So this week we ask some burning questions. Can Hasbro count?Previous data says maybe not! Are the new R2-D2 and C-3PO figures more accurate? Take a guess! And how new is the new Slave I from Hasbro at Toys “R” Us? The answer may surprise you! (Not really, but it sounds engaging, doesn’t it?) Read on for this week’s mad phat Q&A!
1. So, according to the Hasbro presentation, we are supposed to have a total of 37 figures in the Vintage Collection in 2010 alone. We've seen the ESB wave, ROTS wave, and ROTJ wave. I wasn't a math major in college, but those don't equal 37 figures. When will we hear more about the other figures in the Vintage Collection being released in 2010? Any idea which ones will be new sculpts versus repacks?
I love Hasbro, but remember they don’t always count the way we do. The Return of the JediVintage wave was labeled wave 5, and let’s not go into the whole 300th and 500th figure things. The definition of “new” is also hard to grasp, as we all have unique ideas of what constitutes “new.” With 3 waves to hit in 2010, we simply will not have 37 figures this year—some have slipped into 2011, unless there are surprise exclusives or something.
So far the “new” figure totals—and I’m being generous here—are as follows: Wave 1 has 8, Wave 2 has 5, Wave 3 has 7 or 8 depending on Wedge, and Wave 4 has 8 (tops), and then there are two newly painted exclusive Bounty Hunters. So about 31 seems closer to the mark, and depending on how many “new” figures are in the next wave, it’s entirely possible Hasbro did indeed have enough new figures on deck for 2010.
We won’t know for sure which ones are absolutely repacks until they hit stores. So far, 4-LOM, arguably Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Sandtrooper, and Commander Cody seem to be repacks while nearly everything else has had some degree of significant change made to the figure.
2. Is the relative scale on the new [2010 Vintage] C-3PO and R2-D2 figures more, or less, accurate than past ones?
Hasbro insists the new scale is more accurate, but without a ruler and access to the props it’s hard to be completely certain. I’m more concerned that my trove of Astromechs are no longer consistent in size with R2-D2.
3. With the running change "in the pill box" from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader from the RotS wave, do you think Hasbro will do the same with Death Star / Jedi Luke's incorrect card photo? They have already admitted using the original Jabba's Palace photo as a factory mistake, when they have stated that they meant Luke as an "Endor" surrender figure.
Will they correct the card (new photo) for later releases, or are we OCD-types out of luck?
Just give up. Seriously. Things goof up, mistakes are made, and these are basically children’s toys that have mutated to the point where the adult buyer seemingly can’t enjoy them. That and the original photos on the Vintage packaging are part of the draw—Hasbro is trying to keep it “classic” as much as humanly possible, as they currently believe that adult collectors will be a big part of the drive of the success of this particular segment. Due to the popularity of the character and costume, any Luke figure should do extremely well even if collectors ignore it.
If card photos being wrong or bad ruined your day, there are probably several examples of similar incidents I’m too lazy to list for you right now. Heck, look at the Endor Rebel Commando figure coming out this year. It happens. Hasbro wants to bring back the classic packaging, and if that means the classic photo, well, here it is.
4. The new Slave 1 set, the vehicle itself, is it just a retooled version of Jango’s ship previously released or is it all new and actually bigger? I’m having a hard time determining the scale from the pictures with the Clone Wars figures. If it is all new do they plan on re-releasing with Empire deco? I’d much prefer that version.
The 2010 The Clone Wars Slave I is indeed a completely new sculpt, larger and more feature-laden than previous releases. It has all sorts of compartments, weapons, hatches, and other goodies that make it look like an excellent vehicle, despite it being bundled with about $60 worth of toys you probably weren’t intending on buying.
A future Empire Strikes Backredeco is almost a fiven, as multiple reissues help spread out the cost of developing an item of this size. (Some other tooling changes would likely be made, too.) Of course, there’s no saying what might get bundled with another version—a Cloud Car? An X-Wing? Bespin Guards? It’s too early to tell, but it wouldn’t stun me if a new 2011 or 2012 ESB Slave Iincluded a new, fully frozen Carbonite block.
5. I saw pictures of Darth Bane and Mara Jade on the site but there wasn't a placard in the pictures. I have scoured several sites looking for information on them but couldn't find anything. So the article mentioned something about SWShop.com's booth so not sure if they are exclusives That being said do you know anything about these pieces and could shed some light on them?
These are future StarWarsShop.com exclusives, but specifics were not easily found regarding pricing and edition sizes. I’d expect them before 2011, if that’s worth anything to you.
So the new wave of Vintage is hitting nowish, more The Clone Wars figures are showing up, and a few exclusives are making the rounds. So August and September may be good for some of you, but after that I figure it’s going to be a long wait for November—arguably the worst month to release new collector product due to the dramatic shift in the marketplace. Buyers go from spoiled kids and collectors to literally anybody—gift-giving season makes any figure desirable to a desperate parent or aunt. Here’s hoping the Return of the Jedi wave ships early, or extensively. It looks like one of the best batches in ages and it would be a shame if we couldn’t get a bunch of it.
Most important of all, though, are you guys actually buying vintage? Since moving back to Phoenix I go to a lot more toy stores and it seems most if not all are loaded with the black packaged toys. Are you waiting for a sale? Did you burn out? Did they just make too many? I’m quite curious. They really are some of the best figures that Hasbro ever manufactured for Star Wars, so their ubiquitous availability is something that doesn’t sit right with me.
Fans of The Clone Wars and Saga Legends can get buy-1-get-1 half off this week at Toys “R” Us, but that may not push people toward the classic black-and-silver packaged figures. Of course, I’m not one to talk, I really should get another one or two Cloud Car Pilots.
Got questions? I bet you do. Email me with Q&A in the subject line.