Q&A: Star Wars Prices and Limb Swapping Is Not Really a Thing

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 8, 2019

1. Do you think there is a proverbial point where the Vintage 3 3/4" and TBS 6" are just to expensive to keep folks buying them? I see the Vintage is going up to $13.99 and the 6" is going up to $21.99. Poe's X-Wing and Luke's X-Wing are at $99.00 and I can now buy the Rogue One Assault Tank for $10.00 at Five-Below.

Is the market for these higher priced toys without the perceived value that come along with the price tag going away? There will always be folks who will buy everything but I have learned...just wait and you will eventually find it all much, much cheaper than retail pricing (well...95% at least, that Carbonized Mandalorian is going to be tough)

Given the $250 reissue of the Millennium Falcon sold a few years ago, it would seem the right item at the right price will always sell - even if it's expensive. When the assortments start churning things out that fans don't want or need again, the results pile up quickly.

I still haven't seen the Carbonized Mandalorian, and my guess is I might be waiting for a while. It looks like many of the figures are hard to find today, but a lot of figures do eventually get dumped for cheap at second-hand stores, closeout stores, or something else. And a lot don't - many classic movie figures remain hot, or figures made in more reasonable quantities tend to sell. Some figures are produced in numbers far below demand, and you see what can happen to a Revan or a Mandalorian in such a situation.

I have my doubts X-Wings can sell at $100 for very long. There's a breaking point for a certain kind of product, and Hasbro seemed to grasp this a few years ago with their initially maligned (but really good) smaller vehicles around 2012. At the time a few fans were griping about $20 Jedi Starfighters and Troop Transports and AT-DPs... but they were amazing for the money. I would like to think Hasbro and their corporate partners may consider doing a little work to get modestly priced vehicles out again as the level of detail on new toys is too high to be appreciated and too expensive to be a surefire hit to all fans of all ages. (That skiff was probably perfect, though.)

The figures will probably do well as long as character selection makes sense - I was not crazy about many recent wave mixes, but if production continues on the hot figures, it's moot. You have to meet demand and keep people happy with the Mandalorian and whatever pushes peoples' buttons, and I think they're doing a decent job. The Vintage Collection is kind of a bore with so many reissues, and I assume it will be the line's downfall before price becomes a factor for fans. There are going to be hundreds of dollars of reissues - improved reissues, but still - will fans sit for that? So far it seems like they will.



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2. Adam, after many years with my collection, I'm starting to wonder about whether the figures with swivel elbows can be easily swapped with ball joint elbow arms. Do the arms on Anakin evolutions, for example pop in and off of the bodies with just a little elbow grease?

Many figures in the super-articulated era have joints which connect with small pins set in the bodies. I'm not going to go and test anything, but usually a figure properly heated by boiling water (or for the uncouth, a hairdryer) can be popped apart. It can be a real challenge getting some of them back together though.

Having said that, these figures are very rarely designed with swapping elements between different figures in mind. You would have to make further modifications to many of them. A swivel elbow most likely will not be able to be swapped with another kind of joint unless fate and coincidence smile upon you. These aren't Glyos figures - they're meant to stay together. Even figures with ball-jointed necks are rarely perfectly swappable. If you're willing to make some potentially dangerous-to-the-figure modifications, though, anything is possible. They may not be stable as toys when you're done, though.

There are a few lines that are a bit better when it comes to swapping parts, Masters of the Universe Classics reused so many elements that it tends to be almost by design. The Glyos-compatible figures - Onell Design's group, The Outer Space Men, Toy Pizza, and so on - also allow for part-swapping and that very much is by design.





And here we are, December 2019! A movie is days away. There are two Star Wars TV shows on every week. There's a new video game, new comics, and a new novel here and there. It's almost excessive - there are nearly 200 episodes of cartoons on a new streaming service too, but Star Wars being Star Wars it's all going to come to a screeching halt as new screen stuff goes. Come January, we'll have a bit more Resistance to go. But 2020 will have no movies, and we'll probably get those new The Clone Wars episodes, and if we're lucky, we'll get season 2 of The Mandalorian, or "The Star Wars post-trilogy show you always wanted."

The other live-action streaming shows are most likely 2 years away, the next movie is 2022, and I really don't know when or if another all-new animated series will debut after Resistance ends in, most likely, March. It would be fun to see, but we also ignore a few of the shows - we all think we're superfans, but how many of us watched all of Galaxy of Adventures and Forces of Destiny, which even brought us the return of the Gorax? I've seen some, but not all - YouTube shorts are a thing that are easy to miss.

While the toy aisles may be more lacking than ever, there are a few gems out there and hopefully we'll see things get interesting again. You can get a mini Razor Crest Hot Wheels Starship - I did, and I like it. Best Buy has an AT-ST Raider that's pretty cool for a vehicle (and figure) that's mostly old tooling. And if you like lightsabers, clearly, this is a great time to be alive. Now that various secrets are out, hopefully LEGO and Hasbro can make some top-notch new ships and figures, assuming budgeting allows and interest exists in the necessary organizations. I'm crossing my fingers someone pushes for a HasLab Razor Crest, but I'm guessing that'll never happen.

Keep your eyes peeled as we seem to be in a season of surprises - we got The Child toys from Funko and Mattel last week, a few announcements over the weekend, and who knows what could be next?

--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, and we're down to 2 questions per week until we get overloaded with questions to re-expand back to 3 or more.



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