Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
September 10, 2007
1. What Saga Legends figures do you suggest if you just wanted to collect the coins?
If all you really want is the coins, you don't need to be asking this question. Just wait for eBay or trade on the forums. Numerous collectors do not want the coins and have no use for duplicates (or triplicates) if they're army builders or customizers. I have a stack of 30th Anniversary coins sitting on my desk that are basically extras, and I have no doubt my Saga Legends pile will grow, and much like the holographic figures of 2006, people will want to get rid of them. My advice to you is to start asking trade buddies what they're doing with their spares, or let people know you're willing to trade for the coins. One man's trash is another man's treasure, so if all you really want is the coins, just get the coins.
If you just want to buy figures and don't know what to get, well, my advice to you is don't buy any. If nothing jumps out at you, you don't need to spend $42 on figures you don't want. Easy!
2. This is a question that has more to do with my fading memory than anything else. I just read a Q&A to Hasbro [and not the column written by you, Adam Pawlus] of a fan asking if Anakin's Modified Starfighter from the Clone Wars was ever going to be rereleased. I could be wrong on this but wasn't this ship a clunker at retail? I loved the ship and bought it as soon as if came out but I seem to remember kind of a collective groan from collectors at the sight of Anakin's expanded universe ship. Am I remembering this right or was this a super seller I was lucky to find at all?
Depending on where you shopped, this was a stinker, or a hit. There were some neighborhoods in Phoenix-- mostly the West Valley-- where some toys (like this vehicle, the quick draw Zam Wesell, and Pilot Jango Fett) that just choked the life out of some toy shop aisles, while in the other parts of town, they sold fairly well. Also, 2003 was a different market than it is today. Today's clearance fodder is tomorrow's collectible, and after fans had a chance to get to know the ship, people now want to buy it. Back in 2003, people saw it and said "what's this crap?" (Others, like me, saw it as a funky piece of Hasbro toy engineering not unlike the delightful Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect line.) Since people didn't have a chance to see it in action in the Clone Wars multimedia project, why would they jump on it? At that point, it appeared to be another cash grab and not a nifty new vehicle deserving of your hard-earned cash. The toy itself is fun stuff, and would probably do fairly well in today's marketplace, especially if there were some minor alterations made. (Battle damage? I hope so.)
It's also worth noting the Secondary Market Effect. Fans want what they can't have, and since this ship shot up to $60-$100, they can't have this. If it were $20, maybe they wouldn't be asking for it-- but there seems to be legit demand for more ships and this would definitely help fill out the price point with something "new."
After a character or vehicle makes appearances in the Expanded Universe, the collective fan opinion tends to change dramatically. People also were down on Durge when they first saw him, and now he's made decent headway in the most recent Saga Legends poll from Hasbro. Give a character a backstory, and he goes from dopey to dope in seconds. (For example there's buzz that BoShek is going to appear in a comic as a member of the Imperial Black Squadron of TIE Pilots. That can't hurt.) If this vehicle didn't go on to be a fairy significant ship belonging to a major character in some stories, I'd agree-- a rerelease may seem like a bad idea. However the Titanium Series ship is doing well, fans (kids) gobble up anything Anakin, and there's just not that much product on the market from the Clone Wars show these days. So why not make everyone happy with a reissue? (For the record I have the original, so it makes no matter to me if it comes out again or not-- but it seems to make sense for late 2008.)
3. I never got the first Mara Jade figure, but I have the new one from the comic packs. It's hard to tell from pictures, but do you consider the new one an "upgrade" of the first figure? Or is the first one supposed to be an entirely different costume? If this new one's just all around better than the first, I'd be happy to scratch the old one off my list. Thanks.
So are you a costume completist or what?
When it comes to figure purchases, you have to remember that I come from the school that absolutely every single new sculpt is always worth buying, even if it sucks, so I can complain about it. (And if it's a new take on an old outfit, all the better.) You can argue all day long about Hasbro's intent, outfit coloring, and so forth, so let's make this easy. 2007 Mara has a removable hat. 1998 Mara does not. So get both, and be happy! Luke is different too, so get him. It's ten bucks. Buying these two packs sends Hasbro a good message, and that's that we want more of these totally awesome $10 sets of two figures and a comic book. And if you can't tell something is new, it's A-OK to skip it.
