Q&A For May 30, 2005

 

Before we start, there've been some email problems and some lost emails. If you sent anything after May 6, it's gone. Vanished. So, fair warning.

1. I just received my Clone Trooper 4-Packs and upon opening them I noticed...footholes! After reading your "article" in the EE catalogue I was rather surprised. So my question is (ready for this....) are these variants, and how much are they worth!

Just kidding...Just kidding!!!

Seriously, I just wanted to let you know that these are really cool and they turned out great! I would not mind seeing this idea carried over to other army builders.
--Damon

Funny story-- I found out that Hasbro didn't know these had holes until they showed up. The same body mold was used for the Wal-Mart Darth Vader Case Clone Trooper and the Target Exclusive Clone Trooper, and they've got holes too. So somebody somewhere just slapped holes in 'em. Who knew?

2. I've read in a past Q & A that you thought Darth Vader Unleashed/Unmasked was going for crazy amounts on Ebay (I agree). My question to you is, how many of these did Hasbro put out? Even with the later Unleashed line (bounty hunters, etc.), I still find them very hard to find at my local Target, Wal-Mart, etc. Even with the re-released Unleashed Vader, I've never seen one in the stores.... Some of the "exclusives" have 50,000 units released...how many are released (approx.) for the Unleashed line?
--Allan

This is an area that's a big pain-- mainly because Hasbro doesn't tell anybody. As such, we don't know, and don't even have informed speculation. Based on what is somewhat widely known about minimum quantities for production, it'd be very surprising if it was anywhere below the low teen-thousands. Right now I think we're just looking at a line and a character with near insane amounts of heat on it. I wouldn't expect the numbers to be anywhere near 50,000... that's actually quite a lot... but you never know sometimes.

3. Hey. I don't know how much you know about Revenge of the Sith by now, but I got a couple questions. Do you know what accessories and figures won't actually be in the movie? Specifically the deluxe Clonetrooper's jetpack, those weird cannons that come with the Clone Pilots, that gun thing that comes with Yoda, stuff like that. I just want to know if I was right passing on some of these deluxe figures. Thanks
--ugnaught7

Obviously, this is an older question-- but one worth answering, if you guys want-- anyone out there up for a guide to toys not in the movie? I think there's a fun story there, what do you all say?

4. I was just wondering what the deal is with the General Grievous figures that Hasbro have released so far. In all the images I've seen, Grievous walks with a slight hunch, and has a green cloak wrapped around his body. The figures have all been standing tall, with white cloaks draped from the shoulders. Do you think Hasbro has plans to release a green-cloaked Grievous, with the stooped-over posture?

I think it would be the best Grievous figure to date, especially with a top-notch paint job, plenty of articulation and, of course, a soft-goods cloak. What do you think?
--Danny

A lot of figures are made before the designs are finished, and obviously, before production on the film is finished-- characterizations and voices weren't even close to being done when sculpting started on these guys, so as such, you and I get to have what we rightly perceive as inferior figures.

I think there's a good chance that if/when Hasbro goes back to revisit Revenge of the Sith figures in 2006 or beyond, we'll see a new version of the good General, hopefully with a nice cloak made of cloth. The figures released thus far have been extremely disappointing. The Sneak Preview one's cape doesn't stay on. The exploding one doesn't stand up without warping the legs. Surprisingly, the deluxe one and the four-armed ones are the best and it's unlikely most fans will consider them satisfying releases... so here's hoping a super-posable "vintage" one will see production eventually.

5. We're having a bit of a problem out here in the Central Massachusetts area. Somebody is out there pulling the old "buy-swap-return" scam, and getting away with it at an alarming rate! Between a couple of stores we've already seen about a dozen "swaps", (and who knows how many are out there that we haven't seen). The most common finds are the AT-TE Gunner, Clone Commander or Clone Pilot, returned with an AOTC Clone Trooper inside. The most notable find (by board veteran DarthWormie) was an AOTC Clone returned with a Royal Guard paper insert, on a Target Exclusive Clone Trooper card back! He found two of these at a local Wal-Mart.

The same thing happened with the OTC figures in our area, but it wasn't this bad. Obviously, the new packaging has a lot to do with it. As soon as the packaging was revealed, I think we all knew "the swap" was something we'd have to deal with, and I know this problem isn't exclusive to Star Wars. Is there anything we can do?

I've considered my options, which include:

1.) Talking to the store managers
2.) Trying to contact Hasbro directly
3.) Vigilante justice

For now, I've made the "service desk check" part of my routine....and I'll continue to hit the desk on the way in and the way out every time I'm in a store....which is A LOT. Hopefully I'll catch this guy, but I'm still not sure the store will do anything about it.
Is this happening in other parts of the country? Does Hasbro know that this is going on? How would you handle it?
--Rinn

This happens a lot and it really ticks me off-- so far I haven't had a lot of problems with it here in Los Angeles, where I just moved from Phoenix, which explains why everything has been crazy lately.

What I used to do is take the toy to the customer service area and say "hey, I just wanted to point something out to you. I know you guys have other things to do and are very busy but you've been duped, and..." and you know the dril. I've seen cars returned in Transformers boxes and all sorts of stupidity, and Hasbro knows-- they're not doing too much about it as of yet, mainly because these guys are freaking clever sometimes. During OTC, the first red Y-Wing I saw, I bought. When I got it in the car, I realized it looked funny-- some guy took a junked 1983 one, repainted it, and stuck it back in the box. It looks like the planning and craftsmanship and supplies would have set him back close to $30, but obviously, we're not dealing with people who are criminal masterminds.

