Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
November 20, 2006

 

1. I mailed off, in late summer/early fall, two separate sets of redemptions for the George Lucas stormtrooper and have yet to receive them. To whom at Hasbro should I direct my inquiry?
--Gus

My first question to you is did you wait long enough? I don't recall a specific delivery time on the form, but 6-8 weeks or 90 days is considered typical. If it's been that long, well, I'd be worrying. What you should do is go to Hasbro.com and use their customer service department-- and make sure you indicate the date you sent the form off, as well as any other information that they would need to assist you. But if it's only been two months, wait just a smidge longer still because it really can take quite some time to do these offers for reasons I'll never understand.

2. Reguarding the tin sets: I am the only 1 that thinks Hasbro really dropped the ball with their selection of figures? Particularely for the OT? 2 Leias... 2 Darth Vaders and neither with a frackin' cape (are they the exact same figure, btw?) Hoth Luke, Han and Chewie, but no regular Luke or Han. 2 Leias but no Boba Fett. 2 Leias but NO Lando? 2 frickin' Vaders that are the exact frickin' figure. WOW!! what an absolutely wasted opportunity for Hasbro.... ( I did like the PT tins, though).
--DarthDudleyDoRight

The tins, by and large, seem to be built by a sort of theme-- with a couple exceptions. Hoth is, well, all Hoth-- and ROTJ is all Endor. Plus, Hasbro no doubt wanted to use some molds a second time, as Endor Leia, VOTC Darth Vader, and a few others were sold only once and, well, as you know that's not enough for Hasbro.

The Darth Vaders are indeed very different. The ROTJ Tin is a straight reissue of the 2004 Vintage OTC figure, with the same accessories and pretty much the same decoration. The ANH tin, on the other hand, is a retool of the Evolutions figure. This time, he has new hands, and the head under the helmet is that of Hayden Christensen, plus the torso was retooled to have the robes over the shoulder armor. This Vader is different enough that, if you're the kind of collector that wants to buy all significant changes, you'll want to get this one. It's really, really nice, if you can get past the price. (Although the Sandtrooper/Stormtrooper really is nice, too.)

I think that you're right, in a way, there were some wasted opportunities, and I hope they do some more tins to make up for it. Why not have another Empire Strikes Back tin with Vintage OTC Boba Fett... in ESB colors? Throw in a removable helmet Stormtrooper, a Bespin Guard of another ethnicity, and a new Han Solo in Carbonite. (Take the 2006 Saga Carbonite block, paint it all silver, and retool Han Solo to be more ESB-accurate.) Who wouldn't want that? Mixing it up is key-- $30 for 4 figures and a tin is a really good deal, but the figures have to be good. I love the concept, and if Hasbro can make all four figures worth buying, I hope the sub-line continues for a long time.

3. What is your opinion on the Hasbro best of stuff for 2007? Do you feel that the winners of maybe the top 10 will actually get reproduced? Or is this just a game to keep us involved in Star Wars
--Nick

Well, as you know, Rebelscum's poll seems to confirm 8 poll-based figures will see production and the final 4 are being voted on as I write this. Hasbro let us pick a "best of" figure in 2004 with the Original Trilogy Collection, and they repainted it and reissued it and it was good. There's not too much harm in letting fans pick a few reissues, which Hasbro knows, plus it keeps us talking about the line. Problem is, when it comes to reruns, fans don't always have the best pulse on what will (or won't) sell, and why fans aren't voting for the Pit Droids is beyond me. I mean, the set is worth several hundred dollars. Don't fans want these? Apparently not.

4. For years now Hasbro has been telling us that Star Wars toys are geared for kids. For years we've all know that Ewoks are 'kid friendly' Basically has anyone at HASBRO realized that it fraggin' impossible to find the Ewok figure that was recently released? How are we suppost to get children "children's toys" when they keep selling so fast!!! Maybe someone at the Big H will see that there is some demand there and release a couple more (even if they are just repaints). Basically, does Hasbro realized there's money to be made with selling more EWOKS???

OOOPPPSS!!! wait this is Hasbro were talking bout. Why repack a figure someone wants when we can not and not care.
--Brian

As long as Hasbro meets a certain quota-- and that's about 12-21 "new" figures a year-- I'm not going to complain too much about variety. Ewoks sell, sure-- but if you put too many of a similar figure on the market at once, kids and collectors get angry. (I mean, look at all the Emperors, Darth Vaders, C-3POs, etc. all in stores now.) Hopefully at this point, Hasbro will throw us a bone with at least one or two per year, but as it stands now, well, it's about right. It's good Chief Chirpa is popular-- it proves people really do want more Ewoks, and that there's a paying market for them. As far as its place in the whole line, it's doing well-- it's still easier to get Chirpa than, say, the Death Star Gunner-- and Hasbro made a lot more Gunners, let me tell you.

