Captain Phasma (Desert/Space) (Toys R Us) - Hasbro - The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars Collectible News, Photos, and Reviews

What About "Photo Realistic" Technology For The Vintage Collection?

With all of the excitement about “photo realistic” technology, we couldn’t wait to ask Hasbro if they would use this progressive technology on figures for The Vintage Collection. (more….)

When asked if Hasbro would consider using “photo realistic” technology on super-articulated 3.75″ figures for The Vintage Collection, Steve Evans answered me by saying that it’s something they’ve looked into doing. The issue is that on the smaller scale that “dot matrix” effect becomes a little more pronounced. It would have to be refined in some way to make it work.

There are many things involved when it comes to this process, but maybe something along the way will make it work for the original sized figures and then hopefully they would be able to work into the line for the future. So, cross your fingers folks! Let Hasbro know of your interest in this technology for figures in The Vintage Collection in our comments below.

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  • mic windu

    Did they not use the dot matrix printing on Reys cheeks? or is this anither process?

    • They did, but this is different. This new process already has those issues (even on 6″, but it’s able o be masked. On 3.75″ it starts imitating the look of the dot matrix pattern.

      • mic windu

        Gotcha, so they need to find a way to shrink the dots? Either way 3.75 scale is the way for star wars!

        • I really don’t know. I can follow up with them on this more at NYCC.

          • mic windu

            Excellent, also let them know that the separate hair and head moulds are a great improvement (for most characters). Could you ask them, how come the recent Luke has grey hair when the older character of Han had gingery brown…? Haha it baffles me and would like to see Hasbro try and answer that with a straight face!

  • Jaken Wraith

    Just another thing that makes the 6in’s a Superior Product. And no, no need for it to be done on the little Fig’s, prob have to “squint down” to see it anyway. Hasbro need’s to keep certain thing’s only on the 6in’s to keep the Black Series the “top of the Line” item’s they are.

    • They’re not superior. TVC is the premium collectors’ product. If they were superior they wouldn’t need to find a fix on how dreadful all the human likenesses turned out. Large scale actually accentuates the dreadfulness.

      • Kalashi

        Nice joke, Paul. The idea of TVC *or* TBS being “premium” compared to what other companies like Bandai and Medicom have been putting out is cute.

        • You can’t mix Hasbro toys with high-end collectibles. They’re in two separate categories.

          • Kalashi

            You can’t call Hasbro junk “the premium collector’s product” when it’s barely above average and the standards have been set by better companies. I can’t even call SHF or MAFEX “high-end” as they’re closer to just being what the standard should be for collectors items, especially given how inexpensive they are.

            Hot Toys and things in that price/quality point are better referred to as high-end. Import companies have been putting out the new gold standard and Hasbro is the discount, cheap as hell product struggling to catch up with false labels.

          • TonyE

            I get that argument, but in my mind I equate collecting Star Wars with collecting Kenner and Hasbro. TVC is the “premium” output there. The other brands you mentioned while really nice, I just cannot get into them. Any other brand besides Kenner and Hasbro I just have no interest in. They are like collectible decorative plates to me.

          • Kalashi

            See, that’s just always seemed so limited to me. Brand loyalty and nostalgia is a frustrating thing and leads to what we have now from the current state of Hasbro, with them putting out so many lackluster products and now scrambling to catch up. They failed too many times for me to support them as my only go-to and I’ll only get things from them when it’s the only way to get a character and even then it has to be halfway decent, such as their new Thrawn or Revan.

            And even those need heavy modifying, like fixing Thrawns eyes to not have the Rebels design, fixing sloppy paint, or completely fixing Revans entire paintjob and replacing his cape/hood. I’m spending the import fee costs on Hasbro products just to make them acceptable. And that’s a big damn problem that gets pushed aside by “well they’re cheaper what do you expect” even though their prices continue to rise over the years while not having the quality to match.

          • I don’t think you read what I wrote You’re still trying to link the two by comparing them. Apples and oranges.

          • Kalashi

            It’s a comparison that has to happen if Hasbro is going to be labeled as “premium” by both themselves and by fans/collectors but failing to meet the standard of actual premium collectibles.

          • I think you’re stuck on the word premium. Under the Hasbro Star Wars banner, TVC is their premium line. Is that better?

          • King Bowser

            I think it’s too early to tell which will be the Premium Hasbro line going forward, 3.75″ or 6″. Which line Hasbro will put more effort into going forward. Perhaps you know something I don’t, but for the rest of us these next couple years are going to be telling.

            If comparing the 40 years of 3.75″ to the 4 years of 6″, then yes, 3.75″ is by far the more impressive. But that’s not exactly a fair comparison. If comparing the last few years, then the 6″ line is far better, but that’s not a fair comparison either.

            I’m interested to see what these next couple years bring.

      • King Bowser

        I have to admit, I have never thought anything Hasbro put out as “Premium collector’s product”. It’s mass produced affordable product, and limited because of it. It looks great, and a lot of fun, and I may prefer it, but it’s still too limited to ever be considered “premium”. It’s a cool toy at best.

        • When you have a moment, check out the TVC Kit Fisto, TVC Wooof, TVC Shae Vizla, TVC Admiral Ackbar, TVC Bom Vimdin, TVC Ponda Baba, TVC Daultay Dofine and TVC Gamorrean Guard and tell me how these figures aren’t small masterpieces. πŸ™‚

          • General Hux

            I so wish I had that TVC Fisto and the Gammy Guard. Ackbar is easily one of the favorite figures that I own.

