Q&A For February 7, 2005


1. I've been a casual Star Wars collector since POTF2, but I went nuts with AoTC, buying up most of the initial Saga waves, then my interest cooled again. Well, now I would like to sell them, and while I know they are worth little, I was wondering your take on selling a medium sized collection on ebay, say 20-20 figures on cards, nearly all from AotC, and early Saga. I thought I would add two Ephant Mons to at least try to get the set to sell, and perhaps try to find some extra K-mart Cantina Sets. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I sell the figures piecemeal? There are some card variations, but I think interest is nil on these. I know ebay question likely annoy you since it's hard to judge, but I thought I would ask your opinion.

Glad you asked. Yes, it's a question about value, but I'm still glad you asked.

Just last week I was in a collector store and was chatting it up with the clerk, who was telling me that he felt AOTC-era stuff was going to be great for them this year-- and that some items, like the arena beasts, were big sellers for the store. I go and look at eBay minutes later, and find that all the items he mentioned as hot were priced in a range that I would consider not worth the effort to try and sell.

Right now, I feel we're in a buyer's market and have been for a while. Short of the rare guys, you can start a collection today and probably get 80% of the line for about 50% of its original cost. If I were you, I'd avoid the "lot on eBay" routine because there are snotty people like me that LIVE for the days you quit a collection so I can grab, say, $100 worth of TransFormers trade paperbacks for $20. (Not that I've done that recently.) I think that in this market, you're best thinking long and hard if you want to sell-- because you will be taking a loss. A lot of crap with two Ephant Mons is worth two Ephant Mons, to some the additional debris may be a liability.

So as you can see, there's no good answer. If you think you can move a collection of figures for $5 per, though, you might be in for an uphill battle here. Unless it was all OTC, which has heat still this week.

2. I have a question on the animated Clone Wars Series. I had not been keeping up with the series on cartoon network and I am glad that the DVD of the animated Clone Wars is coming out in March. The DVD is season I and the new series starting that same month on cartoon network is season III, right? So that means that there is a season II that will later come out on DVD, right? Some of my friends say that the season series starting in March is the continuation of the DVD coming out that same month, which according to my friends would mean that the DVD has season I and II on it. Please clarify this for me.

Also, any chance that we will see an animated Clone Wars figure of Padme in the snow outfit?

Depending on the individual you ask, you may get a different answer. Some people consider the first 10 episodes of Clone Wars the first season and others don't. It seems Hasbro considers each batch of 10 episodes to be a season with the new longer ones being another season, so I'm going to say that yes, the Spring series will be season 3 while the DVD will carry the first two seasons of the show. So if you get the DVD, yes, the new episodes on Cartoon Network will pick up where the DVD leaves off.

As far as more animated Clone Wars, we don't yet know. There's a short "wish list" from most fans including Padme and armored Obi-Wan, but we're not overly hopeful yet-- but Toy Fair is coming up and Hasbro can sometimes keep a good secret, you know?

3. Has Palapatine's first name ever been revealed?

Some sources have referred to him as "Cos" although it isn't known exactly why or where it came from. (Or rather, my meager resources don't seem to have this information.) So for the time being, I'm going with Cos Palpatine until Lucas says otherwise.

4. One of the coolest things I remember seeing at Celebration II was the original artwork that had been used for the packaging of the vintage action figures. You could see the entire pictures before they were cropped for the cardbacks, plus you could see where a lot of the pictures had been airbrushed or touched up here and there. Do you think there is any chance that someday we might see these pictures released in book form? As a vintage collector I would certainly jump on something like this.

One of the most unfortunate things to happen to Star Wars vintage collecting was a new interest in Star Wars. Before, people would make books on pretty much anything because and it gave the hardcore fans a real thrill with some fantastic new material to drool over. Lately, very little "new" in the way of books on the old toy line have been produced which is most unfortunate-- there's little I find more interesting than the toys that never were meant to be, and how the items were made back in the day. I think there's enough interest out there for such a book if it was part of a larger volume, it's just a matter of someone getting the assignment to do it. (Hell, I'd do it.) Here's hoping someone out there is reading because I for one would love to see more of the original art and work put in to making those original 96 carded figures.

5. recently found the yellow, red, and blue colors of the animated clone trooper. I had no idea that these were slated for release. Do you know if a green version is in the works? Also, will there be different colors of the ARC trooper?

While blue, red, and yellow animated Clones are out (or coming), no word of poor, neglected Green has surfaced. At San Diego last year, Hasbro hinted that they planned on a blue ARC Trooper for the animated line but as of yet one has not surfaced.

Green will continue to be neglected for whatever reason, I think someone at Hasbro must have decided it either has to be rare or exclusive.

6. A couple of quick questions. I'm 27 years old and I remember as a child someone telling me that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader by falling into a volcanic lava pit. By seeing some of the scenes from the movie, and the new carded packaging, this theory might possibly be correct. Is it usual for a toy company and the filmmakers to give that much of an important plot line away in the toys packaging and the movie trailers? Secondly, I wanted to comment about the new review of the Lando vintage original trilogy collection figure. The one I have at home does not have the gold lining on the inside of the cape. It's solid blue, like the original figures plastic cape. Is this a unique variation?

The whole "molten pit" thing was revealed-- if you can call it that-- back in 1983 in the Return of the Jedi novelization. Fans sort of ran with it, and it appears Lucas decided to stick with it if you look at the new packaging and all. (See, no spoiler, I confirm nothing.) A lot of toy companies give away BIG secrets before the film-- the Jango Fett with removable head surfaced before Attack of the Clones, but this sort of thing is a little new. Hasbro and Kenner wanted to do a removable helmet Darth Vader for years, and Lucasfilm supposedly prevented them from doing so before around 1998-- the figure appeared on a 1996 sales sheet and legend has it development was stopped because of spoiler fears, if you can believe it.

