Q&A: Star Wars Kenobi Characters (Spoilers for Finished Show) and HasLabnormalities

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, August 28, 2022

1. There have been 4 successful brands for Haslab (Star Wars, Marvel, Transformers, and GI Joe). When do you think there will be another brand added (MMPR, perhaps), and do you have a dream project of any brand , past or present, that you would love to see (mine would be a Playmates TOS Enterprise bridge).

Also Ghostbusters! That was a big winner.

At this point, given my druthers, I'd want to see a 40th Anniversary Ewoks/Droids The Retro Collection program - just throw 'em up on HasLab, make the entire line (original produced figures), the known prototypes that got to the painted stage, and the less-known "lost" Ewoks prototypes - Latara, Kneesaa, Kaink, and Teebo - and whatever else they felt like throwing in, for whatever they felt like charging for it. That anniversary would be 2025, if anyone is taking notes. Coins, Vlix, the works. If it's $300, fine, whatever, just do it. If they wanted to throw in the cartoon-style C-3PO carry case and the White Witch, I'm all ears.

Hasbro could try anything if they thought the money was there since the risk is reduced greatly by having fan funding. I wouldn't bank on My Little Pony or Littlest Pet Shop, but they could probably do a life-size Butterscotch or something really outlandish. (They won't.) Hasbro also has a lot of things they could just make to see what happens - a 6-inch scale M.A.S.K. Thunderhawk with Matt Trakker could probably move units at $200-$300. They could probably make some nifty Inhumanoids. Depending on the trademark status, they could probably reissue some rare Laser Beasts and make some new ones quite cheaply too. They could make really big Zords, or more Blythe, the world's largest Mr. Potato Head, it's an area of potential greatness and completely uninteresting ideas.

Hasbro is sitting on a lot of IP, not to mention legendary unproduced prototype toys that could get made. There are several unmade Jurassic Park Chaos Effect dinosaurs I'd love to see made, but the license is sitting at Mattel. There are, of course, many Star Wars toys dating back decades. Kenner-style Gargan, at least two waves of Ewoks and one of Droids, a Blockade Runner, and that whole legendary 1986 line of unproduced concepts would all be rather enticing to me. Obviously there's no money to be made on doing one or two figures, but if they wanted to slap together a package of $300-$600 of Kenner-style stuff? I'd skip a few meals to get it.

Given how many fans collect boxed toys, I'm a little surprised - with the closed-box initiative - that Hasbro just doesn't make fake boxes for toys that don't exist. I'd never buy it, but the tooling budget would probably be quite affordable. (If people will pay for NFTs, someone will pay for an empty box.)



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2. Any word on Little Leia or [Tala Durith] from [the Obi-Wan Kenobi streaming series] making their way to 3.75 soon?


Soon? No.

I have not heard about any figures from Obi-Wan Kenobi other than what has been shown. Of course, that's not without precedent - they took some time getting out The Mandalorian figures and put a rush job on Grogu once they realized they had a hit on their hands. The Book of Boba Fett finished up almost nine months ago and we haven't seen any new figures announced. Many season two The Mandalorian guys are finally getting shipped or announced, and as of my writing this they've been tight-lipped about Andor. I should also note they've been incredibly tight with any Disney-era movie guys that we didn't get during the launch window.

If we ever get these figures as licensed entities, it's not going to be before Christmas 2022. Maybe Christmas 2023. We're still waiting on 2020's Luke Skywalker from The Mandalorian after all.

I wouldn't mind seeing Hasbro start to put up large swaths of these guys as a HasLab project - preferably Kenner style, but I'm biased - because our collective attention span is incredibly short. Most action figures take about 18 months to develop from putting the name on a greenlit list to being in your hands, and in today's marketplace 18 months could mean 1-2 movies and 6 seasons (or more) of streaming series come and go before that item comes out.

In a real case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't," the old Midnight Madness/Force Friday model had some perks when Hasbro really went for it and had 20-40 figures ready-to-go at launch, but Disney and Hasbro won't do that anymore. I really don't think they see action figures as a "play pattern" anymore - figures seem more like collectibles, like a trading card, than they should be. The Book of Boba Fett was a great example of a missed opportunity to put out Boba Fett figures, bikes, Rancors, and so forth - many of which could be done using old molds. But they didn't. They could probably make Tala using the old Imperial Officer lady mold, but they didn't. (It could be lost by now, too.) Right now certainly feels like we lost the golden years of Star Wars collectibles, and as such I'd say you should probably temper your expectations simply because if the record-shattering viewership of The Book of Boba Fett didn't encourage Hasbro to put Boba Fett on the shelves for kids during the time it was airing, the chances of them going back and making below-the-title characters from old shows in smaller every day.

Start a petition, write some letters, raise a stink at conventions. Otherwise expect the usual handful of easy repaints before the collective attention span moves on to the next shiny thing.





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Well, obviously we're not talking about Andor right now - but we're waiting to see how it'll turn out, and with a whopping 24 episodes over 2 seasons, I'm hoping it'll be the best thing we've ever seen. It's also bizarre to be a fan of something like Star Wars, which got 3 prequels fans didn't love so Disney made Rogue One as another prequel, and that prequel is now getting its own prequel series. I assume we're getting it because fan reaction to Rogue One was really positive, also because it doesn't matter if it's a roaring success if it can keep people subscribed to auto-pay on Disney+ for a couple of years. The triple-header premiere is in about 3 weeks.

But, while we wait, there's a lot more to watch! Resident Alien is currently streaming its unusual quirky faux-1990s style small-town genre show. Amazon's Lord of the Rings kicks off tonight and HBO's Game of Thrones prequel kicked off last week. Lower Decks is back for Star Trek fans, and we just got Sandman on Netflix pretty recently. Marvel's She-Hulk is continuing to air new episodes weekly, HBO Max is almost ready to wrap up season 3 of Harley Quinn, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero hit theaters, and all of this stuff is just what's on right now, in August 2022.

Between all of those shows, we've got about a dozen toys. Hasbro made She-Hulk in Marvel Legends, and Funko has a smattering of Pop! Vinyl figures from House of the Dragon and She-Hulk.

As kids of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s - I assume nobody younger than that is reading - we grew up in a world where we frequently got massive toy lines alongside a new cartoon or movie, and sometimes those ran a little late. With Star Wars, day-and-date toys are less common and I'm kind of amazed there's no tie-in with the new Lord of the Rings show on-shelf right now. It's a weird market shift that you can't just go to the store and buy toys based on the latest thing, other than maybe Marvel Legends in the case of the films. Given our attention spans I can't assume this is good for maximizing sales out of a great new movie or TV show, but it has to do wonders to limit risk.

A lot is coming up in September. Andor is September 21, and Hasbro's PulseCon is September 30 and October 1. and The Bad Batch is rumored to be delayed. I also am dying inside as I write this sentence: we'll probably find out more on Disney+ Day on September 8.

There's a lot to enjoy right now, even if Star Wars toy news is a little light. But at least there are plenty of genre shows to watch while we all take bets on when they will quietly cancel The Acolyte, a High Republic-era prequel to the prequel to the prequel streaming project you already forgot existed.

--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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