Odds ‘n Ends > September 6, 2011

  • Without going too much into it, my reviews on PGPoA are going to be a little different from now on. I’ve come to recognize, like the man who invented Mr. Phipps Pretzel Chips (I think it was Mr. Phipps) that my favorite part of the pretzel, er, the review, is the part where I discuss the character or history of the toy or toyline rather than the paint & sculpt stuff. The photos tell most of that story, and I’ll point out the articulation. For those who want a true breakdown, you can find more traditionally-formatted reviews on other sites–there is no shortage of toy reviews these days. While some of you may be a bit disappointed, trust me when I say it was either this or no more PGPoA at all. (Seriously–it was this close |–|.) I have over seventy unopened toys at the moment, going back to before Christmas, and the thought of having to do a standard review of each one makes me want to quit the blog and never look back.
  • So, in essence, moving forward I’m writing what I want to write about, not what I feel obligated to write about. This blog has felt way too much like work lately. It’s odd how that can creep up on you.
  • You’ve probably all seen Mattel announced that Club Infinite Earths (CIE) is indeed moving forward. I’m happy I get my Poison Ivy, but as a Bat-fan I do hope I get at least one more Bat-character, preferably an oversized Killer Croc. Also, Metron unsurprisingly won the fan vote contest. They’re also considering briefly re-opening the subscription window, which of course led to a round of MOTU fans wondering the MOTUC sub should also be re-opened. I suspect this has to do with the opt-in option that will be offered for the anniversary figures–since that’s already in the works, maybe they’ll just re-open CIE at the same time.
  • Diamond Select will be expanding the Minimates world even more with a new line, Maximum Zombie. The first figures will be a NYCC exclusive set featuring a Biker Zombie & Surgeon Zombie. I’ll be at NYCC this year, so you’re damned right I’m getting these.

Comments now closed (42)

  • Yes- write about what interests you! The reviews are much more worthwhile that way. All the boring rote stuff can be found elsewhere.

    How many other Poesters are either in the NYC area or will be attending NYCC?

  • You have to do your own thing and you can't get wrapped up in what others think. Honestly, the hard core analyses of sculpting and articulation and whatnot have turned me away from collecting new figures in general. So I'm interested to see how this plays out!

    • That's the thing…I'm the sort of person who, unless I've taken at least one or two art classes that tells me how to assess sculpting from a technical standpoint and actually say useful things about it, all I have is "it looks good" or "it sucks." Frankly, the photos tell the story of the sculpt to a reader far better than I ever could.

      • Plus there is the argument of sculpt versus articulation. Its really all up to each individual. I think sculpt is more important than articulation, but on the other side I've come to expect certain things, like swivel, ball joints, etc. that I find I sorely miss from certain figures.

        Also, as you pointed out, unless you've had some formal training in either art or anatomy, who is to say what is a good sculpt? I just read a review for a figure which pointed out how the sculpt was soft and not very noteworthy, but I found that it was fine. I mean, what more do you need? You've got abs, muscles, etc.

  • Personally, that's what I like most about the reviews, so I'm actually pretty glad. And thanks for continuing, Poe! I know I enjoy your work. Just don't let it get to be too MUCH work, hehe.

      • I second that sentiment! I'm not saying that this site ever got BAD, but for a little while there seemed to be a cloud of doom and gloom lurking about due to a few individuals.

        When PGPOA started it was like a safe haven from the typical fanboy rants and negativity that seems to monopolize a lot of other sites/forums. Like-minded individuals can actually come together and actually share thoughts & ideas without being troll'd or being shot down by some smug know-it-all. People are actually allowed to have opinions that are different toy our own. I feel PGPOA is still that place!

  • I'm glad to see the change in format, too, Poe. I'd definitely rather the reviews not disappear altogether. And besides, with your current toy loves having mostly modular parts, much of what you find humdrum in reviewing I just skim, anyway. I say, more Poe, less drudge.

  • Agreed. Do what you like, what gets you fired up. This stuff is supposed to be fun, so do it the way you like.

    • What I need to do is get you to have a regular photo feature here on PGPoA 🙂 But I suppose the Fwoosh already has that exclusive contract all locked up…

  • I'd be happy with a few photos and the raven rating at the end. That's all we really need anyways…

    What I'd really like to see is more articles of just your thoughts on the industry and specific toy lines, trends, etc. Or articles about vintage toys, films, books and their impact on you and the toy industry. Because you're right, I could go to 100s of sites and read reviews about DCUC X or MOTUC X. It'd be a welcome relief to see more original content.

    All that said, a retrospective on vintage MOTU would be superb! The few tidbits from your MOTU past we've gotten in the MOTUC reviews have been awesome (particularly the Whiplash review).

    • I've got ideas for industry, toy line, etc. articles, but they've always been pushed to the side by the reviews–which, to be fair, are what the readers have said is there favorite feature here in the polls I've held.

      But more original content is my new goal.

  • Also, I forgot to mention that I've been craving Mr. Phipps' all FREAKIN day thanks to this post.

    • It bugged me that I couldn't find the particular Mr. Phipps ad I remember on Youtube, where the company executive is trying to come up with an idea for a new product and his put-upon flunky points out that people prefer the crispy outside, at which point the exec (perhaps Mr. Phipps himself?) takes credit for the idea.

      The things you remember. It's like how ever remembers that El Paso salsa ad–"Get a rope!"

  • I agree with Zach S.

