This photo is from RoboKillah’s review of the re-released Star Wars Black Death Squad Trooper (now renamed the more kid-friendly Death Star Trooper). The one on the right is the original release, the one on the left was painted with what Hasbro calls “Photo Real,” in which the face is painting using a digital printing process.
This technology isn’t brand-new; Hasbro’s been using it on their Marvel Legends movie figures for a while now, and Bandai has been using it (with mixed results) on their movie-based Figuarts figures. But it’s on Star Wars Black that the game-changing aspect of this technology becomes clear. It takes SWB’s biggest flaw and turns it into its greatest asset.
And you know it’s got to be something big when it drives me to write my first post in over four years.
I would love to see what the older Star Wars Han Solo looks like with this technology. It might replace the S.H. Figuarts Han as my favorite figure of the space smuggler.
For more information on the Photo Real tech, here’s a semi-promotional piece about it from StarWars.com.
After six years, I’ve decided to take an extended break from running Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation.
I’ve been considering this for years now. I could provide a long list of reasons – or perhaps more accurately, excuses. But really it all comes down to two: interest and time.
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Six years ago, I wrote an article in ToyFare #132 about the 1980s toy line Robo Force. It was developed by the CBS Toy Company (formerly Ideal, who, side note, created the original Teddy Bear). Like dozens of toy lines in the 1980s it came and went fairly quickly. In my interview in ToyFare with Robo Force artist Paul Kirchner for ToyFare, he theorized that Transformers, which debuted at the same Toy Fair as Robo Force, crushed any chance Robo Force had.
However, in the 1980s even a short-lived toy line often had a production run that many modern toy companies would envy. And so many children had, among the assorted Transformers, He-Man or G.I. Joes in the toy box, an occasional Maxx Steele or Coptor.
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Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by: Kurtis Harris
Found this at a Target in Webster, Texas. One lightsaber looked like it was from a Count Dooku, and the other (with hand) from an Anakin Skywalker. The cloak and head of the figure looked right, but the body was wrong. It had a black torso and legs with gray detail lines painted on, and gray boots and gloves. The elbows and knees appeared to be molded bent without working joints.
Just an update on my earlier post regarding the quality control issues on Funko’s Game of Thrones Legacy Collection: in a comment, Funko’s Shawndra Illingworth wrote,
Funko has been made aware of these QC issues and our factory has been informed of what changes need to be made on future waves of Legacy. Thanks so much!
Great news, provided politely and in a timely fashion on a blog that didn’t even contact them directly about it. That’s great collector relations. And while I won’t be collecting the Game of Thrones line myself, I can’t wait to see their Firefly line in the fall. Hopefully we’ll see some prototype photos during Toy Fair.
Quality control issues are nothing new in the action figure hobby over the last ten years. The reasons for this are obvious. The most significant problems are rising production costs. The cost of almost everything involved in producing action figures is on a continual and precipitous rise – the petroleum for the plastic, the petroleum for transportation, tooling costs, the labor costs for the factory. Thanks to a few high-profile toy safety crises, safety testing has become more expensive. Moreover, the most successful action figure lines today are licensed from large media properties which are increasingly expensive to obtain.
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