Q&A: Star Wars Mini Vehicles, Colleciton Holes, and Stuff to the Third Power

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, April 17, 2016

1. Do you feel the amount of time between the new Star Wars films will deter Disney/Lucasfilm from producing a multiple amount of toys for any given movie? I think that the Force Awakens was the only film that COULD have avoided it since there was no movie preceding it in this run of new films. If the time line hold true to form, the time between movies will be 12 months max. And, if what you have told us before still holds that a line needs a lead time of 18 months, how would there be anything but a few waves of toys and then it would cease?

The Force Awakens seems all but done with new toys, minus what we don't know about or what is clogging the pipeline. I think of Rogue One, due in December. The toys will hit Sept/Oct, like TFA. They will probably be tough to find for the 1st 1-2 weeks, then a huge dump as we get closer. Movie comes out and another push of toys and then done because they have to re-set for Episode 8.

Do you think the Black Series 3 & 3/4" and 6" will continue into Rogue One/Episode 8 time as well or will the focus shift to the new movies for a while and revisit after the new crop of movies is done?

Ooooh... good questions. I don't know if the time between movies will necessarily hurt movies-per-movie, but it will hurt accuracy eventually. Hindsight is important for a collector's line - most of the greatest things we've ever been sold were because of reference and other information available years after the movies came out. I love the original Cantina aliens, but improved reference yields improved figures. My big worry is that it might be tougher to get some CG guys since reference will be later in the game. I'm rather surprised we got a Maz Kanata if the stories about her delayed designs are true, and I wonder if that means Snoke might be put off a while. I'd say "There's always Episode 8!" but who knows what might happen. He might get new pants! Some figures were delayed until January, but... what's next? I don't even know if we have more The Force Awakens coming in 3 3/4-inch at this point. (I assume 6-inch is likely just because of how that line seems to work.) I really hope they bring back The Force Awakens stuff in the gap between the next movies, mostly because the original short time between Rogue One and Episode 8 means the former will probably be a shorter line and now we need some of that sweet sweet filler. Filler is good. Most of Hasbro Star Wars is filler between movie lines and that, my friends, is the best part.

I fully expect Rogue One to look almost exactly like The Force Awakens. If Hasbro's smart, we'll see new and returning characters - would we assume a year will go by without Darth Vader or Rey anymore? I'm still amazed we got out of the last one without a new Yoda or Boba Fett. Right now we don't know what they're planning - we've heard a few leaks, and odds are we'll see more of the same. I expect it'll get muddled due to the timeline of Rogue One and some of who we know (rumors or not rumors) will appear in the film. Some classic costumes will undoubtedly resurface as Disney dishes out the full extent of its investment, but I do not anticipate anything for "classic" unless Hasbro had enough time to have mercy on us and put out some sort of 40th Anniversary range next May since the time gap now exists. I doubt it. With Transfivemers, Guardians 2: The Galaxy, and whatever else, their dance card for 2017 doesn't need more internal competition from other Hasbro boy's toy brands.



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2. I have 1 simple question and a request. The question is this: My collection has become about filling in holes and getting rid of stuff I don't really want/need/have room for. The secondary market is crazy right now and since I haven't been big on e-bay prior, I wondered what you thought about this? Historically, is this normal or can you talk to the fact that maybe it's because of the lack of product or the new movie hype that is all around? I imagine Star Wars is just hot right now, but Hasbro has to see the money being left on the table, right? I would think they would be killing themselves to get some of that.

Request: Are there pictures of your collection anywhere on the net? Or would you be interested in sharing? If I've read correctly, a lot of your stuff is packed away like mine is, but anything you care to share?

Thanks to Hasbro's focus on new over classic, it's a better market for sellers than it has been. A whole new generation of kids are getting turned on to Star Wars and thousands upon thousands of us have collections we want to pare down or dump. So there are eager buyers, and there are eager sellers. This is good. It's more or less normal, I hear of a lot more downsizing in the younger lines (Transformers) as completism is tough thanks to "Lucky Draw" toys (LE 10 pieces!) Star Wars and G.I. Joe not only seems to have more - let's be honest - toy hoarders, but also more army builders. We really like to amass plastic, and if I had to do it over again I'd probably not army build.

Hasbro can't take advantage of the new market where kids are seeing and interested in Star Wars. They can't even react to Rebels' popularity by putting out more Heras and Sabines from 2015, which the market really does need. With thousands - THOUSANDS - of figures, Hasbro can never, ever hope to meet demand for every existing figure. Disney just created demand for two decades of collector product with a new audience - new blood is necessary for any collecting hobby to thrive, and kids are going to be the recipients of some of this stuff. Those figures you sell on eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist may well be going to children who will play with and ultimately destroy them. This is also very good for the hobby.

My Figure of the Day columns here and on 16bit.com show you most of my stuff that I feel like showing off - I generally don't take pictures of the whole collection because I've been in this house for five years and the incoming pile does not permit organization or nice displays. I'm actually trying to unload my trading stash bit by bit, which thankfully I can now do that there's a growing secondary market for Star Wars thanks to the new movies. (Figures have gone from "worthless, throw it in the street" to "Yeah you can probably get ten bucks for that.")

The only stuff I have organized is the more manageable smaller subsets - like my Battle Beasts, Masters of the Universe Classics, most of my Transformers, some Outer Space Men, and Galactic Heroes (the real ones). Star Wars is difficult to display, most of my vehicles are out to see but I haven't yet come upon a good way to display over two thousand loose action figures. I mean, just from a cost perspective, what options are out there? I was trying to find very tall, very cheap cases with glass doors to keep out dust but so far I have yet to find any ideas I like that aren't "pay some dude to make 20 feet of cabinets."

I'm currently in the midst of some interesting developments with my family, interestingly not regarding my collecting habits. Right now the one thing I would say to anyone listening is downsize early and downsize often, even if you've got the resources, because you're probably in this for the long haul. Any extraneous-to-your-collection stuff? Get rid of it. Sell it. Trade it. Don't let it bog you down, because it will ultimately cause problems in your life if you can't manage it.




3. I collect Star Wars ActionFleet and Titanium scale ships as I'm limited with space.

Not really a question, but I am impressed with the recent wave of Ships from the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game (which I have never played).

The Ghost, Punishing One and Mist Hunter for me, are some of the coolest ship designs, and the Box artwork is great.

The Ghost is perfect size of Action Fleet ships, and the Mist Hunter and Punishing One are interesting to compare to their Titanium counterparts.

I could go on, but you know what? This is good to know and hear. Thanks for sharing, Matt!




Surprise - Kmart Starkiller Base Rey has hit! Some people are insisting this was meant to be a May 4th promotion, but well, I bought it and street dates suck. They've been closing Kmarts here at a pretty steady clip and I went through about 35-40 minutes of waiting in lines at 4 registers to buy it - that's how bad it can get at a Kmart around noon on a Saturday. I hate street dates mostly because they're broken - if I find something early, that means anyone waiting for the "proper" date miss out. And I didn't even know there was a proper date - I was just cruising for burgers and stopped in the neighboring Mart of K.

Hey, at least something happened, right? Let's keep the ball rolling. Rebels was pretty good last season, ranging from the delightful to the absurd all in one installment. Inquisitors gaining the power of flight was mercifully overshadowed by Darth Vader riding on the outside of his TIE Fighter, and that's a pretty good metaphor for the show as a whole. There's a lot of silly stuff mixed in with some of the best ideas we've seen in some time. --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.