Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
May 8, 2006

 

1. When the Titanium ships came out I was an idiot who didn't payed attention to them now I really like them and are thinking of collecting them, I already got a couple. They are really nice and since Hasbro is not making new vehicles anytime soon this is a good way to satisfy that craving( I want me a blue A-wing). My question is this: Is there a site (besides Rebelscum) where I can get the whole list of vehicles that have come out to see the ones I missed, I know that's a lot but any help is greatly appreciated.
--Martin

While not 100% Star Wars, I keep a list of the entire Titanium Series range at 16bit.com, which is kinda my craphole for content.

2. Are we are ever going to see your "...full review of these figures-- oh, don't pretend like you didn't see it coming-- should come when the figures hit in January." (Q&A Dec. 19, 2005)? Or did I miss it? I'm especially curious about R3-Y2, do you have a screen shot of this guy, because the R3 unit in the Hoth command center has gray legs and yellowy colored highlights. Take a look at the second page of this thread for a clearer pic. The one we got appears to be a repaint of R3-T7 in a dark green and minus the "battle damage" - notice the painted "shoulder" - unique to R3-T7. And if, in fact, the EE one is just a botched paint job, does that mean we'll never get a correct version? And the same question for mispainted R3-T2? And is there any particular reason you chose this guy over the most excellent blue Death Star R3-O1? Really though, love the droids, here's hoping for more!
--Alfie

While there will be a feature which will include the droids shortly, a full review may be a while off-- but I can definitely address these for now.

R3-Y2 is the green-headed stepchild of the set. I didn't ask for it. It's boring. There are many R3 units on Hoth, and the orange one was released a few years ago in a different gift set as R3-A2. So that one is on the market.

When it comes to issues of coloring and marking, to some extent, I have to defer to Hasbro/Lucasfilm as I've never really noticed R3-Y2 in the movies and as such am not going to tell you "no man, it's cool." I wouldn't call it a turkey, and as a toy guy (which is one of my main interests), well, I'm OK with it even if it's "wrong." As far as I'm concerned, Hasbro can make new droids all day long, although in this case I wish it could've been a little different. With issues like lighting, lenses, and other items in the image making an item appear as if it's a different color, it's IMPOSSIBLE to say with 100% certainty that an item is a specific color. I mean, look at Han's jacket on Hoth. Galoob said "Han wears black, period." Hasbro said, in/around 1996, "this is the color of the jacket as seen in the archives, pretty much exactly." In 1980, Kenner saw it and went "oh, blue!" And in 2003, Hasbro had a fun little campaign that made both versions so whatever camp you were in, you could get the one you wanted. Coloring issues are a permanent problem in this line because what fans see, and how it actually is, don't always connect.

Hasbro has a bad track record of astromech coloring when it comes to the R3 series. R3-A2 was released, but with panels painted that shouldn't be, and vice versa. R3-D3 from Star Tours has several incorrect paint ops on his dome alone. And poor, poor R3-T2... not even close. Unfortunately, it happens. If you go through Hasbro's many Astromechs from over the years, you will find "error" panels here and there, and details added/left off where there shouldn't be any. While it pains me to say this, this is one of those times where we may have to say "it was close enough" and move on. (And given the chance, I would have gone with R3-O1.)

And finally, no figure being released today has any bearing on future releases-- if Hasbro wants to do another R2-A6, they very well might down the road. Just because Hasbro had the plain white AOTC Clone in an exclusive for Entertainment Earth didn't prevent it, bafflingly, from showing up in a Wal-Mart figure carry case-- Hasbro does what Hasbro wants.

A few years ago, Hasbro said we'd never see another Tatooine Luke, and in 2004, we got one that cost twice as much. And we're getting another one in about a month. Plus it took Hasbro 10 years to revisit R5-D4 in the modern line. Of the droids in the Entertainment Earth Astromech sets, I am largely very happy with how they turned out. R3-Y2, well, meh. And R3-T2 didn't turn out as expected. But the rest? Good enough for my liking, errors are a part of the line and sometimes, you just have to move on because there's nothing you can do about it.

On the whole, Hasbro hasn't had to deal with many astromech complaints. R3-D3 was all kinds of wrong. Did I hear a single complaint in this column, or ever see one elsewhere? Nope. When it comes to droids, it seems fans are (on the whole) quite forgiving. Short of R5-D4, of course. (Who you will recall from 1996 as being a figure that, aside from his height, was free of errors and precisely designed to the movie. Nothing else was wrong, really.)

