Q&A For July 12, 2004


1. As I was looking at the new 12" Boba Fett pictures, I was wondering if Hasbro might have used some elements from the Marmit Boba Fett armor in producing this figure (presumably the Jango, too).... Has anyone done a comparison? The forearm pieces, knee pads, torso and backpack all seem very similar. And after all, the Marmit figures were released by Hasbro Japan, so there certainly was some kind of a business relationship there that might enable that.

As far as I know, Hasbro has yet to crib elements from other companies' 12" figure lines for its own. In the case of the new OTC 12" Fett, it appears they did borrow from their own Ultimate Jango Fett from 2002. While I don't have mine yet, I will be sure to compare when it shows up.

2. I was lucky enough to find the vintage Ben, Han and Leia figures today at my local K-mart. Was the Vintage Luke supposed to be packed in with these 3 figures as well? It seems like most of the reports of these figures being found don't include the Luke.

Like most waves, there are more than one version of this assortment. As you may have guessed, this is the one that doesn't have Luke-- who will be shipping more heavily in future cases.

3. Which OTC figures are re-releases, which are new?

There are only seven completely new figures in the 38-piece OTC collection. These should be obvious if you've been paying any attention, but hey, it's the 21st century, so who needs to do that anymore?

Cloud Car Pilot
Princess Leia (Bespin)
Luke Skywalker (Dagobah)
R2-D2 (Dagobah)
Spirit Obi-Wan (Dagobah)
Yoda (Dagobah)

Luke Skywalker (Bespin)
Darth Vader (ESB, not yet available)
Tusken Raider

There are also some other notable changes, like OTC Boba Fett. The OTC release isn't green like the later releases of the Saga version, and it isn't blue either-- it's somewhere in between, but closer to blue. So for those keeping track, that sculpt is in three colors now. Also, OTC Chewbacca has a POTF2 Bowcaster, while the Saga and POTJ versions of this sculpt did not.

While some are reporting otherwise, the OTC Dagobah R2-D2 is not a repaint of the Saga version-- there has been some retooling as well, and of course, an all-new and vastly improved sound chip. Also, there has been some confusion about the Scout Trooper. I've heard many people say this version is new-- it isn't. A clean Scout Trooper was available in late 2001 alongside Bespin Han and Boomer Damage Battle Droids in the POTJ assortments.

4. I took a vacation from Star Wars figure collecting for just over a year after the Power of the Jedi line had just wrapped up. Meanwhile, I see that an Imperial Officer figure with 2 head variations was released again as part of the Saga line in 2002 (Brown hair & Blonde). I was wondering if the brown haired version was identical to the POTJ figure? I can't see trying to hunt one down if it's the same.

To the naked eye, it's very similar, but it is a whole new sculpt. I've had difficulty finding Saga Brown officers, myself, but you can use this picture from our archives to satisfy your need for knowledge.

Left is POTJ, middle is Saga 1, right is Saga 2.

5. Are any of the figures in the Toys 'R' Us Endor Ambush 5-pack different? I hate to be redundant and buy any of these if I don't "need" to. One other thing, does the Target ESB "glass" come with a Luke (X-Wing Pilot) with a removable helmet, or is it just another repack?

Despite what the back of the package shows, the Target ESB Glass Luke Skywalker does not have a removable helmet, regardless of what your friend's brother tells you. I picked one up (still can't find Anakin) and it's basically the same figure that came with the POTJ Snowspeeder in 2002. As far as I can tell, the Endor Ambush set is identical to previously released figures, Han Endor has brown pants so if you don't have that variation yet yourself, now's a good time to get it. Also, Wicket is the version with the painted stitching on his hood, which is a variation most people don't know about. This is the same version on the OTC cards and later POTF2 Ewoks packs.

6. All of the checklists I've seen on the internet for the Shadows of the Empire line of figures doesn't include a Han Solo in Carbonite. Am I going crazy? I thought I remember seeing him on a SOTE card. Do you have a list of the figures that were ORIGINALLY available on a SOTE card?

