Q&A: Blu-Ray Edits, Star Destroyers, Heads, and Really Old Toys

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 23, 2011

So should you expect Hasbro to sell you a Giant Star Destroyer? Probably not. Should you expect the theatrical cuts of the films on Blu-Ray? Also probably not. And do Wooof and Giran share the same head? There's a pattern here-- read about all this and more in this week's Q&A! (Also, I found a case of figures from 2005 at a store-- read on for more!)

1. Will Hasbro EVER release a large-scale version of the iconic Imperial Star Destroyer? I realize it's size is a liability but I recently saw that Mattel had plans to mass-produce a 22-inch Galactica command ship during Battlestar's initial late-70's toy run and this revelation has led me to you to either fan the flames of anticipation or extinguish the futileness of this absurd dream.

Maybe. But not this year.

Hasbro does what they want. Today's "never, not a chance" is increasingly tomorrow's "maybe." In the past 5 years I've had the fortune of buying a jumbo Millennium Falcon, Marvel Comics' Lumiya, a Cloud Car, plus figures of Camie and Fixer. Based on answers from Hasbro-- some of which were quite recent-- many of these things conflicted with the direction it seems the line would go over the past few years... yet here they are.

Due to the nature of the Star Destroyer, it seems unlikely that we would get an original-trilogy specific plan of doing what I assume you want-- which is, I am guessing, a 2-foot Star Destroyer that opens up with a cross-section of the ship as a playset inside. Hasbro seems pretty specific about wanting to have their big vehicles reflect what's going on in the current entertainment-- which usually means Clone Wars-- but, again, we've got a giant AT-AT that came out in 2010 without any real significant media push. Empire Strikes Back did not get much of a birthday party outside the convention.

Just the other week, a rumor-- and I will say, I do consider it to be more or less that-- got out that Hasbro is considering a big Sandcrawler. While I have no doubt that there's a mock-up inside Hasbro HQ, I will say this: if Hasbro actually puts out a brand new Sandcrawler at or about $100, then anything really is possible.

2. I am customizing by vintage Y-Wing with a spiffy new paint job and have hit a bit of a snag in my accessorising plans. I want to use a modern sculpt astromech (actually the R-5e from the new endor pack was my dream pick) but the ones I have don't fit (the best luck I have had has been a one legged build-a-droid.) Have you heard anyone trying to fit the new bar-2-D2 into the slot? Hoist your blue milk high!

As luck would have it my vintage 1983 Y-Wing and vintage 2010 R2-D2 were both within reach, and I'm sorry to say that the little guy isn't little enough to fit into the astromech socket. Hasbro has made some noise about a new or at least refreshed Y-Wing including a socket for droids, but no images or rumors have surfaced outside the odd cryptic comment out of Rhode Island. As such, I would suggest perhaps not customizing one just yet, or perhaps settling for the Y-wing bomber from 2009 instead-- those seem to show up on clearance here and there still.

3. Finally tracked down the Attack on Hoth playset from Target on clearance. This was the last of items I needed from the holiday and one I was kicking myself for not having picked up earlier (but hoilday spending has prioriteies). Was stoked about the AT-ST driver and additional Snowtroopers for my AT-AT. Much to my disappointment when I was assembling the AT-ST I noticed the entire back panel of the AT-ST cockpit was not included. The toy was assembled without the inside back wall! Additionally the set did not include the missles for the chin cannon. I know "product may very from pictures" but this clearly seems to be a manufacturer defect. Have you heard of any other issues with this set? I am going to take pictures and send to Hasbro. Not sure if that will get me anywhere as this is an exclusive set and not still in production. I'd be happy with a panel, a new head (for the AT-ST, a repalcement or even some form of coupons or something. I'd take it back to Target but this is after the holiday and odds of finding one in the wild are slim and none. I've hit pretty much every Target within fifty miles of my home hunting this down. So I'd rather have something than nothing. Just really disappointed. Any suggestion on who I should direct this to at Hasbro? I think I'm up the creek without a paddle on this one, but I sure would hope Hasbro would be able to do something in some way. I was really impressed with their people @ CV and were really helpful. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

The funny thing is I just had a run-in with Hasbro's customer service myself this month-- and another one in 2010 which resulted in an unsatisfactory replacement and one just now that has resulted in me being told I could send it back for a similar, but not identical, product. (This is, of course, Bad Customer Service.) So you bought an item with a missing or defective part-- what can you do?

