Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
March 31, 2008
1. Anyway, let's get down and dirty with the legacy packs. From the looks of it I think that Hasbro has been doing a great job on the Star Wars legacy comic packs that are coming out this summer. Cade Skywalker and Darth-Talon looks great as well as the Imperial knights. My question is if you think that Hasbro has any plans to do other characters from this series? I would be great to see more of the next generation of Star Wars figures brought to life in action figure form.
P.S. I do think that Cade Skywalker should be a little taller though lol.......
I'm sure there are going to be other characters announced, but as to who and when remain to be seen. Right now, these are the only four figures they announced, but I can't imagine them not doing Darth Krayt some day soon, and I'd be depressed if I never got a figure of the "noob" Anson Trask. (Did you guys catch issue #4? Stormtrooper-on-stormtrooper fighting action. And a she-trooper.)
If you're a fan and you aren't yet reading Legacy, I'd suggest you head over to your book store or library and give it a once-over as it's now available in a graphic novel form, with new issues every month. It's a little goofy in places, but I still can't stop reading it and digging it. The character designs are mostly pretty excellent, and there are plenty of aliens and familiar faces to make it interesting. I'd be surprised if we saw all of the characters done as figures in the short term, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the major players over the next several years.
Boy, that's depressing to think, isn't it? I remember when someone said "there's a new Star Wars movie in three years" and that seemed like forever, and now we're looking at the toy line in terms of years instead of months. I just need to be more unreasonable, I just want everything now gosh darn it.
2. Got a question for you - do you have any suggestions on cleaning Gentle Giant mini-busts? I got a lot that included a Stormtrooper and Biker Scout; they were listed as dusty - I'd go so far as to say that grimy, yellowed, and - I almost cringe to write this - sooty would also apply.
Discoloration is something you really can't do much about. I got a Luke Stormtrooper that never really seemed all that pure white, so maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem there's much I can do with it.
The busts, being hard resin, are fairly durable when it comes to cleaning as long as you're careful. A wet paper towel can get off a lot of dust, and a can of pressurized air can clean a lot of hard-to-reach places. I personally prefer not to use any cleaning agents outside of water to clean my figures, but you may wish to try rubbing alcohol or your favorite soap in a small area of the bust to see if there are any ill effects. If it doesn't seem to do any harm, feel free to use it elsewhere. When cleaning dirty collectibles, I generally use cotton squares and rubbing alcohol.
3. are the Complete Galaxy Ewok, "Saga" Deluxe Ewok with Glider, and Oochee based on on-screen characters, or are they Hasbro-made like the recent EE Mandalorians?
First of all, I'm not entirely sure where the Mandalorians came from. I didn't design them, and I've heard some buzz that the names may have come from Karen Traviss and other sources say that it was 80-100% Hasbro. In short, I don't know, but if you do, hey, let's talk.
But the Ewoks? I've only found one reference to Oochee prior to his release from a French RPG site. It's possible this is one of the many, many characters in the Lucasfilm archives that we just haven't seen yet. Despite these movies being covered to death in print in the past 3 decades, we still haven't seen everything there is to see in them (and designed for them.) It's my understanding that the Complete Galaxy Ewok is just a Kenner creation to get a repaint out of an existing mold, but the Saga Glider Ewok? I can't say I've found a definitive answer but there's a character in the movie that's a dead ringer for this figure and a few sites identify him as Tokkat. So, let's go with that.
4. what are your thoughts on a Sarlacc "figure" being made? It was asked about in the Q&As a few times, and Hasbro made the valid point that it's hard to a make a toy of a hole in the ground. I've thought about it, and there's only three ways I could come up with:
1. A worm creature like in Super Star Wars, which would be inaccurate.
2. They could make a raised(six inches or so) desert environment and put the pit in the middle, which would probably be too costly.
3. They could just make a cardboard base with a picture of the pit and some plastic tentacles and a beak attached to it. This seems most feasible, but it would be pretty lame.
Have you considered this? Do you think there's any way to make it properly, and do you think we'll ever get one?
The problem with making a Sarlacc isn't so much a "how" but as a "what." While there are drawings and designs of a creature, the movie had the design as a giant mouth in the desert. It's less a character or a beast to most fans and more of a location-- in other words, it's a playset. A giant worm would be confusing to those who didn't play the game, and any form of playset seems unlikely. Hasbro made one representation in the Complete Galaxy Tatooine set in 1998, and that's the one (and only) we've seen so far out of Hasbro/Kenner. Galoob did a nice pit in its MicroMachines playsets line, too. Oh, and there's one in the Unleashed Boba Fett's base.
I personally do not believe we'll ever see a satisfactory Sarlacc in the near future. Short of being a mouth in a pile of sand, I don't think fans would recognize it, and Hasbro is fairly anti-playset these days. As such, well, it doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to do it except as packaging, and Hasbro has created some representations of the creature in packaging.
5. do you think Hasbro will release the 2003 Clone Wars Anakin's customised Jedi Starfighter again? (the one with all the guns and stuff attached to it) I kinda missed the original release. I figure they would since it's the hero's ship, it looks nifty, is quite kid-friendly in its various action features, and hey, no development costs since it's already been made and they can reuse the deco guides.
Yep! Hasbro has indicated that this once very expensive vehicle should be returning to stores later in the year. It's a little goofy looking but it's a fun toy and I really love mine. If you didn't get it, you should consider coughing up the $20 and getting one the next time you get a chance because it has a lot going on with it.
6. Adam, do you know if the upcoming probot in the Hoth battle pack with
Han and the droids is going to be a new mold or of the same mold as
the previous one?
It's my understanding that it's just a repaint. The good news is that the mold is actually pretty decent, but I don't think any of us would cry to see an all-new Probot mold in the near future.
