Great Review GubernatorFan, And perhaps the first 1/6 figure to tempt me for a while, but alas not enough to buy it.
It is great to see a figure with a good number of extra parts, albeit at a Deluxe edition premium. I think the overall look is great and the choice of head sculpt expression probably gives the widest choice of looks/poses without the need for an extra/second head.
The choice of materials is good and the lights on the throne are very effective. Is the seat padding moulded in? It would have been nice at this price point if HT could have provided a genuinely padded seat of some kind rather than hard plastic.
In the UK this retails at £320 + P&P. I have to say this is more reasonable than most given what is included, but still very much substantially over priced in my eyes, and thats the main reason I won't buy one. Its not that I don't want one, or that I could not afford it, but at the end of the day I don't think the price is at all reasonable or fair given the nature of the product, and I don't need it in my life enough to drop that sort of money on it. To put this statement into some sort of perspective In terms of what I will spend on things, I did just spend in excess of £1000 on a Tomenosuke Blade Runner Rick Deckard blaster prop replica because I have coveted it for a long time and in the end I had to have one, so I will spend when I think the expense is justified. This is a little different in some respects as Tomenosuke only make this blaster (and variants of it in terms of colouring etc...), so I am pretty well assured that this expensive toy will be a one off purchase, unlike products from HT who will just keep churning these things out in different forms for as long as they can hoping I will buy them all!!!
The Kotobukiya 1/10 emperor retails here for £125 +P&P, and yes its smaller and static and doesn't have the extras or features but does all that warrant the HT being well over twice the price.
The new Hasbro Black series 8" Darth Vader is on pre order here at £70 and thats a figure with a metal armature as well as superb quality soft goods and accessories and extras!!! So why is the average price of a plastic bodied HT/Sideshow 1/6 Star Wars figure almost 4 times this cost?????
If others can produce these items at less expense to the consumer then HT could too but they continue to choose to inflate their prices above the cost of similar items largely because they have worked out that many of us will continue to pay regardless. Interesting too that none of this appears to be connected to Disney licensing costs as all these firms are subject to the licensing, so HT/SideShow are simply just charging more for their products.
The basic costs of the figure is no where near what we are being asked to pay for these things. There are many exceptional military figures around today which come with tray after tray of superb add on parts and extras which retail for around £150 or sometimes even less. Some even have character head sculpts depicting real people to. So if these companies can produce a high quality figure with lots of accessories for substantially less and still make a profit, then what should this be telling us about HT/SideShow pricing?? I would expect the Disney/Star Wars licensing to increase this price point for franchise figures, but not by £100 more!!!!
At what price point would you say a 1/6 scale figure is
over priced to the point that you would not buy it?? £400, £500, £700, £1000???? I have reached that point myself already with HT/SideShow and their current pricing, and that is a large part of why I contribute here less now. I seem to say this with every HT Sideshow Star Wars release now and quite frankly my interest in 1/6 is disappearing rapidly as a result. I refuse to pay the ridiculously inflated prices HT/Sideshow now charge, no matter how much I want the figure, and I can enjoy Star Wars collecting in other areas and scales for a way more reasonable and realistic cost!! Hell a lot of my 1-1 stuff does not even cost as much as HT figures do
I am afraid that as much as I love Star Wars, HT will have to review their pricing policy before I will go any where near buying another of their figures and until that happens i will have very little interest in what they are producing. They are just too damed expensive for what they are, and all the time we as collectors keep buying them at seriously inflated prices the costs will just continue to rise for us.