Galactic's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
January 22, 2007


1. Is there any word on whether Hasbro will be offering the the VOTC Biker Scout with flip up visor from the Tin Collection individually carded at some point?

None whatsoever-- but given the huge fan demand for Scout Troopers (as Hasbro took until 2000 to make one on a card, and has made too few of them ever since), I think it's a safe bet-- if, and only if, fans keep asking Hasbro for it at conventions and in any polls, Q&A sessions, and so forth. There's still a big demand for scouts, but the $25+ tin set is a high barrier to entry. (Even though it's a pretty good set.) So I say "probably," which means "maybe in 2008" or "probably in yet another multipack." I'd be quite pleased to see a few Scouts and Ewoks in an exclusive Battle Pack, myself.

2. Any idea if the ROTS Clone trooper that comes in the Saga Legends Figures Wave 1 is the SA 501st or just a repackaged ROTS #41?

The plain white Super Articulated Clone Trooper is the one in Wave 1. Other versions will be coming later, of course, Hasbro has been known to change their minds.

3. based on your vast knowledge and experience, will my darktrooper now go down in value since hasbro is going to be putting out a new version in this years, "legends" series? or will it take on the title of "vintage"and either stay rare and (fairly) valuable? Is there any other figures that this has happened to or not happened to?

The secondary market value of still-active action figure lines is not something I like to comment on for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being Hasbro's change of heart when it comes to reissuing figures since 2002. It remains to be seen why the figure was "valuable" on eBay (I hesitate to call anything under $30 "worth something"). If the reason it's commanding any special pricing is due solely to the fact that the Darktrooper is cool and people want more of them, then the upcoming reissue might hurt it. However, the pop-up diorama packaging is really cool on the Darktrooper, and may cause the original one to still be interesting to collectors. It's also possible the new issue may have some sort of deco variant which keeps interest in the original high.

It will not take on the title of "vintage." It isn't a vintage toy. The majority of modern era figures (and despite what some newcomers may tell you, figures produced since 1995 are indeed all modern) lose value with time, and reissues tend to make them even cheaper on the secondary market. There are exceptions, but there's no way you can tell what your figure will be worth in a year or even in a month-- fans are fickle. The reasons why fans buy one version over another aren't clear, and as such, there's no way to know what this figure will be worth in a year or even next week.

4. I have the Target Exclusive TIE Fighter that was offered in 2005. The top of the box appears to have some hazing. So I thought perhaps it had been exposed to moisture. Then I noticed what appear to be vents in the deco on the bottom of the box with a similar gray haze. Is the top of the box damaged or is it part of the packaging design?
--Bushwhacker 26

It's possible that this is fungus, moisture, or other environmental build-up. The units I saw in 2005 did not have any hazing or special deco on the window of the packaging, so odds are you got one that's a little grimy. A lot of vintage Death Squad Commander figures grew fuzz on their helmets over time, despite being sealed and not having fuzz initially. Weird stuff can grow inside toy packaging, sealed or not, and given that the TIE Fighters had openings in the window, it wouldn't surprise me if something got in yours.

5. I'm just wondering why Hasbro hasn't released a repainted OTC Spirit Obi-Wan "in the living flesh." Seems like it would be a no-brainer with all the repaints and repacks coming out of late. Plus it would actually be a decent figure. We haven't really had a great Episode IV Obi yet, and this is the best mold we've seen of him so far.
--Big C

Me too. I asked about this a few times and was told variations on the phrase "maybe someday but not now." As far as redeco figures go, it's one I'd very much like to have-- heck, I'd even love to see it in a decent exclusive boxed set. Since there hasn't been an "Old Ben" Kenobi figure in a while, I'd say we're about due soon-- and hopefully Hasbro will crank out this easy (and desired) redeco for us soon. There aren't many repaints that I think fans would be actively interested in, but this one tops a short list of such things.

6. I have finally begun placing my carded figures in Star Cases and I have a problem: Ephant Mon. Even the Star Case 2, which is designed for figures with larger blisters, can't handle it. Is there a similarly designed case out there that Ephant Mon will fit into?
--Bushwhacker 26

I can't think of one off the top of my head-- I tend not to use Star Cases myself, due to the fact that they take up a lot more room than I'm willing to concede. What you may want to do is look for a special custom box for this one, if you're in need of such a thing. That, or wait for an inevitable redesign of the Star Cases down the road. (Or even try using the cases designed for other, larger figures like Simpsons. It might work!)

7. After reading your FOTD on Xizor where you mentioned the figure would probably never be revisited I started thinking. What main or semi-main characters from the saga do you think have a slim or no chance of ever being updated? Will there ever be a super-articulated Jar-Jar? Will Qui Gon ever see a new mold? Are fans tired of young Anakin? (Is it a coincidince that all of my guesses are from Ep. 1?)

