Q&A: Star Wars Retro Figures, Remakes, and Exclusive Trooper Packs

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 20, 2020

1. If you were a betting man, would you put money down on the following figures for 2021:
New sculpts:
ANH Leia
ESB Lando
AOTC Dooku

My hunch would be "no" across the board on new sculpts of main players of 3 3/4-inch figures. I would assume Hasbro is more likely to do stuff adjacent to media properties, which means things touching The Mandalorian or The Bad Batch would be very likely. Sequel trilogy, I assume, would be ran away from at great speeds. Hasbro has two good existing Dooku molds it could rerun, and Lando didn't exactly do great in some stores for the 40th anniversary figure - which was really a nice redeco of the existing, already pretty great 6-inch figure.

That doesn't mean we won't get them eventually, or even in 2021 - but I wouldn't hold my breath given what we're seeing so far.



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2. Will Wave 2 of the Retro Collection (ESB version) be released or is that it?

Wave 2 hasn't been announced (or as far as I know, seriously rumored) so I wouldn't expect an additional batch of figures from it just yet - especially with The Mandalorian coming up as the next wave. Maybe in a year or three, but certainly not right now. Since Hasbro never finished the original 12 - or 20, or 21 - I wouldn't expect more from The Empire Strikes Back until the next anniversary.




3. It sure would be nice to have some Vintage Collection troop builder 4-packs. The first thing that sprang to mind was a collection of Remnant Stormtroopers with different decos, but obviously there could be Clone Troopers, Mandalorians, or even Endor Rebels with some swappable parts. Do you think these could be a possibility as an online exclusive (I can't imagine from who...)? Would Hasbro want some kind of anchor figure in there like Vader or Endor Han or whatever?
Which troop builders would you like to see and in what format?
I'd be okay with 5 POA, but I assume that's dead.
--Phantom Troublemaker

In the era of online shopping, I think army builder packs are a dead-end. We had some in the past, but now we're seeing Hasbro do something we could never get 10 or 15 years ago - solid-packed cases of a single figure. Some figures are sold by the each on a wholesale basis, so if you're a store you may be able to buy Just Clones if you want.

In the shoes of any manufacturer, the most reasonable thing to do would be just to make sure that figure is available if people want it. You want clones? Order some clones. You want Stormtroopers? Go for it.

At this point my dream would be to keep everything open-stock for as long as possible. In recent months fans have been able to order once sold-out exclusives like the Heavy Infantry Mandalorian, and I hope Hasbro continues rerunning figures like the Remnant Trooper.

The 3 3/4-inch sales numbers are a lot lower than they used to be. "No they're not," someone who writes on another toy site and isn't in the business is probably telling you, but they're wrong. The 6-inch sales are kind of amazing now, so I don't know if there's real demand for troopers for the older audience who's been here for 20ish years. It has to appeal to multiple audiences, or be very low run, and very low runs does not work with army building.

I don't think it's a good idea to do boxed sets any more, mostly because fans seem to want vintage packaging - and while it may be a bit more wasteful, you'll sell more figures - some of which will stay carded. I'm not at a point where there are any troop builders I personally need, but depending on which HasLab products get made down the road I'm sure that can quickly change. If I were to put my money on anything, it would probably be running more 6-inch figures - but there are other 3 3/4-inch figures which have been brought back (like the Death Trooper) to modest success. Not obscene success. To be obscene, you have to go to the 6-inch line.



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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.

If you're not excited about Star Wars after last week, well, I can't help you.

While I promised no spoilers from the episode - and I will keep to that - but there was a new chapter of the Star Wars saga announced via title card at the end of a post-credits sequence in the finale. Following a very short scene which no doubt caused older fans to run to their toy boxes to compare various things to what appeared on-screen, we were informed something was coming December 2021. There's a lot of speculation as to what this means, but it is unlikely that we'll get two separate Disney+ series on at the same time, and the newly announced thing would seem wasted on a TV movie or one-off special.

There are some exciting new things coming up at 4:00 PM Eastern for the last Mando Monday of the year. Keep an eye out. I don't think the toy cops will burn me at the stake for telling you one item's estimated time of arrival is a long, long ways off - and it is not a typo.

So with that, it seems The Rise of Skywalker Apology Tour continues and The Mandalorian truly seems to exist to make us leave going "What sequel trilogy?" With Rogue One we got to see Darth Vader at his most active, similarly The Mandalorian gave us insight to classic characters (and Bill Burr) that we didn't think we would ever get. It's almost a pity they didn't save it for Christmas, after last year I left the theater feeling pretty let down. And of course, 2020 made sure I kept feeling let down. While this won't make up for the year, right now, a little goofy fun in space and opening doors of my imagination of who survived some battles and giving us some excellent new ways to remember our favorite characters exiting stage left has gone a long way in making me think that, as fans, maybe we can all agree that some of this stuff is pretty good again.

At this point I wish Lucasfilm and Hasbro could end each week with "OK so we know you love what you just saw so here are the figures we're making in 2022. Please pre-order." I can wait. I'd rather get some of these guys later than not get them at all, and the Disney Investor announcements make me think that short attention spans may wipe out the window for releasing weird aliens, gangsters, troopers, droids, and so on. Here's to whatever comes 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.



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