Q&A: Star Wars Sizes, Exclusives, and Assortments

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, October 11, 2020

1. Do you anticipate Hasbro to continue with Mandalorian figures? There are so many great characters to still make. Hoping for a couple of waves of 3.75 vintage style.

There will be more Mandalorian figures in the 3 3/4-inch size - but we don't know how obscure they'll go, or for how long, or in what style. Customizers have been going to town in the retro format, for sure.

Hasbro (and/or Lucas and/or Disney) can't settle on a definitive format, so collectors have some big guys, some small guys, and some stylized guys - there's no "get this format to collect them all." (I think it should be 3 3/4-inch, if for no reason other than the Razor Crest exists. Otherwise I'd say go for 6-inch.)

If you want something specific, make a fuss. Post on boards. Start a petition. Do a TikTok or whatever the kids are doing these days. It took almost a year for them just to announce a The Child 3 3/4-inch scale figure - and that's easy money. With no weird aliens or lesser bounty hunters, fans are going to need to step up and actually ask for what they want - especially since (as far as I know) the show is a closely-guarded secret, even from many of the licensors.



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2. I have missed out on all of the Star Wars Target exclusives like the Lego Bespin Duel and Xmas Range Trooper. Seems like I always hear about them after the fact. Where/How do I find out about them early??

Hasbro announced their Holiday Range Trooper during their PulseCon streams and the toy sold out somewhat quickly - for pre-orders. This is hype. The same thing happened with the Galaxy's Edge stuff, which went back up a few times, and showed up in stores more than once. We're being played like a fiddle - fans scoffed at the trooper, and then the "I can't have it? But I want it!" sets in with some of us. (Me, I still don't want it.) Sadly a lot of products are being announced on social media or streams - so if a site doesn't post every last tidbit of news because the news writers or owners are exhausted, that can make stuff tougher to get.

Some of them aren't even announced at all - the reissue of the HasCon The Black Series Captain Rex was a total surprise, and the Cad Bane going on sale was just a rumor as far as I could tell. How can fans know? You can't. A few toy companies (not Hasbro, at least, not to my ears) have said that they've been trying to replicate the "thrill of the hunt" online - the "go chase a thing down," they feel, is important. Me, I hate it - if I can't get a figure I want, I may quit collecting a line. (Jurassic World, I'm looking at you.) Now knowing stuff could drop anywhere, at any time, it's a deeply unpleasant time to be a fan - but it's also worth noting that some items do dip in price/interest over time and sometimes a patient fan can have a very brief window in which a scarce item can be bought for a not-totally-unfair secondary market price. I'm not going to pay $100 extra for a special hat.

More units are expected later for the Holiday Range Trooper. I have no idea what's going on with LEGO these days, I have to say - it stopped being fun to collect with all the weird ultra-low-run premium exclusives for the press or events that require winning a contest for a chance to buy. I give them nothing but kudos on their success, but it definitely passed the stress threshold for me a few years ago, and when you add in redundancy - of which there was already much in Hasbro - maybe it's not for everybody.

I really think non-completists are happiest, mostly because once you can go from "I have to buy this" to "I'd like to get this" you're less likely to want to scream into the void. Me, I'm a void-screamer.




3. When stores like Walmart and Target get 3.75" exclusives, are they straight cases or mixed with other different figures?

It varies. For example, Walmart once had a wave of The Saga Collection figures with a special Aurra Sing and Mace Windu's astromech droid and a few others which were in assortments mixed in with regular basic figures. (I don't have the wave breakdown, unfortunately.) Usually they get solid cases of the exclusive all by itself - but sometimes they get mixed in with "shippers" and PDQ displays with other products. It is less common that these stores get assortments mixed with regular product and their exclusives - but Walgreens sometimes get those per their request.



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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.

Well, it had to happen. I missed that Hasbro Pulse launched its exclusive Mandalorian Armorer variant - I guess I have to set up the eBay alert. It was not clear when it was going live, so here we go. I look forward to whenever someone decides to sell it at a price that doesn't make my head explode.

It looks like Walmart's various Hasbro Star Wars, Transformers, and Marvel "Collector Con" items may be slow shipping - or may have not shipped - yet. Mine certainly didn't. If yours did, feel free to share with the rest of the class.

New York Comic Con should have just ended tonight. Did you miss it?

Walgreens' exclusive Transformers Earthrise Bluestreak is starting to appear, despite having not been announced. Such is life?

The Toy Association - the crew that does New York Toy Fair (and other shows like Dallas that you don't pay attention to) said this week they're planning on NYTF2021 to be May 1 through May 4 - rather than the usual nebulous "over Valentine's Day Weekend." I'm not expecting to go - the industry has been holding back from doing events lately, moving things online, and generally staying home. I would anticipate Hasbro to do something for fans/fan press either in February (as normal) or May, but I don't anticipate the industry going to New York for an industry event until whatever vaccine/new normal has time to settle for a few months.

I'm really going to miss plodding around New York before the sun comes up in sub-freezing weather, but it's also nice to have seen technology move where the likes of Super7 and Mattel could just as easily stream new announcements via social media or live video from their homes or offices. What does this mean for you? Probably not much - maybe more spread-out announcements and reporters will only be exhausted by the months of being at home, rather than jet lag. Hasbro's Nintendo Direct-esque broadcasts have rotten scheduling, but are generally entertaining and the kind of thing that you, the collectors, should see.

Javits Center has a lot of things scheduled that will likely be canceled, or is my guess, just because I am such an optimist. World Floral Expo. New York Produce Show and Conference. Light Fair International. A friend of mine was saying she heard Toy Fair will share the Javits Center with a second event - that's not how it usually goes - and I'm not sure what it is. The bottom floor will supposedly be occupied by something else, which is notable in that is the location of the action figure aisles. Presumably if accurate, they're not expecting a full hall, but right now it's kind of hard to know what to expect.

--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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