Q&A: Star Wars Pilot Hera's Helmet, Poe Redux, and Let's Talk about Rex, Baby

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, September 25, 2016

This week in Q&A - Hera's new helmet - is it removable? Is Captain Rex going to get a bigger figure? Well, Hasbro hasn't shown it to us yet.

And send in your questions for next week. Read on!

1. Short and sweet because you must know.....Does the new Hera with the A-Wing have a removable helmet?

I can now tell you it is not removable - it's the existing figure's body with a retooled head, and the visor is basically drilled in to her skull. What you see is what you get.

Interestingly, the AT-DP Driver (with the Speeder) is a little smaller and is barely different - but is a different sculpt from - the initial release in 2015. You can tell side-by-side, and with the unique copyright markings on the foot. Namely, the Speeder version lacks them.



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2. Awhile back, Jedi Temple Archives heard from Hasbro that there was a confirmed 6" Black Series Captain Rex coming (presumably from the Clone Wars). When the recent Fans Choice Poll results came in, many sites listed Crimson Guard, Lando, Hera, and Qui Gon as fairly high ranking. But when the finalists were revealed, they were nowhere to be seen. This seems to have been because Hasbro removed them, knowing that they were coming anyway.

So, my question is, do you think Captain Rex from Clone Wars is still in the mix? Or has he been nixed, as in general, it seems Hasbro/Disney avoids any of the Clone Wars material these days? Just curious on your thoughts.

The team at Hasbro for Star Wars has seen a lot of changeover, and a lot of things happen a long time in advance. They told us last February, in person, that a The Force Awakens Luke Skywalker was coming. Have you seen one? I'm in a position of slightly more visibility, and I haven't seen one yet. We were told in late 2007 (or 2008?) that Darth Revan would see a reissue due to his popularity. Did we see it? Nope. Things change - and Hasbro doesn't send out press releases to let you know the variation you were promised or the new figure they confirmed prematurely didn't happen. This is one of the reasons they really probably should keep us in the dark until they're ready to show us a picture of whatever new thing is coming. Things get delayed - some of the "leaks" we see are very real, but get dismissed as fake because things changed behind the scenes. The reporting, quite often, is good.

I'm in no position to confirm nor deny anything Hasbro hasn't made public. Hasbro's churning out Rebels as 6-inch collector figures, so far giving us Ahsoka and Kanan. We know Hera and Sabine are coming. I hope Hasbro has decided to complete the crew with Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper too... and which Rex would we even get? I have no idea. Hasbro knows we like Rex, but along with Zuvio, Rebels repacks, and Finn, I saw more than a few Rex figures sitting around. I have no idea what Hasbro saw.

So I'd say this - NYCC is weeks away, and you're probably going to see new stuff. But don't be disappointed if you don't see everything you're expecting. Except Luke, at this point the lack of Luke and Leia from Hasbro is completely disappointing and a huge missed opportunity in very real sales that would keep the old guard buying and entice the new guard to maybe explore more older stuff if and when that happens. Heck, we could use more Han stuff too. Get on that, someone.




3a. It *is* possible to swap the 6” Poe Dameron [action figure] heads…but the Target exclusive (handsome) head has a *slightly* smaller socket than the regular (ugly) one, so it’s a *very* tight fit, and it puts stress on the neck if you try to pose it. I didn’t want to damage 2 then-expensive figures, so I switched them back almost immediately.

3b. Just thought I'd send a few shots of pilot Poe with the Target Poe's head. It works more or less, but leaves absolutely no visible neck. Also of note, I did have to hit both Poes with the hairdryer to pop the heads. I just couldn't take the original pilot Poe head being on the shelf....


Thanks Jim! Thanks, George!




Want to do a bunch of Rogue One questions next week? Send in questions - I'll have a lot of the toys and I'm ready to go.

Rogue One's launch is this week. The on-sale date is September 30, but Walmart, the Kroger family of stores, and Amazon have decided to ignore some or all of the street dates on these items which might put a damper on the HasDisLucas appeal to local news to film fans in the name of free publicity. I don't care for lining up at midnight when I made it a habit of making toy runs almost every night around midnight during the prequel era, and I still don't like it. Lines are for chumps. I don't blame the stores for the leaks one bit - the shipping cartons look pretty much the same as The Force Awakens ones which have the date thing in the same colors, fonts, and designs - which the underappreciated retail restock crew has been trained to ignore since they've been on items not only long after the date has passed, but on items where the street dates were rescinded or never applied in the first place. Yes, there are items that came out in August with March dates on the cartons. Why? I don't know. I figure it's probably safer to just sit on the product until you're good getting it out. Walmart doesn't necessarily train people to read the fine print on the merchandise, especially when so much of it looks similar to - or identical to - what's already on the shelves. Not everybody is a fan like us, is what I'm getting at.

