Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
April 16, 2007
1. I have a group of loose Star Wars figures that I am planning on selling
(probably as a "lot" on eBay), and I have some that are part of sets,
such as the Yoda and Emperor figures from the "Skirmish in the Senate"
battlepack. As these figures are duplicates of ones I already have, I
really don't need them, but am torn as to whether or not I should break
up the set. Should I just sell all the
figures I no longer want, or should I keep ones that were part of "sets,"
so as not to "break up" the sets? I'm also considering selling my 12"
Speeder Bike, but keeping the Luke figure, since I have room to display
the Luke but not the bike. I don't plan on selling the figures that I keep from the sets, but I'm a
little concerned about breaking things up, in case something came up and
I decided to sell the ones I'm keeping someday. What would you do in
--Greg (edited down for length)
In this situation, you're starting to get to a point of diminishing returns. While it'd be great to be able to list these on eBay, odds are you won't get a lot from a lot of this stuff. So here's what I would do in your situation since a lot of loose figures don't go for more than a buck or two.
1. Make a list of what you have, post it on trading and customizing forums. You may be able to swap extra droids and ships for figures you actually want. Some people need an extra Yoda for a diorama or an extra Mace Windu for a custom to cut off his arm-- asking around might be a good thing.
2. Keep in mind that you probably will lose money after shipping, Paypal, and eBay fees. A garage sale might be a good idea, as would asking at work if there are any kids that want some of this stuff and just giving them to co-workers.
3. Usually, but not always, empty display boxes appeal to younger collectors-- when I worked at a toy store, most of the kids I met were adamant about keeping the torn-up boxes or cardbacks because it made the loose figure "worth more" and/or they couldn't get behind the idea of tossing out packaging for a figure that, deep down, they wanted to leave packaged. I rarely, if ever, see loose with package toys carry a premium, and given you're dealing in modern stuff, I'd say save yourself the trouble and recycle them now.
In short, your question is mostly "I have lots of stuff I don't need and nobody probably wants, how to best get rid of it?" There's nothing wrong with goodwill in a situation like this-- a lot of those extra figures from Battle Packs can make the less fortunate a little money, or just brighten their day even though it's missing the packaging or an accessory or two.
2. I have a few questions for you today. First off, has Hasbro
considered repainting previously reseased figures, such as the galactic
marine or airborne clone trooper, to match the Shocktroopers, other than the
commander from the Order 66 pack? Second, will the Saga Legends 501st
trooper be SA or a repack of the figure released in 2005? Finally, do you
know if the Mace Windu battle pack or the Utupau clone trooper from last
year will be re-released?
I think it's a pretty safe bet that Hasbro is considering redecorating every Clone in every scenario over the next few years. After all, it's not like there's a lot of Clones from the films left to do-- at this point, it's original-or-bust, and for exclusives, I think we're going to see a lot of original designs. I would definitely expect more Shocktrooper-style figures over the coming months and years. After all, we're going to need some pilots soon, right?
According to Hasbro, the Saga Legends 501st will be the Super Articulated mold. The reason online stores are showing the old figure is because that's the only official photography Hasbro is giving anybody.
While I do not expect to see the purple Windu Clones released anywhere in the near future, never say never. But don't expect them soon, or without changes-- it's possible new releases would have different accessories, battle damage, or other changes. As always, it may be in your best interests to trade for one today rather than wait for a reissue that may never come. (After all, this set was clearanced out-- I bought a couple of packs for $10 a pop at the end.) Ditto with the Utapau Trooper-- Hasbro made a ton of them last year and it, along with Darth Vader, was probably one of the biggest releases in terms of quantity. Don't get your hopes up too high.
3. I WANT OMEGA SQUAD. Kal should diffinetely be part of that set when (not if) it gets done. Jusik and Etain would be cool, but whatever. My question though, why do you think Hasbro has not released Wedge's X-wing, or Biggs', or maybe even Porkins' ( he will fit in the large X-wing, even though it's a very tight fit). If they were to release some of these they might realize that X-wings will always sell. The next step might even be EU X-wings, ie. Corrans or other Rogue's ships. We need something besides Luke's Dagobah X-wing every few years!
It's a safe bet that Hasbro wants to sell a lot of the same thing. Big ships, though, aren't always an easy sell and to date, we've only had X-Wings for Luke and Red Leader-- and that's it. When selling these vehicles to a wide audience (read: not just you and me), they typically want to make something that a parent will see and buy. Marketing something as "Luke's X-Wing Fighter" is an obvious choice because you know who it belongs to, it comes with a popular hero figure, and well, it tends to sell pretty well.
I don't think there's any chance you will see an X-Wing marketed from the EU, unless it was a "customize-it-yourself" ship with lots of stickers so you can basically make a generic X-Wing into any other X-Wing you can think up. Besides, we really don't need more X-Wings. Hasbro has made 6 different ones in the modern era-- we had 2 in the vintage (vintage vintage) line. We're doing OK for now if they don't make any more.
