Q&A For June 27, 2005

 

1. I have a unique question for you. I recently acquired a copy of the trailer for ROTS. It is brand new, never having even been run through the projector. (The stickers sealing it shut are all intact.) According to the sticker on the outside it is Version 2 and FLAT. (I have no idea what this means, but a friend says that trailers are either FLAT or SCOPE.)

I don't really have one specific question regarding the trailer, but a few. Is this something that might appreciate in value? (I don't invest, mind you. I collect because I am a fan. However, it's highly unlikely that I will ever have a 35mm projector sitting around to enjoy this with, and it is nothing to really look at right now; just a black cylinder.) If I DID have a projector, would I hear anything, or is the sound on a separate source? It is my understanding that celluloid is rather fragile; will this deteriorate quickly?
--James

Everything is collectible, especially film things as so few exist. If it's legit, two things: one, it's probably stolen; two, don't open it. I've seen a French trailer in a canister for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fetch a pretty penny in the pre-Internet collecting world and I assume an item like this is well worth owning if you enjoy such things. I have no idea if it has sound or not, but you're right-- it's fragile, and I know I sure as heck would never play it. Just leave it sealed, the same trailer will be on the DVD come Fall.

2. 1) I picked up the ROTS Anakin figure with blue lightsaber and red Dooku lightsaber. Is this a variant, and if so how rare is it?

2) So far with the ROTS [Clone] army builder 3 packs, we've seen an all-white set appear, a red variant and a green variant. Any word on whether or not we'll see blue and yellow variant sets appear?

3) With the KB Exclusive 9-pack of figures there seems to be some sort of display stand as part of the packaging. It looks like part of Palpatine's office. Is this a display stand or just some fancy packaging?
--Findlay

Currently, there are three "versions" of the lightsaber that the Anakin figure in question includes. The first release has a red lightsaber in his hand, and allegedly this is because at some point in the previsualization days, Anakin actually builds his own new red lightsaber. (This explains a lot of things if it's true.) Release #2 was the Dooku saber but in a very clear very pink color. The third release was a nearly solid red blade, and this is the best looking of the three if you ask me. There are some minor changes in packaging, but as these are minor, I'll move on to...

The Clone Trooper sets. Right now, the solid white one is out there, along with a few "two white and one color" packs. We were lead to believe there will be a set with all three colored clones in it, but it's possible this will not happen and like last time, you get to buy five three-packs to get the eight different figures. The only deco we know of right now for sure are red, green, and I believe the third one is blue-- the photo I have seen has it so it's tough to tell if there's going to a lot of blue on them.

I'm not sure what the deal is with that Kay-Bee set's box, other than I'm not impressed. I think it's just a fancy box, but if it has a plastic stand, that'd sure be nice! Because as it stands now... well... wow. It's almost insulting-- after saying we'd get a break from silver figures, they trot out the third silver Darth Vader since 2002 and they make it from the mold of the Worst Darth Vader Ever, the 2003 Throne Room version. You know, the one that swings his saber and in the process knocks his cape and also his helmet off. Now, eight Clone Troopers in a box with a silver Darth Vader... now you're on to something. I'd be all over that.

3. Now that you're in the toy biz full time, any chance you can use your powers to get the Eopie released in the US? Maybe with an EIII Obi-Wan this time as its seen at the end of the movie where Luke is delivered to the Lars family. That damn Eopie from EI is still really expensive on eBay.
--Dave

Given the current secondary market rates for this one, I wouldn't hold my breath for getting this as an exclusive-- it's actually somewhat cheap as it can be had for about $50 which, for a rare toy, is peanuts. This would be an ideal item for Hasbro to release as a Toys "R" Us multipack with a new Obi-Wan, baby Luke, maybe Owen & Beru or even the Organa family. This is a mold I would have to assume will show up again somewhere, but when and where is hard to tell. The demand for it has been very light, but it's an item that it would seem sensible to revisit given its role in the movie and now that we're past the "spoiler" stage, I think Hasbro might look into it. Just be sure to let Hasbro know you want it when you get a chance to ask, because this is the kind of thing that makes these items happen.

