Q&A: Star Wars Vintage, Newness, and Classics that Are New but Not Too New

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, November 11, 2018

1. The Vintage Collection Gamorrean Guard will be re-released next year, the packaging and numbering will be identical to the previous release. Will the figure be NEW? If I have it do I NEED to buy it?

Depends on what "new" means to you. The packaging will be similar but not identical - I was told it has a new SKU, which means a new UPC, and at least some minor cosmetic alterations to the packaging. If you have it side by side, I will bet money - all of my guinea pigs' money - that you'll find notable differences. I don't know if they'll update co-sells or not. Our definition of "identical" isn't the same as Hasbro's, I can tell you from experience. We can and will find changes - after nine years, I can't imagine we're going to get purely identical shades of green.

The figure will be cast from the same tool, but we know they're starting to do special printing on 3 3/4-inch figure faces. And on 6-inch figures, we've seen some tweaks to the upcoming Yoda rerelease. I would anticipate changes if you're a packaged collector. If you're an opener, let's be honest, you probably want a second Gamorrean Guard anyway. We won't know for sure what will happen until the final packaged shots surface as the factory sometimes follows Hasbro's instructions and sometimes... well, not.



Ad: Star Wars and Transformers Siege at Entertainment Earth!
Transformers Generations Siege Voyager Wave 1 Case Transformers Generations Siege Deluxe Wave 1 Set Star Wars Solo Force Link 3 3/4-Inch Action Figures Wave 4 Star Wars Vintage Collection Elite Clone Trooper Figure Star Wars Vintage Collection Rey Jedi Training Action Figure Star Wars Solo C-3PO and R2-D2 Action Figures - Exclusive Star Wars Force Link Resistance A-Wing Fighter - Exclusive Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figure Wave 19 Case Star Wars The Black Series Dengar 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars Black Series Imperial Patrol Trooper Action Figure Star Wars Black Series Lando Calrissian Skiff Action Figure Star Wars Black Series Princess Leia Hoth Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Rio Durant 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series L3-37 6-Inch Action Figure Star Wars The Black Series Val (Mimban) 6-Inch Action Figure


2. it's been nearly three years since Rogue One hit theaters. Hasbro released thirteen basic 6" Black series figures and one three figure box set. Those releases included three Jyn Erso's and two Cassian Andors and six new Imperial soldiers. But in all that time they have never done a Bodhi Rook, Galen Erso or Saw Gerrera. There have been 3-3/4" versions of them, but no 6". Is there a reason for these not to be included at all in the release with the others, especailly Bodhi??! Will Hasbro ever re-visit them? I mean they made a Moloch figure for Solo for crying out loud, whose list was that at the top of?

I have more news than you have, but not a definitive answer.

I think I can safely say I have indeed spoken with Hasbro about this one and they do want to do a 6-inch Bodhi. There's no timeline, so that may mean "in the next 18 months" or "between now and when the universe collapses." They're thinking about Bodhi. Bodhi is on the list.

Moloch - and indeed, all of Solo - benefits from a better window than any movie to date. If you'll recall, The Force Awakens was originally developed with the notion that Rogue One would be out 6 months later. That didn't happen, but the toys were made with 6 months in mind. Rogue One was made with the thought that a 40th Anniversary line would be out within a few months. The Last Jedi was similarly cut short by Solo. Solo has the weird benefit of having known from before the toys came out that it would be at least a year - and now, more than a year - before the next line would come out, especially since Resistance is sort of a drip.

Hasbro will be revisiting a lot when they have to. We've seen a few figures trickle out months to years after a Disney film's launch window, like Resistance Leia, Jedi Master Luke, and the classic characters. I would expect to see more Rogue One again - Hasbro knows older collectors love the designs, but it doesn't mean we'll get them immediately. It's as close as we're currently seeing to new 1970s and 1980s designs, and sometimes we just have to wait for things. After all, it took us 21 years to get a Bantha for our action figures.




