Q&A: Star Wars On Demand, and Custom Heads or Head Swapping

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 12, 2020

1. I have a Rogue One TVC stormtrooper coming from Amazon in the next couple of weeks. In the mean time, I have been waiting for Tunghori to delist the SDCC Stormtrooper Luke. He has, but at just over 32 dollars, I am not going to go that far just for a Luke head on a stormtrooper.

My question is if you know whether or not the TVC 140 Stormtrooper has a simple ball joint that will allow for head swaps? I have plenty of Lukes to try, but I am hoping to know whether or not I should get my hopes up.


The Stormtrooper Luke from SDCC is based on the 2009 Stormtrooper body, while the 2019 TVC 140 figure has a wildly different construction. Without cutting, you can't swap heads. Hasbro has been very keen to reissue anything fans demand, though, so I would advise you start lobbying for it. I would very much like to see a Stormtrooper Luke on a Vintage cardback again - particularly The Power of the Force, but I'll take anything.



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2. Do you think there’s money to be made in Hasbro offfering fans a chance to buy their own generic Jedi/Mandalorian/Rebel Trooper/ Imperial Officer with your own head custom made from a photo?

Hasbro could charge premium for the head, and recycle the same body mold over and over?

Hasbro beat you to it, and it already went away too. Made-on-demand products have been a thing from Hasbro for a while. I got a custom puzzle at Toy Fair ages ago, Toys R Us Times Square used to have a kiosk to put your head on 12-inch figure bodies, and Target did Super Awesome Me as well. It's possible to do - they tried - but it never had widespread distribution. I saw the Target kiosks on a business trip to Burbank, if it was in my neck of the woods I never saw it.

Due to size and quality (and costs) I don't think you'd ever see this in 3 3/4-inch action figures unless or until on-demand 3D scanning and manufacturing becomes as ubiquitous as the Xerox machine. It would not stun me to see them try it at 6-inch, since you can charge a premium for a meatier collector figure. The 12-inch Titan Hero Figures were $60 - so that's a $10 figure with a custom head for a massive mark-up. Assume a 3 3/4-inch figure would also sport at least a $50 premium for the head, as some clean-up and probably shipping charges would also have to be included.

I'd say there's probably more money in an aspiring fan coming up with a system to do it his or herself. We've also seen Disney do their own made-on-demand collectibles, but it feels like it's either a bad fad or something in the beta stages right now. Made-on-demand stuff is getting better but I have yet to be genuinely impressed enough with most 3-D printed offerings to recommend them to toy people.





It's winter! But you knew that - after years of Star Wars on tap, we're about to enter the slow zone. There will be a tiny bit of 40th anniversary The Empire Strikes Back stuff, there will be the home video release of The Rise of Skywalker and a fancy saga box, and Resistance will end in under a month. (A pity, it's been getting better - did you see "The Mutiny"?) We've got The Mandalorian season 2 slated for fall, but that's it. To my knowledge there's no big pushes planned yet - if Disney were canny, maybe we'll see a Mandalorian Monday or similar push to tie in to the new season with a toy line. I don't know of one. (If I knew of one I wouldn't even be able to say "I don't know of one.")

So right now, it's time to take stock of other fun things. Did you know Lanard Toy has an utterly bonkers and seemingly Kenner-inspired Alien 3 3/4-inch line hitting Walmarts now, complete with brightly-colored Xenomorphs and a Mini-Rig-style APC? Were you aware Analogue is still working on an all-new video game console that allegedly plays all generations of GameBoy games with plans for adapters to use other portables? Playmobil Scooby-Doo sets are hitting American Walmarts. And lest ye forget, Picard's new show is set to start before the end of the month. There's still a lot to be excited about, but it's not like the last few years what with its crazy Thanos movies and all. And the new Avatar movies (which nobody cares about, including you) won't start until 2021. Don't get your hopes up too high for Toy Fair either - it's not like the old days are coming back tomorrow.

Also I have yet to hear of anything confirmed for the post-Resistance cartoon, assuming there is anything beyond the soon-to-be-finished The Clone Wars episodes. There certainly haven't been toy rumblings in my neck of the woods, but it's not like there was a peep about The Mandalorian getting a line either. And it didn't have one.

There are still plenty of exciting things for retro enthusiasts, and new AJJ records, and a 3RA1N1AC documentary, and goodness knows what else. It's been about five years since we got a new Cantina alien and I don't know if there's an end to the drought in sight, regardless of Hasbro scale. Take this time to pick up things you missed, organize your collection, sell off your extra junk, and cross your fingers that the next big thing will be pretty good.

--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.



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