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Editorial: Black Series Centerpieces - Why The Hate?

Another NYTF is in the books, and those of us who refuse to jump scales weren't left with a lot to discuss. But one thing appealed to my sense of figure displaying. Contrary to the (strong) opinions you might've read for the Black Series Centerpiece collection, I see a silver lining to that 6 inch cloud! Please read on for this maybe abstract point of view.

Let me just say from the start, I'm not a fan of Hasbro's decisions to focus the collector dollars of the current Star Wars line on mostly 6 inch product. While I appreciate the business logic in the move, I simply refuse to change my buying habits. Call me a "curmudgeon", a "fogy", a "geriatric dinosaur", but I'm pretty set in my 1/18-ish ways at this point in life. I've enjoyed some of the 1/12 Bandai Figure Kits, but I just can't take the plunge on the Black Series 6 inch figures totally. However, this year's New York Toy Fair reveals from the big H weren't all the doom and gloom for the 3.75 inch collectors as you might've heard.

This was admittedly a slim Toy Fair for the 3.75 inch collector, but one of the things that earned the most verbal abuse around the web was one of the toys I saw the most potential in. The Black Series Centerpiece collection has immediate out-of-the-box appeal to me! Why? Simply put, I think it may work pretty well for a 3.75 inch figures display piece, if you can imagine some scale-neutral uses that is.

Now of course, it isn't that stackable/expandable Death Star hallway collectors dreamed of for decades, but these sets look like they have the potential to be something that works for more scales than one, and the detail in them is impeccable. Who's to say which ship door Vader is making into scrap? Why can't a smaller figure be marching over a heavier blast door with troopers in tow? Just eyeballing the pictures, it appears as though the figures of Vader or Luke are removable, and ironically it appears the AT-AT foot in the Luke set is possibly better scaled to 3.75 inch figures than the larger 6 inch (with an AT-AT foot completely covering a Snowspeeder, that appears to be an AT-AT-Lite that Luke's hopping over).

The price is stiff on these ($50), but they also don't look to be small hunks of plastic either. Remember that Lars Homestead? Yeah, it wasn't cheap either, nor much more complex. And while this line isn't focusing on me, that doesn't mean Hasbro isn't doing interesting things. If I were a 6 inch collector I'd probably be more annoyed by the pre-posed figures, but that's another argument for another scale, and frankly I don't care. What I do care about though? These "Centerpiece" sets certainly at least look like they can be utilized by 3.75 inch collectors as a new and interesting way to display their toys.

Wow... Sometimes you can find some collecting happiness if you don't keep your head buried in the sand too long.

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