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About Glue

  • Birthday 07/05/1975

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  1. "Come quietly or there will be.. TROUBLE!" Now where's ED-209?
  2. While that would seem to make sense, it's unlikely they'd just introduce a completely new and unseen visual design element without it being motivated by the movie. If it's not from the movie somewhere, where is it coming from?
  3. That presumes all of us got "past" the looks of the Transformers in that movie. I lost all interest in that modernization, and I'd pretty much lost all interest in this one largely before even this, so this is really just another nail in the coffin. It's not anything specific that majorly does it. It's all of them taken together. As for making a GI Joe movie for ninja turtle fans, I have to think that makes about as much sense as making TMNT for Jem fans... but whatever floats your boat.
  4. There is a subtle distinction in the supernatural/fantasy story elements between pre- and post-movie GI Joe. Prior to the movie, there were things like ninja magic, Excalibur, the ghosts in the phantom brigade, the synthoids, Destro's ancestors, and the genetic engineering of Serpentor. But if the viewer is willing to suspend their disbelief about the other general stuff (laserbeam guns, nobody dying) then one can at least accept that such a team of military specialists using the "real world" technology of their universe might plausibly exist to fight a similarly equipped and armed terrorist organization of the same world. One could carry this core premise into say, a live-action movie aimed at adults, shedding those more fantastic elements, and still maintain the core essence of story and setting. But the continuity loses that fundamental essence when the lead villain is explained to originate from an ancient Lovecraftian civilization of monstrous humanoids. I do think a lot of it started at least in the second season with the forced introduction of characters like Serpentor and Sgt. Slaughter, but there were also popular elements like the BATS that were a little more plausible. Of course, I'm in the camp that believes the shifts in GI Joe's popularity, along with those in other properties, were driven more by the inherent handling of the property itself than by external factors such aging of the demographic or competition from other entertainment industries.
  5. I'd go for some Cobra-La figs if they packaged them separately. On the other hand, I could see them preferring to release something like "Golobulus + Airtight" over a bunch of possibly pegwarming "Golobulus + Cobra-La Guard". I think if they packed Cobra-La figs separately in low volumes for those of us that want 'em, they'd all clear though.. As a side addendum, am I the only one who thinks the DVD packs have been a pretty good value? At 4 figures, a whole miniseries of Sunbow eps, and a MASS Device component, I've been pretty pleased for $20..
  6. Glue


    And the sent back: Wow. Definitely sounds like she just skimmed or blew you off. I'm much more inclined to believe it's a pricing error too with those numbers.. But bleh. Minor inconvenience? Over here, local availability of Joes/TFs is pretty low in my immediately closest Wal-Mart and Target so I don't tend to even bother visiting them much unless I happen to just be passing by.
  7. I've NEVER seen any kid buy 25ths. I've seen adults buy a few, usually several, or entire shopping carts full (the times I've caught them at it, anyway). I see kids buy Ben10, TF:A, and lots of Wrestling figures.. o_O I'd like lights and sounds on 25ths and G1. =D I really think it's story (or some anchoring source material) that carries the toys though. The kids seem to buy toys of characters of shows they watch and care about. We buy toys of shows (and comics) that we care about.. they were just long ago. Although to be fair, a lotta you guys bought stuff like JvC/SpyTroops/VvV/S6 toys and probably didn't love the shows that much which is a fairly alien mindset to me. (Okay, I'll confess I bought some S6 with some high hopes before I abruptly stopped after seeing the show.)
