 sculpt and finally gave it a great paint job - the fact that the necessary figures were released shortly thereafter was icing on the cake. But ultimately I have to agree that the Speeder Bike with Biker Scout just blows everything else away this year. We've all wanted a new one forever, and it arrives even better than expected with so many cool features and so much thought clearly put into every aspect. It's somewhat rare for a figure and vehicle to work well together with minimal effort, but this set does just that. Even though my Endor display is getting crowded, I now have four of these bad boys and wouldn't mind getting a few more. It goes so far beyond just checking off a much-needed update and reminds us how much fun collecting can (and should) be.


    - The Future of Star Wars
    In a year where it seemed like the biggest Star Wars news would be the Angry Birds characters dressing up like Jedi, Uncle George surprised everyone by selling the whole kit and caboodle to Disney, who quickly announced plans to release Episode VII in 2015 and bring out at least an entire trilogy of new films. This one-two punch knocked us all out for a minute, and set off a flurry of anticipation and speculation. For the first time since 1983, we really have no idea how the story will end, and Star Wars can transform from a property reflecting on its past to one looking intrepidly into the future. Thanks to Disney's reach and power, for the first time in a long time, the possibilities are truly endless. With Kathleen Kennedy running Lucasfilm and producing the new films and Michael Arndt writing the script based on George Lucas' story notes, I couldn't be more excited to see what Episode VII brings to the saga.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    - 2012 Overview
    James Luceno's long-in-the-works Darth Plagueis hit bookstores and proved to be one of the most thrilling Star Wars novels in years, giving Palpatine an appropriately twisted backstory and putting an unexpected spin on the events of TPM.
    I loved it, too!


    TPM's problem is that it's the only SW film that takes place before the entire galaxy is at war - though it is mostly peace-time in AOTC until the Battle of Geonosis, too.

    There is also not all that cool Star Wars tech gear that the Clones / Imperials will later bring into the fight.
    The Clone Wars finished its fourth season with a bang - the slaver arc, Death Watch, Obi-Wan undercover among bounty hunters, and the entire setup was all a ruse by Palpatine to test Anakin's readiness to become a Sith apprentice, marking a new level of storytelling prowess for the series. The headline this season, of course, was the revival of Darth Maul, who reappeared in the final arc to seek his revenge; perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story was the growth of Asajj Ventress, who went from a sneering assassin to an independent bounty hunter. The first half of season five has included Darth Maul and Savage Opress recruiting a pirate army, the military origins of the Rebel Alliance, an exceedingly fun adventure with younglings attempting to build their lightsabers, and a bizarre excursion with R2-D2. Notably, Hondo Ohnaka has emerged throughout three of the four arcs as a hilarious breakout character with allegiances that match his ever-shifting moods. Previews of the rest of the season show a Republic Commando in action, Obi-Wan finally confronting Anakin about his relationship with Padmé, all kinds of craziness going down on Mandalore, and Darth Sidious teaching those Sith pretenders a lesson about the rule of two, so I'm enormously optimistic for what 2013 has in store for this series.
    Clone Wars sounds like it will be great for the next half of Season 5! I've like most of it except they didn't need to bring Darth Maul back again and the droid episodes with the tiny colonel are seriously tiring me out.


    QUOTE] the first 2012 wave of The Vintage Collection brought us ten fantastic new sculpts that included the final TPM Queen Amidala outfit[/QUOTE]

    Finally. Now AOTC has a few more good choices, notably the Senator's Apartment and the Yellow waterfalls dress, and ROTS needs a lot of love (and not a Mustafar Padme resculpt coming out first!). Some people are in the hobby to complete all the appearances of a character, not worried about whether or not "they did something' in that scene.




    ,
    some long-awaited podracers,

    Yup!

    As to TPM vintage carded Obi-Wan, he could have come with his Jedi Cloak folded behind the figure and been carded in his white final duel look like he's pictured on his vintage card. I don't know why, but this would've made him look awesome.

    Before vintage died, I wanted a special Luke Dagobah from ESB with his Bespin jacket open from the "lifting the X-wing scene" after he fails. It's a cool new brief classic figure look. They made Echo Base Han (out of his Hoth outfit) didn't they?




    Hasbro's The Clone Wars line didn't fare much better, only churning out 10 new figures out of 18 carded releases. Aside from that, there were two TCW battle packs, three Class I vehicles, one "Ultimate Gift Set" four-pack, and one repacked Anakin's Jedi Starfighter that you had to buy if you wanted to get the Naboo Fighter and green Republic Fighter Tank. That's a whopping total of 20 new figures, which sucks. It's even worse when you realize that the only previously unmade, non-clone character was the Nightsister, which wasn't really an animated figure, and wasn't really a Nightsister. The feeling that this line is on its last legs isn't helped by the realistic line continuing to bring in animated characters and designs, or the fact that next year's CW offerings include more Anakin and Obi-Wan redos and not much else. The show is still bringing out interesting designs that would make great figures for kids and collectors alike - Pong Krell, Rako Hardeen, spider-legs Maul, Gungi the Wookiee youngling, Huyang, new outfits for Asajj Ventress and Boba Fett, and so many easy clone repaints - and yet Hasbro insists that figures like these wouldn't sell.

