Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
March 20, 2006
1. Just a couple of questions. I know for one collectors have been asking for a super articulated final duel Luke Skywalker figure. Any hopes or rumors of a Battle of the Second Death Star Wave?
Secondly, what happened to the images of Luke, Vader, and the Rebel Trooper from the upcomming Endor wave? They were all rumored to be retools/repaints/repacks, so any hopes of new sculpts even tho the rest of the wave (minus Palpatine) are all new. Whats the word?
I can answer this question with a Fun Industry Fact. Or "FIF." I found out that while some companies love to roll out news of their product lines months and months in advance, Hasbro likes to play it a little closer to the vest. On the whole, Hasbro doesn't tend to reveal stuff these days more than four or so months out. Who while Hasbro does make lists of product, and some of those do get out, they're highly subject to change (for example, it's my understanding the post-VvV Joes were all planned out) and as such, Hasbro doesn't always want to have to explain why they "changed their mind" or "ruined the line" or what have you. As such, there are MANY assortments coming this year which I don't have a CLUE about yet, so some of these figures which have been listed on many a list just plain have not been announced yet. If memory serves, the Yavin wave was slated to be around the end of the line as we know it, which probably means Summer.
As far as the repaints/repacks, so far, Hasbro doesn't typically show all those early except when they unveil official photography of the whole wave in an official capacity (Star Wars.com, Hasbro.com) or to an online store (we got to announce Hoth at Entertainment Earth, for example. Hee.) The Death Star wave has only been previewed at Toy Fair. Hasbro either forgot or neglected to bring the rest, *OR* what we saw might be it. We don't know yet. (The wave, for those who may have missed it, already includes Chief Chirpa, C-3PO, The Emperor, and a Death Star Gunner with the rest MIA.)
SO. Stay tuned, basically, photos will be showing up very soon. They have to, we're almost caught up with all the announcements.
2. I have to say I am really starting to get into Titanium ships...2 questions.
Do you think this could open up the doors for a few EU ships (Torrent Starfighter, Outrider, E-wing) and few other ships (V-wing, Grevious fighter)?
Is there a deluxe scale Venator planned? The small scale doesn't do a ship this cool justice.
As Hasbro moves Titanium forward, I think the chances for new vehicles from non-movie sources will get better in some cases. After all, at some point the potential sales for an obscure vehicle from Star Wars (to the point it may as well be made-up) will be able to outsell any from-the-show Battlestar Galactica item. I'm not overly optimistic that the Outrider, which we haven't seen or heard from since about 1997 will make the list, but the Clone's Torrent Starfighter is high on my wish list for a toy in any size-- with the upcoming Clone Wars show, it might be possible. And the V-Wing, well, it's in the games-- so maybe!
As far as an Ultra-sized Venator, the Clone Attack Ship isn't on my radar for that size as of yet, but anything is possible. I'm still hoping to see Jedi Starfighters of all kinds in that scale, myself, so here's hoping that the line takes off, that everybody collects them all, and gives Hasbro an excuse to keep making new and more obscure vehicles for us junkies. I'd still like to see a Corporate Alliance Tank Droid in a toy format. Why? They made a friggin' model kit of it, but no toys. Where's the justice?
3. Have you heard which pod race pilots will be included as part of the 2-pack for the Saga 2 Naboo wave?If not,who are your guesses?
Well, sadly, I don't know for sure who they'll be yet. I'd wager on Ben Quadrinaros with the other being a wild card. A pit droid would make me very happy, though.
4. concerning the Fan's Choice figure.In a few days we'll all see the Top 25 but how about the rest?Is there any way of getting hands on the numbers for 26-50 or 26-100 atleast?I like a lot of others, would love to see the complete list in some shape or form, but that's probably out of the question right?Do we all have to email Toyfare and make a demand for the list?
I'd say bug ToyFare but I don't know if this is something they'd consider worth mentioning. I hope so-- I'm quite curious. (I'm also curious how many voted. I don't believe a bunch of people got together and specifically asked for a super poseable Luke.)
5. What's your opinion on the [Ultimate Galactic Hunt] figures--the Foil card and silver Holos and the "Greatest Hits" figures?Do you share the same opinion as the majority or not?
I don't know the majority opinion. I know what the angry people on forums say, but that's a tiny drop in the bucket of fandom at large.
