Q&A: Star Wars Pilots, Creatures, and Retro Action Figures

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, March 14, 2021

1. How would, if at all, Gina Carano's firing affect the Mandalorian Retro figure wave coming out this summer? Will Cara Dune still be in it?

The assortment was already in production so there should be no change - there's a big difference between making something and not making something. There's no reason to let manufactured product not enter the marketplace, so you'll see her, and probably see a rush on her, but she will be around a bit.



Ad: Stuff at Entertainment Earth!
Transformers Generations Selects G2 Ramjet - Exclusive Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 4 Case Star Wars The Black Series Porg Action Figure Set LEGO 75267 Star Wars Mandalorian Battle Pack Star Wars Black Series Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot Helmet Star Wars The Black Series Wrecker 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection Action Figures Wave 1 Case Star Wars The Vintage Collection Boba Fett Action Figure Star Wars The Vintage Collection 2020 Action Figures Wave 6 Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 4 Case Star Wars The Vintage Collection 2020 Action Figures Wave 5 Star Wars The Black Series First Order Stormtrooper Helmet Star Wars The Black Series Sith Jet Trooper 6-Inch Figure Star Wars Black Series Bo-Katan Kryze 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars Vintage Collection Skiff Guard Action Figure Set Transformers Generations Selects Deluxe Transmutate Transformers War for Cybertron Siege Seekers 3-Pack Bandai Tamashii Stage Act. 4 for Humanoid Clear Stand Set


2. My question (not meant to be a complaint) is about creatures, or rather the lack thereof in TVC now. I just bought the small Mission Fleet blurrg w/ Kuiil set because as far as I know, this is the first and only toy form of a blurrg that's been made since the creature made its first appearance in the 1980s made-for-TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, and I couldn't pass it up. I was looking at the detail and articulation, and considering the $15 pricepoint for the whole creature and figure set, this blurrg is really good! Then I was thinking, those $15 to $20 Jurassic World 3.75"-scale dinos look really good too, and they usually have plenty of articulation.

So, don't you think Hasbro could (and should) knock out some not-crazy-expensive TVC/3.75"-scale creatures to help round out the line? One blurrg sculpt could be used over and over since there are more than one in The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars, and the Ewoks movie (even though we're supposed to pretend like the Ewoks movies never happened). Same with a dewback. They could just re-issue the one they released a few years ago, but that one seemed to be based more on the prequel CG dewback shape, rather than the A New Hope/The Mandalorian dewback that it seems the Black Series version was based on, so a new TVC dewback sculpt could double for The Mandalorian and the Original Trilogy era as well. I know TVC usually involves a higher than normal level of paint apps and articulation, but if the choice is between a $60 designer TVC blurrg that may never happen and a $20 good-enough version, I'd so much rather have the $20 one sooner, and potentially plenty more creatures as well.

Of course, Black Series is amazing for figure detail, and I collect and love that line also, but I'm still not sure why the 3.75" line isn't being built out more now, especially with the raging success of The Mandalorian. For sure, much thanks to Hasbro for creating the HasLab Razor Crest, and FINALLY giving us some amazing display playsets for the OT (Carbon Freeze Chamber, Tantive IV hall, a corner of Jabba's Palace), and so it seems they do still have some interesting plans for the 3.75" "legacy" scale, but at the same time, I feel like there's SO much Star Wars ground to cover (which is part of the dilemma) that I'd love to just see MORE each year, especially in the way of the kind of weird and colorful alien figures and creatures that have always made us (kids and adults) want to "Collect Them All!" I'll be turning 40 this year, and while I still have many years of collecting in me, I'd love to see Hasbro kind of wrap up unfinished Original Trilogy items fast and then focus heavily on great totally new lines based on new media like The Mandalorian while those are really new and hot. If selling more figures/toys faster is profitable, can't Hasbro just literally expand their business to knockout more product? I feel like manufacturing capacity shouldn't be much of an issue if there are people ready to hand you their money for new toys. Sorry, that turned into two questions and a bit of a commentary, but I really don't feel like I'm super out of tune with the TVC collector fanbase, so there must be others who want more, faster as well.
--Ryan H.

Mattel's Jurassic World line is good. I've bought a bunch! But they're toy-level good - "plenty of articulation" usually means 4-6 joints for the $8-$10 dinosaurs, and the bigger ones really aren't all that much more posable. They're good for dinosaur toys, which are generally devoid of joints and quite cheap.

I've been lobbying for a Blurrg for a while. When I saw them on The Clone Wars I made a fuss because I want anything and everything from 1980s Star Wars - it's not just Vlix, I want marauders and Ewoks and Wilford Brimley.

Right now there's no place for a Blurrg in Hasbro's toy line. That may not make sense to you, but look at it this way - there's no $20 product in the 3 3/4-inch right now. We had some Celebrate the Saga sets which came and went fast, and that $30 box would have been great for 5-jointed figures (Mando, Kuiil, whoever) and a Blurrg or two. But that didn't happen, because nobody is making a proper full line for kids right now.