3. On another note, now that they are re-visiting some figures with their archive program and re-doing some of their likenesses with that new photo real paint application process, where do you think this will lead? Will they go back and re-do all of the figures? The Empire & Jedi Luke could certainly use the face lifts, but where does it stop? Will we eventually be forced to re-buy the entire line that have human appearances?
--Martin (same guy)

It's temporary. Temporary for as long as The Vintage Collection lasts. The years of 150+ figures are gone - we might get a few dozen a year, tops. Since Hasbro's tooling library is vast and we've had thousands of figures, I doubt we'll ever see everybody. It's my sincere hope that they redo every original 1980s Vintage-era character on a modern Vintage-era cardback, but with the pressure of new movies and an unusual release schedule? We're probably looking at a couple of years of Vintage before Hasbro puts it away and does something else again.

I was surprised they continued the numbering - I was secretly hoping the next round of Vintage would start fresh, ideally giving everybody a chance to buy a set of 12-backs, or Power of the Force, or what have you.

Nobody is "forced" to buy or re-buy anything, and you can and indeed should stop as soon as it is more painful than it is fun. I've had to axe a few areas of interest with Star Wars due to cost and time constraints - I'll probably never play another video game in the saga, unless it's from its own merits. I doubt I'll buy many more comic books or novels. Right now I'm mostly into toy action figures and toy vehicles of various sizes, and anything in that higher-dollar "collector" level is off the table. I assume most collectors simply can't afford the space for a large collection, and even though "Vintage" takes up little room there are bound to be levels of "just different enough to make you mad."

I keep saying this, but 2020 is a mystery. We know there's Resistance, The Mandalorian, and Episode IX on the horizon - but no more movies to our knowledge. There's plenty of room to wallow in the classics, or for the line to take a back seat once more like G.I. Joe has.


Become a Patron!

Special thanks to our generous Patreon patrons, especially: JT, David, Timothy, Christopher, Robert, Bobb, Jayson, Marco, Shawn, Stephen, Matthew, Jonathan, Joel, Todd, Jeremy, Fox, and Mario. Thanks for helping us keep the servers on!



So this week, we got two interesting bits of news - one, Disney's streaming service is Disney+. A perfectly fine name. Two, it will eventually have Diego Luna in a streaming show prequel about Cassian Andor. I'll probably be happy to watch it, even though I'm generally disinterested in prequels as a thing. We got a pretty perfect story for him, with a pretty explosive conclusion. I generally get the most excited when I can find out what happens next - how we got somewhere has, historically, not been terribly exciting. But again, it's probably going to have TIE Fighters and Stormtroopers and Cassian was fun, so we'll watch.

What can I say, I love future events.

For toy people, Star Wars on TV has been a mixed bag. The Ewok movies never really got any proper product in their own time. The Ewoks and Droids cartoons were woefully underrepresenting their title species, with the main characters of Ewoks not even being known to exist as prototypes until pretty recently. Droids had some great stuff, but not a lot came out. We got a spectacular launch and first few years with The Clone Wars, while Rebels and Resistance both showed up late and, seemingly, in sparing quantities.

I hope Disney goes all-in with its licensing for the streaming shows. Mandalorian(s) and Cassian Andor(s) are things I like, although I can't say the last few years have given me tons of hope about merchandise supporting TV shows in the manner to which I had become accustomed. Action figures are like physical media for modern audiences - quaint, beloved, and lacking in availability. I hope we see more variety and more newness, but I also realize that it took Hasbro four waves of Solo toys before releasing a basic single-carded Han Solo action figure. I love what we're getting, but the improving quality and better overall roster of characters seem to be pushing up against delays and general public indifference.

Keep buying toys you like to support more in the future, is what I'm saying. The golden age of Star Wars may well be now, at least as far as media is concerned. We saw Star Trek go from having a spectacular toy empire to being an also-ran in the 1990s, not to mention going from 2 simultaneous TV shows with a movie every few years to one TV show to nothing. I don't plan on taking any of this for granted. (Except maybe Resistance.)

--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.