Dec 31, 2021

Completing core rosters vs going balls deep...

 I don't know how it is for everyone else, but I hate starting a toyline that ends without getting the core characters by the time it's canned. (Mainly SH Figuarts stuff, to use an example) 

At the same time, I'm aware that burning through core characters TOO fast can kill lines as well. But going "balls deep" into EVERY LINE is an impossibility, due to budget, space, and time. For example, Storm Collectibles were more affordable back when they were on the 50-60 range. Now the cheaper Storm Collectibles figures are on the 80-90 range. And to this date, they haven't completed the core roster of ANY of their lines.

But when you get a Core Team completed is such a fulfilling experience. When I had the completed X-Men The Animated series Roster, it felt fantastic. When I completer the Amazong Spider-Friends in six inches, I was ecstatic! 
I must say, completing the Multiversal core 7 heroes for TMNT is Terrific! Once Tygra, Cheetara, Lynx-O, and Bengali show up, it'll be the Cat's Pajamas!! 

The funny thing is that This wave was the first time I didn't go Balls deep on TMNT... sure, now Muckman and Mondo Gecko are on my BBTS Pile of Loot, but that's not the point. It's not about price, because NECA is a lot cheaper in general, yet I can't go balls deep with them.
I'm not sure why, but I'm feeling a lot pickier with TMNT than I did with MOTUC. (AND EVEN WITH MOTUC, I DIDN'T GO 100% IN...) sure, price increases are part of the issue of why I am holding back... but at the same time, I know that there's another factor at play here:
My love for TMNT is not the same as my love for MOTU. I can only blame the line for that. Turtle variants, there are far too many zany variants to justify. With MOTU you only got a He-Man and Skeletor variant every few waves. New characters were the priority, but with TMNT it's a few good waves, then it's variant city... not to mention that a lot of the later non-variants felt like D-list Mutanimals wannabes...
I mean Walkabout, Hotspot, Sandstorm, Sgt. Bananas felt more at home on a Mutanimals line than TMNT. Then there's the thing that I already own most of the core characters:
As seen on the pic above, I have all the core heroes. I also have on various stages of preorder most of the extra good guys I want...
Mondo Gecko, Muckman, Ray Fillet. 
My missing desired good guys are:
The 3 Neutrinos, the 2 Punk Frogs, Usagi, Fugitoid, Burne, Irma, Vernon, and Mona Lisa.

On the Bad guy side I'm not done yet, but I'm close.
I already have: Shredder, Rocksteady, Bebop, Baxter, Leatherhead, Krang, Slash, couple of Foot Soldiers, couple of Mousers.
The characters I need to have a "full core roster" are:
Rat King, Traag and Krang's Android body.
The missing evil wants are:
Tokka, Rahzar, Super Shredder, Chrome Dome, Pizzaface, Groundchuck and Dirtbag.
That's going on vintage toyline characters only.
In a recent podcast with Fwoosh, the guy from Super7 mentioned the possibility of Comic variants being included for guys like Casey... a reference to the American Flag look was made.
If this is possible and Mirage character can be made, then I could dabble and pick some characters. In a line with HUNDREDS (almost 300) of figures, I only want 36-50 figures (I didn't mention variants like Sewer Samurai Leo, Mutatin Splinter and Shredder, Toon Shredder, among a few others)

While with MOTUC I didn't have that problem, since I wanted most of the original 70-something figures. I also wanted the 20-something She-Ra figures. I also wanted whatever 200X stuff they threw at me. It was easy to cave in and buy NA Stuff. (It also helped that they were a lot cheaper than Super7's offerings and the "figure of the month approach" made it easier for the wallet.)

So, in a line like MOTUC, Going Balls Deep could be more easily justified for me. A line like TMNT is a bit harder to do so. This is due to price and my lack of appreciation for the roster. I like the lore and the core characters, but a lot of the non-variant extras do nothing for me.

A line like Thundercats suffers from a similar fate. I have most of the characters I wanted on the first 5 waves... and more since Mattel "forced" Pumyra on me. What helped me was that Super7 never made a Lunatak to force my hand. Lucky for me, since Amok wpuld be siper expensive.

