Q&A: Star Wars Playsets, Figures, Customers, and a Passing

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 6, 2020

1. Why is it that these sculpt and cast customizers all seem to be hitting at once NOW? Why not in the many years past since the line restarted in '95? Has something changed with technology or even Hasbro's tolerance for these players that has enabled the emergence of this niche market?

I would put the money on the character selection leaving some fans cold, combined with an abundance of time due to the lockdowns and pandemic. When you're being told to stay home, your hobby may mutate. On top of that, The Mandalorian is pretty inspiring to fans and collectors for all kinds of reasons - and since Hasbro (and others) came out with a very small offering, people are very interested in filling in the perceived gaps. The runs are also quite low, so there's probably a huge unmet demand for stuff that licensed manufacturers could be making bank on, but aren't.



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2. The Razor Crest got way more backers than the Barge (without triggering a recount).

Will this send Hasbro a message that, if you give fans what they ask for, we'll buy it? Might we see a Death Star because of this?

What other vehicle might they do that hasn't already been done?

There's a problem with Star Wars in 2020 that we didn't hav in the revival period of 1995-1999 - there's too much of it. In the 1990s, there were 3 theatrical movies, 2 TV movies, a couple hundred comic books, a few dozen novels, some games, Star Tours, and 39 half-hours of animation nobody but me and maybe Pablo Hidalgo gave a rip about.

Today we've got 11 theatrical movies, maybe close to 250 TV episodes, 2 TV movies, a few microseries/webisode things, thousands of comic books, hundreds of video games, multiple theme park attractions, and goodness knows what else.

It is hard to get fans behind any one thing. Right now, it's The Mandalorian - and the Razor Crest did so well I would wager a good chunk of those are being ordered to a) flip or b) carve up (people will probably pay $50+ for the carded Vintage figures, is my guess, with the ship being easy to flip at or above cost, and then you've got Mando and the Carbonite blocks too.) It is, in all seriousness, the perfect item at the perfect time. Especially since the show showed the ship getting pretty banged up and poorly fixed. (Mon Calamari.)

A future item would likely have to hit a wide audience, appealing to fans across multiple categories. Hasbro's Razor Crest asked nothing from new fans other than to enjoy - if you bought it, you got the two major characters from the show, plus some bonus figures and awesome accessories. You could start your collection with this ship.

Meanwhile, the Death Star would be the kind of thing that caps off an existing collection - unless it's part of a new program. If Disneylucasfilm does a new TV show focusing on the Death Star, it would make sense to do a new toy of it. Unfortunately, that time was 2016/2017 with Rogue One and the 40th anniversary of the original movie. Maybe they can do one for the 50th, or for a Rogue One-iverssary, but I don't know if there are new stories left to tell about the original Death Star.

I'd love one. It's the reason I army-built and collected. I'd adore upsized 1982 MicroCollection playsets, or something like that with "hooks" to expand. Or, you know - funding any Kickstarter who made a bootleg one.




3. The Razor Crest will come with a soft-goods cape Mando to fit in the cockpit. No doubt fans who didn't back the RC will want one without having to resort to buying it off ebay, so can we expect Hasbro to release it on a card?

They did the same thing with the Barge's Yak Face, albeit minus the coin and cup, so it seems like a no-brainer.

I don't know of any such plans at this time - when we got the Yak Face, Hasbro announced a mass-release around the same time. We've had many variations of the full-beskar Mando announced so I don't know if Hasbro would want to do Yet Another One with a different cape at retail. (I think it would sell well if they did, just because it's a way for more people to get this highly in-demand character.)

I would love to see something like this pop up on Etsy. So far precious few manufacturers have made "compatible" accessories - like 6-inch scale cloth Jedi robes - but someone with a sewing machine and some time could probably bust out some decent capes.

...personally I'd love them to do one with a coin because that would be awesome.



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If you're a fan of indie toys, you probably know about Onell Design's Glyos System. One of the artists who did a great job illustrating the toys was Ralph Niesse, who died recently. You should check out his work. Onell Design's latest drop was The Mandalorian-inspired, and here's the blog and here's what's left at the store. Mandos, troopers, Ackbar-inspired Delphi, a great IG-esque build, and other things that turned out really well.

Exclusives continue to roll out, sometimes not on schedule, and figures are shipping and being announced. There's another Mando Mondays announcement in a few hours - 1 PM Pacific. The shows are still airing, the stores are open a little later than they were a few months ago, a bunch of toys are shipping out all of a sudden, and toy runs are not quite as constant as they were. Mine are mostly at night, when parking lots are empty, and increasingly rare.

I hope everybody out there is OK and doing what they need to do as we move ahead to the busy retail season, and their toys are coming in, and that they're hopefully all OK.

--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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