Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
January 15, 2007
1.With the success of figure of the day have you thought of doing a vehicle of
Define "success." On one hand, people are reading it. On another, I realize I'm writing 365 more articles per year and not getting paid any more (or anything, frankly) to do it. Now, I call work without pay "failure." Vehicle of the Week would tack on another 52 articles per year, and would probably last, what, 2-3 years? Now, if you guys want to, like, start "tipping" me for content, OK, I'd be happy to work for you and generate pretty much anything I can for you-- within reason. But the way I see it, each year I've got a full-time job, 365 FOTD columns, 52 (or so) Q&A columns, 250 or so updates at 16bit.com, and everything else. So right now, any additional unpaid work is out of the question and I'm wondering just how long Q&A is going to go because it sometimes eats into time for other things I want to do. Like sleeping, or the laundry.
So here's my question: why don't one of you guys start one? It's not exactly brain surgery. If I could tack on a few more hours to the day, and was, you know, compensated, I'd do it. As this is a highly requested feature here at Galactic Hunter, I highly suggest you (or someone you know) join up with your favorite fan site and start one-- I know I'd read it!
2. From the information and pictures gathered so far from Master Replicas, the
length of the Boba Fett scaled blaster is 6 7/16", the same length as the
Stormtroopers .33 blaster. From comparison pictures online of Boba Fett &
Stormtroopers holding their blasters, you don't have to be a A+ student to
see that Fett's blaster/rifle is much longer.
I did some calculations and discovered that if the Boba Fett blaster was
truly a .33 scaled version of the original size "MR Prop" the size should be
10 3/4" in length. Take the original size blaster 32 5/8" in length and
minus it by 67% = 10.77 in length.
It is possible that MR has made fett's blaster 6 7/16" to keep cost to the
consumer down but personally I think that Master Replica should take the
".33" away from the packaging of this item. And just call it "Scaled
Blaster". Because .33 is misleading information to the consumer who will
wonder why his Fett blaster trigger is so much smaller to his Han Solo's.
Do you have any info on this Adam?
I believe these are being marketed as "scaled replicas" without a consistent scale-- sort of like the Titanium ships in the sense that they're scaled to fit a packaging/price point, but not one another. As such, sizes are going to be made to fit the packaging/price, and Han's blaster may be very similar in size to Boba Fett's-- which may be annoying, depending on what you were planning on doing with these.
3. Do you think Hasbro will re-release the SandCrawler? I missed it in 1978/79 and again in 2004. Now I'm trying to decide if I should look for one on e-bay or just wait a bit.
I have a difficult time determining a newbie question from one that's baiting me, but either way-- "You never know!" The Sandcrawler was clearanced out at Hot Topic stores and was supposedly a slow seller at other places, so I would say it might get rereleased some day, but not any time soon. In 2004, there was a huge pent-up market for it as fans have been clamoring for a new one since the line relaunched in 1995. And now in 2007, the eBay going rate is about $40-$75. It was $60 new, so I would say that if you're a patient collector, start watching eBay like a hawk-- watch every last auction, and eventually you'll get one for $60 or less (before shipping). As Hasbro doesn't seem to want to release a lot of vehicles above the magic $20 price point, I wouldn't hold your breath-- but we've been surprised before, haven't we?
4. What's the best way to express ourselves to Hasbro? I know the old "vote with your dollars" theory, but that doesn't tell them why we bought or passed on certain items. For example, I'm skipping the Marvel-style two-packs for now (though I admit they are kinda cool) but I am looking forward to the others sets they've announced (or have been on rumor lists) and I'd hate to think skipping wave 1 could kill wave 2 and beyond.
With things like Evolutions, Hasbro was finished with them before we ever saw them, so what we did couldn't affect the line either way. So how do we tell them, "I would have bought Item X if only..." or "I bought Item Z but wouldn't do it again" etc?
Well, one thing you have at your disposal is the Internet-- there's a lot of places to contact Hasbro through Hasbro.com, and there are numerous fan sites. You can even start one of your own and post a column, perhaps a daily one, focusing on figures and what Hasbro did right or wrong with them over the past 11 years. (Cough, cough.)
At this point, Wave 2 for the Comic Book 2-Packs is pretty much a sure thing. The first wave seems to be doing quite well in most markets and if the release date I've heard rumored is correct, it's too late to cancel them anyway. (Which is odd, considering we haven't seen pictures/prototypes/etc.)
So in short: keep buying the good stuff, and be vocal. If something doesn't tickle your fancy and is a bad product, make sure to do what you can to spread the word-- let them know at a convention, politely of course, because odds are 100 people did the same thing earlier in the day. And it never hurts to join a fan site and contribute-- there's no reason anybody can't start a column that can catch Hasbro's eye for future feedback on these toys.
