(March 1, 2002) Customizing with the New Figures - The new figures have been put down pretty often. I did my share of put downs when I saw the lack of articulation. Now I don't mind the change. The shoulders could use some work, but it'll be ok. Naturally I haven't held a new sculpt with O ring in hand, but it's pretty easy to see what we're getting from the photos.

I've been looking at the Chap Mei Soldier Force figures and several others on the market these days. Looking at them I realized that customizing the new sculpts won't be that difficult. It'll actually be fairly fun with what's out there to offer help. When the new stuff really gets going, check back on my page to see stuff I've done to get some ideas how you can work with the new figures! - Joe

(March 1, 2002) Just Thinking - You know, going to the stores looking for items you want gets old after a while. Day after day going to the stores that should have the new items in stock, only to find out they haven't restocked yet. Nobody at the stores even know what you're talking about when you ask them.

Now with this in mind, is it a wonder that store chains are having trouble? They seem surprised that they are in trouble. It's one thing to have too much stock that isn't selling, but it's a totally different thing when the stores just never have anything at all. Eventually you do find what you want sure (sometimes), but by then with people asking over an over, the stores end up thinking there is a heavy demand. They decide to order more to meet the "new demand" they think is there and end up stuck with over stock. The next time new stuff comes out, they're even more reluctant to order it in. It's a visious cycle.

The only solution I can think of is for stores to hire a small percentage of staff based on department knowledge. This could get tricky in the new days of crying about unfair work treatment. The only thought I have is just that something needs to be done. It's the what that needs to be figured out. - Joe

(March 2, 2002) Reading the Various Fan Lists - There's a lot of newbies (fans new to the lists) out there. All the various discussion lists around are gaining new members on a fairly fast bases. This can be a good thing. It peaks interest in a whole new group of people while adding something new to the list that's already talked over everything under the sun. Or that is, you would think so...

It seems that many people are more and more just joining lists and disregarding anything that preceded them. All fan discussion boards have a certain way they run. Some have FAQs (frequently asked questions), some just have a simple run of thumb to follow, and others can be fairly strict. By joining any of the lists, it doesn't matter what the subject is about even, you should take time to go back and read previous posts (if available like most are). Make sure to read anything of "rules" that are provided. The so called rules aren't there to make the list less fun, it's there to make the list more enjoyable to you. It also helps you to interact with other members with little or no trouble at all.

Now why is it like this online you ask? I've been wondering it. I was a newbie to the net and on lists at one time myself. I didn't just join any of the lists I'm on and start posting whatever I felt like either. Is it just a new thing? Not really, but it's fairly unclear what the trouble is.

The only answer I can decide on is to not allow the few true "screw balls" to make your favorite list a playground. Be persistant and don't evacuate. Also be sure not to fall for the traps that are set up. Eventually with everything going against the trouble maker, if he doesn't end up kicked off the list, he'll probably leave. As for advice to a newbie that feels he can't post without trouble seeming to build up (and you know your post shouldn't have caused it), well sometimes that does happen. There are also people out there on some of the lists that just feel that they are "IT" when it cames to being a fan. You'll have no luck butting heads with them. You're best to just ignore them and try having fun with those other people that make your stay pleasent. Sometimes you might even come across a list that every member on it isn't receptive to newbies. These lists are more or less dead anyway as they've already made themselves irrelevant to the rest of the fan community. Just find another list. - Joe

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