Q&A: TIE Fighters, Kitster, Selling Your Collection, and Vintage Vintage Vintage

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, June 10, 2012

Someone is quitting and considering selling their collection again. World's tiniest violin. What's the deal with the new Vintage paint variants? Well, we have some information. And what about those Star Tours Droid Factory Figures? Sucks to be us now, doesn't it? And TIE Fighter fun can be yours. Read on!

1. I had a chance to look thru six cases of wave 4 vintage at a local walmart looking for these variants cause they are all I need to be complete until August. All six cases had the brown bandana kithaba and non pink scar evazon. I already have these versions from a wave 4.1 case I ordered in April from ee.com. My other question is have you ever seen these variants red bandana, pink scar. And what should I do. Buy online or wait and hope more cases show up with these in them. I am leaning towards buying evazon loose on ebay. But not sure what to do on kithaba. Also, I am a loose fig collector on star wars toys.

If you're buying multiple cases, I'm assuming money isn't an issue for you-- in which case, I don't understand why you wouldn't just buy on eBay.

Right now it seems to be a case of "your mileage may vary," as the cases I purchased had unpainted scars and brown bandannas, which would make me assume they were early releases. According to SWCollector.com, brown Kithaba was made about 2 months before red, and Dr. Evazan's scar was made 90 days before the scar-free version. So what does that mean to you?

For starters, buy that scarred Evazan on the secondary market. If it truly was the first release, more are probably not coming-- there's a chance more will show up, but I ask you: are you personally lucky? I'm not, so I'd say buying cases to get variants might be overkill in this situation when it might be prudent to either wait out the market (variations, over time, generally dip) but it seems unlikely you would expect more of him. Red bandanna Kithaba may be based on how many more cases ship, or if Kithaba reships later. There should be more of him coming, but there's absolutely a question of "when." Since this case seemingly hasn't been shipped too widely (like some other waves) it's tough to tell if we've seen all we're going to see or not, so it really isn't easy to know what's going to happen unless Hasbro announces some new waves (and we can guess which version will be shipped) or how many of the two wave 4 cases will show up in the future.

I've received both scar Evazans, and only brown Kithaba so far. I'd like to get a red Kithaba eventually, but eh, haven't seen one yet. After seeing how expensive figures like Wedge and Malgus got over the last year, I'll wait-- Wedge eventually got cheaper. (For the record, both my Wave 4 and Wave 4 Revision 1 had brown Kithabas. And I cracked open Evazan before noting there even WAS a variant, so I dunno there.)


2. I'm an astromech completest collector and I'm starting to freak out over the Disney Droid Factory astromechs. I already have 6 and have a list ready for all my family, friends and co-workers heading down to WDW this summer. My question is, should I be in panic mode or should I be more patient and hope they'll be more widely available in the future? The current prices on eBay are outrageous!

I'm currently waiting, if that makes you feel any better. I haven't got any of them yet, and I need to do a better job of watching eBay.

We don't know what the future holds for this line, like how many of each part were made, how long they'll be in circulation, how many got bought, all that. So as of right this second I personally have no reason to panic, and, like you, I buy a lot of astromech droids.

As far as pricing goes, I would consider doing the math before freaking out at eBay. For most of us, a trip to Disney is pretty expensive. A ticket to get in is just under $100, then there's a flight or gas, plus hotels, possibly parking, and other expenses. Some of the "lots" on eBay I see average $23 or so per figure, which (when you break it down) isn't necessarily terrible. $60 or so per figure, OK, that's obscene. I'm going to have to buy them from someone online, be it eBay or if a fellow collector gets a ton of extras to sell, but at this point I'm pretty resigned to having to pay more. Mostly because if I actually got to Florida, I don't know how much time I could spend buying action figures instead of enjoying the theme park.

So yeah, there's your answer. Sit tight. Wait out the market, and given the recent news of the park selling out of numerous parts-- which we'll see if the employee was telling the truth-- should signal that this is a popular program and they're losing lots of money by not rolling it out on a grander scale, like at other parks and perhaps a boxed set. Clearly people want to spend hundreds of dollars on droid parts, so don't miss out on that sale, Disney!


3. My question is what do you think the most practical way to unload my collection [of Star Wars figures from 1995 to about now] would be? I know I'd be lucky to get a third of what I paid for everything back, especially since I was an opener. But between all the space it takes up and the fact I'm OCD enough to be bothered by having an incomplete collection after quitting I'm debating just getting rid of everything.

Can I get a dollar every time someone tells me they're quitting? Please?

This is what I'd suggest doing:

1. Inventory everything. Don't be one of those jerks who says "Large collection of 1900 figures, $14,000 or best offer." Show some respect for your potential customer.

2. Lower your expectations and check eBay prices on what you're selling. Loose figures are pretty worthless. Figures from 1995-2005 are pretty worthless. If you can get $2-$3 per figure from one buyer who buys your entire collection at once, take it-- especially if you sold off the "good" figures first.

3. Consider selling your collection to an online dealer like Brian's Toys. Post "For Sale, No Reasonable Offer Refused" on forums, let people tell you what they want and what they'll pay for it. Post those same ads to Craigslist, as there are people who will buy collections (provided the price is right) through that service and in many cases, they'll actually come and pick it up.

4. Lastly, try cherry-picking the good stuff and sell it on eBay and donate the rest to charity. A tax write-off could be the path of least resistance and you might actually get something out of it, assuming Goodwill or what have you agrees with your assessment of the value of these toys. While you may snort at that, are you really going to get $1.65 for those 1990s figures? eBay seems to think no.