I don't think the customizing hurts, either-- the fact that nearly everybody and his brother made a Kir Kanos certainly made it apparent there was demand/desire for the character. So it's important to keep busy and chatty, otherwise Hasbro will think (correctly) we got distracted by something shiny and moved on. Given that Quinlan Vos hasn't been in a comic for months now, and may never make another appearance, it will be very interesting to see how this figure will sell upon his release-- hopefully well, so Hasbro says "hey, we can make more of these comic guys and cash in!"
Also, be picky on what you decide to share-- and this isn't for you, AC, this is for everybody. Keep in mind Hasbro employees are like employees anywhere else-- while they like their job, and take it seriously, it's entirely possible some things are the best topics of discussion. (Reference: The Simpsons episode with Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie.) Nobody wants to be hammered over the details at work unless it's a major problem. If something's 90% perfect, it might be best to move on. (As I'm sure Hasbro has received countless complaints from fanboys on the Delta Squad knee issue and the Tarkin boot issue. And if nobody out there has an issue with either of these, hey, great. And if you do, hey, great. Me, I'm willing to let stuff slide if I get 100+ figures in a year.)
5. Hi Adam. Because of the comic packs, will it now take a few more years for Hasbro to do regular carded versions of the Han and Luke stormtrooper figures, based on past form - would their thinking be they don't want to revisit them for a while? It drives me mad that there's never been a regular carded Han Stormtrooper, as he's arguably the most popular character dressed in arguably the most popular outfit! Secondly, as I'm not someone who thinks Hasbro sits around trying to decide how to annoy fans (quite the reverse) do you think that these figures haven't been done as normal carded versions precisely because they're such cool designs, and Hasbro has saved them for higher value, and more profitable formats like multiple figure sets, retailer exclusives etc? And finally, do you know where the component parts of the Han stormtrooper originate (ie it looks like VOTC Han head, VOTC Stormtrooper body and VOTC Lucas stormtrooper helmet Š is that right?) Thank you!
This situation is, most likely, phase 1 of a "double dip" in which Hasbro will use this altered mold two (or more) times. By releasing it in the comic deco first, they'll sell a bunch of units-- and also raise demand for a non-comic deco version, as pretty much every single collector saw this and said "oh, great, can't wait for the movie version!" They're going to do it, they have to. It's just a matter of when, and how. A normal carded figure might not be in the cards, for all I know this could be part of a Battle Pack, an Internet gift set, or some other offer. Maybe another mail-in for Froot Loops-- with no hints from Hasbro, it's too early to tell.
The Han head seems to be new (or slightly altered), and the figure uses the Shadow Stormtrooper body with a resculpted torso. How can you tell? The copyright on the Shadow Stormtrooper is on a the foot, and has a 2005 on it. The Vintage OTC Stormtrooper has the copyright on the leg, and it's 2004. (At least on all of mine, anyway.) The helmet is not the George Lucas Stormtrooper helmet, but rather, it appears to be a new sculpt-- or very similar to the one in the Tin with the Sandtrooper.
6. Just picked up the new comic book 2-packs from Target and they are fantastic. Not only do they look amazing Š great packaging, so colorful and so much going on Š but the whole concept is wonderful. ItÕs the perfect combination of nostalgia and modern toy design. Old guys like me love it because it takes us right back to our childhood, and I think the kids will love it because the toys are just straight-up cool looking and the comics are, in my humble opinion, timeless.
Question: Issue #1 has "No.2" in large red letters at the top. Issue #2 has "No.3" and #3 has "No.4". WhatÕs the deal? Maybe an exclusive "No.1" reprinting the original Giant-Size Star Wars issue with some additional figures?
Either way, I think this it hands down one of the coolest (and unexpected) things to come out of the Star Wars line in a long time. I really hope itÕs successful because they could easily crank out many many more. Heck, it could become a whole new line.
Number one was the Kir Kanos & Carnor Jax 2-pack, which is a shared exclusive between HasbroToyShop.com, Entertainment Earth, and ShopStarWars.com. It's my understanding that Entertainment Earth is the only of the three to have units remaining. And word on the street has it future packs will include Luke Stormtrooper & R2-D2, Quinlan Voss & Villie, and other fan favorites-- although I have yet to hear of any rumblings of more exclusive comic packs. (Update: my mistake, HasbroToyShop.com got more in. They were sold out for a while.)
7. Is there any indication that the 30th Anniversary Collection Mace Windu
(#06?) will have a removable hand?