3. Since this is the 20th anniversary year for Dark Horse and they are doing things like putting out Star Wars "Legacy", what do you think are the chances that someone will write a story on Darth Plageius this year? And if so, how long would it take for Hasbro to put out a figure of him? I know there are alot of people that are wondering what he is about and what he would (or could) look like!
--Phil

Since we don't know what he looks like, that's exactly why we'll probably never get a toy of him. Dark Horse giving him his own series probably wouldn't be enough, either, as it seems the only characters to get made from a comic come years after the comic came out, with the exception of Clone Wars and Shadows of the Empire. Dark Empire figures came out in 1998, the comics started in 1991. (Although Shirtless Maul came out pretty quickly after his debut. Pervs.)

While lots of us are genuinely curious about his backstory, it hasn't been written yet and it might be a while before Lucasfilm decides to let the novels, comics, or games touch on that subject. If he does appear in the Expanded Universe in some capacity, fan outcry and demand will probably help a lot if he is to ever be made.

I am not optimistic. Like most fans, I have my favorites, but with the endless list of characters left to be made from 6 films, nearly 30 years of comics, and countless books and games and concept art drawings, it does not seem likely that we will see this character in the short term. But if anyone out there wants to do something with this character, hey, I'm all ears.

4. Ever heard anything about Master Replicas doing a 1:1 Han Solo in Carbonite? I know it would be pricey, but if it were done as well as the other MR stuff, I would sell-off a kidney to get one. If they haven't thought about doing one, they really, really should. The one done years ago was okay, but if MR went all out on a new version, the collective pants would shoot off the STAR WARS fan community.
--Dave

While they have been asked, they have provided no details as to when such a mighty collectible might happen. Illusive Originals' Carbonite cost about $1,000 a few years ago, and they rarely show up on the secondary market. So if $1,000 sounds good to you, I'd say send Master Replicas a letter and cross your fingers. I want one myself, but I think it might be difficult when one lives with someone that has an aversion to coffin-like structures in the apartment. (Dammit.)

5. I just read a Q&A column on RebelScum.com that stated that Ziploc and Glad type plasic bags can damage action figures relatively quickly. I am concerned because I have been storing all of my loose action figures in Ziploc bags for probably about 8 years now. Most of my figures have no apparent damage due to the bags, however I have noticed some significant bright greenish discoloring on the softer parts of my SAGA Snowtroopers from just a couple of years ago. Could this be due to the Ziploc bags, or have others had this same problem with their Snowtroopers that have not been stored in bags. Do you have any other similar, but non-damaging storage recommendations for loose figures if it is indeed not a good idea to use these bags?
--Ryan

It's no secret that figures need air. It's also no secret that air and the elements break down plastic. Oh, and sun? Bad. Smoking? Bad. Too much heat? Bad.

From 2002 to about early 2004, Hasbro released numerous figures which has a white color that does tarnish into a greenish coloring under certain conditions. Even carded figures will discolor, and I've noticed this on the quick-draw Padme, the 2002 beeping R2-D2, the ARC Trooper, Wal-Mart's bonus Clone Wars Clone Troopers and the 2002 red Clone Trooper figure, for starters. Opened or sealed, there's little you can do to prevent the discoloration. Although, surprisingly, I found that with a little water and a clean towel, you can rub off some of the discoloring as it seems to be an oily residue. While that's not exactly what you asked, well, do bad, there you go.

When it comes to bags, I suggest a couple of things.
1. Cut small holes in the bag-- but not big enough to lose pieces. I've done this and have experienced no problems as moisture cannot build up when it has a place to escape in a largely dry storage area.
2. Paper is good, too. While not ideal for Star Wars, I store a lot of other figures in paper lunch sacks. No problems so far, I check on them on a fairly regular basis too.

Ultimately, you're screwed. Doomed to fail. These toy figures were not all made with longevity in mind and some of them will be hard to find in good shape. It happens in all toy lines. Transformers from Japan are notorious for brittle gold plastic. The vintage Sears Snaggletooth has silver paint which rubs off when you look at it the wrong way. Stickers on toys have an adhesive that almost always eventually dries out. Heck, even the paint from a lightsaber can come off on a figure's hand, and red plastic often stains other colors of plastic that it touches. (Which has me VERY worried for discolored Saga 2002 lightsabers on figures with "deflections.) All you can do is cross your fingers and realize that all you can do is keep them as good as you can, and over time, there will be problems.

