Oh my god.On December 2, I sent off the following email to WizKids --
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my intense disappointment with one particular aspect of your newest HeroClix expansion, SUPERNOVA.
I am one of your older customers. I am in my 40s (actually, I just turned 45 on Nov. 21) and I have been an avid superhero comics fan most of my life. I have played HeroClix since my brother bought me an Infinity Challenge starter set for Christmas back in 2003.
Like many clix fans, I've been filled with intense anticipation for Supernova due to the character selection, and the character I myself was looking forward to getting a new version of most was Thor. I've long felt that the Clobberin' Time dial seriously short changed the God of Thunder, and the sculpt was... well, it was lacking a certain sense of grandeur. So, having seen photos of what the new Thor was going to look like on your site, and having seen the dial layout, well, I've really been eager to get my hands on a new Thor.
A few weeks ago, I picked up my first small batch of Supernova boosters, tore into them, and was delighted to see I had gotten a Thor. I pulled him out of his wrappers avidly -- and felt crushing disappointment as I realized that the Thor figure had been packaged with a Vision dial.
Now, mind you, I'm also really looking forward to the new Vision; his new sculpt looks excellent and his dial is great, too. So, getting a Thor figure with no dial, and a Vision dial with no figure, really exasperated me.
Money is tight, of course, as it is for everyone -- I have three kids to provide for -- so that initial batch of boosters has been all I could afford to buy until today. Today, though, I treated myself to four more Supernova boosters. When I opened the first of those, I was again very pleased to see a Thor figure. I figured that the packaging error I'd encountered prior to this had to be a one in a million fluke and this time, THIS time, I'd have a Thor dial to go with the fig... but upon pulling the pieces out of the packing, I was amazed and appalled to find that, against all the odds, I once again had a Thor figure and a Vision dial.
So, I now have TWO Thor figures, with no Thor dials. And TWO Vision dials, with no Vision figures.
This is EXTREMELY AGGRAVATING.
As a birthday present, my kids have ordered me a brick of Supernova (which has been delayed again and again in the mail, but that's no fault of yours, so don't worry about that). However, when and if it finally arrives, I cannot tell you how annoyed I will be if I open it and find any MORE Thor figures with Vision dials.
I would very much like to rectify this packaging error. What do you suggest?
A very frustrated customer,
Let me say right here how strange it is for me to suddenly confront the fact that I must have been buying Supernova boosters back before Christmas, 2006. It's just one of those odd juxtapositions of space/time events that seems deeply weird, when one is suddenly confronted with it.
Anyway. So I got standard boilerplate in response to this email, instructing me to mail the defective figures in for replacement, and I did that. And that was probably back in late December, early January.
Since then, SuperFiancee has asked me a couple of times "Hey, whatever happened with those replacement clix from WizKids?" And I would shrug and say "Never showed up... not yet, anyway." You're supposed to wait 4 to 6 weeks, but when that mark irretrievably passed in mid February, well, we've got three kids and an old car constantly on the verge of a total breakdown and crappy jobs and a wedding to plan, so it's not like I didn't have other stuff on my mind. So, while I didn't really forget about it, I kinda... forgot about it.
So then, yesterday, SF sends me an email saying that the kids were home from school and there was a package from WizKids for me. Now, by this time, I've gotten a brick of Supernova and several more boosters of Supernova and I've traded my zombie Captain America for a great many Supernova figs, so I not only have rookies of Thor and Vision, I also have Veterans of each and an Experienced Vision, as well. So, well, I shrug to myself again. I mean, it's nice that, yeah, after 10 or 12 weeks, they finally managed to ship me replacement rookie Thor and Vision figs, but, hey, it's not like they're crucial adds to my collection or anything at this point.
So when SF picks me up at work that night (I work in the kingdom of Far, Far Away, and my schedule keeps me at work until after buses stop running in the evening) she's brought the box, because she knows I had a crappy day and she thought it would cheer me up. Which is merely a fraction of the thoughtfulness and consideration that SuperFiancee displays constantly, and a miniscule fragment of the reason I am the luckiest man in the universe. But, I digress.
So I open the box idly while we're driving home, figuring at least I will verify that I got the rookie Thor and the rookie Vision as asked, and...
...underneath the packing material, I find this li'l fella...
For those not in the know (including all of you who really don't care), this is The Mighty Thor, a convention only exclusive figure, which means, you only get if you attend a convention, go to the WizKids booth, and buy $100 worth of product.
