Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
June 29, 2009
1. do you think hasbro would ever create a more correct cantina curved end piece as well a drink dispenser for us diorama makers?
While I do believe it is possible that Hasbro will somehow find a way to crank out the drink dispenser in some form at some point in the future, it seems extremely unlikely that Hasbro will make a better-fitting curved end cap unless it's part of some themed wave, and the prices on oil, China labor, and tooling all plummet. They made the two-piece cap already, and odds are we were damned lucky to get it. Sure, it isn't entirely correct, but it's not like the cantina had barstools around it either if you want to be technical about it. Really, the whole thing is wrong. If what you want is completeness and authenticity, right now, your best bet is that awesome cardboard Cantina diorama that they made near the end of the Kenner-branded run. That thing is friggin' swell.
Now, if Hasbro ever wanted to do a drink dispenser, it's seeming decreasingly likely that it would appear as a bonus item in a basic carded action figure given the increases in costs. If $8 only gets us a single Ugnaught, we're not going to be getting any more awesome furnishings-- you may recall that Hasbro told us at Comic-Con last year that the table with the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi (wave 5) was supposed to have been dropped. It seems the factory screwed up and made it anyway, so we got lucky. Also, the recently announced Pod Racer 2-pack is now a 1-pack. If there's an opportunity in a Battle Pack or exclusive, Hasbro may find a way. But truth be told, the number of fans such an accessory would delight is probably not enough for Hasbro to warrant its production unless there's some happy accident where they have more money to put into an item, which I wouldn't really expect any time soon. Unless they make a Bimm or something and need to "add value" or whatever corporate term it is you people like to use.
2. Rebelscum just showed pics for an upcoming set of Clone Wars 2 packs based on the Ambush episode [featuring Rhys, Thire, Yoda, and Jek]. Do you know anything about these? In particular, do you know when we can expect those to hit and will they be an exclusive and if so, where?
It doesn't share a SKU with the Toys "R" Us 2-packs despite being similar to their repackaged 2-packs, so my guess is not there. I'd put my money on Target given their range of red Clone exclusives, but due to the number of the SKU assortment, I'd also say Wal-Mart is entirely likely. All I know is that I'm totally buying it and am elated that we didn't have to wait until/after Comic-Con to see them.
3. Hasbro said at Toy fare that there is a lot of stuff they still have yet to show us and they are saving it for comic con. How much product do you think we still have yet to see?
It depends on if you think Hasbro is good at keeping secrets or not.
If so, the sky is the limit-- remember, the big Millennium Falcon was supposed to be seen for the first time in person at Comic-Con last year, and we've had a rash of leaks in the past few weeks showing all sorts of new stuff-- particularly animated-style figures and Clone repaints. With this in mind, I'd say there's a very good chance that we've already seen a lot of the "new" stuff, excepting the movie-themed product of course.
What I expect is another 2-4 Starfighter assortment vehicles, 3-4 waves of basic figures plus a sneak peek into 2010, and about $300 retail worth of exclusives we currently don't know exactly which store will carry it. (Which isn't a stretch when you consider all the exclusive Clones and 2-packs, the Wedge X-wing, and I think I remember hearing something about a TIE Interceptor. And who knows about that Camie/Fixer comic pack which they're sweeping under the rug.) All of which should hit between mid September and December, of course, so start saving.
4. The recent release of Outlander Ki-Adi-Mundi came with a purple lightsaber. I know the word from on high is blue and green lightsabers, but both the old Knights and the New Jedi Order members have sabers of different colors, even red. If Hasbro is bringing us these characters, will their sabers conform to the blue/green rule, or is Mundi's purple blade a sign that we may see sabers in line with the character's depictions in the source material, such as Zayne Carrick with a yellow saber.
