Q&A: Missed Figures, Electronics, Droids, and Frozen Heroes

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, April 17, 2011

Will Han Solo return to the Carbonite block? Is it true that no stores are getting new Vintage figures? No, of course not. Will we see all-new molds for vintage-era 1970s and 1980s vehicles eventually? Ehhh.... probably not. But you can hear rambly answers and ask your own questions when you read on!

1. I was curious if you knew of any plans or discussion about making a new Han Solo in Carbonite? I know we got one a few years ago with that red "thawing" effect, but not a regular one since the old one in the 90's, correct, with clips on the back so Han could be "inside" of it? Personally, while Han could use to be updated, which he has been, I loved that carbonite block and still think it's the best in the modern line. Perhaps I'm simply out of the loop and one has already been slated for release...Anyways, thanks!

Hasbro has made mention that some form of new Carbonite is in some stage of development, but there are no specifics. (The 2006 "melting" block isn't a perfect fit in the 2010 Slave I storage bay, nor is a melting one appropriate for the scene-- so we'll get something, some day.)

I'm not too optimistic about Han's being able to be inside the block, as it seems the best-ever version of that action feature was on the 1996 figure. Hopefully we'll see something soon, given the original is such a hot commodity, but specifics are lacking right now.

2. The new VC R2-D2 has to be Hasbro's best effort for our little droid. In your opinion, is there any way they could improve it on a cost-effective basis? All I can think of is adding the electronics and/or making a lightsabre-launching mechanism. Or am just dreaming too high?

The price of LEDs has come down to the point where electronics are cheap-- it's just a matter of how cheap is Hasbro? They're milking the line with lots of reused parts and repacks, so there's probably room for this sort of thing in the budget if they were so inclined. (After all, R2-D2 has had electronics in the basic assortment regularly since 2002.) Based on the aesthetics of the vintage line, though, I don't expect to see any electronics in the near term. Maybe in The Clone Wars line?

Right now, I'd say most of the improvements might be to strip the mold down-- take off the extra gimmicks and make a clean, awesome R2-D2. A "perfect" movie one remains to be made, or one which incorporates all The Clone Wars R2-D2's gimmicks into a movie figure. There are options a-plenty, but at this point the best thing Hasbro might do would be some form of electronics. Hopefully they'll pick the right things to light up this time around, like the smaller lights on the head.

3. Adam can you tell me why there are hardly any Vintage Collection figures on the shelves. At least in L.A. it's been this way at local Targets, ToysRus & Walmarts. But there are tons of the other line of Star Wars figures. I even went to a poplular local swap meet thing called Frank & Sons and the pickings were slim…

Having lived in LA for 5 years I can say that with few exceptions, specifically the Legacy Collection Expanded Universe wave and the Wal-mart exclusive Father's Day set, I saw everything at retail while I lived there. (Thankfully the Legacy wave was shared with online accounts, and other cities were overflowing with the Father's Day set.)

So what's the problem? It's possible you aren't fast enough, and there are absolutely too many people there for the low number of stores in the area. A store may get one case of vintage every few days, but with new figures at one per case just one collector can afford to buy a store's entire new shipment. And a lot of collectors buy 2 or more of some new figures.

Here in Phoenix I've seen a very steady stream of wave 6 with a decent smattering of waves 4 and 5. The stuff has been made, and it's absolutely shipping, because I keep tripping over it. It's possible the stuff is going out the back door, or that you're getting beaten to it-- I don't know if you hit stores roughly daily as I did when I lived there-- but I do know that if you don't go to the store on the right day, you can miss out. If you aren't prepared to be obsessive in your hunting, with 5-6 trips to various stores a week, you might want to just consider how much you spend on gas and see how that compares to the shipping rates at the online retailer of your choice.

4. Do you think eventually we will see new molds for all of the vehicles produced during the original Kenner run? So far we have seen a landspeeder, many x-wings and tie fighters, Darth Vader's Tie Fighter, Milennium Falcon, Snowspeeder, Cloud Car, At-At, Slave I, At-St, Tie Interceptor, and Y-Wing. It seems as though we will probably never see a Rebel Transport or "Imperial Troop Transporter. What do you say on the chances of a different Sand Crawler, B-Wing, A-Wing, Skiff or Imperial Shuttle? If they are about as favorable as getting a Vlix, is there a version of the Imperial Shuttle that is better? I know it was reissued twice once at FAO Schwarz and once at Target. I actually seen the Target one on the shelf, but did not have any money on me and by the time I got back it was gone. Also is there a particular version of the Tie Fighter you prefer out of all the reissues since 1995?


