Q&A For July 5, 2004
1. I was wondering if you know where I can find hi-res
images of the new Unleashed card fronts without the
figure and bubble on them (specifically the new Slave
Leia)? I've looked all over and haven't come up with
anything. I recall when they switched the packaging
Hasbro announced what company did the designs, but I
couldn't find that information, either (I was hoping
they might have something). Any help is appreciated!?
We've had requests for something like this before, but this is not something we offer and nobody stepped up to the plate to say they did, either. As such, I'd like to say that if you have such scans and would like to help out your pals at Galactic Hunter, let us know! We'd like to make whatever you cats want available, and if you can help us, then the world will be a better place.
2. Last weekıs question #10 by Jane asked if using plastic freezer/sandwich bags is a safe way for storing figures. You discussed how you use tackle boxes for storing a lot of your stuff but the question still remains as to whether bags are an ok method. Iıve been using ziplock bags for storing all of my figures for about 4 years and although I very infrequently have the chance to sort through them, it doesnıt look like any paint damage or any other damage has happened. My bagged figures are stored in 12 x 16² file totes that are labeled by episode. Theyıre kept inside the house to reduce damage from heat, changes in temperature, and humidity. However, Iıve asked myself the same question about plastic ziplocks over the long term. Also, since the figures are piled up on top of each other in the boxes, I worry that light sabers may become deformed. Again, I havenıt noticed any damage but since theyıre plastic it seems like something that can happen. Tackle boxes take up too much room for me, are too much of an expense, plus personally I like to keep things in about 8 easy to handle totes. Have you ever heard from other collectors about the possibility of any damage from storing in plastic bags?
Bags are iffy-- like you said, there's humidity, but my big concern is the paint from the weapon coming off on a figure. It's happened even in tackle boxes, so I'd be very careful about storing figures with their weapons in bags. Lightsabers can snap, too, so whatever you do, be very careful. Any solution can be bad or good, depending on how you situate your figures. When I had to move, I used small sandwich bags and cut very, VERY small holes to let them "breathe." This might be a good idea, but keep in mind that some weapons and even some figures aren't good to have constantly rubbing against one another-- bags work OK for vintage figures, but not so much for the new ones, especially from Saga onward.
Like all things, if you have a system you like, fine, use it. You ask what I like, I like tackle boxes. You like bags? Go nuts.
3. I'm curious whether you may have any insight or opinion on this: Is the Episode III line of basic figures scheduled to be characters from just that movie (ala Episode I) or will it be comprised of all Star Wars movies as they've been since the Saga line began? Frankly, I am hoping that the former is true, and that any characters produced between now and the release of the final movie are those that were previously not produced. With the release of the Original Trilogy DVDs, this would be a great time to build excitement with releases of characters such as more carded cantina aliens and creatures, etc.
Hasbro has said they will not be splitting the line again like they did with Episode I and POTF2. Based on rumors we've heard, the line will include some very desirable Trilogy product early on, so I'd not worry about getting figures from the previous five films next summer.
4. Of the 4 OTC vehicles, I was wondering which would be considered, in your opinion, different enough to be considered new. It is my understanding the TIE and DV TIE are identical to their previously released counterparts, and even the Vader figure is nothing new at all, coming from, I believe, the Gunner Station pack. However, I understand the XWing has new markings. The Falcon, with it's electronics, is obviously new. Is this correct?
The normal TIE Fighter is the only one that a loose completist should pass on without a second thought. It's the same as the TIE Fighter that Kay-Bee had last year, minus a pilot. As such, it's good if you want more TIEs, but otherwise a dud.
The X-wing has new labels, different colored plastic, and slightly altered blast markings. It's different enough for me to say go ahead and get it if you don't mind getting another 1978 mold X-wing.
The Darth Vader's TIE Fighter is slightly recolored from previous releases and sports many new paint markings to make it look vastly improved. The figure is the Gunner Station Darth Vader. $30 seems very high for what it is (a $20 vehicle with a pack-in figure from a $10 set, both of which could be had on clearance for under $10) but it is quite spiffy looking and is noticably different.
I just got my Falcon 24 hours before I pen this column, and it's sweet. The plastic is different, there's a lot of retooling, and the electronics are a blast. Sure it's $60, but it's neat enough where you'll probably dig it. It seems that Han and Chewie cannot share the cockpit, but I did manage to get the mechanic Chewbacca to sit in there without a hitch-- so overall, it's improved, but could be better still.
