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Old September 1 2013, 05:38 AM   #3541
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

These new Black Series 3.75” cardbacks and bubbles are a complete and utter mess. The bubbles are falling off left and right, even in the stores. MOC collectors are gonna have a heck of a time finding any mint or even near-mint packaging with this first wave.
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Old September 3 2013, 09:42 PM   #3542
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Carded pics of upcoming figures in the 3.75" Saga Legends line (reduced articulation):






Despite the throwback articulation, I expect the Stormie to be a good seller due to all the OT fans and collectors out there looking for cheap army building and diorama fodder. $5.99 each for an armful of Stormtroopers? It's almost a no-brainer.

Plus, he just plain looks great.
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Old September 3 2013, 11:49 PM   #3543
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Picked up Blitzwing and Sandstorm today. I was kind of hesitant with Blitzwing because of a known production flaw in the marketed figures - the shoulders have these flaps that don't secure properly the way they're designed to, and it's possible to fix this if one is willing to do a little surgery. Not exactly my thing. That being said, those alone wouldn't bother me but Blitzwing's mold has a lot of other issues. I was really hoping it wouldn't be the case, but it is. He's not necessarily the worst figure, but there are other elements of the transformations that don't work properly and some of the engineering is a little puzzling to me. There are also a few components, like his rifle, that don't seem scaled properly. It's odd that Blitzwing's sword is a pretty faithful reproduction of his G1 sword, but the rifle doesn't match as well and is black instead of purple like the original set.

I have higher hopes for Sandstorm, since he's a modified Springer mold and Hasbro did fantastic on that. I'll try him out in a bit. Overall, it sounds like there were some good ideas for Blitzwing that weren't properly executed, and he could have been a kickass update otherwise.
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Old September 4 2013, 02:51 AM   #3544
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

The upcoming, all-new Mission Series 2-pack with Artoo and Threepio. There's a little bit of a vintage Kenner vibe going on here, only with modern sculpting and detailing.

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Old September 4 2013, 03:01 AM   #3545
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Yeah, it's not a good thing when a toy gives off a vibe based on stuff made thirty-five years ago.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:14 AM   #3546
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

I generally concur, but these are more aimed at kids and younger collectors than people in our general age group who collect as grown adults and remember the old school stuff (and parents who don't feel like plunking down ten bucks or more for one action figure). I'm not jumping up and down and high-fiving anybody about these new sculpts, but some of them aren't as bad as others think - and for $4.99 or $5.99 apiece depending on if it's a two-pack or single-carded figure it's scratching more than a few people where they itch in the current economic environment. I think most collectors our age realize these are limited throwbacks but I've noticed a growth in the "as long as they're kinda cheap and look good" category of folks who got sick and tired of all the Vintage Collection and other distribution problems.

With the myriad packaging and other problems with the new premium, collector-oriented Black Series figures some folks in the collecting community are taking second looks at these reduced articulation sculpts with significantly lower pricepoints. Some clearly suck, but others would give many of the best POTF2, Episode I and Episode II figures from a decade or so ago stiff competition for quality. That $5.99 Stormtrooper might have joints straight out of the Carter Administration and the era of disco, but it looks more or less like a modern super-articulated sculpt minus a few small paint details. I'm game for some of those guys.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:24 AM   #3547
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

I hear you, and understand your position. For me, the ridiculous amount of cost cutting that I see across the board with toy makers these days is just a really sore point.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:28 AM   #3548
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

I know. It sucks. The new TMNT figures from Playmates are super articulated, have accompanying playsets and have strong toymaker support for more obscure supporting characters.

And they cost less than most new Star Wars figures in either price range. Something's wrong. Hasbro hasn't done something right if Playmates can give kids and adult collectors Turtles with myriad joints and play value along with things that SW collectors have been all but picketing for for years: playsets. I don't get it. I really don't, but I suspect crap management of the company's brands and licenses and too stringent a level of penny-pinching are largely to blame.

What else can explain the endless carry forwards of Episode I 3-D junk all of last year and the routine postponement and even cancellation of certain product while things are retooled into less attractive and appealing lines? I dig the new Black Series figures, but let's be frank here.


They're not the Vintage Collection.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:49 AM   #3549
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Take a look at what my friend and I found a few nights ago at my local Toys "R" Us. Black Series figures with bubbles and figures peeling and falling right off the cardbacks. There've been a ton of issues with the packages falling apart after people buy them or even right there in the store aisles, and this first wave of 3.75" Black Series has been a complete and utter mess for carded collectors. It's going to be a real chore finding any Wave 1 figures in anything close to mint packaging unless people order entire sealed cases, are the first people to touch them since they left the factory and then handle and display them with care.





Most of them on the pegs the other night were like this or close to being like this. Anakin. Yavin Luke. Biggs. Vader. The pegs were littered with cardbacks featuring peeling bubbles hanging at an angle.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:54 AM   #3550
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Well, I must give credit where credit is due. The 6" Black Series stuff is so far really great stuff. All of it is 100% new tooling, too. Yet some toy companies COUGHMATTELCOUGH claim that new tooling doesn't cost out and can't even keep a line mostly made from reuse afloat.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:56 AM   #3551
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Yeah, the window-boxed 6" Black Series characters are a clear home run for the company and for collectors. I still can't get over how drooltastic that new Sandtrooper is, and while the 3.75" line is having more problems than an average cast lineup of The Surreal Life the six-inch sculpts are just mesmerizing and an example of what Hasbro can do when it sets its corporate mind to wowing customers and buyers.

Mattel just sucks.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:10 AM   #3552
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

I've seen some of the peeling packaging myself. The TRU I was in had tape wrapped around card and bubble of several figures. That's just unforgivable. Maybe MOC stuff from this wave might have actual value down the road, if anyone here speculates. Of course, it's impossible to know that any MOC ones bought won't fall apart later.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:16 AM   #3553
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Apparently it's some sort of issue with the intense heat clamps that the factory machinery uses to seal the bubbles to the cardbacks. There doesn't seem to by any actual glue involved in the modern package sealing process, just a white-hot heat procedure that melts the clear plastic to the card stock.

Somewhere along the line, something in the Chinese factory went awry - big time - and wasn't caught before the first shipments of the new Black Series figures hit foreign shores. I've personally displayed my carded figures flat on their backs or titled at a reclining angle so that gravity won't have as much of an effect on the bubbles. A couple of mine have problem spots where it appears the seal has come loose, but are still attached. I'm not hanging them up on a wall or propping them up on their bubbles, though. That's a recipe for the things popping loose.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:24 AM   #3554
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Oh, and not beat a dead horse, but you had to bring up the Episode I stuff. I am still finding pegs of that crap at some stores around me. It's like 1999 all over again. Did Hasbro learn absolutely nothing from their mistakes back then? Because they went and made the exact same one last year.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:31 AM   #3555
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Re: The Action Figure and Toy Collecting and Discussion Thread!

Somebody on one of the collecting sites recently posted a phone pic of something they found on the pegs of a local Kmart.

A 1999 Episode I Chancellor Valorum figure with the CommTech chip.

Still being sold for $6.99.

Fourteen years later.

Nobody said anything.

It was just hanging there alongside all the newer stuff from the past year or so.

A fourteen-year-old figure in slowly creasing and deteriorating packaging being sold for the same price or even a little bit more than it was back in the spring and summer of '99. During the Clinton Administration.

This stuff will still be surfacing years from now. The sheer, ridiculous overkill of some figure lines since 1995 guarantees that both we and our kids will be seeing Episode I and blue Saga (AOTC) figures on some shelves and pegs even after Episode IX has come and gone.
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