Q&A For March 21, 2005

 

1. Dude. . .you're killing me here. Really, really killing me.

Just read the latest QA and you seem bummed that the only early figure you scored was Mon Mothma. . . well, call me a freak and laugh at me, but she was the only figure I've seen so far that was a 'must have' for me. Her and Tarkin. I mean, how cool is it that they're even IN the prequels? And, you know, if that's not enough for you, look at it this way, isn't she the ONLY human/non-droid character now FROM the prequels to survive the Star Wars saga thus far? OK, well, her and Chewbacca. So that's kinda like a little badge of honor right there. Right? Anyway, my Mon Mothma is sitting here at work on my desk. She's cool.

So then, on to my question . . . I know you have to hate the random "Do you think they'll make [insert any toy name here]" questions, as, frankly, you probably don't know much more that we do, so, I'll rephrase it a bit: Wouldn't it be cool to get a Tantive IV playset? It's obviously in ROTS as well as A New Hope, so by FINALLY making this ship, Hasbro could capitalize on prequel interest while still putting out a toy that would appeal to Original Trilogy Only fans as well. So, in closing, they should make a Tanitive IV playset, but not sell it in Alabama, because after all, that Chad guy from Alabama freaks out everytime someone reports finding something elsewhere in the state, fairly certain that Hasbro is out to screw over Alabama collectors, and if there's anything that helps validate the existance of a paranoid delusional, it's finding out they're right about something.

Have a good day. And Be nice to Mon Mothma.
--RJ

Relatively speaking, I stand by what I said. Looking at the pantheon of all things Star Wars, I consider Mon Mothma a dud. Likewise, so is Tarkin-- although I'd push over numerous fans to get my hands on a new, improved version of the Grand Moff. Is she the only person to survive the prequels? Nope. There's Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker, Palpatine, the Lars', and most likely many others like Bail Organa, Captain Antilles (see, I just spoiled a cameo for someone, I'm evil) and many others. So that alone isn't too nifty to me, at this point I don't know if her inclusion will be a cameo, a fan wank, or important to the plot. (I expect Tarkin to be a fan wank and I'm OK with that.)

Would a Tantive IV be cool? Sure. Possible? Yes. Confirmed? No. Episode III is a lot more like Episode I in the way of merchandising, it seems, and so far we haven't seen a vehicle crack the $30 price point as far as I can tell-- even the Gunship repaint and all are $30 or so at most stores. We (or at least I) wasn't definite about the Royal Starship (aka Marie Celeste) at this point in the game for the original prequel, so yes, I do think it's possible we might see this vehicle this year-- there are plenty of compelling reasons to do it. But as my finger is NOT on the pulse of all things Q4 '05, who knows?

2. For one thing, don't you think it stupid (maybe a strong word, perhaps negligent?) on Hasbro's part for not including an Anakin Pilot figure with the Sneak Preview wave?

Also, I do not see an Anakin Pilot figure listed in the "Master List" of 56 figures, or a Pilot Obi-Wan for that matter. What gives? I just don't understand Hasbro's (lack of) logic, on many things.
--JediTray

Your question raises another question-- can Hasbro ever introduce a new vehicle with a pilot? The answer is usually no.

In the vintage line, we got the X-wing a couple of years before a pilot, and the TIE hit in 1978 and the pilot came out in 1982. While things got better as the line went on, it all happened again in 1995-- the X-wing vehicle came out nearly six months before an appropriate pilot, and that was really a Snowspeeder Luke. The TIE Pilot came out nearly nine months after the vehicle, and if you look at the rest of the line, even the last movie, the Sneak Preview Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter came out months before the appropriate pilot figure. And I think there's a lot of modern fans wondering when Hasbro will make the perfect Millenniun Falcon canopy to go with the perfect Han & Chewie. But I digress.

The short answer to your question: sure it's annoying, but it's no different than business as usual.

