Q&A: The Best Vintage Star Wars and HasLab Futures

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, August 14, 2022

1. Haslab seems to vary its offerings between different Hasbro lines. As far as you can tell, have they hit any sort of regular cadence yet? More to the point: when can we expect the next Vintage Collection Haslab initiative?


While HasLab does plan to make more stuff rolling forward - I mean, it's an interest-free loan with minimal risk other than some approvals and product concept development - it's expected that we'll keep seeing stuff. Having said that, there's no plan on just how often The Vintage Collection will get something, but every 1-2 years seems to be not unreasonable.

Given that, so far, The Vintage Collection is the most successful Star Wars has been on there, I would assume we wold get more - but at the same time, we're in a weird place where there's not a lot of brand cohesion and it's tricky to schedule your line around the release of your HasLab thing. For example, if something failed, it would be pretty awkward to have lined up a whole suite of new versions of old figures or reissues to coincide with it. Having said that, Hasbro has made it work - we got lots of Jabba's Palace goodies with the barge, the Razor Crest had some new The Mandalorian season one guys hit alongside it, and based on Hasbro's Comic-Con reveals, we'd be getting 40th anniversary Return of the Jedi stuff either with or without a 6-inch scale Rancor. (And now I'm wondering what might come out with the Boba/Jabba Throne Room set.)

I am a little surprised fans aren't taking the initiative and campaigning for the next HasLab item. The Barge probably only happened because fans made a huge stink about it. I don't know if it was fan demand or Disney demands, but the Razor Crest did make it out - and fans doing the marketing for Hasbro helps a lot. If there's something you want to see for the next HasLab item, making a fuss with other fans across forums and social media would probably help. Enlist the help of non-toy fan-related sites (your i09s, for example) and more general interest toy outlets (YouTubers) to get the message out. The fact that fans aren't laser-locked on the next thing they want - and seem to be spending more time speculating on what it might be - seems like wasted effort to me. The future could be in your hands, and if you want it to be a big Death Star it's probably a good time to make a really big fuss about what you want and which features you expect it to have.



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2. The recent Vintage Collection releases have been real marvels. IMHO they are very much on-par with rarer, high-end 3.75 lines such as JoyToy and others. In your view, what else can Hasbro do to improve the articulation, detail and paint apps beyond the new standards set by recent figures and vehicles? Other than 3D face scan molds, it seems to me like Hasbro is pretty close to peaking. Acknowledging that one-off figures can sometimes be lacking, as a general proposition where else can they still improve? Or are we at peak 3.75?


Back in 2003 we got super-articulated Clone Troopers for the very first time. They were great! For years, that template was as good as we got, and we figured it was probably as good as we could get because Hasbro wasn't doing simple things like cutting elbow joints for more than 90-degrees of movement. They could've done it for years - they just didn't. Previously, the high-point of 3 3/4-inch action figure articulation was Hasbro's long-lived G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line which itself was pretty static for most of the run, after the arm swivel was added.

History says that it would be silly to say that we're peaking, because there's a lot we can't predict. Hasbro could mold some pieces in color and paint them for added realism, or find a plastic that better matches human skin tone. We could get die-cast metal blasters, or improved soft goods. While we are getting a lot of the best figures ever, some things (Like Obi-Wan Kenobi Wandering Jedi's torso cut) could be executed better. I could also use better ankle joints or more consistent face paint improvements.

I assume the most recent Darth Vader (Dark Times) is going to be as good as they get for a while, but every few years Hasbro tries something new and sometimes it works so well that it's a game-changer. Innovations can also come in manufacturing techniques - somehow Mattel has kept Hot Wheels at about $1 despite inflation over six decades. Hasbro R&D could also go into making a cheaper product, which could result in people hopping on board if product should become available for non-preorder customers.





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Be sure you send in your questions for next time. The mailbag is out of questions, so fire away or I get a week off.

I'm working on the oft-delayed Adam's Star Wars Newsletter update, #10 has some recent releases and announcements you may have missed. It's also been a little slow - as time moves on, more and more repaints and retools pop up, so there just aren't as many completely new characters or figures these days.

New stuff is showing up left and right, so it's a good time to check your pre-orders and keep an eye out in stores for the latest releases. Even more pre-orders are coming - because of course they are - so stay tuned for more of that, and also keep in mind at least two Disney theme park droid multipacks are supposedly hitting right now alongside at least one individually carded droid for Halloween. Plus Target has Halloween exclusives, presumably everybody will have more Christmas-themed exclusives that were leaked last year, there are more The Retro Collection pre-orders to go up, Disney has a Droid Advent Calendar brewing... it's going to be busy if you're still all-in on Star Wars action figures this year. Plus we have those new mini-vehicle lines, and LEGO, and everything else.

--Adam Pawlus

Got questions? Email me with Q&A in the subject line now! I'll answer your questions as soon as time (or facts) permit.



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