Galactic's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
April 28, 2008


1. I've come to realize there are two camps of appreciation for action figures. There are those who love a lot of POA (points of articulation) and those who hate them. I, personally, hate them. They make the figure look retarded. You can see all the cuts from all the POA which make the figure look deformed. The pivotal head is pointless. The AT-AT Driver's head, for example, only has a certain degree of pivotal motion which makes it pointless.

Then there are those who love POA. I asked my nephew what kind of figure he preferred and unfortunately he said he preferred a figure with lots of POA. I figured since he was younger that maybe it's a generational thing.

In a way, I'm thankful that Hasbro makes them with lots of POA because it makes the figures look so ugly that it makes it easy for me not to buy any which saves me money.

One of the biggest mistakes we as a community make is that we assume others are like us-- or that we're special, and everyone isn't like us. Fact is, there are tens or hundreds of thousands of us, each with different expectations as to what a figure needs to have to be "good." It almost doesn't matter because few fans are like Oscar here and actually stop buying something merely because they don't like it.

Articulation is very important to some collectors, and just the number of joints does make some people very excited. I find this a little short-sighted, but points of articulation are indeed important for some figures more than others. I never understood why any "driver" or "pilot" needed massive amounts of articulation unless it was important to piloting his or her ship. We all have unique needs and some people really do like the articulation-- others expect mini statues for $7. Others just want something that holds together as a good toy, or looks good in the package, or is conducive to customization, or whatever. Basically, Hasbro is at a point where there's so much going on with each and every figure that it's flat out not possible to please everybody anymore. Lots of people like the new Commander Gree, but the deco is still off. Others hate the Kashyyyk Trooper just because he's a smidgen short, but he's otherwise an excellent figure. And others think that those new G.I. Joe figures are the best thing ever-- but a lot of them can't even sit down properly. I guess what I'm saying as a response to you is that basically nothing is so good that someone won't hate it. And if you actually decide to save your money because something doesn't strike you as worth owning, kudos to you sir.

2. Now I don't mean to be blunt, but where is Rex? I mailed in for mine on 2/17/08. I've counted 64 days since then (I'm sending this on 4/22/08, please correct me if I am wrong). Divide 64 by 7, and it equals about 9.14 weeks. If I'm not mistaken, Hasbro said Rex would arrive in 6 - 8 weeks. I've checked a bunch of forums all over the web, and no one has received their Rex. Something has gone awry. Where in the world is Captain Rex???

On most mail-in offers lately, Hasbro puts a "will ship after this date" date on the order forms. For whatever reason, they didn't on this one, and Hasbro has actually just announced that this offer probably wouldn't ship until May. While I know it's not at all a good answer, most mail-in offers (especially the first shipments) take quite a while to hit. Unless someone has one and you don't, well, there's nothing you can do other than sit tight and watch eBay for in-hand Rex auctions.

This is actually somewhat common with the first batch of figures shipping for a mail-in offer-- typically, it does take longer because they're rarely, if ever, ready to go the day you send in your coupons.

3. Just a quick question from one who loves the speeders from EP 2 & 3. Since they seem to be reproducing every vehicle done in plastic for the Titanium line, is there any chance of seeing Anakin's Yellow Speeder, Zam Wesell's Speeder and Please for the love of all things Coruscant, Bail Organa's beautiful red and silver speeder that looks like a 1957 Corvette and a S.W. speeder had offspring? I know so many who feel that the design is just suited for die-cast.

When asked, Hasbro's answer on a lot of questions of this nature are something to the effect of "we're working on it, hold your horses." Thankfully, Titanium ships are doing very well right now. While this might not be thrilling news to you, it means that the line will go on for a while and Hasbro will eventually get to a variety of vehicles simply because the amount of "new" vehicles to do will run low. I would love to see decent toys made of those vehicles-- especially since the 2002 versions with the 2002 figures were turkeys-- but it's one of those "we're just gonna have to wait" things. I mean, Hasbro is just now getting to the Bespin Cloud Car in Titanium-- they want to spread out new releases while exploiting their existing molds, so I'd say expect something in the next couple of years. Assuming the line continues. And there's no reason to assume it won't yet.

