Q&A: Vehicles, Pod Racers, Quick Vehicle Fixes, and We Need Your Help Re: Protective Cases

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, June 17, 2012

So where is the Naboo Fighter? Well, this was written a few days ago, but I bet you know the answer! Want to know how do perform minor repairs on bent plastic on vehicles? I can help! All this and much more in this week's Q&A!

1. Any recommendations for resetting bent tips on vehicles? I'm looking at cannons and antennas from OT and Clone Wars Y-Wings, and some of the newer ones like the Tank Droid, so they range from hard plastic to the soft-rubber-like kind.

As always, my helpful tips could cause injury, so never do them and remember I'm not responsible for anyone breaking their toys. Having said that...

I've found boiling water is the best. Take the bent part, dip it in boiling water for a few seconds, lay it flat, and presto-- plastic memory tends to help. This isn't true of all parts and all kinds of plastic, I put a build-a-droid R3-M3 dome in hot water and the damn thing collapsed. However, various rockets, rails from Naboo playsets, and cannons all straightened out just fine. Oh, and figure blasters, those usually end up fine too.


2. Between the various store reports and ebay, distribution seems pretty erratic. What's supposed to be out there? Wasn't Wave 4 pushed back or something?

Wave 4 has indeed shipped-- as has Vintage Wave 5-- although I can only personally vouch for evidence that waves 3, 4, and 4 Revision 1 have hit some big box stores. Wave 5, as far as I know, is online only. Clone Wars through wave 3 is out now, so really all that's on deck are Clone Wars Wave 4, Vintage Wave 6, and Vehicles Wave 2. And the MTT. And Fighter Pods.


3. I was wondering if you, or any of your readers, could recommend where to find a protective case that properly fits the Wal-Mart Discover the Force figure line [which feature attached 3D glasses]. I see a number of options online for other figure lines that may fit these guys, but I was hoping maybe someone had come across the best fitting size case. I intend to keep the 3D glasses attached to the card, I know some have suggested cutting them off. Thanks in advance!

Short of finding figure cases for other lines which may coincidentally fit, I have no idea-- readers, this one's up to you! What do you suggest?


4. Do you know, either through information you get in your day job or anything you might have picked up through working in the hobby, when Hasbro is planning to release the Naboo Starfighter in the United States? My guess would be as soon as the pilots sell out at all the Wal Marts.

They started shipping overseas as early as a couple of months ago, and it appears they're shipping to US-based retailers this week-- mine just arrived on Saturday. But this might not do you any good-- the casepack is now 3 (instead of 4 for wave 1, which is odd) plus several retailers have already put this SKU out to pasture, meaning it might not be restocked. (From our perspective, it may not be stocked at all at some stores-- or there might be a geyser of them waiting to burst.) Keep your eyes open and if push comes to shove, and you order a case online from our sponsor or form our other sponsors or other valued sponsors still, 2 of the 3 vehicles are new enough to be interesting and the third is excellent if you don't already have one.

But here's the really interesting thing. I just got a case of these, and I was stunned to see it had the "Don't put on shelf before the week of January 30" markings on it, just like the other stuff that came out in January. This inspired me to check the date stamps, which indicated the wave 2 ships were manufactured/packaged around Decmber 29, 2011. I checked the wave 1 vehicles and they were mostly made in November 2011. So what does this mean? Hasbro sat on these for a few months. Many recent toys are about 2-3 months old before they first show up in US stores.


5. I'm missing DUD BOLT & MARS GUO who are included in that new 5 pack. What do you think of the versions in that pack? Would it be better for me to ebay the original releases for these 2, or get the new versions? From what I can tell, the paint in the 5 pack is similar, but not exactly the same.

What do you think of the chances are for a few more podracers? Ark 'Bumpy' Roose still does'nt have a figure. There might be a couple others too.

And while we're at it, which is the best Sebulba for my collection?

Being a fiend for accessories, I would suggest the Toys R Us set of Pod Racers. Not only is it potentially on sale, but it includes 5 unique flag accessories you can't get anywhere else, and I bought this set just for the flags. As you can see on Yakface.com's rundown the figures are fundamentally similar and personally, I wouldn't consider them different enough to be variations except for the flags. As these two figures are concerned, I say go with your wallet-- if you can get a 2006 TSC 2-pack of Mars Guo and Dud Bolt for $11 or less, it isn't a bad deal. If Toys R Us has the whole set down to $18ish again, though, I'd suggest just getting the set. You can always sell/trade away the Galactic Battle Game cards, stands, and spare figures for a couple of bucks if you would like.

There are indeed a few pod racers without figures, some of which never got quite finished for the film and are arguably Expanded Universe or Concept figures. These include Aldar Beedo, Ebe E. Endocott, Boles Roor, Kam Nale, Ark "Bumpy" Roose, Neva Kee, and Wan Sandage... which you could've totally looked up on Wookieepedia. I figure we'll get 1 racer per year tops from here on out, so we'll probably get a few if they're meeting Hasbro's sales goals, and I have to assume that they are.

There is no perfect Sebulba yet, but if you're looking to settle the one currently on markdown in Walmart's Mos Espa Podrace 5-pack is probably your best bet.



So! Video reviews. I'm curious if you people dig those or not. For those of you who don't know, I did a few new video reviews to supplement Figure of the Day this week for Starkiller, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Shae Vizla from the latest Vintage wave. Do you like them? I might keep doing this if you do, but only if you tell a friend if you know someone who might dig 'em. I'm working on the Naboo Fighter and Clone Pilot Odd Ball, plus the Nikto will be posted as part of Figure of the Day later today. Got requests? All I can do is say "no" or maybe "yes."


Figure of the Day has been running long with few new features, and I defy you to find someone who turned out that much in the way of figure reviews without going crazy. As such, videos are a way to mix things up a bit and try something a little different.


If you like them, let me/us know. If you really like them, tell a friend or post them to your favorite forums (if it makes sense.) So far I'd rank this wave with Shae Vizla being the arguably best figure (although not 100% authentic), followed by Stakiller, Nikto, Tarkin, and then Odd Ball. Nothing's wrong with Odd Ball, the new sculpt is excellent. It even has all of my desired points of articulation for a pilot. It's just, well, I've got a lot of clone pilots.


I had fun making these and have been doing some other experiments with the camera (these things have a lot of features given they're so cheap these days), and I'll probably do up a couple of vehicles this week if time permits. I guess now is the time to run out and get that Walmart Ric Olie figure if you haven't already done so!

--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.

Vids are cool!

I'd prefer to keep the text reviews, but the videos are nice to show off special figures and especially ships (can't wait for the Naboo Fighter one!).