Like all aspects of the line, there are areas with huge fans and any inability to fulfill an area makes fans angry. For example, Pod Racers-- supposedly kids like those and we've got our first new one since 2002 just the other month. Odds are over the next few years, we'll keep getting more, but I wouldn't hold out for an all-Ewok wave or anything like that.

5. Do you Think (Or Know) If they Are done with the Limited Titanium? I have not seen any since the 3 That were released (White Tie, Raw Metal Slave One, CW Deco Gunship). Just courious I remeber that the sales recept at the one store I was at said "Star Wars Thunt" I was hoping they would continue this trend even though its not well liked in collecting circles that I have talked with.
--Rich

They are... and aren't. The "Titanium Limited" sticker is pretty much done, but a few items were set to be "Limited" (like Mace Windu's ship) and the packaging didn't reflect this-- but the case assortments clearly show it's one-per-case, just like the limited items from earlier. So picture it like the white TIE Fighter-- it's one per case, and it is limited, but the packaging doesn't explicitly state this. So it's a way to make "hard to find" collectible vehicles without slapping a sticker on it saying "hey scalpers, please buy me."

6. I had a qestion about Zev Senesca's (sp?) snowspeeder and the newest release of the tie fighter (If I'm wrong, ok, but I thought that they've released two: the older 90's version with smaller wings, and a newer on with the bigger wings and painted white, which can come with either a 90's tie pilot or the newer Saga tie pilot). Is ANY of this right? Also, I can't seem to find the tie fighter or Zev's Snowspeeder anywhere! (I live ojn the east coast, so is it possible it hasn't started shipping yet OR, and this would realy suck, people have already snatched them all up and they aren't shipping anymore?)

I've never had a tie fighter, and I was really looking forward to getting one for the first time. I have checked both Entertainment Earth and Target.com and I have found the smaller Tie fighter available on EE, but no sign of the larger one (unless they are just using an incorrect image) and I can't find Zev's anywhere! (No, I'm correct . . . the tie fighter is labeled as "classic tie fighter") Can you give me some feedback? Thanks!
--Tyler

This is kinda confusing. But let me clear things up with a handy dandy list.

Modern TIE Fighter Vehicles
POTF2 Release (1995, small wings, grey/blue)
Saga Release (2003, Kay-Bee exclusive, retooled engines, exclusive pilot, small wings, grey/blue)
OTC Release (2004, new box, same as above without figure)
OTC Vs. Pack (2004, Costco exclusive, includes pilot, X-wing, and Luke, otherwise same as above)
ROTS Release (2005, large wings, blue/grey, pilot included, Target exclusive)
TSC Release (2006, Toys "R" Us exclusive, large wings, same as above but white/grey)
30th Anniversary Collection (delayed until 2007, small wings, white, retooled midsection, small wings)

So right now, today, the only TIE Fighter you're likely to see in any stores is the Toys "R" Us exclusive large wing version. The small wing white TIE has been delayed until 2007, it seems.

Modern Snowspeeder Vehicles
POTF2 Release (1996, electronics, exposed engines, firing rocket)
POTJ Release (2002, Wal-Mart exclusive, includes Luke & Dak, damage stickers)
TSC Release (2006, Target exclusive, includes Zev, retooled, repainted, no stickers of any kind)

Again, in this case, the only one you can buy today in a store is the 2006 Target Exclusive version-- but the rest are on eBay. In my neck of the woods, Target stores are drowning in Snowspeeders, and given the "sent date" of your email, yours should be too-- assuming you have them in your area. You won't find all exclusives online, unfortunately, but if you go to the store and poke around, you'll probably find a few. Just go sooner rather than later, as the holiday shopping season makes once-boring exclusives that were slow sellers disappear overnight.

7. I have yet to see the Titanium Ultra Battlestar Galactica anywhere (in stores or online) Is this one pretty rare for some reason?
--Mark

I've seen a few, but it's shortpacked, and I only saw them at Target-- and most Targets stopped carrying the line. (The line itself isn't being carried forward.) If you want one, I suggest ordering online or ebay, unless you're willing to haunt your local Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart until you luck out and find one. It was packed one per case in only ONE assortment-- so as far as the whole Ultra line goes, yes, this is going to be the one that likely has the lowest production numbers.

8. I would like to get to know your personal opinion : Which R3-droid dome do you consider better and why ? The Star Tours dome (which was Aas far Aas I know never used again so far) or the other one introduced by the "Sneak Preview" AOTC R3 ?

I'm also wondering which one might be more authentic. I believe there is still a lot or space to enhance the dome, and I'm not satisfied with both versions this far.

I doubt, however, that new R3 dome sculpts will be made - that kind of droid is just too rare within the movies, imho. As are good photos of R3 droids showing their transparent dome (another difficulty for the folks at Hasbro). Although ... there should be some old models still in the Lucasfilm archives, I guess.
--Alrik

As of today, each R3 dome is good for different reasons. There's no one that I would consider to be definitive (and therefore perfect), but the R3-D3 one is my favorite despite being painted incorrectly. And you're right-- aside from Star Tours' R3-D3, the only other mold that exists is R3-T7, and that mold was reused to make R3-A2, R3-T7, and R3-T6.

