Q&A: Star Wars Gets Small - Small Screens, Small Figures

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 10, 2019

1. Rise of Skywalker 3.75" figures... right now, it looks like there are a mere SIX figures announced (Rey, Zorii, Knight of Ren, Sith Trooper, Sith Jet Trooper, Poe)--and then 4 droids that are exclusive to a Disney droid factory pack. (Poe looks identical to his earlier pilot outfits--not an exciting figure) This cant possibly be it for the final movie--has anything else been announced or leaked? If so, what? And when can we expect those additional 3.75" figures? Before the movie? Or.... at some indeterminate future time? What about additional vehicles? Any intel there? And what about The Mandalorian? I know we are getting modified AT-ST with figure, but what about THE Mandalorian himself? Cal Kestis maybe too? Any details you can share? Thanks.

I can't announce things that haven't been announced to the public. There are going to be more figures from when you asked this - the Mandalorian himself has since been announced, for example - and there's a bit more coming. Not a ton. But a bit

More stuff is usually planned, but what makes it out remains to be seen. Sometimes a movie line ends early and someone has to pick up the remaining stock - or order a run - for release. Sometimes it all makes it out. Sometimes you don't even know what you missed.

I can say it's going to be a small line. There's no secret series of 3 3/4-inch kid figures coming, as sales tend to dictate what happens and even though it certainly seems that the Solo line did well, the 3 3/4-inch Galaxy of Adventures line did not - and I don't know exactly what Hasbro, Lucasfilm, and Disney did to decide how to proceed. In 1998 Expanded Universe figures were deemed "duds" because the Collection 2 assortment - which was packed with carry-over duds from 1997 before comic and novel figures even shipped - plugged up shelves and prevented them from appearing in many stores. So their line of reasoning made sense given the data, but it didn't drill down deep enough to say why this happened. Which is a pity.

This could be something similar - 3 3/4-inch "bombed," but the choices in the lines were already in the marketplace, repack after repack. We are beyond the era where the 3 3/4-inch line is the "definitive" series, because nobody is pushing to make everything in that size anymore - so what can you do? I would expect key characters to appear in the 3 3/4-inch like - especially with ongoing series! - but not everything. If Hasbro isn't already planning Fallen Order toys in the small size, I don't think we'll ever see them (unless, years later, fans demand it like with Revan.)



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2. The 6-inch scale now has a handful of figures that have NOT been produced in 3.75 including a red Stormtrooper, Dryden Vos, Retro-Boba Fett, and others. Do you see these as being likely 3.75 inch figures someday? Or is the 3.75 scale really dying off and these will forever only be 6-inch?

Work tales time! I had been asking for the red Stormtrooper as a 3 3/4-inch figure for years - I've asked for 5 POA, Super Articulated, troop builders, all sorts of formats. To date they haven't bothered to do it - so when I asked for it as a 6-inch figures a few years ago and Hasbro said "yes," I was surprised. For all I know someone in approvals forgot to say no, but it is indeed one of those figures that hasn't been made in that scale.

No as to retro Boba Fett, that may be a tougher one to convince Hasbro to try. There are a few good colorways left on that mold they could still play with, but "Kenner deco" has been one they've shied away from quite a bit. The scale is really up to the mercy of the brand teams at Lucasfilm (and maybe Hasbro), which can be influenced by fan demand. I do not expect every 6-inch figure (or other scale) to ever be made as 3 3/4-inch figures given the last 5 years.





It's a weird time to be a fan. For some reason Lucasfilm decided Q4 is the season of Star Wars, going light to the point of silence on marketing most of the year. There's precious little buzz for The Rise of Skywalker with minimal promotional support at retail, not a whole heck of a lot of marketing out and about, and on top of all this there's a new TV show on Tuesday. And Resistance is airing new episodes, and getting more watchable. And if that weren't enough, Jedi: Fallen Order hits Friday. It's all kind of ridiculous - Star Wars was effectively silenced for over a year, and now we've got a couple of major things this week alone with a movie and then, most likely, a whole bunch of nothing for at least six more months.

Being old, it's amazing to see how we can take this for granted quite easily. In 1985, nobody but kids seemed super excited for small screen Star Wars, but by the 1990s every PC game or novel would be something of a precious milestone. Lucasfilm made a full meal out of the 1995 VHS reissues - VHS reissues! - of the original trilogy. 1996's Shadows of the Empire gave fans a soundtrack to a movie that didn't exist, as well as a novel, a comic series, a video game, a toy line, and a pop-up book - it was amazing. And in some ways, probably on par with or better than what we're seeing for The Rise of Skywalker. In 1997 Lucasfilm once again dined out on the Special Edition trilogy, giving us a full year of theatrical rereleases, new VHS tapes, and of course toys and some games to go with it. It wasn't too uncommon for the powers that be to really make a lot out of a little - we had a solid couple of years of The Phantom Menace pre-marketing, and each prequel had a decent promotional push that got us through dead zone of no new movies and no new TV shows. Fans didn't get a lot of Tentpole Story, but they made it work each and every year.

2008 was probably a pretty big exception, in that we got a big Original Trilogy push alongside the delayed Force Unleashed video game and the quiet launch of a large toy line for The Clone Wars. Much like this year, it felt like fans were a little overwhelmed - many skipped the theatrical movie entirely, dismissed the first appearances of Ahsoka Tano, and ignored the video games. I can't help but think we may see some of that this week. Disney's stepfather role at Lucasfilm has resulted in me simply not needing as much. I was whole hog into the comics in the 1990s, because that was all the Star Wars we got. Once we got a few TV series, I was pretty nicely satisfied - a $3 comic book didn't add to my experience in any meaningful way.

Now we've got fans tripping over themselves to get Disney+ and The Mandalorian smells like the insane fever-dream of a fan from the late 1980s. Apollo Creed, the director of Nosferatu the Vampyre, a MMA fighter, the dude from Swingers, and a ton of easter eggs of 1970s and 1980s-era Star Wars are just a part of what we're going to watch at home every week for two months. It's crazy, and it's overshadowing what could maybe have been a billion dollar movie with The Rise of Skywalker. I think it's because none of these projects gets any time to breathe, or for fans to look forward to their arrival, but that's just me.

What matters is by this time next week, we'll probably all be excited about the new show and dying to see if Hasbro (or LEGO) will make more and bigger toys for it. It might get in the way of the new movie. It certainly won't hurt the future of streaming series, but short of the Obi-Wan show I can't imagine anything being a bigger deal. Here's to a hopefully bright and weird future of Star Wars.

--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, and we're down to 2 questions per week until we get overloaded with questions to re-expand back to 3 or more.



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