Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
October 27, 2008
1. Legends Yellow ARC trooper...same as the order 66 set or a variation? Also, any info on the legends red ARC trooper mentioned on I believe EE?
The yellow ARC is indeed the same toy in both releases. As far as the red one, you know what I do-- all Entertainment Earth has is a name so far. It stands to reason it will be a reissue of an existing toy, it's just unclear which one it will be.
2. Its been obvious for some time now that the Indiana Jones line is tanking. That said, why couldn't Hasbro change the Wave 4 case assortment? The wave 4 case has 6 new figures in it and 6 figures that are already clogging the pegs. How far in advance do cases actually get boxed up and shipped out from the factory? Even if changing the case to 6 new figures x2 meant there would be less cases produced, wouldn't that be better in the long run then further killing the line by shipping out 6 more pegwarmers with each case?
I never picked up the Episode II Blue Clone Trooper Officer but have the other 3 colors. I saw a Red Officer on a new Saga Legends card at Wal-Mart last week. I know the Blue officer is in revision 1 of that case. Usually how soon after the original case is released do the revision cases start showing up?
I'm not sure how far in advance Hasbro determines case packs, but it seems to be anywhere from 4-6 months before the product actually ships. Odds are the lead time is even greater, but without Hasbro explicitly stating as such, all I can say is what I see. And what I see is a tremendous lead time in many cases. My guess it that the Temple of Doom casepacks were determined before the first figures shipped, and the way the factories work it may have been too late to change anything. Also, of all the figures, Indy is a "safe bet"-- a pegwarmer he may be, but when push comes to shove he's still going to outsell Mola Ram in most markets. (Unless a figure is dubbed "rare" in which case... you know the drill.) Basically, this was a lose-lose situation and at this point I'll be happy if Temple of Doom hits the regular distribution channel without any unpleasant surprises. Given how many fans are still unaware Wave 3 hit, I'd say this is the least of the worries.
The various Clone recolors are basically all starting to ship nowish-- I got my blue one last week. When you'll see them remains to be seen, of course, but it should be hitting distribution any day now. Sometimes the "revisions" show up first-- it's hard to guess at. The case has figures with the cardbacks featuring blue stormtrooper lenses, so if you see any existing figure with blue lenses this means you may be in luck, or you just missed it, or nothing at all.
3. I have been looking for the Galactic Heroes Slave Leia and R2-D2 and noticed that it is not coming in the revision cases with the other three sets from that wave. I have seen 2 or 3 fresh cases hit stores without the Leia/R2 pack. Do you know if there was some sort of recall or issue with this one? Was it deemed to be to risque for children and pulled from the line? I need one to open and dont want to resort to Ebay if I can avoid it.
This pack-- which indeed has been in shorter supply-- will ship in at least 2-3 more cases, plus whatever Hasbro hasn't announced yet. I wouldn't panic at this time. Few Galactic Heroes figures remain hard to get forever.
4. It's been a long time since Hasbro released a Han Solo Blaster in their role play line. I would love to see Hasbro release a new mold of one as the orange one from the 90's which is the same as the black one from the 70's is too small. Why do you think Hasbro hasn't released the pistol, not iconic enough?
Well, we had a bright orange one, and we had a camo one. Neither was particularly great and I don't think the sales were too high on either. We're never going to get an all-black one again, so if you ask me it doesn't make a lot of sense for Hasbro to do another one unless there's a big marketing push involving Han Solo. It could happen, but the focus seems to be largely on prequel-era stuff right now. I'd personally love to see one that shoots Nerf darts, and maybe we will some day... but it's a smaller weapon and probably a tougher sell.
5. I am an avid Star Wars Collector and have been for some time. I like Indiana Jones (at least the older movies) but never really got into buying the toys much. I bought a few of the Indy figures when they first came out. And I just got a Dr. Henry Jones Figure(just because I thought he looked cool). I got them in hopes that maybe someday they might be worth a couple bucks. I know that star wars figures have little value now because of the amount released and the collector base has so much product that the re-sale value later is squat. What's your take on the Indy Figures? I know that they aren't selling at retail really because the figures are pretty much found everywhere here. Do you think that this might be one of those items to get a few now and hold on to them until later things? Or is it pretty much DEAD? I know you're not a fortune teller but on your gut assumption would you say it would be good to get the set of figures or just pass on them? I doubt that there will ever be a re-release on these since the initial release wasn't what Hasbro was hoping for. Can you give me your 2 cents?
First and foremost: don't buy this stuff because you want to make a buck on it. Buy it because you like it, and if you change your mind later, well, whatever happens, happens. Every purchase you make could end up being worth practically nothing-- look at almost every toy released over the past decade. Very few see an increase in value of any significance due to the hoarding done by the adult collector. The reason most toys end up being valuable is because they were bought by kids, torn to shreds, and few if any survived intact with their original packaging. Getting rid of a figure from a few years ago is extremely difficult unless you find a new collector who doesn't know any better and isn't aware eBay exists.
The future really requires someone to come along and buy your figures who isn't buying them today, or that the figures were so rare that there's a market for them. Since I don't forsee a new generation of fans growing up and wanting to buy your old new Indy toys I wouldn't hold my breath unless the world determines Wave 3 and beyond are impossible-to-find collectibles. (This hasn't been the case from my hunting.)
In the 1990s, it took a while for Kenner's Indy line to take off. For a long time, I could get any figure for under $20 out of the package except Indy and Marion without too much trouble. And then, all of a sudden, people were interested. It's a much smaller group of collectors than Star Wars, but as it's a smaller line, it's hard to guess what will happen. It's possible new fans will come along and collect them all because it's reasonably easy to do so, as two dozen toys are easier to collect and store than several thousand.
Due to the nature of action figure collecting since 1990, the only things I expect to be slam-dunks down the road are early Bionicle and Power Rangers, as well as anything which was weird/special in some way. That's because these audiences are either just starting to mature, or haven't matured yet-- the problem with Indy is that there's unlikely to be any new blood. The stuff selling today is appealing to fans who have been interested for ages, and they just weren't all that interested. Because I don't think anyone collecting today is planning on looking back at this line and filling in the gaps, and because I don't think the new movie is going to help generate new fans, I don't expect much out of Indy as a collectible line. Unless tail-enders are produced, in which case, anything could happen from them being highly desired to close-out poison.
A lot of you have asked why I'm being such a putz and not continuing answering Indiana Jones questions effective right now. The problem comes from this: I have thousands of readers who peek into this column, who come here expecting Star Wars, generally only Hasbro Star Wars questions. I have a few dozen readers who are very interested in Indy, but that line is pretty much on its last legs. There isn't much one can do other than to commiserate with the "gosh, it sure does suck that the line ended" comments or furrow our collective brow in determining what Hasbro will and won't issue between now and the time the line ends (for now.)
It'd be like me answering on the future of the Toy Biz Lord of the Rings line. Right now, both it and Indy won't have much of a future without additional films or a tremendous upswing in popularity. It's been known to happen, Star Trek, The Simpsons, and Star Wars all got another chance after a previous toy line ended, largely due to changing market conditions and collector desires. Anything could happen, but it's unlikely Hasbro will let Playmates have a go with Dr. Jones.
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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