Q&A: Star Wars Playses on Crowdfunding or the Carving Block, Retro Kenner Indiana Jones

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, October 23, 2022

1. Hasbro is making retro Indiana Jones, and are planning figures in the line that weren't done before.

Why are they not doing more retro Star Wars OT figures that weren't done before?!

So far they only did 2 since the retro line introduced, 3 if you count the new retro Vader.

I just don't get it. SW always outsold IJ.

Can I just say how much I love that we're talking about retro 3 3/4-inch figures? This is marvelous. It will allow me to do what I've always dreamed - to finally, once-and-for-all, alienate almost all of you with my love and enthusiasm for the old toys.

This has nothing to do with Star Wars outselling Indiana Jones, but more of taking advantage of a marketing opportunity. They should've put out 40th anniversary Kenner Indy Jones this year, but didn't - so it has to be next year. And there are under a dozen full-sized human articulated figures in all of The Adventures of Indiana Jones, so if the line goes beyond two or three waves they simply have to make new ones. Meanwhile, Star Wars got two waves of six in 2022 with 1 reissue of a reissue (Boba Fett), and 3 new reissues that we know of that may ship this year (Bossk, IG-88, Dengar.) That's 15 figures before you get in to the special prototype exclusive figures, or more than Indiana Jones had in its entire two-year Kenner output.

As of my writing this Hasbro hasn't officially announced the Retro Indy line-up beyond one figure. While Hasbro did say "a mix of original and never-before seen figures" during Pulse Con 2022, I am not aware of what never-before-seen figures they mean. It's worth noting that 6-inch Adventure Series "will be over 25 items" (not figures) "between mainline and exclusives." It's a pretty safe bet Retro will be a fraction of that - it's unlikely that they are going to remake the entire 1981-1982 line in a single year. I can't imagine it'll be bigger than Marvel or Star Wars Kenner lines either.

So let's set that Indy retro expectation. How many Kenner figures does Hasbro typically crank out since we started getting these in 2019?


1. Hasbro launched Kenner Marvel around September 2020. Since 2020, we've received 40 "basic" figures (including major character costume repaints like Yellow Wolverine and Green Phoenix, NOT including the Pulse exclusive 2 metallic figures or 6 first-edition packaging variants.) So in 25 months, you got about 1.6 figures per month.

2. Hasbro launched Kenner Star Wars in May of 2019. Since May of 2019, we've received 34 figures (not including the Target Prototypes) in 41 months - or about .82 figures per month. (As of right now, I can name 15 more we're expecting in 2023 - all classic reissues.) I don't want to count all the prototype variants in there because that seems like we're stacking the deck.


Let's assume we're getting Indy figures in April or May. If we got 1.6 per month, we could get as many as 12 next year. If we get .82 figures per month, we'll get 6. Given how "new" gets parsed for Star Wars, it's possible "new figure" may not mean the same thing to you and me as it does to Hasbro. If they make a prototype Indy, is that new? How about battle damaged/sweat/bloody Indy? If a figure that wasn't previously sold carded finally sees a carded release, would that be new? Remember we got "new" vintage Star Wars waves of existing figures on new cardbacks, so these are distinctions you may want to consider before asking "how come Indy gets all the fun?" I have absolutely no idea how many Retro figures we're getting, but I will say this - eagle-eyed fans should look at the packaging. Indiana Jones' cardback has one SKU - no assortment SKU - meaning these are likely to be solid cases only, no assortments. That's very unusual for non-exclusive action figures, because big stores want assortments for simplicity in stocking. Since it's not a wave, there's no guarantee we're getting 6 figures, 7 figures, or even 3 figures. We're in uncharted territory here. Does this mean Target and Walmart will only stock Indy himself and skip the rest? I have no idea. (I'm not in their purchasing department.)

