Q&A For January 26, 2004


1. Does it seem like to you that there are fewer spoilers known about Episode III than the previous two movies at this stage of production? Do you look at the spoiler info or do you wait for opening day?

Well, seeing as how we know more or less what's going to happen, I'm not exactly wary of spoilers too much. Seeing as how the movie is about 18 months out, I'd say I know as much as or more than I did for Attack of the Clones at this point, plus they're showing a lot more in the way of designs on Hyperspace, from what I hear. Granted, they're showing fairly unimportant stuff... but they are showing a lot of stuff.

2. Is the recent jedi luke a new sculpt or the POTF with cloth cape on him? It looks like his lightsaber is new but it is missing the flare near the hilt that all new sabers have, even tough on the back of the card it has it. Another question I have is that since the end of episode one there has been rumors of the max reebo band in 12" form, are these in evolution?

Totally new figure, this Luke is. The 12" Max Rebo band are still not confirmed for release anytime soon, but as we did see the prototypes a while back I'm not totally giving up hope.

3. Now that the Hasbro Jedi Point auctions have concluded, should I toss my supply? Is there any foreseeable reason to keep clipping and saving them?

Hasbro has yet to make their 2004 or 2005 plans for Jedi Master Points known. As such, you do what you wanna do. There's no harm in holding on to them, as far as I can tell.

4. I was wondering if you have seen a potential list of store exclusives for this year? Also is their ever going to be a Cloud Car from ESB produced?

While I don't have such a list handy, nor do I feel like making one at the moment, I can say that the Cloud Car has been on some sort of a perma-backburner at Hasbro. Every year, the rumor mill tells us that someone picked it up, only to never come out. At this stage of the game, I'd just be happy to see that Sandcrawler finally show up.

5. My question regards the littlest member of the Max Rebo Band, Rappertunie. Seeing carded pictures of him brings one thought to mind - he's enormous! I'm not too disappointed as I never got the Rebo 2-packs, but with the 12" Max Rebo Band in various stages of development, do you think this figure is too small to be in scale with them whenever they see release?

At this stage, I'm not entirely sure. Scale, as you know, hasn't been Hasbro's strong point over the years with some figures being too big, and others too small, plus some camera angles lead fans to believe some characters are bigger than they actually are. (Jabba the Hutt in ROTJ comes to mind.) I'll be sure to address this in the review of the toy I make as soon as it finds its way into my stash.

6. I have a couple of questions and observations about the TRU 4-packs.

You've said that the 4-packs are new material using old molds. The Imperial and Bounty Hunter 4-packs were definitely new casts of existing figures. However, I began to question this when I look at the Hoth 4-pack and think about the peg warmers from the last couple of years. Certain figures sat in stores for years, only to disappear right before Saga came out. Leia Hoth is a POTJ Leia with a Hoth jacket....Luke is an EXACT copy of the POTF2 Luke/Tauntaun Beast pack.....Chewie is the POTJ Mechanic. Is it possible that these 4-packs explain the pegwarmers of 2001 and 2002 not making clearance appearances like the POTF2 clearances of KB and TRU from 1999? Is Hasbro buying back old stock only to repackage it a year later? Is the new Jedi 4-pack evidence of this since we know Hasbro bought back unsold stock from Walmart and TRU? Do the Hall of Fame assortments also show evidence of these "Phoenix" type figures rising from abandoned pegs only to be sold again? If so, it's a brilliant play by Hasbro to find new ways to get people to buy old stock we collectors already have.

Along the same line, if the 4-packs are indeed using existing molds, why wouldn't Hasbro chose to make 4-packs of figures people really want, like harder to find figures? I can imagine a Naboo 4-pack with Sio Bibble, Naboo Royal Guard, Naboo Pilot, and a Captain Panaka. Heck, Hasbro could learn from the customizers out there and simply change the heads on the army builder types to make them even more desirable. Do you think we'll ever see this kind of thing?

Well, let's get technical. Those Bounty Hunters weren't casts of existing figures... they were based on existing designs, but when a figure is cast from an existing figure, it becomes a less-perfect copy. Case in point: the Classic Four-Pack from 1995, where five vintage figures were sold in a box set.

As far as your observations go, well, that Chewie is the Saga Bespin Chewie, Leia is pretty similar, and Luke... well, yeah, this is a sensible set for this. And the box sets are selling well, too. Hasbro does not repackage old stock for these sets, as the figures are quite often changed a little or a lot which it seems a lot of fans just don't noticed. It's more trouble and more costly to take back a figure, tear off its arms, and then slap on a vest and repackage it and THEN send it out again. Think about it... shipping toys back to the manufacturer isn't free. For what you get in these boxes, I still say they're usually a good deal. A Tauntaun and 4 figures for $20 is a bargain, period.