4. Of all the clone troopers released this year (through #44 at least), are any of them even close deco wise to the movie versions? I know the Clone Pilot comes pretty close, but I think the Clone Commando is pretty far off from the version doing the cowardly deed to Aayla Secura.
--Nandress

The plain white Clone was a rare thing in Revenge of the Sith and it seems that licensees are finally realizing this-- Hasbro's dragging their feet so far, though, and because of this we don't have that awesome 501st Trooper yet. There are more Clones coming-- how, when, where, etc. I cannot say-- but to date, yes, Hasbro missed the mark on these Clones, but they have years to make up for it and dozens of new figures to give us as a result.

5. although my figure collection is primarily vintage based, I do collect some of the newer figs as well. With all the reports of vintage figure breakdown and decomp, (i.e. green limbed Chewie, teal torso Snaggletooth, and pink-limbed Leia) what do you think the lifespan of the rubbery plastics Hasbro is currently producing will be? Longer, shorter?
--Ki-Adi Randy

This has been eating at me for a while for a variety of reasons, and right now, it's hard to tell. I've never seen a yellow bubble carded figure until this year, but I've seen numerous urine-yellow POTF2 Stormtroopers due to sun exposure, and I've also seen what appears to be age discoloration of a few white 2002 figures-- take a look at your Red Clones, your Quick Draw Padme from the arena, and your beeping R2-D2s. Some, not all, have had some limb discoloration-- I saw discolored Red Clones as early as 2002 but never saw problems with Padme until this year and what seem to be problems with R2-D2 until a few weeks ago.

There will most likely be problems eventually with most or all figures regardless of how much care you take of them, as such, keep 'em cool, keep 'em dry, and keep 'em away from the light. Most discoloration is a result of exposure to the elements, so with proper precautions, well, we'll see what happens. The first modern POTF2 figures turn 10 in a few weeks and so far, they're good... but I can also say that all my vintage figures were absolutely fine for most of the 1990s.

6. First of all, what happened to Anakin's Clone Wars Jedi Starfighter from the cartoon series? It seems that it nolonger exists when the E3 movie is set. Second, I though Assajj Ventress died in one of the last Republic comics by Anakin's hand. Then in the visual dictionary it states that she is still at large. So, is she alive or not? Third, is the Clone Wars Kit Fisto figure and Saesee Tiin figure from the cartoon series one instead of the comics? I have not seen any depictions of Kit and Saesee in the comics,but have seen it in the cartoons.
--Travis

Anakin's custom blue fighter appears to have just up and vanished-- odds are he lost it when the Republic upgraded them to the newer models.

Ms. Ventress did appear to die in numerous ways, but as of now, she's at large-- at the end of Obsession, she basically hijacked a prison ship and was on her way off to destinations unknown. So she could still show up again. (Oh, and she's a cyborg now. Sorta.)

Finally, the thing to remember about Clone Wars is that there are multiple Universes and they don't all jive. Hasbro's toy universe is one, the comics are another, as are the cartoons and the novels and the games. Some tie in nicely but others contradict one another, and these figures were developed as part of the toy line. When the line was developed, Hasbro knew of the animated series but wasn't planning on doing figures for it-- so in a manner of speaking, these could be perceived as cartoon figures, in a way.

7. Hello, I have a few questons for you. First, what's with the clone pilot's forearms? They come off very easily. Why is this? Weaker plastic? Is it an issue in other ROTS figures, or just this one?

Also, I noticed that the smaller blaster (NOT the pistol) that is included with some of the clones has a few varients, mostly with the trigger design. How many varients of this gun do you know of? I count 3.

And are any of the vehicle clone figures going to be released as basic figures, like the BARC speeder driver or the AT-RT driver?
--Alida

Hasbro has had a lot of trouble with figures falling apart since Episode I, when they introduced additional articulation on most of their figures. These joints tend to be weak due to the softer plastic and, in some cases, poor design admitted to by the designers (Shirtless Darth Maul). This can be an issue on several figures over the past few years and some samples are more likely to come apart than others-- I have several Clone Pilots and most of mine stay together without a problem. So your mileage may vary here.

I haven't been keeping track of variants on this gun, but if someone out there has a chart, please send it in-- we'd love to collect this information and pass it along!

Finally, I wouldn't hold your breath too much here. There are no known plans for these yet but you never know-- I know I'd love to see an exclusive BARC Trooper army builder set, and hey, make a stink about it and maybe some lucky retail partner will get one!

