Q&A: Star Wars Rainbow Droids, Sequel Toys, and Last Day for Rancors

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 5, 2021

1. Any word on if more [Disney park exclusive] R2-RN8W figures will show up? I'm not gonna pay $700 for one!


No known-to-me plans at this time.

I have no contacts at/inside Disney Parks so I haven't heard anything about another run (or not) yet, but I really hope they crank out more. I missed this one too, and it's a good one. Hopefully if Disney opts out, Hasbro considers doing one on their molds - it's not unprecedented, Disney and Hasbro have both done R2-D2, arguably R5-D4, Chopper C1-10P, C-3PO, BB-8, BB-9E, and R2-C2, just to name a few.

I'm also extraordinarily fond of colorful robot toys, for any reason at all. This is also a very good reason.



Ad: Hot Pre-Orders at Entertainment Earth!
Star Wars: The Mandalorian Luke Glow-in-the-Dark Pop! Vinyl Figure - Entertainment Earth Exclusive Hawkeye Rogers the Musical Enamel Pin - Entertainment Earth Exclusive Star Wars The Black Series Darth Vader Helmet G.I. Joe Classified Series 6-Inch Cobra B.A.T. Action Figure G.I. Joe Classified Series 6-Inch Cobra Alley Viper Action Figure Star Wars: Book of Boba Fett Pop! Vinyl Figure Star Wars: Book of Boba Fett Fennec Shand Pop! Vinyl Figure Star Wars: The Mandalorian Hologram Glow-in-the-Dark Pop! Vinyl Figure - Entertainment Earth Exclusive Transformers Ultimates Megatron (G2) 7-Inch Action Figure Transformers Ultimates Wreck-Gar 7-Inch Action Figure Transformers Ultimates Alligaticon 7-Inch Action Figure Transformers Ultimates Tarn with Nickel 7-Inch Action Figure


2. I know we seem hard to come by on the internet, but I'm a really big fan of the sequels and I think despite what the critics and portions of fans think of the movie, Rise of Skywalker could have been the most toyetic of the sequels. So many unique background aliens, ships, troopers, and I think there could have been bigger sellers like Palpatine, Ben Solo, Old Man Lando, among others. Just wondering- I know toylines are usually made a long time before the movie's release and there's actually an interview with Jeff Garlin who played a blink and you'll miss it background character saying that Hasbro scanned him in makeup for a toy. Was there any point that a 3.75 movie line for Rise of Skywalker was planned and scrapped after the Solo Force Link line or did it never get considered? Thanks!


While the sequels had a lot of neat stuff going for them, I certainly felt the toy appeal decreased with each film - this isn't to say there aren't any good designs left, but there's a big difference between being toyetic - as in, a design that would make an actual good toy with fun play features - and there being characters with costumes that you as an adult collector would like to have as a collectible. The Batmobile tends to be toyetic. The X-Wing is toyetic. Palpatine from the final sequel movie? He's really more of a statue or a human tetherball.

The Rise of Skywalker was largely revisions of things that already existed, none of which seemed to have any particularly awesome new play features. When I first saw the initial toy line, I was surprised (I daresay almost upset) at how small it was. Then I saw the movie. Then I went "Oh, I get it." There was no plan for a 3 3/4-inch kid's line as far as I saw or heard, it was always planned to be pretty much exactly what you saw - small, something that wouldn't stick around long. It's not like there were a bunch of vehicles and aliens and robots we didn't get, and the final movie followed the diminishing toy sales trajectory of the previous films.

My understanding is that almost everybody gets scanned and photographed for possible consumer products these days, and for future reference for cartoons, sequels, and possible other product or effects reasons - so I wouldn't read much into Jeff Garlin's "cameo." While I'd buy Lando, happily, that's the kind of thing that should've been available on Force Friday. Given that we're two years out from then, I don't expect it to happen at all until that Lando Disney+ streaming series takes off - if then.

