Q&A: Star Wars Carry Cases and Quotas

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, May 7, 2023

1. Why do you think it is, that Hasbro doesn't produce collectors cases anymore? I'd say after a few thousand 3 3/4" action figures, they have a market. Why wave off a layup?

I don't know that the interest is genuinely there for collector cases. Super7 has made some neat ones for ReAction Figures over the years, but it has been a while. Diamond Select Toys made some good ones - well, at least one - for Minimates too, but the exclusive figures that came with them tended to be the selling point. It's like Hasbro's game-with-figure thing - do you really want the game? No. But will you swallow a game to get a retro Tarkin? Well, I would.

While I think we would all love some sort of official - good - storage/display solution for our figures, I don't know if it's viable. If you're a little kid, a box might do the trick for your 5 or 25 figures. If you're visiting sites like this every week and have hundreds or thousands of them, the old Vader/C-3PO Bust Case isn't particularly efficient. The old vinyl cases (like Super7 remakes) are kind of pricey to produce, and the old ones could only hold about 24 figures. (Having said that, those stackable trays are phenomenal and I'd love a hundred of them.)

"Why wave off a layup?" Look at the industry - The Mandalorian just finished its third season and Hasbro never made a Mando kid line. They shoved a few in Mission Fleet, but they probably could have done a Batman-esque line with Mando's bike, Mando's ships, Mando's Deep Dive armor, Mando's combat ninja training gear, and so on. But they didn't. I'm being a little silly, but you can't tell me they couldn't have sold a 3 3/4-inch Mini-Rigs-esque Razor Crest or N-1 pretty easily. They haven't reissued the old Kenner Power of the Force, Droids, or Ewoks figures - some of which are absurdly expensive - despite having a receptive built-in audience and years of fan marketing. Maybe they just weren't into it, or maybe Disney said "no," but I think it's goofy we're into the fourth year of Retro and there's no vehicles and very little in the way of simple and easy repaints. (Shadow Troopers, Boba Fett, etc.) But I digress.

There's a lot of low-hanging fruit and sometimes Hasbro just doesn't go for it - and it's not just Hasbro, but Mattel, LEGO, and so on and so forth. (Funko? They've done a good job taking the easy money mostly.) There may be some calculus about what fans are willing to spend and how much money they have for this kind of stuff, and it's very possible that the actual sales on a collector case are pretty limited - especially when you consider the old vinyl cases have trays with foot pegs, and not all Star Wars 3 3/4-inch figures use the same size foot pegs. I speak from experience - people don't ready and assume all foot pegs in all figures are the same size, and the same may prove to be true of figure compartments.

If you want this kind of thing, I would encourage you to contact Super7. Why Super7? They already have the tooling and can make a generic "space case" or "star case" or what have you pretty easily - they won't be cheap, but that's 2023 manufacturing for you. You could also just ask Hasbro, but Hasbro's not going to do it for you. I would almost bet money that you will never see another collector's case-style product out of Hasbro for years to come.



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2. Glad to see the [Vintage collection] pipeline reveals [from Star Wars Celebration]. Would be great to see a wave like this every year. A figure from rogue one, a figure from rebels, a sought after figure from a video game, a clone wars figure, a figure from a now older show. Think I’m hoping for too much?

You're hoping for too much. "Why can't Hasbro do things my way?" has been the eternal lament.

If I were you I would recommend pushing an agenda for specific characters. Sure, I could ask Hasbro to make a Droids cartoon character each year, but what I want is Vlix. I could ask Hasbro to make a The Book of Boba Fett character every year, but what I want to see is the Rancor Keeper played by Danny Trejo. A lot of fans told Hasbro they'd buy literally anything on a Vintage cardback (back when the line was resting), and do you know what they got? Rey, Kylo Ren, and other The Force Awakens reissues. That's not what fans were expecting - but they made the mistake of not actually asking for what they want. You need to ask for what you actually want when you go on social media or the fan convention circuit.

I might ask for a new figure from The Mandalorian and for all I know someone at Hasbro might say "OK, here's an R5-D4 reissue with some extra burn marks." That may not be the spirit of the request, but it does fulfill the parameters of "I want a new figure from this show."

We don't even get a new 3 3/4-inch figure from Return of the Jedi every year - this year being an exception. Currently the cadence of releases is weirdly erratic, last year we had an increased focus on The Clone Wars Mandalorians of various flavors, along with then-recent TV figures. I'd rather not see any sort of quota system in case something more exciting came up. If Hasbro said "we're throwing out everything and only doing Mandalorian-timeline stuff for a year," I'd be all for that. Or if a really cool movie came out and they decided to focus on, let's say, "Jabba the Godfather: The Movie," I'd be happy to see more of that. I personally don't know that I want or need more Rogue One figures as the 2016-2017 line was pretty great and adding knee joints to them will not make me or my collection any happier. The same is true for most older video games - I'm past it, I want something else. (Clone Wars could prove interesting given the secondary market prices of existing figures and the mountain of unmade stuff for a show whose kid audience is probably starting to finish college.)

As I write this I assume Rebels is going to get a lot of love in late 2023 or 2024 given Ahsoka has Chopper, Hera, Sabine, Ahsoka, Ezra, Thrawn, and goodness knows who else yet. There could already be "realistic" (or better, retro) Rebels in the works in addition to new TV show figures. And as I've been writing for the last few years, next year is the show's 10th anniversary and the Ghost with figures would make a sensible HasLab project.





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May the 4th be with us - I appreciate how the "let's use this dumb pun to try to move last year's unsold toys" to "let's show you some new stuff." I haven't watched Young Jedi Adventures yet, but the four episodes of the second season of Star Wars Visions have been pretty good. Particularly if you were a fan of Wallace and Gromit. As pre-orders go, the Star Wars The Vintage Collection Wicket W. Warrick & Kneesaa 3 3/4-Inch Action Figures is - unsurprisingly - my favorite of the new stuff. I never actually thought we'd see more cartoon Ewoks toys, even if both are basically repaints. (Before you say "no," remember Kneesaa was a Toys R Us exclusive in the olden days. The all-new Kneesaa coin may be one of the most exciting things, mostly because it's not like there was a prototype one floating around in collector circles in the 1980s.

To my knowledge, there are no plans to do Latara or Teebo or the Duloks or anybody else from this show. Or . But hey Hasbro, good news - 2025 is two years away, and that's the 40th anniversary of those cartoons. What better time to make a Vlix, or Morag, or maybe even a Gorax. Well, I can dream. (Also hey Hasbro - retro is good here. You got some R2-D2 and C-3PO molds now.)

For my retro fans out there, you know that the back half of the 12-backs - that's Jawa, Tusken Raider, R2-D2, C-3PO, Death Squad Commander, and Obi-Wan Kenobi - are up to order. They're $20 cheaper at Hasbro Pulse than Shop Disney, and some people have already gotten theirs delivered. Mine might be here today! I'm hoping.

Anyway, more are on the way I'm sure, so stand by for even more expenditures.

--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.



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