Q&A: Star Wars, Joes, and Clones

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, April 12, 2020

This week in Q&A - The G.I. Joe Rumor Mill. It's just rumors. And Bad Batch Clones? Well, you've got time, start a petition. And box variants are fun.

Be sure you send in your questions for next time. Read on!

1. I was surprised that hasbro didn't have any product for the snake eyes movie that will release in october, nor any information about jazwares and their collaboration concerning a 3.75 gi Joe line. Why is there so much hush hush about it?

If there is indeed a Jazwares G.I. Joe action figure line (beyond Domez) I don't know about it. This isn't a "I know but I can't tell you" thing, I haven't been able to find anything beyond rumors on web sites so if it is happening, Jazwares is very good at keeping secrets about a new action figure line in 3 3/4-inch sizes. We know they've got Domez. Jada is doing die cast metal vehicles. Hasbro has their thing. But Jazwares, if Hasbro really did farm out action figures, nobody knew about it - including other companies that also want to do G.I. Joe figures. Jada's doing its Nano Metalfigs line, too. But not 3 3/4-inch figures.

As to the Snake Eyes movie, I don't think I'm telling tales out of school by saying Hasbro doesn't reveal everything it's making to the public all at Toy Fair. There are rooms you don't get to see. Sometimes they hold off for other conventions or events, or Comic-Con. It's also possible - and I have no information on this - that they squinted and looked at the future and said "Well... maybe it'll come out on time, and maybe it won't." I don't know for a fact what their roll-out strategy is surrounding movie-specific product for this year's G.I. Joe live-action film. You'll also note Hasbro didn't reveal anything for Eternals, now pushed to 2021. I don't think there was any Venom 2 stuff shown. Or Raya and the Last Dragon, which is a Disney property due in November. If Hasbro is doing any toys for them, the public does not know about them yet.

You could say there's a pattern here.

Last year for The Rise of Skywalker, Hasbro did not reveal its Q4 Star Wars strategy at Toy Fair either. Of course, they didn't reveal much of anything for the new movie in stores on Force Friday, so there ya go. It's a big long year and we don't know what will happen to change movie release dates or toy launches as a result of COVID-19, which was something that did indeed come up at Toy Fair this year.

I would not hold your breath for some glorious G.I. Joe relaunch. The new Ghostbusters movie seems to be getting the line we all wish we had in 1984, which is unusual, but with the movie getting pushed there has not been any official announcement on the kid's toy line as of yet. (Lower those expectations.) The Rise of Skywalker missed the mark on making its stars in any scale as a group. Not every toy brand gets a big revival, and if Hasbro can give Star Wars the short shrift for The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker (and Resistance and Galaxy's Edge and...) it doesn't mean that anyone - be it Hasbro or Jazwares or anybody - necessarily want to make a 3 3/4-inch Real American Hero great again. It might just be a modest launch and if it's a big hit, the future might be better.



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2. Do you know if any of the ESB 6inch 40th Anniversary BS figures will be released in the black and red Black Series boxes or just on the 40th Anniversary cards? And if so when would they be released? Case in point, we got 6" Jawa and DS Trooper a few months after the ANH 40th Anniversary cards were released. I am hoping for Snowspeeder Luke and Hoth Trooper and Dagobah R2D2 in the BS boxes.

You're asking me... if they're expected to appear in the red and black boxes?

To my knowledge there are no plans to release them in those at this time.




3. What do you think the odds are on getting some “Bad Batch” figures from this seasons Clone Wars?

Given that the episode animatics were shown to the public years ago, and Hasbro knew what the designs were, and had over a year to prepare for it, and today we have literally zero new figures from The Clone Wars known to be on deck for 2020, I'd say "none odds." That doesn't mean a future fan vote or surprise exclusive won't happen, but considering how little Hasbro has given us from the stunningly quotable The Mandalorian, which has introduced new catchphrases and character shorthands to our cultural lexicon in a way the sequels utterly failed to do beyond "Chewie we're home" and Kylo Ren's temper tantrums, I don't think you're gonna see a lot of figures from those stories ever again under the current regime.

Maybe if Disney leaves it to the toy designers again some day. Hasbro did marvelous line plans when they were picking oddball characters - like Oddball! - rather than being directed to chase the same star characters again and again. I'd say the ratios of "familiar faces" to "weirdness" from 2006 to 2008 were darned near perfect. 2005 was pretty good too. But now, we've gone about five years since the last newly sculpted Cantina alien in 3 3/4-inch and we've had a whopping total of one in the 6-inch size. Unless you make it your life's goal to lobby Hasbro (and Disney, and Lucasfilm) to make the lines appealing to collectors again, it ain't gonna happen. And let me tell you, I've suffered through many blank stares as I charge these windmills, so y'all can start writing some letters and being pests (but nice pests) with your petitions and grassroots efforts to make things happen. You're not going on toy runs, you're not going to conventions, so make yourself useful and spend time now to ensure that next year - and the following year - will provide you the toys that you want.



I haven't been on a toy run in weeks. I've been reading some states are telling stores to not restock non-essential items (toys) on their big box shelves, and I haven't been in a Target in a while. I want to go in a Target, but you know. Social distancing.

As of right now we've seen Microsoft cancel in-person jamborees until July 2021 - that's next year - and Burning Man just threw in the towel for 2020 too. So far San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, and New York Comic Con have been mum on their plans, or lack thereof, for the year. Is it happening? If it is, does anyone want to be around 100,000 people in crowded conditions? Apparently we're going to have to wait and see. As of right now I am not terribly excited about the prospect of any big gatherings this year, especially as business travel seems to be off the table at pretty much every company I work with - including my own employer. It's always hard to guess - two months ago, we were sitting here worried about how the factories might be shut down because of the outbreak. Now we're worried about stores in the USA. Who knows what June might look like?

The question we're still unable to answer is "what does this mean for 2020 toys?" As of now it's still the same as last week - some toys are still on the way. A few things might get delayed, or see slower production. The jury is still out on if 2020 toys for movies that slipped to 2021 will make it out this year or wait for next year - manufacturers and licensors are continuing to have that conversation, and supplies of existing products seem to be moving well at anywhere fortunate enough to be open for business.

Before all this happened there were a lot of conversations about what to do with some brands as the year went on, some things possibly being delayed due to existing non-COVID-19 issues, and I was concerned that this might have been a soft year for toys anyway. With no big Avengers movie, the last Star Wars push falling flat, and no real Toy Line to End All Toy Lines, my eyeballs have been on the continued growth of Transformers with Earthrise and the big question mark in the form of G.I. Joe: Classified Series - both of which tap into familiar, but not necessarily overly mined territory. (Sure, we've seen a lot of those Autobots and Decepticons, but not in this retro a form factor.)

So! Keep your eyes open, things are still happening, and there's no reason to go out on a toy run just yet. Soon, though, I hope we'll hear of new arrivals and relaxed restrictions on haunting store aisles.

--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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