Q&A: The Really Big Star Wars Hasbro Figures and Customs of Days Gone By

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, September 25, 2022

1. As a kid I remember a site with a bunch of star wars customizations. I can't find the site or anything but this pic attached below. Would you happen to know the link? I'm dying to see them again.

I remember it having a lot of comic related and also some original clone wars stuff. Not the later remake.

I did some poking around and the only picture I could find was this post on the Rebelscum forums from 2008 by a user Monkeywrench. He said the custom Keelkana was part of his collection, but I can't say for sure if it's his design or someone else's. If you're the maker and have a gallery somewhere, let us know!

There is a considerable amount of talent on Instagram, Etsy, and elsewhere making one-off and manufactured custom figures these days. A lot of older stuff has been lost to the ages, but some guys are still out there - I remember seeing the work of Gary Weaver II making the rounds in the 1990s, and he's still at it. You can probably seek out specific customized characters and, eventually, you'll find what you were looking for. I hope. In the era of print magazines, stuff tended to be better preserved but less of it would be seen by anybody in the first place. Now, you basically need to be a hoarder of pictures because none of this stuff is going to last online forever.



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2. Is there any update on the Titan Hero Series? I know they weren't loved by collectors, but they seemed to do well with kids. It seems they're still making them for Marvel and Power Rangers (among other brands/franchises) but we haven't had any new ones since the Sith Trooper. I'm assuming it's canceled, but any ideas if it's really gone or will "somehow return"?


There are no plans for any non-electronic 12-inch Star Wars guys from Hasbro. Other brands continue to do well - Marvel has had some pretty good ones recently, we got some for the last G.I. Joe movie, there are still some grocery/value 12-inch transforming Transformers around that size too plus Power Rangers. But Star Wars? No.

Why? I have no idea - I think it's a huge missed opportunity. I was surprised there was no 12-inch Mandalorian, or Boba Fett (from the movies or series) as of yet - they tended to do pretty well, and these kid-friendly (who would've thunk it) characters would probably have done well had they existed in a kid toy format when the series were airing. Alas, it was not meant to be.

The format continues to do well, but there's minimal market demand for it. It won't surprise you to hear you're the first question I've had not complaining that they even exist in quite some time. I'm really fond of the line - I picked up some droids, Chewbacca, Luke, Darth Vader, Lando, and a few other odds and ends. If they ever made more from the new shows I'd probably pick up a few more - but the ones that tanked really tanked. You can still find Rogue One Titan Heroes at 99 Cents Only here.

If you want something 6-inches and $5, check out Five Below stores. Their reset has a new wave which features Luke Skywalker, Bo-Katan Kryze, The Child, Darth Vader, and an Imperial Stormtrooper.  As far as I know, the 6-inch Chewbacca figure has not been available in the USA in any format and has so far only been sold in Europe.  (If anyone has a Chewie to sell, call me.)





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The Voice of Darth Vader! Arguably the most interesting confirmation this week was something that was completely left out of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series' making-of special/puff piece, but now we know! James Earl Jones didn't record Darth Vader for the series which is why he sounded a lot younger. The distortion probably means this could be great for robot voices - it's possible Hasbro's eOne could do the same with younger Peter Cullen and Optimus Prime or the late Chris Latta for Starscream and Cobra Commander - but who knows? If this is state-of-the-art movie magic today, it'll probably be old-hat and available for $20 on your phone in a couple of years. It's certainly groundbreaking stuff, but the big question is just what can you do with it that will sound good and what are the ethical implications for using the voices of the dead. Or finding out that someone will have signed away their likeness or voice, and then we find out in 100 years they're using the personality to sell local used car dealerships.

HasLab! Their latest offering is the Marvel Legends Engine of Vengeance, and it missed its early bird goal of a bonus figure last Friday by over 3,000 units. I'm kind of surprised - at this rate, I assume that means this is unlikely to fund shy of a last-minute, skin-of-its-teeth surge. Previous items with Early Bird bonuses that did well include the instantly-funded HISS Tank and Ghostbusters Proton Pack, both of which were unwieldy for mass retail and are widely-known and beloved 1980s icons. Pulse Con is this week so I assume we're about due to hear buzzing for the next Star Wars and/or Transformers items.

Andor! I didn't love the premiere. It's kind of hard to put up a spoiler warning when you watch three episodes of a show, over two hours, with what feels like about 30 minutes of story. There were some particularly gripping flashbacks (which seemed to hint at another interesting story about some scavengers) alongside and based on the critic reviews and fan praise, either I'm missing the point or maybe it will get better. I didn't love the muted sound mix or overly dark and shadowy look and feel of the series, because my ears can't squint. Also given Star Wars' reluctance to admit sex exists, I can't help but wonder if the few references we got in Andor were just to say "this is an adult show." Or at least, to give the window dressing of a more adult show. "We acknowledge that sex work exists and two adults may spend time hugging and kissing without pants on, so you the audience can now accept this glacially paced show as adult entertainment."

After watching it, I put on The Book of Boba Fett for the first time since it ended. Despite its unusual pacing and structure, a heck of a lot more happens in the first couple of hours. While I could argue it (and really, most origin stories) may be a waste of time, the show is vibrant, easy to hear, and you get some environments that vary a bit more in texture despite all being on one planet. As someone who writes about toys this sort of thing matters a lot to me, as opposed to Andor and its mostly-human, fall LL Bean catalog aesthetic in urban blight. With 12 episodes and promises of more familiar faces in the trailers I expect it's going to get a lot more interesting. But after three episodes, I'm not feeling it yet - and three episodes is a lot to give a TV show in an era with dozens of other things, like recorded episodes of Svengoolie, that I could be watching instead.

As of now there aren't any known plans for any big Andor toy line, but there are some The Black Series figures. (If there's anything coming for 3 3/4-inch in any flavor outside of the one Disney parks droid, we haven't seen it.) I hope it picks up, because the promise/threat of 21 more episodes like the three I just saw sounds like a boring, generally joyless slog. I know people say "give it some time," but I was pretty on board with every other TV project after one or two episodes. Well, OK, Resistance went from "this could be neat" to "wow, are all the heroes being played as dumb?" pretty quickly.

Last I heard, The Bad Batch will most likely return in January of 2023. This means Andor should wrap up the day before Thanksgiving, giving us a solid month off of full episode-length adventures from a galaxy far, far away. I'm also pretty sure that by the time Andor wraps, there will be more hours of small-screen live action Star Wars than there are hours of movies. This will undoubtedly put fans of the prequels and the original trilogy at a disadvantage when it comes to new toys, and it's been pretty dire in recent years as it is. At least they're going to give us some stuff for the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi next year... but after The Empire Strikes Back I wouldn't get your hopes up too high.

Also don't forget the Tales of the Jedi shorts are still coming this year, which I assume exist mostly to further promote The Clone Wars and its spin-offs while ramping up for Ahsoka and what I assume will be a metric ton of licensed apparel next year. I'm guessing they won't be going all-out on toys for that either but I'm going to reiterate my uninformed prediction that the Ghost would be a good HasLab ship next year.

--Adam Pawlus

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