Q&A For August 4, 2005


1. I saw the images of the TRU exclusive Holo Palpatine, and wonder if you could shed some light on this? Will it be available in the U.S.? If so, when? Around the release of ROTS on DVD?

Traditionally, Toys "R" Us uses their gift-with-purchase figures in either Spring or November, this will most likely be a tie-in for the holiday season or, as you say, the DVD. I'll be waiting for the Amazon preorder, myself.

2. please ask him if hasbro will make a yarna dál gargan figure!!! many would like to have this one! and another great thing would be a senate platform with different senators! for example the great toonbuck toora!

Don't hold your breath-- in the old days, Kenner decided against it for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, but as of the modern line, Hasbro has made comments to the effect of Gargan being a tough choice due to her being a sort of space prostitute.

As far as Toonbuck Tora, I'm placing that one in the "well, Hasbro doesn't like to make old Prequel figures this week" pile. Odds are Naboo and Kamino and a few other worlds will get a little more respect in 2006, but as to what you'll get, who knows? These are both two very collector-friendly characters that, in the right quantities or as part of the right gift set, but you never know when Hasbro will say "hey, we need to make a certain character right now!"

3. I know hasbro isn't very excited about doing some more Expanded Universe figures. But I think non-movie figures will become more and more important - just because there won't be any new Star Wars movies. My question is: Why isn't hasbro doing some figures for Star Wars Battlefront and Republic Commando? Both games have been extremely sucessfull. Battlefront and Rubublic Commando are very pupular and troop building figures are also very pupular. So why not combining both and doing a new line? In SW Battlefront I there were some very cool non-movie troopers like the green Jet Trooper and the darktrooper. It would have been easy to release figures of both troopers by re-using the Dark Trooper from the EU line and re-using the super-articulated Ep.II Clone Trooper body with green markings and repainted Jango arena jetpack. I could easily imagine a whole line of super articulated Battlefront figures with Rebels, Imperials, Trade Federation droids and Ep.II and III movie and non-movie Clone Troopers. I think such a line would bring hasbro a lot of cash and I can't understand why there isn't something like that on schedule for the November release of Battlefront II. .

While I think everyone can attest to the appeal of (and desire for) certain characters from this line, it's just not the direction Hasbro seems to go in. Were fans constantly clamoring for certain figures, I think you'd see them-- if Quinlan Vos had a high level of recognition due to constant mention in collector circles, odds are we'd see one. Frankly, I'd like to see one, and as most people know I'm not a huge fan of more Jedi figures.

As far as troopers go, I think you're likely to be pleased-- it's pretty easy to get away with oddball special EU Clones... like Odd Ball. Currently, video games aren't a big tie-in for toys in the USA-- Halo's an exception, but most gamers aren't also toy people. It's one or the other due to the costs involved, so toys are a significantly more limited arena. That, and most people want video game figures after they play a game, and not before-- they haven't met all the characters yet and, again, gamers are a little more picky when it comes to toys.

That said, I do agree that having something like one Battlefront figure out at the launch of the game would have been a top-notch idea-- you could cross-promote the game on the toy's packaging. Hasbro does this for the Fan Club constantly, so a game promotion would be nice to see once in a while, ditto with comics if Dark Horse does another Event comic.

4. My questions all concern the fan faves...... CLONES!

First of all, its fantastic we;re seeing movie accurate clones as announced at Comic-Con. BUT why are versions like the shock trooper, green commander and black pilot considered variants when the clones announced are outright releases despite only being repaints themselves?

Why didnt Hasbro show off the shocktrooper, green commander and black pilot at Con? Are we sure these are genuine Hasbro releases? Why does Hasbro still insist on making non movie accuate figures like deluxe 3-pack, green commander and black pilot, even after the film is released and they know the situation. It was annoyin enough first time!

I also noticed that in the Con pics, the Turbo Tank Driver has AT-RT driver on it's packaging. Is this figure now renamed officially? Or will we see 2 variants?

