Q&A: Star Wars Retro Collection, Big Playsets that Didn't Happen, and Secret Projects Happening Next Week

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, July 7, 2019

1. Adam, we hear all about films that have scenes in various states of incompleteness, but are complete enough to tantalize fans, to the point of it being painful. There must be Death Star playset that Hasbro has never released, but at least spitballed as an idea: is it a sketch in a vault, a cardboard proof of concept, a jumble of partly assembled prototype pieces, or just words that have been bounced around over lunch between employees?

A Death Star?

Between what I've seen and heard about over the past couple of decades, there are a few of them in varying sizes and feature sets. Obviously we got two (Detention Block Escape and Death Star Chasm), but there are various mocked-up, bashed-together, and largely unseen orbs of various makes and models. It would not be an exaggeration to point out that there are countless unreleased toys that have been as far along as fully-tooled and ready to release, and also as uncooked as a napkin sketch.

I don't know what has happened terribly recently, but it has been one of those things that used to come up every once in a while. People inside Hasbro can pitch all kinds of things using art, bashed-together mock-ups, and other forms of proof-of-concept digital and physical. Does it matter, since they'll never see the light of day outside the Cincinnati and/or Pawtucket-based offices? Probably not. The sheer volume of the last 24 consecutive years of Star Wars means there's a lot more stuff and a lot more people that probably don't feel the need to preserve something for posterity. We probably haven't seen all that much from the original Kenner line in the grand scheme of things - there's a lot of stuff we'll probably just never see.



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2. Just a quick question, have you heard anything about Hasbro continuing the Vintage Retro Line? Thank you.

It would not be an exaggeration to call that line a success. Retro is very in right now, but to my knowledge there haven't been any announcements as to what the future may hold, or when, or where at this time. Thankfully Comic-Con is in about 10 days - and Hasbro sometimes spills various beans there. And sometimes other panels do the spilling.

Hasbro often spontaneously ends lines that sometimes seem successful (The Vintage Collection's endless returns, 40th Anniversary carded 6-inch figures) and sometimes things collectors don't buy run for years (Star Wars Transformers, mini-Unleashed.) With the likes of Mego-style figures having returned along with New Coke and new old video game cartridge production, it's clearly something in the air right now - but that doesn't mean Hasbro wants to (or Lucasfilm will allow them to) make this a pillar of their future.



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I can talk about the Secret Project! If you're going to San Diego Comic-Con in under 2 weeks, you can see me show off a smattering of new toys, collectibles, and character stuff at New Toys, Action Figures, and Statues with Entertainment Earth's Adam Pawlus. Obviously, it is not a Hasbro panel or a Lucasfilm panel, but it does have stuff involving licenses from Hasbro and Lucasfilm, plus some things that aren't from a big entertainment property, and some things that may make a nice gift or stocking stuffer if you see them by a checklane later this year. And something from a classic entertainment property that's a new kind of a collectible figure thing I think some people will really love.

My pitch to was to have a panel with stuff that doesn't normally have a home in another panel - and we sorta did that. You might see things in other panels and you might not - it's mostly new debuts and new announcements, although because rumor lists and leaks are real things it's possible one or two things could be spoiled. Or more! I don't know what the future holds.

If you're in San Diego on July 18 and you enjoy sitting quietly for about an hour, do come check me out if you would. I see Comic-Con posted a page where people can say they're going, but I peeked at their profiles and schedules to see people are often quintuple-booked for my time slot of 3-4 PM. The room seats 280, so a) I assume you can get a seat, and b) I don't assume you'll have to line up like Hall H. You should just be able to show up because, and let's be honest here, I am not a huge draw - but hopefully some of the new toys are going to get your interest.

My hope is that people show up and we can make this a sort of a touring show - if I go to a convention, I can bring whatever the toy and collectible biz (who may not necessarily be able to make it) has to show with me. Of course, I'd need people to show up for this one, and I certainly hope they will.

--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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