I Accidentally Read Star Wars Books For Kids

(I had assumed this would easily all fit into one post. Once I got to 1,000 words without even having spoken about the book series I was planning on writing about I decided to make this a two-parter. If it takes me five hours to write it’ll probably take you two hours to read. I don’t know too many people who want to read 3,000+ words about Star Wars books in one sitting. If you are one of those people I apologize, and feel your pain. “Too long, didn’t read” is the worst thing you can say to someone who busted their ass writing something so I try to edit myself when necessary. It became very necessary with Star Wars books because I’ve been reading so many for so long.) Continue reading “I Accidentally Read Star Wars Books For Kids”

Beth’s Best of 2018

I’m back baby! That was an extended hiatus, but the end of 2018/start of 2019 was horrible for me. Sickness and death, and all manner of garbage. Seems like a good time to finally post my 2018 recap and put the year behind me. We’ve done the podcast, but given the number of people that were on (and the way that Dave looked at me for talking about Star Wars as I did) now is my chance to elaborate. There are also some things that came out in 2018 that I hadn’t seen when we recorded so I can talk about those now too. Plus, with everything that’s happened since, that podcast seems like it was recorded a lifetime ago. So here’s my good, meh, and ugly from 2018 in no particular order. Sorry if I repeat from the podcast, but I promise it’ll be worth reading even if you’ve already listened. Well, I promise it’ll have enough differences or new content. I never promise that I’ll write something worth reading. Continue reading “Beth’s Best of 2018”

Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro

Star Wars vehicles are very important to me.

If I’m talking about Star Wars toys I’m probably going to mention that the starfighters, cloud cars, assorted tanks, and the odd space freighter are critical to any toy line focused on The Galaxy.

Note: Ever since I watched the Solo special features and heard Ron Howard refer to Star Wars as simply “The Galaxy” I have thought it was absolutely wonderful. Pardon me while I obnoxiously co-opt his term of endearment.

The 3.75” Star Wars line has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade and the last few years, specifically, have seen dramatic changes in how Hasbro releases vehicles. Toy production costs have skyrocketed, so the days of getting an acceptably scaled starship for under forty bucks are gone.

Ten years ago you could purchase a (reasonably) accurately scaled Jedi Starfighter with a functioning cockpit, spring-loaded wings and missiles, a removable droid piece, landing gear, and other bells and whistles for $19.99. Since then, as production prices have risen, Hasbro has tried various methods of getting vehicles to the public – scaled-down versions, simplified models, (much) cheaper plastics, less deco, and big hunks of rotocast plastic that don’t even interact with figures.

None of these were for me and I have had to sort of accept that 3.75” scale vehicles were no longer part of my collecting habits.

Fortunately I have an eleven-year-old son who likes Star Wars, so I’ve been keeping tabs on things through his collection. Hasbro has done some interesting things since The Force Awakens and I’ve actually picked up a few items here and there (on clearance).

This past year, though, Hasbro has shown a new interest in getting collectors like me back on board.

You all probably know about HasLab and the forthcoming Sail Barge (good lord it’s less than two months from shipping and I have no idea where I’m gonna put that enormous sonofabitch), but we also got a special treat in the form of today’s subject – a Vintage Collection Imperial tank from Rogue One.

If you don’t know, Hasbro’s Vintage Collection is a line meant to appeal to collectors like me. It uses packaging based on the looks of the original Kenner line, which is a huge draw. Beyond that, the toys themselves have more articulation and deco than the current basic 3.75” releases. While I enjoy the look of the packaging, I open everything, so the quality of the toys is much more important to me. They could put a super articulated figure with great deco in a Mylar bag with cardboard stapled to the top and I’d buy it.

This Imperial vehicle – from a key scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – was the first modern Vintage Collection vehicle release. There is currently also a Walmart exclusive TIE Fighter that’s less appealing to me because I already own some fine TIE Fighters and don’t want to pay eighty bucks for a slightly different one.