          • CadeSky

            All sweet figures. For me, maybe because he was part of those first TVC figures, but I really think that Dengar is just a perfect work of art.

          • General Hux

            I need that Dengar too! I wanna cry when I think about how many figures I missed in TVC.

          • bmales01

            For a boring human character wrapped in TP, Dengar TVC is amazing

          • General Hux

            I think back to my younger self and why the heck did I buy figures from the other lines that were out simultaneously with TVC instead?! I should have so many more from that line.

          • bmales01

            well your younger age is a good defense/reason for missing earlier releases. most of us 40-somethings have decades of this and have jobs, although you tend to have a higher median income then many adults I know.

            also, what other SW lines were out the same time as TVC?

          • General Hux

            I bought a lot of the Clone Wars figures that were out at the same time as TVC. Terrible mistake.

          • bmales01

            shame on you πŸ˜‰

          • CT-7567

            Those figures are awesome too. TCW SOTDS is probably my second or third favorite SW line. Tied with TLC and TVC in the lead.

          • CadeSky

            The weird and very sad thing for me is that in 2010 I had a brief return to collecting after many years away. Sadly, by the end of 2010 I was on another hiatus and missed everything that came in the following years for TVC. I have been able to pick up some figures in the last few years but I will never have a good “original TVC” collection.

          • TonyE

            I was at the height of my collecting during TVC and was totally spoiled with them, seeing like 3 Mace Windus at a time at my Target, all that Clone Wars stuff I didnt think was cool. Man. Thinking oh these will be on the racks forever. Had like 30 carded figures at one point, then sold them all off in 2012. Figured though I can get them back easy. And sadly no.TVC2 will be my saving grace.

          • CadeSky

            There was a certain sense of that with me as I was aware that the stuff was on the shelves but I wasn’t buying. “Ah, there will always be cool SW stuff and I can return whenever.” ……Well, I guess there might be a bright light in 2018!

          • TonyE

            yes, figured if that stuff was so cool then, then well they must be on a course of perpetual coolness from there on out. Bad assumption.

          • CT-7567

            Probably because you were pretty young at the time, right? I missed a lot of classic Kenner stuff as a kid because I was born in 1977. I was only really old enough to start collecting the figures by the time of ROTJ. I had figures before that, but ROTJ really got me into SW. I used to wish I was about 6 years older so I could have experienced the entire OT as a kid. I no longer wish that now that I just turned 40. πŸ™‚

          • King Bowser

            I have them, or at least most of them, and really like them . But “Premium Collector Product” means more to me. And I’m just keeping that in perspective. When I buy a Hasbro figure, I know I’m buying a toy, and not something premium.

            They are amazing toys, the best 3.75″ figures I can think of. But I own better figures. They cost more, so perhaps not a fair comparison. But when talking “Premium collector Product”, that should cost more.

            The Gamorrean Guard in particular is one I’ve always admired.

          • rebelsfangirl

            TVC Shae Vizla is one of the few 3.75″ figures I still have on display. She’s a little work of art.

          • I totally agree!

          • CadeSky

            Definitely a figure that I wish I had! I feel like there is a slimmer chance for a Shae Vizla reissue than there is for many other TVC figures. The horrible Walmart exclusive era of TBS at least let me get a chance to pick up some figures that were in demand a few years ago.

          • rebelsfangirl

            A reissue would be nice, she is ridiculously expensive now.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            The first TVC figure that I saw and bought was Bespin Luke; I remember thinking (and still do), this is utterly amazing.

          • CT-7567

            Endor Capture Luke and that Bespin Luke are my two favorite Luke Skywalker figures. Dagobah Landing is pretty great too. I also really like the new TFA Luke. I only have the 5poa one so far, but it looks pretty great.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            The 5POA Luke really is good; they’ve made a lot of improvements over the last 2 yrs with these 5POA figures. I wish I had those other two Lukes from TVC; in addition to Bespin, I have lightsaber construction and Death Star escape, both good figures.

          • CT-7567

            I think the DS Escape figure is good, but his legs are too close together and I’m not crazy about the cloth skirt. Mixing soft-goods and plastic is tricky and, imo, it usually doesn’t work when the same article of clothing is part fabric and part plastic. Like TVC Tarkin. I’d actually like to see the DS Luke retooled with better spaced legs and an all plastic shirt. I definitely enjoy the saber construction figure. I just wish they gave him the correct cape.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            Definitely about the cape, and also the right haircut.

          • CT-7567

            Pow! You just slammed him with TVC heavy hitters. πŸ™‚ Those are all works of art. I feel the same way about certain TCW figures like Pre Viszla and Embo. I like 6″ just fine but SW has always been about 3.75″. With ships and playsets. In 1978, as you already know, the industry standard was 8″-12″. Like Mego or that awesome Six Million Dollar Man doll I’ve always wanted. Kenner developed the 3.75″ scale to give us kids back then an optimum play experience. If you look at the old Kenner line, you could recreate just about every action scene (except the Tantive IV skirmish) with the available figures, vehicles and playsets. This diversity caused Kenner to make figures of interesting background aliens to add to the play experience. That is why so many of us became collectors. Of all the thousands of different SW items sold in forty years, nothing is more iconic than the 3.75″ action figure.

