Q&A For November 11, 2004


1. Yesterday, I received OTC Sly Moore in the mail and I noticed, that it mentions 'TPM' on the cardback/JMP and not 'AOTC' as it rightfully should. Do you think hasbro will correct this? Also, do these people at hasbro actually watch the movies, how can they possibly get it wrong?

This is indeed true-- Sly Moore did not exist until the second Prequel.

As to how the error happened, well, the error happened. If you look at the Star Wars product line for 2004, it's been a good year. There have been 38 carded OTC figures, 21 Saga figures, a few exclusives, five post-OTC figures (so far), several Ultra figures, a dozen Vintage figures... I could go on. For a non-movie year, Hasbro's had to produce a heck of a lot of packaging for these figures, and I'm willing to bet they were working from a template and forgot to change the movie name. If that's the only thing they really dropped the bomb on in terms of packaging, I'd say it's a good year-- of course, there's also the Rabe/Dorme incident, but let's move on, shall wel?

2. I hope I didn't miss the answer to this question in a previous Q&A, but are you aware of a variant Lando General which has a mole on the left cheek? It looks like it could be either a paint faux pas or an intentional likeness of a mole. The one I picked up at my Target was the only one, with 4 others hanging there with clean faces. Thanks in advance for your response.

As far as I know this is a glitch-- a lot of figures have random, unwanted specs of paint on them in various places. (My Energon Dust Storm had a weird light blue mark on its face which it turned out was just stray plastic.) I've had a few figures in the past with markings like this, but they come right off usually when you open the toy.

There was, however, a Padme with mole variant for the 2002 Saga range early on-- aside from that, I'm not aware of any intentional mole addition or removal. Unless you want to talk about Elom.

3. I have alittle complaint to make. Seeing that Hasbro every so often will make a really good remold of a character, why have not they made an up to date version of R2D2 with a pop up lightsaber?! This was one of my favorites back in the day, and the re-release version with the flashback photo was horriable! I would like to see a version with a more accurate likeness to Luke's lightsaber. And make it metal saber hilt! Also, since Hasbro probably won't go for a lauching mechanism, at least give him some sort of pull back hatch on top of his head and then turn his head to expose the handle! Maybe even Hasbro can give this version a "chain cutter" that flips down from his chest (for when he free's leia from jabba's slab)! With all this said, what do you think the chances are of us seeing this figure anytime in the near future?

If there's one thing I know about Hasbro, they will keep making new R2-D2 figures. This year alone, they shipped the Sail Barge version, the OTC/Hall of Fame version, and a Vintage version. Oh, and the Dagobah version. So there's four in one calendar year, and you know there's at least one on tap for Revenge of the Sith. Or at least there had better be.

It's entirely possible they'll revisit this concept. The Vintage R2-D2 that just came out is essentially a revised version of the 1998 Freeze Frame R2-D2 with Datalink accessories and the cutter arm.

Down the road, I personally would like to see some sort of lever on his back that you can lift up and make the saber pop out of his head, but then again, I'm easy. I thought the 1998/1999 launching saber figure was very well thought out in terms of the mechanism, but suffered from a questionable sculpt and the worst modern R2-D2 dome to date, and a horrendous silver paint job-- most of it looked worn off before you opened the figure.

Here's hoping Hasbro includes a new R2-D2 like this in a future Screen Scene or something. It'd be cool.

4. hey there, so about that KB Toys chapter 11, is there any word if they'll be discounting all of thier toys or will they just ship it back to the warehouse? i sure could use some fodder.

When the last round of Kay-Bee closures happened in the Spring, the stores marked down their merchandise and then marked the barcode with a black marker because they're swine and don't like packaged collectors. While everything was discounted, not everything was sold-- so the toys were sent off to destinations unknown, or at least I have no clue where they ended up.

Keep in mind only a chunk of the stores are closing, so you may not see any closures in your area. Between the two lists (one for "will close" and one for "might close") I had zero definite closures and three maybes. Problem is, those were three good stores, one of which I went to since I was like two or three. But I digress.

Keep watching your stores for more on the closures, there will most likely be progressive percentage off sales until the inevitable.

5. I was also looking over the new SW miniatures game and figures and I noticed that all the bounty hunters have been produced except Zuckus. Is this some kind of oversight? Why canąt the little bug-man get any love?