Hasbro is depicting the characters as they appeared in the source material, in some cases, as literal an interpretation as possible. Ki-Adi-Mundi's purple lightsaber is just as accurate as the wacky colored Marvel characters, it's a way to bring a unique aspect of that medium into the toys. When Hasbro releases Zayne, I'm sure they will include the yellow blade-- not just because it's the correct color in the comics, but the authors of the comic have explicitly stated that this is a nod to the very first action figure with a lightsaber, the 1978 Luke Skywalker from Kenner.
5. Just curious on your thoughts about the upcoming demise of the Titanium line. Apparently the sales aren't there, but I thought this was one of the best and most interesting years they have had with the line and at least they are going out with a bang if nothing else. Anything you would have liked to see them produce, or any favorites you care to share with us? Or did you not even collect?
While I collected the line-- and I collected its original Galoob incarnation in the 1990s too-- I'm not sorry to see it go, not because I didn't like it but because it had a great run with most of the key ships from the saga-- even the bad ones. When you have any line where there's a deep selection of product, generally there's always going to be something you'd have liked but didn't see. For example, I'd have crapped my pants with glee if they made black repaints of the X-Wing and TIE Fighter with green edges, mimicking the vector graphics used in Atari's Star Wars: The Arcade Game. I would also be the only person who would have liked that.
I picked up the MicroMachines and a lot of these side lines over the years, and it's always unfortunate to see some of them end before the full range of movie vehicles were reproduced. However, Titanium Series seemed to have a fantastic run from 2005 to 2009 and Hasbro really did a pretty swell job making the most out of potential repaints, retools, and new molds. I'd have preferred it to have lasted long enough to update every ship in the MicroMachines line (1994-2000), but alas, I do not often get everything I want.
As an armchair quarterback, I'd say be thankful it was as big as it was, and that you're now going to save a fortune by not having anything new to track down for a while. We went through the same crap with Action Fleet more than once, and fans rarely put their money up to support the lines they claim are so important to them. Four years is longer than almost any toy line gets, so we're really fortunate to get as much as we got out of this one. I'm thrilled I have a little metal Twilight to go next to an IG-2000, various Jedi Starfighters, Landspeeders, and other odds and ends, but like anything it's a shame that there's no "ultimate" line of vehicles-- the one that any fan knows that if they got the entire run, they would have the best possible single collection of vehicles. This comes close, but without some releases it will have a ways to go to being #1 in my heart.
The past month has been awesome for new releases. We got four new vehicles in the Starfighter assortment, a jumbo ship, bunches of carded figures, new Galactic Heroes, the figure-and-vehicle assortment, and peace and happiness which shall last forever in the form of the vehicle I would have bet we would never see for figure scale, the Republic Fighter Tank. I can't remember when but I'm glad that I was wrong when, in this very column, I deemed it unlikely on several occasions. I'm even more shocked that Hasbro went and made it one of the finest action figure-scaled vehicles they've made since 1995. I mean, there were tons of big vehicles, but as far as cramming so much stuff into a single $20-$30 toy? This is probably right up there with the Episode I release of the Trade Federation AAT (which, you recall, has one action feature which was dropped from subsequent releases.) Kudos, Hasbro, on a job well done.
What's more, this is just the tip of the iceberg. New announcements are on the way, and new toys are too. This year we can still expect Dooku on his Speeder Bike, this time with a cartoony figure. We can expect a giant Tri-Droid, unless Hasbro changes their hive mind. Multiple waves of animated figures are on the horizon, as is another wave of Episode I-themed figures and a mail-in offer too. (You've been saving all your UPCs, right? Or do I have to do another SASE mail-in offer for you people again?) There are also piles and piles of as-of-yet unreleased exclusives, like Target's Battle of Geonosis 2-packs, Wal-Mart's 2009 Droid Factory 2-packs, that really lame Luke Pilot Comic-Con exclusive that some of you thought it was funny to beg Hasbro for (GOOD JOB, NO REALLY), plus a whole bunch more. It's going to be another huge Q4, and as always, I hope you're saving your money for the good stuff. As a lot is coming.
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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