Galactic Hunter.com's Star Wars Q&A with Adam Pawlus
August 3, 2009
1. What was the price [on the new AT-ST] and when will it be out?
Hasbro's card said $40 and in the next couple of months. You really can't trust those dates completely, so start checking your favorite sites for sightings-- September/October is likely, but it is Wal-Mart.
2. Do you think that Hasbro's shift in thinking in regards to dead people figures may impact the long-standing "No" answer about crispy Owen and Beru? It was always sort of lumped together that they would not be likely to release a Funeral Pyre Vader or a dead Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen because of a lack of play value and/or a negative connotation. If they are chumming the waters for fan interest in dead Vader, then perhaps Luke's aunt and uncle are no longer as taboo as they were before. I thought this was the deal when we got the crispy battle damaged Anakin/Vader back in the ROTS days. I'm thinking that Hasbro would make the distinction between the burning Vader as an iconic scene versus the smoldering aunt and uncle as being less iconic and more of a gross downer.
Now, Hasbro didn't confirm they're doing that pyre set. They showed it specifically to say "hey, should we do this?" and fan reaction is kinda mixed. Personally I think they're getting a lot of false positives, because let's look at this honestly-- it's another Luke, and another Vader, and with the electronics it's going to be expensive. Would you pay $24-$38 for this? I wouldn't. It has no known home and I don't expect it to get produced. And don't throw around words like "iconic," I think we as a group need to stop using it. Everything in Star Wars is not iconic. It's just a scene, and really, it's not nearly as powerful as the scene where he actually drops dead-- which does have multiple figures made from it. Plus live and dead Darth Vader don't look much different.
One of the ongoing problems with this line isn't so much what can Hasbro do, but what would be really fun? I don't think any of these dead people would necessarily be good $8 items. Once the chuckle factor wears off, you're left with a very boring chunk of plastic with little to no articulation. Unless Hasbro decides to develop Owen and Beru as new figures that can easily be made into "live" and "dead" deco variants, I'd say get over it, stop asking, and be surprised if/when it ever happens.
3. Since next year is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back,I'm hoping Hasbro focuses on extra figures from this film.I think it's a safe bet that we should be getting updated versions of Hoth Leia and Bespin Han,but have you heard any rumors about a new Bespin Lando?I thought the VOTC one was pretty good,but it needed a removable cape and the color of his shirt seemed wrong to me.
At Comic-Con Hasbro indicated much was planned for next year-- but what? Nothing specific. A new Hoth Leia is indeed in the works, as is a Bespin Han-- but when? That I'm not so sure of.
Lando seems screamingly unlikely. The 2004 vintage figure was a fantastic release, and other than the elbows and maybe shoulders, there's little room for improvement. It was also a poor seller. As such, don't expect it to happen,
4. I am getting the impression from your blog and from other places that future releases of the build-a-droid won't have the parts to droids they currently have. For eample, in waves 5,6, and &7 contain parts for droids R5-A2/R2-L3, U-3PO, and HK-47, respectively. Are future releases (and I'm assuming that more are coming after the change the cards) going to carry parts for the future droids or will they have the same parts for droids they do now? Basically I am asking will I be able to get the parts for R5-A2/R2-L3, U-3PO, and HK-47 in future or do I need to get over to the stores right now?
Right-- figures' build-a-droid parts change if they ship with a subsequent wave. If you don't get HK-47 parts with Wave 7, you will not get HK-47 parts, period. If you aren't being vigilant, you will get screwed out of pieces here..
5. I am a MIB collector, and I try to find the best condition box I can when hunting. Sometimes this isn't much of a problem, and other times I just can't seem to find an example that hasn't been damaged either by shipping or shelf wear. This mainly seems to be a problem with the larger more expensive items.
My OCD is very well controlled. I know that C10 is a mythical condition that does not exist. I understand that case fresh toys sometimes can look pretty sad. I am aware of the realities of mass production, overseas shipping, and domestic distribution. I realize that these are toys, and not limited edition museum pieces. That being said, I still would like to have a decent box.
My question involves the availability of unfolded box flats. I would love to purchase a nice crisp box flat for the AT-TE, place the contents from a locally purchased one inside, and display it. I am not looking to create some sort of strange re-packaging business, just a nice example for my own enjoyment.
I have rarely seen box flats offered. I have looked on Ebay and in several forums without any luck. I would think that boxes for current production vehicles, creatures, etc. would be be plentiful. I am surprised that some enterprising individual, say perhaps somewhere overseas, wouldn't have access to some to sell.
Maybe I am not looking in the right places. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Flat boxes used to be easier to get, but these days it's quite difficult. You can always contact Hasbro and see what happens, but I wouldn't expect too much here. Big items are very difficult to get in perfect packaging, hence the premium prices paid for some older, big toys in especially good shape.
However, if you buy a toy, open it, and stick it in a new box, it's no longer NRFB/MISB. It's an opened toy. Lately, companies are very squeamish at distributing these empties, so I wouldn't get your hopes up unless you're a store with an account with Hasbro and can make a case that you need a good box to sell the toy because the damaged packaging makes it difficult to sell the product.
While you aren't alone in wanting this sort of thing, the amount of people willing to pay for it is so small that Hasbro's factories probably won't consider this unless they read it here and go "oh, we could do that." But shipping would probably kill you. Part of the challenge is finding a really perfect box, which, sometimes, can happen. Back in the day I found a stunningly perfect MISB ALIENS Power Loader from Kenner at Pic-N-Save (now Big Lots!) that was so perfect you wouldn't believe it. I bought it to play with, but I was stunned-- I have never ever seen a box so perfectly formed, with no scuffing or tags or anything on it. I bet I never will again, but watch the wilds of retail because it may be possible to find a very good one. But at this size, gem mintness is pretty much impossible. Settle for a minor imperfection or two, and be happy. It's not like it's likely to stay mint forever, anyway, unless you plan on putting it in a protective box or something, and even then water, gravity, and other stuff can muck it up.
So who out there collects the trading cards? I bought a basic set of Star Wars Galaxy #4 at Comic-Con and the guy screwed me, it turns out, as I got doubles of some and none of others. Anyone out there got some doubles and can do me a solid?
In light of the recent hubbub over the whole Fan's Choice poll, I've been asked what kind of stuff I'd ask for. I would like to remind everyone that the line has been around for fourteen years. Late July/Early August 1995, Kenner kicked off this relaunch and since then, has pretty much made and/or remade every figure you can imagine save for a handful of vintage Kenner dudes and the entire (and probably permanently ignored) Ewoks and Droids cartoon lines. It's got to the point where we've been sold so many figures that I doubt that any-- save for the aforementioned Kenner guys-- were on anyone's wish lists from the old days, and really, we're mostly just digging up stuff to ask for.
So here's hoping we get something interesting. The last poll showed a mix of great choices, and it's hard to believe it was already three years ago. It's pretty surprising what's left from that last round, for example I don't get why that Cyborg Darth Maul hasn't been cranked out already. That seems like a no-brainer. Anakin Solo and Bastilla Shan... can't say I particularly care, but hey, someone probably does. Dead Padme would be neat, mostly for novelty's sake, or better still in a box with other stuff that people might actually buy. I'd like to see that one. The only other unmade figure from this batch is Nom Anor. And I can't say I have much of an opinion here.
Really, I'd be happy to get Vlix. I know I'm not going to get a Vlix, but that'd make me pretty damned happy. It's a shame that the episodes featuring that character never hit DVD, and that the comics remain out of print. Such is life.
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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