Q&A: Minifigures, Storage, Lukes, 2012 Character Debuts, and Lemon Zest Chicken

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is there a best way to store action figures? Sort of. What's going on with the character debut sticker on figures which were already made 10 years ago? And will we see more Nerf Guns based on our favorite films? I sure hope so. All this and more-- read on!

1. I picked up the new Vintage-line Luke's Tauntaun (huzzah Target Clearance!) and am wondering — is there a Hoth Luke from previous assortments which has the hip/leg articulation needed to straddle the beast?

Hasbro has announced a new Vintage Hoth Luke for 2012, but well, I wouldn't count your chickens before they hatch. We had numerous delays within the past year, so it might not show up. Also, despite the enhanced articulation, it's entirely possible that it still won't fit-- we won't know for certain until a production sample shows up and works. The plan is for it to fit, but sometimes strange things happen at the factory and accessories or joints don't work as planned.


2. I was disappointed to read late last year that Hasbro decided to cancel their awesome Republic Scout Fighter with Obi Wan figure especially, since it's design and motif goes so well with the Republic Attack Shuttle. Do you know of any potential plans to get this item out some other way such as an exclusive?

At this time Hasbro has elected to not really elaborate too much but there's probably a chance of it being made as an exclusive if someone needs one. This isn't the kind of item that would make a good online exclusive, which I could show with tons of data which is more or less stuff that I am not at liberty to share, so let's leave the short version at "the numbers don't add up." (Which, as a mini-rig fan, I see as unfortunate.)

Right now, your best bet is to hope that Hasbro has a demand for a vehicle of this size and needs to fill it. This means that right now, you need to hope Hasbro's new line is a runaway hit and Wal-Mart starts demanding an exclusive vehicle, and then Hasbro just happens to have this one ready to go. Otherwise, it might be a while.


3. I just picked up most of TPM wave and I like the "character debut" sticker, but I'm wondering why there is one on the Naboo Royal Guard. Did Hasbro forget they made this figure already or did somebody just go sticker-happy?

The latter, I hope. Hasbro and Lucasfilm have tons of people checking things, and usually the more hands you get on something, the greater the chance of a mistake. Or maybe they figure the head is different enough, I don't know. But yeah, it's not entirely accurate and adds to the cost of the item, so woo. Go team wasting money!


4. While I don’t recall ever seeing these issued, with your inside knowledge, have you ever heard rumblings about Nerf making Jango’s twin blasters? My boys (and I) have ripped through dozens of light sabers over the years, and they will undoubtedly need to retire the current arsenal of Nerf rifles in the near future due to intense combat. The twin blasters would make nice replacements. So, what do you think?

I'd expect to see it in 2013 if Hasbro does another 3D-themed movie line. The Attack of the Clones rerelease would be the time to do it-- we're getting a new non-electronic Darth Maul lightsaber and mask this year, so I'd expect some Jango product for 2013.

I have yet to hear of any such product in production-- my comment is merely a hunch-- but I'd assume that unless Hasbro decides this year is the year to start ignoring kids and focus squarely on collectors, or reads this and cancels it out of spite, I would expect that the last valid opportunity to make this kind of thing would be in about a year.


5. Is there a best way to store unopened figures and vehicles in a basement? I just moved into a new home and the moisture is virtually nil in the basement due to a nice dewatering system from the previous owners, and I'd hate to run a vaperator 24/7 just for the collection. Right now I'm using the Rubbermaid plastic multigallon tubs, sealed tight and stacked. Any advice?

First, I would avoid the megagallon tubs, unless you've got your figures in Star Cases or similar. I've just moved my collection last October and am still unpacking it, and I'm seeing that items have sometimes settled in odd ways-- this means bubble damage, if you weren't clear on that.

How you store should depend on your environment-- living in Arizona, my basement is basically bone dry and has been basically around 70 degrees since I moved in, which is about as much as I could hope for. I don't know where you live or what your layout is like, but all my liquid and drainage stuff is in a closet which, itself, is in the back of another closet, which is in the back of a large room off to the side. So I'm not worrying about moisture just yet, but you might have to-- and I might need the commenters to say something because it's tricky to keep things both dry and safe. On one hand, maybe you do want to put carded figures in comic bags. On the other, this could cause moisture to build up and this could damage the cardboard over time.