4. I have a question about Baron Fel and the 181 Tie Interceptor Toys r Us
exclusive. Was Baron Fel and the 181st seen in Return of the Jedi? Or
is this an Expanded Universe back story? The reason I ask is that I
only collect figures from the original Trilogy.
The red-striped vehicle did not appear in the film, and the notion of the 181st Squadron didn't come into being until long after the film was made. Their history retroactively placed them in the Battle of Endor, but you won't find them in the movie when you use the pause button on your DVD player. So it depends on your definition of the Original Trilogy. Yes, the books/comics/whatever say this was used in Endor, but since the character didn't exist until the late 1990s, well, it's Expanded Universe even though "he was at Endor." So it's really up to you-- if you have a TIE Interceptor, well, you don't need another one. If you don't have one, you may as well get this one.
5. With Sideshow's recent poll regarding the vote for "favorite background character from Star Wars", I'm inclined to assume that Sideshow is considering making one of the characters in the poll as a 12" figure. Isn't this something that Hasbro should have done? I'm sure all of the Hasbro collectors out there would think it'd be a neat idea to see Hasbro make some Mos Eisley pedestrians here and there for $6 - $7 a pop but how successful do you think a Sideshow 12" $60 figure would do?
It seems likely that Sideshow is collecting data to see what might work out in the future. Seeing as how Sideshow items have gone from instant sell-outs to being largely available with few exceptions, it would seem doing a background character with too many new parts could be dangerous-- but you never know what you can reuse, as a new head sculpt is an easy way to crank out a new background character at times. I don't have a lot of hope for a $60 background character, but then again, I don't know which ones they'd pick. A super-awesome 12-inch Bossk could be a very good seller, or not.
6. Hello Adam. I'm a huge fan of Jango Fett!. The other day I was just
looking over pics of the upcoming Medicom/Sideshow RAH Jango Fett and
wondered to myself, "Hey, isn't it time we have a DEFINITIVE 3 3/4"
super articulated Jango Fett?" I've been debating buying the Episode
II Commemorative Tin, mostly for Jango, but really, as cool as that
figure is, it's just a mash-up of a few others. Now, I've seen
purported 2007 TAC release lists and see that Jango is listed on there,
could this be the SA version I've been waiting for? Some info I have
seen reports him as "poncho" Jango Fett (from the Ep II deleted
scenes?), so maybe this isn't it. I conclude my long winded wind-up
with this, if this TAC ISN'T a SA Jango, what are the odds that we
shall one day see one?
I swear I just answered this. But anyway.
We will absolutely some day see a super articulated Jango Fett. Hasbro knows we want one and it will sell. It's just a matter of "when," and as of today, I have not seen every 2007 figure yet to know for certain if it's something for this year, next year, or the AOTC 10th Anniversary. I do believe that it is very strange that Hasbro hasn't made a 100% new Jango Fett figure since 2002, especially given we've seen a few new Darth Maul sculpts since the "movie season" for that character ended.
7. What's the deal with Hasbro shipping Darth Vader's Lightsaber Hilt with all the Luke Figures lately? Even the 30th anniversary figure of ceremonial Luke has it. I guess I am just being a bit anal over it, but you would think someone at Hasbro would have picked up on this already . Especially since it came messed up on the VTSC Luke X-Wing pilot. I guess I am just a stickler for details. Do you think this might get fixed later?
Hasbro said it was communication issues with the factory. I think that might be part of it, that and that the Luke hilt's peg is too big for the VTSC and TAC Luke holes on the belt. Seriously, you can't plug in the hilt from the TSC Luke with Poncho on the VTSC Pilot body. Odds are the factory just said "OK, well, this fits, so let's use this one" or Hasbro just missed it when approvals were happening. Hasbro claims they're going to fix it-- which is a nice thing to hear. But I'd like to see them fix the skin color on Luke too-- he looks a little pale, and this is one variation I wouldn't mind seeing.
8. The recent announcement of not one but two McQuarrie themed figures for Celebration IV exclusives has me a bit worried. I've had to scale back quite a bit in terms of collecting and the McQuarrie figures are some of the few I'm still interested in getting. Will these be available anywhere else, or should I be resigned to hunting on ebay?
A quick check reveals them already up for extremely high pre-order prices all over Ebay, while older Celebration exclusives are running from anywhere between 10 and 30 dollars. But, personally, none of the older exlcusives really caught my eye, while these are completely new and interesting figures. Should I be worried?
About half of the emails I got this week were on the exclusives. Dan, I just happened to pick yours, so nobody feel too neglected since, well, everybody was essentially asking the same thing.
