Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let's Talk Figures!: A few random talking points.

There's has been alot to talk about with regards to action figures this 2012. 

It's almost like it's a very good year for toys. Marvel Legends has returned, Marvel Universe figures are still coming our way, GI Joe's 30th Anniversary is still ongoing along with the coming movie and toyline respectively, Star Wars has come back on the big screen and toy shelves with a few new things, Hero movies will be coming as well as their merch; with Avengers on the opening salvo. Other than that, there are still a few good things that are coming.

The US has an edge of the incoming wave of new toys. I have lurked and posted a few times at Toyark, a popular site and forum for toys, and I have read the plight and success of collectors fro the US. 

Even if the distribution of new wave and toys are a bit late, it will still come to them. Most surprisingly, most of their retail stores have put a few new toylines on clearance and it hasn't been even two months since it came out. I have also read about how a Toyark member is selling loose MU figures for $20 for 4 figures and whether or not the figs are hard to find, it's still the same price. "Just helping out fellow collectors", he mentioned in one of his posts. I was envious ad was immediately contemplating how to buy from this guy.

Here in the Philippines, we're lucky to have toy distributions for new toylines and figures. Even more lucky if they place any new stuff on the shelves. Markdowns do not happen until it's almost a year [or two] hat has passed. And unlike that Toyark member, most of the collectors in the community here have an "every man for himself" mindset. There are only a few who feel that collectors should help fellow collectors, no strings attached. I am glad that I have met fellow collectors who have real passion for what they're doing and not just thinkng of how to make money.

Moving on, as stated above...the Avengers movie is coming to theaters soon and the movie merch has already landed on our shores and shelves. I was lucky enough to attend the Movie Toy Launch and grab a few target figures. It makes me more hungry to want to watch the movie though. Speaking of Avengers figures, prior to them being released, there has already been a very lengthy debate about the figures' lack of articulation.

We were all a bit shocked and surprised when the initial product shots and descriptions about the movie figs came out. I've heard all of the talking about the lack of articulation. Mostly negative of course, but why won't it be? In the advent of newer figures being made and new articulation being put on them, Hasbro went all retro and made the Avengers 3.75 figs look and feel like they're from the 90's. I was a bit disappointed myself but with all things said and done, I'm just happy that they didn't have less than what they have right now.

I have three of the movie figures, an Loki and Ultimates Thor and Hawkeye, and all three are fun to play and fiddle with despite the fact they are missing wrist, ankle, waist and torso articulation. But irregardless, they all play the same as other figures. Sometimes, figures suffer if they have a ton of articulation *cough*Daredevil/Bullseye Comic pack*cough*. These figs were just right to me. As a kid during the 90's, I played alot with Toybiz Marvel figures with almost the same [or even less] articulation and had alot of fun. But I still hope that this won't greatly affect everything and that this won't be a trend, ie. less articulation and a higher price.

And I guess less articulation won't be a problem for MOC collector's since they don't even open their figures.....and yet, I stll see a few rants from MOC collectors with regards to it. *shrugs* Oh well...

From lack of articulation we now move on to packaging. Recently, MOC pictures of GI Joe: retaliation figures has been seen on the net and alot of people, again, have been stating that it looks "cheap", "ugly", "looks like a knock-off". But I understand them as GI Joe packaging has always been somewhat nice and clean to look at. The packing from the previous movie, Rise of Cobra, was pretty standard and neat. Then came Pursuit of Cobra which reverted somewhat to a redesigned 25th Anniversary look. Then the 30th Anniversary and Renegades figure packaging completely overhauled and simplified it more. 

For me, I don't get all the hubbub about the new packaging. Since I open figures and stash the card/package away, I don't mind it at all. I think that the packaging is still ok. It is part of movie merch after all. On this issue, I guess MOC collectors would now have a say in the discussion...while openers like me should let it pass.

One thing I couldn't let pass was an open letter to Hasbro with regards to the new toyline of "Movie Heroes" Star Wars figures. It was not a rant without alot of good points. Mainly on repackaging old figs without any significant change at all and the lack of articulation as well. I definitely agree with him bu then again repackaging an old figure is good especially if it was a bit hard to find. It was still an interesting read for me.

Even with the advent of all the new releases, all of the collectors here just wish for one thing. That they will all be released and sold to the mass market/shops. All the talks about pricing, articulation and packaging will come second. As long as we are all able to get our hands on them without any trouble from overpricing from hobby shops and sellers, it's all good. 

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