Q&A For January 19, 2004
1. Do you know if the new Target glasses will be stocked in the toy section, or the housewares section ?
As of yet, the plan-o-gram for the store hasn't been revealed to us. As such, we can only speculate, but seeing how it's a collectible item and geared toward toy collectors, the chances of it being stocked in housewares seems slim to none.
2. I am reading through a magazine titled Life Story: Movie Magic and I was reading an article about the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie and it said the it is coming out in 2005 (keep reading this is really a Star Wars question...) along side a few blockbuster movies such as Jurassic Park IV, a new Batman, James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Okay...now I didn't know they released the title of the movie yet. Is this the actual movie title or is it a guess?
The third (and presumed final, still) Star Wars film is still untitled. "Revenge of the Sith" is one of dozens of titles being thrown about in the press for reasons unknown. Could be irresponsible reporting, or general ignorance, but as of now there is no name. Also, consider this: what was your reaction to it? "Revenge of the Sith" doesn't sound like a bad name. If it was a real name, odds are you and 30,000 other fans would be having violent, venomous reactions toward it, and as such, we can tell that this is not the final title.
3. My question is regarding the Hall of Fame Wave, I was wondering if these figures were part of the 2004 line-up Ex. Princess Leia Imperial Captive #13'04 or does the HOF wave has their own numbering system? Also, in a non Star Wars related question, Have you seen the new Transformers Alternators? I haven't collected anything besides Star Wars for 10 years but, I think I'm gonna have to buy these, they are better than the original G1.
The Hall of Fame assortment is the name being given to the new batch of repackaged older figures in the Saga line. While the numbering system isn't entirely known as the images we were given were small and a little blurry, it is assumed that most will receive new numbers.
Reagarding Alternators, I've so far picked up Smokescreen as well as the Japanese Masterpiece Convoy, which technically isn't an Alternators product. While saying they're the best since Generation 1 is, in my opinion, not exactly a hard thing to be, they are quite excellent if a little difficult to transform. For example, Smokescreen's arms pop off easily when converting it from one mode to another. For $20, though, I'd advise anybody with a little interest in TransFormers to pick up the toy, as both modes look great.
4. I collect my figures loose, and have FINALLY gotten around to adding the E-1 "bonus pit droids" to my collection (damn being a completist!!!). Please refresh my memory: They are a different sculpt than the standard pit droid 2 pack figures, right? There are 3 paint deco variations but all 3 are the same figure sculpt, right? Did they come only with the "soft goods" wave? Is this the only way to get these figures? cheers.
There are two different sculpts, and each sculpt has three different paint jobs. The first sculpt was offered with the following: Anakin Starfighter Pilot, Soft Goods Maul, Soft Goods Obi-Wan. The second wave was offered with either Darth Sidious (Holograph) or Naboo Royal Security (or foot soldier, I can never remember.) At the time, Hasbro told me these figures were originally intended by Hasbro to be a deluxe accessory pack and not a screen scene, but obviously, things change. There are no other known ways to obtain these figures.
The bonus Pit Droids are unique, and were not available via other means. As such, a complete set of Pit Droids requires the purchase of these figures.
5. I know Han is a core character,but did he really don the whole ATST drivers outfit?Since we got an ATST drivers helmet a little while ago Hasbro should have used their plastic on making some new Ewoks.Other than that,I'm happy-happy about all the rest of the line-up I have seen for 04.Even the Target glasses.They should round out the glass assortment with an Episode 3 sneak prevue fig and glass.
I have to agree with you on the area of glasses, it really would be nice of them to round out the set, either later this year or early next year. It would be a fantastic sneak preview product.
Did Han don the whole outfit? Well, probably not. Odds are Harrison Ford just tossed on the hat and maybe a little more, but who knows for certain? Since it's an easy figure to make, and an easy way for Hasbro to make a "new" figure and raise money to develop more new figures, these things are a necessary evil. Frankly, I'm happy to have a $5 AT-ST Driver with this body out and about, plus it could make for some easy customizations were one so inclined. So, sit back and enjoy, and we're still expecting Ewoks before 2005.
6. Do you have an update on what is happening with the silver Clone Trooper?
--Tio de Snuggly
Because so many of you asked, I asked a bunch of people. The Swami. Bob, from the old ASWN days. Famous Mortimer. And a few other people. The news I have for you is both good and vague, but I was told that we need to be patient. This wasn't a "buzz off" type of "be patient," but rather, one that implied we'd be seeing more on this item very soon. As such, I wouldn't advise you to pay through the nose for once just yet. I wish I could tell you more at this time, but it looks like you'll just have to trust me for now.
7. While I could rant on and on about the Hall of Fame figs for several reasons, only one thing stands out the most in my mind. Unless they are packed in limited quantities, I really think these things are gonna warm some major pegs and keep us from getting the cool new assortments scheduled for this year. Atleast if they are actually an entire assortment. If they are mixed with the new good stuff then I'm just babbling. Cause then I think they will move well enough to not be a problem. While I understand the reasoning behind having the core Classic characters in stores for the dvds and build up to Ep3, I just hope Hasbro has not overproduced or anticipated a greater demand for these figs than there really is. Should we be concerned with this or do you think Hasbro will keep this under control?
