Q&A For February 21, 2005

 

1. Can we expect a "current" price guide covering The Original Trilogy and The Prequels? Something like Tomart's Price Guide to Worldwide STAR WARS Collectibles by Steve Sansweet and T. N. Tumbusch.
--Jeff

While I do not know the current status of Tomart and Lucasfilm, there are several companies doing guides to these figures every year-- just not official, and not necessarily current. Due to the crazy market prices on these guys, very few would not be out of date. I mean, Ephant Mon went from $20+ to $8 and dropping in less than six months.

For the time being, there is nothing like this on tap for the near future-- but after things wind down a little, I can all but guarantee more price guides on the way. I can hear the agonized screams now... "What do you mean it's only worth two bucks?!?"

2. Is There any difference between the K-Mart Kit Kak Keedkak and the original that slipped out during the Jedi Points folly?


--ABarra9721

I've seen the carded Saga one, an unpackaged sample out of Hong Kong, and the Kmart one and all differences are negligable. Aside, of course, from packaging.

3. My sneak peak Grievous has the lightsaber blade glued to the hilt. Though I remember seeing pics somewhere, either your sight or rebelscum that showed a two piece lightsaber. Did hasbro think better of the two piece idea and glue all of the blades to the hilt? and can we excpect all ROTS figures to have the glue? I hope so I hate the two piece idea, to flimsy and prone to break.
--Certified93

I think anybody that had these had at least one break. (My Ki-Adi-Mundi from 2002 snapped.) I don't think we've seen the last of the two-piece saber, but we're going to see less of them. I do not recally seeing a preproduction photo as you mentioned, but a lot of early shots leak and some of them will surely be less-than-final. If this is how they stay, I'm pretty happy-- including a second "off" hilt is a much better idea if you ask me.

4. This is more of a general question than a toy-specific one. Why does General Grievous come with a blue lightsaber (EII sneak peak) and a green one (Clone Wars animated) since both are now considered "good guy colors" by Master Lucas? Shouldn't he have red, by the new canon logic? All I have heard was that Sam got purple because he is Sam, but what gives with Grievous?
--Allen

The fun thing about Star Wars is there are no permanent rules. There are things people say that make sense for now, but these tend to change due to story or other matters.

At first, sabers only came in red, blue, and green. As we've only seen the Sith carry red in the movies, we all figured that's what made sense and behind-the-scenes materials tended to agree that if you were a good guy you got blue or green and if you were evil, it was red. With Attack of the Clones, Samuel L. Jackson had purple-- because he asked for it. Some fans have decided that in the storyline, he's the head of the council so he can have what he wants. Which, I believe, works.

From what I've read about Grievous, all his weapons are trophies-- at least, that's what everything said leading up to his animated appearances. I've since read blurbs saying that Count Dooku gave him some saber training. Both could be true, but it'd upset the master/apprentice angle if he was a third Sith with red lightsabers, so I'm going to stick with the earlier "trophy" answer for this one.

5. I read that Hasbro considered making another George Lucas figure for Celebration 3, but decided on the talking Vader instead. Do you have any idea if they may make a Lucas Jedi figure? I would be satisfied with a Jorg Sacul head on a repainted VOTC Obi-Wan body, and a new lightsaber. It could be offered as a mail-in item.

Hasbro recently offered the unmasked Storm Shadow figure for 10 battle points so I thought that if they are willing to do this for their GI Joe line, then maybe they will do it for Star Wars too.
--Kenny

While a George Lucas figure has been considered in the past, the man himself came out and said no-- hence Jorg Sacul. Much like the "Peter Jackson Hobbit," there was a desire to keep the figures within the Universe, and having "The Director" wouldn't quite work out all that well.

If you'd be OK with a Sacul head on another body, it's probably a good project for an aspiring customizer. Some sellers have offered up Sacul heads in the past so you could do it yourself without damaging a prized figure, so with the chances of Jorg Sacul returning to plastic dwindling, I'd say prepare to do it yourself. Or just tweak the head of a recently released GI Joe Double Clutch from one of the comic book three-packs.

While Joe fans are pleased to see figures like the mail-in Storm Shadow (and previously, Agent Faces and dozens of others since 1982) that's because it's for a kid's line. Playmates experimented with mail-in figures for a collector-only line and more or less it kinda worked, just not too well.

With the end of Jedi Point, there's really not much hope for new mail-ins. Since the last one I remember was probably Mace Windu in 1998, I'm not holding my breath for us to see another one-- even though mail-ins are probably one of my all-time favorite things about any toy line.

