Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
August 27, 2007
1. From my trawling with the various review websites like yours, rebelscum,
etc. I don't seem to have come across anyone asking about whether there will
be a new articulated version of the ESB Boba Fett on the horizon.
I have noticed that Hasbro has done nice-ish sculpt with the 300th Figure,
but after that we seemed to have reruns of the ROTJ look which climaxed to
the VOTC ultimate figure. Apart from that the Saga series seemed to have a
mixed of these two sculpts.
Have you heard of anything in the grapevine of a ESB figure which has the
nice sculpting and articulation of the VOTC figure and the great paint work
of the 300th figure? Here's a wish list : a figure that comes with both ESB
and ROTJ Blastech rifles plus the smaller pistol seen in ESB or the
concussion grenade launcher of the 300th figure.
Ideally, this ESB Boba Fett would also be a little taller than the previous
Boba's as they seem short compared to Han and Lando, even alongside Darth
Yes, one is indeed coming in 2008 as part of what Hasbro is currently calling the "Evolution of the Fetts" boxed set. This Boba Fett will have a removable helmet and appears to be largely based on the 2004 Vintage mold. So while your height issues may not be fully addressed, nor do we know how the final weapons will look, the armor is being done up as super-poseable for next year.
2. I recently saw a Nubrun Leids with Kabe at a Target in Orange County. I knew it was a Wal-Mart exclusive and took it to the self-scanners and it showed up in the system. What gives? I'm assuming that someone returned it to Target without a receipt.
There are plenty of logical reasons this could happen, two I'll share with you. One, it's not at all uncommon with tens of thousands of brown boxes shipping everywhere that one or two might be shipped in error. At my day job, I see items come in with price tags for Spencer Gifts, or cases with another company's name slapped on the side. It happens, since the figures are all part of the same basic SKU, it's a pretty honest mistake. Two, Target doesn't know it's an exclusive. It's a basic figure, it's from assortment 85770, and there's no sticker on the box indicating it's an exclusive to anybody. Why wouldn't Hasbro take it back with a generic receipt that says "STAR WARS FIGURE" on it?
One thing I like to do for fun-- as I'm just this dopey-- is to put a UPC from a toy in my pocket and scan it at various stores to see if it shows up. Sometimes I'm surprised, and other times, it works great for recon. Like in 2004, when the OTC figures first hit, I got an early sample from Hong Kong and figured out what the OTC assortment's price will be everywhere just by showing up and scanning it. It's fun, you should try it.
3. R2-KT... wonderful idea, good execution, but why is she an Imperial Droid? If she has a big heart, I'd think she'd be serving the Alliance rather than the Empire.
--Victoria (because she's on my good side this week)
R2-KT came into being through a variety of circumstances, and the long and short of it was that the owner is part of the 501st-- meaning she was made by fans, and later made legit with the production of this special action figure. While there is a Rebel equivalent of the 501st gaining steam (I just met the head of the Burbank division last week), for most fans, it's all about the Empire, and R2-KT fit in with the 501st people. You can read more about her here.
4. Why haven't any "Blade Runner" figures been made? Would you care to
provide insight on licensing issues and the like? I know those
"Android Hunter" figures exist and are cool. I was wondering if
someone could make more accessible pieces?
--Tio de Snuggly&Nina
While some toy vehicles were made back when the movie first hit, and yes, an Asian company made a bootleg "Android Hunter" doll that's essentially just Harrison Ford from Blade Runner, it just hasn't been a license anybody pursued yet. But hey-- there's not a lot of properties left to milk a few bucks out of, and I'm sure this is on the short list for more than a few companies. I mean, it took 10 years and a new company to form to get someone to do The Big Lebowski. Mezco did Animal House and that was decades late-- plus they're also doing Goonies this year. All I can really say is "patience" and "keep bugging people."
5. I read today's Q&A (keep up the great work, btw), and the reader "Charlie" was commenting on his dismay with the "Betrayal On Bespin" Battle Pack. While I suppose his arguments hold merit, I believe he forgot the most important thing that is MISSING from this set. LANDO CALRISSIAN!
I mean, c'mon, who was it that was forced to commit this betrayal? Who was right there on the screen next to Han and Leia (with no gun of course) in that very scene?
THAT is what made me do a double-take before anything else that could be/would be wrong with this Battle Pack.
What's your take on this, other than the usual offering that "Lando doesn't sell"? While I would typically agree, it would make for a nice Battle Pack. Since these are more geared to the kiddies, I guess the rest of us will have to deal. :)
I think he was cut for budget reasons. You've got a boxed set with a price point to meet, and you can do 5 figures. That scene's focus was Darth Vader, the (second) introduction of Boba Fett, Chewbacca growling, Han shooting, and Han trying to protect Leia. Lando betrayed them, but he wasn't in a very active role-- he was there, but didn't do much. As such, it makes sense to crank out the more active (and more popular) characters... that and if they included VOTC or POTJ Lando, I'd be getting an email from someone else complaining about a) the crappy figure or b) the figure that didn't sell the first time. So basically, it's a no-win here.
