That's it. I give up.

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2017-06-27, 07:30:54

I know this looks like another TL;DR, but it pertains to Star Wars collecting, and I just have to vent. Furthermore, it explains why you haven’t seen too many Star Wars figures in “Action Figures & Their Beers” lately. Also, I wonder if I’m alone in thinking like this, or if others feel the same way? Maybe drop us a line on the Creature Cantina Facebook page, if you want to share. Anywho . . . .

Since early 2014, my collecting in general – and my Star Wars collecting especially – has taken a drastic downturn. Not enough of a collecting reduction for Greeata’s liking (which, according to her, should be reduced to zero and start literally going into negative figures), but so reduced compared to what it used to be that my spending for the last year and a half roughly equals what I would’ve bought in a month or two before 2014.

This is mostly down to toy companies not really making anything I want to buy. Nowadays, everything is being made more cheaply, and it shows in the quality of the products. The NECA Aliens and Predator figures (and all their movie figures in general) are hitting everything for six (the English version of “knocking everything out of the park”), Lego keeps churning out some astonishingly good and extremely fun stuff as always, and Super7 seems like they’re going to keep the Masters of the Universe property going very nicely for all manner of MOTU fans now that they’ve got the license off Mattel. But all the other stuff I used to collect? Down the crapper.

Jurassic Park used to boast some pretty impressive and beautiful sculpts for their prehistoric critters. Over time, they got less and less beautiful, and now I just sneer at them. Which is a shame, because I would’ve liked a nice Dimorphodon to add to my pterosaur aviary.

TransFormers, revived in 2006 as an update of the original line, but with buttloads of articulation and fairly sturdy construction in addition to their transforming gimmick, have been getting hollower and seemingly more brittle in the past couple of years. Like they’re trying to use the absolute minimum amount of plastic possible, and they’re made of a thin pasltic shell with lots of reinforcing struts and a hell of a lot of air and void. And also, when you look at the original Masterpiece Optimus Prime from 2004 or so – a chunky behemoth with insane detailing, gimmicks out the wazoo, and loads of solid die-cast metal in his construction – and compare him to the shrunken, all-plastic, cartoonified and simplified “Masterpieces” they’re making these days, it’s like a slap in the face with a used maxi-pad. (And don't get me started on the mass of compromises and bad choices that is Masterpiece Dirge.) I knew the damn “GeeWunnerz” would ruin the hobby, all because of their insistence in everything having to be like that cheap, mistake-ridden cartoon they watched when they were eight. Not that I’m bitter. RIRFIB!

And then there’s Star Wars. I used to revel in the super-articulated, beautifully-sculpted, and frequently cloth-enrobed 3¾” figures, vehicles in every size from one-man rocket bike to ginormous freighter or gunned-up troop transporter, and the occasional playset piece or special collector’s item that tied things together beautifully in a display. Sure, it took us a while to get there from the early days of POTF2, but once we were there, it was £*#%ing glorious.

And then the new movies happened. The figures are still beautifully sculpted, but with a return to the five points of articulation they had back in the freakin’ Seventies, gone are the soft goods, and no appreciable drop in price! I bought a few of the better Star Wars Black 6” figures, which were nifty, and a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to poseability, joint integrity, clothing, and paintwork. There are no Wal-Marts in England, so I have no idea what’s up with the now-Wal-Mart-only Star Wars Black 3¾” figures. I think I managed to get two of them at a steep mark-up from Amazon, then gave up, especially as Ceremonial Leia was an immobile plastic lump from the waist down. The vehicles these days now insist on cramming in obtrusive Nerf-dart shooters. And while we’re on about the vehicles, I was considering buying the AT-ACT, until I saw this video on YouTube:

Yeah. Nearly three times the cost of the big Super-Deluxe AT-AT from 2010. Forget it! In the end, I bought ONE 3¾”-scale figure from Rogue One, and of course it was K-2SO. He was warped in the package, would not go back to proper shape with heating up in boiling water, and he will only stand if you put him in a stupid-looking pigeon-toed stance, like he’s a robot in a Michael Bay movie who’s bursting to pee on someone. And even then, he’ll only stand for a few minutes on his gangling getaway sticks before the plastic gets tired and he does a face-plant on the shelf. But all that’s okay, because he comes with one of those spring-loaded rappelling packs that all toy lines need to have somewhere. Ugh. And “better movies”? That's a rant for another day.

So, that’s it then. To paraphrase Hondo Ohnaka, “Dis hobby . . . is no longer . . . worth it!” Barring any kind of amazing new development (like all the bounty hunters done in the 6” Black Series), I think I’m pretty much done collecting Star Wars toys. It’s been a great run, though. I’ve built armies and fleets. I’ve populated my shelves with a great cross-section of the population of a galaxy far, far away. I’ve kept most things just as they come out of the package, and I’ve customised the Hells out of some of the others into some pretty neat things. I’ve bought items in stores, online, at conventions, and even managed to track down a number of exclusives from around the world. And I even still have a couple of figures I got back in the early 1980s. It was a blast while it lasted, though, and I hope I’ll be able I’ll cherish what I have for years to come. But I think I’m finished, now.

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