Galactic's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
September 25, 2006


1a. What ever happened to the large trilogy display cabinet from Retrobilia/Pride Displays? I can find pictures of it on various sites, but no links to the company page. Last I heard, a gold version was being released in Europe(?), with a silver regular version to follow in the United States? Do you remember this? I cannot even find a website for Retrobilia/Pride Display. What is the deal?

1b. [Entertainment Earth's] recent clearance sale finally got me to buy the most awesome non-Hasbro, Hasbro related item ever. The Pride Displays Action Figure Diorama would have been worth the $65 it originally retailed for, and I'm a stingy tight-wad. I immeadiately went looking for more info about them and any upcoming releases, unfortunately their website only exists as a Google cache now, and it's complete with two stunning prototypes for ROTS and ROTJ themed dioramas.I know they have a limited run of museum style cases coming soon, so I'm hoping they are just between hosts or admins or something. Do you know what's up? When and if future dioramas are coming.

Right now, the answer seems to be "limbo" for new product. The web site no longer exists and I know I haven't been privy to any new information on anything in a while-- this isn't to say nothing is coming, but there hasn't been a lot of chatter (OK, no chatter) for the future of this line. The first item was limited to only 3,000 pieces, and it had a very hard time moving given the asking price and availability.

Works-in-progress for the displays for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were shown at Celebration III in 2005. Images of other items have also made the rounds. But as for future product, well, we're going to have to wait and see. I think it was a wonderful product concept and it would be a shame for it to just fade away, but 3,000 pieces is a pretty tiny run.

So in short: there's really no evidence in my field of view that would indicate anything being cancelled or anything coming out for certain. Here's hoping we hear from the fine folks at Pride Displays so we can plug their wares this week.

2. What is the story on the new Battle Packs? I haven't seen commentary on how much of this is rehash and how much is new. The Mace Windu one looks mostly new, but what about the others? Jedi v Sidious? Sith Lord Attack? Sarlacc?

I just saw these on Sunday so I had to rewrite this answer. As far as the "main line" ones, it looks like the only really new figures from this first new wave are Weequay (repaint) and Palpatine (remolded hand). There may be other variants but I didn't pick these up yet due to other purchases having to be made at the moment. It looks like there's some accessory-swapping but by and large, we're looking at new releases of old figures. Mace Windu seems to be a modified version of a Jedi High Council figure. Sadly, Agen Kolar has a green lightsaber-- they didn't fix it to be blue yet.

3. Why did Hasbro change the scale in the Unleashed battlepacks? The new four packs of hoth rebels and snowtroopers are significantly larger than the ROTS battlepacks. So much for that grand battle between armies from the OT and the Prequels.

It happens. It's my understanding these were meant to be in scale with themselves, but it's sensible to make the line a uniform scale. Obviously, this did not happen, and my guess is it wasn't intentional-- just a hiccup in product development, which we've seen a lot over the past 11 years.

4. I have been sadly sucked in to buying the titanium ships, I think it is awesome that Hasbro is including Galactica ones...not to keen on the Transformers though. However, I see EE has a listing for 5-6 Inch Titanium ships. Galactica and Star Wars ones. Question 1, do you think that Hasbro will continue this larger line and if so will they start to make the more feasible ships like they do in the 3 inch line? I would really like to see the Capital ships and cruisers made in the 5-6 inch line, but not the silly Ewoks on Speeder Bikes.

I think Hasbro has done a great job representing the ships to date Question 2, It seems that there is nothing left except the Tantive IV, which I am shocked to see it is not yet out, any idea if they will continue the line long enough to include this crucial piece to the collection? (And don't forget Rebel Cruisers and Transports) #3 Do you think they will venture in to EU where they may explore the various Empire Cruisers such as Interdictor or the Eclipse class ships?

The larger line of Titanium Series is pretty much dead. Unproduced (but announced) products included a Jedi Starfighter, X-wing (redeco or new edition), and Republic Gunship (redeco or new edition). I don't expect to see these released even as exclusives at this point.

The little guys have been doing well, and there are a lot of unmade vehicles-- especially if you count repaints. For example, we have yet to see: Cloud Car, Lars Family Landspeeder, Cloud City, Tibanna Gas Refinery, Home One, Rebel Transport, Sail Barge, Tatooine Skiff, Ewok Glider, STAP, Hailfire Droid, any of a number of Trade Federation ships, and a bunch of others I'm no doubt forgetting. I would say they can probably squeeze another year out at the pace they're going without too much trouble.

But when it comes to the Expanded Universe? I wouldn't bank on anything that wouldn't be at least somewhat recognizable to the average collector. So like Anakin's Clone Wars Starfighter, that's sensible, as would be the Outrider or perhaps one of the many TIE variants. I don't know if other classes of capital ships from beyond the films would be an easy sell, but you can push anything if it's in the right box set or packed as a freebie with a game or something.