History reveals convention exclusives to not be worth a lot in the long run. Before I answer the question, let me post this reminder. To go to a convention, you have to pay to park at the convention center. (That's $5-$10 or more a day.) You have to drive there. (Locally, that's a few dollars for gas, or if you travel, it could be a few hundred dollars for transportation.) You may need a hotel. You may need to take time off of work. Oh, and you have to pay for the ticket to get in. And while I generally don't advocate scalpers, it actually really makes sense to pay $30 for a $15 convention figure, just because $15 is a hell of a lot less than you'd pay to get to the convention.
Obviously, this is not the answer fans want to hear-- and odds are it isn't the answer Hasbro and Lucasfilm wants to hear, either. I mean, isn't the point to make something cool for fans? In theory, sure, but there's a lot more fans who can't go than those who can-- so if and when it comes time to bite the bullet, well, look on the bright side. You didn't have to waste valuable vacation days to travel across the country/world to go to a convention just to buy a figure. (Heck, I live in LA and don't want to take off of work just to buy a figure. Which is my main reason for going to pretty much any show, aside from working there.)
Hasbro has indicated that it's likely the HasbroToyShop exclusive Luke will be sold online later. The Gencon exclusive Droid pack may or may not be sold online later. And of course, you never know how many are being made-- it's possible everybody at the show will be able to get as many as they want.
So right now, I see it like this: you'll probably have zero trouble getting Luke. R2-D2 and C-3PO remain to be seen-- given these things are expensive to tool up, I'd expect a very large production run. Even if a figure is $30 on eBay, I consider that acceptable-- I mean, ask anyone who's gone to Comic-Con in San Diego. Just parking near the show is about $10-$20 a day.
Again: I don't ordinarily advocate scalping, but let's face it: it's going to cost a heck of a lot more to go to a convention yourself than to pay someone a small fee to get the figure(s) on your behalf. (Within reason, of course. Not $100. But $20-$30? That ain't bad. It'd be preferable for these to all be sold in stores at retail, but obviously that isn't going to happen here.)
Personally, I hate the idea of convention exclusives not being made available after the show, if there's interest. It costs a lot of money to make a figure mold-- what's the point in not selling as many as the market can choke down? Supply & demand is a good thing, at least when demand is filled and supply isn't restricted.
9. What did the clone pilots on Utapau look like? Were they the same
as the ones in the dogfights outside of Grevious' ship in the beginning of
the film? Actually, I don't really care what they looked like.
Then why the hell did you write in?
10.About these new Gentle Giant mini busts just announced... called Classic and priced at $30. Are these the same size as the regular mini busts that they make? If so, why the lower price? (Not that it's a bad thing.)
The new "classics" busts are smaller, but larger than Bust-Ups. They're limited, but not numbered, and I believe edition sizes will not be disclosed. As such, well, it's another price point to collect at-- a good starting point for new collectors, but I'll be curious to see if existing collectors of busts, statues, and maquettes will want to start another line of similar medium-to-high end collectibles.
OK, I got some stuff you should probably know. One, how to read a Hasbro Q&A answer that seems vague or like they answered the wrong question. Last year, Hasbro said something like "not in 2007" when asked if Delta Squad would be made as toys-- only to announce them a few weeks later. This week, over at Yakface.com, they gave a very non-answer to the question of a V-Wing redeco. Knowing how they've answered questions like this in the past, that means "yes." (No I don't have proof. But based on their response, I read that as a "yes.")
The other thing? I did some numbers-running. If you total up all the figures that are out today, all the significant & intentional (red Tuskens, other color Battle Droids), pencil in the leaked exclusives, and a couple of others, I think that we're going to make 250+ figures in the 30th Anniversary Collection. This includes Saga Legends and its recolored Battle Droids, of course, so if you don't plan on getting any of those there's no reason to freak out yet-- but still. 250 seems pretty gosh darn likely for the year, if not more as we really have no idea what Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys "R" Us are getting in the way of exclusives, what new Battle Packs (if any) are still on deck, and so on and so forth. So 250 is my conservative estimate. (After all, we still have at least 45 basic figures to go, plus all of Saga Legends.)
Oh, and last thing. I did manage to snag a McQuarrie Boba Fett last week at Target and overall, I'm quite pleased with it. The range of articulation is excellent, the heads pop off and can be changed with minimal effort, and by and large, it's wonderful. I think Hasbro probably could have left out the "gut gun" because it doesn't really add anything to the figure beyond making it a little easier to dismantle, but aside from that, the figure is pretty hard to fault. Expect a full write-up on him in Figure of the Day in the very near future. (Not this week though.)
Got questions? I bet you do. Email me with "Q&A" somewhere in the subject line and hopefully I'll get to yours in the next column!
Click here to read the previous installment of Galactic Hunter Q&A!