Q&A: Star Wars XXL Sandcrawlers and Kenner-Style Figures

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, March 6, 2022

1. You listed a few vehicles you think make sense for the next HasLab offering, from Gideon's TIE and a larger Slave I to a Y-wing and The Ghost. I was curious what you think of a decently-scaled Sandcrawler. While it might not be the most dynamic vehicle, it's certainly enjoying quite a bit of screen time in feature films and on both Star Wars streaming series. It also seems to meet a lot of the Sail Barge's criteria:
It's an iconic vehicle.
It can easily double as a playset.
It would make a terrific display for anyone wishing to showcase their Jawas, droids, moisture farmers, and any bounty hunters, stormtroopers, or Sandpeople that might wander by.
It would allow Hasbro to offer tie-in products from landspeeders and skyhoppers to dewbacks and banthas. (Maybe even some new products.)

Sure, it doesn't get blown up like the Khetanna or Razor Crest but accessories like cloth canopies and Krayt Dragon skulls would make interesting stretch goals. And while painfully under-scaled sandcrawlers have been offered a few times before, one might argue that's because they're proven sellers.

Personally, I get excited thinking about the display potential alone and how detailed and functional the interior could be. The question is would enough other backers feel the same way? More importantly, what would Adam say?


I'd pass. Disney did a good (but not huge) XL Sandcrawler a couple of years back for about $100, and it's fine. It may not be a mobile office building, but it's sufficiently bulky and there's room inside to put things. Also we've gotten action figure-scale Sandcrawlers in the 1970s, 2004, and just a couple of years ago - and historically it's a vehicle that does middling business, sometimes winding up on clearance due to low sales.

Sure, Hasbro could do 4-foot long, 2-3-foot tall model... but why? It would be a bear to ship and mostly a hollow thing. As a toy box/storage cabinet, the shape has promise, but we saw so little action in or around the vehicle it may be a poor choice. Obviously everybody has their favorite ships, and the emotional connection we have to these things can be hard to work around, but there's no guarantee it would allow Hasbro to sell anything. (I've got tons of droids and Jawas, Skyhoppers... I mean, who are you kidding?) HasLab items seem to work best when it's something that augments an existing collection - which this does! - and where no other comparable, affordable item exists - which would rule this out. Even if ShopDisney is out of Sandcrawlers, they're not too pricey on eBay - and would be cheaper than a new Hasbro unit, HasLab or otherwise.

I don't think it'd work for the HasLab bottom line. Would you want a giant $500 (comparably sized/priced to the Barge) Sandcrawler? From where I sit as a long-time fan, I'd be happier with the existing, cheaper ones. Even though a new Sandcrawler could be a spectacular droid storage unit, more than likely, it would just be a big box sitting in a room, to go with the other big brown boxes we've bought, and I don't know if I want to pay that much for something that's close to what I already own. Of course, Hasbro is losing me with its $30 exclusive The Black Series repaints/remolds, too.



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2. Why have we not seen more OT SW never done in 78-85 figures [in Hasbro's Kenner-style 3 3/4-inch The Retro Collection line].

So far just Tarkin and snow speeder Luke, which is too tall and just not a good figure.


Hasbro has never given a reason as to why they've done something or not, but "follow the money" tends to be the answer. This format is cheaper to make, with the lowest "collector" action figure price point. It's just not making them a lot of money, despite selling out, because at $10-$11 there's very little money to be made. It's just taking money away from the $23-$34 6-inch guys, or the $14-$27 Vintage guys.

I assume Hasbro is trying to keep them as a special thing - which I can appreciate - but the slow-drip, 1 wave per year most years is tough to power through when we got 9-12 most years back in the day. I assume they'll ramp up a bit as time goes on, but given how factory issues and shipping delays are pushing back the existing The Mandalorian wave 2 I wouldn't hold my breath.

Next year, though, could be good - 2023 is the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi and would be an ideal time to reissue some existing figures and also make some new ones. I would probably bank on Biker Scout, Jedi Luke, The Emperor, and maybe finally R2-D2 and C-3PO.

I mostly like Kenner-style Tarkin, minus the skin-glove hands (go on, take a look, they didn't give him real hands.) If the Kenner-style figures are wonky, slightly off-model, or even the wrong color, that's arguably part of the charm. Size is tougher to deal with, but those old Kenner figures seemed to live in another time zone as far as height. As long the new ones can sit in enclosed vehicles from 1978-1985, they're good enough for me. (But ideally should be shorter than Chewbacca and Darth Vader, of course.)





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If you believe the news, we may be in for a normal convention season... or "normal." Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim kicks off May 26, and San Diego Comic-Con is scheduled for July 21. (And Hasbro probably won't be going to others.) Pulse events are still planned and every day is a good day to be ready for whatever surprises Hasbro has. A lot of last year's "sold-out" pre-orders are showing up but having missed a few items, I think my 6-inch completism has been cured and 3 3/4-inch is going to depend on that The Bad Batch set being gettable. And the ARC Trooper and Fordo from Walmart. Here's hoping I can score those eventually.

As of right now Star Wars excitement - other than maybe a few toy reveals - should be pretty light until Celebration and the Obi-Wan show in May. It's a good time to clean up, sell your old stuff, and rewatch your favorite things as we start to build up unrealistic expectations for the Obi-Wan show thanks to the complete lack of trailer or any concrete information despite being only 11 or so weeks away. Solo: A Star Wars Story dragged its feet, and The Book of Boba Fett played it close to the chest, but at this point we haven't even seen a nice, clear shot of the hero's costume. (For the purposes of product development, I'd say that's the least you can do.)

I've never been a big fan of that level of secrecy or spoiler-avoidance, mostly because if I don't have a thing to look forward to, I also don't give it much thought once I've missed it. I can go hunting for a toy if I know it's coming - if I don't, and I miss it, I literally don't know what I've missed. Similarly, it would be nice to be able to have some concept of what to expect from the new show beyond a little bit of casting and a couple of characters. But I also remember the Episode I-era of news, where you could see a background alien's mask in the Star Wars Insider and it was a huge deal, even if it was effectively a nothing sandwich.

Also coming this year is the Willow show, which I assume is being done to keep the trademarks given how little demand there is for new stories based on the #12 box office draw of 1988. (Also in 1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Big, Die Hard, and Beetlejuice, just to name a few.) The new Indiana Jones flick is still allegedly in 2023. And Avatar 2 is still slated for December of this year, with all the fanfare and marketing you'd come to expect from something that might get bumped again. Given how wobbly schedules were since 2020, it would not be an exaggeration to say "anything can happen" when it comes to new movies. Especially when you see that nothing but super hero movies seem to be making any real money.

Given the news, absolutely anything can change at any time, and toys are flowing more freely from overseas right now. So clear some space. Stuff is coming.

--Adam Pawlus

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