Q&A: Star Wars Armies and Unbalanced Priorities

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 13, 2022

1. I can't understand how Moff Jerjerrod is in the pipeline before we get another shot at 2010's VC13 Anakin...for that matter, do sail barge guards really move more units than the Chosen One?

How did Episode 2 Anakin get a Black Series release a few years back AND a TVC listing this year while ROTS Anakin from 2010 just goes about his business commanding a price over 200 dollars on eBay (and that's a low listing some days).

When a franchise goes from three movies to eleven movies (plus TV shows), nobody is going to be happy with the representation - but usually, it's "the old thing" plus "the new thing" while "the middle thing" gets ignored. For Star Trek, generally the fans of the 1990s stuff get shorted while the 1966 show and whatever is new gets a decent amount of attention.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Anakin/Vader get a reissue sooner or later. After all, Hasbro has only so many figures to reissue and it seems they're increasingly intent on repackaging/repainting them all. And also, not filling demand at retail for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the standards seems to be the norm now.

To date, Hasbro has rarely revisited new sculpts upon existing The Vintage Collection molds. There are exceptions, but look at the last month - we're getting the same alien molds again. We've gotten very few major characters as all-new figures since the all-new, improved and different hip joints started being used - even the previous iteration that wasn't as good, we're still not getting new ones. But, we got an Ahsoka show coming, for all we know there's a flashback that will result in a reissue or remake.

When it comes to fans and character remakes, original trilogy stuff tends to do better than the prequels. When it comes to anniversary years, someone like Jerjerrod is going to probably be more likely than any given prequel character. We got very little for the 20th for The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones lately, so it's pretty unrealistic to hope for updates of prequel figures with an existing acceptable release. Unless Jerjerrod is in a new show this year, though, I would not be shocked if the figure was a slower seller.

We did get a new Anakin Skywalker based on Attack of the Clones in 2022, but it was probably a backdoor "new show" release - after all, he appeared in that outfit in flashbacks on Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I would assume his inclusion in the line was a direct result of Lucasfilm strong-arming Hasbro to make it, but not necessarily explaining its significance at the time. I assume the Jabba's Palace aliens we just saw go live as reissues are for the Boba's Palace/Jabba's Palace playset - but for all I know, maybe they're in Ahsoka or another streaming show next year.



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2. Given that the Death Watch Mandalorians in "The Mandalorian" appeared to have a different number of rank stripes, what do you think are the chances of Hasbro offering a 4-pack of TVC Mandos with different decos, especially considering how popular these figures seem to be?

Not impossible! I wouldn't be shocked if they were working on it, until the program hits a wall. And it might, you never know. It's a good idea if Mando mania continues, but looking at the in-stockiness of recent figures it's possible they're finally hitting a point where they may wish to slow things down a bit.

As long as Hasbro needs high-value, low-investment trooper packs, these kinds of things will be increasingly likely. There aren't a heck of a lot of great available trooper molds from the original trilogy left to exploit, but you never know what's going to come up and when. Especially if Mandalore comes up on a streaming show again soon, which it pretty much will.





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2023 is just around the corner, as are holiday sales and clearances. And probably more announcements. We've got a lot coming up that we probably don't even know about yet, and hopefully none of it gets preemptively canceled because of any unusual economic conditions. I want to see that second wave of 12-back "Kenner" remakes which have yet to show up on ShopDisney for pre-order!

There are still reports of a writer's room trying to put together a new Star Wars movie while several previously announced movies just seem to be stalling left and right. Toys aside, it's worth considering that there may not be as many good ideas to pry out of a comparatively limited 45 years of Star Wars as opposed to the 83 years of Marvel Comics from which to pull movie ideas. I may love Star Wars but there's just not a lot of meat on those bones unless they start pulling more movie ideas directly from comics or novels, and most of them would require a fair amount of rewrites. But really, who would complain about Mara Jade or Shira Brie/Lumiya or Zeltrons or Nagai showing up? Maybe it would be better for the small screen - but I certainly don't envy the poor schmucks tasked with trying to put together a $200 million space fantasy with ship battles and featured creatures for the big screen.

But hey, Amazon's exclusive Retro Kenner Dengar and IG-88 shipped! IG-88 shares a lot of parts with the Kenner IG-11 retro figure, surprising no one. It's incredibly similar to the 1980 Kenner release with slightly more orange paint, and it's aplied better. Dengar is an all-new lower-detail mold based on the 1981 original. Both are pretty good, but at $27.99 seem about $4-$8 too expensive. I'm impressed how both seem to hold their weapons better than the 40-year-old counterparts.

As of yet there are still no known plans for 4-LOM and Zuckuss. A "leak" was a mock-up made up of elements from existing retro and vintage packaging, so if Hasbro really intends on making those, we haven't seen anything legit as of yet. I certainly hope they consider cranking out a few old remakes per year until the entire line becomes quasi-affordable for newbies, especially if some are going to look a little different than the originals. I love that IG-88 has better paint now, and that 2020 Lando had a black blaster rather than a blue one. Little changes make them interesting.

While we wait for more Retro stuff - or I do, anyway - a ton of new stuff is hitting. Halloween figures, Christmas figures, exclusive repaints, and so much more are all seemingly showing up a little early. Not all pre-orders are filling at once, but if you have a bunch of orders on the books, it's a good time to make sure your credit card balance is ready for whatever is about to ship. I don't think Hasbro can keep up this pace forever, mostly because it's exhausting to review, examine, open, file, and otherwise enjoy dozens of figures all at the same time - especially without vehicles, creatures, playsets, or other toys to enjoy with them. But hey, that's me, I'm old and I like having a place for figures to go beyond a shelf. It's amazing to think we used to get several vehicles per year, instead of one or two - and those one or two are usually remakes and reissues.

--Adam Pawlus

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