      • Funtomaz

        The problem is: Hasbro uses the same paint apps for 6 inch scale faces as for their 3.75 inch figures. This looks ok for the smaller figures, but blown up to the larger scale it falls apart and shows how cartoonish it is. The paint apps on the face of TVC Han Solo Yavin outfit are not different from what you have on the BS Ep IV Han Solo.
        It’s sad that there’s only little visible difference between the two lines when you bring them to scale in Photoshop so they’re both the same height. Latest example is Jedi Master Luke. Photo real tech can’t come soon enough so that the 6 inch line actually looks different.

      • Jaken Wraith

        You know i just love stirring the 6in’ Pot lol. But, one has to look at it this way though. The Vintage Collection has never existed while the Black Series has been up and running, has it? What are Black Series Product’s marketed as again? The TVC was the Collectors Format, it’s not anymore. And if Hasbro thought differently, next year there would not be alot more 6in Fig’s coming than TVC 3.75’s.

        • Funtomaz

          Hasbro said in an interview (SDCC ’17) that – for now – the 6 in line will be their main line. Steve Evans said it, you can find the interview on YouTube, I just don’t know anymore who made the interview, one of the other collecting sites.
          The interviewer wanted to know if TVC will be a main line, Joe said “yes”, the interviewer was about to ask the next question when Steve cut in and clarified a few things, TVC will be a main line as in “will be available at various retailers throughout the year), but 6 in is their “bread and butter” (for now). They always say how well the line sells. 2018/19 will show if TVC and 6 in BS can peacefully co-exist or if one line cannibalizes the other. I hope not.

          • 6″ collectors are dropping like flies. Just look at the Facebook groups. So few post there anymore. And a ton of people are selling off their collections citing money issues, space constraints and disinterest in poorly painted figures and boring characters. 3.75″ never had this issue (at least not in the same magnitude). Even the same figure repacked a half a dozen times sold at full price.

          • Funtomaz

            What is a Facebook? πŸ˜‰ I don’t go there unless JTA insists on me viewing a photo gallery there πŸ˜€
            And yes, the 6 in line desperately needs more interesting characters. The (somewhat understandable) focus on main characters leaves out so many of the much more visually appealing characters. Do we need an action figure of “Rose” in any other line than 5 POA perhaps? No. Not if there are countless aliens, droids and various other chacters with a more interesting look waiting to be made into an action figure. All the background aliens and droids give Star Wars that special Star Wars feeling. It’s mostly missing from the Black Series.
            Money… yes it’s becoming a real concern. There’s so much new stuff for TLJ and so many exclusives which are excessively expensive in Europe that I stopped collecting all the basic releases beginning with FF2 (which used to be my goal). I go for Japanese imports now which cost the same here or sometimes even less (it’s really crazy). So, no Jedi Training Rey or Kylo for me from Hasbro.
            I envy the character selection in the TVC. Skiff guards, cantina patrons, droids and the most important heroes and villains… BS is too lopsided in that regard.

          • Mlox

            Paul, your analysis about the decline in 6″ line collectors (which I think you’ve been saying for a long while) seems purely anecdotal from limited information. This site is mostly frequented by 3.75″ fanatics and you’ve often written anti-6″ commentary, so if you were to poll people who frequent this site and similar sites (BanthaSkull perhaps) you’re going to find an echo chamber of anti-6″ sentiment. Asking friends who feel the same way isn’t going to be a full picture. You need to look at a larger sample of people to get a true look. And if you look at sales, popularity, and reviews, it appears to tell a different story.

            Lack of posts in a 6″ Facebook forum does not automatically denote a decline in popularity. Given time for research, I could probably come up with just as many people who sell off their 3.75″ collections due to money, space, or lack of interest. And of course the sales of repacks often relate directly to the demand of the particular character (for army-building, cool design, or limited original supply), and has little, if anything, to do with scale.

          • Mlox

            BTW, I’m not at all anti-3.75″ – I started collecting 3.75″ when they brought it back in 1995 and haven’t stopped. I love the scale and the quality TVC brought to it. I’ve also collected the 6″ from the beginning, and I don’t see it in such a harshly negative light as you write about. Although, I have slowed down my collecting of all Hasbro figures due to money and finding other companies create higher quality figures at the 6″ scale.

          • I am also NOT anti-6″.

          • You’re picking and choosing my words. I have said from the beginning that Hasbro has done irreversible damage by ignoring the SA 3.75″ line for so long. Hopefully TVC is the magic pill to bring them back. Why do you think they brought TVC? Because they want to lose money since it costs more money to make them and have their bottom line suffer because of it? No, they know they’ve neglected the main Star Wars collectors and the buyers with disposable income. Those fans haven’t been buying things in years. I know production numbers of TBS6 versus the lowest production run of 3.75″ SA figures. You’d be shocked to know how much lower TBS6 production is compared to the darkest 3.75″ SA era figures. You may not like what I say, but I know the truth.

          • CT-7567

            I thought Hasbro didn’t make info like production numbers public? I’d love to know how current 6″ production compares to the height of 3.75″ SA.

          • Mlox

            I fail to see how I’ve picked and chosen your words. The overall argument in your post was that 6″ collectors are abandoning the line: They’re “dropping like flies”, “selling their collections,” abandoning Facebook groups, and then comparing it to the “superior” 3.75″ line by it “never having this issue.” Am I wrong in your assessment?