The question for me is, "do they serve their purpose?" The UGH figures do, but the purpose sucks. The idea is to make chase figures to make fans crazy. Galoob tried this with UltraForce, and nobody cared. Mattel did a lot of chase figures and, while there was a lot of initial buzz, it worse off. Toy Biz seems to be doing OK with theirs, but they're alternate headed figures or repaints-- REAL variants. On the whole, I think UGH is the best way to execute this sort of thing. If you're going to make a variation, best it be one that I personally won't miss from my collection. Shiny logos, stands, and holo figures are cool, and I may try to get a set of silver holos some day, but beyond that? If these didn't exist, I wouldn't miss them.
As far as the "Episode III Heroes & Villains Assortment," the purpose for these is to keep selling the still-popular ROTS toys to kids. In theory, I'm fine with them. The packaging is attractive and the characters are largely good choices-- although I'm sick of Destroyer Droids. If they pegwarm, then I have a problem with them. I doubt they will. Odds are collectors will buy them up first.
6. So Rebelscum has pictures of what they say is the SDCC Exclusive this
year: a Crimson Empire black Stormtrooper! I've never been to San
Diego, and I've also never been excited about one of their exclusives
before, so my question is this: Based on past SDCC exclusives, is it
going to be hard to get a bunch of these? I'm dying to get -like- 6 of
them. The convention usually has a limit per person, I believe, but
will I be able to get my half dozen or so off shop.starwars.com? I'm
sure you're stoked about this figure too, but I'm worried people won't
be able to get as many as they'd like. Or am I being a spoiled
Last year, the figure was a very boring holographic Leia. You could preorder her online, and pick her up at the show. You were GUARANTEED a figure. Plus, some were sold online later. It's a situation in which everybody wins. I want a squad myself-- and I hope the quantities are going to be big enough to make up for that. (I *rarely* say "I'll take 6 of that $10 figure to troop build." This time, I'm going to do just that.) Odds are everybody who wants one-- if you keep your eyes on the web, you'll likely be covered.
And if you think it sucks, well, too bad. Crimson Empire rocks. (This one is different from the Russ Manning Blackhole Troopers as those had white/silver lenses, you see.)
7. Hi, Adam. I was lucky enough to snag a Utapau Clone Trooper recently, but I noticed that it's marked as being part of the "Battle of Utapau." Makes sense, of course, but in the Rebelscum Picture Gallery, it's listed as part of the "Battle of Coruscant." What's the deal? Some of the figures listed under "Battle of Coruscant" could surely be counted among the "Battle of Utapau," such as General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Clone Commander Cody. Do you have the final inside info? Will a "Battle of Utapau" wave be breaking off from "Battle of Coruscant"?
The "Battle of Whatever" markings are actually figure-specific, not wave-specific. For example, Scorch has one that says "Expanded Universe." So if you're looking to use those as a wave identifier, well, don't.
8. I take it that the Jedi Force figures are history? I didn't see any new announcements at Toy Fair... so I figured that Hasbro is probably replacing them with the Force Battlers. I ask this because my son LOVED the Jedi Force figures, has them ALL and was looking forward to new releases. Also, was the Obi-Wan and Boga EVER available? I know that Entertainment Earth advertised them for a long time but I think their last catalogue did not have the set listed. Any info would be helpful.
Hasbro's latest product lists don't mention the line at all-- not even old figures being shipped in old packaging. The Obi-Wan and Boga did indeed ship (mine came from EE), but it's not what you'd call common. Apparently it was easier to get in Europe, so I advise trades or eBay for that one.
9. is there anyway to contact hasbro personnally like a place where we can write down our figure ideas?
Sort of. In the past 10 years, fans have brought up pretty much every possible figure idea to Hasbro at one point or another and they continue to surprise us by either doing it, or doing something else. You can talk to them at conventions, and write them via their web site, but supposedly letters to the address on toy packaging works best.
The best thing to do if you want a figure made? Make a big stink about it online. Take the Ice Cream Maker Guy as an example-- Willrow Hood started out as a JOKE around 2000 and today, he's on the Fan's Choice poll at ToyFare. So you can make it happen, just raise public awareness and if they agree with you, you might get it. (Or in the case of BoShek, well, maybe it was opposite day.)
10. I was wondering, with all the references to Bothans in the Star Wars Saga, why is it we have never seen one on the screen or immortalized in plastic? Why not an expanded universe Rebel Alliance/New Republic leader Borsk Fey'lya? He steps in as a leader right after Bail Organa dies on Alderaan. Probably for the same reason Quinlan Vos hasn't been sculpted, yet (huthumm!, Hasbro).