    Agreed.





    All the Ewok figures we got in exclusives 5 and 2 packs to carded Lumat were awesome! I think the modern Ewok collection is pretty definitive now, though maybe they could single-card Warok?


    Good review of the MTT JabbaJohn. I agree with you!



    Episode 7 needs to bring Jaina Solo - that's what it needs to bring.
    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.

  4. #4
    I'm not going to go too much in depth, but overall I can say that 2012 was a vast improvement over 2011.... but there was really no way that it couldn't have been without the line being cancelled altogether.

    Sure the Ep1 glut was 100% avoidable on Hasbro's part; but I think even the most pessimistic of fans thought that Ep1 3D would make at least some impact in theaters and generate a little bit of excitement among kids. I agree with JT, without the announcement of Disney's purchase of the franchise, then I would have assumed that Star Wars was getting ready to slip back into another "dark years" hibernation mode.

    Best Realistic Figure:
    I'm going to be predictable here and vote for Kithaba. He was a figure that I had wanted for 29 years and he had been #1 on my want list since 2002 (Ephant Mon was #1 prior to that). Plus we were anticipating him for nearly two years between Hasbro's confirmation and the actual release of the figure. I've found in my experiences that too much build up and anticipation usually leads to disappointment; but that wasn't the case when I actually held the Kithaba figure in my hands for the very first time. Sure there were minor disappointments, like the unpainted neck (which I actually corrected so early on that I had completely forgotten the neck was originally unpainted) and the skinny waist. But that moment when I finally held Kithaba in my hands was one of those rare moments of pure, childlike joy. I'm sure you guys know it, the feeling you get that reminds you why you are even collecting in the first place. It goes way beyond simply filling a hole in my collection or scratching a name off of my wishlist. It's actually more like making a new friend. I'll be turning 40 in 2013, so those moments are becoming increasingly rarer and significantly more valuable when they do occur. In fact, since 1995, I can count the number of times that a new toy has created such a strong emotional bond on one hand. So for a couple weeks in 2012, it was like I was ten years old again.

    Unfortunately, that little moment of collecting euphoria was stopped pretty much dead in its tracks when the red-bandana variant of Kithaba popped up. Then the variant-hunter, speculator, completist surfaced and the kid in me took a back seat again. I still had fun tracking down the variation, though, and scouring the stores for red-bandana Kithabas has been the only reason that I even bother to check the Star Wars aisle since last summer.

    So, I guess since it's my list, my choice for best figure is a purely, subjective, personal choice. Other figures that would have been in the running for best of the year, if Kithaba hadn't been released, would be Dr. Evazan, Aayla Secura (a surprise choice, but the quality of the figure can't really be ignored), Weequay (nearly perfect in every way), the Nikto Skiff Guard, and Lightsaber Construction Luke Skywalker.

    Worst Realistic Figure:
    I didn't buy a whole lot this year and I'm tempted to give the worst rating to Grand Moff Tarkin, since I was looking forward to that figure for so long, but the use of soft-goods totally ruins the look for me. However, I don't feel that I really can list him as the worst because I still have never actually seen the figure in person. So worst, is going to go to Bespin Princess Leia for having the ugliest, most masculine, face-sculpt since the 1995 monkey-face Leia.

    Jar Jar Binks should get a mention here too. If Hasbro had really pulled out all the stops and knocked this figure out of the park, then I would have happily bought him. As it turned out, there were just too many shortcuts and the figure ended up with a paint job that was actually worse than the original 1999 figure.

    I didn't buy anything from Clone Wars this year, so I can't really list a best or worst for 2012. In fact, I'm kind of boycotting the CW line until we start getting some Trandoshan Hunter figures from the season 3 finale. Well, boycotting is maybe not the right word, but I see no point in collecting the toys, or even watching the show, if they are going to continue to introduce awesome looking characters that Hasbro has absolutely no interest in making into action figures. I'd simply rather not get my hopes up and it's not like I ever really enjoyed the show that much to begin with.

    I didn't actually buy any vehicles this year either, so I can't list a best vehicle. The Speeder Bike looks promising, but the nearest TRU is 50 miles away from my house and there were simply too many question marks (mostly surrounding that crappy looking Biker Scout figure) for me to waste the gas driving up there to look for it. Sure Hasbro claims that the Biker Scout is an all-new sculpt, but it's a step backwards in quality in almost every single way and it addresses none of the problems that plagued the 2006 figure. It's the half-hearted, lazy attempt at a Biker Scout update that has really curbed my enthusiasm for the new Speeder Bike. I would normally just write it off as a typical, crappy pack-in figure; but it seems that Hasbro considers this version to be the new standard going forward since they are releasing the figure single carded in 2013.

