Q&A: Missing Joes and Star Wars Patience

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, August 4, 2019

1. Were there any indications that g.i. joe: ever vigilant was still planned for a march 2020 release at SDCC? I recently Googled the snake eyes origin film to see if there was any news on it, but totally forgot that ever vigilant was still planned. I was wondering if there had been any thoughts from hasbro to prepare for their next anniversary of the "real American hero" line or if the film(s) are planning to coincide their release with the anniversary.

While nothing was seen or discussed at Comic-Con, an announcement of the movie's delay. The Snake Eyes spin-off has had some work done for a while, but now it's getting pushed until at least fall. It isn't going to make March - Paramount recently floated a date of October 16, 2020. Since the movie hasn't started shooting, it should not surprise you that it might mean toys are also sort of an unknown right now. I would say the future is very bleak for a full-blown figure-and-vehicle toy line in that beloved 3 3/4-inch scale - but I'm sure we'll get something.   The era of a new toy line putting our childhood ranges to shame is probably over.

As one good delay begets another, Micronauts got pushed to June 2021. But I don't know that we're really going to see a Micronauts revival, it's been over 10 years since Hasbro teased it at Toy Fair and all we've had were a handful of micro figures and a trio of reissues. Maybe they'll do something, but the cartoon revival seems to not be happening and Stretch Armstrong came and went without much of a blip. I don't assume Micronauts has a lot of name recognition outside toy collectors who pride themselves on being toy collectors.

The next anniversary of A Real American Hero is its 40th - we've got The Empire Strikes Back next year, and Joe's in 1982. The big Joe's 50th was 2014, and nobody came to the party. Most anniversary toy lines are either astonishing revivals or sad last gasps. Star Wars had a brilliant 30th anniversary line and the 40th anniversary line was not terribly exciting.

It's hard to contemplate, but as we get older, our peers leave. Marvel is lucky to have cultivated a new audience for this stuff over the years and at 80 may be bigger than it's ever been - and will ever be again. Star Wars has done pretty well when it was coasting, but right now with the attempts to shift the customer in a new direction it seems to be struggling a bit. Star Trek is doing a heck of a lot now that its 50th is over, but the audience is still very old.

I hope I'm wrong, but my hunch is the 3 3/4-inch action figure's glory days are behind us and the future is going to be a smaller, more selective line of toy-like collectibles aimed for adults. I love a lot of what Hasbro has done but I assume once the toy world started to appeal more to adults than kids, we got into trouble.



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2. Call me cheap and impatient, but I can get a Stormtrooper Han for far cheaper than the SDCC Luke at current prices on EBay, but do you know any Luke heads that will fit on the Han body?

I'll level with you - I'm not gonna check all my Lukes. The new 2019 Stormtrooper Luke head is one of Hasbro's best and I'd suggest sucking it up to get one. It uses some of the same parts from the Imperial Scanning Crew like the rice-sized commlink and has the fancy hips that go in all directions. It has a unique belt with the grappling hook - also on TK-421. It would be irresponsible of me to suggest you do a second-rate head swap, especially since I'm lazy and don't want to go through 24 years of Luke figures to answer this question.

It's not as good but Legacy Stormtrooper Luke [ Amazon | eBay ] is probably your best existing option. But seriously, just wait for the new 3-pack or a single-carded reissue that may or may not happen some day. It's kind of expensive now but there are more to go around and I don't doubt someone will break up the 3-packs so you can just get the one(s) you want.





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My digital camera of 7 years broke, so I thank all of you who support the Patreon (see above) for having kicked in a dollar here or there. It normally goes to domains and hosting, but it's also there for site-related equipment and I thank you for that. That little camera took a lot of abuse, and its replacement will hopefully take a lot more between now and the time the idea of a 3 3/4-inch action figure becomes unprofitable for Hasbro. Give the talk of new toy taxes, maybe that'll be next year.

And now, we wait some more. A few "late" items are trickling out, and I just gave up on getting a domestic release of the Holographic Maz Kanata The Last Jedi 5-pack and bought one on eBay from overseas. Maybe they'll show up somewhere on the cheap - but I've been wrong before, and obviously the supply at the place I work at didn't show. I wouldn't assume we're at the end of the line yet, but with no license renewal made official/public I'm not going to be leaving much on the table in the scales that I want. In the scales I don't want, well, that's another matter entirely.

If history is any indication, Triple Force Friday will bring some surprises but not a lot of awesome exclusives. Usually those come later, and the last few new movie items have gotten pretty cheap over time. Having no information to go on, I'm really hoping on some sort of Hutt at some point - but I assume I'll be disappointed. Hasbro has been giving more non-spoiler spoilers with some characters in its upcoming lines hinting at movie spoilers before the movie hits. For example, the Palpatine reissue in 6-inch corresponds to the character showing up in the new movie. Yoda showed up in early The Last Jedi waves before we had official word of the Jedi Master showing up on screen. For reasons only a licensing agent can know, Hasbro put out classic reissues of Han, Luke, and Leia with The Force Awakens' launch rather than their new, infinitely more anticipated-at-the-time costumes. It makes sense why Lucasfilm and Disney are keeping so much under wraps, because they're really bad at keeping secrets. Remember, Rogue One's Darth Vader figure was actually a classic Star Wars version in the databases - it just happened to look like the then-new costume in the movie.

Enjoy your specks n' speckled speculation.

--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, and we're down to 2 questions per week until we get overloaded with questions to re-expand back to 3 or more.



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