Q&A: Star Wars Troop Packs and Starships

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, May 22, 2022

1. Hasbro has seemingly done good business with its 4 packs of troop builders (stormtroopers, deathtroopers, shore troopers, and rebel fleet troopers). My thinking is that the recent Walmart exclusive Arc Troopers would be perfect (one red and three blue). My question is how long is a figure an exclusive before it can become a release in a different category (ironically, still an exclusive of a kind), and if you were a betting man, do you think this 4 pack will ever see the light of day?


Hasbro has taken secondary market prices into account for a lot of its reruns - obscene prices of Ahsoka and Obi-Wan and other figures greased those wheels. Right now I see blue ARC Troopers for $25 shipped and red ones for $21 shipped. While some fans may disagree with me, I wouldn't rerun figures selling that cheaply - these were $14 at Walmart. With tax, that's around $15.20, plus shipping would be $4-$6 per figure... that's around $21. So given there's demand, you could release more, but since you can effectively buy them at cost? If I were Hasbro I wouldn't reissue these guys. If a figure is selling for SRP on the secondary market, demand has been met, and they should probably move on. If I was offered this set as an exclusive right now, given current market prices, I wouldn't feel good about taking it.

The time window stuff varies wildly from situation to situation - having been involved in seeing items go from "exclusive" to "someone else's exclusive" or "shared," it can be as little as a couple of months or as long as a couple of years. I wouldn't doubt there will be a day in a few months or a year where the secondary market prices jump and demand does too, but right now? A fan who wants them can get them, even if it's at a small premium over Walmart's retail price. Making Hasbro's minimum order to run more of them would probably not be a prudent move given that their production line has been throttled a bit thanks to COVID-19, as factory output and shipping issues would probably behoove Hasbro to make more new stuff that hasn't come out yet first.



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2. I have been collecting the Hot Wheels ships along with the Titanium ships before them. I am trying to figure out what is happening with the Hot Wheels ships in 2022. Area Targets have clearanced them out and Walmart hasn’t carried them for a while. Are there 2022 case assortments? If so, are there any new ships coming in 2022? Are the Select 1:50 scale ships replacing the current scale?


"Never say never" I hear a lot - as of now I am unaware of more Starships (classic) assortment, but that doesn't mean more aren't ever coming. They could be someone's exclusive, they could just not be up for pre-order yet, and there could be other situations I'm not considering. I wouldn't be surprised if Mattel tries to shift fans over to yet another new scale... I hate that sort of thing. But there is indeed another new scale hitting stores right now.

I don't really know exactly what's going on with vehicles. We saw Jazwares develop its own Micro Galaxy Squadron line too, and I wouldn't be shocked to hear other companies like Eaglemoss are also pushing to get in on the action.

Classic 3-inch $6-ish Starships could be done - being able to keep current price points in the toy business is nearly impossible, so Mattel may have just looked at the ledger and said "we have to charge them at least $10, so we're going to make them bigger now." Even as scales get phased out, sometimes they come back because someone, somewhere has a reason to need a special product for a special channel.





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Be sure you send in your questions for next time. The mailbag is out of on-topic questions and I've got an open slot, so if you got some, send some in.

Happy Orthodox Star Wars Day week! Star Wars opened a whopping 45 years ago, olds, which is why I'm grateful we're still getting stuff. Not every movie lives on forever, or does so well. Wizard of Oz hasn't had a particularly great long tail, and that new Rescue Rangers movie dragged a bit. (Good cameos and set design, though.) Star Wars and Star Trek seem to be up and down, and I should probably go on a quick tangent to ay that while hardcore fans will furrow an eyebrow at Strange New Worlds' continuity in spots, it's still a fine piece of not-television so far. We're also mere days away from the premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the opening of Star Wars Celebration, and hopefully a good time will be had by all.

As the 2010s went on, a lot of the Disney-driven entertainment seemed to serve as a marketing for the next thing in the series. The relative quality of a Marvel movie is irrelevant, because the twist ending of nearly every film is a stealth announcement for an upcoming movie and that dominates the news. Shows like The Mandalorian (mostly) and Strange New Worlds seem to mostly do a good job of letting you sit and watch an episode and, mostly, but not always, be able to enjoy what you just saw without having to immediately pivot to "but this other completely unrelated thing coming out in a year, that's the real prize." The recent Star Wars movies had a bit of that - the sequels were written into a corner that discouraged putting too much thought into the in-between spaces, and the side stories tiptoed right up to the stories we basically already know. I'm hopeful new, unique, self-contained-ish weekly adventures will be more of a core focus so I can delude myself into thinking I'm getting more stories and not 13 hours of rolling out shared trauma (looking at you, Star Trek Discovery.)

I have no doubt there's new stuff I've missed out on, and there's a lot to look forward to in the coming months (like new What We Do in the Shadows), so hopefully it's going to be a good summer with some surprises and goodness knows if they'll finally dump news of another Star Wars movie, and at this point, I'd almost rather they leave it on TV. In addition to the Kenobi show, Stranger Things will be hitting this weekend - so enjoy staying indoors.

--Adam Pawlus

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