Q&A For November 22, 2004


1. The Gentle Giant Threepios- they're releasing the mini-bust in the next couple of weeks, followed in about February by the 12" statue. Are these in the same scale; is it the same sculpt, just tweaked? What do you think of these pieces? As a person who focuses on the golden droid, I'm currently planning on investing in both. I'm just hoping they don't look nearly identical.

While the sculpts will be similar, these pieces will be different enough for you to care, I'm happy to say. The poses are different, and the color seems different-- this could be due to how they were shot. The bust will not be merely the statue cut in half, so it looks like you get to buy a $160 statue and a $60 bust. Me, I think the statue is awesome. Not gonna buy it myself, but I do believe it's a gorgeous piece.

2. Last Friday I went to Toys R Us, picked up a lightsaber and a figure (which totaled over $20) and took a silver Vader to the cash register expecting to get it for free.  The register didnąt deduct the Vader and the cashier told me that at least one of the items has to cost at least $19.99 in order to get the free figure.  This didnąt sound right to me. I called their 1-800 number and the man that answered first told that it as long as the total is $19.99 or more you get the free Vader but after checking with someone else, he changed his answer to what the cashier had said.   Another person (not a TRU employee) told me that itąs as long as the total is $19.99 or more.  Somehow I still think that either the TRU employees are wrong or their advertising needs to be clearer.  What have you heard?

Well, it depends on the people. When I bought one, I got two vintage figures ($19.98 before taxes) and they gave me my Vader no questions asked. I've heard a few reports like yours, and my advice to you is to try another store or say "hey, the ad said $19.99 beeeyotch." The cashier screwed you, my friend, and it was most likely an honest mistake. (Unlike us, store employees don't always care about the goings-on at the store.) It's always been a total, not a price of an individual product-- same thing when they do deals like that for G.I. Joe and Transformers. Don't let the man screw you, chum.

3. I have been scouring over the 12" VOTC in the stores and have yet to identify a "variant" Boba Fett. Early rumblings during the announcement of the 12" VOTC line indicated two Fett variants- one (Empire) with gray jumpsuit and one with blue (Jedi). During the search, I have identified what appear to be slight differences in the shades of the jumpsuits, but no readily identifiable "variants". After purchasing what I believed to be a "different" shade on a jumpsuit under retail flourescent lighting, I was disappointed when I identified that the acquisition was more or less the same as my previous purchase once compared under household lighting. While trying to discern between a blue and gray hues, the only thing that I have managed to acquire is a major force migraine. Is there truly two different jumpsuits and how significant is the difference? If so what is the release status/availability on them?
--Fett up and frustrated

I have good news and bad news for you, and will let you decide what you wish to perceive this answer as. Go nuts.

When Hasbro showed the "error" Fett and the "correct" Fett in a slide during their Hasbro slide show presentation, they also said that in addition to the regular figure, there would be a figure based on the Return of the Jedi costume. The ROJ costume is the name they gave to the "error" suit figure, according to our sources. This is an issue of Hasbro giving something a name which we consider wrong, and as such the fairly obvious color difference of the jumpsuits is the only real change here. The original "blue" suited figure is the hard one to find, your best bet is eBay or your crazy friend who has 12, if you have a friend like that. And if you do, consider yourself lucky.

4. do you know if AMT\ERTL will be making any new plastic models for EP3? Or maybe reissuing old models? I understand they have discontinued production of all Sci-Fi models, Star Trek stuff included and only do car\truck stuff. I have my fingers crossed that they may want to cash in on the last SW movie and produce some new stuff or reissue older models.

While I couldn't find an official answer for you, I found numerous references to reissues of the old kits as well as some word of Episode III kits on some store listings-- no pictures, and I'm doubtful these are 100% legit. I'm optimistic, the name "Stevens International" is being tossed around as licensing some molds or something. I'm more or less confused, but it looks better than it did for AOTC. Odds are something will pop up overseas...

5. I recently bought the TRU Battle of Hoth set on Amazon.com, and the tauntaun it came with has the broken horn. I know there were two versions... one with a broken horn and one with, well, an unbroken horn. I think one of them was supposed to be Luke's tauntaun and the corrected version was supposed to be Han's tauntaun, ala the split belly. Which do I have?

The cracked horn Tauntaun was Luke's steed, while the fully formed horns belong to Han Solo. The initial Luke figure was an error, but neither seems more common. (I neglected to pick up the Han version and still need to do so.)

6. I am drowning in the "A New Hope" wave of VOTC figures here (Morgantown, WV), with absolutely no sign of the "Empire" or "Jedi" waves. I did find one Yoda VOTC figure at a Toys 'R' Us store in a town 40 minutes from my town, but otherwise, everywhere I go (here and other towns) it's tons and tons of Lukes, Leias, Hans and Obi-Wans. I'm afraid my area stores won't carry the "Empire" and "Jedi" waves because the managers will look at their pegs and see 15 of each of these four figures and think, "Gee, these figures aren't selling. We better not stock any more." Well of course they won't sell if you get 30 of the same figure! I just want to know if the last two waves will be shipping for a while longer, or am I going to have to bite the bullet and try to find all these online? Thanks for any advice you may have!

