Q&A: Star Wars Damaged Vaders When, also Hasbro vs. Disney Droid Dudes

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, October 16, 2022

1. Do you think we will ever get a battle damaged Darth Vader from the Obi Wan finale, I've seen a lot of customs on the web but it would be cool to get a black series version??

I assume it's inevitable, but it'll take a while. Look at how long it took us to get season 2 The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett guys - if Hasbro doesn't have it done far in advance, it'll take a while. I have no idea when, but I'd bank on it being announced at some point next year if it happens, in whatever scale(s) Hasbro deems fit. This is the kind of thing that's a guaranteed strong seller, but not necessarily something they want to give away before the stragglers watch the show.

Most figures that aren't ready for a show (or movie) launch take 12-18 months to make it out, with a few rush job exceptions like Grogu.  It's a little weird to think, but we received very few season 2 The Mandalorian figures before relatively recently, and The Book of Boba Fett figures that weren't Boba himself (or in The Mandalorian) haven't made it out yet.   Boba's wacky adventures only wrapped about 8 months ago, while Mando's were closer to 18 months - and the most recent deluge of those figures hit around August.



Ad: New Hasbro Reveals at Entertainment Earth!
Get Free Shipping on Orders $39+ with code FALLFREE2022
Transformers Studio Series 86 Core Rumble Transformers Generation Legacy Core Bomb-burst Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Figures Wave 1 Case of 5 Transformers Generations Legacy Evolution Deluxe Breakdown Transformers Generations Legacy Evolution Voyager Tarn Transformers Generations Legacy Evolution Deluxe Scraphook Indiana Jones Adventure Series Raiders of the Lost Ark Staff of Ra Headpiece Replica Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Retro Collection Indiana Jones 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Indiana Jones Adventure Series Raiders of the Lost Ark Arnold Toht 6-inch Action Figure Indiana Jones Adventure Series Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones 6-inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard) Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Biker Scout Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Han Solo (Endor) Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Princess Leia (Endor) Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary 6-Inch Wicket the Ewok Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Luthen Rael (Andor) 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Mon Mothma (Andor) 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Vintage Collection Vel Sartha 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Bix Caleen (Andor) 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Cassian Andor (Andor) 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Axe Woves (The Mandalorian) 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Vintage Collection Cassian Andor (Andor) 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Transformers Tenseg Base Decepticons Display Stand


2. Hoping you can fill me in tho: what's the deal with the park exclusive figures and vehicles; you know, the ones that aren't labeled Hasbro on the packaging or the toys themselves? Some of them, I'm talking the astromech droids seem to be the same molds from the Legacy Collection Build-a-Droids, but others like NED-B, B2EMO, 1-Jac, etc. are brand new molds. And while they look cool, they certainly don't feel like Hasbro figures. Same goes for the First Order Evacuation Pod, which is pretty sick for its price point.

Is this a situation like when grocery stores will contract local soda bottlers to make store brands of "Mountain Yoo" or "Peppy Doc" and Hasbro is making these but as a third-party, or does Disney have their own toy designers, engineers and factories?

As IP holder, Disney probably has it written into all contracts that they can manufacture whatever they want for their theme parks (and sell a select quantity online, too.) Naturally, I have not seen these contracts, nor has anyone told me if they have.

Back when Disney was using Hasbro's droid molds when the Droid Factory bins first started, Hasbro told me they didn't make the Disney figures - which is, obviously, a contradiction. It's possible Disney borrowed or copied the tooling, but now they seem to be making their own stuff and I assume as the IP owner they've got a contract to make whatever the heck they want for theme park souvenir merchandise, regardless of external licensing agreements. Despite seeming to be compatible with Hasbro products, the Disney items are, most likely, made without any Hasbro involvement.

I really don't know what drives them to do different products - for example, the Sandcrawler kind of makes sense as a big 3 3/4-inch toy because it ties in to the droids, as does the Evacuation Pod and Starspeeder 1000 as park items. But could fans appeal to Disney to make vehicles that Hasbro has so far skipped? I have no idea.





Become a Patron!

Special thanks to our generous Patreon patrons, especially: JT, Jared, Bobb, David, Galvatim, Christopher, Robert, Marco, Dan, Stephen, Matthew, Jayson, Todd, Kristine, and Mario! Thanks for helping us keep the servers on!



Be sure you send in your questions for next time. The mailbag is out of questions!

