Q&A: Droids, SOTE, Super-Rare Figures, More

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just how many one-of-a-kind action figuresare there? Aside from the joke answer, that is.   Still more questions about the new C-3PO figure, which, science assures me, is awesome.   And how dead is Shadows of the Empire  anyway?  Read on, find out!


1. At Star Wars Celebration V, Hasbro presented unique and one-of-a-kind action figures to at least two people. To date, how many of these unique Hasbro 3 3/4 figures exist? I can think of three. Four, if one counts the Darth Mater charity toy.


As far as I know nobody cataloged this, as the final number is hard to tell.  Sure, there were some at Celebration Vwhich were highly publicized, but there where many, many others, often as contest prizes.  Our own Adam May got one as a result of a Target contest, and I remember a young fan being presented with one when I was in Rhode Island in 2003.   There were a number of other ones too, so really, I hate to give you a crappy answer, but I don’t have one.  There are indeed a bunch out there, probably dozens, maybe more if you could the ones where someone who works at Hasbro may have made a custom for a friend.  Since they’re not at all official toys (i.e., I was never meant to be able to buy one), I’m going to have to defer to you guys—does anyone have a list of these things?


2. So far I'm really enjoying the new Vintage line of action figures.  However, I wasn't sure if you could provide any insight as to why the C-3PO has removal coverings?  I think it's great and makes for a very interesting toy, but I just wasn't sure if there was a known thought process behind it or Hasbro just said "hey, let's make his coverings removable".  Again, I'm not complaining, I just was curious about it.


Because it’s fun.

Hasbro always looks for new ways to improve its figures as toys and collectibles, which leads to some fantastic upgrades (like 1998’s R2-D2 with Datalink Accessories) and some figures which, to refer to them as steaming piles, would be a compliment (2003’s Arena R2-D2, 1998’s Pop-Up Lightsaber R2-D2).   C-3PO has, on the whole, had it pretty good and this mold seems like it could also be repainted into an Attack of the Clonesversion where Hasbro so implied, so odds are they designed this release with a double- or triple-dip of the mold in mind. (Good on them.)   While not based on a specific sequence, it does allow for Hasbro to make a new, improved C-3PO sculpt which it can use and re-use to give us other versions of this and other protocol droids.

What I don’t get is why the coverings are an undocumented feature.  One problem I have with the vintage line is that it does a terrible job of making the figure look exciting to the non-collector.  Hasbro did a great job making a figure that, on the whole, looks like a normal figure—but there’s an action feature hidden in there that a lot of people can’t see.  (Did you know the back panel comes off?  I didn’t.)   Unless it was to preserve that 1980 look, it seems a crying shame that the toymaker doesn’t toot its own horn showing off just what its figures are capable of doing.


3. I know that I have asked this about a few previous waves.  Sorry.  I think this is just a sign of where the hobby is headed with so many figures produced at this point.  I just can't keep track of what is new and what is a rerelease (without significant changes).  I just picked up the most recent wave of Clone Wars figures (the wave with the new Mace, Kit, Battle Droid Commander and Camo ARF).  Along with these figures (and mixed in with the numbering) is Commander Gree.  I know I have at least one Clone Wars Commander Gree.  Is this newly released Gree different in any way from the previous release?

Also, the upcoming Mando Battle Pack ...are the Mandos all the same?  Are they the same as the Mando from the recent Deluxe line Mando?


I’m a firm believer of not buying anything that I can’t tell why I should get it.  (Recent example: I skipped the Toys “R” Us exclusive Legacy/Evoltuons 2-pack.  I also skipped the 1998 V-Wing in the white box until I found out it had a unique paint job… a year later.)   As a collector I might advise you to do the same unless packaging variants are particularly important to you, in which case, well, run out and buy it.

Commander Gree is intended to be a reissue of the existing figure.  There could be changes, but these are batch variants and not Hasbro saying “let’s make this different.”   The Mandalorians—according to Hasbro at Celebration V—while have exclusive accessories in their Battle Pack that will not be available anywhere else.  I assume the deco will be slightly different from the individually carded figure (coming soon) and the figure with the speeder bike (out now), but without having them in front of me it’s hard to tell.  If accessories are important to you, get the Battle Pack too.


4. I was a big fan of Perry's novel SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE and like many fans, would love to see updated versions of some of those figures -- particularly Chewbacca as Snoova, Dash Rendar and possibly the addition of his droid sidekick Teebo. I was a big fan of the updated Prince Xizor figure and Leia as Boushh. And I hear there's a possibilty of getting a Guri figure as well.

Is this a dead concept or will we see some revitalization on SOTE?


Hasbro has stated some interest in returning to this area, and in 2008 we even got new versions of Leia and Xizor from the series.  They sold terribly.   (Fact: Xizor sucks and Leia in sexy gear from a comic doesn’t do it for anyone.  They are, on the whole, nice figures though.)   With Hasbro’s current stance on Expanded Universe it’s pretty unlikely you will see any of these figures in the next two years without additional media support.  I would not be at all surprised to see Snoova brought into the Clone Wars, but that’s going to depend on how good the fur animation gets, how the story needs a Wookiee, and someone who isn’t me having the same idea that I just had.

Unless you’re willing to make a lot of noise on a lot of forums to rally a lot of fans, I would not get your hopes up.


5. In whatever the current collection of figures is called, will Hasbro produce Battledroid 2-Packs with non-commanders.  I like this newer sculpt that does not collapse under its own weight because of hip, knee, and ankle articulation.  The painted eyes are a welcome sight as well.  However, I don’t want to “army build” the commander version.


While Hasbro wants to, recent internal nonsensical workings at the company have prevented them from doing their usual “running change” variants—i.e., let’s do it in this color for this wave and then another color later in the same package. (We saw a lot of this in 2007-2008 Saga Legends.)  You can pretty much blame bean counters outside the Star Warsteam for this.

Hasbro may some day do other colors—frankly, I expect that they will—but it might be a while since they’re trying to get the most out of the existing product… which still has the wrong size eyes.   Still, it’s Hasbro’s best Battle Droid sculpt yet, so two for seven bucks ain’t bad—go buy some and given Hasbro an excuse to do a repaint sooner rather than later.  (It even has two display stands in the package, you can’t beat that.)




I picked up a Hasbro Spider-Man figure the other week—from the Spider-Man line, not the Marvel Universe line.  Interestingly, since it’s a kid-driven line, the sculpt and articulation is quite different from other Marvel toys and it’s much more like Star Wars.  It got me thinking that Hasbro really, on the whole, doesn’t make a lot of kid-only action figure lines these days.  “Vintage” is clearly for an older consumer, Clone Wars is all over the place with some squarely for older fans and others better as toys, and most of the other stuff seems to be for ages 8 and up.

While collectors hate it, it’s a refreshing line—we have Arctic Spider-Man, Ninja Spider-Man, and all the ridiculous variations that we used to see with Batman and were terrified of seeing in Star Wars.  Today, I’d almost rather see more of this.   What would Arctic Threat Darth Vader be like?  I’m curious.  I bet it’d be fun, the G.I. Joe Arctic Destro is, largely, great.  Except for the fact that the snow on the head melts off if you keep the goggles on it for more than a day.  Fair warning.

I picked up the Super Poseable Spider-Man that, interestingly, is designed more like a Star Wars figure with his single knee joints and unlike Star Wars, he holds together nicely.  I’ve had no hands popping off yet.   I will say I don’t care for the style of hip articulation, but hey, it’s nicee to see a pretty great Spider-Man for the kids.

--Adam Pawlus


Got questions?  I bet you do.  Email me with Q&A in the subject line.