Q&A: Lizards, Video Games, and Evil Sith Lords You Cannot Have

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, March 2, 2014


1. I need you to prognosticate for me: I live in Raleigh and I have 6 Targets, 4 walmarts, 2 toys r us, and 3 kmarts near me. I have not seen one Darth Plagueis on the shelf. Is there hope for me yet? I dont want to happen like when I passed up Ulic Qel Droma and Exar Kun. Also if I ask for help, I can give some too: I found Darth Malgus at 5 and Below. Just a heads up on that.

I suggest that you start pricing out your collecting anxiety here. Darth Plagueis, in the USA, is $10 or $11 if you can find one - plus about $1 in sales tax, depending on where you live. If you plan on driving around to find him - and just him - it may be weeks if not months until we find out who all is in wave 4. Hopefully he comes back - but Hasbro is pretty mercurial when it comes to its casepacks as of late. I suggest you take that into consideration, and the gamble of "is this worth $20 on eBay now" versus "is this worth $60 later?" is a tough one to call. Me, I'd rather go without than pay $60 - and Hasbro has had a rotten track record bringing back non-movie Sith Lords since 2007.

Since Hasbro put this figure in their Toy Fair booth, were I you, I'd gamble that he'll be back in a future wave. I wouldn't count on Five Below because for all we know, Hasbro might dump their stock in Canada or Mexico or in a state that doesn't have your stores. What if Ross gets the closeout buy and Five Below doesn't? You may be out of luck. Bastilla Shan remains in short supply years later, so I'd suggest considering what Plagueis is worth to you on the secondary market, calculate that price against shipping/tax/anxiety, and consider just paying up to not worry. But I'd wait.




2. When the original Star Wars was made, a full size walking Dewback was built, but it would not work in the sand. Has footage of this walking Dewback ever surfaced? Any chance we will ever see a new, modern 3 3/4 Dewback that looks like the 1977 film's lizard? I'm not a fan of Kenner's SE CGI version, or Hasbro's repacked Episode 1 version with the sand trooper and wrong saddle. If Hasbro wants smaller vehicles, how about the two small craft outside the cantina or the Lars family speeder?

Returning to last week's short answer: no.

As far as the movie walking Dewback goes, I don't know if I've seen it - perhaps in a still, but they don't tend to be labeled. Anyone out there an expert on this one? Do share!

Hasbro's 2009 Star Wars Dewback was originally intended as a Phantom Menace Dewback complete with movie-specific gear. Original sculpt pictures are around on the interwebs - Hasbro changed it up a bit for reasons unknown, so that's what we got. I would file that original, stocky beloved Dewback in the same category as 1983 Sy Snootles - I do believe this era has sadly passed and this kind of collector nostalgia is increasingly unlikely in 3 3/4-inch scale. However, there's always 6-inch scale, and all of you need to make yourselves heard loudly if you want Hasbro to get the message that you want that line to focus on the earlier incarnations of those characters - the ones kids can't see on DVD or Blu-Ray anymore. I assume it's unlikely.

As to smaller vehicles... well... Hasbro doesn't want to do smaller vehicles. That's kinda the point - we're getting some new ships for Rebels that look to be pretty sizable for the price, and that's probably about all for now. We saw what Hasbro did last time with its mini vehicles with figures, and poor assortment choices (mostly just carrying forward duds one too many times) put the nail in that coffin. It doesn't really matter if the item itself was a poor choice if the perception and sales figures say "oh, nobody wants anything at this price/configuration anymore." As we get to increasingly obscure vehicles - ones not named on screen, generally - I wouldn't get your hopes up for any non-major classic vehicle updates. Do expect TIE Fighters, X-Wings, and probably, some day, a Death Star. We've had a wonderful run filled with great weird stuff, even concept vehicles, but the current market conditions don't allow for wild experimentation. Don't forget, the 1990s revival and collecting craze - which petered out with the new movie - was based in greed and hope that everything would increase in value as much as if not more than it was based on nostalgic fans attempting to revisit their childhoods with adult career dollars. Given enough time, both of those conceits have worn thin - fewer customers, less space, and no return on the investment means that Hasbro can't throw anything at the wall and see what sticks these days.