Silverhawks forced my hand to get less figures than I wanted, simply due to Price and asking for too much at the same time. But even before it was announced, I wasn't planning to go balls deep either.

And that's the issue at hand: HOW TO KNOW whether to go Balls deep on a line or not.
Honestly though, I feel that going balls deep on a toyline is the rarer thing. If you're doing it as a speculator, forget about it... this is not the proper investment for you. If you're doing it as a fan of the product, do so, but be prepared for disappointment... for example, no one has made the 17 SSFIIT Fighters in a single toyline. Even Gatchaman, which is a rather small line going by the Human characters:
The 5 Science Ninja
Dr. Nanbu
Berg Katze
Galactor Trooper
That's 8 figures... sure you could pad the line with 7 more figures by having
The 5 Science Ninja in civilian attire
Female Berg Katze
Bulkier Galactor Trooper

But with the slow pace of Storm Collectibles releasing stuff, I can't see them completing at least the CORE members, which would be the first 8 I mentioned. It would suck to get Ken, Jun, Ryu, and Female Berg Katze...

Now here's the thing... cyclical prophecies make the collecting game harder. That's why we get too many snake eyes, too many Batman, too many Optimus Prime figures, Etc. Because obscure characters "don't sell" but at the same time, people give up on lines when all they see is literally the same two figures all the time... not going to say any names but Smash Blade and Spin Blade bring bad memories to MOTU 200X Fans.

By refusing to spend $55 on Scratch, I'm, in a weird kind of way, Cockblocking myself from getting Pizzaface... does it make sense to you? No, but that's how companies think. Just like Hasbro tried to pass the blame to fans on the Rancor not getting made. Taking one for the team is easy when figures are $4.99, but way harder when they are at $55 and you won't see your toy until 1-2 years later. In 6 days as of the writing of this post, the Mumm-Ra the ever-living preorder will be 2 years old. It's kinda hard to go balls deep in a line that has left you waiting for two years for items you already paid. 

So, which one is better? None is better. You should take things on a line by line basis. Also, you should have a couple of "collecting goals" within reason. For example: Spider-Man:
Super short mega casual goal:
Spider-Man and your favorite mainstream Spidey Villain. (Ock, Goblin, Venom, Carnage, etc)

Medium casual goal:
Spidey, 3 allies, The Sinister Six, Green Goblin, Venom, Carnage. If the line has key civilians like Peter Parker, MJ, J.Jonah Jameson, get them.

Large casual goal:
Spidey, The Sinister Six, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Venom, Carnage, the civilians, characters from a popular event that you like. For example, Maximum Carnage:
So I need
Captain America 
Iron Fist

Some of these might already be on the previously selected characters, but the idea is that you have a clear goal in mind. Curious thing is that the Maximum Carnage list is now 93.75% doable with Carrion being the only character that hasn't been made.

With a clear goal in mind you can adjust  depending on character availability. Going bacl to the Maximum Carnage roster. It started as Spidey and Venom vs Carnage. It kept growing. You can remove Pete, MJ, and JJJ without having an adverse effect on the set. You can remove a lot of the heroes and stick with Cloak, Dagger, and Black Cat vs Carnage's "Family" and it will still read Maximum Carnage.

With the NECA Toon TMNT line, I COULD say I completed a roster... (my medium goal)
TMNT Arcade to be specific.
Rocksteady, Bebop, Shredder, Krang's Android body, Baxter Stockman, Traag, Granitor, April, Splinter, and the Turtles. I also have Rat King, Videogame Slash and Leatherhead, which, in addition to Tokka, Rahzar, Super Shredder, Metalhead, and a Pizza Monster would complete the Turtles in Time roster, which would be my large scale goal. But after missing out on some items, I accept the medium goal as a completed collection and anything else I can get is a bonus.

This second Roster is the one I'm trying to recreate with the Super7 line (pizza monster being the exception) as my medium goal. With Super7 all I'm missing is Rat King, Super Shredder, Tokka, Rahzar, and Krang's Android body. 

Sometimes you have to accept that a line isn't for you... like say, MOTU Origins. I gave up on it and I still need Hordak, Stratos, Orko, Man-E-Faces, and Ram Man. I wish I had figured that out a few years back.

Happy New Year!!

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