If you look at product sales - and you can't - each movie did a little worse for product than the previous installment. The Force Awakens was a big splash with lots of leftover, unsold product. Rogue One was a slightly less big splash, with lots of leftover product. I can still find Rogue One figures in some 99 Cents Only stores five years later, as recently as two days ago. The Last Jedi did a little worse, Solo did worse, and then there was the Galaxy of Adventures repack line you probably skipped or forgot even existed. By Hasbro's yardstick, the 3 3/4-inch range wasn't necessarily worth expanding - it shrank for a reason. The figures got repetitive, main characters weren't even available at launch, and sales went down - so it died. If Mattel did a Justice League movie line and left out Batman, it might do poorly. Hasbro made a Solo line without Han Solo as part of the basic figure assortment until wave four. I don't know if it was direction from Disney/Lucasfilm, a choice by Hasbro to move kids toward buying vehicles to get a Han, or what - but it surely helped push the 3 3/4-inch line into the grave.

I don't doubt there may be big interest in going back and filling in those blanks some day, but I also think it's a bad idea to do now. Maybe you could sell some GLADoS Emperors, maybe you could move a few pilots, but I'd be lying if I said there was anything in that last film other than a few vehicles that would get me excited to see some more new toys from it. Desert gear figures and trooper variants are nice, but if we're not getting aliens and droids - and lately, we aren't - I can go without. If you want anything specific, I'd say pick an item and drive a fan petition and social campaign around it. "We want more sequel toys" will be ignored. Ask for a specific thing. Get people on your side. "We want more" is never a good argument with people developing product.




3. I'm sure you're sick of HasLab Rancor questions, but just a little curious to know how you would have reacted if Hasbro had announced different stretch goals? I, for one, am in the same mindset as you: "Do I really want a 6" scale Rancor? Do I have room for it? My three 3.75" scaled versions already scratch my Rancor itch." However, I suffer from what the kids these days call FOMO, and if Hasbro announced a HasLab exclusive Rancor Keeper (I'm old and won't accept Malakili as an official name) as the Tier 1 goal, and on Tier 4, said they'd throw in an Oola...well, they would absolutely have at least one more backer (and I assume, many more). They key for me would be exclusivity - meaning those figures would never show up in the main line. That's the sort of marketing that gets me to bite. After all, I just bought a $110 X-Wing so I could make sure I had a $14 pilot figure that I couldn't get anywhere else.

This paragraph is probably deletable, but because I didn't have a strong desire for the Rancor to begin with, the only way this project could hook me is with great stretch goals. I bought the Sail Barge and the Razor Crest because I WANTED a Sail Barge and a Razor Crest. They didn't need any stretch goals at all. But with this one, three figures that I already have do nothing to get me excited and actually solidified my decision to not back the project (I actually liked the bag of bones, though).

I understand there would be major design and tooling costs associated with two new figures in Rancor Keeper [editor's note: announced after Chad wrote in] and Oola, so maybe they just could never get the numbers crunched to make it work. BUT, damn if it isn't a great fantasy. Would you have pledged?


I'm going to put in all the Rancor HasLab questions I get this week because as of my writing this, I don't know if it'll fund, or end, or be extended because Hasbro won't let it fail (like Unicron.) After Chad asked this question, Hasbro added Malakili as a part of the 9,000-backer package - if you read this as I post it, you can still buy until Monday night.

When I first heard that a Rancor was happening for the 6-inch line, my response was "I don't think I even really want that, especially over $200-$250." And then it was $350. I got a $150 The Black Series TIE Fighter that has not been touched in six years, taking up space, but it's far more impressive than an 18-inch creature. Having said that, it's done nothing to improve my collector space. If anything, it reminds me I have too much stuff. Similarly I never found a good spot for the Snowspeeder either. These big ships don't really have a place as The Black Series is a bit too weird to fit on most normal furniture.

I don't doubt Hasbro could've sweetened the pot a bit, but at $350, is any figure or accessory really going to make you go "wow"? Short of Jabba's Throne and a working trap-door - which would be far too expensive to include - I doubt anything would get me excited. The lack of a support stand for the monster is a concern, and if this kit included Giran and Oola too, I still don't know. They could probably toss in an entire wave of The Black Series figure in there and maybe I could make the numbers dance and make me happy, but this Rancor can't do anything my existing Rancors do, other than be bigger and encourage debates about how if the previous ones were painted wrong. And I don't even want to have that debate with myself.

