Q&A: Star Wars Mandalorians, Great and Small

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, February 2, 2020

1. So [a couple of weeks ago] Target has been delivering more of the Carbonized Mandos to their stores, each one getting at least one case.

Do you know the reason behind this? I've noticed an uptick in the number added to ebay just this week, with the overall selling price has been drastically lower than a few weeks ago (suck it, scalpers!).

Maybe Target realizes how hot the show is and wants to keep supplying its fans?

I can't speak to if this was always the plan or not, but I can say it takes a few months to kick off a rerun of a toy. (I mean... I've got experience here.) The boat from China to the USA takes about six weeks (give or take customs), and it takes more than a month to go from "I want to make more of this figure" to "the figure is ready to go on the boat." Based on the date stamp, the Carbonized Mando was produced in early December.

Given that timeline, this probably means it was always the plan to do a split release. A lot of other Target exclusives came out in waves - a few would make it out, demand would rocket, and then another shipment might show up. Based on how Target has treated items like its Jurassic World Spinosaurus and Transformers Siege Rainmakers 3-pack, I'd say that the distribution of the shiny shiny Mando is intentional. It may not be but it's certainly consistent.

I can't speak as to how many were made (I don't know) nor how long the price change will stay, or if it'll go higher or lower or if there's more. But this kind of thing happens when people are smart, so good on them for planning ahead for this one. No specific reason has been given for the rerun, but I assume after the insta-sell-out in October and/or the show's hype, it was probably just part of the plan from the word "go." Considering how many of Force Friday 2017's exclusives are selling below cost, the wait-and-see approach to avoid clearance death seems to have served retailers well this time around. Not so much the fans, but not everybody can be a winner.



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2. I don’t know if you have covered this before or not. I may have just missed it. Do you know if there will be more Black Series Mandalorian figures shipping? I have seen the Carbonized version back out, but still have never found the standard version.

Yes, more will be shipping - but I don't know if that means more of the assortment will ship, or if more future waves will contain the figure that came out last year again. If you see online presales for this figure - if you trust the retailer (cough cough points to where I work) you should probably order sooner than later if you want one. I would not necessarily expect to see more in big box stores soon - but I don't have huge visibility there.

I don't think I'm telling tales out of school when I say that early reactions to the show resulted in madly enthusiastic responses from certain retailers, and now that the world has agreed the conversations have been steering more toward this program. As to how it will all turn out... well, Toy Fair and SDCC are coming up. I'd love to see the ship from the show as a HasLab toy but I can't imagine there's enough interest to support a $300 Razor Crest.





The mailbag is empty! We usually have a preview about ready to go for Patreon supporters, but this week we're plum out of questions. Email me if you have one you'd like answered - otherwise we'll post an editorial or something else next week.

The Super Bowl has come and gone without promoting a new Star Wars project - but we did get a peak at some test footage for Star Wars Underworld which seems to be an example of how the new effects might help bring the show in on time and within budget. The story was that dozens of scripts were completed, but the show was too expensive to make - and then Lucasfilm got sold, and supposedly some of it was incorporated within other projects. Maybe. It's hard to know, we've never really been given specifics.

It's interesting, in that it looks like a cross between a really good fan film and really average full-motion video sequences from a CD-ROM PC game from the late 1990s. You get a little Coruscant, some Stormtroopers, and some iffy camera angles. It was a thing. Much like Star Wars: Detours, it's pretty unlikely we'll get to see a whole heck of a lot more. Given the recent march of Star Wars under Disney, we've had six full seasons of animated series (with a seventh coming), a live-action season, and five movies. That's not too far off from what the Lucas-owned era gave us the previous few decades - a key difference being there's no time to stop and smell the roses.

One odd feature (or bug) of the franchise was we didn't get a lot to work with. A new video or PC game was a huge event, carefully spread out on the calendar far away from a movie or other big thing so we all had time to obsess over it, discuss it, and to pick at it (and its guide books) for months before the next big thing came out. And it looks like we're going to be doing that with The Mandalorian now, as nothing else is on the calendar other than rumors of a new cartoon series, the finishing-up of The Clone Wars, and a long wait before The Mandalorian's second season and whenever the other streaming shows make it out. The Cassian Andor show is rumored to start filming in June - so it'll be a little while before it streams, assuming it makes it out in the first place.

Of course, this doesn't mean there's nothing coming up. Toy Fair is often a source of news, even if it's been decidedly lighter in recent years. (There may be more other news nearby. Real nearby.) Once in a while, Lucasfilm coordinates new plans with Toy Fair - the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back is this year, and surely if there's a new TV show for the kiddies this would be a good time to start making a fuss. And when I last asked there were no plans for a Force Friday in 2020, I still don't think Disney executives would let the year end without a Mandalorian Monday. It'd be a good idea, wouldn't you say? I'd be happy to see the line we should've had last year - it was still a great show.

--Adam Pawlus

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