Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
August 21, 2006

 

1. Do you know it the exclusive Cantina Band Members figures that will come out during 2007 are the same sculpts that were offered as fan club exclusives waaaay back?
--DamonJW

Due to Hasbro's use of mockups in the past year which differ from the final product, it would be bad of me to say either yes or no about this. However, from initial photos it looks like this is indeed a rehashed set using some new parts and some new paint with the original 1997 sculpt, which was actually quite good for its time and not a bad mold given it just had its ninth birthday.

2. I was fortunate enough to acquire both version of Sideshow toys 12" Anakin Skywalker Jedi and "Sith-eyed" Anakin Non-attendee. Which one should I open? Now you're probably going to say both or which ever you please, and I will but I wanted to feel out your thoughts in regards to the production numbers. I was told there are 6000 Sith Anakins while the are 2000 or 2500 Jedi Anakins. So in the long run the lower the number the more collectable. Right?
--Troy

You never know what's going to be more collectible, if either. If another company gets the 12-inch license in a few years, and makes newer versions of these figures, the entire line might be a whole heck of a lot less collectible than it is today. You never know if 1:6 scale figures will go out of vogue, or if they become so crazy popular that you'd be mad that you had opened either. You also never know if the perception of the "convention exclusive" being rare will outweigh the lower production of the normal non-exclusive version of the toy, or which one (if either) fans would prefer. Of course, I'm also a 3 3/4-inch snob, so I'm not the best person to ask.

Given I don't know how you collect, obviously, as you have guessed, I'd say "open both" or "why ask me, I don't care." Plus, I don't know if you have the "Sideshow Exclusive" variant of Anakin or the regular version. If issues of things like money matter to you and you're considering selling the later, the answer is simple: open neither and enjoy your boring box collection until you make a small return on it down the road.

If I were a boxed collector and had to pick one, I'd watch eBay for damaged box figures to show up. Then I'd buy and open that. If neither figure immediately leaped out at you and demanded that you open it by virtue of its awesomeness, then obviously, neither one is worth opening. If this issue is a source of agony for you, leave them in the box. You can always open them later, but you can't very well reseal them once you cut the tape.

3. Not that I mind the extra weapons in my purchased collection of SW figures from Hasbro, but... Why does Hasbro give figures from the movies that either appear out front or in the background always come packaged with a weapon? Look at the waves of practically all the Senators, and Governor Tarkin from the ROTS wave, and recently Moff Jerjerod, and plenty more I am sure... they did not have weapons in the movies. Give the figures some other item of use, such as datapads, official signs of office, etc...
--John

While fans the world over see action figures as tiny replicas of their favorite film characters that are bathed in authenticity and crafted with the utmost respect to the original designs seen on the silver screen, well, that's not what these are. They're toys, plaything designed for children that also happen to have a rabid adult fan following. (For the best in authenticity, I point to Gentle Giant and Sideshow.)

Hasbro gives guns to figures in a way to give them some form of story or play pattern. Some figures won't benefit from guns-- Kitik Keed'kak, for example. She's a giant mantis. She doesn't have hands, and if you can't find something fun about a big bug figure in a skirt, well, that's your problem. But characters like Grand Moff Tarkin and Moff Jerjerrod are BORING. Now, don't misread me-- I love Imperials and find them to be one of my absolute favorite sub-lines in the entire hobby. In and of themselves, a white man in a grey suit really doesn't do much. Figures like Meena Tills are basically non-poseable statues. Sure they look nice for us collectors, but without a gun, to a kid, it's just a plastic lobster statue in a dress. Weapons and accessories turn these character replicas into playthings, and Hasbro's in the plaything business. A figure that can enter a gunfight is fundamentally more exciting than one that can do taxes on a datapad. Ideally, each figure would have a weapon and some form of non-lethal accessory, but we can't have everything.

In 1995, Hasbro include original (or modified) guns with figures for the same reason-- to make them more compelling toys. A giant rifle or grappling hook may sway a kid to buy one figure over another, after all, it's worked for Batman.

4. Do you know if there are any plans on releasing the Attakus dioramas in the U.S.? I see site in the U.K. having them listed for 1,600 pounds but have not heard about any distribution in the U.S.
--Chad

When I last asked Attakus, they indicated these sculptures would not be seeing widespread distribution outside Europe, if any. (I also think their edition size was under 1,000-- which is sensible given the MSRP is $2,000-$3,000, if I recall correctly.) Much like Attakus' cold cast line, these are going to be crazy expensive so don't get your hopes up too high. Some of the figures from these dioramas are being sold (supposedly exclusively) through ShopStarWars and they're scraping $100 per, and keep in mind that's for a single painted 3 3/4-inch scale pewter figure.

Of course, if you can afford these, I'd say just import. Things don't look good for United Statesians.

