This would have mattered to me when I was a kid. And I could just picture the well-meaning relative imagining their cherubic nephew/grandson/whatever's face glowing with the delight upon unwrapping it, only to be dashed when the snot-nosed little devil proclaims it to be a piece of junk.
"I made a lot of special modifications myself," says Hasbro. Oh, Hasbro. Let's see you release an assembly-line YT-1300 then, okay?
I eavesdropped on a couple kids looking at Star Wars figures. One of them did boast to the other that he was getting the Millennium Falcon for Christmas. The other remarked on how "ugly" a General Grievous figure was--I'm not sure whether he considered that a positive quality or not.
In any case, I thought it was interesting how much the kids seemed to like the prequels as well as the original trilogy. There's certainly plenty of prequel merchandise, but I wonder if the merchandise is there because the kids want it or if the kids want it because it's there. I do remember wanting some action figures for their own sakes when I was a kid, but mostly I wanted Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtle figures because they were shows I liked watching. I think I really honed a lot of the storytelling instincts I have today by playing with Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters in a giant Batcave playset, and trying to come up with legitimate explanations for the scale inconsistencies. I remember there was a long running love triangle involving Sorceress from He-Man, Peter Venkman, and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle. I think it was Leonardo. He was my favourite, anyway.
I was sort of bemused by Jon Stewart's interview with Bill O'Reilly;
Almost without realising it, the two of them seem to fall into challenging each other to go out and talk to real, salt-of-the-Earth Americans, each apparently feeling the other never does this. Stewart does seem to have polls and reason on his side, and mostly seems to have trouble communicating simply because O'Reilly constantly interrupts him. O'Reilly, on the other hand, seems terrified. He seems to make less and less sense, and seems to state his actual beliefs with a tone of irony as though he subconsciously believes his only value is as a parody. Or, actually, it seems as though he's so determined not to take Stewart seriously on any level that he reflexively drains conviction from his own believes. You know, the more I think about it, the more I think the guy's a complete wreck.