Who's to say what Hasbro will make down the road? Maybe Naboo is in their future... but I take issue with the fact that Panaka is a desired figure. If you can't get a Panaka, well, there's no hope for you.

7. I just want to know if we will ever see a "Jabba the Hutt on Dias" figure. Similar to the one they had back in the 80's. Can Hasbro please stop making anymore Jabba figures and come out with the actual Jabba sitting on a dias. I know this recent one comimg out is near perfect but it is nothing without the dias. I am sure they are many collectors out there who have not built there throne room because they are waiting for the dias. We all know Jabba from the original ROTJ. Not the special edition or EP1 so please make it happen JACK!!!

Well, there's a unique way to ask a question.

For reasons unknown, there is no dias. That's just the way it is. If you want a good dias, my advice to you is to get a vintage one. They're cheap, get two. It's a fairly common piece to find, I bought a spare one back when POTF2 started just in case, and well, I did the right thing. Hasbro might do a new one someday, maybe in one of those multi-packs the kids love so much nowadays, but you never know. As such, keep your pants on, Star Wars still has a few years of life left in it and you never know who may pop up in Episode III.

8. Is there any way we can convince Hasbro to at least repaint the Barada figure in the upcoming "Skirmish at Carkoon" TRU Multi-Pack? I really hope the new figure has red pants and a yellowish shirt like the one actually aboard Luke's skiff (and the vintage figure). The white shirt and blue pants version from the "Skiff Guards" Cinema Scene is on the skiff piloted by Pote Snitkin. See the comparison photos from SW.COM Databank:

"Skiff Guards" Cinema Scene Barada

Barada that was actually on Luke's skiff

Official sources have listed both costumes as Barada as far as I have seen. Am I mistaken? Is there different names for each?

There were tons of alien designs for the films, and lots of backstories written long after the films originally came and went. As such, yes, there are two distinct aliens that have been dubbed Barada over the years, and continuity buffs will often say "well, they're both from Klatooine but they're not both Barada." Frankly, I don't know what the deal is here, but I am a little surprised Hasbro isn't talking the initiative to make the other version in the upcoming Carkoon gift set. While there probably are names for both, I have yet to see them as I don't have the Decipher card game set that would tell me such things as of yet. So to review: multiple outfits, one of which has seen a toy.

9. I found your suggestion about the use of the Plano tackleboxes to store loose Star Wars figures very helpful. However, I currently need yet another box but have not found any other tackleboxes that are a similar size and shape of the ones I bought in the past. Are you having this problem and if so what brand or model are you currently using? Also, I have recently begun collecting figures from the Batman Animated Series from the early 90ıs and Iım facing the same problem of how to store them (loose). Any suggestions?

There are numerous other brands of tackle boxes but as of yet, I haven't found one that I've been happy with as far as storing Saga-era figures goes. As far as Animated Batman, you can probably get a slightly larger one and see what's there. (Stick some toys in your pocket and test drive them, says I.) You can find numerous boxes at K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sports Authority, and elsewhere and until I somehow stumble on the magic box, all I can tell you is to just keep trying. I've had some names thrown at me but as of yet I haven't found the perfect box, I'm sorry to say.

10. My local Suncoast says that the trilogy is coming to DVD in April, but everybody else says November and I can't tell which is right.

Right now, absolutely nobody has official information on these DVDs, what they are to contain, when they are to be released, and so on and so forth. That's just the way it is.

Anybody can take your money early and I have very little doubt that we will see them in 2004. It's possible the DVDs could come out earlier than originally rumored, but DVD release dates have a way of moving, for example, Ed Wood just got delayed again late last week with no known new release date after having been confirmed for February 2 for months now.

But I digress. Basically, don't get your hopes up for April, because odds are we'd hear a little more rumbling out of Skywalker Ranch for these if they were to come out in the next three months.


Welp, backlog's empty. Got questions? I've answered all that made it to my Q&A box, so I'm ready for more.

TransFormers fans, I finally got a review done that may interest you. 16bit.com now has a review of the Japanese version of the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime toy up. I can save you the trouble of looking if you want... it's super-cool. The actual review is far longer and has more pictures, though.

Oh, and I'd also like to take a moment for some begging. I'm a fan of the new Energon TransFormers. After over a month of hardcore, borderline obsessive toy runs I'm unable to find Ultra Magnus. If you have one to sell, know where I can buy one (that isn't eBay), or know of some sort of secret password I should give the kid at the Wal-Mart, please, do share.

Anyway, get those questions in for next week. Just email me with your inquiry, and we'll see what we can do.

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