4. Now that Tarkin , both versions of DarthVader from ANH and ROTJ and Ben Quadinaros have been released on a vintage card when is Hasbro going to release Kitster on a Vintage Collection Card. I've been asking for Kitster on a Vintage Card for a long time. Do you know when Hasbro will make a figure of Kitster for the vintage line? We want Kitster on a vintage card.

Right after Wald ships. I'm certain of it. (Which is to say, when the 3D versions get their special editions in 2037 for the Star Wars Diamond Jubilee. Don't die before then.)

Given the rumors of vintage cards as of late it's entirely possible Hasbro might not get to all of the characters in this format. We're about a month out from Comic-Con (and two months out from Celebration) and Hasbro will probably spill the beans on what will (or won't) be coming next year.


5. I get confused by all the TIE Fighter releases. I just want one with the new cockpit, and large wings, that isn't blue or from the EU. Does this exist?

Not really. You can cobble one together, or you can get the Target Shadows of the Empire release (red window) but other than that, no. Arguably the best mold is that Legacy Collection TIE Fighter in the red box, which is essentially an off-white TIE Fighter with the "ejector seat" and the big wings. Considering the healthy amount of debate regarding what color the toy TIE Fighters should be, and in your case that's "not blue," you're kind of out of luck. For some reason Hasbro kept using the old canopy on some large wing TIE Fighters after the development of the new one, so I would put that 2009 Target TIE as your best bet so far. I know you don't want "EU" but it does lack the Rebel symbol from the Diamond exclusive Ecliptic Evader release, plus it sometimes shows up quite cheaply.



No spoilers or discussions of metaphor/theme/and so on: I'm pretty sure Prometheus exists for no reason other than to get fans of the original Alien to jump up and down on the streets of San Diego come July like an insane street preacher. Based on the amount of data surrounding the movie which comes from interviews and not the film itself, it seems the point of the film is to get people to argue about it. Ridley Scott's no fool, I can't help but say that this movie was designed specifically to engineer months if not years of conversation which will give the movie a life which cultivate a very distinctive crop of fans. Scott has a good sense of business in cinema, and it seems like he poured it all into this film. (Oh, and if you've never bothered to see Alien, do yourself a favor and rent/buy it now that it's $10 or so everywhere.)

So Star Wars 1313 got shown in a big way this week and the rumors are flying. I think I'm well passed the age where most video game announcements can get me excited, particularly after being let down a lot. That, and the game itself seems to be another interactive movie thing which we've seen a lot since Metal Gear Solid in 1998 and I can't necessarily say fancy graphics or the Star Wars license will make it exciting. The rumors of an "M" rating are confusing to me, and the hype of any piece of Star Wars software is basically lost on me just because it always seems like there's a faction who hates the thing without ever playing it, and another faction who will always, always insist it's the best thing ever because they experienced the whole thing top to bottom first-hand. Gamers and comic book readers (heck, and the novel fans) seem to be pretty similar in this manner, it seems there's definitely a deep personal connection that fans get with these other media that goes beyond how most fans feel about the films. (Look at KOTOR players and the fans of the original G.I. Joe comic book. This is a different breed of hardcore fan that takes this stuff quite seriously, not unlike how we take our toys pretty seriously.)

I hope it turns out to be good, although I'm a little disappointed the bizarre ending to the second The Force Unleashed game may be left as a cliffhanger. Since it was released a few years ago and we're well beyond the statute for spoilers, here goes: Darth Vader, at the end of the game, was beaten and for the canon "good" ending, captured by the rebel group. I don't know if this was meant to be a tip to the whole "you can catch the Devil, but you can't hold him long" thing, but it would make sense.I do know that there's a story out there where Starkiller got the drop on Darth Vader and has him chained up in a ship, and at some point he got away. There's a story there, and while you'll very rarely hear me say this, I would say it's one that begs to be told. The obvious answer is "It's Darth Vader, he waited a few minutes and Force-killed everybody and went home in time for dinner" but maybe there's supposed to be something else to it. Or it just got swept under the rug for The Old Republic and 1313 because, like the Devil, it seems peculiar to assume Darth Vader could be held for long.

The future of Star Wars in traditional media-- specifically, TV and movies-- remains up in the air with rumors of another animated movie on the horizon being joined by the question of just how much steam there is left in The Clone Wars and the specter of Seth Green's long-gestating TV project and, of course, the other live-action show. It seems to me that Hasbro is basically taking a big step away from The Clone Wars and if you guys are any indication, you're basically done with it. I guess the big question is, what's next? With big franchise installments like The Old Republic, some fans are more engaged in Star Wars than ever while those of us who don't have the time/interest/patience/desire/MMO-philia ignore it entirely.

Since franchises can't really die or be rested, I'm guessing we'll still get a big-ticket game every 2-4 years and I'm genuinely curious if The Clone Wars has more than 24 episodes left in it. I hope so, particularly if we can have fewer 3 or 4-parters this season. Call me spoiled, but the whole epic story thing kinda wore on me. Give me 20 good minutes.

--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.

Regarding question #3: I just

Regarding question #3: I just sold off all my stuff pre-2010 and I did it through selling lots of 15-20 figures on eBay. This sounds like much more of a hassle going into it than it actually is. There were people that bought several lots at once which made shipping hundreds of toys much easier. Overall, I'd say I got about $3 a figure, but there were some surprises. Tales of the Jedi comic pack went for $125! I guess I could gripe about how much money I actually lost over the years, but I enjoyed having this stuff. It's someone else's turn now.