            I applaud the return of TVC just as much as you! But your comments are unmistakably negative toward the 6″ line, and that’s the point I was touching on. And yes, I would LOVE to know production numbers. Tell me them, please! I want to be shocked! Though, since the 6″ line was somewhat experimental, I have NO DOUBT that they began at lower production numbers. And because they are at a higher price point, again, I have no doubt that they would have a lower production number. That doesn’t surprise me. It’s a little bit apples and oranges…

        • But SA 3.75″ did coexist with the 6″ line. The Black Series.

      • Mlox

        I think they’re superior in terms of sculpt for their scale. The larger scale allows for higher detail and better proportions, which often leads to better hiding of the articulation seams.

        The problem comes when they use the same painting technique on the larger scale as the smaller scale. At that scale, you’re right that the scale accentuates the bad paint job. But that just means they need a different technique for painting the larger scale, i.e. the “photo real/dot matrix.”

        • It allows for higher details and better proportions but has failed miserably because Hasbro can’t lock down the paint operations. Therefore you really see how bad they are since the details are bigger.

          • Mlox

            I would strongly disagree that they “failed miserably,” haha. That’s an extreme exaggeration, by any count. They are the most popular line, always have been popular while often selling out in my area, and garner mostly positive reviews from toy reviewers (albeit the paint applications are hit or miss).

            I agree, though, that paint is the major issue, which Hasbro is obviously trying to address.

          • The results have failed miserably, which is why they’re investigating a new method to apply faces.

    • TonyE

      Do you mean superior regarding how 6 inches is like a few inches bigger than 3.75?

    • I collect 6″ and I LOVE 6″ as much as I LOVE my 3.75″, but I still have trouble considering it a “Premium” Collector line. The only premium figures we get are Exclusives and the prices are typically jacked up. Heck, I STILL cannot find what “extra deco” is on the SDCC Speeder even having both the retail and the SDCC side by side. When things like fabric cloaks, extra accessories, and things of that sort become common practice I will concede to it being a “Premium” line, but I don’t see that in the regular retail 6″ most of the time. There are the exceptions of course, and I know the cost would have to go up in most cases, but there are still a LOT of things that can be done that won’t increase the cost much.

      I reiterate that I AM a 6″ fan. I would LOVE for the 6″ line to get to the point of being “top of the line” and “premium”, but I think it’s still a ways off. That being said, I still enjoy and collect them religiously. As i’m staring at them while writing this, another glaring omission from the 6″ line is additional head sculpts. Obviously doesn’t work for ALL of them, but I can see a bunch that could’ve made use of some alternate head sculpts. ANYWAY, i got on a rant lol I think if they can do this on 3.75″ and make it look great, I’m all for it. It won’t take away from the 6″ in anyway in my opinion.

      • CadeSky

        I really like 6″ scale but there has just never been anything about it that has actually made me feel like it is better than 3.75″. And I have to admit that I was happy bringing home some vehicles on FFII…6″ will never have as much to interact with.

      • Funtomaz

        To reply to your question regarding the Landspeeder, here are some differences, things the SDCC has which the regular version is missing:

        – extra shading applied to the engine under the hood
        – the back of the seats is painted, the regular version has no paint at all
        – the cockpit dashboard has all the small buttons etc painted
        – there’s extra shading on the hood and especially on the rear of the vehicle
        – the hollow space just next to the silver thingies (whatever that is called :-D) is painted, regular version has just the unpainted plastic
        – the rear cover on the right has a panel, the SDCC version has this panel painted
        – there’s shading applied to the bottom of the vehicle (front section)

        These are mostly differences you notice when you look a little closer, on your shelf, in your cabinet both vehicles mostly look the same.

        And I agree, I don’t consider Hasbro Black Series to be a premium product. SH Figuarts occupies that space (Mafex too), their offerings are premium (most of the time), you get so many extra hands, an extra head sculpt, extra weapons, whereas Black Series is mostly barebones. Extra hands are more useful than extra heads, but an alternate expression would be welcome for some figures. The new Rey looks so incredibly bored/tired… a somewhat more determined expression would have been welcome.

  • Walter F.

    Please do something. Got to fix the Han’s (Bummed out looks) and Poe’s (drunk looks)
    And all the (wax melting faces). We have faith in You. Get in the game and come on in for the big win.

  • Jebediaah

    Are we talking the micro dot pattern apps that have taken the place of some airbrush effects (ex: 3.75″ SA Scarif Stormtrooper dirt patterns) or are we talking actual face sculpts?

  • King Bowser

    Take a look at the Hasbro Marvel Legends Rocket Racoon, the most recent one. I believe it used that technology, and do to his small size, he’s about 4″ tall. His face is larger than what would be available on a SW figure though (Rocket was 6″ scaled, just happens to be short).

    In promo pics he looked good. But I have two and in person you can tell the paint apps are blocky and there are obvious “squares” all over it. The technology was much more effective on the larger characters in that wave like Gamora and Starlord.

    If upon close inspection it looks blocky on someone as small as Rocket, it’ll likely look worse, and even more obvious, on someone smaller like a TVC Star Wars character.

    That’s not to say it’s not possible, it’s just not there yet, and I wouldn’t expect it for some time.

  • It would be so nice to see this implemented on the 3.75″ if they can make it work. It sounds like we’re not there yet on the technological side for small figures, but if they can do something to mask it as you suggested and it looked good, i’m all for it. I would hope that in 5-10 years as tech because more widely available and cheaper that figures get better and better while keeping costs reasonable.