    Eh... maybe I'll change my mind when/if I see the Speeder Bike in person.

    The Future of Star Wars:
    Well, I think it looks bright for the most part. Before the announcement of Disney purchasing Lucasfilm, 2013 was looking pretty bleak. It was actually the first time ever that I saw the new assortments planned for the beginning of the year and didn't consider a single figure to be worth buying. As of right now, the only thing I am looking forward to in 2013 is the continuation of TVC with the "fan favorite" figures (we all know they aren't really fan favorites, just the toys that were stuck in warehouses through most of 2012). The Legacy 2, "Build-A-Droid" waves are complete Snoozeville as far as I'm concerned. Without the TVC rereleases and the upcoming Ep7-9, then I would have seriously considered hanging it up for good after 2012.

    Although I haven't completely ruled out getting out of collecting. 2012 was such a high watermark for me that I don't really see it going anywhere but downhill from here. So, unless it's a Sail Barge, a new Tatooine Skiff or any of the characters that inhabited those vehicles, then I'm pretty sure I won't be adding it to my collection. I kind of see the announcement of a new trilogy as my best opportunity to get out while the getting's good. In fact, when I realized that I wasn't even interested in the new Speeder Bike or Ewok multipacks, that's when it hit me that my window of interest in Star Wars might really be closing after over 3 decades.
    "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

  5. #5
    . Had Disney not bought Lucasfilm towards the end of this year and announced new movies, there'd not have been anything Star Wars to talk about at all.

    Probably. But it didn't have to be that way. I tend to think that it wouldn't be if we were in a "90's or even the kind of 80's economy that saw the USS Flag come out for Joe." If a star destroyer could sell for our figures - and I'm saying "if" (people have the desire and disposable income for it - so that was really happening) where do you think Star Wars would be right now? And would there not be EU figure and vehicle offerings like NJO and the Twilight for Clone Wars?

    The new comedic Star Wars cartoon, SW: Detours, was revealed to have a disturbing aesthetic and questionable sense of humor
    Good. Then I might like it. However, I'd rather they made toilet humor out of something that I didn't have fun pretending to take seriously.

    choking the life out of The Clone Wars line,

    So unnecessary with new figure and vehicle potentials for this expression of Star Wars (Hondo's tank and flying saucer, the angel fish Jedi transport ship, figures of the Trandoshans and undead Nightsisters, Riff Tamsen, more.

    Distribution for the Y-wing mini-rig was horrible. I never saw that - and I'd like another Mandalorian Gunship - without a Jedi Starfighter pease!

    The vintage collection should not end btw, but they should reduce the MSRP, or find a way to offer more on the card. For larger accessories like the bar sections seen in TAC, they should go back to the 2004 OTC scene cards, call those a different collection than the vintage, and run that line simultaneously.


    Kotobukiya or someone made a great statue recognizing the popularity of Jaina Solo. There are many who would like to see the 30-something year old "Empress and Jedi Knight" in the new Disney movies (considering Harrison and Carrie's age when playing Jaina's parents. Ben Skywalker would have to be the 20-something lead).

    I like the Sith Witch myself. I think Wooof was a 2011 figure, but he's the last one I remember being really excited about.


    I love the MTT. JediTricks, you're not speaking for everyone when you said "it's the vehicle nobody wanted." That kind of poor attitude makes it harder to get the really obscure stuff at least "some" people want such as a Republic Cruiser or Gungan Bongo Submarine, let alone those class-1 sized Kamino patrol vehicles from the cloning facility. Now I want Jabba's sailbarge more than anything, as is the popular consensus, but I also want everything. Some ships like the Rebel Medical Frigate might never happen. But if enthusiasm for them is encouraged by a positive fan experience by people with strong voices saying, "You like Star Wars? You'd like that obscure vehicle like the Expanded Universe K-wing bomber? Well, that's cool! Instead of this "putting people's tastes down - or assuming 'no one wanted the MTT,' it creates a more positive feeling amongst the group here. Especially if a kid comes along, totally enthusiastic, and wants a Death Star playset with a hanger large enough for the BMF to fit in it. We can think "that's not going to happen," but find a nicer way to express ourselves about it that won't have negative impacts on the hobby - like Hasbro deciding "no one wants us to make the Invisible Hand playset / vehicle (and no - not before a sailbarge - but it might be more exciting than the Rebel Medical Frigate).