...and based on what we saw at Toy Fair, we may see one or two more examples of things not sticking shortly.


3. Have you played any of the Star Wars Gamecube titles on the Wii? I couldn’t get any of mine to work, is there any secret to how to get the games started?

I just popped my copies of Rogue Leader and the demo disc for Rebel Strike, and both worked just fine. Is it possible you have one of the revisions that doesn't have GameCube compatibility, or that the lens on your disc reader needs to be cleaned off? I recall that being a problem for Wii Smash Bros. a few years back.   Since the Wii as almost as worthless as POTF2 figures, you may be able to purchase one that works properly for peanuts these days.

Speaking of which, if you have an original Wii or DS Nintendo will be discontinuing online support for those old Wii and DS games on May 20. If there's anything you need to unlock, or matches you want to revisit, now is the time! Until someone hacks up a server for others to use, of course. I have to assume that's going to happen.



Why three questions? I didn't get many this week and have been toying with shrinking the column for a while - since people aren't asking much, well, it's either this or skip a week. Readership is pretty steady, but we're definitely of an era where columns like this one are decreasingly necessary since Google knows all.

Arguably the most deadly thing for any collectible toy line is a satisfied customer - problem is, I'm pretty satisfied lately. Masters of the Universe Classics just delivered me Two Bad and Modulok. The 3 3/4-inch Black Series is content to spiral the drain, with Sgt. Doallyn and Toryn Farr bringing a little bit of newness to the scale - and at this rate, I'd rather see Ree-Yees as a 6-inch figure. Even The Outer Space Men are due to end now, with the final painted figures shipping really soon. With G.I. Joe on cinderblocks in front of Hasbro's lawn, it seems only Transformers has a lot of juice - the endless supply of unupdated G1 characters has been usurped by IDW redesigns from the comics, effectively getting rid of classic toys in favor of a New 52 sort of a line. And Marvel... well, it's really mostly all about the movies now.

When it comes to Star Wars I find precious little demanding of my love. Sure, I love those new Rebels figures and vehicles, but for classic stuff I think the only thing I want now is a Vlix. I talked to a friend recently who I don't get to see much and he assumed I had one by now - nope! That sucker has been on my wish list since I found out it may exist in Brazil around 1989, and while I've seen one in a private collection I've never had a chance to buy one. So for me, that's pretty much it - sure, I'd love to see updates of Yak Face, but other than the Imperial Dignitary or maybe some ethnic variants for the Bespin Security Guard, I don't have a heck of a lot that I'd demand out of Hasbro at this point. To be honest, it's a little disgusting Sim Aloo hasn't made plastic yet. I'm pretty sure it just has to be spite at this point.

The three (hopefully more?) new vehicles for Rebels are my most wanted Star Wars toys of the year so far. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure 6-inch Darth Vader is going to be great. But did you see that AT-DP? And that Phantom? And the new TIE Fighter? These things look like a ton of fun, and definitely scratch my itch for Mini-Rigs and Droids cartoon rejects. The figures are no slouches either, but I'm already worried Hasbro will be remaking those six times over. These vehicles will likely be one-shots, cool and fun and one and done. Being a sucker for anything new - and we haven't had a lot of newness in the last 15 years, even with the prequels we got a lot of new versions of old things - it's arguably an exciting time to be a fan. I don't get that feeling from you guys, of course, but this is a potentially more interesting era than The Clone Wars just by virtue of the fact we won't be getting more prequel movie characters as figures for once.

Since we never got the Twilight - Anakin's unfortunately named space freighter - I'm not expecting that Hasbro will give us a jumbo Ghost just yet. It looks like it would make for a fun toy, but with the movie around the corner and big toys being about as popular as the clap, I'm not optimistic. With Rebels and other 1980sey figures from Funko with ReAction I anticipate a pretty exciting year for toys... in about six months. Q&A submissions have been light, as has chatter, so right now I'd say my biggest concern is having enough to write about as the year progresses.

Still looking for a Life Force arcade cabinet... or conversion kit. Got one? Let me give you money.

--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.