Q&A For July 4, 2005


1. The Burger King promotion that just ended. Those toys that came with the kid's meals were book. Hands down the best looking Star Wars likenesses to come down the path in a long time. Leia and Mace put their action figures to shame. I'm wondering, did Hasbro play a part in these? If so, why can we get a Leia that LOOKS like Leia for $1.30 but the VOTC Leia, which was supposed to be THE Leia figure looks like, well, like an Anime School Girl?

I am actually not sure who made these-- my guess is a third-party vendor outside of Hasbro. The goal was to make deformed, cute style figures and it seems they accidentally ended up making excellent likenesses in the process-- no complaints here.

As far as VOTC goes, the idea was-- I thought-- to make "updated" versions of the 1978-1985 figures on which these were based, which they obviously deviated from at some points. R2-D2 had his chrome dome and clicky movement, while Leia looked like a doll. An actual doll, not some slang thing. Even the 12-inch Luke was very much toylike, which, as I understand it, was intentional. I can live with that, but unfortunately this means we have still not been gifted with the "ultimate" versions of a lot of figures. (Even Han Solo was largely based on his 1978 forefather.)

So, you ask, will we see new versions of the figures? Better ones? I have no doubt that we will. Hasbro seems to have improved on the Vintage Darth Vader and the 500th edition with the figure in the Evolutions version. It looks superior, but we'll know for sure when we get our hands on it.

2. Question about R2 #48. Is he the same as the first one from the AOTC line? Any deco or electronics difference this time around?

I have yet to get one but Hasbro confirmed it'd have new sounds-- that's the selling point. It's probably pretty much the same other than that and one or two minor deco changes, and of course fewer accessories than his ancestor.

3. I've just pre-ordered a Master Replicas LE Darth Vader Episode III Lightsaber. I know master replicas will not charge my credit card until the saber is shipped. Am I guaranteed a saber due to pre-ordering one?

Pretty much, yeah. It's my understanding they stop taking preorders when they know they've outsold the production run, whatever that may be.

4. I take it that the "Evolutions" line is of the 3 3/4 figure scale, but is this also true for the "Battle Pack" assortment line. Also, are the Red Royal Guards gone or could they still show up in other case assortments? All I ever found were the Blue ones.

Pretty much everything that is coming out in movie-styling from here on out is 3 3/4-inch. Unleashed is its own beast and 12-inch is pretty much dead, so out of Hasbro, if it's movie accurate, it's 3 3/4-inch. So yeah, Evolutions and Battle Packs are compatible with your current scale.

The Red Royal Guards shipped after the blue ones. It's my understanding that blue ones have stopped shipping, temporarily or otherwise, and I have information from Hasbro that indicates you will see more guards through the end of Sith. It did not specify which color they would be but my money is on red.

5. I am having a hard time finding Star Wars Attacktix at any of the major retailers in Canada (even online orders that ship to Canada seem to be a little scarce. Toys R Us Canada doesn't even have them!). I have asked my local retailers (Walmart and Zellers) but they seems to be completely ignorant as to if they ever had them or will be getting them.

Hasbro's website links only sends me to American sites that ship Attacktix to the US (Toys'R Us and Walmart). Are you aware of what major Canadian retailers Hasbro shipped them to?

Ah, time for some harsh reality.

Star Wars items are made the world over for certain markets, as all toys are. Star Wars is primarily based in the USA and virtually all the products Hasbro designs are for the USA, with a few exceptions. Hasbro Canada, Hasbro UK, Hasbro Europe, and so on and so forth imports toys into the region that they believe will sell well, just like Takara brings some US Transformers into Japan, and Hasbro brings some of Takara's Transformers to the USA. All regions are not guaranteed to get all toys, regardless of languages spoken or proximity to another nation. This is indeed unfortunate but it's the nature of the toy business. (I'm a shameless sucker for Takara's Robot Masters line and Hasbro won't bring them out here-- so I import 'em.)

So, what is my point? eBay, online, and road trips. Attacktix are big sellers in the USA and a lot of stores I've been to are fairly low on them, and odds are if they are shipping to Canada, they're shipping in even lower numbers than the USA and as such would likely sell even faster. So what would I do in your situation? eBay. Last I checked a complete set of Attacktix could be had cheaper there than if you bought packs to get them all. It's gone up slightly since the line caught on, but just a hair over US$100 ain't bad for 30 unique figures given that a three-pack of unidentified figures is US$7-$9.

Collecting toys in a "foreign" territory is always tricky, and I am a huge advocate of collecting information, or to be more precise, an advocate of someone else doing it because as a native United Statesian, I tend to focus on what I can and can't get, much like you're interested in what you can and can't get. If anyone out there would like to contribute information about Canadian toy availability to us at Galactic Hunter, please let us know-- as we're pretty much all Yankees. Except May, he's in the South.

6. i was wondering if there are any plans for hasbro to make an obi-wan kenobi evolutions set in the coming year. I really don't think Hasbro could go wrong with this if they stuck to the same plans as the Anakin/Vader set.I think a episode 1(padawan) obi,episode 3(jedi master) obi,and either an episode 4(hermit) obi or episode 6 force ghost obi would work very well.i know i would buy it.

