Q&A: C-3PO, Slave Is, Vintage Packaging Sets

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, September 5, 2010

Boy, last week was fun wasn’t it?   This week we look at lots of questions about C-3PO and the new Slave I vehicle.  What could possibly go wrong?   Nothing, that’s what.. Read on, or better still, read it at work!


1. I love the Rise of Boba Fett Slave 1 set.  Five figures plus two ships in one box.  Wow.  Do you think the inevitable repaint will be a nice boxed set?  What will come in it?  I would like some Stormtroopers based on the 2009/2010 Dewback Sandtrooper body,  an Asian or mustached Bespin Guard, a Bespin-escape Leia based on the latest vintage Hoth Leia, and maybe a nice Han in Carbonite block


If (and I do mean if) Boba Fett’s ship gets repainted and slightly retooled to match the version seen in The Empire Strikes Backthere are no know plans—or even whispered rumors—indicating what might happen.  Exclusive?  New assortment?   Battle Pack?  It’s tough to say—because nobody has said and they aren’t going to for a while because Hasbro needs you to buy this one now and worry about the other one later.

Right now there are no known plans for a Carbonite block in any of the upcoming lines, and since the last version of it was released in January of 2006 we’re about due for a repaint—beyond that and Boba Fett, Hasbro could really put whatever they want in it.  Considering the current Ultimate Battle Pack has a second ship and five figures, I’d prefer they just cut it down to Boba and the block in order to reduce costs.  (Actually, they can skip Boba Fett for all I care unless it’s based on a non-ESBsource, as I’ve got plenty of those and no 2000-era Fetts based on the early 1970s color armor design.)


2. Adam this new C-3PO is a total piece of junk.

Any idea on why Hasbro dropped the ball on this one.

When they release the Legends version "endor" with chair.


I read this quote somewhere as a kid and it stuck with me. I think it applies here.  “Nothing is so good that someone, somewhere, will not hate it.”

C-3PO has been redesigned to be the right height, has an amazing removable panel feature (some of which are SO WELL INTEGRATED we all missed them), sports tons of articulation, and looks great.   If it’s failing you as a toy, that’s unfortunate—but mine is holding up fine so far.   I don’t get why you people hate good things… and then other people assume it’s me hating it.

Don’t look at it as Hasbro releasing a bad figure.  Look at it as Hasbro saving you eight bucks.  Me, I like this one.


3. Wouldn’t an Episode I C-3PO be a perfect fit in the new Vintage line? The attention to detail would stop them from needing to include accessories and Threepio is a fan favorite. Didn't the TFU multipack Proxy have close to the same detail since he had skinny limbs and intricate paint with superarticulation? An upgraded Episode I C-3PO would be great. It would be a shame for it to be skipped by Hasbro.


Due to the lack of Episode I  love from fans of all ages in the toy aisle, I’d assume you’ll be waiting a while for this character to get an upgrade as a new sculpt would be required.  That, and I can’t assume that this new ESBC-3PO will be a huge hit with fans of all ages just yet, despite the fact it’s actually pretty neat.  Have you played with it?  Other than a couple of panels being loose, it’s a pretty remarkable little piece.

Rationalizing Hasbro’s decisions is a process I suggest you avoid.  I can probably come up with multiple conflicting precedents as to why something does (or does not) happen, but generally speaking it has to do with market needs of the moment and who was in the meeting the day something was decided upon.  PROXY was a new character that was needed to complete a popular theme, while Episode I  seems to be largely ignored.

With Hasbro saying they plan to abandon “theme waves” in 2011, it should improve our chances to see a lot of figures.   If Hasbro is bent on keeping a wave nothing but Empire Strikes Back, it’s going to make it tougher to get a token non-movie figure in there.  Or in the case of the prequels, really, does Episode I  need a whole wave?  Nah.  A pod racer or a droid should be good enough.


4. Why is 4-LOM included with AT-AT Driver and TIE-Pilot in the retro-Imperial Set 3-pack from Target?  Weird choice. I like the Bespin + Hoth sets, but that choice is bizarre. What say you?


I find the fact that this product, with its excessive packaging and zero appeal to the loose collector, bizarre in and of itself.  Actually, not really.  But it’s pretty uncommon for Hasbro to produce an exclusive item geared at collectors where the crux of what makes it neat is simply 100% packaging.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it, you know, actually sells well—9 figures for an estimated $49.99 is pretty decent these days.

The real answer is simple—the trio is not without historical significance. Check out this page.  (Scroll down.)   This unique configuration, like the cardback photos and other design issues, comes from an existing product.

I can’t fault Hasbro’s taste in package design here, although I can say that this is a product squarely not aimed at me—so I hope a lot of you guys like it so it does well.


5. There have long been rumours of an upcoming BMF Slave 1 along the lines of the recent Millennium Falcon and AT-AT.  We've also recently seen the new Clone Wars bigger, better Slave 1.  Are these one and the same or are we still (possibly) in for an ever bigger, even better Slave 1?


Believe it or not, this is indeed the long-rumored big Slave I  that has been in development for a few years.   While it is extremely likely that an Empire Strikes Back  version will include some retooling to better match the films, it’s quite unlikely that it will be a completely new design.  If you get your hands on this release, you’ll notice that Hasbro future-proofed the mold so that it would incorporate the Carbonite block in a few places.  They’re clearly planning for a double-dip from this mold.


Hasbro (as a company) has incorporated the repaint (and slight retool) into its design plans earlier on lately.  We saw some of this with the likes of the 2003 Imperial Dignitary, but it’s being used more now with things like this vehicle and seemingly the entire Transformers Generations  line, in which every mold has an alternate head design already prepared for the inevitable repaint.   Toy development is surprisingly expensive, so the creative use of an existing design is really important to the bottom line, which is keeping prices as low as they are. (And yeah, I know, it isn’t really all that low any more.)



I waffled a lot on what to post here this week and decided that since I can only yell at you to go buy vintage figures so much (unless you hate them, I think they’re great this year) that there is something quite exciting coming out.  Do we have any Sexual Milkshake fans out there?  Their magnum opus “Sing-A-Long In Hebrew” is coming back in print this week, on MP3 only it seems.  It has been out of print for years, and seems to be so hard to come by that you can’t even pirate it.  (I have an LP in my stash that I don’t actually listen to for various reasons.  Yes, vinyl is fun.)   

Also, there was a sale on the G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra Pit playset last week.  Twenty bones.  Insane.   I’m only a few 3 ¾-inch-scale Xenome aliens and a new Hyrdro Viper away from heaven here.   I’m also finding a good amount of toys on the closeout shelves lately.

I don’t read a lot of (OK, any) superhero comics but I was noticing the Dark Avengers toys Hasbro put out and dang if I don’t find these compelling.  The unmasked Norman Osborne Iron Patriot is pretty gorgeous—were the line slightly cheaper (and maybe less articulated) I’d probably actually collect it.  You certainly get a good figure for the money, but $8.50 is above my impulse price range.   $6?  Sure.  $5?  Absolutely.   I’m probably spoiled by all the closeouts I’m stumbling on lately, but man, Hasbro does good work on these.  I wish I got into it earlier… and cheaper, somehow.

--Adam Pawlus

Got questions?  I bet you do.  Email me with Q&A in the subject line.