Q&A For September 1, 2005


1. I recently got the Toys R Us exclusive Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter, and contrary to what I heard about the decasl beeing pre-applied they were not After I opened it up I found that the decals for the Sneak Preview Anakin Skywalker Jedi Starfighter had been included. Is there any way that I can contact Hasbro and get the correct decals or am I doomed to have R4 G9 head with R2 D2 body decals?
--A. Tom

I have contacted Hasbro's customer service online and received what seems like an automated email telling me I'll get the correct label sheet. I have not yet received this label sheet, nor have I received an additional notice. At least one reader has been told that a replacement was not available and another was told that it wasn't currently available-- so I have no idea what the final outcome is. But what I do know is I've got an unfinished, overpriced repaint still sitting in the box and I want to finish putting it together. (I like my Jedi Starfighters.)

2. Ok, not so much a question, but comments...it makes sense for Hasbro to make a new R5-D4 to fit in with their planet themes for the new saga2 packaging. Tatooine, after all, is the first one. They'd be stupid not to just mold a new head and plop it on an existing astromech body, then go crazy with the repaints. Just make sure to tell them to paint the red panels on the back of R5-D4, since they forgot to do that on both the crummy POTF2 version, and the beautiful 12" version (yet kenner did it right on their version).

I have yet to crack how Hasbro decides how and when to do a repaint-- for example, they've had years to repaint Battle Droids, Protocol Droids, and Astromech Droids into various ranks. They could also repaint the Scout Trooper and Snow Trooper into quickie ROTS Clones, or do battle damaged versions of pretty much anything-- yet, they don't. They also didn't do a "new mold" Scanning Trooper by changing the color of the Imperial Officer's suit to grey. It doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, really. But that's how it works... Hasbro isn't like most indie toy companies who make a bazillion variations on a theme all at once, like Diamond Select's new Star Trek line which has something like four Rikers in series one.

While some disagree, I'm all for repaints when appropriate. The Episode I Battle Droid mold, a hypothetical new R5-D4 mold, and so many others would all make for great repaint fodder. As long as it's new enough, I say bring them on-- I'm sure I'm not alone here!

3. what do you think about hasbro possibly reissuing the ep1 droids that are so rare, R2-B1 and TC-14? Checking Ebay, those seem to go for pretty high prices, so the demand still seems to be there. It would be even nicer if they used better molds for these characters, especially a 3 legged R2-B1. Hasbro should also include the droid harness from the queen's starship once again. On a related note, what about putting that red R2 unit from that playset out on a card? What are your thoughts on that one ever making another appearance?

Like most things, I think elevating these issues to Hasbro's attention will make all the difference. There's a lot of fans (myself included) that have thought about repainting one of the better Astromech molds into a better R2-B1. And TC-14? She's just a nice looking figure. I personally know of no plans to do either of them again, but I'd be giddy to see either done in "new" versions (repaint ROTS C-3PO and R4-G9) or just straight repacks-- I think a lot of fans feel the same way. With the exception of R3-T7, pretty much every droid has done fairly decent sales and didn't end up on clearance, so let's bring out some more of those buggers!

4. Hello. I believe someone had asked where the EP II sneak preview droid, R3-T7 appeared in the film. You said he was a back ground character in the Zam chase scene. I was under the impression that he was merely Capt Typho’s Droid that accompanied him to Courescant in his Naboo fighter. I think you can see him for a second right around when the ship exploded.

The images I've seen look like R2-A6 (or a variant on him) as the dome was clearly... not clear. So I'm still going with R3-T7 being a Coruscant street rat/tramp freighter droid.

5. I saw the Anakin/Vader Evolutions set at Target the other day. I think it looked better in the pictures. Do you have this set yet, and if so, is it worth it? $20 for 3 figures I have other, better versions of doesn't seem like a good buy.