While Han in Carbonite and Jedi Luke (1996) were both in the assortments with Shadows of the Empire, only five figures were on the purple packaging. Luke (Coruscant Guard), Leia (Boushh), Chewbacca (Bounty Hunter), Prince Xizor, and Dash Rendar were the quintet in question, and while some bootleg figures were packaged on SOTE cards, we don't count those.

7. How does Hasbro determine it's production numbers. Is every figure made in the same amount or are some produced in higher numbers. If some figures are made in higher numbers how can you explain Hasbro dropping the ball when they produced the Sa Clone Trooper? wouldn't the executives and market experts predict this would be a popular figure and increase the number made?

Hasbro's numbers have dropped since the POTF2 days, but are still pretty up there-- if you pay attention, more often than not, you'll find what you need. Hasbro didn't take into account army builders when producing the Super Articulated Clone Wars Clone Trooper, obviously, and that assortment didn't show up as often as the previous two. It's possible more are out there waiting to be shipped, but I think we'd be more likely to see it repackaged first.

Hasbro makes figures based on what it thinks will sell, and yes, they are more conservative in non-movie years. In general, Clones are crazy popular and no matter what, it's tough to meet demand-- Clones will sell even when other characters won't due to how we fans buy things. As such, they are aware that many of us (myself included) never saw this figure in stores and are hopefully looking into repackaging it before Episode III. I, for one, would love to see them in the black-and-silver packaging, minus the OTC logo of course.

8. Do you know if the VOTC "Clamshells" are acid free, or will we eventually have to transfer them to Star cases (Not a bad idea anyway, considering that the OTC logo on the clamshell obscures about a fifth of the card and figure).

How the heck am I supposed to find this out? This isn't information that's easily had, but, as always, I'll try and find out-- or if you guys know, you can chime in. I assume this is the same material they make the bubbles out of, and acid free or not, if it's good enough to house your figures it's good enough to house your cardboard packaging.

I should also let you know the Clamshells are taped shut-- so it's not just a matter of popping it open and transferring it and you'll still have mint packaging, you'd be violating the sealed figure that ships from Hasbro to do this-- and if you want to, hey, great. But fair warning.

9. FYI - as an alternative to scrounging for Hasbro figure boxes from stores, or purchasing comic boxes for carded figure storage - I use office printer/copier paper boxes from the office. These are slightly larger than the comic boxes, but work very well for storing carded figures, plus with only a little work (if you work in an office) you can usually bag as many of these as you need. I've got dozens of these that hold my carded collection. They're also quite sturdy and have survived several moves without damage. I've also yet to see any damage to my carded figures from any residual chemicals associated with the boxes and have been using this method since 1996. So after eight years of use it still appears to be a safe method.

Thanks, Dave! There are lots of cheap alternatives out there, so be sure to keep looking around your place of employment for things they don't need that you can use.

10. What's this 12" GIjoe Indiana Jones/

Right now, it appears the figure is merely "Indiana Joe." The figure has surfaced in (so far) two ethnic versions, so you can get one that's "white" or "black." The head appears to be a typical Joe head, and not a head based on Harrison Ford. There are several of these on eBay but as of yet, I don't have one, nor have I seen another collecting page buy one and provide a photo gallery. As such, I'd say it means that it's possible that the full Indiana Jones toy license has yet to be assigned to anybody, since this doesn't seem to be an Indy Movie product but more of a theme park tie-in. But hey, what do I know?


I just got my first three Vintage OTC figures at my door as I wrote this week's column. Here's a quickie breakdown: Han Solo is perfect, buy one, buy three. Princess Leia is good, except she has no holes for her feet and arguably the wrong weapon. Obi-Wan Kenobi disappoints on many levels. More, of course, will be coming in upcoming reviews posted on Wednesdays and Fridays.

If you've made it this far, I have a request for you. I'm allowed to do this, I figure. I'm planning an event, and for it, I need a full-size coin-op arcade machine. It does not need to work, just to be in good shape. I live in Phoenix. Does anyone know where I can easily get something to fit my needs? (Yes, it's to retrofit and put a PC or console inside.) I'm hunting around eBay and a few other places but I figured if one of you said "hey, I got this old Donkey Kong machine that doesn't work worth a damn" that would definitely help me out.

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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