4. I just picked up the Infinities Comic Pack with Jedi Leia and Darth Vader.
I noticed that the rubber band holding in Vader seems to be either
digging in or melted in to his chest plate.
Is his chest plate supposed to be cracked there or is this a defect?
I don't open them and I haven't read the comics so I didn't know if
the crack played a part in the story somehow.
It's hard to say without a photo, but I do have one and it most certainly does have a "cut" in his chest plate. It's obvious-- if it looks like a rubber band melted it, you might have a damaged piece. Mine has an obviously sculpted "cut" in his armor so you might want to consult photo archives and eBay auctions to see what other people got, just to make sure you have what you think you have. I would also like to say that this set is also awesome, the Jedi Leia figure is not without her faults (large hands) but is an excellent toy with great articulation that can stand and be posed so many awesome ways, and the Vader figure is all sorts of cool. So go get one as these packs seem to be quite common already.
5. My [snip] question is about [a] theme from the EU: the Thrawn Era. It
seems that we will get a new Thrawn action figure next year (Wo hoo!) but is
there hope for other characters like Talon Karrde, Pellaeon, Noghris or
For 2008? Hard to tell. But if you want to make sure it happens in 2009 or beyond, start making a stink about it now, and be sure to buy the Luke & Mara pack that just came out. (Heck, if you see one with a green lightsaber for Mara, buy it, I'll pay you back for it because I want it.) There's probably going to be one of the figures you listed just to go with Thrawn, assuming he's a comic pack release, and I wouldn't be surprised to see all six issues of Heir to the Empire get comic packs because the series is well known (as a novel, at least) and the characters essentially established what we consider the modern Expanded Universe. Salporin, Han, and many other characters would all make great figures from the series of comics, and if we all make a stink about it I'd say chances are good. So, are you all going to go to all the fan sites and ask the same question for the Hasbro Q&A? If not, maybe you should.
6. Okay, what are the differences between the US & Europe C4 Luke & 3PO/R2 coins? Just the words C4 & C4 Europe? Any comparison photos? Isn't the SWshop exclusive Concept Grievous supposed to come with a coin? Does the CC Indy 4 coin fit in the coin album? I thought it was bigger than the TAC coins? Finally is the EU coin going to only be released in gold color with the Darktrooper figure or is it also coming out in silver with another EU figure that I am currently blank on?
The main differences between CE Luke and C4 Luke are packaging and the coin. The figure is pretty much the same. So if you're a coin/package variant fiend, you need both. (And if anyone has a spare CE coin, hey, remember your pals.)
The samples of the "Concept" Grievous we have been shown in the package does indeed have a space for a coin-- we'll know for sure when it shows up, but it seems it will indeed sport a coin.
The Comic-Con Exclusive Indiana Jones coin is the same size and basic shape as the other Star Wars coins. So it fits in the binder, yes.
At this time, the only Saga Legends figure from the Expanded Universe is the Darktrooper. It's possible Hasbro will make other Expanded Universe figures in 2008, but the line "look" is supposedly going to be figure & stand, not figure & coin. This could change, but at this time there are no known plans to release a silver EU coin in any capacity. (But hopefully Hasbro will crank one out somehow, after all, we have money they're missing out on.)
7. Can you provide any more information on what's really going on with the odd gaps in the release of the basic figure waves? The most consistent thing I've been able to glean from the various Hasbro Q & A's is that the coins are a big contributor. Also, speculation has leaned heavily on blaming the multiple license properties Hasbro has put out this year. Aside from the odd release schedule, I'm very happy with the content of the basic figure line and the comic pack lines for 2007. Still, Hasbro never takes on a Q & A question dealing with the elephant in the room, that being a real cause for the release delays.