    I loved the SideShow 12" STAP with Battle Droid! And what year did we get Commander Gree? For another clone, I really like him even though he's so much more basic than say Cody or Bly.
    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.

  6. #6
    Quick question, is nobody interested anymore in the Star Wars 1313 video game that is a bounty hunter in Coruscant's deep levels version of Uncharted? I notice it has entirely lost its buzz the past few months, nothing major came out of C6 in terms of buzz and that's too bad. Or are we all kinda burned out on SW video games overhyping and then coming up short?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. JabbaJohnL View Post
    - Best Animated Figure
    Captain Rex and Commander Wolffe look great, but it seems that all the budget was put into their deco since they have frustratingly limited articulation and irremovable helmets. Scuba Ahsoka and the Scuba Clone Trooper are both pretty fun, and it's nice to get different figures from specific arcs like these. Nothing really knocked it out of the park this year, but I agree that Darth Maul from the Darth Maul Returns battle pack is the best animated figure in a bad year for animated figures. I would have liked a "knee" joint as well, but the figure is otherwise quite good and looks very cool. This figure will be repacked on a single card in the Yoda line look next year, but the battle pack will probably go on extreme clearance at Target here shortly, so the figure is definitely worth a look one way or another.
    Wolffe and Rex phase 2 are on last year's all-new body which I don't like due to the limited articulation and slight physique - Hasbro overcorrected there.

    Ha! Funny you saw the knee joint as being the crucial missing joint from my comments, while I would have liked a knee it was actually mid-thigh swivel that I felt was crucial since the figure is on a V-crotch design that causes the leg to rotate up and out as it's raised (same problem found on 1990s Star Trek figures, for corn's sake!). So I guess 2 crucial missing leg joints.

    The Battle Droid is certainly the figure I bought the most this year, or maybe any year - I got 28 of the bugger - and it does a lot of things really well, but I can't help but wish it could hold the blaster as seen in the film. (Having a more secure backpack or the ability to not topple over on a shelf would certainly help, too.)
    Wow, that's nearly $300 of Battle Droids!!! Holding the blaster right really is the main thing that bugs me about the figure, we've ONLY seen BDs holding their rifles 2-handed and yet the only figure to really get that right is the POTJ Security Droid. This new BD uses ball-joints at the shoulders, so an alternate set of arms would have worked great for this.

    Take away all of his junky accessories and Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction) is an amazing version of the character as seen during the skiff battle (you can say the wind was blowing his hair that way, or something).
    He'd also have the wrong belt still, and the wrong lit lightsaber, and the hair would have to have blown his part to the opposite side of his head.

    - Worst Realistic Figure
    You mentioned TVC's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, so I'll honor Hasbro's intent of having them everywhere all the time by mentioning them here as well.
    Ha! Good one.

    - The Future of Star Wars
    In a year where it seemed like the biggest Star Wars news would be the Angry Birds characters dressing up like Jedi, Uncle George surprised everyone by selling the whole kit and caboodle to Disney, who quickly announced plans to release Episode VII in 2015 and bring out at least an entire trilogy of new films. This one-two punch knocked us all out for a minute, and set off a flurry of anticipation and speculation. For the first time since 1983, we really have no idea how the story will end, and Star Wars can transform from a property reflecting on its past to one looking intrepidly into the future. Thanks to Disney's reach and power, for the first time in a long time, the possibilities are truly endless. With Kathleen Kennedy running Lucasfilm and producing the new films and Michael Arndt writing the script based on George Lucas' story notes, I couldn't be more excited to see what Episode VII brings to the saga.
    Well-said, great job.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    Probably. But it didn't have to be that way. I tend to think that it wouldn't be if we were in a "90's or even the kind of 80's economy that saw the USS Flag come out for Joe." If a star destroyer could sell for our figures - and I'm saying "if" (people have the desire and disposable income for it - so that was really happening) where do you think Star Wars would be right now? And would there not be EU figure and vehicle offerings like NJO and the Twilight for Clone Wars?
    It took me 3 passes to understand the correlation you're trying to make. "If they had been able to make a Star Destroyer, Star Wars fans would have had something to talk about this year," that's what you're saying? The USS Flagg wasn't during an economic boon, it was during a recession, but Hasbro had much lower manufacturing and materials costs, the Flagg was mostly hollow, and the brand was enjoying big sales due to market exposure from the TV show and commercials, as well as strong market attention from buyers heavily into the brand's numerous affordable figures and vehicles which opened the door to an experiment like the Flagg. The Flagg was not a commercial success however and is better a cautionary tale against making a Star Destroyer rather than one promoting the idea.