6. How many of every 10 collectors who started out in the POTF2 era are still collecting today? What is your personal experience? I know you go back to the vintage era, so you are like, unbelievable. Do you have any friends that have been in it as long as you? For me it seems like one out of every 15 or 20 guys who I knew back then, there is maybe one today. When I lived in Houston we had a collecting club back then, but now its all dissovled with most having sold their collection. Are you seeing more new collectors come into the hobby with each new movie, or has it tapered way down? Was the vintage line like this?
--JD

I've been buying (and getting) the line since Empire, so obviously I do not have the chops of many of the hardest core collectors. Since I don't really hang out with other collectors all that much, on the whole there aren't many people still into it-- those I did know tended to refocus their collections over time to just Vintage stuff, or character-specific things, or just things that are really really cool. Sure, everybody has a complete set of trilogo figures these days, but how about framed and certified Wookiee fur? Or Mexican candy?

We see collectors come and go with tastes changing over the years. A lot of people are getting back into it when they realize that they can grab most of what they missed for a fraction of the original cost, while others get fed up that their collections are now worthless.

Vintage collecting was weird-- I did most of mine from 1984-1990, at garage sales, with the added benefit of being short and therefore prone to receiving discounts. Fans weren't hardcore back then, and Star Wars was viewed more or less like Power Rangers or Spawn-- something new, some people like it, but at most toy shows it wasn't taken seriously. (Of course, today's toy shows are basically nothing but new stuff, so it's a different era.)

I don't think it's dissolved, it's just changed. Nobody's hoarding sets in their basements anymore like they were in 1995, and most people realize that having one complete set of every Hasbro item is still quite the amazing feat, given how much they've cranked out. Even I'm trying to unload my extras these days because I don't want to move them again. New collectors appear all the time, and there's a lot-- and I mean lot-- of room for growth. Would you believe that there's a whole generation of hardcore fans of Star Wars that don't collect but just read the novels and play the games? Amazing, eh?

7. While I am happy Hasbro released Anakin's new starfighter as an Episode III preview toy, I wish they also released an Anakin figure to go with it. What's Hasbro's plans for an Anakin pilot figure?
--Adam

With what we've seen leaked? No idea. Several Anakin figures are in the works (including, apparently, a carry case version still) and much like Obi-Wan for AOTC, one is most likely in the works. We just haven't seen the full line-up as of the time I wrote this.

8. My son has the Playskool Millennium Falcon. Sometimes it makes noise by itself in the middle of the night waking everyone up to the sound of roaring wookies and the Star Wars theme. I have never had any other electronic toys do this. My wife would kill me if any of my electronic Enterprise models made this kind of racket at 2am! Any idea as to the cause and/or solution for my sonšs noisy spaceship?
--Dennis

What you should do with this toy-- and should consider doing with all your toys-- is to remove all the batteries. Collectors forget about them over time, and before you know it a decade has passed and they've corroded. By not having the batteries in toys (when you can help it) you can usually extend the life of the toy, improve safety, and prevent your wife from hearing loud noises in the middle of the night that you'd rather avoid.

9. I know there has to be a bunch of guys who can't sell their POTF2 figures because, lets face, they're worthless. But who would want those figures anyway? It seems that every figure made in that line has been redone to much better affect since then. Are there any figures from that era that you think are worth owning or have not been redone?
--JD

This goes back to an oft-revisited term, "true collector." To some, it means you have to have everything-- everything-- released in a line. A lot of fans dislike the vintage, or the 1995 line, or some segment of the figures and just won't buy them. The POTF2 line is probably going to end up being super-cheap from here on out because they're, frankly, ugly and common.

Obviously, some figures from POTF2 have never been recreated. Just from the 1995-1996 line, there's all five characters from Shadows of the Empire (including Boushh Leia), Han Solo in Carbonite, the Death Star Gunner, and R5-D4. Now, some of those haven't aged well, but as far as I'd be concerned no collection would be complete without them.

Will future collectors embrance POTF2? It's hard to say-- I think a lot of fans will dip into that well because they're cheap figures and there's a lot of them out there, making them great for kids or for someone wanting to collect a big cheap figure line. Not many lines that are as long lived as Star Wars have so many figures that are basically worthless, but hey, if they were all worth $5-$10 or more each, there's no way anyone would want to put together a complete set.

I still place value on those first figures because it shows how far toy tech has gone from 1985 to 1995, and while Leia may not be the best version of her that ever existed, she shows definite growth inside Hasbro. Plus you can make fun of them.

10. I have a bunch of the Hasbro Star Wars stand that I want to sell on ebay. I don't like them myself and don't use them for my displays. I'm not interested in being one of the repulsive profit hungry sellers so I thought I'd ask, what is a fair price to ask for them? I'm thinking of selling them in groups of 5.
--Brian

I'd say let the market decide, and consider selling them in larger lots. eBay bidders have a good way of deciding what something is worth, I'd start the bidding at an average of $0.50 per stand and see where it went-- mainly because I can always write here what happens and maybe Hasbro will see a market they could move in to.

Reproduction GI Joe stands cost about $0.20 each, and most packs of stands for Star Wars I've had over the years range from $0.25-$0.50 per figure. So I'd go somewhere in there.

FIN

Sooo many questions. Good for you. There's a lot of room for more, of course, so keep 'em coming!!

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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