Points of Articulation
At My Signal, "Unleashed" Hell
With Revenge of the Sith coming shortly, Midnight Madness has happened - for those not in the know, it's the gathering of Star Wars fans and geeks at stores specially opening at midnight to sell the new lines of Star Wars toys. It's a great atmosphere for us to pick up some of our most wanted figs before the other stores get them, and a good atmosphere in general - and not a uterus in sight!
This OAFE is a huge Star Wars fan - I love the original trilogy, and I love it enough to openly criticise the fact that the new trilogy is god awful and Lucas's changes to the original trilogy (that he "originally intended," of course) are lame. That being said, I own only one Star Wars action figure (Attack of the Clones Yoda, for those interested.)
Why is this, you ask? Surely a big Star Wars fan and a huge toy collector would have scores of figures, from all across the Star Wars universe! Sadly, I have almost none. Don't get me wrong, I'd adore a figure of Darth Vader (other than the potato), and a kick-ass toy of Boba Fett. A big Rancor toy? Count me in! And right now, I'd love a big army of Jedi figures - a dozen or more Jedi Knights, as seen in one of the only tolerable sequences from Attack of the Clones. So, why not? Why the one lonely Yoda? Simply, the terrible 3 3/4" scale
Pretty much everything I collect is 6" to 7" scale. I prefer this 1/12th scale over anything else - for example, the fabric clothing on 12" figures is rarely done well, and the larger 1/6th scale figures take up an awful lot of space in your average steerage. No, it's 6" for me, especially with everything close to the same scale - you can have Movie Maniacs alongside Muppets and they'll still look great. And 1/12th remains the most popular scale, with some slight variations, like the slightly bigger Cult Classics and the slightly smaller Masters of the Universe toys.
But I simply cannot stand the 3 3/4" line, and I never have been able to. For one, the likenesses range from barely tolerable to flat-out awful. Do any of the original Star Wars figures look like the actors? The smaller scale makes it much harder to do accurate sculpts, and articulation has always been sacrificed with detail (although both are getting better nowadays, like the most recent General Grievous, who may be the most stupid character Lucas has ever conceived. Yes, send me your angry e-mails, fanboys. But even the newer, somewhat better 3 3/4" figures cannot compare to a super-articulated, highly detailed and accurate 6" figure.
What's worse is that the smaller, less quality figures are priced as just as much as (or even more than) larger, better figures. It's not rare to pay the same price for a Marvel Legend with infinitely better sculpting, detail, paint, articulation and accessories than a tiny Star Wars figure, and it sucks.
The Hasbro answer to the scale question has been resolved in the bigger, more detailed line, Unleashed, which may be the worst line of action figures ever conceived. You can't argue with this. Essentially every last Unleashed figure has been a terrible waste of plastic. Improved sculpt? Yep! Natalie Portman and Carrie Fisher look dead-on! Chewie's "blowing in the breeze" look is incredible!! Awesome poses? Yep! Look at Jango Fett taking a dump barely holding his guns, or the upcoming "Darth Vader trips and falls down the stairs". Articulation? Are you kidding? It also helps that the line is insanely overpriced with pathetic quality control and yet, like flies on a corpse, fans keep buying them. In many ways, the rabid, drooling, inhaler-clutching idiots deserve the garbage that Lucas is handing to them.
Now, don't get me wrong - I too am a complete geek and proud of it, but I know when I'm getting the shaft and there's no way I'm going to stand for it. Especially when so many others are just making it worse (i.e., worshipping every horrible idea Lucas has; continuing to buy the merchandise no matter how crappy, etc.) and are claiming it makes them bigger fans.
All I want is a decent-sized, decently sculpted, decently articulated line of Star Wars figures featuring the best, most popular and most interesting characters. Not going insane and making every character from every film - just the classics. Vader. Luke Skywalker. Han Solo. Princess Leia. (Yes, in the bikini as well.) Chewie. Boba Fett. Yoda. Even Wicket. With recognizable sculpts, some poseability and good accessories in 6" scale, without being overpriced. Is that too much to ask? Being that there are millions and millions of fans all over the world for what is one of the most popular movie trilogies (sextilogies?) ever, many of them toy collectors and much of them wanting the same thing, it shouldn't be!
Aside from pillaging the company and launching a full on assault with the fleet, what can we do? Let's put our heads together and contact the big wigs instead at Hasbro! Let's let some of the fans and pirates be heard! Six-inch Chewbacca could be the best toy of the year, displayed right next to your Marvel Legends! Let's make it happen! And may the Force Be With You!