Q&A: Star Wars Reissues, Reissues of Star Wars, and SDCC

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, July 21, 2019

1. Without getting yourself into trouble, do you have any guesses if the SDCC 2019 Luke Stormtrooper and Luke from Jabba’s palace will see individual release?

While I was not at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, reports were that the three Luke figures available at San Diego Comic-Con this year were only debuts - so if that's accurate, they may show up later. Hasbro sometimes makes statements about future products that change, not that I'm alluding to anything in particular.

Last year we were told 0-0-0 and BT-1 were also debuts, but neither made an appearance in an assortment at retail. I'm not saying they won't - just that they haven't. The Darth Revan reissue we've been promised since 2007 still isn't out yet, so sometimes these things take a while.



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2. Adam, with 3-D printing technology and automation, do you think that Hasbro will soon be able to make it possible for fans to order any figure ever made in the 3.75” scale? Imagine: order a Jacen Solo and Shaka Ti From 2008, a 2004 VOTC Luke, and a 2019 TVC Stormtrooper all at once. Collectors just pay for the plastic and the process. The computer takes a generic amount of plastic, cuts out the molded pieces, and paints it by program.

What stands between this concept and reality?

Money, technology, and a giant investment.

If you want a world where you can get cheap versions of figures you don't feel like paying the market rate on eBay, we are years - if not decades - away. The replicator from Star Trek is what you want, the 3-D printer is just another tool - like a mold - to make a thing. If by some miracle 3-D printing does get that good in our lifetime, you'd need a fan who would be willing to dismantle his entire collection, scan them all, and upload "pirated" versions of files for you to use. There is no way, zero, nada chance Hasbro/Lucasfilm/Disney will ever go through their entire toy library to provide manufacturing-on-demand. You need a 1990s Napster-style piracy ring with technology that does not and probably will not exist during your time on this planet. You're better off lobbying Hasbro for reissues or taking the money you're saving from not buying the current stuff to spring for the genuine article(s) on eBay.

To give you an example, just to make Gentle Giant's Jumbo 12-inch Kenner figures required a ton of work. They needed original vintage figures to scan, and to pry apart to see how they fit together. So first of all, you'd need to get and dismantle every figure ever made. That would take a lot of time.

3-D printing isn't anywhere close to where it needs to be to replicate a figure. You'll get something close, but you still can't 3-D print soft goods, or metal parts, or other materials on the figure. The "step" pattern of layers is still quite visible. Painting the figures may be required to achieve a good look, and ultimately what you'd end up with today is a lower-resolution, more brittle figure that looks sort of but not entirely like the original.

Complexity is another issue, as Hasbro's figures requite a little "give" in the plastic so it doesn't snap. The filament for most 3-D printers is not flexible. I would think it isn't impossible to make a good 5-jointed figure that could hold up to some wear and tear, but it would be difficult. You can get 3-D printed "army man" figures, but even those have some issues with zero articulation.





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So! For those of you who missed the Hasbro Star Wars panel and fan breakfast, there was very little new. You got to see the first 3-D rendering of 6-inch Dagobah Luke, the new Black Series Boba Fett helmet, and the "hyperreal" Luke Skywalker that Hasbro previously confirmed-but-did-not-show around Toy Fair. The new 5-inch action figure line - which is replacing Galaxy of Adventures - do the math, kids - was also shown. If ever you were wondering if the end was near... it's not, but it's going to be a cheaper hobby as we roll forward with The Vintage Collection and a lot less in this general space.

Weirdly, one thing I announced in my panel that Hasbro didn't announce in theirs was that the Target exclusive retro collection 3 3/4-inch wave is coming to Entertainment Earth on Tuesday at 9:00 AM Pacific time. It's on the way already. It might not be in stock immediately but it should be pretty darned soon. If you missed it, here's your chance.

For the first time ever, I think Star Trek beat Star Wars in the hype arms race. This is kind of funny, because I remember the prequel era pretty thoroughly and regularly put its boot on the throat of Star Trek. If Trek had a movie coming out, Wars would drop a trailer and dominate news coverage. Enterprise - the last TV Trek - went off the air with nary a whisper a week before Revenge of the Sith "ended the Skywalker saga" in 2005. Remember when that was a thing?

Anyway, fellow space dorks, there were some pretty neat new trailers for new Trek stuff. H. Jon Benjamin - of countless comedy acts, Dr. Katz, Bob's Burgers, Wet Hot American Summer, and so much more - is going to be doing something with Tribbles. Spock and Number One get stuck in an elevator. Picard something something came of 1990s Trek cast members. New cartoons. I've been in a lot of high-level meetings where people would boast about how Star Wars is - from 2015 to 2019 - going to have more content than any period in the franchise's history. While that may be mathematically impossible for Trek having had two episodes a week, twenty-six weeks a year, for close to seven years, they're certainly getting a lot out there right now.

Marvel certainly had a good convention too, with a hair under a dozen movies and TV shows. I made similar points on the Twitter, with people saying "well, wait for D23." I wouldn't get your hopes up, cheese. I know we're being told the Game of Thrones guys and Rian Johnson have new movie series in the works for us, but Lucasfilm has deep-sixed projects from Josh Trank, axed the directors for Solo, killed Detours, and fired the director of what will probably always be called Episode IX in this house. I don't doubt The Mandalorian will be great, I can't imagine not trudging through the banal and soon-to-be-toy-less Resistance, and I'm sure this December's movie and the Rogue One Cassian Andor prequel series will be entertaining. But I don't have the biggest hopes that everything they announce will come to light. With Marvel (and Star Trek) it seems we're always getting just a little bit more.

--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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