7. are the droid factory parts interchangeable and
removable ? So - for example - can we take the head off one Astromech and
put it on another's body or give a droid different coloured legs ?
I believe it was Hasbro's intent to make the parts swappable so if you got some figures from one wave and others from another, you could cobble together your own frankendroids of your own design. Hasbro has been doing some very customizer-friendly things with some of its lines lately and this seems to be another one, so kudos to them for letting a putz like me assemble my own robots.
8. So I just got the Target exclusive Aayla Secura starfighter and found that it had no stickers. Do you know if there are supposed to be? I wasn't really looking forward to putting them on (those cockpit ones are terrible) but after the number of times I've had to do it already I was starting to get the hang of them. Thanks for your time.
Lately, Hasbro has been actually dropping stickers from some of its products-- this vehicle doesn't have a sticker sheet, and much of the formerly sticker-based decoration on the Toys "R" Us exclusive Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi Starfighter with Hyperspace Ring was pre-applied with paint. So on the bright side, there's less work involved from when you open the toy to when you put it on your shelf to never touch again. (Or hang up, whichever. I've got a big armada of ships that I've probably spent a grand total of 10 minutes with total except for assembly.)
9. There was a rumor last year that Master Replicas was to do Chewy's bowcaster. But I never heard any developments, especially since MR parted with their Star Wars license. Have there been any further developments on this piece?
From what I can gather, such a piece was under consideration but was ultimately not fully developed. As to why they didn't come out, I can't say-- they had a big rush of products before the license ended, so odds are they just had to pick and choose as they came down to the wire. It's possible eFX will do one down the road, so be sure to make some noise for the replica if you want to see one made.
10. With the recent announcements of the new toys at Toy Fair, the question regarding adult collectors and kids has surfaced once again; which group, if any, makes up the majority of sales for Hasbro? Many people on various forums and message boards insist that adult collectors are the big money makers for Hasbro's Star Wars lines and that Hasbro markets the toys soley for the adults. I, however, feel that kids and children are still the driving force behind the Star Wars lines. Is either side more correct, I guess? I think many collectors overestimate their influence, but I'm still not sure. Do you have any opinions regarding this?
The short answer is it changes based on the year. Some years, kids make up the bulk of the sales. 2005 was one of these years, and in general the electronic lightsabers (one of Hasbro's best-sellers since 2002) is pretty much completely kid-driven. (But not entirely-- I got one of those Force Unleashed Lightsabers for myself.) I heard 2007 was heavily collector-focused, but kids buy a ton of the stuff too-- it shifts based on the season and if it's a movie year or note.
The best way to put it is that Hasbro is trying to reach both audiences as best it can. Per person, yes, collectors (I hesitate to say adults, as adults buy the toys for the kids, and I've met kid collectors) make up the biggest customers-- but there are more potential customers ages 4-11. So if there's a TV show, it's going to shift to kids real quick.
We're really important as a group, though-- we buy pretty much all the convention exclusives, for example, and a lot of the medium- and high-end stuff. Still, we're not enough to make everything happen. If we were, we'd have an AT-TE years ago instead of a kid-heavy year with TV support.
First: thanks for all your feedback from last week's "so how do ya store your stuff?" question. Interestingly, I got a huge mix of answers, which was surprisingly informative in the sense that after writing this column for several years, I still have no idea how diverse my audience truly is-- so I'll be trying to change up the answers in the column going forward. There's a huge mix of collecting habits out there, from the super-hardcore to the casual fan to the on-again, off-again collector. What surprised me the most was the definition of "one of each"-- as in, a lot of collectors said "oh, I get one of each action figure." To some fans, that meant every tiny running change and variation, even if it might be part of the normal mass production and not what some may consider a variant. Others take "one of each" to mean one of each character that Hasbro produced, sometimes in new outfits. In short, we're definitely not all a single type of collector, and we're absolutely not all on the same page as a group. So if you ever get into a debate about "what all collectors want," I can safely say that I don't think anybody can really nail that one down any more.
As far as storage goes, that too was all over the place from on-site to off-site storage, with creative solutions to keep your items where you can get to them. So far, I haven't heard anything that I like more than my tackle boxes and, at times, ziplock snack bags, but I'm always curious to hear more. What can I say, I'm an old fart who enjoys his ways, dadgummit.
Anyway, thanks a million for all of your stories. And don't be too surprised if I ask you to post 'em or to let me post 'em some day. If anyone out there wants to publish a coffee table book on the hobby, I got some people you should totally talk to because these are some good stories. Assuming the people are cool with sharing, that is. That or I should just do a This American Life type podcast for toy fans, after I figure out how to make the 36 hour day happen.
Oh, and I added to the space problem over the weekend with the new Target Order 66 packs. On a lark, I hopped in the car and drove out to a Target, asked if they had any, was told yes, and I got 'em. I don't know if you will like them as much as I did, but I keep finding new things about them as I check them over with a fine-toothed comb, making my initial impressions kinda sorta not entirely right. (Hey, I wrote that 20 minutes after I opened the boxes, time's of the essence!) The clones were cool in my book, and the ones that were iffy came with Jedi or Sith that made the set worth snagging.
Big points to Hasbro for the clever use of the Kit Fisto body to create Master Sev, and bigger points to Hasbro for not punking out when it came to Tsui Choi. As you may have heard, he's a new mold! It's awesome. I'd write more but I'm actually in the middle of a pretty long to-do list, it's just after midnight, and I gotta work tomorrow.
Oh, I also checked out the RiffTrax for Episode I a few hours before I posted this and I must say that it was indeed funny. And that Episode I has aged very, very poorly.
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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