Q&A: Star Wars Lights, Timing, and Delays?

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, August 15, 2021

1. I just got a Mission Fleet (I think, it's not right in front of me) Blurrg, and I can't think of another Star Wars thing with a longer gap between when we first saw it on-screen and when we got a toy of it. What's the record? And what could beat it?

The very first Blurrg was shown in 1985 for Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, a TV movie most fans who weren't Ewok-era kids probably won't watch - so that took 36 years.

For the original Star Wars movie, 36 years would put any figure released in 2013 as fair game. Similarly, it would be 2016 or later for The Empire Strikes Back or 2019 or later for Return of the Jedi... and the Barge would count, were it not for MicroMachines and Action Fleet toys.

While it may be only technically correct - the best kind of correct - The Vintage Collection Power Droid from 2020 may hold the record as I believe that particular configuration of Gonk didn't exist. The one on the Kenner cardback was not the one in the 2020 packaging, and that would put this droid at 43 years if you accept a different flavor on an existing thing - which you might not! Similarly Vedain, the Skiff Guard, came out in 2019 - which is 36 years after Return of the Jedi.

Of course, there's a 6-inch figure that took just about as long - Jaxxon! He debuted in 1977, and came out in 2021 - that's a whopping 44 years for the first licensed toy and its first media appearance, albeit not one on screen. Any all-new original trilogy toy would break the Blurrg's record at this point, but Hasbro and Lucasfilm and Disney seem less interested in those these days.



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2. Regarding the Haslab Razorcrest, a few fan sites have pointed out what looks to be LEDs on the bottom of the engines, no one has confirmed that they are indeed lights. It would be strange to have what looks to be LEDs that don't light up. Have you heard anything confirming this?

I have not heard of any electronics on the item. Given how costs (and exporting) goes I assume it won't have any.

If memory serves, that sort of thing needs to be disclosed for this kind of item as it may affect what people outside the USA have to pay on it for taxes, too. It's possible Hasbro could surprise us, but I didn't notice a battery compartment on the renders.




3. Did I miss a Hasbro update on the Razor Crest?

As far as I know, there hasn't been any updates like build shots, packaging, shipping, or even a booklet sent to backers as was done with the Barge.

We're just a few months away from the ship date, and it seems like Hasbro is woefully behind.

Do you think this is an indication the Crest will be delayed?

I don't know because they haven't said anything. But can we baselessly speculate? Of course!

If you've been to toy aisles lately, it's incredibly empty across many major chains - lots of empty pegs, and lots of white space. The big holiday aisle reset is going on now, but aisles are still pretty empty.

If you have pre-orders online, you're probably seeing more than a few ETAs getting pushed out as all sorts of items from all manufacturers are being delayed, and the average time on the water is going up alongside freight prices.

The booklet was part of the Barge's launch strategy - no such promise was made for Mando's ship, so I wouldn't get your hopes up for a free present in the mail unless you explicitly were told you were getting one.

Having said all of that, I would anticipate this item may be delayed. Right now the release date says "Fall 2021," which gives Hasbro until December to get it in your hands. The Barge didn't even make its initial deadline so I anticipate this vehicle being pushed into early 2022 unless we get an update of some sort by early September since it usually takes 4-6 weeks on the boat, and now the boats are late and the price for space for your containers are at record highs. I don't know if the item is delayed, or if Hasbro is seeking alternative transportation, or may just be waiting for the surge freight pricing to stop - but we haven't seen the box yet, so it's a pretty safe bet it won't be here for Christmas. For all I know the factory is behind due to things like social distancing, and we just plain aren't going to see it because Hasbro hasn't yet decided how to roll out a hypothetical delay message.

Again - I don't know if there will be a delay, and Fall ends on December 21. If they can get it on a boat by late September, they probably - maybe - can still get it to you before the year ends. Hasbro Pulse Con 2021 is coming and that would be the time to roll out an update - good or bad - if one is ready.



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Be sure you send in your questions for next time. The mailbag is out of on-topic questions, so if you got some, send some in.

Anyone out there got any vintage Playmospace sets for sale? Call me.

If you are an old video gamer, Analogue restocked their Super Nt and Mega Sg FPGA clone systems. These are pretty neat - if you like 16-bit Super NES and Sega Genesis games, I recommend them. I bring it up here because they've mostly been out of stock since the whole lockdown thing, and I am willing to bet at least one of you has been dying to play Insector X.

Convention season sort of continues! The formerly official Creation Entertainment Star Trek convention STLV - now 55-Year mission Tour - should be wrapping up as of my writing this. New York Comic Con is still set for October in the Jacob Javits center, but the New York International Auto Show held in the same venue has just been canceled. Dallas Toy Fair is still set for October as well. San Diego's Comic-Con International Special Edition claims to still be going - they're requesting panels from people - but badges have yet to go on sale. Emerald City Comic Con (December 2-5) and C2E2 (December 10-12) are still on deck, with tickets on sale now. D-Con in Anaheim is set over the November 12-14 weekend but tickets are not on sale. A lot of smaller conventions have also taken place, and been canceled, this year already.

Two of the most popular conversation topics around the plastic biz has been "when are you guys going back in the office?" or "so what's the next show you're doing?" It was generally looking like the world arbitrarily decided things would be ready to be normal in September, but between my friends from school and my friends in the business, that's seeming a lot less likely as a few presentations and events start to revert back to the interwebs. There are still some on the books, but more are moving online as people start to assess their tolerances for risk, and rumors of certain additional bumps in the road for global manufacturing and freight continue to mount.

What hasn't changed too much is the plan to continue rolling out the movies from 2020 and 2021, albeit not quite on schedule. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins came and went with little fanfare and even less on-shelf product, Black Widow exhausted its plastic merchandising program before the movie hit theaters, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife is only just now shipping to stores after being sat on by Hasbro since last year. (Check the date stamps, kiddies.) Also interesting: many local Walmart stores marked down the just-released Shang-Chi in late July and early August, with the movie not set to hit until September. We're still expecting Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Dune, Top Gun: Maverick, Encanto (Pixar movie), Eternals is still expected for fall, with Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix 4 still set for December. Will the dates hold - will anything get punted to 2022? I have no idea. I just buy toys. Since there's no word on if The Matrix 4 is the final title or not, I'm not sure. The last time a movie had a late production schedule and no title until the absolute last minute, it was Solo: A Star Wars Story, which probably had the absolute worst marketing campaign of any major franchise movie... possibly ever in the last decade. New Mutants had a longer one and more PR going for it... and people knew the final title.

The marketing roll-out strategies have been completely upended, with toys sometimes releasing a year before the film, with conventions just not happening, and with some movies possibly being made. Or not. Supposedly we're getting Indiana Jones 5, Morbius, The Batman, Jurassic World: Dominion (whose Mattel toys got delayed but Hasbro and Playmobil have their own dinosaur toys out now), Minions (toys on shelf now), and other movies are still set for next year. And of course, there are other films, but if it's not a Toy Movie I'm less inclined to discuss it.

For Star Wars fans the Rogue Squadron movie is still allegedly set for 2023, but Star Wars remains one of the more volatile properties these days with firings, delays, or quiet sweepings-under-the-rug. Things are quietly canceled all the time, but one thing is still on deck for 2021 - the debut of The Book of Boba Fett, an arguably garbage name for what will hopefully be a fan dream come true.

--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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