6. The Umpass-Stay figure comes with half a drum, is there another figure with the other half included too or do you need 2 Umpasses?
Right now, you need two Umpass-Stay figures. Ak-Rev is under consideration by Hasbro, I personally expect to see it in some capacity within 18 months. (That, or buy a clearance Umpass-Stay to finish it when you get a chance.) So this is another "patience" answer, unless you just want to drop $7 to finish it now, and why not? You can take off spare Umpass-Stay's hat, give him a staff, and put him to work on a skiff.
7. I read somewhere that there is a legal issue for using the likenesses of the Tonnika sisters from the cantina scene, is that why Hasbro has been dragging there feet on producing these much anticipated figures?
Yes. That's why you read it somewhere.
8. The massive trade federation droid transport vechicle from ep1 could not possiabably be made because of size , costs etc but would a hollow version ever be considered ( empty space inside). i personnally wouldnt mind having an empty shell of something that i wouldnt have gotten otherwise but does hasbro not see this as an appealing solution to producing cheaper vechicles?
Anything can be made as a toy. Anything. Just because a character in the movie was a head on a stick means nothing, Hasbro can design a body. A ship can be reproportioned, as seen on the many vehicles from Kenner from 1978-1985. So we have an AT-AT with a big head, an X-Wing with wings that are too small, and the Millennium Falcon with a too-small ship and a too-big cockpit. If there's a will, there's a way. Although the marketing department and/or corporate bean counters may find a reason to quash it, the people working at Kenner/Hasbro's design department are a bunch of fun-loving geniuses who know how to make something fun if given the opportunity. (Case in point: vintage Rebel Transport.)
The problem here is there's no will. While there are lots of fans who will buy pretty much everything-- as I often say, as I am one-- this ship is ranked near the end of fan requests. I hear more people asking for another Jedi Starfighter repaint than I do a Droid Transport Vehicle, and if we got one, it'd probably be pretty small. Would we ever get a big, $50+ one? I'd say "maybe if it's on the TV show," but let's be honest here-- it's a dull ship. No, it isn't going to happen unless the line explodes again and they're desperate for new designs to introduce just to meet the staggering demand for vehicles and $20+ products.
9. I love, love, LOVE the comic packs. If you asked me a couple years ago if I thought I'd ever have a Villie figure or A'Sharad Hett, I'd say not in a million years. Two figures (in many cases 100% NEW) and a comic for $10, and it's a valentine just for me. In my area, they seem to be doing well, too. The Marvel repaints seem to be the last to go, but they don't sit around forever.
I was just wondering what you thought of the ones shown at San Diego. Anakin and the Assassin Droid seem like a sure bet, Hobbie and Baron Fel have the Rebel/Imperial thing going, Koffi Arana (who?) is sure different enough to get your attention, but the next wave seems really esoteric to me (even for Star Wars). Luke and some chick in Imperial uniforms, and a Duros and Bald-and-Tattooed Man in Stormtrooper armor. They're obviously repaints/retools so I can keep getting these things for $10, and I'm definitely interested, but I dunno. Just seems like an odd use of resources, you know? So what do you think? Good choices for the line? Or no better or worse than anyone else they could have made?
And just for fun, what's your short list of figures you want to see before the line dies? It seems everyone has wildly different ideas on what should get made. Me, I'd like to see Big Gizz and Spiker (ha! remember them?), Janek Sunber ("Tank") and a tribal Amanin from Empire #17, any combination of 2 crew members of the Uhumele from the new Dark Times series (which features possibly the most fun group of established aliens ever), and virtually anyone from Legacy (particularly the Sith, the Mynock's crew, or Imperial Knights). What say you?
If the rumor mill is right, Legacy is happening-- how and when, not sure. But it seems that Hasbro wants to do it, eventually, and that probably means that you can hold your breath.
I like everything I've seen in the overall Comic Packs line so far, even "dork in Stormtrooper armor," because love it or hate it, it's an extra Stormtrooper. For $10, you get two Stormtroopers-- this is not a bad thing, even if one has green hands. Luke and Deena Shan as Imperials are a great pair, but then again when I saw the comics the first thing I said was "I want those as toys." So.
So assuming Legacy is a go, I'd push for more Marvel. Lumiya, Den Siva, Kiro, Dani, and new versions of the main cast from the final 20 or so issues. And if I got my way, absolutely every last character from the Droids cartoon series that appeared in the Droids comics. Eventually, I think Tank is pretty much a sure thing, and as far as Shadows of the Empire goes, I can't say I have high hopes of ever hearing from it again in the short term.
10. in response to Rich [last week], asking about the Death Star Briefing table, the guys at FFURG have a tutorial that looks nicely done:
There ya go, Rich, enjoy!
So, yes. Animated Boba Fett Bobble Head. Dude. I'm totally jazzed I got to do this one. (Yeah, I know, it's a bobble, but man, I digs it.) This was an especially good week to go into the office.