As you said, I think Hasbro nailed most of its other offerings - Sentinel, Galactus, the Barge, the Razor Crest, Unicron, if all of these things lacked stretch goals they would still be amazing items that would be impressive and fun. Hasbro's asking us for $350 for a Rancor before they delivered Bib Fortuna or any of Jabba's other thugs (other than the Gamorrean and Crumb) so I've never felt the need to have a Rancor. I don't even have enough guys to hang around Jabba yet!



Become a Patron!

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


4. Remember that time when Malakili was one of POTF2's worst pegwarmers?

I'm not sure what to make of the whole Rancor situation, except that I'm getting the sense Hasbro (or Lucasfilm) has been overestimating demand for Original Trilogy toys for the last couple of years. The Rancor IS an all-time classic, but I think the fandom may have moved on...


The 1983 Rancor Keeper was cheap for a long time - the 1997 Malakili was not only worthless, but reissued in 1998 and abundant for a few years after being discontinued. Kenner sent stores stickers for $3 off figures, and you could get him as low as a buck for quite some time. But, I must ask, do you remember that we got another Malakili in 2009 and he, too, was a pegwarmer? I got a couple extras on clearance for around a buck so I could take the droid parts. The 1984 Rancor Keeper can still be had quite cheaply, although he's much more expensive now than the single-digits price tag he had for the longest time. (Now a loose one can be had for about $30, more than the $5 or under he could be bought at for most of my life.)

I don't think original trilogy fandom moved on entirely, but I do think you have to make the right items. The line does not appeal to them - the product selection is inconsistent and packed with reissues - so a lot of people just have no reason to spend the money. Yak Face sold well, so did the Skiff Guard Klaatu, Lando seems to be doing fairly well. Any completely new figure Hasbro makes is pretty good, and tends to sell if it's from something that's a bit older. There may not be a heck of a lot of items you can make for HasLab that will appeal to a 6-inch collecting original trilogy audience, mostly because 3 3/4-inch collectors have a lot of older fans. Anyone old enough to have seen at least one of the original films during an initial theatrical run is over 40 now. The 6-inch line is bought by a lot of people who are VHS and prequel kids - and younger. (Some are older.) Remember, kids old enough to get a driver's license in the USA today were born after the release of Revenge of the Sith.

6-inch "classic" figures are nearly impossible to find at retail. I've never seen a regular Vader figure sit. Those Anniversary figures sold fairly well, especially given how many were reissues. There's a lot of untapped potential to be had, and ironically it's impossible for fans to buy Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, or Han Solo in a store at suggested retail price - but it's very easy to buy a HasLab project. Without a big collection, I doubt anyone wants a Rancor. I also know Hasbro wants to do more to push The Black Series - I mean, they're $23 figures, as opposed to the $14 Vintage figures and the now-dead $8ish kid figures - higher price points drive higher revenue. I also assume the brand is starting to bleed old-school collectors in favor of new collectors, which has some advantages (younger fans with less baggage) and disadvantages (no young fans believes they'll ever collect every action figure, it's barely even possible to easily figure out what a complete set looks like without extensive research.)

I don't think a $350 Rancor - right now - is the item to appeal to a post-prequel generation of fans. I don't remember it being especially popular in the old days either - sure, it was cool, but it's a weird thing to go to fans with and say "hi new 6-inch collectors, this is the centerpiece of your collection!" when they can't even get the basic main figures after nearly a decade. This might be a good item for later down the road, but really, I'll want big things even less as time goes on.