    The vintage collection should not end btw, but they should reduce the MSRP, or find a way to offer more on the card. For larger accessories like the bar sections seen in TAC, they should go back to the 2004 OTC scene cards, call those a different collection than the vintage, and run that line simultaneously.
    I think Vintage has outlived its usefulness. The very concept of Vintage demands the higher MSRP, its price went up originally because it was The Vintage Collection, not in spite of it. Vintage appeals to a smaller demographic than other main lines so they had to raise the price to offset the smaller sales. For me, Vintage has spent too much time looking backwards and that's no way to run a continuing line.

    I love the MTT. JediTricks, you're not speaking for everyone when you said "it's the vehicle nobody wanted." That kind of poor attitude makes it harder to get the really obscure stuff at least "some" people want such as a Republic Cruiser or Gungan Bongo Submarine, let alone those class-1 sized Kamino patrol vehicles from the cloning facility. Now I want Jabba's sailbarge more than anything, as is the popular consensus, but I also want everything. Some ships like the Rebel Medical Frigate might never happen. But if enthusiasm for them is encouraged by a positive fan experience by people with strong voices saying, "You like Star Wars? You'd like that obscure vehicle like the Expanded Universe K-wing bomber? Well, that's cool! Instead of this "putting people's tastes down - or assuming 'no one wanted the MTT,' it creates a more positive feeling amongst the group here. Especially if a kid comes along, totally enthusiastic, and wants a Death Star playset with a hanger large enough for the BMF to fit in it. We can think "that's not going to happen," but find a nicer way to express ourselves about it that won't have negative impacts on the hobby - like Hasbro deciding "no one wants us to make the Invisible Hand playset / vehicle (and no - not before a sailbarge - but it might be more exciting than the Rebel Medical Frigate).
    I didn't insult anybody's tastes, at worst I spoke with a small amount of hyperbole by not using "nobody" to represent "a very minor and largely dispassionate portion of the consumer market for the item". My comment had nothing to do with whether or not someone liked it, only that it was something almost nobody was clamoring for, it seems like Hasbro only did it because TPM was getting a re-release and they thought they could ride the casual consumer interest wave off of the movie with a big holiday item themed to that. I was insulting Hasbro for making a bad call putting too many eggs into the TPM re-release basket while damaging the BMF-type vehicle market.

    While the MTT did alright in our first round polls, coming in at #10 on the "BMF-sized vehicles" poll, in the final results it got just 2 votes. Don't blame the messenger, I am just writing editorial content based on what I see - the hardcore audience not showing great interest in the vehicle from the outset, the vehicle planned for its movie's re-release, then the movie not capturing great attention with the broader consumer base, and now the vehicle isn't selling that strongly during the crucial holiday season - and that they sacrificed the potential for broader appeal (through more play elements and such) by putting more budget into the thing's motorized gimmick.

    This is a business for Hasbro and their retail partners, I'm sure if they could Hasbro would be thrilled to deliver every single thing you've ever dreamed about at pennies on the dollar, but that's not how it works. They use complicated metrics like market trend tracking to justify the expense of taking risks on the handful of vehicles they release each year, and they make hard managerial choices based on years of industry experience. Every tooling made is a risk in starting costs, but vehicles are larger and sell less so they are automatically bigger risks, Hasbro can't just take a stab in the dark at an item that could lose them a lot of money just because a very small subset of the already minority portion of their consumer base wants something. Wanting something isn't enough, my comments aren't going to change the K-wing's chances of getting made one bit, and if you're being honest nothing is going to change those chances because those chances are virtually nil - that's not about devaluing tastes, that's about the realities of this business. The facts say the SW buying audience is largely not going to be familiar with the K-wing, that vehicles have become very expensive for Hasbro to undertake so they're not likely to take more risks, and the K-wing has no exposure or even on-screen representation, so it's a big risk which means it's very unlikely to happen. You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that's not true, or you can face it and temper your expectations to reality even while still wanting something, but you certainly can't fool Hasbro and consumers into stuff that has little demand through the pretense that a positive attitude is all it'll take to get it to market.


    And what year did we get Commander Gree? For another clone, I really like him even though he's so much more basic than say Cody or Bly.
    You got your Gree on Dec 17th, 2011. I wasn't impressed enough with him to warrant a call-out in my previous YIR, he's fine but didn't seem outstanding compared to Bly and Cody.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigbarada View Post
    I'm not going to go too much in depth, but overall I can say that 2012 was a vast improvement over 2011.... but there was really no way that it couldn't have been without the line being cancelled altogether.
    I'm a little surprised that you feel THAT much more positively about 2012. Granted, you did get several ROTJ figures you were after, but your comments last year about having almost no figures and no vehicles to look forward to, you only have a handful of figures in 2012 that you really sounded excited about.

