Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Star Wars Vintage Collection R2-D2 Dilemma

Like most guys my age, I spent most of my childhood collecting Kenner's original Star Wars action figures.  And when I say "collect," I mean pouring over the racks in every toy store even when my allowance was all gone, longingly examining every detail of the entire collection on the back of the cards, saving up my proof-of-purchase seals for whatever free action figure they were offering next, hanging the cards on my bedroom wall... and of course playing with them.

The line fizzled out when I was in high school, and for years after that I would constantly have dreams of finding Star Wars figures again, so when they brought the line back in 1995 it was literally a dream come true.

Nowadays Kenner has been bought by Hasbro, and Hasbro knows how to try and appeal to the collectors of my generation: vintage packaging.  Oh, they've done the occasional Vintage tribute, with three waves of figures in the classic 70's and 80's packaging, but those were all in special plastic protectors, so it wasn't the same.  But this-- this is uninhibited, all-out nostalgia.  The Vintage Collection figures are a combination of old and new designs, and it's not just a one-off thing:  new waves of figures are coming out in this design all year long!  So the shelves look exactly like they did when I was a kid.  It takes me back and makes me feel like I'm 12 years old again every time I see it.

An amazed Fer discovers the Vintage line for the first time, with a figure he always wanted as a kid: Dack!

The crazy thing is... even though I've been oohing and aahing at the toys ever since August, I haven't been buying any.

Take Dack here, for example.  This is what I always wanted them to do when I was a kid. I've had dreams of finding this. So again, literally a dream come true.  But... they put out a Dack figure in 2002.  Oh sure, I had to buy a Snowspeeder and yet another Luke Skywalker to get it, but I did, so what's the point in buying another Dack?  Well, just because of the nostalgic packaging, I guess.

See, the problem is that I'm really not a believer in not opening my toys.  Oh sure, I have a few unopened toys, but it's pretty unusual for me. It's become a real Catch-22.  I want the toys for the packaging, but if I take the toy out of the packaging, it becomes just another Star Wars figure.  And I don't want to just keep the packaging by itself; my New Years Resolution for 2011 is to cut back on clutter.  If you've seen my house, you understand why.

And then there's the Mail Away Boba Fett issue:  to complete the nostalgia, they're re-offering the first ever Star Wars Action Figure Mail Away offer-- a reissue of the original Boba Fett figure, but this time with the actual missile-launching backpack that they had to pull in the 70's.  But to get it, I have to open the figures.  But I don't want to open the figures.  But I want to get that Boba Fett.

So I just haven't been buying any.

Then about two months ago, I found the Return of the Jedi R2-D2.  This R2-D2 has the serving tray and the pop-up lightsaber and the sensorscope and an opening compartment on his chest.  I knew I had an Artoo with Serving Tray, so I held off and waited until I checked my other one to see if it already did all those things.  Nope.  I have four different Artoos that do all those things individually, but this Artoo does it all.

And, of course, the next time I went to the store it was sold out.

No big deal, I told myself, I don't really need it.  Which is true enough.  But it's become one of those figures I regretted not buying when I had the chance.

And then when I went shopping at Wal-Mart last night... they had one again.

So I bought it.

Now what the hell do I do with it?

Do I open it?  If I open it, then I'd be tempted to buy four more figures to get the free Boba Fett.  (Time's running out on that deal; it expires at the end of this month.)  I do want to open it, because this Artoo does all those cool things!

But... it looks sooooo nice.  The classic action figure design.  The Kenner logo.  The "Free Boba Fett" sticker.

What do you think I should do?


Scott said...

Are you on a tight budget? Can you get 2 of the same figure to solve your packaging dilemma? Or just get some the ones you already have, just to get that Boba Fett? I mean, this offer isn't going to happen again! In fact, I'll buy a couple of the figures off you, if you like!

greatplaidmoose said...

my suggestion is I think you should open it and I think you should only buy more to get Boba Fett if you have others that you really want the figure of. But I support any decision you ultimately make. :)

Fer said...

"Scott"> I am on a limited budget, and while buying two does seem like a great solution it definitely goes against the whole "cutting down on clutter" part. It is sorely tempting, though

Rich> I'm leaning towards doing that. Unfortunately I haven't been buying the figures I was interested in opening, and now that I've gone looking for them to buy them everyone seems to have sold out of them. I may have missed my window. I still have 10 days left, so we'll see.

Thanks for the advice, guys!