    If reviews went away, it don't think it is a big deal. If you are able to still do the history of the toy, that is the interesting part and really the only part I typically read anymore. As far as other ideas for your site, I say keep it on toy industry news, insight, vintage toys, etc. I love Odd 'n Ends and other things like that….Thats what makes your site unique. But it seems like there has been less of that stuff these days. (actually Odd 'n Ends has been picking up the last few weeks) Photos of the day are fun sometimes, plus they are an easy filler for you to put up during slow times. I liked Toy Aisle Trolls at the beginning, but honestly there are just to many of them now and I don't even look at them. No offense to 'Bastards of the Universe', but I never read those. I am sure there are people that like it, but its just not for me.

    That is how I would try to change things. Maybe less posts so you don't get burned out….and just more of the 'meaty' stuff when you do post.

    • Personally I love Bastards of the Universe…

      People seem to like Toy Aisle Trolls, but I admit they're not very fun to put together anymore. I've scaled back the amount of effort I put into each of those posts until now I'm just posting the pic and any text by the submitter.

      Odds 'n Ends are picking up because they're the easiest thing to write 🙂

      • I remember when Bastards of the Universe started on Articulated Discussion.

        Man, I haven't heard from Corey in forever. I did the Mint Condition comic on there for a few months until Corey faded away into obscurity (I think he's focusing on his education or something now).

  • Methinks Poe needs a Vacation or some Toy meaning of life soul searching to fire up the enthusiasm.

  • You keep writing, I'll keep reading.

    It sounds dramatic or whatever, but it breaks my heart whenever Poe speaks of his disinterest. The first toy review I ever read was on OAFE.net and written by Poe, I was twelve years old. I have been a continual visitor to OAFE and Poe's web site. My thirteenth birthday gift was The Darkness from Movie Maniacs because of his review. I turn twenty-two in November and I can't imagine how much poorer this hobby would be if he did hang up his fedora and cape.

    The entire DC universe has been ferreted away, hidden in some deep, dark hole by these awful trolls that hold maidens captive until they spin characters into gold, which the trolls then promptly devour. G.I Joe died at retail, again. Transformers is rehashing Micro Machine gimmicks and consists only of Insecticons, but the hobby hasn't changed because the people haven't, and it'll be a sad day when the hobby changes.

    • First off, I'm honored and humbled by your praise and any effect I had on your collecting–I'm always glad to know I've brought another collector into the fold.

      And I'm not going anywhere. My disintest will wax and wane, but I'm clearly going to be a lifelong collector. And while things have been up and down lately, I have a hunch that when I start having kids in a couple years, a lot of this love will be rejuvenated.

  • The main items I'm interested in any action figure review is an articulation break-down, including details of the range of movement, and big, clear photos which show all the other important aspects like paint-application, accessories, etc.

    If Mattel can re-open the DC subscription, then I would like to see them also re-open the Voltron subscription. Mattel didn't bother responding to valid fan concerns about the functionality of the "one touch auto transformation" feature and the impact this feature has on the articulation of the legs of the Lions until AFTER the subscription period had closed.

  • I first came to this site via OAFE and what I liked about it and what makes me check it out first rather than any other toy site is that it has heart.
    If you're going to write more from your heart then it can be no bad thing at all.
    I'm looking forwards to it.

    • I'd probably still be at OAFE if I weren't a control freak…I didn't play well with others at the time. But I still love OAFE and am glad to be considered an honorary founder.

  • You keep writing, I'll keep reading.

    This. I don't get around to commenting as much anymore, but I've enjoyed your reviews since I discovered them back at FanEx years ago. I know exactly what you're talking about – it's so much more interesting to talk about the history of the character or some neat trivia than to reiterate what the pictures show. My reviews always seem top heavy to me for that very reason. If that's what you need to do to so that we can get keep getting our daily dose of Poe, then we're all backing you up.

    • We'll see how the experiment goes. I used to write reviews this way, then got bogged down in the details for some reason–missing the forest for the trees. The clinical part of my mind likes the breakdown, but the other part hates the work it requires 🙂

  • Hey, on an unrelated note, do you guys get a lot of 404 or 500 errors on PGPoA? I suspect you don't and it's an admin issue, but I wanted to check.

  • I say screw the "format" of reviews and just write what you like about the toy. If it's the packaging then tell us about that. If it's the character then tell us why you like him/her/it. If it's the toy itself then tell us what it is that makes it special to you. On the flip side if you buy something and it sucks donkey balls then I want to know that too. Did the arms fall off right out of the package? Is the paint gloppy and poorly applied? After playing with the figure for a few minutes did you realize that Deadpool is actually a crappy character? What sells a toy "review" to me most of all is the why. Yeah its nice to see all the POA listed out and read about the accessories and paint applications but as has been mentioned that's what everybody is doing. Tell me why this toy made it to your home and you'll have something special.

  • I've never gotten an error message here. And as far as reviews go, I like reading your editorial comments and insights, so whatever you like is fine with me!

  • Only 70 toys? That's barely three months if you do write one a day 😉

    But I know the dread that it could entail. So, just write what you'd like – it's your site after all and you get to decide what you'd want to do. The ultimate goal is to enjoy and have fun and to share that sense of fun with your readers.

  • the importance of the blog is to just have fun!

    and I did not know about those minimates… but they will be mine… hells bells and lemon pudding those will be mine! (sometimes I love living in NY)

  • You're the man now Charlie Brown! Just keep doin' what you like and don't worry too much about what people think. I'll still be reedin!

    I've become less and less interested in reviews over the last year or so. I've actually been watching/listening to a lot more reviews now, but mostly because I can just listen and don't have to read.

    Also I'm a little bit MOTUC'd out. I thought I was just having a bout, but I'm just really tired of reading about it and seeing it everywhere online. I just hit a maximum overload. I haven't even opened my MEF yet! I still love the line and subbed in for '12, but I don't go crazy over every little piece of news that gets doled out to us.

    Last but not least, I love the odds & ends, I always have. Keep 'em up!