  8. Heh. Well I'd like to hope I'm not looking back through adult-colored glasses. I was going by my thoughts at the time (in order of acceptance were: laser beam guns, nobody dying, everyone parachuting out in time, the supernatural in the Sunbow seasons, the supernatural in the DiC seasons, Cobra-La -- with the last two being about where it starts to impact my willingness to buy). I'm 33, but I've a fairly clear memory of why I bought toys and why I didn't (and yes, some were quite silly). I wasn't turned off by the first few theme gimmicks much (Python Patrol and Tiger Force). It was more that Hasbro kept trying more and more of them. Python Patrol was corny, even as a kid, but it was backed up by the cartoon continuity and I look back with nostalgic fondness at the corniness. However, they had little educational stuff on some of the basic physics principles of how stuff like the stealth fighter and bomber worked in school. You didn't have to be an aeronautics engineer to think that making planes radar-invisible by zapping snakes onto them is just slightly demeaning to even a kid's intelligence. =) I only ever bought a single Cobra EEL figure (and I think a pogo pod thing). I WANTED various characters and vehicles up through to some of the movie ones + a Python Conquest, but with most of the DiC stuff, I just stopped even wanting anything from the entire line. As an adult, I want a bit more but still from the same timeframes. If anything, I'd say I'm more projecting the desires I had as a kid onto myself now, and onto my disposable income, than the other way around. My toy collecting didn't survive past '88, but it stopped because the toys were no longer backed by shows. I would have liked to have continued buying toys but not when they were just inexplicably repainting/retooling them or making characters that weren't part of any continuity I knew or had seen on shows. Hmm.. that's a different take on an argument I've heard before (that Joe and TFs got outcompeted in the '80s by console games). I'm not sure if I correctly understand which time you're referring to. The mid-90s? I agree that it probably would have been laughed at. I don't necessarily think that it would've been a bad idea though. I'd just started college in '93 and noticed G2 TFs coming out. I remember getting quite excited 'cause I was SO ready to scoop those up until I found out they were more or less arbitrary color molds that didn't even match the G2 "show". Would such lines not have flown commercially? Well any adult market is, to this day, really unestablished. The issue is that in the early '80s, Hasbro and friends were willing to be the pioneers in creating a new unproven market whereas ever since they wait and copy someone else because "adults don't buy toys". Well I was speaking about the supply-side based on what I gleaned about Hasbro management's views from their annual financial reports. In terms of the demand side and the impact on maintaining continuity in the adult fanbase, I'll have to defer to your info since I saw the SpyTroops/VvV phase from afar but didn't look at all closely at it. I'm not about to discount the value of that fanbase continuity as 25ths likely wouldn't have happened without fan demand.
  9. Glue


    The only ones who lowered their price was Target. This was done way before Xmas to price match Walmart. It has nothing to do with lower oil prices. Hmm.. don't think so, because I recall local Wal-Marts pricing their single-packs over $7 too a while ago. At least the ones around here both lowered their prices and coincided with about the same time as gas and oil price drops.
  10. Glue


    Here, that's about the price of the comic 2-packs -- $9.89 or $9.99. Think both Target and Wal-Mart have lowered prices slighty for singles back down to $6.84 (my guess is from the lower price of oil affecting both the materials and transportation factor).
  11. I can only speak from my experience, but I still bought RAH Joe figures (albeit a select few that appealed to me) up until the bitter end. But I clearly recall for the next few years not giving two hoots about Joe. Joe failed because people lost interest, and the increasing "fads and gimmicks" were attempts to stave off that waning of interest, not engendering the lack of interest. From my understanding, Joe started slowly bleeding off sales starting around 1989 (maybe even a bit sooner) and it just went downhill from there. Kids grew up. Even now, Joe's "adult collector" community is small compared to several of the other marquee toy lines of the 80's.Hmm.. I disagree. My perception (and certainly with myself) was fans getting turned off precisely because of what became increasingly obvious attempts at selling new