Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
March 2, 2009
1. Do you think there is any hope
for a Horn green X-wing or maybe a Tycho
(I think that was his) Red,black,and white X-wing from the X-wing
books / comics.
Seeing how many Expanded Universe Jedi Starfighters we've received, I don't want to say "never," but since 1978 the only X-wings we've seen in the action figure scale are Red Leader's and now apparently Wedge's. And that's it. Seeing as we haven't even had a Corran Horn action figure yet, and Tycho's first figure was in 2007, I'm not too optimistic. Heck, we're even getting Porkins' X-wing in Galactic Heroes scale. As my guess is the Wedge X-wing will be in the (frankly preposterous) $70 price point, and this is after the X-wing in this size has been as low as $30 and as high as $45, it doesn't seem like this size will have a lot of success and as such, convincing collectors to buy multiple very expensive vehicle could be difficult. I'd suggest asking fans to produce aftermarket conversion kits via something like Reprolabels.com and make your own using vehicles already in the marketplace, as it would undoubtedly be faster and cheaper. And if for any reason they can't get enough fans together to make an "upgrade kit," it's pretty unlikely that the item would be a strong seller for Hasbro.
2. [Adam's Note: This was edited down. Note to readers: Please edit down your questions, or ask multiple questions.] Every year I look forward to Toy Fair. This year was with extra
anticipation. Star Wars action figures are better than ever, more
articulation, greater detail and tons of accessories. But to my dismay, the
Original Trilogy was vastly ignored this coming year. ...My fingers were crossed for a new
Dewback, a new Gommorean Guard and was extremely disappointed not to have
seen Bespin Security Guards. I thought for sure these would have been the
surprise item for OTR collectors with Ugnaughts and Willrow Hood finding a
place this year.
I realize that OTR is about exhausted, but there is still plenty out there
for Hasbro to explore and even get itself excited about. Does Hasbro not care
about the $500 + + a year I spend? (that figure has decreased over the last
Do you anticipate any surprises at Comic-Con? Something to get the core
collectors excited? And by core I mean those of us who have been collecting
since we were kids in the late 70's and early 80's.
I can live without vehicles and disappointing playsets, but not yet made
action figures is what the game is all about in my collectors scheme. I'll
still buy the repaints, the battlepacks, and comic packs (with discretion),
new sculpts while improving on old ones, but what keeps me coming back are
the Yarna's (peg warmer or not) and the Captain Needa's, the Trinto Duaba &
Dice Ibegon and the Wioslea's of the line. Please tell me Hasbo isn't trying
to kill OTR.
OK-- way, way, way too long.
What I read here is a mix of "why isn't Hasbro making these specific figures that I, Chad, want" and "what are we making for the group at large?" The problem now is that there's a definite schism in Original Trilogy collectors (OT). For example, some fans were really excited about seeing Yarna d'al' Gargan, while others saw it and said "wow, that's going to totally not sell." There's no unified front in the adult, old trilogy collector base. People say "I'm going to buy that" and then don't, and the major enough characters have mostly all been done already. When it comes to the supremely minor stuff-- and I agree, I'd love more Skiff Guards-- we're going to be waiting for a while. Since we have Slave Leia, Wedge, Tarkin, and numerous other 800-lb-gorillas, it's quite difficult to get a large number of people to agree on anything. Maybe, maybe some of the unmade vintage figures, which we'll eventually get.
The Bespin Guards are probably going to be a while because the last one was a little off-model and a horrible seller. I saw them hang for a few years and bought some for as little as $0.60.
But how about this year? Well, I'd say Hasbro is already doing a fine job-- which we as fans sometimes forget because we pay no attention to what we have. Hasbro has announced an all-new Nikto, an all-new Slave Leia, Captain Needa, Wioslea, the Treadwell droid, Dice Ibegon, and these are all things I've heard old-school fans ask for. Heck, it's already more fantastic newness than we had in 2008 as old-school fans.
In a typical year since 2005-- which I think is a good dividing point-- we get about 60 basic, non-Legends figures. Of those, maybe half are based on the original trilogy. Of those, maybe 1-3 in a wave are obscure characters for adult buyers, some of which I'm actually a little appalled that we aren't still thankful for. I don't mean kissing Hasbro's butt, but seriously-- last year we got a baby Ewok, Gargan, Bane Malor all in a single wave. Those are three hardcore fan requests, one of which turned out to be the worst seller in ages. What we're seeing now is better-than-average Original Trilogy growth in 2009 and with any luck it'll continue this way. Just remember that some old-school fans also really love The Force Unleashed and want to see figures from that, and others have tons of favorites from other parts of the prequels they want. If there were only a few dozen figures, sure, we'd be able to make more fans happy-- but with over a thousand unique releases, it's going to be impossible for all of us to be on the same page for the original trilogy ever again.
3. Hi Adam, I'm gonna be cheeky and ask two questions instead of just one - but at least there is a sort of theme. My first is concerning to Tonnika Sisters (sorry!). We've all heard how Hasbro can't make these due to some legal crap, but those females iin the Cantina weren't actually the Tonnika Sisters at all - they were merely masquerading as such - this information, as you and many others will know, is from the Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina book. So my question is why can't hasbro just use their "proper" names from that short story and for the cardback(s) - just use an artist's drawing (instead of the actresses likenesses)? Surely that must be a legal way of giving us our darned Tonnika sisters! Second question - I noticed that my new build-a-droid from the ANH wave of TLC is called R2-L3. Is this a mistake? Isn't the correct name of the droid actually R2-N6?