I just got my Y-Wing and TIE Interceptor and I have to tell you this: you will LOVE them, especially the Y-wing. Sure, it was $19.99 in 1999 (funny how that works), but at $29.99, this is totally better. Not only does it have two great figures, but the deco is awesome too. The landing gear, not so much, but the packaging is gorgeous, the pilot has a mullet (DUDE), the R5-F7 has wonderful decoration, and actually I hope to see it available again carded in the future. It's just nice. I totally feel I got my money's worth for once, as Hasbro made so many changes to this that, short of an all-new mold (and fixing the landing gear) there's not much they could do. OK, the droid socket-- but aside from that.
The new TIE Interceptor is, at worst, OK. It looks nice, I love the kill marks, but the Y-wing just feels like a much better deal. Still, it's a nice addition to the never-ending fleet of slightly different Imperial ships.
For vehicle fans-- and let me tell you, I'm a born-again-again vehicle fan here-- there's still a lot more to go this year. First, there's an AT-RT Battle Pack at Target for $29.99, with two camo AT-RTs with figures. There's a Target exclusive ARC-170 inspired by the Clone Wars "space whale" deco-- this is $29.99 too, and all figures are sold separately. There's also a TIE Bomber, which I think is $35, and it's a grey color with battle damage. In other words, it's dead sexy.
Non-exclusive vehicles may come out in 2007, but I'm thinking it's shaping up to be more like 2008 at this point. These include the AT-AP, General Grievous Starfighter, and rereleases of the blue and green Jedi Starfighter vehicles from Episode III, sans figures, and hopefully with the correct labels from the get go this time. As far as I know, nothing else has been confirmed, but there are scads of rumors.
So what do we need to see again? I'm so glad you asked.
Millennium Falcon. Last sold: 2005. Reaction: poor. Despite being available in 2004 in an OTC box, the identical toy was rereleased as a Toys "R" Us exclusive in 2005 and 2006, and every fan who bought it told me that it's super-flimsy, and I've only heard one person who confirmed that they had both the OTC one and the ROTS one, and that it did indeed suck on that last release. So what do we need here? An all-new model. I'm not saying a $199 vehicle, but it might be worth revisiting the vehicle with an all-new sculpt, maybe with a one-man canopy, and better use of the space under the roof-- there's no reason to fill it in when you could put in a gun rack, extra seats, or a training remote space.
A-Wing Fighter. Last sold: 2003 (in green), 1997 (in red). It's a popular ship, the original Droids release is super-rare, and there's an as-of-yet unreleased McQuarrie Concept A-Wing Fighter paint job. Yes, the blue A-Wing. Since it's a cheap ship, it could probably be fudged into the $19.99 assortment, and it could even be marketed as a McQuarrie Concept toy, why not crank out a blue one? Here's hoping, it's been five years since this ship was available on the market.
Landspeeder. Last sold: 2002. Hasbro made an all-new mold in 2002, and it was greatly improved over the already great 1995 version. Aside from deco, there's not much to fix, and it could easily fit in a $19.99 sized box. Of course, to be worth $20, they would need to toss in a figure, a droid, or something special-- and since there seems to be a decent market for it, why not?
Speederbike (Return of the Jedi). Last sold: 2004, but a black redeco was offered this past July at Comic-Con. This one just needs to be totally redone with some sort of clear stand to make it look like it hovers. While there's no perfect fit for it in the regular line today (no $10 vehicle assortment, no $10 figure assortment), that doesn't mean they can't find a creative way to make it happen. For example, do a $19.99 vehicle assortment battle pack which includes a Speederbike, an Ewok glider, a Scout Trooper, and an Ewok. That's $20 well spent. Or they could always create a new "deluxe" assortment which has figures, vehicles, and creatures in it for about ten bucks, which is essentially what the 2004 "ultra" figures were. While the current ones aren't bad, it certainly wouldn't hurt to see an all-new one.
Mini-Rigs. These were ships sold from 1981 or so through 1985 of vehicles that looked like Star Wars hardware, but were never seen in the movies. There were ships like the ISP-6, which looked like a tiny Imperial Shuttle, the INT-4, which looked like it incorporated early AT-AT design elements, and the Desert Sail Skiff, which combined elements of the Cargo Skiff and Sail Barge. While Hasbro did try to make a new one with the oddball Cruisemissile Trooper, it fell short because, if you ask me, it didn't feel like it fit in the universe and most important of all, there was no interaction with the action figures. If I can make a figure fit in a vehicle, I'll like it-- if I can't, then it sucks. But obviously, there's a market for vehicles and these ones are actually pretty good. With a little paint and some retooled pegs for feet, these could be a modest hit on the market today if the price was right or if a figure was included. Bring 'em back.
Due to scheduling, I may be taking off for a couple of weeks. (Figure of the Day has been written, but Q&A is tight as there are a limited number of questions left to answer-- so if you want to see Q&A over the next couple of weekends, if you've got some burning questions, you might want to make sure you send those in ASAP.)
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!