6. how exactly do the Walmarts of the world order SW figures? Since Hasbro has so many waves/assortments/revisions/whatever, do the retailers even pay attention to all of that?
--John

They do, and they don't. Most stores are mega-corporations that don't dwell on the details. It's up to Hasbro to send them the right mixes to maximize profits. It basically works like this: Wal-Mart has an entry for Star Wars in their computer. Assuming their buyer type people don't go "oh, this is old, let's reduce it because that's my decision and I'm awesome," Hasbro will ship them a steady stream of figures to keep product on the shelf, but not to much-- they don't want a glut building up. Hasbro just sends "case 85770," which is the current assortment number, and Wal-Mart doesn't pay attention to the digits following that tell you which version it is. Some retailers do pay attention very closely to the specifics of which cases are coming, who's in them, and so forth. On the whole, though, most of the big stores see toys as a small fish to fry and just want "Star Wars Figures," not "Star Wars Figures Wave 3 Revision 3" or even "whatever case has the most Scorch figures in it."

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the toy aisle was micro-managed at the stores, but I think ultimately figures would be just as hard to find. Be he at 1, 2, or 6 per case, Scorch is popular and I still haven't seen one in a store. (I got one, of course, but have yet to see one in the wild.) The "assortment" is meant to make sure figures are there to sell, a mix of super-popular ones, so-so ones, and ones for the kids like Vader, which will sell, it might take a day or two but they will eventually move. (Unless you live in a crap small town, then it's "bend over Abigail May" and your time to make a road trip or order online.)

7. Is there a reason that Hasbro hasn't made any padme action figures besides the 'boys just don't want to play with dolls' answer. I'm asking because I think most people would like more padme. I agree that in a movie year, little boys are the biggest buyers. But now that it's a non-movie year, I think most collecters would like more padme figures. I think that they should make a big box set with all of the episode 3 costumes,even to just get it out of the way. Is there any chance they would ever do this?
--luedersb

When it comes to Padme, it's anybody's guess-- but whenever anyone says "no figures" or "not enough figures," I'm obligated to do your job and count them.

For a character that sees minimal action and wears lots of fancy gowns, she's received a fair share of plastic. From Episode I, they made her in the purple disguise, the Tatooine garb, the red dress from her ship, the red dress from the senate, the black traveling gown, the ceremonial gown, and, if you count handmaiden uniforms as I've been doing so far anyway, the orange dress. (Sure, it's Rabe, but there's a lot of interchanging going on here. I give it my "close enough" stamp-of-approval.) So that's at least 7 from Episode I, which doesn't count redundancies like "ascention gun" revisions.

For Episode II, we've got 2 of her white outfit, a wedding dress version, the pilot disguise (glee!), one of her blue dress... and that's about it. And for Episode III, we've received exactly one. For Revenge of the Sith, though, it's not like she was a big deal character-- sure, she did lots of important things, but dressing gowns and funeral dresses do not necessarily a good action figure make.

While not perfect, by my "off the top of my head" tally, that's 14 figures from 3 movies, at least. So I would argue they did indeed make a lot of them, just not lately and not often.

To do some quick comparing of just basic ($4.99-$6.99) figures...
Prequel Padme Amidala: 4 (Episode I) + 3 (POTJ) + 5 (Saga 2002-2003) + 1 (Post-OTC) + 1 (ROTS) = 14 figures.
Prequel Obi-Wan: 3 (Episode I) + 3 (POTJ) + 4 (Saga 2002-2003) + 1 (Clone Wars) + 3 (ROTS) = 14 figures.
Prequel Anakin: 3 (Episode I) + 1 (POTJ) + 3 (Saga 2002-2003) + 1 (Clone Wars) + 3 (ROTS) = 11 figures.
Prequel Yoda: 1 (Episode I) + 3 (Saga 2002-2003) + 1 (Clone Wars) + 2 (ROTS) = 7 figures.
Prequel Darth Maul: 3 (Episode I) + 2 (POTJ) + 2 (Saga 2002-2003) = 7 figures.
Prequel R2-D2: 1 (Episode I) + 1 (POTJ) + 2 (Saga 2002-2003) + 2 (ROTS) = 6 figures.
Prequel Mace Windu: 1 (Sneak Preview) + 1 (Episode I) + 2 (Saga 2002-2003) + 1 (Clone Wars) + 1 (ROTS) = 6 figures.
Prequel Qui-Gon: 3 (Episode I) + 2 (POTJ) + 1 (Saga 2002) = 5 figures.
Prequel Saesee Tiin: 1 (POTJ) + 1 (Saga 2002) + 1 (Clone Wars) + 1 (ROTS) = 4 figures.
Prequel Jango Fett: 1 (Sneak Preview) + 3 (Saga 2002-2003) = 4 figures.