Oh, yeah – that’s the MSRP for this tank, too.

I’m a big fan of that scene and this tank and when Hasbro first shared pictures of it (at Toy Fair, I think) I was excited. But I also knew that I probably wouldn’t buy it because it would probably cost way more than I was willing to spend. Once it hit retail that turned out to be the case, so I resigned myself to missing out if the price didn’t drop.

Yes – I am aware that waiting for things I want to drop in price probably reduces the likelihood that toy companies will produce more things I want in the future. But I’m at a point where my idea of value has been left behind by inflation. If something is too expensive for me anyway, I’m okay with it going away.

Of course, there’s the whole other issue of those One:12 figures I love so much costing as much as this tank, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

Anyway, eyeballing Amazon for dropping prices on toys I want, but not badly enough, has become a habit. Much to my surprise this beautiful tank dropped to forty bucks just before Christmas, so I ordered one. Is it worth forty or maybe even the original eighty? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro”

Needless Things Podcast 244 – Caravan of Courage Needless Commentary

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-cjpu6-a268b7

Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!

In an almost Santa Claus-like manner, our friend Chad J. Shonk swooped in to save the holidays with some Star Wars magic in the form of Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure!
In 1984, George Lucas wanted some of that sweet, sweet television revenue but was still smarting from the hideous embarrassment of the Star Wars Holiday Special. So he took the reins himself and oversaw production on an all-new adventure featuring the inhabitants of Endor’s moon.
That’s right – we here at Needless Things can’t go a Christmas season without some good, old-fashioned Star Wars action, so it’s time to sit down and snuggle with the Galaxy’s most lovable little cannibals, the Ewoks!
Listen in as Dave, Battle Cougar, Ryan Cadaver, Rad Ranger, Arian, and special guest Chad J. Shonk travel to a galaxy far, far away for this month’s Needless Commentary!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!
Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro

As I mentioned on last week’s Needless Things Podcast, I just can’t seem to choose a Star Wars line.

The less articulated basic line gives the best character selection, the Vintage Collection is the style and size I prefer, and the Black Series has finally achieved a level of quality where I find some of the releases irresistible.

If I can actually find them.

The bounty hunters – the group Darth Vader assigns to hunt down the Millennium Falcon in Empire – transcend those decisions, though. I’ve loved those character designs since I was a child, but the best thing is that they’re a small, specific group and that every Star Wars line tends to represent all six of them – Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, Bossk, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss. So I’ve developed a habit of just buying all of the bounty hunters when I see them, even if I’m not collecting that line.

As for the Black Series, I hadn’t intended to buy anyone but Fett. At twenty bucks a pop these aren’t the same kind of fun impulse buy as Galactic Heroes or a small LEGO set that has three of the characters. I passed on Bossk and IG-88, but then when Hasbro hit us with the triple threat of Dengar, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss (a Disney Store exclusive and therefore much more easily obtained), as well as the announcement that they would be rereleasing the first two, I couldn’t resist.

Mainly because for one reason or another I’ve managed to stock an entire shelf with Black Series releases.

Am I dumb for continuing to dabble in this line, or is 4-LOM the kind of figure that could make you question your style loyalties? Read on and find out.

Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro”

Needless Things Podcast 243 – Star Wars Toys with Adam Pawlus

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-bycrj-a1d628

On this weeks’ episode, Adam Pawlus of 16Bit.com and GalacticHunter.com talks to Dave about the past, present, and future of Star Wars toys!

Known for his quick wit and intuitive knowledge of the hobby, Adam Pawlus has written for various publications including Star Wars Galaxy Collector as well as stints at Rebelscum and Yakface. He also has a day job in the toy business. His newsletter was an invaluable resource for many collectors during the POTF2 era. He now brings his expertise, as well as his ever-popular Q&A column, to Galactic Hunter. If you have a question about Star Wars toys, it’s a good bet he has the answer, or an answer.
Listen in as Dave and Adam talk about the ups and downs of collecting toys from that galaxy far, far away!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!