Can we expect updates of the aging POTF2 action figures from the 1990s? Are you taking care to use the best figure storage means that you can afford? And did you realize that there are not one, but two animated Boba Fett figures coming in The Clone Wars? All this and some feeble attempts at reformatting in this week's column!
1. I've been keeping my loose figures in tackle boxes. But, with hundreds of figures and dozens of tackle boxes, there ends up being a lot of dead space.
I am considering individually bagging my figures instead, and then keeping them in large plastic tubs. Sure, it'll be harder to find figures if I have to dig through them all, but I think it may also cut down on the dead space and free up some room in my storage area. Since I anticipate a long wait until I can set up a proper display area, the majority of my collection will be confined to the closet for a while longer and I'd like to cut back on the space I need for it.
Are there any concerns I should be aware of with keeping figures long-term in ziploc bags? Does the plastic in the bag break down over time and yellow the figures, or other problems? I've heard about moisture build-up, and molding, over time: how can I avoid that? Will this increase the likelihood of the plastic in the figures breaking down and getting "sticky"? Anything else you can think of?
Tackle boxes-while bulky and expensive-do protect figures and allow them to breathe a little. Somehow, some air circulates through there, perhaps just enough to keep the figures "fresh." For real preservation, this is the way to do it. You can also look at your collection and just preserve the "good" figures, give away the "worthless" ones, and re-buy carded figures for less than it is likely to cost you to properly store them. And just open those later. (Seriously, I'm hearing fans buying collections of 1995-2004 product for $0.25-$0.50 per figure now, and a good tackle box will generally store 12 figures for $4-$5. Something to think about!)
Plastic bags do sometimes cause moisture build-up and they do not protect the figure against other figures being stacked on top of them. You will see deformities over time.
Also do consider how your display area will be put up-things like sunlight are bad for your toys.
2. I was going through my loose collection ('95-current) the other day and realised how much some of the earlier era POTF2 figures stand out against the more recent resculpts and updates. There are a few figures that are in drastic need of a newer version with todays standards of sculpting,articulation and paint apps. The main ones that look very dated or out of scale are -
EV 9D9 - (I'd love to see a modern figure of this character!)
Princess Leia Ceremonial - (the original is just huge!!)
Han Solo with Carbonite Block
Princess Leia Bespin (the red/orange gown - the one we have is a nice looking figure - but it could do with an update)
What do you think are the chances of seeing these characters updated?
At this point it really depends on the longevity of "movie" Star Wars figures more than anything else. Bespin Leia was last resculpted in 2004, and she's pretty short, so I'd say it's unlikely we'll see a new version of her. The rest? I'd assume any of them can happen, and the chances are getting better now that Hasbro is abandoning their "theme wave" releases in 2011.
A big part of these figures getting redone are going to be fan complaints. For example, Han Solo in Carbonite-the 2006 release is pretty great, except that it's "melting." But it is the right size for the new Slave I vehicle released this year. Oddly, few people seem to be asking for a new version of it or EV-9D9, and I think few fans will argue that the 1997 EV-9D9 was a little underwhelming back when released.
All I can say to you guys is: hop on your favorite forums, and ask for new ones! If a bunch of you guys get behind something, Hasbro may notice and that sometimes helps them decide to put one figure out before another.
3. With the recent release of the Toys R Us Slave 1 Ultimate Battle Pack, there are a couple of included exclusive figures -- most importantly Boba the Kid and Bossk. I see that Boba will be released on a card later this year/next year, and I am wondering if a carded Bossk is not too far behind. It's a phenomenal sculpt, and even know the updated Slave 1 might be worth the price alone, I cant see myself spending $100 just for my favorite bounty hunter, Clone Wars style... Have you heard anything rumors regarding a separate release down the road? I assume he is a highly sought after character, much deserved to be released outside of this Battle Pack.
