Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
February 23, 2009
1. Being a classic trilogy Star Wars fan I have a 2 year old and want him to get into the classic trilogy.
But a lot of the things(toys, posters, kites etc.) released are for the newer trilogy or the new cartoon.
Do you think we've seen the last of the classic trilogy in the mainstream or will it balance out eventually.
With any franchise, there are usually periods of "new stuff" before it all goes back to "classic." Look at Coke, or Star Trek. We basically saw an end to Kirk-based stories around 1991, and now, 18 years later, we're getting a new Kirk and Spock adventure. With Star Wars, it was basically all about the original trilogy for 21 years with periods of Trilogyness between movie years. Now, the aim is to sell to kids and they're going to use the characters that are getting the most face time.
There will continue to be original trilogy licensed product, but when it comes to the stuff squarely aimed at kids you're going to have a slightly tougher time finding Han Solo party hats and Jabba the Hutt kites. (Do they even make those? Heck if I know.) After The Clone Wars peters out it's possible that we'll see a brief return to the original films, but it's also possible Star Wars will go away again for a few years. Most franchises have hot and cool periods, Star Wars has been largely warm to hot since 1991. If you want posters and kites from the classic films, don't discount eBay. The stuff from the 1990s tends to be really cheap because people have moved on and have a glut of it. Also, don't discount your kid's taste-- this is their childhood, not your second one, so if they want an Ahsoka figure and you want them to get Gargan, well, consider Ahsoka. (I've actually seen this happen in my travels.)
2. Is the AAT clone trooper (w/ red, shoulder insignia) recently released in the Target Ultimate Battle Pack Battle of Christophsis the same as the clone trooper released earlier in the AT-TE vehicle? I am a loose figure completist, and I am trying to decide if these figures are distinguishable once removed from their packaging.
They're basically the same, but my definition of "variant" and "new figure" is a lot looser for clones. One has two shoulder insignias, and the other has just one. So if you want both versions, you'll want to buy both. The deco on the Battle Droids and Anakin are slightly different in Target's Christophsis set, so I'd suggest you consider buying it for that as well.
3. Which Alien Race do you think has had the most action figures? (Other than Humans)
Assuming you don't consider "droids" a race, my notes point to Wookiees. Between all the warriors (7), Chewbaccas (10+), and other furballs (Yarua, Roworr), this is the race that seems to be the best represented so far. I'm also assuming you mean only the modern era (1995+), and where there's more than one character making up the bulk of the race (Yoda). There's also a fair number of unique Ewoks (12), Twi'lek (at least 11), and a robust number of Tusken Raiders (more than 10).
4. I found the Mighty Muggs C-3PO at Target last night and noticed the package had the "Only at Target" exclusive logo on it. I am certain I saw the same figure at TRU last fall. I've heard of toys/games that start as exclusives before getting wider distribution, but I've never heard of a non-exclusive becoming an exclusive later. Did I imagine that one at TRU or did Target make a later deal with Hasbro?
And on a different topic, have you ever read the collected volumes of Star Wars newspaper strips by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson? I'm rereading them now. They are my absolute favorites of all the ancillary SW material. I don't expect they'll ever make figures based on characters from the strips, so I won't even ask you about that. I was just wondering if you've read them and what you might think of them.
As to your first question, here's the deal: Hasbro has 5 Target exclusive Mighty Muggs. These are split between 2 assortments, which also contains 3 older Mighty Muggs to fill the space. So 5 of the 8 figures in the case are truly exclusive, but the factory just slapped the exclusive sticker on all of them because they probably weren't asked to make the distinction. They aren't truly exclusive, but it's possible that in 2009 they may only ship to Target.
As to the strips, actually yes-- but I read the collected Dark Horse reprinted editions from the 1990s. I've always held out for a Skorr, and because they were reprinted in a full-size comic book form I don't think it's unrealistic for Hasbro to eventually look at them and say "this is a good figure with a good story, let's do it." I mean, we're getting Marvel figures, these are about as well-known in this day and age. Russ Manning did some great strips too, but I really enjoyed the Goodwin/Williamson ones the most. For those keeping track, these were collected in oversized hardbound volumes (which I'm still trying to get), 3 trade paperbacks from Dark Horse (fairly common), and in (I think) 20 issues of monthly colored reprints called Classic Star Wars (these, I have.) If you want some new-to-you stories that aren't too out-there and have nothing to do with the prequels, I'd suggest giving these a try.
5. Do you know when the new set of Hasbro's action figure stands will be available?
Any change they will add one that says THE CLONE WARS on the actual stand?
It's my understanding these will be kept in line with the "movie" stuff and not the "cartoon" stuff, but that could change. These don't have a known release date-- their announcement was basically an unintentional leak from as far as I can tell-- and it's my expectation that they will simply replace the original 2007 editions as they run out. And who the heck knows when that will be.
So, I made the smart decision/mistake to buy Street Fighter IV last week. Smart, because it seems to be a pretty fun game when you're playing against others. Mistake, because as someone who pretty much plays these only with fighting sticks, it's maddening trying to play with the thumb-shredding default controller. Nowhere in LA has a joystick available. Seriously. What the heck kind of business planning is this? It's not like they forget to make guitars when Guitar Hero Wham! Edition comes out, but there's no readily available supply of joysticks for the monumental occasion when Capcom learns to count to 4? It's disgusting, I tell you.
Also, Toy Fair was last week. I wasn't able to go to the press event with Team Galactic Hunter, but I did get to sneak a peek later at everything without the crowd. There's some pretty neat stuff on the way, but this whole "ETA October" business is a little disturbing. I guess it makes sense to tie into the second season of The Clone Wars but yeesh-- after last year's 5-month gap of jack squat in the basic figure line, I thought we'd see an end to this sort of intentional holding back for so long. On the bright side, we'll have some exclusives along the way. Most interesting is how Hasbro doesn't seem to be talking about many of them at all, despite their imminent or current availability. Did they forget? Do they just not care? Curious.
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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