Ad: In-Stock (For Now) at Entertainment Earth!
Star Wars The Black Series Carbonized Boba Fett 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 5 Case of 8 Batman Welcome to the Batcave Coir Doormat Spider-Man Marvel Legends 6-Inch The Hand Ninja Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 3 Case of 8 Star Wars The Black Series Luke Skywalker Electronic X-Wing Pilot Helmet Star Wars The Black Series Carbonized Stormtrooper 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Heavy Infantry Mandalorian 6-inch Action Figure - Exclusive Star Wars The Vintage Collection The Mandalorian 3 3/4-Inch Figure



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 day of reckoning is (probably not) here. As of my writing this, the Rancor Monster has neither been funded, nor extended, so we'll see what happens. (The Transformers Unicron toy did get an extension when it failed to meet goal in 2019.) A lot of fans wrote in asking if Hasbro would see this as a failure or embarrassment. I hope they don't. If anything, a non-backed project of this kind of item proves why you need HasLab to make these wacky items. People wanted the Ghostbusters Proton Pack, and bought it - Hasbro spent some money making a prototype and costing it out, and it paid off for them. The Sentinel and Galactus and Razor Crest and HeroQuest and Victory Saber all did pretty well, and Hasbro got massive interest-free loans to develop a fully-paid-for run with zero risk (unless they failed to deliver the product, in which case, I wouldn't want to be sued by 20,000 angry toy fans, some of which may be in the legal profession.)

A high-profile misstep - not unlike Cookie Monster, which was a good product for the asking price - would do wonders to get Hasbro to continue examining the concept. If you multiply the numbers out, they're making a boatload of cash off these things. Hasbro raised $9.8 million off the Razor Crest alone - and if they invested that money while developing the items, even with higher 2021 freight costs, they made out like bandits. They're not developing items just to break even - this isn't a charity. I have no doubt Hasbro spent five (or probably six, if we're including salaries) digits investing in the prototype development, that's the cost of doing business. They want $3.15 million to make any units of the Rancor - which isn't at all unreasonable given tooling and freight and assembly, but given how many fans missed out on Jabba seven years ago, who is much more of a character, why bother with the Rancor?

If it gets made, I'm happy for those who love it. If it doesn't, hopefully it means something good (cheaper) is on deck for next year. I think it's a whole lot easier to get 10,000-20,000 3 3/4-inch (older and more similar) collectors on board with an item than it is to try to convince newer (younger) fans of the 6-inch line to spend this much money, at once, for something that really doesn't seem like a centerpiece or capstone to a collection. The Sail Barge invites interaction with removable walls, places to put figures, a trapdoor, and it serves as a display environment for dozens of figures. You can pose a Rancor, and look at it. It will probably topple over after a few months on a shelf under the strain of its own weight.

With the 3 3/4-inch line, I think you can override fans' sense of logic. We get so few new vehicles, anything new is exciting and interesting - especially if it's ridiculous, recognizable, and cool. Blockade Runners, Star Destroyers, maybe even the Outland TIE Fighter (at a lower price) could be really exciting additions to a fan's collection. But we're getting older. We're getting pickier. And while I like The Black Series, I don't have the ridiculous emotional attachment of the smaller figures. Due to Hasbro generally not building out any one movie or scene fully in the 6-inch size, I don't know that there's anything in the 6-inch scale that would take my collection to the next level like a Sail Barge. If you want a Kenner 1998 Rancor (with Luke) you can get one for under $100. If you want one that can poop, there's the Galoob Action Fleet one. They're both fine toys that I own and don't appreciate enough as it is - so why buy another, bigger version of the toy to trip over if this one can't even eat a figure and take a dump?

I would really love to see The Retro Collection on HasLab, but of course I would. They could pick 30 prequel figures and charge me $400 for them, I'd pledge on day one. They could do a fully-realized Cantina playset (either scale) for $400 - toss in at least 1-2 new and exclusive figure debuts, and I'd also pledge on day one. (I'd need some exterior places to park a Dewback if it's 3 3/4-inch at that price.) As long as I can play with something (which is different from "will play with something,") I'm theoretically into it. I know the Rancor will get opened, reviewed, and probably not looked at again because there's nothing else to do with it beyond posing it. My inner child is stupid and wants to buy something fun. Appeal to him, he makes the calls.

--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.



I'm on Instagram! All Pictures from a GameBoy Camera.