Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
May 18, 2009
1. Do you think since Hasbro's [build-a-droid] choices are a bit obscure (it's a good thing!), that it's possible I can get a Leebo from Shadows of the Empire someday?
Given Hasbro's eclectic mix so far, it seems they're aiming more toward figures that wouldn't do particularly well on their own, with the possible exception of HK-47. As such, I'd say that Leebo would likely be an excellent potential candidate for the line in the future-- assuming Hasbro doesn't axe the droid parts to cut costs as we move into 2010 and beyond. History shows that most gimmicks/pack-ins don't last for more than 12 months, with the exception of display stands and holographic figures. Hopefully Hasbro will keep these around forever, because I honestly can't think of a better reason to collect them all than getting an extra figure out of it.
2. I just got a look at the new Star Trek figures and they are fine and all but one thing I do really like is they have what seems to have a matt finish in all scales. The last few Star Wars figures I have purchased have had an almost glossy finish, especially when it comes to caucasian skin colour. When I look back to VOTC Han for example, he looks less "shiny" and his skin looks flat in light versus the newer figures which all seem to look a little translucent in bright light. Having been to Hasbro HQ and all, did you glean any insight into why the newer figures seem to look almost glistening? I assumed its cost and materials but you would think Hasbro would have the buying power and know-how to produce higher quality plastics over Playmates... Anyhow, whatever, Endor Leia needs some powder on her sheeny cheeks.
If there's one thing I've learned in this business, just because something looks cheap doesn't mean it is cheap. Most likely what you're seeing is the result of a factory worker or supply chain guy not doing their job quite right. Hasbro has had a number of waxy figures over the years, in particular around 1996 and 1997, most likely because someone wasn't paying attention on the job. I haven't had as much of a problem with the 2008-era stuff, but it seems one's mileage may very.
...but yeah, Vintage 2007 Endor Leia sucks. The poncho should be lighter, the helmet would be nice to have in a new mold for once, and she just seems a little off. The coloring on the 1990s releases seemed a little better overall.
3. It was my understanding that the [build a droid] figures would be new, not repaints or resculpts, this seems to have been abandoned. Any idea why, or was I just wrong from the get go?
The Build-A-Droid Legacy Collection figures-- and any basic figure line-- are never explicitly said to be new, old, or anything else from the get-go. We as fans tend to make assumptions and that's one of the reasons we tend to get upset. Before Hasbro launched Legacy they made us aware that a number of figures would be repackaged in the new line look, and at some point someone goofed on how they were numbered-- the "Greatest Hits" designation of old figures aimed at collectors re-shipping was dropped with the Star Corps Clone Trooper late last year.
Repacks, or figures that may as well be repacks, have been a regular part of the basic line since at least 2002. (From my talks with Hasbro, there was an effort to minimize straight carry-forwards for a while back then but that was dropped when fans complained loudly about not being able to get certain characters.) While annoying to you and me, the damn things sell well. I've noticed at retail that I rarely see old figures with new droid parts (the sign of those repackaged, carry-forward figures) because someone is buying them. Not us, most likely, but there's definitely a market for this stuff, in particular when a fan wants to complete a droid and is having a run of bad luck.
4. The first wave of [2008 animated] Clone Wars clones [and Rex] were randomly "dirty" in the most brilliant way we have ever seen in my opinion. Most of the rest since have been spotless. Any chance we will see this paint application on Legacy figures or even more Clone Wars figures?
This awesome random paint application was dropped, if memory serves, as a result of Hasbro keeping costs down. I agree, it was a great gimmick because when no two are alike there's an incentive to buy more of a trooper. If osme are dirtier or cleaner, I'll shell out for extra figures. Going forward the figures are reportedly going to remain clean, meaning those filthy little buggers we enjoyed are now slightly more collectible.
5. One of the very few items I never bought was the Queen's Royal Starship. Can you please tell me if the red R2 droid from that set was ever repackaged in any other capacity (either carded, battle pack, multi-figure set, etc.). If not, this would be my very strong candidate for a future greatest hits or repack wave.
The mold for the Royal Starship Astromech Droid (officially R2-R9) was used only once, and only with this vehicle. It's distinctive from other releases in that the holographic projector lights up rather than the central eye, which never has been seen lighting up in any movie or cartoon. (This is why I considered this the best droid mold until about 2005.) As such, if you want this specific mold, you are not able to get it anywhere else.
Because this figure had a level of demand associated with it, a new version was released in the 2006 Episode I Tin Set [sponsor link]. This figure is a repainted "vintage" 2004 R2-D2, which fits the look of the vast majority of the droid figures released better than the 1999 Royal Starship droid. To date, these are the only versions of this droid in action figure form-- neither has been packaged individually or in smaller, cheaper configurations.
I just got my Scramble on Yavin Battle Pack-- oh man, this is awesome. I think this set is what fans have been praying for when a gift set comes out, so now we're going to be spoiled. The Rebel Tech is a 100%-new figure, Red Leader is a repainted Vintage Pilot Luke with a new head, and the droid is a repaint. Plus you get this little vehicle thing which I'm still trying to figure out of I like or not, but for $25 or so the entire package seems totally worth it. These are going to go great with that big giant Red Leader X-wing I got from Toys "R" Us a few years ago.
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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