Q&A: Star Wars at SDCC, Fan's Choice, Stands, and More Stuff

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, July 24, 2016

1. Toyark.com and other sites are showing the Hasbro display and in the 3.75' they have an unlisted black astromech droid that's NOT part of the mystery 6-pack. Could this droid be a NEW Build-A-Droid?

Most certainly not - it's a pack-in figure from the AT-ACT. I can't be 100% sure if it's a redeco of the 2013 Saga Legends/Mission Series mold but it's dang close.



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2. Question - have you heard anything about stands for the 6" The Black Series figures? I know they are included with the figures in Japan. Are there any plans to do this for the rest of the world. Or do you know if there are plans to offer packs of stands separately, similar to what was done with the 3.75" figures? If not, maybe EE could distribute these.

I've had a lot of conversations with many people at many companies about this very topic - Entertainment Earth put out some really good 3 3/4-inch stands where I worked really hard to get the foot peg the perfectest size to fit the most figures as of their release. A few didn't fit, but I think I could count them all on one hand (at the time.) The 6-inch figure has multiple sizes of foot holes, so that's one strike. The other strike is - and you're going to hate this - articulation. The ankles and knees can sag with heat and time, so a figure posed just a tiny bit off-center will slowly dip and fall over, even if placed on a display base with a peg on it.

The only good solution is to use small doll stands - the things with the metal clip you put around their waist or neck, because it will compensate for loss-of-balance over time. (Dolls, historically, do not and can not stand unassisted.) I would go so far as to say many super articulated 3 3/4-inch figures need a similar kind of stand, as do pretty much any 6-inch figure with more than 6 joints. If we (or someone, even Hasbro) were to make a 6-inch disc stand with a peg in it, it'd work - for a short time. Your figures will likely be posed, placed on a stand, and left untouched for months. Eventually the joints are going to sag just a tiny bit and knock over other figures, snapping lightsabers and losing parts. Don't settle for disc stands - get something with a clip to keep them upright, and ask Hasbro and other manufacturers to do the same if/when they make stands.

If and when such a product is produced, you can bet Entertainment Earth will look into carrying it. (Send me samples, I'll test them. I'm not kidding. I work there and we had some stands that didn't make the cut so we didn't stock them.)




3. Starkiller
Captain Rex
Jaina Solo
Darth Talon
Mara Jade

What do these finalists suggest to you about our community? Are these views an accurate reflection of the whole or just those of a vocal minority? Surely, from the points of view of the powers that be, these are the wrong answers, right? These turkeys suck up resources that could be put towards a Han or an Anakin or a Rey or -- sweet Christmas -- a Lando! If we keep wasting our votes, how long till Hasbro takes away the privilege?

Or is it rigged?

It's sort of rigged. Expanded Universe fans are pretty organized and even Hasbro alluded to Jaina Solo's sudden last-day surge of something like 40,000 votes in the final 24 hours. And how they hope that means 40,000 people show up to buy her. Obviously, this is hogwash - and it's happened before. The voting system isn't very good, people can employ friends, and so on. It's not a perfect system, and obviously any system can be exploited on the Internet. But the fans have spoken, she won, and we're going to probably buy her.

The top 6 nominations are in line with the ones we got at Galactic Hunter - like, other than Dengar, pretty much exactly. In our poll, HK-47 replaced the bandaged bounty hunter. All fans talking about toys are a vocal minority - me, you, and every person on every forum. The late-30s to 50s fan is a tiny drop in the bucket given then reach new movies have given these toys. If everybody on every forum agreed, that's still maybe only a couple of thousand of people agreeing on something - even more people will vote on a StarWars.com poll, and more still will see the figures on store shelves and buy them. I personally think Jaina Solo was the worst choice of the bunch because she's been eliminated from the plausible shoehorning in of the current continuity, but that's me. Everybody else is still not completely unrealistic to be out there, somewhere... even if their stories would be tweaked a bit. (Starkiller, our #1 choice, I'm looking at you.)


If people show up and buy Jaina Solo, hey, great. I hope Hasbro selects a costume body that can be reused for other figures in the future. Based on the emails during the nomination, none of them were people who wrote into the site before and it would not surprise me if there was a listserv or forum out there directing people to sites to nominate certain characters. Because Mara Jade? Yeah, I know personally a lot of people who wanted her. Rex? Yup. Dengar? Obvi. Darth Talon? Also yes - I work with one of them. But Jaina Solo? I'm still surprised we got the 3 3/4-inch one, she rarely comes up in conversation as a 6-inch candidate.