4. I loved your answer to question 10 in this week's Q&A - I personally am much happier since I ditched everything except collecting episode IV figures and vehicles, and ONLY episode IV figures and vehicles that were in the 1977 version. No exceptions!

Which brings me to my question. What do you think collecting causes more of - happiness or unhappiness? In my case I started off happy, became increasingly stressed out trying to collect everything, dumped my whole collection, took three years away and came back last year with my new 1977 Star Wars collector focus - and I've enjoyed it ever since much more than I did when I had to have everything. It's fun now, but it was starting to feel like a job I didn't enjoy!

Happiness generally comes from your expectations and if they're met. If you basically get what you want-- whatever that is-- you're happy. I used to be significantly harder core when it came to video games but have basically retired to a bit of a clearance rack rat. (Simpsons The Game for $12? Yes. Star Wars LEGO II for $5? Also yes.)

Everybody has different expectations. Some people want only AFA-90 or better quality carded figures, and anything less is maddening. Others want every last variation under the sun. Others want one of every figure. I've found the collectors to be the happiest when either a) money is no object or b) they don't care as much.

While I do think people who collect less tend to be happier, well, ignorance is bliss. If I thought I had "everything" and was blissfully unaware that there's another 500 items to track down, I'd be pretty mellow too, rather than my high-strung self.

5. I am finishing up my toy room display in my basement and was planning on having a built in display cabinet for loose 3-3/4" figures. It won't be a complete set but just a selection that I want to display. I was wondering what the tallest 3-3/4" figure is, so far. I plan on displaying them with the most recent movie logo stands.

Basement, eh? Boy, we're a cliched bunch.

The tallest figure so far is Graxol Kelvyyn, but this year's Tri-Droid can be expanded to be pretty tall too. Graxol is by far the tallest, being roughly double the height of most figures. He can sit on his own display base, but he's still quite tall. Since Darth Vader and Wookiee figures have got to be much taller as of late, I would design your display to be able to fit figures that are at least 5 1/2-inches tall (that way you also have room for them to hold up lightsabers), and to have at least one shelf for figures up to 12-inches. You should future proof your displays-- consider that hundreds if not thousands of more figures are still on the way, and it's possible the new TV shows could introduce some super-tall figures some day.

6. do you know which if any of the order 66 clones actually appeared in the movies, for the mostpart they look all made up, why didnt they re-release ones that were in the movies?

Am I allowed to say "because that would be stupid?" Or is that considered cruel at this point?

So far, the 12 clones in the Order 66 line are largely from Hasbro or Dark Horse Comics' own imaginations and are inspired by the films. A few, like Commander Thire, appeared in the movie but in different armor. Several have absolutely nothing to do with Order 66, making it an unfortunately named line.

Hasbro, wanting to sell you things, decided that it would be best to provide unique, original figures that were not identical to those already on the market. A segment of the fans seems very interested in constant reissues of existing figures for some reason, and I can't say I get it-- the figures already exist, you can just buy them or trade for them on the cheap. In order to reach out to collectors' expanding collections, Hasbro had to provide something new. Sure, Hasbro could have tossed in a set with Commander Bacara and Ki-Adi-Mundi, but I certainly wouldn't buy any of them if it was just existing product in a new box. When an exclusive is simply previously released figures in a new box, many fans won't bite-- while they're not all gorgeous, I'm pretty happy Hasbro opted to make some new (or new-ish) troopers rather than to just crank out more of the same.

7. Do you know of a comprehensive list of what is supposed to be released with the Millenium Falcon on July 26th?

As far as I can tell, Hasbro hasn't released this information to anybody yet beyond this press release which doesn't get into too many specifics. I'm willing to bet a lot of it is being held back as a surprise, you'll recall that sometimes a few figures get leaked just a week or two before the date and aren't always announced-- Hasbro doesn't seem to like providing shopping lists. I would expect virtually everything you saw at Toy Fair 2008, that wave of Titanium Series that showed up on eBay the other month (Landspeeder repaint, Sandspeeder, Cloud Car, etc.)

