Q&A For April 14, 2005


1. I sense that you are growing tired with the Hasbro 4" line and wondered what you hoped for for the post-ROTS future? With the uninspiring EB set and rumoured re-starting of the line in 2006 are you keen to continue getting potentially even more remakes or do you hope for a few new characters, needed resculpts only and a 1985-style wrap-up for the year after?

I'm actually quite happy with the way things have been going-- a few new movie figures here, a special Trilogy wave or two, prequel guys peppered in, and all. I'm actually really digging the Early Bird figures because they are more or less what I would hope for-- ANH figures and a Luke with a telescoping lightsaber.

At this point, I hope Hasbro does whatever it takes to get kids buying and collectors buying. If it means we get something like the OTC with some recards and some new guys, hey, great. It's important to have figures like Luke, Leia, Han, Vader, and Chewie on the shelves at almost all times. It's like having Batman without a Batman-- it's just not good business. Not having those guys out now to me seems like a bad idea, but hey, I'm not in Hasbro's marketing department.

For me the ultimate 2006 would be at least half a year of mostly prequel product and then a gradual switch to another line like POTJ or Saga-- heavy on the trilogy at first, then mix in some prequel figures. There's still figures like Gungan Rep Teers, numerous R2 repaints, and a few aliens that I'll whine and complain until I see-- like the regular Klaatu, a few more Ewoks, and anything else from the vintage line we aren't yet seeing.

But for now? I like what I'm seeing. I'm actually OK with remakes if I like what I see. With the OTC, it was hard to complain-- super-posable vintage figures, hard-to-find figures like MMC C-3PO and great repaints of some army builders made it a fun line, and a little cheaper. And it looks like it sold well in most areas, too! So if Hasbro wants to bring on some retreads, I say great-- as long as they're designed for kids and sell to kids well. I also want to see more Cantina aliens, more Jabba's Palace aliens, and whatever they can dish out, but unlike a lot of collectors I see no problem with the Early Bird set.

2. Now that all known Ep. 3 12" figures have been released, I found Shaak Ti and Barris Offee last weekend, what is next for the 12" Line. I have not seen any announcement past Shaak and Barris. I hope this line continues, Shaak Ti is an awesome figure. Hasbro hit the nail on the head with this one.

While rumors of an exclusive persist and there's no official word on Obi-Wan Kenobi, for now, what you see is what you get. This very well will probably change, but the 12" line has been more or less taken over by Unleashed-- people wanting a $15-$20 figure tend to gravitate toward that line. Right now, I'd say don't hold your breath.

3. So what are your thoughts on the Wal-Mart Early Bird figures which Hasbro presented photos of this past week? Rumor has it that all twelve of the figures shown on the package of the Early bird cardboard stand will be produced as a new exclusive line of figures. I think they look like $29.00 worth of garbage! The Luke has that same stupid telescoping lightsaber feature that Anakin had in 2002 and the rest of his sculpt looked kit-bashed. The Leia looks very similar to the Comm-Tech version, and R2 and Chewie look like complete reissues, nothing different at all! I at least thought that these figures would be unique, but it would seem that the only unique thing about this whole Early Bird rehash is that it cost $29.00! With the incredible progress Hasbro has made on their product over the last year, I at least expected these figures to be in the same league as the VOTC figures, which I truly loved, but these figures look terrible.

You no like? Great! You just saved yourself $30.

Not every toy is going to be everybody's cup of tea. Me, I liked this set-- I always wanted an original Early Bird kit and this qualifies as "good enough," although I'm not a fan of reissuing anything that might destroy the interest in a rare vintage piece. (Not that I deal on the secondary market for these things, I just like things having legendary status.) So for me, $30 for a replica of a backdrop I've wanted combined with a Hyperspace trial was worth $30 as is. The figures? Icing on the cake.

I find it hard to judge the figures as terrible or great from the photo. I see a hard-to-find Vintage Chewbacca with a new head-- that's a good one, most likely. R2-D2 looks like nothing new, but who knows until we get it up close? Luke may have ball jointed shoulders, and it's hard to tell exactly what Leia is going to be-- as such, I'd say you're wrong on these being terrible because you and I do not know what they will be for 100% certain, and one of them is most certainly in the same league as the Vintage figure line from last year. And if you liked that Vintage Luke, well, sorry, I didn't.

4. I was wondering if you heard anything about another Target exclusive figure. The reason why I ask is that while we were standing in line for the lava darth vader's, one of the managers came and read a news bulletin that Target will be having an exclusive clone trooper on Sunday May 8, 2005.

