Q&A For May 3, 2004


1. I just read the recent Q&A at Galactichunter concerning a vintage figure that smelled like cigar smoke. (ugh....)
Thought I'd pass on to you a suggestion I had seen at a doll collector's site.
You'll need:
a box with a lid (the person used a plastic tub)
kitty litter
A piece of cardboard, plastic, whatever,- big enough to rest the figure upon.

Lay a solid layer, a few inches' worth, of kitty litter in the bottom of the box and then place the piece of cardboard, etc. on the litter. Put your figure on the base and seal up the box for a couple of weeks.

Haven't heard of anyone trying this on a figure yet, as opposed to a vinyl doll. But if someone has a figure they think is hopeless, it would be worth a shot.

While I have yet to try it myself, I've seen worse ideas. Anyone had luck with this?

2. What happened to the Build your own lightsaber kit?

While it was originally a toy from Episode I that was delayed for Episode II, now it looks like it probably won't be coming out. Seeing as how well Lightsabers are selling, though, it seems a little surprising if Hasbro wouldn't try to put one out for the final film, wouldn't you say?

3. I was just curious when the second wave of Target collector cups are supposed to be coming out. Is the newest wave going to have Leia, Luke, and Anakin? Or is Leia separate?

Right now, it seems she's a separate wave. This is especially amusing as the same Leia is now rumored to be repackaged as part of the OTC later this year.

4. This is pure speculation...do you think Lucas maybe putting off a release of the original edits of the original trilogy in hopes that Criterion will release them? It would serve his infinite merchandising jones and his subdued but undeniable desire to join the ranks of Hitchcock and Kurosawa. I'd buy 'em...

I think that if Lucas wanted Criterion to do Star Wars it'd have happened by now. They put out some fantastic discs, and most directors are honored to work with them. In the case of George Lucas, though, he'd pretty much get what he wants, and what he wants is no reminders of the Original Trilogy as it first came out for whatever reasons.

5. with the sandcrawler being put on hold why can't hasbro just put it on the mass market like the other otc vehicles

This is one of many, many letters we got about the Sandcrawler since Hasbro confirmed Target will not be picking it up. If there was any doubt, the fan interest is there and they think $40 is a good price to pay for this. (As I have the original, I'd have to agree-- a Sandcrawler with new deco and three figures ain't a bad deal at $40. Toss in a fourth figure and it'd be a slam-dunk, as the kids say.) But I digress.

John, the main reason for not putting it on mass market is because the mass market would most likely not want it. Yes, there is interest and yes, it will sell. But it probably won't sell unless it has some mystique about it, I don't see this as moving more than a couple of units per store if it was an open stock item. The X-Wing is recognizable by pretty much everybody, and as such makes sense as being available everywhere.

Stores like exclusives because it gets people to go to their store, and the buyers for stores know that we will go where the toys are. Right now, to me, it'd make the most sense to treat it like the Fan Club four-packs. To keep costs down, package it in a big white box and give it to the Internet accounts like Entertainment Earth, D&S Sci-Fi Toy World, KebCo, and Action Figure Express. Or even just one of them-- depending in the required minimum quantity, I'm sure that if any of those accounts have the coffers, they would jump at the chance to be the store that saved the Sandcrawler. Taking on an exclusive like this one can earn goodwill the way sales never can.

6. I have a few bags of Frito Lay Episode II chips/Doritos and noticed that one of the bags is starting to get "greasy" on the bottom. What should I do? I regard these as collectibles and would hate to open the bags. If I wanted to open the bags is there a safe way without ruining them?

Food is tricky, because you have to ask yourself "am I collecting food, or the packaging?" Unless you have some sort of long-term storage facility like some candy collectors do, odds are your chips and soda will eventually start to decompose. This stuff is meant to be thrown away, so it wasn't designed with the long-term storage of animal fats in mind. As such, I would say you can either open the bags carefully and remove the chips (which means slowly or putting up with a few small holes) or cutting off the top. It's not like there's going to be an aftermarket for these down the road, given how everybody is saving everything these days, so do what you can to the bags so that they're still acceptable for your purposes.

The sad truth about collecting anything is that it's really tough to keep it all in good shape-- soda can leak through a can, some toys can turn yellow through virtue of age alone, and shrinkwrap on a model box may keep shrinking over time, crushing the box a little. You sometimes have to damage your collectible a little bit to save it, but they aren't meant to outlive you.

7. Should I face facts and admit that I shall never see Max Rebo in 12" form? Man, I really wanted those to be made !

The 12" line as a whole is in hot water now, so who knows? I have my doubts, really, seeing as how we've seen the prototype and it was supposedly made four years ago. I wouldn't get my hopes up.

8. With the introduction of the new Playschool line do you think it's possible for them to do more Vehicles? TIE Fighter, Snowspeeder, Slave 1etc? I'd love to see them, or does it depend on how the figures sell? Also do you know what the price will be for the 2-packs? I really can't see them being over $5. Hope not.

When it comes to the Playskool line, I'm more interested in vehicles than I am in the figures. The big, chunky spacecraft are well made and easy on the eyes, and frankly, are better than other competing American kiddie fare. (Sadly, I know from experience.) Right now, the price for the two-packs isn't known, and there's no known plans for more vehicles, but I can safely say that from your reactions (plural your) that fans really want them. I'd be amazed if we never saw a Landspeeder.

9. What do you think the chances of Mark Hamill being at Celebration III are? I know he's done other Sci-Fi shows.
They got Carrie Fisher for Celebration II & I know that Harrison Ford won't show up but I'd really like to hear from Mr. Hamill (Luke Skywalker himself!).

While plans are underway for the next convention, programming is totally up in the air right now. Anything could happen, and while it would be nice to see him there it'll all have to do what other projectshe has going on, and how much LucasFilm can pay him to show up. Last I heard, he wasn't too keen on signing SW swag, but these things change all the time.

10. In your review of Captain Antilles, which Darth Vader are you using to strangle him in the picture?

That would be the Masters of the Dark Side version which was repackaged last year.


My other site, 16bit.com, is hosting a new web comic called ".stereotype." It's written by The Authors, and they want people to see it and leave them feedback. OK, so there it goes.

GH reviews this week: Jabba and Elom.

That's all for this week. So get those questions in for next week, and if you could put "Q&A" in the subject line, that would greatly help my email filters find your message. Just email me with your inquiry, and we'll see what we can do.

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