Why do so many collectors dislike POTF2?

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I remember the joy and frustration when POTF2 first came out. I had known about the line ever since Hasbro/Kenner announced it back in 1994 and was routinely checking stores as early as July of 1995 to see if they were out yet. Initially, I didn't plan to buy everything, but the idea of the first new Darth Vader and Stormtrooper figures since 1978 was totally mindblowing at the time. I remember my greatest frustration with Kenner back in the vintage days was that they never bothered to update their Darth Vader and Stormtrooper figures and they (along with other key characters, like Chewbacca and R2-D2) were looking terribly dated by 1983. So my initial plan was to just get Vader, a couple of Stormtroopers and the TIE Fighter. I was in the Army, stationed in Texas at the time, but I didn't have a car back in those days so I had to take taxis out to the mall and walk around from store to store (fortunately, Killeen TX was set up in such a way that the mall, Walmart, Target, and TRU were all within walking distance of each other). After a few unsuccessful trips, I walked into the toy aisle of Target and saw the entire Star Wars section with price labels and signage, but completely empty with only the Millenium Falcon on the bottom shelf. At $50, the Falcon was a bit out of my price range at the time (plus I wasn't thrilled with the idea of carrying the box home in a taxi), so I left it. After a second trip, the figures still eluded me, but I picked up an AT-ST. It would be months and hundreds of dollars in taxi fares before I actually saw a Vader and a Stormtrooper on the store shelves. I think that's where my curiosity and interest started to become the collecting obsession that is still going on to this day.

Today, while I look back upon my introduction to the world of toy collecting as an adult with fondness, I'm not necessarily overly attached to the figures. Some of them might push some nostalgia buttons, but so far not enough to get me to actually buy any of them again. Probably because there have been so many different versions of those first few waves of figures made, that they were starting to feel replaceable even before the end of the 1990s. With as frustrated as I was with Kenner back in the Vintage days for not updating certain figures, I thought Hasbro/Kenner had maybe gone too far in the other direction. There were 5 different Vader figures released in 1998, including the one that I had been dreaming about ever since I was a kid - the removable helmet Darth Vader. However, having so many different Darth Vader figures for sale at the same time kind of lessened the impact when I finally did find a Removable Helmet Vader in stores and it didn't seem like such a monumental event when I finally held the toy in my hands. Especially since the figure had a super rigid plastic cape and there had been a different Vader figure with a cloth cape that year (the Complete Galaxy Vader). A soft-goods cape was another feature that I had always wanted to see for a Vader figure. So having both of those features released in the same year, but on two different Vader figures really drained the specialness out of the whole experience. Which is probably why I have little to no emotional attachment to the POTF2 line to this day.
 
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Agree with the above post to a great extent. The POTF2 line was great in it's heyday (approximately 1995 - 1999), but 21 years later - not so much. A lot of this is because in the intervening years, we've gotten a lot of far superior sculpts re: the other lines. That being said, POTF2 figures are definitely more durable than a lot of the later lines.

Ironically, the TFA regular line is almost an "homage" to POTF2 re: the 5 POA, etc.
 
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Agree with the above post to a great extent. The POTF2 line was great in it's heyday (approximately 1995 - 1999), but 21 years later - not so much. A lot of this is because in the intervening years, we've gotten a lot of far superior sculpts re: the other lines.
Not specifically directed at ThallJoben, but I wonder why POTF2 is often maligned on account of "better sculpts" coming later...yet vintage gets a free pass? Whenever somebody dares to criticise vintage, the defense normally proclaims it is "of its time" and should be regarded as such - yet POTF2 is certainly "of its time" as well, but gets no such concession.

