Q&A: Star Wars Vehicles and More HasLab Fun

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, July 12, 2020

This week in Q&A - It's all about Hasbro's vehicles! Storage! I believe in warning labels. Also this old AT-AT and that new big AT-AT that doesn't actually exist. And did you see the new HasLab item? (It's not Star Wars and it got funded in about a day.)

Be sure you send in your questions for next time. Read on!

1. I have a Haslab Sail Barge still in its shipping box that I'm just going to store for now. Have you heard of any issues from standing it up on its end over time? On one hand, it'll fit where I want it to be. On the other hand, gravity. The unboxing videos I've seen appear that it's pretty secure. Any thoughts? Maybe advice from your employer's warehouse?

I've been (slowly) selling off my "trading stash" to get some room back - but one warning I always respect is "this end up." I don't assume having it on its side for a day or three will hurt it, because more than a few people (myself included) were delivered this item standing on its side. We don't know what might break or fall off over time, so I would nudge you to store it the way it asks you to store it, maybe behind a couch, or in a closet under some shirts, or with a blanket over it so you can pretend it's a table.



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2. One would think that, since 2020 is Empire's 40th Anniversary, Hasbro would re-release the big 2010 Legacy AT-AT (given the 2008 Big Millennium Falcon is coming out), and include 2 Retro carded Drivers and a Commander.

They could, sure. The rumored (it hasn't been confirmed by Hasbro yet and things can change given the world's markets) Falcon reissue/retool/whatever it is. If Hasbro is indeed planning on putting out the Falcon this year, also putting out the AT-AT - which would probably be north of $300-$400 after 10 years of inflation - might be overkill. "How much stuff can a collector take?" is a question I've certainly brought up and it seems we've seen a gradual shift in what people buy - completism is dead, souvenirism is increasingly in - and there's a lot of high-end products already this year. FX Lightsaber fans may need to spend a mortgage check on those things.

So far this year we've had the $50 Freeze Chamber playset announced and the $80 Imperial Troop Transport - and who knows what else. I wouldn't be shocked if the AT-AT molds were mothballed after the performance of the $300 AT-ACT, either.



3. Now that we have a Black Series Snowspeeder, is it feasible for Hasbro to do an AT-AT in that scale, possibly be a HasLab project? It seems like the innards would be mostly empty space, and the size would be due to the long legs. It would ship in a smaller box as we'd have to assemble the legs and maybe head. We already have a Black Series TIE, so Hasbro could use the AT-AT to stoke desire for other Black Series-scaled vehicles.

The cost estimates from conversations regarding the X-Wing seemed prohibitive, so an AT-AT just seems downright bonkers.

In 2015, Hasbro took the TIE Fighter and made a $169 The Black Series one. It had no play features other than a removable chair, and was $170. The 3 3/4-inch equivalent was $40 and had a few features like a firing rocket (negligible costs) and pop-off wings (ditto). So this ship shot up to about 4x the cost, not counting inflation over the last half decade.

The Black Series Snowspeeder was $120 with a figure - the 3 3/4-inch equivalent was last around $20 in 2010 (before some massive inflation in China manufacturing started.)

The last time we got a new AT-AT I believe it was around $130 in 2010. I assume that means we're looking at about a 6x increase if they were to make a bigger one - and the scale would have to be fudged. A 6-inch AT-AT would probably be at least $900-$1000 if it had any sort of compatibility with figures, and considering the Sail Barge was smaller and $500, it'd probably be more than that. But is it possible? Sure! G.I. Joe fans have been begging for a U.S.S. Flagg reissue for years, and the 7-foot aircraft carrier has been tossed around as a "wouldn't this be cool?" kind of a HasLab project - if there are/were serious discussions, I do not know.

If a manufacturer decided to make a giant AT-AT toy without any moving/opening parts figure compatibility, maybe it could be done much more cheaply - remember Hasbro's $40ish 21-inch X-Wing, with no moving parts or space for figures? I'm sure it could be like Jakks Pacific's 31-inch figures - no articulation, limited deco, and just a fixture/prop. But would that be fun or something people would want to actually buy for $100-$200? I doubt it.

I also don't know if the current climate of our world would be conducive to such a thing. Hasbro's US factories that produced board games switched to PPE for a few weeks, and that brought them great press. "Hasbro to produce $1000 AT-AT the size of your couch/car" might be something best left until after the recovery, and that's probably going to be a while, and we're probably not going to still want it then. If Hasbro is dragging their feet reissuing the now pricey Speeder Bike, I don't think they're going to give you an AT-AT.



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The San Diego Comic-Con schedule is up and it's a snooze. No Hasbro, not much Star Wars of merit... but there's a lot in other franchises that looks interesting. Since the convention required the panels be prerecorded about a month before they go live on YouTube, I was unable to participate because I don't know if you've ever worked with toy companies but approvals can change on a dime. Heck, one of the companies I was talking with and worked with for last year's panel may not be around by the time the panel starts. Hopefully we can participate for NYCC or maybe next year's SDCC! (I am tempted to bet money that neither will happen.)

HasLab continues! Hasbro's seemingly fastest funded project to date, hitting the goal in about 30 hours - and it's a bit expensive. The 26-inch X-Men Sentinel action figure is $349.99, which may be the largest super-articulated action figure ever. It's also significantly higher priced than Hasbro's 3 3/4-inch scale Sentinel (I got mine at a Ross for maybe $20, I think it was $60 originally) or Hasbro's similarly sized 24-inch Transformers, which are about $160 and arguably simpler with a lower piece count. But it probably depends on the toy. Marvel fans don't get a lot of genuinely big Hasbro stuff, so I'm glad that they got something that the numbers prove they really, really wanted.

I know some Star Wars fans immediately get annoyed whenever Hasbro's HasLab launches anything that's not Star Wars, but a) that's life, and b) look at the numbers here - nearly 6,000 sold in a day is a heck of a lot better than the Sail Barge or Unicron (or Cookie Monster) did. Of course having a cheaper item - and an army builder, at that - probably helps a lot. It's also unlikely that there will ever be a Star Wars equivalent, as the giants in our toy universe tend to be much less famous. Nobody but me is clamoring for a Gorax or a Sando Aqua Monster, but seeing this I can't imagine that at some point they won't try a 6-inch scale Rancor for a couple hundred bucks.

Unlike Transformers or Star Wars, there haven't been a ton of requests for really big things in Marvel. It's nice to see they got something, but it also goes to show that there are lots of ways to pull these things off. Me, I'd have preferred the Jakks Pacific $30 31-inch action figures - simple, less posable, less feature-packed, and 90% cheaper. This is why you don't put me in charge of your line - or maybe why you do. I don't know what it is you want. (And since it's summer, my Marvel Legends and Black Series figures start to sag a bit with the heat softening the joints. I can't imagine the Sentinel will stand forever without assistance.)

It wouldn't surprise me if there was an uptick on higher-end products, mostly because that kind of fan probably can keep buying these things for a while, and you get more money per fan than you would of someone hunting (and not finding) a $20 action figure. It would not surprise me if Galactus might be on deck, but as to what the next Star Wars item may be, or when, I haven't a clue. Given all the code names for items lately - including many for 40-year-old-movies - it could sneak in sooner than we think.

--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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