    Its unlikely, at first, as everything “new” costs so much and then as the years pass and things become more commercially available and cheaper the cost can go down. I mean, look at things like 3D printers…those were RIDICULOUSLY expensive a few years back and now so many people can pop out their Rick and Morty figures because they’re bored. My point is, the tech will get there hopefully sooner rather than later and hopefully it won’t skyrocket the cost, but I’m sure every collector would want this to be implemented if it looks great. I’m excited to see where this goes.

    • Jimmy Griffin

      Rick and Morty rules!!!

      • bmales01
        • HA! that made my day

          • bmales01

            I’ve been screaming this for weeks at home. My kids have no idea what I am referring to (it is an adult show), but they love it.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            We need a 1:1 scale SA Pickle Rick now.

          • bmales01

            It will happen. Pickle Rick is already coming in Funko form imminently. Additional toys cant be far behind

            I hope to see many Pickle Ricks at NYCC in less than a month just so I can shout it with the kids

          • Jimmy Griffin

            Excellent.

          • bmales01
          • What does this have to do with the article?

          • bmales01

            Ask Colin, he mentioned Rick and Morty

          • Jimmy Griffin

            TVC and Rick And Morty are both very awesome things. That’s the connection.

          • Funtomaz

            Is there anything there’s not a Funko Pop of? Crazy! πŸ˜€

          • bmales01

            nope

          • Hardcore F’n Mudd

            Golden Girls.

            No wait….. (checks Google)

            You’re right, theres nothing they haven’t made

          • Jebediaah

            Fred Sanford of Sanford & Son. Or did I miss that one?

          • I think I need that

          • bmales01

            we all need this

          • Super articulated Pickle Rick

          • DO NOT LET THEM WATCH IT

            PS
            Get schwifty

          • bmales01

            My wife would kill me if I did

          • Walter F.

            I got scolded for watching Archer.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            I love Archer too. I like the way they have been willing to basically re-invent the show for the last few seasons.

          • Walter F.

            I got through some of Vice, but quit keeping up with it after that. She said “We got kids running around here, that’s too vulgar. What’s wrong with you?” So now I watch the 60s, 70s and 80s Chinese Kung Fu movies on El Rey network on Tuesday nights (previously Thursdays). Now she just thinks I’m crazy. πŸ˜‰

          • Jimmy Griffin

            I know exactly what you’re talking about.

          • Jimmy Griffin

            Colin, I almost sent you an email after I read the first issue of that Phasma comic; but I decided to just wait for your review and post my thoughts in the comments.

      • LOL that’s why I used it as an example.

        • CT-7567

          Are you going to review more comics?

          • I am, there will be one up tomorrow. I’ve been working on something regarding the comics and it’s been taking longer than it was supposed to so in the mean time, i’ll just have to do what I can. I’ll have the latest Vader up tomorrow and then Mace Windu and Phasma sometime in the next week.

          • CT-7567

            Awesome. Sorry if I seemed like I was being bothersome about it. I just enjoy the comic reviews and discussing them in comments.

  • Randy

    Would this technology work on a new, larger-sized skiff?

    • SteveU1

      We need a full scale skiff in 2019! I hope the sales of the tank make it happen

      • CadeSky

        That would be so cool.

    • darthmo

      Tine for a properly scaled skiff. It isn’t that big a vehicle.

  • bnicks87

    If it can be done right, I’m all for it!

  • I honestly don’t think that process looks all that good at all. (This is the dot matrix thing, right?) It looks like it the thing is made out of sand.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0aa29bf0cb61d9a09c9f310c27eaba4ba65fa014ba42c088fc7424dec032f1b8.jpg

    • King Bowser

      They don’t take good pics, in hand they look a lot better. I was skeptical too, until I bought my first Figuarts. Upon receiving it and seeing how nice it looked in person, I immediately went out a bought a bunch more.

      Admittedly some turn out better than others.

    • CadeSky

      I agree, the pictures I saw made me NOT want to think about a Figurarts purchase. I guess I’ll take the word of King Bowser below, though…better in person. I am sure there are some reasons to favor these figures over Hasbro’s…but I just have never necessarily felt that they actually looked that great.

    • CJ

      Yeah. I don’t get it. They’re toys. Let’s focus on not painting their eyes on their cheeks.

    • Funtomaz

      Extreme close-ups of figures with digital face printing always look somewhat weird. Do you own any of the SHF Figuarts figures? In real life, i.e. with human eyes, in hand, on your shelf, they look fantastic, just like little humans.

      They look a lot better than any of the Hasbro figures. Even people who know nothing of action figures and nothing of Star Wars always remark how much better the SHF figures look compared to any Hasbro counterpart (when they see my figures).
      Also: SHF has refined the process over the years. Obi-Wan was an earlier figure, recent figures have even better digital printing with a less pronounced dot matrix effect. The somewhat grainy skin texture actually makes the skin look realistic and not like plastic. Maybe you know someone who owns SHF Star Wars figures, go look at them with your own eyes. Close-up photos never do them justice.

      I’m glad that Hasbro will introduce their photo real tech.

    • RumSleg

      I’m with you. It looks more accurate but less real at the same time.

    • JediJones

      And these Asian companies still sculpt every likeness as looking vaguely Asian.

    • Kalashi

      Your mileage will always vary hardcore, especially with SHF’s. Things like their Darth Maul or their Bruce Lee look insanely good and the dots are not noticeable unless you get in there extremely close with a magnifying glass. It’s kinda a mixed bag, though, on the rest of their Star Wars line, in terms of the “sandy” look. Han, for instance, it’s still noticeable on, but less so on their ANH Luke and on their unmasked Vader head that came with Jedi Luke. It’s something they still haven’t perfected and I’m sure Hasbro will have a learning curve on it too.