Right no, no plans are known for this line past the Sith Lords wave. Hasbro has only released information through that to us, meaning if there will be new product, Comic Con is the time and place to find out about that. Obi-Wan would make a great set but much like the Anakin set, you have to pick the one not to make-- Anakin dropped the 9-year-old version, so Obi-Wan would have to drop 1 or 2 options. (One for each prequel, ANH, and Spirit-- could make a great five-pack.)

The Evolutions line is swimming with opportunity depending on how Hasbro handles it. So far the sets are fairly good-- Anakin's Evolution includes what seems to be the best-ever Vader with ball jointed elbows. The Trooper set has a buttload of troopers, and really, that's enough as far as I'm concerned. The Sith Lords set may be a slow seller because at this point, the main selling point will be Darth Maul, but it's a nice looking one. Hasbro already gave us a wonderful Count Dooku this year, and a few good Emperors, so this is the weak link in the chain and it ain't all that weak.

7. What ever happened to the Scout Trooper Builder Set? Has it been cancelled?

It's my understanding that it was never confirmed. Numerous items get mentioned in varying stages of production that never see the light of day, and this is one of those. How far did it get? No idea. And it still could come out, if you make sure to ask Hasbro about it and let them know you want one as much as I do. (Heck, it'd make a nice exclusive, no?)

8. Now that you are "in the know" so to speak, is there anything coming out that will be exciting and must-haves? For me, the last time I got truly excited about the Star Wars line was when I saw pictures of the toys coming out for AOTC. Man, the Nikto Jedi and Kit Fisto and most of the others looked so cool, I couldn't wait until they came out. And when they did, I hunted until I found them all. Now however it seems like everything is an also ran. We've either seen it or a variation of it. When I see an action figure I want, most of the time I pass it up not because I don't want it, it just dosen't have a WOW factor that says BUY ME NOW!!! I know I can't be the only one that feels like this.

I agree, Revenge of the Sith has been a different kind of line that relies more on style over substance. We got some astounding Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters with soft goods and incredible articulation, but each and every one we had at least one opportunity to buy before in a crappier version. So while I appreciate the upgrades, I love new stuff, and it looks like the year will finish up with a lovely mix of new releases and old favorites.

I've seen some things, heard some things, and obviously, can't say much more-- but it looks like fans of all things Star Wars will be excited and must have a lot of the things coming out. (Spudtrooper, c'mon.)

9. For once I am pleased, in general, with what looks to be Hasbro's upcoming distribution of product with Waves 5 and 6. In these boxes, there will be multiples of popular figures which did not ever seem to make it to the shelves. (I got my Vader (EIII #11) "from the back" as most collectors probably had to do. My only concern now is C-3PO. He may have not been a peg-warmer, but was at least on the shelf for a while. But now that I am realizing what a great figure he is and would like a few more, (other than the lack-o-thumb, he's the best version ever!) I can not seem to find him at retail. What gives? Will there be a Wave 6, Rev 2.1 or 3, or a Wave 7 or 8 with a Threepio or two?

It depends on where you shop and how often. Rarely does a day or two go by where I don't find myself in a store. I also check a lot of weird places for toys, like Kohl's, grocery stores, and every Wal-Mart I see. If you aren't doing this, start doing this. I've seen most of the figures numerous times in the stores with few exceptions (Meena Tills, etc.) The upcoming assortments do not list C-3PO. So get hunting.

10. The quote from Bantha tracks appears at this hyperspace link

Nothing more to be said about context. It's pretty straightforward, and vague.
--Master Windu

While I can't copy and paste the quotes here due to possible freak-outs by Lucasfolk, this is indeed the quote I was referencing in the column previously. It does in fact have Lucas referencing both the 12-episode and 9-episode saga, and it does say that the third trilogy is about the character that survives Star Wars III and his adventures. If you do have Hyperspace, you should read that interview, and then get frustrated that someone, somewhere, is obviously lying to you regarding the words of George Lucas.


Regarding last week:

Many of you wrote in with information on Anakin's Clone Wars Starfighter. You all correctly pointed out to it being destroyed, but almost every email had details different as to how, where, and when-- so if you got it right, good for you. If not, shame-- corrections are best sent in by those who are correct. Ms. Ventress lured Anakin into a duel on Yavin and his ship bit the dust in the Clone Wars animated series. It should be noted that the comic, the novels, the video games, and the animation all exist in the same time period but have different takes on what happens to a character and when. Durge had more than one story surrounding his demise, and some characters die in one continuity but not another. As such, I'm going to leave it at Anakin's ship was done blown up on Yavin IV. How did he get the new one? Uhhh.... government issue?

Also, many wrote in on the Revenge of the Sith movie trailer, and shocking to me was that again, it seemed all of you had different things to say. Some said it was most assuredly stolen, while others said that all trailer film canisters are thrown away by movie theaters. It's possible that depending on your employer, either could be true-- but the one thing to be sure of is that film is a resource that can deteriorate with age, so be careful with it and treat it well. It's not like it contains something future generations can't find on DVD or another digital media format, but it is a great artifact and seeing as how you're unlikely to get a full print of the film, it's a damned fine collectible.

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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