5. This is for Question and Answer!!! Ok, so your most recent "Hunter Poll" you asked about the topic of possible future "Evolutions" sets. These are all excellent ideas for Evolutions sets, which I am a major fan of. I think they probably some of the best figures hasbro has ever made. (Except for Anakin and Palpatine's cloaks, you gotta admit they were pretty bad. Perhaps they will re-realease these evlotion packs with a black version of the Anakin/Obi-wan Saga Collection robes. MUCH BETTER!!! But that's not why I'm writing and I hate people who complain as much as you do, and I can always make substitutions). Ok, so my question is, are these actually ideas that Hasbro might be thinking about making or are they just your ideas? I think I voted for the clone trooper one, "I loves me" those clone trooeprs! These are all pretty cool ideas, and it would be AWESOME if they were actually produced.
--Tyler

Everybody loves Evolutions! I myself want to see more Trooper packs and have a wish list of my own that I think I'd enjoy and others would hate. But that's me, I feel like I'd vomit if I get offered another Sandtrooper. But I digress. For starters, at this time, there are no plans to release new Evolutions packs-- but there are new Tin sets and Battle Packs.

Our polls usually come from our own wish lists. It's very difficult for any fans to take credit for ideas that Hasbro eventually makes due to lead time and the fact that Hasbro has pretty much everything on the drawing board-- keep in mind, over 11 years have come and gone since the relaunch in 1995 and those designers are paid to sit around and brainstorm all day. I assure you, there's more Evolutions pack concepts in the Halls of Hasbro, and while it's possible they're thinking along the same lines as us it would likely be a coincidence.

(And for the record, I don't hate the people that complain. Mostly I don't understand the complaining, and that I find frustrating as I kinda like the hobby and find great amusement in some of the uglier products. But those complaining that they can't find stuff, that I understand and I'm there with you.)

6. I was thrilled to see Mace's astromech ay SDCC. I was noticing a card off to the side of one of the displays, which gave the name of the droid as r4-m6. Do you think hasbro is afraid to name the droid r2-m6 (or rb-mf)?
--Richard

I'm actually getting asked this a lot lately. As far as the "BMF" thing, I think that'd probably go over lots of heads because Hasbro already made a droid with a fairly similar name. One droid is R2-M5, and now you'd have R2-M6. While it would be an amusing name and some fans would certainly get it, I don't believe I've seen an official, final name for the purple astromech droid in Hasbro documentation as of yet. (I may have missed it.)

I sincerely doubt Hasbro would have any reason to name it (or NOT name it) R2-M6 but, honestly, the joke's going to be lost on most buyers.

7. I'm writing today to inquire about a unique figure I found back in 1998. I was reminded about this figure after reading your Figure of the Day featuring Froot Loops' promotional Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise. Now, back in 1997, the Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise was released on a green card with the holographic sticker. As you know, this figure was then re-released with a Freeze Frame. I purchased the figure both times. Now, I hadn't planned on getting this figure a second time, but the reason I did was because I was at Target, and noticed something unusual about the figure. They were on clearance at the time, going for about $3, and I noticed that this one figure had the long-barelled gun that came with the POTF2 AT-ST Driver. Now, none of the Luke figures in Stormtrooper gear I'd seen prior to this time, nor any others that were on the pegs at that moment, had this version of the Stormtrooper blaster. All others had the standard Imperial issue blaster version. The gun itself appears to be somewhat crammed into the slot in the inner bubble tray. At the same time, I can pretty much guarantee that the figure has never been tampered with. I'm curious to see if you know anything about this particular figure. Was it a variation? A possible mix-up at the factory?
--Victoria

Back before Power of the Jedi, figure (and weapon) swapping was fairly uncommon in Star Wars. As such, there's no definitive way for me to know your figure's story without getting a good look at it but it's entirely possible that it's a factory error or a rare, good ol' fashioned returned item. (It's not impossible to think someone bought the figure simply to get a gun for their Han Solo Stormtrooper and returned a spare, undesirable gun in its stead.)

At best, you have an error-- which isn't exactly worth anything. At worst, you've got a returned, swapped-out weapon-- which is worth less than the error. It's a curiosity, if I were you I'd examine the adhesive area around the bubble and more than likely you'll notice an imperfection indicating it was, in fact, tampered with. While I hate to give such a snide answer, it really doesn't matter if it's an error or a theft-- either way it isn't really worth anything unless you personally get enjoyment from the item.

8. I was curious as to how you found the names for the [exclusive Astromech] droids. In addition, some of your EE droids appear to have names conflicting with astromech.net (R4-A22,. for example, is R4-T8 according to astromech.net). Is this a case of two different, but similar looking droids, or two different names, possibly from different sources, for the same droid? I noticed this occurs again with R2-C4(aka R2-D3) and R2-M5 (aka R2-D1). However, with these last two, there appear to be multiple yellow and red astromechs in the employ of the Naboo military and therefore, could be four separate droids altogether.
--Eric

With the droids, I read up at Astromech.net and Deceipher's CCG for information on all things astromech during the item's very short development cycle. I used the names I saw when writing up my request, but Lucasfilm has final say on the names. So yes, I asked for R2-D1 and R2-D3 and pretty much said "here's a picture of them, do this, do that, etc." Then the day we announced the droids at Comic-Con 2005, we got the final names from Lucasfilm and they're the names you see on the toys. The confusing thing is that some of the droids have multiple names now, with some appearing in print and others appearing in the toys. Since my personal famdomonium is very toy-centric, I say the toys are right, even when they're wrong. It's also possible there's an R2-M5 and an R2-D1 in the employ of Naboo, as you say. (There's shots of Mos Eisley in the orignal Star Wars with multiple R2-D2s running around too.) So the best answer I can give you is "this is what Lucasfilm said their names are," which is good enough for me for now.