      MAFEX seems to be doing pretty good of matching skin tones, however, to avoid the sandy look and they’re now applying the printing to their Star Wars line as well and they’ve made some major improvements in the QC department, too, as of late. As always, just research research research and don’t be afraid to mix lines to ensure best consistent quality in your collection.

    • Hardcore F’n Mudd

      SAND????
      Its coarse and it gets everywhere!

  • Hope this technology is used on the 3.75″ Vintage line!

  • CadeSky

    About this technology…I’m just not sure that I really understand what it is and how exactly it is innovative. I remember at the beginning of the 2000s that there were new face-scanning technologies that were used for some figures. I’m thinking of the figures for Star Trek: Nemesis specifically. Whoever was making those toys was making a big deal about how they were able to get these great likenesses from the actors’ faces. Where has this tech gone since then?

    • Funtomaz

      SH Figuarts digital printing technology works as follows: they print a “photo” of the face (with all the details and shading) onto the head sculpt. They use tiny dots instead of normal paint to print the details such as eyes, lips, eyebrows etc. This allows them to apply shading even to tiny details.

      Until now Hasbro applies solid color to the face for the eyes, white, then the iris, another solid color and on top of that the pupil, then the eyebrows are applied, one single color too. Which gives them their cartoonish appearance.
      With the dot matrix and photo real approach Hasbro too can apply shading to tiny details which give the faces a much more lifelike look.

      None of that is to be confused with digitally sculpting the likeness of an actor. For that there are photo rigs (dozens or even more than a hundred cameras mounted at every conceivable angle – think the Matrix effect which used a variant of this tech). You get several dozen photos which are then combined with software into a 3D model (this is called photogrammetry, if you are interested in the process). All the new Star Wars movies have the actors enter such photo rigs so that very accurate likenesses can then be sculpted based off the 3D data obtained. None of which helps if the paint apps are cartoonish, so the next step will breathe much more life into these figures.

      Enter “What is β€œTamashii Digital Coloring Technology”?” into Google, the first result will give you a simple explanation of how SHF makes their figures.

      • CadeSky

        Thanks for the detailed info here. I was looking at this the wrong way, I see. Sometimes I do wonder why/how we still get some lousy facial likenesses…one that was just terrible IMO was any attempt at capturing Oscar Isaacs with the TFA figures. 6″…looked nothing like him. 5POA…not surprisingly, worse.

        • Funtomaz

          The thing is, the 3D model you get from this procedure is not perfect, it has to be worked on quite extensively, you need to improve the sculpt, the raw data you get is a great starting point though. I guess that this second, manual step, the improvements and changes so that it can actually be made into a figure somehow went wrong with Oscar Isaac’s sculpt. The new Captain Dameron figure looks much more like him.

          • CadeSky

            Yeah from what I have seen I would agree…they seem to have improved greatly. I’ll be happy to track down that new 6″ Poe. The 3.75″ figure that came with the Ski Speeder is currently my favorite Poe because it’s leagues beyond the TFA versions!

  • Mike Moore (04515f4n)

    My guess is that this technology will only work on the 3.75″ vehicles and large cretures.

  • Coleman Miller

    Didn’t Hasbro once use Gentle Giant to do scans? Anyway, if they can make it look right & get the paint correct I’m fine with it.

    • But that’s just it. The current deco ruins what should otherwise be a fantastic sculpt.

      • Coleman Miller

        Sad but true

    • rebelsfangirl

      GG used to sculpt for them, scanning is new.

      • Coleman Miller

        Thanks! I thought I had that right.

  • Subcoolin

    I’m all in for the vintage collection!!

  • Albert Escobedo

    I support Hasbro’s attempts at photo realistic technology. The SH Figuarts decos look amazing when done right.

  • holy Q

    Even the best sculpt will look terrible with a cheap paintjob.

  • Darth_Rizzen

    I am definitely supportive of the dot matrix technology that gives SH Figuarts such incredible likenesses. Getting the same thing for 3.75″ TVC would be amazing of course.

    Yet, I have to ask if it’s possible or really needed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy with the quality of 3.75″ figures as they are right now. The only one I have from the TLJ line is Darth Vader, and only because it came with the outstanding Probot.

    But I can also see what they did in the past, most notably with TVC, with highly detailed sculpts showing lines, creases and expressions, and remarkably well painted, crisply detailed, expressive faces. There was no dot printing tech then.

    Isn’t it possible to recapture this level of quality? That, to me, is what TVC really all about. Not the packaging but getting extremely well made figures. πŸ˜‰

    • JediJones

      I think some of their best likenesses came before TVC. The likenesses were already in decline during that era.

