Q&A: SDCC Is Over, Let's Talk Classic Star Wars, Veers, X-Plus, and More

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, July 22, 2018

1. Since the 5POA line started in 2013, there have been no Cantina aliens, Jabba's palace characters, and very few minor alien characters from the new films besides Constable Zuvio, Hassk Thug, Sarco Plank, Moroff and maybe a few more. Has Hasbro scaled back on the minor characters due to poor sales or lack of demand? I know that you have said before that if collectors want something, to let Hasbro know. What is the best way to go about this? Most collectors don't have the opportunity to attend conventions where they can tell Hasbro reps in person, and sending Hasbro a random tweet or email, for all we know, may never get to the Hasbro Star Wars design team. Is there a bigger role that sites like Galactic Hunter could play in letting collectors voices be heard, or is there even much of a point in requesting certain characters if Hasbro feels they wouldn't make good business sense?

Between team turnover and new corporate ownership, that's basically true - we got Mosep, though. Other than that, they seem to be focused on mostly new stories and mostly main characters - typical toy line stuff. While Marvel Legends is getting that deep bench of comic characters, the movie line is not - and similarly, Star Wars is pretty entry-level for now. With tons of new fans coming on board for the new movies (and the TV shows nobody is watching) I get it - but it's a pity to see the loss of what made us stick around in the first place. I don't necessarily need Cantina Aliens and Jabba Thugs, but I'd very much like to see their new movie equivalents more frequently as a nod that there's more to the movie than the initial launch. A character like Paige is welcome in a collector year, but as a launch character just seems kind of dull.

It's hard to know what demand is (or should be) right now - if Hasbro is selling to kids and new fans in huge numbers, we don't matter. Looking at 1999, 2002, and 2005 for the prequels we got a smattering of classic weirdness, but not a lot. In 1999, things were pretty close to how they are now - after The Phantom Menace, Motti was the only new classic character other than a couple of exclusives for a while. They really gave us some gems during Attack of the Clones, but that's because of the backlash from the previous film - Hasbro intentionally included core characters from the previous four movies as well as the then-new one, plus collector figures, because 1999-2000 was something they were reacting against. In 2005, it was mostly Revenge of the Sith for seven months - and that's pretty close to the new movie era paradigm. Sometimes we get "classic" as the last new movie is in the rear view mirror, but after this new movie we've got a new TV show starting pretty quickly.

Will this be a venue to let voices be heard? No. Why? I'm tired and old. We tally stuff for fan's choice, we ran forums, and the one thing I found out consistently is that we no longer have the same uniform opinions we did in 1995-1998 ("Slave Leia! Wedge! Tarkin! Skiff! Shuttle!") thanks to the fandom having transformed from "The Star Wars Generation" to 40 years of kids and fans having different entry points and experiences. It is impossible to make one figure that delights us all - I might be thrilled to get Vlix, but you might not. You might be delighted to get more Knights of the Old Republic figures, but a lot of hardcore collectors never even played the game. And on top of that, we see what happens when griefers stuff the ballot box for Fan's Choice - they win, and in recent history it looks like their choice sells well too.

It's great that Hasbro says they want fan input, and from what I see they take a lot of it. Super-articulated figures on vintage packaging are back - fans demanded this. During the last line, a lot of very vocal fans actively lobbied for reruns on new packaging saying "all the collectors would buy these." (I disagreed - but the Hoth Trooper seems to be the one selling, so what do I know?) Hasbro gave fans what they loudly asked for - they weren't specific in some cases, and in others I overheard fans at cons asking for pretty much exactly what you're seeing. (But not new movie figures, as no new movies were known to be in the works at the time.)

I would love to see more 3 3/4-inch figures based on 100% new, never-before-made characters from pretty much any classic (defined as something I have seen at least once) source at this point - preferably a movie or TV show - but that's me. Disney offers Hasbro assets for new characters, so that's what they get out for us. I'd get a lot more excited for a Rogue One figure today than I would have gotten in 2016. I'll be a lot more excited for Solo or even Rebels next year. Once we get to the era where we've all seen the final cut of the movies, that's when this hobby gets exciting. I get little to no joy buying figures blind for a movie I can't even see yet.



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2. After seeing news that general veers will be walgreens new exclusive, I am hoping that will mean we will see Han in his mimban uniform. I know that this would be extremely unlikely, but what are the odds of having large scale vehicles, like the at-at or the millennium falcon in the 6 inch scale?

A 4-foot sail barge costs $500. A 6-foot vehicle would be $1,000 or more. I can't say "it'll never happen," but I seriously doubt that without some drastic change to manufacturing that you would ever see another giant 6-inch scale vehicle - especially one of the heavy hitters. There's no 6-inch scale X-Wing or AT-ST, I can't imagine you'll ever get some of the bigger classic ships. The TIE Fighter didn't do well - and even a classic one wouldn't have done a heck of a lot better.