I don't know how many stores you hit in your toy hunts, but from what I could tell the HOF figures are selling quite well, many of which completely vanished before the season's clearances started. It seems the same old Han or Leia on a new package flys out the door before a brand new Dignitary or second-tier figure from Attack of the Clones. These figures will appear in their own assortment(s), but they'll still be on the same pegs as the new toys. I think we're really taking this too far as a group, with our assuming that reissuing main characters is a bad thing. Fact is, main characters sell, and often disappear at the hint of a sale. Chewbacca and Darth Vader are easy to sell to kids and passive fans. R-3PO and Achk Med-Beq are not. As such, I think there is some demand for these figures, and if they can bring kids to buy a few more minor characters too, I say keep them coming.
8. Just wondering if you have heard anything lately on the Cantina Bar Section wave 2's?
Last year, we were informed that these items were produced in very limited numbers and that production run was not supposed to have happened, really. Right now there are no known plans to release these items on the same packaging configuration we saw earlier, or any new one. I think that we may see the figures on basic cards some day, but that might be a while.
9. Why is Boba Fett (Pit of Carkoon)'s jet pack brilliant blue, rather than green? I know they re-did the paint job on his uniform to make it more green than blue, but on both versions of the figure, the jet pack is clearly "Jango blue." Is there a reason for this?
Last year at one of the Hasbro panels at Comic Con Internation, some fan was giving one of the figure designers at Hasbro a lot of grief over the configuration of the belt on an upcoming Jedi Knight Luke figure. The fan was going on to great detail about this as if it were some grand injustice, and the designer politely smiled and informed the fan that no such configuration was planned at this time.
Why am I telling you this? Figures aren't perfect. Mistakes are made. These are collectibles for us, but they're also playthings. Hasbro has made hundreds of these guys, and of course a few slight color mistakes get through. I mean, Boba's suit was blue.... but they fixed that. Mistakes happen, folks, sometimes it's just how the toy is made and we need to move on and wait for the next version to happen.
10. I live in The Netherlands. I can't help it, my parents were born there, and hey, I like it here. It's a fr... good country. I'm a proud Dutchman. Now KB Toys does not ship to Europe. KB Toys (and others) now and then have some great deals on their site. They are the elusive so-called "store-exclusives". Such great "VHTF" or "at scalper-level-priced" items as there are the KB TIE Fighter. Or the Imperial Shuttle. But nooooooo, not available to Europe. Not to my beloved Holland, The Netherlands, Dutchmen country. No. We're delivered to the mercy-full hands of "The Onliners" or "E-bay". For example: Tie Fighter @ KB: $15, online $40. Between what I've paid and you've paid for our hobby no Euro driven currency gain will help. I just want to say that in my opinion things just ain't fair. Is there someone or some service that I can use to ship to in The States and that will ship to my home, that I can rely on?
Well, you can always find a trading buddy in the states through our forums or elsewhere to help you out.
Keep in mind, though, that these clearance prices you speak of are sometimes just lucky finds. For example, I found a Zoids Energy Liger toy at Target for $3.24. The toy, which just came out in December, is supposed to sell for $29.99-$34.99. Were I to order it online, that's about what it would cost-- full price. I just happened to find a happy fluke, and not all Kay-Bees have that TIE Fighter for $15. Although many do have it for $29.99, and it's 30% off, this won't do you much good as it isn't somewhere online that ships to Holland.
You also have to realize that sometimes this is just the way things are. Is it fair? Actually, yes, it is. Toys aren't produced so that everybody the world over can get exactly what they want. Sometimes I have to pay a Japanese toy importer a premium to get what I want, or I have to trade some weird items to a guy in the Netherlands to get a Christmas present for a loved one because the item isn't due in my country for quite some time. Star Wars is a worldwide phenomenon, as is the collecting associated with it. But retailler exclusives and the like are a pain for all of us, if they're meant to be sold to US-only stores, that's how it goes, and sometimes even Americans can't get them.
Every part of the world has its perks for toys. If you live in Europe, you can frequently get the toys produced there earlier. Obviously, the fanbases for LEGO in the states have no problem waiting a few months, but that window of waiting is a little annoying. Prices, of course, vary widely from the US to Japan when it comes to many toys, but this is just the way it is. Your only option is to get a friend to give you a hand, because the way business is done, it's not in anybody's best interests at Hasbro, Tomy, LEGO, or elsewhere to make sure that all toys are available everywhere at all times.
And if this seems like I'm being harsh, consider this: American Anime fans are so rabid, and the market is so big, that series are being produced solely because they know Americans will buy it, even if the show wasn't a huge hit in Japan. And at the same time, dozens of Japanese animated programs don't come out in the USA with an English language track, or if they do, they end up being expensive. We're in an international market, in which a planet of goods are produced for specific regions and, as such, not everything can be available everywhere in a cheap and timely manner. This will never change, but since it keeps some rotten toys from spreading too much, I don't think I'd have it any other way.
This week was a good week for Star Wars fans, with numerous new announcements and even some fantastic clearance deals to bolster your stashes.
Toy Fair in New York is less than a month away! Do you have questions? Of course you do. If you have a question that is not related to distribution of a product or an exclusive product that you'd like us to bring along in case we can get an answer, send it in. Due to the nature of the event and the amount of time we have to do our thing, we make no promises, but if nothing else we can be on the lookout for answers to your questions as the year goes on.
Anyway, get those questions in for next week. Just email me with your inquiry, and we'll see what we can do.