This is most likely merely Series I oversight. Down the road, we'll undoubtedly see the remaining "must make" figures, although they did do a good job of covering most of the Trilogy bases in that first set. I wouldn't doubt that when or if a third series happens, we'll see him and a number of those "where's such-and-such" items... like the Rancor.

6. What are the chances of some VOTC ish figures being made for the prequels? I mean, who doesn't want an ultra poseable Jango? How cool would that be? Considering how amazing the Boba Fett figure is, I think the fans would eat it up. What are the odds?

As Hasbro is releasing basic figures with that level of articulation nowadays, I'd say it's very possible-- I'm a little surprised that Jango Fett and Darth Maul have yet to receive the plush treatment. Regardless of how the packaging turns out, these are things I think we all want to see very soon.

7. One of the things that I'd to know is whether there will be a new version of Zuckuss and 4LOM to go with the new versions of Dengar and IG-88? I don't remember seeing or reading anything about them being released again.

Another question is whether Hasbro will make a super articulated C-3P0? This is one figure that gets the short end of the design stick time and again. The Votc one just looks horrible and the Saga/Otc one has just minor articulation. Let's put a bug in hasbro's ear for a more articulated C-3P0.

The current IG-88 has been packaged in POTJ, Saga, and OTC packaging-- sure, Saga was a multipack, but it's a good mold that, like the new Dengar and Bossk, will undoubtedly be the definitive version.

So here's hoping Hasbro reconsiders Zuckuss and 4-LOM. Especially as a lot of fans couldn't find the POTF2 Zuckuss in stores originally, a new version might make a lot of people happy. 4-LOM was OK as is, so eh, I could see them dragging their feet on a new version of this relatively common figure.

As Hasbro had the ultimate opportunity to do a super-posable C-3PO, I don't know what to tell you-- they goofed. I have yet to get the Vintage one myself (can't find it) but from your comments, I agree, it's time to do a nicer one already. Possibly with an Ewok Village throne. The kids love seeing furry aliens subjugated as labor when there's a posable robot involved!

(Or ROTS. Gotta do something to make C-3PO special for that.)

8. What would you like to see after the Episode III waves die down? EU, more obscure movie characters, or "ultimate" versions of the main characters that are super articulated and have accessories or a combination of all the above?

I'm hoping it fizzles out actually. I've got a lot of toys-- and I mean a lot-- I don't need another 10 years of this, and odds are neither do you. If it were up to me, here's what the line would look like until the TV series starts and after Revenge of the Sith hits DVD, which I declare as the end of the official ROTS line.

Fan's Choice: Reruns. Every two or three assortments, an old figure would be brought back by fan request, unchanged except for packaging. It may not make sense to do a new Ree-Yees, but there's still a small market out there for the 1998 one. Crank those suckers out, says I.

Fan's Choice: New items. In a brilliant PR move, Hasbro would have dozens of figures on the drawing board and let fans pick one for each assortment to come out first. (Legend has it the Ewoks were to be released in Summer of 1997 but were swapped out and delayed for Grand Moff Tarkin due to insanely high fan commentary on the topic.) Items could include new "obvious" choices for ROTS like variant clone troopers and things Hasbro would make anyway-- I think it'd be nice to see them build community with fans by letting us pick, even if the choices are obvious. Between the reruns and the new items, there could very well be a fan's choice selection in every assortment-- and with fans voting from a list of figures Hasbro would do anyway, there's a smaller chance of low-selling turkeys like Captain Antilles. (Admit it, you know I'm so right here.)

Prequel redux. Every other new assortment would have an all-new "ultimate" version of a prequel character. This is where your super-awesome Darth Maul, Jango Fett, and yes, even Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan would come in. Hasbro has yet to make a satisfactory AOTC Obi-Wan in robes that doesn't look drenched in rain, and some characters just need to be done properly. The revised POTJ Boss Nass is a fine example of this.

Expanded Universe. These should be Fan's Choice figures with very few exceptions. You want 'em? Great. Vote for 'em. There are exceptions, of course-- McQuarrie characters would be peppered through the line over the years or exclusives, because let's face it-- it's a new way to do Darth Vader and Chewbacca, and those are great designs. I would not do any New Jedi Order or KOTOR or Galaxies figures except as Fan's Choice entries because I honestly don't believe they have the kind of recogntion that you might get from, say, a new Mara Jade.