3. Quite a few years ago I was in a Book Store (Barnes & Noble or Borders) and was flipping through a Star Wars book, in the Star Wars section, that showed someone sitting in a make-up chair having latex applied to his face to make him up to be Prince Xizor. When the make-up process was complete, this guy was dressed in Xizors garb as well. I remember this being a promising book to purchase. I put it down figuring I'd get it before I left instead of carrying it around with me and ended up forgetting to buy it. I have never seen the book since!

Does anyone know what book this was? It was NOT a comic. It was full of actual photographs showing the make-up being applied. I honestly can't remember if it was a HC or PB. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
--Rich

Ya got me. I know I have a Making of SOTE book that has the whole backstory to the development of the whole project and includes mock-ups for unproduced figures, but this doesn't ring a bell. Anyone? Maybe something related to the card game or perhaps conventions?

4. whatever happened to the rebel and imperial 3 packs we were supposed to see last year? are they on hold, and will we see them at some point in the future? also any word on wether or not we'll get a clone trooper 3 pack this year?
--Certified93

While I vaguely remember hearing about this, one thing about 2004 to remember is that there were lots of changes that were pretty spur-of-the-moment. Like the OTC line-- that was kinda last-minute, all things considered. A lot of items get phased out or delayed, and I could probably do a whole Q&A on "where are they know?" items just like these. Since we never saw prototypes, I'd say make a note of it, but for the time being, forget about it.

As far as Clones go, there is some buzz about ROTS clone three-packs but this could be connected to other older rumors. We are still getting some four-packs of Clones from Entertainment Earth this year in what are (we're told) a fairly limited exclusive. So if you don't preorder, well, don't complain-- you never know when an exclusive will go the way of a 12" Plo Koon.

5. Any definitive answer on the $1 off figure coupons at Target? I've heard they'll be "available" to Target card holders. Does that mean all Target card holders will get them in the mail or do they have to track them down or something?
--Nick

Word on the street is that these were sent to select Target customers, meaning credit card holders and the like. Toys "R" Us sometimes did similar things if you gave them a real phone number instead of saying "unlisted"-- for example, I've been sent game discount cards and a small LEGO set in the past. If you don't have a Target credit card, don't hold your breath.

6. After seeing the ship prominently featured in the new trailer, do you think that after Return of the Sith is released we might finally get our long-awaited action-figure-scale toy of the Rebel Blockade Runner?
--Thomas

Well, see above-- there's likely to be no better year for it, but nothing is confirmed at this time. While we saw a lot at Toy Fair, odds are we'll see more at Celebration III-- and if we don't, we'll burn the place down.

7. Hi, I'm sure you've gotten this question alot but do you know which figures will be released on April 2nd? I just got the new Star Wars insider and it has a poster of what looks like a big chunk of the ROTS wave. We haven't seen a lot of these figures carded yet (for example, Anakin on Mustafar) so can we assume they will not be out by the 2nd? And what about the Palpatine in the red cloak? He is listed as number 35 but he doesn't seem to have carded pictures yet while Mas Amedda, number 40, does. Will this red cloaked Palpatine be out on the 2nd as well? I would appreciate any answers you could post. Thanks.
--RF

Go to eBay. Search on "revenge sith figure -sneak" and see what comes up-- most of these are people raiding stockrooms, complaining at the people who put them out on the shelves, and as such, this is what you're likely to get. I've talked to buyers for a few companies and was told the figures that you see will vary on when the stores got their orders in-- some stores will get earlier cases, some will get later ones.

8. Do you think there is any chance we will ever hear a NPR Star Wars radio show for the prequels? I know Brian Daley has passed away but I think it would be cool if someone produced another one! Maybe SW.COM should re-broadcast the classic trilogy to test the waters and/or generate excitement.
--Brian

As an NPR junkie, I say all signs point to no, or at least not now. National Public Radio has moved away from pledge drives that take entire weeks in some markets, and now are trying to avoid "stunt programming," it would seem. As such I'd say this sort of thing is a few years off if it ever happens. And they need a writer. (I'll do it. Four bucks a page. C'mon. It's a steal.)