    • Funtomaz

      “remarkably well painted, crisply detailed, expressive faces”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7babddc7b88a39bf1829a71fcce53653ea13ac63ae8d761c461f0704747c706f.jpg

      These are all from Paul’s reviews, only human faces (the aliens look much better).
      I would say TVC is also in dire need of new paint apps when it relaunches in 2018. New head sculpts too. Quite a few of the figures look nothing like the person they are supposed to be. Paint apps are as basic and bad as on most 6 in figures (even more shame on 6 in paint apps). You have cross-eyed figures, figures with droopy eyes, poor Dack Ralter looks braindead (maybe this is a post Snowspeeder crash likeness?). Skintone is waxy, no paint applied to it. This all sounds and looks familiar. A gallery of the 6 in human head sculpts would look mostly the same. And Hasbro, in all these years, never really learned how to sculpt Mark Hamill.
      The figures are smaller, it’s harder to see all the tiny details, but still… I am not nostalgic about TVC because I completely missed the train – but when I look at the reviews here to see what could have been I see some great looking alien figures, a few nice droids and mostly terrible looking human figures with bad likenesses and simplistic paint apps. There are exceptions, Dengar is a work of art, a real accomplishment Hasbro can be proud of. But most other humans? Not so much.

      • MicroCapo

        These look AWFUL.

        • MicroCapo

          Farmboy Luke looks like he has tribal Indian paint! Jedi Luke looks like he hasn’t slept in 3 weeks and is on a 17 gram cocaine binge. Figuarts (& black series using the digital face printing tech) is the present and future.

      • King Bowser

        Wow, that is a nice gallery, and a great way to emphasis your point. Did you make that photo collage yourself? Would you mind if I shared it and gave you credit?

        • Funtomaz

          The photos are all Paul’s, from his reviews. I merely made the collage. I have no problem with you sharing the collage, but you should credit JTA, not me.

        • Don’t you be sharing my images and crediting Funtomaz!

          • King Bowser

            I would have always credited your images, and Funtomaz for compiling them all together. Would never have thought of doing otherwise. Besides, If I ever shared them, I’d probably only share them here. lol .

      • Eradicator

        A good paint job makes a world of difference. A bad paint job also makes a world of difference. I am sure they know that though. If Hasbro can improve the paint and improve on the technology to create more accurate 3.75″ figures that would be awesome. Boss Fight Studio does some excellent head sculpts and I think they have done some work for Hasbro in the past. It would be nice to see them used again.

        • Yeah, and there was a time when we could root through five or six samples and pick the best one. Not anymore!

          • CT-7567

            There was a time when we could root through tens of the same figure. I remember when ROTS was out, Walmart had TWO AISLES of figures. I miss that.

      • Darth_Rizzen

        Congratulations, you’ve just spent way too much time in an image manipulation tool to prove that 20 individual examples of figures from a 114-strong collection of mass produced figures look not so great. πŸ˜‚

        Yes, yes, I’m being mean. πŸ˜‰

        But please acknowledge that I never said that all of them were great, or that there was nothing great before TVC. Just that it was possible to have great figures before the dot matrix process. πŸ˜‰

        Of course I want improvements. Don’t we all?

        But let’s be fair, so far Hasbro’s attempts at using dot matrix with 3.75″ have been less than stellar so far (Rey’s cheeks, old Ben ‘s beard) and Bandai’s current (and superb) tech for 1/12 doesn’t offer the kind of definition needed for 1/18. The dots just aren’t fine enough.

        Maybe later, perhaps?

        • Funtomaz

          I have too much time on my hands sometimes πŸ˜€ But really, it didn’t take that long, I use Photoshop professionally πŸ˜‰

          I wanted to illustrate that in our memory things can look better than they actually were. One of these days I might make a similar collage for the 6 in figures, it will also be a sorry sight. At least the head sculpts are better.

          And yes, Hasbro’s digital printing tech seems to be different from what SHF is doing (patents perhaps?) and doesn’t look too good sometimes, the prints can have very pronounced dots from what I’ve seen so far (Rocket Racoon is a prime example). But figures like Gamora or Nebula look fantastic.

          • King Bowser

            Another interesting one would be 6″ figures next to their 3.75″ counterparts. Sandtrooper next to Sandtrooper, Bossk, next to Bossk, Etc.

          • Funtomaz

            Here’s a quick comparison for some human TVC and 6 in BS characters. Not all of the TVC characters are always an exact match (Lando is from Ep III). All photos are from Paul’s JTA reviews, rescaled so that the heads have the same size.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4065bd3df2bf0c48910fa1edc63c64df25744f9ee6fd322683c533308471d41e.jpg

            I have to say, I never want to look at another close-up of a Hasbro head sculpt and paint app for a while now πŸ˜‰
            To be fair, no one will ever see them as the camera does, no extreme close-up etc. So in real life the figures do look better. But still, you get the feeling that Hasbro should try a little harder. They will try harder, they have tried harder because newer head sculpts are much better. These are all mostly early figures.

            Oh, in case someone is wondering, TVC is always on the left, 6in Black Series on the right.

          • That Luke Bespin 6″ figure is dreadful.

          • Funtomaz

            Your figure is much worse than mine, my Bespin Luke has no droopy eye. But it’s still a very drowsy Luke πŸ˜€

          • CT-7567

            The head sculpt is. The rest of the figure is actually really good. Bespin Luke is my second favorite Luke outfit. I really wish they got the head right on that one.

          • King Bowser

            Wow, thanks for that! That’s a very useful comparison.

          • CT-7567

            I’d say 6″ Sandtrooper is better than the TVC Sandtrooper, but VTSC Bossk is definitely better than 6″ Bossk. It varies.

          • Darth_Rizzen

            So I see! πŸ˜‚

            I readily admit that my memory of 3.75″ figs is coloured by Tarkin, Young Palpatine/Darth Sidious or the realistic versions of TCW figures. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, not everything was perfect.