5. I was really excited about the news about a new color scheme on the TIE, but the drab gray has left me disappointed. I really want one of these larger wing TIE's in white (just like in the movie and original toys, by the way). What are the odds this will happen?

So you want to know the odds of Hasbro repainting and rereleasing a ship again in yet another different color?

*looks at shelf of 5 different ROTS Jedi Starfighters*

Good, I'd say.

6. Do you happen to know if the new Episode II Green Clone Trooper Sergeant is the same figure as the one that came with the EE clone trooper 4-pack? If not, do you happen to know if his helmet is removable?

Right now it looks to be slightly different than the one sold at Entertainment Earth in 2005. Because of the stand, I'd jump on at least one-- but it's a little hard to tell for sure if there are any other changes until samples start popping up, so stay tuned!

7. Regarding Gentle Giant's recent exclusives for online purchase:
I never received the email stating the Shock Trooper & Mara Jade mini busts would go on sale although I've received GG emails numerous times in the past.

Which one of the half wits at GG thinks it's a good idea to limit a STAR WARS ITEM to 1,000 or 2,000 PIECES?!?!?! Especially a trooper. You could EASILY sell twice that amount (and make a LOT of people happier too)!

Not,, or posted any info about these going on sale. Probably because they had no idea either.

GG, you make one heck of a product but you're the worst & most unreliable company in the Star Wars collectible market. Lucasfilm should give the license to someone competent.

If GG continues to do business this way (or any other company for that matter), could Lucasfilm strip them of their license?

I understand where you're coming from, but when you're dealing with high-end collectibles, remember, it's not in their best interest to make enough to go around. The demand is driven by a hungry market, if these items weren't "rare" or "limited" the appeal would be diminished. Yes, I know, I'm a lot like most of you when it comes to things like edition sizes. I don't care, I just want what I want. With some of these items, they're meant to be a "special" item-- they make enough to sell at a show, and a few more, and that's it. If the market is stuffed with 19 different Clone busts at 10,000 units each, that's too many.

Star Wars is very popular, but that doesn't mean everybody wants this stuff. Look at the Pride Displays mentioned above-- it was a limited item, limited to 3,000 pieces. That's a tiny number. Your average retailler exclusive is several (or a couple dozen) times that. Yes, it's a popular property, but that doesn't mean everybody wants something.

It seems there are some problems with how these items have been sold as of late, but there's a real "damned if you do" situation. Gentle Giant announced an on-sale date, and a bunch of dealers got all their friends lined up to buy busts, which prevents you from getting them. A surprise on-sale email ensures more of a luck-of-the-draw, so it's going to be tougher for one person to get, say, 50.

The solution isn't "just make more" because some of these items' appeal is pretty much exclusively due to a) the property and b) the edition size. How many people really and truly want a Blackhole Stormtrooper? Not as many as you might think. It's a balancing act and, obviously, it isn't perfect-- fans say the same thing about pretty much every manufacturer. So what can you do? Wait it out, trade it out, or get used to it. Don't expect a giant increase in the production run because there's a chance someone might get stuck with the stuff.

8. Do you see Sideshow ever producing anything like a 12" Hammerhead doll? In other words, an obscure figure that doesn't use the "standard" body that they use on all of their 12" figures?

Eventually, yes. By using a fairly generic body and doing popular recent characters, Sideshow gets to cut costs and risks while delivering a popular line of figures. Since Hammerhead would require new arms, lets, head, clothes, and everything else, plus it's a lower-demand character, I wouldn't hold your breath for the short term. But I'd buy one, and so far I haven't actually bought any of the Sideshow stuff.

9. Do you know if Hasbro will release a Bariss Offee figure that has articulation similar to that of the excellent ROTS ladies figures (Shaak Ti, Aayla, and Luminara were all great).

People are crossing their fingers for such a figure to be released in a (still rumored) upcoming Battle Pack based on Ilum from Clone Wars that should include, among other things, Snowbunny Padme. Time will tell, though.

10. I've noticed recently that the right hands of my Utapau Clone Troopers (15+) are significantly different that the right hands of my SA ROTS Clone Troopers. I understand that they are the same mold but the Utapau's hands look somewhat deformed next to the crisp scult of the ROTS mold. I've noticed that most of the Shocktroopers that came with the Target Battle Pack suffer from the same defect. What's going on?

I couldn't see the "defect" on mine, although it's possibly a result of "band hands" and the use of clear rubber bands, or the mold degrading with use. But I check an Utapu trooper, a white clone, and a Shock Trooper from the Target set and I'm not seeing it.


I was finishing this off and realized that I had the same "FIN" from last week. Wow. That's an exciting week for you. It looks like a bunch of new Hasbro stuff is hitting-- new Titanium, new Battle Packs, new basic figures, and if you're a fan of robots in disguise, new Transformers Classics. Pretty.

As of yet it seems we're in a bit of a rut as far as new figures go, but hopefully 2007 will be wall-to-wall fun. With new vehicles. (Or a few given the rumor mill.)

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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