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Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:28 pm

Flynn wrote:I don't dislike the figures because they're different from when I was a kid, I dislike them because they go against the aesthetic quality that LEGO sets are all about. LEGO sets and figures shouldn't be 100% accurate representations of real-life things, they should be their own thing. Which they were, at least until 2008 or so.


You should let LEGO know that they aren't allowed to make up their own mind about their set aesthetics are and what said sets are "all about". They must've missed that memo.

Robzula wrote:Now that's all fine and dandy, until these people start droning on and on about how it's such a crime. How LEGO has lost who they are. How it is objectively wrong that this toy should ever deviate from their view of it.


Hallelujah.

I don't understand the need to differentiate these from action figures, because that's exactly what they are. Mini Action Figures. LEGO and Hasbro both seem to think that's what they are and these little guys see a lot more action than most figures on the market these days. Some figs work and some don't, but I haven't seen any that I would consider to have too much detail. Unless that detail, as Nick pointed out, hinders the ACTUAL quality of the fig or its printing and not some personal bias against the evolution of an iconic toy.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:09 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:I don't understand the need to differentiate these from action figures, because that's exactly what they are. Mini Action Figures.


Really? You really think they look like mini versions of Hasbro Action figures? Because to me, they look like blocky, stylized representations. I think when people differentiate them from action figures it isn't in terms of FUNCTION (to which you seem to be referring) but form.

That's what bugs me about Boba Fett's new helmet. Not the amount of molding detail specifically, but rather the large DISPARITY in detail and shaping between the traditional, blocky body, and the head that would look at home on a Hasbro fig. The dissonance there is what bugs me. It looks out of place. It's a great looking helmet, it just doesn't look like it fits with the rest of the body to me.

Obviously tastes differ, and some either don't see it as that large a disparity, or see it but don't care. That's fine. But I DO see a glaring difference, and for me the problem isn't specifically preferring one aesthetic over another, but rather disliking it when the aesthetic of the fig doesn't even seem INTERNALLY consistent.

Now that's not to say that I wouldn't have OTHER issues if the whole thing looked consistently like a scaled down Hasbro fig. Then the disparity would be between the fig and it's LEGO surroundings, though the fig on its own would look fine.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:45 pm

I never said they look like Hasbro figures, just that they are indeed action figures. The style of action figures is as varied as any other toy and some are far more stylized than minifigures.

LEGO currently makes many head/hat/helmet molds that have similar levels of detail and have for some time. So if the helmet doesn't jive for you, you must feel the same way about the troopers and a load of other figs in the last decade?
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:06 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:I never said they look like Hasbro figures, just that they are indeed action figures. The style of action figures is as varied as any other toy and some are far more stylized than minifigures.?


Yes, that's true. But when people talk about differentiating them from Star Wars action figures, they are talking about style, and specifically the style of Hasbro's Star Wars action figures. At least that's the sense I've gotten. I don't think anybody would argue against them being action figures in a functional sense.

buriedbybricks wrote:LEGO currently makes many head/hat/helmet molds that have similar levels of detail and have for some time. So if the helmet doesn't jive for you, you must feel the same way about the troopers and a load of other figs in the last decade?


Which troopers? I'd need examples to tell you what I think about them specifically. There are very few that I feel have the same level of accuracy of detail that looks truly dissonant to me. The original Yoda head mold looked out of place to me, I recall. Certainly the Toy Story heads mostly had this same level of dissonance (while Lotso, who looked overall much more like just a small model of the character DIDN'T look off to me, mainly because he was consistent). Stormtrooper helmets, Vader's helmet, the original Boba Fett helmet, those look similarly stylized to me.

I've already stated that this is my opinion, and that obviously other's views differ. It SEEMS like you are trying to discount my opinion by implying that it can't POSSIBLY be one that I hold consistently, or portraying it as absurd.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Any troopers, clone, storm, etc. I've looked both Boba helmets over and the new one is closer in shaping to the original LEGO clone troopers than the old Boba. Other than the PRINTING, this helmet has less molding detail than Vader or the troopers, so It's an evolution that brings him in line with the other figures and gives him a fancy paint job.