rounds of products with fads/gimmicks like repaints, neon colors, themes that only existed because they were occurring somewhere else in the market (dinosaurs? mutants? environmentalism?) and Hasbro figured "Well putting them together should be that much better than either by itself". I've always taken it for granted (because I assumed that it was just pretty obvious) that the reasons the major toy properties took off the way they first did -- and we are talking about creating a toy merchandizing craze and market where pretty much none had existed before -- were the creation of stories, in the shows and comics, that made kids care about the characters and world in the first place. And this is talked about as being the fundamental strategy in interviews with the Sunbow guys in The Real Toy Story. With GI Joe, ARAH had its own standard of "what was militarily real", which was, obviously, silly in lots of ways but had been established and accepted in kids' minds as what they would suspend disbelief over. But it started to noticeably reach new levels of absurdity with stuff like Cobra-La in the movie. Then there was the lull for about a season or two after the movie to when the DiC years hit. And then we got.. Dragonfire.. "pythonizing" rays. This is about the point where I stopped, but I'd occasionally peek back in and see things like Joe and Cobra teaming up to fight a druglord. A sales falloff in 1989 is also consistent with when these effects are starting to be felt, though I'd say just being off the air was a bigger factor than the surreal gimmicks. I don't recall when the first falloff in product output for the line occurred but I thought it was around this time -- even when the cartoon was off the air, there were still toys being produced to about the same number of products. Innovation and Boldness? Like retooling the Joe line to be a World-War II themed series with slightly larger figures? That seems pretty bold to me. Hasbro didn't lose its' "innovation or boldness", it just didn't manage to get its attempts to reconfigure the line to stick. But further, the "conservative" aspects of the companies are in many cases what allows them to continue being profitable companies year after year. If they gambled on everything, they'd likely rapidly end up out of business entirely.Yes, innovation and boldness like using cartoon/comic stories to psychologically get kids to make their parents buy them every possible toy in the line when such a thing had never even been shown to be possible before. Clearly gambling on everything is far from a wise strategy. The risk taken has to be meaningful like with Pixar's hiring of Brad Bird when they were already successful, not like copying an existing theme in the market of "fight pollution". Thus the problem with devoted fanbases of any nostalgia-driven property. Every individual fan has "their" way that they see the property (their "Joe-Verse" as it were). When the "reboots" don't match it (and they almost never will) it's declared crap sight-unseen. Particularly if it still tries in any way to cater to the kids' market.I think that's rather pigeonholing fan reaction into only 2 extremes which is clearly not the case. Star Trek is being reinvented, and, while there are indeed very vocal fans, it's not as if all of that fandom is recoiling in horror. As Nimoy said, the reason he thought it was Trek was because he felt the script captured the essence of what the story and those characters were about. And they're still making it much more accessible to general audiences. Raving fans may be wrong and they're frustrating to deal with, but that doesn't imply they're either entirely wrong or that the most prudent course of action is to blow them off completely, do the opposite, or totally ignore them. I'd actually go further and say the 25ths line, while benefiting from all the factors you mentioned, really got pushed into the realm of possibility from the commercial success of the toylines Hasbro produced for their licensed properties (triggered by the SW prequels, and Spider-Man and X-Men movies), which was mentioned in their financial reports around '04 and '05 as the impetus and opportunity to do a major re-investment into their own licensed properties starting with Transformers and then, depending on the commercial success of the TFs line, GI Joe. I think the JvC/SpyTroops/VvV era didn't have that much impact on the release of 25ths. Sigma 6 received some attention at the start of the "re-invest in our own brands" period, but seems to be in the "yes, we still provide support for that product" stage of the lifecycle. What's closer, marketingwise, to 25ths are the 12" '60s releases again and another attempt at 12" vers of ARAH chars.