8. Do you know which driver is the correct one for the AT-RT - the green/olive-armored one that comes with the Hasbro 3 3/4"-scale "walking" toy, or the regular white Clone Trooper that is attached to the Titanium and Attacktix toys? It seems the forthcoming Micro AT-RT comes with the regular white Clone Trooper as well. I can't find any definitive reference material on what the driver is supposed to look like, and it was very hard to see what they looked like in the movie, as that scene was very dark. Any info. you have would be appreciated!
--Greg

As far as I can tell from publicity shots, the correct one is the movie and the Hasbro action figure scaled toy. The Attacktix one-- like a few Attacktix figures-- are decorated incorrectly, and the figure does not appear to be all white in any shots I've seen. It looks like Hasbro made a lot of these all white initially before seeing the movie and it's a safe bet the others are errors. My "definitive" source for now is the official site's Databank listing.

9. Since it seems like Hasbro is letting the 12 inch line die do you think it will be offered to another company? I think the 12 inch line would do much better if quality figures/sculpts/accessories were offered. I also think a more collector geared company would recognize the market for clone variations (ARCs,Commandos, etc) and more accurate main characters.
--Washington

12-inch figure collecting isn't exactly a big mass market thing right now-- Hasbro has proven that they aren't able to crank out what collectors want. I'm not saying it's easy to know what that is, but it seems these days that collectors would rather have a couple of really nice $40 figures than all the cheap $20 figures in the world.

Since Hasbro holds the license, it's pretty unlikely they'll give it up, but they could probably make a decent chunk of change subletting it out to someone like Sideshow. Problem is, this also means competition for collector dollars, so I wouldn't hold my breath. It's possible a more limited, higher priced line would really work for Hasbro but the line has had such a questionable history that I wouldn't make any bets here. Japanese collectors can buy some of the very expensive Medicom figures, but really, I don't think there's a lot of fans chomping at the bit to part with a car payment's worth of case to get a single modern figure.

10. Is Target done stocking the ROTS Obi Wan, Clone and Grevous cups? It seems odd forTarget to contract for them, then leave alot of unsatisified demand in the market.

Any update on the 3 3/4 scale turbo tank happening?

Does Hasbro stop production early for toys (aka Can Cel)that didn't make the final cut into ROTS? Or just full speed ahead?

Will TRU or anyone else do a fall exclusive?
--Eric

There are new shipments of the first wave of Sith cups surfacing still, so I wouldn't say demand isn't being met. These sat in a lot of markets so it's probably a good time to move on to the second wave, which I haven't yet seen.

There will not be a Turbo Tank in 2005. There will probably not be a Turbo Tank in 2006. Hasbro's immense reluctance to tool up a new vehicle is frustrating, if you take a look back at POTF2 from 1995 to 1999 they only made one all-new movie vehicle (Skyhopper), one from Shadows of the Empire (Swoop), two new versions of vintage vehicles (Vader's TIE and the X-Wing), and made several vehicles nobody asked for in the first place (EU Cloud Car, Airspeeder, Speederbike & the Cruisemissile Trooper). With that track record, you can see there's no big vehicles, and if you look at the period between films, with about one exception, all the vehicles released in non-movie years since the prequels started were repaints or reissues of vintage toys. (Not counting Expanded Universe.)

If you seriously want a Turbo Tank, get organized, start a petition, and raise a giant fuss over it. Hasbro doesn't want to do big Sith vehicles this week, so if you want to see this or anything, do what you can to convince them they need to make one and that it will sell. Saying "dude, it'll totally sell!" does not count.

Hasbro is still producing all figures that were cut from the film-- it was the same way with Attack of the Clones. There's no reason to stop production on a toy that will sell, like ANYTHING YODA.

It's my understanding that everybody will probably have at least one Fall exclusive, many of which *cough* are still in development. Toys "R" Us has a Hoth figure set, and there are a couple of other figures coming out that are probably going to shock you with glee. And I'm sure Hasbro will announce them soon, and if they don't, I'll be sure to jot them down in my big book of "Crazy Crap I've Heard and Now That Nobody Cares, I Can Tell You: 2018 Edition." Start setting aside cash. You're in for a few treats.

FIN

Fall is going to be a big crop of exclusives, or a small crop. Either way, there's going to be exclusives. So start saving.

I hear Cybertron is hitting. I'm not seeing any myself, but as I've been sick and pretty much stuck at home since Friday, well, you can understand why. I'm currently working my way through my Q&A backlog and I need more questions-- so send more in! It's looking good that this will be a twice weekly feature for the forseeable future.

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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