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Astro Toy with Rob Bricken: Vampire Hunter D PVC


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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:21 pm Reply with quote
Boy oh boy, for the last three times you've reviewed action figures, they have been pretty bad. But after seeing Magnus appear to yell at Zatch Bell, I remember a a Zatch Bell action figure I once had myself.

My dog ate Ponygon and left nothing. Granted the action figure only costed ten dollars, I really liked the figure. I have a feeling that finding a replacement isn't too difficult, but I am not even sure if that type of action figure is still being made.

By the way, what is Sticky Tack? Is it a fancy version of puddy? That was pretty nice of Dark Horse to send you the figures free though.
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RadicaLElly



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:01 pm Reply with quote
This is why in Journalism school we're often taught if we're sent any kind of products for review to either offer to pay for it (preferably with permission to use money from your employer's budget rather than pay out of your own pocket) or, failing that, to send it back.

If a company is sending you something to review it's out of hopes that you'll give a positive review in exchange for getting to keep the product, which makes it extremely difficult if it turns out said product is lousy because now you feel obligated to find a really nice way of saying it's bad without calling it bad. To me this review read more like: "okay, these aren't great figures, but Dark Horse tried, so buy them anyway."

Scenarios like these can also be the basis for libel lawsuits under extreme circumstances. Obviously not all newspapers/magazines/websites/whatever follow these guidelines, but it's something to think about.
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vashfanatic
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:17 pm Reply with quote
RadicaLElly wrote:
To me this review read more like: "okay, these aren't great figures, but Dark Horse tried, so buy them anyway."


...but a picture is worth a thousand words, and so we've got 13,000 words of "these are ugly" telling us not to buy them.

I think Roger Ebert has said that same thing in the past, that reviewers should try not to accept free stuff because of conflicts of interest.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:44 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

I think Roger Ebert has said that same thing in the past, that reviewers should try not to accept free stuff because of conflicts of interest.


This is not at all a problem with our anime reviews. They want coverage, so they send us their product. We review it one way or the other, no strings attached, no expectations. That's how it works at any responsible publication.

In the past there used to be an attitude that somehow they were doing us a 'favor' by mailing us DVDs to review, and so they expected us to be generally kinder and more deferential in reviews, but that has since largely gone away.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:46 pm Reply with quote
I have no idea whether the reviewers here at ANN get the DVDs they review for free (I think ANN picks up the tab), but that's not really the point of this week's column. The point is, these figures are subpar, contain flaws in their design, aren't even coloured correctly, and the hairstyle on D was just atrocious (my word for the day). And it's been a while since I watched Vampire Hunter D, but I'm pretty sure that his face is "off" as well.

Well done on Rob for laying it on straight. The video game industry has already gathered game reviewers under its thumb; good to see someone speak their mind.

In the short term Rob might not be getting more figures from Dark Horse, but in the longer term their figures may get better for fear of another embarrassing review.


Last edited by dtm42 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rolando_jose



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:14 pm Reply with quote
D looked like the cross between a pimp and a bad dressing mad woman, jeez. Crying or Very sad
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DuelLadyS



Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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Location: WA state

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Teriyaki Terrier wrote:
By the way, what is Sticky Tack? Is it a fancy version of puddy? That was pretty nice of Dark Horse to send you the figures free though.


Also known as poster tak, blu-tak, or handi-tak, it's a lil' ball of sticky putty normally used to put posters on walls (avoiding thumbtack holes.) Lots of folks use it to help unruly figures stand up.

I love the picture of D and Magnus staring at fallen Doris- not only is it funny, but there's Boba Fett and R2D2 Mr. Potato Heads in the background! Yay! Very Happy
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wandering-dreamer



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:19 pm Reply with quote
Again these photos have gotten a good couple of giggles out of me, pictures really do tell a thousand words.
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vashfanatic
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:33 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
In the past there used to be an attitude that somehow they were doing us a 'favor' by mailing us DVDs to review, and so they expected us to be generally kinder and more deferential in reviews, but that has since largely gone away.


Good to hear! I thought that your reviewers had things sent to them, but I wasn't 100% sure. One would think that companies would learn, though, and not send "Death Note" to Mr. Kliminger twice, but maybe they liked the debate it started? Laughing

But there really wasn't much to say in this review. The figures are really ugly, you can tell from just looking at them.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:52 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
Good to hear! I thought that your reviewers had things sent to them, but I wasn't 100% sure. One would think that companies would learn, though, and not send "Death Note" to Mr. Kliminger twice, but maybe they liked the debate it started? Laughing


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that Zac gets sent the DVDs, and he subsequently mails them out to the reviewers.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:54 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that Zac gets sent the DVDs, and he subsequently mails them out to the reviewers.


You should probably ask me about exactly how our review process works, not just "someone" since nobody but myself or Chris really knows the nuts 'n bolts. Smile

It depends on the company. Funimation sends stuff to me, I mail those out. Viz has a few of our critics on their PR lists, and those people get whatever they decide to send out. Some other companies send stuff to me directly, some to the critics themselves.

It's a bit of a patchwork and frankly there aren't enough companies left that even send stuff out anymore to make it complicated. Our reviewers also review stuff they bought themselves, or stuff they rented. What matters most is that they're reviewing a finished product, or as close to a finished product as is possible (IE a screener DVD with no packaging but is identical to the release version). They obtain this stuff through a wide variety of methods.


Last edited by Zac on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dargonxtc



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:02 pm Reply with quote
Ha! Great review. You know, when I heard these figures were coming out I was pretty pumped. Until I saw the pictures that is. Bam! Ugly. Then I was like, well maybe the picture is just bad and they hired a really bad photographer. No, this review just confirmed my suspicions.

Laughing
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GordanHam



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:08 pm Reply with quote
Great review Rob. I never really like Vampire Hunter except for the Amano Art. Do you have any Fate/Stay Night figures?
I just added a new entry of one of my first Fate/Saty Night figures. Check it out at my blog:
http://gordanham.wordpress.com/​
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:42 pm Reply with quote
I find it very amusing and ironic that you're reviewing these figures just as I finish the first Vampire Hunter D novel (decided after reading up to vol 7 to read the original again) and just watched the first movie again. Maybe it's a sign heh. I have to say I've always kind of wondered why most of the book covers and art related to the series have him looking so....feminine. I know he appears very young, like around the age of 18-20, but he's not supposed to look like a drag queen. As for the figures themsevles....I can't say I'm impressed. The faces just do not look right at all and that's one big thing I go for with figures. Facial accuracy. I don't mind if outfits are off or their coloring or the posing but the figures should look like who they are representing. Also considering how few and far between D figures or merchandise is, beyond the novels/anime, it's a shame these are a bust.
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Dorcas_Aurelia
Baka RangerBaka Ranger


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:47 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
However, it's almost like the two figures knew what was going to happen to Doris:

Brilliant. That gave me a good laugh.
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