The only The Vintage Collection playsets are $50 and vehicles usually start at $50 and go much higher. If Hasbro had a mini-vehicle assortment or some such we might see something like that, but we don't - and the items around that size that were planned a few years ago (and not for any extant project) didn't make it out. Right now there's no place for bikes, escape pods, or anything like that - hence Mission Fleet, until Hasbro probably gets bored and moves on from it.

The Vintage Collection fans by design always want more - and given 50% of the line is remakes and the other 50% is a mix of new guys and technically remixed/updated/retooled guys, it's easy to complain the line is lacking things like this. If everything isn't great, you've got a lot of nits at which you can pick. It used to be all for that one scale, all the time - now it's not.

The 6-inch lines sells significantly better than the 3 3/4-inch line. Like, a lot. Tons. I have numbers. I've asked people who have more numbers than I do. I can put this on a certificate you can frame - if another site tells you the reverse is true, consider what they may have access to and what they don't. 6-inch is king now, that's why 3 3/4-inch has been dwindling since the debut of the bigger size, and it's been diminished because Big Box Stores order less and - I would wager - half the line is reruns. But it's all been selling briskly and it's not like stores have a lot in stock. Or any. That's a toy trend right now, my local Walmart has been devoid of Transformers for weeks and has virtually no Star Wars. And you're unlikely to see Joes either.

You're close to my age, and having written about this line since 1995 I can say I've seen a lot of lines rise and fall. Precious few ran as long as 3 3/4-inch line, which is one of very few 3 3/4-inch lines running today. Spin Master's DC Comics and Batman line is relatively new and doing well - and it's for kids. Mattel's Jurassic World line also continues to do well, and is also for kids. Why Hasbro doesn't swipe their 10POA format for $8 retail figures just from The Mandalorian, I'll never know - it seems like that would be a surefire hit with the olds and the kids. But that's the way they want to do it, so that's the way it is.




3. I have a question regarding The Vintage Collection Imperial Troop Transport - who do you have in the cockpit - driver and gunner? I know the ones from "Rebels" have a specialized Imperial Combat Driver for them, but that's for the cartoon. For the one seen in "The Mandalorian, do we know who is in the cockpit? Are they regular Stormtroopers? Or something more specialized? I'm thinking Stormtroopers wouldn't be able to see well enough to drive ANYTHING, and all Imperial vehicles in the movies have specialized drivers - AT-AT Driver, AT-ST Driver, Biker Scout, TIE Fighter Pilot. I was thinking of using two AT-ST Drivers for my Imperial Troop Transport - does that make sense?

My Rebels one used the specialized drivers we saw with their bikes, since I believe that's what we saw on the show. Since we didn't see anything on The Mnadalorian (that I remember) I'd roll it back to Kenner canon, when all we had was Stormtroopers, and just use Stormtroopers. It's sort of like how AT-AT Drivers were used for the AT-ST in 1982 - nobody had seen an AT-ST Driver yet, nor do we know if they wore specialized gear for cold climates.

In your shoes I'd probably go with Stormtroopers, or your favorite Imperial Officers as they were sometimes used for non-armored Stormtroopers in spots. My vintage Troop Transport is currently empty - but that's me.



Become a Patron!

Special thanks to our generous Patreon patrons, especially: JT, Bobb, David, Valvatim, Christopher, Robert, Marco, Stephen, Matthew, Jayson, Shawn, Todd, Kristine, Danm ==, Mario, and Jeremy! Thanks for helping us keep the servers on!



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

I'm slowly getting back to my Disney Droids for Figure of the Day and there's a bunch I never got to reviewing. I'd go out on a limb and say there's enough Hasbro and Disney 3 3/4-inch droid figures to justify an overly stuffed book by now - is anyone making one? (Do I have to make it? Does that reader exist?)

One of the recurring things here I have to mention from time to time is that the 3 3/4-inch line - while old, cranky, and willing to pony up for HasLab items - isn't quite as big as the 6-inch line fan, who is disorganized but plentiful and seemingly will buy anything cool because there's minimal concerns about completism. I mean, they bought those Christmas figures - most of which sold out. And the carbonized figures. And other stuff that would make our eyes roll, but they turned out well and clearly it's a hungry market for weirdness in the post-Funko era.

The 3 3/4-inch line is largely devoid of that kind of thing so far, other than a quartet of Carbonized figures from last year, plus some gold and silver figures scattered in the 21st century. Hasbro has largely eschewed that kind of wacky repaint, largely keeping the 3 3/4-inch line story-driven with made-up squads of clones or droids alongside few other original creations that are more than "this dude, but now he's in seafoam green." Meanwhile Disney has continued to drive its droid program with things that somehow look like in-universe creations but also work as holiday-specific souvenirs, which is tough. (And admittedly, things like the candy corn robot may be a bit of a stretch as something that belongs in-universe.)

Unfortunately Disney put one of their vehicles out with 1 of 4 random droids in it, and I haven't even been able to get one of them yet, and it's like seventy bucks a pop. So that's probably about to end too. But hey, progress. I still likes me my droids.

--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.



I'm on Instagram! All Pictures from a GameBoy Camera.