            I don’t need to be convinced that human TBS6 figures look like crap, believe me. SH Figuarts all the way. πŸ˜‰
            Speaking of which, I just received the TLJ version of the FO Stormtrooper from SH Figuarts. It’s mostly just a retool of the TFA one (new TLJ style helmet, new sidearms, 3 pauldrons included). I’m not super convinced, to be honest.

            I can’t comment on the GotG vol. 2 figures as I’ve never seen them (apart from Mary Poppins Yondu. Shame, I’m really interested in Nebula and a better Gamora. The vol. 1 version looks too bored!

          • CT-7567

            Can you make one of all the awesome TVC aliens and troopers?

          • Funtomaz

            Quick and just for fun…

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57c2cda2c2c875db090222b4618a1f4a9ab6bb2e976bb77c67b6e36f591023c7.jpg

            As someone who doesn’t collect TVC (since I only started collecting in 2013) I have this to say: the aliens look great. This is Star Wars. These characters are sorely missing from the 6 in line which mostly focuses on the main characters.
            The troopers, in my opinion, are not that great, proportions and sculpts are quite off and the 6 in versions are better in this regard. But the non-human, non-armored characters are superb. In my opinion the new TVC should keep that focus, not just main characters (them too) but also include the much more visually appealing background aliens.

            All photos courtesy of JTA. I pilfered the cardback from the internet. and then some fiddling around with it. Just a lazy collage πŸ˜€ If you want to use it, ask Paul, these are his photos.

            And yes. I know there are not just aliens and troopers on the card. πŸ˜‰

          • CT-7567

            Thanks! That looks great Funtomaz. πŸ™‚ Some of the troopers need updates for sure. The Stormtrooper and Sandtrooper could greatly benefit from the RO Stormtrooper head sculpt. I think the clones look fine. Jango and Boba Fett could use better helmets. I refer the VOTC helmet because it isn’t removable. Jango would look a lot better if they could shrink down the helmet and head sculpt from the 6″ figure.

      • I think your vision is clouded because you’re into premium high-end 6″ figures. They could tighten up some things, but if it means 3.75″ SA scale, I will accept all of these paint jobs again!

        • Funtomaz

          It was mostly for fun. We should never forget that none of us will look at extreme close-ups of action figure faces in real life. We have them on a shelf or in a cabinet, in context with other figures and accessories. Close-ups of 6 in figure faces look just as terrible (see below), in real life they look not quite that horrible. These are small figures, even 6 in scale. Recreating human faces in a mass produced toy line at this scale is not always easy. And Hasbro has improved.

  • BB-Mate

    3.75″ SA is so last year πŸ™‚ gnark gnark

  • flipfriddle

    If this is referring to the screen-printed details on some current figures, perhaps Hasbro could use a variation of a printing technology I have used in paper printed materials: stochastic screening. Instead of the regular screen of dots that traditionally lithography uses, stochastic screening creates the dots randomly. While this makes printed pieces notoriously difficult to proof, it completely eliminates the possibility of moire patterns when printing; for example, a photo of someone wearing a herringbone jacket. It also allows for much greater detail. We primarily use it at work for publications that have a lot of small headshots in them. With traditional screens the faces can look a bit blurry as all of those details compete with the regularly pattered screen. Stochastic makes things look much more natural and, on high quality stock, look nearly as good as continuous tone or high-end inkjet printing.

  • JediJones

    I’m waiting for shrink ray technology to come around so I can buy a MOC Mark Hamill. Just need to remember to put some air holes in the bubble.

  • IB

    Be good the paint job and details. The figures and vehicles should be movie accurate.

  • Fiery Little One

    I’m not surprised by this. I’ve seen some examples in person and more than a few reviews. The technique is not camera friendly.

  • BlueSaber

    I honestly thought they were already doing it on the new 5POA TLJ figures and the SA BS ones too. They look like models to me and perfect renderings of the actors, which lead me to believe they adopted that tech for the smaller figures as well. I’m all for it, if it means more accurate face sculpts for my figures, I can easily take a few dots from the matrix as opposed to completely wonky eyes or features that ruin an otherwise great figure. For the most part, the face and head make or break a figure for me.

  • Wedge Antilles

    The shading technology we have been seeing is “Halftone” technology (been used for decades as an optical way to trick the eye with shading).

    I used in in my profession in the late 80’s – it is still used today on a lot of stuff.

    It can be very fine of coarse (I’ve used 150 Dpi (dots per inch) to very coarse.

    Have a close look at black and white images in a newspaper.
    This example shows an enlarged view to show the way it works only (see Wikipedia https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e77a20cfa24976058fd3aeb23444bba042c2347272d2ce88573063d5e59daa6.jpg ).

  • Jaken Wraith

    Why not make a comparison pic using only 6in’s that have come after #37 and 38? The best 6in Fig’s are Lando and Qui-Gon in that pic. The 6in’s now are far, far, better then they were before #37 & 38.

  • Funtomaz

    They have a 3D scan for Jedi Master Luke, they are using camera rigs with dozens of DSLRs for that. Which is why his sculpt is better. All the other Lukes? Sculpted by hand which is why they haven’t got him right yet. Figuarts has come closest.

  • Captain Antilles

    Hasbro should keep the real painting technique with 3.75 inch figures. Look at the pixel beard of the TLJ Obi Wan. It doesnΒ΄t look good and realistic!

    • darthmadonna

      exactly. The scale of 3.75″ just won’t work with dot matrix. At least not currently.

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