Q&A: Star Wars Weathering and Mandalorian Mania Continues

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 15, 2019

1. Adam, do you think Hasbro would ever try to literally sell off their own stock of yellowed stormtroopers as remnant stormtroopers, and say that the yellowed torsos were a deliberate design?

No, and let me tell you why - the term "repack" is something of a misnomer. Reissue would be more precise - Hasbro stamps in manufacturing dates on their figures, which tend to match that of the packaging, indicating the figure is new (or recent) production. To take existing figures, remove them from the packaging, and make new packaging is costly. Hasbro has been known to donate or destroy old and damaged product, but repackaging is something that we haven't seen happen in recent history. Hasbro doesn't want to take yellowed stock back, it's too costly to send overseas to repack (or to do here), and damaged product? Wildly unlikely.

Hasbro also has no old stock of Stormtroopers last I checked - as a retailer, we do check in to see if any old figures are available so we can sell them. Hasbro does tend to sell things through completely, be it to retailers or discount houses like a Ross or a Five Below. This is certainly a creative idea, but an impossibility in the current (and historical) marketplace.



Ad: New San Diego Comic-Con Reveals at Entertainment Earth!
Star Wars The Black Series The Mandalorian Action Figure Star Wars Rey Artist Series Descendant of Light ARTFX Statue Sesame Street Ah! Ah! Ah! With The Count Enamel Pin Jurassic Park Tyranossauros Rex Mini Co. Vinyl Figure Batman Supreme Knight Batman Blue One:12 Figure - PXFortnite Peely Pop! Vinyl Figure Star Wars Legends in 3D Mandalorian 1:2 Scale Bust Godzilla 2000 Defo Real Soft Vinyl Statue Batman Harley Quinn Rogues Gallery Multi-Part Statue Star Wars No Love for the Empire Christian Waggoner Paper Rock Iconz On Tour Pink Floyd Pig Statue


2. So I'm 3 episodes into The Mandalorian, and he just got an armor upgrade. (He's looking more and more like Jango IMO). When will we see the toys follow suit? Right now all of the figures/statues/etc are based on 25% of his appearance. Or is this a play to sell us every variation? Any ideas if/when we'll see more of the clan being made, esp that Heavy Mando with the Gatling gun?

It depends on who's doing the driving - if Disney pushes hard for more Mandalorians, you'll get them. I have little doubt Hasbro wants to do a ton of them - it's mostly a matter of if and when Lucasfilm/Disney Consumer Products decide to share assets with the rest of the class. I have no doubt someone in Hasbro is foaming at the mouth over the prospect of Batman-like armor changes with "wonderful toys.". This would have been a spectacular 1980s/1990s toy property with costume changes, creatures, and a million TMNT/Power Ranger-esque clones of the hero. And a lovable sidekick. It's really a gift-wrapped present to toy licensees, just maybe at the wrong time.

I would bet on seeing more of the clan over the next year(s) because either Hasbro will make them or annoying and excitable toy buyers will undoubtedly demand them in every size possible. If they're smart they'll do every variation of The Mandalorian's title character that they can - right now, we've got "Debut", "Beskar Pauldron," "Mudhorn Damage," and "Beskar Upgrade." Having only seen 4 episodes myself as I write this, it would not stun me to see additional upgrades - or downgrades - as the series continues. I can't believe you'd give your hero his Final Form Upgrade in the first half of the series without taking it away later. I've played too many video games to not know the kind of crap they pull on Alucard in Symphony of the Night would probably be a consideration for any TV show like this. If he leaves the season with all of his Beskar I'd be shocked.

Right now, fans are buying a lot of these figures. Tons. I can only speak of what I see - unprecedented demand in all sizes across the various lines. I'm hoping absolutely everybody considers a full-blown line based on the show in 2020 or 2021, or at least, a robust offering. Confidential to the House of Mouse: If you want us to show up on a Force Friday, maybe bait the hook with tons of figures you know that they know they want and haven't already bought for a change. Don't make me guess which figure is the one I'll care about later - sell me something I already know I want today instead.

And maybe sell a Disney+ package - at full price - with a Baby Yoda figure as a sign-up bonus... also at full price. Again - this is easy money you're losing here.





We're days away from The Rise of Skywalker, a movie coming out when we're all fat and happy on other forms of Star Wars. Right now the suits could wait a year or two for a new feature, and as long as The Mandalorian stays decent we'd be pretty stoked. George Lucas was really good at "always leave them wanting more" with the first six theatrical global releases, by making us wait a soul-crushing three years between movies it felt like an eternity for the next chapter. After having weekly TV shows on the regular since 2008 and a feature-length movie every year since 2015, I can't say I feel like I need more Star Wars.

I bought every comic book since 1991 until a couple of years into The Clone Wars on TV - it scratched the itch, did it well, and did it more often. I'm still not done enjoying the previous movies yet - I could probably rewatch the last four several times before being over it, and the toys haven't been varied enough to feel weird or new in a meaningful way. But here we are, a couple of days away from going to see the "end" of the saga. We've had the end before - in 1983, it seemed over forever. In the 1990s and 2000s, George Lucas said it would be six movies and out. Of course, in the 1970s he and Gary Kurtz mentioned it would be twelve movies. And in the 1980s, there were quotes of nine movies. It would not surprise me if the influence of Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, and Poe somehow gave us episodes X, XI, and XII 10-20 years from now.

I'm not entirely ready to let these characters go yet, mostly because I think Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Poe were underserved by the franchise as a whole. During the prequels, our Jedi heroes got dozens of comics and books devoted to them, their origins, and their side-stories between movies. The 2002-2005 Clone Wars stories were pretty great, and kept us on the hook while admittedly less thrilling happened between the first two prequels. This time around it feels like the characters were kept in stasis the whole time, and our imaginations were not properly poked with a cliffhanger or some interesting story thread we're all dying to see. It sounds like there will be a lot of cool stuff for older fans and current fans in the next movie, but it's not like we're chasing a lot of Big Questions or a specific character in peril.

Will it be good? Probably. The about-face on The Last Jedi from the talent has been a surprise, but I can't help but wonder if denying fans the "happily ever after" we got in 1983 was the big problem here. The Mandalorian did wonders to answer absolutely nothing, other than giving us peeks at awesome stuff and fun adventures. That's kind of perfect. I'm interested to see if the obvious happens (Kylo Ren dies/is redeemed, Rey lives happily ever after, everybody else... who knows) or if they do something bonkers like keep Kylo Ren active and out there while throwing out seeds for what has to be the inevitable sequel series.

The only thing I know for sure is that I'm thrilled to see Star Wars as annual movies with overblown toy launch "events" take a nap for a few years. I'd be excited to see something pop up for the streaming shows, though - I'm enjoying the Boba/Mogway adventure show, I'm really excited to see if Obi-Wan Kenobi is a big barrel of Cantina/Mos Eisley/Desert/Jabba's Palace fan service, and... honestly I have no real expectations for the Cassian Andor show. I'm always hopeful that a "less is more" approach is taken to the fiction on the big and small screens, while reasons for a "more is more" approach continues with the toys.

Anyway, see you at the theaters this week. Due to the lead time for Q&A I probably won't talk about the movie until January, but I'd still advise you see it early.

--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.



I'm on Instagram! All Pictures from a GameBoy Camera.