If Lucasfilm slices up the contracts so some other company can make a 1:12 scale vehicle, I don't doubt you will see one or more of these ships in your lifetime. Having said that, do you have enough room for an AT-AT that might be taller than you? Would it fit in your car? Could you move it when you have to relocate it once its assembled? From where I sit the 6-inch line is going to be about figures and always will be. Back in the 1970s, the figures were accessories to vehicle toys - Hasbro doesn't treat them like that anymore. The figures come first. The 6-inch line is a pretty good example of how that evolved.




3. So in the past you indicated an interest in Hasbro making figures of the Dejarik holochess creatures, in particular the Mantellian Savrip. I also would really love to see articulated figures of those, as unlikely as they seem. That said, I was really excited to see at Toy Fair the Japanese company X-plus show off their new line of vinyl holochess creatures scaled to the size of the actual puppets used for filming. Even though they are really expensive considering what they are I caved and ordered the first two, the Savrip and Kintan Strider and am eagerly waiting for them to arrive. I’m especially interested to see how they look among the Hasbro figures.

My question is this: how interested are you in these figures and do you think they are worthwhile, or worth the money? Did you get any for yourself and if so what do you think of them? Might Hasbro see these and go “hey maybe there’s some potential there...”
-- Rory

While X-Plus makes exquisite products - I bought my wife their Titanosaurus - I haven't picked up the Dejarik monsters. At $100 or more a piece, it's a cost issue. One or two creatures at that price would be worthwhile, just to finally get something I've wanted for years - but the complete set will be close to $1,000, and I'm still collecting Hasbro stuff. I think they're gorgeous, but I'm not terribly interested in high-end collectible products simply because of how I collect - I have a lot of toy things, a lot of things for kids. Perhaps too many - I don't have the infrastructure to set up an appropriate display for these just now, so it's not something I can justify purchasing. ("But what if they did Vlix?" Yes I would buy Vlix.)

The funny thing is, since I've done everything Hasbro since 1995 I'm at a point where it looks like I either need to stick with it or stop - and not expand in other directions. Were it not for the 6-inch line, I might've bought all of Gentle Giant's jumbo Kenner figures or mini-busts. Instead, I just got a couple. I wish Hasbro would make us something, but I look at the previous decade and I don't think Hasbro is very good at exploiting our nostalgia like they did from 1995-1999 and 2000-2014.

I think they could - they just don't. Similarly Star Trek "classic" products are routinely in the same kind of a rut outside Eaglemoss' ship line - which is doing for Trek what Hasbro did for Star Wars action figures. If some other firm got the license and did a new scale - say, 4 1/2-inches (Playmates Trek) - I couldn't handle it. I couldn't start over or deal with another reboot. My enthusiasm is waning as it is, mostly due to what we're getting, how much space it takes, and how little of it is based on movies I had already seen at some point. If Hasbro and friends can focus products from new movies the week of (or after) the theatrical release, I could probably be pretty happy pretty fast.

A postscript - I talked to Diamond at Comic-Con and they confirmed X-Plus does not have an official US distribution channel for these.



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The mailbag is empty! If you have questions, please send them in. If we missed your question, and it's not "Will Hasbro make X," please do send it our way. Otherwise I get to take a week off, and nobody wants that.

So! That was Comic-Con 2018. All in all, a mixed bag - Hasbro will now be announcing items at Mexico and Canada conventions, plus there will be an exclusive debuting at a TBD non-US convention. (I think the last one was the oft-forgotten JediCon Utapau-ish Shadow Troopers.) But we also found out Hasbro wants to do all of Rebels in realistic 6-inch The Black Series style. We'll be getting more Rogue One, and all six bounty hunters will be on shelves (or online) over the next year as 6-inch figures. We're getting playsets - but from Solo - and The Clone Wars is back. They didn't show us i>Resistance, though, and that's curious as the show is supposedly just around the corner. If it is truly on deck for Fall, the fact that we found out we're getting more The Clone Wars before seeing more of this is, to say the least, feeling of misdirection.

Similarly expanding, Star Trek Discovery is going to start doing 15-minute mini-episodes prior to its next season, so it looks like all franchises are building on bridges for their sagas and cramming in more content for whatever reason.

Overall, I didn't walk away disappointed, nor did I walk away happy. It was just good - the show as a whole lacked surprises, and we got some bad news as well. The toy world seems to be chugging along just fine, and since we're not seeing "The Hasbro Collection" being added to the Star Wars packaging I assume we're not in trouble regarding the license just yet.

If nothing else, it's still going to be interesting. There's also going to be a lot of stuff you won't like mixed in - but overall, there will be interesting things to look at.

--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.