  12. I think the line has had plenty of opportunity for growth if they'd been willing and bold enough to try something along the direction of Resolute, starting from.. a long while back when the main Joe demographic was aging into their college years. Hasbro seems to have consistently gone with the "tobacco company approach" of trying to hook replacement markets while letting their older fans lapse (probably because that's what got them to prominence in the first place in the early '80s), but I think this strategy could have worked well too with younger kids who would like to see what "older kids" are into. That statement ignores what the situation really was in the toy market at that time. Most Joe fans were "aging into their college years" just a couple or three years after RAH Joe had left the shelves, and around the time the relaunch of the Star Wars line started to usher in the "Nostalgia Phenomenon" (as well as revealing the adult collector as a valid source of income). Doing "Resolute" in say, 1995 would have been seen as an idiotic gamble, because adult collectors as a group were barely even considered to exist around that timeframe. A smart company doesn't cater to a market that by most evidence (at the time) doesn't exist. Indeed, I'd say the full-fledged "adult collector" group didn't really start to make themselves fully heard until the rise of Ebay. The fact of the matter is that Hasbro is a kids toy company. That's how they view themselves first and foremost. The adult collecting phenomenon is just a nice side bonus, but it's not, and never will be their main market. They're not NECA or Sideshow or any other "collector oriented" company, and they never will be. A true mass-retail line cannot survive without some degree of casual buyer/kid purchases, at least not at the level that Hasbro expects of its' lines. Launching "Resolute" in say, 1995 wouldn't likely have roped in any more fans than it is now...Many of the "adult collectors" that exist now were in their period of "not caring about Joe anyway" and without the internet being nearly as prominent (much less the capability for streaming video being nearly so advanced in the age of dial-up access) and without the existence of an outlet like Cartoon Network's "adult swim" there wouldn't really have been any place for "Resolute" to air anyhow. My view and own feelings during those years were that Hasbro had abandoned their fans more than the fans had "outgrown" the properties. Both TFs and Joe were just rather turning their demographics off with the endless fad gimmicks. I don't see it as a case of the demographic feeling like they were just growing older and not as into the stuff anymore. Of course, as you said, Hasbro's a kid's toy company so they don't really care about chasing us as we grow older, and as everyone's so fond of pointing out, they don't really care about us even now since we're limited sales. I do agree about the perception of unnecessary risks for a company. However, I think that's a common fallacy with most companies as they mature. They become more conservative and begin to follow safe but similar patterns as to what they did before, rather than realize that it was some fundamental innovation and boldness that got them to their position in the first place. Pursuing an adult collectors market before the established existence of one is a gamble, but I don't see it as being that far away a gamble from pursuing the kids toy market when it pretty much barely existed until Hasbro came along in the early '80s. I think we take the plastic merchandising era of that decade a bit for granted -- it boomed by orders of magnitude compared to what it had been before, enough that Hasbro's strategy of having kids everywhere demand their parents buy them every toy would have been a pretty strong gamble. Even now, it's not that older Nostalgia fans are resisting the reinventions of properties like Joe and TFs because they dislike reboots. What they dislike is the way they're being done. As for lines not surviving without casual buyers/kid purchases, I don't really see that with GI Joe at the moment. Kids and casual buyers are not the ones buying 25ths (albeit, 25ths might have very low volume overall). Sigma 6 doesn't seem to even be on the shelves anymore and there's no counterpart to TFs Animated (though perhaps after the movie, since they seem to wanna shoehorn Joe into the same path).
  13. I think the line has had plenty of opportunity for growth if they'd been willing and bold enough to try something along the direction of Resolute, starting from.. a long while back when the main Joe demographic was aging into their college years. Hasbro seems to have consistently gone with the "tobacco company approach" of trying to hook replacement markets while letting their older fans lapse (probably because that's what got them to prominence in the first place in the early '80s), but I think this strategy could have worked well too with younger kids who would like to see what "older kids" are into.
  14. Action movie plots tend to only come in so many flavors and variations. The images, costumes, and comments from the writers/producers on the demographic they're targeting for the movie behind the decisions made pretty much demonstrate both the strategy for the movie and the range that the plot will fall into. CC is Duke's childhood friend. And the Baroness has another emo tie to Duke. The whole "terrorism comes from emo" isn't a sign of a great military/terrorist storyline. One initial criticism was that ARAH costumes were ridiculous-looking but the movie's costuming and overall look isn't going to appear realistic or plausible anyway. So the movie isn't catering to the fans -- fine, it doesn't need to. But it's not attempting to be a realistic military movie either. The story doesn't seem particularly appealing from any perspective. The effects/costumes don't seem appealing by any measure either. At this rate, they might as well have had it done by Aaron Spelling. The only way to vote on any movie is with your dollars, by going to see it or not. I'm not. I never saw Van Helsing. I only saw the Mummy when it was broadcast and I was bored. This is not a track record that would make me see the next movie in the pattern even if I weren't a Joe fan.
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