Q&A: DVDs, Black Series, Subscribe to Figures, and So Much More Star Wars Fun

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, October 20, 2013

Let's Q&A! OK, go - first, Black Series. Nomenclature is fun! Also, Subscription Figures and why you should be thankful we don't have a subscription program. Which figures are best? Why, Star Wars figures of course. All this and more - read on!


1. Why is the black series 3 3/4" wave shown at NYCC being called wave 2? Isn't the Mara jade wave, wave 2? And Darth plagueis wave, wave 3? Shouldn't this be called wave 4?

We don't have the answer here yet - for all I know it's "2014 Wave 2," and the Darth Plagueis wave is "2014 Wave 1." Or someone just goofed, these things happen.

Back in 2006, Hasbro referred to the ROTJ The Saga Collection wave as Wave 1, the ESB wave as Wave 2, the Geonosis wave as Wave 2.5, and the Coruscant wave as wave 3. Which was ridiculous, so some fans/stores used another naming system. Six new figures constitutes a wave, if you ask me, and this sort of thing happens.




2. How come Hasbro is willing to do low run, collector club online subscriptions on GI Joe, similar to Matty, but not Star Wars? If they offered a mega premium ($300?+), limited run, 12 month, super niche, subscription set of the holochess monsters......would you sign up?

My collecting interests largely fall into line with costs - I love Ghostbusters, but I didn't subscribe to Club Ecto-1. And a few weeks ago, I found $4 Club Ecto-1 figures. When your aim is to make low-run figures, you're setting yourself up for failure. That sort of thing doesn't have an opportunity to pleasantly surprise you as a manufacturer, usually it does well - and people drop off over time.

The G.I. Joe club is run by Fun Publications, and they have, uh, other issues sometimes. Their figures also include some developed, but rejected, designs from Hasbro in addition to some things they worked out for themselves - many of which are clever and I daresay awesome. The danger here is that the run for this kind of item is quite low, and while not all the numbers are divulged to the public it's a fraction of what Hasbro normally does for Star Wars when we DO hear the numbers.

As such, this could mean higher per-figure costs, a big shipping surcharge, or the infamous QC issues which Matty fans have suffered through on and off for a few years. While I do love most of my Masters of the Universe Classics figures, the fact that it cost $8 or more to ship a $20 (now $25-$28) figure bothers me to no end.

If the cost was right, I'd be in - but I'd rather see a one-time boxed set with ONE shipping charge associated with it. Neither the toymaker nor Hasbro would win with us having to pay $8 x 12 months on top of the cost of the item(s) for shipping - it just bleeds us more. (And to those who need easy payment plans, well, no, you're wrong here. Save up for the item, splitting it up is a bad idea.)


3. The newish cheapo [Saga Legends] Obi Wan with limited articulation is AWESOME, no?

It's acceptable. It's a struggle to fit him into the new Jedi Starfighters, which is a big shortcoming for me. These should fit in ships - and it doesn't, so I'm not too thrilled about that. I love it otherwise, though.



4. Per my previous question to you, I bought the two new DVD/bluray sets today and verified that they both have the newest (2012 bluray) versions of all six movies on the included DVD's.

Thanks, Todd! So there you have it kids - you can get the Blu-Rays on DVD, I guess, if you want.


5. Have you ever considered a feature discussing which version of each character is the best, in your opinion. What I mean is, which Vader is he best, which Bespin Luke is the best. Just wondering.

I have considered it, but "best Vader" has a bunch of asterisks - like there are more than one suit, or a Damaged version, and so on. Also, in the case of Bespin Luke, you have figures like the 2002 release that has exceptional bloody damage, wonderful action features, and the best accessories... but the 2010 version has better articulation and a better likeness.

"Best-of" lists are a great way to stir up controversy and start a fight, and so far I've tried to stay away from click bait-ey forced controversy features here. This isn't to say there's no value in them, but it seems sort of moot as most collectors only want to buy things at retail these days, even if the better figures are a) available now, b) cheaper, and c) easy to get online. There are many of you who are totally resistant to the idea of buying a figure from 2002 and I can't tell you how many people flat-out refuse to order toys online still. How can you participate in this hobby without the Internet these days?

If enough people ask for it, and give me a list of characters from which to select figures, sure, I'll bite. My preferred attitude toward collecting is this: get what's available and cheap first - but this was in the era where Kenner had but one Darth Vader figure, and was not constantly competing against itself on the pegs.



Over the weekend, some interesting info from a European Licensing show got out about Star Wars in 2014 and 2015, involving things like Darth Vader TV specials. Historically, I've found that the licensing divisions of companies are the most lippy, and the most likely to blab if something is true. On the other hand, I've also found that the European divisions of anything tend to be ill-informed. (Would you believe people still contact Hasbro Europe as if they have anything to seriously do with line development? That's adorable!) As such, I'd say this sounds promising but I wouldn't necessarily put a lot of stock into it just yet. Or at least take it with a grain of salt, if nothing else this whole thing probably means that there are lots of cool behind-the-scenes stories that someone will hopefully talk about more in the future.

Figure of the Day is temporarily back, as I am experimenting with figure review formats. Basically, what I want is to make something that you'll read that isn't hours of work. Videos were not much more popular than FOTD, yet took hours more of work. So, screw that. Irregular FOTD updates may be the way to go here - I know some of you want to read a novel with 50 pictures, but all I usually want to know is "Does it suck?" or "Is it new?" or "Can I skip it, or do I already own this?" Plus I figure this is more interesting than a sighting post, anyway. "Yes, it's out, and here it is."

Will it continue beyond this week? That's on you. If the reads are good, I'll do Black Series Wave 2 (3 3/4-inch) next and make sure we look at all the recent stuff (August 2012+) as well as the Euro/Asia-only stuff, of which I'm almost done finishing my set (TYVM overpriced eBay seller). And then probably break for a few weeks, to do it again when the next new thing comes up.

--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.