Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
January 29, 2007
1. Am I the only one that doesn't give a damn about figure stands? I have a bag full of 'em. If I took the names off the Saga ones, you think anyone'll buy them?
One man's trash is always another man's treasure-- except, of course, when it isn't. This is one of the times where it probably is. I wouldn't expect a large bounty on such a sack of stands, but I can say that if you were to offer it somewhere, you'd get takers. A lot of fans want more stands and since rumor has it Hasbro is looking to make some generic movie logo stands in the future available... somewhere... you can probably find a buyer.
2. So I am sitting here and I love the site and visit a few different figure sites everyday. I have begun to notice something though and I was wondering how this is happening. Why is the french Star Wars figures site 4-inches.de getting all the scoop shots and first looks at new products (Not that there is anything wrong with that and hey, kudos to them). I was wondering how they are getting these scoops as Hasbro is an American company and the figures and designed out of the States. What is their secret? Is it a shipping thing or distribution thing?
While it may seem like a lie, it's a coincidence-- for now. At different times in the line's history, different sources end up being the best bets for news. In late 1997/early 1998, a collector named Joe Leung tended to get a lot of early production (or preproduction) samples. In 1996, a guy in Australia named Wayne Hartley was able to come up with piles of assortment information that was pretty much 100% correct. Today, it seems German site 4-inches.de is getting lucky with a lot of scoops-- and more power to them. Every few years, another site asserts itself as a must-visit stop for news, and it seems 4-inches.de is doing a wonderful job at keeping the rest of the world on its toes.
Of course, they mirrored pictures which originally came from Blister.jp earlier in the week-- or at least, so it seems. Hasbro is a really big company with divisions all over the world, with different items at varying levels of confidential. Some divisions may be shopping around an exclusive, and the sell sheet makes it out to a fan somewhere. Others don't necessarily know that the US division has an embargo date on certain bits of information. Either way, I can say that I'm glad that despite what official channels say, there's a lot of truth to be found about upcoming products on the Internet. (Although it is unfortunate if you're trying to keep something under wraps.)
3. I was never able to locate a carded Scorch in stores but was able to purchase EE's Republic Commando set. Is the Scorch and weapon in the Entertainment Earth's "Republic Commando" the same or a repaint to the carded one?
For the record, this item is a shared exclusive-- much like the 2005 Wedge Antilles figure, the Delta Squad gift set is available to a number of Internet accounts.
The Scorch figures are virtually identical. On mine, I noted the waist joint was stronger on the boxed set version, but aside from that the sculpt and deco are, for all intents and purposes, meant to be identical. (Of course, you can put any two mass produced figures together and find some minor difference if you look hard enough.) The one thing the basic figure has that the boxed set doesn't is a display base-- so if that matters to you, you may wish to buy both versions.
4. Waves 3 and 4 of the [30th Anniversary Collection action figures from Hasbro] look really exciting. I know the pictures are kind
of fuzzy, but with your expert eye could you give us a breakdown of what's
brand new and what's rehashed? And isn't it a bit soon for a new Tatooine
Since last year's line, even Hasbro-released official photography has proven to be a less-than-reliable source of information as to what's new and what's a redeco/repaint/retool. From the images we've seen, though, I can make some calls-- assuming they're final. For those of you who read this column and not the front page, go here and poke around to see the newest figures.
Holiday Special Boba Fett is a retooled and repainted version of the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection figure. This is a very good thing and I thank Hasbro for picking a good sculpt and painting it up in a totally new way that I actually want to buy. I like the idea of Boba Fett having more than one suit of armor with differences beyond a few minor details here and there.
Luke Skywalker (Episode IV) is a retooled figure, if not an entirely new sculpt. The head and arms appear to be new, while the torso and legs seem to be taken from the Early Bird Luke Skywalker mail-in figure from 2005. For fans wanting a more or less "generic" pose, this may be the best possible decision short of making brand new legs.
Darth Vader seems to be based on the Evolutions/Tin sculpt, however it's tough to tell if it's really new or what. The accessory is new, which to me warrants the purchase. My money is on this being a revised version of the Tin figure, but with the helmet glued down or a new head sculpt.
The Stormtrooper seems to be based on the Vintage mold, possibly the comic Han Stormtrooper mold. It's difficult to tell at this time.