I've brought that up, I think-- just basing the Tonnika costumes off the movie but making up the faces and calling them something else. Were they in a comic book or TV episode, it might be easier. I have no idea what legal nonsense came up after Galoob made their Action Fleet Tonnika figure, assuming there was any, but for all I know the character's overall appearance was based on the actress and that would pose an issue. I think they'd make the great cornerstone of any Internet-exclusive boxed set were Hasbro so inclined, no matter how they twist who or what they are. Like you said, the short story might be useful, or that entire collection could be fantastic. We've never seen a figure of Chalmun, the Wookiee owner of the bar, so you could set a collection before the movies using the real Tonnika sisters and a few others. But you won't see this.
Hasbro and Lucasfilm have renamed some obscure astromech droids as of late. R2-D1 and R2-D3 became R2-C4 and R2-M5, for example. This is a similar thing, and I have no doubt you'll continue to see it happen in the future.
4. Hello! I am a Kit Fisto fan. I have been somewhat disappointed of some of the Kit Fisto figures released so far. The first one was somewhat, The clone wars one had a great sculpt, but lacked articulation, and the ROTS one had great articulation but looked like a space hooker. Do you think we'll se a good version soon?
Also, what are some jedi/sith figures you would like to be released/updated/modified? I want a Plo Koon and some of the KOTOR characters (these ones being very unlikely, I think).
The next Kit Fisto you're likely to see will be an animated Clone Wars figure-- which will not have super-articulation if the likes of Plo Koon are any indication. Target will be getting an exclusive Kit Fisto later this year in the Geonosis 2-packs, and this one looks to be a bit of an improvement. Incremental upgrades seem to be the order of the day in this line for a while, which shouldn't surprise anyone if a figure already has been done fairly well since 2005, when "super articulated" started becoming more of a standard than it had been in previous years.
The chances of updated KOTOR figures seems pretty low, and to be honest I don't want any Jedi or Sith figures reissued or tweaked if I can help it. It really isn't necessary to lobby for more of the same, Hasbro will be doing them all eventually as Force users with lightsabers tend to be strong sellers. At his point I see asking for revised versions of Jedi like asking teacher for homework-- she'll get to it, I'll go back to sitting in the rear of the room complaining about the fact we still don't have something or other. Like in the original question, as a collector, I'd really rather see more stuff I don't already have. I've bought all the modern era figures so far, so I get less and less excited about the third or fourth post-Carbonite Han Solo given we've never had a pre-frozen one in a 3 3/4-inch scale, ever. (And we've only had one modern fully-frozen frozen block, and that was in 1996. The 2006 one is melty.)
5. What are the chances that Hasbro will eventually start putting some beasts into their twenty dollar vehicle assortment? It seems like they should. They keep making the same Darth Vader's Tie Fighter and repainted Jedi Star Fighters again and again. The Qui Gon and Eopie that they featured at Toy Fair make it seem like they are aware that us fans would like more beasts. It would just be easier if they added them into the twenty dollar assortment. I would gladly pay $20 for an Acklay by itself. I just never wanted to fork over $60 for a boxed set that contained several figures I already have. Also, I want to see them make a Boar Wolf from the Ewok movie Caravan of Courage. I know you dont have control over what they decide to make or not make. I also know that not every fan is going to get every obscure character/monster/vehicle they want just because they say "hey make this," but maybe if I mention it here others will read it and say yeah I want that to and we can get the ball rolling this way. A boar wolf would make a great addition to any Endor set up one may have going in their collection. Lastly, I want to say that the Republic Fighter Tank looks incredible. I've been waiting for that one. Surely it will run in the $20 assortment, right?
First, a public service announcement. You won't be calling them $20 vehicles for much longer-- that's going to end real soon. Take my word for it, short of a lucky sale or clearance find you will not be getting the Republic Fighter Tank for $20 in the USA.
So, beasts. Where to begin? The Eopie was a legendary difficult-to-find item and has been for nine years. I'm sure Hasbro tried to find a home for it elsewhere and this whole 10th anniversary of Episode I was the best fit. I have little doubt Hasbro figured out how to profit from its mail-in offers, so it's pretty gosh darn likely that you'll be paying a good $10 or so for the piece in addition to the UPCs.
You say you want an Acklay? Let me start off by saying I don't know how old you are, but you could've had one for $20 or less in 2002. Some of the boxed auctions on eBay are as low as $20, too. There's nothing stopping you from owning an eBay in the next few months if you monitor a few eBay auctions.
As to the Ewok movies, keep dreaming. There have been, and this is fudging it, about one 3 3/4-inch characters from those if you count the Wicket painted up like Widdle. There won't be any boar wolves unless they make some other appearance. As those movies are out of print and many fans haven't seen them, they most certainly qualify as obscure. Without a strong Ewok promotion, these simply don't make sense right now. With the likes of Noa, Teek, Marauders, and Chukha-Trok on the wish lists of many a fan after almost 25 years, I wouldn't get your hopes up. (Unless the Clones go to Endor. And even then.)
Beasts certainly do have a place in the line, and we'll be seeing some like the Can-Cell come back this year. Without significant face time it makes it a little tougher to move them in the main line, and I would have to assume at this stage that Hasbro has reasons for not putting the midsize vehicles and creatures into its vehicle assortments. Surely there's a good reason the Dewback and Landspeeder weren't repackaged, perhaps they were weak sellers like the Acklay seemed to be in many markets.
That's it, sports fans. I've been messing with technology all weekend and need to actually get some work done if you're going to have anything to read in the very near future. So, catch you all later and such.
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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