Will both Evolution clone sets be readily available, white and coloured? Cos naturally I want both!

Finally....... STILL NO CODY? What is Hasbro thinking. Utapau clones are such a glaring omission. Cody, his strange helmeted officer and a grunt would make a truly awesome 3-pack, and they had so much screen time........ is Hasbro ignoring these just cos of having to remould some helmets?

Sorry for the excessive length! Thanks in advance......
--Clone Commander Dave

As far as variants vs. new figures go, Hasbro knew-- up front-- that certain Clone trooper figures would be given a repaint part of the way down the line. This way, they could "refresh" the same molds without having to make a de facto new figure, much like the Royal Guards which one could assume there's also some weird desire to not make more figures with. I think it has to do with keeping a certain number of SKUs out there, which, well, is confusing to me too.

Hasbro's knowledge of when and if redecoes hit is an odd situation over the years. Often, they know about them, but when they'll hit and in what quantities tends to be a little mysterious. The situation with the Power of the Jedi variant heads on the Imperial Officer and Rebel Trooper got a little out of hand when they didn't show up until over a year later... but the Endor Rebel Solider's head was refreshed in a very timely manner and was available in good quantities. As such, Hasbro may not have known if the factory had switched over yet, and since Hasbro couldn't say "give me figure number..." due to the packaging, it may have been slightly tougher to request it in a timely manner. I am 100% sure these are Hasbro releases.

The Turbo Tank Driver was renamed the AT-RT Driver-- these things happen all the time, and quite often with Revenge of the Sith.

It is unknown if both Clone Evolutions sets will be made in equal quantities and at the same time, but it looks like it could very well happen.

And finally... Cody is coming in 2006, so says Hasbro.

5. How come Hasbrotoyshop.com can't keep certain items in stock. I mean they are Hasbro and they can't keep their own product in stock?

Like all stores, HasbroToyShop.com gets cases (assortments) of their own product. This means that if they put a figure up for sale, it comes out of a case, and if the figure is popular or shortpacked, it's going to sell out quickly. This could be a good thing-- Hasbro might eventually realize the value of solid-packed cases, or the need for more of certain Clone figures when they're new. Even though Hasbro has its own store, they're still not immune from the challenges all stores face from the often unusual and undesirable case assortments thrust upon them.

6. Since we've seen the carded sandtrooper, and we know hasbro is doing various repaints of clone troopers, do you think we will see different sandtroopers with the different pauldron colors (black, gray, white, and orange)? I missed the sandtrooper army builder 4-pack and this would make up for it.

What was your reaction to mystery 12 that was shown? I know it wasn't good at all at the Missouri and Kansas sw club forums I belong to.

As of now, there are no known plans to do repaint Sandtroopers in the next year beyond the one redeco for the Evolutions set. I hope that if Hasbro does release that individually carded one that we do see it repackaged and redecoed a few times because, well, who wouldn't love to see that?

As far as the final 12 Revenge of the Sith figures, I do have some opinions on repaints. I'm always OK with repainting Clone Troopers (if the mold is good), as well as droids. Hasbro has no reason not to do it-- they're all the same, mass-produced, so repainting them is a darned fine idea. The repaint Grievous Guard is an interesting one, but certainly not fantastic. The Neimoidian Guard, while a figure I like, is such a horrible case of timing it isn't funny. Holograph figures rely solely on your opinion of holographic figures-- if you like them, well, good times. If not, well, crap.

7. I've noticed that a couple of online retailers, including EntertainmentEarth, have the next and final wave of Unleashed figures up for preorder. The interesting thing is, for the first time that I can recall in Unleashed history, the figures aren't evenly distributed in the case. There are two Shocktroopers, two Han Solo Stormtroopers, one Chewbacca, and one Darth Vader. Any word on which Darth Vader this is? My gut tells me that it's going to be the same one that's shipping now with Ventress and Yoda vs Sidious, but wouldn't it be nice if it were the helmetless version?