Everything else, to me, appears to be at least 90% new. Jedi Luke's head seems like a reused one, but the legs and arms and torso appear new-- ditto with pretty much everybody else. I'd say Hasbro's average is excellent, and they're doing a mostly great job coming up with good repaints. My complaint? Not enough droids. It's a cheap redeco, and one I'm willing to sink money on.
One more issue to touch on-- a few readers asked if the new Jedi Luke had ball jointed shoulders. While it's hard to tell, I would say that the image certainly gives that illusion-- we'll have to wait for Toy Fair (most likely) for better images.
5. Are there any plans to release Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels in a softcover format? The Hardcover version is just to damn expensive.
There are no plans at this time. While very expensive at $150.00 cover price, it can be had for about $95 on Amazon (not much of a bargain), but completed auctions on eBay show it going for about $60. My advice to you? eBay.
6. Now that the Shuttle and Endor AT-AT have proven to be big sellers, pun intended, what sort of big vehicles could we see next? The only ones I can think of are the AT-TE and maybe a turbo tank. Is there anything else they would consider?
With the upcoming SAGA LEGENDS line, will this cause problems of peg clogging like the current Greatest Hits? Cause this could be a problem down the road with new figures ever hitting as lots of Mauls and battle droids sitting there gathering dust.
Does Saleucami 2-pack that is coming out contain rip cord versions of the BARC speeder or is it the same that came with the deluxe Adi Gallia?
The sales of the Shuttle and AT-AT are a bit of a mystery. We don't necessarily know how many had to be made, but it does show there's a market for this stuff. It doesn't hurt that each ship had about 25 years of being considered a legendary toy icon to many fans, and the prices weren't exactly bad either. At this point, the first new big vehicle I would expect would be a totally new Millennium Falcon, followed by a Death Star. (And yes, I know it's a playset and I know what Hasbro says about playsets.) The Falcon makes sense because we're reaching the limit of what the 30-year-old mold can get us, even with new electronics. As far as prequel vehicles go, no vehicle has any significant interaction with any main characters, nor are they mentioned by name on-screen. Plus we never see the interior of the ships. Part of the appeal of the Falcon and Star Destroyers is we see important people walking around inside these vehicles, and if you watch the movie, you can name them. The prequels vehicles were mostly background designs which, while cool, can't be named by fans who just watched the films and none of the other sources. To me, this is a bit of a worry-- perhaps the Titanium line can raise awareness of some vehicles, and perhaps a TV show or some other project can make these vehicles better known. But for now? Well, I wouldn't hold my breath. The Bongo seems to have the best level of awareness of unmade vehicles from the prequels-- even my dad knows what that is, and he's not much of a fan. Of course, I don't think anyone but me would buy one, so maybe that's a weak choice. I would cross your fingers that Hasbro decides to do more vehicles in a larger size, and I know there's a market for them, but I'd be very worried in their position to put a lot of money developing something new in a non-movie year. I hope that the ultimate result of the Shuttle and AT-AT means that we'll see more new Trilogy vehicles in anniversary years, and that Hasbro makes sure to have a really awesome $90 toy out during the TV show's launch window.
Saga Legends. YMMV. Here, Greatest Hits sell very well in some stores, and not in others. Where I work, we're out of stock a lot of the time. As a regular, movie version $6-$7 Darth Maul has not been available to fans since about 2001 or 2002, why worry? The mix is good. I think Chewbacca may be a figure to worry about, but there's going to be some multimedia pushes this year and those will probably help sell a lot more figures. And don't you worry about the Battle Droids, I'll be buying those.
The new Neyo 2-pack, I believe, includes the Adi Gallia bikes. This may change and I might be wrong. Obviously, nothing is official until Hasbro's final product shows up at the stores.
7. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I've been really enjoying the Unleashed Battle Packs and have stopped buying pretty much anything else. How have these been selling? Any rumors for what we can expect to see at Toy Fair?
Of Hasbro's many experiments of 2006, this one survived-- along with the Transformers. They're doing very well, but there's no word on what's next for the line yet other than that it's expected to continue. Titanium Series figures (as a main line item), 7-inch unleashed (outside exclusives), and Customs are probably gone forever.
The next waves of the Unleashed Battle Packs include 2-inch scale mini-figures from the Tantive IV battle between Leia, the Stormtroopers, and the Rebels, while the wave after that focuses on the first 1/3 of the original Star Wars, specifically the sequences around Tatooine. Without vehicles or playsets, I find it hard to muster enthusiasm for the small scale-- but if we saw Jabba's Palace realized as tiny figures, I'd be a very happy camper.
