Today I found out some disturbing news regarding my idea. Unbeknown to me, a website very similar to Jedi Temple, is also a fantastic resource for Star Wars figures.
Jedi Business has apparently been around for a couple of years and how did I find this out? Through an e-mail from a source telling me about a new tool on their website. This tool is almost straight from my ideas chronicled below. The compare and contrast feature I suggested has been implemented on this website and began running over the weekend. The feature allows you to take any two figures and view them side by side. You want to see ” Bespin Luke” from the Saga collection in comparison to “Bespin Luke” from the all new Vintage Collection? Hit the link below:
Recently I have been listening to the excellent weekly podcast “SW Action news”. This is hosted by a dedicated husband & wife team and reports on the latest Star Wars merchandising. Amongst the collectables, they obviously talk on the availability and state of the Action figure world. These guys are obsessive to say the least and take collecting to a whole new level. I do enjoy it though and it’s very interesting to listen to the state of the market especially since “The Phantom Menace” got it’s release in the Vintage line. The range basically stopped the Vintage line from being updated in the stores as no-one has taken to the Phantom line with the exception of a couple of figures, Darth Maul being one.
They call the search for new figures “toy runs” and like I say, it’s a habit built on perseverance and obsession. I’ll gladly stick to buying the odd figure every now and then. The podcast also points you to other websites for collecting and building dioramas.
Once again, I’m finding a huge market place for the app.
It isn’t just good quality photo gallery that the Star Wars app should have, it should be in stunning High Definition. Having a look at other apps on the market made me realise the obvious. People want and demand detail and considering I am planning an app where detail is the of the up most importance to the paying customer, HD is a necessity.
I’ve also realised that my blogs have predominately focused on figures. Ships, vehicles and playsets are also important and would all be categorised and featured to. This is something that Jedi Temple Archives don’t focus on and is definitely something they are missing out on.
If you click on the Hasbro guide you will find a selection of (most but not all) ranges to choose from. Within this, you can click on any figure and have a close up, detailed look at the character. While this is a fantastic website that gives excellent clarity on the figures, a rotational view would be perfect or an app. Below are a couple of visuals of figures from the vintage range.
This website gives their own critical review of each figure. I do not propose this for my site, rather I give the option for the user to leave a post on their verdicts. As with the dioramas, this enables interaction and creates a forum in which fans can debate on their favourite figures and variations of the characters. This is a popular site and I believe that my app would be the next step in the world of Star Wars toys.
Speaking of dioramas, this leads me into a pastime I would love to have the time, money and skill to do.
Many fans buy the figures to keep mint in box or to display loose on simple shelving. (the technical term for figures taking from thier packaging is “openers”) Others however, choose to display their figures in a scenes either recreated from the films and expanded universe or to imagine their own scenarios.
The backgrounds are custom made with many vehicles and play sets added in from different ranges. It is an art form in itself and a growing one within the Star Wars community.
I propose that within my app, there is an interactive feature which would allow collectors to upload their creations in some form of gallery. Perhaps in this, hints and tips could be shared on how to build the dioramas thus brining people together.
So back on this blog for more spilling of guts. Don’t think I’ll be using this caper for anything other than the Interactive Media project so apologies for blandness of posts!
As stated in my last post, a fully fledged game is going to be too much of an ask. Surprisingly, the idea for designing an App has struck a cord with me. I have a fascination with Star Wars figures and toys stemming back from my childhood. I had amassed all the figures from back in the day and the majority of ships. Of course, being young and dumb, I stupidly sold the lot (got good money mind) but the bug never left me and my interest continues to this day.
The old, classic figures stopped production in 1985 and fizzled out not long after. The Phantom Menace came along in 1999 and with that, a host of new figures. The design of the new moulds was truly awful, looking more like He-Man figures than the original slim-line Star Wars toys. After a few years of these devastatingly awful figures, Hasbro ditched the line and concentrated on reshaping the moulds and bringing the size back in line with the originals. From then until now, numerous lines styles and ranges have been released all keeping within the 3.75 height guideline. The most popular and the line that has really rejuvenated interest amongst old school collectors is the “The Vintage Collection”. Packaged in the same way as the figures of old, these updated, incredibly detailed figures bring about the original characters as well as new ones from the entire 6 films. (see examples below)
These figures certainly grabbed my attention and toy company Hasbro is planning to release many more characters and vehicles in the coming years. Alongside the Vintage collection, Hasbro released “The Clone Wars” range (based on the excellent cartoon series) Saga Legends, Movie heroes, Saga collection, Force Unleashed, Legacy and many more. All very confusing considering the same characters are constantly released across the varying lines with different detailing. Which leads me to my idea…
Even on-line, there is not a definitive guide to the thousands of figures (and accompanying ships and vehicles) available. An appropriate App designed specifically for ALL figures in the 3.75 inch category in which everyone from the novice to the hardcore collector can browse through, would solve this very problem. The figures could be kept in the ranges they were released in, both carded and uncarded and the App could be updated to keep up with new and upcoming releases. Another handy tool would be the “Compare” button. If we were to highlight the Stormtrooper figure in say The Vintage Collection, we could press “Compare” which would bring up all the Stormtroopers from the various ranges throughout the timeline. This would enable viewers to see the differences and decide for themselves the best mould.
I haven’t gone any further than this in developing the idea and in all honesty, haven’t written anything down yet. I’ve just gone ahead and spewed this all up on the blog. I believe this is why we’re here!