Kenner Really Did Care!

Kenner, was a company that seemed to really pride themselves on customer service. I’ve read countless stories where someone wrote into Kenner and received a response regarding their various questions or were sent freebies for unexpected delays in the various mail away promotions. The most obvious way, in which they showed great customer service, was with their “We Really Do Care” service. Pretty much every Kenner toy had a little blurb near the bottom of the instruction sheet like this.

Basically, if a part was missing or had been lost, you could write to Kenner and they’d send you a replacement part if available, for free. I’ve read a few stories from people who participated in this first hand and happen to still have the mailer box/envelope they received along with the parts. However, they are sparse enough that they do not show up in the collector market often.


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I’ve wanted one of these items ever since I got into mailers in 2007 and found some old discussion topics about them. I finally got that chance, when a little over a week ago, in doing some of my random ebay searches, I stumbled upon one. I even lucked out in winning it for the opening bid. In this case, the person mailed away for some replacement X-Wing and Millennium Falcon parts. The envelope is postmarked, May 9th 1985, so this was closer to when the Star Wars toy line was winding down.

Kenner sent out a sealed bag of X-Wing canons, a Battle Damaged X-wing canopy, and a Millennium Falcon turret. Also, included is an apology note stating that not all the requested parts were available because they were for toys not currently in production.

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In my opinion, these are some great items that represent the history and how great of a company Kenner was, but they are also very under appreciated because it is just a brown bag with some parts.

I’m glad to finally have a piece of the “We Really Do Care” service in my mailer collection.

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30 Day Photo Challenge #2

Today’s challenge was to help with photo composition by using the rule of thirds. In my example. I decided to take a picture of my iPhone and have the Apple logo in the top left intersect point, which also happened to also include the word iPhone in the lower left intersect point. By putting your subject into any of the intersect points, it generally makes a more pleasing image.

 

30 Day Photo Challenge #1

One of the photography sites I visit, is doing a 30 Day Photo Challenge. I thought it would be fun to participate and it would give me something new to post on here since I haven’t been doing too much lately. Basically, each day a new assignment comes up and I’ll post the photo I did for that assignment. I’ll probably skip the weekends unless time permits, but I thought this would be a great way to get some practice in.

The first assignment of the day was to do a self portrait of yourself. I opted to do one of myself with my Star Wars collection, since that is one of my favorite hobbies. I used the lighting from my cases and my wireless flash located to my upper right in the photo. To help make the flash match the bookcase lighting I put an orange gel in front of it to give it a warmer feel. I also opened up my aperture to blur the background a bit.

 

Unlocked iPhone 3G

Last month, AT&T finally said they’d unlock off contract iPhones. I decided to try and get a used iPhone 3G as a spare and to test out the whole unlock process. I found a 3G cheap on ebay with a broken screen. The seller claimed that the screen, and a somewhat unresponsive home button were the only problems, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I found a kit on Amazon that included the glass, digitizer, and home button pre installed, that had some good reviews and the price was certainly right.

I timed it so the kit arrived almost the same time as the broken iPhone. I first verified the iPhone worked and then proceed to take it apart using the ifixit manual as a guide.

The replacement was fairly easy, but I did have one issue with the new home button still

iPhone After Replacement

not being very responsive. I read some of the Amazon reviews and a few other people had this same problem and suggesting putting a little strip of electrical tape under the connectors to help give it better contact. I gave that a try and sure enough it worked, so I now had a fully functional iPhone 3G on the cheap.

 

The next step now, was to try and get it unlocked. I first double-checked that it still had a stock baseband as some of them have the iPad version to attain a hacked software unlock. Luckily, this phone appeared to have never been jailbroken or software unlocked. The process was fairly simple. I logged into my AT&T account from their website, and went to their online chat support. Before the chat started, I had to fill out a few fields and in the comments, I stated that I bought a used iPhone 3G on ebay that I wanted to see about getting unlocked and included the IMEI number as I knew that they needed that. The chat session began and the service representative verified that I wanted the iPhone unlocked. They checked my account and also made sure that the iPhone was not tied to a on contract customer, asked for my email address, said they’d be contacting me and that was it. The whole process took about 10-15 minutes. They also stated that it would take 7-10 days before the unlock process was finished.

The next day, I decided to try an iTunes restore in the morning to see if by chance it had been unlocked yet, but I did not get the unlock screen. I decided to try one more time in the afternoon and by some chance, it worked. I received the following message in iTunes after that restore.

The last thing I need to try now, is a friends T-Mobile sim card to verify that it is working. I should be doing that later this week. Not only does unlocking increase the base value of the iPhone, but now this iPhone can be used as a world phone. All you’d have to do while visiting another country, is buy a prepaid sim card in that country and avoid paying the high international roaming charges.

I still haven’t received the email from AT&T that the unlock is ready, but I imagine the process goes from AT&T to Apple, Apple inputs the IMEI into their database for unlocked phones, and then notifies AT&T when it is finished. AT&T probably waits a couple more days on top of that just to make sure that when they send out that email, the unlock notification shows up first time, so they don’t get reoccurring support calls from impatient customers.