Q&A: Star Wars Rereleases, Delays, and X-Wings

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 15, 2020

1. Has anyone at Hasbro, to the best of your knowledge, ever cruised eBay for a spell and then gone to the powers that be and said “Hey, just for Sh*#s and giggles, let’s re-release Delta Squad and Omega Squad (or fill in your choice of outrageously overpriced figure being resold online) and tank the scalpers’ market.”

To my knowledge, rereleasing old gift sets (especially as-is) has never been brought up in any conversations I've had. Maybe they have - but I would assume they'd be far more likely to rerelease them on Vintage cardbacks, or make all-new figures. The money's there if they did it, but the big question is if they know where the tools are, or if they even want to.

...having said that I know someone outside of Hasbro has recently made that suggestion.



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2. To the extent you can share how has COVID-19 impacted toy shipments. Many Star Wars (me included) have been frustrated with figure and Star Wars product distribution at retail stores based on general shipping issues. How has COVID-19 impacted the delivery of toys in general?

Overall? Not much, most items were delayed about two months (if that) and most fans' not being able to find things at retail are pretty consistent since 1995. Your not being able to find toys that someone in another city had found has been, sadly, normal since our ability to communicate about such things kicked off. The issues we see are consistent with the last 25 years - hot figures are hot, duds are duds, and some things show up late. I would say there's really never been a time - not even Force Friday or Midnight Madness - where you were sure to find everything you wanted all at once, unless you were first in line.

Stuff dries up quickly, from what I can see more people are buying, and a lot more sales are moving online to pre-orders or other shipments. We're definitely beyond an era where you can (or should) expect to find stuff in stores on a lark, which is a shame given the demand remains incredibly high once we got the unpleasantness that was the finale of the sequel trilogy out of the way.

As far as I can tell COVID-19 has not impacted production significantly - about 2 months, plus or minus new movie stuff getting delayed like GI Joe, new Ghostbusters, Eternals, and the like. Some items do seem to be made in slightly lower numbers but hopefully more shipments will be coming on most items to fill demand. But again, I'd nudge you to order online for anything you missed at retail if you want to get it.

One area which should be interesting is how it may affect licensing deals going forward. Usually there's a "sell-off" date for old stuff when a deal expires - so (for example) Company X might be sitting on Eternals product but the movie got delayed beyond the scope of the licensing deal. What happens then? So far I don't believe this has come up as an issue, but it's one of those things that will probably be put in contracts going forward.




3.The Rise of Skywalker Vintage X-wing is, arguably, the most beautiful vehicle has ever done in the Star Wars line. The sculpting, painting and detailing are as good as any other vehicle since 1978. Understanding that demand for sequel trilogy toys isnt particularly high right now, Hasbro cant possibly sit on this mold forever--right? Given the pace of past reuse of X-wing molds, how long do you think till Hasbro repurposes this one for repaints of the blue, black and other X-wings from the sequel trilogy?

We haven't seen a new 3 3/4-inch scale Pod Racer since 1999, when The Phantom Menace was first in theaters. That's what I keep in mind when the sequel trilogy gets discussed.

I think the sequel trilogy in 2021 is going to be like The Phantom Menace from 2001-2005 - people are going to pretend it doesn't exist, and you can probably forget ever seeing another vehicle from it. Unless there's a groundswell of support and demand, like Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator. Maybe we'll see more First Order TIE Fighters, but I don't even believe that's likely given the market.

I would assume the only way we're going to see that kind of repaint is as a low-run online exclusive or a HasLab project with minimal risk. Assuming Hasbro has to run at least 10,000 at $100+ each, I would be hesitant to assume it's something they particularly would want to do all at once. Is $1,000,000 enough for a HasLab project to be worth setting up? Probably not, given previous listings.

While I would like to see more X-Wings, I also wouldn't. I've got a pilot deficit and I've also got the smaller X-Wings from the previous two movies. I'd rather see "retro" Poe Dameron figures - slimmer - that can fit in my existing vehicles, than new vehicles for $100 or more each especially given how many classic X-Wings have been made over the years.

Hasbro has skipped over many an "obvious repaint" in recent years when 10 or 15 years ago it would've been a sure thing. I'm surprised we didn't see variant Snowspeeders (3 3/4-inch or 6-inch), or an Omega Sentinel, or Black Zarak, or more sequel trilogy astromechs or protocol droids, or Cobra Troopers, or Netflix-specific War for Cybertron characters, and so on and so forth.

I also don't particularly love the mold - it's a good model, but the landing gear pop out easily and it doesn't hold together as well as I would like. If they fixed that, I'd be more interested but not at $100.



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And we plod forward! The Mandalorian still remains fun and entertaining. I can't help but think what would have happened had Disney delayed The Rise of Skywalker a year or two, and instead put 2-3 episodes of Mando on the big screen. I bet it'd have made more money and done more positive for the hobby, mostly because it's really hard to stick the landing on any movie series' finale. People still complain about the final The Matrix movie, and The Hobbit's overlong stretching, Back to the Future Part III, and even Return of the Jedi. Not every trilogy finale can be The Lords of the Rings: The Return of the King or The Revenge of the Sith with their respective "exceeds expectations" and "meets expectations" levels of quality.

So what's up?

Walmart's exclusive The Black Series Mandaloiran Trooper is starting to ship. That's the blue The Clone Wars "Death Watch" figure which will undoubtedly be a big honking deal, and I hope they crank out more units to meet demand. (I mean, even I ordered two.) All of the Celebrate the Saga sets have shipped. Disney Parks now sell carded CB-23 and 4-LOM individual figures - which I have no idea how to score outside of eBay - as well as an amazing Droid Depot Droids 5-pack. Heck, I still haven't been able to score that Rise of the Resistance vehicle with pack-in astromech droid (in four flavors.) Also, GameStop has a number of its exclusives marked down $5-$6 on its web site - worth a look if you skipped or missed any.

Check out The Mandalorian if you can. Since we're three episodes in, those first two are fair game to discuss. In terms of chronology, I'm hoping if the person we saw in season one (and two) is indeed Boba Fett - I mean, it's Temura Morrison, so who knows - that we never see him again. If it's a clone, I hope he pops up. Boba Fett was around 12 as of Attack of the Clones, so this would put him in his late 30s - and he didn't look very late 30s in that one shot in the season premiere. I mean, I'm sure it's supposed to be him, but it would be a hoot if the "real Boba Fett" was still left unknown but there were a series of lookalikes after his hat.

--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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Age of Boba Fett

Your math is a little off; he would be about 41 in The Mandalorian.