I'm just trying to get a sense for where YOU feel the line is to be drawn. If this has been your opinion of these figs since day one, I'm simply surprised you'd still be complaining about it after over a decade of similar products. If I have a consistant dislike of any product over any stretch of time, I not only cease supporting it, but certainly don't waste my time thinking or writing about it.

I'm not trying to discount your opinion, but don't confuse a passing curiousity as REALLY caring either way. TBH, I didn't even see your comment before I posted my original comment and none of our opinions change what these ACTUALLY are.

I can CAPITALIZE words to show EMPHASIS too.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:52 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:I can CAPITALIZE words to show EMPHASIS too.


Boy does this feel like it's getting snarky really fast. Probably I contributed to that somehow, though it wasn't my intent. Your posts sound really hostile, and I can't figure out why. Maybe I'm just reading them wrong. It's always tricky to gauge tone on the internet. (Part of the reason that I sometimes use things like capitals and italics to try to get that across.)

Suffice it to say that I obviously don't share your view of the level of accurate detailing on the Vader or stormtrooper helmets compared to a Hasbro fig (or the source material) or the new Boba helmet, and I have looked at them side by side (as have you, clearly). Part of that IS the printing, yes. (Though that obviously isn't the only aspect, given my sense of dissonance with the original Yoda head, which had no printing.)

Guess we can just (I hope) agree to disagree.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:08 pm

Not hostile in the least, as I said I was barely interested in the first place and have passed far beyond that. I only even addressed it because you specifically adressed me. The cap locks usually just come across as toolish or condescending and I mostly only ever use them when I address you.

Just trying to speak your language, Eeyore ;)

You amuse me.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:11 pm

buriedbybricks wrote:Not hostile in the least, as I said I was barely interested in the first place and have passed far beyond that. I only even addressed it because you specifically adressed me. The cap locks usually just come across as toolish or condescending and I mostly only ever use them when I address you.

Just trying to speak your language, Eeyore ;)

You amuse me.


Well, you've certainly shown me that one doesn't need caps to come across as condescending. ;)

I'll try to do better. XD
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:15 pm

:D Mission Accomplished.

Now I'm interested again. So, helmets aside, your not a fan of non-traditional minifig heads in general?

Jar Jar, Chewbacca, Yoda, Woody, etc? If that's the case, what about snake people or the CMF wind up robot, etc?
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Flynn » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:19 pm

Though to answer one of buriedbybricks' questions, what separates this Boba from the older helmets like Vader (at least for me) is, again, the aesthetic. When you look at Vader's helmet, yes, it's incredibly detailed, but it's also squashed vertically and molded to fit over a minifigure head. It looks like Darth Vader, but also a LEGO interpretation of the character. This is true for the original Boba and trooper helmets as well, since each departs from the shaping of the actual helmet to fit over a minifigure head.

By contrast, the revised Boba helmet (and all the revised trooper helmets, for that matter) pay more attention to the source material than how they look in context of a disproportionate LEGO minifigure. It's a very jarring disconnect that, at least to me, just doesn't fit in with the rest of the line. To highlight this best, just look at the original and revised Stormtrooper helmets, and notice how the shaping has been slightly modified on the latter to be more accurate to the actual helmet it's based on. The result, for me, is one that looks perfectly fine as a LEGO figure, and one that looks oversized and out-of-place (Hence why I ended up trading mine away).
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:24 pm

I disagree Flynn, while Vader's head has the more flat top, the original troopers had more rounded tops and this is simply retconning that defect from a decade ago.

Image
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:59 pm

buriedbybricks wrote::D Mission Accomplished.

Now I'm interested again. So, helmets aside, your not a fan of non-traditional minifig heads in general?

Jar Jar, Chewbacca, Yoda, Woody, etc? If that's the case, what about snake people or the CMF wind up robot, etc?


Haven't paid any attention to the snake people, really. And Chewbacca doesn't really bother me too much, since he seems to be a bit more stylized in terms of proportions and level of detail. He's borderline, I guess.

Jar Jar I dislike for other reasons (mainly being that he's Jar Jar, and that I feel like I got WAAAY too many of him in the first wave of sets), so I don't know it I ever truly evaluated him on an aesthetic level. ;)

The robot seems fine to me. His head really almost looks like a brick, after all. Hard to see basically a cube with eyes on it as dissonantly "realistic".