If we're only getting 6-12 figures for a Kenner retro The Adventures of Indiana Jones line - and that'd be a big line compared to year one of both Marvel and Star Wars retro lines from Hasbro - at best we might get a couple of new faces. And that's OK - Hasbro can probably milk Star Wars retro for a few years, but Indiana Jones as a property for a company the size of Hasbro will be worthless in 18 months unless they do a preposterously large box of figures for HasLab. If they let the license go to Super7, sure, we may see a lot more cool stuff - but Hasbro keeps its lines small and tight, and they are very stingy with retro Kenner things. I would not expect Indy will outpace Star Wars for new Kenner tooling next year - after all, we could still see waves for The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian season 3, Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew, or even Clone Wars or The Bad Batch. (It's not original trilogy, but it would be the same resources put toward new old-style figures.) And if it does, hey, let the Indy fans have their fun. It'll all be over soon.



Ad: Order and Pre-Order new Toys at Entertainment Earth!
Get Free Shipping on Orders $39+ with code FALLFREE2022
Star Wars The Black Series Phase II Clone Trooper Premium Electronic Helmet Prop Replica Star Wars The Retro Collection Princess Leia Organa (Boushh) 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection The Emperor 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection Biker Scout 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection Han Solo (Endor) 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Retro Collection Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard) 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Vintage Collection Gaming Greats Star Wars Jedi: Survivor 3 3/4-Inch Scale Action Figures 3-Pack Star Wars The Black Series Dark Trooper Deluxe 6-Inch Action Figure G.I. Joe Classified Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 9 Set of 3 Star Wars The Vintage Collection Action Figures Wave 11 Case of 8 Mandalorian The Child Plush Backpack - Entertainment Earth Ghostbusters Kenner Classics Action Figures Wave 2 Set of 2 Transformers Studio Series 86 Core Wheelie Fortnite Victory Royale Raptor Action Figures Wave 1 Set of 2 Playmobil 71012 Wiltopia Anteater Care - Entertainment Earth


2. Given that Jabba's/Bib's/Boba's palace playset seemed like a no-brainer for a HasLab project but ended up being offered via Hasbro Pulse, do you think other playsets like Wuher's Cantina might go a similar route? I'm picturing the bar and entrance being offered through Hasbro Pulse while complementary alcoves could be retailer exclusives, similar to the palace sets.

I doubt you'd see a build-a-playset thing - especially if it was a HasLab item. They'd want to sell you the whole thing in a box, with figures, and get $300-$500 out of you. I'd personally love to see a footpeg-free playset with retro Kenner figures (Garindan, Ponda Baba, Wuher, Dr. Evazan, etc.) so you could use the playset with your 1990s-present figures, or your old toys, or the new ones. But I doubt many would agree with me. (At the very least, throw a Kenner Wuher in there. I paid over $30 for a fake Kenner Garindan, let's do this.)

Original Kenner's playset game was overrated, but it was better than nothing. Hasbro's current playset game is about the same. They're fine. They're not amazing, and demanding I buy two of something is clever but unsatisfying. I don't think we'd get multiple SKUs to build out a Cantina, but at some point - and soon - they're going to need to do the full Cantina. Why? Time's running out. The 11-year-olds of 1977 are a decade away from retirement, and the xennials who brought up the caboose of the original Kenner generation are hitting middle age. If you want a HasLab Cantina, start a petition site. I will link to your petition site. Other sites will also link to it. Make a fuss, or forever hold your peace.

I can't imagine you'll see a Pulse Cantina unless it's crowdfunded. Based on the rumored sales numbers of Boba's Palace, I think playsets are an experiment they're unlikely to repeat.

A cardboard Cantina diorama was made in 1997/1998 for about $10 and it may be the best, and by best I mean most complete, official option available to fans today. A friend of mine is whipping up a 3D printed model that looks pretty decent and I will share it with you as soon as he lets me talk about it. (Beyond what I just wrote, I mean.) The Hasbro team has experienced a lot of generation loss as the people running it get younger and younger, so it's a pretty safe bet that few people working on it today have a really good sense of literally everything they have made, haven't made, and have been dancing around doing for years. I think it's kind of a miracle that someone gave us an actual official Kenner-style Grand Moff Tarkin because classic stuff - and I don't mean "things that place during the Original Trilogy," I mean "stuff that kids in the 1980s would've killed for" - is in very short supply these days.





