I figured he would appear this generation. Just not this week.
Seriously, Daz must hate their tech and sales staff. Why would you stick them with not one, but TWO new figure releases, sandwiched around what appears to be an impressively buggy program release? I'm assuming that they have them chained to their desks in Utah, because most people would bail on a release schedule that ridiculous if they could. (Weirdly, I actually did call it right, up to a point. Two figure releases this month. Mind, neither of them figures I'd anticipated, and the timing is horrendous. But still.)
But enough of that. We are here to talk about Gianni.
I had to think long and hard before I picked up his pro bundle. If I hadn't gotten stacked discounts, I probably wouldn't have, because I kind of ... don't like him very much. I seem to be somewhat alone in that regard, at least among the forumites, who appear overall to be in rhapsodes about him. But I just don't understand the changes they made to him.
I get the changes they made in Gia, to some extent, height aside. (Frankly, I'm leaning somewhat to her smaller stature being at least slightly accidental, because otherwise the published Measure Metrics make no sense. Mind, how you could get THAT figure stretched out to 5-11 without her looking really odd or She-Freak huge, I have no idea.). I'm assuming that the reception to Gia outside the forum was as low-key as the reception inside -- given that people with DAZ in front of their name have rather gone out of their way to tell forumites that they no longer pay attention to what the forumites say on products, because the forum is such a small and distinct portion of their audience. So, with broader audience lack-of-response, she got a fairly comprehensive redesign. However, I thought Gianni had sold and been received very well, so what happened to him is ... incomprehensible.
According to the published Measure Metrics, Gianni 7 is smaller in every dimension -- shorter, smaller body, the works. He's so much smaller through the chest that his body looks surprisingly like Lee's, in fact. I also think that Daz must have been hearing about the extremely warm tone of their promos from outside the forums, because that's gone. In fact, he looks really extraordinarily pale -- like, kind of unwell-pale. And, as with Gia, his face has been completely transformed. And frankly, I miss the sheer brawn of Gianni. I mean, yes, I can add that back in with morphs, but the bulk of him was one of the things that made him distinctive, just as the lack of bulk made Lee's body distinctive, even though he was no less muscular.
The changes made in the last two figures make one wonder what was so special about Olympia. I mean, yes, they did make her thinner -- they made this entire generation thinner, it looks like. But Olympia 7 has more or less the same face as Olympia 6 ... and Gia and Gianni could not look much less like their predecessors. Mind, I suppose we should treat Olympia as a complete outlier; Michael, Victoria, Aiko and Stephanie never look even vaguely the same from one generation to the next. So within that context, Olympia is the oddball, and Gia and Gianni are pretty much business as usual.
All that said ... I am conflicted. Frankly, I would not have picked up Gianni at all if it weren't for the renders in the forum, which made me feel MUCH better about it. I don't know what's going on at Daz, but the promo renders for the last three figures have all been kind of terrible. Gianni looks almost frozen, Gia's were deceptively muscular and Olympia's and Leo's were warm-toned to excess. Someone in the forum had the idea that Daz should pick the best of the user images and use those in a user-addendum to the regular promo images. Because it's an idea that came from the forum, Daz won't do it ... but they should.
And yet, if Gianni is meant to be the carrot, I actually like the stick of the Detective items bundle. (In my opinion, it's kind of stick/larger stick, but I get the intent.) Those are all interesting items that I could, theoretically, use someday ... if ever I move to 4.9.
Understand: I don't have a philosophical objection to moving to 4.9. I think Daz is jumping on the encryption bandwagon about a decade too late, after almost everyone else has jumped off that particular bandwagon, but that's their choice and their right. I would like Smart Content to die in a fire, because it isn't. (Smart, that is.) Daz is kinda sorta OK at big deal categorization, like People or Figures or Environments or Props (although there is no practical reason to have Architecture split between Environments and Props -- pick one and run with it, for heaven's sake!) but once you get finer than that ... not so much, really.
My objection to running 4.9 is (a) there's something wrong with my 4.8 database that won't let me export user data, as they quite strongly recommend you do before upgrading and (b) even allowing that the forum is nonrepresentative of the user base as a whole ... they're experiencing a startling number of bugs. The 188.8.131.52 beta appeared to be a significant regression from 184.108.40.206, judging purely from user comments. (I have to do enough beta testing for the day job, so I didn't sign on for this beta.) And 220.127.116.11 sounds like it may even be a regression for that. So ... I might want to wait a while. Which means that the encrypted items I have will just sit. And I'm fine with that, for now.
(A side note: Daz says they're judging from sales of the current encrypted items about how to move forward. But ... until today, all the encrypted items have been free with purchase of other quite deeply discounted items, or items on introductory discount. Lots of people will toss free items into the cart purely because they're free, not because they can use them any time soon. (See also: me.) I'm not sure what that sort of introduction can possibly tell them. Today's items, however, may be somewhat more informative, since they aren't actually free no matter what you do. That said, if you get Gianni-anything, the Detective bundle is only $5 extra, so I'm not sure THAT will give statistically meaningful information, either.)