Q&A For February 28, 2005


1. I was wondering if we are going to see anymore OTC trickle in before ROTS figures hit, I still need to get some of these and have not found them. Namely the Sandtrooper, Scout Trooper, Gamorrean Guard, Wicket, and Greedo.

Depends on where you shop. Smaller stores, drug stores, grocery stores, and stores out in the boonies? Probably. Toys "R" Us? Maybe-- my local TRUs are still getting vintage Stormtroopers and Boba Fetts every week or two, so I'd say it's possible. It's unlikely you will see more of these at Target, Wal-Mart, or Kmart, but it's probably worth your while to check grocery stores-- again, not kidding here-- and toy stores. The marts, you can pretty much forget at this point.

2. Regarding midnight madness this year: For participating stores, will it be 11:59pm on Friday the 1st, into midnight? Or is it Saturday night/Sunday morning?

To be honest with you, I'm not even sure if we should expect one this year. It's a safe bet, but as of now I've heard little buzz about it-- it's early, sure, but with all the leaks-- and there are many-- I'm wondering if we're even going to have to wait. It'll probably be Saturday/Sunday if it happens, but as of now, we don't know for certain if it will everywhere. But since this seems to be a big push (unlike AOTC) it seems like they should do it.

3. How many figures have been edited out of the movies? I believe the wolfman from the cantina was one, and now we have the old Anakin ghost. Technically the Jedi Library droids could be counted as well, although they were never in the finished film, like the Luke with floppy hat.

Since characters are edited out every few years, this can be a tricky one-- also, some figures are based on preproduction designs (AOTC C-3PO, anyone?) so it's a bit tricky. This will be the subject of a full article in the very near future, so come back for the full scoop. My question for you all is, though, do you include characters that were deisgned one way and then changed before the movie came out? This is a toughy.

4. Since Hasbro is releasing a new Gunship for Ep. III with a slightly different paint scheme than the ones released for Ep. II and Clone Wars, do you know if it has plans to include the gun pods that came with the Episode II clone pilot? Although the Ep. III clone pilot comes with a cannon, it does not look like it is made to fit on the new Gunship.

While many photos have leaked of many Clones-- and let me tell you, you ain't seen nothin' yet-- images of all the accessories have not. At the moment, this is a big question mark and will likely remain so until people start scanning cardbacks and instructions for us to pour over.

5. I was studying Hasbro's Revenge of the Sith Checklist and I noticed how it does not correspond with the information on the Vader's Medical Droid packaging. Most blatant is the fact that the figure is still referred to as Tri-Droid on the list but more confusing is the fact that the wave rumoured as 'Assortment 2, Wave 3' (Vaderís Medical Droid, AT-TE Tank Gunner, Polis Massan, Mas Amedda) appears to be where the rumoured wave 'Assortment 1, Wave 4' (Clone Trooper, Neimoidian Warrior, Wookiee Warrior, Destroyer Droid) should be. According to the Vader's Medical Droid packaging it should be numbered as #III-37, AT-TE Tank Gunner as #III-38, Polis Massan as #III-39 and Mas Amedda as #III-40 whereas the list places Clone Trooper (Super Articulated), Neimoidian Warrior, Wookiee Warrior and Destroyer Droid under these numbers! Just wondering what your opinion is?

Yoda said it best-- "always in motion is the future." Mock-ups and early lists are always subject to change, as you've no doubt discovered. A lot of names change (General Ceel, anyone?) and Hasbro shuffled around some figures, so now you're seeing the fruits of Hasbro revising what comes out when. Based on the rumor mill, no figures have been axed YET but it does look like that first list we posted has changed a few times over. So, worry not, we'll have the most correct information for you as it comes up-- or so we mean to, at least.

6. I was wondering if medicom will ever do a 12 inch figure as Darth Maul? Also why are they so expensive? I know they aren't quite the 12 inch scale like hasbro,I have Edward Scissorhands,he was rather small for 12 inch,so I was slightly dissappointed.

The Japanese toy market is a different beast than ours-- the idea of hyper-limited high-end collector figures has been around there for years, and we're only just now warming up to the concept on these shores. Medicom's future for the line is still unknown, but it's a safe bet this won't be the last you've seen of Darth Maul-- now that people can stop saying "what's next?", we will see a lot more new collectibles from friendly (fiendish?) faces for the future. I also suggest you start saving money for the Gentle Giant Darth Maul statue, from what I hear about it...