While we're also swimming in ANH Vintage OTC figures, figures from the other two films show up all the time-- not C-3PO, of course, but I've seen all the others this week several times. If you're worried, buy online. A case of Vintage figures runs like $90, and before tax, it'll be a minimum of $80 for eight figures. (Sure, there's dupes and shipping, but hey.) Given how few people seem to be finding the sequel figures, I think it's very likely they're going to show up somewhere in the next couple of months and maybe even get dumped-- rare figures are rarely rare forever. Well, some are-- but not all.

Look around at prices, see if you have friends that want to split up cases, and consider your options-- unless you like hunting and wasting gas (which to me is a sport), I'd probably say ordering online will leave you less stressed. And $10 or so short.

7. With the new DVD out,and a nice holographic Emperor figure,do you think Hasbro will make a new Jedi Spirits 3 pack ? Although I remember the first one clogging the shelves in the 90's I'd love a new Hayden-Anakin spirit fig.

I'm of the mindset that three-packs are some sort of albatross at Hasbro, and after seeing the horrible figures cobbled together or flat-out duplicated for the Jedi High Council I don't want to see more of them. These are unpleasant sets and frankly, I hope Hasbro stays away from them for a while. That said, I fully expect to see a new Spirit Anakin and Yoda eventually-- it's an easy cash-in, although Anakin may be a tough sell now that his dead spirit looks like he's 24.

8. Is it true that the Battlefronts Scout Trooper is really just a POTJ/OTC Biker Scout (clean or dirty variation) action figure with a IG-88 Long Gun in new packaging? Is that really the ONLY thing that is different...The packaging?! Which IG-88 long gun is packed with it? (SOTE, POTJ or OTC?) I also thought that starwarsshop.com was going to sell them for $9.99 a piece but I have yet to see them there.

When are the Star Tours Wave 4 figures going to be for sale through Disney?

I have all the newly released figures except the new P-OTC Cantina Wave of three. When are we going to find out what, if anything, will be available besides the ROTS preview wave? We have over six months until ROTS opens!!!

One-- yes, the Scout is the same figure with the IG-88 gun and a new package. If all you want is a loose figure, buy an OTC pair of these two figures and cobble one together yourself-- that way you get a spare robot out of it.

The release date for the MIA Star Tours figures is unknown-- samples have been sold months ago and I honestly assumed we'd see them by now. My guess is they're being held back for reasons unknown or could even be cancelled as Hasbro never really announced them.

Lastly, it seems that other than maybe a surprise repackaged figure or two, the pre-April Star Wars figure offerings may be limited, although I have heard from a little birdie that Hasbro has a small amount of product that will keep you busy beyond basic figures.

9. I collect to try and have one of every 3 3/4" figure, carded, mint. With that said, I am avoiding repacks. My question is regarding the red battle droid that comes in the Deluxe Saga 2-pack with Mace Windu. Has this red battle droid been released elsewhere, in other packaging or is this one different from all the others?

This figure is a unique sculpt that has not been made available elsewhere. As such, buy one. Or two, sell me one, I kept meaning to order a red one off of this eBay dude in Canada and never did...

10. I may have been dreaming, but I thought either Jedi Council 3 or 4 was supposed to feature a Coleman Trebor figure with soft goods. I'm almost positive I saw a figure of him with soft goods. There are 6 total Jedi Council scenes right? The 2 from last year and the 4 from this year. I just wanted to be sure there wasn't a 7th floating around somewhere that had Coleman in it. Also, with regard to the Sam's Club Millenium Falcon, just how different is the Luke Skywalker? I hate to shell out $60 for it just to get the Luke. I'd rather make a custom to represent him if I knew what he looked like. That's what I did with the Tiger Electronics Darth Maul Sith Speeder Game Darth Maul. Just used a Sith Speeder Maul and airbrushed the bottom of his soft goods tunic with a sand color.

I did not hear about Mr. Trebor-- but lots of rumors float around and Hasbro is notorious for changing things up, so it's possible you heard that at an early stage in development. The six scenes are the entire run from this series, which to me is plenty.

The Luke from the Sam's Falcon is the same figure from the "Hall of Fame" Luke and possibly may have been sold on some regular Saga cards. The big difference is the knees-- the Sam's version looks cheaper and the entire lower leg mold is all one color with a wash, while the earlier releases have the knee painted to match the pants.

11. Quick question about the vintage-style figures, any idea how long Hasbro plans to keep pumping these things out? I ask because at every place I've looked in my town the racks are filled with the ANH wave and nothing else, so it looks like my chances of getting hold of a Boba Fett or a stormtrooper or a Darth Vader or a Chewbacca any time soon are about nil. I'd like to know whether or not I should wait and hold out hope, or bite the bullet and pay double to order them online. (Right now I'm wishing I weren't a customizer, since now I need at least three Fetts . . . agh.)
--W. M. Svensen

When I talked with some folk at Hasbro at San Diego, they said there were no immediate plans to continue beyond the dozen, but will ship them through the end of the year (at least) and they did seem interested in bringing them back since we were fairly interested in them. I've seen a lot of these guys in recent weeks so I wouldn't give up hope yet.