So in short, I'd expect new Evolutions, one or more waves of Cartoon figures, one or more waves of Legacy collection (ROTJ), one or more waves of Titanium Series, all the vehicles we've seen so far, the Clone Trooper voice changer, the new Ultimate Lightsaber, and a new batch of Mighty Muggs. LEGO will be putting out some new sets around this time too, and I'm sure other companies have stuff in the works. I'd be prepared with at least $500 if I were a figure fan, plus don't forget July 26 is during Comic-Con, so you'll need to worry about those exclusives if you aren't there. And if you are there, you're going to have to worry about the regular project. Good job, marketing teams, way to time things so your biggest fans can't be in two places at once.

8. Has there been any word on the release of the Target exclusive [Battle] Rancor yet? I've heard April, but they would need to get on the ball if that was still the case.

Hasbro's release dates in the various presentations are sometimes solid, actual dates and other times, merely dates they're suggesting. This one was listed as April 15 but it seems Target has no inventory in their store rooms today, so it didn't get put out or perhaps it's being held for a future reset. None have shown up on eBay yet, but from monitoring various forums it sounds like it will hit Target storerooms in about a month-- as to what the on-shelf date is, that could have changed.

9. Do you know why the new Galactic Heroes haven't gotten a wide release yet? They are available on websites like EE and BBTS and local comic shops like Newbury Comics, but Walmarts, Targets, TRUs and the such haven't even gotten a whiff of them yet.

It's entirely possible your stores are getting them. In many of the assortments, the new guys are only one set per case, so if you have a 12-piece case with 3 or 4 new sets, one collector can gobble them up before you get there. Based on the going rates on eBay, it seems that Saesee Tiin and friends are in shorter supply, but this sort of thing is actually pretty normal as a SKU nears the end of its life. I'd keep hunting if I were you, the product has to show up somewhere eventually.

10. Could you please compare the colour of the new grey TIE with large wings with the previous grey large winged TIE? I have the old one and I feel it is still too blue for my tastes, so I am hoping that this one is more of a white grey. (I realize that this question may need to wait until you have one in your hands. I donŐt want to go by the pictures online alone, since the colour can be affected by a number of variables.)

Absolutely. The short, non-picture answer is that the new TIE Fighter-- it's white-- is the same color as the 2007 model with the retooled canopy. The 2006 "big wings" version is grey, and the 2005 version is white. And now, a picture.

Isn't it lovely?


I had this big ending I cut. It was about the same length as the entire column. I can sum it up quickly, though: Hasbro wastes too much material in Star Wars packaging, as the mass of a typical G.I. Joe package (tray, bubble, card) weighs about 30% less than a typical Star Wars package (tray, bubble, card, insert). I might write up the whole bit again, but I figured nobody would want to read the whole spiel, so I'll leave it at this: Hasbro can easily reduce the amount of crap we throw away in a basic figure package. I don't know about you but anything to reduce materials used, costs incurred, space taken up at retail-- and in storage closets-- would make me very happy. Each little element of the package takes ink, paper, plastic, and other materials to create, so it would be nice to see a package-- even at the same footprint-- use less stuff. I use G.I. Joe as a good example because it, like Hot Wheels, is essentially little more than a backer card and a small plastic "blister." Surely, this is a good thing, because odds are this line is going to go on for a while and it really couldn't hurt to start thinking of ways to make the stuff cheaper while possibly reducing the volume of the packaging at the same time. I'm actually a little surprised Wal-Mart isn't already demanding something like this so they can cram more products per peg in their stores. But all I want for Christmas is an action figure package with its mass reduced by 30%.

It's not very catchy, but Hasbro can do it. Heck, everybody can do it-- this is going to be my new push at my day job too.

For your health!

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!

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