So, talk to the store and/or its management. Let Hasbro know if you see them at a convention. And if you see a guy returning stuff in the store like this, I believe the proper term is that you "cock block" him.

6. Do you think we'll see more figures of the various Clone Commanders? Those guys rock!!! What about different legion designs/colors? I would also love to see a white clone with stickers so they could be customized. Do you think that is a feasable idea?

What chances do you think we have on seeing a V-wing (exclusive or mass release)? I'd be all over this ship!!!

I saw your QandA from CIII and was rather confused by Hasbro's response to EU. It has been stated before (even here) that Hasbro doesn't care much for EU "because it didn't sell". Now Hasbro seems all for it but seems unsure what to make. Beside conventions are there other ways to let Hasbro know what EU figs we'd like? I think there has been enough rumbling about Clone Armor Obi-wan (which I see we're getting), Quin Lon Vos, and Republic Commandos why not start there? If Hasbro has been wanting to do this all along why throw out negative statements about EU until now?

I'm glad CW is going to continue...Torrent Starfighter?? Even Titanium would be great!!

Is Quin Lon in Episode 3?
--Washington

Hasbro's policies are fun because they change periodically. Under Andy during Power of the Jedi, they said they would never repackage and rerelease a figure again-- those days were over. A few months later, under Hasbro's Jeff, there was a near-immediate about-face and we saw buttloads of repackaged figures from Saga through ROTS. With that in mind...

Clone Commanders? No plans for 2005 outside the Evolutions set repaint which, I believe, is painted incorrectly. Still not sure. There will be very very few repaint Clones in 2005 and Hasbro has yet to make its Clone plans known for 2006.

The V-Wing is not coming in 2005. For whatever reason, Hasbro's policy on new molds for ships has become "don't bother" these days and it's really quite astounding-- why not? Sure, they're expensive, but if you make 'em, they'll sell. A faux-Imperial vehicle would sell like hotcakes, it would! For the time being, we're not even being offered a legit pilot figure-- the only V-Wing Pilot you can get is for Attacktix.

Regarding Hasbro and the Expanded Universe, please see my first answer. This week, they're thinking about it, just obviously not for this year. (And it doesn't look good for 2006 either.) Hasbro's looking for the next big direction for the line, and while I can give you my personal guarantee it will not be all EU all the time, it's very possible that if you request it, they'll make figures here and there. I'd very much like to see Jedi Master Vos and the Commando Clones for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they fit nicely into the look and feel of the line so well that most people probably won't realize they weren't in the movies.

The future of Clone Wars toys is up in the air-- again, don't expect much for 2005 or 2006. I'd say this seems like an area that may come to pass if/when the new TV show hits airwaves.

Quin was in early drafts of Episode III but all that remains is a brief mention of his name. His exact role in the film, which was completely excised and never shot, is not known to me at this time but the comic had him getting shot like all the other "nameless" Jedi during the film. (Note the quotes.)

7. Do you know what the retail price is going to be on the Evolution 3 packs? Are these going to available to everybody or are they an exclusive?

Are the figures that come with the Battle Arena's removable? I'm not interested the Battle Arena function, but I am interested in some of the figures if they are compatible with other basic figures.
--SMDLAK

Last I heard, those three-packs should set you back about $19.99 at the cheap places and they will not be an exclusive. Since it's pretty posh packaging for the equivalent of three vintage figures, I think it's an OK deal.

The Battle Arena figures are most certainly removable and do most certainly suck. You can put them on stands and they look like the same scale as the regular figures but have odd poses and frequently have bent lightsabers.

8. I've heard Toys R Us are doing an Exclusive Wedge Antilles and X-Wing. When's that out?
--Mattzitron

This was mentioned at Hasbro's Q&A at Celebration III by an audience member and was not denied. It was also not confirmed. Hasbro has yet to announce any of the Fall exclusives outside a Toys "R" Us/Amazon Hoth Figure set and they have yet to make it official as to what will be in that set-- here's hoping it's cool.

9. Is the Obi-Wan / Grievous Battle Arena set already released and I missed it (the other two sets aren't that easy to find right now so I may have missed it) or is this still scheduled to show up soon?
--Brian

This set came out later and in few locations-- I've seen maybe two or three in stores. It's out, and it came out before the movie, it just hasn't hit pegwarmer status yet.

10. Now that Hasbro has confirmed at Celebration that we've seen everything there is to see for the 12" line this year, who can we complain to regarding the rather obvious lack of an Obi-Wan Kenobi from Revenge of the Sith?
--Matt

First, let Hasbro know-- and let any buyers you know for toy sellers. If someone can convince Kay-Bee to ask for it as an exclusive, that'll get the job done. Be vocal, this is a figure that's disturbingly absent and was one I was very much hoping to see and I don't even do 12" figures all hardcore these days. So, raise your voices, true believers, we can make this happen.

FIN

So, you ask, where have I been? Good question. At the end of April I moved to Los Angeles to work at a new job. (Hint: they sell Clone Trooper four-packs and it means I get to do all sorts of awesome stuff.) The move itself took a lot of the time, and I kept putting off Q&A because I don't check my GalacticHunter.com account all that much since I moved and when I sat down to write I had to go through-- and I kid you not-- over 6,600 emails. As such, yours may have gotten lost, so send it in again if you sent something in past May 1. Prior to May 1, I'm still working on it.

I also spent like all day watching those new NewsRadio DVDs. Holy crap that was a good show.

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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