I believe Hasbro confirmed it would, but don't have a quote handy. Figures with that level of articulation usually have hands designed to be easily removed either way, so you should have no problem popping it off to simulate battle-damage.
8. I hope you haven't already answered this lately, but here goes: Did Hasbro re-issue the Jedi Temple Assault Battle Pack, or did they just happen to resurface at my local K-Mart? Around Christmas, there were no less than a full case on the shelf at 29.99.
Also, which clones would you like to see released as army builders sets? I'd like to see the aforementioned 501st Legion, the Utupau 212th Bn., and the Kashyyyk Troopers.
It seems Kmart/Hasbro made enough units for at least three shipments of these since Fall of 2005-- and the price tends to go up each time. The case ratio allegedly changed, but they're still out there.
I personally would like to see a break from Clones outside the 501st Legion. Those, there seem to be a huge demand for. Plain stormtroopers, too, as the last time you could easily find one in stores was 2005 for about a week. Odds are we'll want more Kashyyyk troopers after those hit, but it's still too early to tell. Without vehicles or playsets, my desire for troop building shrank-- the reason I bought extras of a lot of these figures (and pilots) over the years was to populate hypothetical ships I was expecting down the road. (Made me super-glad I bought some extra AOTC Clone Pilots, lemme tell you.) But now? There doesn't seem to be much of a point. If I'm never going to have a Turbo Tank to fill, I can pretty much cap my Clone squads off at between 3-5, unless I get some crazy clearance deal. (So on that note, Hasbro, please give all Clone packs to Target. Thanks.)
Seriously though, if Hasbro could do a follow-up to the Hunt for Grievous pack, I'd be giddy. Maybe some super-articulated ARC Troopers, Fordo with his rangefinder, and the ARC Clone Pilots from Episode 21 of the series would be cool. Oh, and the Fordo that looks like Neyo-- I want that too. At this point I'm pretty much done with the Clones Hasbro cranked out, but I'd buy some more 501st or Kashyyyk (of which I have ZERO now) given the chance.
9. My collection is starting to grow beyond shelf capacity plus there are those "redundant" sculpts that I don't want to get rid of but don't feel like displaying for the moment. Are there any interesting storage solutions available either specifically made for the 3 3/4 action figure (ie any company outside of Hasbro making something) or a currently availabe tackle box or sewing tray or whatever (with a brand name would be helpful)? I just don't feel like throwing them in plastic baggies in a box! Would like the option to go to a case, open it, and check them out from time to time if the mood strikes me.
My favorite solution is the Plano brand fishing tackle box, available at Kmart and Wal-Mart by the lures and whatnot. You can usually cram about 12 figures into one, and they're about $4 each. Hasbro doesn't make carry cases with practicality for long-term storage in mind, so I would go for something like that. There are tool drawers (those things for nails and screws) that work too, and I highly advise you to check your local hardware and sporting goods stores to see what might be the best value. There's something painful about doing the math when it comes to storage, because you realize that while it may only be a quarter or so to store each figure, you might have 600 figures.
10. Any idea on how rare the Playskool soft Jedi Force lightsabers are?
I was fortunate to find these once at a Wal-Mart, and I never saw
them again anywhere. It seems these got extremely limited distribution.
I saw these a few times, and we sold them where I worked during their release. There are no known plans for a reissue, but it's my understanding it was one of those "they were out there but nobody ever saw them" items. Kinda like the Episode III Chewbacca plush buddy, which Hasbro says they didn't make, and I bought at Kay-Bee in 2005. (This one looks like the cowardly lion. It's hideous, but quite rare.)
So, Saga Legends Wave 1 is up for pre-order, and hopefully 2007 Wave 3 will be announced officially soon. I want to see this Academy Biggs Darklighter I've read so much about.
To answer many of your questions: no, the Wal-Mart wave hasn't hit yet. You'll hear when it does, because odds are there's going to be an endless symphony of complaints until we all get them. Me, I can't wait-- Purple Droids = YES. Very excited about these ones.
It looks like Titanium Series figures for the saga are kinda on the way out-- which is both a blessing and a pity. A pity because it looked like the line had more good ideas ahead of it than it had behind it, and a blessing because, well, $15 for an action figure that small? Man. That got old fast-- and looking at all the Bossk figures I'm seeing around town for $4.24, it seems a lot of people agree. I'll be curious to see how the Marvel ones do overall and, more accurately, if there's any chance of getting out the Battlestar Galactica Cylon or any other figures. I'd say there's probably still a decent market for that...
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.)
Back to Alien Crush! Man, that's a fun game.
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