Q&A For November 14, 2005
1. Wasn't there supposed to be some new SD toys from BK to coincide with the DVD release? What happened?
While the actual start date of the promotion is debatable, the scheduled start date was November 7. First sighting of these items was on November 4, though-- but you can find these items in stores now. If you're a betting man, though, I advise you wait and get the set on eBay as the first set seemed to drop pretty quickly after the promo ended.
2. Is it my imagination or has your column
gotten longer over the past few months? Is there any
way you can trim the questions and answers down a bit?
3. Okay, if you haven't seen this vehicle my question won't make sense but here goes. How does Hasbro make such a large and cool vehicle like the R.O.O.C. when the only venue for selling it is online? I'm a complete believer that vehicles cost money to produce and therefore need to be profitable on the market but this just seems to go against every marketing law I've heard. Can you imagine Hasbro putting this kind of energy into an AT-TE, Turbo Tank or some some other Star Wars Vehicle. If they did that they wouldn't have to sell it on some obscure website which most kids and parents don't know about. It makes me wonder.
The G.I. Joe ROCC-- and pretty much the whole Direct to Consumer range-- were meant for a "BAT Attack" expansion, before the entire concept was retooled into Sigma 6. So all those comic book packs, the new HISS, all that jazz-- that was going to be sold in stores, but Sigma 6 ended up redefining Joes and now seems to be selling out at some (but not all) stores. So it looks like this was sensible to do.
Problem is, while converting to the 8-inch scale, they spent lots of time and money on some new vehicles, some of which are the top of the modern era. I mean, I don't think Hasbro has made many vehicles this fun for Star Wars. The new HISS is an amazingly fun little toy. So this puts the ROCC in the "special case" category-- that and there's no licensing fees for G.I. Joe.
If Hasbro had developed a Star Wars vehicle to that stage, I can guarantee you something similar would happen-- it'd be offered up as an exclusive and it'd find distribution somewhere. If you spend hundreds of thousands developing a toy, and there's a small market for it, it's a pretty safe bet the manufacturer will try to find a way to get it out. (Look at the Shuttle. FAO exclusive, eventually sold to Entertainment Earth and elsewhere. These things happen.)
As far as HasbroToyShop's obscurity, I'm not too sure how it's doing. I wish I knew, but it seems they're selling out of things so they have to be doing at least merely OK.
4. Do you know that with the Saga 2 Episode I Battles if the Darth Sidious Holograph and Sio Bibble will be reissued? I missed those the first time around and don't want to pay the high online prices to grab one.
I assume what you meant to ask is if Sio Bibble and the holographic Darth Sidious figures will be released in battle packs. The short answer is "I don't even know of any rumors to do these, so cough up some dough or get trading."
There have been THREE unique molds to represent the Emperor in various holographic states-- for full size ones. There's also a tiny holo figure that was packed with two other figures. As such, I think Hasbro will be somewhat resistant to new versions (or new old versions) of the character for the time being, but if someone makes a good enough Battle Pack, who knows? I wouldn't hold your breath, though.
5. I have a question about Ewoks. With the announced Chief Chirpa for 2006, have all of the vintage Ewoks been made in the new line? I remember Wicket, Logray, and Teebo, but no other. Have any other Ewoks (like Paploo) been in the new line?
Well, for starters, nothing's been announced yet. Hasbro is notorious for shifting figures around so that a list-- unconfirmed as it may be-- may be less than authentic when the next year comes around. It also might be completely true. All I know for sure is that I haven't seen the official Hasbro 2006 list myself, and as such, I take this with a grain of salt, awesome as it sounds and as hopeful as I am that it's 100% real. (Also, Hasbro sometimes futzes the names on these things. So patience is a good thing here.)
So, let's assume Chief Chirpa is coming. That means the 1983 Ewoks are more or less done. We got Teebo, so that pushes us through most of 1984. Still in the wings: Warok, Romba, Lumat. There are some arguments that since the vintage figures aren't exactly authentic to the pictures, and since modern Ewoks don't always have names (Ewok with glider), it could be argued we have some of them in the modern line. I'm not a fan of this argument. So as of today, we still need three Ewoks who are specifically named Warok, Romba, and Lumat.
As for the others, here's a quick rundown of Modern Era Ewoks:
Logray: Released in 1998 in the Ewoks two-pack and the OTC Endor gift set at Toys "R" Us.
Wicket: Released alongside all instances of Logray, sold individually in the OTC line, and packaged with Endor Princess Leia in the Princess Leia Collection.
Ewok #1: Released with Complete Galaxy Endor set in 1998. (Modified Wicket mold.)
Paploo: Sold with the AT-ST and Speederbike in/around 2001. (Modified Wicket mold.)