DISPLAYS! A few years ago I started setting up some IKEA Billy cases with glass shelves to house all the figures you've seen in Figure of the Day over the years and it stalled out for a couple of reasons. One was that I was setting them up by era and hadn't found a few figures, thus grinding to a halt. The other was density - you can only fit so many figures in there.

So on a lark I was prowling Amazon and other stores for plexiglass risers and all sorts of display cases, and I found this Tasybox Acrylic Nail Polish Holder Organizer Rack, Clear Essential Oils Storage Nail Varnish Display Stand, 6 Tier (yes that is an affiliate link) as an interesting and relatively cheap purchase. (Well, it's less cheap when you have somewhere south of 3,000 figures to display.) So I ordered one for $13.99 and stuck it in a DETOLF and despite having some room around the sides, it does let you cram 36-42 average sized figures per display rack. Here's one showing The Retro Collection figures I've reviewed thus far.


Pretty good, right? I'm sure there are better custom-made options but I'm trying to finally house a collection that hasn't been displayed as well as it could have been for decades, and these things take a hair under 15 minutes a pop to open and assemble.

The downside is it's not the most efficient thing. You can fit about 12 of them in a BILLY case, which at best gives you a capacity of 432-504 figures, plus whatever you cram in the roughly 6-inches between the two nail polish racks. (Unfortunately, there's some extra space.) Unfortunately it's expensive, and space-intensive. The funny thing is the stuff I'm the most interested in seeing are the 1990s Kenner guys.

What's interesting too is how many figures that kept in the dark have yellowed - even some boxed figures changed with age. If you haven't examined your collections in 10 years you might be in for some unpleasant surprises, as random Clone Trooper torsos have yellowed. Unless my memory fails me, the Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi (and Jedi Spirits set) used to be blue, not green. Tito Perez of Macho Nacho Productions put up a video showcasing a way that supposedly does a pretty good job de-yellowing old game consoles and controllers, and this seems to be fundamentally the same thing - old ABS plastic needing a face lift. We're all told that attempting to fix them won't last forever, but I'm tempted to give it a shot. A lot of these guys are pretty nearly worthless anyway, so what could it hurt to try?

As Hasbro seems to want to shift to more higher-dollar The Black Series product ($275 lightsabers, $130 helmets, and $25+ 6-inch figures) I assume the lack of freshness in the 3 3/4-inch line is increasingly by design in hopes to shift people over to what I assume are more profitable and shareholder-pleasing pastures. I mean, I get it - if someone's only going to buy 5-10 things a year, you'd rather they buy expensive things, whereas I assume most of us would be utterly thrilled to buy 50-60 new 3 3/4-inch guys a year at $10-$15. But the $100+ props, I just don't have the inclination to buy many more of those.

In terms of functionality, I also get it - the 3 3/4-inch action figure were originally created almost as an accessory to higher-dollar toys. They wanted you to buy an X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Landspeeder, and then go run out and buy some figures to go with your vehicles and playsets. Kenner also offered higher-priced 12-inch action figures but the "dolls" didn't seem to perform as well so they switched to the smaller format with its pretty constant flow of figures and vehicles and even playsets - but without fairly priced environments and ships, a lot of newbie collectors don't have the same love of the old play patterns like we do. This is also true of the modern toy designers, many of which grew up in an era of action figures-as-collectibles rather than action figures-as-toys.

Fortunately, the figures of the 1990s are mostly very cheap for 27-22 year old toys. Someone with modest funds could even afford the harder-to-find packaging variants on a modest salary, albeit not all at once. I know nobody will be converted to POTF2 because of my ramblings, but given the wild bootlegs fans pay a lot of money to get, I'd argue a Desert Sport Skiff Luke Skywalker for $13 (which was $9.99 in 1996) if probably a heck of a lot more fun than any of the collector stuff anyone wants us to buy today. Sure you can buy all six $27 Ugly Sweater 6-inch figure for Christmas, but if I want to own something sentimental with a dash of irony, that $162. can buy a pretty big chunk of POTF2. A $4.99 figure from 1995, adjusted for inflation, is about $10. And you can probably beat that price on eBay if you buy from people selling in lots.

...not to dig on the 6-inch holiday edition figures, but if they were 5-jointed figures for $10 a whack - or maybe even any size at $20 a whack - I'd have bought them without blinking an eye. Once we hit and pass $25, I'm *gasp* trying to enjoy the things I already own. No matter what you prefer, there's a whole galaxy of goodies out there that remain quite affordable.

--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.



I'm on Instagram! All Pictures from a GameBoy Camera.