Not much.

Except in the cases of widespread manufacturing errors, like the 2004 Boba Fett Slave I missing Boba's rocket or the 2005 blue Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi Starfighter having the wrong label sheet, Hasbro rarely keeps a lot of stock of missing Star Wars parts on hand-- or any, really. With most exclusive toys, they tell you just to return it to the store to get another one (from my experiences and those of my readers over the years.) For toys that come from assortments (like Starfighters and action figures) you will often be told you can send it back for a replacement, but the replacement is not necessarily what you wanted-- I've heard of a few rare instances of people trading up, but generally people get whatever pegwarmer or clearance bait is sitting in the Hasbro warehouses-- that's certainly what happened to me.

When it comes to non-assortment items, I hear people fare best-- so if you had a Nerf gun problem or an AT-AT part missing, odds are things would be just fine. But assortment toys or exclusives? Ultimately, you're really better off just returning it to the store... which due to the short retail window of your product effectively means you're going to be in for some hunting to find a replacement. (Or you can watch eBay to see if the price has dropped due to the post-clearance eBay glut.)

4. With the Blu-ray announcement for both the first Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy, I can't seem to find out whether the mega-release will include the "Original" Trilogy & the Special Edition versions. With 9 discs, and the price tag, and the amount of storage the format is capable of, I think the fist "theatrical" versions of ANH, TESB & ROTJ should be included in this package in addition to the Special Edition. If for no other reason than because it's important to include the versions that made Star Wars what it is today on there.

Now, I do realize the movies do in fact belong to Lucas, and he has tinkered and "improved" them to his original vision. Fixing special effects shots are one thing. Making Han shoot first and adding Hayden in the end of Jedi is something else entirely. Now there are arguments for and against each version. And I'm well into my thirties and I don't really care to have that discussion anymore. And I've yet to meet a Star Wars fan who thinks that Han shooting first improved the character arc.

The theatrical versions are available on DVD for 25 bucks. And I'm willing to buy them. But I'd much rather wait a bit and have them included on the Blu-ray version and have all in one neat little (mega) package.

The mega version of Blade Runner did it. So, if this forthcoming package is supposed to be the mega version of the Star Wars epic in it's entirety, I think it needs to be on there. Otherwise, it is not complete in my opinion. Considering the price tag of the thing, Lucas should include it. Also considering the fact that the Star Wars community has literally bought, the original theatrical version on VHS, then the remastered theatrical re-release on VHS, then the Special Edition on DVD etc..., I think it's about time for Lucasfilm to do the "right" thing by the fans that have supported him for over 30 years and include it. The community deserves a complete package at this point. And logistically and monetarily, it would be negligible to put it on there since a DVD version already exists. Not even asking them to remaster it. Hell, I'll even take a DVD disc thrown in there, like many other "Blu-ray" packages.

What are your thoughts and have you heard if the first theatrical versions will be included?


"Ultimate" doesn't necessarily mean "all-inclusive."

Lucasfilm has not commented on what the cuts will be on the Blu_Rays boxes. When the 2004 DVD boxed set came out, Lucasfilm would not discuss changes made to the movies before the release, and I expect the exact same situation here-- more changes to all 6 movies, and no original cuts. It's reasonably well-known that additional effects tweaks have been made to The Phantom Menace to incorporate a computer-generated Yoda to replace the puppet, and the 1997 special edition effects likely will not hold up to 1080p scrutiny-- I also expect the 2004 DVD edits were at least partially inspired by the higher resolution of the medium. Plus they fixed the horrible, awful, unfinished CG C-3PO model in the Mos Eisley approach, which was something I don't think anyone would argue needed to be done.