If Hasbro ever makes R3-01, and I really hope they do, I'm holding out hope for an all-new dome to be used with either the R4-G9 body or, if they must, the R5-D4/VOTC R2-D2 body. Hasbro still has incentive to do this, because so far astromech droids at retail seem to do well. One little mold could help bring several new repaints to retail over a few years, so it's a sensible investment from a tooling standpoint as it can be reused easily.

9. Have you heard or seen anything regarding the Hasbro Darth Maul Lightsaber that was supposed to be an October Wal-mart exclusive? I have looked for awhile and am yet to find it. As far as store staff have informed me, they have not been out yet. I haven't seen anything regarding this lightsaber on any of the star wars websites, and I have yet to seen anyone trying to sell one on eBay. Any information?
--Aleks

At this point, nobody has claimed to have found one, and I've been looking. I have seen the Mr. Potato Head Gift Set Tin, and I've heard reports from Canada (and only Canada) that the Cantina Tin is hitting, but as far as I know nobody has spotted this item yet. Perhaps it's being saved for Black Friday?

10. As a comic fan and as someone who deals with and understands the practical retail side of business, what characters should be in the remaining nine packs that would satisfy both the fan boys and the bean counters?" (If possible also include which comic story arc or series your choices are from...don't go nuts over specific issue numbers)

Also, if it makes a difference, Hasbro also stated that the current comic series Legacy is Too New, and will not be part of the 2007 assortment...so those characters can not be part of the 9 remaining sets I'm asking you to fill.
--j3h

The great thing about this line is that the comic packs lend themselves to so many possibilities. If you want a bizarre repaint, there's that. If you want an obscure Jedi, there's that. And if you want new characters, there's that too. Here's what Hasbro would be doing were it up to me in 2008-- aside from bumping the SRP to $12.99 to pay for more new tooling.

Tag & Bink Are Dead #1: While the comic wasn't bad, the main reason to do this is for figures. Take the recently released Sandtrooper with Removable Helmet mold, change the Clone head out for these two. (Before anyone complains about "wasting a slot," it's a Stormtrooper 2-pack if you leave the helmets on, and new characters if you don't. Either way, fans and Hasbro win!)

Legacy #3: Cade Skywalker & Spirit of Luke Skywalker. Cade can either be made from old & new parts, while Luke can be made from the existing 2004 Obi-Wan Spirit with 2004 Holographic Luke's head-- and few or no paint changes. I wouldn't hold out much hope because, well, does anyone think Lucas Licensing is going to approve the hero of the original trilogy being sold in a manner that indicated he died?

Marvel Star Wars: Lumiya & Luke Skywalker. No specific issue, I just want a female dark Jedi Cyborg and a new post-ROTJ version of Luke from one of the last 20 issues. I think kids would probably snap this one up, and what collector wouldn't want it?

Star Wars: Purge: Darth Vader (damaged/removable parts) & Tsui Choi. It was a good story, and an excuse to do a Darth Vader where you can hack off his arm, and add a removable helmet accessory that's damaged so you can actually see the man through the mask. Tsui Choi is a little alien Jedi. With the right parts, this could be a killer set.

Star Wars #5 (Marvel): Princess Leia & C-3PO. Rumor has it we're getting a Stormtrooper Luke & R2-D2 with #4-- may as well finish the movie series!

Star Wars #6 (Marvel): X-wing Luke & TIE Fighter Pilot. Since there hasn't been a TIE Pilot on the market since 2004, assuming one doesn't hit in 2007, it would make sense-- plus, Luke is good.

Rogue Leader #2: Wedge Antilles (new sculpt) & Black Scout Trooper/Sniper. If fans don't want the new Wedge, they'll want the black Scout Trooper. Win win.

Star Wars #87 (Marvel): Kiro & Dani. Kiro is a wannabe-Jedi from the planet Iskalon-- he's a fish-man in wacky armor, basically. He's cool and would require a new sculpt. Dani is a Zeltron, and she could probably be cobbled together from both new and existing parts.

That's my choice-- it's pretty all over the place for a few reasons. One, I'm thinking about sales-- ideally, these are things kids would want to buy, too. I'm also thinking about future years for the line-- I really love the comic pack concept and hope it keeps going for a good long time... so hopefully there'll still be plenty of exciting items for a future year. Of course, this is my wish list-- I'd love to see the line expand to include, well, pretty much everything they'd be willing to do.

FIN

After a year's worth of Q&A, conventions, Figure of the Day, my other site, podcasts, my work, and everything else, it's vacation time. I used to try and take a break from Q&A from the week of Thanksgiving through the New Year. If there's a massive influx of new questions, I'll crank out some more Q&A next week, but otherwise it's break time so I can spend some time focusing on a few other projects. (To return in January.)

After all, these figures aren't going to open themselves!

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!









 
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