9. I know we probably won't get many, if any OT figures this year (which is okay by me, I'm excited for Episode III right now), but one figure I've been wanting to see get made is a 'classic' Sy Snootles. Rather than the CG version that we already have, I want one that has the tusks, microphone, and feather coming out of the top of her head. I wouldn't mind a film accurate Rebo organ either, is there a chance in hell for such a figure considering one already 'exists' in a respect?
--JohnB

Anything is possible-- I mean, Hasbro produced Lak Sivrak in 1998, and the figure was eliminated from the film in 1997. Hasbro made a Floppy Hat Luke in 1998, and that figure never appeared on screen. As such, I say anything could happen-- when you see Hasbro or write them fan mail, just be sure to ask for it as one of ONE or TWO things. (I can't stress that enough-- Hasbro getting many requests for one figure does get their attention, sending them a booklet of your top 50+ favorites does not.)

10. I have two questions for you. Well actually the first is more of an idea (and then i'll say "what do you think?"). I have what i think is a pretty good idea for hasbro and the next couple years!

Hasbro should make next year a year of expanded universe characters, plus pretty much any firgure they have not made from all six movies. They could also do some resculpts of characters not seen in plastic for awhile (ex. R5-D4). A kind-of "fill in the gaps" year.

Now 2007, 30th anniversery time, make episode 1-3 figures on vintage-style cards! For episode 4-6, vintage "Power of the Force" cards (ex. R2D2 with pop-up lightsaber and a Darth Vader with a two peice removable mask!). I think all the figures should come with metal lightsaber hilts and blast effects (I really liked that about the saga figures!). Maybe Hasbro could even take a Q from lego and give the lightsaber weilding characters a light-up lightsaber (that would make the blast-effects light up also!). So, what do you think (I know none of this will probably never happen, but it's a heck of a thought!)?

Second question: since DK has answered my prayers on a ultimate guide for later this year (all 6 movies and expande universe?! Awesome!), what do you think the chances are of seeing an up-dated version of Sansweets action figure guide/book? Maybe perhaps the end of the year (to get as many of episode 3 figures in.)?
--Phil

The chances of Expanded Universe being a focus of a year are about zero without a significant media tie-in-- and today, that basically translates to "It needs to be another Clone Wars" or "It needs to be another Shadows of the Empire." This of course also means "it needs to be a TV show tie-in."

Unless Revenge bombs-- and I'm beginning to wonder if Hasbro is planning for that based on how many top-notch second-tier characters we're getting in the next nine months-- next year is going to be more Revenge with some more classic salted in for good measure. Hasbro strikes while the iron is hot, and based on what I was told previously, the iron calls for a buttload of Revenge of the Sith before they go back to classic, most likely at some point in or beyond 2006.

I'm starting to put "Expanded Universe" questions in the same category as I once put BoShek-- at this point I think people think it's funny to ask about it, even though the idea has merit. I do believe there's a lot of potential in this line from all eras of Star Wars because some people would kill for an Ulic Qel-Droma, and I know I'd go bonkers if they made Clone Commando figures that looked like the incarnations we're seeing in the video games and comic books. (I think they'd sell, too.)

As far as the other ideas, well, let's see if the line makes it-- if our favorite films transform into our favorite TV show, odds are movie figures will be thin and book/comic/game figures will be even less likely.

Aaaaand as far as your question two goes, the answer has been "later." I was lucky enough to corner the great Steve Sansweet last summer and ask, and he said (I'm paraphrasing) that there are no immediate plans but it'd be nice to do after Revenge of the Sith.

Frankly, I think it's good to wait, but there has been so many figures released since the last volume-- which BARELY scratched 1998-- that they may as well do one now. That, or a multi-volume set.

FIN

I'd write something funny here, but I need to write next week's column like right now-- I'm gonna be away on business during my usual writing time so best I get to work. Goodnight, Spuds!

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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