Well, that depends on what constitutes a "delay." Wave 1 hit around, what, March or April? It's September now, and we're on Wave 5. That's about 1 a month, which I consider to be reasonable. (Sure, 4 and 5 are back-to-back, but whatever.) So personally, I don't see it as any significant delay or problem given we had new 2006 basic figures (namely the Wal-Mart wave) still shipping through March/April. (I know some will cry I'm defending Hasbro, but let's be honest here: if we're averaging a wave a month for most of the year, aren't we doing pretty well? Distribution is another matter in that it varies from town to town, but still.)
The only one of Hasbro's licenses/lines that seems to be getting hosed right now is Transformers given the product just isn't around to be had. Star Wars seems to be doing fairly well if you hit up a few stores, with some figures being obscenely popular and others, well, not so much.
Now if you want to know why the first 2007 wave was delayed, Hasbro has given, in print, multiple answers. I've seen references to coin production delays. I've seen references to Europe jumping the gun and releasing things early. I've seen references to this being part of their marketing plan. Take your pick. I think it's just basic production woes-- namely, we want everything and want it yesterday, and Hasbro cannot possibly do that with thousands of SKUs in stores this year.
I hate to throw it back at you, but honestly, are we in any way hurting for product to waste our money on? I don't think this year is any different from most other years, there doesn't tend to be a "regular" schedule, stuff just tends to show up when it shows up.
8. Will we see the Treachery On Saleucami set again?
All signs point to "no." Get it if you see it or start making a trade.
9. I know that next year and the Clone Wars action figures
aren't clear right now, but i was wondering if you had any figures in
particular from the series you would want to be made if they are going
to sport movie style sculpts? I would definetely want to see an SA
Anakin in his original Jedi knight outfit (with the cape and shoulder
armor and everything). Maybe some other Jedi with some armor on, like
Obi with out all his armor, but some like he did in Volume 2 of the
first cartoon... Thanks!
Assuming you mean the 2003-2005 series, I'd go with "any." The show was great and I'd happily buy new versions of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Saesee Tiin that were inspired by the Cartoon Network character designs. Anything else is welcome, but the whole series is ripe for figure fun-- from cameos (like Duloks) to major characters (like Padme), Hasbro has dozens of figures they could do from the existing show. I hope we get a batch of 'em early next year.
10. I've seen the new Evolution of the Fetts pack was wondering when it would be due to come out. This set looks so far, although Boba looks a little short compared to Jango - I thought they're meant to be the same height as clones.
Also can you tell me whether there will be redo of Boba Fett's Slave 1. I like the height, look and the cargo hold of the POTJ version, mixed with the detail of the VOTC one. The VOTC one is a little small and without the famous cargo hold feature.
What you've seen so far is a prototype photo, not a really good side-by-side comparison shot. You really can't tell too much from these early photos, so wait and see what the final deal will look like. Also remember Boba is a special, unaltered clone, but don't forget that "clone" doesn't mean "copy." Some of who you are as an adult is written into your DNA, but some of it is also what kind of foods you had as a kid, what environment you grew up in, how much exercise you got, etc. So Boba can still be 100% pure Jango stock, but he wasn't put through the same wringer as the Clone Troopers were-- so he could be different in numerous ways. (Plus one character was made in 1978 and another around 2001. There are going to be differences.)
At this time there are no confirmed plans for another run of the Slave I vehicle in any variety. The 2004 version is great, retooled from the 2002 one, and well worth owning. (I still think the vintage/SOTE one is the best toy though.) Hasbro never made a Power of the Jedi version, so I assume you mean Power of the Force or Shadows of the Empire. The detail on the SOTE one and OTC one weren't really all that different, although the sculpt of the 2004 one was better overall, if you ask me. They're also pretty much the same size. I wouldn't hold your breath for an all-new Slave I, especially in a larger size or with a new mold, so you might want to get making your own or petitioning Hasbro through the various means available to you if you want to see it happen. 'cuz I'm happy with what I got so far and don't want to start campaigning for something as I am a very lazy man.
As I write this, I just got back from my trip, which was essentially one of the massive toy runs which I advise you to go on as well. Dozens of stops, loads of pizza, and yes, more Captain Beefheart CDs. Life is good. I didn't see a heck of a lot of new SW stuff on the road, but hopefully that means a bunch of stuff is coming soon. Anyway.
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!
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