Some possibilities:

1) Vintage was the "first", the original. As such, it gets a pass of being "of its time" that is not afforded to its successor.
2) Blind nostalgia forgives all (hey, I grew up with vintage in the 1980s, so this isn't a criticism!)
3) Vintage, both in perception and reality, is "worth more" and despite what is often claimed, a lot of collectors care very much about the value of their old toys... as such, its a good thing to ensure all that came later is not considered as fondly or as valued
4) Part of the dislike for POTF2 is from old collectors who believed that their "monkey face Leias" and so on would be worth loads of money in the future...when it didn't come to pass, a resentment grew and poor old POTF2 was never "forgiven".
5) Because it had a definite "ending" (1985/86 depending on whether you count Droids and Ewoks), vintage will always be a distinct, separate phase of Star Wars figures. POTF2 suffers because it just merged into the next line (Episode I/POTJ) and as such never had a clear break. It's all "modern" (even though we're talking 21 years here!) and as such, it's bundled in and judged with all other modern figures.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with any of the above, just throwing out some thoughts.

Needless to say (and I began this thread nine years ago!) I still think POTF2 is a terrific line, full of fun toys (before Star Wars collecting became too serious and too focused on appeasing adult collectors...though we all know how that particular course ended!); but I am always fascinated by the POTF2 legacy and collector thoughts today.
 
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Not specifically directed at ThallJoben, but I wonder why POTF2 is often maligned on account of "better sculpts" coming later...yet vintage gets a free pass?
The original line will always get a free pass. There's no point in trying to explain it or argue against it. It just does and there's nothing you can really do about it.

However, it's not just Star Wars, it applies to almost everything. From GI Joe and Transformers to Marvel and DC comics. The crude beginnings of a great franchise will always be the most highly regarded and sought after by collectors.
 
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The original line will always get a free pass. There's no point in trying to explain it or argue against it. It just does and there's nothing you can really do about it.

However, it's not just Star Wars, it applies to almost everything. From GI Joe and Transformers to Marvel and DC comics. The crude beginnings of a great franchise will always be the most highly regarded and sought after by collectors.
Oh, I know (and I'm probably in that camp myself!), I was just trying to generate a bit of discussion.
 
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Ironically, the TFA regular line is almost an "homage" to POTF2 re: the 5 POA, etc.
Except POTF2 was 6POA and we didn't get the overly buff physiques or splayed-leg stances that marked the early POTF2 line (even though the first version of the FO Stormtrooper suffered from a wide stance). I think Hasbro move to 5POA was more about production costs on their end, but also in trying to recapture the magic of the vintage line: 5POA, mostly neutral poses, and detailed scultping.

Oh, I know (and I'm probably in that camp myself!), I was just trying to generate a bit of discussion.
Fair enough, but it's just easier to talk about why people dislike POTF2.

The figures in the vintage line never got updated. The same Darth Vader that Kenner released in 1978 was carried forward through the end of the line in 1985. Then everything was cancelled and we didn't get any new Star Wars figures for ten years. I was 10 years old when ROTJ came out and 13 years old when I finally came to terms with the fact that the toy line was dead and never coming back. Vader was one of my favorite characters at the time and I had to basically learn to love the toy, despite its obvious flaws. I think that's what happened with most long-time collectors who were around during the "dark years". For all we knew, Star Wars was dead and never coming back, so we had to learn to appreciate what we had because there were no more new toys coming.

POTF2 was never unanimously welcomed with open arms by fans in 1995. In fact, there were several fans who snubbed it completely and a few collectibles shops, that specialized in Star Wars toys, refused to carry any toys from the line. Obviously it was popular enough to keep going. The announcement of the Prequels and Special Editions really helped that and it's been a non-stop thing ever since. So collectors of POTF2 have never had a full decade to learn to appreciate the figures for what they are, because we've all been so focused on whatever new and better figures are coming out next.
 
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I still very much respect what POTF2 did in terms of being a toyline. It was consistent throughout in that the toys matched each other pretty well, and we still haven't seen the breadth of the line and it's character selections matched by any following line. None of them sticks around long enough to tick off everything like POTF2 did.

