Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
July 7, 2008
1. Can you possibly tell me which of the following figures, to the best of your knowledge, are either straight repacks, retooled, kitbashed, or repainted in any way:
1) Darth Vader from the SDCC Disturbance in the Force exclusive set
2) Clone Trooper pack-in(from the AT-TE)
3) Han Solo and Chewbacca(from the BMF Millenium Falcon)
Why yes, yes I can!
Long-time fans will recognize the Darth Vader as having been sold in 2004 as the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection version of the character. And again in 2006 as the version in the collector tin. And again, also in 2006, with Target's exclusive Imperial Shuttle. Oh, and in 2008, with the Attack on Kashyyyk Battle Pack. In short, you probably have this one.
The AT-TE Clone Trooper is, as far as I can tell, a slight redeco from the normal animated style Clone Wars release in that it has an extra few marks on his side. I haven't got a really good look at it in person yet, but from the pictures I can tell that there seems to be something on it. Which, of course, may change.
Han Solo and Chewbacca from the new Millennium Falcon are each repacks. Han is based on his 2007 carded release, while Chewie is the 2005 Early Bird Kit version.
2A. Looking at the photo of the CW gunship, it appears to have closed up sides, without the big bay openings that all the other releases have had. Could Hasbro be adding a couple of pieces on each side, to close up the ship for this release? From an in-universe perspective, I would guess this version could be used outside the atmosphere, dropping from an orbiting star destroyer (or whatever the Republic called them). Pure conjecture, but I bet the new sides would likely be pop-in/pop-out and be molded to serve as side ramps when removed. Just a thought.
2B. What are the chances that the newly announced Gunship exclusive to Walmart will be available online through their page? I get the feeling I know the answer to this one, yet I am hopeful. I just HATE going there (and out of principle have stopped purchasing anything Star Wars related there).
So far, only the packaging has been revealed, and that has a computer generated illustration on the front of the box. Since the 30th Anniversary Collection, Hasbro has taken a shining to using altered images of the toys, or digital models loosely based on the toys on the front of the box. This lead to much speculation that the 2007 releases of the Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and the various Jedi Starfighters would be new molds or retooled, and this was not the case. You'll also notice that the Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator vehicle doesn't have all the moving bits and mechanisms on the illustration on the front, either. So at this time, it seems extremely unlikely that we will see new tooling used on the upcoming exclusive Wal-Mart Republic Gunship.
As to the website, that remains to be seen. Wal-Mart has taken a pretty scattered approach to what exclusives get sold online, but I think what you really need to do is remember that in the store or online, or even from a scalper, Wal-Mart is still ultimately getting your money. If you have one in your area, and you want it, suck it up and shop there-- if you buy it from a scalper, or from their web site, you're still ultimately shopping Wal-Mart and giving them the money.
3. Alright, I think Hasbro's love affair with the Clones has finally reached the
point of ridiculous. I came to this realization after seeing the new pics over
at JediDefender. The Commander Fox figure is fine; we've at least got some new
troopers (with interesting designs) for him. However, the pictures of the 212th
and 501st trooper actually made me laugh. The 212th clone is semi-excusable,
since we haven't gotten a Phase-I clone with orange paint. The 501st trooper, on
the other hand, is nothing short of ridiculous. I'd personally just save myself
the money and scrape the blue dots off of a clone lieutenant figure. What do you
think of all this? And how many clones is too many?
Fans have been saying this for years, and so far, the free market says that fans love them. True or not, you've spoken with your dollars, and every Clone you buy says to Hasbro "yes, please, sell me more!" As long as they're new and interesting, and Hasbro's way to cash in and recoup costs while developing other, more interesting figures with new sculpts, I think they can probably safely crank them out for a while. Fans can rationalize them as different enough up to a point, although if it weren't for the transition to this new animated style, we might be starting to run out of ideas. Of course, the problem here is that it's a safe bet that anything that comes out in the cartoon style will be asked for, if not outright demanded, in movie style.