Well, I should preface this with "Hasbro can and probably will revisit everything." It might take a while, but we got three figures of the original ESB Lando and a very hefty number of original Star Wars Princess Leia figures. Anyway.

After the initial Episode I line ended in favor of Power of the Jedi, Hasbro made a deliberate choice to move away from figures based on the first prequel. Since the Attack of the Clones line, we've probably gotten about 10 or so figures based on the adventures of Jar Jar. Hasbro's keeping their distance, for sure.

That said, I firmly believe we will see another Qui-Gon some day, especially since the last individually packaged Qui-Gon Jinn was released in 2002. He's a big character, fans will want to buy one. Young Anakin, I wouldn't be as optimistic about-- and I have doubts we'll see another Jar Jar Binks in the immediate future. But hey, 2009 is just a few years away, and who's to say there's no room for a 10th Anniversary assortment?

As far as which characters I think we'll never see resculpted, I would probably leave it at non-movie characters with the exception of Clone Wars. I don't see Shadows of the Empire getting a lot of attention, but even if Hasbro says they'll never revisit a character, they're lying. In 1996, I was told that we would never, under any circumstances, see another Hoth Han or Dagobah Luke because those figures were very slow sellers at the time. Fast forward to 2007, and we've had three repaints of the same Hoth Han as well as a retool that was packaged with a Tauntaun. We've also received two distinct Dagobah Luke figures, including a special packaging variant designed pretty much solely for collectors. Absolutely any figure can be revisited at any time.

Xizor is special, though-- few figures drew as much ire from fans. He was supposedly a near-equal of Darth Vader. He was weird looking. He tried to screw the princess. He's not exactly a character fans had a lot of love for, like, say, Joruus C'Boath or Grand Admiral Thrawn or even Lumiya. With new kids and collectors every year, there's a whole new crop of customers ready to buy the same characters again and again. While some fans have been buying every figure since 1995, some new fans weren't even alive back then-- so Hasbro is going to have a lot of new customers to make new figures for, at least for a few more years.

8. I once head a rumor that the Star Tours droids were actually older animatronics from the Disney Parks basically with the skins removed. (for example, they would remove the "covers" from, say, the older "It's a Small World" characters and just use the robots underneath). Any truth to that, do you think, or just an amusing rumor?

According to numerous articles, the claim is that Disney Imagineers did exactly that-- although I don't think I heard "It's a Small World" specifically. I do seem to recall hearing the G2 droids were basically skinned robot geese. And now, they're action figures. Funny how that works!

9. Did the UK company Pride Displays / Retrobilia go out of business? I was looking forward to their upcoming dioramas, but their website has been down for ages...

While there's been no obvious sign that they're gone for good, there haven't been any new products in quite some time, and because of this, it's hard to tell what's going on. It's entirely possible that their license is up and things just came to an end, or that their products need a little more time in development before they arrive to the market.

As far as can be told, the first item wasn't exactly a huge hit-- there were 3,000 of them and they had to slash prices to move them in pretty much every store that carried it. At this point, I would assume the worst, but you never know when something pops up again out of left field to surprise you.

10. I just wanted to know what new phrases (if any) the Toys R Us Endor AT-AT says. I have noticed that on the inside the pictures of Darth Vader and the Shield Generator have been replaced with scenes from ROTJ, but I have heard nothing about what the new AT-AT says. Do you have this one? I just couldn't justify another AT-AT purchase.

Well, there's a lot to like about the new AT-AT. It has an all-new paint job with new muddy deco, and an exclusive Scout Trooper available nowhere else. Plus, as you say, they changed the "screen." For me, that warranted buying it. It's also my understanding that this vehicle is flat-out unavailable in most markets, and if your Toys "R" Us still has it, you're quite lucky.

I didn't bother to check the sounds myself, because, well, I hate electronics in my toys. But I pulled out some batteries, and here's what the Saga AT-AT gave me:
Button 1: Walking sounds
Button 2: Blasters (same as the lever on the chin guns)
Button 3: Blasters followed by an explosion

I didn't spend a lot of time with it, but I kept pushing and re-pushing the buttons in my quick examination-- I couldn't get it to "talk," just to give me the aforementioned sound effects. It appears that the POTF2 version has more sounds on it, unless I'm doing something wrong with it. You don't need to justify the purchase, I don't think-- you want it, or you don't. Save your $90 for something else, there are V-Wings and Sith Infiltrators to save money for.


So, that's it! My backlog is empty. I need more of your questions for there to be a next column.

It's been a good week. The 2007 Target exclusive program seems to have kicked off in high gear with two fairly priced Battle Packs, and we got our first look at Fan's Choice winner Quinlan Vos-- and he looks pretty good! Good times, indeed.

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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