9. So, the coin thing coming up is not something I am very excited about. I remember there were coins with some figures about eight or nine years agao. I think exclusive to TRU. It seems they intend to not pack stands in with the figures going ahead which blows my mind. For all the junk they put into our packages the least they can do is give us a stand. Come on Hasbro!!!!! You won't give us playsets so what good are the peg holes in their feet if not for stands?

And speaking of stands, maybe this is a bit out there but has there ever been consideration on Hasbro's part to include a display stand with any Vehicles? Sure would have been nice to have one with Luke's Skyhopper (which would be a cool idea based on the scene in a New Hope with Luke holding one). You know maybe something on a larger scale of the Action Fleet stands. Could this be something an outside company might do? Would take some thought but I would imagine somebody could make a universal stand for a few ships like the TIEs and X-wings we already own multiples of.

Think Hasbro would ever consider a Titanium 3 3/4 figue scale ship? Imagine Slave One! With a stand even! Or an AT-ST? A Podracer? A speederbike? Luke's Skyhopper? I'll stop now.
--Chris

I agree the loss of stands is a blow to what makes this hobby fun-- having figures that don't fall on their faces-- but I'm not convinced coins are a bad thing. The old ones were gorgeous and showcased some of the best Star Wars sculpting work in the vintage line. So I'd like to at least SEE one of them up close before declaring them crap.

Vehicle stands don't make a lot of sense in the context of the action figure-sized vehicle line. Since the vehicles are large and heavy, the stand would have to be big and durable. That's an added cost, it takes up more room in the box, and it also sets a vehicle up to damage. It's easier to knock an X-wing over when it's on a stand than when it's on its landing gear, which is bad. Although just last week, I realized my POTJ AT-ST somehow got its leg stressed and toppled over-- thus requiring I find a way to prop it up, and a stand would have been very, very handy.

Finally, a 3 3/4-inch scale die-cast vehicle? Man, I've been asking for this for a while now. Odds are if such a miracle were to ever happen, it's be very expensive or something you wouldn't like. Ultra Titanium ships are $20, and Code 3's roughly-figure-sized ships (not in scale, but in actual size/heft) are $300ish. Maybe it'll happen someday but given cost, weight, and safety considerations I don't know. A Speederbike would make sense, though. And it'd look GREAT with a stand.

10. What can you tell us about the new spring action lightsabers? I personally am excited about them - I can't afford the 300+ dollars for the MR ones, and so it's nice to finally get lightsabers that the blade retracts all the way into the hilt. I remember being a kid in the early 80's and either taking apart my store-bought lightsabers to remove the blade for that "closed down" look while roll playing, or just making my own hilt in my dad's garage w/some metal pipe I "acquired" at a near by construction site, along with black electric tape and a few other items lol.....Anyways, when the new sabers came out in the 90's they were much more movie accurate but the blade still didn't retract fully (except for the Ruby's brand which of course broke if you played with them too much). Do you know if they are gonna make any others beside the 3 shown (Luke ANH, Vader, and Obi-Wan Ep I and II). Do you think they will have belt clips? Any idea if the Luke saber will be just blue instead of the red/blue that the Anakin saber was since it seems to be the same hilt? When are they to hit the stores, and will the SRP still be $19.99?
--DarthGemni

As far as lightsabers go, each one is unique and has something special to offer. While I firmly believe that the new Hasbro ones will be some of the most fun when they come out this October (or so), you do get what you pay for. Master Replicas' FX Sabers are some of the finest items made for the entire collectible saga. Yes, they're $100, but I highly advise you to buy one of them. (Now the ones that aren't electronic, well, they're OK. But the FX ones are top-notch, high-quality, and all around awesome.)

At this time the plans call for a total of 4 Force Action lightsabers, including an added generic Jedi lightsaber. I have no doubt more are on the way, but I presently do not have information that indicates they have belt clips. The cost should be about the same as a regular electronic Hasbro lightsaber, but that's all up to the store-- sometimes they'll ask more if they want to. And Luke's saber will indeed be blue, and if I'm not mistaken it's the first-ever full-size authentic "Luke Skywalker Lightsaber" based on the original trilogy design out of Hasbro. I can't wait for these to show up, myself!

FIN

Typically when I write something here it gets a reaction. Last week, I tallied the rough cost of collecting for the rest of the year. The response? Nil. Wow. I had no idea we were so affluent as a hobby, but hey, good to know.

Not too much new this week. I actually expected to find the new AT-AT, alas, it was not meant to be. Aside from some new Titaniums, there ain't much new out there yet-- but the month is almost over and more is, undoubtedly, on the way.

I got nothin' else this week. Happy hunting, and read Figure of the Day. The ladies will find you extra sexy.

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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