Or, apparently, if you send in a couple of Thor figs with Vision dials and ask for the correct figs and dials to be sent back.
While I have no real idea what lies behind this substitution, I'm certainly not kicking. I have badly wanted a Mighty Thor ever since WK announced the figure's existence, and I assumed I would never ever get one, because I don't go to cons and if I did, I wouldn't be spending $100 at anyone's booth, much less WK's.
I have to assume that, if WK is substituting The Mighty Thor for, you know, rookie Thor dials, then they must have badly underestimated how many Rookie Thor pieces they would need to keep around as replacement stock.
Why do I want the figure so bad? Well, did you look at his dial? I mean, I'd want him anyway because he's Thor and Thor is cool; in fact, Thor is so cool that even his crappy Ultimates version with the uru hammer the size of a Volkswagon is just a tiny little BIT cool, which is saying something, because not even Hank Pym (who is very VERY cool) is cool enough to make his Ultimates version anything but a chump.
But, seriously, did you take a look at his dial?
One KO slot. ELEVEN clicks of life. An Attack Value that starts at 12 (TWELVE!!! For a Seth designed dial, that's, like, "Here, here's the keys to my house, take everything you want, and my girlfriend is a real easy lay after the first two beers, too, so bring a sixer, I work from 8 to 8 every day and she's always home by 4 in the afternoon, dude"... I mean, Seth simply does not dish out 12 attacks, he must have been high on goofballs or something when he designed this dial) and never drops below the miserable crappy 9 that Seth nearly always inflicts on EVERY character, no matter how astonishingly godlike that character should actually be. A 10 movement with Running Shot, so he can move and make a missile attack in the same turn, a 16 Defense, which isn't so hot in and of itself, but with Impervious on it, well, that rocks out loud, and a 4 damage with Ranged Combat Expert. Now, I could quibble on that last -- I mean, if the new Icons Superman, and the new ORIGIN Supergirl, can deal out 5 damage straight up, without mods, then I'd think The Mighty Thor should get a 5 damage too, and then, sure, add +2 to that for a ranged attack with mighty Mjolnir, absolutely, that works for me.
But, I ain't gonna quibble. If Mighty Mjolnir only does 6 clicks of damage when Thor bounces it off someone's coconut at range, well, 'tis enough, 'twil serve.
Speaking of range -- while a 10 isn't a 12, or, perhaps, the truly mindbogglingly and fittingly godlike 14 I'd like to see on the Norse God of Thunder, still, it's nothing to sneer at. Coupled with the Running Shot and the formidable Attack Value (he hits 18 Defenses on a 6! A SIX, bitchez!!!) it makes The Mighty Thor into one lean mean wrecking machine.
And that Power Cosmic TA -- oh BABY. The Mighty Thor's stats cannot be countered by sneaky little Outwitting dickheads, and he does not take pushing damage, so he can take two actions in a row all damn day long without hurting himself. This -- THIS -- is THE MIGHTY THOR. Bow before him. Worship him. Or, y'know, just head for the hills.
Yeah, he's the only Thor that can't fly, but, well, Thor employs his hammer to fly, and if you're wondering what's keeping mighty Mjolnir busy, well, take a look at all that Ranged Combat Expert on Thor's damage slot. Mjolnir is a little too occupied breaking shit to act as a taxi for this fig, and that's all right with me.
Now, sure, at 286 points, he's one pricey frickin' piece of plastic to add to your team, more expensive even than the much vaunted LEGACY Ares. And, sure, I'd have liked an extra range target or two to really make the most of all that Energy Explosion halfway down his dial. But fuck it, every click he has Energy Explosion on he also has Flurry, letting him make two close combat attacks per turn for 3 damage each, with Attack Values of 11, 12, and 11. I mean, who's going to be throwing lightning around when you can pummel some adjacent dumbass for six clicks of damage in a turn, or two adjacent dumb asses for three each?
Add in the Thundering Blow Feat Card that comes only with this exclusive figure and you've got a powerful force for good or ill indeed, albeit one that weighs in at a hefty 306 points.
My only problem at this point is figuring out where to display him. I already have two different Thor figures (Clobberin' Time, Supernova) in my Avengers line up, so I'm thinking of starting a separate Thor and His Enemies section on another set of shelves...
Anyway. Fabulous surprise in the mail last night. Plus, an online magazine had a lot of advance information on the upcoming AVENGERS set... but I'll need a lot more time to adequately report on that, and Mike Norton will probably beat me to it, anyway.