and welcome to another Action Figure Woes. Where I rant about things that can be considered negative in the world of Action figures. Today's topic is Rarity...
|I had to get it out of my system...|
There are certain figures that can be harder to find: chase variants, "Limited Edition first runs", Subscription exclusives, etc. It's part of the collecting world. The question is: Is this GOOD or is this BAD?
|A Rare Hunter.|
PERSONALLY I think that it's a necessary evil. What I detest more than rare figures is: The "Rare Hunters"... Those who only collect an item because of Rarity... The kind of folks that complain if a figure is reissued, then their figure loses value... Newsflash! MODERN Action Figures are not priceless commodities... Neither are Comic Books... the only ones worth something are usually from 50 years ago... I do not know which "Rare Hunter" is worse: The "Investor" or The "Gloater"... He has a bit more love for the toys, but LOVES to rub his rarest items on everyone's faces. You know this one... The one who LOVES to display their DCUC Gleeks (emphasis on the s as in More than 1 Gleek) and any other con-only item unavailable anywhere else except resellers who'd logically mark up these items.
Remember when King Grayskull (back in 10) got a repaint and was released in the normal MOTUC Line? Well the "Rare Hunters" bitched and moaned about the decreased value and rarity of their King Grayskull 1.0, which I find Ridiculous since there ARE Differences between King Grayskull 1.0 and "Santa King Grayskull"
-Non-removable head and armor/Cape.
-Bracers are a Dull Gray
-Cape is brown with a cream colored fur trim.
-Comes in Special Grayskull Box
-Red Cape with White Trim that is flocked.
-Removable head and armor/Cape
-Comes with fading Power Sword and 2 Halves of the Power Sword
-Blue Marble of Power
-Standard MOTUC card
Yeah... People can confuse these two versions that are VERY DIFFERENT...
These are the same people that would complain if MATTEL were to do a "Horde Corsair" Sea Hawk, a Shadow Weaver Variant, or a (Ridiculous) variant Wun-Dar.
Yes, I DID manage to get a Shadow Weaver, but I still believe that making THE MOST wanted Filmation Figure as an exclusive, is a dick move.
A Shadow Weaver Variant DOES NOT Diminish the Original in any way. Sadly, the "Rare Hunters" want none of that... Because it "ruins" the Rarity of their Weavers. Now, they can BARELY accept
a Light Spinner as a Shadow Weaver variant... The moment you mention a "Two-in-One" Light Spinner that can be made into a sort of Shadow Weaver, they begin to complain... Then they begin to puff and huff about their subscriptions being the lifeblood of the line and all that... and they drop the "Decreasing Rarity" as part of their rants. Again, a Light Spinner that turns into Shadow Weaver DOES NOT DECREASE THE RARITY OF THE FIRST WEAVER!!
To my right is a picture of the MOTUC Shadow Weaver. Her color is mainly Prince Adam's Vest Maroon. with very pale green hands.
If the theoretical Light Spinner Variant is made in pinks and reds, how would it affect the already made Weaver? It doesn't. It just gives more people a chance to get A Shadow Weaver... that turns into Light Spinner.
Another good reason for Mattel to do this is Mold reuse.
The Spinner-2-Weaver would reuse many of the Shadow Weaver buck.
the new pieces would be:
-Light Spinner Head
- plain Crotch Piece
-Belts (One for Light Spinner, one for Shadow Weaver... I'd have both done in a golden color to differentiate the previous Weaver with Red Horde Insignia to the Spinner-2-Weaver's gold Horde Insignia)
-New Shoulder pieces for the arms to be interchangeable.
-New Weaver Cape
-New "Batros inspired" Biceps for Weaver-mode. (They'd reuse the old Weaver forearms to complete the cape)
-New Light Spinner Forearms
That is if we're going for a super accurate Spinner-2-Weaver figure. If we were to make some compromises in the Spinner form then we'd reuse the entire Weaver body.
-New Crotch Piece
-New Light Spinner Head
-Interchangeable versions of the Shadow Weaver hands... Green Apple for Weaver (as seen on the pic with the sword of protection) and Causcasian Flesh for Light Spinner...
This one is more Mattel-esque, but it would cause more people to scream bloody murder.
for accessory in both suggestions would be a Castaspella spell blast in black, because of her Shadow magic Powers. The wand and book should be exclusives to the original Weaver.
We have a precedent of Figures before they were X... Like Skeletor who has both Keldor and Demo-Man as figures, Dekker comes with a young Dekker head, Duncan comes with a "Younger" Duncan head... Most importantly, Trap Jaw comes with enough pieces to make BOTH Trap Jaw and Kronis.
Hell, Marlena is a 2-in-1 deal! Cringer is what made her more expensive... Besides the Spinner-2-Weaver IS pretty much what her gimmick should have been if she was a POP toy in the 80s.
Tie her hair on a ponytail and hide her behind her evil hood and cape. This allows more people to have A Shadow Weaver on their displays WITHOUT having THE Shadow Weaver. The same way I have A Queen Marlena on display, but I do not have THE QUEEN MARLENA Figure... I have a CAPTAIN MARLENA GLENN Figure... But in this case Both figures have the SAME EXACT THINGS. The only real difference is in the packaging... The Normal Weaver vs the 2-in-1 Spinner-2-Weaver would be that the "weaver" mode is just a poor substitute to the Normal Weaver... So there is your Rarity, Rare Hunters!!
In the case of MOTUC, it's cool that subscribers get some perks, but the Artificial Rarity that Mattel is using to entice people into subscribing CAN bring the wrong sort of collectors: The Rare Hunters...