There are actually two very different animated Boba Fett figures coming out in 2010. One is the "clone cadet" verstion released in that set, the other carded version is a mini Bounty Hunter version. The two are quite different in accessories and appearance, so if you're collecting them all you will want to get both. And there's no word of Cadet Boba ever being sold separately as of yet. Bossk has a similar story-Hasbro has told me, flat-out, that there are currently zero plans to release this figure on the card because it was decided that it needed to go in this giant boxed set instead. I tried to weasel out of them when the carded release will happen, and they flat-out would not tell me, so if (or when) it's going to happen, they aren't talking. For right now, I suggest either buying the set or watching eBay for auctions with separate figures. A lot of people are buying the set just for the vehicles and dumping the rest, or so they claim, so keep your eyes peeled.
4. I've seen the reports in Canada that the AT-ATs have the special offer sticker and come packed with two Snowtroopers on the vintage collection cardbacks. Is this coming to the U.S., or is it a Canadian exclusive? Are there any plans to have any other types of "Special Offer" items in The Vintage Collection?
Here's a good answer-I don't know. This was a real surprise to see, and I don't have a story behind it aside from assuming they had some Snowtrooper overstock to get rid of.
As far as I know Hasbro has nothing like this planned for the United States, but as we're fast seeing, they don't announce everything at their summer conventions. My expectation is that we will not see more sets like this in the near-term, but hey, I didn't expect we would hear about this in Canada either.
5. It sure looks to me as if the Gam[orrean] Guard's headpiece is removable. N'est pa? Any chance anyone had an opportunity to peel the helmet off and get a photo?
I hate to give another non-answer, but I haven't seen any confirmation that it comes off as of yet. Have you guys?
I've been asked to run down the new Vintage Revenge of the Sith wave of Hasbro action figures, so let's do that.
Commander Cody: Improved from TLC release. Antenna now painted, belt now corrected. The 2006 figure may have better deco, but this may be the best overall. Buy it if you need a Cody.
Sandtrooper: effectively the Dewback release on a more gorgeous cardback. Carded fans of any collecting generation ought to buy one to keep carded. Nothing seems significant about the figure other than the added gun.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: The 2006 configuration with the 2005 pilot headset. A top-notch figure, but anyone collecting since ROTS will find him "more of the same." You can skip this one.
Clone Trooper: plain white ROTS-style figure with removable helmet and hip joints that have a greater range of motion. Helmet missing stripe across brow. Kind of chunky, but new enough to warrant buying. Watch for repaints and variants.
General Grievous: essentially the 2008 figure with a new cloak. Interestingly, the new cloak makes it look really nice. The figure is still rubbery and iffy because you can't stand him on a stand-no foot pegs, plus gravity will get to him.
Darth Sidious: one of two all-new molds in the wave, and pretty stunning. The outfit has a few shortcomings but it's a new costume of a good character, so I suggest you buy it.
Anakin Skywalker: the 2008 body with new arms (elbow ball joints) and a new "evil" head. I really like this one. Cloak, lightsaber, and hilt. New enough and fun enough to warrant buying if you can stand another one.
Magnaguard: gorgeous. New sculpt, new staff. Cloth cape, removable plastic "hood" for robot head. I really wish he came with a display stand, but this is the wave's arguable winner. Get two, or more, it's good.
Alongside Wave 2 are some Wave 1 figures. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Darth Vader, Boba Fett will ship in this case and its revisions, The really depressing thing is that while the improvements are good and the new figures are good, there are only 2 new sculpts in this wave. 2. 5 of the 8 "new" figures have at least some new tooling changes, but three are essentially existing figures with a new head or new accessory. Unless the edition size warrants it, the premium pricing seems out of place so far. (Although I should note that the ROTJ wave does look like it will more than make up for it.)
The wave isn't disappointing, but with 8 "new" carded figures at a going rate of $8 a pop, it may be a tougher sell. I love the prequel "vintage" look on the packaging, and if the new Sandtrooper doesn't make you smile, you're dead inside. If you only buy one figure to keep on the card in 2010, or ever, this might be the one to buy. It's also the only officially announced "Star Wars" logo figure to date out of over 30 figures.
Got questions? I bet you do. Email me with Q&A in the subject line.