Poe’s Point > Hasbro’s Photo Real is Game-Changing Technology

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.

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.

Poe’s Point > Anecdotal evidence proves Star Wars Black 6″ is doing great!

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Phil Reed of Battlegrip has another post about how he’s seeing Leia and Greedo pegwarming – based on store visits – and therefore Hasbro needs to “save this line before the mass retailers grow tired of your peg warmers and ditch the entire line.” This topic has become one of friendly argument between us, so I felt compelled to respond.

First off, allow me to counteract his anecdotal evidence with the lone Greedo I found at a Toys R Us. Clearly this proves the line is doing great! Continue reading “Poe’s Point > Anecdotal evidence proves Star Wars Black 6″ is doing great!”

Odds ‘n Ends > Star Wars Rebels, NES Predator, Funko ReAction, & more

Commentary on a few bits of toy- and geek-related news that interested Poe over the last few days.

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  • Starwars.com revealed a new character from Star Wars Rebels, C1-10P, a.k.a. “Chopper,” a “grumpy” astromech droid. He reminds me a bit of Claptrap from Borderlands, although it should be noted that Claptrap probably doesn’t exist without R2-D2. Chopper is directly inspired by early McQuarrie concept art for Artoo himself (particularly the arms on the head). The video on Starwars.com includes a quick look at Chopper’s 3.75″ figure as part of Hasbro’s Rebels line (static photo here). I’m really everything I’m seeing and hearing about Rebels, and I find myself hoping we see Chopper or the Grand Inquisitor in the SWB 6″ line. Given Hasbro’s tendency toward media synergy, it’s more likely than, say, Kyle Katarn in SWB. On a side note, I love the whole Inquisitor concept, which originated in the Expanded Universe, I believe.
  • Speaking of, I also hope the rumors of strong synergy between Rebels and Episode 7 are true, and to a lesser extent I hope the Mara Jade rumors are true, because if any EU character deserves to be enshrined in the film canon it’s Mara Jade. I mean yeesh, Dash Rendar is (indirectly through the Outrider) canon.
  • And finally on the Star Wars topic, here’s the latest leaked list of Star Wars figures for 2014, including Star Wars Black. The list doesn’t differ much from what we’ve seen in previous rumors; at this point, Chewbacca, Jedi Luke, Darth Vader, a Clone Trooper, and a redeco of the Sandtrooper all look like a lock. The upcoming wave with Bespin Luke, Prequel Kenobi, the Stormtrooper and the Han Solo carry-over is listed for February-May, while the June assortment is Anakin, Prequel Kenobi carry-over, Chewie and the Clone Trooper, and a mere month later is Vader, Jedi Luke, Sandtrooper redeco and Chewbacca (carry-over). I’m guessing the Sandtrooper redeco will be white, since black would be pretty boring. Here’s hoping the figure gets a new left hand that can actually hold the blaster cannon. Look, I understand re-use is necessary to keep a line like this going – NECA re-uses its molds more per wave than this line does – but couldn’t Hasbro at least replace the carry-over figures with some redecos? It sucks we get the Sandtrooper redeco and the Chewie carry-over in the same wave, particularly when the carry-over figure counts as part of the case. Why do they even bother with four-figure waves/cases? I’d rather get less frequent waves with four new figures, or more frequent waves of three figures, than this four-figures-including-a-carry-over thing we’ve got going now. I’ve got a few friends’ kids who are going to be getting a Prequel Kenobi and a Chewbacca in the near future.
  • Okay I lied, one more Star Wars thing:  here’s some neat fan art by Li Jia Tan (who did some concept art work for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II) of Han & Chewie working on a mech. Love the crotch-cockpit that looks like a 1930s sedan. It’s interesting to see a mech cockpit there, instead of the head or the torso.
  • The Four Horsemen have announced their annual Toypocalypse show at Tokyo Kid during Toy Fair next month. They’ll have factory paint masters of some of the Power Lords figures, as well as the “rebirth” of the FANtastic Exclusive project.
  • The Horsemen also released a ton of in-progress production photos of the Gothitropolis Ravens, along with the news that the Ravens will probably be delayed about two months, but they’ll be produced by the same folks who did such a great job on Scarabus.
  • NECA posted a photo of their next NES figure, the Predator. At this point they really need an unofficial name for this sub-line…
  • NECA also released a photo of in-progress classic Planet of the Apes Dr. Zaius. Seeing that name should immediately make you think of this.
  • A friend of a friend is looking for an experienced customizer to make a Doctor Who custom. Anyone have a rec/referral?
  • Jeff Cope has a revealing interview with Brian Mariotti of Funko regarding their plans for the ReAction brand. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the line. I need to do a write-up on ReAction. I have really mixed feelings about the line.

Poe’s Point > Thoughts on the state of Star Wars Black 6″

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So, at the beginning of 2014, where are we on Star Wars Black 6″?