It depends on your love of the characters. I think AOTC Anakin is great except for the head deco, ROTS Anakin is magnificent, and the incorrectly identified ANH Darth Vader is wonderful. To me, yes, it's $20 worth of awesome if you thought the Vintage figures from 2004 were worth the prices, otherwise it should be pretty obvious to you if it's worth it or not. These are the super-posable and most likely "definitive" versions of these figures.

6. I have been noticing that both Walmart and Target seem to be recieving identical cases of Collection 1 figures wich contain 2 X clone trooper #6 and 1xClone Commander #33 in the assortment. However it seems that Target is getting only white Clones and Red Commanders, while Walmert gets the the Red Shock trooper and Green Commander variants. Is it possible that these two figures will be exclusive to Walmart or will they soon be shipping to other stores. Also have you heard any more info on future case ratios of these two variants because currently there does not seem to be nearly enough to go around.
--(Another) Brian

As stated previously, ABSOLUTELY NO REPAINTS ARE EXCLUSIVE TO ANYBODY. They're all just damned hard to find in most markets. The problem comes in that the repaints aren't considered "different" from the originals to Hasbro-- each case they ship could have either version. If Hasbro made these as new figures, they would likely be easier to find, but they are all still shipping and we expect to see them in the future because we have the eye of the tiger and the tenacity of the cockroach.

7. Are any of the Battle Packs exclusives?

Several, unfortunately. Target has a five-figure Clone Trooper Battle Pack, Toys "R" Us has the Hoth one, and Kmart has the Jedi Temple Assault & Death Star Throne Room sets. The real kicker about the Toys "R" Us one, as you've likely heard, was the packaging screw-up-- the box photo shows the 1982 AT-AT Commander instead of the POTF2 version of the character, complete with the vintage gun!

8. Hi, recently hasbro released its 500th figure - the vader in medidation chamber, this made me wonder: how does hasbro go in its numbering? For example: do figures like the max rebo band sets or the princes leia collection add up to this 500 or are this just the basic figures? And what about the repaint of the clone pilot: is this 1 of the 500 or does the black one count as a second one?

Is there a list around of the entire 500? This would help me organise my collection a bit - because the latest catalogue I can find (with pictures of every itme) only runs till early episode 1....

Congratulations, Grasshopper! It seems the student has figured it out-- Hasbro's numbering for these things is arbitrary. Basically, they're wrong-- Hasbro gives numerous answers for who does and does not make the cut, and as far as I can tell, their selections for 100th and 200th figures were wrong, too. It's possible what Hasbro should be saying is that the figure celebrates 300 or 500 figures, not is the 300th or 500th figure. The POTF85 figures appear on their list before all the Ewoks & Droids animated figures-- and as such, it is not possible for Han Solo (Carbonite) to be #100. Hasbro previously stated that the list on the back of the Fett package wasn't 100% accurate, and while I'm fine with letting this slide, well, the deluge of questions we still get about "how many?" shows that it does really matter to collectors.

I also don't believe their tallies include the Bonus figures (Pit Droid, Battle Droid, Clone Troopers), Tiger game figures (Darth Maul & Anakin), the various Clone repaints, deluxe figures, etc. At one point, Hasbro said the list simply included basic carded figures, but there's enough that you can see on their list on the 300th Boba Fett to prove this is a load of crap. This isn't meant as a slight to the big H, as they're doing a good job-- it's just any time you release a "definitive list of all things whatever," there's going to be fans nitpicking at it, and there's another issue-- what constitutes a figure?

Yes, that's a cue for a tangent.

I know some fans have written in saying that they don't believe the Tiger Electronics Darth Maul Speeder Game Darth Maul figure counts because he never was released. I have three in my closet. Some fans don't count the bonus Pit Droids because they were never released in the USA. (A load of crap, a figure's a figure.) While many fans have asked me for The Definitive List of Star Wars Action Figures, there's a lot of disagreement on what should be on it. You might say it's easy, but let me assure you, it is not. Let's look at some examples.