    Sure the Ep1 glut was 100% avoidable on Hasbro's part; but I think even the most pessimistic of fans thought that Ep1 3D would make at least some impact in theaters and generate a little bit of excitement among kids.
    I did think - and say - that the converted Ep 1 3D release in February would have virtually no impact at all, even before 3D ticket sales started slumping across the board. If it had gotten a summer or Christmas release, it might have had light impact with kids, but it's a tough sell even then due to the backlash from the overhyping and shock of Jar Jar-type decisions of the '99 release - TPM and Jar Jar are essentially the '99 version of "New Coke".

    Best Realistic Figure:
    I'm going to be predictable here and vote for Kithaba. ...

    So, I guess since it's my list, my choice for best figure is a purely, subjective, personal choice. Other figures that would have been in the running for best of the year, if Kithaba hadn't been released, would be Dr. Evazan, Aayla Secura (a surprise choice, but the quality of the figure can't really be ignored), Weequay (nearly perfect in every way), the Nikto Skiff Guard, and Lightsaber Construction Luke Skywalker.
    Heh, yeah you're predictable, that's ok considering your avatar and sig link. I still haven't found a red-bandana version yet.

    Huh, another positive note for Deleted-scene Luke. Kinda weird for a figure with mirror-flopped hair, old arms and legs, and the wrong cloak.

    Worst Realistic Figure:
    I didn't buy a whole lot this year and I'm tempted to give the worst rating to Grand Moff Tarkin, since I was looking forward to that figure for so long, but the use of soft-goods totally ruins the look for me. However, I don't feel that I really can list him as the worst because I still have never actually seen the figure in person. So worst, is going to go to Bespin Princess Leia for having the ugliest, most masculine, face-sculpt since the 1995 monkey-face Leia.
    Ouuuuuuuch (said in ET's voice).

    I didn't actually buy any vehicles this year either, so I can't list a best vehicle. The Speeder Bike looks promising, but the nearest TRU is 50 miles away from my house and there were simply too many question marks (mostly surrounding that crappy looking Biker Scout figure) for me to waste the gas driving up there to look for it. Sure Hasbro claims that the Biker Scout is an all-new sculpt, but it's a step backwards in quality in almost every single way and it addresses none of the problems that plagued the 2006 figure. It's the half-hearted, lazy attempt at a Biker Scout update that has really curbed my enthusiasm for the new Speeder Bike. I would normally just write it off as a typical, crappy pack-in figure; but it seems that Hasbro considers this version to be the new standard going forward since they are releasing the figure single carded in 2013.

    Eh... maybe I'll change my mind when/if I see the Speeder Bike in person.
    My store had several last time I was there, I could pick you one up if you like. Or you could get 2 right now on the Bogo 50% off, they're still on the website. Honestly, I think unless your chief complaint with the Biker Scout is the deco, your criticisms seem pretty hollow since you've never seen one in person and they don't jive at all with the experiences I've heard from others, not to mention my own. It is an all-new sculpt, and it's way better than the POTJ figure or the tiny-headed, big-shouldered '06 figure.
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Quick question, is nobody interested anymore in the Star Wars 1313 video game that is a bounty hunter in Coruscant's deep levels version of Uncharted? I notice it has entirely lost its buzz the past few months, nothing major came out of C6 in terms of buzz and that's too bad. Or are we all kinda burned out on SW video games overhyping and then coming up short?
    I am interested in that game, but I thought I heard somewhere that it will be delayed.

    As for my review of Star Wars 2013, it can be summed up it this sentence: Was there another wave besides the TPM wave?
    Because I never saw one, ever. Wether that is Hasbros fault for over supplying or my local retailers for over ordering, I'll never know. The figures I did purchase were on ebay or Amazon with a higher price tag. There were several figures that I really wanted this year that I never saw, and wasn't willing to pay over twice as much for. It was so bad, that the Star Wars Christmas displays at both of the Targets near me were empty, with the exception of Pods. The only saving grace in my opinion this year, was the release of the Speeder Bike. I bought this online because I feared I would never see it, and I was glad I did. This vehicle is amazing. Why it took so long for Hasbro to make this I will never understand, but thankfully they finally did.

    Sideshow finally priced me out of 12" figures this year and I stopped collecting them. However, I did pick up the 12" Boba Fett, and he is a great figure. I might still pick up main characters in the future, but it will be on a case by case basis.

    While I look forward to the future of Star Wars in general after the sale to Disney, I am mindful that Hasbro still runs the toy line and my local retailers still run their inventory. And with that in mind, I fear that 2013 will be another repeat like 2012 and 2011.
    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-

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Metalmute View Post
    I am interested in that game, but I thought I heard somewhere that it will be delayed.
    I don't think it's possible that it's been delayed only because it never had a release date to begin with. Hopefully it comes out this year though, I'd like to see more Star Wars games, more variety again. There can be Jedi games and trooper games and RPG games and adventure games and Starfighter games all on the market if they're good games.


