Tag: Star Wars Page 1 of 22

Poe’s Point > The Buzzlords

I’ve had a theory for a while that modern adult action figure collectors of a certain age (i.e., the ones currently driving the market, between the ages of 30-50 mostly) have gone through a number of fads. I’m calling them…the Buzzlords.*

While there have been plenty of popular action figure lines throughout the years, these are the lines that seem to dominate an era.** Here’s what I see as the most important traits of these lines:

  • The line appeals to fans of the property who perhaps aren’t toy collectors
  • The line appeals to adults who were fans of the property as children
  • The line draws in collectors who weren’t fans of the property at all
  • At some point, the line becomes hot enough that the scalpers come in and start trying to make a quick buck.
  • There are multiple instances of collectors going nuts trying to find or preorder particular figures, especially variants and exclusives (the monthly Top Ten lists in ToyFare were particularly instructive for this)
  • And finally, and I’m sure most controversially, the lines have a certain “buzz” around them among collectors – they’re the line everyone is familiar with, the one you see at every booth at comic conventions, the one that gets the occasional mainstream news article written about it.

So, using these criteria, here is my list of the Buzzlords since the modern collecting era. The years are obviously a rough approximation, as lines waxed and waned and some overlapped in their popularity, and many of these lines kept going long after their initial burst of mega-popularity (such as Marvel Legends).

  • 1994-1995 Spawn (McFarlane Toys)
  • 1995-1997 Star Wars: Power of the Force 2 (Hasbro)
  • 1997-2000 Movie Maniacs (McFarlane Toys)
  • 2000-2002 The Simpsons: World of Springfield (Playmates)
  • 2002-2006 Marvel Legends (ToyBiz)
  • 2006-2010 DC Universe Classics (Mattel)
  • 2010-2015 Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
  • 2015-2020 Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
  • 2020-? G.I. Joe Classified (Hasbro)

Honorable Mentions: Masters of the Universe 200X (Mattel), G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary (Hasbro), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NECA)

But this is just my list. Perhaps it’s biased, or perhaps I’m just way off-base with this theory in general. I’d love to hear your thoughts! (No, really, I would! That’s not just comment-baiting. I mean it is, but it’s not just that.)

*Why the Buzzlords, you ask? Why not, say, the Zeitgeist Lines? 1.) I don’t think there’s anything about these lines that particularly embodies the spirit of their age (except maybe Movie Maniacs). 2.) “Buzzlord” is more fun and memorable than “zeitgeist” – and potentially marketable if the idea takes off. 3.) It kind of sounds like a forgotten Sectaurs character.

**I’m going to exclude sports-themed lines like Starting Lineup and McFarlane Sports. I mean no offense, but the collectors of those lines seem somewhat different from the sort of collector who would visit PGPoA. Their love of the lines comes as much from their love of the sports and their favorite teams and players as it does the toys themselves (which tend to be more like statues than action figures). That said, there’s no question those lines were very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. You might think I’m being unfair, and if so, click here for a rebuttal on my behalf from an expert witness.

MAFEX 6″ Star Wars?

Oh good lord. Are MAFEX 6″ Star Wars figures coming?

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Image from CollectionDX. Example of a MAFEX figure here.

While I love Star Wars Black, if the first figure is Vader or Boba Fett, I don’t see how I can possibly not get it.

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

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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.

