Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
August 25, 2008
1. Is the Darth Vader with the 2 part helmet a totally new sculpt or just the head portion? Also will the build a droid astromech dome part that he comes with be included with any other figures later on?
Basically, it's just a new helmet. The head is molded in the fleshy color rather than painted, and the helmet is now a two-piece sculpted helmet. He comes with the head and foot of R7-Z0, and according to Hasbro's comments on the line will not likely see release elsewhere. So if you want a complete R7-Z0, and you do, choke it up and buy.
2. Don't you think it's about time that Hasbro (or the retailer responsible) announces where we can get that long overdue Force Unleashed Stormtrooper exclusive figure? The game is due to be released in just under a month from now. You'd think that whoever wants us to spend our money in their stores to get the game and exclusive figure would want to make it that much easier on us?
You'd think so, but Hasbro (for some reason or another) keeps a lot of exclusives under wraps until after their release, or never really promotes them at all. This seems to be one of them. It's a GameStop pre-order bonus, but there has yet to be any official announcement despite people actually being given the figure in Canada already. (On that note, does anyone in Canada want to make a very lopsided trade in your favor if you have one or two or three of these?) Generally the delay has to do with the retailer announcing the exclusive on their own, but they rarely do this-- so in this case, it just didn't happen. Like the entire Hasbro Star Tours line.
I did some asking around, but didn't ask if the source would mind me divulging it. So I do have a confirmation from an official source that it will indeed be a GameStop exclusive in the USA, but with an asterisk-- the source didn't say or know how GameStop will distribute it. So I called GameStop to ask, and they answer my questions like I'm insane. So you may wish to pre-order the game, or if you have a friend who works there, ask them and tell me what they tell you. I'm a little shocked they don't know about it if it's a pre-order bonus-- for all I know they'll put it in the stores for $15 because shmucks like me will probably buy it.
It really is obnoxious. As a person who loves toys and video games, you'd think they'd want to attract my business, but no. (Say, does anyone have access to these from Canada and want to get a bunch of Legacy/Clone Wars stuff in a trade wildly unfair in your favor? Email me.)
3. So now that we have an awesome Lancer Droid and an equally awesome Obi-Wan in Clone Armor complete with nifty lances, do you think we might see a battle pack of those two and maybe Durge as well with their swoops?
Yes. As in, yes, I think so. I can't say when, of course, but it's a pretty safe bet that this is going to happen at some point in the future. Durge on his Swoop is already out there, and I doubt Hasbro would do more than reissue it. As such, you might want to go ahead and track it down as it is essentially super-articulated (or close enough) and a nice little toy for the money. Although it too has some stability problems... which seems to be a trend these days.
4. Seeing as how we might get a "medical frigate" Luke, it made me think of question I wanted answered since the first time I saw Empire. Vader obviously cuts Luke's hand off at the wrist, so why on the medical frigate does 2-1B replace his forearm as well? Not a toy question, but I thought you might know.
Because it looks cooler. I think it's purely so, visually, it was more striking. Subtlety doesn't usually pay off as special effects are concerned, so a lot of things-- like the Carbonite block, for example-- are exaggerated to give it a little more emotion and a little more zing. And, as you can see, it worked.
From the perspective of the story? Well, it's possible they had to goof with his arm a little to get it to function, I suppose. Like if you want a tire on something, you can't just slap a tire on it-- you need to put an axle in there too, and other bits and pieces to allow it to spin properly. Perhaps the assembly needed to be implanted in his arm to make the hand work. But I think mostly it was just the effects department wanting something that, visually, said it all.
5. I usually don't worry about finding non-exclusive figures at retail because I know they will show up eventually but I am starting to get a bad feeling about the Indiana Jones line. All of the stores near me have tons and tons of waves 1 & 2 and seem to be getting more and more of those waves in with no sign of The Last Crusade figures.
How is this line selling (to me it seems very poorly)? I know they have a few more waves lined up but I am beginning to wonder if we're ever going to see those. :(
As far as I can tell, Indiana Jones is doing acceptably. It's not doing fantastic business, but people are somewhat interested and the bulk of the interest has certainly faded with the release of the new film. If anything, the line might have done better had it started before the new flick. From where I sit, it seems so much of the stuff is clogging up shelves that it's next to impossible to see anything new, and I found Sean Connery weeks after the rest of the world seemed to. (Well, the wave as a whole-- none of it seems to be making it to shelves.)
It seems that the figures are far enough along that it'll go for a little while longer. The Indiana Jones selling season should last until, at the very least, December or January as people are going to get the DVD and then watch the DVD and then go "man, I'd like a figure of that." So I'd be shocked to not see the line widely available during 2008. But 2009? That's harder to say-- it doesn't seem like the line has a lot of figures that are worth making, and to expect it to have more than 2-3 years worth of life seems... unlikely. But you never know, here we are with Star Wars roughly 1,500 figures later.
Ah, the post-movie season. The big event has come and gone, and apparently nobody cared-- yet all the figures seem to be selling just fine, which is... uh... kinda freaky. Who knew? I'd be curious to see if Hasbro or LucasFilm made a bigger profit in August 2008.
Now we're moving in to Fall, which I think means this may be one of the most unpleasant years in history for our collective wallets. First, we've got a huge July launch. Then, we've got exclusives and the stuff we missed from the July launch in August, plus another wave of basic figures. And in September, it's going to be a parade of exclusives plus a new video game, with more exclusives pretty much every month from here on out. So instead of giving up something for Lent, I think I'm going to have to give up Transformers and Joes for Q4. And probably beyond if this keeps up, it's just too nutty.
Oh, and did you all check out the Force Unleashed demo? Maybe it's been too long since I played a Star Wars game on a modern-gen console that I genuinely liked, but this seems to be really fantastic. It's weird to be in a position where I've had a dozen figures from a game for almost a half of a year and now I'm eager to see just what their deal is. The graphics are great, the voice acting is OK, and the story seems to be... I'm not sure. Darth Vader's errand boy goes on a fan service parade and kills things? Sounds good to me! I like the fact that the demo is almost exclusively original trilogy stuff, or at least I can appreciate it. (Odds are that's where the money is.) It'll be fun to see how the final product turns out, and here's to there not being another maddening level like Gall from Shadows of the Empire. Speaking of which, I wonder if and/or when we're going to see that ported to the downloadable game services on modern generation consoles. Ah well.
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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