Q&A Fun Time: Jabba, Hondo, Geonosis Arena, and More!

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hey kids, it’s that time again!  Time to stop looking for Jabba’s Throne and read Q&A while pretending to work.  This week: Geonosis 2-packs 2.0, the chances of finding those Clone Wars figures you missed(again), and crazy giant vehicle rumors. You know you gotta read on!

1. Target's 2010 Geonosis Arena looks to be composed mostly of r/rs.  The only "new" figures appear to be the Rodian Jedi and Nicanas Tassu, correct?  What about Count Dooku and Shaak Ti?  Do they also appear to be r/r, or do you think they're kit-bashed?  (Shaak Ti appears to be the ROTS version.)



Edward didn’t say one way or another but I assume r/rs means “repaint/resculpt.”  Spell it out.   These sets are indeed largely reissues, with the two aforementioned Jedi being new heads on existing bodies.  Other figures in the set get minor head (Anakin), deco (Battle Droid), or articulation (Shaak Ti) modifications.   We’ll know for sure when we see the final versions, as things change, but it looks like nearly every item has at least some level of minor change.


2. I saw Hondo Ohnaka among Hasbro's figure display and read that some of the Spring 2010 figures would be re-released on the new card back.  I never found Hondo in its first iteration.  Do you believe he's slated for reissue?



While I have seen no specific data to say that this exact figure will be recarded, Hondo is popular enough and appears on the show enough that it would seem unlikely that this figure would go un-rereleased in the future.  While we do know Snow Rex is on the docket for another go-round,    In other words, if he doesn’t get repackaged, you’ll see him in a gift set some day.


3. If clone wars ended next year hypothetically speaking of course, do you think they would stop making the characters from that series because they really have a long way to go when it come to the selection of characters still yet to be produced



It depends largely on the health of Star Wars as a franchise.  If Cartoon Network continues to air the show and the ratings are good, and the DVDs and Blu-Rays did good business, there should be a few months if not a few years of product after the thing ends.  After all, we’re still getting Revenge of the Sithtoys and most fans felt the movie was pretty well covered by the end of 2005, with a few exceptions.


On the other hand, it could, you know, end.   Right now it’s doing great and it should do well even after its end point, but it boils down to if Hasbro really wants to go in that direction or another one, which will most likely be dictated by whatever anniversaries or new programming are up when the show ends.   I can tell you that the line will end without doing every villain and alien, simply because Hasbro isn’t pushing hard in that direction right now.  If you want a separatist mad scientist, I suggest you begin your campaigns now and not after the series wraps if there’s something specific you want to see.  (And what I want to see is the Fromm Gang on this show. Do it, Dave Filoni, and make a friend for life.)


4. I heard rumor about a motorized [Hasbro] big at-at ?


do you think it's true ?



It’s not.


5. so with the presentation by hasbro and the tags on the figures, which dates are we supposed to go buy? mainly the ROTJ wave, november or january? were you surprised at all by any reveals or were you pretty much expecting it all?



Hasbro’s release dates on the tent cards and presentation are always subject to change, and when they don’t agree with one another I suggest you ignore them and pay more attention to the dates on online pre-sales as those go up.  Those, of course, may also change.  I’d suggest you ignore the dates entirely and watch your favorite news sites for updates of product hitting, as sometimes things hit early (like with Vintage this year) and other times they miss their mark (like the ESB and Expanded Universe waves from 2009).


I was, on the whole, more surprised by what they didn’t show.  When a fully-packaged sample of an item appears on eBay, the secret is out, and it’s time to cop to it.  Many of the figures were line-listed in spy reports around the web, and some of the items which were “revealed” started hitting stores the day of or before Comic-Con.  Obviously Hasbro has reasons to show (or not show) certain things at certain times, but if I were in their shoes I’d try to reveal all items for March through August at February Toy Fair, and then reveal September through February at Comic-Con.    But I’m weird, when people “ooh” and “aaah” during the presentation at “reveals” of things I already own, it strikes me as comical.  (Then again, I’m a snot who follows this stuff far too closely, and not the average fan for this sort of thing.)




So now that I’ve had a week to reflect on Comic-Con I’d say it was largely pretty good—I loved seeing the new Battle Packs and the in-person glimpse of Jabba, but I was more than a little sore that the new Slave Iwasn’t on display.   The quality of the product seems to be improving to a point where I think the most interesting evolutionary step would be a big leap backward, keeping current sculpting and paint techniques but perhaps adjusting the articulation back to 1996 levels to keep costs down and make figures better fit in vehicles.  I realize I am alone in this, but I miss toys that were toys, and when the toys didn’t have wrists that pop off as you remove the figure from the packaging.


I may be the only person in the industry to say this but I think the best way to move forward is to reconsider lower-cost, lower-grade product.  What we have now is too good to appeal to the casual consumer (not casual collector) and when you compare a $10-$12 Transformers figure to a $8-$10 Star Wars figure, I think I know what most kids would go for.   I’d really like to see a “cheap” assortment of $4.99, sub-articulated 3 ¾-inch Clone Wars figures that look like they stepped out of 1996 in terms of movement.  Think of it as a gateway drug.  (This will never happen.)


--Adam Pawlus