Odds ‘n Ends > ThreeA Microman, Boba Fett movie, Power-Con

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  • After first announcing they’d obtained the Microman license way back in July 2011(!), ThreeA has finally revealed photos of the figures (or photos were leaked, I’m not sure). They’re 6″ tall and feature fabric clothes, like most ThreeA releases. They look intriguing, and it’s cool that they’re in 6″ scale, but I’m sure they’ll come with the usual high ThreeA prices and besides, I’m not a Microman fan anyway (well, except for a brief, odd period in 2004). However, I should note that in this particular case, the cloth isn’t what’s keeping me away – ThreeA is the only company whose fabric I like in sub-12″ scale. It’s the license and, presumably, the cost.
  • Let’s start by pointing out that this all comes from Latino Review. I have no idea what their reputation is at this point, but some of the people I follow on Twitter were very snarky about them, so maybe they’re known for being wrong a lot. I don’t know and I don’t care right now because this is so interesting and I want to talk about it. A lot.
  • Anyway, Latino Review claims Joe Johnston – director of The RocketeerJurassic Park IIICaptain America and oh yeah, the guy who designed Fett’s outfit (with Ralph McQuarrie) – may be in talks to direct the Boba Fett spinoff movie. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and is writing Episode VII, is allegedly in talks to write it. But what gets me is this quote: “To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Boba Fett Clone in the spin-off film.” Does anyone? Maybe kids who have grown up with the character from The Clone Wars, which is one of several reasons I expect George Lucas to veto the idea if it’s actually at all in play. Can he still veto things? (Side note: Latino Review doesn’t understand Internet Star Wars fans very well if it starts off a rumor about killing off the prequel Boba Fett with “Strap in, a lot of you aren’t going to like this.”)
  • But here’s the funny thing about that killing-prequel-Fett-at-the-beginning-of-the-movie: I pitched this exact idea to Nemo Eight in a discussion we had last month. I even argued with him that the killing had to happen at the beginning of the movie and not the end; he liked the “surprise horror twist” of killing Fett suddenly at the end, whereas I pitched a Usual Suspects-type thing where you find out at the end that prequel Fett was killed at the beginning and the guy who you’ve been watching the whole time isn’t prequel Fett. Anyway, chalk me up for hoping this rumor is entirely true.
  • On another note, that article also states that Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt, who’s now off Star Wars Episode VII, was focused on the story of the Solo kids while Abrams (and Kasdan) felt it should focus on Skywalker. This is yet another example of something that makes me highly suspicious of Abrams. Han Solo was the audience representative in the original films – something that was sorely lacking in the prequels. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t like Jedi that much – this article covers some of the reasons why. I know it’s a geek cliché to claim some showrunner or producer doesn’t “get” a geek property. And Abrams is actually the perfect successor for Lucas in certain ways – they’re both obsessed with effects and mechanics. Abrams’ work has always reminded me of Treebeard describing Saruman: “he has a mind of metal and wheels.” To me, Abrams’s films fall somewhere between Spielberg and Zack Snyder – great overall concepts, well-directed, great action, but lacking in emotion, real characters, or compelling themes. Lacking heart. Even Super 8 felt like that to me. Abrams’s Star Trek films were fun but forgettable (and the second had some annoying fan service and lazy writing). Quite frankly, I trust Joe Johnston to make a great Boba Fett movie more than I trust Abrams to make a great Star Wars movie.
  • Power Con is moving from Anaheim to New York City. That’s big news, but what I’m more curious about is what “transforming back to its core roots” means. Does that mean Ninja Turtles and Thundercats have been given the boot? (You may also be wondering: am I going? Answer: Maybe. Not sure yet.)
  • There will be a Glyos drop tonight at 9:30 EST. Check out the link for the full list of products.
  • Spy Monkey Creations has updated the story of The Golden Age for the Weaponeers of Monkaa ahead of an upcoming new drop.
  • In the course of following various Twitter conversations I came across the H Hangar by Wave. It’s designed for Gundam figures, but I immediately saw the potential for Star Wars Black 6″ dioramas as a corner of the Death Star or a Star Destroyer. Because they’re only 6″ tall, you really need two, which I immediately ordered from HLJ.

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.

Pic of the Day > Wookie in Flight. by pharaohglyph

Wookie in Flight.

Wookie in Flight. by pharaohglyph

Submit your Flickr photos to Poe Ghostal’s Pic of the Day!

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.

Odds ‘n Ends > SRGM convention, Mini-Rigs, Alien: Isolation, ThreeA’s 2000AD

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  • ItsAllTrue has been running a bunch of 2013-assessment posts, such as It’sAllTrue.net’s Top Ten Action Figures of 2013 and NoisyDvL5′s 2013 Highlights & Disappointments. Definitely worth checking out.
  • The amazing ED-209 by NECA is now in stock at Amazon.
  • CollectionDX has announced a new convention, Super Robots Giant Monster (SRGM). It will take place in Lowell, Massachusetts on March 29, and I plan to be there. Check out this page for more information. I’ll probably put up a separate post about this later.
  • Phil Reed of Battlegrip is putting together an unofficial guide to Star Wars Mini-Rigs. This is the future – extreme niche coffee table books. Frankly, I’m psyched. I love coffee table books. I fondly recall whiling away many a study period paging through The Ultimate Guitar Book…but I digress. I actually picked up two Mini-Rigs recently, the MLC-3 and the MTV-7; however, my motivation for picking them up was because I thought they would make great generic vehicles for the Alien ReAction figures. If you’re interested in learning more about the Mini-Rigs, visit your local library. Kidding! Here’s a Starwars.com article about Mini-rigs. But you should visit your local library anyway. They’re awesome. You can read books for free.
  • The 1980s animation-themed magazine Cereal:Geek has a bunch of issues up for pre-order. I’ve read an issue here and there and it’s always fun reading, if you’re into the subject matter. Which I’m guessing a good number of you are. Because you’re here. Reading this website.
  • I haven’t gotten on the Instagram bandwagon yet, but I do like the funny “toyselfie” project they’re running.
  • Alien: Isolation might be the game to persuade me to invest in a next-gen system…but I don’t know. I’m not really a big survival horror fan. I absolutely hated Doom 3 and what it did to my beloved Doom gameplay. I loved the Dead Space games, but those were pretty action-oriented (and more so as the games progressed). I had hoped for a Dead Space-like Alien game, and Isolation seems close, and yet I find the first-person perspective really disappointing (and rather outdated, frankly). I’ll wait for the reviews before making a purchase decision.
  • I don’t watch The Goldbergs, a show about the titular family set in the 1980s, because life’s too short to watch dozens of television shows. But Dinosaur Dracula has catalogued the ridiculous amount of 1980s toys that young Adam Goldberg has in his room. Holy crap, is that kid spoiled.
  • ThreeA has announced that their 2000AD line will be 1/12th scale moving forward (i.e., 6″ scale). This doesn’t matter to me per se because I’m not a 2000AD fan, but it does remind me of the painfully cool 6″ Boba Fett we will never get to have. ThreeA is the only company who does fabric in this scale that I don’t hate.

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.

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?

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