This is the third in a series of articles about the practice of toy reviewers being given free samples for review, and whether that represents a problem for readers looking for honest assessments to make purchase decisions. You can find the other articles in the series here.
Today’s piece was written by Julius Marx of ActionFigureInsider.
For me personally I do features rather than reviews on AFI. There is no shortage of review sites out there, and even more when you include the youtube reviewers. I don’t value my opinion over anyone elses and I’m not vain enough to think that anyone else cares what I think. 🙂 And I have found in all my years doing this, often times when I get something that I have read a bad review online for, often times I will like the item better than they did. Different folks like different things.
Why I like to do features:
Most companies still have a “print” mentality where they take one “glamor shot” of a figure for solicitation and marketing. They don’t yet realize that on the internet you can put up as many pictures as you like. So, when I get products in for “review” I take a lot of pictures to try and give the most complete look at what folks are getting and then they can make up their own mind if they like it or not. I try to show them with other fingures in that same line and with other versions of the same character from other companies and other lines. For me it’s not about being “kind” or “fair” it’s just showing the item, what it comes with and what it does.
If there is something glaringly wrong with a figure or if there’s something I think fans should look out for when opening/handling I will mention those things. Sometimes in my recaps I’ll mention aspects of note or something that I like.
But I don’t get caught up in “nit-picking” or minutia. I get that this is a business, and that these are made by real people (with real jobs that they use to put food on the table for their families). And like in all businesses, compromises happen, decisions have to be made, some time corners have to be cut and 99% when the final product comes out different than the prototype there is a reason. They can’t always tell the public/fans the reasons, but there was a reason.
So for me, I just try to show fans what they will be getting. And time permitting I try to have some fun with the pictures and show them in a cool, fun light. Then I let people make up their own minds.
Like I always say – Your mileage may vary.