So, she's had a decent run. Really decent, actually. Obviously, deluxe and otherwise special figures make the numbers a bit different, but for basic figures, she's done very, very well. (I didn't count Hall of Fame or Saga '06 figures because none of these characters, in prequel costumes, were given new figures in 2006. Unless you count a cloak as a new figure, and I'm still on the fence about that.)

Plus with her receiving several slots in the latest "Fan's Choice" poll, it's obvious fans want more Padme and now, Hasbro knows it. So at this point, while there are a few costumes we'd still like to see, well, what can we expect? I for one would like to see Hasbro crank out one or two a year. Rumor has it an "Ilum Snowbunny Outfit" version from Clone Wars is on tap this year, hopefully either non-animated or in both animated and non-animated, and I'm assuming it's only a matter of time before we get a holographic one.

So... box set? Fans are crossing their fingers for Hasbro to announce more "Evolutions" sets, as this would be a good and sensible way to release new versions of Padme, as well as other oft-requested characters in super-articulation like Jango Fett, Qui-Gon, or others. (How Qui-Gon evolves, I dunno. Maybe Qui-Gon to ANH Obi-Wan to... ROTJ Luke. Who knows.) I think it'd have to be this, or an exclusive set for the Fan Club as they're the only ones who get exclusive new character sculpts these days. I wouldn't cross your fingers for a box set, but I do think we'll continue to see more Padme figures released every year, just not tons every year.

8. My Star Wars collection consists of Hasbro's 3 3/4" figures, Gentle Giants Mini-Busts & will soon include the Sideshow 12" figures. All of which at one point or another have had "Convention" exclusives or very limited edition "Internet" exclusives. My question is this: How do you feel about these kinds of exclusives are handled?
--Rich

I have yet to see a "right way" to do this, really. No matter what is done, someone is going to miss out either because they were on a break from collecting, didn't feel like jumping on the item when it was announced, or some other crazy reason.

Demand is hard to determine-- I mean, look at the Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader bust from Gentle Giant. 20,000 pieces. That's a lot, and odds are the result of massive demand from retailers. Of course, with 20,000 pieces, the REAL demand is probably a lot smaller. I have a hard time believing there's 20,000 people going "hey, I want a Vader bust in my collection," but them's the breaks. The market needed that many to meet demand, and it appears demand has been largely met and everyone's happy, but some stores seem to be blowing them out too-- so it's a real damned-if-you-do-or-don't kind of deal.

With exclusives, it's similar, except this time the manufacturer is the one that risks getting screwed some times. With Sideshow, well, they want to keep these limited and collectible. That's why they're denying retailers from ordering as many as they want, and why they're doing lots of low runs-- these should be works of art, hot, and awesome. To this extent, I would say they have succeeded. They announce an on-sale time to let you place an order and you know darned well what you have to do to get them. (For off-line collectors, my apologies, but I look at this from an Internet perspective.) If you're at work, well, you might have to ask a friend to do you a favor. Or, as ridiculous as it may sound, say to your boss "I need to take a 5-minute break to order something online, I'll stay later if you need me to, but if I can't do this how about letting me take the morning off as a vacation day?"

You might say "that's insane, I'd never take a day off to get toys." Well, then suck it up and buy it on eBay. You can't win them all. (And yes, I have ducked out of work to go buy toys. And ditched class to go buy toys. It's all part of a game I like to call "what can I get away with?")

A lot of mistakes were made in the past with some exclusives, but on the whole, it's improving to be about as good as one might hope. Gentle Giant offers some to the collector club post-convention, which is largely good, and while the system isn't perfect, so far, it seems to be working fairly well. There's always snags on the way, unfortunately, and for me the real problem comes from blind-boxed chase crap, but that's another topic for another round of rants.

9. With the wild success of the build-a-large-figure in Toy Biz' Marvel Legends, I'm surprised that Hasbro hasn't caught onto the trend with their Star Wars line.

I think it would have been great for them to have included parts for larger props along with each recent figure, especially since the lines have been planet themed lately.