Heck, maybe that's a factor. You've got me thinking about it harder now, and it seems like maybe what sets off my dissonance is when something conforms "too closely" to an object that I recognize from another "real world" context. Because somehow this:

Image

for which I have no real basis of comparison doesn't really bug me, while this:

Image

does.

True, the yoda head seems to have a bit finer detail, but I think my dissonance may come mainly from the fact that it looks VERY MUCH like Yoda's actual head, just shrunken down, with no adjustments whatsoever. If I was equally familiar with a movie alien whose head looked just like the first example, I might have the same reaction. I know that the collectible minifig of the Grey alien also strikes me as somewhat "off", and that could well be due to the difference in familiarity with the form...
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:58 pm

I've always felt that the Yoda and a few others just looked dumb, but I couldn't think of a better way to do it so...

Now I think a bit of printing might have fixed it for me, but looking at the CW one I just don't know anymore.

I've always thought the strange headed characters were odd looking, but in most cases I figured just printing a head or slapping an extra part like the twi'lek hat probably wouldn't work for them.

That being said I Love the weird headed original figs like the snakes, fish or aliens.

My biggest beef, which is still pretty small, would be scale. If Yoda can ride around on Luke's back why is he so big?

Looking at this set, It gets the point across and that's what I feel the figs aim to do as well. I was just saying to Nick that I think the leg printing on Boba is not needed, but I don't have any problem with it if it's done well. Sometimes I think the minimalistic look of the minifigures in the past created a feeling that LEGO specifically wanted them to be that simple when I think they simply made the most of what they could do, cheaply. These haven't been strictly square blocks for a long time and that evolution, while jarring for some, will be what allows LEGO to continue to succeed in a market where few other toys are going strong after 80 years. They wouldn't put all the extra deets and expense into these now if it wasn't what the majority of research showed them a desire for. It always sucks being in the minority, but the winds have changed and I am opening up my sails and making the most of the ride.

All that being said, the old Boba is my favourite even though I think the new one is much better overall.

Other than the planets, this set and Jabba's Palace were the only SW "must buys" for me all year and I still don't have the dang skiff!
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby Flynn » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:46 pm

You're definitely right in that early figures were simple because of necessity rather than choice, but art from adversity and all that. They took what they could do and made a style out of it. It's like when you switch from practical effects to CGI- you can do more with the CGI and it might even look better, but you lose a lot of the creativity when you've got so much freedom.

Of course, I think it's interesting to point out that this increase in minifigure detailing isn't such a smooth line of evolution- I think there's definitely a case to be made that this heavy focus on details started at around 2008 or so. I need to double-check my facts here to get the exact dates right, but that's when the Clone Wars line starts, it's when minifigures start getting pupils and face details, and it's only a couple years after that when the Collectible Minifigure Line starts to come out.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby buriedbybricks » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:37 am

Evolution isn't a smooth process to begin with and many failed mutations die off it the quest for survival. It's obvious to everyone that you've opened a case against the "heavy focus on details", Flynn.

Also, I prefer practical effects whenever possible, but I doubt the people who produce the cgi feel they are being less creative. That example really only holds water if this was a fundamental shift in the finished product like their switch from wooden toys to plastic, not a simple refinement of their existing processes.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby dWhisper » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:38 am

There are times when I've come down firmly into the "more detail' camp, and there are instances where more detail has done wonders for the figure. A lot of people felt the new Watto had too much detail, but it was so far beyond that... thing... that we had before that it worked perfectly. Jar Jar Binks and the other Gungan is a great example as well... they just look better with more detail than the monochrome wonders.

I also liked the addition of the mouth to the Stormtroopers, personally, but that's because it didn't detract from the rest of the figure. The shape of the helmet and the look of the figure makes that, not small details. But lets say they decided to start painting on a whole bunch of wear, scuffs, and name tags, I'd feel differently.

Usually, what bugs me the most on the more detailed figures isn't the detail itself, it's the thicker lines they use to outline all that detail. It just ends up drawing my eye to it, instead of to the overall figure.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 9496 Desert Skiff

Postby freight69 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:15 pm

Bellicose wrote:the only missing detail for Fett was a proper gun for him


The gun splits in half, as it should given what Luke does to it in that scene. I thought it was a pretty nice detail—definitely keeps with Lego’s attention to detail.

Image
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