7. Why are there two series of the jedi council? There is the one with the blue packaging and the newer one with the black packaging. The numbering of the packages dont match. The blue packged number one is the black packaged one scene 5 (i think, could be 6 tho) whats up with that?!

btw - any idea on when we can expect scene 5 and 6 of the black packaging

Hasbro has split the Jedi Council up into several series, depending on how you keep track. By my count, the six sets were split into four series-- series one was the first blue box set, series two had the second. From that point on, Hasbro put out two waves of two sets at Toys "R" Us in the black OTC-style boxes.

At this time, there are six sets, and that's it. Two in blue boxes, four in black, no more are planned and all six are in stores now. Unless, of course, they ran out in your neck of the woods.

8. With the third season of the much anticipated clone wars well on its way I can't stop wondering if we will have the option of being able to veiw the chapters on the inet at the cartoonetwork site just like the last two seasons?

I was under the impression that Hyperspace members would be able to, but that's a good question-- this, as far as I know, hasn't been talked up much. I fully expect Cartoon Network to run these to death because of the movie hype, and hopefully they'll have the good sense to do a bunch of mini-marathons leading up to May... bandwidth ain't free and at 12 minutes an episode, these aren't nearly as well-suited for (legal) internet distribution.

9. First time Q&A, so here it goes. Do you have any idea if the TALKING VADER Celebration 3 will be available for sale @ Star Wars shop.com for the fans that cannot attend this event and if so what will it might sell for?

Considering the pains they're going through to limit it this time, I'd say it's a safe bet it's unlikely to show up online. (This could, of course, change, or I could be totally wrong.) If it does show up online, it'll be $15. Otherwise, prepare for eBay craziness-- with a limit of 4 figures per con goer, there aren't many to go around, but it's arguably a less exciting exclusive. Watch eBay, if it's anything like last time it'll be ridiculous for 2005, and then drop in the next year or two. While not a very exciting answer, I've been watching lots of con toys and let me tell you, people don't have much of an attention span for most of this stuff-- it isn't all that hard to get a lot of them for closer to cost, or at least a price that's more or less fair.

10. My stores are incredibly strict on the release date that is stamp on the carton that Hasbro ships the Star Wars stuff in.If is says "Do not display unill April 2".I find in amazing that employees will put out The stuff early for what ever reason and some collectors are able to get them with out any trouble.When the preview wave came out my area didn't see these untill Feb 1 wich wqas stamped on the carton.I am a bit confused why are stores in other parts of the county throwing these out early even though the date is explicitly telling them not to.

Street dates are a funny thing. Just last week, Blockbuster stores confirmed they were breaking them to make some customers happy when movies weren't in stock. With the Revenge preview wave, most stores ignored it-- I didn't see a lcoal Toys "R" Us break street, but you can bet your booty that Targets and Wal-Marts all over Phoenix and Scottsdale did weeks in advance.

Most stores don't care. This may surprise you, but it really shouldn't. Like you (or your parents), these people have a job they do. Doesn't mean they love it, but they do it. And as such, you see things priced wrong, in the wrong aisles, etc.-- it isn't their problem. If a store is out of SW figures, they just want to fill the pegs, the specifics aren't all that important.

Last time around, I found hundreds of figures in March of 2002 just waiting to be bought. (It was a good weeknd.) I'm amazed we're seeing as much as we are this early, but I think stores just see the date and go "screw it." Nobody seems to have gotten any heat over the preview leaks, and this is nuts-- it's just a toy. (Or movie, or video game, or...)

Stores on the whole don't care. Hasbro and Lucasfilm care, but the stores don't give a crap until someone calls them and says "well, this other store has 'em out" or Hasbro says "hey, you broke street, we won't sell to you." That second one? Not going to happen. Wal-Mart can do whatever they damn well please and will continue to do so. Despite leaks all the time, I've never actually heard of a real case of a store being fined-- most likely it'd be kept hush-hush, but I've never heard of actual specific fines being thrown around.

Short answer: down with street dates.


That's all for now! Come back next Monday for more!

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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