Old, Not Obsolete!

Ok, so wtf is the German going to ramble about today, hmm?!

Well, first of all let me apologize to a personal friend of mine from the UK, Dan. Dude, I gave you shit for this, but it was TOO fitting for this to pass up on.  So: sorry, dude. ;)

Now, what I mean by this is simply that I was VERY disappointed over this year’s announcements/teases at SDCC2018. Many people know me, I´m approaching 37 and I´m pretty old school. Many people over here collect S.H. Figuarts stuff, SW Black Series, Mythic Legions and not many seem to share my love for Robocop and Terminator to only name a few, but don´t get me wrong: sure respect it.

With that being said: Hot Toys is slacking big. fuckin. time.

We only see Star Wars, DC, or Marvel, with the 3 exceptions, of which, 2 were surprises:

-          John Wick (Surprise)

-          Fugitive Predator

-          Battle Angel Alita (Surprise)

I have zero interest in of those (good on the wallet), but it pains me to see that old franchises won´t get any love anymore. Call it whining, it doesn´t matter to me, I just need to vent and hope someone gets me. Because I know PLENTY of people which are also enjoying these franchises (maybe not in the Realm, but still) and they ache for a “The Terminator” Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor, “Robocop” Clarence Boddicker and Dick Jones, “Aliens” Ripley and Dwayne Hicks, Hudson, Drake, Vasquez…you name it. And I honestly believe Hot Toys drops the ball BIG TIME when it comes to delivering characters to collection that fill them and somehow complete them too. Especially so on the villain side, sometimes also cult characters, modern, or old school, but I´m doing an overall list. I hope you bear with me.

Just a few examples:

We´ve gotten Ant-Man, yet no Yellow Jacket. The Guardians were done, but no Ronan. Thor, no Malekith, but multiple Lokis. No Grandmaster or Valkyrie. Iron Man´s Mark 1 – 1 Trillion, but how about Happy Hogan or Aldrich Killian? Two City Hunter Predators, but was there no Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) and especially since I started with them: 2 Terminator 1 T-800s (Tech Noir and Police Shootout), which were able to double as Arm & Eye Surgery and Tanker Accident T-800, but a non-fitting and INCORRECTLY outfitted Terminator 1 ¼-scale T-800 Endoskeleton, with a base with “lava” (still a big WTF?!) and phased pulse rifle (belongs to T2), yet Endo for T1, or a 2-pack with Kyle, Sarah and a blasted in half T-800 (which would work), cause let´s be clear:

RoboCop showed us that it can work. The battle-damaged Robocop with human Alex Murphy was a hit. It sold out everywhere, presented us with Hot Toys’ BEST head sculpt to date, and aftermarket prices for this set is crazy.  And with current sculpters and the sculpt work, amazing sculpts could be done of Michael Biehn (which sure can be used for Dwayne Hicks too. One sculpt, two uses), Linda Hamilton, Kurtwood Smith, and all those cult characters.

So I get it why Hot Toys only delivers pieces for DC, Marvel and Star Wars: Because the licenses are expensive and they milk the cow, because they need to get their costs back. But with half- (or let´s just say “unfinished”) collections of Terminator 1, 2 and RoboCop, Hot Toys wouldn´t lose money. People want Clarence, Dick, Sarah, John and the old T-800. Fans would eat that up in a heartbeat. They pay VERY good and also big custom money for Legio7 custom figures of Clarence, Emil Antonovsky´s molten appearance from the end, Nash, Joe and there´s also a Dick Jones custom out there. 1984 Kyle too, but its sculpt is lacking.

The money is there, Hot Toys just needs to grab it and also would sure get fan/customer support big time, because that´s where they can improve too: Listening to fans, which would help them in the long run.

I hope I caught an ear or two. Would be glad if you sound of in the comments below, or leave a like. Find me in the Facebook groups as “Tim Kay” and on IG and FB as @figurephotographycrate, or on Youtube @timkaysnerdcrate. Hit me up, always happy to chop it up with the ROC fam.

‘Til next time

The Mad German

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You. Complete. Me.

Rabbit holes. What are they, where are they, and where do they come from…and: Do we really need´em?

As a disclaimer, first I want to say that I accept and respect every single last one of you all in the Realm. You collect and buy whatever and how many of whatever you like and how you see fit. This here is my way of doing it, and because I have read many comments and posts of people who say stuff in the vein of, “How am I supposed to pay for all of this? Damn you (insert “Fans Toys” (I'm not doing it here ;-) ), Hot Toys, Iron Factory, MMC, etc., etc.),” I wanted to write a different set of thoughts and maybe spark up a flame. If this isn't for you because you´re a completionist, or you simply don´t like my blog entries, I suppose you may exit now, and that’s fine.