That's the rumor-- some have decided that the Target Clone is in fact the Cup figure set, but it's hard top know for sure sometimes Stay tuned for more-- you never know when they'll sneak something in. As it's only a month out, it's very possible!

5. Ever since midnight madness I have driven to the three closest Walmarts in my area looking for the new ep3 titanium series ships and have found nothing. They have the tags but none of the ships. Management just says that they haven't received them yet...as this seems to be the case for alot of people around the U.S....what gives?

I've never seen them before Midnight Madness, and I haven't seen them since-- I saw them in a tent sale, and that was it. Has anyone else had any luck here? Just curious.

6. Do you reckon Hasbro will do Republic Commando Figures? As either a 4 pack or as single figures.

It's possible-- if the fans demand it! So start making demands at Celebration III.

7. i was lucky enough to get all of the rots figures that i want so far including the exclusives. my question is from the first 32 figures (all that is available in my area right now) which figures are the best figures to have? i mean as far as the hardest to get and the ones that will be coveted in a few years?

Mon Mothma, Count Dooku, Super Battle Droid, and be sure to totally buy up all the Anakins.

My purchasing order goes something like this: the ones I can't live without, the ones I think will be hard to get, the ones I can get for a buck when everybody and his brother quits collecting at the same time at some time in the future.

8. Like a lot of people in 2002 I went out and bought the Saga toys only to discover that action features made them a disappointing load of absolute rubbish!

Obviously I donıt want to be stung this time round and have been extremely cautious about the figures Iıve bought. Itıs been narrowed down to just four of the new Jedi!!!!

But I would like an EIII Obi Wan and Anakin in my collection so my question is this: Do the action features detract from the possibility/ look of the figures like the Saga ones? Or will there be collection 2 versions without action features later in the year?

Hasbro tends to go back to the drawing board and do new versions of these characters all the time. While I have had no problems with a lot of the figures with features myself, if you feel $5 or $6 is too much to sink on a toy figure, hey, feel free to wait around-- there will be more and while I cannot guarantee everyone will be satisfied, there will be a variety to choose from. Each figure has its pros and cons. For example, the deluxe Anakin that transforms into Vader has a removable skirt piece, making him the best possible fit for the Jedi Starfighter vehicle right now-- but he doesn't have a lot of articulation.

I like the figures out now for some reasons, but for others, I could wait for something better. If you're on a budget, wait-- these won't be hard to find and you can always go back and buy the early ones. You never know when or if the perfect figure will be made, or if it'll meet your requirements. For example, I think the Secret Ceremony Anakin was the best from Attack of the Clones, but I'm sure not everybody would agree.

9. I was reading your latest Q&A and noticed that you said that you had a chance to see a preproduction fully boxed set sample. My question is, were the colored clones painted correctly? What I mean by that is did they have the color stripe that goes from the fin on the top of the helmet down over the forhead area to just above the visor, and did they have the color dots on the chest as well? The reason I ask is because the pictures that Entertainment Earth has shown, show the figures either without the color stripes on their helmets(the pics on their website), or without the colored dots on their chests(the pics in their new snail mail catalog). I had actually emailed them to let them know that the clones were missing the stripes on their helmets after I saw the pics on their website and they emailed me back and told me that they checked with Hasbro and were told that the figures pictured on their website were prototypes and that the actual figures that would ship would be painted movie accurately including having the proper color stripes. Seeing the latest pics from their snail mail catalog, though, that show the clones with the color stripes on their helmets but without the chest dots has me concerned. Can you confirm that the colored clones will indeed be painted movie accurately and will have the helmet stripes and chest dots?

I have what I presume is good news to share-- they did have the correctly colored dots, but the advance samples I saw were before Hasbro fixed the helmet stripe, which I have been told will be fixed for the final versions. From the latest update I received, they will be correctly painted in terms of stripes and dots, so I'm not worried.

10. Do you or anyone else know what the "claw" thing is that comes with the Clone Pilot. Is it a gun? Is it part of the cannon? To go along with this question; Why did Hasbro choose not to list what comes with the figures? I know sometimes it was lame when it just said "Base", but sometimes it is nice to know what the heck something is.

I was confused by this myself and while I found a solution, I don't know if it's right yet. If you plug in the claw to the cannon right, it acts like a joystick of sorts-- I believe that's what it's for, but if you dear readers have images or solutions, please do share!


Bonus column! Not too much to say just now, other than enjoy and see you next week!

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.)

Click here to read the previous installment of Galactic Hunter Q&A!

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