Q&A: Star Wars Chopper Redeco, Box Storage, and Episode IX

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, January 14, 2018

1. Do you think we’ll see a repaint of Chopper in his imperial paint job as part of Disney Parks’ line of astromechs since they already have the sculpt/tooling

Probably - so far Disney has been pretty good about maximizing its own tooling library. Not every mold has been reused, but most of them have - and Chopper's complexity and large number of parts would make it a smart choice to bring back in a new color. We don't really know how their operation works, though - what are their minimums, how many do they have to sell to make it worth their while. I assume it's possible, but with the show ending it would probably have to be a surprise, and sooner than later. Lucasfilm has not proven itself to have any sort of long-term attention span when it comes to products from its television properties.



Ad: Star Wars at Entertainment Earth!
Nosferatu ReAction Figure Star Wars Lt. Oxixo TIE Pilot Variant Helmet Prop Replica Star Wars The Black Series Snoke 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Captain Rex 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars Black Series DJ Canto Bight 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars Black Series Rey Island 6-Inch Action Figure Iron Man One:12 Collective Action Figure Star Wars: A New Hope Millennium Falcon Perfect Grade Kit


2. You're an opener and displayer of Star Wars toys. Do you keep the boxes just in case you want to put something away or do you have another method of storage?

Most packaging goes in the garbage or recycling after it has served its purpose - I usually jot down the SKUs off the box, or the biographical text, and then off it goes. With few exceptions, everything is archived online on some site or another so I don't need to keep it to move/relocate/store when I could put actual toys in that place. I know some people see this as a short-sighted move, but as a collector who has been doing this a long time I've rarely seen any loose figure collector past his teens get excited at the prospect of purchasing loose-with-cardback. It's neat for sentiment, but unless you're replacing figures in open packaging for storage reasons, you're just taking up space that could hold more toys.




3. It's been reported that JJ Abrams recently turned in his story idea for Episode IX. Given that Hasbro said it takes 18 months to make a figure, the next saga movie is two years away, and the inevitable early release of merchandise on Force Friday three months prior, are we looking at more updated versions of characters in their already-seen outfits? I'll support the upcoming Vintage Collection re-launch in the hopes that we can get more variety down the road. But it will be hard to buy-in to more of the same 5 POA on a new card.

As of right now, we really don't know what to expect for the next big launch - will Hasbro decide Force Friday is a waste of time? We saw a lot of products get marked down prior to the film's release with a lot of clearances on December 26, and as someone who works in the toy business I see this as potentially devaluing the product. And nobody really wants that. Unfortunately the Christmas selling season has built-in problems given that a lot of toy aisles reset around January 1. Given the movie was just pitched, and we're 21 months out from the movie, a lot can happen.

To my knowledge no time frame has been given for the next movie. Since we're not locked in to "and here's what happened tomorrow," the new Rebels could have all-new uniforms, brand new vehicles, and a lot of off-camera changes. I understand the potential narrative significance in keeping Finn's jacket, or Poe's military uniform, but if Ackbar can change his outfit between films there's no excuse for not changing everybody's costume and hair between films.

I sincerely doubt Hasbro will keep ForceLink and identical figures around for Episode IX, and I'm curious if their experience with The Last Jedi (and what I assume will be a weak performance on Solo toys) could result in a massive drought of product and a perception that the final movie in this cycle doesn't need figures - but rather, more roleplay. It's hard to know what they're thinking or planning, but right now I would find it very difficult for the movie to go forward without at least a little soul-searching about how to make things different, and hopefully the licensees will also pipe up and demand more freshness in the costumes and character selections.



Become a Patron!

Special thanks to our generous Patreon patrons, especially: JT, David, Timothy, Christopher, Robert, Jayson, Marco, Shawn, Stephen, Matthew, Joel, Todd, Jeremy, Fox, and Mario. Thanks for helping us keep the servers on!



So Tuesday. I'll have something excited to tell you on Tuesday. (You, yes you, provided you still also buy these things like I do.)

Toy Fair is just around the corner and chatter is centering around one big question - what will we see, if anything? As of right now we're not expecting anything in February. Or March. History has shown Hasbro to be very stingy with new movie-specific figures, but they're not beyond showing figures and toys with no intention of coming out, or not coming out for months or even a year. Remember the Titanium Series Helmet for the Scarif Stormtrooper they showed last year? They also debuted Han Solo and Boba Fett from the The Last Jedi two-pack at Toy Fair in 2017. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to see a sneak preview of a new classic figure or two, especially in the 6-inch scale. If Hasbro has a new figure format to tease, we might see that too - or packaged samples of the revitalized reruns of The Vintage Collection. There's opportunity, but I assume the real excitement will be in other brands - unfortunate, as there's a lot of untapped interest in Star Wars and the toys themselves aren't doing a lot for me as toys.

Marvel is experimenting with formats, including a non-Legends 6-inch figure style that's big, cheap, and has been selling well. You can find them for Black Panther now, although as far as I know this kind of 6-inch figure - sold on a card, with hip joints, at mass retail - has no known future in Star Wars. A relaunch of Fighter Pods is shipping now, and we might see a tease of future series of those. As far as we know Titanium Series is dead - and I'm disappointed.

I'm expecting Solo to be more like Rogue One as toys go, but with one major difference - this one wasn't designed to have a 6-month-until-the-next-movie life like Rogue One and The Last Jedi were. We really have no idea if this is the start of a new ongoing line that might rope in "classic" (as in, anything before this movie) or if it's just a flash-in-the-plan line and Star Wars will take a dirt nap from September to the following September. I would hope not, as Star Wars does best when there's really no direction. The 2006 and 2007 lines were spectacular, introducing a lot of freshness and big accessories - and coins - at a fairly low price point. Right now it's my hope that "vintage" either becomes the norm, or the 5-jointed figures get revised down to a $6 price point with fewer accessories. Granted, I don't set price points, nor costs, nor is anyone asking my opinion today, so. That's that.

Toy Fair is about a month away, kids.

--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.