Before I begin, let me state something: I’m not that worried about the line. I think sometimes collectors overthink this kind of thing. Star Wars is a big, recognizable brand with a new movie coming out in less than two years. The hype will be unimaginable eighteen months from now. Captain America 2 and the Amazing Spider-man 2 will probably not be as successful as the new Star Wars movie (the first one, at least), and both of those films just received a great wave of 6″ figures. Hasbro has not abandoned the format for Marvel, and I see no reason why they’d turn around and drop it for Star Wars when we’re not even a year in.

But that doesn’t mean I think they’re handling the line perfectly. Continue reading “Poe’s Point > Thoughts on the state of Star Wars Black 6″”

Rumored Star Wars Black 6″ Wave 4 Line-up

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First off, as always, take this with a grain of salt. This is based on third-hand information. I just happen to find it compelling enough to pass along. While I generally try to avoid rumor-mongering, I think it’s worth giving preemptive feedback sometimes.

User WayneStarActionF at the Rebelscum forums has made what I think is a decently convincing case (based on what he claims is inside information) for the line-up of Star Wars Black 6″ Wave 4. WayneStarActionF also states that while Wave 4 is disappointing, Wave 5 is amazing and consists entirely of Original Trilogy characters. Continue reading “Rumored Star Wars Black 6″ Wave 4 Line-up”

Poe’s Point > Third-party Star Wars Black 6″ suggestions

Hasbro 2013 Star Wars Black Series logo

I’ve expressed my doubts about third-party toys in the form of licensed characters, but I have far fewer qualms  about third-party add-ons. There are some really cool third party projects going on for MOTUC right now, such as Kevin Kosse’s Horde Trooper helmets or the upcoming conversion kits by Mat Vige O’Toole, a.k.a. Zombihamma (who’s also a special effects make-up, prosthetics and storyboard artist with a pretty badass resume) – plus of course Joe Amaro‘s great stuff. Continue reading “Poe’s Point > Third-party Star Wars Black 6″ suggestions”

Gentle Giant to work on Funko Legacy 6″?

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As you may know, Hasbro has partnered with Gentle Giant in producing the Star Wars Black 6″ (confirmation of this can be found in this interview with Gentle Giant).

In an encouraging sign, it appears that Funko may be working with Gentle Giant as well for their 6″ line, which is scheduled to include figures from Game of Thrones and Firefly. In reply to a post on the Funko Fanatic forums (a post started by yours truly, actually, speculating as to who would sculpt the line), Brian Mariotti of Funko writes, “I think Gentle Giant is incredible….hmmmmmmmm.”

So I think it’s safe to say Gentle Giant will be helping to produce Funko Legacy. That doesn’t automatically mean Mal Reynolds will have the same quality of sculpting or articulation as SWB6″ Han Solo, of course; different decisions could be made regarding articulation and how much to spend on paint applications, quality of plastic, and so forth. But Gentle Giant’s involvement is a positive development – at least for those of us who are hoping for something close to SWB6″.

UPDATE: On a related topic, Brian is also promising SWB6″-like articulation on Legacy.

Perhaps this will be a situation similar to Legendary Comic Book Heroes, where two lines were worked on by the same people (ToyBiz making Marvel Legends, and later Marvel Toys making LCBH), which ensured the lines were completely compatible.

Odds ‘n Ends > Toy Review Advent Calendar, Third-party add-ons, Toy Aisle Trolls, Power Lords

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  • Good lord this holiday season went by fast. Just in case you somehow missed my endless shilling, be sure to check out the joint-blog project
  • I’ve expressed my doubts about third-party toys in the form of licensed characters, but I have far fewer qualms  about third-part add-ons, which are awesome. There are some really cool third party projects going on for MOTUC right now, such as Kevin Kosse’s Horde Trooper helmets or the upcoming conversion kits by Mat Vige O’Toole, a.k.a. Zombihamma (who’s also a special effects make-up, prosthetics and storyboard artist with a pretty badass resume) – plus of course Joe Amaro‘s great stuff. Of course, it took a few years for any sort of third party add-ons to appear. What I’m trying to say is, where is the emergent third-party add-on market for Star Wars Black 6″? Let’s skip the 2-3 year delay and get going on that now. I’d like a 1/12th scale cantina environment for Han and Greedo to have their shootout (so that I can have Han shoot first again and again and again), a headset for Han to go with his pilot gloves, laser blast attachments for all the blasters, an alternate open left hand for the Sandtrooper so that he can hold the light repeating blaster properly, electrobinoculars for the Sandtrooper, Boba Fett’s concussion grenade launcher–actually you know what? This might need its own post.
  • I haven’t received a new Toy Aisle Trolls submission in quite a while. Have the trolls actually gained a conscience? Have the stores caught on, at long last? Or are you all just lazy?
  • BigBadToyStore has pre-orders for Bandai America toys from the 2014 Godzilla. There’s mention of “MUTO (Winged)” and “MUTO (8 Legged)”. M.U.T.O. appears to be the name of an organization that the film’s marketing team has created a fake website for. We don’t yet know what MUTO stands for.
  • NECA has released a great visual guide (warning: 1.4Mb) to every Predator figure they’ve released thus far.
  • I think I want to collect a vintage set of Power Lords. This is going to take a while.
  • Out of curiosity: what are your picks for the best action figures of the year?