8. I just now located my "send in the coupons for a free Lucas Stormtrooper" figures and was wondering if this offer is still good. The original expiration date was sometime last November, but I had read that it had been extended. Is it too late? Even if it is, should I still send em in, perhaps they’ll let me slide?
It's my understanding that the offer is still good through February. So send for it now and don't dawdle-- I kept putting it off until November, and you never know when they'll run out. (Of course, from the sound of things, I doubt they'll run out any time soon.)
9. Ok, I've heard rumors of an impending 2007 holiday figure, however its not a Christmas Holiday figure. This rumored figure is looking like it may be a 'Fathers Day' figure, most likely a version of Vader, probably from the 'I am your father' scene in Empire. HOPEFULLY, not just a repack of the Saga 2002 version!!
But, I have a great idea! Since all of these new (and GREAT) EU figures are coming out, and since this figure will be aimed at collectors, why not an Easter Holiday figure instead? And I think you know where I'm goin with this. Jaxxon!!! Our favorite green-haired space hare featured in a pack-in with a comic book just in time for Easter. I'd FREAK, and I know you would too! : )
While I would go nuts for the Lepus Carnivorous, I think we may be in the minority. I'm a sucker for Marvel's original characters, but I don't know if we can ever expect to see them in action figure form. (They could toss in the bunny-like Hoojibs for good measure.)
As far as holidays go, it seems the chances of anything that really fits the holiday well won't happen. So Santa Yoda is yes, but Life Day Chewbacca? Don't bet on it. "Holiday Special" Boba Fett is an exception, of course. The as-of-yet unconfirmed "I Am Your Father's Day" set might end up being even more ridiculous. Might it be Luke giving "dad" a tie? Remember, the Holiday Vader was painted red. Just because it's a clever idea doesn't mean the actual product is going to be a purchase you'll be proud of.
Of course, Hasbro has had a lot of success with Easter-themed My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop product. Playmates shipped some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Easter Eggs with figures and other extras. So where are my Hasbro-produced G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Star Wars Spring packs? I think the market's ready. (A big basket with Jaxxon, some comics, and a Han and a Chewie might be just what the doctor ordered.)
10. I have been adding several prequel figures to my collection for the first time. I'm not really sure how I'm divining which ones to go for - mostly I look for figures that, in my mind, make visual sense with the rest of my collection. Anyway, I've decided to pick up the Neimodians right now. I've got Nute Gunray, Rune Haako, Nute Gunray from the Geonosis War Room pack, and Lott Dod. Am I missing any released figures? I seem to recall that there was a hologram Nute in the works but, judging from the lack of evidence from eBay and various photo archives, either my memory is way off or perhaps the figure was never released? Do I have the wrong info?
A holographic Nute Gunray was, at one point, to be part of a 2-pack with a regular Lott Dod figure as an exclusive for the Fan Club. This never happened. However, Asian sellers have cranked out "test shots" of the Holographic Nute Gunray, so there are a limited number of questionably authentic figures out on the market today. (Basically, they're considered "official bootlegs" by some and prototypes by others.)
At this point, you're still able to pick up a few more figures. Lushros Dofine came out in 2006, and is still available at many stores at retail price. The Neimoidian Soldier from Revenge of the Sith can still be found on clearance or at full price at some Toys "R" Us and drug stores, respectively. Finally, there's also the Neimoidian Commander-- technically Expanded Universe, but part of the Revenge of the Sith line.
Holy crap, were you guys talky this week! I responded to a lot of questions by email, and it seems I've got quite a few to answer for next week. Still, I can take more questions if you have them-- this column's frequency will increase when I get enough questions, so if you want two a week, you know the drill.
I asked one of my local Targets if they had the Ilum and Felucia Battle Packs. They said yes-- and that I couldn't have any. Hogwash. Seeing as I hear numerous reports from people in my general area that they are getting these items, well, man. Happy hunting I guess. I know I'll be doing some driving around this week... gotta get me that Clone Wars set.
Overall, it's been an awesome week. As far as news goes, odds are we found out so much stuff that Toy Fair 2007 will have a hard time wowing us-- here's hoping Hasbro has a couple of vehicles ready to show. That, or more McQuarrie awesomeness.
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!