I can say with almost complete certainty that you will never see every 1978-1985 vehicle updated in the modern line-- the Droids ships and off-screen vehicles like the Mini-Rigs will likely never be revisited. Of course, you knew that-- and depending on how pick you want to be, it's extremely unlikely you'll see new versions or most of those older vehicles because the old molds are still, in Hasbro's eyes, "good enough." There's a lot of room for improvement in the Imperial Shuttle (foot pegs) and the Tatooine Skiff (the whole thing), but new original trilogy vehicles are far and few between these days. We got an all-new Snowspeeder, AT-AT, and Cloud Car in 2010. Before that... uh... well, I guess we got that Dewback in 2009 and a couple of TIE vehicles.

The Rebel Transport will likely never be updated, and I doubt we'll see an all-new Sandcrawler despite rumors to the contrary. (Limited appeal-- the 2004 release was sold at odd places which resulted in closeout prices.)

As to the TIE Fighters? It varies, but I really like the 2010 Target exclusive deco with the short wings. It just feels like a nice, solid little toy despite not being particularly authentic. It's simply cool.

5. For the first time ever I think I have missed a wave without knowing it. Did the vintage wave with Peasant Anakin and Padme come out before or after the wave with Ceremony Han? For some reason I thought these waves were reversed but I have not found the Anakin, Padme, and Mace I really wanted and now I an guessing its because I missed them.

Wave 4 (which has Peasant Anakin and Padme) shipped to and showed up in stores roughly the same day as Wave 5 (Ceremony Han). For whatever reason, these two seemed to have shown up online and at retail at the same time, although it's possible that wave 5 showed up a day or two before wave 4. It's tough to tell, and we only have so much info, but they definitely showed up in the same week in most markets.

Did you miss it? Tough to say-- it's possible, but waves 4, 5, and 6 continue to ship from Hasbro as far as I can tell. I wouldn't dawdle, if you see it for a fair price I'd say grab it, Hasbro seems less and less likely to reship old figures these days, although a remix of Wave 3 with Wedge and Yoda is expected soon.


Well, I wish I had something exciting to say, but right now I guess I don't. So. Uhhh... hunh. I got a floating holiday today, so there's that. Normally I spend time off toy hunting but right now, it seems that there's not much new to see for Star Wars, the two Joe figures I can't find I'm just not finding, and all the new 2011 Transformers I'm after are only hitting online. (I check a lot of store reports, so I stand by this assertion as a fact and not as a "well, I don't see it so it's not out.") What a drag, man. But hey, day off.

Got questions? My mailbag's now empty-- after next week's column, all questions I had queued up have been answered. Thanks as always for your participation, and be sure to send in your questions today for our next installment!

--Adam Pawlus

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


Count yourself lucky, Adam. Distribution has been absolutely abysmal here in NYC. Things have always been tricky around here, but this is the first time I've been able to go months without seeing one new figure on the pegs that I've wanted to buy. I've resorted to ebay* for a lot of stuff. The sad thing is that, considering local prices these days, I'm actually saving a fair amount of money shopping only online.

I've also notice my collecting habits changing. I'm realizing I "need" a lot less than I'd be getting if I could easily find this stuff in person.

(*Sorry I can't support EE, but buying by the case really doesn't work for me)


have to agree with Shoeless Jedi... pickings have been very slim here in NJ. I regularly check at least 7 stores about 2-3 times per week and still no signs of Wave 4 or Wave 6, and for that matter I have yet to see the new Clone Wars stuff either.

as far as ordering a case from EE.... I have thought about this in the past as in the long run it would save on gas as well as the wear and tear on my car but what to do with the figures I do not need... sell them, try returning them to a store for store credit ???? I would love to be able to help out my fellow collectors and trade them for figures or sell them the figures at cost but most people do not want to due to shipping etc.

i try ordering from HTS whenever I can.