Q&A: Star Wars Reissues, Articulation, and as always, Complaints

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 14, 2021

1. I was lucky enough to find [The Vintage Collection] IG-11 at target this week. I had to use a hair dryer to unfreeze both elbows. Even after that little hiccup I still LOVE this figure.

Hasbro seems to have done something different with the hip joints. They bend forward in one simple move. I didn’t have to take a bunch of steps to put this figure into a sitting position. This seems to be the only recent example of this approach. Lando, from the same line, has those familiar (hideous) hips. In all the reviews that have been popping up online I never see anyone mention this aspect of the figure.

I’d love to see this become the new standard in terms of articulation, but no-one else seems to be cheering this new approach. Do you think this is a specific character variation? Could this be like the rocker ankles and become the new normal if people start asking for it?

Looking at upcoming designs of new molds, it's possible. The upcoming The Vintage Collection Lobot's hip joints look more in line with The Black Series, which swings forward better and uses fewer pieces - and would be cheaper to make. Presumably we're going to see Hasbro tweak joints every year or two while they try to figure out what's cheaper to make, easier to assemble, and potentially better for fans. Personally I wouldn't want to put out any figure that isn't designed to fit in a vehicle, but Hasbro's design philosophy changes all the time. The first 25th Annviersary G.I. Joe figures were dirt cheap and the finest things on the market at the time... but the first few waves had rotten waist pieces that blocked legs from swinging forward enough to fit in vehicles, because they were designed before the decision was made to do vehicles. It can be tough to nail down exactly what a figure is going to be, or what the needs are. (I mean, I'd never assume Lobot would need good hip joints but the photos look like he may have good ones.)



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2. Adam, in a word, WHY? Why did Hasbro choose to re-release Padawan Jake Lloyd and earlier this year Anakin in Peasant disguise? Who is asking for those? I’ll tell you who- NOBODY! Meanwhile, we are now on a decade since we last had a shot at ROTS Anakin/DarthVader, and I’m still stuck with my Evolutions sculpt with swivel elbows!

It’s all just a smokescreen for Hasbro to clear out years unsold cast off figures from waves that nobody wanted, right? --Derek

As you and long-time readers know, the new reissues are new production with new manufacturing date stamps and new deco. "Repacks" are not literally old product repackaged - it's just a popular slang term in collector circles for new runs of old product in new packaging.

The cost to take existing figures, open them, and return them for repackaging is prohibitive. No factory has the finances or room to store product for a decade and repackage it. Generally speaking it will be blown out, donated (with or without packaging), or ground down and repurposed for some other product as "regrind." Hasbro has used this used plastic to make blasters in the past, and Microsoft is using a similar process to make a mouse out of partially recycled materials now. It's costly and requires the literal destruction of existing product - so it's rarely a popular process. You're better off selling the toy at a reduced cost than grinding it down.

What you like and want, and what I like and want, aren't what the entire country wants. New fans are born all the time and reissues really do appeal to people who don't have those figures, especially when those figures are expensive on the secondary market. While I could get through life without ever needing to buy a new Anakin Skywalker figure, not everybody who was born after me has one - and there's a market.

There was a The Black Series Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader 3 3/4-inch figure around 2014, but that's the one that was famous for the head just falling off. It had elbows, and other than the head falling off, was decent. So you may have missed it.

So, eh. No.





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Just two this week! Be sure you send in your questions for next time. After next week the mailbag is out of on-topic questions, so if you got some, send some in.

What I assume is going to be a slow winter is about to kick off. There are no plans for a massive retail push for The Book of Boba Fett (with midnight launches and whatnot) but Disney+ did post a decent, if short, Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett special. It ends with a hard push to remind you that a new show is coming - as if you didn't know - but it also included the first footage of Boba Fett walking in a 1978 parade complete with Jaig Eyes (like Rex' helmet) on his helmet, the black and white footage of the white prototype armor, and a lot of behind-the-scenes footage I don't think we've ever seen before. It can be hard to get excited about any new documentary on the original trilogy since so many of the same interviews are spliced with existing footage, but there was enough new here that I'd say it's worth your 22 minutes. (Less, if you don't count the credits.)

There is still no definitive air date for the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett but merchandise pre-orders have already started and you'll probably see more this week. So be ready!

The toy world continues to be interesting, in the sense of "expect delays" and "don't panic and overpay for recent releases in short supply." We really don't know when everything will arrive - the global supply chain crisis is no joke. Some stuff hasn't been made yet, some stuff is on a boat, some stuff in in a yard near its port waiting for trucks, and of course some things are in a back room somewhere. If you have pre-orders somewhere, don't panic. Also don't be surprised if you have another year like this. Anyone telling you that the toy business is going to go back to normal - which, I hope you'll recall, was never particularly smooth since the early 1990s - is most likely misinformed. It'll still be good, it'll still be interesting, but it might be just as topsy-turvy.

--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.



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