For all others: Welcome to my third entry. This is starting to be fun.

So…rabbit holes are apparently THE abyss of a fandom.  A practical definition of “Rabbit Hole”:

  • Have you been into Street Fighter pretty much from the get-go and you also collect Bandai´s S.H. Figuarts line? You´re screwed.
  • Do you love the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  Do you love it each time Robert Downey Jr. shows up in the gazillionth armor variation and are you ALSO into One-Sixth Scale? Then you “need” all the Hot Toys armors. Feel the burn.

And to close it off:

  • Do you love Legends-scale Transformers? Do you have all of Hasbro´s releases, but acknowledge that there is stuff missing.  BOOM! Iron Factory drops their Bruticus.  Guess what? Down the hatch you go.

I think you get the picture (if you weren´t familiar with the term “rabbit hole”). I may shatter some expectations here by saying this, but you don't “need” them all.  You can spend money on other things, may it be real life, may it be other franchises, or you got mortgages, or debts to pay, or, or, or…

Don´t get me wrong. I love looking at everyone's collection. It is a major part of the hobby for me, and I also do understand and absolutely respect you when you say that you need the Transformers G1 Ark crew in MP form. Those are almost impossible to pass up, same with a full Street Fighter lineup. I grew up on those. The part I don't understand is when you collect and you post comments like I mentioned above (“How am I supposed to…?”). You´re not. Plain and simple.

If you don't have the money, don´t buy it. Look at your stuff, check if you “need” it.  That's where MY approach comes into play, which I jokingly called, “The German's Approach” a few months back:

I only have the characters I absolutely need, 1 or 2 characters that have a sentimental value for me, or it was an impulse buy (like entering a Toys’R Us for the first time in 3 years and you see figures you normally don´t see).  This means:

  • I collect Terminator, Robocop and Transformers (with the first 2 on hold, because there is nothing coming at the moment):
    • Terminator
      • I have nothing in my 1/6 collection I regret and I would only add a few more: T1 Kyle Reese, T1 Sarah Connor, and a T1/2 T-800 Endoskeleton and that´s it. Nothing more would spark my interest.
    • RoboCop
      • I´m essentially only missing Dick Jones, Anne Lewis, and Clarence Boddiker. Legio7’s customs are borderline genius, but they are way too expensive, and I´m not paying $400 for a figure without accessories.
  • Transformers
    • My MP shelf is done, BUT: I´m thinking about upgrading to accommodate Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. I'm also thinking about Fans Toys’ Omega Supreme and and and...
    • The one thing I NEED is Galvatron, and if nothing happens soon on the official side, I will hunt down Fans Toys Sovereign.
  • (I also have a little bit of Marvel, but not much and I´m almost done, so this is not really a category)

But here is where “The German’s Approach” comes into play: I want to get Generation Toy's IDW MP Megatron next. I opened this rabbit hole (unknowingly) with Mastermind Creations’ Carnifex, continued with the Transform Mission Stunticons, and widened it even further with Generation Toy's OP.EX. I don't know where this will take me, but I do know that I want to go to the United States next year. If I want to manage that, I need to stay selective, and that's what I recommend.

Wait a little bit once you have something in your shopping cart. I know the first urge is to buy it, but for me…even if it´s preordered and the payment is due, it can go a couple of different ways:

  1. “Man, 380 bucks for that Diecast War Machine…alright.  Order placed.”  
    • This is the quick way, because I regretted selling this piece in the first place, but next comes the alternate and quite honestly, it’s what usually happens.
  2. “Man, 250 bucks for that Batman, and the Arkham Knight is next…you forgot that PO, did you?  Together they're around 550 bucks.”
    • That's when I look around and I see I don´t have the space. Even though I have the money, I don't “need” it, so I canceled the preorder and I didn't regret a thing.

And this is where I come back to one of my first sentences, where I was really honest and I apologized if I stepped on anybody´s toes, but again, it´s my honest opinion:

If you buy something, even though you said before that you don´t have the money for it and jokingly say: “Huh, ramen for next half a year again,” then it´s your problem.  “Self-induced pain” is the magic term here, and this is where you shouldn't get any mercy from anyone.  Broken down, there should really only be 2 paths for us as collectors:

  1. You REALLY want to have it: Pull the trigger, look forward to it, but don´t complain when it shows up and you get a cut worth 200 bucks or more.
  2. You suppress the urge and stay away: Congratulations! You made it to the promised land of selective collecting.

I´m currently bound to the #2 due to private reasons, but I'm not sad about it.  I'm actually happy with it. It helps me keep everything in check.  I know my expenses and if I don't need a toy, I cancel my PO.  This has helped me big time in the past, and I hope I rang a bell with someone here.

Peace out and thx for reading,

The Mad German

IG: @Figurephotographycrate

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