With 2 (likely soon to be 3) cuts of The Phantom Menace on home video formats, 3 (possibly soon to be 4) different theatrical cuts of Attack of the Clones, and no fewer than three cuts of each of the original trilogy (plus varying sound effects and dialogue changes that most fans don't even realize or care exist between the various theatrical film prints and home video releases) this is a real rabbit hole issue. Which cut do we get? Which one is REALLY definitive? And don't you want them to fix that horrible vaseline smudge under the Landspeeder scenes? (Well, I liked that fix.)

Plus when you get right down to it, I think everyone needs to expect that these movies will be changed and rereleased forever. The 3D versions start making the rounds next year. At some point, it wouldn't stun me to see original cuts of all 3 films on Blu-Ray if they aren't somehow included in this upcoming one. The DVD "original" cuts aren't even anamorphic prints, so I don't know if Lucasfilm has a cleaned-up original cut of the films in some ready-to-release digital format. They might... but I really, genuinely don't expect to see it in 2011.

I personally would prefer Lucasfilm to include as many versions as possible, but I don't know what's realistic for the format and their budgeting. So all we can do is wait and hope and pray that review copies get out so someone told us what it was we just pre-ordered.

5. I received the new VC24 Wooof figure for Christmas and I am really happy with it. My two year old calls it "daddy's grinch man." Anyway, from what I read/hear is that Woof is an "all new figure" but when I compare it to pictures of the 2009 Legacy Collections BD21 Giran figure, the head looks very similar. I actually never bought a Giran figure, so I can't compare them that closely. Not that it really matters if it is "all new" or a repainted part, but the obsessive-compulsive part of me wants to know your take on this. Do you think that Wooof's head is a repaint of Giran's head?

While Giran and Wooof have very similar heads, they are different-- the most obvious difference is the uniquely sized neck pegs, but the horns around the face are a little different and the ridges down the middle of the head are thicker on Giran. The bumps on Giran's head are also slightly more pronounced, as far as I can tell. So what you have here are two heads that are different, despite not appearing so at first glance. I can give you my Toy Dork Guarantee that the heads are not repaints of one another, although it wouldn't surprise me if both were spawned from the same sculptor and a similar rough head sculpt.

I would also suggest getting Giran. Giran was my favorite figure of 2009. While I love Wooof, Giran's coloring and sculpt are better. (This is science fact.) The figure's price is starting to climb on eBay too, which is surprising given he was a pegwarmer 'round these parts. I say go get one now, while you still can!


I think I got a cold. I usually don't get sick but this hasn't been a great year. The timing isn't great because Kmart is getting a new unannounced-by-Hasbro exclusive Clone Commander Lock right now, and other new toys are just starting to hit. I expect a few more to show up as sometimes just before Toy Fair or Comic-Con, toys will actually make it out to stores before Hasbro announces them to anybody. (This is basically due to how assortments work-- Target and Wal-mart and Toys "R" Us see all "Vintage Basic Figures" as a single SKU when it comes to ordering, so Hasbro just sends whatever is on hand and that often means new or old stuff.)

Anyway, the most exciting thing all week in terms of weirdness is that a Kmart here in Phoenix put out a case of late-2005 Revenge of the Sith Collection 2 figures. I saw the cream (not white) variant of Meena Tills as well as Count Dooku and several others. It's very unusual to find figures older than 1-2 years at stores, and I think this is the first time I saw an entire old case back on the shelves. Of course, the best finding of 2011 so far has been by the great M Sipher of other fandoms, as he saw a 1995 Power of the Force X-Wing at a Kmart... still at full price. The oldest stuff I stumble on at retail tends to be 1997 or 1998, so this is pretty spectacular.

To put that length of time in perspective, finding a toy from 1995 today would be (to you old timers) like finding a toy from 1978 in 1994. Considering vintage Star Wars was completely gone from most retail channels by 1989, that's pretty remarkable.

--Adam Pawlus

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