ANH Moratorium. No new ANH-only figures for a year. Let's get some Phantom Menace guys out there, like new Pod Racers or something. Short of Cantina aliens, Wedge Antilles, and a revised Grand Moff Tarkin, this well is dry.

Stormtroopers & Clone Troopers. Every assortment needs to have one white armored army builder in it. Sandtroopers are fine, Scout Troopers are cool, but the demand is and will most likely always be there. So fill it with molds that are sitting around being unused. New versions of Luke and Han Stormtroopers would be fine too, as would a Clone Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi with removable helmet and removable cape over the armor-- despite being an EU figure, it can serve a function as a generic troop builder if fans decide they don't like the armored Jedi concept. Win win, people.

Finish the 1980 revamp. You can almost count the number of vintage figures Hasbro has yet to revist on one hand now. There's Lumat, Warok, Romba, Chief Chirpa, Klaatu (regular), and if you want to get technical, and I do, there's a normal R5-D4 that I do believe we're owed. Beyond that? Whatever space is left should be given to the remaining must-do items from the final film. I want to see lots of Clones, Wookiees, and robots.

...and then there's the TV show. If it's animated, I want to see it be fairly limited. If it's live action and therefore compatible with the POTF2/E1/POTJ/Saga/OTC/VOTC lines, then go nuts. Anything that looks like it might belong in one of my displays is welcome in my book, but if they don't allocate a chunk of the line to the original trilogy (even just repeats) I think it'd be bad for the future of the series. Looking at my local stores, it's really easy to convince people to buy nicely repackaged Lukes, Vaders, and Stormtroopers. Bespin Leia, General Madine, and Lando can be a challenge, but hey, there's plenty of can't miss classics here.

9. I have to say that although I was hostile against it, the OTC line has really impressed me. I've found myself picking up figs because I liked the cards and opening the older figs. My question is that while I applaud some of the figs that have been reissued I have to wonder why no Wedge Antilles, Captain Piett, or AT-AT driver? I really have no problem with reissues as long as they make sense but really the CommTech Han has been reissued like 6 times. I still see the HoF version, why not some of the harder to find figs that haven't been made in awhile?

When it comes to the Original Trilogy Collection a lot of the choices seemed odd... but the interesting thing I've noticed is that it's the new sculpts and "rare" end-of-Saga figures that are warming pegs, while the likes of the Han Solo figure fly off the shelves and I can't find Gamorreans or the scanning Imperial Troopers to save my life. I'm sicker of Han than you are, I can assure you, but the thing is at least in my market (and the two dozen plus stores I frequent) he sells out. Like, easily. So it makes sense for Hasbro to keep shipping him-- no new tooling is required and it's a surefire seller in most stores. And when you cap the line at 38 figures, you can and should do some figures for the collectors, but as kids are supposed to be buying these too you'd better do some for them.

Wedge Antilles, I agree, would be an excellent choice for the OTC and should be individually carded before the line ends. The AT-AT Driver, I believe, should be held back until you see another AT-AT. And Captain Piett? Meh. eBay.

Hasbro can sell Han and Luke and Vader without a problem and as such, these are good choices for a "rerun" line in fancy packaging. Kids will buy them because they can recognize them, and that's good for everybody. Even for you-- you're getting a break from must-buy new figures and your storage rooms will thank you.

Of course, every market's different, ditto with the stores. I still see HOF figures here, but my stores are still receiving new cases of Saga. Just this week I saw a few Wal-Marts with brand new HOF cases being put out on the pegs and multiple Targets with the R1-G4 wave which shipped in like March. So there's still a lot out there in the system to shuffle out, but yeah, I'm bored with Han too. I'm just glad he sells-- because if he didn't, then Star Wars would be in trouble.

10. I saw the silver vader onlkine, when is he going to be instores?

According to Toys "R" Us ads, they should be everywhere right now-- this may or may not happen if stores put the silver guys on the pegs early, like they did with the Clones. So, be careful, call ahead, and happy hunting!


Got some reviews on tap this week for ya-- Rabe on Wednesday and another TBD.

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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