The Hoth wave could have each come with a piece to assemble a Hoth turret gun. The Tatooine wave could have had the pieces of a moisture vaporizer or even the Lars landspeeder. .

It would have been a great way to get ahold of these props that are too big for cards, and not quite playsets.

Any thoughts?
--Paul

As this is something I've been mentioning on and off for a few years now, I'm not optimistic it's going to happen any time soon. Some items may be difficult to do by virtue of the fact it would result in a very unstable "prop." For example, to build a vehicle like the Lars Landspeeder would be difficult just cramming pieces in the existing packaging size, and once you get it all together, good friggin' luck on it being sturdy. Of course, this isn't to say other ideas wouldn't work or be excellent. There's no reason they couldn't, for instance, "build a Speeder Bike" or "Build a Special Edition Swoop," or even, as you say, build a significant portion of the Cantina. (Some figures do include props for the Cantina coming later, too.)

It all depends on the items and Hasbro's willingness to experiment. What would be ideal is that the figures all come with items to augment a larger item. Who wouldn't like props to build up a base to go beneath the Falcon as seen in Docking Bay 94? And who wouldn't love a "build a trooper," even if the trooper was just another Stormtrooper? I know I would. I'd be something to try, surely, it's just up to Hasbro to go "OK, well, let's give it a whirl."

I'm throwing my hat in the ring for "build-a-trooper." Random, blind body parts in each assortment will let you make a Stormtrooper. This encourages trading, and will hopefully discourage theft-- but the damn thieves will do whatever they want to get a figure, it seems.

And if you don't like that, let's take this to the illogical extreme-- "build-a-holo-figure." Nobody wants to pay $6 for one, but who wouldn't collect all 6 figures in a wave so they could assemble a holographic full-size Vader of their very own?

Build-a-whatever is something I think is a great win for the line, but more for Hasbro than for us. People will buy a figure they don't want for a small part that they do. (Look at Marvel's figure for X-23. Hideous. And yet, it sells, because Pocy needs a head.)

10. I missed out on, it seems, every Imperial Officer figure that was made since they originally made Tarkin when The Power of the Force offered him. Do you think, that will all this repainting/rehashing Hasbro is doing, we'll see more of them re-released in the future. I would like to try to get Ozzel and so forth for my collection. Which Imperial Officers have been released so far?
--John

To date, we've received 3 generic officers, a Scanning Tech (POTF2 case and OTC versions), Tarkin (ANH and ROTS), Thrawn, Piett, Ozzel, Motti, Veers, and Jerjerrod's on the way.

As I'm fond of saying, just buy the ones you want on eBay-- which, you probably have by now, as this question was in my backlog for quite some time. Hasbro's been really bad about flooding the market with officers, the last one I think was actually semi-easy to find was Tarkin and the first POTJ Imperial Officer. Beyond that, everything was a bit of a hassle. Hasbro has given us two this year so far-- so I'd say chances are good for more.

FIN

Sometimes bad things are a good thing. Take the Episode III Heroes & Villains assortment, which started hitting stores in the past two weeks.

For those of you out of the loop, these are figures in faux-Saga packaging, complete with bonus holographic figures. They're figures from 2005, but in packaging from 2006. Some of you say "this is stupid, I won't buy any, and they won't sell." I agree that collectors may not be enamored with these, but the last time we had a "Hall of Fame" wave was in 2003 when Hasbro took a dozen old figures, put them in new, unnumbered packaging, and they sold out-- like, fast. Some people never knew they were there.

In 2003, though, some of them included bonus display stands. When I heard we were going to get these figures from Episode III in the 2006 packaging with an added holographic figure, I assumed-- like many-- a stand would be included. I don't know how many of you guys play creative surgery when opening a carded figure, but this worried me as it would be bad to have old products with new stands, which are very easily removed from a 2006 figure's package without damaging it in any obvious, visible way. So I'm quite glad Hasbro opted out of including stands with these figures, if for no reason other than those of us nerdy enough to think $6 is a worthy price to pay for a figure you've got with a new display base. (Memo to Hasbro: please sell sacks of dozens of these display bases sans name tag. Thank you.)

So the figures, to date, are identical to previous release. 12 are shipping in wave 1 (so if you buy a case, you're covered) and 9 unique figures ship in series 2, with 3 being doubled-up. It looks like all parts from the 2005 releases are included with wave 1, so those of you-- like me-- curious to see if the Collection 2 display bases are included, well, I guess we get to wait and see. (For the record, 7 of the 9 originally had a display base. Hah, 7 of 9.)