No matter what, there's risk. Off-site air conditioned storage could be broken in to. Your garage suffers extreme temperatures, as does your attic. And kids... kids are a hazard. No matter what there's going to be some risk, but if your moisture is nil and the temperatures are moderate, you should be just fine as long as you don't store them in such a way where gravity won't slowly crush them. I would suggest shelves, but I'd also suggest a dark room. Very dark. Sunlight is bad, cigar or cigarette smoke is bad, I have no idea what the deal is with pot smoke as of yet as (as far as I know) I've yet to see a collection engulfed in it, and to date I personally have never seen nor heard of a collection screwed up due to massive moisture damage from being in a basement. So my guess is, most likely, you're going to be fine as long as your stuff is held in a way which will not allow for bending or crushing.


So I binged on Battle Beasts last week. What I should be doing is setting up my collection since I moved early last October, but well, I was out of town for the whole month, then the holidays (which is the busy season if you're in the toy business), so I'm just now setting up some key sets in a small space, which they tell me is a closet, but it's about as big as my dorm room from my second year of college. So. Yeah. Last night's candidates for being set up were (of course) Battle Beasts, the Outer Space Men, and Galactic Heroes. Some of 'em. Did you have any idea how many of these things there are? The last official tally I heard was from Hasbro in-- I think-- 2007 or 2008, and they had it at 100. The line ran pretty well into 2010, so I'm ballparking 200 or so. I'll get you an exact count after I audit the line, but there are several variations too, particularly on Obi-Wan Kenobi from Revenge of the Sith and Attack of the Clones Padme. As far as I know there's no database with the entire line-- Rebelscum's guide cuts off around 2008-- and frankly they'd need something that combines databases with a Wiki. (So who out there can program that for me for free? Eh? Eh?) So this brings us to my other Sunday activity, the obligatory post-lunch toy run.

Wal-Marts around Phoenix are getting a lot of new stuff out for the Phantom Menace launch with a "street date" of January 30, an increasingly futile move which I'm pretty sure is the result of someone at Lucasfilm and/or Hasbro not having the balls to go to the other one and saying "This isn't working." "Oh, I thought you thought it was working, I didn't want to say anything!" "Wow, so we've been wasting time and ink and resources and losing potential sales for nothing?" "Sure looks like it!" "Well, let's never do that again."


I saw a lot of vehicles and some Clone Wars figures. Of note? Chewbacca from The Clone Wars is vastly improved over the 2011 release, so if you missed it good on ya. The paint job on the face is beautiful, as opposed to the really ugly one from a few months ago. Kudos Hasbro, I appreciate this. I also saw more shirtless Savage Opress, the new Anakin, Cody, and Clone Trooper, and a few others. It's looking like a perfectly nice line so far, although its reportedly diminished size-- Hasbro has already revealed over 50% (or possibly 80%) of its entire 2012 figure line as of last October-- is probably going to hurt it. Fresh product means turnover and more eyes on the line. It seems Hasbro doesn't want to compete with its other properties this summer, so whatever it is we'll see for Battleship, G.I. Joe, and Avengers will likely be front-and-center while we get bored, twiddle our thumbs, and see what Mattel or Diamond Select or Jakks Pacific are up to. (Spoiler alert: new Battle Beasts, and Monster in my Pocket-esque S.L.U.G. Zombies.)

Hasbro's one big new shot for Star Wars this coming month are their mini Figher Pods, the line which is basically Squinkies, but Star Wars. As someone who has all of the Galactic Heroes (as far as I know) and all of the Unleashed Mini Figures, I like mini figures. A lot. But I dunno if I care about yet another line of the buggers, or at least, not like this. I just picked up some of Hasbro's own Marvel Universe Handful of Heroes, some unpainted plastic figures based on the comic series. I rather like them. If (big if) Hasbro applied this style to painted or unpainted Star Wars, I'd jump on 'em. I like M.U.S.C.L.E. but have very few myself, so this sort of thing is quite appealing to me as an old fart with decreasing amount of display and storage space.



So yeah, that's your pre-Toy Fair small toy update. I'll have a lot more to complain about in 45 days. See you next week!

--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.

Battle Beasts

Are these Battle Beasts vintage or new ones from MiniMates? Do share on 16bit.com

Vintage Beasts. Sadly, the

Vintage Beasts. Sadly, the DST ones are a few months off (not counting the 4 Gators from 2010.) I'm still hunting a vintage Battle Beasts Pillager Pig, if anyone out there has one (with a weapon and rubsign) for sale.