And on the topic of missing movie appearences from the storyline, I thought for sure Revenge of the Sith would have Correlian Garm Bel Iblis featured, especially in the deleted Petition of the 2000 scene, as he is one of the trio responsible for the eventual declaration of the Rebel Alliance, which leads us where it all began in Episode IV. Any thoughts?
This goes to the question of the Expanded Universe, and how much if it is, I hate to use the term, "real." Canon is more appropriate.
Most fans or people that see the movies know what they see on the screen. That's it. They don't know what a Bothan is, they don't know what a Garm Bel Iblis is, and they don't know what a Thrawn is. This is who Hasbro perceives as its target market-- a wide group of fans who will not be confused by the toys they release. Now, I read Heir to the Empire so I know, and the comics too. But will most fans be excited by a white guy with facial hair in a boring costume? I don't know-- maybe. I'd love to see Hasbro make just new characters and maybe a few token remakes for a while, but it doesn't seem realistic yet. (But hey, if 5 KOTOR figures made Fan's Choice...)
I'm still playing catch-up for prequel-based non-comic Expanded Universe. From where my ignorance stands, I haven't seen Garm that I can recall anywhere but the Zahn stuff from 15 years ago. As such, he wasn't in the movies and for all I know, more or less out of the continuity. (A lot of stuff from the comics and novels don't quite tie in to the prequels now, so are they valid?)
This is more or less rhetorical-- at this point, there's probably going to be lots of debate in fan circles and inside Hasbro of what will make a good non-movie figure. Despite a character's importance in the movie, in a comic, or anywhere else, odds are rabid fan demand, a visual appeal, and some level of popularity will help most see plastic. For example, would you rather have a Bothan, the rest of Delta Squad (Republic Commando), or Kir Kanos? Or perhaps one of the Airborne Clone Troopers, Worok, the original Klaatu, or a new Tarkin?
At this point in the fan life cycle, there are fewer "obvious" choices for figure production than ever before. Who knows what we'll buy? We certainly don't. If it sucks, we'll skip it. And we might not know it sucks until it comes out. Not saying Bel Iblis will suck, but if he doesn't turn out "right," will fans skip it en masse? Or know who he is at all? Obviously, we all do. We sit around reading columns and forums, we're supposed to know all this stuff. And if we all buy EU, it might happen-- but as always, be vocal, vote with your dollars, and make a big stink about it. (Those two aren't high on my want list, but I'm sure my favorites like Carnor Jax, Ulic Qel-Droma, and Lumiya aren't on yours, either.)
Originally here I had this big long thing about Fan's Choice, but as I already have no sense of humor about the notion of voting in a joke character-- unless you really want to buy it-- why bother?
I dug through my figures this weekend and pulled out many but not all of my various Expanded Universe figures. One of the most common complaints I get from you guys on the topic is that they never make any. While I agree they don't make enough, there's tons. Although I think the big thing is "what constitutes an Expanded Universe figure?" which many of you would say "what I (I meanng you) want" where I tend to have a looser definition-- basically anything that's not an original Hasbro/Kenner concept and not a "cut from the movie" design like some of the recent Revenge of the Sith Clone Troopers. With that in mind, we've done rather well.
For example, 3 Darth Mauls based on either concept art or comic books. Spacetrooper, Darktrooper, McQuarrie Stormtrooper. Xizor. Thrawn. Durge. Four new characters from Shadows of the Empire, that line of eight Expanded Universe figures, at least five POTJ figures based on concept art, published or abandoned comics, two concept-based Saga figures, roughly 10 Clone Wars figures... I could go on. And argue which counts and which doesn't. But in short, we've done very well.
The reason I go on is I pulled out one of my all-time favorite toys. Not just Star Wars, either-- my very own Dark Empire Luke Skywalker. This is a personal favorite because, well, it was one of the first things I harassed Kenner about and it was from the very first modern Star Wars comic. And I freaking LOVED Dark Empire. So to you KOTOR fans, I say best of luck-- there's nothing better than getting a toy of your favorite comic book or video game characters, and hopefully Hasbro will do a mini-line stuffed with tons of non-movie characters. (Good ones though. Jaina Solo as a Rebel Pilot? That could be cool.) Everything has potential-- just make sure to tell your friends about the better comics and novels and games, not everybody has had the luxury of reading up on all the adventures of the Skywalker clan since 1977 like we have. (Then again, some of us have, and fell asleep when reading the Jedi Academy comics. So you can't win 'em all. Oh, and Vader's Quest sucked. That one I won't give you if you were a fan. Pure crap. Bring back the hoojibs first.)
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.)
Click here to read the previous installment of Galactic Hunter Q&A!