So there you have it! Two whole assortments of figures that, unless you're a package variant collector, you can totally skip. Although I must say, for those who do want some attractively packaged plastic, these guys have some sharp packaging. Exquisite.

But seriously-- these figures and my reaction to them has largely been over the expectation that I'd be given a shot at some new display bases. While I'm kinda glad they weren't included, so I have no real reason to want to buy these outside packaging, it does make me want to know if Hasbro will step up to the plate and release a-- for example-- blister card in the basic assortment stuffed with 30-40 stands for $6-$7. Hell, throw in some "chase" special ones that are vac metal gold. My Jorg Sacul needs a fancy display base. I'll accept nothing less than a bling-filled one.

Oh... what else...

Ah yes. The omnipresent complaints of "not enough product on the market." This is one I find nifty because it's all how you look at it. As collectors, sometimes we see it as "things we will buy," not "things that are shipping to stores. Basic figures, and their multi-pack cousins, are a great example of this. In 2005, I received numerous complaints about there not being enough. And in 2006, I continue to get these complaints. While I think we all agree the number of 100% new figures and characters is quite limited in both years, the actual number of figures on the market is nothing short of too damn many.

2005:
16 post-OTC figures, 68 ROTS figures (plus at least 4 significant variations in there), 12 Evolutions figures, 35 Battle Pack figures (includes duplicates), 12 deluxe figures (does NOT include variants), 11 exclusive figures, plus whatever I'm forgetting off the top of my head. Point being: if you bought 1 of every fairly major release, you got something like... 147 figures? Oh, wait, plus the Clone Packs. That's another 12, for 159. Yes, there was some duplication on there, and no, not everybody bought everything. But from Hasbro's perspective, they had to package, distribute, design, and market 159 figures in 2005. More if you count the early 2006 figure releases. (And the cup figures-- there's 9 of those, too. And the Early Birds, there's 4 more. So more like 172. Wait, no, I'm wrong. The Twins figures, that's 174. And Wedge, 175. Forgot him earlier. Oh crap, and the 4 Sneak Previews. That's 179.)

2005: (so far)
26 Heroes & Villains assortment figures, 43 basic figures, 9 figures from released Battle packs, 5 from ones shown at Toy Fair, 6 "Vintage" figures, 1 Target exclusive Grievous, 10 droids from Entertainment Earth, the 4 Lucas Family figures, the black Stormtrooper, the 501st stormtrooper... yeesh. It's May, and we're at 106 and counting. Seeing as we know most of the items coming through August, it's safe to assume we know about 2/3 of the line for the year. Give or take. Odds are Hasbro will distribute at least 150 figures this year with more exclusives and so forth.

Now, I know these numbers may seem misleading-- some figures are counted twice, as the Emperor was sold as a regular ROTS figure, in the Throne Room battle pack, in the Senate battle pack, and again in the Heroes & Villains set. Still, Hasbro marketed that figure 4 different ways, so going by uniquely packaged figures, Hasbro's drowning us in product. Going by unique sculpts and decos, though, we're probably closer to 50-75% of that. And when you get down to new characters, well, it's pretty abysmal.

In 2005, Hasbro released a huge chunk of newly sculpted figures at the top of the year. 8, actually, 7 of which were brand new characters. So, let's give them 7.

With Revenge of the Sith, Lucas didn't introduce too many new faces to fans. The Clones weren't new, and there were lots of them. So, assuming the blue Senate Guard was new, and counting the Clone Commanders as new (new names = new character), Hasbro gave us 28 or so basic ROTS figures that could be easily deemed as new characters.

2006 is really not much better. Assuming the 10 Astromechs are all new characters, we have those, plus George Stormtrooper, and about 13 basic figures that can be deemed new easily. (Your mileage may vary.) So from that point of view, it's not that great. Although Hasbro is releasing new-ish figures at breakneck speed, the problem seems to be that, to collectors, there's a lot of "been there, done that." The most super-poseable Greedo ever doesn't mean a lot to us when it costs $10 and we just got a Greedo that looks nearly identical in 2004 for $4.99.

So, look at the line any way you like. Half empty? Half full? Or just fun enough to stick with? Me, I'm having fun and am now finally dealing with the nasty "get a display going" issue. Ikea + gift card = nice big display rack.

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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