    As for my review of Star Wars 2013, it can be summed up it this sentence: Was there another wave besides the TPM wave?
    Because I never saw one, ever. Wether that is Hasbros fault for over supplying or my local retailers for over ordering, I'll never know.
    I have a blame-tree for why TPM ruined 2012:
    - Lucasfilm - for overhyping the appeal the TPM 3D re-release would have.
    - - Hasbro - for buying into the overhype so significantly.
    - - - Retailers - for believing Lucasfilm and Hasbro and over-ordering.
    - - - - Cinemas - for continuing to demand 3D content despite a market that is burning out on it.


    The figures I did purchase were on ebay or Amazon with a higher price tag. There were several figures that I really wanted this year that I never saw, and wasn't willing to pay over twice as much for. It was so bad, that the Star Wars Christmas displays at both of the Targets near me were empty, with the exception of Pods. The only saving grace in my opinion this year, was the release of the Speeder Bike. I bought this online because I feared I would never see it, and I was glad I did. This vehicle is amazing. Why it took so long for Hasbro to make this I will never understand, but thankfully they finally did.
    Thumbs up to that.

    Sideshow finally priced me out of 12" figures this year and I stopped collecting them. However, I did pick up the 12" Boba Fett, and he is a great figure. I might still pick up main characters in the future, but it will be on a case by case basis.
    I hear ya.

    While I look forward to the future of Star Wars in general after the sale to Disney, I am mindful that Hasbro still runs the toy line and my local retailers still run their inventory. And with that in mind, I fear that 2013 will be another repeat like 2012 and 2011.
    I can only say I hope it'll be better than those 2 lameo years.
    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.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Quick question, is nobody interested anymore in the Star Wars 1313 video game that is a bounty hunter in Coruscant's deep levels version of Uncharted? I notice it has entirely lost its buzz the past few months, nothing major came out of C6 in terms of buzz and that's too bad. Or are we all kinda burned out on SW video games overhyping and then coming up short?
    I've never been too huge a fan of video games in general (not just Star Wars ones), at least not on the level I'm a fan of the figures. I still play Battlefront II with some regularity, and have been known to break out the SNES trilogy games from time to time, though most other games are played through once or twice (especially the highly replayable LEGO series) and then not really touched much after that. 1313 looks interesting, but I'm not sure how much of that is just interest in the world itself, and we're already going to visit the Coruscant underworld in The Clone Wars this season so I may get my fill there.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    Wow, that's nearly $300 of Battle Droids!!! Holding the blaster right really is the main thing that bugs me about the figure, we've ONLY seen BDs holding their rifles 2-handed and yet the only figure to really get that right is the POTJ Security Droid. This new BD uses ball-joints at the shoulders, so an alternate set of arms would have worked great for this.
    Thankfully I only bought one or two at $10 and the rest were on some sort of sale, ranging from TRU's multiple buy-two-get-one-free sales to Brian's Toys' $4.99 sale, so it's not quite as nutty as it seems. (It's close, though.) Hasbro seems hung up on keeping his hands neutral and not giving him bulky wrist articulation, but you're right, an alternate set of arms - or even just an alternate left arm - would have been ideal. I've been a proponent of having a Battle Droid that can hold the blaster properly, but I ended up loving this one anyway since it's so damn cool in every other respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
    My store had several last time I was there, I could pick you one up if you like. Or you could get 2 right now on the Bogo 50% off, they're still on the website. Honestly, I think unless your chief complaint with the Biker Scout is the deco, your criticisms seem pretty hollow since you've never seen one in person and they don't jive at all with the experiences I've heard from others, not to mention my own. It is an all-new sculpt, and it's way better than the POTJ figure or the tiny-headed, big-shouldered '06 figure.
    I agree. The Biker Scout is great, but even if it isn't to your 100% satisfaction, you're doing yourself a disservice by not getting the set since the Speeder Bike is amazing. Some photos online I've seen of the Biker Scout have been posed extremely poorly, but if you do it right he looks great on or off the bike.
    My Photos and Reviews: SSG Toy Guide
    My Star Wars Fan Film: The Lazy Jedi
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post

    It took me 3 passes to understand the correlation you're trying to make. "If they had been able to make a Star Destroyer, Star Wars fans would have had something to talk about this year," that's what you're saying? The USS Flagg wasn't during an economic boon, it was during a recession, but Hasbro had much lower manufacturing and materials costs, the Flagg was mostly hollow, and the brand was enjoying big sales due to market exposure from the TV show and commercials, as well as strong market attention from buyers heavily into the brand's numerous affordable figures and vehicles which opened the door to an experiment like the Flagg. The Flagg was not a commercial success however and is better a cautionary tale against making a Star Destroyer rather than one promoting the idea.
    All good points and it falls in line with why I built my own blockade runner for it to be the scale I wanted it to be. But you got what I was saying: if we're dreaming and people have the disposeably income and space for that star destroyer (I'm thinking 9 feet long as I'd build my own).