To get a complete collection these days, you have to sample across multiple lines and are left with a hodge-podge of figure aesthetics and articulation styles. And guess what? If you want a ROTJ Mon Mothma or Pote Snitkin or Ishi Tib, you will still have POTF2 in your collection. Never been touched again (And Pote Snitkin still holds up!!)

A picture is worth a thousand words...



It's not a giant line by any stretch, but it is so complete...like I said, I will always respect what Kenner did bringing Star Wars back to the toy aisle.
 
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Not specifically directed at ThallJoben, but I wonder why POTF2 is often maligned on account of "better sculpts" coming later...yet vintage gets a free pass? Whenever somebody dares to criticise vintage, the defense normally proclaims it is "of its time" and should be regarded as such - yet POTF2 is certainly "of its time" as well, but gets no such concession.

Some possibilities:

1) Vintage was the "first", the original. As such, it gets a pass of being "of its time" that is not afforded to its successor.
2) Blind nostalgia forgives all (hey, I grew up with vintage in the 1980s, so this isn't a criticism!)
3) Vintage, both in perception and reality, is "worth more" and despite what is often claimed, a lot of collectors care very much about the value of their old toys... as such, its a good thing to ensure all that came later is not considered as fondly or as valued
4) Part of the dislike for POTF2 is from old collectors who believed that their "monkey face Leias" and so on would be worth loads of money in the future...when it didn't come to pass, a resentment grew and poor old POTF2 was never "forgiven".
5) Because it had a definite "ending" (1985/86 depending on whether you count Droids and Ewoks), vintage will always be a distinct, separate phase of Star Wars figures. POTF2 suffers because it just merged into the next line (Episode I/POTJ) and as such never had a clear break. It's all "modern" (even though we're talking 21 years here!) and as such, it's bundled in and judged with all other modern figures.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with any of the above, just throwing out some thoughts.

Needless to say (and I began this thread nine years ago!) I still think POTF2 is a terrific line, full of fun toys (before Star Wars collecting became too serious and too focused on appeasing adult collectors...though we all know how that particular course ended!); but I am always fascinated by the POTF2 legacy and collector thoughts today.
Great post and points!

Honestly with the new movies coming out, I think there will be more collectors around my age (born in 1985) that will start to think about their childhood toys and how much they loved playing with the POFT2 figures. Now I am not saying that POTF2 figures will become valuable or anything but I think there will be a new resurgence in the line with people trying to collect them.

As for myself, over the past two years I have slowly started to dwindle down my collection to only contain POTF2 items and I love it!

-Eliseo
 
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Nice poster Muftak! Was that sold in stores or was it a marketing give away? Would love to track one down for my POTF2 collection!

-Eliseo
It was a mail-away offer from WalMart back in '98, right around the same time as the Mace Windu preview figure. I remember I had just moved into my first apartment and all the figures I'd had on display were packed away when I got that poster, so it went up in lieu of the collection!

(Found the picture on google, btw. My poster is long gone by now.)

It is missing the flashback figures, later cinema scenes, pop-up diorama figures, and of course the commtech waves, but it's a pretty impressive set nonetheless!
 
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Not specifically directed at ThallJoben, but I wonder why POTF2 is often maligned on account of "better sculpts" coming later...yet vintage gets a free pass? Whenever somebody dares to criticise vintage, the defense normally proclaims it is "of its time" and should be regarded as such - yet POTF2 is certainly "of its time" as well, but gets no such concession.
Well, Vintage figures definitely do not get a free pass from me - and I am old enough (mid 40's) to remember collecting these when they came out back in the late '70's - early '80's These days, I despise most vintage figures/vehicles with their innaccurate, shoddy sculpts (Stormtrooper with unmovable head; Walrus man which looked nothing like the character in the film, etc.), plastic capes that routinely broke/tore (Darth Vader, Obi-wan, Lando Calrissian ESB, etc.), lame telescoping sabers (Vader, Obi-wan) with wrong colors in some cases (Luke ANH, Luke Bespin), vehicles that didn't match the way they looked in the film (Landspeeder), the Tie Fighter with stickers for the solar panels that kept coming off, etc.