5. Since Hasbro must monitor your column with the diligence of the Department of Homeland Security, would you care to throw your weight behind a Cliegg Lars w/ hoverchair (that could roll on clear wheels like the landspeeder) at some point along the way? This dude had a pretty important part in the movie, and although he doesn't have much action, I think collectors would buy his figure.
While the character really does stand out, I'm not sure if fans really are eager for more of the Lars family just now. While I hesitate to say his part was really all that important, the actor seemed to put a little more gusto in his delivery than almost any other human actor and he does look cool. I know I'd be happy to see one if Hasbro put one out, but there's still the issue of young Owen and Beru. And a new version of ANH Owen that doesn't suck.
6. Unfortunately I'm going to be storing a lot of my figures due to a lack of space in the existing room. I've been thinking of getting the regular plastic storage bins/tubs. A long while back you mentioned tackle/fishing boxes that are great for the 6"x 9" cards. What are the boxes exactly? Where can you purchase them? How many figures does each one hold? If you have since found or heard of something better, let me know.
Actually, tackle boxes are ideal for loose figures. For carded figures, I suggest two options. One, get shipping cases that Hasbro uses to send product to the stores. (Tricky, but doable-- that's what I use.) Many stores will just let you take them, believe it or not, so if you see them, ask-- more than likely, the stores will just junk them anyway and this is your way to recycle and help yourself along with the planet.
The more realistic and useful choice for POTF2-POTJ era figures is comic book boxes. You know those long boxes comic shops use for their back issues? They're great. They stack and file nicely, and you can write the contents on them. They aren't cheap (i.e., free) so they're not the best solution, but they definitely work. The quantity of figures they can hold varies from box to box and the figures you're storing, but I'd say you have an ideal solution here.
7. Could you tell me if the Battle Droid, Super Battle Droid, and Destroyer Droid from the Clone Wars Droid Army multipack are repaints/re-releases or are they unique figures?
While the Destroyer Droid is similar one to the Destroyer Droid Launcher pack, the other two are unique. So be sure to snag one.
8. How many known (re: official, many have seen it with their own eyes, you have them, etc) Clonetrooper 3-packs are there? I have seen an all-white version, and I have also seen versions with yellow, green, red, and blue troopers mixed in with 2 white Clones. That would make 5 different 3-packs by my count. Am I anywhere close? Is that the generally accepted amount? Does each variation only come with one color trooper and two white ones?
There are only five different packs, each of which are easily identified. There are four unique sculpts spread over these sets. While each Clone is available in white, each color (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue) only appear on one sculpt each. If you buy a pack with a red clone, that's the only red pack, and so on and so forth. If you want a complete set of opened Clones, you can pass on the all-white set as they're duplicated elsewhere. No pack has more than one colored Clone in it.
In total, there are only five different variations in the Clone Trooper Army packs, so if you get one of each colored pack, you're covered.
9. Why doesn't Lucasfilm just tell us if the DVDs coming out have been altered or not? I'm hip to improvements (the Nintendo 64 looking Jabba in the Special Edition kills me and needs to be fixed) but I would also like the originals as well, along with everyone else. I think we will see the originals on DVD one day. It's a huge bucket of money to just ignore it forever. And so I noticed FOX will be airing EP1,2,4,5,&6 sometime before Ep 3 is released according to details from the recent marketing meeting that was held.
Well, I think part of it may be that the DVD cuts aren't done yet. If it's true that these have been worked on since 1997, well, who knows what they're going to have ready? Or maybe is there point to surprise us?
A lot of the stuff in ANH needs fixing, and I think they're probably happy with Jabba. There's a few oddities, like an unfinished CG C-3PO on a landspeeder, that really get my goat. I personally think they're waiting to do some big announcement in San Diego to get people really excited and talking... as you know, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
10. Is the Vintage Fett going to be blue jumpsuit or grey?
While packaged samples of both have surfaced, more than likely you and I will never see a blue one in stores. As such, the blue ones on eBay are probably going to be instant collectibles.
The OTC Falcon rocks my socks. I dunno if we're going to have pics for a review this week as of this column, but it's neat. It still has a few annoying flaws, and the instructions are not at all clear about where several of the labels go, but the electronics will bring a smile to your face and the cockpit can even seat Mechanic Chewbacca. Just not with Han Solo in there as well. I guess it ain't bad for now, until Hasbro releases a 30th Anniversary edition $100 Millennium Falcon. (They haven't said they would, but c'mon, it just makes good sense.)
A TransFormers fan site leaked shots of a brand new Grimlock TransFormers toy, presumably Energon. See 16bit.com for links to the usual crap that just plain doesn't belong in a Star Wars column.
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.