It's entirely possible your Lando is an error or variant, at this time I'm not sure as there hasn't been much buzz about vintage variations. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled, and I hope all of you experts in the field will share what you know about this figure!

7. In your opinon which was the best figure released last year? my vote goes to the VOTC Stormtrooper.

I think it was one of the finest figures of the year, but with so many fantastic options it's hard to pick just one. I think the vintage Han is right up there because it's so hard to do a good human figure (as evidenced by the VOTC Luke), and as such it's a real nice piece of work. So for me, it's hard to say, but I'm leaning toward Han.

8. hey, not much of a question but more of a comment to be honest. Reading your Q&A weekly i cant stop myself of getting jealous/annoyed by people posting stuff about prices. Like in last weeks Q&A about the guy complain that he has to pay 30$ (22.50euro) for the cantina set. I WISHED I could get a set for a price like that!! Living in the netherlands i have to pay at LEAST 50-60euro (like4 70-75 dollars) for sets like that. Same with figures - I read you guys pay something like 7-10 dollar for a normale figure, prices here are over 30 dollars a figure...
well - just to let you guys know that you dont get bad deals after all ;)

One of the unfortunate things about collecting is that the grass is always greener on the other side. For example, here in the USA we didn't get bonus droids instead of CommTech chips during Episode I, and we didn't get the long-photo figures during POTF2. We also didn't get the Eopie at all, and from what some people tell me Ephant Mon was easier to get overseas-- although I have a hard time believing that.

As a collector of some Japanese toys, I feel your pain-- the USA didn't get Zoids in 2004 and it looks less than hopeful for 2005, and if you like Robot Masters you're out of luck in this country. Everywhere has its own unique advantages, but the important thing is we live in a day and age where someone will always be out there with the item to sell-- sure, we hate paying more for it, but the fact is you'll always know some dork in the USA has a spare Jorg Sacul or Cantina wave to sell... if you can afford it.

The Mrs. and I had a practical solution to this problem-- get someone in another country to do you a favor. While paying retail plus internation shipping isn't dirt cheap, you can probably order a case, buy off of a message board or eBay, or just trade your way into what you want. It's not like American Star Wars toys are in short supply, and with a lot of people buying extras to sell or trade on clearance it wouldn't surprise me if you could get some pretty good deals if you poked around the right places.

9. Now, I may disappoined that I split a case of Entertainment Earth exclsuive Clonetroopers with someone as I wanted them as diorama builders. I particularly wanted to have them fly around in my LAATi Republic Gunship.

Is it true that the figures come with the blaster and not the rifle?

Is it also true that they lack footholes for pegs. If so, how well will the stand-up in the Gunship? How well would they stand up in dioramas.

I dislike figures without pegs. However good the figures look, I now feel cheated.

As the catalogs say, "product and colors may vary." As such, it's currently not entirely confirmed which weapon it will include-- the last I heard it looked like the blasters would be packed in.

As far as the peg holes go, unfortunately when you make a repaint, sometimes all you can do is a repaint-- it's no worse than the regular Clone Wars edition of the plain white Clone Trooper, but it is a bit of a bummer that the figure can't use a stand.

10. A question,I was viewing some of the walmart pics of the revenge of sith toys they had displayed,I noticed some 12 inch figures,maybe I'm loosing it,but thought I saw a 12 inch Sidious,well looks like him on the package,but that all I could see,plus goofy Grievous,a clone trooper,Anakin/vader quick change and also a regular Anakin,could this be true?or do I need glasses finally?

Your eyes serve you well. This is what I thought I saw as well, and of course this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. I don't expect it to be a very large iceberg, but it's a start and it's nice to see that after a fairly dead 2003 and 2004, the 12" line will have some heft to it in 2005. I fully expect some exclusives but at this time it's hard to tell who will have what, if they even happen. And I hope that they do.


Most important thing you need to know: there will be a Thursday Bonus Q&A this week since we've been a little light in reviews and very heavy on questions. More bonus Q&As will happen as the questions roll in, but will only continue as long as the question backlog is bigger than I can manage in a once-weekly format. So if you want two Q&As a week, or three or four, you know what to do.

Least important thing you need to know (aka Shamlessness): you can read more crap from me over at 16bit.com for the next year. For September 2003-2004, our goal was to post new news every day for a year. (We went through November '04.) This year, we're posting at least one review every day-- mostly toy reviews, but we found some Godzilla valentines released in 2004 or 2005 this week that were just too damn funny not to showcase (they'll be up next week). So if you want to see a lot of toy reviews, go to 16bit.com. But keep coming to Galactic Hunter for Star Wars stuff as all of that will be posted here. (More Star Wars reviews are coming, I swear.)

Last week we were on the subject of Padme's boobs. (Not to be crass, but we were.) Some claim there's a "perky" variant out there, but all of you that told me they toned down the figure's bust told me that you "heard" it-- no pictures have surfaced proving a different version exists. I'm putting this in the same file with other rumored variants until I see a picture, so for the time being all Padme figures of the Unleashed persuasion are perky as far as I'm concerned. (I'm not saying I can't be wrong-- I'm just currently putting this in the same category as a lot of the phantom stuff I've dealt with over the years.)

On Sunday night I hit a Wal-Mart that still had some Vintage OTC Obi-Wan Kenobi figures. The price? $3.00 even. Why Hasbro, WHY couldn't you have put Stormtroopers in that first case???

Oh, and for next week, just email me with your question and I'll put it in queue. (If you do not put "Q&A" in the subject line I cannot guarantee it will get through due to the high volume of spam these accounts get.)

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