    The points you made that I keyed into was that the figures and smaller ships - like a TIE Bomber that would accessorize the destroyer are no longer affordable, right?

    Figures are $10 each practically - up from $5 for the modern line (when I started stockpiling Imperials for my eventual star destroyer, btw). But even I would not care to buy Imperials at $10 each to crew a star destroyer. I forgot what my figure-count requirement would be to "staff" that thing, but it was high. My blockade runner holds 40! (that's $400 if I were staffing it at todays' costs!)

    I think Vintage has outlived its usefulness. The very concept of Vintage demands the higher MSRP, its price went up originally because it was The Vintage Collection, not in spite of it.
    Why did it have to? (quetion's really for Hasbro). Other cards have SW pictures on them. Other cards carry a figure in a plastic blister. It's almost like saying, "well this is a Darth Vader with a smudge on his cape, so we have to charge $15 for him." Sounds like the crap you'd hear from a scalper-dealer. Thanks Hasbro. (on the other hand I'm a stockholder so uh...this R2D2 is more retarded than the last one, so he's going to be a $20 exclusive! Yeah.")

    Vintage appeals to a smaller demographic than other main lines so they had to raise the price to offset the smaller sales.
    It wouldn't if they offered new figures - which they did like Wooof - one of my favorites and Colonel Cracken - never offered in ANY line before. But I understand the appeal of Vader and that serious collectors wanted these, too.

    For me, Vintage has spent too much time looking backwards and that's no way to run a continuing line.
    Does that mean you'd want better pictures on the cardbacks? Different characters never made before - like Nyrat Agira? Or more PT characters never carded vintage-style before?

    I didn't insult anybody's tastes, at worst I spoke with a small amount of hyperbole by not using "nobody" to represent "a very minor and largely dispassionate portion of the consumer market for the item".
    Just letting you know it sounded dismissive (in a disrespectful kind of way) and that might not have been what you wanted to do.

    My comment had nothing to do with whether or not someone liked it, only that it was something almost nobody was clamoring for, it seems like Hasbro only did it because TPM was getting a re-release and they thought they could ride the casual consumer interest wave off of the movie with a big holiday item themed to that.
    You are on to something - but also Both Sides in a conflict have to have Big vehicles if we're to keep up the arms race and make it fun. Obviously the Republic has AT-TEs, Turbo Tanks, etc The Separatists need things too - even if the Clone gear (eventual Imperial gear) is more cool. The MTT is what there was to work with. Hailfires, Tank Droids, AATs, and even Octoparras are not super-size vehicles.



    I was insulting Hasbro for making a bad call putting too many eggs into the TPM re-release basket while damaging the BMF-type vehicle market.

    I get it now. But I hope Hasbro has not done just that. I'd like to know what they thought of the MTT's performance since its release? I know it's not the BMF's - but no ship can compete with that. The Falcon is SW most recognizeable vehicle.


    While the MTT did alright in our first round polls, coming in at #10 on the "BMF-sized vehicles" poll, in the final results it got just 2 votes. Don't blame the messenger, I am just writing editorial content based on what I see - the hardcore audience not showing great interest in the vehicle from the outset, the vehicle planned for its movie's re-release, then the movie not capturing great attention with the broader consumer base, and now the vehicle isn't selling that strongly during the crucial holiday season - and that they sacrificed the potential for broader appeal (through more play elements and such) by putting more budget into the thing's motorized gimmick.

    I agree with you but don't know or have access to Hasbro's sales success records with the MTT, nor a comparison with the BMF, etc.


    You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that's not true, or you can face it and temper your expectations to reality even while still wanting something, but you certainly can't fool Hasbro and consumers into stuff that has little demand through the pretense that a positive attitude is all it'll take to get it to market.
    You combined discussion about the K-wing and the MTT here which didn't work. The MTT is the subject, and Hasbro has already made and released it. So they got it to market. Now a positive attitude will help to SELL it since it's there already. You're exactly right about a K-wing, but I'm not even lobbying for it (Let's get the Sailbarge!!!) I'm only saying about the bomber - that I think it's cool - but not even on the same level and multi-purpose-use as the MTT - like as an enemy large vehicle like the BAT-AT since most of our large vehicles are "good guy:" TurboTank, AT-TE, BMF....

    You got your Gree on Dec 17th, 2011. I wasn't impressed enough with him to warrant a call-out in my previous YIR, he's fine but didn't seem outstanding compared to Bly and Cody.
    I own Bly and Cody as well. You've even seen my Bly on display. I just have no good reason for it, but I like Gree the best. I can't explain that one. I guess I think green camaou is cool. But if Bly and Cody wore green Camaou, you'd call them "Gree," wouldn't you :P ?
    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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