Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
June 1, 2009
1. Hasbro has aimed the CW line at kids and the TLC line at collectors. I've noticed a number of upcoming battle packs have just clones in them. Why does Hasbro always have to have a main character in the TLC battle packs, then? Couldn't the TLC BPs do well without the umpteenth Vader or Luke?
I could answer this question a variety of ways, depending on how you want to look at it.
First, the Legacy Collection Battle Packs don't all have main characters in them. Sure, most do, but the Hoth Speeder Bike Recon, Scramble on Yavin, Felucia Bug, and other packs don't. Hasbro generally pushes a main figure in a gift set in order to help drive sales-- Battle Packs are supposedly a way to get more cheap figures to kids-- but as you can see, they're a great way to push troopers too. Kids buy troopers, and so do collectors, so it's a smart idea. Also, some parents just want to get a kid a box of toys with a Luke or a Vader in it, because that's theoretically a good place to start them off.
In case you were under the impression that Clone Wars has been spared rereleases of core characters, don't worry-- Hasbro's going to be including stuff you already have in those soon, too.
2. I'm looking forward to the Geonosis Battle Pack and have heard that the turret can be attached to the Republic Gunship. Any idea on how that is going to work? If you've gotten your hands on some demo product, can you throw up some images of the turret attached to the Gunship for fans to see?
As far as I know Hasbro has yet to release any advance images of this, and I haven't seen a gunpod beyond the pictures we've all already seen. I would assume it uses the same tabs and holes to attach like we used on the smaller gunpods from 2002, but well, we don't know yet. Although if you do know, feel free to share with the rest of the class.
3. I've been looking for the first photos that appeared of the Turbo-Tank (just the box) when it showed up at a Canadian (?) toy show sometime before ToyFair because I could've sworn I saw a part of packaging for a Galactic Heroes AT-AT Walker. But there was no mention of it at ToyFair. Can you confirm this?
While I have heard lots of buzz for a Galactic Heroes AT-AT to the point where I think it's a safe bet we're going to see one very soon, I don't recall seeing a picture-- if anyone out there has it, again, let us know. Because I wasn't paying attention.
4. How do you display/store your collection?
Right now, I have a few things on shelves, but a lot of figures are stored in fishing tackle boxes. I'm probably going to box up (and label) vehicles soon to reduce dust problems until I come up with better display case solutions... after collecting toys for the better part of my life, I can safely say that as a lifelong project, it does not lend itself to displays. Or rather, it doesn't if you actually are still buying them all.
Today, collectors are better served storing their figures in a manner in which they can access it rather than display it. If you're getting everything, that is, if you have under 500 figures then a couple of shelving blocks from IKEA ought to do it.
5. My 8 year-old son and I were watching the Clone Wars movie yesterday and he was asking me when the Republic Cannons (the ones we see in the Battle of Christophsis) are going to be released? Do you know if Hasbro has any plans on making this cool vehicle in the near future?
As of now, the answer is a firm "nothing has been confirmed yet."
Seeing the additional hardware put in Battle Packs, in the new mini vehicle assortment, and elsewhere, I'd say it might happen. If the line continues to be a hit with kids, Hasbro will probably want to sell more hardware for these figures to interact with, and these are probably on the short list of land-based gun-firing toys they could make. If your kid is feeling up to it, encourage him to write a letter-- a real one-- to Hasbro. I used to do this back in the day, and sometimes the results ended up being pretty positive. If it's a legit kid inquiry, I think it's something Hasbro would be foolish to ignore.
I'm pretty happy to see that there's a fair amount of new stuff on the way. Seeing how it's June 1, it seems that Hasbro's new tradition is to make the first half of the year unbearably dull. It's no wonder they keep saying collector sales are down since last Fall. They aren't releasing nearly as much product, with very few exclusives and fewer still basic figures. (Between September 1, 2007 and July 20, 2008, we got about 53 new non-repack basic figures-- plus an insane quantity of exclusives, and if you recall, there were pretty much no new figures from about March 1 to the end of July. Between September 1, 2008 and June 1, 2009, we got 20 non-repack "realistic" figures and 15 figures from The Clone Wars series, plus very few exclusives. This is why I'm beginning to wonder if Hasbro telling us sales are down is one of those statistics-based fibs we're always hearing about. Why shouldn't sales be down, if the quantity of product has been reduced so significantly? If sales were up with such a smaller quantity of product, I'd start to be really worried.
If there's a bright side, it's that it seems a lot of fans are getting what they want in a reasonable amount of time, as long as that thing isn't a Wal-Mart exclusive. I've had pretty much no problem finding everything save for the latest Target exclusives, and truth be told I've never been more bored. Shouldn't there be some exclusive battle packs, Order 66 sets, or something? All we're getting this year are repacks at Toys "R" Us, Mighty Muggs at Target, one Internet exclusive, and some Wal-Mart comic packs. It's boring and slow, Hasbro, please fix it. If you had more product for me to buy, I'm sure you'd have a lot more of all our money.
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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