Q&A: Star Wars Droids, R2-D2 Worries, and The Stormtrooper Variations

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 20, 2016

1. What is the difference in looks for the 3.75" scarif storm trooper we're getting in the black series and the AT-ACT pilot? They look pretty much the same except for maybe a blue stripe.

Significant. Significant differences. Aside from Captain Obvious' Snarky Response - "articulation" - there's color too. The AT-ACT pilot is white, while the other ones are tan/sandy colored. The Walmart super-articulated trooper also sports blue stripes that look like the sky or ocean, with a red dot like a setting sun. It's quite pretty. The AT-ACT pilot shares similar armor, but it's white with cleaner, crisper grey markings. The belt is also a different sculpt, but other details are tough to figure out from the existing photos. The AT-ACT driver is a more classic, original trilogy, conservative and desaturated deco while the others are a bit more lively and summery.



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2. I have a couple of questions. First, which 6" R2 is the closest/best to stand around the Walgreens C3PO and Tatooine Luke. I scored my 3po's and have had Luke ready. Ideally I want the hasbro 6" but aftermarket prices are crazy and the threat of fakes from China are really annoying. This makes Disney elite look really appealing. On that thread, eBay has several different sellers with the walmart scarif trooper with one seller having cases and cases of them, clear in his pictures. How do you feel about that? You think these are legit and just kept by workers or an extra run hasbro doesn't know about? When is this exclusive supposed to hit our shores? And last one, when is that sweet entertainment earth 4 pack coming out this month? I pre-ordered the day it was available and can't wait for it.

While I have nothing I can confirm, Hasbro is fond of recycling tooling with its many exclusives, and as 3 3/4-inch fans know there are many - many - flavors of R2-D2. It wouldn't surprise me if Hasbro also decided to tool up new accessories for a future exclusive or retail rerelease. I'm not saying "this is going to happen" so much as I'm saying "Look, if I were a cheap snot and not a completist I would hold out to see what Hasbro does in the next three years." Bank on patience. It might not be the exact droid out now... but c'mon. It's Hasbro.

The Disney die-cast metal droid ain't bad if you can swing it, and I don't have a date on Walmart's exclusive hitting. I'm hunting just like the rest of you... well, maybe more, due to deep emotional holes in my life that can only be filled by plastic space warriors.

Similarly, the Entertainment Earth Exclusive Clone Troopers are still expected this month - unless they don't make it. Helpful? No, but it's the truth. This time of year results in a lot of cargo going through the ports, and some may have better priority than others. We're expecting it to go through customs and arrive soon, but that might not happen. So it'll be here soon... unless it isn't. Helpful, no? No.




3. I recently purchased the Entertainment Earth Exclusive Droid Set. I feel it was worth every penny, so hats off to you for your involvement on making this happen. I also purchased the other EE exclusive droid sets from years past. If this set does as well, what are the chances of doing the rest of a realistic version of “D squad” or other realistic versions of the clone wars cartoon series?

At this point, it's up to Hasbro. I'm not anticipating one at Entertainment Earth, mostly because I asked before a couple of times - plus with QT-KT, I wouldn't be crazy about redoing a droid. There have been discussions of other characters from and inspired by The Clone Wars series that never quite got off the ground, as that's the nature of the business. I think a lot of people are still interested in doing them, it's just a matter of being able to do it within the limits imposed by the licensor, the licensee, and the potential audience. Right now I am not expecting to do another droid set, in part thanks to Disney's ability to crank those buggers out under the radar.

I think the bigger question everybody should be asking is "Where are any classic figures?" Since The Force Awakens, it seems like the only new non-Rebels or non-new-movie figures we're getting in 3 3/4-inch are this set. Sure, we got repacks of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker and a couple of others last year, but those aren't new. Hasbro hasn't has a new non-exclusive droid in almost two years. Hasbro hasn't had a new Cantina or Jabba's palace alien for over a year. Hasbro hasn't had a new character from the prequels in over a year. Exclusives are all well and good - but outside of new movies or maybe anniversaries, I'm still not sure what this whole annual movie cycle means as far as the future of old Star Wars (that is to say, older than Disney) goes from here on out.




"Lobby Hasbro" is probably going to be a recurring theme of the many questions being asked as of late. Generally speaking, Hasbro has to want to make something, and they need a reason to do it. Me asking isn't a great reason. You asking? In particular, lots of you asking is effective - if every web site has the same figure being requested, that's a thing people notice. If an episode ends up being wildly popular, that helps. You're going to have to reach into the non-collector-in-their-30s-50s-sphere to make this happen, of course, but if it matters? Sure, go for it. We've seen a genuine reduction - I'd say almost a complete lack - of original trilogy stuff and virtually no outcry. Very little specific complaining here, a little bit on forums, just a general vibe of discontent. As long as Hasbro's line sells, they see things as being fine - or fantastic. So if you want D-Squad, trust me, I know you do. I hear you. I wanted D-Squad too. We got QT-KT. The rest is up to you now.

While we're on the subject of exclusives, I've seen Walmart's 3 3/4-inch The Black Series Jyn Erso and Death Trooper multiple times over the last week. I've seen zero sign of Cassian Andor or the Scarif Stormtrooper, and just last night I saw a massive dump of what appears to be new cases... which leads me to believe there are multiple revisions of this wave and we just haven't seen the one with these guys yet. Good hunting now, though, at least you can probably find Ahsokas, Landos, Royal Guards, Ackbars, Ersos, and Death Troopers if you look.

The Toys R Us Cassian/Stormtrooper 2-pack (3 3/4-inch) and TIE Striker (Battle damage with unique pilot deco) are also hitting - and I've seen both. I've personally not seen Walmart's Scarif Stormtrooper (6-inch) nor Walgreens' C-3PO (6-inch) as of yet though. I kind of hate that, mostly because toy hunting during the Christmas season is a pile of crap. Fighting collectors is one thing, but parents? Gift-givers? It's worse. They don't even know what they're buying half the time - it's just "Hey, a figure, that looks cool and is in my budget." We're the weirdo artisanal snobbery of this fairly broad category of consumer products, which can be easy to forget when all we talk to are others in our peer group - ignoring the two decades of fans who have come up in the post-real-vintage era which to which so many of us cling dearly. --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.