The whole thing is goofy. The Clone Wars' 212th and 501st Clones are orange and blue, respectively, and have the "incorrect" stripe-- you'll note that the action figures and Galactic Heroes of both are lacking the color on the foreheads. Interesting, no?
I'd expect to see Clones in a number of colors, as we haven't seen multiple shades of green, a black-striped trooper, or anything like that yet. Hasbro has a long way to go before it even has to come up with a new stripe pattern for the armor.
4. Do you think The Clone Wars is finally the avenue we need to get a full case of plan white clones?
If not how many times do you think they with reissue this figure, it looks great? I would think that if they say the new ATTE holds 30 figures then they certainly better make 30 of them available to buy right!
Here's a movie question for you, Why do you suppose this animated movie looks more like the classic Star Wars yet the prequels pale in comparison. What did this guy Dave say to George to convince him to, in my opinion make it look way better and a little bit more familiar to us old guys?
It's extremely unlikely Hasbro will ever do a solid packed case of an army builder for the reason that depending on who you ask, it's likely to sit around in many markets. I'm sure in major cities with millions of people, it'd do OK, but a lot of the Stormtroopers and Clones sat in some smaller markets and are now reaching clearance, if those of you who write to me and tell me things are to be believed. As such, it isn't necessarily in Hasbro's best interests to sell them by the case, but given the ubiquitous nature of the trooper, it would make sense to sell more of them. Also, for those people willing to spend that much to fill the AT-TE, I have no doubt that Hasbro plans on collectors already having 30 Clone Troopers of some flavor around the house. (And I think it's 20, actually.)
As to the movie, uh, what? I respectfully disagree. Some of the designs are just as goofy as anything else you'll see in the saga, from the Wolfman at the bar in the original film to the army of teddy bears to Ben Quadrinaros. So far, everything we see looks fantastic, but you may recall everybody was really jazzed about the Phantom Menace teaser from 1998, which basically only showed really cool stuff too. Who knows what we aren't seeing yet? Maybe it'll be awesome. Maybe it'll suck. The good thing about TV is that as long as there's more good than bad, it'll still basically be good because there's always a new episode just around the corner.
...also, perhaps you've just gotten used to prequel designs. Most of the stuff I've seen so far seems to tie in much more closely to the most recent three movies, with the bulk of the characters coming straight from the last two flicks. The Jabba the Hutt tie-in is a nice touch, of course, but many of the vehicles come straight from the prequels or the previous Clone Wars series.
5. What do you think the chances are of Hasbro extending the Comic Pack line to novels? I really want an Admiral Daala figure and I'm thinking that although she was in five books, she never appeared in a comic and we won't get one.
So far, Hasbro has been pretty set on the idea of Comic Packs including Comics-- not novels, not short stories, not DVDs with old cartoons or commercials or games, or anything else. It's two figures and a comic book for-- if my snooping around Target is correct-- about $13 these days. I would say if she appeared in more comics, Admiral Daala would be a pretty good candidate, but the performance of Deena Shan and Juno Eclipse have me thinking that we may have been quite lucky to get these two and future figures might be a tougher sell. But who knows what someone might get in a future exclusive, or in a new assortment, or as a character on a new TV show.
So I think novel 2-packs seems unlikely, unless Hasbro decides to some day drop the comic pack-in and just makes them some sort of figure 2-packs, which could happen some day. But I think the entire point is two figures and a comic, giving a visual representation of the character, and anything less wouldn't be quite as cool. Doesn't mean Hasbro can't ask Dark Horse to do up a comic with the characters of their choosing, though.
I did a lot of toy running this weekend (mostly as a result of a late-night "let's make video game characters out of LEGO session) and lo and behold, I found Clone Wars. Apparently lots of people are. I spotted Clone Trooper helmets at Wal-Mart and one or more cases worth of the new Galactic Heroes at Fry's Electronics. So once more, another stupid release date goes ignored by American shopkeepers with, frankly, other things to worry about. What kind of stuff are you guys finding? Any luck on the exclusive Clones? (Those are making me nervous.)
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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