While there have been unevenly packed cases in the past, most fans were not aware of them because they weren't distributed as much as the evenly packed ones. So while this is not without precedent, it is odd because it seems to be the first and only time there will be a new Unleashed figure packed at one per case. Other mixes may come up, but who knows?

As to which Vader is it, yes, it's going to be the newest version and not the other two. Hasbro wisely said "oh, there's going to be a lot of demand for this figure" and decided to make more.

8. My question is an old one, but hopefully one that can be put to rest now. In the wave of 4 "Sneak Preview" Attack of the Clones droids, there was an astromech droid with yellowish-green highlights. After the movie came out, a lot of people including myself didn't see him anywhere on-screen. There was much debate about where that particularly droid is actually at in the movie.

Do you have any information on this? Because I've seen Attack of the Clones like ten times now, and I still can't find it...

R3-T7 isn't a droid you're likely to see much of on screen, but you may have seen him in some behind-the-scenes footage and unfinished bluescreen shots. He was intended to be used on the streets of Coruscant early in the film around the time of the Zam chase, but isn't exactly what you would call a high-profile droid here.

9. What is the deal with the Diamond Exclusive Bounty Hunter 7-pack. They all appear to be exact re-issues. Is there any difference between what we've already got and this new set (other than the so-so packaging)? Craptastic, or so-so? Looks craptastic to me.

Please fill us uninformed souls in.

As you said, it's pretty craptastic. If you like boxed sets with excellent packaging, this may be a good item for you. It has absolutely no new figures in it and from what Diamond tells us, there's no mold variations or deco changes either. It's more or less a good deal with 7 figures for $35, which is better than you would get if you bought them individually... but there's the issue of your likely not needing this. The Vader was issued three times-- once with a clear helmet, once in all black, and once with snow markings-- so even that wouldn't be a big different item for most fans.

For die-hard collectors who open their toys, this is a rotten item, surely. For new (or new-ish) collectors, it's a good item-- and for packaging fiends, odds are you won't be able to do much better than this. As Star Wars marches on, there will be a lot of new blood going "hey, I don't have figure X" and since it appears a lot of collectors are either too lazy or too stupid to buy them on eBay for mere pennies on the dollar, there's going to be a big market in Hasbro going and repackaging them again and again and they will sell.

This should be a great gift item, or a great item for kids. But for collectors? Well, it depends on what floats your boat. If all you want are those figures, and you don't have them, I'm going to officially revoke your right to complain about not being able to find toys. (You can get Zuckuss on eBay by himself for under $5 before shipping. No excuses, you have the ability to get pretty much any toy you could ever want-- if it's out-- for a decent price.)

10. I have a quick question. I just received my Holo-Leia in the mail. The weird thing is that she has no guns in her hands, but there is a space cutout in the blister for guns to be there. Is she supposed to have guns in her hands? Should I keep it or return it? Would someone on ebay be interested in this sort of "error"?

Yes, this is the exact kind of error that you can put on eBay and make millions of dollars. Heck, billions! Why stop there? You should go buy all the others on eBay too and resell them because it is such a hot item. After all, that's what this hobby is all about-- making a bundle on eBay!

...OK, I got it out of my system. This item was originally intended to have guns and the toy was changed and the packaging was not. This sort of thing happens all the time, and just happened a few years ago when Hasbro shrank the lightsabers down from their previously massive length to the normal one you see today.


eBay is good. Well, it is for older stuff. Most fans don't know this, but smart fans like you should definitely know that the key to getting a toy you want is not to hope Hasbro reissues it, but you go to eBay and look it up. Sometimes you can get a screaming deal in a lot-- someone has the figure you want, plus seven others, for like ten bucks. You'd be amazed. So before you petition Hasbro-- or worse, me-- for some toy that has been released that you just can't find, go look on eBay. The toys you want are most likely out there, unless you want UK/Asia bonus Pit Droids or maybe Eopies, those you should keep pestering Hasbro for. Friggin' Pit Droids.

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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