12. Also, do Hasbro keep the molds of prototypes they don't actually produce as toys? If a Blockade Runner makes an appearance in Ep 3, would there be a chance of Hasbro dusting down the mold of this unproduced vehicle from the vintage line?

If a tool is made, it costs a buttload of cash... as such, it's held on to for a while. Hasbro has made a big effort in holding onto these so they can keep using them, but some are gone and some aren't. Not every toy gets far enough along to have a tool made from which to cast product, though, so the answer is a very big maybe.

12. My question is in regards to the Bust Ups Series from Gentle Giants. Im trying to get all the ones that have been released so far, and im struggleing with one of the them. I dont know if it was every made and that is what im hoping you know, or can find out. Is their a clear Version of the Leia variant with the blaster pointed up, and her other hand on her hip. I know the one with both hands holding the gun out front was made in all 3 versions, Clear, Glow and Painted. i have those 3, and i have the variant in glow and painted, is their a clear version. Thanks. also with series 2 Villians, are their any chase figures.

There's only one clear Leia so far-- no chase version was made for the glowing and clear sets that anyone has reported. Series two has a chase Vader, unless it's changed from when I got the memo.

13. With the recent flood of Jabba the Hutt related merchandise (Skirmish at Carkoon, Skiff Guard Lando, and the slug himself, to name a few) what are the odds of Hasbro releasing a skiff and a platform for Mr. the Hutt to rest on? My Jabba sits on a shelf with an expression like "Now what?" on his face. Ditto the skiff guards. And who doesn't want a Sarlaac pit? And how cool would it be if Hasbro released cinema scenes with all six bounty hunters standing interconnecting sections of the Executor's deck? They don't have to be resculpts even, just retooled...the new Dengar, Bossk and IG88 rock! The 4LOM and Zuckuss are a little outdated and perhaps just adding articulation?

The 2004 Saga Jabba was designed-- as far as I've been told-- to work with the platform that came in the cardboard Jabba's Palace playset that was originally sold in 1999. As such, it's fine as it is.

Six-packs of retooled bounty hunters and the Sarlacc aren't likely in the short term or really in the long term. Cinema scenes are a dud, I doubt Hasbro will try to reintroduce them and make them bigger at this time.

14. Han Solo: Blue or brown coat? Seems that if you're convinced it's blue it looks blue in the movie and if you're sure it's brown you can convince yourself it looks brown on screen. What's the real deal? Thanks.

My answer for the Hasbro toy is blue. It looks better. The answer Galoob gave me back in the day was that LucasFilm told them that Han always wears black. And the photo in the archives looks brown, no questions asked-- although there's rumblings that there was more than one jacket. So, pick whichever you prefer, that's why they were goodly enough to make two.

15. Why doesnt Hasbro list the Imperial Trooper (OTC#38) or Holographic Emperor on any of their checklists? Also, why arent they, along with the Cantina Sets and Post OTC Figures included on any of the site features? This may sound dumb, but I'd like to see Kitik Keed'kak and Zutton in the Action Toy Arena or in the Arcade. And I think its just stupid not to include the Imperial Trooper, when it was a figure Hasbro made a big deal about reproducing. Same with the Emperor, who is another figure that got alot of attention.

Because they're ashamed of them. (Yeah, so I stole a Neil Hamburger puncline, sue me.)

Exclusives do not appear on checklists from Hasbro on a regular basis, due to the nature of how sites are assembled, how exclusives are distributed, approvals, and a bunch of other things that are too complicated for me to understand. (As I write this, it's 3:31 AM and I'm due to get married in under 12 hours. See what I do for you>)

Anyway, the Imperial Trooper was probably still being tweaked or whatever, and he was a late addition to the line-- relatively speaking. It would indeed rock to see Sears Zutton online in all of his glory, and I love the fact that with the Kmart and Sears merger, both chains have been given a blue Snaggletooth over the years. Thumbs-up, Hasbro! Even though Zutton was packed with two figures I frankly do not need/want, well, I'm such a sucker for remakes of incorrect toys.


Well, I've been up for over 21 hours at this point. I did an update for 16bit.com, went to work, hung out with my friends, did the rehearsal thing, and now I want to go to bed. And perhaps the bathroom.

It's been a great year for us, even though recards were big. Frankly, I think that's a big plus-- I want to add fewer items to my collection that are similar to what I already have. Short of Revenge of the Sith, there's really not much reason to do another Vader.

Anyway, it's late. I need to crash, but by the time you'll have read this, I'll have crashed and be on my way to the future, whatever that may hold for us all. I wish you all the happiest of New Year's, and the best of whatever may come your way this holiday season. I also wish for that really awesome Starscream coming out for Galaxy Force and Cybertron.


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