Q&A: Star Wars Playsets and The Other Star Franchise

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, February 13, 2022

1. You touched on it in [a previous] week's Q&A, but I'd love for you to elaborate on your thoughts about the new Star Trek Universe line (it's not exactly what I wanted, but I kind of love it). Also, do you think Playmates might deliver a more Black Series-esque line down the road? That's what my colleagues and I wanted/expected.

--Phantom Troublemaker

While nothing in the 6- or 7-inch size has been announced, so far it seems CBS/Paramount/whoever is all too happy to slice up their IP for toy licensing. Star Trek currently has toy figures from Playmates, Playmobil, and Super7... and Mego, and also Funko. You've got a lot of options. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, similarly, has product from Super7, NECA, Playmates, even Hasbro.

I would not be remotely surprised to see a larger-scale collector figure line announced in the future, but who, and when, and for how much remains to be seen. At Playmates' current price point, a 6-inch line may be too close in size and price to make a lot of sense. Historically action figure lines sell best when there are fewer options in terms of scale, so I would hope one emerges to be the de facto Core Line for fans to rally around. This doesn't seem to happen anymore, though. We haven't seen a Wave 2 for most recent Star Trek offerings yet - even when some are coming - so hopefully Toy Fair season (hey, that's now) gives us more to look at.

The last company to have a roughly The Black Series scale was Diamond Select Toys. They did a great job picking great characters and awesome sculptors, but since my first Art Asylum figure (a Klaang) broke moments after opening the package I didn't pick up many of those. The final waves were produced in quantities under 2,000 before rebooting with some main characters. McFarlane also did some figures in that scale, but the line didn't go anywhere and later waves of figures just plain didn't come out.

With Star Trek being largely paywalled and increasingly adult-oriented - either because you need 800 episodes of backstory, or because of cursing and eye trauma - I am not hopeful any of the lines will be widely adopted unless kids take a shine to it. Star Trek Prodigy has turned into something pretty fun in its first 10 episodes, so maybe there's still hope. But at this time (especially for people in their 30s-50s) any new action figure line would arguably be nostalgia for an old nostalgia line, and that's a rare thing to get off the ground.



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2. I recently received the Nevarro Cantina playset. I had an idea of building a location using some of the other Hasbro vintage collection playsets but quickly realized that Jabba’s palace and the Tantive hallway have their own style connection pegs. In other words, none of the playsets are compatible. I realized they are from different scenes and worlds, but why can’t Hasbro make them have the capability of attaching together much like the JoyToy sets. Do you know if anyone has ever addressed this question with Hasbro?


The playsets aren't meant to connect to one another - but they absolutely are meant to be a sort of "army builder" playset. If you buy more than one, you can build a bigger environment - sometimes it's a great idea, sometimes it's less enticing.

I personally wouldn't have thought to connect them together - I was hoping for more playsets to build up those environments - but so far that seems unlikely. In 1982, Kenner produced the awesome Micro Collection - and each "world" had its own unique connectors, too.

What's a little annoying, though, is that this week's reveal of Boba Fett's Throne Room seems to incorporate no hooks for the existing Jabba's Palace playset that I could see, so the hopes of a "Macro Collection" world of connecting playsets seems pretty low.





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Be sure you send in your questions for next time. The mailbag is out of on-topic questions, so if you got some, send some in.

The Razor Crest is here! And it's great - and big. (Could be bigger.) After the Barge, it's a good, sensible ship. This week Hasbro revealed its next giant 3 3/4-inch thing is a Boba Fett's Throne Room (which is, obviously, also Jabba's throne room) and you should probably get it. It's kind of a shame it isn't a HasLab item because I'd have loved to see them offer it up with stretch goal figures to add to it - like, you know, Boba Fett or Jabba for collectors who aren't lifers.

I still haven't opened all the figures or parts bags yet, but I will say the display stand is one of the most interesting pieces we've seen - we very rarely get stands for ships. (There was a crappy one in the Hyperspace Ring Jedi Starfighter, which I'll forgive you for having forgotten, and Speeder Bikes sometimes get lucky.) $350 is an obscene amount of money for one toy vehicle, but they did a good job painting it, giving it a lot of moving and removable parts, and making it feel expensive. The fancy stand and weathered paint job makes it look like a prop replica, and $350 is really cheap for a high-end ship prop model.

After The Black Series Rancor, I'd love to once more nudge Hasbro to do The Vintage Collection items like the Razor Crest. Heck, even Gideon's Outland TIE Fighter would be a hoot. I doubt we'll ever get an XXL Slave I, but that could be cool in 5-10 years. Or perhaps the Y-Wing Fighter of your dreams. Or. You know. The Ghost would be pretty swell, and I'd probably be willing to shell out $300-$500 if it was sufficiently big, feature-laden, and if appropriate figures were available or included. Wouldn't you? That'd be swell. I assume it'll be a few years before that generation of fan is ready to shell out the big bucks, unless it suddenly appears in a live-action Disney+ series. We can hope! Hasbro did make a Galactic Heroes Ghost which was somewhat scarce and, all things considered, surprisingly cheap given how old toy vehicles tend to shoot up these days.

--Adam Pawlus

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