Q&A: Star Wars Solo, Video Games, and Skiff Guards

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 20, 2019

1. Do you think the Solo wave 4 is gone for good? These are the only 5POA I actually want and I never saw them in store. Looks now that they are disappearing from online too with EE being sold out and the price spiking on EBay and Amazon. Do you think more will release or now that the post-Christmas reset is done they are gone for good? I'm not sure if they are the "last wave" of Solo or not - so wasn't sure if they would be affected by the last wave syndrome.

I will say - since I work at Entertainment Earth - that it's worth stating there's a difference between "out of stock" and "sold out," that being "out of stock" means there's still a good chance more are coming. This wave has been restocked several times and is quite popular. I wouldn't be super hopeful about American Walmart or Target stores carrying them again given the toy aisle resets going on now, and I don't know how much Hasbro is presently stocking in their warehouse. I am biased, but given the cost at online shops for single figures I'd advise getting a case or splitting it with a friend if you can't yet find it locally. It could show up at Ross, and it could not - we don't know until Hasbro decides to sell them at a deep discounter. We're probably nearing the end of the lifespan of Solo figures, what with Walmart dumping Force Link 2.0 readers for $4.00 in some locations, but I've found supposedly discontinued figures months or even years after the fact at some off-the-beaten-path stores.

Since they clearly exist - a change from Rogue One and The Last Jedi final waves - you're in a position where you can gamble. There might be a slight premium if you bet wrong, but at least these things did get made and can be bought at a price.



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2. Now they've started releasing legends figures in 6 inch (Revan for example ) do you think it's likely we'll get a starkiller eventually?

We haven't had a new Dash Rendar since 1996, so I wouldn't hold your breath. If Hasbro does another Fan Vote, Galen "Starkiller" Marek is one of those lost cause figures you might be able to rally around - I doubt Hasbro would do it on their own. Revan got made because Revan is obscenely popular, and I don't think Starkiller has yet to achieve that status despite his games being pretty fun.

The increasing amount of Star Wars is probably Starkiller's biggest problem. Similar characters pop up and as teams at Lucasfilm, Disney, and Hasbro change over there are eras they don't necessarily know well or remember - not every employee is a collector or a fan with in-depth knowledge of the lore due to having lived through it all. For some, it's just a job - and slogging through some of those older Star Wars games isn't necessarily on the to-do list for the hardest of hardcore fans either.

If you want a Starkiller, I'd advise starting your work now. Ask Hasbro. Make forum threads. When a Fan Vote happens, make sure you send emails to video game news sites about it - if you really want it, you're going to have to work for it, especially as Hasbro supports new movies, streaming series, classic figures, and current video game projects in that format.




3. Skiffguards are my thing and my ultimate Star Wars fantasy is Hasbro producing a full set - I can dream I know! But with the Sailbarge and Klaatu + rumors of a skiff and more guards on the way, it feels like we're in not too bad a place.
My most wanted figures are Taym Dream Garen and Fozec, and as Taym always comes out high in the polls and Fozec has supposedly been in the parking lot for years, I continue to hold on to a small hope of seeing them.
However, you've mentioned a few times now about likeness rights issues with human backgrounders and more specifically with relation to skiffguards and Fozec.
Are you at liberty to say anymore about this? We've had plenty of human backgrounders in the line previously, so has there been a specific incident which has bought this about?

I hear whispers on this one from people in the business who are not directly involved on the Hasbro Star Wars brand currently. It sounds like with the advent of Disney, they've adopted a more risk-averse attitude - don't release a specific minor First Order officer when there's a chance they may demand more compensation, if you can release a generic one that makes no such demands and will probably sell just as well. Simply, they don't want to bother with the little guys, despite the fact that the little guys are why so many of us stuck around this long. Would we be excited about Toryn Farr in 1982? No. But a few years ago, she was exciting and new - and the kind of thing we're not going to see a lot of under the current regimes.

It's always possible attitudes will change, teams will be shuffled, or people will just need something to sell, but I'm not banking on it being soon. Hasbro 3 3/4-inch figures are getting a lot less shelf space these days, and there's an increased emphasis on new movies and introducing kids to classic stuff in the hopes it will lead them to enjoy the new movies. The notion of dwelling in the past - like we did from 1984-1998, 2000-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2014, etc. isn't really something they seem to grasp or see as financially sound.

Nothing is impossible as someone, somewhere can always make an argument about a figure, or release something that's close enough. A Fauxzec with a different human in the armor may be something they could do if they wanted to, but now that there are more people making the call on what's OK and what isn't means you're probably going to see a lot less fan-friendly input and a lot more input from people who aren't necessarily fans. A lot of suits make decisions in their jobs with the phrase "I don't know what that is." That's not helpful for getting cool, weird stuff out there.

At this point, all you can really do is hope they already decided to do the figure you want, or make a fuss on forums, write letters, and demand it. And if it doesn't happen? Well, Kickstarter exists, and maybe someone, somewhere will fudge a "close enough" figure together.

Also, I need to remind everybody to take a big step back and look at Star Wars since Disney took over. Most of what we are getting are characters from new movies and remakes of the biggest stars from old movies - newly-tooled classic figures are exceedingly rare.


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Toy Fair is less than a month away, and I just got the new figures we were shown at Toy Fair 2018. That's right - Klaatu (Skiff Guard) and Saelt-Marae Yak Face are shipping! Now! You too can get the exquisite joy of ripping a Yak Face off a vintage cardback, along with confirmation of what you knew, even though you may have said otherwise. Hasbro makes good figures.

These two were a rare treat, and I hope it won't be years until the next classic alien figure gets made. For those keeping track, unless I'm forgetting someone, the last brand-new 3 3/4-inch classic trilogy alien sculpt was Mosep in 2015. I'm not saying I need one in every wave, but every year would certainly be welcome.

Thanks to the new movie production schedule, they've been chasing unfinished films and giving us figures based on what the Lucasfilm people think is important. We did get a few neat and weird figures as a result, but you'll really feel the loss of those off-year classic lines once you get Klaatu and Yakkers in hand. Bend-and-swivel wrists, plus hip joints that actually allow legs to swing forward to pilot a vehicle - perhaps a barge! - are things we've never had on classic alien figures before. These two figures give us a glimpse at a figure line we were denied by new movies and weird exclusive deals, plus having to slog our way through repacks of figures we already purchased.

I daresay it was all worth it.

Hasbro and Lucasfilm - I know you're reading - thank you for these. Please make more. This quality of figure is amazing, with tiny painted details like a shiny snout on Saelt-Marae and painted weathering on Klaatu's staff, I can't say I've ever been more pleased with the level of detail on the final product with alien figures of this size. Well, maybe Ephant Mon, that one was pretty awesome. I have a feeling the fanbase will be rabid for these if they can find them, so please, I'm beggin' ya, get some more classic figures out and please do consider rereleasing these next year if the market demands it. I'd love to see other figures redone in this style - particularly 92 of them, give or take a couple - thanks to how awesome these new sculpts look, and how well the articulation works.

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--Adam Pawlus

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