Become a Patron!

Special thanks to our generous Patreon patrons, especially: JT, Jared, Bobb, David, Galvatim, Christopher, Robert, Marco, Dan, Stephen, Matthew, Jayson, Todd, Kristine, and Mario! Thanks for helping us keep the servers on!



HasLab is currently running a Marvel Legends item and a Heroscape item. The Marvel item is very unlikely to fund. The Heroscape item will probably only fund once the Marvel item not funding spooks people into pledging. Mattel has funded Eternia if that's a thing you want. For those keeping track, Hasbro's track record on successful HasLab projects is currently 10 for 15 - and 2 of those 15 are up for grabs right now.

So now we've seen what I assume is the bulk of the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi wave 1. There will undoubtedly be more The Black Series waves, as there were in 2020 for The Empire Strikes Back, but I assume this might be it for the Kenner guys - which is disappointing. The pre-orders went up this week for the first/only six, and they made some good choices with some weird changes. It's my hope we see another wave with Wicket, a Gamorrean Guard, the Emperor's Royal Guard, and hopefully more - the Power of the Force erasure almost feels like they're holding it back as a last-last-ditch effort when other nostalgia runs out for good. Surely Han Solo in Carbonite and Endor Poncho Luke would be strong sellers at this point. (Or the Max Rebo Band would be nice.)

Next year is also the 20th anniversary of the Clone Wars project, which makes me feel old as I remember going to Hasbro to cover those toys back in 2003. I assume they're going to want to mine more nostalgia - after all, we got the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm too - so maybe we'll start seeing the 25th anniversaries for the prequels, or the 40th anniversary of the Ewoks/Droids cartoons or even a couple of things for the Ewok movies. We haven't seen any anniversary programs for the video games yet either, and it would be cool to see something for the 40th of Atari's classic arcade game, or the upcoming 30th anniversary of Shadows of the Empire in a few years. The 25th anniversary came and went with nary a blip, but a lot of Nintendo 64-era kids really liked that movie and those toys.

Historically, Hasbro and Lucasfilm haven't done much with 25th anniversaries - for the original trilogy we got 3 figure 2-packs for the original Star Wars in 2002, absolutely nothing for The Empire Strikes Back in 2005, but we did get a nice wave of figures with no marketing to tie in to a Return of the Jedi anniversary in 2008. There was a great wave with deleted scene Sandstorm figures, the first (only) Gargan action figure to see release, and a few other goodies. The Phantom Menace turns 25 in 2024, with Attack of the Clones in 2027 and Revenge of the Sith in 2030. I assume it's much more likely we'll see a "last chance" blowout of awesome toys for the 50th of Star Wars in 2027, mostly because the 10-year-olds who saw the original movie in 1977 will be 60 and it might already be too late for things like a jumbo Death Star playset or an official 1970s-style trapdoor Kenner Bantha. (A fan-made model exists.)

It's weird to think, because Star Wars (the franchise) will probably keep going in some format, but the original Kenner generation is less and less likely to be around to buy stuff. I'm still crossing my fingers someone at Lucasfilm and Hasbro look at Mattel's bizarre-but-great success with Masters of the Universe Origins and do a "remastered" line of original toys with improvements (and new additions), but that's probably unlikely. It seems like a surefire way to get dads to buy all the toys for their kid - yeah, that's the ticket - though. LEGO also has a new version fo the classic Galaxy Explorer space set showing up in Walmarts right now, so this seems to be the time you want to really take advantage of that aging dad market. Mattel has, and they've sold over 8,000 Eternias so far - that's no slouch for a remake of a coveted end-of-the-line toy.

--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.



Why am I on Instagram? All Pictures from a GameBoy Camera.