Sure, by the time ROTJ hit the sculpts/materials had improved (Emperor's Royal Guard, Klaatu, Luke Jedi), and the original POTF figures were in many cases, amazing (Lando General, etc.). However, the Vintage ANH & ESB figures were for the most part, sub-par at best.

So, when POTF2 hit in '95, as a SW fan I felt like I had died & gone to heaven - i.e., much more accurate (but admittedly initially more buff in some cases) sculpts, much more accurate vehicles - i.e., the Landspeeder looked like the one in the film; the Tie Fighter has plastic solar panels built into the toy itself - far superior to the cheap stickers on the vintage version, etc. I could go on, but you get the picture...
 
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I hated the line... At first. I had been a child collector of the org. Vintage line which was the only way to get SW toys up till '95. When POTF2 come out I had zero interest since the toys looked ugly and held no value. I got the longsaber Luke and Vader but that was more as a joke/curiosity. Eventually I got Yoda then Han and boba but that was it. I still only collected and cared for the vintage stuff. I only took the plunge when I realized... 1. This was a way to get characters cheaper (yak face) 2. It was fun to actually go to ANY STORE and find NEW figures not to mention they where affordable (unlike now).

I look back with fondness for the line now. It was a great run. Lots of stupid stuff but much more complete in range then what's been around for years. I still get entire lots of the toys for my collection and customs. Just today I got a giant lot in the mail and the luke Jedi was the tan vest! Ha didn't even see that in the picture or have that variation in my collection.
 
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I love that I can get them for a buck a piece and know they will withstand the destruction of a young lad. I can pick up more desirable/fragile figs at my leisure and still have a nice big pile o figs the kids can play with. I feel the same way about the prequel figs too. No-one seems to want most of them, but hey, they play well enough. And you only need one or two of them for playing (backup of a few figs in case of loss).
 
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I've definitely softened up a lot on the POTF2 line in the year since I made my last posts in this thread. I've actually purchased a few of them in the last few months with plans to buy more soon. I think it's the fact that they are so cheap compared to modern figures and especially compared to vintage toys, but they are also super sturdy and can take a beating. Like I've mentioned before, POTF2 came out when I had a full time job and a regular paycheck and nobody to stop me from spending big chunks of that paycheck on Star Wars toys. So I actually have more fond memories of owning POTF2 as a young adult than vintage as a kid.

Back in 1995, it had only been 8 years since I had seen the last Star Wars figure at retail prices (4 years if you count Droids and Ewoks, which I remember pegwarming as late as 1991) and about 17 years since getting my very first Star Wars figure. It's been nearly 22 years since I bought my first POTF2 figures and 16 years since I stopped seeing them on store shelves. I will still never consider them "vintage" but that doesn't mean that they don't hit most of the same nostalgia buttons as the vintage Kenner line.
 
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Well, at some point, they'll be old enough that they would become vintage by definition...
Sure, but I don't think my generation will ever accept that term for POTF2. However, I'll be 44 this month and, in about 20 years or so, my generation is going to start dying off. Which will cause the "old guard" torch to pass to those kids who grew up on the Prequels.

Although, the ten year gap and major stylistic difference between vintage and those early POTF2 figures will likely always keep them from being lumped together. So, Star Wars collecting will still likely be broken up into eras, similar to how we differentiate between Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and modern comic books. Even though a comic book from 1961 has far more in common with a comic book from 1939, compared to a comic book from 2017, we still don't lump Silver Age and Golden Age comics into one category.

So, we'll probably have the Vintage Kenner era, the POTF2 (or Neo-Classic) era, the Prequel era, and then the Disney era.
 
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I was 13 years old when A New Hope originally hit the screens in 1977- pretty much a perfect age to get into figure collecting....and I haven't stopped since.
 
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