Q&A: Star Wars Exclusives, Retro Figures, and Repaints

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, April 5, 2020

This week in Q&A - Retro Kenner Figures - will there be more new old-style ones? I hope so. And exclusives - can they come back? (Yes.) And White troopers when we've had red troopers - can we expect more recolors?

Be sure you send in your questions for next time. Read on!

1. Hasbro has released a [Grand Moff Tarkin action figure] and will be releasing a snowspeeder Luke with board games in retro style. Tark as a never before figure was really fun and Luke could be. If we are going retro there is only figure to make next and that is Vlix. We share that dream. What kind of lobbying campaign the offer a cardboard box and Vlix do we need to create?

I think he needs a board game. In all seriousness, any retro figure you guys want should probably have a massive campaign behind it - make a fuss. We got Tarkin, and I'm amazed we didn't get the other two that fans asked for in the 1990s - Slave Leia and/or Wedge Antilles. Snowspeeder Luke sounds a lot like the kind of "well, uh... it's something" that doesn't drive excitement. I'll get it. I'm happy for it. But I'd really like something that isn't a character I have in a similar costume. Also Vlix.



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2. Recently there have been some fairly short lived and somewhat hard to come by 6" The Black Series exclusives. Heavy Mandalorian from Best Buy, Purge Trooper from GameStop, Jedi Revan from GameStop, Battle Droid from Gamestop. Some of these were blink and you missed the pre-order and never available at retail (GameStop items).

Do you have any idea if more of these are on their way, might be re-released in the near future, or available via other channels like Entertainment Earth?

Historically most part 6" figures haven't been overly difficult to track down. I'm wondering if we've entered a new era where you've got a very short window to place pre-orders otherwise you're relegated to buying scalped toys on eBay.

Exclusive figure edition sizes aren't generally tiny - so if you don't see a lot active/sold on the likes of eBay, I would assume there may be some in the ether waiting to come out.

Reissued figures depend entirely on the deals with the stores, and what Hasbro/Disney feel like doing. Sometimes other stores get a crack at popular exclusives, sometimes the store in question will opt to do another run, and sometimes it just never happens again - because that was the intention, like SDCC items. All I can say - and you can probably tell why - is keep watching the stores, and as soon as opportunities present themselves you should pounce. Even Hasbro Pulse's "sold out" items sometimes show up a few months later. Set up reminders and alerts if an online store allows it, and you'll know as soon as you can know.

The Heavy Infantry Mandalorian is indeed reopened to more customers (we have it at Entertainment Earth where I work) and others may be too - just keep asking. I'm sure Hasbro and all small retailers want to sell things right now, as this is our way.




3. Will they be releasing a 3.75 scale white jet jump trooper (non-sith)? They released in 5 inch & 6 inch.

It hasn't been announced, and as such I can't say. Fan demand can make a lot happen, and from where I sit fan demand is not making a lot of noise for The Rise of Skywalker stuff. I would suggest making some noise on the forums. The 3 3/4-inch figure has some "Sith Grooves" on it, while the 6-inch one - and photography - does not. I don't know if Hasbro would be down for a straight-up recolor, or if a new or tweaked sculpt is necessary to make it happen. That's up to the licensors.

My hunch is nobody at Lucasfilm wants you to remember The Rise of Skywalker or The Last Jedi at this point, though. With one Knight of Ren in each scale - nowhere near a team! - the era of your being able to collect them all is probably over.



This week's delays include the Detroit Auto Show (cancelled), Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021), and Morbius (2021). And the new Minions (2021). And Indiana Jones 5 was pushed to 2022, when Harrison Ford will be 80, and let's be honest that movie probably won't get made. I was going to write a joke about there being a Wikipedia page for movies postponed by the pandemic, and wouldn't you know it, one already exists. From where I sit, it looks like we should write off any communal activities until late Q3 or Q4. Even if the virus disappeared in 3-4 months after it hit the US in a big way, that's June or July.

Other than movies, the big targets San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, and New York Comic Con. My prediction: cancelled, maybe business as usual, and cancelled at the last minute (in that order. I wonder if I will remember to check this prediction later? Probably not.) As much as I would love for everything to be back to normal, I'm not expecting it until China is back to normal, and that too seems like a moving target. Some days it sounds like things may be back to normal, then the next it sounds like it isn't.

Toy releases are also seeing some delays, but so far it looks like small ones. Some things are still on the way, and unfortunately the delays are less obvious. As I write this earlier in the week, I don't know if those Ghostbusters toys will hit shelves, or just sit until later. With no movie, it's just yet another nostalgia line - and a lot of it could do well, provided people are going to the toy aisle or thinking about ordering toys online. The toys are the marketing for the movies, the movies are the marketing for the toys, so when one slips - or when one doesn't get the promotion as it should - the entire animal suffers. Regardless of how I feel about The Rise of Skywalker as a movie, both it and Solo had very short marketing windows rather than the year or more Rogue One and The Force Awakens enjoyed - the long run up to the film should be exploited, and hopefully these movies delayed into next year can benefit from another 12 months of awareness. Maybe Marvel can stop keeping The Eternals as one big secret so people can get excited before its supposed February 2021 release, then delay, then eventual debut on Disney+.

The big question you are/should be asking is "but what of the movie toys?" Official announcements haven't been made yet and as such, I'm being told there are lots of discussions. Just holding some of the toys until movie release is likely, and some might sneak out - particularly if they've already been shipped to stores, they're going to wind up somewhere. The only real analog we have to this situation is the second G.I. Joe movie which got delayed when figures were hitting shelves, sold and later went on clearance, and returned to shelves months later. I'd say "keep your eyes open" but right now you're supposed to be staying home except for supplies and groceries and the masks you won't find.

It's still going to be a neat year for toys - and other than the new movie toys there are a lot of things coming later anyway. From what we've seen so far, things like a new Admiral Ackbar, and Scorponok, and a giant Snowspeeder, and a new Power Droid will ensure things should be, at the least, decent. McFarlane Toys even has a new Spawn figure coming soon. Now if you can find these things, that's another matter, but until circumstances stop all forms of fun, we've got a lot on deck to ensure good distractions are en route. And if that don't suit you, there's always Animal Crossing.

Of course, other things can also get in the way of finding toys. Happy non-hunting, folks.

--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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