While I DID sub-up for 2014... (Because of Dat Glimmer), I DO feel bad about Mattel's "Two-Bad is a second Sub-Exclusive" thing. I still see this as a Punishment for those who can't subscribe. I'm not saying Reissue everyone... I'm just saying, don't make the more important characters a Rarity because it will bite us in the ass... Think about it this way: There are LESS SEA HAWK Figures than NEPTHU Figures... Let that sink in... Mattel in their infinite wisdom had LESS SEA HAWK FIGURES MADE THAN NEPTHU FIGURES... Sea Hawk the Second Most wanted filmation "Member" of the Great Rebellion is rarer than a D-List Filmation MOTU Villain... So, instead of making the obscure character more desirable... Like Mattel did with Strobo (The Zodak head and the Traveling Con Status helped a lot) they did a Shadow Weaver and made Sea Hawk more rare.
While a Variant of Sea Hawk COULD be made since he has 2 looks on Filmation, I see it highly unlikely...
Notice the Snout Spout-esque boots that Mr. Hawk is wearing. This is before his "Anchor's Aloft" Look, which is the Sea Hawk that Subscribers are getting... (dodging Nepthu outweighs the lack of Sea Hawk for me.)
This Sea Hawk would be pretty much a Boot and Left hand Swap... with a different sword. Not much to write home about.
While cool, It's harder to make as worthwhile as a Shadow Weaver Variant.
The Last Remaining Exclusive that COULD have a variant is Wun-Dar. Before beople start wagging their fingers at me and complaining: Hear me out!
Remember the Faker Rant? The one where I thought to use some 200X Variants to make Faker Cooler? Well, With Wun-Dar, I'm suggesting the EXACT SAME THING!! Not to mention a second chance at a head that doesn't look like a Repainted He-Man head...
Seriously, a Wolf Armor Wun-Dar, Martial Arts Wun-Dar or a Jungle Attack Wun-Dar would be pretty cool. Also, the Non-Brunette He-Man head would be most appreciated.
These suggested variants allow people to have the Character, while preserving the "Rarity" of the Original release. And, you know what? A Wun-dar variant is almost pushing it... He's an obscure myth that may or may not be a hoax from the 80s. He is the perfect candidate to the "Rarity Club" Vikor, Vykron, Demo-Man also fit this bill... Two-Bad? Nope, not really...
Then again, if toylines didn't cater so much to the "rare hunters". Yes there are resellers who benefit from the rarity of some figures... (I've bought from them a few times, so I should know.)
The Artificial Rarity of characters like Two-Bad only benefits resellers and "Rare Hunters".
The Toyline's original mission of "reaching out to be in collector's shelves" seems almost like a dream with this Artificial Rarity that Mattel is using.
|Artificial Rarity is worse than Normal Rarity|
But what happens when that Artificial Rarity HITS Subscribers... No, I'm not talking about the Fisto-Weavergate of 2012, where Subscribers were left without Fistos AND Shadow Weavers.
I'm talking about the Horde Troopers selling out under 10 minutes. Sure, Subscribers got their guaranteed set by the sub... any Extras, well if they took more than 10 minutes to access Mattycollector (which was glitching out BTW) then they are Poop out of Luck! Mattel underproduced these guys, period. They have some reasons to do so (Palace Guards still available, the BIG Lots! extra figures dump, etc.), but they grossly underestimated the demand for the Troopers. While there were a couple available, this is THE ARMY BUILDER Set... The one where everyone was going to go for broke... A Decent Horde Army should always Outnumber Palace Guards + Snakemen combined. say, if you have 2 Packs of Guards and 1 pack of Snakemen, then your Horde army should have 4-6 packs of Horde Troopers as the minimum of troopers for it to look good. Unlike the palace guards, whose display options are limited to the amount of variations in the human heads (4) the Horde Troopers are completely faceless. The Storm Troopers of MOTU, if you will. People's plans of massive army building were pretty much everywhere! Sadly, Mattel won't go into a second run with these guys... Seriously, If these guys were evergreen, more consumers would buy them.
Again in what UNIVERSE it makes more sense to have more HYDRONs than TWO-BADs... Don't get me wrong, I like NA and I think Hydron is a cool figure, but think about it... The Artificial Rarity is driving a wedge between collectors: The Haves vs the Have Nots. The only ones benefiting are not collectors. The real reason why Companies LOVE to Cater towards the "Rare Hunters" and Resellers is:
← That guy knows the answer...
Rather Obvious, but let's face it: We expect this of them. We also expect the "Rare Hunters" to throw insane amounts of money at any Insane idea from companies as long as it's rare. Once the Rarity is gone, they'll try to flip the item.
That bugs me... There was no interest in the item at all, just the Rarity... You can't collect Rarity... OK you can if you're collecting MLP, but you know what I mean.
Everyone can collect however they want, but the collectors I truly respect are those who collect out of LOVE of the franchise. Resellers are a necessary evil. One that I have used to obtain Items that I could not get the normal ways.
Rarity collectors, I do not like them... The investors tend to be scalpers or hoarders waiting to scalp. The Gloaters, well I despise those the most!!
Creating a false hype by manipulating the Market and making figures an Artificial Rarity can, will and has driven customers away...
I hope that Mattel reconsiders the Horde Trooper reissue or a non-sub new SKU on an Alternate set of troopers, cause the fandom/customer base wants MORE Horde Troopers... Unlike Sub Exclusives and past figures that did not get reissues of (the Teelas, fistos, robotos, etc) the Horde Troopers are PERFECT Candidates for the Evergreen Status...