On the bright side, the stuff is neat. It's weird to examine how things have changed with inflation - the new A-Wing is going to be about $30. Before you scream, the old one was $20 in 1997 which is apparently $30 in today's dollars. The U-Wing has a wide wingspan (but no electronics), with wings that reach out 30 inches wide when sticking out. It's $50-$60, but that'd be a $30+ vehicle in 1997 before inflation - which admittedly would be a pretty fantastic toy in that era. (Seriously, nice wings, nice retractable Nerf launcher.) It's not enormous, but the market for a $200 U-Wing isn't exactly realistic. Lest ye forget, the Republic Gunship went from $50 to $40 (2002, 2003) and then shot up to $120 around 2013... and that's just for a repaint in a different box with a couple of figures. Thanks, inflation. Really think about that - a Republic Gunship and 3 figures (with more gear than the vintage one had) would set you back $30+$15 or so in 2003. And $120 in 2013. That's where we were then - and it's gotten worse. Hence, the downsized encheapened vehicles.

Right now what I want more than anything else is for Hasbro to stop shipping old vehicles again in new boxes when they were previously on clearance - prepare to say hello to more Ezra Speeders, First Order Snowspeeders, Rey Speeders, Y-Wing Scout Bombers, and more old Titaniums. (If you missed them, though, they're pretty good all the same.) If it's possible to see Rogue One launch day product that's similar if not identical to what you got last year, you're doing the launch wrong, and you're training fans to not give a darn about the opening salvo. Nobody wants that - we want an engaged and curious fanbase. And if you're lucky, your curiosity will be rewarded by the realization that the upcoming Imperial Ground Crew outfit is the Imperial outfit Jyn Erso is wearing in that teaser when she's asked what she'll become. It has a jetpack! And no blaster! Who'da thunk it?

Opening day seems like it's going to be light on specific characters. The 6-inch line has repacks of Rey, Jyn from SDCC, and Kylo Ren from SDCC with fewer accessories alongside genuine debuts of K-2SO, snow Cassian Andor, and a Death Trooper. I wonder which ones will result in fist fights. The 3 3/4-inch line has only 7 basic carded figures in wave 1 - I'm not sure when wave 2 hits - but in there you'll get Jyn Erso as the lone Rebel, unless K-2SO counts, and I'm not sure yet. They're joined by a Stormtrooper, the aforementioned Ground Crew, and a new "kitbashed" Kylo Ren with the unmasked body and a masked head. Also, Rebels figures Sabine Wren (yay) and Kanan Jarrus in Stormtrooper disguise (woo). The latter is particularly fascinating due to his facial expression, which works both as "mistrust" and "smells a fart." Win win. I look forward to everybody getting a crack at buying a Sabine figure, you deserve to have one.

The TIE Striker, U-Wing, and AT-ACT will test the resolve of vehicle fans, and while I love the idea of an Imperial Walker that walks the price tag of $300 is likely to scare off all but the hardest of the hardcore - heck, it might even scare them off. However, given the $150 BB-8 last year the AT-ACT could be a fantastic family Christmas present if marketed as such. While I don't have one yet, I got to see a demo of it walking. And the zipline. And the removable cargo container that becomes a little base. All of this and the smart phone-as-a-remote-control Bluetooth compatibility gives it a lot of "oomph" as a fun family toy, assuming you're a Star Wars family, but at $300 it's more expensive than a Wii U, or an Xbox One, or almost a Playstation 4. Or one of those new (for lack of a better metaphor) "audiophile" quality NES consoles they're making with HD stuff that don't rely on emulation. Or that $60 NES thing with 30 games on it. I like video games, is what I'm saying.

There will also be exclusives - some of which you know, and many of which I haven't even got a clue are coming. Unless there aren't any. (But there are some.) These roll-outs are supposed to be a coordinated pop culture assault, but things being "announced" because of loose lips - or items showing up on shelves - shows there's more than a little difficulty in controlling the message. And hey, an exclusive Nerf gun... and it's expensive. Now that's interesting - it's a first for Star Wars but various alien/zombie/post-apocalyptic theme blasters have had exclusive launches before.

Oh, I'm not saying for sure anything will come of it, but for you long, long-time readers - in the mid-late 1990s I got started with ASWN, the not-so-cleverly named all-email text "Adam's Star Wars Newsletter." It got a few thousand readers back when the Internet was a little smaller and before smart phones. I'm in the process of trying to bring something like it back. It's not going to be the same thing - but it might be interesting if you enjoy this column and the kind of stuff I do. And yeah, it's probably going to be more commercial. Stay tuned... it might show up this week if things work out. But don't expect it to be a place to learn too much new news. If you want more of me blathering on about toys, this might be a good week.

--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.