SDCC! Surprise - Jyn Erso was on sale! I'm told the photos and packaging are all that is exclusive, so if you missed her don't freak out. Obi-Wan Kenobi will be coming back later, too, but I'm not sure about Kylo Ren unmasked yet. (I'd bet on seeing him in stores, though, sans helmets and flag.) Watch the market and buy when the time is right.

Newness is pretty great - right now Lucasfilm is very adamant about making Rebels its only animated expression in the world of merchandise, or at least, that seems to be what's being whispered about in several booths. I wouldn't expect animated-style items from non-Rebels stories for quite some time. Read into that as you will.

Hasbro's presentation was better than the last two years, having had Q&A and products from the new movie. The new AT-ACT vehicle is going to be expensive - they didn't say how expensive, so neither will I, but keep in mind that I said expensive - and include 3 action figures. Of note, it can walk, make noises, and be controlled by your smart phone. (I will neither confirm nor deny freaking out in the past when it seemed unclear if it would require software to play with it.) A few new costumes were shown in the Star Wars Pavilion, like Two Tubes, who may or may not have a figure. Hasbro hasn't shown it. After seeing what happened with Finn and the Resistance Trooper figures, I am worried that one of my most-wanted and most-loved action figures as a kid might be a dud as a 6-inch. Lando Calrissian is on the way! In 2004, his Vintage Figure was awesome and sold really well in Arizona. And when I moved to Los Angeles, was everywhere. Unsold. For months. His production run wasn't especially huge, but as Major Original Trilogy Characters go he's not got the love as some others. This is a shame, because he's fun to watch do stuff. He'll be joined by Hera Syndulla, the Emperor's Royal Guard, a Tusken Raider, Qui-Gon Jinn, and a single-mass release of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have to confess, I love what I see as a collector - it makes me happy. As a person who sells toys, I am expecting to see many of these sitting unsold at toy stores. I hope I'm wrong, I just seem to recall many of these (not Hera) hanging around during previous releases at brick and mortar.

The future is, for better or for worse, a lot like the past. You want things more like the Vintage days? The 3 3/4-inch line is precisely that - focused on new vehicles, new movies, new TV shows, and new characters. In some respects it is refreshing, but as far as I'm concerned we really all need to get together and make noise about really, genuinely having Hasbro finish the original 92 93 96 whatever Vintage figures like the Mustache Bespin Security Guard, Blue Power Droid, Sim Aloo Imperial Dignitary, and if there's time "Kenner" versions of figures like Walrus Man (now in Clone Wars), Greedo, Hammerhead, Snaggletooth, Warok, and anybody I neglected off the top of my head just now. I guess we could even argue Yak Face. Fans have not been clamoring for this - one post on a board every 16 months doesn't count.

Entertainment Earth's new Exclusive Astromech Droids! You've seen them. The announcement of a mystery exclusive was, well, long story - in short, a good description wasn't ready due to an injury on my part and I needed to buy some time, so we did. If you look at the original teaser description, I snuck in some gags that I hoped would get found out so you could guess what they were. The first was "Diverse Range of Interesting Dudes," and also the phrase "plastic pal" and "diodes down [your] left side]" were references to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - specifically the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and their most popular product, Marvin the Paranoid Android. Also, we included a silhouette of R2-D2, because why not. I hear some people loved the teaser campaign, and some didn't exactly dig it. I'm not sure if there will be more like that, but for the time being it's the only 3 3/4-inch exclusive that we have in the works and made the most sense given the various parameters of what we could do, when we could do it, and what goals needed to be hit to make an item happen. I hope you love it, because I love to see more droids in the world.

Other stuff. Hasbro announced that Entertainment Earth would be receiving an exclusive Liokaiser set from Combiner Wars, the popular (and still beloved) Transformers Generations line. Jessica Jones will be joining Marvel Legends. --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.



The teaser campaign was the most fun I've had reading a Star Wars site in a long time. Regardless if you like the new droid pack or not, it is new characters, it is something Adam was able to get for us, and it is all we 3 3/4" fans have to cling to.