Q&A: Star Wars for Christmas, Return of the Son of Vintage, Battle Droids & Troopers

By Adam Pawlus — Monday, November 19, 2018

1. Is there a convenient online resource to determine how many variants there have been for Snoke's elite praetorian guards or for B1 battle droids in 3 3/4" scale?
I am getting confused by results that include 6" versions...especially when everyone's wisdom seemed to think it was a good idea to call two different scales "the Black Series."

Yes! But you actually have to do a lot of work to find them all.

In the case of Battle Droids, there is no definitive guide to collecting the robot in a particular format of which I am aware - you can see many of them on our Figure of the Day blog tag but it's not yet complete. There are also some overseas-only Battle Droids we haven't covered yet. Also cartoon ones. You've got a lot of work here - I would recommend you be the creator of such a page, and you can let me know and we'll link to you when it's ready.

For Praetorian Guards, there just aren't many so it's much easier and we have a tag there too. There's a 3 3/4-inch The Black Series guard. There's a guard with the Toys R Us Force Link 1.0 gift set with a whip-staff and pointy chin helmet. There's a curved, mushroom-visor guard in the 2-pack with Rey. There's one final guard packed with the BB-8 playset. To my knowledge, that's it so far - there are only 4 different 3 3/4-inch ones that come to mind. I would bet on there being more in the future, unless the backlash for that film put the brakes on such things down the road.



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2. Vintage repacks include Hoth Leia, Echo Base Han Solo, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) and Boba Fett – those 5 will be available via specialty shops. The figures are repacks but the back of the packaging is said to have new material, but what about the front? will the front have the same photos? If I have the original VC do I need to waste money on these?

There are a lot of figures announced at New York Comic Con, but we haven't seen final packaged photos and as you know, sometimes the factory goofs up and puts out a figure without a desired change, or the wrong figure, when it comes to repacks. We'll have to wait and see what we actually get. Without seeing the fronts, we don't know what we can expect yet - sometimes Hasbro reveals these ahead of time, and sometimes they don't. Right now, they haven't, so we don't know what to expect. I would bank heavily on the photo or logo being changed in some way, but what? We don't know just yet. I'm a little surprised Echo Base Han Solo is on deck... it was a snore in 2010. Now you too can relive a few frames of footage! Well, more power to those who missed him last time. I wouldn't be surprised if the fronts were identical (save for the SKU information) with updated cardbacks consistent with the 2019 line look. We'll have to wait and see, because nobody told me.

Yeah, this is the hard-hitting plastic journalism you come for.




3. As we are drawing closer to Christmas it appears for the first time in the Disney Movie era Hasbro star wars will have next to no presence in stores (of anything substantial/ new). Most likely as a result of releasing a movie at the beginning of summer rather than a few weeks before Christmas. So it looks like, as many have predicted, Hasbro business model is to release a glut of toys around the release of a film then barely anything for the rest of the year. Now I'm sure their research is sound but is it not a self fulfilled prophecy for sales for a toy line to diminish if there is no toy line to sell? What are your thoughts? Does it work releasing toys over 3 months of a year or should the line span 12 months of the year? Is this Disney's fault in moving the release back to May? The Solo line has been abit lacklustre, it almost looks like Hasbro themselves were unsure if the film would be released!!

The last big Star Wars launch was September of 2017 - Solo was sort of a dud of an afterthought. As such, the marketplace hasn't really been primed for Star Wars beyond us, and the release schedule for new product isn't conducive to keeping people excited - 3 figures every 2-4 months would probably do more than 8 figures every 4-5 months. But here we are. And those cases have old figures in them on the regular.

Don't blame the movie for this - this is life. Think about how insane it was that Star Wars was everywhere in the 1990s with no new movies - a popular product can sell without a new movie. Star Wars has transitioned away from a once-in-a-lifetime event (like Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens) to a nearly annual, cynical roll-out of new toys for characters you don't know from a movie you haven't seen. Once every 10-15 years? That's a big media event. Every year? People shrug. That's where we're at now - since they're not trading on movies people saw en masse, stores aren't stocking the current offering in a big way. And that's Solo.

It's not Disney's fault, or the store's, or yours. It is what it is - the product made was to support a movie that didn't have real legs. Fans didn't turn up for it. Stores don't really want it. Kids aren't asking for action figures - lightsabers, maybe. Blasters, sure. This is where we are now.



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So January's going to be some fun. Stand by for more.

Before then, send in your Q&A questions - the mail bag is, as of next week, empty. I would love more questions! Or a vacation! (Or maybe I'll just do more Figure of the Day in December? Who knows.) I used to take off Q&A from Thanksgiving to New Year's, mostly because nobody seems to have questions during that period. Not all that much tended to happen before the Disney takeover, now we've had three years of big fan influx thanks to new movies over the holidays. I don't know if Mary Poppins will bring in the questions, though, so send some in if you've got them.

Right now, we don't know officially what all is coming in 2019. Well, you don't. It's a big media year with lots of big things in the Spring, a lot of things in the Fall, and a summer that could be a little more interesting. I'd suggest any fans considering hanging up their hats to hold on for the year, and see what the current Lucasfilm has to offer. Some of it isn't going to be for you. Some of it is so much for you it might hurt. And it might be one of the biggest years for new things for us to watch yet - and with Avatar sequels taking back Christmas, it could be a last hurrah for a little while. Stay tuned kids, because things can come to an end without a big announcement - we don't necessarily know when (or even if) it's going to end soon!

I hit up D-Con with one of my best friends, I got to see the delegation from the nation of Glyos and it was a treat. I would describe it as being like San Diego Comic-Con, minus the comics and Hollywood. More artists, more limited run items, and no real lines to speak of. I saw Funko, Toynami, and heard Super7 was there but was unable to locate them - well, we only had so much time. But it was fun. Look into it.

--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.