My friend and colleague in the “I can’t get enough news about toys and games” business, Scott Rubin, has been doing a fantastic job of covering the 2014 GAMA conference in Las Vegas this week. Pop on over to CritToHit.com to see all his coverage. I’m hoping he doesn’t mind if I borrow one of his pics for the purpose of this blog and maybe it will get you to check out the rest of his coverage as well. Its well worth the look. Then come back and read the rest of the blog. Seriously, go check out his coverage, I’ll wait. Direct link to the War of Light showroom pictures.
Regular readers know I am a big fan, player, and collector of WizKids HeroClix line. This week they dropped the mother load of info on their upcoming Event series War of Light, named after DC Comics Green Lantern story of the same name a few years back. I’d like to discuss a few takeaways, observations, hopes, disappointments, and questions based on the news, the sculpts revealed, the set list put together by the avid fans at HCRealms.com – War of Light Evidence Thread. Maybe the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Showing a few pieces from each Lantern Corps at various times leading up to this to make us speculate on what might be in the set.
- The participation pieces are mostly the big name Green Lanterns from Earth, so by just attending the events, you will get a new version of the most popular characters in the Green Lantern franchise.
- Not sticking directly to the War of Light story. We have characters from as far back as Zero Hour and as far forward as The First Lantern, 20 issues into the nu52. Example characters are Parallax Hal Jordan to White Lantern Kyle Rayner.
- Rond Vidar? – Really? The ONE Green Lantern we felt was missing in the recent Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes set and here he is. Nice!
- The Lantern entities? Amazing. The idea of sculpting them coming out of their respective lanterns is pretty cool.
- Primes as alternate versions of the same character. Example: Red Lantern and Green Lantern versions of Liara. Earlier sets did this well with Primes like Batman set Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes set Riddler / Edward Nigma.
- Too many versions of the better known Lanterns. I know Hal Jordan is popular, but did we really need slots taken up by yellow, red, black, blue/green versions of him? An Indigo Guy Gardner and Sinestro? I don’t even remember some of these characters in these colors. I’m sure they appeared but it seems excessive.
- Not enough Black Lanterns. I know the set is named War of Light, but the 2nd set of boxes are clearly marked with the Black Lantern symbol. I was really hoping for Black Lantern versions of Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and Hawkgirl duo, Elongated Man and Sue Dibny duo, and Ted Kord Blue Beetle so we could field a Black Lantern Justice League. What about Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman, the first Black Lantern we saw? Black Lantern Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 to antagonize Superboy Prime? Black Lantern Deadman?
- Primes which are different characters. Example: Green Lantern Gallius Zed and Red Lantern Zillus Zox. WizKids has done this before with Teen Titans set Starfire and Blackfire sharing a slot with Blackfire as the Prime of Starfire. Making the Green Lantern Gallius Zed and the Black Lantern Gallius Zed as Primes would work better for me as I would have more hope of pulling one of the two.
- Trying to collect the whole set. I am going to give up on that right now. Actually I already had. You can only get the boosters at the events. You might get 2 boosters at an event, but at the same time you might only get 1 booster. So you could get 5 to 10 figures each time you play. There are 6 monthly events. If you only play at one store, that is 6 x 5 = 30 figures or 6 x 10 = 60 figures. There are 90+ figures in the set. And they are not all of the same rarity. You will get a lot more commons and a lot less of the rarer pieces.
- Only offering wave 1 for 2 months, wave 2 for 2 months and hoping venues would order enough extra to run months 5 and 6.
- The action pack. I skipped the Skandi / Capt America pack and bought the Iron Man / Splitlip pack. Overall, I’m disappointed in what was included. 2 figures, an object, dice, pogs, a map and a bunch of paper. It just felt not worth the price. While I have played the figures (once), I have not yet seen a reason to use the pogs. And I have dice. I guess I was comparing it to starter sets and fast forces which until recently cost roughly the same amount as the action packs. Those both give you 6 pieces and a map. The action pack looks good, feels like they put more into the packaging, but I feel I got less.
So the real question is, would I have done anything different?
- Maybe I would have held back 1/2 the sculpts from public display to let folks wonder and hope what the other half would be.
- Hopefully I would look for reactions and see which characters stood out in list after list from fan after fan of missing characters and create a plan to incorporate them in an upcoming set.
- Offer wave 1 for 3 months and wave 2 for 3 months. I just feel like there will be no product for month 6 and we will be playing WOL with Marvel boosters.
- I’d stuff a half dozen more Black Lanterns in. The ones I listed above would be great.
- I’d pull some versions of Hal, Guy, John, Kyle and Sinestro. 2 of each is plenty.
- I’d have less of the a/b numbering. As a collector, I just find it to be confusing. 1 prime per level like we’ve had in the recent sets is enough.
- I’d revisit the idea of action packs and see if it felt like I was giving people enough product in them.
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