Example #1: Death Star Trooper. In 1998, he came out with a Freeze Frame Action Slide and a Giant Ridiculous Weapon. In 2002, he came out in an accessory set at Target with the gun and lots of other goodies. Are these the same figure, or different figures?

Example #2: CommTech Stormtrooper. In 1998, CommTech version with rifle and gun rack. In 2002, the four-pack troop builder came out, minus the battle damage action feature, minus the gun racks, and with one of two different guns. In 2003 and 2004, the figure came out carded again with the gun rack, rifle, and a new stand. Just how many figures are these?

Example #3: Scout Trooper. In 2001, the same figure was released twice-- once with battle damage, and once without. (Hasbro did NOT count these as separate figures.) In 2004, a new carded version came out, in 2002, an accessory set version came out (with the ass literally put on backwards), and in 2004, there was the Battlefront version with a new gun. How many figures does this count as?

Example #4: Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Flashback Version in 1998 and in 2004, it came out again in the KMart Cantina set. Are these two figures, or just one?

Example #5: Luke Skywalker. There was a CommTech version in 1999, and he had a CommTech chip, some sort of tool, and a model T-16 Skyhopper. In Saga in 2003, he was rereleased with a clear stand and a lightsaber-- and he was again re-rereleased with an opaque grey stand. And there's a few packaging/stand variants mixed in there. Now, how many figures are there in this case?

While some of these may be obvious to you, I can guarantee you that if you put ten collectors in a room they'd argue a blue streak over which is a new item or not. There's no doubt that it's a new product, but if you were putting together a complete set of one of each loose figure, would it count? And how about all those OTC repaints? Are those new, or just variations? And do variations count?

In a nutshell, Hasbro probably won't ever release a list that we'll all agree with. We see the blue and red Royal Guards as two figures, and they might not-- I'm not sure how their tallies work but I believe they're done without any hard and fast rules. So, take these "commemorative" figures as you will and don't believe the "it's the 500th figure!" hype-- it ain't. But it does celebrate 500 figures being made available.

9. Will we see a Sidious role play lightsaber?

Maybe-- Hasbro hasn't announced any new ones, and the new assortments for Fall don't include any new lightsabers. But 2006? Anything's possible.

10. Do you think that with the success of the Galactic Heroes line, that Hasbro might re-release the original Playskool multipacks that came out? I'm dying to get the Stompin Wampa set, and no collection is complete without a cute little Darth Maul, but they were never released in Australia, and they still fetch some pretty high prices on Ebay.

While there are no plans for rereleasing those old sets as is, some of those figures will eventually trickle out as part of the Galactic Heroes line-- the Speederbikes, I believe, I heard were on the way again. I'm actually quite surprised and shocked that these things are going for about $50 now, so here's hoping Hasbro will at least reissue the figures for those that missed out. I wouldn't hold my breath for the Naboo Fighter, though, as Hasbro seems to have this insane notion that kids don't want chunky versions of the vehicles-- perhaps the great sales of the X-wing and Falcon weren't enough?

...actually, after poking around eBay, it seems nearly all of these sets are going for about $50 now. That's a little nutty seeing as how Kay-Bee stores were stuck with them through most of 2003. I guess checking your local stores and trading might be a good thing to do, and then make sure Hasbro knows there's demand for these, along with any Galactic Heroes figures!


Item: In case you missed it, I reviewed the Jedi Temple Assault set which I consider myself VASTLY lucky to have found on the way in to work on Monday. Long story short: three rights, two wrongs. Or if you want to see the glass as half-empty, the 501st Clones have deco that doesn't quite match the movie, but they're still awesome.

I was lucky enough to see a Target TIE Fighter on the morning of August 31, so I'm working on a review for early next week. In short: buy it.

I'm in a pinch for filler text, so I'll shill for my personal site: 16bit.com. It's not a Star Wars site so much as it is a "kill time at work" site. I can personally guarantee there is next to nothing on this site that should make you think.

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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