Teebo: Released in the POTJ line in early 2001, released on Saga packaged in late '01-early '02.
Ewok #2: Sold with Ultra Glider in 2003. (Modified Wicket mold.)
6. Is it true they will be releasing the star wars movies in 3-D? If so when? oh and will they be showing up in theatres?
Lucasfilm has indeed confirmed these are being considered, possibly for release in 2007. So you've got a while for these. It's also likely there are going to be tweaks here and there, too, so these could be Very Special Editions.
7. Why are some of the deluxe ROTS figures so hard to find? I haven't been able to find the Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader transformation since June in my area. The other ones I can't find are the Crab Droid, the Dwarf Spider Droid, the Vulture Droid, General Grievous, and Yoda on the Can cell. Do you think there will be any of these arriving soon for the holidays?
A lot of them sold well-- really well, actually. The problem was a large number of Palpatines and Stass Allies went unsold, so stores were under the impression they had sufficient inventory because they did, in fact, have quantities of deluxe figures. Things have gotten much better in recent weeks, but some figures remain elusive-- I have seem large numbers of many of these at Wal-Marts as of late and I'm sure more are due to show up elsewhere as well. Just go hunting more than once a week if you really want them.
8. I really have my fingers crossed that Hasbro will come through with a Quin Lon Vos fig seeing as he is in TPM. Could we finally(!!) be seeing a subtle shift with EU? I really don't think Hasbro has anything to lose throwing in one or two EU guys in an assortment
While I do agree that it's sensible to try an odd EU figure here and there, Hasbro has a lot to lose with one dud figure. The Neimoidian Trooper has managed to do things previously unseen by a pegwarmer in that it's a troop builder and nobody wants it-- at all. It was also packed one per case when it was warming pegs. As such, there's a lot to lose if a figure doesn't work. Of course, Hasbro has seen the light, and we will indeed be seeing the Universe expand in 2006.
The rumors for 2006 certainly do indicate multiple figures from non-movie sources are a possibility, and when pressed for an answer to the EU question, I got an answer from Hasbro that was something like "anything from the entire saga is possible" so I would say there are lots of safe bets. Who knows who will have what as an exclusive in 2005? Surely the Fan Club will get something nifty (or I hope so, after Holo Leia) at San Diego.
As far as Mr. Vos being in Phantom Menace, this is debatable-- while there is a character in there which has been identified as such, it wasn't the original intent. Hooray for retroactive character introductions.
I have seen the pictures of the animated clone commander Cody as well as the unleashed Cody and they are both really cool. I was wondering if you have heard any rumblings about a proper 4 inch version.
Yes, dammit. What is this, 10 times now?
10. Are there any more exclusives coming in 2005?
There are just a few left at this point. So far, the Separation of the Twins (Wal-Mart), Utapaun Shadow Trooper (Target), Astromech Droid Packs (EE), and Holiday Vader (Shop Star Wars) haven't yet arrived. The other stuff has just arrived or is in the process of arriving, as far as I can tell, which should leave 2005 more or less done.
I goofed up last week. I wrote a correction in the column itself, so here's what it says now: "...the Snowtrooper is a bit of a question mark-- but I can tell you,
those are the same legs the Saga and OTC ones have I goofed. I'm not quite sure about those legs, I was looking at a hi-res image and squinting at the ankles so much I totally missed the fact that it had kneepads all of a sudden." That's what I get for not seeing the forest for the trees!
As far as R2-D2 in that first Hoth wave? Who knows. I know one or two instances in the past where Hasbro's site said one thing and Hasbro's sales department said something else. Hasbro's own page says the figure is electronic. The picture is not the electronic mold we've seen used time and again with some modifications since 1998, as part of POTF2, Saga the First, OTC, and ROTS. What I see is the "new" body with the new legs-- wired feet and all-- and to me, that looks like the R4-G9 mold in the picture. It is indeed a prototype and subject to change-- just like the 501st Clone and Boba Fett from the new Saga Collection who has a new rocket and legs from another figure. Things change, so any answer I give about upcoming product-- and anyone else, for that matter-- is subject to change. Hasbro has changed a few of these figures once and there's no reason to say they won't change their minds again a few times.
In between searching forum postings for the calling of my person to be tarred and feathered or otherwise destroyed, I also write for and do a podcast on 16bit.com. Which I may have mentioned, oh, only every week. But hey, eventually, my readership will go from six readers to as many as seven. With the right ad campaign, I think I can hit double digits by the new year.
The intended schedule for the holiday Q&A season is squarely on the readership-- in previous years, I took off from Thanksgiving through New Year's. I'm willing to keep answering, badly, if you're willing to keep asking questions. So for next time, 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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